Soldiers from JLC, JTF Katrina, move to Hammond, La.

Story by Maj. Jay R. Adams
13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office

Soldiers of the 13th Corps Support Command, currently serving as the Joint Logistics Command, Joint Task Force-Katrina are moving their tactical operation center from the New Orleans International Airport to Hammond, La in anticipation of Hurricane Rita.

The JLC headquarters, elements of the 1st Medical Brigade, 64th Corps Support Group, 4th Corps Material Management Center, the 49th Movement Control Battalion, Special Troops Battalion, and attached units from the 81st Reserve Support Command are in Louisiana conducting relief operations following Hurricane Katrina.

"The JTF-K commander [Lt. Gen. Russell Honore] directed all components to execute survivability moves to locations where equipment and Soldiers will be protected from the storm but close enough to respond to storm damage, said Lt. Col. Kenneth S. Lundgren, JLC operations officer.

JTF-Katrina is the united response to Hurricane Katrina and the devastation it caused to the Gulf Region. The JLC supports all federal military forces to include elements of the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Cavalry Division, Marines and the Iwo Jima Amphibious Readiness Group.

We have pre-positioned extra supplies at critical locations to support existing forces and first responders. They can [now] provide for themselves until we come back after the storm," said Lundgren.

"The COSCOM brings leadership, organization and dedicated communications to a crisis situation," said Lundgren.

"I think the JLC is the way to bring the national logistics assets to the fight and have a way to use all the resources we have to focus on the commander's priorities, said Air Force Maj. Philip M. Calvano, a Joint Forces Command logistics observer/trainer and Air Force liaison to the JLC.

"It makes it easier for the joint commander to reach in and find what he needs," said Calvano.

The JLC will move approximately 900 service members and more than 360 trucks to Hammond.

It's [the move to Hammond] coming along fast," said Spc. Jomo K. Washington, a military intelligence analyst with the JLC. "For the amount of time we have, everything is coming together."

A tactical command post with a core staff of about 50 Soldiers and Air Force, Navy, Marine and National Guard liaisons will remain in place at the New Orleans airport to ensure ongoing support to New Orleans.

Support currently provided to federal military forces and local first responders includes, water purification, transportation, preventive medicine, distribution and transportation management and debris removal.

"Anybody can say I wish I was at home," said Washington, "but these people don't have a home. I like being here doing my job. I feel pretty good about being here."

The JLC will continue operations until local, state and National Guard authorities are fully established and capable and the JTF-K commander orders its redeployment.