By Army Sgt. Darron Salzer
National Guard Bureau
ARLINGTON, Va. (6/10/11) - Within a week of the first official day of hurricane season, the National Hurricane Center issued an advisory for its first tropical storm in the Eastern Pacific region, 345 miles south of Acapulco, Mexico.
In keeping with the tradition of naming tropical storms, a system that began in the mid 1900s, the NHC is calling this one Tropical Storm Adrian.
Historically, the National Guard has been at the tip of the spear when it comes to domestic operations in the wake of hurricanes and the damage they leave behind, for example in the overwhelming response by the Guard after Hurricane Katrina when over 50,000 Guard members were responding at the height of operations.
“We have the capabilities necessary to respond to the needs of the nation’s citizens should a hurricane or tropical storm affect their way of life,” said Army Maj. Gen. David Harris, the National Guard Bureau’s domestic operations director. “We have learned a lot since Hurricane Katrina and are able to integrate more seamlessly with our civilian counterparts to ensure that relief efforts are conducted at a moment’s notice.”
This year is no different, as the Guard remains ever vigilant and ready to answer the call if these deadly storms affect the citizens of the United States.
This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said they expect a busier-than-usual hurricane season in the Atlantic, with predictions of anywhere from 12 to 18 named storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes and three to six of those could be major hurricanes with category levels of 3, 4, or 5.
"Your National Guard has been fully engaged in the warfight overseas, and we also stand ready to answer the call domestically when a disaster happens,” said Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley, chief of the National guard Bureau. “Hurricanes are a large part of the domestic operation every year, and your National Guard remains ready to answer the call.
The Guard is the nation’s first military responder to support civilian authorities during natural disasters and other significant incidents in this country.
“We did that in overwhelming numbers after Hurricane Katrina, with over 50,000 Guard men and women on the ground performing critical missions at the height of relief operations,” McKinley said.
“We are prepared to do that again this year if necessary, leveraging our capabilities to work with civilian agencies in order to help the citizens of this country in their times of need."