Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Oklahoma National Guard Uses New Combat Gear, Tactics From Afghanistan

National Guard Uses New Combat Gear, Tactics in Moore, Okla.
'It's still chaos,' said one soldier who patrolled with Air Force, Army veterans
US News
May 21, 2013

Oklahoma National Guardsmen, many of them combat veterans, were among the first responders to the tornado that tore through Moore, Okla. Monday afternoon.

Roughly 80 soldiers and airmen from nearby bases rushed to the disaster zone early Monday evening, a spokesman says. They brought with them advanced tactical equipment, experience from the war in Afghanistan and an overarching desire to help friends and neighbors.

"It's still chaos," says Maj. Geoff Legler, a spokesman for the Oklahoma National Guard who arrived with the initial quick reaction force Monday night. He first saw victims of the EF4-rated tornado escaping on foot via major avenues, clutching photo albums and pictures, and anything else that would fit into suitcases.

Hundreds of firemen, search and rescue workers and police responded to schools and neighborhoods affected by more than 200 mph winds. Legler flew over the disaster site Tuesday morning and says every intersection was occupied by first responders or members of the National Guard. Roughly 75 percent of the guardsmen based in Norman, just south of Moore, came out last night to work with airmen from the 146th Air Support Operations Squadron stationed out of Will Rogers Air National Guard Base near Oklahoma City.
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