Defense: DOD Assists in Tornado recovery, Cleanup

Washngton, Dec 13, 2021.- The Kentucky National Guard has called up more than 300 personnel to duty — including 81 in law enforcement roles, 80 in recovery support and 44 in debris clearance, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said at a press briefing today.

Scores of people were killed and many more were injured or unaccounted for after tornadoes tore through western Kentucky and adjacent areas of the Midwest and Southeast on Friday and Saturday.

Additionally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responding to Federal Emergency Management Agency mission assignments, Kirby said.

Under the regional activation mission assignment, the Corps is deploying in support of debris removal, supporting critical public facilities, infrastructure assessment, and engineering and public works, he said.

Under the temporary power mission assignment, the Corps’ 249th Engineer Battalion is mobilizing a temporary power planning and response team and bringing in additional experts to assist with generator staging, assessments and installation, he said.

Also, the Defense Department is making Fort Campbell, Kentucky, available as an incident support base, he said.

«We do not anticipate activations from other states with respect to this particular national disaster,» Kirby said, but the department is prepared to respond if requested.

«Our thoughts and prayers, deepest condolences go to all those who were affected by those devastating tornadoes and who will have to deal with rebuilding, and, clearly, the department stands behind the interagency effort to do whatever we can do to support them,» he said.

Kirby noted that today is the National Guard’s 385th birthday and that the National Guard has had a full plate of activities over the past year or so — from responding to natural disasters and deploying to areas in harm’s way to helping vaccinate Americans and assisting Customs and Border Protection at the Southwest border.

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