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The Carolina coast is bracing for Hurricane Florence, the Category 4 monster churning in the mid-Atlantic. The massive cyclone is headed for Wilmington, NC, and is expected to make landfall at 2 am on Friday the 14th.
The U.S. military has evacuated non-essential personnel al at key bases in the region, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has sent relief supplies to Fort Bragg to prepare for the aftermath of this potentially catastrophic weather event.
North Carolina plans on activating 320 National Guard soldiers under the North Carolina Emergency Management’s disaster response plan, with an additional 7,000 North Carolina citizen soldiers and airman ready to mobilize, an Army spokesman told Task & Purpose.
In addition, South Carolina will activate about 1,100 National Guard Soldiers for hurricane response. Guard personnel will remain on-duty as long as needed.
The Carolinas aren’t the only ones battening down the hatches. The Virginia National Guard is planning to deploy bring up to 1,500 soldiers and airmen for possible assistance with the state’s response operations, while Gov. Ralph Northam has authorized up to 6,000 personnel for response operations.
To the north, the Maryland National Guard anticipates activating 500 soldiers to be put on state orders for hurricane response.
“Governors are best postured to determine the needs of their residents and establish response priorities, and will use Army National Guard Soldiers to help meet those needs,” an Army spokesman said. “The Army is in the process of positioning equipment and personnel in the affected areas to ensure adequate resources are readily available if/when needed.”
Brad Howard heads The Armchair Airman, a column on military tech and foreign policy. Also he does all the video stuff for the site. He holds an M.A. in Film from American University, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He was also in the U.S. Air Force for four years. Brad has previously worked at the Smithsonian, and interned at The Discovery Channel and The Atlantic Council.