Real Sailors and real news about Puerto Rico

Readability

Real Sailors and real news about Puerto Rico

Amer­ica never deserved Puerto Rico

Nearly Half of Amer­i­cans Don’t Know Puerto Ricans Are Fel­low Citizens

With head­lines like these, who needs ene­mies? You’d think the con­ti­nen­tal US has hung Puerto Rico out to dry.

Except…what’s that in the background?

https://​www​.dvid​shub​.net/​v​i​d​e​o​/​554074​/​u​s​s​-​k​e​a​r​s​a​r​g​e​-​p​u​e​r​t​o​-​r​i​c​o​-​r​e​l​i​e​f​-​e​f​f​o​r​t​s​-​b​-​r​oll-1

It’s the USS KEARSARGE, unload­ing sup­plies and Sailors onto Puerto Rico!

And look over there? What’s that?

https://​www​.dvid​shub​.net/​v​i​d​e​o​/​554778​/​u​s​-​m​a​r​i​n​e​s​-​s​a​i​l​o​r​s​-​j​o​i​n​-​e​f​f​o​r​t​s​-​w​i​t​h​-​l​o​c​a​l​-​r​e​s​i​d​e​n​t​s​-​c​l​e​a​r​-​r​o​a​d​s​-​p​u​e​r​t​o​-rico

It’s the 26th Marine Expe­di­tionary Unit, clear­ing roads with locals!

And what’s the noise?

It’s the Air Force, bring­ing in sup­plies. And that other noise?

It’s the US Army, clear­ing more roads of debris!

(If it wasn’t hosted on DVIDS HUB, it could prob­a­bly be a Husq­varna com­mer­cial too!)

From day one, FEMA has asked for DoD help, and the depart­ment has been mov­ing quickly to help Puerto Rico, the US Vir­gin Islands, Texas, Florida and every­where else hit by the recent hur­ri­canes. FEMA has done an out­stand­ing job coor­di­nat­ing the effort.

The biggest prob­lem is that of trans­port. When­ever some­thing knocks out power and closes the roads, it takes a while to reopen them. You might have thou­sands of gal­lons of water right off the coast, but if it can’t move inland, it won’t help the peo­ple there. Yes, you can move it by air­craft, but you have to first clear a place to land and then you have to dis­trib­ute it from that point. Heli­copters, not sur­pris­ingly, don’t do well if they catch some­thing in the rotor (see this video, start at the 25 sec­ond mark).

This same thing hap­pened in Haiti. I was a watch offi­cer at US Sec­ond Fleet, and I saw the move­ment of per­son­nel and equip­ment first hand. First we moved in a Com­mand and Con­trol (C2) unit, then we dropped in the Air Force to open up the air­port, and then we moved in the Mobile Div­ing and Sal­vage Unit per­son­nel to open up the port. The dev­as­ta­tion was pretty exten­sive:

The piers were com­pletely destroyed,” said Navy Diver 1st Class (DSW/​EXW/​SS) Chris Juels­gaard, a MDSU div­ing super­vi­sor. “There were cranes, conex boxes and vehi­cles in the water. Basi­cally, the con­di­tion of the port was pretty bad.”

Once those were open, sup­plies moved into the coastal cities, then inward as roads were opened. It took a while because there was a ton of mate­r­ial to move. You have to move all the debris away while man­ag­ing your own sup­ply lines, help­ing peo­ple you find along the way, and pre­vent­ing dam­age to exist­ing infra­struc­ture. If you won­der why you pay for a per­mit from the city to bury power lines, well, here is one answer.

The hard­est thing to deal with is often VIPs. Every­one and their sis­ter wants a pic­ture in front of a back­hoe clear­ing rub­ble. In Haiti, we had to delay sup­plies because VIPs wanted to make speeches on the ground. I was happy to see Pres­i­dent Trump delay­ing his trip to Puerto Rico until Tues­day. That allows every­one on the ground to get things in order, rather than focus on his trip.

If you’ve read this far, do me a favor. If you see the counts on the DVIDS HUB pho­tos and videos, they are pretty low. Peo­ple are more inclined to read the gloom and doom arti­cles then see what is actu­ally hap­pen­ing. So do me a favor and share at least one of the videos or a few pho­tos on your social media account. Go here to find media specif­i­cally for Hur­ri­cane Maria. This will help counter the nar­ra­tive that some­how we don’t care about fel­low Amer­i­cans liv­ing in Puerto Rico.

And as a side note, if you hap­pened to get lucky and not have major hur­ri­canes dur­ing your term in office, maybe you could be respect­ful of oth­ers that have to deal with that.


This post rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, Gov­ern­ment of Puerto Rico, FEMA, Husq­varna, or any other gov­ern­ment agency or com­pany. Yes, lit­er­ally, I have my own opin­ions on this sub­ject and chose to put them out here.

Please check out my blog and donate to Da Tech Guy!

America never deserved Puerto Rico

Nearly Half of Americans Don’t Know Puerto Ricans Are Fellow Citizens

With headlines like these, who needs enemies? You’d think the continental US has hung Puerto Rico out to dry.

Except…what’s that in the background?

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/554074/uss-kearsarge-puerto-rico-relief-efforts-b-roll-1

It’s the USS KEARSARGE, unloading supplies and Sailors onto Puerto Rico!

And look over there? What’s that?

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/554778/us-marines-sailors-join-efforts-with-local-residents-clear-roads-puerto-rico

It’s the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, clearing roads with locals!

And what’s the noise?

It’s the Air Force, bringing in supplies. And that other noise?

It’s the US Army, clearing more roads of debris!

(If it wasn’t hosted on DVIDS HUB, it could probably be a Husqvarna commercial too!)

From day one, FEMA has asked for DoD help, and the department has been moving quickly to help Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida and everywhere else hit by the recent hurricanes. FEMA has done an outstanding job coordinating the effort.

The biggest problem is that of transport. Whenever something knocks out power and closes the roads, it takes a while to reopen them. You might have thousands of gallons of water right off the coast, but if it can’t move inland, it won’t help the people there. Yes, you can move it by aircraft, but you have to first clear a place to land and then you have to distribute it from that point. Helicopters, not surprisingly, don’t do well if they catch something in the rotor (see this video, start at the 25 second mark).

This same thing happened in Haiti. I was a watch officer at US Second Fleet, and I saw the movement of personnel and equipment first hand. First we moved in a Command and Control (C2) unit, then we dropped in the Air Force to open up the airport, and then we moved in the Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit personnel to open up the port. The devastation was pretty extensive:

“The piers were completely destroyed,” said Navy Diver 1st Class (DSW/EXW/SS) Chris Juelsgaard, a MDSU diving supervisor. “There were cranes, conex boxes and vehicles in the water. Basically, the condition of the port was pretty bad.”

Once those were open, supplies moved into the coastal cities, then inward as roads were opened. It took a while because there was a ton of material to move. You have to move all the debris away while managing your own supply lines, helping people you find along the way, and preventing damage to existing infrastructure. If you wonder why you pay for a permit from the city to bury power lines, well, here is one answer.

The hardest thing to deal with is often VIPs. Everyone and their sister wants a picture in front of a backhoe clearing rubble. In Haiti, we had to delay supplies because VIPs wanted to make speeches on the ground. I was happy to see President Trump delaying his trip to Puerto Rico until Tuesday. That allows everyone on the ground to get things in order, rather than focus on his trip.

If you’ve read this far, do me a favor. If you see the counts on the DVIDS HUB photos and videos, they are pretty low. People are more inclined to read the gloom and doom articles then see what is actually happening. So do me a favor and share at least one of the videos or a few photos on your social media account. Go here to find media specifically for Hurricane Maria. This will help counter the narrative that somehow we don’t care about fellow Americans living in Puerto Rico.

And as a side note, if you happened to get lucky and not have major hurricanes during your term in office, maybe you could be respectful of others that have to deal with that.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, Government of Puerto Rico, FEMA, Husqvarna, or any other government agency or company. Yes, literally, I have my own opinions on this subject and chose to put them out here.

Please check out my blog and donate to Da Tech Guy!