Monday, May 13 2013 12:24 PM EDT2013-05-13 16:24:04 GMT
MARION COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A weekend-long drug raid left 22 individuals behind bars, and more arrests to come. According to Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall, the drug raid is the result of severalMore >>
A weekend-long drug raid left 22 individuals behind bars, and more arrests to come.More >>
It's been less than 10 months since the world record for a lottery prize. On Saturday night, it could conceivably fall once again.More >>
It's all about the odds, and one single ticket in Florida has beaten them all by matching the numbers drawn for the highest Powerball jackpot in history at an estimated $590.5 million, lottery officials disclosed Sunday.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:31 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:31:16 GMT
Coastal residents added their voices to those calling for the end of energy policies that hurt the environment. The Hands Across the Sand demonstrations took place on beaches around the world on Saturday.More >>
Coastal residents added their voices to those calling for the end of energy policies that hurt the environment. The Hands Across the Sand demonstrations took place on beaches around the world on Saturday. In South Mississippi, the concern centered around the state government's plan to allow offshore drilling off coastal waters.More >>
Iran's state radio says authorities have executed two men convicted of spying for Israel's Mossad and the American CIA spy agency.More >>
Iran's state radio says authorities have executed two men convicted of spying for Israel's Mossad and the American CIA intelligence agency.More >>
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, Keesler Air Force Base will house 50 Mississippi National Guard soldiers to support ongoing oil spill response operations and, if called upon, to augment civilian authorities in the wake of a major hurricane developing in the Gulf of Mexico, officials announced Thursday.
The National Guard infantry soldiers, all recently returned from Iraq, will serve as a "quick reaction force" to offer the flexibility necessary for future operations, said Col. Lee Smithson, commander of Task Force Vigilant Horizon, which is overseeing the Mississippi National Guard's response to the oil spill.
Specifically, they will coordinate the civilian clean-up vessels, he said. The soldiers are from Alpha Company 1/155th Infantry headquartered in the St. Martin Armory in Jackson County. The additional troops bring the total to about 125 soldiers under Task Force Vigilant Horizon.
Smithson said the decision to activate a small contingency force was made this week after consulting with Gov. Haley Barbour and U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, who endorsed the need to "think forward." But the plan had been in development for months, particularly when weather prognosticators predicted as many as four major hurricanes making landfall in the United States, Smithson said.
As for the length of the mobilization, he said it was too early to tell.
"Unfortunately, hurricanes are a way of life here along the Gulf Coast, and the ongoing oil disaster only complicates matters further," Smithson said. "Fortunately, as we enter 'Phase Lighthouse' we've mobilized our best, and we are very grateful for Keesler Air Force Base for its logistical support. Otherwise, we would really be in a logistical quandary."
Smithson alluded to the limited housing available as a result of oil spill response workers, and a preference to contain a military unit in military quarters.
Keesler is designated by U.S. Northern Command as the base support installation for Department of Defense forces responding to the crisis.
"We are ready to welcome our guests," said Lt. Col. Sean Gallagher, deputy commander of the 81st Mission Support Group. "We've been in close contact with members of Guard for weeks in anticipation of any official taskings. Keesler's support includes lodging and meals and other needs Guard members might need during their stay here. The base also has the capacity to receive more members if needed."
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