Nashville, Tennessee – At the request of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, more than 300 Tennessee National Guardsmen are in Louisiana to help with recovery operations after Hurricane Ida ravaged the south coast on August 29, 2021.
The relief force includes soldiers from the 1176th Transport Company, headquartered in Smyrna with two additional detachments in Dresden and Jacksboro.
The 1176th carried nearly 40 vehicles, including medium light tactical vehicles to traverse high water areas, M984 tow trucks for vehicle recovery operations, and an M978 tanker to ensure their vehicles can run as long as needed. .
“Our mission is to help in any way,” said Captain Donald Eli, commander of the 1176th Transport Company. “Our vehicles on the high seas can move displaced people in flooded areas or transport essential equipment. We will help in any way we can.
Guards left the Smyrna Volunteer Training Site on September 2 and proceeded to Camp Minden, Louisiana, a training site 20 miles east of Shreveport. After arrival, the unit will work in coordination with local law enforcement and emergency response authorities to assist with recovery operations in the area.
“I am extremely confident in the capabilities of our unit,” Eli said. “Our soldiers have a ton of experience, a lot of them are civilian truck drivers, so I know we can go out there and help our neighbors to the south.”
The Tennessee National Guard will continue to work with local, state and federal emergency management officials and help Louisiana recover from Hurricane Ida.