National Guard headed to Puerto Rico for Maria recovery help

Doris Richards
September 30, 2017

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Eric Ridilla, a maintenance test pilot with Company B, 628th Aviation Support Battalion, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, performs final checks on a CH-47 Chinook September 26, 2017 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., before a flight mission to Puerto Rico in support of Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

"All of these soldiers that are going over, highly experienced both in austere conditions and combat and also in relief operations", U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., the adjutant general for SC. Officials said Puerto Rico requested assistance from NC National Guard through an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request with NC Emergency Management to aid in recovery.

They are expected to be in Puerto Rico for 30 days but are prepared to be there longer if required, officials said in a news release. Many South Carolina soldiers were part of the recovery effort when Hurricane Katrina struck - and they said Maria is no different. And I'm looking forward to helping these guys get through it because we all know what it's like being from the Midlands and being from the coast.

The Guard's main focus of the trip is to clear roadways of debris, and repairing infrastructure where needed.

Some of the soldiers are coming all the way from Virginia, and they'll be taking off for Puerto Rico on Sunday night. They leave here Sunday on aircraft.

All of the guardsmen volunteered to go on this mission and say they're happy they are able to offer help to victims. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania's adjutant general, "as always, the Pennsylvania National Guard is proud to assist those in need, whenever and wherever we are called".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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