David Gergen and I saw need for improvement in the Obama administration’s response to the BP oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. LTG Russell Honore, USA, (ret.) described a command and control structure for addressing the crisis during multiple interviews on CNN. I decided that Colin Powell was “the answer.” Woodward decided that Colin Powell would be the “right” person to replace Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense.
Joplin is 60 miles west of here. In less than 12 hours, Joplin had been declared a state emergency and a Federal Disaster area. Initial reports on CNN seemed to discourage local people helping out and leaving the situation to the “professional” first responders. This is counter to the local culture.
Early news coverage included statements by the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, and a MG from the Missouri National Guard saying they were here to support the local authorities. By May 25, 2011, CNN was reporting that it seemed like no one was in charge. However, two parents had been kept out of the morgue for 3 days. “This is a Federal Disaster. We have to be 100% certain.”
George W. Bush was the Decider. Barack Obama is the Sage. Barack Obama is also the Commander in Chief (CINC). Since Donald Rumsfeld “transformed” our forces, CINC Obama is the only CINC. We need to UNTRANSFORM some of our forces so that we have full functional capability in general purpose command and control. We may not need to have (m)any Field Armies but we do need to have comprehensive (full functional) command and control capability.
Any task force that responds to a general disaster needs to have full functional capability.
Joplin does not have a functional integrated C3 system to include a disaster recover database.
Somebody in the system has the set of formal addresses as recognized by the USPS. Junk mailers can get access to the addresses. We have just completed a census. Sounds like what’s needed to be able to identify within 10% how many people are missing.
Joplin needs communication for cell phones and computers. The devastation is only a mile or less wide so water is accessible locally.
I have heard only one person mention on TV that search and recovery operations need to extend Eastward, perhaps to Springfield.
Joplin needs UNTRANSFORMED general purpose command and control. CINC Obama is expected Sunday.
We have spent 10 years "investing" in homeland security until we have the "Top Secret America" described in a Washington Post series a few months ago. We are heavy on the Intel. We need to reestablish an Ops capability.
The concept is simple - a rapid reaction deployable CCIS node for disaster recovery. In the GAMO and JINTACCS communities, this would be the JTF headquaters node. In WWMCCS, it would include R2DC3, DWC4, and FORWARD TALK. In NATO, it would be the MWHQ initiative of Task Force 6 (C3).