WHINSEC CGSOC Current Operations Discussion Panels Feature Diverse Expertise
By Lee Rials, WHINSEC Public Affairs May 09, 2017The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation’s (WHINSEC) Command & General Staff Officers Course (CGSOC) filled its annual Current Operations Discussion Panels with experts on topics relating to responses to humanitarian crises and disasters from April 4th-6th. Experts from among active and retired senior leaders, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of State, Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, the non-governmental organization Team Rubicon, the Department of the Army G-3/5/7, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Army North, U.S. Southern Command, U.S. Army South, the Inter-American Air Forces Academy, and the U.S. Coast Guard discussed Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) and disaster response in general. The 66 CGSOC students from the U.S., Canada, and 11 other nations, and their instructors were the primary audience as such events as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Haiti earthquake, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and river floods were addressed in terms of government and non-governmental agencies working together. Natural disaster and humanitarian assistance crises are considered by most Caribbean and Central and South American governments and their people as daily threats to life, rule of law, and stability. In the United States, storms, fires, and floods are frequent occurrences requiring response from all levels of our governments. The CGSOC sponsors these discussions each year, and the topic this year was particularly apropos because one of the key presenters did not come because he stayed in Louisiana to organize response to violent storms that occurred just before the panels. These presentations and discussions increase the ability of WHINSEC CGSOC students to plan, respond, and conduct DSCA and Humanitarian Assistance / Disaster Response operations.