Military Response to Hurricane Harvey Could Grow as Large as Katrina Deployment

WASHINGTON — Several thousand troops will soon join about 3,500 servicemembers already responding to Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts in southeastern Texas in an operation that could equal the size of the military’s response to Hurricane Katrina, a National Guard general said Tuesday.

Air Force Gen. James Witham, the domestic operations director for the National Guard Bureau, said military efforts could last several weeks and grow as large as the Pentagon’s involvement in 2005 to Katrina, when some 50,000 guardsmen and 20,000 active-duty servicemembers participated in the response to the devastating storm in Louisiana.

“This will be a long-term effort,” Witham told reporters Tuesday at the Pentagon. “Usually when the Guard responds to hurricane-type events we normally talk about that first 72 to 96 hours for life saving and sustainment then we’re into a recovery effort. Due to the nature of this storm as it spins across southeast Texas for days and dumps record or historical levels of rainfall … our response to this hurricane has been very different than ever before.”

To read the full August 29, 2017 article from Stars and Stripes, click here.