Monday, September 5, 2011

Maryland Defense Force Mobilizes to Support State of Maryland Response to Hurricane Irene

By CPT(MD) Stephen Rice
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
05 September 2011

As part of the State of Maryland’s preparation for the effects of Hurricane Irene, elements of the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) mobilized to support the total force response of the Maryland Military Department. In total, eight MDDF units were engaged and 70 MDDF personnel contributed to the effort. These MDDF personnel accumulated 2,156 hours of service over four days and saved the State of Maryland $100,548.39.

MDDF Rapid Action Team (RAT) personnel were activated to augment the Maryland National Guard Adaptive Battle Staff at the Maryland Joint Operations Center. They served as liaison officers and provided twenty-four hour support for three positions that facilitated the coordination of relief and recovery efforts. In addition, the MDDF Operations and Training Unit established a Tactical Operations Center to manage MDDF assets in the field of operations.

Posted at the Easton Armory in order to provide direct support to Maryland residents that were in the path of the storm were personnel from the MDDF’s 121st Engineering Regiment, 10th Medical Regiment, Field Detachment Delta and Chaplain Corps. Field operations conducted by these units included structural damage assessments and tree removal to aid civilian transportation on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The overall MDDF effort was augmented by leadership from the MDDF command staff, technical support from the Information Technology and Communications Unit and the activation of MDDF assets assigned to the Maryland National Guard County Liaison Team (CoLT).

Col. (MDDF) James F. Coleman served as the Officer In Charge of the MDDF mobilization. He proudly noted that, “Our officers and enlisted personnel throughout the state showed pride and professionalism in the performance of their duties.” Capt. (MDDF) Michael Behringer, the commander of the RAT expressed that, “This gave us a great opportunity to test and refine our operational integration with other elements of the Maryland Military Department for future emergencies.” Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Brian R. Kelm simply stated, “Our motto is that we are Ready When Called. This mobilization gave us another opportunity to show that we stand behind those words.”

The Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) is the State’s uniformed volunteer military unit providing professional and technical assistance to the Maryland Military Department. Established in 1917, the MDDF consists of nearly 450 personnel who perform legal, engineering, finance, medical, chaplain, field support and ceremonial services for the State of Maryland. For more information: