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NEWS | March 20, 2020

Wisconsin National Guard ready to support state

By Capt. Joe Trovato Wisconsin National Guard

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin National Guard is posturing forces to ensure it is ready to respond to requests for assistance from other state agencies or communities.

Approximately 300 troops have been mobilized to state active duty to posture the Guard for further state support if needed.

“We are working hand-in-hand with our partners across state government to ensure our forces are postured and ready to respond to anticipated requests for assistance,” said Col. Eric Leckel, the director of domestic operations for the Wisconsin National Guard. “Serving our state during times of emergency is one of our core missions in the National Guard, and we stand ready to assist the state with whatever it may ask of us.”

The Wisconsin National Guard has brought on additional planners, logisticians and command and control elements to manage and execute any future missions, which could include assisting state agencies with logistics and planning, specimen collection, providing a source of medical professionals, and more, Leckel said.

“Over the coming days and weeks, you will likely see our Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen out in our communities serving our state,” Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general, said. “Wisconsin’s response to COVID-19 is a unified whole-of-state effort, and our National Guard is here and stands ready to support our fellow Wisconsin citizens.”

The Wisconsin National Guard consists of 10,000 Soldiers and Airmen from around the state, representing a ready pool of resources and capabilities available to the governor and local communities. Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency March 12, clearing the way for National Guard support.

About 30 Wisconsin National Guard troops mobilized to state active duty last week to help the Wisconsin Department of Health Services transport a group of Wisconsin residents to their homes for self-quarantine after their return from a cruise on the Grand Princess. Those troops remain on state active duty to transport seven remaining cruise ship passengers when they return.