Shortly after the wayward U.S. 193 satellite was destroyed Wednesday night and its debris safely burned up during reentry, Texas Task Force 1 was given stand-down orders, as no search and recovery efforts were necessary in the continental United States.
TX-TF1 was one of seven FEMA urban search and rescue teams placed on alert days ago for the possibility of finding and recovering remnants of the satellite had those pieces made landfall. As part of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Response Framework, numerous agencies and resources were prepared to provide a comprehensive, national all-hazards approach to a domestic incident response, such as this.
The specialized training and equipment used by FEMA-sanctioned task forces, such as TX-TF1, would have enabled them to assist local communities with hazardous material associated with the satellite’s fuel tank, as well as to establish a wide-area search.
TX-TF1 was called to similar duty in 2003 when it performed intense recovery work in North and East Texas following the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
About Texas Task Force 1
Sponsored by the Texas Engineering Extension Service, or TEEX, Texas Task Force 1 is a state and federal urban search and rescue team comprised of more than 300 personnel representing more than 60 jurisdictions and agencies from across the state of Texas.
Texas Task Force 1, which also coordinates statewide requests for swiftwater rescue, most recently deployed for Texas Hill Country flooding, Tropical Storm Erin and Hurricane Dean. In 2005, Texas Task Force 1 assisted with rescuing more than 13,000 New Orleans residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
About the Texas Engineering Extension Service
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized first responder training, homeland security exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond. TEEX programs include fire services, homeland security, law enforcement, public works, safety and health, search and rescue, and economic solutions.