Military of Puerto Rico

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The defense of Puerto Rico is the responsibility of the United States as part of the Treaty of Paris (1898).

A branch of the Air National Guard is stationed in Puerto Rico, known as the Puerto Rico Air National Guard (PRANG). It had formerly been equipped with aircraft such as the F-104 Starfighter, A-7 Corsair II, F-16, but the PRANG currently flies only C-130 Hercules airplanes. The Puerto Rico National Guard also incorporates a significant Army component. They perform missions equivalent to those of the National Guard of each of the 50 U.S. States, including defensive, disaster-relief, and control of civil breach-of-peace (riots, etc.).

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Military facilities in Puerto Rico

The former Ramey Air Force Base in Aguadilla has been closed for decades, and no other Air Force Bases or Naval Air Stations remain. The Puerto Rico Air National Guard no longer has any fighter planes within its jurisdiction. On January 12, 1981, a group calling itself Volunteer Organization for the Revolution claimed responsibility for blowing up six fighter jet planes in a Puerto Rico Air National Guard base at a loss of $40 million.[1] Responsibility for the air defense of Puerto Rico now rests with USAF or US Navy fighters that would be flown in in case of a military emergency.

At different times in the 20th century, the U.S. had about 25 military or naval installations in Puerto Rico, including very, very small ones[2], as well as other rather large installations. The largest of these installations were the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Station in Ceiba, the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, and the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Training Facility (AFWTF) on Vieques (all now closed), the National Guard training facility at Camp Santiago in Salinas, the Army's Fort Buchanan in San Juan, the former U.S. Air Force Ramey Air Force Base in Aguadilla, and the Puerto Rico Air National Guard at Muñiz Air Force base in San Juan.[3]

The former U.S. Navy facilities at Roosevelt Roads, Vieques, and Sabana Seca have been deactivated and partially turned over to the local government. Other than U.S. Coast Guard and Puerto Rico National Guard facilities, there are only two remaining military installations in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Army's small Ft. Buchanan (supporting local veterans and reserve units) and the PRANG Air Guard Muñiz Air Base (the C-130 Fleet). In recent years, the U.S. Congress has considered their deactivations, but these have been opposed by diverse public and private entities in Puerto Rico - such as retired military who rely on Ft. Buchanan for the services available there.

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