TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Customs and Border Protection crews from Tucson are working in Puerto Rico to help the recovery effort on the island following Hurricane Maria.
Monday morning, and over the weekend, crew members have been flying to San Juan to relieve crews that have been there since the beginning of the month.
During the first deployment, agents took four Blackhawk helicopters. They are flying into the communities in need and handing out boxes of food, water and emergency supplies.
CBP Arizona calls the assignment a humanitarian mission. They say some of the residents haven't had food or water in days.
Casey Russell boarded a flight to Puerto Rico Monday morning. The longtime pilot will fly the Blackhawk as the crews deliver supplies.
"It's one of those things where, I've been to Iraq and I've been to Afghanistan and helping Americans, you know, that's the best part of it," he said.
Russell and the other crew members will be on assignment for two weeks before another rotation is made. We're told CBP could have a presence on the island until the end of the year.