AK National Guard deploys to Puerto Rico for hurricane relief
The Alaska National Guard (AKNG) is sending a team to Puerto Rico to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
A ten-person crew will help with communications and maintenance, increasing the connectivity between the territory and the United States.
Another 14 guardsmen will be at the San Juan Airport to expedite cargo and equipment. There aren’t enough people to help with the amount of relief supplies going into Puerto Rico, so the guardsmen will help with logistics and loading to alleviate some of the backlog.
Senior Master Sergeant Naomi Groom-Collison is taking leave from her job at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to be a part of the mission.
“I really wanted to be in support of something bigger than myself. It’s why I joined the Air National Guard,” Groom-Collison said.
AKNG previously sent five guardsmen to Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey search and rescue, as well as another 12 to support Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
“The amazing thing is the ability for Alaskan Guardsmen to step forward, step out and take action anywhere around the world,” Groom-Collinson said. “We have such a reactive rescue squadron and the ability to pick up, go and get the job done is what we specialize in.”
The team will be in Puerto Rico for 45 days, returning back to Alaska at the beginning of December.