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Press Release | Jan. 15, 2013

Soldiers Receive Disaster Relief Training in Wake of Super Storm

NORFOLK, Va. — In the midst of holiday shopping and in the wake of the devastating effects of Super Storm Sandy, soldiers with the 353rd Civil Affairs Command, headquartered in Staten Island, N.Y., were receiving training on the planning processes involved with the military's response to overseas disaster relief offered by the Joint Forces Staff College’s (JFSC) Joint Combined Warfighting School (JCWS) here.

The 353rd Civil Affairs' mission is to provide civil affairs expertise to U.S. Africa Command in planning and execution of operations. The soldiers have unique skills and experience based on their civilian education and employment in fields such as finance, public safety, public health, and public utilities.

"The Joint Interagency Planners’ Course focuses more on planning for overseas military operations, specifically the military’s role in humanitarian assistance to foreign countries," said Professor Liz Yeomans, an instructor in the course.

The 353rd commander, Brig. Gen. Daniel R. Ammerman, attended student concept briefings provided by his staff and thanked the JFSC instructors for their efforts.

"This joint and interagency planning exercise is a valuable tool to build the skills that geographic combatant commanders expect from the soldiers of the 353rd Civil Affairs Command who serve as their regionally aligned strategic civil-military operations planners," said General Ammerman.

The three-day course prepares command’s planners by educating them on the Military Joint Planning Process. This course was held at Fort Wadsworth, N.Y., in early December. It was delivered through a combination of academics and practical applied exercises. The practical exercises are scenario-based, specifically focused on a humanitarian assistance/disaster relief exercise set on the African continent. The exercise provided a final crisis action planning exercise for the students.

The scenario was developed, executed and maintained by Professor Yeomans. The exercise is used by JCWS and held four times annually during the Joint Professional Military Education Phase Two 10-week course at the JFSC. It is used to educate military officers from all of the armed services and those from friendly nations in their role in assisting civilian responders to disasters. Professor Jon Stull, the school’s transformation chair and second instructor in the course, educates mid to senior level officers from a variety of executive branch federal agencies in a week-long interagency and multinational planners course. Professor Yeomans is also the course director for Crisis Action Planning and Exercises.

The JFSC is part of the National Defense University. JFSC educates national security professionals to plan and execute joint, multinational, and interagency operations. The school has been located in Norfolk since its establishment as the Armed Forces Staff College in 1946.



IMG 4255: Professor Jon Stull, with the Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, highlights some key points during the Joint Interagency Planners’ Course held for the 353rd Civil Affairs Command soldiers in December. Professors Stull and Liz Yoemans taught the three-day course which provided soldiers with training on the planning processes involved with the military's response to overseas disaster relief. (Photo by COL Philip S. Rosso, USAR, 353rd Civil Affairs Command)