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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 516-95
September 19, 1995

UPDATE TO DOD HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORT

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 resource distribution.

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 repairs.

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 capability.

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.

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