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“This place is going to look like Little Somalia,” Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, commander of the Louisiana National Guard’s Joint Task Force told Army Times Friday as hundreds of armed troops under his charge prepared to launch a massive citywide security mission from a staging area outside the Louisiana Superdome. “We’re going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control.”
Jones said the military first needs to establish security throughout the city. Military and police officials have said there are several large areas of the city are in a full state of anarchy.
Dozens of military trucks and up-armored Humvees left the staging area just after 11 a.m. Friday, while hundreds more troops arrived at the same staging area in the city via Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters.
“We’re here to do whatever they need us to do,” Sgt. 1st Class Ron Dixon, of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 1345th Transportation Company. “We packed to stay as long as it takes.”
: BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Reuters) -- Unmanned remote-controlled airplanes used in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may be deployed to find people trapped in New Orleans' buildings by Hurricane Katrina's flood waters, a U.S. congressman said Friday.
Five Silver Fox "unmanned aerial vehicles," or UAVs, equipped with thermal imaging technology to detect the body heat of storm survivors, are en route to the crippled city, Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Curt Weldon said.
"With thermal imaging capability ... you can actually see into the buildings and see the body image of a person still alive," Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, said.
They can be used to gather battlefield intelligence.
Weldon said the UAVs were being transported to Baton Rouge and he had requested the deployment of U.S. military personnel capable of operating them. They could be in operation over New Orleans within hours of arrival, he said.