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Georgia National Guard Members Deployed to Louisiana , Mississippi , Alabama

Thursday, September 1, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


Off-road Diesel Fuel Permitted for On-road Purposes

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue signed an Executive Order today directing members of the Georgia Army and Air National Guard into active duty to assist Louisiana , Mississippi and Alabama in relief operations associated with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.   

“Georgia soldiers and airmen are headed west to assist the people of Louisiana , Mississippi and Alabama who are in need of our help and support,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “I ask the people of Georgia to keep them in your thoughts and prayers as they participate in these important relief efforts.”

The Governors of the states of Alabama , Louisiana and Mississippi have requested this assistance pursuant to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. 

The Georgia Army and Air National Guard will provide an estimated 1,500 soldiers and airmen.  They will be mobilized from units throughout Georgia including the 165th Airlift Wing in Savannah; 78th Troop Command in Decatur; 116th Air Control Wing in Warner-Robins; and the Joint Force Headquarters at Dobbins Air Reserve base and Oglethorpe Armory in Atlanta.  Relief missions of the Georgia National Guard will include security, medical, airlift and support operations.

The first Georgia National Guard assets sent to the affected area left on Wednesday, August 31, 2005 when three CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters left Hunter Army Airfield in

Savannah for Louisiana and Mississippi .  Additionally, Georgia Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and UH-1 Huey helicopters are also currently positioned in the affected areas.

Missions will be based on the needs identified by the Louisiana National Guard and the Mississippi National Guard. The first Georgia units are expected to be in place on Saturday.

Off-road Diesel Fuel Approved for On-road Use

Governor Perdue also announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Georgia 's waiver request to allow the use of high sulfur diesel fuel (off-road diesel) for on-road purposes through September 15, 2005.  This has been done to increase the supply of diesel fuel and to minimize supply disruptions caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Under normal conditions, federal law requires motor vehicles to use low sulfur diesel fuel because it is less polluting, while the high sulfur fuel can be used only for off-road purposes.

“The purpose of this action is to increase the supply of diesel fuel across the state for all on-road use.  It is especially important for our forestry, agriculture and trucking industries,” said Governor Perdue.