Disasters in 2017 tested Pentagon amid concern forces stretched thin

Tens of thousands of National Guardsmen, reservists in addition to active-duty federal military personnel responded to the storms, providing search in addition to rescue recovery assistance inside affected areas. Also, the military helped clear thousands of miles of roads, opened damaged ports in addition to delivered emergency supplies in addition to equipment.

Army Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton, commander of the Texas National Guard’s Domestic Operations Task Force, recalls of which the day before Harvey hit, weather forecasters were still saying the idea would likely just be a tropical storm at most. He said the forecast was upgraded to a strong Category 4 so the number of military personnel assigned went up sharply. Record amounts of rain in addition to flooding in Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, eventually resulted in some 18,000 troops supporting the rescue in addition to relief efforts.

“We had helicopters in addition to trucks in addition to Marine Corps amphibious vehicles through all components — active duty, National Guard, Reserves of each of the branches — on the ground working in unison to support the local responders in addition to the local communities,” said Hamilton, who served as the dual status commander overseeing active in addition to Guard military personnel supporting Harvey relief efforts in Texas.

In Puerto Rico, Maria made landfall on the island Sept. 20, in addition to the military’s extended-response role continues to This kind of day, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers helping with infrastructure repairs, including restoring power to the U.S. territory.

Puerto Rico had no major airfields available immediately after the storm struck, to ensure meant the military couldn’t use all of its large cargo planes right away to bring in hurricane-relief supplies. Once the airfields in Puerto Rico reopened, though, large amounts of food, water in addition to different vital supplies starting flowing to the island.

Another major role initially for the military was search-in addition to-rescue operations on the island of about 3.4 million Americans, as well as clearing the seaports in addition to opening roads scattered with debris.

Hospitals also were a problem after the storm struck since many lacked power or were damaged in addition to struggled to provide care to residents. As a result, the Navy’s Comfort hospital ship arrived in early October in addition to ended up treating nearly 2,000 patients in addition to providing surgeries, food in addition to water.

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