Florida National Guard Shows Stuff, Opens Doors to Public

The annual Florida National Guard Day showcased this week military equipment used for the state of Florida and nation during times of crisis.

The Florida National Guard is part of the National Guard force of the U.S. It is made up of the Florida Air National Guard and the Army National Guard.

Recruiting and Retention Area NCOIC, Trevor Milam talked National Guard Day. “We bring our equipments up to the capitol to share what we do with the public and the legislative house,” Milam said about the event in Tallahassee. He said this event helps keep residents informed about their options in the event of an emergency.

Among the things on display was the UH72 Lakota.

“It is an aircraft that is used in Jacksonville, Florida,” said Maj. Tom Warner. “It is used for Homeland Security defense missions and is equipped with a day time camera and an infrared camera system used to detect marijuana plants in the forest at night.”

Another exhibit was the Regional Emergency Response Cellular Network. Gino Graves, a wireless engineer, said it was created in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.

“This network allows guards to speak to other guards with FEMA during disasters or making contact to Washington, DC during network outages. We are the only ones that are able to cross band in Florida,” said Graves.

This portable network system is designed to travel wherever a crisis is located and can be set up in 11 minutes by two people. Some of the things found on the truck are 10 laptops, a printer, a fax machine, voice and video data capabilities and two on board generators that can provide power for about five days. It can provide power to buildings, Internet, satellite and cell communication. The only other state with this network in the U.S. is Minnesota.

Gov. Rick Scott joined the event to discuss a yearlong campaign for veterans and Florida businesses. He met with veterans, the military and workforce leaders to discuss plans for this campaign.

Sgt. 1st Class Blair Heusdens said, “This campaign will work with economic opportunities and the National Guard to hire veterans and National Guardsmen during the current state of unemployment in Florida.”

Employers in Florida are encouraged to contact Employ Florida Marketplace hotline at 866-352-2345 for more information.