FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 14, 2005
Contact: ESF 14, Public Information, (850) 921-0384
Florida National Guard Begins Removing Personnel
from State Active Duty
PENSACOLA- The Florida National Guard will begin a
controlled adjustment of Soldiers and Airmen assisting in
post-hurricane relief efforts in Northwest Florida officials
Brigadier General Stephen Villacorta, commander of Task
Force 164, said the National Guard is "transitioning" the
missions to civilian agencies in areas impacted by Hurricane
General Villacorta said over the previous three days, he
and his staff have been talking to county officials to
determine when volunteers could assume responsibilities at
the point of distribution sites.
During the height of operations in the State's most
western counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa, 933
Florida Guardsmen were on duty. As conditions began to
normalize and power was restored, the Guard's presence began
to adjust for efficiency.
According to General Villacorta, the National Guard's
goal is to turn over all missions on Thursday and "remove
our forces by Friday."
Since the category three hurricane came ashore on Sunday,
the Soldiers and Airmen from the National Guard provided
search and rescue, ice and water to victims of the storm.
The National Guard also provided logistics support, debris
removal, presence patrols, and traffic control points in the
General Villacorta was complimentary of the troop's
attitudes and attributed the Guard's success to the
experiences of the Soldiers on the ground who served in not
only last year's hurricane relief, but Afghanistan as well.
Also, many of these Soldiers and Airmen are veterans of
Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
For additional information on Florida’s hurricane
recovery, please visit