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Specially trained officers support Haitian relief efforts

by Carol Carpenter
Air Forces Northern Public Affairs

1/19/2010 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- Responding to and supporting post-earthquake relief efforts in Haiti is expected to be the one of the most challenging humanitarian operations in the history of the National Security Preparedness directorate, according to Col. Michael Hare, NSEP director.

Colonel Hare, who oversees Air Forces Northern Region's Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer program, said three EPLOs -- Air Force Reserve officers assigned to respond to natural and manmade disasters in the United States -- are now onsite at facilities set up in the Southeast Region to support Haitian earthquake relief efforts.

One EPLO is currently assisting with the relief efforts at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., and two others are working at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Regional Response Coordination Center in Atlanta.

Four other members of the NSEP staff are helping out at the National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C.

The EPLO program is part of the Defense Support to Civil Authorities mission under 1st Air Force, headquartered at Tyndall.

EPLOs are currently helping prepare for possible mass evacuations from Haiti to a number of locations.

Many EPLOs, all of whom are part-time officers in the Air Force Reserve, have civilian jobs as doctors, nurses, police officers, emergency medical technicians and other career specialties that will be extremely useful right now in Haiti, he added.

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