U.S. Army takes over massive mission to save Puerto Rico

The Daily Beast reports: The U.S. Army will take over recovery operations in Puerto Rico, Col. Jorge Santini of Puerto Rico’s National Guard state command told The Daily Beast. The announcement is expected Thursday afternoon.

U.S. Northern Command appointed Army Brig. Gen. Richard Kim on Wednesday to oversee operations. The Army will oversee every facet of the massive mission and coordinate with the National Guard, FEMA, and Gov. Ricardo Rossello’s office, Santini said. Approximately 2,600 U.S. military personnel and Guard members are currently involved in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, the Pentagon said.

“We need more manpower, more resources, more help, quickly and efficiently,” Santini said. “We needed to federalize the recovery plan.”

Ret. Gen. Russel Honore, who led the military effort in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, told NPR on Thursday morning and far more troops are needed.

“Puerto Rico is a bigger and tougher mission than Katrina,’ Honore said, adding 20,000 federal troops and 40,000 National Guard were under his command. Honore said twice as many are needed for Puerto Rico.

“We started moving about four days too late,” Honore said. [Continue reading…]

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