Syracuse's 174th Attack Wing mobilized for unprecedented winter storm duty

The 174th Attack Wing says the unit has been tasked with getting together their inclement weather response team according to Major Jeff Brown. The group consists of twenty people and six four wheel drive vehicles. The National Guard unit out of Hancock Airfield in Syracuse does not yet have a specific mission, but have been told to be ready for tomorrow. They utilize rugged all weather vehicles. An example of what the unit might do would be rescuing a person who is stranded in a heavy snow area.

According to Major Brown, "the best recollection over the last 14 or 15 years they have not been asked to be prepared for winter storm duty like this." They have responded to other natural disasters like storm Irene in recent years.

The group has not trained specifically to offer winter weather assistance. Maj. Brown says the group of physically fit and disciplined guard members can be ready for many tasks by organizing and using the military chain of command.

The Division of Military and Naval Affairs is mobilizing more than 300 New York Army and Air National Guard citizen Soldiers and Airmen in western and central New York to assist local authorities if requested.

Governor Cuomo announced the mobilization simultaneously with his announcement that he is closing a lengthy section of Interstate 81 from Brewertown to Watertown.