U.S.

September 6, 2012

Mississippi National Guard Special Forces boat teams rescue residents post-Hurricane Isaac

Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Mississippi Army National Guard, assist people stranded by Hurricane Isaac storm surge, Aug. 29, 2012, near Gulfport, Miss. The Miss. National Guard Soldiers conducted post-landfall missions including search and rescue, ice and water distribution, and presence patrols.

GULFPORT, Miss. (Sept. 4, 2012) — Special Forces Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Mississippi Army National Guard responded to Hurricane Isaac making landfall on the Mississippi gulf coast beginning Aug. 29, by patrolling the flooded areas of Hancock County in their zodiac inflatable boats.

The Soldiers’ mission is to search for and rescue anyone trapped by the storm surge and flooding.

The group arrived on the gulf coast the day before Hurricane Isaac was to make landfall and began preparations.

“We made contact with the Emergency Operations Centers and established communication with them,” said Chief Warrant Officer Patrick A. Chaney, a boat team captain from Grenada, Miss. serving with C Company, 2nd Bn., 20th SFG (Airborne). “We had a sheriff’s deputy assigned to us and we met with him the night before to make plans.”

The deputies provided critical local knowledge of the area and its residents so the boat teams could plan and conduct searches of areas that were expected to be flooded.

Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Mississippi Army National Guard, patrol a flooded area during the landfall phase of Hurricane Isaac, Aug. 29, 2012, near Gulfport, Miss. The Mississippi National guard trains continuously to increase its capabilities in the execution of emergency response operations such as this.

In the early morning of Wednesday, as Isaac was pouring heavy rains and winds in the coastal counties, the boat teams ventured into the storm as the waters were rising to begin their mission.

“When we first rolled out, we had a pretty good idea of where we needed to go first,” said Cheney.

“The [Emergency Operations Center] relayed missions to us,” said Sgt. 1st Class Fred R. Flurry, a 20th SFG (Airborne) medic and team leader from Madison, Miss. “We also found a lot of people with word of mouth from residents.”

Sometimes there would be people standing at the edge of a flooded road to let us know that one of their neighbors needed help, Cheney said.

After finding a resident needing to be evacuated, the teams helped them into their boats along with their luggage and pets. The Soldiers then transported them to supporting teams waiting with high mobility vehicles to carry them out of the flood zones.

“There is a lot of support and coordination that is involved before you ever get the boats in,” said Cheney. “Things have been working like they are supposed to. We train for this with readiness exercises with the whole unit and support personnel.”

The teams worked throughout the day Wednesday and Thursday regardless of the wind, rain and high water and returned to their makeshift base in a Knights of Columbus meeting hall for much needed rest and to prepare for the next day’s missions.

Despite the conditions and long hours the unit members keep a good attitude and appreciate being able to help others.

Coming to the coast and helping the residents of this area is certainly worth the effort, said Cheney.

“I like it,” said Flurry. “It’s good not to just watch this on the news and not be able to do anything. It’s good to help someone.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
front_page

Fort Irwin Soldiers honored at Armed Forces Day event

Children surround Spc. Matthew Bragg – of B Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment – for a photo opportunity at the 2015 Torrance Armed Forces Day Parade, May 16.   Leadership, Soldiers and civilian employe...
 
 

News Briefs June 2015

Now through Aug. 5 SAC Summer Camp. 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday. 1322 Pork Chop Hill. The Fort Irwin School Age Center Summer Camp Program accommodates children from kindergarten to fifth grade. SAC encourages physical, emotional, and social development through the following service areas: sports, fitness, and health options; life skills, citizenship...
 
 
Sgt. Erik Thurman

Memorial Day ceremonies supported by 11th ACR

Sgt. Erik Thurman Major Bradley Lang addresses an audience during a Memorial Day ceremony at Desert View Memorial Park in Victorville, Calif., May 25. The 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment had the honor of participating in three Me...
 

 

Garrison command team will miss installation, great people

For the command team of Col. Jon Braga and Command Sgt. Maj. Carlos Esmurria, leaving Fort Irwin in July will be a bittersweet moment. The two have been at the helm of Fort Irwin United States Army Garrison, the organization that manages the cantonment area of this military installation, since mid-2013. It will be 24...
 
 
Leslie Ozawa

NTC bids farewell to post CSM, hails interim

Leslie Ozawa National Training Center and Fort Irwin Commander Brig. Gen. Joseph Martin congratulates Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Travers. Travers received a Legion of Merit award for his service to the NTC as post command sergea...
 
 
IMG_5348

11th ACR Horse Detachment demonstrates tradition

Sgt. 1st Class Roman Hacker leads fellow Horse Handlers of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Horse Detachment on a beach ride at Salinas River State Beach in Marina, Calif., May 8.   Friends of the Fort Ord Warhorse welcom...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>