Members of the Indiana National Guard are heading to Florida to assist with recovery from the devastating Hurricane Ian.
Lt. Col. Scott Oden is the Indiana National Guard’s director of aviation and safety. He said in a statement that the 38th Infantry Division’s aviation brigade is sending over a dozen soldiers, three flight crews and mechanics and two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters to Tampa, Florida. These teams will help with logistics and reconnaissance efforts.
“The folks that we had get activated are a part of our air assault company which has a broad range of mission sets that they can do, two of them being air movement operations and resupply operations with aircraft,” Oden said.
The Shelbyville-based unit previously assisted in Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Katrina relief missions. Oden said some of these soldiers are veterans of hurricane support experiences while others will be in an active-duty scenario for the first time.
Once on the ground, the Indiana team is part of a broader recovery effort coordinated between military and civilian authorities.
“Don’t expect chaos. Florida is obviously very familiar with conducting these types of operations,” Oden said. “A lot of what our team will be doing is taking cues off those individuals and performing the missions they’re asked to do.”
Oden said it’s hard to tell what the situation in Florida will look like compared to Hurricane Harvey and other recent missions. “What I can tell you is that each situation is different in its own unique way,” Oden said. “It’s just one of those things we’ll find out once our guys get on the ground.”