MI National Guard told to stand down; troops not needed in FL

Florida National Guard amphibious vehicles make their way through downtown Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The National Guard is expected to help after Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida.

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Army National Guard’s slogan, “Always ready, always there,” was only partially true for the 1,000 Michigan soldiers mobilized to help in Florida after Hurricane Irma. The troops were ready, but they never made it there.

“Michigan was in the air and on the road. Aviation maintenance left this morning,” Lt. Col. Dawn Dancer of the Michigan National Guard said. “The general says we’re standing down.”

Dancer says after Florida officials surveyed what was needed, they reassessed the number of soldiers the National Guard was sending from around the country. They concluded that no additional troops were necessary.

“Florida has been rehearsing and exercising for what they’re used to and their emergency responders are in place and know what they’re doing,” Dancer said. “(The) Good news is we’re not needed.”

Convoys that left from Camp Grayling at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning were told to turn around. The Wisconsin National Guard, which is the higher headquarters for the Michigan National Guard, was already in Florida when it was also told to turn around.

In a briefing meeting Tuesday, Dancer expects to discuss what is next for the 1,000 men and women who had mobilized for Florida. She says there are still concerns of flooding in parts of South Carolina and Michigan soldiers will be ready to go wherever needed, when they’re needed.

“We are still ready to respond. Our paperwork is done,” Dancer said. “In the end, it’s all good. It’s all good.”

Convoys will continue to stand by in the event they are needed.

One National Guard soldier from Hastings cancelled her big wedding, originally set for this weekend, because she was on standby to deploy. Elainnie Ingram’s mother told 24 Hour News 8 that her daughter is not being deployed. Plans were up in the air as of Tuesday afternoon, but Ingram’s mother said the venue the wedding was initially set to be held at was no longer an option.