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MEETING CHALLENGES


I have had the privilege of flying with several National Guard units. One challenge they all seem to share is their limited budgets. They are constantly being asked to perform more tasks with less money. No matter where you go, it’s the military way, and the PRNG is no exception.


Perhaps even more of a challenge for the PRNG aviation unit than its budget is its geographic location. Unlike say a National Guard unit based in the Midwest, sun and salt punish Puerto Rico’s aircraft. Extraordinary anti-corrosion measures are implemented so that the aircraft and components can meet their service-life requirements.


The unit’s unique challenges are compounded further by its distance from the U.S. With Puerto Rico a thousand miles away from the mainland, support can be slow or sometimes nonexistent. By contrast, if a unit in Colorado has a problem or needs a part, they can approach a neighboring state’s National Guard unit for help. This is not an option for the PRNG.


Puerto Rico’s remoteness brings me back to this story’s beginning, when my handler pulled out his cell phone and called a contact on that Coast Guard boat. Because Puerto Rico is isolated from the U.S. mainland, the PRNG and other agencies (U.S. CBP, Coast Guard, DEA, FBI, and local


police) have


developed close relationships to create a strong support network. All these agencies really rely on each other and work together towards one common goal: protect La Isla del Encanto … the Island of Enchantment.


rotorcraftpro.com


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