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200th RED HORSE and 179th Airlift Wing Support Puerto Rico Earthquake Relief Efforts

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  • 179th Airlift Wing

In the wake of the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico, the Ohio National Guard’s 200th RED HORSE Squadron is deploying equipment and personnel to the island in support of relief efforts, January 16th, 2020. The units abilities and capabilities allow them to deploy anywhere in the world within 72 hours and remain self-sustaining, giving them the unique ability to provide the support needed in the areas affected by the earthquakes.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a proclamation today authorizing sending equipment and personnel to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Once there, the assets will be moved to locations where they are in need most. “Disaster relief missions and supporting our homeland is why America has a National Guard, to call when the nation and her citizens need us most. Our Ohio Air National Guard Airmen at the 200th RED HORSE Squadron are ready and anxious to support earthquake relief efforts in Puerto Rico. This is what we do,” according to Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., the Ohio adjutant general.

The 200th RHS is sending two Disaster Relief Bed-down System’s (DRBS) to Puerto Rico. Each system will provide basic life needs such as shelter, showers, and latrines for up to 150 military personnel responding to the disaster.

“Being able to support another state for domestic response is exciting,” said Col. Michael Hrynciw, commander of the 200th RED HORSE Squadron. “We train for this all the time in support of our friends and neighbors. The Ohio National Guard leads the way in helping others.”

The unit will be sending a team of 26 expert engineers to utilize 18 Alaskan small shelter systems (tents), 19 Environmental Control Units (ECUs), 6 generators, a field latrine, a shower/shave unit, 13K All Terrain (AT) forklift, skid steer, electrical support kit and two light carts, all within the initial 48 hours of arriving. The 200 RHS previously sent a 26 person team with a DRBS to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in 2017 after Hurricane Irma. The Airmen are able to get to and operate in austere environments to provide basic life needs to military personnel to keep the mission going.

The Ohio National Guard is deploying the equipment and personnel through EMAC, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. EMAC is an all hazards, all disciplines mutual aid compact. EMAC offers assistance during governor-declared states of emergency or disaster through a responsive, straightforward system that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to assist with response and recovery efforts in other states. The EMAC legislation solves the problems of liability and responsibilities of cost that are covered by the requesting state or territory.

The unique skillsets and capabilities of these units and its members are what allow them to deploy anywhere in the world and self-sustain in forward operating areas. Whether supporting the fight or helping our neighbors, the 200th RED HORSE Squadron has a team of trusted Airmen ready for any mission.