NH National Guard Volunteers to Assist in Search and Rescue Operations following Executive Council Approval of Memorandum of Understanding
Concord, NH – Today, the Executive Council voted to approve a Memorandum of Understanding between the New Hampshire National Guard and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, allowing the New Hampshire National Guard to mobilize and deploy in a voluntary State Active Duty status for ground search and rescue support from the Lakes Region to the Southern Border of New Hampshire.
Currently, search and rescue operations in the state’s southern tier are covered by teams based in Northern New Hampshire.
“The mobilization of our National Guard on a voluntary status to assist the Fish and Game Department with search and rescue operations in the southern tier of the state will improve response times for those in need of assistance,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “When it comes to protecting the life and safety of Granite Staters, our citizen soldiers and airmen always step up to answer the call. We are grateful for their efforts.”
“It’s a natural fit,” said NH Adjutant Gen. David Mikolaities. “Much of the necessary training for search and rescue operations are considered basic tasks for our guardsmen and women. More than 50 have already signed up to be a part of the volunteer team.”
“New Hampshire Fish and Game see the addition of professional volunteers to participate in search missions, coming from the ranks of our New Hampshire National Guard as an invaluable asset,” said New Hampshire Fish and Game Executive Director Scott Mason. “These soldiers are physically fit, disciplined and come prepared to meet the challenges that search and rescue missions present. Having them ready to serve as volunteers in the southern areas of our state during difficult search missions will fill an essential role in the safety of New Hampshire citizens.”
The New Hampshire National Guard Volunteer Search and Rescue Team will be deployed to assist in search and rescue operations in periods of immediate danger and are not intended to sustain long-term rescue and recovery operations. Members of the Guard will be supervised by Fish and Game personnel.
Note: A copy of the Memorandum of Understanding approved by the Executive Council can be found here.