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N.H. National Guard soldiers on standby to deploy for Hurricane Sandy

About 400 New Hampshire National Guard members are preparing to deploy to New York and New Jersey, alerted yesterday that they may be called up for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, officials said.

The Guard members – about 400 soldiers from the 197th Fires Brigade and 10 airmen from the 157th Air Refueling Wing – were placed on standby for possible deployment yesterday by Gov. John Lynch. He took that step after New York and New Jersey indicated they may be requesting Guard assistance from other states, according to his office.

“Hurricane Sandy had a devastating impact on parts of New York and New Jersey, and we stand ready to assist the people of those states in any way we can,” Lynch said in a statement.

“If our National Guard is called upon for assistance, they will be prepared to deploy.”

The Guard soldiers reported to the Manchester and Somersworth armories, while the airmen are stationed at Pease Air National Guard Base in Newington. They are preparing to deploy if their assistance is requested by either state’s governor through an emergency management assistance contract, Lynch’s office said.

The adjutant general of the New Hampshire National Guard, Maj. Gen. William Reddel III, said the Guard stands “ready and willing to support the citizens of New York and New Jersey in whatever capacity is needed.”

“Our men and women are well trained and well prepared and ready to assist in any way,” Reddel said in a statement released yesterday.

(Maddie Hanna can be reached at 369-3321 or mhanna@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @maddiehanna.)

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