PA National Guard to help blizzard victims

Ninety members of the Pennsylvania National Guard have been placed on State Active Duty to assist with recovery efforts in Connecticut as a result of Winter Storm Nemo.

Forty-five members of the Air National Guard’s 201st RED HORSE—short for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers—left Fort Indiantown Gap today with about 25 pieces of heavy machinery.

Twenty-eight members of the Army National Guard’s 252nd Engineer Company flew from Johnstown Cambria County Airport via C-130 today. Members of the Connecticut Army National Guard’s engineer company are currently deployed to Afghanistan.

The troops will assist with closed roadways, stranded motorists, transportation of health care professionals to hospitals, and assist communities by performing area welfare checks of residents who may be cut off from power, food, or medical care.

Seventeen other guard members will perform security, operations, liaison, and other missions in support of the engineers. The mission is expected to last around one week.

Both units have previously supported recovery efforts during winter storms and flooding in Pennsylvania. They have also deployed overseas to support multiple combat operations in recent years.

The guard members are 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.