Alabama National Guard supports winter storm response

Release # 2017010901

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Alabama National Guard Soldiers attach an 18-Wheeler to a wrecker on Hwy. 59 in Birmingham, Alabama, Jan. 7, 2017 (Photo by Army National Guard Sgt. William Frye)

MONTGOMERY, AL (01/09/2017)(readMedia)-- The Alabama National Guard supports civilian authorities during winter storm response operations.

Gov. Robert Bentley activated the Alabama National Guard on Thursday for state active duty in preparation for response to requests for assistance from the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. Then, on Friday, Bentley declared a state of emergency for Alabama, also in preparation for winter weather.

Within 12 hours of approval for state active duty, the Alabama National Guard activated and deployed five mobility support teams with elements from 15 different units or locations across the state and arrived in their designated area for mission support.

The missions the Guard supported included wrecker support to Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and Alabama Department of Transportation, route reconnaissance and presence patrols, and wellness checks. The Alabama National Guard director of military support, Col. James Hawkins, said, "This response went exceedingly well. Credit the outstanding efforts of our Soldiers and Airmen as well as the time and energy the Alabama National Guard invests in training and preparing for these types of events." He went on to explain that the preparation is conducted in cooperation with interagency partners like the Alabama Emergency Management Agency, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Alabama Department of Transportation and others. "Working together before an event allows near seamless interagency cooperation when disaster strikes and our citizens need us and we are proud of that."

As the winter storm response support to civilian authorities - provided by approximately 253 Alabama National Guard Soldiers and Airmen - came to a close, in the Birmingham area alone, support was provided to 230 semi-truck drivers and 502 passenger car drivers. Additional mission support was provided on routes between Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.

Your Guard - the dedicated Soldiers and Airmen of the Alabama National Guard are "Always Ready, Always There"