DoD Moves Troops, Search-Rescue Units, Aircraft, Vehicles to Texas
(Source: U.S. Department of Defense; issued Aug. 28, 2017)
Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston to help residents in areas heavily flooded by the storms of Hurricane Harvey. (TMD photo)
WASHINGTON --- The Defense Department is prepositioning troops, search and rescue units, aircraft, vehicles, equipment and supplies to staging areas near the worst of the flooding in southeastern Texas in anticipation of a possible request for assistance, a Pentagon spokesman said here today.

Army Col. Robert Manning updated the media on DoD response efforts to Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath, and summarized activities of the Texas National Guard and the National Guard Bureau.

"Continuing rainfall from the hurricane is expected to cause devastating and life-threatening flooding throughout this week," Manning said, adding, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims."

State, Local Efforts

On Aug. 27, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a memorandum of agreement approving a dual-status command, Manning said, which authorizes one commander to direct active-duty and National Guard forces.

"As of now, all Guard personnel providing assistance are on Title 32, or state orders. Active-duty units are en route to the staging area in anticipation of a possible request. There has been no formal tasking [yet] of Title 10 DoD units," the colonel added.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today activated his state's entire National Guard force in response to Hurricane Harvey, bringing the total number of deployed Texas Guard members to roughly 12,000.

The Texas National Guard currently has 16 aircraft and personnel conducting day and night wide-area search and rescue missions along the Texas coast from Corpus Christi to Houston.

That effort includes 10 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, four UH-72 Lakota multi-mission helicopters, and two CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopters.

Manning said the New York Air National Guard has provided one C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft, three HH-60 Pave Hawk search and rescue helicopters and two C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft. And six rotary-wing aircraft from the Utah, Nebraska and North Carolina Army National Guard are en route to the area.

Seven fixed-wing aircraft from the U.S. Coast Guard and Air National Guard are in support, he added, and the Texas National Guard is using about 200 Humvees, 218 high-water vehicles, 15 wreckers and 19 fuelers.

DoD Support

Manning said U.S. Northern Command is poised to provide DoD support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the federal lead. State and local response agencies are in the lead for their own response efforts.

"DoD has provided [Joint Base San Antonio-]Randolph, Seguin Auxiliary Airfield as a forward staging area to support distribution of supplies and equipment to the affected areas," the colonel added, "and DoD has prepositioned a search and rescue ... unit that includes two SAR planners, nine SAR rotary-wing aircraft, two fixed-wing aircraft, pararescue teams and associated command-and-control ... elements."

The search and rescue assets are deploying to Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth in Texas, he said, and the Defense Logistics Agency has prepositioned logistics management and resource support, including 11 generators, 50,000 gallons of gasoline and 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel.

"Safety is the No. 1 priority," Manning said. "We urge residents in the affected areas to continue to follow the instructions of state, local and tribal officials" and to stay away from evacuated areas until they are told the areas are safe.

Click here for a Pentagon special report on Hurricane Harvey disaster relief.


Texas Governor Activates All of State's Guard for Harvey Relief Effort
(Source: Texas Governor's Office; issued Aug. 28, 2017)
AUSTIN, Texas --- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today activated the entire Texas National Guard force in response to Hurricane Harvey, bringing the total number of deployed Guard members to roughly 12,000.

The National Guard members will assist in the ongoing search and rescue effort for any Texans in immediate danger, and will be heavily involved in the extensive recovery effort in the aftermath of the storm, the governor said.

"It is imperative that we do everything possible to protect the lives and safety of people across the state of Texas as we continue to face the aftermath of this storm," Abbott said. "The Texas National Guard is working closely with FEMA and federal troops to respond urgently to the growing needs of Texans who have fallen victim to Hurricane Harvey, and the activation of the entire Guard will assist in the efforts already underway. I would like to thank FEMA Administrator Brock Long, as well as all our brave first responders for their hard work in helping those impacted by this terrible storm."

'Dangerous Situation'

Long said, "While this is still a dangerous situation with a long response effort ahead, the state and people of Texas are resilient. FEMA was here before the storm hit, and we will be here as long as needed, actively coordinating the full resources of the federal government to support Gov. Abbott and the state."

"The men and women of the Texas National Guard are working around the clock to support all relief efforts from Hurricane Harvey," said Air Force Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, Texas adjutant general. "We will not rest until we have made every effort to rescue all those in harm's way. We will remain here as long as we are needed. I want to thank Gov. Abbott for his continued leadership and look forward to serving the great people of Texas."

The Texas Guard currently has approximately 3,000 personnel activated and mobilized for operations relating to Hurricane Harvey rescue and recovery. This new mobilization by Abbott sends those who are physically able, not currently deployed, preparing to deploy or in a combat preparation cycle to answer the call for help and assist their fellow Texans in need. All Texas Military Department personnel should report to their respective units for further instructions.


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