CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Members of the West Virginia Air National Guard’s 130th Airlift Wing deployed Wednesday to Puerto Rico to help with recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria.

According to a press release, the airmen will use the Joint Incident Site Communications Capability to provide data, video and radio interoperability to agencies working in the U.S. territory.

The JISCC was developed following Sept. 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina. The state Air National Guard used the system in the June 2016 floods as well as two presidential inaugurations.

“This team of highly skilled West Virginians will be a critical asset on the ground and will help to establish communications for first responders, said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, the Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard.

“The domestic response capabilities of the WVNG are far-reaching and multi-faceted and we pride ourselves on the ability to help our neighbors both near and far.”

Officials report 45 deaths in Puerto Rico are because of Hurricane Maria, which made landfall Sept. 20.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to provide $36.5 billion in emergency relief to Puerto Rico and other areas affected by recent disasters, including the wildfires in California.

Reps. David McKinley and Evan Jenkins voted in favor of the funding, while Rep. Alex Mooney voted against the measure.

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