Kentucky Air National Guard sending 50 people to Houston to aid in Harvey recovery efforts

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As catastrophic flooding swallows up Houston, the Kentucky Air National Guard is gearing up and heading out.

Lt. Col. Steve Campbell said  they're deploying to the airport in Houston to serve a critical role in the recovery effort.

"We have the whole airbase in a box, and we'll go down there and open it up," Campbell said. "When we first get there, the first mission is to do the air medical evacuation."

Three planes packed with gear and nearly 50 people are flying to southeast Texas.

"There will be three fork lifts, two pickup trucks, some side-by-sides, tents ... the whole nine yards," Campbell said. "We'll go down there, and if there's nothing, we can setup generators. We'll have power, we'll have our own water, our own food, our own fuel." 

Staff Sgt. Robert Paulsen is deploying to a natural disaster in the guard for the very first time. 

"I just found out I was leaving last night," he said. "I do passenger service, so with this I imagine if we're evacuating people I'll be helping process them through the airport."

Paulsen said he's not bringing much for himself, but for him, what he's bringing is pretty important.

"I got a picture of my wife and my dog," he said. "I've got a seven-month golden retriever."

Campbell deployed to help with the recovery for Hurricane Katrina and sees the mission in Houston as an honor to serve his country again, helping people in tremendous need. 

"It's very rewarding," he said. "I mean nobody wants to see anybody suffer, but to see people getting taken out of those situations and flown out and knowing that you've been a part of that is very rewarding for everybody." 

The last plane should arrive in Houston early Wednesday morning.

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