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Maryland National Guard helps assess Puerto Rico quake damage

By Maj. Kurt Rauschenberg | Maryland National Guard | Jan. 17, 2020

REISTERSTOWN, Md. – From more than 1,500 miles away, about 10 Maryland National Guard and Defense Force personnel are helping assess the damage in Puerto Rico caused by a series of earthquakes.

The joint Unclassified Processing, Analysis and Dissemination (UPAD) team is remotely assisting emergency managers in Puerto Rico with dam and base camp viability assessments, imagery analysis and identification of viable traffic control points.

The support effort comes after a string of earthquakes struck Puerto Rico, killing one person and damaging at least 800 homes.

“The MDNG UPAD is one of 15 across the National Guard and the first to employ a joint manning concept,” said Army Maj. Tracy J. Sullins, MDNG deputy director of intelligence.

A UPAD team works in an unclassified environment while remotely supporting domestic operations anywhere in the 54 states and territories.

By incorporating geographic information, satellite imagery, full-motion videos, still photos and other open-source data, a UPAD team produces graphic and narrative reports to help leaders in impacted areas make critical decisions.

UPAD is part of the incident awareness and assessment process to synchronize and integrate the planning and operations of information capabilities during a domestic emergency.

“By doing this we can help save lives, mitigate suffering, minimize property damage, and protect critical infrastructure,” Sullins said.