“We stand ready to help:” More than 2,500 WI National Guard troops will head to Florida amid Irma

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FLORIDA — More than 2,500 Wisconsin National Guard troops will be heading to Florida to help in the response and recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma.

“We stand ready to help our friends in Florida who are bracing for Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest Atlantic Ocean storms on record,” Gov. Scott Walker said in a news release Sunday, September 10th. “I thank Maj. Gen. Dunbar and the men and women of the Wisconsin National Guard for their readiness and willingness to assist in response efforts. We are also directing all state agencies to assist the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs in responding to this situation.”

According to the release, Gov. Walker issued Executive Order 254 September 8th, which authorized Wisconsin’s adjutant general to call Wisconsin National Guard troops to state active duty to assist Florida. Their mission set will be determined when they arrive in Florida, but may include rescuing people trapped by floodwaters, preventing injuries and protecting property.

The entire 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the 1157th Transportation Company, members of the 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment and other Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard elements were called to state active duty and are reporting for duty and beginning to travel to Florida.

Soldiers from the Wisconsin National Guard’s Company D, 173rd Brigade Engineer Battalion load vehicles in preparation for movement to Florida September 10th.

More than 2,500 Wisconsin National Guard troops were called to state active duty to assist the people of Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Wisconsin National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Ard The troops will remain in the region as long as they are needed to assist civil authorities.

“We are keeping Florida and all those affected by Hurricane Irma in our thoughts and prayers,” Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general said in the release. “Mobilizing in times of state and federal emergency is at the very core of who we are as the National Guard. Not only are we the primary combat reserve of our nation’s Army and Air Force, we are also the nation’s first military responder in times of emergency. Wisconsin is ready to assist in any way necessary, and National Guardsmen from the Badger State will remain in the region as long as needed. It’s our honor and privilege to assist the people of Florida and their Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Michael Calhoun in this response.”