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By Maj. Holli Nelson
West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs
At the direction of Governor Jim Justice, the West Virginia National Guard is sending two UH-60M Blackhawks and two UH-72 Lakota aircraft with hoist capability and a fully operational crews comprising 14 Soldiers to support the Kentucky National Guard following flooding from severe rain this week.
The request for support will be executed through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact in coordination with Governor Andy Beshear’s office and the Kentucky National Guard.
Crew members are deployed from Company C, 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion (MEDEVAC) and Company B, 1-224th Security and Support Aviation Battalion located in Williamstown, West Virginia. Each unit has specialized equipment and crews to provide aeromedical evacuation, search and rescue, and hoist capabilities for this response mission.
“The mission of the National Guard is to be ready at a moment’s notice to help our citizens in need and right now, our neighbors in Kentucky need our help,” stated Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard. “Upon the direction of Governor Justice, our aircraft and crews with specialized hoist capability and medical evacuation training will be deployed to Kentucky to help save lives and assist their comrades-in-arms from the Kentucky National Guard. Our men and women are proud to answer this call.”
The team of Soldiers will remain in place until completion of the mission, as deemed by the Kentucky National Guard.