On Friday, 8,000 members of the Florida National Guard were mobilized in order to provide relief to the victims of Hurricane Irma, according to Military.com. These soldiers, as well as state officials and members of the Coast Guard, will be helping Floridians to evacuate out of the hurricane’s path.
In addition to these National Guard soldiers, about 5,200 National Guard soldiers from Puerto Rico have also been activated in order to deal with what could become the worst hurricane in American history.
President Trump himself has authorized the redeployment of about 1,000 Marines and Sailors from Texas to the Florida coast. These troops belong to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
These Marines and Sailors will be tasked with handing out water purification equipment and supplying Hurricane Irma victims with access to medical professionals.
National Guard soldiers, Marines, and Sailors will also be tasked with providing air, sea, and land transportation, heavy storage, and aerial reconnaissance in order to track the storm.
So far, Hurricane Irma has made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm. Downtown Miami has also already been flooded with ocean water. High winds, heavy rain, and flooding have so far claimed three lives and have left at least a million people without power.
This major show of military force is not unprecedented, nor is it unexpected. National Guardsmen, Marines, and Sailors have a long history of providing relief to those nations and cities who suffered natural disasters.
A more unexpected move came when came the British government sent Royal Marines and other troops into the Caribbean in order to help secure those British territories impacted by the hurricane. Besides combating looting, these troops will also be coordinating with their American allies in order to secure the lives of British citizens living in the United States.
So far, British pilots have already flown in supplies to the hurricane-ravaged nations of the Caribbean.
It is likely that this joint Anglo-American force will be a welcomed relief to those citizens of Florida and the American Southeast who are expected to experience an “unprecedented” storm surge over the coming days. So far, meteorologists predict that Hurricane Irma will reach as far north as North Carolina.
Many of these troops will be utilizing helicopters and other vehicles that have seen action in special operations across the globe, thus underscoring the seriousness of Hurricane Irma. Members of the U.S. Air Force are also reportedly on standby if their assistance should be needed.
As terrible as Hurricane Irma is, it is good to see that the American and British governments have taken swift action to try and minimize the expected damage to lives and property. Let us all hope and pray that no more lives are lost by Hurricane Irma, and let us also pray for a safe and speedy recovery in Florida and the Caribbean.
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