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Nebraska National Guard deploys to U.S. Virgin Islands

Nebraska National Guard deploys to U.S. Virgin Islands. (Courtesy: Nebraska National Guard)

Governor Pete Ricketts deployed a 58-person National Guard headquarters unit to provide assistance to the ongoing hurricane recovery operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a press release from Ricketts' office.

The organization has also deployed a Nebraska Army National Guard communications specialist to Puerto Rico to assist with the ongoing Hurricane Maria recovery operations there.

“Nebraska is eager to support our neighbors in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico by sending our National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to provide assistance where it is needed the most,” said Ricketts. “The men and women of our Nebraska National Guard continue to respond whenever and wherever they are needed. Nebraskans are grateful for the sacrifices made by our National Guard Soldiers and Airmen.”

The larger deployment involves the Lincoln-based 67th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, which is expected to deploy to the island of St. Croix this weekend for a mission that is expected to last approximately 30 days. While deployed, the unit, which also includes two members of the Nebraska Air National Guard, will be responsible for providing command and control of National Guard units operating on both St. Croix and St. Martin, which were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The unit is expected to be based with the Virgin Island National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters. It will additionally be responsible for coordinating National Guard support to civil authorities in the areas of law enforcement, medical care, and reception and onward integration activities of incoming and outgoing National Guard forces.

The second deployment consists of a single Nebraska Army National Guard communications specialist assigned to the Nebraska National Guard’s Lincoln-based 72nd Civil Support Team, who deployed to Puerto Rico earlier this week to assist in increasing the communication capabilities of the hurricane-ravaged island. The mission is expected to last approximately 14 days.

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