Missouri National Guard Heads To Poplar Bluff

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri National Guard sent four hundred Guardsmen to Poplar Bluff to begin flood relief operations Tuesday. Two hundred citizen soldiers are also on their way to the area.

"In the overnight hours, Governor Nixon and General Danner did a lot of analysis and decided that Missouri is facing a disaster and mobilized an additional 200 citizen soldiers, so right now we have 400 Missouri National Guard members in the Poplar Bluff and bootheel areas, " said Major Tammy Spicer.

The Guardsmen are helping local authorities with sandbagging, levee and route monitoring, door-to-door safety visits and supporting law enforcement and first responders.

In addition to helping citizens and local authorities, the National Guard is also sending Public Affairs Guardsmen.

"Our mission is to go down there, tell the soldiers' stories, and then get it out to the market as fast as possible " said Specialist Adam Winters

The 70th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment left Jefferson City Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm excited to go because our mission is so unique," said Lieutenant John Quin, a member of the 70th MPAD.

The Missouri National Guard uses Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube and it's blog to broadcast stories and photos.

The National Guard has responded to statewide emergencies nineteen times since 2005.

"Those 400 citizen soldiers and airmen who are responding are well seasoned, trained veterans, not only of state emergencies but also of overseas deployment," said Spicer.

The Missouri National Guard has more than 11,000 members ready to respond.