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NEWS | Oct. 30, 2012

N.C. Guard readies to help western N.C. and the Northeast

By North Carolina National Guard

RALEIGH, N.C. - Airmen and Soldiers of the North Carolina National Guard have begun drawing down the number of Guard members brought on storm duty in the eastern part of North Carolina over the past few days and started preparations for possibly assisting survivors of Hurricane Sandy in the northeastern USA.

The Guard is also prepared to field forces for a potential response to severe winter weather in the state's western counties.

The Guard's role in a disaster scenario is to respond to the call of the governor and perform missions assigned by the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management.

"Our first priority is safeguarding the lives and property of North Carolinians," said Maj. Gen. Greg Lusk, adjutant general of North Carolina and commander of the state's nearly 12,000 Air and Army National Guard members.

"Our citizens can be assured we have ample people, equipment, vehicles and aircraft to do that and at the same time assist our fellow Americans in the Northeast if asked to do so," Lusk said.

Aircraft from other states have joined the nine C-130s of the Charlotte-based North Carolina National Guard's 145th Airlift Wing (145 AW) at its base at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in preparation for assistance missions in the Northeast. More than 100 people have arrived with those aircraft. The following were on the ramp as of noon today:

  • Five C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft from the California Air National Guard and Nevada Air National Guard
  • Two HH-60 Pave Hawk, a variant of the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters from the California Army National Guard.
  • Two C-17 Globemaster cargo aircraft, one each from the Alaska and New York Air National Guard

Aditionally, four CH-47 Chinook helicopters, two each from the Alabama Army National Guard and the Georgia Army National Guard, will stage at the North Carolina National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility No. 1, which is adjacent to Raleigh-Durham International Airport in Morrisville, N.C.

The 145 AW has also brought 37 Airmen on duty for potential missions in the Northeastern United States. The following is a breakdown:

  • Five Airmen from the Wing's 145th Civil Engineer Squadron (145 CES) will stage at the Stanly County Airport near Albemarle, N.C., where they will ready the Disaster Relief Beddown System (DRBS), which is a self-contained package designed to support a 150-person disaster-response team complete with tents, generators, showers and bathroom facilities
  • A 26-person engineering personnel package, also from the 145 CES, that provides equipment operators, plumbers, carpenters, electricians, damage assessment and other response tasks will report to the Wing headquarters in Charlotte
  • A six-person contingent from the 145 AW's Communications Flight will also report and prepare to field a Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC) package that allows global communications between first responders at an emergency site and other state, local and federal agencies.

The Guard began the day with 59 Soldiers and Airmen on state active duty in response to Hurricane Sandy's effects here. It will begin demobilizing those people today.

Guard planners may bring other Soldiers and Airmen on active duty if North Carolina Emergency Management needs them to conduct missions in the western part of the state necessitated by the onset of severe winter weather. Guard personnel continue to work in Washington, Kinston, Tarboro and Raleigh.

North Carolina has 12,000 Army and Air National Guard members, nearly all of whom are available for missions both here in the state and in neighboring states that may request assistance.