LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Governor Asa Hutchinson has authorized the deployment of 1,500 National Guard troops from Arkansas to help with the recovery efforts in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.
“Community involvement is what it's all about, we've been a force for good here in Arkansas since 1804 and all of our Guardsmen and our Airmen live to go help their neighbors,” Major Williams said.
The soldiers will deploy on Saturday, September 2 and help others in the area to recover in the aftermath of the devastating storm.
“We've done this before we've been doing this for a long time and that's what makes the National Guard so good at domestic response,” he said.
Major Williams said they'll be there as long as they're needed. In a press release, Hutchinson said the deployment could extend up to 30 days.
"With a storm of this magnitude, they need help because it's kind of a Hurricane Katrina kind of thing," said Major Williams Phillips with the Arkansas National Guard. "The enormity of this thing, the scope of the thing, is so huge you have to ask for some assistance and that's the reason we are heading down to help them out."
The 1,500 soldiers will join the 15 members for the Arkansas National Guard's 61st Civil Support Team that left on Monday.
“Our motto is always ready, always there, and this is going to show how we're always ready and always there,” Major Williams said.
He said they still have plenty of staff here in Arkansas, if something else were to happen.
“Even though we're sending 1500 soldiers down to Texas to assist doesn’t mean we're not able to respond to missions down here at home. We have enough forces here at home in Arkansas that if we have any sort of emergency situation, the Arkansas National Guard is still able to respond,” he said.