Puerto Rico Wing Assists in COVID-19 Response
Capt. Elias Roman
Public Affairs Officer
Puerto Rico Wing
The Puerto Rico Wing recently transported personnel and health supplies, as well as test kits, as part of the island’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The wing stepped up after the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Agency requested suppor for emergency services efforts in response to the outbreak. “We are committed with our community and ready to work in this emergency,” said Lt. Col. Marie A. Rivera, incident commander for the Puerto Rico response.
The wing’s primary role has been transporting Department of Health contact tracing teams (all nurses), their test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) to remote locations across Puerto Rico. More than 5,000 masks, 2,700 face shields, 108,000 gloves and 35 1e-gallon bottles of liquid sanitizer have been delivered so far.
Eighteen senior members of the wing, all 18 years of age or older as a requirement from the Department of Health, were organized into five distribution teams to make the deliveries. They used eight of the wing’s vehicles.
As of June 5, the wing has carried out 81 ground sorties. Most deliveries have been to the cities of Caguas and San Juan, with others from San Juan’s metropolitan area to the municipalities of Barceloneta, Florida and Hatillo.
Social distancing measures have been taken to safeguard the wing's personnel and vehicles, in addition to that of the nurses accompanying them.
Acting as a Total Force partner and the Air Force auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to non-military threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.