Around 1,200 Tennessee National Guard soldiers and airmen departed from various locations across the state to support response and recovery efforts in Florida following the landfall of Hurricane Ian, according to a Thursday press release by the Tennessee Department of Military.
Three UH-60 Blackhawks and crew departed from Tennessee today to assist the Florida National Guard with hurricane relief operations.
Roughly 1,200 Tenn. Guardsmen will support response and recovery efforts following the impact of Hurricane Ian. pic.twitter.com/zZ6nf8AdyW
— Tenn. National Guard (@TNMilitaryDept) September 28, 2022
The units currently deployed to the Sunshine State include:
- 194th Engineer Brigade in Jackson
- 230th Engineer Battalion in Trenton
- 212th Engineer Company in Paris
- 251st Military Police Company in Lexington
- 278th Regimental Support Squadron in Columbia
- 1175th Transportation Company in Tullahoma
- 30th Troop Command in Tullahoma
- 176th Combat Service Support Battalion in Johnson City
- 776th Maintenance Company in Elizabethton
- 253rd Military Police Company in Lenoir City
- 1176th Transportation Company in Jacksboro and Smyrna
The forces are named Task Force Tennessee and are commanded by the 194th Engineer Brigade in Jackson, the department notes. Their duty will be assisting the Florida National Guard’s ongoing emergency response efforts due to Hurricane Ian.
In addition, on Wednesday, two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters with the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion flew to Florida to help with recovery missions.
Tennessee UH-60 Blackhawks and crews arriving in Tallahassee, Fla. last night to help with Hurricane Ian support response and recovery efforts.
— Tenn. National Guard (@TNMilitaryDept) September 29, 2022
On Thursday, President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in Florida due to Hurricane Ian’s devastation. According to the White House, the president ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts which started on September 23 and days beyond.
While speaking at FEMA headquarters Thursday, President Biden stated that Hurricane Ian may have resulted in “substantial loss of life” and that it could become the deadliest storm in Florida’s history.
President Joe Biden warned that Hurricane Ian could be the "deadliest" in Florida history, citing a potential "substantial loss of life." The president also thanked rescue crews and FEMA workers for their efforts.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 29, 2022
On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said that rescue crews are prioritizing getting people stuck on outer islands to safety. In his remarks, he also thanked Tennessee Governor Bill Lee for his role in sending the military units to help with recovery and response efforts.
Florida is grateful. pic.twitter.com/Vbq26Auzx7
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 29, 2022
– – –
Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Tennessee National Guard Members” by Tennessee National Guard.