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  The Nebraska National Guard               
  Nebraska's Citizen Soldiers in the Twenty-First Century   


Homeland Missions

The Nebraska National Guard has had a major role in the Global War on Terrorism, with many overseas deployments since September 11, 2001.  At the same time these "citizen soldiers" have responded when called upon at home. 

  • In May 2004, 90 members of the Nebraska National Guard assisted in relief efforts following the destructive tornado that struck Hallam, Nebraska. 
  • In 2005 approximately three hundred Nebraska Guard personnel were deployed to Louisiana and Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  Nebraska soldiers completed rescue missions, provided communication uplinks for emergency management officials, assisted with hazardous material identification and transportation, and helped provide security in the area. 
  • In July 2006 more than 60 members of the Nebraska National Guard assisted in battling wildfires that threatened the northwestern Nebraska towns of Valentine, Harrison, and Chadron.  Guard soldiers used all-terrain fire trucks and helicopters with buckets that carry two thousand gallons of water to help douse the flames.

Hurricane Katrina came ashore in Louisiana and Mississippi on August 29, 2005.
  By September 3 Lieutenant Colonel Tom Brewer and eight members of his Nebraska Army National Guard Counter Drug Task Force were in Louisiana to perform rescue and recovery and assist local law enforcement.  Brewer took command of Task Force LAV (LAVs are light armored vehicles, in this case also amphibious). He ultimately commanded nine LAVs and approximately thirty guardsmen from five states.  In addition to rescuing more than 515 people in the first week, Brewer's group was assigned a top secret U.S. Treasury mission to remove between $50 to $100 million from a Loomis, Fargo and Company warehouse.

If we didn't take reporters with us nobody would tell the story of what was happening down there.
  --Colonel Tom Brewer

  Brewer on working / living conditions in New Orleans upon his arrival. text of audio
  Brewer on attitude of victims of Hurricane Katrina and the reluctance of some to leave. text of audio

These images were taken by members of Task Force LAV.


Mark on a building searched by Task Force LAV.  Red spray paint was used when a building was searched and a deceased individual was found.  Green spray paint was used when a living individual was rescued.  The use of colored paint prevented multiple searches of the same building.

In this image Colonel Brewer is on the left of the man being escorted to the helicopter.  The man was a legally blind janitor in a New Orleans nursing home.  He spent a week caring for 38 patients left behind by the rest of the home's staff after Hurricane Katrina struck.  He brought the patients food and water until they were rescued.


Within twenty-four hours of the storm ending,
the Nebraska Air National Guard delivered 65,000 Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and 8,000 gallons of fuel for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Images of the 2006 Nebraska wildfires taken by Nebraska National Guard soldiers.





  Maj. Gen. Roger Lempke

Individuals Stories

  Cpt. Robert Ford

  Maj. Martin Neal

  Cpt. Cindy Mefford

  Lt. Col. Tom Brewer

  Spc. Andrew Rodriguez

  Msgt. Martin Coleman

  Spc. Jenny (Beck) Bos

  Ssgt. John Ayers

  Sgt. Sion Odom

  Col. Thomas Schuurmans

  Chaplain Brian Kane

  Maj. Jim Oliver

  Col. George Skuodas

Homeland Missions




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Last updated 7 December 2008  

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