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    New York National Guard completes Buffalo snowstorm response mission, heads home for Thanksgiving

    New York National Guard prepares for flooding

    Photo By Senior Master Sgt. Raymond Lloyd | Members of the New York Air Natfional Guard operate a sand bag filling machine to aid...... read more read more



    Story by Eric Durr 

    New York National Guard

    BUFFALO, N.Y. - After a week on duty, more than 700 New York National Guard Soldiers and Airman begin heading home from the snow-clogged Buffalo area today in time to spend Thanksgiving with their families.

    While National Guard Soldiers and Airmen did respond to some isolated flooding incidents on Monday Nov. 24, sandbagging homes in danger of flooding and making and providing sandbags to local fire departments and governments, wide spread flooding did not materialize as six foot high piles of snow began melting in almost 60 degree temperatures.

    "We're trying to get ahead of it with the National Guard, who are here to deploy sandbags," New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo told reporters Monday morning. "They're here to do their best to protect the homes that are in areas that historically flood."

    "They'll continue to be here as long as the community needs them. We continue to push in based on storm response, and now, flood response," said Major General Patrick Murphy, the adjutant general of New York.

    By the end of the day on Monday state and local officials expressed relief that the Erie County area had recovered from the snowfall that hit on Nov. 18.

    Soldiers and Airmen stationed outside the western New York region will begin returning to home station today while Guard members assigned to Buffalo area units will remain on call for mission while conducting maintenance and stand-down activities, said Brig. Gen. Raymond Shields, Director of Joint Staff for the New York National Guard.

    All Guard members should be off duty by the close of business on Wednesday, Shields said. However, some Guard troops were on standby to help out if needed as a snowstorm is anticipated to hit Eastern New York and the Hudson Valley on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

    New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen from Western New York units, the 153rd Troop Command, the 152nd Engineer Company, both based in Buffalo, and the 107th Airlift Wing from Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, were the initial Guard responders on Nov. 19 as the massive storm hit.

    That initial force of 150 personnel grew to a peak of just under 800 Airmen and Soldiers, along with members of the New York Naval Militia and New York Guard, the state defense force, on duty over the Nov. 22-23 weekend.

    On Tuesday morning a total of 737 Soldiers and Airmen were on State Active Duty with others working in Active Guard and Reserve and technician status to support the force.

    Soldiers were housed in armories and facilities at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

    During the week-long mission Soldiers and Airmen assigned to the joint task force controlled by the 153rd Troop Command conducted 8, 405 man-hours of snow removal—including removing snow form the roofs of nursing homes—ran 59 traffic control points, conducted 55 medical transport missions, placed 5,200 sandbags to prevent flooding, cleared 700 fire hydrants, and delivered 200 meals to people unable to leave their homes and running low on food.

    A unique Guard mission included positioning humvees with SINGARS radios with local volunteer fire departments tasked to provide rescue boats in case flood resulted in the need for fast water rescue. The Guard Soldiers were tasked to accompany the firemen on any missions in order to provide communications support.

    Two high-capacity Osh Kosh runway snow blowers from the 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse were also deployed to help clear major roads.

    More than 190 pieces of rolling stock were used for the mission including: 42 dump trucks, 13 loaders, 77 humvees, 13 tractor trailers for long haul supply missions, 20 Bobcat-type loaders, two bull dozers, 24 LMTV trucks, fuelers, a wrecker, and a bus.

    The New York National Guard also deployed a Joint Incident Site Communications Capability, or JISCC , to the region to assist in communications.

    A UH-72 and UH-60 helicopters with hoist capability were also on standby at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Rochester over the weekend.



    Date Taken: 11.18.2014
    Date Posted: 11.25.2014 10:18
    Story ID: 148773
    Location: BUFFALO, NY, US 

    Web Views: 192
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