Illinois guardsmen report to Puerto Rico

By Benjamin Yount 
Illinois News Network

Another detachment of Illinois National Guardsmen is heading off to hurricane duty.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has ordered 150 members of the 933rd Military Police Company, from the Chicago area, to Puerto Rico to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Illinois Emergency Management Director James Joseph says other Illinois guard units went to Texas and Florida for hurricane deployments, but those were part of the federal effort.

“Puerto Rico directly requested help from the state of Illinois,” Joseph said. “This is the first state active duty mission.”

The MP’s are in addition to the 60 or so Illinois Air National Guardsmen who are already on duty on the island.

“On this 30-day assignment, these troops will provide security at logistical centers,” Joseph said. “They will be assisting local law enforcement with policing efforts throughout parts of Puerto Rico. And they will also be providing transportation security for any transportation convoys or supply trucks moving throughout the island.”

Joseph said the deployment is expected to last about a month but could be extended if need be.

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