FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico – The Puerto Rico National Guard was mobilized by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi to support the Maritime Transport Authority and guarantee delivery of essential goods to the island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra.
"We are answering the call and the need to supply Vieques and Culebra," said Maj. Gen. José J. Reyes, adjutant general of Puerto Rico. "We are the only National Guard in the United States with active maritime assets to support this kind of emergency."
The MTA asked for PRNG's help in transporting food, medical supplies, fuel and other necessities after the "Isleño" docked for repairs and other vessels were unable to transport the goods.
"We are working tirelessly to support first-hand the needs of the residents of Vieques and Culebra," said Eileen M. Vélez Vega, secretary of the Department of Transportation and Public Works. "... For decades, the residents of the island municipalities have had an intermittent maritime system and increasing problems."
"Serving the people of Vieques and Culebra and all of Puerto Rico is a privilege," Reyes said.
The PRNG's Landing Craft Detachment includes more than two dozen Citizen-Soldiers who operate four vessels from Roosevelt Roads, Ceiba. Each craft can haul up to 60 tons of cargo in a 600-square-foot area, enough to transport supplies, material and personnel required during the emergency.