Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the New York National Guard to deploy an additional 600 Citizen Soldiers to assist in the restoration of the electrical grid in Westchester and Rockland counties.The Soldiers, assigned to the 42nd Infantry Division, headquartered in Troy, will begin moving into their area of operations today and should start assuming missions this evening.
The new mobilization will bring the strength of New York National Guard forces deployed in response to Hurricane Sandy to over 3,400. More than 470 military vehicles are being used in operations on Long Island and in New York City.
The Soldiers will be based at the Camp Smith Training Site just north of Peekskill, where the National Guard has barracks, dining facilities, and maintenance facilities which can support the troops and their vehicles.
Approximately 100 of the Soldiers will form a command and control and logistics support center for the elements deployed in Westchester and Rockland. The other Soldiers will work with New York State Electric and Gas, Orange and Rockland Utilities, and Consolidated Edison repair crews.
The Soldiers will be trained to identify downed power lines and properly mark them so that members of the public are not endangered as the repair process goes forward. Allocating Soldiers to this mission will free up utility employees to do the important technical work.
Initially about 100 Soldiers will be assigned to work with New York State Electric and Gas crews, while 160 will work with Consolidated Edison and 160 will work with Orange and Rockland. Other Soldiers will be prepared to handle missions as needed.
On Long Island 80 Soldiers already deployed will be tasked to assist the Long Island Power Authority with a similar mission.
Meanwhile the New York National Guard will continue to operate 13 food and water distribution stations in New York City. On Nov. 1 National Guard elements distributed 144,000 emergency meals to New Yorkers.