The Virginia National Guard is helping with relief effort in Caribbean

Minnesota National Guard members assisting in Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands

The Mississippi Army and Air National Guard will spend 32 days on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

The U.S. Virgin Islands will pay deployment expenses.

Louisiana is sending hundreds of its National Guard troops and emergency response officials to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help with recovery from hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Hurricane Maria began tearing across the island early in the morning of September 20 as a Category 4 storm with winds of 155 miles per hour. Since Hurricane Maria, Air Mobility Command has flown almost 200 sorties, delivering about 1,500 short tons of critical equipment and supplies, such as fuel, communications equipment, generators, medical equipment, food and water, said Col. Patrick Ryder, an Air Force spokesman. The lack of that radar greatly reduced the number of aircraft that could be brought to Puerto Rico on a per hour basis.

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Fema said full air traffic control services had been restored to the main global airport in San Juan, allowing for more than a dozen commercial flights a day, although that figure represented a fraction of the airport's normal business.

"Not that any natural disaster is an easy thing to do, but it's especially hard right now in Puerto Rico", he said. He made clear that supporting the territory's citizens is a top priority, and DOD will deploy all needed resources to do so.

The statement noted that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, announced the state would send 1,100 Guardsman and first responders to Puerto Rico; New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has ordered 600 Guardsman to the island.

That will include the USNS Comfort hospital ship, which was scheduled to leave Norfolk, Virginia on Friday with 522 medical personnel and support staff, according to Navy Military Sealift Command. U.S. Transportation Command lifted a replacement generator for San Juan Combined Center/Radar Approach.


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