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Pa. National Guard sends aircraft, crew to support Irma response

Written by Staff Report/WITF | Sep 13, 2017 4:35 AM
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A Pennsylvania National Guard CH-47 Chinook and crew members repositioned from their Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts in Texas, rest at the Air National Guard Base in Gulfport, Mississippi Sept. 9 before moving forward to assist in the response efforts of Hurricane Irma in Florida. (Courtesy: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. George Roach)

(Fort Indiantown Gap) -- An additional 40 Pennsylvania National Guard members and four CH-47 Chinook helicopters have been deployed to assist with the response to Hurricane Irma.

Two CH-47 Chinooks and crew members who spent time with the Hurricane Harvey response efforts in Texas have been sent to help to Florida. Two additional CH-47 Chinook aircraft and crew members also departed Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County to join those efforts.

The aircraft and crew will be a part of thousands of National Guard members and first responders onsite.

Potential missions include delivering items like food and water to stranded citizens and providing emergency transportation for those needing to evacuate.

Additional Pennsylvania guard members are on duty at the commonwealth's joint emergency operations center, where they provide planning and coordination support.

The center maintains continuous communications with National Guard Bureau and PEMA in order to anticipate future requirements that could be assigned to Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers and Airmen.

"We're proud of our Guardsmen as they operate the heavy lift Chinook helicopters" said Major General Tony Carrelli, the state'sadjutant general, "these assets provide a life line to communities that may otherwise be cut off due to storm damage. This is what we train for; this is why America has a National Guard."

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