Guard Winding Down Snow Emergency Ops

An honor guard watches over the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery during Winter Storm Jonas on Jan. 23. By noon of that day, the National Guard had more than 2,000 troops helping 12 states cope with the snow emergency. (Army photo)
An honor guard watches over the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery during Winter Storm Jonas on Jan. 23. By noon of that day, the National Guard had more than 2,000 troops helping 12 states cope with the snow emergency. (Army photo)

Several states on Monday and Tuesday de-activated the National Guard troops called up for Winter Storm Jonas while other states heavily hit by the snow emergency kept, or in some cases increased, the soldiers and airmen involved in clearance and emergency response.

On Saturday at the height of the storm, 2,372 National Guard soldiers and airmen had been activated across 11 states and the District of Columbia, according to the count by Lt. Col. Tom Crosson at the Pentagon. To date, there had been no federal activations under Title 10 of Guard troops.

In addition to the District, the activations were in Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Delaware and New York. The callups ranged from 490 in Virginia to 54 in Arkansas.

By Monday night, the total had gone down to 2,049 in seven states – Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Delaware -- and the District of Columbia.

Although four states had de-activated, others heavily hit by the storm increased the number of Guard troops involved in the cleanup. Maryland boosted the number of soldiers and airmen from 386 to 597. The Pennsylvania increase was from 210 to 325.

Sgt. 1st Class Thaddeus Harrington, a spokesman for the Maryland Guard, said Tuesday that 120 Guard vehicles were involved in the snow response. "They're mostly helping the police answer calls and going places where the police vehicles can't get to so the first responders can get to the scene," Harrington said.

In New York, which had a near record snowfall, up to 700 Guard troops were on standby but were not involved in the response that was handled by local police and fire units, said Eric Durr, a spokesman for the New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs. "They really didn't have to execute any missions," he said.

In Delaware, where nearly 300 Guard soldiers and airmen were activated over the weekend, Guard vehicles assisted medical personnel and first responders in getting to work and also aided in evacuating about 40 people from flooded areas.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at richard.sisk@military.com

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