PA National Guard Members To Help Katrina Victims
"Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers from Lebanon County will be among those helping Katrina victims along the Gulf Coast over the coming weeks.
Six guardsmen packed up and headed out on Tuesday from Fort Indiantown Gap.
The soldiers are part of a specialized communications unit, and they're taking along nearly $500,000 of high-tech satellite and computer gear.
They will set up a mobile command center for emergency crews in Mississippi, where they can provide phone, computer and radio lines -- even without power.
"Because resources are tight, because there's power issues -- that type of thing. They need to be able to get the resources there at the right location as quick as possible. And we can help facilitate that," said Maj. Ted Dagnal of the Pennsylvania National Guard.
The soldiers are prepared to work 24 hours a day for at least two weeks." (source)
PA Guard may send 2,500 for relief
"As many as 2,500 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard may soon be on their way to help in states severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina, Gov. Ed Rendell said Wednesday.
Senior Pennsylvania Guard leaders began to determine which people and equipment would be available to be sent to the stricken region following a teleconference Wednesday with Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum of the National Guard Bureau in Washington.
"It's not just personnel, it's the type of personnel," said Pennsylvania Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Cleaver. "I don't know what those requirements are yet. What are you going to do with a bunch of fighter pilots when you need police officers?"
Cleaver said the 2,500 figure for Pennsylvania came out of the meeting with Blum.
He said soldiers helping out with disaster relief will have to be self-sustaining, and the planning for such a mission will take a few days. An advance team could be in place at the beginning of next week, with larger numbers to follow a few days later, he said.
"They need personnel for a long period of time, and with that comes that long logistical chain and that will take a little more time. But we can fly people and get them there quickly," Cleaver said.
The Pennsylvania National Guard already is supplying 20,000 sandbag containers to New Orleans and has deployed a six-person satellite communications unit to Jackson, Miss. It also is providing 13 helicopter slings. Three people from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' forest-fire protection unit and medical assistance teams from Erie and Pittsburgh have also gone to the disaster area." (source)
...the girls of the Guard...
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