FORT BUCHANAN, PR - The Governor of Puerto Rico, honorable Wanda Vazquez Garced, signed Executive Order 2019-054 activating the Puerto Rico National Guard in support of the Maritime Transport Authority (MTA) and the island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra.
The activation was set in effect after the MTA vessels "Cayo Largo" and "Isleño" suffered mechanical failure during the weekend which rendered both vessels inoperable, hindering the supply of heavy cargo, products and provisions to both islands.
"As has been our purpose and mission for the last 100 years, the PRNG is ready to respond to the call and support the people of Puerto Rico when in need," said the Adjutant General of Puerto Rico, Major General Jose J. Reyes. "As we have done before, our Landing Craft Detachment located in Ceiba is capable and ready to support the government and the well-being of the people of Vieques and Culebra. Our priority is to transport all essential goods to the Island municipalities until the regular cargo ferry service is fully operational again."
The PRNG Landing Craft Detachment operates four vessels from its base in Roosevelt Roads, Ceiba. Each vessel has the capacity to transport up to 60 Tons in its 620 square foot cargo space and can transport all required material and personnel during the extent of the activation. Fifteen Citizen-Soldiers currently provide the necessary support during this stage of the activation.
Transport operations to the Island municipality of Culebra takes one and a half hours, while transportation to the municipality of Vieques takes one, depending on sea conditions.
"We are honored to serve the people of Puerto Rico in this capacity and to meet the needs of Vieques and Culebra," said Reyes. "We will gladly continue until the maritime transportation to the municipalities returns to normal."
Executive Order 2019-054 states that the PRNG, through its Landing Craft Detachment, will provide support to the MTA in the maritime transportation of heavy cargo, provisions and vehicles as well as passengers to both island municipalities.