LANSING, Mich. – Feb. 3, 2016 – With the signing of Executive Order 2016-02 on Jan. 12, 2016, Gov. Rick Snyder called the Michigan National Guard to state active duty in Genesee County to help residents deal with a water-supply crisis triggered by lead contamination in Flint’s supply pipes.
Michigan Guard members operated in support of Michigan State Police efforts to inform Flint residents that filters, bottled water, information on lead, water testing kits and other resources were available.
Soldiers assisted with the direct provision of these resources to Flint residents including door-to-door delivery. Coordination and staffing of these assignments was left to the commanding general of the Michigan National Guard, Maj. Gen. Gregory Vadnais.
“One of the core functions of the Michigan Guard is providing assistance to the governor in times of crisis, and as expected, the Soldiers and Airmen of the Michigan National Guard stepped up; always ready and willing to assist,” said Vadnais, who also directs the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
The first Guard members to report for duty were responsible for the distribution of water and other materials at five Flint fire stations while a Guard command group conducted a needs assessment and staffing plan.
Fifteen groups of approximately 12 Guard members each were strategically assigned a section of Flint to conduct door-to-door delivery operations. More than 270 Michigan National Guard members contributed to the roughly 10-day mission. A small contingent of Guard members will remain in state active duty status until Vadnais deems the mission complete.
As of Wednesday, about 70 Guard members were still on the duty roster, according to the National Guard Bureau.