Pentagon officials said Tuesday that National Guard assets are at full readiness to assist in the unfolding disaster in Texas wrought by Tropical Storm Harvey. Maj. Gen. James C. Witham, director of domestic operations for the National Guard, told Pentagon reporters that up to 30,000 guardsmen, as well as a U.S. naval amphibious assault ship, could be called upon to help out in rescue efforts on the ground.

There are 30 National Guard helicopters flying in Texas in support of relief efforts surrounding the hurricane and subsequent tropical storm, with 24 more requested, he said. Witham said that could increase to 100 helicopters in the days ahead as the Guard prepares for a sustained, phased response — a departure from what the Guard has done in the past. READ MORE