TIME

When the military does battle with nature

A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant prepares for damage assessment and search and recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma

ALTHOUGH WE JUST WATCHED TWO ENORMOUS hurricanes rip through Texas and Florida, it is worth remembering that Mother Nature can easily surpass the biggest conventional weapons in our arsenal, unleashing destruction over vast areas. Fortunately, we have a force capable of responding to such disasters in the U.S. military. As I often said when I led disaster-relief efforts in Latin America and the

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