SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- In response to Gov. Jack Markell’s limited state of emergency in Sussex County, the Delaware National Guard says it has prepositioned personnel and vehicles in an effort to support the state of Delaware throughout the latest storm.
"We are leaning forward, preparing to assist the citizens of Delaware through the Delaware Emergency Management Agency,” said Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, adjutant general for the Delaware National Guard. “While no one is sure exactly what the storm will bring, we are in constant communication with other response agencies in the state - and are prepared."
Guard officials said that currently about 20 soldiers and airmen are on duty and another 100 on standby if needed. They said the majority are vehicle operators and typical support missions include: transport of Delawareans to safety, transport of police and other first responders, transport of medical workers to hospitals, assisting stranded motorists and evacuees. Officials said the Guard can also provide traffic control, access control points, and medical personnel should medical shelters be operational.
Three LMTVs (Light Medium Tactical Vehicle) and drivers are prepositioned at the Guard's Georgetown Readiness Center, and one stationed at the Kent County Emergency Operations Center. Also, we have HMMWV’s (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) and LMTVs available at the Guard's readiness centers in Dagsboro and Bethany Beach.
In addition to vehicle operators, officials said they have command staff in each operational armory and Liaison Officers ready to support Emergency Operations Centers in all three counties and the city of Wilmington. The Delaware National Guard Joint Emergency Operations Center is manned around the clock, until the event is complete.
Officials said that on the Air National Guard Base, teams from civil engineering, maintenance and operations are on duty to ensure they maintain the ability to launch and recover aircraft. The 166th Medical Group is available to man medical shelters if called, officials added. Base firefighters and security police serve 24-7, they said.
The Delaware National Guard has 2,800 soldiers and airmen.