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139th supports state disaster callout

ST JOSEPH, Mo. (5/1/11) -- Airmen from the 139th Airlift Wing here responded last week to support a call out by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, after a string of severe weather left the state in need of disaster assistance.
Spring floods, tornados and other severe weather destroyed homes and infrastructure throughout the state.

Governor Nixon called out the Missouri Guard Soldiers and Airmen April 25, as flood waters in state's southeast were predicted to rise.

At least 630 Soldiers and Airmen were supporting civil authorities May 1 with manpower and equipment, through the Missouri Guard's Joint Operations Center in Jefferson City.
Six Missouri Air National Guard Airmen left Rosecrans to transport a dozen light carts by flatbed trucks to a staging area in Sikeston, MO.

"This is what makes us unique in our mission, from the [Air Force] Reserves or active duty, is our responsibility to our state," said Col. Mike Pankau, wing commander. "We should be proud of that responsibility. I know I am."

Officials said many more Airmen here could depart on state active duty in the coming days and weeks, as flood mitigation and recovery efforts develop.