More than 7,000 service members — National Guard and active duty — are standing by ready to assist as Hurricane Florence hits the Carolina coast, DoD officials said here today.
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan are monitoring the Category 2 hurricane and the department is “leaning forward” to help civilian agencies as the storm approaches.
“The secretary is also receiving reports throughout the day on actions the military services are taking to protect the safety and well-being of the military community, and ensure the readiness of DoD installations in the region affected by Hurricane Florence,” Kenneth P. Rapuano, assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense and global security, said at a Pentagon news conference.
Both Rapuano and U.S. Northern Command commander Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy called Hurricane Florence a “dangerous storm” and urged Americans to listen to the warnings from state and local officials.
O’Shaughnessy also commands North American Aerospace Defense Command.
Outer bands of the storm have already started hitting the coast and officials said there are already winds exceeding 100 mph in some areas. The storm surge has hit in North and South Carolina and the storm is expected to slow down and…