Puerto Rico National Guard activated ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian
Was preparing before governor’s executive order
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez ordered Tuesday the activation of the National Guard for state service. Executive Order 2019-044 establishes the legal statute for the mobilization of the military force, which activated its joint operations center and the Puerto Rico Task Force, which will be in charge of all government support operations during the passage of Tropical Storm Dorian.
“We are completing the respective preparations in light of the assigned mission. All communication systems have already been verified in our armories around the Island, we are responding at the request of initial support from various government agencies and preparing our fleet of vehicles that will be responding to the emergency,” Puerto Rico Adjutant General José Reyes said in a statement.
Hundreds of military vehicles and generators were fueled Tuesday, while military water trucks were filled ahead of the storm. Engineering and transportation teams also began relocating to designated areas.
The Northern Army Command and the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., reportedly are in direct communication with Reyes to assist the National Guard and the island if necessary.
“Although every atmospheric phenomenon is unpredictable, we don’t expect Dorian to be a repetition of Maria,” Reyes said. “Anyway, we will have unstable weather and I hope people take the precautions needed to protect themselves from danger.”
The National Guard of Puerto Rico has Military Police, engineering, transportation and water-purification units as well as and personnel at the Muñiz Air National Guard Base in Carolina awaiting any development. The engineering and logistics team is pre-positioned in the municipalities of Mayagüez, Utuado and Salinas to provide immediate support in case of landslides or road obstructions.
“We will be providing security at the shelters once the Department of Housing puts them into operation; in the same way, our military police will be providing perimeter security for the facilities of the Department of Corrections in Ponce and Guayama,” Reyes said. “We hope that this phenomenon does not affect us, but if it does, the National Guard of Puerto Rico is prepared to assist our people in every way possible, fulfilling our promise to be: Always Present.”