SESSION 11: Enhancing Civil-Military Coordination Before, During, and After Extreme Weather


Session 11, Wednesday, 26 January at 1:30 PM

(Joint between the Presidential Sessions and the Major Weather Events and Impacts of 2021)

Military, defense, and other national security organizations are frequently relied upon to respond to extreme weather events. Few government sectors possess the funding, staffing, and logistical capability to respond when extreme weather quickly – and ferociously – bears down on both prepared and unprepared communities. And yet, military and defense organizations are not often the primary agents responsible for emergency response, falling to organizations like the FEMA or, at the international level, the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs. Further, forecasting the potential impacts of extreme weather also typically falls outside the military and defense community with organizations like NOAA. An effective response to extreme weather events thereby requires effective coordination from planning to preparedness to recovery to mitigate vulnerabilities.

This Presidential Session will (1) examine the present nature, success, and challenges of civil and military coordination regarding extreme weather, (2) determine needs and opportunities for civil and military coordination, and (3) discuss how to implement measures to enhance civil-military coordination before, during, and after extreme weather.


Dr. Jeth Fogg, PhD

United States Northern Command

Email: [email protected]

Dr. Jeth Fogg is the Engineer Operations and Environmental Chief in the Directorate of Logistics and Engineering at North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command with science and technology, environmental, homeland defense, and defense support to civil authorities included in his portfolio. Dr. Fogg has 32 years of civil engineering design, operations, public works, construction management, environmental compliance, hospital life safety, critical infrastructure and homeland security/defense, education and research experience. For the past year, he has been a key member of the More Situational Awareness for Industrial Control Systems team communicating the importance of cyber protection of critical infrastructure for our nation. He holds a B.S., M.E., and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, a Graduate certificate in Homeland Defense, and Professional Engineer licensure in Colorado and Florida.

Bryan P. Truesdell, P.E.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Email: [email protected]

Bryan Truesdell is the command representative for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). He coordinates USACE efforts for homeland defense, security cooperation, and support to civil authorities. Mr. Truesdell retired from the US Army after nearly 30 years of service, culminating as the Deputy Director, Logistics and Engineering Directorate for NORAD and USNORTHCOM. He has served in numerous combat and humanitarian assistance operations, notably, while in Command of the Japan Engineer District, he directly supported the response to the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy, an ME in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida, and an MS in National Security and Strategic Studies from the US Naval War College.  He attended the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies as a US Army War College Fellow and is a registered professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Frank “Wes” Ireland

Federal Emergency Management Agency

POC: [email protected]

Wes Ireland currently serves as the Planning Branch Chief for FEMA Region 6 Response Division.  He manages five senior operational planners who develop federal plans in support of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas threats and hazards response plans. He also manages Response GIS, Hurricane Program and Response FEMA Integration Teams activities. When activated in support of a disaster response, he serves as the Planning Section Chief for the FEMA Region 6 Regional Response Coordination Center.(RRCC) responsible for sharing situational awareness and pre-incident analysis.   Since joining FEMA in 2010 and prior to becoming branch chief, he served as a Senior Operational Planner focused primarily on federal plans developed in support of Texas response operations. He supported most response operations occurring in FEMA Region 6 since 2010 including hurricanes (such as Harvey, Laura, Ida), winter storms, flooding, tornadoes, and explosions (West, Texas).  He also led federal planning efforts for the Lawrence Livermore Lab Houston IND scenario in 2018.

Wes Ireland is a retired Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves with 28 years of service.  He served the Marine Corps on active duty from 1981 - 1985.  He transitioned to the reserves in 1985 and married his wife, Lorrie.  He also has a 20-year career in the printing industry as part of the private sector prior to reentering federal service with FEMA. He graduated the University of Texas at Arlington with a BA in Business Administration in 1981 and Command and Staff College in 1994. 

Lieutenant Col (Lt Col) John C. Easley

National Guard Bureau

Email: [email protected]

Lieutenant Colonel John C. Easley is the Chief, Joint Intelligence Training and Systems Branch, National Guard Bureau Intelligence Directorate, Arlington Hall Station, Arlington, Virginia. In this capacity he is responsible for training and systems support to the 54 States and Territories providing National Guard Domestic Operations Support and Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) in order to save lives, mitigate suffering, and protect vital infrastructure.

Lt Col Easley has deployed in support of Operation BLINKING LIGHT, Operation DECISIVE EDGE, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, Operation KATRINA and two tours to Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. In his most recent deployments, Lt Col Easley served as Commander, Detachment 1, 8th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Kandahar AB, Afghanistan and Officer in Charge of the 455th A-10 Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Unit, Bagram AB, Afghanistan. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the 188th Intelligence Support Squadron Commander responsible for the daily maintenance operations supporting the 188th Wing AN GSQ-272 “SENTINEL” weapon system at Distributed Ground Station-Arkansas (DGS-AR). Prior to the 188th Wing conversion, Lt Col Easley served as the 188th Maintenance Group Deputy Commander and in a federal capacity as the Logistics Commander directly responsible for the full-time maintenance of all aircraft, reporting as a senior staff advisor to the Air Commander, 188th Fighter Wing, Ebbing Air National Guard Base, Arkansas Air National Guard, Fort Smith, AR.

Owen Shieh

Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC)

Email: [email protected]

Mr. Owen Shieh is the Training & Readiness Department Head at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) in Pearl Harbor, where he is responsible for the 24/7 operational training of all U.S. Navy and Air Force personnel who provide tropical cyclone forecasting and tsunami decision support to U.S. Government assets across the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s area of responsibility, encompassing nearly 100 million square miles of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Mr. Shieh also serves as the Command Readiness Team Leader, tasked with maintaining and evaluating JTWC’s mission readiness by developing and executing unit exercise plans in support of the Navy Warfare Training System.

Previously, Mr. Shieh served as the Weather & Climate Program Manager at the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center, where he led a national team of subject matter experts and instructors in developing and delivering hazardous weather and climate Federal Emergency Management Agency certified training courses for state and local emergency managers and responders across the United States and its territories. With over 15 years of experience as a meteorologist in government, academic, and private sectors, Mr. Shieh is skilled in scientific research, operational forecasting, and effective communication for decision support. Holding a B.S. in Atmospheric Science from Cornell University and an M.S. in Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma, his research specialties are in tropical and mesoscale meteorology, with expertise in the dynamics of tropical cyclones and severe convective storms. Mr. Shieh’s more recent research explores the complexities of social dynamics across the weather enterprise at the interface between weather forecast services and national security, emergency management, and decision support. To this end, he is projected to complete his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Hawaii in December 2021.

Mr. Shieh has held leadership roles in numerous field experiments, confronting challenging and life-threatening situations across the air, land, and sea, including tornado intercepts across the Great Plains and deployments into landfalling hurricanes. With a passion for mentoring the younger generation of scientists and decision-makers, he has served as a two-time National Co-Chair of the American Meteorological Society Student Conference, the largest career development program in the United States for young atmospheric scientists. In 2015, Mr. Shieh founded the only joint annual summer internship of its kind for cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. military service academies to come to Pearl Harbor to receive operational training and conduct research in natural hazards prediction and mitigation—a program which continues to be funded in its sixth year and has produced a Fulbright Scholar and a corps of outstanding commissioned scientist-leaders across all branches of the military. Mr. Shieh is frequently invited to speak at seminars and events across the country, and he has been hosted by all of the U.S. military service academies. In 2013, Mr. Shieh was featured as a TEDxHonolulu speaker:

Mr. Shieh was awarded the U.S. Navy Civilian Meritorious Service Medal and named the “Oceanographer of the Year” in 2017 by Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command among a competitive pool of 1,200 civil servants. Mr. Shieh is a 2020 graduate of Cohort 34 of the Department of Defense Executive Leadership Development Program, the oldest and most selective civilian leadership training program in the federal government, offered to only 0.1% of Department of Defense civilians. In 2018, Mr. Shieh was selected to represent the U.S. Navy at the International Career Advancement Program at the Aspen Institute, a program dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion within U.S. federal service. His other awards and honors include the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2009-12), AMS/Industry Graduate Fellowship (2007-08), AMS Father James B. Macelwane Award (2007), NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship (2005-07), The Weather Channel John R. Hope Scholarship (2006-07), AMS/Industry Minority Scholarship (2003-04), National Weather Association David Sankey Minority Scholarship in Meteorology (2004), and the Naval Weather Service Association Scholarship (2003).

A scientist by trade but philosopher at heart, Mr. Shieh maintains an active lifestyle and is an avid fitness enthusiast, musician, and outdoorsman. In his limited spare time, he enjoys weight training, playing piano, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, sailing, diving, and anything that involves safely chasing a storm, climbing a mountain, exploring the oceans, or gazing into the Milky Way and pondering life’s greatest mysteries.