COLUMBUS (WDTN) — The Ohio National Guard is sending nearly 30 soldiers to Puerto Rico.
Those soldiers from the 121st Air Refueling Wing, located at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus, will leave on Tuesday afternoon.
They’ll serve as an advance team, getting things ready ahead of the deployment of 285th Area Support Medical Company, based in Columbus and the 137th Signal Company, based in Newark, NJ.
Those units are being deployed to assist in hurricane relief efforts after Hurricane Maria caused widespread damage on the island.
The 121st ARW will be transporting the advanced team, Soldiers from two different units, on a KC-135 Stratotanker to conduct logistical and operational assessments.
The medical company is capable of providing medical support such as trauma healthcare, preventive medicine consultation, optometry support, mental health consultation and ground evacuation of patients.
The signal company can provide communication capabilities with mobile satellite, electricity, telephone, internet and video conferencing, and information technology services.
The 121st ARW operates the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft that is capable of delivering worldwide air refueling, disaster response and combat support.
Currently, the Ohio National Guard has more than 30 Airmen from the 200th RED HORSE Squadron from Port Clinton, and the 269th Combat Communications Squadron, from Springfield, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The RED HORSE (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer) Squadron is establishing Disaster Relief Bed-down Systems (DRBS), deployable kits that are capable of providing basic housing and life support facilities such as showers and restrooms.
The 269th is providing communications support for first responders and other government agencies to include the U.S. departments of Energy, Transportation and Natural Resources.