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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-012 | March 30, 2020

As of Monday morning, more than 14,830 Air and Army National Guard professionals are supporting the COVID-19 crisis response at the direction of their governors. Twenty-two states and two territories have approved use of Dual-Status Commanders. As a governor’s response to the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, so does the Guard response.

The Chief of the National Guard Bureau had this to say to National Guard members: “Thanks to the National Guard men and women responding to this crisis across the nation! Know that what you do in your state is part of a nation-wide effort to combat this virus. We talk about this as 54 separate hurricanes, but COVID-19 knows no state boundaries. What we do in one state has implications for all states. You are impacting how fast we get this massive American machine up and running again. Thanks for all you are doing!”

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

“This response isn't just about delivering food or supporting COVID test centers. It's about protecting our children, parents and grandparents. Our nation is looking to the National Guard to help and we can't let them down." Gen. Joseph Lengyel, Chief, National Guard Bureau

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

  • Full time 24 hour state Emergency Operations Center staffing to synchronize National Guard efforts with local and state mission partners to plan and execute an effective response;
  • Working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase medical capacity;
  • Supporting warehouse operations and logistics efforts to help deliver critical supplies;
  • Delivering food in hard-hit communities;
  • Manning call centers to be a knowledgeable and calming voice;
  • Providing critical Personal Protective Equipment training and delivery to civilian first responders;
  • Performing sample collection and delivery to medical personnel;
  • Providing support and symptoms screening to testing facilities and passenger terminals;
  • Providing transportation and assessment support to healthcare providers;

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.

For information about Dual Status Commander, access the story at this link: https://www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article/2128146/guard-dual-status-allows-flexibility-rapid-covid-19-response/

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.

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

The Florida National Guard has 1,558 men and women activated in support of COVID-19. Support includes, but is not limited to providing operational support of Community Based Testing Sites; augmentation to airport screening measures; and statewide logistics support, coordination, planning and operational mission sets.

To date, Guard personnel have assisted in the testing of over 13,400 individuals for the COVID- 19 virus. Additional testing sites will be stood up in Palm Beach County and is projected to go operational tomorrow.

The Florida National Guard continues to support the Florida Department of Health and airport authorities in application of the Governor's order to conduct screenings at airports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Palm Beach International, and Fort Myers. These missions will support the Governor's recent travel ban guidance in an attempt to significantly reduce the number of infected individuals entering the state from areas with a high amount of community spread. Department of Health continues to supply the required personal protective equipment enabling Guard men and women to conduct the support requirements.

The Florida National Guard have activated medical professionals, Army Combat Medic Specialists, and Air Force Medical Technicians in support of the Florida Department of Health's Community Based Testing Sites. Guard personnel are on site and have formed Task Force Medical.

Guard personnel have been activated to augment the State Logistics Readiness Center, the State's Logistics Branch, as well as facilitate statewide logistics needs of the Guard formations on mission. Logistics professionals continue to support the State's Emergency Operations Centers, as well as sustain the mobilized personnel. Guard personnel performing duties at the logistics readiness center have to be screened twice daily and receive temperature checks.

Florida Guard men and women 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.

New York:
As of today, the New York National Guard has 2,700 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.

Six Joint Task Forces are operating on Long Island, New York City, the Hudson Valley, Capital Region, Syracuse and Buffalo to support state and local governments.

In New York City, Guard personnel continue to support the arrival of patients at the Jacob Javits Center FEMA field hospital.

About 600 U.S. Army medical personnel from Fort Campbell, Ky., and Fort Hood, Texas, arrived this past weekend and will staff the center for patient treatment.

A New York National Guard mayor’s cell and other Soldiers will continue supporting the 320 federal personnel, who are managing the site as the unified command post for multi-agency response at the Javits Center.

New York has established a dual-status commander, Army Brig. Gen. Michel Natali, New York National Guard, Assistant Adjutant General.

The New York National Guard continues to support seven drive-thru testing sites. Six sites are located at SUNY Stony Brook, Jones Beach State Park, Staten Island, Glen Island State Park in Westchester County, the Anthony Wayne Service area in Rockland County, and Lehman College in the Bronx.

An additional site opens today at Coop City - Bay Plaza Mall in the Bronx. The New York National Guard will assist in staffing that location with Soldiers and medical personnel.

New York National Guard personnel are continuing to support food packaging and distribution today in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

Similar missions resume today in Westchester County in New Rochelle and Albany County for the City of Albany.

New York Soldiers and Airmen are also conducting logistics missions in support of the state response, including warehousing support and bulk distribution at sites in the Hudson Valley, the Albany area, and the Mohawk Valley.

Hand sanitizer warehousing and deliveries continue today across the lower Hudson Valley. New York National Guard also continues to provide support to the New York State Coronavirus

Hotline by working in a call center in Rotterdam, N.Y. offering updated information to the public. Other Soldiers support a call center mission in Brooklyn and New York City.

Soldiers are also on call to assist Department of Health officials at the Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany for packaging COVID 19 test kits.

New York National Guard images continue to go up on DVIDS: https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/NYNG, and our NY National Guard Flickr site, https://www.flickr.com/photos/nyng.

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.