SD National Guard Members Activated To Help With Puerto Rico Hurricane Recovery Efforts

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has activated four members of the South Dakota Army National Guard’s Company A, 139th Brigade Support Battalion at the request of Puerto Rico government authorities to help with recovery operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The soldiers from the Watertown-based unit will provide water distribution capabilities to those in need. They will deploy to Puerto Rico with two Load Handling System vehicles and trailers equipped with four Compatible Water Tank Racks, or “Hippos.” The Hippos have the capability to receive, store and distribute up to 2,000 gallons of potable water per system.

“When disaster strikes, South Dakota lends a hand,” Gov. Daugaard said. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Puerto Rico and with the soldiers of Company A who will be on the ground helping those in need.”

Gov. Daugaard said the request for South Dakota National Guard support came through an Emergency Management Assistance Compact that exists between all 50 states and three U.S. territories. As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico will reimburse the State of South Dakota under the compact for the activation costs.

Company A is a distribution unit which can provide transportation for the movement of cargo, water and fuel. The four soldiers are leaving for Puerto Rico this morning and could be deployed for up to 45 days.

This is the first request South Dakota has received through the emergency compact to help with hurricane recovery efforts.