Florida Gets Oil Spill Commander

PENSACOLA (2010-06-15) -

During his visit to Pensacola Tuesday, President Obama promised to name separate commanders in Florida, Alabama and Louisiana to oversee the response in each state to the oil spill.

Administration officials say these Deputy Incident Commanders will improve coordination with local governments and help meet the needs of individual communities.

Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen also has ordered the creation of an Incident Management Team in Tallahassee in response to the spread of oil into Florida's coastal waters.

"As this crisis continues to evolve, these individuals will help us make sure our states have the autonomy they need to respond as quickly and effectively as possible to problems that arise on the ground," Allen said in a press release.

"We are committed to empowering our state and local authorities with the autonomy and resources they need to meet the evolving threat from this oil spill, and that's exactly what this new command structure will help us do," he said.

According to the Coast Guard, these officials will join a response that currently involves approximately 27,000 personnel and more than 8,000 vessels coordinated by Allen and a Unified Command structure based in Louisiana that includes Incident Command Posts in Mobile, Ala., and Houma, La.

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