Fort Bragg paratroopers rush to assist Florida with Hurricane Irma relief

US paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg in North Carolina, jump of the US C-17 Globemaster aircraft during a NATO military demonstration in Zaragoza, Spain, Wednesday Nov. 4, 2015. NATO is putting on its most fearsome display of military might in over a decade with soldiers, ships and planes meant to hone and test its abilities as well as send an unequivocal sign to Russia and other real or potential foes. For three weeks which started Oct. 21, more than 36,000 personnel from all 28 NATO allies and eight partner nations, 160 aircraft and 60 ships will be taking part in exercises across a wide swath of southern Europe from Portugal to Italy. (AP Photo/Abraham Caro Marin)

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP/WNCN) – Almost 300 paratroopers and dozens of military vehicles from the famed 82nd Airborne Division are deploying to Florida to help with recovery from Hurricane Irma.

Fort Bragg officials say about 90 soldiers deployed Monday in 24 vehicles. On Tuesday, 300 more soldiers will be leaving Fort Bragg to help with Irma recovery efforts.

The Fort Bragg Facebook page said: “All American Paratroopers are once again ready to answer the call in a time of crisis.”


The 82nd Airborne Division was directed to support hurricane relief in 2005, when about 5,000 paratroopers deployed to Louisiana in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Dozens of soldiers from other Fort Bragg units were sent to Texas to help relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey.

MORE COVERAGE: Irma stories, video and more in Hurricane Central

Navy ships and Marines from the Camp Lejeune’s 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are delivering supplies to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Meanwhile Sunday, President Donald Trump declared a major disaster in the state of Florida, making federal aid available to people affected by Hurricane Irma in nine counties already hit by the storm.

The federal help includes temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans for uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover in the counties of Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas, and Sarasota.

Federal funding also is available to governments and non-profit organizations for emergencies in all 67 Florida counties. For the first 30 days, that money will cover 100 percent of the costs of some emergency responses.

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