NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Governor Bill Lee authorized the deployment of 1,200 soldiers and airmen from the Tennessee National Guard to support response and recovery efforts in relation to Hurricane Ian, which is expected to make landfall in Florida Thursday.

“As Florida braces for the impact of Hurricane Ian, the Tennessee National Guard stands ready to support response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the storm,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “I commend our Guardsmen and women for representing the Volunteer State and answering the call to help Floridians in need.”

On Monday, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) deployed a Type IV A-Team and two ambulance strike teams to Florida to provide specialized support in anticipation of Hurricane Ian.

The ambulance strike teams include a total of 37 members and will deploy for 14 days. The teams represent departments from multiple Tennessee agencies and counties.

Guardsmen throughout Tennessee were notified through their respective commands and will be preparing to assist the Florida National Guard with post-hurricane recovery and debris removal. Currently, the
Jackson’s 194th Engineer Brigade will be the Task Force Headquarters element and units from both the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 230th Sustainment Command will be mobilizing specific units to support the task force, according to a release. Three helicopters with the 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion are also scheduled to assist.

“We have a tremendous amount of experience responding to natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes and we are ready to help the citizens of Florida,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s Adjutant General. “It is why we wear the uniform and once again it’s the strength of the National Guard on display. We’re grateful for the families, employers, and communities for their continued ongoing support to our Guardsmen.”

The Tennessee National Guard and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency have been communicating with their counterparts in Florida and the National Guard Bureau over the past few days to prepare for this activation, according to a release. Florida and Tennessee have a pre-existing mutual support agreement already in place for emergencies.