Illinois National Guard soldiers aid Puerto Rico recovery efforts
Gov. Bruce Rauner recently announced that Illinois has deployed approximately 150 Army National Guard soldiers to aid in the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, according to a release from the governor’s office.
"The people of Illinois prove time and time again that we rally together in times of crisis," Rauner said during a press conference, according to the release. "Our fellow Americans need us. Many of them have lost everything. I'm proud that we can step up and send our Guard troops in to help relieve some of the pressure they're experiencing in Puerto Rico."
The deployment comprises soldiers from the 933rd Military Police Company, who will provide extra security in Puerto Rico, including escorting relief convoys and going on patrols, the release said.
The soldiers were deployed after a request from Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has coordinated the state’s response to that request, and Puerto Rico has agreed to cover all expenses for the deployment, which are projected at just under $1 million.
“The recovery in Puerto Rico will be difficult and long, and it’s likely more assistance will be needed in the coming months,” IEMA Director James K. Joseph said during the press conference, according to the release. “We will continue to closely monitor the EMAC system for additional ways Illinois responders can help with the recovery.”