165th Airlift Wing suspends support flights to Puerto Rico

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Major Hurricane Maria is causing enough concern for evacuation efforts out of Puerto Rico that the 165th Airlift Wing is holding off on sending two cargo planes to the U.S. territory.

The vice commander said they were supposed to help bring people to Miami, but the airport crews were supposed to go to is now closed.

The 165th Airlift Wing has had a busy three weeks, assisting in relief efforts from Texas following Hurricane Harvey, to areas hard-hit by Hurricane Irma.

They had already started loading their aircraft - two C-130 H3's - when the word came that their destination was closed to air traffic.

The Georgia Air National Guard has been taking personnel and supplies to all of the areas affected by major hurricanes this season and evacuating survivors when needed, as recently as Monday night according to Vice Commander and Director of Air Operations, Colonel Pete Boone.

"We're juggling quite a bit right now as far as Hurricane Harvey being over now, Hurricane Irma is just kind of spinning down, and now we're getting ready for Hurricane Maria. So, we're just providing aircrews, we're providing soldiers and airmen to go out there and support any needs," Col. Boone said. "That face to face interaction of those evacuees seeing our soldiers and airmen out there trying to help them out. That's what it's all about."

Closer to home, the Airlift Wing manned a distribution point in Camden County over this past weekend capable of feeding tens of thousands if needed.

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