U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Daniel Wayble, assigned to the 121st Maintenance Group, marshals A-10C Thunderbolt IIs during preparation for Hurricane Hermine in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 1, 2016. Hurricane Hermine, a Category 1 hurricane, was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since 2005 before proceeding up the east coast of the United States.
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley Williams)
How The US Military Responds To A Hurricane, In Photos
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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:
Ahead of Hurricane Harvey, airmen help to track the storm’s path to better predict the kind of response will be required from the military.
Members of the active duty and Air National Guard can be called upon to evacuate aircraft to ensure they are protected from hurricane damage.
Prior to a hurricane making landfall, soldiers plan evacuation routes in the event of an emergency.
In the wake of a hurricane, National Guardsmen are often called upon to assist residents, particular if the situation becomes dangerous.
The aftermath of a hurricane often leaves soldiers to work with first responders and residents to restore their towns and cities.
The Coast Guard prepares flight crews to act quickly in case of emergency, in the event that they are called on to perform rescue missions.
In the aftermath of a hurricane, the Coast Guard surveys the impacted areas.
Marines stationed nearby areas that are hit with hurricanes are trained to be on standby in the event of a catastrophe.
Marines also help to administer disaster relief in the wake of hurricanes. This can include anything from supplying medical care to food.
The Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command tracks hurricanes before they make landfall.
And sometimes hurricanes force sailors come up on dry land to help local residents rebuild their communities.
Sarah Sicard is a staff writer with Task & Purpose.
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