Major General Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s Adjutant General, announced Monday that Tennessee Governor Bill Lee authorized the deployment of roughly 1,200 soldiers and airmen from the Tennessee National Guard to support response and recovery efforts for Hurricane Ian, which is expected to make landfall in Florida on Thursday.
“As Florida braces for the impact of Hurricane Ian, the Tennessee National Guard stands ready to support response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the storm,” said Governor Lee. “I commend our Guardsmen and women for representing the Volunteer State and answering the call to help Floridians in need.”
Guardsmen throughout the state are currently being notified through their respective commands and will be preparing to assist the Florida National Guard with post-hurricane recovery and debris removal. Currently, the Jackson’s 194th Engineer Brigade will be the Task Force Headquarters element and units from both the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 230th Sustainment Command will be mobilizing specific units to support the task force. Three helicopters with the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion are also scheduled to assist.
“We have a tremendous amount of experience responding to natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes and we are ready to help the citizens of Florida,” said Major General Holmes. “It is why we wear the uniform and once again it’s the strength of the National Guard on display. We’re grateful for the families, employers, and communities for their continued ongoing support to our Guardsmen.”
The Tennessee National Guard and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency have been communicating with their counterparts in Florida and the National Guard Bureau over the past few days to prepare for this activation. States have mutual support agreements with nearby states in case of emergencies or large-scale disasters. This allows for National Guard forces to mobilize rapidly to respond to emergencies in other states. Florida and Tennessee have a pre-existing mutual support agreement already in place for just such an emergency.