Hurricane Katrina Pictures: How the Military Helped

Deborah Hansen Contributor
Hurricane Katrina Pictures
Read Time: approx. 3:52

Hurricane Katrina Pictures show all of the ways the U.S. military helped before, during and after one of our country’s most devastating storms.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: For the 14th anniversary of the storm, here are 14 ways the military helped after Hurricane Katrina


On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast bringing devastation to the region. Most famously the cities of New Orleans, Pascagoula, and Gulfport were demolished by the historic storm. The worst damage was caused by the massive storm surge, flooding areas over 12 miles inland. Water from the Gulf of Mexico was pushed into Lake Ponchartrain, causing the Industrial Levees protecting New Orleans to fail in numerous places.

In preparation for the storm, the National Guard was mobilizing before Katrina hit, with 10,000 troops ready in Louisiana and Mississippi as the massive system approached the area.  First Army LTG Russel Honore was quickly placed in charge of Joint Task Force Katrina, led by First Army and supported by the Fifth Army.

National Guard relief operations began immediately after Katrina came ashore, with active-duty troops mobilized as soon as the levees failed. As it has since the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, our military brought its expertise to the rescue efforts regarding everything from evacuating residents and delivering food to structural repair. For the 14th anniversary of the storm, here are 14 ways the military helped after Hurrican Katrina.

1) The 67th Signal Battalion from Fort Gordon set up communications for the Command Post.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: Airmen from various basic military training squadrons at nearby Lackland Air Force Base take a break from setting up temporary quarters for Hurricane Katrina evacuees here. The Airmen had been preparing to depart for Keesler AFB, Miss., for advanced training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark Borosch)

2) The 82nd Airborne Division arrived within 7 hours of deployment with orders to “fix New Orleans and fix the airport.” The Division also evacuated the Superdome when that facility became overwhelmed and unusable.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: Hurricane Katrina survivors arrive at the Houston Astrodome Red Cross Shelter after being evacuated from New Orleans. Thousands of survivors are at the Astrodome after the Superdome became unsafe following the levee breaks in New Orleans. FEMA photo/Andrea Booher

3) The 319th Airborne Field Artillery was also assigned to the airport and evacuated 9,000 people through the airport within 12 hours.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: U. S. Army Paratroopers from Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, patrol a nearly deserted Bourbon Street in New Orleans' famous French Quarter. (Photo Credit: Department of Defense)

4) The 3rd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne assisted FEMA in search and rescue efforts.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: U. S. Army Captain Jesse Stewart of the 3/505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, conducts a patrol of the debris ravaged Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, September 8, 2005. (Photo Credit: Department of Defense)

5) The 56th Signal Battalion had the job of connecting commercial and military communications.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: U.S. Army Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, and U. S. Coast Guard personnel use a Zodiac to patrol the flooded streets of New Orleans, on September 8, 2005, in search of Hurricane Katrina survivors. (Photo Credit: Department of Defense)

6) The 14th Combat Support Hospital treated the injured in New Orleans from their “base” in the downtown area.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: Spc. Adolfo Cosino (left), and Pvt. Jerel Ridgely, chemical specialists, 21st Chemical Company, 82nd Airborne Division, spray down a humvee, September 14, 2005, at the Task Force All American Decontamination site in New Orleans. (Photo Credit: Department of Defense)

7) The 21st Chemical Company took over decontamination efforts of personnel, vehicles, boats, and the hospitals.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: 115th Engineer Group Soldiers prepare to lift vaults that were washed away from Louisiana cemeteries

8) The 13th Corps Support Command took over logistics for the DOD.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: Army National Guard Soldiers from 1-204th Air Defense Artillery Battalion, Newton Miss., distribute Meals Ready to Eat and ice to people while at Pascagoula, Miss., during humanitarian relief efforts in support of Joint Task Force Katrina, Sept. 3, 2005

9) National Guard units took over peacekeeping efforts in the city, patrolling the streets to maintain order.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: Oregon National Guard patrol from C Company, 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry, moves up Paris Avenue in north New Orleans, to verify no people remain there in need of help or evacuation and to chart the boundaries of the receding floodwaters Sept. 15, 2005. U.S. Air Force by Tech. Sgt. Roger M. Dey

10) The Army Corps of Engineers had the massive task of draining the city of New Orleans and repairing the levees and pumps to keep the area dry. The Corps also delivered food, water, and ice to residents.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: Soldiers from the Nevada Army Guard’s 72nd Military Police Company file past the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center after assisting more than 4,000 people in evacuating from the area around the Convention Center on Sept. 2, 2005.

11) The US Navy provided support from the sea, delivering supplies and keeping logistical support moving, as the airport and bridges were badly damaged.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: Utilizing the rescue crane in their UH-1 Huey helicopter, members of the 832nd Medical Company, Wisconsin Army National Guard, hoist a Hurricane Katrina survivor from an apartment building completely surrounded by flood waters, Sept. 5, 2005

12) The US Navy utilized four MH-53 Sea Stallion and two HH-60 Seahawk helicopters from USS Bataan for rescue and evacuation efforts.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: Army Spc. James Meidl, heavy equipment operator, from the 890th Engineering Battalion, Columbia, Miss., operates a D-7 Dozer to help clear the roads while in Pass Christian, Miss., during humanitarian relief efforts in support of Joint Task Force Katrina, Sept. 4, 2005. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. James M. Bowman

13) The hospital ship USNS Comfort brought medical assistance to the area.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: Members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration ride in a 5-ton truck performing block-to-block searches, Sept. 7, 2005. The military and federal agencies are performing house-to-house searches, rescuing New Orleans residents stranded in their homes due to flood waters caused by Hurricane Katrina. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Scott Reed

14) The Air Force brought five helicopters from the 920th Rescue Wing, from Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., and 347th Rescue Wing from Moody Air Force Base, Ga. to aid in search and rescue operation.

Hurricane Katrina Pictures

Hurricane Katrina Pictures: Jackson Barracks photographed at the height of the hurricane, August 29, 2005. Courtesy of Maj. James Worley, 159th Fighter Wing, Louisiana Air National Guard

These are only some of the many heroic actions taken by the US military after Hurricane Katrina. By October 11th, the area was dry again and although the area still shows the effects of this massive storm even to this day, our troops demonstrated that they always stand by ready to assist Americans in times of dire need.


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