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.
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A U.S. Marine with Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), and a local resident work together to clear a tree from the main road as part of Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, Sept. 27, 2017. The 26th MEU is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, and local authorities in Puerto Rico with the combined goal of protecting the lives and safety of those in affected areas. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alexis C. Schneider)
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POPE ARMY AIRFIELD, N.C. — Airmen from the 43d Air Mobility Squadron here, and from the 22nd Airlift Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., load a 45,000-pound Federal Aviation Administration power generator on a C-5M Super Galaxy on Green Ramp here Sept. 27. While loading, the aircrew discovered technical issues with the cargo which prevented a safe loading operation and delayed the load until Sept. 28. The generator will be used to supply power for air traffic control operations in San Juan, Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria’s strike on the island, ensuring the steady flow of relief supplies. Airmen in the 43d AMS also received and palletized water and meals which will be delivered along with the generator. (U.S. Air Force photo/Marc Barnes)
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Members of the 375th Logistics Readiness Squadron load disaster relief cargo onto a C-17 Globemaster III to support the mobilization of the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. Staging out of Little Rock Air Force Base, the 375th AES, initially provided aeromedical evacuation for Harvey in Texas, and redeployed to support relief efforts in the Caribbean after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated those areas. The 375th deployed En Route Patient Staging Systems to help prepare dialysis patients on St. Croix and St. Thomas for air transport to the U.S. to continue treatment.
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.
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