ANNAPOLIS (Oct. 23, 2017)—Governor Larry Hogan today announced he has directed 100 soldiers from the Maryland National Guard to deploy to the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist with ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma, at the request of Governor Kenneth Mapp. Soldiers from the 200th Military Police Company from Catonsville will be deployed for potentially 30 days to assist with local law enforcement and guarding critical infrastructure as the island works to rebuild from the widespread devastation caused by the hurricane in early September.
"The recovery efforts in the Caribbean will be lengthy due to the level of destruction caused by the recent hurricanes, and Maryland is proud to help our neighbors and friends in their time of need," said Governor Hogan. "We are incredibly grateful to the dedicated men and women of the Maryland National Guard for their selfless service—they truly represent the very best of our great state."
Last week, Governor Hogan authorized members of the Maryland National Guard's 729th Quartermaster Composite Supply Company to assist in the water purification efforts in Puerto Rico. Fresh water has been in critically short supply in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria made landfall on September 20th. The National Guard members are assigned with converting hazardous water into water that is safe for drinking, cooking, and hygiene by using two tactical systems capable of purifying 1,200 gallons of water per hour.
Maryland is providing this support in accordance with the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). EMAC is a national mutual aid and partnership agreement that allows state-to-state assistance during governor- or federally-declared state of emergencies. Maryland Emergency Management Agency coordinates the request from the states and territories with the state agency that has the resources in Maryland that can respond.
The Maryland National Guard has deployed thousands of soldiers and airmen for overseas contingency missions and here at home for natural disasters. The Maryland National Guard has supported the state during every Maryland state emergency and with authorization can provide assistance to other states and U.S. territories during moments of crisis. Currently, the Maryland National Guard has more than 400 members serving overseas in the Middle East and Africa.
Governor Hogan established Maryland Call to Action: Relief & Recovery , a website with information about what Maryland is doing and how Maryland citizens can assist with hurricane relief and recovery efforts. For more information, please visit governor.maryland.gov/relief-and-recovery/ .