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Georgia National Guard prepared to help after Sandy

7:28 PM, Oct 31, 2012   |    comments
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Marietta, GA-- Inside the joint operations center, or RAC, men and women from the Georgia National Guard sit in fatigues, surrounded by video screens monitoring the latest on super storm Sandy.

They have been pulling round the clock shifts since Hurricane Sandy hit the northwest.

Major General Jim Butterworth talks twice a day with state leaders and sent 2 Chinook helicopters and 20 guard members Tuesday.

"We've already got those helicopters there to help with heavy lifting where needed and we've also sent civil engineers who will likely be needed to help with damage assessments," said Butterworth.

Outside, a number of Blackhawk and Lakota helicopters are parked, loaded and ready to fly to the aftermath of Sandy.

Pilots are packed and standing by.  Many of them performed similar duties after Hurricane Katrina.

Captain Jonathan Sellars is assigned to one of the Blackhawks and says it is the perfect aircraft for not only rescue but recovery.

"We can use it to fly in supplies, water and food and also to transport people.  We're always ready for medical emergencies, but we can still do search and rescue, even lift people off roofs if necessary," said Sellars. 

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