UPDATE:U.S. NORTHERN COMMAND CONTINUES HUMANITARIAN AID TO PUERTO RICO AND THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS

Release No: 17-026 Sept. 29, 2017
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PETERSON AFB, Colo. — 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 opening ports and restoring power to bring additional life-saving commodities and personnel into disaster-affected areas.

The Department of Defense’s focus going forward is to improve distribution from airport and port to the municipalities and hospitals.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan and Brig. Gen. Richard Kim are on the ground in Puerto Rico and are leading the USNORTHCOM efforts, as the response becomes more land-centric. However, it is important to understand our sea-based capabilities are not departing the area; they will continue to apply their unique capabilities in support of the response.

U.S. Marines and Navy sailors completed nine medical evacuation missions, distributed approximately 150,000 pounds of relief supplies and cargo, and cleared three miles of roads yesterday. The route to both Federal Aviation Administration towers at Roosevelt Roads are now open to ground traffic.

The USNS Comfort, a seagoing medical treatment facility, is underway today and will arrive in Puerto Rico in approximately five days. The U.S. Navy ships currently operating around Puerto Rico include the USS KEARSARGE, USS OAK HILL, USS WASP and the USNS SUPPLY.

Five barges are scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5 with 2.5 million liters of water, 3 million meals, two generators, and
Eight C-17s are arriving in Puerto Rico to provide the following
:
• Food and water for 250,000 local residents

• Larger-scale, long-term management to receive the increasing flow of federal personnel, equipment and 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.

NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs