Gov. Jay Nixon said today that aviation assets from the Missouri National Guard will be sent to the state of Louisiana later this week to help with the response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The role of the Missouri National Guard will include at least one Black Hawk helicopter and crew, along with 10 to 15 aircraft maintenance personnel.


Gov. Jay Nixon said today that aviation assets from the Missouri National Guard will be sent to the state of Louisiana later this week to help with the response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The role of the Missouri National Guard will include at least one Black Hawk helicopter and crew, along with 10 to 15 aircraft maintenance personnel.

Missouri’s adjutant general, Brig. Gen. Stephen Danner, said the state’s Guardsmen are ready to pitch in.

During the mission, the Missourians expect to provide external load capabilities, transport and daily insertion and extraction of response personnel to various sites and missions, Danner said.

This mission will mark a return to the Gulf for Missouri Guard members. Soldiers and Airmen previously supported response efforts to hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav in 2005 and 2008.

Missouri and other state National Guards are being activated under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. The agreement, which was established in 1996, has become a cornerstone of response to major disasters. It ensures that assets from other states can be brought to bear against a wide range of disasters including fires, floods and manmade disasters.

In February, Gov. Nixon sent a C-130 cargo aircraft and an 11-Airmen crew from the Guard’s 139th Airlift Wing to Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina in support of Haiti earthquake relief operations.