Hundreds of reservists yet to check in after Katrina
WASHINGTON — Reserve officials in states hit by Hurricane Katrina are slowly locating their far-flung troops, but thousands still have not checked in with their command.
As of Sunday, about 1,950 Army reservists and about 510 reserve families were still unaccounted for, according to Army Reserve Command spokesman Steve Stromvall. About 20,400 reservists and 2,400 families live in the affected areas.
Stromvall said officials are monitoring those numbers every day and asking all reservists to contact military officials and provide them with contact information.
Only one guardsman from the affected areas has not checked in with his command, Stromvall said.
Naval Reserve Personnel Command, which was relocated to Tennessee from New Orleans because of the disaster, said by Monday about 400 of their approximately 1,800 reservists from those hard-hit counties have not yet contacted military officials.
“That number is going down slowly but surely,” said Cmdr. Ed Buclatin, public affairs for the command. “We’ve been doing our best to get the message out, putting that (check-in) number up in shelters, whatever we can.”
Buclatin emphasized that officials do not know if the missing reservists were injured or killed in the hurricane, or if they evacuated the region and simply have not found time to contact their units. His office is monitoring and updating the numbers daily, he said.
Last week officials from Air Force Reserve Command reported more than 930 reservists with unknown status, most from areas around Keesler Air Force Base and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans that were evacuated prior to the hurricane.
To contact Army Reserve Command, call (877) 464-9330. To contact Naval command, call (877) 414-5358. Airmen who have not contacted their chain of command are asked to call (800) 435-9941