More than 2,500 Wisconsin National Guard troops have been called to state active duty to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Information posted on the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs website says the entire 32nd “Red Arrow” Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the 1157th Transportation Company, members of the 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment and other Wisconsin Army and Air National Guard elements were called to state active duty Sunday.
Though the Red Arrow team, the Wisconsin National Guard’s largest, is headquartered at Camp Douglas, its units are spread across the state. It also has one battalion in Michigan. The 1157th Transportation Company is headquartered in Oshkosh and the public affairs detachment is from Madison. Other elements from the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade and Volk Field are also responding.
The Wisconsin troops will serve alongside National Guard units from Ohio as part of a task force administered by the Indiana-based 38th Infantry Division Headquarters.
Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, says the troops, which serve as the country's first military responder in emergencies, will remain in Florida as long as they are needed to assist civil authorities. Their mission set will be determined when they arrive in Florida, but may include rescuing people in floodwaters, preventing injuries and protecting property.
“We are keeping Florida and all those affected by Hurricane Irma in our thoughts and prayers, Dunbar, said on the website.
Wisconsin's companies join units from around the country as part of a task force serving under the command and control of Florida’s adjutant general.
On Friday, Gov. Walker issued an Executive Order that authorized the Wisconsin National Guard troops to state active duty in Florida.