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D.C. Guard Completes 500 Blizzard Missions

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2010 – Soldiers and airmen of the District of Columbia National Guard continue to help in the wake of back-to-back storms that dumped several feet of snow on the nation’s capital.

At times, blizzard conditions were so bad that even plows were advised to get off the roads. Meanwhile, Guard members were delivering police, firefighters, paramedics, doctors and nurses to work.

"We have completed more than 500 missions over the course of these two storms," said Army Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard. "We've been operating 12 Humvees stationed at all seven Metro Police precincts throughout the city, fire stations and the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. The missions have been nonstop."

The D.C. Guard's mission included 60 transportation personnel, along with additional soldiers and airmen providing indirect support in the form of logistics, communications, administrative, maintenance and operational support. Guard personnel operated around the clock in 12-hour shifts.

With a possible third storm in the forecast, the D.C. Guard was prepared to continue its mission into next week.

"As long as the district requests our support, we will be there to do our job," Schwartz said. "This is what we do. I'm very proud of our men and women who volunteered to come in and help the district despite the severe conditions, the danger of driving and in lieu of even taking care of their own circumstances."

Guard families always are supportive when their spouses and loved ones are called to duty, the general noted, adding that they deserve just as much credit for supporting this mission.

Despite having two of its major units -- the 547th Transportation Company and the 113th Wing -- deployed in Iraq, and the 113th Security Forces Squadron deployed to Saudi Arabia, the D.C. Guard has been able to do everything district officials asked of it on the home front, Schwartz said.

(From a District of Columbia National Guard news release.)

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