The Defense Department continues to deploy more response capacity to Puerto Rico to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s need for a commodities distribution network able to reach isolated communities and sustained medical support for the island’s residents, Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement this morning.
Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, who’s in command of DoD’s Hurricane Maria response and relief efforts in Puerto Rico, is leading the department’s efforts to establish aerial and seaport nodes of debarkation throughout Puerto Rico so that FEMA, with DoD support, can flow resources throughout the commonwealth, Davis said. Buchanan is being assisted by his deputy, Army Brig. Gen. Richard C. Kim.
DoD also is supporting the establishment of a medical support plan to best position medical support assets as they arrive in Puerto Rico, the spokesman said. Army Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, Chief of Engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is in Puerto Rico overseeing temporary power installation, electrical distribution repairs, infrastructure improvements and Guajataca Dam reinforcement, Davis said.