U.S. Northern Command continues to support the ongoing response efforts to Puerto Rico to provide life-saving and life-sustaining support to those in the affected areas. The Department of Defense primary focus is on the distribution of supplies, medical aid support, and the deployment of DoD logistical forces.
In the focus area of deployment, today, 12 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and a Veterans Affairs Mobile Medical Unit are scheduled to be transported to Puerto Rico. Currently we have approximately 3,300 Title 10 servicemembers located in the Puerto Rico area of operations. In addition, four U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey's, from the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264, Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, are operating in Puerto Rico, with four additional Ospreys arriving today. Yesterday, the DoD deployed additional support personnel, hazardous material response trailers, helicopters, communication support, and a mobile air traffic control tower.
In support of the distribution of supplies, the USMC MV-22’s, due to its unique capabilities ideal for providing life-saving and life-sustaining flights, are providing air to ground delivery of food, water and supplies to areas not accessible by ground. Additionally, USNORTHCOM has 11 scheduled flights to aid in the transportation of approximately 230,000 meals, 136,000 liters of water, and additional sandbags for the Guajataca Dam. Yesterday, the DoD completed 17 airlift flights to deliver water, meals, and other life-saving and life-sustaining commodities. DoD is also establishing a quick reaction capability for resupply efforts.
The Joint Force Land Component Command continues coordination with FEMA and Health and Human Services to build a comprehensive medical plan in order to best position DoD medical assets as they arrive. Today, teams will continue the reassessments and resupply of Puerto Rico hospitals and the continued support by our medical assets which include an Area Support Medical Company, Expeditionary Medical Support System, Army Combat Support Hospital, and the Navy USNS Comfort. Over the last nine days, the U.S. Marine Corps 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit assisted with the air and ground movement of hospital assessment teams to 45 out of 69 Puerto Rican hospitals and the movement of more than 14,500 pounds of relief supplies.
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.