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Joint Rear Area Coordinator - Hawaii (JRAC-HI)
US Army Pacific Command (USARPAC)

After the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, the United States Army Pacific (USARPAC), in partnership with local, state and federal authorities, developed a plan of preparedness for the state of Hawaii. The Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Command, identified USARPAC as the executive agent for joint rear area coordination (JRAC). This task was normally accomplished in a wartime theater of operation, but in this case, it was to be accomplished for the state of Hawaii. Teaming with local and state civil organizations and federal agencies, the Joint Rear Area Coordinator - Hawaii (JRAC-HI) had accomplished a significant amount in a short time following the 11 September 2001 attacks.

JRAC-HI protected its military installations by reducing and restricting entry points using roving patrols. Guard duties completely changed. Guards had to understand the changing dynamics of a more dangerous world, and had to learn to expect the unexpected. Military installations worldwide were subsequently on the front lines and were the subject of surveillance and probes more than ever before. Guards had to be more alert to activities both on and off the installations, and they had to constantly vary security procedure patterns to eliminate predictability. They also had to be linked to local law enforcement and had to be the beneficiaries, and target audience, of a regular joint and interagency intelligence summary. With these changing conditions, JRAC-HI reinstituted more formalized guard mounts and instructions, tailored to the new operational environment.

JRAC-HI identified mission essential or vulnerable areas (MEVAs) both on and off the installations. MEVAs were facilities and capabilities essential to accomplishing the military mission. These MEVAs had been thoroughly assessed and security needs addressed. Tailored after general defense plan (GDP) battle books from the Cold War in Europe, MEVA folders detailed every aspect relevant to the defense of these critical sites. Local civil authorities had done the same with over 150 of their own MEVAs and both the civil and military authorities regularly conduct site surveys.

JRAC-HI had fine-tuned procedures for providing military support to civil authorities (MSCA) in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. As the executive agent for MSCA in Hawaii, American Samoa, and neighboring islands, JRAC-HI provided a defense-coordinating officer to coordinate military support of civilian consequence management operations. Even before 11 September 2001, JRAC-HI maintained a close relationship with local and state government leaders, who could leverage many standing MSCA concepts and plans as the JRAC operation might come together. JRAC-HI's participation in steering committees and plenary groups, such as the Hawaii Emergency Preparedness Executive Committee, the Hawaii Energy Council and the Joint Armed Services/State of Hawaii Civil Defense Coordinating Committee, was instrumental in sharing information and developing joint and civil-military solutions to emerging challenges.

JRAC-HI established quick reaction forces (QRFs) drawn from both US Marine Corps and Army units. These QRFs were capable of moving on short notice by air or road to any place in the state to provide additional security or to assist in any other way. While awaiting adjudication at the national level on the procedures for employing those forces in domestic situations, JRAC-HI regularly conducted joint training with civil authorities.

JRAC-HI worked to identify seams in its collective efforts to secure Hawaii's soil and people. This coordination was taking place with all the military services in Hawaii, state and local civil defense (CD), US Coast Guard (USCG), National Guard (NG), Honolulu Police Department (HPD), fire departments, and a host of other local and federal government agencies such as the state health and transportation departments. Also included in this effort were the FBI, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), US Customs Service (USCS) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as selected private firms and enterprises involved in supporting Hawaii's critical infrastructure. The Joint Interagency Planning Group, established by USARPAC within days of the 11 September 2001 attacks, was the principal driver behind this effort.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:37:43 ZULU