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Indiana National Guard to be reimbursed $130K after troops turned away during Hurricane Ian response

Indiana National Guard deploys to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts
Posted at 2:55 PM, Oct 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 11:56:56-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana National Guard will be reimbursed about $130,000 after some of its troops were sent to Florida to aid in Hurricane Ian efforts and then turned away.

The Indiana National Guard sent more than a dozen troops, three flight crews, mechanics and helicopters to assist in Florida. But the agency was told that the Florida National Guard's assets were already sufficient and that an additional crew was no longer needed.

The large sum is an estimate of what it cost to fly crews to Fort Rucker, Alabama and back in helicopters, in addition to crew pay, meals and lodging, according to Indiana National Guard Master Sgt. Jeff Lowry, a spokesman for the agency.

Lowry said he could not speak to who made the decision to send troops back. He referred inquiries to the Florida National Guard's public affairs office.

In an email, Florida National Guard spokesman William Manley wrote that units from several states were sent back after an initial assessment determined the affected area "wasn’t as large as initially forecasted," but added that the agency is "extremely grateful for their willingness to assist us in our time of need."

He added, "Out of an abundance of caution, and because it takes several days to mobilize Guardsmen, we asked our EMAC partners for more capability than what was ultimately necessary."

Indiana Task Force 1 was also sent to assist and is still doing so as of Wednesday.