Wright Patt C-17 flies N.Y. rescue team to Puerto Rico after hurricane

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Wright Patt C-17 flies N.Y. rescue team to Puerto Rico after hurricane

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Food, water and cots are loaded on an Air Force Reserve C-17 Globemaster III at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Sept. 11, 2017 for shipment to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. The aid was sent to help survivors of Hurricane Irma. CONTRIBUTED

A Wright-Patterson based Air Force Reserve C-17 Globemaster III was set to haul food, water and cots and other supplies to Florida today after Hurricane Irma hit the peninsula hard this weekend.

The Wright-Patt crew was set to stop at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Ind., to pick up additional cargo before heading to Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., said Lt. Col. Cynthia Harris, a 445th Airlift Wing spokeswoman.

Late Friday, a C-17 flew a New York Task Force 1 rescue team to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Irma unleashed a swath of destruction on the Caribbean island.

The Air Force Reserve 445th Airlift Wing picked up 75 members of the task force, four rescue dogs and 60,000 pounds of equipment at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., and flew the first responders and their cargo to San Juan, P.R., Lt. Col. Cynthia Harris, a unit spokeswoman, said Monday.

Last Thursday, a C-17 from Wright-Patterson hauled a HH-60 search and rescue helicopter from Florida to Georgia as powerful Hurricane Irma churned toward the state.

The hurricane struck the Florida Keys and the eye wall made landfall in southwest Florida this weekend after a mandatory evacuation order for millions of South Florida residents that caused widespread damage and left much of the state without power.

Dozens of military planes, including Florida Air National Guard F-15 fighters jets, and Navy P-8 and P-3 anti-submarine hunting planes from Jacksonville, Fla., and C-17s from Charleston, S.C., flew to Wright-Patterson last week to escape the ravages of the massive storm.

Additionally, 97 Wright-Patterson Medical Center personnel and 50 Dayton VA Medical Center personnel were ordered on standby for possible deployment if needed, authorities said.

The Ohio Army National Guard planned to send two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 14 soldiers from North Canton to South Carolina to prepare on Monday to aid relief efforts in Florida, according to spokeswoman Stephanie Beougher.

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