Approximately 7,400 National Guard forces are activating or are already on state duty to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in seven states. They’re providing help at shelters, damage assessments, debris clearance, search and rescue and delivery of supplies and equipment according to a release from U.S. Department of Defense.
The guardsmen also are supporting first responders and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, in New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut and Maryland.
Department of Defense Other Actions
- Staged four medium rotary wing utility aircraft and four medium rotary wing Search and Rescue aircraft at Hanscom AFB, MA, for potential logistical and search and rescue operations along the coasts of MA, CT, and RI in support of FEMA.
- Approved a request for District of Columbia National Guard support for traffic control points and high-water evacuations.
- Made Department of Defense installations throughout the North East available as requested by FEMA – including Westover Air Reserve Base, MA; Joint Base McGuire-Dix, Lakehurst, NJ; and Ft. Devens, MA.
- Placed medium- and heavy-lift helicopters, para-rescue swimmers, and aerial refueling aircraft on 24-hour prepare-to-deploy status in response to anticipated FEMA requests to mitigate or respond to the effects of the storm.
On Oct. 29, Army Gen. Frank J. Grass, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, was in dawn-to-dusk meetings with senior National Guard leaders, FEMA officials, the adjutants general and the Secretary of Defense, reported the American Forces Press Service. That all-out effort was continuing today.
“We had to be ready to respond big and fast — so the National Guard ramped up in multiple states this weekend preparing to support local, state and federal civilian authorities,” Grass told the Armed Forces Press. “We are part of a whole-of-government response to support state, local and federal agencies tackling the effects of this storm.”