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Thu, Oct 25, 2007

AFNORTH Deploys Air Coordination Team To SoCal

Will Oversee Command/Control Of Air Force Assets

Air Forces Northern officials are deploying an air component coordination element to support firefighting operations in Southern California, USAF officials tell ANN.

The air component coordination element, or ACCE, is an Air Force team designed to perform the command and control function for Air Force assets supporting the efforts.

When the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested Defense Department resources to help with the relief operations in Southern California, AFNORTH officials sent the eight-person element to coordinate any airlift, aeromedical evacuation, medical support, aerial assessment and civil engineering capabilities as needed.

"Like all citizens, we are saddened by the loss of life and property," said Maj. Gen. Henry C. "Hank" Morrow, the AFNORTH commander. "America's Air Force has answered the call for assistance to the California wildfire crisis. Our folks are working long hours to help Americans in need."

"Defense support to civil authorities is a total team and interagency effort," said Brig. Gen. Robert O. Tarter, the ACCE team commander. "We coordinate all Air Force capabilities for the task force, and work directly with civilian experts to support their operations. Due to the cooperation of military and civil authorities we will be able to save lives and mitigate property damage."

The ACCE is helping to provide critical Air Force assistance in areas needing it most; delivering essential supplies, conducting vital command and control of rescues and evacuation of survivors from the disaster area.

FMI: www.af.mil

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