RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia is sending seven helicopters and 40 members of the Virginia National Guard to Texas to help with the response to Hurricane Harvey.
The crews are expected to depart early Thursday morning, and assist in search and rescue efforts, aerial damage assessment and supply distribution.
Three rescue technicians from the Chesterfield County Fire and Emergency Medical Service Scuba Rescue Team are also scheduled to deploy.
Aviation crews from the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment will fly UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and Chesterfield-based Detachment 1, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment will fly UH-72 Lakota helicopters.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people of Texas as they work to recover from the impact of Hurricane Harvey,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “There is no higher honor for a Guard Soldier or Airman than serving your fellow Americans in their time of need, and I am confident the Virginia National Guard will help make a difference. The Texas National Guard has been doing a magnificent job in their response, and our personnel will join the local, state and federal effort to help keep people safe.”
According to Williams, initial planning has begun for possible additional forces going to Texas for support, but no other Virginia National Guard forces are scheduled to deploy at this time.
Members of Fairfax County's elite Urban Search And Rescue team, also known as Task Force 1, have already arrived in Texas to help.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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