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In an interview with the AP, Kircher and several senior military officers from U.S. Northern Command said that since the swine flu has been far less lethal than anticipated, it has allowed the military to stop far short of the worst-case scenarios that the Pentagon prepared for in its long-range planning.
But in the event of a widespread pandemic, the Pentagon maintains standing plans to use the active-duty military as a last-resort force to help law enforcement manage quarantines, limit state-to-state travel and restrict access to government buildings.
Those plans represent "the kinds of things that the lead federal agencies might ask us to do or that we might have to do on behalf of the Department of Defense for force protection," said Air Force Brig. Gen. Tony Rock, who until recently was deputy director for operations at Northern Command.
Officials would turn to the military for those domestic duties, Rock said, only when other authorities become overburdened and request assistance.
Additional Source: www.huffingtonpost.com...
The military, however, would be prepared to aid in establishing "mass casualty" treatment sites, provide shelter for displaced persons, dispose of dead bodies and help provide postal, power, water and sewer services and food deliveries. Troops also could provide logistics, communications and other support for law enforcement and the National Guard.
Indications and Warning Branch Chief
Office of the Command Surgeon NORAD - U.S. Northern Command
Amy Kircher is an epidemiologist with the NORAD – US Northern Command (N-NC) Office of the Command Surgeon. Her primary responsibilities include bioterrorism preparedness, disease surveillance and modeling, border health, and serving as an epidemiology consultant. During her time at N-NC, Ms. Kircher has built a coalition of interagency partners to model infectious diseases, supported the DHS national biosurveillance initiative, and served as the medical watch officer for the N-NC Command Center in support of disasters, National Security Special Events, and exercises. Ms. Kircher spent 3 months coordinating the NORTHCOM medical military response to Hurricane Katrina.
Prior to coming to NORAD – US Northern Command, Ms. Kircher worked at the Air Force Population Health Support Office, Minnesota Department of Health and has served as adjunct faculty at the University of St. Thomas and University of Texas at San Antonio. She holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.