Ruston, West Monroe National Guardsmen respond to tornado

Louisiana National Guardsmen with the 527th Engineer Battalion, headquartered in Ruston, Louisiana, clean debris after tornados touched down in their community, April 25, 2019. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Daniel McWilliams)
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (Louisiana National Guard) - At the request of Gov. John Bel Edwards, the Louisiana National Guard is conducting debris removal missions and moving Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s), bottled water and other supplies into the areas affected by severe weather and in the aftermath of tornados that touched down in Ruston, 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 Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, adjutant general of the LANG. “These missions are always close to home for us.”

In addition to assisting in cleanup, the LANG is distributing bottled water and MREs to citizens who need them at the North Louisiana Exhibition Center located at 165 Fairgrounds Rd., Ruston, LA 71270.

“That’s our job and that’s why we do this,” said Sgt. 1st Class 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.