Delaware National Guard - Hurricane Ike update - precautionary evacuations continue on Gulf Coast

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Delaware Air National Guard
Hedquarters, 166th Airlift Wing
2600 Spruance Drive
New Castle, DE 19720-1615

Contact: Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Matwey
Public Affairs Specialist, 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware Air National Guard
Office 302-323-3369, or cell 302-593-2126
Release No. 2008-9-004, September 12, 2008 [corrected Release No.]


NEW CASTLE - Forty-two Airmen from the Delaware Air National Guard remain on the Gulf Coast performing precautionary evacuations of people before Hurricane Ike makes landfall early Saturday morning, Sept. 13, 2008. Twenty-four Airmen are in Corpus Christi, Texas, sixteen Airmen are in Carswell, Texas, and two Airmen are in Austin, Texas. The aeromedical evacuation specialists have moved hundreds of patients over the last few days away from coastal areas to hospitals further inland.

Two (2) Delaware Army Guard Soldiers are in Austin, Texas, supporting specialized communications equipment needed in relief operations.

Eight (8) Airmen from the Delaware Air National Guard are in the Capital Region (greater Washington D.C. area) performing duties to coordinate the ongoing National Guard response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

The Delaware National Guard also has several dozen troops supporting our Joint Operations Center in Wilmington and our Joint Communication, Command, Control and Computer Coordination Center in Smyrna. "These two centers give us 24/7 visibility and the ability to stay in touch with our troops deployed to the Gulf Coast and with National Guard assets in other states so we can better respond during these relief missions," said Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Adjutant General, Delaware National Guard.

At the Delaware Air Guard base in New Castle, one Delaware Air Guard C-130 aircrew is on alert status if needed, and unit C-130 transport aircraft are on standby.

If needed, the Delaware National Guard can send 189 troops to respond to the Gulf Coast if requested. These troops are a combination of Airmen and Soldiers from security forces, aviation, engineering, transportation, maintenance and communications units,
"Here in Delaware, we are taking a wait-and-see approach. After Hurricane Ike makes landfall, officials must complete a damage assessment and determine if the 20,000 local National Guard troops already on the ground need assistance from National Guard units in other states, including Delaware," said Maj. Gen Vavala. "Responding to these hurricanes is a core competency of the National Guard, and it's no surprise to see us doing what we do best, helping Americans in peril."

At 4:00 p.m. Central Standard Time today, Sept. 12, the National Hurricane Center reported that the center of Hurricane Ike was located about 135 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas and about 240 miles east of Corpus Christi, Texas, and that the center of Ike will be very near the upper Texas coast by late today or early Saturday.

This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written.

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