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National Guard active in multiple response efforts

20-071 | Aug. 27, 2020

More than 28,000 National Guard members are supporting domestic operations across the United States at the direction of their governors as of Thursday morning. This includes support to COVID-19, Hurricane Laura in Louisiana and Texas; wildfires in Arizona, California, Colorado and Oregon; civil disturbance, and other natural disaster missions.

Presently, there are more than 63,000 Guard men and women engaged in homeland and overseas missions.

“We bring a broad range of skills and processes that we can tailor to just about any type of disaster or emergency response,” said Air Force Maj. Gen. Steven S. Nordhaus, director, National Guard Bureau Operations.

This morning as Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane, more than 6,400 members of the Louisiana and Texas National Guard were on duty in response.

In Louisiana more than 5,400 Guardsmen are activated to support current and future operations, to include but not limited to: high-water vehicle and boat evacuations, both boat and air search and rescue operations, logistical support, engineering support, levee inspection and security, and placement of liaison officer teams assisting parish emergency operations centers.

Additionally, Louisiana Gov. Jon Bel Edwards authorized the activation of the entire LANG force, if necessary. The number of guardsmen mobilized will continue to increase in order to provide trained and ready soldiers and airmen to support civil authorities in response activities, safeguarding the population, saving lives and protecting critical infrastructure. The LANG currently has 27 Army aircraft available, along with 222 high-water vehicles and 65 boats manned and staged in southern Louisiana prepared to provide evacuation, search and rescue, and recon support.

In order to provide logistical support to citizens, guardsmen have strategically placed 917,000 liters of water and 507,000 MREs for potential distribution.

The LANG also has 15 engineer assessment teams and eight engineer work teams staged and ready to clear roads and inspect infrastructure.

In response to Hurricane Laura, the 159th Fighter Wing in New Orleans and the 147th Attack Wing in Houston moved some of their aircraft to alternate locations. Moving these aircraft protects the aircraft from damage and will not affect readiness of the units.

Additionally, the Texas Military Department currently has more than 1,000 Guardsmen activated for hurricane response, partnering with local and state first responders. Texas Guardsmen are positioned and ready to help Texans in need with more than 20 aviation assets to include UH-60, CH-47, C-130 airframes standing by.

There are also more than 15 shelter teams with emergency tracking capabilities moving to receive those in need and 117 high-profile vehicles available to support rescue efforts in high risk areas.

The Texas Guard flew supplies to areas of Southeast Texas in anticipation of hurricane response requirements.

Safety is always a top priority for the Texas Military Department and they are prepared to operate in a COVID-19 environment by utilizing 160 personnel assigned to mobile testing teams to support interagency hurricane response as needed.

Their mobilized units are equipped with safety and COVID-19 protective equipment to help mitigate risk while ensuring maximum ability to support operations.

In addition, the Texas Guard has military medics mobilized to support shelter operations, COVID-19 testing and disinfection teams.

The Texas Guard also positioned to provide affected communities with basic necessities like food and water.

In addition to hurricane operations, over 19,600 National Guard professionals continue COVID- 19 response efforts in all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia.

In the western states, nearly 1,600 Guardsmen are engaged in battling wildfires in Arizona, California, Colorado and Oregon. To date, Air National Guard crews employing the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, or MAFFS, have flown nearly 290 hours, 230 sorties and conducted 210 drops.

In Wisconsin, 500 members of the Wisconsin National Guard are supporting law enforcement in Kenosha County after Gov. Tony Evers authorized 500 members of the Wisconsin National Guard to support local law enforcement in Kenosha Count. The governor is continuing to work with other states in facilitating additional National Guard and state patrol support.

“We’re here to assist local authorities. Our troops are trained to protect life and property, and ensure Americans’ Constitutional right to peacefully protest,” said Army Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

For information regarding this press release, please send an email to the National Guard Bureau Media Operations desk at ng.ncr.ngb-arng.mesg.ngb-media-desk-owner@mail.mil.