1st Sgt. Jose Madrid gives water to Spc. Gordon William, both assigned to 2nd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade, in Ceiba, Puerto Rico, | U.S. Army photo by: Staff Sgt. Lancelot Lokeni /SGT Michael Eaddy
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, 1st Armored Division Combat Aviation Brigade from Fort Bliss, use their capabilities to go into areas not accessible due to poor road conditions to deliver much needed food and water around the island.
The 1AD CAB performs missions throughout Puerto Rico that deliver food, water, and other supplies for life-saving and life-sustaining support to areas hardest hit by Hurricane Maria.
“A lot of us volunteered to come here,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen Hanna, a Blackhawk pilot with 1AD CAB. “We are happy to help; my Soldiers are asking for duty day extensions because they are very passionate about helping out.”
While significant progress is being made in the response to Hurricane Maria, recovery for Puerto Rico will require help from federal agencies and the community.
As access to ports, airfields, and roads continue to open more resources will flow into hard hit areas.
The CAB provides their contribution multiple times a week by delivering commodities to communities in the areas most affected by the hurricane.
“I’ve been on two different missions where we’ve delivered water, food, diapers and baby food,” said 1st. Sgt. Jesus Jimenez, a native of Puerto Rico and Headquarters and Headquarters Company’s first sergeant. “We’ll usually land in a baseball park and make our deliveries there.”
The desire to support is a complete unit effort, from the pilots to the most junior Soldier; they are all willing, able, and very eager to get out into the community and serve the people of Puerto Rico, Hanna said.
“I just want to keep flying and help the communities,” said Jimenez. “Not only because they are Americans, but because I grew up here and I want to help.”