According to the Defense Department, with unprecedented rains and severe damage due to Tropical Storm Harvey, the US military has deployed more than 6,000 active-duty troops to support ongoing disaster relief efforts. There are reportedly another 1,100 more troops ready to deploy once given the order.
US Northern Command, which commands active duty personnel in North America, said in a statement Thursday that approximately 6,300 military personnel are deployed to the Houston and surrounding areas.
The active duty troops will bolster other disaster relief efforts with rescue, aid delivery, medical support, and other services now being conducted by Texas National Guard as well as other Guard units, State, and Federal organizations.
Northern Command has deployed 73 helicopters, three C-130 aircraft, and eight para-rescue teams to aid in search and rescue and evacuations.
As of Thursday, Northern Command said it has rescued and assisted some 1,234 people.
The active duty forces are in addition to 42 helicopters and seven fixed-wing aircraft from the US Coast Guard and 39 helicopters from the Texas National Guard and other supporting National Guards. Over 4,700 people have been rescued or assisted by air and shallow water boats, according to the Pentagon.
The air operation has reached such a large scale that a US defense official told CNN that some local airfields are now so full of helicopters that they are incapable of housing any additional aircraft.
In addition to the troops already in the area, two Navy ships were prepared to sail into the area to assist. Marine Corps units with rubber boats and military tracked vehicles were assisting in the rescue efforts as well. Other DOD units were being alerted to head into the Beaumont area where the lack of potable fresh water forced the shutdown of the local hospital.
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Photo courtesy Wikimedia
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