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Governor Calls Louisiana National Guard to Full Operational Status

American Forces Press Service

BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 30, 2008 – As 1,500 National Guard members arrived in New Orleans yesterday to support the city’s police department and assist in executing civil support missions, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the activation of all available remaining Louisiana National Guard forces to assist with emergency operations in preparation for Hurricane Gustav.

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Members of the Louisiana National Guard’s 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team stage their vehicles next to the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Aug. 29, 2008. The soldiers are activated for security missions in support of hurricane operations throughout the state. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael L. Owens, 241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

With the newly activated troops coming on board today, the total of Louisiana Guard members activated reaches 7,000.

Gustav, which grew to a Category 3 hurricane overnight, is bearing down on western Cuba today with sustained winds of more than 120 mph, and is expected to make landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast late Sept. 1 or early Sept. 2.

The Guard troops who arrived in New Orleans yesterday will safeguard homes and businesses during evacuation and instill confidence in the citizens, state Guard officials said.

The state’s adjutant general assured residents of a response to Gustav that’s based on lessons learned three years ago, when back-to-back hurricanes struck the region.

“The Louisiana National Guard is fully prepared for a hurricane disaster and has improved reaction times, communication and equipment resources by learning from hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” Army Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau said. “Throughout the year, the Louisiana National Guard, in coordination with other state and local agencies has conducted numerous statewide emergency response exercises testing capabilities, and validating plans to improve overall efficiency and reaction time. These coordinated efforts were and continue to be crucial to our current success.”

As state forces in Louisiana have reached a full operational capability status, neighboring states are preparing assets in the event they are needed as well.

The Louisiana National Guard has requested additional aviation assets and personnel through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact -- a mutual-support agreement -- to assist with meeting potential mission requirements, with the Arkansas National Guard responding and moving into place.

Headquarters 1-114th Aviation Battalion of North Little Rock, Ark., is sending 44 personnel to Esler Field in Pineville, La., to fill in for Louisiana’s 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion of the 204th Theater Airfield Operations Group, currently deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Other neighboring states also have National Guard forces ready to deploy if additional support is needed, officials said.

(From a Louisiana National Guard news release.)

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Related Sites:
Louisiana National Guard
Photo Essay: Louisiana Guard Gears Up for Gustav

Related Articles:
National Guard Now Better Equipped for Hurricanes, General Says
Plans Go Into High Gear as Gustav Approaches
States Support States as National Guard Prepares for Gustav
Florida Guard Prepares for Potential Hurricane Relief Mission
Louisiana National Guard Gears Up for Gustav


Click photo for screen-resolution imageMembers of the Louisiana National Guard’s 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team stage their vehicles next to the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Aug. 29, 2008. The soldiers are activated for security missions in support of hurricane operations throughout the state. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael L. Owens, 241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageMembers of the Louisiana National Guard’s 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team stage their vehicles next to the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Aug. 29, 2008. The soldiers are activated for security missions in support of hurricane operations throughout the state. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael L. Owens, 241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau, Louisiana adjutant general, talks to reporters about the Louisiana National Guard’s preparedness for hurricane operations at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Aug. 29, 2008. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael L. Owens, 241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Col. Jonathan Ball, commander of the Louisiana National Guard’s 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, talks with reporters about his unit’s readiness for hurricane operations at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Aug. 29, 2008. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael L. Owens, 241st Mobile Public Affairs Detachment  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Staff Sgt. Michael H. Majeau, a supply sergeant with the Louisiana National Guard’s 204th Theater Airfield Operations Group, unloads a pallet of packaged meals in Hammond, La., for soldiers activated in conjunction with the approach of Hurricane Gustav, Aug. 29, 2008. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie J. Cross, Louisiana State Aviation Command  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Pfc. Seth D. Watkins, Army Spc. Donovan Q. Lemieux, and Army Sgt. 1st Class Todd F. Stremlau of of the Louisiana National Guard’s 204th Theater Airfield Operations Group load tents on a tactical vehicle in Hammond, La., Aug. 29, 2008, as part of preparations for the expected landfall of Hurricane Gustav. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie J. Cross, Louisiana State Aviation Command   
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