U.S. Northern Command, in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, continues to conduct 24-hour operations, aggressively working to meet and overcome challenges to open ports and roads, restore power, and assist with bringing additional life-saving commodities into disaster-affected areas.
Yesterday, the commander of the Joint Force Land Component Command, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, assumed duties as the lead active-duty commander for hurricane response efforts.
Buchanan and his team are fully integrated with FEMA and response stakeholders in Puerto Rico. His component command headquarters has already assisted FEMA in developing long-term sustainment distribution networks, while providing direct route clearance and commodity distribution support for the people of Puerto Rico.
The Department of Defense completed 11 strategic airlift flights yesterday in support of operations to provide food, water and military logistics and communication units.
Today, USNORTHCOM is deploying sustainment units and other command and control elements, as well as large sandbags for temporary repairs at the Guajataca Dam. We also continue to conduct our daily flights delivering food and water for up to 250,000 local residents in Puerto Rico.
The central challenge in Puerto Rico continues to be the distribution of commodities and services to every point of need. Therefore, our active-duty response efforts will continue to focus on commodity distribution.
Additionally, active-duty military will continue to work with officials from Health and Human Services to determine the best employment options for federal medical assets as they arrive. Our medical assets include an Area Support Medical Company, Expeditionary Medical Support System, a Combat Support Hospital and the USNS Comfort, our hospital ship.
USNORTHCOM's mission is to assist lead federal relief agencies in helping those affected by natural disasters to minimize suffering while continuing its mission of defending the Homeland.
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