The Oklahoma National Guard has been asked to deploy resources to Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The following information was released on Tuesday:
OKLAHOMA CITY - In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the torrential downpour afterward, Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) for Oklahoma assets have been requested to assist areas in south Texas.
The EMAC, requesting assistance, must be made prior to resources deploying to another state. Units, including those within a state are not authorized to self-deploy.
"Anytime we have severe weather that impacts our state or neighboring states, our job is to be prepared to provide support," said Col. Hiram Tabler, director of military support. "We have maintained situational awareness and communications with Texas, ensuring our readiness to launch support once we received the EMAC request."
The Oklahoma Army National Guard's LUH-72, Lakota helicopter with hoist capability departed from Muldrow Army Heliport located at the Army Aviation Support Facility-1, in Lexington, Oklahoma, this morning. The helicopter and crew are from Detachment One, Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 140th Service and Support Battalion, 90th Troop Command out of Tulsa and pre-positioned at Lexington, yesterday.
Approximately 20 personnel, that includes forklift drivers, truck drivers and maintenance personnel from 700 Brigade Support Battalion, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team have been requested to provide Rough Terrain Forklifts (RTFL). Members from the 137th Special Operations Wing are deploying about 30 Airmen to Texas in support of the Texas Military Department.
Three air crews from the 137th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (137 AES) will offer their expertise as well as portable medical equipment suited for the treatment and stabilization of patients during air transportation. The other Airmen are from the 137th Special Operations Medical Group (137 SOMDG) and will be providing medical aide and support in the form of manpower and equipment.
"The Medical Group has been requested by Texas Emergency Management to assist with hospital and nursing home patient evacuation from the Houston area," said Col. Keith Reed, 137 SOMDG commander. "Our En Route Patient Staging System (ERPSS) includes equipment and medical personnel specially trained to stage and prepare patients for air transport to facilities outside the affected area. We will partner with Texas Air National Guard medical personnel and work until this particular need is met."
The group is scheduled to leave directly from the flight line here on a C-130 Hercules provided by the 136th Airlift Wing, located at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base at Carswell Field. The last time Airmen from the 137 SOW deployed in support of domestic operations was in 2013 following the May 20 tornado that ripped through Oklahoma.