On Thursday October 5, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) spokesperson Dana White gave a press briefing on the DOD’s relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
During the press briefing, White outlined the DOD’s actions in providing support to Puerto Rico. White outlined the following: “the department has deployed more than 11,000 active duty and National Guard troops; dispatched 80 tilt-and-rotary-wing aircraft; provided 5.8 liters of water; 7.3 million meals; 22,000 costs; 11,000 tarps; 278 generators; and more than 100 field trucks and drives.”
“Lieutenant General Buchanan, commander, U.S. Army North, has been on the ground for a week, and his team has already opened all nine seaports and all 10 airports. Their work was critical to delivering relief supplies to the island,” White said.
Furthermore, White provided details of the USNS Comfort’s arrival to the island on Tuesday. White stated that “the USNS Comfort arrived with 800 medical personnel, providing patients with a full suite of care, including surgical, pediatric and trauma support, with 250 hospital beds. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been on the ground installing generators at critical facilities, to include 66 hospitals; 15 of those hospitals are not operational; and 51 are operating on generator power.”
One of the main concerns on the Island was the damage to the Guajataca Dam, which provides drinking water to over 230,000 Puerto Ricans, White stated that “the Corps of Engineers is doing erosion repairs.”
In closing, White stated the following: “The department will remain fully engaged in providing humanitarian assistance to our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico until we’ve restored some semblance of normalcy to their lives. As the secretary of defense said in testimony this week, ‘When it comes to helping Americans, it’s all hands on deck.’”
The press conference can be viewed by clicking here.