Members of the 1191st Horizontal Engineer Company of the 216th Engineer Battalion based in the National Guard Armory on Coles Boulevard recently were deployed to Louisiana to aid in the recovery effort from Hurricane Gustav. Members of the battalion received a police escort Thursday morning when they returned home.
"It's great to be back home. Louisiana is a hot place to be," said James Whitman, spokesperson for the 1191st.
"One of the hardest things for us was getting there. It was a three-day trip. Twelve hundred miles in a military vehicle was pretty rough," Whitman said.
When the battalion got there, soldiers were put up in a high school in Baton Rouge.
"We done what we were told to do. We cleared roads, we also helped get some parks and hospitals back in operation and get back to normal," Whitman said.
He said the situation was not as bad as he thought it was going to be, and there still was devastation in the area when they left.
The 1191st only responded to the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav and did not shift their efforts to other hurricanes in the region in which they were located.
"The biggest thing we did as the 1191st was to help out with the schools and things like that," Whitman said.
When the battalion arrived, soldiers started the process of unloading equipment.
"We already have done what we call a technical inspection at Rickenbacker Air Force Base. Now we will download everything and get everything stored back, and get everyone home," Whitman said.
It was reported 80 members of the 1191st were deployed.