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Air National Guard supports California mudslide rescue efforts

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MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif., Jan. 11, 2018 — California Air National Guardsmen from the 129th Rescue Wing are providing search and rescue support in Southern California for those affected by recent mudslides.

The wing has deployed an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter with aircrews and two pararescuemen to Santa Barbara Municipal Airport for search and rescue operations.

Mudslide Response Efforts

The helicopter is one of eight California National Guard aircraft and a dozen high-water vehicles supporting mudslide-response efforts. The California National Guard and the 129th Rescue Wing are working closely with the Santa Barbara sheriff’s office and stand ready to send additional personnel and resources as needed.

California Air National Guardsmen prepare their gear before taking off in a HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter at Moffett Air National Guard Base, Calif, Jan. 10, 2018, to provide search and rescue operations in areas of Southern California impacted by mudslides. The airmen are assigned to the 129th Rescue Wing. (California Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Cristian Meyers) 

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“Like we’ve done time and time again, your local Air National Guardsmen answered the call at a moment’s notice to help those in need,” said Air Force Col. Taft O. Auer, 129th Rescue Wing commander. “The extraordinary women and men of the 129th Rescue Wing are always ready to execute our lifesaving mission.”

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Past Missions

Over the last few months, hundreds of these Silicon Valley-based airmen deployed to support relief efforts in Texas for Hurricane Harvey, in Florida for Hurricane Irma, in Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria and in California for the Wine Country Wildfires and the Thomas Fire.

A California Air National Guard HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter with aircrews and two elite Guardian Angel pararescuemen from the 129th Rescue Wing Moffett Air National Guard Base, Calif, provide search and rescue operations in Southern California, impacted by a mudslides, Jan. 10, 2018. (Courtesy photo by Staff Sgt. Cristian Meyers)

The 129th Rescue Wing is credited with saving the lives of more than 1,100 people since 1977. From arid deserts and snow-covered mountaintops to urban and rural settings, the 129th Rescue Wing’s members can reach any destination by land, air or sea.

Equipped with MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft, HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters and Guardian Angel teams made up of pararescuemen and combat rescue officers and survival experts, the 129th Rescue Wing conducts combat search and rescue missions, as well as the rescue of isolated persons on board ships, lost or injured hikers and medical evacuations across the West Coast.

Big League National Security

Locked and Loaded: Pentagon Grants Soldiers in DC Power to use Lethal Force

The National Guard have been authorized to use lethal force, if needed.

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Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has authorized the twenty thousand National Guard members providing security around the U.S. Capitol to carry lethal weapons as Washington, D.C., braces for Inauguration Day.

On January 12, 2021, National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol and individual members of Congress and their staff,” according to a statement from the D.C. National Guard, which is commanding Guard forces in the city, including units deployed from six other states, to provide security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week,” the DC National Guard revealed in a statement “This was requested by federal authorities and authorized by the Secretary of the Army.

The National Guard Bureau declined to specify what weapons troops would carry.

National Guard members are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, up to and including protective equipment and being armed if necessary,” said the statement. “The public’s safety is our top priority.

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Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told media members on Monday that a force of up to 15,000 will deploy to D.C. with all their issued equipment, including their individual weapons. So if the need arises, “they are close by and they are readily accessible.”

The Pentagon initially authorized up to six thousand two hundred Guard members from Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania to deploy to D.C. on federal status to maintain security through Inauguration Day.

The history of National Guard members being a part of the presidential inauguration dates back to the first inauguration of President George Washington in 1789.

 

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