National Guard, Northcom Support Isaac Effort
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2012 Governors of four states have activated more than 7,500 National Guard soldiers and airmen to deal with the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaac, Defense Department officials said today.
In Louisiana, where the storm made landfall yesterday as a hurricane, 5,761 Guardsmen have been activated. Alabama has activated 177 Guard members, 17 are activated in Florida, and Mississippi has activated 1,547 citizen-soldiers and airmen.
The Louisiana National Guard has 5,761 soldiers and airmen on duty to support citizens, local and state authorities. The governor yesterday authorized activation of all Louisiana Guardsmen, which would bring total forces in the state to more than 8,000, officials said. The Louisiana Guard has already assisted in the rescue or evacuation of more than 3,400 people.
In Orleans Parish, Guardsmen delivered more than 34,500 bottles of water to an emergency operations center in New Orleans as well as a 350-kilowatt generator to the Padua Skilled Nursing facility, also in New Orleans. In Plaquemines Parish, Guard members rescued 141 people while assisting local authorities in Braithwaite, conducting search and rescue missions with 14 high-water vehicles and five boat teams.
The Louisiana Guard also has 14 Humvees assisting the parish in evacuating a nursing home in the Belle Chasse area. As of this morning, Guardsmen had delivered 6,336 packaged meals and 17,280 bottles of water and had transported 400 cots, along with linen and pillows, to the Belle Chasse YMCA.
Guardsmen also transported 1,200 meals and water to the naval air station-joint reserve base gym in Belle Chasse, along with 150 cases of water and 1,500 meals to the base itself. The Guard also delivered a 350-kilowatt generator to a nursing home in Belle Chase.
Mississippi National Guard missions include presence patrols, traffic control points, search and rescue, commodity distribution, and emergency communications. The Mississippi Guard is assisting local authorities in evacuating residents from flooded areas and is helping others as needs are determined by the governor and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Military aircraft have been flown out of Naval Air Station Pensacola, Tyndall Air Force Base, Duke Field and Eglin Air Force Base, all in Florida, and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans in Louisiana.
U.S. Northern Command is coordinating Defense Department support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and to state and local response activities. Northcom has staged four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from Fort Campbell, Ky., and two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters from Norfolk Naval Air Station, Va., to Fort Rucker, Ala., to assess and support potential search and rescue efforts.
A search and rescue planner also has been activated and deployed to the Baton Rouge Emergency Operations Center in Louisiana. Four emergency planner liaison officers are deployed to the National Response Coordination Center in the nation’s capital in support of FEMA, and Fort Polk, La., has been designated as a federal team staging area.
The command has activated its Region 6 defense coordinating officer and defense coordinating element to Baton Rouge to validate, plan and coordinate potential DOD support of FEMA's hurricane response operations and to aid support for federal and state partners.
Northcom also deployed portions of its Region 1 defense coordinating officer and defense coordinating element assets to Clanton, Ala., and Region 7 defense coordinating officer and defense coordinating element members are in Pearl, Miss., to backfill Region 4 defense coordinating officer and defense coordinating element members deployed to the Florida Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee.
Additionally, Northcom has designated Meridian Air Station, Miss., as an incident support base, and Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., as a federal support area.