Delaware National Guard readies for Sandy

Equipment, personnel in place
October 28, 2012

The Delaware National Guard continues to position troops and equipment as Sandy approaches.

“Within the next 12-18 hours, we will have approximately 250 support personnel in place and ready to assist with the needs of the state and citizens of Delaware,” said Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Adjutant General, Delaware National Guard. “We are in constant communication with the state’s first responders and tailoring our support packages to meet their requirements,” he added.

In response to the limited State of Emergency, this morning the Delaware National Guard began activating Soldiers and Airmen. Medical technicians, nurses and physicians from the 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron are enroute to medical needs shelters at Cape Henlopen and William Penn high schools. Military vehicles, drivers and military liaison officers are being placed at the four Emergency Operation Centers (EOC) in the state.

In Sussex County, the EOC will have six High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, or commonly called Humvee, and six Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles trucks.The National Guard is providing a combination of 2.5 and 5 ton FMTVs. Each can transport a dozen passengers and can navigate through several feet of water.

We will provide three Humvees and three FMTVs at the EOCs in Kent and New Castle Counties as well as the EOC in the city of Wilmington. Each vehicle will have a driver and assistant driver.

Additionally, each Delaware State Police Troop will have a minimum of one HMMWV and two drivers.

Internally, the National Guard has Force Provider command and control at its Readiness Centers in Newport, Smyrna and Georgetown along with Joint Operations Center in its Wilmington headquarters.

Earlier today, the National Guard hangared its fleet of Black Hawk helicopters and evacuated its C-130 aircraft to a sister Air Guard Base in Michigan.

The 153rd Military Police Company, which will deploy to Afghanistan in early 2013, has approximately 150 Soldiers and the capability to assist local law enforcement with evacuation and access control.

Additional capabilities include communications, providing limited amounts of drinkable water and wreckers for removing stranded vehicles.

“We are able to provide a wide spectrum of support and using this limited lead time to ensure all resources are in the right place,” said Vavala.

The Delaware National Guard will continue to participate in frequent “bridge” calls with the state to monitor the situation. If you require assistance, please contact the Delaware Emergency Management Agency at 302-659-3362.

For more information call Lt. Col. Len Gratteri at 302-540-0134 or Sgt. Wendy McDougall at 302-233-8805