BLACKSTONE, Va. - An additional 225 Virginia Army National Guard Soldiers were making preparations today for deployment to Mississippi where they will assist in disaster recovery operations. Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 116th Infantry will join over 190 Soldiers and Airmen of the Virginia National Guard already supporting recovery operations in Louisiana. The Soldiers and Airmen were ordered to State Active Duty by Governor Mark Warner in response to the devastation left behind by Hurricane Katrina.
Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 116th Infantry will travel to Sandston, Va. tomorrow morning where they will complete administrative and medical processing to ensure they are fully ready for deployment to the hurricane ravaged area. Following that they are scheduled to fly from Richmond International Airport to Jackson, Miss. and then travel to Camp Shelby, Miss. Once they arrive at Camp Shelby the Soldiers will be assigned to a specific disaster recovery mission by the Mississippi National Guard.
Units of the 2nd Battalion, 116th Infantry are located in:
- Headquarters Company - Lynchburg
- Company A - Charlottesville and Lynchburg
- Company B - Lexington
- Company C - Harrisonburg
The Soldiers and Airmen are able to support this operation as a result of an agreement among the states known as the Emergency Management Assistance Compact of EMAC. EMAC is a national mutual aid and partnership agreement that allows state-to-state assistance during Governor or federally declared emergencies. EMAC provides a responsive and straightforward system for the National Guard in unaffected states to send people and equipment to help disaster relief efforts in affected states. When resources are overwhelmed, National Guard units nationwide can fill the shortfalls.
In 2004, EMAC provided the structure for the largest deployment of state-to-state mutual aid in history. In response to Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan & Jeanne EMAC facilitated the deployment of more than 800 members of the Army and Air National Guard from 38 states to states affected by these devastating storms. The cost to support these deployments was approximately $15 million.
ADDITONAL INFORMATION FOR THE MEDIA: Members of the media wishing to cover this deployment are invited to come to the Virginia National Guard Armory located at 5901 Beulah Road, Sandston, Va., 23150-0815 between 10:00 am and Noon on September 6, 2005. Members of the media will have an opportunity to interview Soldiers and observe their preparation for deployment to Mississippi. Those wishing to cover this event should contact Capt. Timothy Brooke at (434)944-2461.