#2020-009 July 24, 2020
For Immediate Release
Hawaiʻi National Guard prepares for Douglas
HONOLULU- As Hurricane Douglas approaches the state, Hawai‘i National Guard (HING) Forces prepare to respond while continuing to assist all four counties and the State of Hawai‘i in COVID-19 mitigation measures. Currently, the HING has over 700 personnel executing specific duties for the counties and state in addressing COVID-19 needs. With the arrival of Douglas, the HING is standing by to respond to two fronts at the same time.
“The Hawai‘i National Guard is prepared to provide support, in response to Hurricane Douglas, to the counties as needed,” said Brig. Gen. Moses Kaoiwi Jr., HING Joint Task Force Commander. “While a large number of our force is dedicated to COVID-19 mitigation, we still have service members not actively supporting the COVID-19 mission. These Soldiers and Airmen could be activated on State Active Duty status.”
Hawai‘i National Guardsmen currently supporting the COVID-19 mitigation mission, could be diverted to assist with any of the effects of Douglas only if the situation is dire.
“HING forces supporting COVID19 under FEMA funding will not be redirected to respond to events that are specifically the result of Hurricane Douglas, unless immediate response is needed to save lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate great property damage,” said Kaoiwi. “The HING is evaluating the number of Guardsmen available to respond under State Active Duty funding for events caused by Douglas.”
Although the HING and the state do not foresee the need for additional support at this time, should more forces be needed, the state could ask for support from the Active Duty components on island under a Dual Status Commander. This level of support was used twice in 2018, with the Kīlauea lava flow and Tropical Storm Lane responses.
MAJ (RET) Jeff Hickman
Director, Public Affairs
State of Hawai‘i, Dept. of Defense