Help is on the way from Connecticut to Puerto Rico to help restore communications on the island that has been ravaged by two hurricanes — Irma and Marie.
On Tuesday morning, a crew of 13 Guardsmen from the Connecticut National Guard departed Bradley Air National Guard Base in East Granby on a C-130H cargo plane, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced.
The crew is headed to Puerto Rico, where they will assist local government authorities in establishing and maintaining urgently needed communications equipment, which will be used in the ongoing recovery and response efforts.
Almost immediately upon arriving, the Guardsmen – eight Soldiers and five Airmen – will set up Joint Incident Site Communication Capability equipment. It is capable of connecting local, state, and federal-level authorities together through voice, video, and data communications.
JISCC equipment is noted for its durability and can be connected almost anywhere communication support is needed.
The Guardsmen on this mission are part of the Connecticut Air National Guard’s 103rd Mission Support Group’s Communications Flight, and the Connecticut Army National Guard’s Charlie Company, 572nd Brigade Engineer Battalion.
The timeframe for their return is yet to be determined.
“Connecticut’s National Guard consists of an impressive group of men and women who have dedicated themselves toward protecting those who need it most, including those who live hundreds of miles away and whose lives have become devastated in the aftermath of two major hurricanes,” Malloy said. “Our office remains in consistent contact with Puerto Rican authorities and we will continue to provide whatever type of assistance we can during this time of emergency.”
This is the third Connecticut National Guard crew to deploy to the region after the two hurricanes. Last Friday and Saturday, two crews, each consisting of seven Airmen, flew to the Caribbean on C-130H cargo planes to help deliver supplies to Puerto Rico and other nearby islands.
One of those crews has since returned to Connecticut, while the other is currently in Georgia waiting for potential follow-on missions.
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