MILFORD, Mass. –Twenty four Connecticut Guardsmen received awards in a ceremony Dec. 19, 2008 at the National Guard armory in Agawam, Massachusetts.
The Soldiers from 192nd Engineer Battalion, Connecticut Army National Guard, were awarded the Massachusetts Emergency Service Ribbon for assisting Massachusetts national Guardsmen during a state of emergency.
The 192nd was mobilized under the emergency management compact to assist Massachusetts National Guardsmen to clear debris from road ways to allow emergency vehicles to access communities that were left without power by an ice storm Dec. 11.
Maj. General Joseph C. Carter, The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard presented the ribbons to the Soldiers of the 192nd personally.
“The engineers augmented Massachusetts Guardsmen for Operation Big Ice, their service was excellent,” said Carter
Members of the Armed Services are awarded the Massachusetts Emergency Service Ribbon for supporting the commonwealth of Massachusetts during a natural disaster or emergency for a period of three or more consecutive days.
“Gov. Patrick and I felt it was appropriate to award the Massachusetts Emergency Service Ribbon to the Connecticut Guardsmen for their expeditious assistance and assistance to Massachusetts,” said Carter.
On day eight of relief operations, the Massachusetts National Guard continues to clear debris, provide power generation, water, security, communications, shelter and perform welfare checks. The Massachusetts National Guard will continue to serve affected communities as relief efforts transition back to local capabilities.
To date the National Guard has been tasked with over 185 separate missions of support to damaged communities. Through diligent effort, the Guard has completed 115 of those missions and continues to support ongoing operations.
Approximately 1500 Soldiers and Airmen are activated and stationed in area communities. In addition to personnel, the National Guard is assisting with chainsaws, communications equipment, front end loaders, dump trucks, armories, water and fuel transportation, generators while augmenting local police in communities.
The National Guard has cleared debris from over 850 miles of roadway, assisted 53 communities and 455,000 residents, and conducted 3,000 door-to-door well-being checks. Soldiers and Airmen have assisted at 21 shelters supporting 1,400 displaced citizens even though many of their families have been affected by the storm.
As the National Guard continues ongoing efforts to reestablish stability, they work to transition back to local capabilities as communities become able to do so. As the region braces for another storm today, the Guard stands ready to render further assistance if called upon.
More than 8,300 Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen volunteer as members of the Massachusetts Nation Guard to safeguard the commonwealth’s people and property. Currently 350 Massachusetts Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen are deployed overseas in support of the Global War on Terror. Guardsmen from across Massachusetts will continue to assist local communities as long as needed and have been doing so since their beginning 372 years ago, continuing the proud tradition of serving their community while seamlessly protecting the world.