MADISON – Approximately 15 Wisconsin National Guard troops are assisting local emergency crews in Madison today with sandbagging operations as floods resulting from heavy rain earlier this week continue to impact the city.
“We appreciate the assistance of the Wisconsin National Guard in helping the City of Madison with area flooding,” said Governor Walker.
The National Weather Service said 11-13 inches of rain fell in parts of Dane County Aug. 20-21 causing local lakes and waterways to swell with floodwaters in subsequent days.
The National Guard troops, from Madison’s 1st Squadron, 105th Cavalry, were called to state active duty to provide additional manpower and assistance to municipal crews as Madison braces for additional rainfall and the potential for more flooding throughout the area. The National Weather Service predicts the area could potentially receive several inches of additional rainfall over the course of the next several days.
Gov. Scott Walker signed Executive Order 303 declaring a state of emergency for Dane County earlier this week, which authorizes the adjutant general to call elements of the National Guard to state active duty, as he deems necessary.
“Assisting civil authorities during emergencies is one of the National Guard’s core missions,” Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said. “Thanks to Gov. Walker’s leadership, the Wisconsin National Guard stands ready to assist the City of Madison and other communities affected by this week’s flooding, as needed.”
The National Guard fulfills a unique dual-mission as both the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force, but also as the first military responder here in the state during times of emergency. Last fall, the Wisconsin National Guard deployed Soldiers and Airmen to Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist with hurricane recovery efforts, and Soldiers responded on multiple occasions to flooding last summer in Monroe County and Burlington, Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin National Guard simultaneously remains heavily engaged fulfilling its federal mission as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force. More than 350 Soldiers from the Milwaukee-based 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery deployed to the Middle East this summer and more than 25 Soldiers from the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade’s Military Engagement Team deployed to the Middle East in March. Meanwhile, a team of Soldiers from the 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment deployed to U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in March to provide public affairs support there. Wisconsin Army National Guard aviators from Detachment 5, 641st Aviation deployed to Afghanistan earlier this spring, and Soldiers from the 248th Aviation Support Battalion deployed to the Middle East last September. Approximately 85 Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation returned from a nine-month deployment to the Middle East in January, and 35 Soldiers from West Bend’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation returned from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in November.
Also in November, approximately 270 Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing returned to Madison from a deployment to Korea, and more than 100 Airmen from the 128th Air Control Squadron at Volk Field returned from Southwest Asia. Approximately 70 Airmen from the 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee are in the midst of deployments worldwide, and other Airmen from the 128th deployed earlier in the fall as well.