DVIDS – News – Alaska National Guard assists in winter storm emergency evacuations
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – The Alaska National Guard is providing emergency response assistance to the borough of Fairbanks North Star starting today after extreme snow and ice conditions in the Inland Alaska caused power outages and stranded some local residents.
Air National Guard and Army National Guard personnel who live in the district have volunteered for Operation Winter Storms to help their local community meet emergency transportation needs. . Ten personnel and several vehicles are deployed to the Fairbanks National Guard Armory, on standby to assist local authorities with ground evacuation operations for citizens isolated by extremely cold weather conditions along highways impracticable by commercial or private means.
The National Guard’s efforts respond to a request for resources from the Alaska State Emergency Operations Center, which was prompted by a request for support from the FNSB’s Emergency Operations Center, which had need additional support to evacuate the citizens of the borough stranded in their homes. There are also concerns that conditions could worsen over the weekend, as the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory until Saturday.
SEOC is managed by the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division, which reports to the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard and commissioner of the DMVA, has been in communication with Governor Mike Dunleavy and FNSB Mayor Bryce Ward to collaboratively ensure that the State provides the necessary support to the region.
“SEOC monitored several weather-related incidents statewide this week,” Saxe said. “For many communities across the interior, reports point to widespread power outages and significant disruption to road and air transportation, and we are working with state and local agencies to help as needed.”
Saxony said SEOC remains in contact with the State Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and officials in affected communities to monitor and respond to developments.
Joint Task Force – Winter Storms is assigned a six-passenger four-wheel drive truck with optional chains and two Small Unit Support Vehicles (SUSVs), the US Army’s arctic all-terrain vehicle; a two-pod tracked transport with excellent mobility that can accommodate around 15 passengers.
JTF-WS team members providing direct support to the FNSB represent several Alaska National Guard units, including Airmen from the 168th Squadron, Security Forces Squadron, Squadron Force Support and Maintenance Squadron; and soldiers of the 1st Battalion, the 297th Infantry Regiment and the 297th Military Police Company.
When local authorities determine that an emergency or disaster has caused more impact or damage than the community can bear independently, they can seek assistance through the Operations Center. state emergency. State Emergency Managers assist local emergency managers in a coordinated effort to provide needed resources in an efficient manner and through a codified process. It is through this process that it can be determined that National Guard assistance is needed, and the state requests specific support through the Alaska National Guard Joint Operations Center and of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who accelerate and coordinate the effort.
|Date posted:||12/31.2021 7:34 PM|
|Site:||FAIRBANKS, AK, United States|
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