National Guard Aviation Important During Flood Response
SIKESTON - The Missouri National Guard's 35th Combat Aviation Brigade has been performing flight missions to assist with the ongoing flood recovery effort in southeast Missouri.
The air missions help the National Guard to better gauge the extent of the flood damage to the area, according to Capt. Paul Howerton. He coordinated aerial surveillance around the area of Birds Point before the intentional breaching of the levee. The 35th Combat Aviation Brigade helped to make sure that all residents were safely out of the area before the demolition took place.
In addition, the 35th rescued 33 Missouri Guardsmen who were trapped by flood waters for almost 24 hours. Lt. Brandon Heimericks of the 35th said that the rescue mission went well. They rescued 15 soldiers on the night of May 5, and his team dropped off sleeping bags and food supplies to the remaining Citizen Soldiers stuck in the boats. The remaining 18 National Guardsmen were rescued the next day. They are all in good health.
The Missouri National Guardsmen will be on duty until Gov. Nixon releases them.