Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
This week, Adjutant Gen. Wesley Craig told us Pennsylvania National Guard troops deployed to New York and New Jersey to help with storm recovery would be returning this week.
Well, kids, it looks like they're home -- after anywhere between five and 13 days away. More from the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs:
More than 400 Pennsylvania National Guard members recently returned from New York and New Jersey after providing support for Hurricane Sandy relief operations.
The soldiers and airmen were mobilized beginning Nov. 3, and spent between five and 13 days out of state.
“Our soldiers and airmen did a terrific job responding to the needs of our neighbors in New York and New Jersey,” Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig, Pennsylvania Adjutant General said. “The readiness, adaptability and professionalism of our dynamic force is always showcased in instances like these. Our soldiers and airmen are indeed always ready and always there at a moment’s notice to respond to operations at home and abroad.”
The troops supported a wide range of operations including: fueling officially plated vehicles with unleaded and diesel fuel, assisting and supporting civilian authorities, movement and distribution of relief supplies, and providing communications capabilities to areas in need.
Nearly 375 soldiers and airmen were deployed to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, N.Y. Units represented include: the 28th Military Police Company, Johnstown; the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Washington; the 228th Brigade Support Battalion, Easton; the 171st Air Refueling Wing, Coraopolis; the 193rd Special Operations Wing, Middletown; the 201st RED HORSE Squadron, Annville; and the 111th Fighter Wing, Horsham.
Nearly 50 additional guard members were deployed to Lakehurst and West Orange, N.J., supporting fueling and communications missions. Units represented include: the 271st Combat Communications Squadron, Annville; and the 328th Brigade Support Battalion, Lebanon.
The guard members were providing support through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, or EMAC. The EMAC is an interstate mutual aid agreement that provides a mechanism for sharing personnel, equipment and resources among states during emergencies and disasters. EMAC has traditionally been used by states for National Guard, emergency management and other types of response assistance.
“The efforts of our Pennsylvania citizen-soldiers and citizen-airmen were truly appreciated by the residents of New York and New Jersey,” said Craig. “From phone calls of thanks, thanks provided in person on the streets, to thanks on our various social media sites; we know they provided much needed help and an assuring presence where they were sent.”
In addition to support provided out of state, at the peak of the storm response more than 2,000 Pennsylvania Guard members were placed on duty in Pennsylvania in support of operations related to Hurricane Sandy.
Pictures from the Guard’s response to Hurricane Sandy can be found on the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Flickr site at: http://j.mp/PNGSandy.
The PA National Guard can be followed via Facebook at www.facebook.com/panationalguard, Twitter at www.twitter.com/panationalguard, YouTube at www.youtube.com/panationalguard, Flickr at www.flickr.com/panationalguard and Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/panationalguard.
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