Delaware National Guard assisting during Hurricane Sandy
“The Delaware National Guard currently has about 300 support personnel in place and ready to assist with the needs of the state and citizens of Delaware,” said Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, adjutant general, Delaware National Guard. “We are in constant communication with the state’s first responders and tailoring our support packages to meet their requirements,” he explained.
Medical technicians, nurses and physicians from the 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron are serving at medical needs shelters at Cape Henlopen and William Penn high schools. Military vehicles, drivers and military liaison officers are in place at the four Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) in the state.
In Sussex and Kent counties, each EOC has six HMMWVs (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or commonly called “Humvee”) and six FMTV trucks. FMTV is the acronym for Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles. They are providing a combination of two-and-a-half and five-ton FMTVs. Each can transport a dozen passengers and can navigate through several feet of water.
In Kent County thry also have vehicles and Soldiers at fire houses in Little Creek, Milford, Smyrna, Frederica, and Marydel
Additionally, all Delaware State Police troops will have a minimum of one HMMWV and two drivers. Troops 4 and 7 have three HMMWVs each.
Internally, they have Force Provider command and control at their readiness centers in Newport, Smyrna and Georgetown along with the Joint Operations Center at Wilmington headquarters.
Earlier in the weekend they hangared their fleet of Black Hawk helicopters and evacuated their C-130 aircraft to a sister air guard base in Michigan. Those aircraft will be available immediately following the storm’s passing.
The 153rd Military Police Company, which will deploy to Afghanistan in early 2013, has approximately 150 soldiers and the capability to assist local law enforcement with evacuation and access control.
Additional capabilities include satellite communications, providing limited amounts of drinkable water and wreckers for removing stranded vehicles.
“We are providing a wide spectrum of support. Detailed planning and coordination ensured all resources are in the right place,” said Vavala.
The Delaware National Guard will continue to participate in frequent calls with the state to monitor the situation. If someone requires assistance, contact the Delaware Emergency Management Agency at 302-659-3362.