Guard Spotlight: Louisiana

Louisiana Guard Rescues More Than 11,000 People

A little over a week ago, the southern part of Louisiana started receiving unprecedented amounts of rain, causing 20 parishes (counties) to be declared federal disaster areas. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards called the resulting floods “historic” and vowed that he would “make sure the resources we need are on the ground as soon as possible.” One of those resources is the Louisiana Army National Guard.

Since operations began Aug. 12, the Louisiana Army National Guard has rescued nearly 11,085 people and 1,400 pets from heavy flash flooding that hit the southern part of the Bayou State after two feet of rain fell over a 48- to 72-hour period.

By last week, nearly 3,650 Guard personnel were mobilized, and nearly 257 high-water vehicles, 55 boats, and nine helicopters were tasked or staged to assist local, parish and State emergency officials with heavy flash flooding.

The Louisiana Guard’s Facebook page started filling up with requests for rescues from various neighborhoods and requests for water from people stranded on Interstate 12 as the flood waters raged.

Whether by boat, helicopter, high-water vehicle, or on foot, the Guard did what it is trained to do, which is to protect and serve the community by rescuing residents and bringing them life-sustaining supplies. As part of its mission, the Guard can be called upon by a governor or even the president to respond to emergency situations. This branch of the U.S. military, which dates back to 1636, could be considered the original homeland security force. Guard members serve close to home in 2,600 communities across the Nation, making them the first military force to reach the scene.

For a better look at how the Louisiana Guard is helping these flooded communities, see the video below.

Besides search and rescue missions, the Guard also issued more than 2,200 cots and 1,700 blankets for shelter support for residents who have been displaced from their homes.

“With the changing conditions, we are continuously adapting to the needs on the ground,” Army MG Glenn H. Curtis, Adjutant General of the Louisiana National Guard, said in an Aug. 18 news release. “We continue to work closely with our State partner agencies, making the most of opportunities to leverage resources and manpower to keep Louisiana citizens safe and maintain order.”

So if you are willing to accept the mission of helping your community stay safe during a crisis, contact a recruiter, and take a look at our job board, which describes the more than 150 career fields that are available to National Guard Soldiers.

(Story compiled from news reports from the Louisiana Army National Guard.)

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