The Iowa National Guard sent an advance team to the hurricane-hacked Gulf Coast this (Tuesday) morning as part of a medical mission. The advance team, of about a dozen Iowa Guardsmen, will scout out the best location to set up camp and lay plans. On Friday, another 150 Iowa Guard members will leave in convoys for Mississippi. The primary focus will be providing medical care, in addition to tasks like water purification and security. It’s an all-volunteer operation that could run three to six months. The citizen-soldiers are from Guard units across the state, including Iowa City’s 109th Medical Battalion, medics from the 132nd and 185th Air Guard wings in Des Moines and Sioux City, and the 186th Military Police company from Des Moines.Late last week, about 40 Iowa Air National Guard members from Sioux City in four aircraft were dispatched to fly various cargo and passenger missions between several locations in Louisiana and Texas.
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