19 AW leadership attend joint humanitarian operations course

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Hannah Bean
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Leadership from across the 19th Airlift Wing attended a joint humanitarian operations course (JHOC) at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, March 19-20, 2024.

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) provides extensive training to Department of Defense staff through the JHOC, which was developed to teach key U.S. military personnel how the U.S. government responds to international disasters.

As part of Air Mobility Command’s Global Reach capability, the 19th Airlift Wing provides the DoD’s largest C-130 fleet in the world and executes a variety of missions including supplying humanitarian airlift relief to victims of disaster.

“We teach military audiences because in certain situations, the military can be our partner in response and we find that having a basic understanding of how they got there and what else is going on is beneficial,” said John Williamson, USAID/BHA advisor to the military. “If you get tasked to be our partner, it helps to understand how we got there, what it is that we’re asking you to do and what it is that we’re not likely to ask you to do.”

The course highlights international disaster response best practices and the U.S. military’s role when supporting foreign humanitarian assistance/disaster response (HA/DR) operations as provided for under the Department of Defense Directive 5100.46, Foreign Disaster Relief.

The two-day course also provided participants a greater understanding of international foreign disaster response, the necessary coordination between different levels of government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and how the joint force responds when called into action.

“There are certain circumstances when a disaster requires immediate attention,” said Eric James, USAID/BHA advisor to the military. “Under those situations, calling the military makes the most sense.”

Of the 70 foreign disasters USAID responds to on average every year, about 10% involve support from the DoD. USAID may request U.S. military assistance to meet a specific need, such as deploying aircraft like the C-130J Super Hercules to transport emergency relief commodities within a disaster-stricken area.