More than 200 Ft. Bliss soldiers remain in Puerto Rico helping with hurricane relief

Fort Bliss soldiers remain in Puerto Rico helping with hurricane relief. (Fort Bliss)

More than a month after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the Caribbean island is still dealing with issues.

A major power line failed, causing about 80 percent of the U.S. territory to remain without electricity.

About 230 soldiers from Fort Bliss are in Puerto Rico to bolster the relief efforts.

Their mission started at the beginning of October, with no end time in sight.

Lt. Col. Chris Chung, a soldier from Fort Bliss, told CBS4 they are playing a vital role.

"We'll remain as long as we're needed,” he said. “The end time is unknown.

The soldiers are lending a helping hand as people in Puerto Rico work to rebuild their lives.

"Commodities, food and water being asked of us to be able to deliver,’ he said. "We have medevac helicopters that have also aided in search and rescue and the movement of medical personnel and medical supplies. Helped with the movement of VIPs with leaders to engage with municipality key leaders, as well."

He said they’re also conducting damage assessments.

"The heavy lift has assisted with providing the commodities, the platform, the capability to reach some of the locations that are isolated areas that would otherwise not be reached,” he said.

He said they’ve worked with several other agencies such as troops from other parts of the country, the FBI, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security, and the Red Cross.

"To be able to start the healing for the Puerto Rican people to be able to give them the commodities they need to get started to rebuild again,” he said.

It’s a mission he feels honored to participate in.

"To see exactly what devastation has occurred, to see the pain on the faces of those who have endured it, to see the relief on those who you come to the aid of, it's absolutely humbling,” he said. "It's one that I think that Fort Bliss and El Paso would be proud to know."

Their mission was expected to last up to two months.

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