An Air Force general says the military has learned lessons from Hurricane Katrina that can be applied to future disasters including a major terrorist strike to an avian flu pandemic.
Major General M. Scott Mays says Katrina in many ways mirrored the kind of mass casualty emergency that would result from a chemical, biological radiological or nuclear attack.
Mays is commander of the First Air Force headquartered at Tyndall Air Force Base. His command is responsible for the air defense of the contiguous 48 states. In an event of a major terrorist attack or natural disaster, they would serve as the air component command for the U.S. military's domestic response.
The First Air Force is part of the U.S. Northern Command which is conducting a terrorism exercise this week called "Vigilant Shield '06." It's a large command post exercise that includes responding to a mock radiological bomb detonated by terrorists and a simulated nuclear missile attack on Washington, DC.