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Helicopters leave Ft. Indiantown Gap for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico

Written by Daniel Walmer/Lebanon Daily News | Sep 29, 2017 2:27 PM
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Chief Warrant Officer 4 Eric Ridilla, a maintenance test pilot with Company B, 628th Aviation Support Battalion, Pennsylvania Army National Guard, performs final checks on a CH-47 Chinook September 26, 2017 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., before a flight mission to Puerto Rico in support of Hurricane Maria relief efforts. (Photo: Submitted, U.S. Army National Guard photos by Spc. Anna Churco)

Two heavy lift helicopters and 14 crew members were sent from Fort Indiantown Gap Wednesday to aid relief and recovery missions throughout Puerto Rico.

The two CH-47 Chinook helicopters will be used to help repair a badly damaged dam by moving large sand bags into place to structurally reinforce the dam, according to a news release.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Puerto Rico as they recover from this storm," said Maj. Gen. Tony Carrelli, Pennsylvania's adjutant general, in a news release.

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Other guard members are on duty at the Pennsylvania National Guard's Fort Indiantown Gap joint emergency operations center, which communicates with federal authorities to anticipate future Pennsylvania National Guard assignments.

The Pennsylvania National Guard also sent troops to support Texas after Hurricane Harvey and to support Florida after Hurricane Irma.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and Lebanon Daily News.

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