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In Katrina's Wake
New Orleans Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (Alvin Callender Field), Belle Chasse, Louisiana, September 1, 2005 Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29, 2005 causing one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States. Air and Army National Guardsmen from across the country, along with state and local emergency responders and members of the active duty armed forces, poured into the Gulf Coast region to participate in a massive humanitarian relief effort. The entry point for much of the National Guard’s relief operations in Louisiana was the New Orleans Naval Air Station located immediately south of the Crescent City in the suburb of Belle Chasse. Beginning on September 1, 2005, Air National Guard C-130s and KC-135s airlifted equipment, supplies, food and military personnel into the airfield and began evacuating sick and injured civilians. Army National Guard helicopters and fixed wing aircraft also participated in relief operations from that installation. In addition to aircrews and planes, Air Guard rescue personnel and equipment as well as combat controllers, security forces, and civil engineering personnel deployed to Belle Chasse. They immediately began conducting rescue operations and building up the base infrastructure to support the huge influx of troops to the devastated Gulf Coast. Most of the National Guardsmen who deployed to the region, including those at the Naval Air Station, remained in state status under the legal control of their governors which enabled them to provide law enforcement support in affected areas when required. They deployed in accordance with Emergency Management Assistance Compacts that had been developed between many states well before Hurricane Katrina struck. By September 8, 2005, over 51,000 National Guardsmen were helping people along the Gulf Coast deal with the terrible devastation inflicted on them by Hurricane Katrina, making this the largest dep

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Photo by: Hurricane Katrina, making this the largest dep |  VIRIN: 091001-F-JZ029-117.JPG