AFCEC Natural Disaster Recovery Division prepares for future disasters > Air Force Materiel Command > Article Display

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Florida. – The Air Force Civil Engineering Center’s Natural Disaster Recovery Division, located in Tyndall, recently established a new branch to improve preparedness and readiness for the next natural disaster that may strike a air force installation.

“It’s only a matter of time before another natural disaster affects one of our facilities again and we want to not only be ready to respond, but be in a better position to move forward with the process with an experienced course of action,” said Lt. Col. Brandon Rocker, NDR Response Operations Branch Chief.

The Response Operations branch develops an organized, trained, and equipped disaster response team to support Wing Commanders, enabling them to get the mission back on track after a natural disaster.

One of the main goals will be to help formulate the cost of unplanned military construction needed to stabilize a base after a disaster, Rocker said.

“The more accurately a base can achieve this, the better positioned they will be to start recovering,” he said.

To better prepare the response team, the branch performed a table-top exercise to define its roles and responsibilities and review existing capabilities within AFCEC. The four-hour session simulated a response to a hypothetical Category 3 or greater hurricane making landfall at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., and surrounding areas.

“The event was a success because we brought in subject matter experts and team leaders to openly discuss how they would react during specific events and scenarios,” said Colonel Travis Leighton, NDR Division Chief. “We were able to identify areas where we can improve and expand on AFCEC’s existing capabilities.”

The Response Operations branch can help Wing Commanders access resources already available when the next natural disaster strikes. The team can also help facilitate assistance from AFCEC’s Civil Engineering Maintenance Inspection and Repair Team, or CEMIRT, Airfield Pavement Assessment Team, or APE, and more. again.

“We have established relationships within the Department of Defense and other national organizations that can provide support in addition to AFCEC’s capabilities,” Rocker said.

The team brings together the expertise, lessons learned and knowledge of available resources needed to guide a facility through the recovery process after a natural disaster.