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Local National Guard heading out

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By Kayla Vaughn

 

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About 100 men and women are being deployed from the S.C. National Guard Armory in Lancaster, headed straight for the state’s storm-torn lower counties. There are 2,600 soldiers total being deployed around the state.

First Sgt. Scott Titus said they have three teams ready to go, along with the first wave of equipment, including front-end loaders, skid steers, smaller dozers and other gear.

“There’s so much going on right now,” Titus said. “We’re trying to get everything ready for the hurricane, and we’re also picking up and receiving equipment that not only are we taking with us, but we’re staging it for other units to use to go in after us.”

The teams will be headed to the Marion and Mullins area, cutting single-lane roads for first responders to get through and start their rescues.

A second wave of teams and equipment will follow shortly after with graders, rollers, bulldozers and other things needed for a heavy cleanup of storm damage.

Titus said they are using this opportunity to train other combat units to use the equipment and to refresh others’ training on the equipment as well.

“We’re making sure they know how to work everything properly,” he said. “And we always double-check everything before we head out.”

He said their deployment schedule depends completely on what the hurricane decides to do. They will wait until it rolls through, then go to pre-stationed areas, checking to see what equipment they need.

“If they don't need us there, then we’re just going to roll on through to the next stop,” Titus said.

 

Follow Kayla Vaughn on Twitter @kaybvaughn or contact her at (803) 416-8416.