National Guard sends new homeland response unit to Oso mudslide

Staff writerMarch 25, 2014 

A new Washington National Guard unit created to respond to domestic disasters arrived in Snohomish County today to help with search and rescue efforts at the Arlington mudslide.

The Guard’s Homeland Response Force sent a 50-person search and extraction team and an 11-person fatality search and recovery team, state Military Department spokeswoman Karina Shagren said.

The Guard is ready to send additional helicopter, engineer and chaplain resources if Snohomish County official request them.

Washington in 2011 became one of the first two states to create a Homeland Response Force. Those units tend to have more full-time soldiers in their ranks than other National Guard units.

The National Guard created them to provide lifesaving, decontamination, emergency medical and security services for a range of natural and man-made disasters. 

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