Soldiers and Airmen Help Wisconsin Recover from July Storms

Recovery and repair efforts continue in northwest Wisconsin

More than 70 members of the Wisconsin National Guard have assisted in the recovery and repair efforts in northwest Wisconsin since the July 11 floods.

Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency for nine Wisconsin counties and one tribal government in the wake of these storms. This declaration authorizes the National Guard forces to state active duty to assist local authorities with recovery efforts. Serving on state active duty in times of emergency is at the core of the National Guard’s unique dual-mission, as the first military responder in the homeland and as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force.

The task force is currently made up of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 724th Engineer Battalion headquartered in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin – and specifically the Prairie Du Chien and Platteville, Wisconsin-based 229th Engineer Company – along with route clearance teams from the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s Madison, Wisconsin based 115th Fighter Wing and Milwaukee-based 128th Air Refueling Wing.

Executive Officer with the 724th Engineer Battalion, 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, Major Joseph Davison elaborated on the efforts that the National Guard is currently completing in a release sent out Friday.

“We’ve really had two major missions since we’ve been up here for these past couple weeks, with the debris removal we’ve operated in six townships and Bayfield County, and now this week we’re working in Saxon Harbor,” said Davison, “The other mission we’ve had is road repair of damaged township roads both in Bayfield and Ashland Counties. That’s the mission that requires the most extensive work and we know that we may be asked to do that for a while longer.”

Currently, the recovery efforts involve debris clean up at Saxon Harbor and road repair in Ashland County. Local authorities requested assistance from the Guard to assess restoring infrastructure to damaged town roads in more rural and isolated areas where local resources are limited.

The Guard remains ready to assist local authorities and the people of northwest Wisconsin with any additional missions as requested.

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