West Virginia Air National Guard team heads to Puerto Rico

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – The West Virginia Air National Guard’s 130th Airlift Wing says a team of its airmen are deploying to Puerto Rico to support recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria.

According to the Guard officials, they will help provide interoperable voice, data, video and radio communications among local, state and federal agencies involved in the U.S. territory’s ongoing relief efforts.

They will be with the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability that was developed from experiences after the 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S. and response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 for homeland defense and National Guard civil support missions.

The Caribbean island has been reeling since the hurricane struck three weeks ago. Forty-five deaths in Puerto Rico have been blamed on Maria, and 90 percent of the island is still without power.

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