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National Guard Places 1,000 Soldiers, Airmen On Storm Alert

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina National Guard has put 1,000 soldiers and airmen on alert. They are ready to respond to emergency needs if called in the wake of the winter storm hitting the state.

"We're ready to assist in the rescue of stranded motorists, emergency evacuation and transportation, search and rescue operations and auxiliary power generation," Lt. Col. Barney Barnhill said.

Barnhill heads the office that coordinates the Guard's response in times of weather emergencies.

Already, 50 soldiers are on active duty at armories in the central and eastern regions of the state. The Guard has command posts in Washington, Durham and Charlotte, as well as its state emergency operations center in Raleigh, fully staffed around the clock.

Soldiers already called to state active duty are working in armories in Kinston, New Bern, Fremont, Snow Hill and Louisburg.

Those alerted and awaiting activation include 400 soldiers with the 690th Maintenance Battalion, headquartered in Kinston, another 300 with the 5th Battalion of the 113th Field Artillery, headquartered in Louisburg, 200 soldiers with the 505th Engineer Battalion, headquartered in Gastonia, and 100 with the 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard, headquartered in Charlotte.

If needed, the 100 Air National Guard airmen are available to respond with 50 emergency generators currently stored in Stanly County. Another four generators have been pre-positioned at an armory in Kinston.

Seven helicopters stationed in Morrisville and Salisbury are on standby for possible aerial survey and search-and-rescue missions.

The North Carolina National Guard is a division of the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

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