10 active, 980 reserve sailors missing on Gulf Coast

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Subject: 10 active, 980 reserve sailors missing on Gulf Coast


10 active, 980 reserve sailors missing on Gulf Coast

By Mark D. Faram
NavyTimes staff writer
9 September 2005

Navy officials now say just 10 active-duty sailors and 980 selected reservists remain missing along the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast as of Sept. 9.“We are 99 percent accounted for on the military side and 92 percent for civilian employees,” said Cmdr. Randy Lescault, spokes-man for Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn., speaking of active-duty sailors.

Lt. Ken Shade, spokesman for the Naval Reserve, now relocated in Millington, Tenn., said they’re working hard to locate the 980 missing reservists, using every possible means. Shade encouraged reservists in the affected area to use the Navy’s toll-free number, (877) 414-5358, for Navy people in the disaster zone.

Navy officials say there were just over 14,000 active-duty military, civilian and military family members living in and assigned to commands in Louisiana and Mississippi on Aug. 29, when Katrina hit.Of that number, 9,709 are active-duty sailors, according to Lescault, but he was unable to provide a breakdown of the remaining 4,300. The total number of selected reservists living in the disaster area was unknown, according to Navy officials.

“The biggest challenge in that area is still the fact that communication infrastructure has been down,” said Cmdr. Ron Hill, spokesman for the Navy’s chief of personnel in Arlington, Va. “As the word gets out, the numbers of those not accounted for are dropping rapidly.”

He confirmed 200 Navy civilians are unaccounted for. Hill said at the larger evacuation centers such as the Astrodome in Houston, the Navy’s toll-free number has been flashed on electronic message boards telling Navy personnel to call in. At the smaller centers, fliers are being distributed telling people to check in.