Department of Defense’s Preparation, Support, and Recovery Efforts for Hurricane Matthew

The Department of Defense continues to monitor Hurricane Matthew closely in order to assess impacts on installations and personnel and to be prepared to provide assistance if needed.


The latest major updates to the Department of Defense hurricane response activities as of Oct. 9 are:



All Army bases are open and operational.


US Army Corps of Engineers has 107 personnel supporting nine different FEMA missions across all affected states.

Point of contact for additional information about the Army:

media relations 703-697-7592



USS Iwo Jima departed Naval Station Norfolk on Oct. 8 to relieve USS Mesa Verde in support of SOUTHCOM with humanitarian efforts in Haiti. Iwo Jima is expected to arrive Oct 13.


USS Mesa Verde received orders on Oct. 7 to support SOUTHCOM with humanitarian efforts in Haiti. The ship is expected to arrive Oct. 9.


USNS Comfort departed NS Norfolk on Oct. 4 with 280 medical personnel in an area clear of the hurricane in the event they are tasked to provide support.


Point of contact for additional information about the Navy:

Navy Chief of Information duty officer 703-850-1047




Patrick Air Force Base, Florida and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida have reopened to base residents and mission essential personnel.


34 Airmen from the 621st Contingency Response Wing and associated aerial port equipment that will support U.S. Transportation Command’s Joint Task Force-Port Opening, that is co-located with Joint Task Force-Matthew at Port-au-Prince International Airport, Haiti.


The 621st has approximately 115 airmen on the ground who are highly-specialized in coordinating air mobility operations such as the reception and staging of humanitarian aid for this relief effort.


Point of contact for additional information about the Air Force:  weekends and after duty-hours, call the Air Force public affairs duty officer at 202-386-4003; during duty hours, call the Air Force press desk at 703-695-0640.




Approximately 6,000 recruits in training evacuated from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island to Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany.


Marine Corps Logistic Base Albany – continuing to assist FEMA as necessary to support hurricane relief efforts.


Point of contact for additional information about the Marines:

Contact U.S. Marine Corps Public Affairs,




About 8,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen are supporting hurricane recovery efforts.


South Carolina continues to support a number of mission assignments that include road clearing, damage assessment and shelter support.


As the storm passes out of North Carolina, the soldiers and airmen that were staged are moving in the affected areas with equipment to support security, water rescues, damage assessment and re-entry operations.


Florida soldiers and airmen continue to provide support at shelters, traffic control points, bridge security and in support of search and rescue.


Georgia continues to engage in re-entry operations, debris removal and support to points of distribution. They will also begin to decrease the number of soldiers and airmen that are on duty.


Virginia has plans to activate soldiers and airmen to respond to flooding in Norfolk.


As no federal active forces have been required, Florida, at least, is looking to stand down its dual status commander.


The National Guard will remain on duty long after the winds stop blowing and as long as they   are needed.


Point of contact for additional information about the National Guard:

National Guard Bureau                                               703-627-7273

Florida National Guard Public Affairs                       904-823-0164

Georgia National Guard Public Affairs                      678-569-3957

South Carolina National Guard Public Affairs           803-299-4327

North Carolina National Guard Public Affairs           984-664-6244




NORTHCOM continues to coordinate with SOUTHCOM, FEMA, the services, the State Department, the senior defense official in the Bahamas, and the east coast states, in Hurricane Matthew response.


As of Oct. 9, NORTHCOM has approved six mission assignments for ISB/FSAs (incident support bases and federal staging areas).  They are:


Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Georgia; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany, Georgia; North Aux Air Field, South Carolina; Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, and Robbins Air Force Base, Georgia.


Additionally, a mission assignment was approved for Fort Gordon to provide cots to the state of Georgia.  Defense coordinating officers and defense coordinating elements remain in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia and dual-status commanders have been designated in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.


Point of contact for additional information about NORTHCOM:

public affairs main line 719-554-6889




As of Oct. 9, Joint Task Force Matthew has delivered 50,000 pounds of relief commodities (aid and supplies) to areas devastated by Hurricane Matthew.


Approximately 300 task force personnel are on the ground in Haiti.


The U.S. Navy amphibious transport dock ship USS Mesa Verde is now in Haitian waters with 700 Sailors and Marines on board.


With the addition of USS Mesa Verde’s embarked capabilities, JTF-Matthew now has 12 helicopters and one landing craft supporting USAID-led relief operations to aid victims of the storm.


Today, the task force will continue delivering life-support provisions donated by USAID and international relief organizations to storm survivors at or near Jeremie in the south-western region of Haiti.


A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon, based out of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, will continue to conduct aerial assessments of areas devastated by the storm to support disaster assessment experts on the ground in Haiti.


Joint Task Force-Matthew is supporting the critical early stages of U.S. disaster assistance to Haiti led by USAID. As the ongoing international relief mission progresses and more experienced experts arrive to aid longer-term recovery and reconstruction, we anticipate U.S. military capabilities will no longer be needed, and any remaining tasks performed by the task force will be assumed by other, more experienced relief organizations.


Point of contact for additional information about SOUTHCOM:

U.S Southern Command Public Affairs Office 786-239-1996

Release No: NR-357-16
Oct. 9, 2016


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