Great Lakes Coast Guard units prepare to support Gulf Coast

CLEVELAND – Ninth Coast Guard District resources are mobilizing and preparing, Sunday, for deployments to the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Gustav gains strength.

Great Lakes-based Coast Guard units, including some that participated in Hurricane Katrina response operations, are ready to deploy to the region as Gustav’s path and strength are monitored.

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Mich., will deploy an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter to Jacksonville, Fla., and Ninth District support staff members are scheduled to deploy to Mobile, Ala.

An additional Dolphin from Air Station Detroit and members of the Ninth District Incident Management Team stand-by and are ready to respond. The IMT is a group of Coast Guard members who specialize in the management of disaster assistance and emergency response.

The deploying units are prepared to work with Coast Guard units from around the nation, in addition to the numerous Federal, state, local and volunteer responders.

“Similar to Katrina, we are preparing for the worst,” said Lt. David French, Ninth Coast Guard District External Affairs Officer. “Our Coast Guard responders remain ‘Always Ready’ to assist the American public.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the residents of the Gulf Coast and the multi-agency responders who are preparing to assist the region,” French added.

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