MO National Guard completes emergency response, moves to recover - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

MO National Guard completes emergency response, moves to recovery efforts

Lt. Col. Grace Link, commander of Task Force Recovery, and Lt. Col. Lane Endicott, 131st Civil Engineer Squadron commander, set up operations at Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Base, Missouri, Jan. 6, 2016. (Source: Missouri National Guard) Lt. Col. Grace Link, commander of Task Force Recovery, and Lt. Col. Lane Endicott, 131st Civil Engineer Squadron commander, set up operations at Jefferson Barracks Air National Guard Base, Missouri, Jan. 6, 2016. (Source: Missouri National Guard)
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) -

The Missouri National Guard is transitioning from state emergency duty to recovery efforts in the St. Louis region as the floodwaters of the Mississippi and Meramec rivers recede.

More than 600 Guardsmen, who were activated by Gov. Jay Nixon on Dec. 29 to respond to the historic flooding, have been released from duty and returned to their homes, said Maj. Gen. Steve Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard.

“We appreciate working closely with our local and state partners who have done an outstanding job responding to the needs of the communities affected by the flooding,” said Danner.

“As we move into the next phase of the mission, our focus will be to coordinate the debris removal process and help residents get back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Danner said the National Guard has been given the mission to supervise and coordinate the debris removal process from private and public property in the affected area of eastern Missouri.

“The National Guard has experience in leading the debris removal efforts after the tornado in Joplin in 2011.” added Danner.

Local leaders praised the efforts of the Guardsmen who responded to emergency missions throughout the past week, which included security patrols, sand bagging operations, traffic control points, notification checkpoints, and water purification and delivery, said Lt. Col. Paul Kirchhoff, the task force commander.

"Our Soldiers and Airmen have completed their missions with the professionalism, enthusiasm and dedication the people of Missouri have come to expect from their National Guard,” said Kirchhoff.

“I’m proud to be part of an organization that answers the call of our neighbors and helps those in need no matter the time or day. It has been an honor to lead this group of outstanding volunteer Soldiers and Airmen as we assisted the local officials during this response.”

Serving the local community is not the only thing that motivates Guardsmen, said Pfc. Cory Bacon of the 1140th Forward Support Company, 1140th Engineer Battalion in Cape Girardeau, whose recent mission was to secure a levee near East Prairie.

“Not just being there for the community, but being there to show my kids there’s a lot of opportunities for them out there is important,” said Bacon.

“It makes a big difference for me because I’m being a role model for them.”

The National Guard will remain on duty until released by Gov. Nixon.

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Copyright 2016 KFVS. All rights reserved. 

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