While President Trump parries with critics for his handling of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, U.S. Northern Command is shifting from a mainly seagoing support mode to long-based land operations, moving in for the long haul around the clock.

C-5M Super Galaxy Aircraft (NORAD)
C-5M Super Galaxy Aircraft (NORAD)

The Defense Department ran 16 delivery missions to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Wednesday, with food, water, fueld, medical supplies, communications support and contingency response personnel.

In Puerto Rico, the Navy and Marines are sending Health and Human Services teams to hospitals from Roosevelt Roads Airfield, where staffers are assessing medical needs.

C-5 and C-17 transports delivered roughly 50 personnel, a Moblie Emergency Response Unit for mobile communications, life support, power generation and operational support. C-17s and C-130s brought a FAA initial response team and a Joint Communicaitons Support Element, with about five tons of communications gear.

The Defense Logistics Agency sent 10,000 gallons of fuel to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and continue to shoip food, water and basic commodities. Five C-17s arriving in St. Thomas brought some 30 personnel and 190 tons of fuel and medical gear. Four C-17s landing in St. Croix delivered 22 pallets of bottled water and 25 pallets of nonperishable meals, gauged to support about 250,000 people.

The mission continues to evolve and expand daily.

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