USA — National Guard Tackles Southeast Winter Storm

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2011 — As of 9:30 a.m. today, 337 Nation­al Guard mem­bers were acti­vat­ed in sup­port of relief oper­a­tions for the win­ter storm that has blan­ket­ed most of the South­east.

readiness noncommissioned officer with the Georgia Army National Guard
Army Staff Sgt. Ger­ard Brown, a readi­ness non­com­mis­sioned offi­cer with the Geor­gia Army Nation­al Guard, helps Angela Mor­gan, a reg­is­tered nurse in Grady Memo­r­i­al Hospital’s labor and deliv­ery depart­ment, into a Humvee. Brown is part of the Nation­al Guard teams work­ing to help trans­port snow­bound Grady staff to the hos­pi­tal.
Geor­gia Nation­al Guard pho­to
Click to enlarge

The gov­er­nors of Alaba­ma, Arkansas, Geor­gia, North Car­oli­na, South Car­oli­na and Ten­nessee have declared states of emer­gency and acti­vat­ed mem­bers of their Nation­al Guard.

The Alaba­ma Nation­al Guard has acti­vat­ed 136 Army Nation­al Guard sol­diers for state active duty who are sup­port­ing about 20 mis­sions through­out the state. They are pro­vid­ing engi­neer­ing sup­port in the form of Humvees, road graders and liai­son offi­cers for the state’s emer­gency oper­a­tions cen­ter.

The Arkansas Nation­al Guard has 24 Army Nation­al Guard sol­diers on state active duty con­duct­ing safe­ty checks along Inter­state 30, and the Malvern and Ben­ton armories are open to the pub­lic for shel­ter oppor­tu­ni­ties to accom­mo­date strand­ed motorists.

The Geor­gia Nation­al Guard is help­ing trans­port snow­bound med­ical work­ers to Grady Memo­r­i­al Hos­pi­tal along Atlanta’s icy roads.

“Since about 2 p.m. Mon­day, we have been trans­port­ing work­ers from their homes to Grady Memo­r­i­al,” said Army Spc. Joshua Blevins, a mechan­ic with the 178th Mil­i­tary Police Com­pa­ny of the 648th Maneu­ver Enhance­ment Brigade. “We just want them to get here safe where they can save lives.”

The North Car­oli­na Nation­al Guard has opened two armories for warm­ing cen­ters and is work­ing with civ­il author­i­ties to assist strand­ed motorists.

Twelve sol­diers report­ed Jan. 9 to armories in Moore, Anson and Rich­mond coun­ties to sup­port local author­i­ties with trans­porta­tion, recov­ery, or oth­er mis­sions as required by North Car­oli­na emer­gency response offi­cials.

There will be two to three HUMVEEs and four to six Guard mem­bers in each loca­tion to assist in oper­a­tions. Addi­tion­al sol­diers will be on duty to main­tain armories for the HUMVEE teams, offi­cials said.

The Humvee teams are from the 30th Heavy Brigade Com­bat Team and 130th Maneu­ver Enhance­ment Brigade. The Guard mem­bers will stay on duty depend­ing on the need, but sol­diers are prepar­ing to stay on duty for sev­er­al days.

Accord­ing to the Rock Hill, S.C., Her­ald Online news­pa­per, about three dozen South Car­oli­na Army Nation­al Guard sol­diers from the 178th Com­bat Engi­neer Bat­tal­ion were acti­vat­ed to assist the high­way patrol in help­ing motorists through­out area coun­ties, said Army Maj. Coral Dob­son, exec­u­tive offi­cer of the bat­tal­ion.

The sol­diers are part of the oth­er 165 sol­diers statewide who have been tasked with their equip­ment to help with wrecks and clear­ing roads.

The 178th CEB, which spe­cial­izes in road con­struc­tion and oth­er engi­neer­ing tasks, has sev­er­al large wreck­ers nor­mal­ly used for mov­ing its engi­neer­ing and earth­mov­ing equip­ment that will be used to aug­ment civil­ian author­i­ties’ equip­ment dur­ing the storm, Dob­son said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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