According to a press release, a National Guard C-17 Globemaster loaded two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, associated medical and evacuation equipment and personnel Thursday morning at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base.
The wing also flew two HC-130 search and rescue aircraft, which are capable of refueling the HH-60s in flight and providing command and control capability, to Puerto Rico as well.
Elsewhere, the National Guard reported about 120 troops were assisting in Puerto Rico, and about 140 troops from Kentucky and NY were assisting in the Virgin Islands.
As Hurricane Irma gets close to the Florida coast, NY is deploying a team of rescue specialists to prepare for the worst.
"Mariners should submit a voyage plan with family and/or friends, ensure they have the proper safety equipment, with (personal floatation devices) for everyone aboard and flares", Coast Guard Cmdr. The remaining 3,000 members are on traditional Guard duty this weekend. Once there, the crew will wait in "anticipation of future support missions". The wing's team returned from that deployment on September 1.
The National Guard sought volunteers for the Florida mission so that soldiers now enrolled in college would not have to disrupt their education, Bartman said.
"We are keeping Florida and all those affected by Hurricane Irma in our thoughts and prayers", Maj. This allowed the IMT to provide real time photos and videos to the Texas authorities to help best determine how to meet the needs of the impacted communities.
NY has a long history of helping other states following natural disasters. After Hurricane Matthew, the soldiers have plenty of experience.
WECT's Ben Smart will have more on this tonight on WECT News at 6.