(WAFB) - The Louisiana National Guard (LANG) is working alongside the US Coast Guard, the US Marines Reserves, Louisiana State Police, and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to rescue Texans from the floodwaters in the southeast part of the state.
LANG is providing guardsmen, high water vehicles, buses, and helicopters to perform search and rescue operations and to transport people from the Texas border to shelters in Lake Charles.
"Louisiana is prepared to help Texas in any way possible. Fortunately, we are able to take care of the needs of Louisiana as well as provide the manpower and resources necessary to help Texas in its time of need. We've all been through this as partners in the past, and there is no doubt that we will get through this event together as well," said Governor John Bel Edwards.
"They were here during Katrina, and they helped us last year during the floods. That bond, that feeling you get when you cross state borders to help those in need, to provide relief, that's what makes the National Guard special," said LANG Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis.
The Coast Guard and the Marines are conducting search and rescue operations in Port Arthur. LANG airmen in Pineville are providing aircraft communication support.
"We are setting up communications at Southland Field. We are linking the Coast Guard's tactical operations centers to the air assets so messages as far as Orange, Port Arthur, and Beaumont [Texas] to help coordinate rescue efforts," said Master Sgt. Mark Simpson, a West Lake native with the 122nd ASOS.
Other LANG soldiers have staged supplies, such as MREs, tarps, sandbags, and bottled water at various points int eh state to provide fast distribution to those in need. To date, LANG has issued more than 1,152 MREs, 3,000 bottles of water, and 415,000 sandbags.
LANG currently has more than 350 guardsmen activated in Caddo, Calcasieu, Lafayette, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, Rapides, Red River, and Verimillion Parishes.