October 08, 2017


The Department of Defense continues to focus its relief efforts in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on areas officials deemed priorities: deployment of logistical support forces, commodity distribution and increasing the medical capabilities on the island.

Today, U.S. Transportation Command has a number of scheduled flights to deliver additional DoD personnel and equipment, commodities, additional elements of the 14th Combat Support Hospital, elements of the 575th Area Support Medical Company and a FEMA Mobile Emergency Response Support equipment to Puerto Rico. An additional eight Marine MV-22 Ospreys are scheduled to arrive today in Aguadilla to provide support to ongoing relief operations. In addition, two of six inbound Army CH-47s will arrive today, increasing our total to 58 helicopters. Currently we have more than 7,000 active duty service members operating in and around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Yesterday, DoD deployed the 35th Expeditionary Signal Brigade to provide command, control, communications and computer support for DoD and FEMA responders; the 393rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion for logistic support to DoD responder teams; a Movement Control Team to support transportation and movement; and a veterinary detachment arrived in Puerto Rico to help treat livestock and local animals.


In support of the distribution of commodities today, DoD is expanding a comprehensive commodities distribution and medical support network in support of FEMA and HHS in Puerto Rico. Yesterday, DoD supplied over 162,000 gallons of bulk water, 44,000 gallons of bulk fuel, 1,500,000 meals and 3,000,000 bottles of water to Regional Support Areas.


The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit is currently conducting central route clearance today in order to open up roadways into the interior of Puerto Rico. Additionally, the 26th MEU, along with Marine aviation units, continue support operations today at the Guajataca Dam to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to repair the Guajataca Dam.


Today, the hospital ship, USNS Comfort, continues to engage with Health and Human Services and the Puerto Rico Department of Health representatives in its continued support to patients on the island. Yesterday, the USNS Comfort coordinated a medical evacuation following a generator failure at Hospital Menonita in Caguas. The USNS Comfort is currently underway and expected to arrive and provide medical services in the Aguadilla region. To date, the USNS Comfort has treated 78 patients ranging from six months to 89 years in age.

Currently we have more than 7,000 active duty service members and 56 active duty helicopters operating in and around Puerto Rico.


To date, approximately 7.5 million meals, 6 million liters of water and 294 generators have been delivered to Puerto Rico in support of FEMA and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.