The Army’s 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, is an elite infantry unit that’s taken part in legendary actions like the invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. Now, they’re heading down to Florida to help with search and rescue efforts in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
According to the Fayetteville Observer, President Trump’s Pentagon has given the division the green light to send personnel to hurricane-ravaged Florida to help out in the wake of the strongest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded.
Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne will be known as Task Force All American Lift. Ninety of the division’s paratroopers and 30 vehicles are expected to head south on Monday, with a total of 290 soldiers and 80 vehicles set to deploy to the region under current orders.
Among the items being carried by the vehicles were tanks of potable water, mosquito nets, water purification systems and the field rations known as meals ready to eat, or MREs.
A spokesman for the 82nd Airborne said soldiers had originally been told about the deployment plans on Saturday and had been given “prepare to deploy” orders the following day.
“The All American Division is once again ready to support the American citizenry in a time of crisis,” spokesman Lt. Col. Joe Buccino said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in this country affected by this hurricane.”
“Our paratroopers are standing by ready to support when called forward.”
The last time the 82nd Airborne was called out due to a hurricane was during the cleanup from Hurricane Katrina back in 2005, according to The Associated Press. At that time, 5,000 paratroopers descended on New Orleans and other affected areas to help with rescue efforts. However, other Fort Bragg units have been deployed to Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
The 82nd Airborne isn’t the only military unit assisting those affected by Hurricane Irma. Camp Lejeune’s 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit has also been tasked with delivering supplies to the U.S. Virgin Islands, one of the many Caribbean areas seriously affected by Irma’s wrath.
Generally speaking, we usually see just the deployment of the National Guard in the wake of major disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The Trump administration looks like it’s taking no chances on these disasters, however — and that’s a good thing for anyone affected by the hurricanes.
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