ALBANY – The New York National Guard is preparing to send 10 soldiers and two UH-60 Blackhawk Medivac Helicopters with 30 days of medical supplies to Raleigh-Durham, N. C., to assist with response and recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
Fifty additional Airmen have also been deployed from the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard. Governor Cuomo will request that the Secretary of Defense allow the 174th Attack Wing to fly their MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft from Syracuse to provide post-storm situational awareness for the on-scene commanders and emergency personnel on the ground. One hundred additional National Guard Members are on standby.
“New Yorkers have experienced destruction at the hands of extreme weather, and we will not allow those who are in the path of Hurricane Florence to weather this storm alone” Cuomo said. “New York is committed to helping our neighbors recover as quickly as possible, just as we have helped our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida after last year’s devastating storms.”
The two UH-60 Blackhawk medical evacuation helicopters are equipped with hoists which can be used to lift people into the hovering helicopter. The helicopter cabin can be configured to carry two stretcher patients and three ambulatory patients or ten personnel. Each helicopter will be crewed by four Soldiers: a pilot, co-pilot, crew chief, and a medic. Two additional support personnel will deploy with the team.
The MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft is used to conduct reconnaissance missions by the military. The aircraft is equipped with cameras and other sensor systems and can remain for long periods of time over a given area. The aircraft would be launched from Hancock Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, and operated from a facility at the base. At the end of the mission the MQ-9 would return to Hancock Field.
Governor Cuomo recently announced the deployment of 50 personnel from 106th Rescue Wing that traveled with one HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopter, one HC-130 search and rescue aircraft, and four Zodiac inflatable rescue boats. An additional 50 Airmen were sent to support operations. The HH-60 is equipped with a hoist and is crewed by pararescue Airmen who are specially trained to conduct search and rescue operations.
In addition, New York’s Urban Search and Rescue team stands at the ready with personnel and equipment if requested by impacted states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. NY Task Force 2 (NYTF-2), is a specialized team of first responders and equipment skilled in structural collapse rescue, excavation emergencies, technical rope rescues, confined space rescue, and other specialized rescues.