The Department of Defense continues this week providing relief efforts to
assist in the U.S. Virgin Islands recovery from Hurricane Marilyn. Federal
priorities now include restoration of energy and communications, as well as
Toward that end, DoD has deployed a total of 196 personnel to Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands to provide a variety of services. The U.S. Air Force is
operating two Airfield Operations Control Teams at St. Thomas and St. Croix.
The U.S. Army Director of Military Support, responsible for coordinating DoD
disaster relief efforts, sent staffs to the scene to provide interface between
the DoD and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Additionally, military
personnel are flying transportation, supply and reconnaissance missions, and
assisting in providing emergency power, water generation and emergency roofing
To date, DoD flight crews have flown more than 70 sorties, delivering more
than 567,000 pounds of relief supplies These include emergency construction
material, potable water, and ice. We have provided more than 25,000 cases of
Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), and anticipate providing up to 14,000 prepackaged
meals per day served from seven military mobile kitchen trailers.
Specialized military aircraft remain in the region providing unique
capabilities. The U.S. Southern Command provided a reconnaissance aircraft for
damage assessment. There are eight C-130 aircraft providing intra-island
transportation and a National Airborne Command Center is on the ground at
Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, to provide the FEMA with a command post
The Army and Air National Guard and Reserve from Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands are equally involved in the effort, providing some 800 personnel with a
focus largely on search and rescue as well as security missions.