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AFSOC assists Department of State, supports Hurricane Maria recovery

AFSOC assists Department of State, supports Hurricane Maria recovery

Students from the Ross University School of Medicine prepare to exit a 15th Special Operations Squadron MC-130H Combat Talon II after evacuating from the island of Montserrat Sept. 23, 2017, after it was devastated by Category 5 Hurricane Maria. Air Commandos from Hurlburt Field flew through the night from home station after being tasked short notice; then volunteered again to rush to the aid of 19 students, one of which was under medical observation for sudden health issues. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Shawn Nickel)

AFSOC assists Department of State, supports Hurricane Maria recovery

A student from the Ross University School of Medicine prepares for takeoff on a MC-130H Combat Talon II while being evacuated from the island of Montserrat Sept. 23, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Shawn Nickel)

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Air Force Special Operations Command provided humanitarian assistance and disaster relief after Hurricane Maria in support of Joint Task Force Leeward Islands (JTF LI) for Dominica, Puerto Rico and Martinique Sept. 22-23.

A 53-person crew from the 1st Special Operations Wing arrived in Barbados with two MC-130Hs. In coordination with the Department of State, the 15th Special Operations Squadron evacuated 19 American citizens from Dominica, including one high priority medical patient.

The crew also relocated a 59-person joint task force from Puerto Rico to Martinique with 63,600 pounds of cargo.

This was the first time a Department of Defense fixed-wing aircraft landed in Dominica.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance serves as the lead U.S. federal agency for foreign disaster relief efforts.