As Hurricane Harvey bears down on the Texas coastline, the state government is calling in the cavalry. The Texas Division of Emergency Management, the state government’s disaster planning and response agency, is mobilizing more than 700 members of the Texas Air and Army National Guards in addition to the Texas State Guard at Gov. Greg Abbott’s request. The Air Force Reserve has relocated several C-5 Galaxy transport aircraft to Fort Bliss from Lackland Air Force Base to avoid the path of the Category 2 hurricane, according to ABC News, active duty service members have been deployed throughout the state to assist in emergency relief.
Hurricane Harvey captures the U.S. armed forces fulfilling one of its few major domestic duties: assisting state and local authorities with natural disaster preparedness and aiding in the aftermath of major catastrophes. Depending on the severity of the event, troops may be called simply to wait on standby, deliver supplies, or even carry out rescue missions. As for hurricanes, each branch has its own functions, and Task & Purpose compiled a number of images that illustrate what some of those missions are.
Here’s how the branches spring into action when a natural disaster looms large on the horizon: