Illinois sending 150 national guardsmen to Puerto Rico

Saturday, November 04, 2017 01:33PM
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Some 150 Illinois Army National Guard Military police soldiers are flying to Puerto Rico to help with security and other efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

In a news release, Gov. Bruce Rauner's office says the governor made the announcement at a press conference on Saturday as the soldiers from the 933rd Military Police Company were flown to Puerto Rico by the Illinois Air National Guard's Peoria-based 182nd Airlift Wing and Scott Air Force-based 126th Air Refueling Wing. The troops will provide additional security, escort relief convoys and conduct law-enforcement patrols on the island that was ravaged by September's hurricane.

"The people of Illinois prove time and time again that we rally together in times of crisis," Rauner said. "Our fellow Americans need us. Many of them have lost everything. I'm proud that we can step up and send our Guard troops in to help relieve some of the pressure they're experiencing in Puerto Rico."

Under an agreement with the nation's state-to-state mutual aid system, Puerto agreed to reimburse Illinois for the estimated $948,000 it will cost to deploy the troops.

The Illinois Air National Guard already has about 60 airmen on the island to assist with relief efforts, as well as troops assisting with hurricane relief efforts in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

WLS-TV contributed to this report
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