The goal for Operation Hoosier Relief is to render aid and assistance in hurricane ravaged Mississippi.
As the massive effort to clean up Hurricane Katrina's wrath along the Gulf Coast continues, more and more local citizens are responding.
The call for help went out for law enforcement personnel and qualified civilians to join the military. DNR Conservation Officer Paul Harden was one of the more than 267 people from around the state who volunteered to leave their homes and families to travel to the devastated area.
"We all miss him," Paul's son, Matt, said in a telephone interview about his father's leaving last Sunday. "It's dangerous down there, but I know that he's doing a good deed for someone else by being there. We expect him home in two weeks."
Approximately 200 personnel from the Indiana Homeland Security Department, the State Police, the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Health, the FSSA's Division of Mental Health and the State Fire Marshal's Office will be joining members of the Indiana National Guard as part of Operation Hoosier Relief.
A 10-member ISP Underwater Search and Rescue Team trained in swift water rescue along with a department mechanic were selected for the relief assignment.
"It is a credit to the men and women of the ISP that when asked to volunteer for this assignment, we had four fold the number of volunteers needed," ISP Superintendent Paul Whitesell said.
Plans are in place to relieve the civilian members of the Operation Hoosier Relief every two to three weeks.
The Brazil "Road Warriors" of Company B, 38th Main Support Battalion of the Indiana National Guard and the 181st Fighter Wing in Terre Haute have also been called upon by Gov. Mitch Daniels to assist in the humanitarian relief mission.
As part of operation "Task Force Indiana," the military group will provide logistical capabilities in the form of transportation, medical, security forces and aviation assets to support the rescue and recovery relief efforts at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
Units called to active duty will report to their home station and then convoy through to Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center to receive rations and supplies for their mission.