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Florida Guard's Red Horse responds to Hurricane Ida

9 months 2 weeks 6 days ago Monday, September 06 2021 Sep 6, 2021 September 06, 2021 8:57 AM September 06, 2021 in News
Source: U.S. Army

BELLE CHASSE - Thousands of volunteers from across the country are making their way to Louisiana to assist in post-hurricane recovery.

Florida deployed nearly 30 members of the 202nd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers (Red Horse) to lend a hand in New Orleans.

The civil engineering team left their Camp Blanding headquarters and arrived in New Orleans Saturday, where they helped remove debris and downed trees from roadways.

Red Horse is a specialized, highly mobile civil engineering team of Florida Army and Air National Guardsmen that provides rapid response capabilities for multiple worldwide contingencies and operations.

Working alongside the Louisiana Air National Guard’s 159th Civil Engineering Squadron, the team was equipped with chainsaws, skid steers and bobcats to remove trees or limbs from driveways and roads in New Orleans residential areas.

Florida is one of 10 states participating in disaster relief efforts in Louisiana through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

Before their arrival, New Orleans Parks and Parkways had been working with small crews but locals needed the heavy equipment and personnel that Red Horse offered.

“I’ve been working with a small crew, that doesn’t have heavy equipment, for the last few days that are filling in the gaps of the larger equipment crews because there is so much to be done,” said Andrew Billon, a Parks and Parkways arborists. “Any help we can get is amazing. I have this huge, awesome crew of National Guard folks that have shown up with vigor and energy, helping out a ton.”

Once notified of an EMAC request for support, Red Horse works fast to assemble a team with the necessary tools to respond within a 24-hour window to EMAC members.

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