National Guard activated

Published 11:09 am Monday, December 27, 2010

North Carolina National Guard Soldiers stand ready to assist the public in case of any emergency caused by the snow.

“I was on my way to my mother’s house for Christmas dinner when I got the call (to be placed on State Active Duty),” said Spc. Jon Schwager, a Guardsman with the NCNG’s 1132nd Military Police Company.

“This is my first time doing a state mission,” said Schwager, a native of Raleigh who recently returned from an overseas deployment with the NCNG’s 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team. “I’m excited to be able to serve my community here at home.”

Thirty-four Guardsmen reported Saturday night to armories in Butner, Rocky Mount, Elizabeth City, Winterville, and Mount Olive. Soldiers will prepare to help provide transportation, recovery or other missions as required by the North Carolina Emergency Management and emergency response officials. Each location will have two HUMVEEs and Guardsmen to assist in operations. Additional Soldiers will be on duty to maintain the armories for the HUMVEE teams.

The HUMVEE teams, mainly from the 514th and 1132nd Military Police Companies of 60th Troop Command, are based out of Winterville and Rocky Mount, respectively. The length of time that the Soldiers will remain on State Active Duty will be determined by the needs of the communities, but Soldiers are currently preparing to stay on duty for three days.

In December 2009 and January of this year, about 50 Guardsmen were called to assist the N.C. State Highway Patrol, rescuing stranded motorists and transporting them to safety. The Guard has mobilized for numerous winter storms and brings a great deal of knowledge, resources, and expertise to these types of operations. State duty missions are coordinated through N.C. Emergency Management.