LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Michigan Army National Guard is deploying more than 1,000 soldiers to support Hurricane Irma relief efforts in Florida.
The 3rd Battlion, 126th Infantry Regiment met at Camp Grayling Monday morning where they consolidated equipment, including more than 120 vehicles and trucks. The larger trucks will leave for Florida around 8 a.m. Tuesday; the Humvees will depart at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
About 475 soldiers from the 3rd Battlion, 126th Infantry Regiment are set to leave Camp Grayling Wednesday at 8 a.m. 24 Hour News 8’s Casey Jones will join them on their mission.
“Anybody down there that’s worried about their friends and family, we’re en route, we’re here to help and we’re not leaving until everybody’s taken care of,” said Staff Sgt. Dentler.
One CH-47 Chinook helicopter with eight air and ground crew personnel was also scheduled to leave Monday morning from the Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mount Clemens. The Selfridge base will likely provide aerial support for personnel and logistical movement. They are expected to travel from Michigan to South Carolina first and then move to Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
A third battalion with approximately 60 soldiers from Grand Ledge will also leave for Jacksonville early this week. The unit will handle aviation maintenance on UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters — aircraft that is expected to be in high demand in the upcoming week throughout Florida.
“Our soldiers are trained and equipped to provide the vital assistance that our fellow Americans are going to need following a massive catastrophic storm,” said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais of the Michigan National Guard. “We are anxious to get down there as soon as conditions allow us to get into Florida.”
An additional 570 soldiers are scheduled to leave next week Sunday and are likely to provide humanitarian assistance and security.
Their deployment location has not yet been determined.