October 09, 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, DoD has 15 scheduled active duty airlift missions to continue the movement of support forces and capabilities in support of FEMA response efforts in Puerto Rico. Today, this includes the deployment of the 14th Combat Support Hospital and the 633rd Expeditionary Medical Support with 25 beds and surgical capabilities. Currently, we have more than 7,400 active duty service members and 58 active duty helicopters operating in and around Puerto Rico. Yesterday, an additional eight Marine MV-22 Ospreys arrived in Aguadilla along with two of six CH-47 Chinooks to help with logistical and commodity distribution support. Additionally, DoD aircraft delivered a variety of response assets including a FEMA Mobile Emergency Response System, the 127th Quartermaster Water Company, the 14th and 86th Combat Support Hospital, the 247th Quartermaster Composite Supply Company, an advance party for the 146th Airlift Control Flight, additional Humvees, a water trailer, additional support personnel, sustainment cargo and additional commodities.


In support of the distribution of commodities, DoD continues to work with FEMA and Health and Human Services to expand comprehensive commodity distribution and medical support networks within Puerto Rico. To date, the Defense Logistics Agency has delivered 30.4 million meals to FEMA Installation Support Bases and estimates the delivery of 2.5 million meals per day for the next 30 days. Additionally, to date, DoD has delivered approximately 7.7 million meals, 6.3 million liters of water and 271 generators to Puerto Rico in support of FEMA and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.


Today, DoD continues to support medical capabilities in Puerto 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. In addition, the Joint Force Land Component Command Surgeon General is developing a ground ambulance common operating picture with the Puerto Rico Department of Health and HHS to identify available assets, requirements and potential gaps. Currently there are a total of 29 ground ambulances in Puerto Rico and the 514th Ground Ambulance Company is deploying to increase this capability.


The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit continues central route clearance efforts today to open up roadways into the interior of Puerto Rico to aid in the flow of commodities. Additionally, the 26th MEU and Marine aviation units, continue support operations today to assist the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to repair the Guajataca Dam.