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Task Force Formed in Response to Lane

August 24, 2018, 9:40 AM HST
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Gov. Ige declares an emergency ahead of Hurricane Lane. Courtesy photo.

Gov. David Y. Ige has announced the formation of a Dual-Status Command, Joint Task Force 50 (JTF) in response to Hurricane Lane’s impact on Hawai‘i.

Gov. Ige’s formal request to appoint Brig. Gen. Kenneth Hara was submitted on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, and approved by Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis on Friday, Aug. 24.

The formation of JTF-50 establishes a clear chain of command to maintain operational unity between state and federal efforts and increase efficiency. For example, Gen. Hara now has the authority to command both the National Guard and active military forces to plan for and be ready to execute those plans should vital roadways be blocked with debris or if a mass air evacuations are necessary.

“Our federal partners have been quick to respond to our requests for assistance in the face of Hurricane Lane, and I thank Secretary Mattis for his speedy approval,” said Gov. Ige. “This joint military task force will provide the necessary state and federal resources to any county in Hawaiʻi that needs assistance. Together, we are committed to supporting the residents of Hawaiʻi in their time of need.”

Hara is the Deputy Adjutant General and Commander of the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard. He will oversee a joint Hawaiʻi National Guard and active duty military joint task force. Based on the current threat JTF-50 may be required for Search and Rescue, Incident Awareness and Assessment, Debris Clearance, Security, and Emergency Evacuation.

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Background information about the Dual Status Commander authority

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The Dual Status Commander is a legally authorized military officer who assumes simultaneous but mutually exclusive command authority over both National Guard forces and Title 10 federal military forces. While state and federal military forces maintain separate and distinct chains of command, the Dual Status Commander leads all military forces and directs their response efforts.

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