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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-002 | March 18, 2020

As of Wednesday morning, just under 2,000 Air and Army National Guard professionals in 23 states began their day actively supporting COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors. As governors fine tune their response to the coronavirus pandemic those numbers can change rapidly.

Current National Guard COVID-19 response missions include, but are not limited to: response planners; support to medical testing facilities; response liaisons and support to state Emergency Operations Centers; support to healthcare professionals; logistics support; assisting with disinfecting/cleaning of common public spaces; providing transportation support for health care providers; collecting and delivering samples; and assisting with sample administration.

So far, more than 20 National Guard Civil Support Teams (CSTs) have provided COVID-19 response support by conducting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) training for first responders at the request of civilian agencies. CST professionals' HAZMAT and biohazard expertise make them well-suited for training how to properly don and maintain PPE. To learn more about National Guard Civil Support Teams, feel free to reference our fact sheet.

"This COVID-19 pandemic is a historic event and it requires a historic response from the National Guard. My number one priority is taking care of our National Guard Soldiers, Airmen and their families. The readiness of our force will be critical to the success of this nation’s COVID-19 response efforts, “said Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, National Guard Bureau chief.

The National Guard Bureau (NGB) facilitates integration and synchronization of National Guard support to civil authorities and associated planning between states, the Department of Defense and federal partners. The National Guard's Coordination Center is a 24 / 7 operation working at increased capacity in anticipation of COVID-19 requirements and to ensure unified and rapid response efforts between its state and federal partners.

Regarding COVID-19, the National Guard Bureau has not received any requests for assistance from the states regarding COVID-19. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and are postured to play a critical role.

National Guard COVID-19 Response Efforts and State PAO Contact Information

Governor JB Pritzker has activated about 60 Illinois National Guard service members to assist with COVID-19 response. These include 43 Airmen from the Peoria-based 182nd Airlift Wing's Medical Group and 17 planners and liaison officers from both Army National Guard and Air National Guard units from across the state, including medical planners. The activation is to assist with anticipated need for logistic support and medical staffing. The activated troops join about 40 National Guard cyber experts who are on state active duty to assist with cyber security of election networks. Please attribute to Lt Col Brad Leighton, Public Affairs Director. He can be reached at ng.il.ilarng.list.staff-pao@mail.mil or (217) 761-3569.

The New York National Guard currently has 900 personnel on mission. This includes members of the New York Army and Air National Guard, the New York Guard (state defense force) , and the New York Naval Militia. Joint Task Force headquarters have been stood up on Long Island, in New York City, the Hudson Valley, and the Albany area. The New York National Guard is supporting five drive-thru testing sites on Long Island and Staten Island and in Rockland and Westchester Counties. New York National Guard is support call centers in Hawthorne and Rotterdam New York being operated by the Department of Health and the Department of Taxation and Finance. In New Rochelle the New York National Guard continues delivery of school lunches and breakfasts to neighborhood community centers, and cleaning of public buildings. New York National Guard is conducting warehouse operations at Camp Smith Training Site for NYS Clean Sanitizer and retail distribution of sanitizer in the Hudson Valley area. New York National Guard logistics and medical experts are working with the New York State Department of Health to identify facilities and spaces that can be converted into temporary hospital space. Please attribute to COL Richard Goldenberg, public affairs officer. He can be reached at richard.l.goldenberg.mil@mail.mil or (518) 786-6150.

The National Guards of the 50 states, 3 territories and the District of Colombia have a very deep bench of nearly 450,000 experienced and proven Air and Army National Guard professionals. Guard units frequently train side-by-side with state and local emergency responders, making them well-suited for domestic operations.

National Guard members work and live in every community across the nation and have a proven track record of success supporting civilian authorities after homeland emergencies. The National Guard has unique capabilities such as its Civil Support Teams and CERFPs that could provide local first responders with additional resources to combat COVID-19.

For more information regarding this press release, please send an email to the National Guard Bureau Media Operations desk at ng.ncr.ngb-arng.mesg.ngb-media-desk-owner@mail.mil.