ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–Eleven New York National Guard soldiers have been sent to Florida to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian. The storm made landfall as a category 4.

“In this case, the state of Florida National Guard requested heavy lift helicopters and the New York National Guard, again at the direction of the governor— she has to agree to send her assets, is responding,” explained Eric Durr, Director of Public Affairs for NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs.

The soldiers in CH-47F Chinook helicopters, flew out of Rochester International Airport on Wednesday to Greenville, North Carolina. On Thursday, they made their way to the Fort Myers/Naples area of Florida to get their task.

“Their mission down there, a CH-47 can carry 30 people. It can haul about 21 thousand pounds. It flies at 196 miles per hour. It’s a bus sized helicopter with two big Rotors up above it. So it’s very useful if you need to move supplies.”

Those supplies can be anything from water, food, to emergency personnel, and equipment.

Durr said once the immediate emergency is done, the soldiers will come back home. But at this point, unclear as to exactly when that will happen.

Governor Kathy Hochul stated, “We are grateful for the heroism of these New Yorkers who are answering the call of duty, as well as for the extraordinary efforts of all first responders currently working to provide aid and support to the people of Florida. New York will always stand up and help our neighbors in a time of need.” 

Eric Durr shared a similar sentiment.

“The National Guard, we are always happy to help our folks here at home,” said Durr. “We of course fight people’s wars, we also help here at home, and when another state needs help we are glad to go help them as well.”