NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Airmen from the 118th Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard have been deployed to Puerto Rico to aid in hurricane relief.
Sixteen airmen from the Civil Engineer Squadron are bringing eight large generators to provide electricity to facilities that lost power during Hurricane Maria.
The 100-kilowatts mounted generators were loaded onto a C-17 cargo plane Wednesday for the flight to Puerto Rico.
The 118th Wing’s Prime Power unit will be utilized to bring consistent, reliable power anywhere it’s needed on the island.
Maj. Nathan Smith is commander of the mission.
“There’s only two Prime Power units in the whole Air National Guard, with Nashville being one of them,” said Maj. Smith. “So what we want to do is go down there and take our tools, our knowledge, the generators, and work with the local authorities, the National Guard and local FEMA reps down there. Whatever priority they have for the generators, we’ll go in and hook those in to those facilities.”
Airmen with the 118th have seen the devastation in Puerto Rico and have been waiting for the call to assist.
Senior Airman Alex Luiggi was born and raised in Puerto Rico, but now works as a refueler for the 118th Wing’s Civil Engineering Squadron in Nashville.
Luiggi was one of the 16 airmen deployed Wednesday.
“It makes me feel proud to be a part of the military, part of the 118th,” said Luiggi. “This is what we do. We go and help, and take care of business.”
There’s no exact timetable for the deployment. The team’s orders are for 30 days, but the airmen are prepared to stay until the mission is complete.