FORT BUCHANAN, PR- Brig. Gen. Dustin A. Shultz, senior federal Army Officer in the Caribbean, and Commanding General of the 1st Mission Support Command, U.S. Army Reserve-Puerto Rico, briefed Hon. Jennifer Gonzalez, Puerto Rico's Resident Commissioner in Washington, Dec. 3, at the Command's headquarters, about the relevance of the Army Reserve in the region, and the status of the Command's infrastructure in the island.
"We currently have Soldiers in different countries around the globe, to include Cuba, Poland, Afghanistan, Central America, and in the state of Texas," said Shultz, while highlighting the mission of the command to serve the needs of the Nation, anytime, anywhere.
During the encounter, Shultz was accompanied by Julio Aponte, Command Executive Officer and senior Army civilian in Puerto Rico, Luis Soto, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, Brig. Gen. retired Felix Santoni, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army Emeritus, and the recently appointed U.S. Army Reserve Ambassadors, Brig. Gen. retired Fernando Fernandez and Command Sgt. Maj. Rene Berlingeri, among other members of the staff.
"As the largest federal U.S. Army command in Puerto Rico and the region, we invest millions of dollars in the local economy, and create thousands of jobs, "stated Shultz.
Shultz also went on to describe the role performed by the Army Reserve-Puerto Rico Soldiers during the emergency created by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
"The combined civilian and military skills of Army Reserve Soldiers in Puerto Rico allowed us to provide critical life-saving, life-sustaining response capabilities to civil authorities during the disasters," added Shultz.
Meanwhile, Gonzalez expressed how proud she feels when commanders from across the Army mention to her the excellent job the Soldiers from Puerto Rico perform in their missions.
"As member of the Unites States House Committee on Veterans Affairs, I had the honor to visit our Soldiers in Kuwait and Djibouti, during Thanksgiving. I am very proud of our men and women in uniform, who represent us in combat to defend liberty and democracy," said the Congresswoman.
" After my visit to those countries, I wanted to meet with General Shultz to get to know the status of our Army Reserve, and to work together from Congress, to ensure our Soldiers have the required funds to continue with their missions," added Gonzalez.
At the end of the meeting, the Congresswoman expressed her interest to visit every Army Reserve installation in Puerto Rico, and her commitment to assist in overcoming any existing challenges.
With approximately 5,000 Soldiers, the U.S. Army Reserve has established a Caribbean Geographical Command that includes facilities in the U.S. Virgin islands, Aguadilla, Mayaguez, Ponce, Juana Diaz, Ceiba, Salinas, Puerto Nuevo and the U.S. Army Reserve installation of Fort Buchanan.