HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass., – Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick mobilized nearly 400 Soldiers and Airmen of the Massachusetts National Guard early Thursday morning in response to a severe January snowstorm that dumped nearly two-feet of snow in areas of Central and Western Massachusetts.
Soldiers and Airmen were called state active duty to provide support to civil authorities in response to the current winter storm conditions in order to save lives, prevent further injury and protect critical infrastructure.
“Our Soldiers and Airmen have been working throughout the night to safeguard the citizens of the commonwealth in partnership with the state police and other local first responders. We have been working through MEMA to ensure that we respond to the right situation, with the right people and equipment, at the right time,” said Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, The Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard.
Our immediate tasks were to develop emergency response plans and evaluate conditions pending specific support taskings from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency,” Rice said.
The Massachusetts National Guard will also provide disaster response to the citizens of the Commonwealth in the aftermath of the January snowstorm. Priority will be to communities in the higher elevations of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Worcester counties. The Massachusetts National Guard will also monitor coastal communities in anticipation of high tidal surge.
The Massachusetts National Guard’s Task Force Patriot provided command and control of Soldiers, Airmen and equipment from the 26th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 51st Troop Command, 151st Regional Support Group, 65th Public Affairs Operations Center, 104th Fighter Wing and 102nd Intelligence Wing.
Founded as the Massachusetts Bay Colonial Militia on Dec. 13, 1636, the Massachusetts National Guard has provided a trained and ready force, serving the community, the commonwealth, and the nation for 377 years.