Oklahoma EPLO makes annual visit to Altus community

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Trenton Jancze
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Col. Michael Morrisett, Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officer to Oklahoma, visited Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma for his annual visit with Airmen from the 97th Air Mobility Wing, Aug. 18 to 19, 2021. 

As the EPLO, Morrisett does an annual brief at Air Force bases across the state of Oklahoma, including Altus, Tinker and Vance. This annual visit is an opportunity for Morrisett to reacquaint himself with incumbent commanders, meet new ones and educate personnel on the role and duties of the EPLO.  

Morrisett also met with local fire department and emergency management professionals in the military and civilian sector to discuss united responses to emergency situations. 

“By coming here annually and holding meetings, we’re able to get everybody on the same page with who the EPLO is and what he can help us provide in the event of an emergency,” said Staff Sgt. Katrina Garcia, 97th Civil Engineer Squadron emergency management NCO In Charge.

While meeting with emergency management leaders in the city of Altus, Morrisett and base personnel learned what resources they can provide each other in different states of emergency.

“The visit to the city Emergency Operations Center really strengthened our relationship, because, a lot of times, bases and communities don’t have that strong of a relationship,” said Garcia.

Morrisett is the liaison between the Department of Defense and any federal, state, or local agencies during a disaster. His EPLO position is also known as “defense support of civil authorities,” or DSCA, which gives Morrisett access to emergency management resources up to the federal level. He then explained the different places requests for support can come from.

“It’s anytime DoD provides support for any civil authority,” said Morrisett, “and it could be with local...or it could be as major as we’re supporting (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and a natural crisis, or any other federal agency.”

During his visit, Morrisett was complimentary of the Altus community’s level of preparedness for potential disasters. 

“(Altus is) well prepared, not because of just the military and not just because of the local community, but because of the way the two interact with each other,” said Morrisett. “So when you have that interaction, it really works well, and I will say this for all the bases, Tinker, Vance and Altus, they all have tremendous community support.”