Missouri Army National Guard helicopter crews assisting with hurricane response efforts

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Staff Sgt. Robert Maze, a Black Hawk crew chief assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-135th Assault Helicopter Battalion, Missouri National Guard, performs pre-flight checks on a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter before the unit's first air assault mission as an AHB at Whiteman Air Force Base on July 26, 2016. The unit has spent the last year training and adjusting to a new mission set after transitioning from an attack-reconnaissance battalion to an assault helicopter battalion. (U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Samantha J. Whitehead)

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – The Missouri Army National Guard has sent helicopters and crews to the Virgin Islands to assist with hurricane response efforts. Gov. Eric Greitens signed an executive order mobilizing Guard forces to the islands.

The Guard sent four UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and crews, consisting of about 30 Soldiers. The supporting units are C Company of the 1st Battalion, 106th Aviation Regiment, based at Fort Leonard Wood, and the 1-135th Assault Helicopter Battalion, based at Whiteman Air Force Base.

The Missouri National Guard constantly trains to serve at home and abroad, in all conditions, whether supporting civil authorities here or combatant commanders overseas. While mobilized, the units are prepared for a wide-range of missions, including search and rescue, aerial reconnaissance, and equipment and personnel transportation.

The mission is expected to last 30 days.

In addition to this Army Guard activation, the Missouri Air National Guard’s 139th Airlift Wing, based at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base, in St. Joseph, has been providing C-130 Hercules tactical airlift for several weeks in support of hurricane response efforts, including the Virgin Islands, and at locations in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Missouri National Guard: http://www.moguard.com