Kentucky National Guard stands ready to assist with earthquake relief

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 14, 2010

CONTACT: Lt. Col. Kirk Hilbrecht, 502-352-8008

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky National Guard is standing by to render assistance to victims of Tuesday’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, officials announced today.

“Kentucky’s Citizen-Soldiers stands ready to respond to this horrible event,” said Governor Steven L. Beshear.

“We have offered our airlift, search-and-rescue, and emergency medical capabilities and resources, but we have not received any official tasking to provide aid at this time,” said Brig. Gen. Mike Richie, Deputy Adjutant General for Kentucky. “Meanwhile, we will continue to assess our resources and prepare for the call to duty.”

Richie oversaw the Kentucky Guard’s relief mission in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Kentucky Air National Guard in particular has a distinguished history of supporting disaster relief missions overseas, the most recent being airlift support following a series of deadly mudslides in Ecuador in 2008.

“The Kentucky Air Guard has a broad range of assets that we can rapidly deploy anywhere in the world during a crisis like this,” said Col. Greg Nelson, commander of the Louisville-based 123rd Airlift Wing. “One of our core missions is to provide life-saving help during crises like this earthquake, whether they affect us here at home or our allies abroad. As always, we stand ready today to provide whatever assistance we can, as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The Kentucky National Guard has more than 8,400 members, most of whom are part-time Soldiers and Airmen with full-time civilian jobs.

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