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NEWS | Sept. 14, 2018

Pa. Army Guard sends crew, aircraft for Florence response

By Army Lt. Col. Angela King-Sweigart and Capt. Travis Mueller Pennsylvania National Guard

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – More than 25 Pennsylvania National Guard members along with two UH-60 Black Hawks, and two CH-47 Chinook helicopters left from here and Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Thursday morning and arrived later that day at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, near Columbia, South Carolina.

The aircraft and crew will integrate with thousands of National Guard members and first responders that are prepositioning assets and supplies to be used in the response to Hurricane Florence. The hurricane came ashore Friday morning at Wrightsville Beach, N.C., with 90 mph winds and heavy rain.

Potential missions for the aircraft and crew include: rescue operations, delivering items like food and water to stranded residents, as well as infrastructure support like lifting large sandbags into position.

Additionally, Pennsylvania National Guard members are here monitoring the situation at the joint emergency operations center. The center maintains continuous communications with National Guard Bureau and PEMA in order to anticipate future requirements that could be assigned to Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers and Airmen.

The Pennsylvania National Guard responded to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017.

"We are proud of our Guard members answering the call to assist others," said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, Pennsylvania's adjutant general, "this is our National Guard at its best."