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Oct 29, 2012 5:58 PM by Matt Stafford

Military copters, rescuers on alert for superstorm

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AP) - The military has placed helicopters and rescue teams on alert and dispatched medical planners to help cope with the damage from a superstorm on the East Coast.

The U.S. Northern Command, charged with defending the U.S. homeland from attack and helping civil authorities in emergencies, said Monday it designated military facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Delaware to serve as support bases and staging areas.

The command says military bases will also serve as staging areas for utility crews.

Northern Command's headquarters are at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

On Monday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta appointed dual-status commanders to oversee active-duty and National Guard troops helping with storm responses in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.

Normally, active-duty and guard troops report to different commanders.

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