October 11, 2017

Release No: 17-039 Oct. 11, 2017



U.S. Northern Command continues to focus its relief efforts in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in three primary areas: deployment of logistical support forces, commodity distribution and increasing the medical capabilities on the island.

Today, the Department of Defense has scheduled 12 airlift missions to continue the movement of food and water, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water pumps, elements of the 127th Quartermaster Water Company, the 501st General Support Aviation Battalion, sustainment brigade personnel, the 86th Combat Support Hospital, elements of the 14th Combat Support Hospital, and transportation assets and personnel.

The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit continues central route clearance efforts today from Ponce to Adjuntas, Jayuya and Villalba to open roadways to aid in the flow of commodities to isolated areas. Engineering teams will restore culverts, bridges and trafficability of primary and secondary roadways. To date, 90 percent of all main roads are completely clear and teams are now concentrating on secondary roadways. The 26th MEU continues to handover responsibility to the 24th MEU this week in order to sustain operations in support of Puerto Rico relief efforts. Throughout their efforts in the JOA, the 26th MEU delivered more than 750,000 pounds of aid, cleared more than 60 miles of road, flew more than 350 flight hours, assessed 43 hospitals, and delivered more than 326 pallets of food and water.

DoD continues to support medical capabilities today in Puerto Rico through ground and sea-based medical support facilities including the hospital ship USNS Comfort. The 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 and is continuing to transit around Puerto Rico to Mayaguez, Yauco and Ponce.


DoD also continues delivering supplies on the ground and using helicopters to send supplies to central regions as additional distribution centers are established across Puerto Rico. To date, more than 7.6 million meals, 6.4 million liters of water, and 271 generators have been delivered to Puerto Rico in support of FEMA. Additionally, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the Defense Logistics Agency continues to deliver 2.5 million meals per day.

Yesterday, DoD delivered rough terrain ambulances; disaster readiness beddown sets that include bedding, bathroom facilities, kitchens, laundry and water purification capabilities. Additionally, the Joint Force Land Component Command Surgeon General continues developing a ground ambulance coordination plan with the Puerto Rico Department of Health and HHS to identify available assets, priorities and potential gaps.

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