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Connecticut National Guard sending airmen to Puerto Rico

HARTFORD -- The Connecticut Air National Guard will deploy additional personnel to Puerto Rico to help in recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria. 

Members will take off in a  C-130H destined for Puerto Rico on Friday morning.

Personnel will take part in the planning and organizing of air transportation activities. Which may include the processing, loading and unloading of personnel and cargo, as well as the securing of aircraft.

The first group left Tuesday. This brings the total to over 100 personnel involved in relief efforts for Hurricane Maria. Planes have been flying to Puerto Rico, but only to drop off equipment. About 20 more National Guard members are working in recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma.

"We want to help in any way we can by rapidly deploying forces that fit some of Puerto Rico's most pressing needs," said Maj. Gen. Thad Martin, Adjutant General and Commander of the Connecticut National Guard. "As the people of Puerto Rico continue to rebuild, it will become increasingly important for organized, professional teams with critical expertise to help ensure cargo gets where it is most needed."

There is no timetable for their return, but the state continues to prepare  in the event that follow-up missions are called for.