FORT JACKSON, S.C. –
Army Reserve Soldiers responded to a 72-hour notice and began to coordinate relief efforts to the Bahamas and provide a critical link between mission planners and ground elements during Hurricane Dorian.
“You moved like lightning and sounded like thunder,” said Lt. Gen. Charles D. Luckey, Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve, who commended the 4th ESC for moving quickly as a part of Defense in Support of Civil Authorities operations.
115 Soldiers from the 4th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Early Entry Command Post, set up multiple tactical operations centers to provide a link between strategic and tactical levels, coordinating the distribution of supplies and preparing to sustain elements on the ground by conducting split operations in South Carolina, Florida, and Texas where the unit is home stationed, said Col. Julianne Lefevre, 4th ESC commanding general.
When not in uniform, Lefevre works for the Department of the Navy in human resources. Lafevre and many other Soldiers on her team left their civilian occupations on short notice to coordinate the 4th ESC’s efforts.
One of the key parts of the operation was spearheaded by Sgt. Pedro Ortiz, information technology chief, whose team is tasked with establishing communications within 24-hours. He and his team arrived at Fort Jackson at 3 a.m. on Monday and had communications ready after just a few hours.
Ortiz knows first-hand the havoc and devastation that a hurricane brings, which he saw when he visited family in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017.
“This strikes home, seeing the chaos and effects of the hurricane,” Ortiz said. “Being part of a DSCA operation and you know you can help people. It feels good,”
According to the Army Reserve Website, The Army Reserve conducts DSCA response in two ways: immediate and deliberate. These responses differ in the authorities under which they are conducted and the source of the support request. Responses can be conducted independently or as part of a larger response effort. Title 10 USC Section 12304 authorizes Federal Reserve units, including the Army Reserve, to respond to certain emergencies and humanitarian assistance in other nations.
This includes the authority to order up to 200,000 members of the Army Reserve to active duty for a continuous period up to 365 days, to provide assistance to either the federal government or an individual state in time of a serious man-made disaster, accident or natural catastrophe.
Title 10 USC Section 12304a authorizes the Army Reserve to provide disaster assistance to a major natural disaster or emergency in the United States at the request of the governor of a state.