Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Major General Max Haston announced Monday, May 9, 2011 that soldiers from the Tennessee Army National Guard’s 1/278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, headquartered in Henderson, have been called to state active duty to assist in disaster relief operations in and around Tiptonville as needed.
Gov. Haslam and Maj. Gen. Haston, the Adjutant General, toured flood-ravaged areas last week to assess the situation. The order to bring in National Guard soldiers came after they viewed the affected areas.
With flooding expected to worsen, approximately 100 soldiers are already performing a variety of missions.
Seventy-six Guardsmen from the 278th ACR are providing high-water vehicles to support the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Guardsmen of the 194th Engineer Brigade have been involved in providing sandbagging trailers and operators to help protect the correctional facility near Tiptonville. More than 3,400 sandbags have already been filled.
Helicopter support out of Smyrna is being provided by the Guard’s Aviation Office and 30th Troop Command in transporting government officials to affected areas and providing reconnaissance of the flooded areas.
Units of 230th Sustainment Brigade, headquartered in Chattanooga, are providing logisticians to evaluate state and commercial facilities to be utilized in evacuations. These facilities will also be used to receive and distribute materials, bottled water and food as needed.