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Michigan National Guard sends soldiers to help with Irma

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LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Army National Guard is preparing more than 1,000 Soldiers to support Florida's National Guard relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Approximately 425 soldiers  are expected to deploy as early as Monday to the west side of southern Florida where they are likely to provide humanitarian assistance and security.

One CH-47 Chinook helicopter, with eight air and ground crew personnel, are scheduled to depart on Monday morning from the Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mt. Clemens, Mich.

"Our soldiers are trained and equipped to provide the vital assistance that our fellow Americans are going to need following a massive catastrophic storm," said Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais, The Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard.  "We are anxious to get down there as soon as conditions allow us to get into Florida."

An additional 60 Michigan Army National Guard Soldiers from Grand Ledge, Mich., are expected to depart Monday or Tuesday. The unit will perform aviation maintenance on UH-60 Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopters - aircraft that is expected to be in high demand in the upcoming week throughout Florida.

There are 570 more soldiers scheduled to depart next week, on Sunday, September 17  to provide humanitarian assistance and security.

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