National Guard Soldiers rescue people stranded in flooding Oct. 30. Now Reserve troops will be mobilized to join recovery efforts. (Cotton Puryear)
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Three Army Reserve units are mobilizing to support relief efforts in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, officials announced Friday.
This is the first time Army Reserve soldiers have been activated for a domestic natural disaster under the 2012 defense authorization act, which streamlined the process for federal reserve forces to mobilize in support of relief efforts within their local communities.
The National Guard traditionally provides the first military response to domestic relief efforts, and thousands of Guard troops have responded to the East Coast in the aftermath of the storm.
See more details in the Army Times print edition that comes out Monday.
The 2012 authorization bill allowed for federal reserve forces, including the Army Reserve, to be called if needed.
These forces can now be activated in response to a request from a state governor to the defense secretary. The troops would be activated within 72 hours for missions up to 120 days.
The mobilizing Army Reserve units are tactical water distribution units, the Reserve announced Friday.
They are the 401st, 410th and 431st Quartermaster Teams from Lock Haven, Penn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Kinston, N.C., respectively.
Each unit, designed to operate six 600-gallon-per-minute water pumps, will consist of about 25 soldiers.
The soldiers will report to Joint Base Dix-McGuire-Lakehurst, N.J., for allocation to storm-affected areas.
"Our condolences go out to those that have lost loved ones or suffered damage to their homes and businesses in the storm," Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Talley, commander of the Army Reserve, said in a statement. "The Army Reserve is providing units to support first responders and our fellow Americans. There are skilled Army Reserve soldiers that live and serve in communities across America to include the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, and we stand ready to provide additional support as needed."
While performing hurricane relief support, the Army Reserve units will fall under the joint command of the respective affected area.