18 striking photos of the US military saving lives after Hurricane Harvey

Petty Officer 3rd Class Johanna Strickland/US Coast Guard

The US military is on and above the ground in Texas.

After Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of the Gulf Coast and brought up to 50 inches of rain to parts of Houston, the US military and state National Guard joined in rescue and recovery efforts.

It’s pretty clear from the photos that they are doing plenty of good, and likely saving many lives.

Here are 18 photos of troops carrying out a humanitarian mission here at home.

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott called Harvey one 'of the largest disasters America ever faced,' and activated the state National Guard on Monday.

Staff Sgt. Tim Pruitt/US Army
Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard make their way through an area affected by Hurricane Harvey, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm.

That meant bringing in plenty of boats ...

US Army National Guard
Texas Army National Guard Soldiers joined members of a Texas Task Force One Swift Water Rescue Team for interoperability training leading up to Hurricane Harvey, in Bryan, Texas, August 25, 2017. Training included loading and unloading Zodiac boats, use and recovery of throw bags, and the utilization of life vests and other safety equipment. Members of the Texas Army National Guard are being mobilized across the state as part of hurricane response operations.

... and trucks that can make it through the high waters.

1st Lt. Zachary West/US Army
Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard make their way through flooded Houston streets while rescuing residents as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm.

Coast Guard overflights have shown many areas underwater as they look for people seeking rescue.

US Coast Guard
Coast Guard conducts a fly over of the Port Aransas area after a search and rescue mission, Saturday, August 26, 2016 during The aircrews were launched to assist people in distress aboard the vessels Sabine Pass, Sandy Point, and Signet Enterprise. Coast Guard photo by Air Station Corpus Christi.

Coast Guard rescue swimmers are doing plenty of that.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Corinne Zilnicki/US Coast Guard
A Coast Guard rescue swimmer with axe and chainsaw in hand walks to an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter at Air Station Houston, Aug. 27, 2017. Coast Guard, Texas Air National Guard, Customs and Border Protection and other federal, state and local agencies have been conducting urban rescues in the greater Houston area since Saturday.

This Coast Guard helicopter was filled to the brim with survivors.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Johanna Strickland/US Coast Guard
The Coast Guard responds to search and rescue requests in response to Hurricane Harvey in the greater Houston Metro Area Aug. 28, 2017. The Coast Guard is working closely with all federal, state and local emergency operation centres and has established incident command posts to manage search and rescue operations.

They will likely be taken to shelters throughout Texas.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Johanna Strickland/US Coast Guard
Coast Guard Air Station Houston responds to search and rescue requests after Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, Aug. 27, 2017. The Coast Guard is working closely with all local and state emergency operation centres and has established incident command posts to manage Coast Guard storm operations.

The Air National Guard is also on the scene with air support.

Airman 1st Class Daniel H. Farrel/US Air National Guard
Three HH-60 Pavehawk Helicopters from the New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing, carrying pararescuemen take off from Fort Hood, Texas, on August 28, 2017, heading for Houston as part of the Hurricane Harvey response effort. The crews are prepared to conduct rescue operations.

And the scale of the operation is much larger than most realise. The Coast Guard, for example, is sending personnel in from as far away as Miami.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Lally/US Coast Guard
More than 40 Coast Guard personnel from Air Station Miami and Maritime Safety and Security Team Miami prepare to board a Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules aeroplane to relieve other Coast Guard responders for Hurricane Harvey Response efforts Monday, Aug. 28, 2017.

That's to augment the amazing efforts of Texas National Guardsmen already there.

1st Lt. Zachary West/US Army
Texas National Guard soldiers arrive in Houston, Texas to aid citizens in heavily flooded areas from the storms of Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 27, 2017.

Gov. Abbott activated the entire Guard for rescue efforts, which is about 12,000 soldiers.

1st Lt. Zachary West/US Army
Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard rescue Houston residents as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm.

And they have saved everyone from the injured ...

1st Lt. Zachary West/US Army
A Soldier with the Texas Army National Guard, left, works with a local first responder to rescue those stranded by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm.

... to the elderly ...

Capt. Martha Nigrelle/US Army National Guard
Texas National Guardsmen from the 386th Engineer Battalion work alongside first responders from Texas Task Force One and the Cypress Creek Fire Department to rescue local citizens from severe flooding in Cypress Creek, August 28, 2017. Soldiers, fire fighters, paramedics and neighbours ensured more than 1,000 people and hundreds of dogs and cats were safe, evacuating them to dry ground and local shelters.

... and even pets.

1st Lt. Zachary West/US Army
A Soldier with the Texas Army National Guard rescues a Houston resident's family pet as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm.

But the efforts still continue. There have been at least 14 deaths confirmed, and officials expect there to be more.

1st Lt. Zachary West/US Army
A Soldier with the Texas Army National Guard keeps an eye on rising floodwaters in a Houston neighbourhood while working to rescue those stranded by Hurricane Harvey, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm.

But the military, along with other first responders, will be working to save lives and keep that number down.

Capt. Martha Nigrelle/US Army National Guard
Texas National Guardsmen from the 386th Engineer Battalion work alongside first responders from Texas Task Force One and the Cypress Creek Fire Department to rescue local citizens from severe flooding in Cypress Creek, August 28, 2017. Soldiers, fire fighters, paramedics and neighbours ensured more than 1,000 people and hundreds of dogs and cats were safe, evacuating them to dry ground and local shelters.

Whether it's day ...

Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan/US Air Force
A maintainer from the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit marshals an HH-60G Pave Hawk prior to a sortie in support of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, Aug. 28, 2017, at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas. The 347th Rescue Group from Moody Air Force Base, Ga. sent aircraft and personnel in support of Air Forces Northern as part of Northern Command's support of FEMA's disaster response efforts.

... Or night.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Callaghan/US Air Force
An HC-130J Combat King II from the 71st Rescue Squadron lands at the Easterwood Airport following a sortie in support of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, Aug. 28, 2017, in College Station, Texas. The 347th Rescue Group from Moody Air Force Base, Ga. sent aircraft and personnel in support of Air Forces Northern as part of Northern Command's support of FEMA's disaster response efforts.

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