September 27, 2018
RALEIGH, N.C. — Hurricane Florence slammed into the Carolina coast as a Category 1 storm Sept. 14, and then it sat there.
Florence quickly downgraded to a tropical storm but moved slowly enough, at about 5 mph, that someone could have jogged along in the eye of the storm, staying relatively dry.
The day after Florence’s arrival, Army Aviation Support Facility 1, or AASF1, in Morrisville, North Carolina, began receiving Army National Guard aircraft and crews from all over the country to help support recovery efforts.
In addition to North Carolina National Guard’s seven Black Hawk helicopters and two Lakota helicopters available for storm response, 13 states brought helicopters, crews, and mechanics to join the more than 3,000 North Carolina Guard members activated in preparation for the massive storm.
“A powerful, damaging hurricane is hours away from our coast,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper during a news conference where he announced the mobilization of additional National Guard troops ahead of Florence making landfall. He urged residents to evacuate.
National Guard units from Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, and Mississippi brought CH-47 Chinooks, the Coast Guard provided 10 helicopters, and North Carolina State Highway Patrol provided five rotary wing aircraft. The rest of the helicopters were Black Hawks brought by Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New York, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Michigan, and New Jersey.
It was pitch dark when the levee broke along the Florence-swollen Cape Fear River, stranding 100 people and 33 animals.
Helicopter crews from the U.S. Coast Guard and North Carolina National Guard flew in wearing night-vision goggles to find them, NC National Guard Brigadier General Todd Hunt said at a news conference Friday. Gov. Roy Cooper’s office tweeted a video of Hunt’s remarks.
Over six hours Thursday night and early Friday, Hunt said, crews on the eight CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters helped get the people and animals aboard. Some of the helicopters landed, according to Hunt, while others remained in the air, “hoisting” people and animals in baskets.
“You have to remember, this was at night,” Hunt said at the news conference. “They flew (with) night vision goggles. Some of the crews came from Minnesota and Maryland and were not specifically familiar with the area at all,” Hunt said.
The rescue occurred in the Bladen County community of Kelly, population 545, about 27 miles northwest of Wilmington.
MORRISVILLE, N.C. – Within 12 hours of receiving the call for support, Spc. Grant Johnson, an aircraft mechanic with North Carolina Army National Guard Detachment 1, Bravo Co., 2nd 151st Aviation Regiment, was on duty and ready to help his community recover from Hurricane Florence.
A Burlington, North Carolina native, Johnson always wanted to serve.
“Being able to help is an amazing feeling,” said Johnson. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I was little, seeing Guardsmen on the news, and I wanted to help in any way that I could.”
Maintaining helicopters that conduct search and rescue missions is a critical support role in disaster relief efforts.
“As mechanics, we maintain the aircraft, and before every flight, we do checks of every component of the aircraft to make sure it’s ready to fly,” said Johnson
For every successful aviation mission that takes place, there is a team of mechanics that work to ensure the helicopters used for critical search and supply missions are always ready.
RED SPRINGS, N.C. — After Hurricane Florence hammered their community, Red Springs residents came together to get through the initial impact, but on Monday, the North Carolina National Guard brought in reinforcements.
A convoy of National Guard trucks loaded with food, bottled water and other supplies trekked 30 minutes up N.C. Highway 211 from a base in Lumberton to the Red Springs Community Center, delivering relief to the impoverished community.
Town Commissioner Caroline Sumpter was in charge of helping to distribute the goods to those in need.
“[We’re] cooking meals, taking supplies to our elderly, our seniors, our disabled, just checking on our neighbors, being good neighbors, being our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers,” Sumpter said.
Many people in Red Springs were without power for about a week, and Sumpter said the National Guard was only the latest group to help those in need.
“Rusty Toyota with a blue air freshener,” shouted firefighter Jason Hall.
Hall, along with other members of the Raleigh Fire Department, distributed meals ready to eat and water to the citizens of Scotland County, North Carolina, at a point of distribution, or POD, in Laurinburg on Sept. 18. Shouting the type of vehicle and characteristics about it ensured that they provided everyone with the right amount of items.
During this disaster, members of the military and local emergency services have been working together to ensure the safety of their beloved community and its citizens, providing them with the necessary tools to survive.
Firefighter Cody Heakins, with the North Carolina Emergency Task Force 8 from Raleigh, was one of the workers helping Hall at the POD. Although it is his first deployment, Heakins is excited that he is helping.
“It means a lot for us to be out here helping people out and giving people what they need,” he said.
In addition to distributing supplies to those affected by Hurricane Florence and the subsequent flooding, aid workers have prepared to assist with rescue missions and directing traffic away from closed roads.
Have a great new career by the holidays and keep the laptop!
Wait…What? Career Pathways Institute has opened its Raleigh Campus, located with the North Carolina National Guard Association! We have spent years successfully providing education to employment training that gets our students into career-oriented jobs with high demand, high wage positions! Now, its available here in the RDU region conveniently at the NCNGA offices!
So… What are we talking about here? For a complete list of what we are offering this fall, check out website at https://www.cpi.institute. Programs are in classroom and online and include certifications business, healthcare, IT and our newest addition, the Roofing Academy!
PLUS, we can accept NC TAP Funds for tuition as well as help you find other funding sources!
Check out the information below for specific information on one of the Healthcare offerings, becoming a certified Medical Assistant!
September 27th — Today in Guard History National Guard
2004 Statewide, Florida – As the wake of Hurricane “Jeanne,” the fourth devastating Atlantic storm to hit Florida within a month, about 3,000 Guard members are on duty to assist their communities in recovering from damage which, according to many media reports, equates to that of a “war zone.” Guardsmen patrol against looters, aid in medical treatment, move and distribute food and water and assists in various other tasks as requested by local authorities. Others staff emergency shelters set up in their armories. In all, more than 7,000 Florida Guardsmen were placed on active state duty at some point during and after these four storms.
The North Carolina National Guard Education Foundation is holding it’s 3rd Cruise for Charity! Royal Carribean will set sail on their Adventure Of the Seas cruise on January 19, from Ft. Lauderdale. Cabins start at $709, with a $250/person deposit. Some of the proceeds from each cabin will go to the NCNG Education Foundation.
Click below to register, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
Prices are per person, double occupancy, based on availability and subject to change without notice.