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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-006 | March 23, 2020

All 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia are engaged in combating COVID-19. As of this morning, more than 8,000 Guard men and women are providing critical skills supporting the COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors. Those numbers can change rapidly as states identify needs and communicate them to their National Guard.

"With COVID-19, it's like we have 54 different hurricanes hitting every state, every territory, and the District of Columbia -- some are Category 5, some are Category 3, and some are Category 1." Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau

Current National Guard COVID-19 response missions include, but are not limited to:

  • Delivering food in hard-hit communities;
  • Manning call centers to be a knowledgeable and calming voice;
  • Providing critical Personal Protective Equipment training and sample collection and delivery to first responders and hospital personnel;
  • Supporting local emergency management agencies with response planning and execution;
  • Providing support and symptoms screening to testing facilities;
  • Serving as response liaisons and support to state Emergency Operations Centers;
  • Providing transportation and assessment support to healthcare providers;
  • Assisting with disinfecting/cleaning of common public spaces

The National Guard has long-standing partnerships with state emergency managers and first responders to help ensure a rapid and unified response.

If you were going to design an ideal military force to assist with a response like COVID-19, it would the National Guard. We are 450,000 strong in every state, territory, nearly every zip code in the country -- Less time and distance = more lives saved.

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.

The National Guards of the 50 states, three 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.

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

Florida: The Florida National Guard has 1,062 Guard men and women activated in support of COVID- 19. They are supporting the State’s with Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS) augmentation in Broward, Orange, and Miami-Dade counties. The CBTS in Broward continues public testing assisting in the sampling of 2,004 patients since opening. The Florida National Guard will conduct rehearsals and operational checks in Orange County, with a projected opening date of March 25. Development of an additional CBTS at the Marlins Stadium in Miami will be initiated in coming days.

The Florida National Guard has activated medical professionals, Army Combat Medic Specialists, and Air Force Medical Technicians in support of the Florida Department of Health's (DOH) Community Based Testing Sites. Our Guardsmen have reported in and formed Task Force Medical.

Guardsmen and women have also been activated to augment the State Logistics Readiness Center, the State's Logistics Branch, as well as facilitate state wide logistics needs of the Florida National Guard formations on mission. In addition, the Guard will augment the State Emergency Operations Center and local emergency management offices across the state.

Please attribute to 1st Lt. Tahisha Coleman, public affairs officer. She can also be reached at tahisha.j.coleman.mil@mail.mil.

The New York National Guard currently has 1,800 personnel on mission across the state. 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 Forces are operating on Long Island, New York City, the Hudson Valley and Albany area in support of state, county and local governments. Two additional task forces now operate in Syracuse and Buffalo, prepared to support to local authorities across the entire state.

The New York National Guard supports six drive-thru testing sites today on Long Island, Staten Island, the Bronx and in Rockland and Westchester Counties. These sites are supported testing for more than 3,000 people yesterday. Testing is done through reservations made through the Department of Health based on physician orders.

Fifty troops provide food packaging and distribution today at Tuckahoe High School in Eastchester, Feeding Westchester in Elmsford, Hope Community Services and the Community Center in New Rochelle.

Also in New Rochelle, the New York National Guard continues cleaning of public buildings including 60 Soldiers at the Young Israel Temple.

Hand sanitizer deliveries continue today across the lower Hudson Valley as 11 Soldiers provide support to local government agencies.

New York National Guard also continues to provide 24-hour support call a center in Rotterdam, N.Y. to offer updated information to the public. The center is operated by the Department of Health and the Department of Taxation and Finance.

These missions are expected to continue into the week.

Our imagery continues to go up on DVIDS, and our NY National Guard Flickr.

Please attribute to COL Richard Goldenberg, public affairs officer. He can also be reached at richard.l.goldenberg.mil@mail.mil or (518) 786-6150.


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.