COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a time of uncertainty, nearly 400 members of the Ohio National Guard have been called to state active duty to serve in their communities and aid people throughout Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four analysts with the 178th Wing are assigned to the Joint Task Force 37 (JTF-37) in support of Operation Steady Resolve.
These analysts provide reports that track which counties are in greatest need of assistance throughout the state. This information helps the humanitarian missions the Ohio National Guard is conducting across the state. The Airmen also look at local resources available in different counties, to project which counties have vulnerabilities that might make them impacted more negatively by a surge in COVID-19 cases. They also provide weather and route information to Guard members serving at food banks, allowing them to better serve Ohioans.
“We have been collecting data on coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and available hospital resources across the state, as well as providing weather and route information for the JTF-37 task forces that are supporting the local food banks,” said Tech. Sgt. Donavon, noncommissioned officer in charge of the JTF-37 S2 section.
After gathering all the data, the analysts use data models, maps and exponential growth charts to see what areas in the state have the potential to be affected the most by the novel coronavirus. This information is relayed to the JTF-37 commander, who can share it with local and state agency counterparts to help make timely, informed decisions.
“Being able to provide information to decision-makers that directly influences the decisions they make regarding the welfare of Ohioans has been extremely rewarding,” Donavon said.
The data provided by these Airmen directly impacts the welfare of their communities in Ohio as the state continues to battle COVID-19. Their knowledge and skills help fellow community members and the state prepare for an increase in cases.
“I live in Columbus, so being able to help out here has been an incredible feeling,” said Senior Airman Elise, an analyst assigned to the JTF-37. “I feel like I am able to make an impact in my local community, which is important in a time like this.”
Note: The last names of the Airmen were omitted for security.