Thursday, June 23, 2011

NLE 2011 After Action Report

Readers of this blog may remember that I recommended cancellation of the NLE 2011 exercise or at least postponement because of the disasterous outbreak of tornadoes in April and May this year. The exercise was held and now it will be of interest to learn of the lessons captured and read any after action report.

The After Action Report is being prepared under the auspices of a former FEMA SES Gil Jamison who rose from the DAE cadre in Tropical Storm Agnes that occurred in 1972 and its aftermath to a position of power and influence in the Hurricane Katrina recovery operation. Gil was a protege of Bill Tidwell also a career SES and Acting Regional Director in many FEMA regions over his career and Chief of Staff under Director Julius Becton.
The demise of the relationship between Bill Tidwell and Director James Lee Witt had a direct impact on Gil but his career eventually found fruition in the disaster program in which he started out in a predecessor organization to FEMA, specifically HUD's FDAA (Federal Disaster Assistance Agency).

Oddly perhaps, the FDAA while it existed under President's Ford and Carter was the only time that it was led by someone that believed that disaster outlays should not be administered as a general relief program to eliminate economic distress but in fact to target assistance to not make the next disaster more serious. This was accomplished by its leaders Thomas Dunne and William Wilcox, two extremely capable administrators both of which should be given the benefit of a biography by some historian. Both were mentors which was always in the past and is currently a rare commodity in FEMA leadership.

Well looking forwards to any and all information released about NLE 2011. This is the exercise series replacing the so-called TOPOFF series. Hoping many senior officials in DHS and FEMA played the exercise just in case that play forecasts some event during the remainder of the Obama Presidency.