By Sgt. Zane Craig, Joint Force Headquarters, Pennsylvania National GuardMarch 22, 2018
FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. -- More than 400 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard were placed on state active duty to assist the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA), the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) in response to a winter storm from March 20 to 22.
Winter Storm Toby impacted wide swathes of Pennsylvania Wednesday, becoming the fourth nor'easter to strike the commonwealth in three weeks.
"We are very fortunate to have our PA National Guard members living and working in our communities and able to mobilize on short notice to provide help," said Governor Wolf. "Their service is vital to our commonwealth, and I thank them and the staff at PEMA for their dedication to helping Pennsylvanians affected by this storm."
The Pennsylvania Guard members were positioned throughout the commonwealth, with equipment and troops ready to respond at the request of civilian authorities.
Upon receipt of a mission, troops brave the weather to help their fellow citizens. Guard members received eight PEMA-directed missions during the activation. The missions included acting as emergency preparation liaison officers, assisting disabled vehicles, and positioning high-clearance medical and heavy transport vehicles in strategic areas.
During state activations, the Pennsylvania National Guard organizes into task forces by region: Pennsylvania Task Force North, Pennsylvania Task Force South, and Pennsylvania Task Force West. Two functional task forces augment these geographic commands, Task Force Support and Task Force Aviation.
Pennsylvania National Guard members are always on duty at the Pennsylvania National Guard's joint emergency operations center. The center maintains continuous communications with National Guard Bureau and PEMA in order to anticipate future requirements that could be assigned to Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers and Airmen.