An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Oct. 30, 2012

Wisconsin National Guard ready to assist with hurricane relief

By Wisconsin National Guard

MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin National Guard stands ready to assist civilian authorities supporting Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in the impacted regions, Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday.

"Wisconsin's outstanding National Guard is ready to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy," Walker said. "As our nation braces for this massive storm, Wisconsin is hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. If resources are needed, Wisconsin stands ready to deploy the National Guard for assistance."

According to Col. Mark Michie, director of the Wisconsin National Guard's domestic operations, Wisconsin Guard members have been identified to provide support if requested as part of a FEMA Region V ground task force. Wisconsin National Guard assets have not been requested yet, but Wisconsin has more than a dozen force packages available.

There is precedent for this type of response - the Wisconsin National Guard supported relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and ice storms in Kentucky and floods in North Dakota in 2009. Emergency Management Assistance Compacts - ratified by Congress and law in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands - allow states to provide mutual aid if needed.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has agreed with governors in Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, New jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island to appoint dual status commanders - National Guard general officers authorized to command both federal forces and National Guard troops on state duty. This special authority enables dual commanders to effectively integrate defense support operations and capability requested by governors.

Brig. Gen. Scott Legwold, director of the Wisconsin National Guard Joint Staff, oversees domestic operations in Wisconsin such as National Guard response efforts for floods, snowstorms and tornadoes. He is qualified to serve as a dual status commander in Wisconsin should the need arise, and understands the role dual status commanders will play on the East Coast.

"No other organization has the National Guard's combination of size, skills, training and experience, placement across the nation, command and communications infrastructure, and the legal flexibility to support civil authorities at a moment's notice," Legwold said. "If needed, we can draw on that expertise to best apply active duty assets, such as personnel and equipment, after disaster strikes to save lives, ease human suffering and help restore normalcy."

The National Guard Bureau reports that more than 61,100 National Guard troops are available to assist civilian authorities supporting relief efforts in the impacted regions. Among the assets the National Guard can bring to the effort include nearly 140 helicopters for search and rescue, reconnaissance, and personnel/cargo transport missions.

Gen. Frank Grass, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said as the nation's first military responder - is closely monitoring Hurricane Sandy and coordinating with federal, state and local partners in a cooperative effort to save lives, protect property and support recovery efforts.

"Units across the National Guard are making the necessary preparations to respond to the needs of any states affected by Hurricane Sandy," Grass said. "Rest assured the National Guard is poised and ready to provide proven responders and capabilities."

Sgt. 1st Class Jim Greenhill of the National Guard Bureau contributed to this report



Related Articles
Members of the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 3rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team conducted a training proficiency exercise April 11, 2024, at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. The team was evaluated by a U.S. Army North team.
Pennsylvania Guard WMD Civil Support Team Completes Exercise
By Wayne Hall, | April 12, 2024
BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – The Pennsylvania National Guard’s 3rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team conducted a training exercise April 11 to validate its proficiency. In the exercise scenario, potentially contaminated...

Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Marine Forces Reserve, and Maryland National Guard pose for a photo during Deliberate Response '24 at Warren Grove Range, New Jersey, April 6, 2024. The exercise demonstrated the partnership between the Maryland National Guard and the AFBiH through the State Partnership Program.
Maryland Guard, Bosnia and Herzegovina Conduct JTAC Training
By Master Sgt. Christopher Schepers, | April 12, 2024
WARREN GROVE, N.J. - Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina participated in their first live-fire training exercise with state partner the Maryland National Guard April 2-6 at the...

Finnish Maj. Gen. Juha-Pekka Keränen, commander of the Finnish Air Force, meets with Virginia National Guard leaders April 8, 2024, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia. The VNG enjoys an enduring relationship with Finland that includes military training exchanges between Finnish Defence Forces and VNG Soldiers and Airmen.
Finnish Air Force Commander Meets Virginia Guard Leaders
By Mike Vrabel, | April 12, 2024
HAMPTON, Va. - Maj. Gen. Juha-Pekka Keränen, commander of the Finnish Air Force, met with Virginia National Guard leaders April 8 at Joint Base Langley-Eustis.Maj. Gen. James W. Ring, the adjutant general of Virginia, Brig...