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Brian Walsh
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On 29 August 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi, devastating the City of New Orleans and coastal areas along the Gulf of Mexico. The Navy quickly responded, deploying ships, aircraft, and personnel to support the domestic disaster relief operation.

This report provides a reconstruction of the Navy’s response to Hurricane Katrina from the perspective of the Joint Force Maritime Component Commander-Katrina (JFMCC-Katrina) and is part of a larger CNA analysis. The role of JFMCC-Katrina was to support Joint Task Force-Katrina (JTF-Katrina) relief and recovery operations, oversee all maritime operations, support JTF units operating from naval installations, and support the reconstitution of naval installations.

To support these efforts, the Navy deployed a maritime force to the Gulf Coast. The capabilities that this force brought to the operation are the focus of the first section of this report. The operational issues section, which follows, expands the discussion of these response capabilities by describing issues that limited JFMCC-Katrina’s ability to coordinate relief operations. The capabilities discussion and issues analysis are based upon observations made at JFMCC-Katrina during the month of September 2006.

Response capabilities

The Katrina response demonstrated that the Navy has many capabilities that can support disaster response operations and that JFMCC staffs will likely be responsible for coordinating many of these capabilities. During the operation, the Katrina maritime force:

  • Transported more than 10,000 displaced persons
  • Delivered approximately 2.2 million pounds of food and water
  • Provided medical treatment to an estimate 10,239 patients
  • Directed ships to serve as command and control platforms
  • Inspected and repaired the region’s infrastructure
  • Restored local self-sufficiency
  • Provided hospitality services to relief workers and DoD personnel
  • Coordinated relief operations with coalition maritime forces
  • Restored operational capabilities at Navy installations.
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  • Pages: 120
  • Document Number: CRM D0013414.A4 1Rev
  • Publication Date: 8/7/2006
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