I commend the Connecticut National Guard on their readiness and thank them for their service.
Reports from USA government agencies indicate Irma continues to strengthen and maximum sustained winds have increased to near 175 Miles Per Hour (MPH) with higher gusts, making it a category 5 hurricane.
"The National Guard stands trained and prepared to assist authorities protect lives and property", said Maj.
The Guard members who left Friday make up about 10 percent of the force at Moffett Field, so there are still about 900 left in case help is needed for a local disaster of our own.
The Illinois National Guard is also helping with relief and recovery efforts.
- The current Total Army response for Hurricane Irma is more than 7,400 soldiers and Army Corps of Engineers civilians in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the continental United States, including Florida.
Knight's son will be working shoulder to shoulder with him as a member of the guard.More news: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: All good with Philippe Coutinho
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The Guard's mission in Florida will be similar to what it was in Texas.
Kentucky is sending National Guard soldiers and utility workers to help in areas affected by Hurricane Irma.
"We were in our room when, all of a sudden, the captain comes on and announced it, and everyone just lost their minds", Bruce Edwards said.
The Guard is loading two helicopters with medical evacuation equipment and personnel.
The 106th Rescue Wing is deploying three HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopters, and two HC-130 search and rescue aircraft and three Zodiac inflatable rescue boats. The deployment was one component of the National Guard response to Hurricane Irma's impact on that island and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The mission personnel include rescue teams, maintenance and support staff, and aircrews.
The 105th Airlift Wing, which is based at Stewart Air National Base outside Newburgh, New York, committed 12 airmen to the Caribbean mission. From Aug. 27 to Sept 1, the unit rescued 546 people in the Houston area after Hurricane Harvey struck.