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Hawaii National Guard activated to support Hawaii Island volcano response

MEDIA RELEASE

HAWAII ISLAND — About 70 Soldiers and Airmen of the Hawaii National Guard (HING) are on Hawaii Island assisting in emergency management efforts, after being activated by Governor David Ige to support Hawaii County Civil Defense. HING personnel are assisting Hawaii County with evacuations of residents, security of the neighborhoods and the monitoring of dangerous sulfur dioxide gas.

The Guardsmen will be in full uniform and using military tactical vehicles as they patrol and assist with evacuation and security in Puna. Residents may see also HING checkpoints assisting the Hawaii Police Department or on patrols in specific neighborhoods.

Because there have been reports during previous events of civilians wearing camouflage and impersonating military members to gain access to evacuated homes, the Hawaii National Guard is reminding the public that Soldiers and Airmen will be in military vehicles and carrying their military IDs. If there is a question at any time whether or not a person is with the Hawaii National Guard, look for their vehicle and ask to see their military ID.

The 93rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (WMD CST), a 22-person HING unit that specializes in Chemical, Biological response and detection, will be assisting Hawaii Civil Defense. The 93rd sent six personnel to Hawaii Island in response to the sulfur dioxide near the fissures.

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