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FACE OF DEFENSE: Pa. National Guard sends medical personnel to the U.S. Virgin Islands


By Sgt. Zane Craig | Pennsylvania National Guard


FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – The Pennsylvania National Guard sent 20 Soldiers to assist the U.S. Virgin Islands in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Oct. 12.

The anticipated mission for the Guard members is to provide first aid, point of injury care and sick call for the service members providing relief to civilians there.

In addition, they will be providing urgent care to civilians on the islands of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, expanding an outreach mission established by the preceding unit.

Upon arrival the medical personnel will integrate with thousands of National Guard members, active-duty military, and first responders. 

"We have a great opportunity to do some good in this world, and do some meaningful service. It's an honor to command these Soldiers," said Maj. Daniel Wise, commander of the 108th Area Support Medical Company.

PHOTO: Soldiers with the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Medical Detachment and with the 108th Area Support Medical Company, 213th Regional Support Group, Pennsylvania National Guard stand with Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general, Oct. 12, 2017 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, before departing to the United States Virgin Islands in support of Hurricane Maria relief operations. (Photo by Spc. Anna Churco)


Additional Pennsylvania National Guard members are on duty at the Pennsylvania National Guard's joint emergency operations center. The center maintains continuous communications with National Guard Bureau and the state emergency management agency in order to anticipate future requirements that could be assigned to Pennsylvania National Guard Soldiers and Airmen.

There are about 20 Pennsylvania National Guard members and two CH-47 Chinook helicopters in Puerto Rico supporting relief operations. Last month the Pennsylvania National Guard sent a variety of both troops and equipment to support Texas after Hurricane Harvey, Florida after Hurricane Irma and the U.S. Virgin Islands during Hurricane Maria.