Kentucky National Guard Soldiers to help in U.S. Virgin Islands

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Kentucky Air National Guard

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Approximately 120 Soldiers from the Kentucky Army National Guard’s 940th Military Police Company are scheduled to depart Monday for the U.S. Virgin Islands where they will assist with support to civil authorities in the wake of Hurricane Irma.  A National Guard C-17 Globemaster is scheduled to load military vehicles, associated equipment and personnel before 9:00 A.M. at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base.

The Kentucky Guardsmen will serve under a joint National Guard task force when they reach the Virgin Islands.  The 940th MP CO Commander Capt. Jared Stakelin said when the company received the mission, MPs from other units all over the state volunteered to go.

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“We received a large contingent of volunteers from all over the 198th MP Battalion. These Soldiers are motivated to get down there and help the local law enforcement, Marines and other Guardsmen assist, protect and defend,” said Stakelin. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by Hurricane Irma and we wish to do everything we can to help them.”

The Kentucky National Guard currently has more than 60 Soldiers from the 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade serving in various roles in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida. Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing have also been conducting search and rescue and airlift evacuations throughout the Caribbean.

The National Guard has mobilized more than 50,000 to support civil authorities across the country fighting wildfires and supporting hurricane relief efforts since August.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.