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Indiana National Guard returning home, not needed for Florida hurricane relief

Indiana Task Force 1 has been activated to assist in Florida.

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — A team of Indiana National Guard soldiers are returning home a day after heading to Florida to help with Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

Hoosiers across the state have stepped up to help in the aftermath. 

The Indiana National Guard announced Wednesday it was sending more than a dozen soldiers, three flight crews and mechanics, along with two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, to help military and other agencies in logistics and rescue missions.

"This is what Hoosiers do, help our neighbors when called upon, whether it's here in Indiana or the Sunshine State," said Lt. Col. Scott Oden, the Indiana National Guard's director of aviation and safety. "The National Guard's unique, dual mission to nation and state allows our soldiers and airmen to help out here at home and across the United States."

Unfortunately, the guardsmen didn't get to really assist. According to a release sent out on Friday by the Indiana National Guard, "After Hurricane Ian swept through the Florida peninsula, it was determined Florida National Guard assets were sufficient, and Indiana National Guard assists were no longer required."

RELATED: Hurricane Ian makes landfall in southwest Florida

The National Guard was also preparing to help move equipment and resources in hard-to-reach areas.

“We are kind of ready for whatever we might see down there, but it is unknown until we see it and get eyes on it,” said Matthew Fisher, a pilot with the Indiana National Guard on Wednesday. “This is something we train for weekly and daily.”

RELATED: Hoosier help headed to Florida as Hurricane Ian approaches mainland US

Ian made landfall Wednesday in southwest Florida as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the U.S. The Category 4 storm slammed the coast with 150 mph winds, swamping city streets with water and smashing trees along the coast.

The Indiana National Guard responded to two hurricane relief efforts in 2017 following Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida, and again in 2018 following Florence in North Carolina.


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