By CPT (MDDF) Stephen Rice
Maryland Defense Force Public Affairs
3 November, 2012
Elements of the Maryland Defense Force (MDDF) were activated to support the coordinated State of Maryland response to Hurricane Sandy. These elements were operating under the direction of mission commander Col. (MDDF) James F. Coleman who was supporting the Maryland Military Department’s Joint Force Headquarters as Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil and Military Operations on the Joint Staff. Col. (MDDF) Coleman operated out of Camp Fretterd Military Reservation along with other Joint Staff personnel and the MDDF support team.
In anticipation of the storm, MDDF personnel were posted at Camp Fretterd on October 27 and began support operations at 12:00 noon. While serving at Camp Fretterd, various MDDF personnel staffed the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and the Joint Operations Center (JOC) on a twenty-four hour rotation. MDDF personnel were on site for five calendar days and concluded their support mission on October 31. At the Pikesville Military Reservation, the MDDF Defense Operations Center (DOC) was activated on October 28 for a four day period. The DOC was staffed on a twenty-four hour rotation by MDDF personnel under the operational command of Col. (MDDF) Amato Mongelluzzo. The MDDF DOC helped to liaise with the JOC and coordinate the field operations of the various MDDF units across the state.
MDDF assets were also deployed and prepositioned across the state in preparation for the hurricane’s impact. The MDDF 121st Engineer Regiment deployed a Disaster Assessment Team (DAT) to Salisbury on October, 28 and other MDDF personnel were assigned to Joint Task Force Maryland in Adelphi. In order to support the needs of county emergency operations centers, MDDF County Liaison Teams (CoLT) were posted with various county emergency management teams across the state. In addition, a medical team from the MDDF 10th Medical Regiment was also deployed to Salisbury in support of a Maryland National Guard (MDNG) medical transportation team.
At the Pikesville Military Reservation a second Disaster Assessment Team from the 121st Engineer Regiment was prepositioned for operational activation. A third Disaster Assessment Team was on standby as well as four additional medical teams from the 10th Medical Regiment. In total, nearly 70 MDDF personnel supported the operation and contributed 2430 man hours in support of the State of Maryland. Brig. Gen. (MDDF) Brian R. Kelm, the Commander of the MDDF stated, “We were in place and ready to provide whatever support we could to our fellow citizens.” “Although we dodged a major bullet, our personnel answered the call and served with pride and professionalism.”
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: www.mddf.maryland.gov.