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National Guard members provide assistance in Southern Ohio after ice storm

Members of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 200th RED HORSE Squadron help clear roads in Gallia and Lawrence counties Feb 23, 2021, in Southern Ohio. Over 100 members of the Ohio National Guard were called in to assist local authorities after a recent ice storm. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by 2d Lt Christi A. Richter/ Released)

Members of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 200th RED HORSE Squadron help clear roads in Gallia and Lawrence counties Feb 23, 2021, in Southern Ohio. Over 100 members of the Ohio National Guard were called in to assist local authorities after a recent ice storm. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by 2d Lt Christi A. Richter/ Released)

COLOMBUS, Ohio -- About 100 Ohio National Guard members are assisting in Southern Ohio with cleanup and debris removal after a recent ice storm in Gallia and Lawrence counties.

Gov. Mike DeWine activated troops on Feb. 19 after declaring a state of emergency in the two counties. Approximately 60 Soldiers from the Army National Guard's 1191st Engineer Company, based in Portsmouth, Ohio, and 40 Airmen from the Air National Guard's 200th RED HORSE Squadron, based in Port Clinton, Ohio, have been sent to assist. The Soldiers and Airmen are armed with chain saws, front-end loaders, dump trucks and other heavy equipment to clear away fallen trees and other debris clogging critical infrastructure.

"We will make sure the roads are clear so that emergency services such as sheriffs or ambulances can move throughout the county and help those in need," said Ohio Army National Guard Lt. Col. Matthew Molinski, commander of Guard's joint task force overseeing the support. "We have Soldiers and Airmen from these counties to help their neighbors and community members. It's fantastic to bring them and other Airmen and Soldiers from around the state to help out. It means a lot to everybody involved. There is no greater feeling than being in your home state to provide assistance to the community."

In addition to this mission, there are more than 1,000 National Guard members deployed throughout Ohio to support the state's COVID-19 response including vaccinations, personal protective equipment (PPE) and vaccine warehousing, and food distributions.

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