ARLINGTON, Va. - One day after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called up the entire 12,000-member Texas National Guard to assist civilian authorities with the epic flooding resulting from Hurricane Harvey, several other state Guard units are in the hard-hit areas to offer manpower, equipment and support.
"This will be a big undertaking," said Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, the chief of the National Guard Bureau. Lengyel, quoted in the Houston Chronicle, noted that before it ends, Guard troops from "dozens of other states" could be involved, in an area stretching from Corpus Christi to Houston and areas inland that have been hit by disastrous flooding.
As of Tuesday, the tally of National Guard representation from other states included:
- Alaska – About 13 Airmen with the 176th Rescue Wing.
- California – About 90 Airmen with the 129th Rescue Wing.
- Connecticut – One C-130 plane with eight Airmen from the 103rd Airlift Wing.
- Florida – Nearly 100 Airmen with the 920th Rescue Wing.
- Kentucky – Nearly 20 Airmen with the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron.
- New York – More than 100 Airmen; one C-130, three HH-60s and two C-17s with the 106th Rescue Wing.
- Oregon – About 15 members of the 125th Special Tactics Squadron; missions include rescue as well as restoring airfields so that supplies can be flown in.
- Pennsylvania - Six Airmen with the 193rd Special Operations Wing flew to Texas to assist with communications.
- South Carolina - Two teams of Army National Guard Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Teams left Tuesday for the stricken area.
Additionally, six helicopters from units in Utah, Nebraska and North Carolina were heading to Texas, said the National Guard Bureau.
Other Guard missions in the stricken areas include bridging, water rescue, logistics movement, airfield openings and medical water purification.
Meanwhile, neighboring Louisiana is bracing for the rains from now-Tropical Storm Harvey. As directed by Gov. John Bel Edward, the Louisiana Guard has activated approximately 210 Soldiers and Airmen, with an additional 230 full-time Guard members supporting efforts.
Last week, the LANG began positioning Guard members, high-water vehicles and boats in south Louisiana parishes, to include Calcasieu, Vermillion, Orleans, and Lafayette.
"Being ready and in place is as important as any training that we do, and our engagements at Parish level are absolutely critical," said Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, adjutant general of the LANG. "In anticipation of the storm's track, we continue prepositioning equipment and vehicles in potentially affected areas as well as responding to the immediate needs of today."
In addition to vehicles and boats, the LANG has eight helicopters ready to support search and rescue, evacuation and recon missions as needed.