SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota National Guard soldiers will soon be leaving to assist Operation Inherent Resolve in the Middle East.
Gov. Kristi Noem visited the 109th Regional Support Group in Fort Hood, Texas, this week as they prepared for the deployment.
“They will support troops on the ground in a wide variety of missions,” Noem said in a release Friday. “Normally, we’d hold a deployment ceremony to say farewell and Godspeed, but the winter storms made that ceremony impossible for these troops. I thought it was important for them to know that I have their back – that while they’re defending freedom over there, I’ll do my part to defend freedom here.”
Back in South Dakota, National Guard troops were also deployed to the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Reservations to aid in snow removal efforts following two weeks of severe winter weather.
Residents in Rosebud have struggled to leave their homes, find propane and firewood, and even access emergency services which has resulted in deaths.
On Pine Ridge, troops have been hauling firewood from the Black Hills and clearing roads.
Noem said in her news release about the National Guard, “We’ve put out into the field six payloaders, three snowblowers, two re-fuelers, two contact trucks, two wreckers, nine semis and trailers, and five dump trucks full of firewood to help the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Oglala Sioux Tribe deal with the effects of the winter storm.”