National Guard Members Respond to Tornado

Louisiana Army National Soldiers with the 527th Engineer Battalion, clean debris after tornados touched down in Ruston, La., April 2019. Louisiana Army National Guard photo by SGT Daniel McWilliams

At the request of Gov. John Bel Edwards, the Louisiana National Guard (LANG) is conducting debris removal missions and moving Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), bottled water and other supplies into the areas affected by severe weather and in the aftermath of tornadoes that touched down in Ruston, Louisiana, on April 25. 

The LANG activated approximately 25 local Guardsmen with the 527th Engineer Battalion, 225th Engineer Brigade, which has units in Ruston and West Monroe, to aid in the cleanup of their community and is prepared to bring more Soldiers on, as needed. The unit is equipped with chainsaws, dump trucks and front-end loaders.

“One of the unique attributes of the National Guard is that our members come from the same communities that we serve and protect,” said Louisiana National Guard Adjutant General MG Glenn H. Curtis. “These missions are always close to home for us.”

In addition to assisting in the cleanup, the LANG distributed bottled water and MREs to citizens who need them at the North Louisiana Exhibition Center. 

“That’s our job and that’s why we do this,” said SFC Tracy Doss. “Being able to help our own community after a disaster is a privilege.”

Louisiana’s Guardsmen are trained, ready and equipped to stand up at any moment to protect lives and property, maintain communications, and ensure the continuity of operations and government. 

BY SSG Garrett Dipuma, Louisiana National Guard 

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