St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota National Guard is contributing to the Hurricane Irma response.

A news release says nearly 50 members of the Air and Army National Guard have been activated to assist victims of the natural disaster and other government agencies involved in the response. 41 members of the 133rd Airlift Wing based in St. Paul over the weekend and 6 members of an Army National Guard unit headquartered in central Minnesota left this morning.

"I thank Major General Nash for his leadership, and the brave Minnesota National Guard soldiers who will provide assistance in Hurricane Irma response and relief efforts," said Governor Dayton. "I encourage all Minnesotans who are able to contribute to qualified relief efforts. Minnesota stands ready to assist those affected by Hurricane Irma in any way we are able."

14 of the Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing are currently on standby at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, where they are prepared to support emergency medical evacuations in the Caribbean or the portions of southeastern U.S. hit hard by the huge storm. The other Airmen have been sent to St. Thomas to assist in recovery efforts on the devastated Virgin Islands.

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