Mississippi National Guard
JACKSON, MISS - Gov. Haley Barbour has authorized Maj. Gen. William L. Freeman, Jr., the adjutant general of Mississippi, to activate Soldiers of the Mississippi Army National Guard for flood support operations as Hurricane Ike moves through the Gulf of Mexico.
About 100 Guardsmen from the 1st Battalion, 155th Combined Arms Battalion are departing today for Gulfport, Miss., to assist local authorities as they deal with rising flood waters and additional flooding in Harrison and Hancock Counties.
Using 10 high-wheeled vehicles and 20 HUMVEEs, these Soldiers will conduct Search and Rescue missions and Presence Patrols in low-lying areas that are still partially flooded following Hurricane Gustav earlier this month. They will also conduct checkpoints to secure neighborhoods and businesses until the floodwaters recede.
“I know we can always depend on the National Guard to safeguard our citizens during emergencies like these,” said Barbour. “They did an excellent job just weeks ago during Hurricane Gustav, and I have full confidence they will again.”
“Our Soldiers are vigilant and can get to work right away assisting our fellow Mississippians,” said Freeman. “They know where to go and what to do, and they will be at the right place at the right time.”
Nearly 2,000 Soldiers were on the Mississippi Gulf Coast during Hurricane Gustav supporting local authorities with Search and Rescue, Presence Patrols, Check Points, and manning Distribution Points for ice, water and MREs. Over 19,000 citizens were given these life-sustaining items following Gustav.
The Mississippi National Guard has about 8,000 Soldiers and Airmen available for emergency operations if needed.