National Guard assisting with oil spill

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi National Guard is continuing to assist state officials and research teams working the Gulf oil spill. 72 guardsmen have been assigned to help in several areas, including working at coastal emergency operation centers and flying research and observation missions.

Some are also assisting with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Marine Reserves.

"We have 4 lakotas on the the coast right now flying missions, we have two blackhawks on the coast flying missions, we have our C-23 Sherpa that carries 15 (to) 20 people out to see the oil spill on a daily basis," said Major General William Freeman, Mississippi's Adjutant General.  "And we also have our C-26 out of Meridian that has the I-FLIR (Forward-Looking Infrared) on the bottom of the aircraft and is able to send a live feed back to the Coast Guard and we can pinpoint where the oil is," Freeman said.

He was in Hattiesburg this morning, to accept a $4,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Hattiesburg-Sunrise.  The money was raised during a fundraising run held in April.

The money will be used for the Mississippi Military Family Relief Fund.

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