Alaska Guardsmen depart for Puerto Rico with communications equipment and personnel

    JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON (KINY) Alaska Air and Army National Guard members deploy today to assist Puerto Rico during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

    A C-17 Globemaster III and aircrew from the 176th Wing’s 249th Airlift Squadron will transport 24 personnel and a Joint Incident Site Communications Capability system to Puerto Rico,this morning. A 10-member communications and maintenance team from the Alaska Air Guard’s 168th and 176th Wings and the Alaska Army National Guard will operate and maintain the JISCC system, which will increase overall communication connectivity between the territory and mainland.  Fourteen Airmen from the 176th Wing are also deploying with the C-17. The aerial port personnel operate logistical functions such as processing personnel and cargo, loading equipment, and preparing air cargo for transport.

    Five National Guard JISCCs were deployed for Hurricane Harvey response and 12 deployed for Hurricane Irma. Puerto Rico’s National Guard had two on the island, which they took down to protect them before Maria struck land. The National Guard requested 14 JISCCs to deploy from other states to Puerto Rico, and eight have arrived while others are awaiting airlift support, secondary to food, water and other priority resources.

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