An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | June 12, 2014

8th TSC Troops Prepare for Pacific Theater Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team Mission, Demonstrate Expeditionary Capability

By Sgt. 1st Class Mary Ferguson 8th Theater Sustainment Command

More than half the people in the world call the Pacific region home, and history reflects extremely high odds that each of their lives will be impacted in some way by a natural disaster. Typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, cyclones, floods and mudslides characterize the region’s past and realistically loom over its future, creating a constant need for readiness and partnership across the massive theater.

“At the most basic level we’re all humans, and we want to be prepared and able to help other humans in distress,” said Col. John Ellis, the officer in charge of the 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s newly-formed Humanitarian Assistance Survey Team.

Ellis joined the HAST’s primary and alternate members for a validation exercise here June 2-6, to assess the team’s ability to self-sufficiently deploy, and survey and facilitate requested humanitarian assistance throughout the region within 12-24 hours of notification.

The exercise’s immediate goal was to prepare the team for its first three-month rotation as U.S. Army Pacific’s primary on-call HAST element, but the week’s natural disaster response scenario also allowed the TSC to work its Early Entry Command Post infrastructure and expeditionary capabilities.

Although designed to be small with no more than 20 personnel, the team still offers full-spectrum expertise in communications, intelligence, medical, logistics planning, public affairs, aviation, ordnance, contracting, operations, protection, engineering, military police, and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear situations.

If a country in the region requires humanitarian assistance and/or disaster relief efforts, and its government requests help through the U.S. embassy and the U.S. Agency for International Development, those organizations may turn to the military for specific needs, Ellis said.

“8th TSC is equipped with unique capabilities that could prove critical in assisting to ease human pain and suffering, and help restore and improve conditions to our neighbors in the Pacific in these situations,” he said. “We’re in a premiere position to respond, and the HAST is tailorable and can adapt.”

During the five-day event, the group received a request to provide support in the aftermath of a fictional earthquake in Indonesia. Members conducted alert and recall procedures and completed individual Soldier Readiness Processing. A separate push-element, made up of Soldiers from the 8th Special Troops Battalion, simultaneously loaded the team’s prepositioned equipment at Fort Shafter Flats for movement to Schofield Barracks’ Leaders Field where the HAST members set up their own command post, established a communication network, and conducted three-days of simulated surveys and assessments related to the scenario.

Lt. Col. Michael Post, the team’s operations lead, said that while the real-world request may call for just a few of our members, the modular capability of the TSC’s EECP infrastructure allows for an agile mission command that can support up to 30 personnel with immediate life-support, workspace and communication assets to reach back to USARPAC or the TSC.

“It all fits onto a C-17, to include vehicles and containers that house our tents and communication equipment,” he said. “But self-sufficiency means nobody gets to sit back and watch. We all work. We all have to be trained on everything from operating the vehicles and generators and actually setting up the tents, to understanding the larger picture of the mission we fulfill as a HAST.”

He said that perhaps just as importantly, the time together allowed them to get to know each other and learn what every member brings to the team.

“The reality is that starting July 1, we may have to deploy into an austere and unpredictable situation, and in order to focus on helping others, we have to first know that we can trust each other,” he said. “This week served as our validation to ourselves as a team and also allows us to report back to USARPAC that we are ready and able to respond quickly and play our part.”

While on-call, the HAST members will continue to conduct their primary missions with the 8th TSC, the Army's senior logistics command in the Pacific.


Like Us
Follow Us



Malaysian and U.S. Forces Strengthen Security Ties at Bersama Warrior Exercise
Malaysian and United States Armed Forces service members pose for a group photo after the Exercise Bersama Warrior 23 opening ceremony at the Joint Warfighting Center on Malaysian Armed Forces Headquarters Base, Kuantan, Padang, Malaysia, June 6, 2023. Bersama Warrior is an annual bilateral joint exercise sponsored by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and hosted by the Malaysian Armed Forces. This year marks the ninth iteration of the exercise, enhancing the U.S. and Malaysian defense readiness and improving interoperability. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Alexandria Blanche)
June 6, 2023 - KUANTAN, Malaysia -- The ninth annual Bersama Warrior exercise commenced here June 6, 2023, with an opening ceremony officiated by Malaysian Armed Forces Joint Force Headquarters Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for the J3,...

US Facilitates Japan Air Operations Center Training
U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 505th Training Squadron, 41st Electronic Combat Squadron, 5th Air Force/A3 staff conduct integrated air operations center and electronic warfare instruction with Japan Air Self-Defense Force members, at Yokota Air Base, Japan, March 29, 2023. Three years in the making, the 505th Training Squadron fulfilled a request by the government of Japan to assist with understanding how an air operations center plans and executes and how to build instructional standards to enable airpower at the operational level of war. The U.S. remains committed to peace and prosperity throughout the Indo-Pacific alongside our Japanese allies, together acting as the cornerstone of regional peace and security and presenting an ironclad defense of Japan. Photo by Deb Henley
June 6, 2023 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Three years in the making, the 505th Training Squadron fulfilled a request by the government of Japan to assist with understanding how an air operations center plans and executes and how to build...

U.S. Coast Guard Ensures Safe Operations of Commercial Vessels as Typhoon Mawar Recovery Continues
Marine Science Technicians stationed at U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia / Sector Guam conduct a routine certificate of compliance inspection on a vessel in Apra Harbor on June 1, 2023. The U.S. Coast Guard ensures the safe operations of commercial vessels as Typhoon Mawar recovery continues. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Graham)
June 6, 2023 - SANTA RITA, Guam -- Amidst the dynamic challenges faced by Guam's strategic port, a team of inspectors from U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam and Marine Safety Detachment Saipan conducted routine certificate of...

United States-Japan-Australia Trilateral Defense Ministers' Meeting (TDMM) 2023 Joint Statement
Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Dr. John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive, IISS, answer questions after Austin's address to the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, June 11, 2022. (DoD photo by Chad J. McNeeley)
June 6, 2023 - WASHINGTON -- Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon. Richard Marles MP, Japanese Minister of Defense Hamada Yasukazu, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III, convened a Trilateral Defense...

The Launch of the U.S.-Mongolia-Republic of Korea Trilateral Meeting
June 6, 2023 - U.S. Embassy & Consulate in the Republic of Korea -- In order to promote and strengthen shared values and common interests, the Governments of Mongolia, the Republic of Korea, and the United States held their first trilateral...