1,000+ TN troops depart to Florida disaster zones

Over 1,000 soldiers are heading to Florida to assist in the recovery efforts from the hurricane.
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:42 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Around 1200 Tennessee guardsmen and women will deploy to Florida after Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday as a monster Category 4.

The troops will support response and recovery efforts wherever it’s needed. Airmen from the 118th Wing were briefed on the mission Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s always exciting to go on a mission. It’s why we put on the uniform, it’s why we serve,” Capt. Bryce Bishop said. “You know it’s devastating and that’s why it’s humbling to be able to put on the uniform and be able to go out and help.”

Governor Bill Lee tweeted, “@TNMilitaryDept represents the very best of The Volunteer State. Our prayers are with the 1200 TN guardsmen & women supporting the response & recovery mission in Florida.”

The plan is for the troops with the 118th Wing to arrive in the northern part of Florida, before deploying to the hardest hit areas of the state.

Early images show Hurricane Ian brought catastrophic flooding and damage to parts of Ft. Myers and its surrounding areas.

Capt. Bishop, who is a medical specialist and has been on humanitarian missions before says he will help in whatever way he can.

“It’s always a little chaotic although it’s always highly rewarding too. Knowing we’re helping out communities in need and people are generally highly grateful and makes our jobs a lot easier.”

The airmen and soldiers from the 118th Wing of the Tennessee National Guard will deploy to Florida sometime on Thursday.