Va. National Guard to send helicopters to Texas for Hurricane Harvey recovery operations

SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard is preparing to send approximately 40 Soldiers and seven helicopters to Texas to assist with Hurricane Harvey recovery operations. The aviation crews are expected to depart early Thursday morning, Aug. 31, 2017, and possible missions would be search and rescue, aerial damage assessment and supply distribution. Three rescue technicians from the Chesterfield County Fire and Emergency Medical Service Scuba Rescue Team are also scheduled to deploy.

Aviation crews from the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment will fly UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and Chesterfield-based Detachment 1, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment will fly UH-72 Lakota helicopters. The Virginia National Guard and Chesterfield Fire and EMS have conducted multiple training exercises involving rescue hoist operations.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people of Texas as they work to recover from the impact of Hurricane Harvey,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “There is no higher honor for a Guard Soldier or Airman than serving your fellow Americans in their time of need, and I am confident the Virginia National Guard will help make a difference. The Texas National Guard has been doing a magnificent job in their response, and our personnel will join the local, state and federal effort to help keep people safe.”

The Virginia National Guard still has aviation capabilities in the state if they are needed for any kind of response operations, Williams said.

Initial planning has also begun for possible additional forces going to Texas for support, but no other Va. National Guard forces are scheduled to deploy to Texas at this time, Williams said. There are no other official requests from Texas for additional Guard capabilities beyond the aviation support, but basic planning is underway so the Virginia National Guard could rapidly respond if needed.

More about joint training between Va. National Guard and Chesterfield Fire EMS:

Va. Helicopter Advanced Rescue Team trains in Pulaski County

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