PORT CLINTON, Ohio — Members of the 200th Red Horse Squadron based in Port Clinton will be deployed to Puerto Rico to assist with recovery efforts after the island experienced multiple earthquakes and aftershocks in early January.
Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced declared state of emergency after these unprecedented shocks devastated the island.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a proclamation authorizing the squad to provide emergency aid on Jan. 16.
About 25 members of the squad will be deployed for up to 90 days.
The 200th Red Horse Squadron provides a self-sufficient, highly mobile, rapidly deployable civil engineering response force with special capabilities, according to the Air National Guard website.
In Puerto Rico, they will support earthquake relief efforts by establishing two disaster relief beddown systems (DRBS), which are deployable kits capable of providing basic housing and life support facilities for up to 150 military personnel responding to the disaster.
DeWine’s proclamation allows the Ohio National Guard unit to remain on active duty until the disaster recovery assistance is complete and an emergency no longer exists.
The Ohio National Guard is deploying the equipment and personnel as part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which allows states to send personnel, equipment and commodities to assist with response and recovery efforts in other states or territories.
In 2017, the 200th Red Horse sent a team with a DRBS to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, following Hurricane Irma. They operated in austere environments to provide basic life needs to military personnel supporting the recovery mission there.