NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TN. DEPT. OF MILITARY) – Six Airmen from the Tennessee Air National Guard’s 119th Command and Control Squadron are headed to Camp Blanding near Jacksonville, Fla., to support hurricane relief operations due to Hurricane Irma.
“This is the third hurricane relief operation in which we have sent Airmen to provide support,” said Col. Vincent Franklin, commander of the 119th CACS.
The unit has previously provided support to relief operations during hurricanes Katrina and Gustov.
The 119th CACS has a unique capability of establishing communication channels when commercial systems are down.
The unit also provided support to first responders and the relief coordination centers after Gatlinburg, Tenn., was devastated by wildfires last year.
Four UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters and 34 Soldiers assigned to the 1/230th Aviation Regiment, Tennessee Army National Guard, are headed to the US Virgin Islands to assist in recovery efforts following Hurricane Irma.
The helicopters were loaded onto C17 Globemaster III and C130 Hercules aircraft from New York and Rhode Island at Joint Base Berry Field late Wednesday afternoon.
The helicopters join the Tennessee Air Guard’s118th ISRG (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group) and 119th JISCC (Joint Incident Site Communications Capability) who are currently supporting Irma recovery operations.
The Tennessee National Guard is the nation’s seventh largest guard state with more than 14,000 Soldiers and Airmen. More than 29,000 Tennessee National Guard members have deployed since 9/11/01.