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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-015 | April 2, 2020

As of Thursday morning, nearly 18,500 Air and Army National Guard professionals began their day actively supporting the COVID-19 crisis response at the direction of their governors.

This morning, 11 states, two territories and the District of Columbia have been approved for use of federal funds for state missions under Title 32, with another 26 requests moving through the approval process.

“Every state is battling COVID-19, and we need to be aware of the immense impact we have on our communities, said Gen. Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. “Thousands of times every day, Guardsmen and women will interact with scared and frustrated people.”

National Guard support focuses primarily on supporting a surge for enhanced medical capacity and logistics support.

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 and distribute
  • lifesaving medical equipment and critical supplies;
  • Delivering and distributing food in hard-hit communities and supporting food banks;
  • Manning call centers to be a knowledgeable and calming voice;
  • Providing vital 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 be 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 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:

Currently 1,615 Florida National Guardsmen have been activated in support of COVID-19. The state’s request for 502(f) funding was approved March 31 for 30 days and up to 3,000 Guardsmen.

The Florida National Guard continues to support the state’s COVID-19 response through operational support of community-based testing sites, augmentation to airport screening measures, statewide logistics support, coordination, planning and operational mission sets. The

Florida National Guard supports CBTS in Broward, Miami/Hard Rock Stadium, Orange County, Miami-Dade/Marlins Park and Palm Beach County continued sampling operations. To date, the FLNG has assisted in the testing of more than 18,250 individuals for the COVID-19 virus.

Additionally, the FLNG continues to conduct a wide variety of operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response:

  • Supporting 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.
  • Activating medical professionals, Army Combat Medic specialists and Air Force Medical technicians in support of the Florida Department of Health's community-based testing sites. Florida Guardsmen have reported in and formed Task Force Medical.
  • Augmenting the State Logistics Readiness Center, the State's Logistics Branch, as well as facilitate statewide logistics needs.
  • Augmenting the State Emergency Operations Center and local emergency management offices across the state.
  • Logistics professionals continue to support the State's Emergency Operations Centers as well as sustaining mobilized FLNG personnel.

In efforts to ensure the health and safety of our personnel, Florida Guard members, performing duties at the SLRC, are now receiving screenings and temperature checks two times a day.

Currently, the Hawaii National Guard has about 150 soldiers and airmen on State Active Duty supporting contingency planning and operational planning (medical support, security, traffic control, assistance at airports) and conducting Joint Reception Staging, Onward movement and Integration processing of large groups coming on to State Active Duty.

Additionally, the HING is assisting with passenger screening at the Honolulu International Airport and providing medical support to the Hawaii healthcare system.

The HING Joint Staff has established a Joint Operations Center to manage its response and is preparing to stand up Joint Task Force and a Dual Status Command, if required.

The Louisiana National Guard has more than 1,200 Soldiers and Airmen assisting with COVID- 19 response, to include distributing critical medical supplies statewide.

  • The commodities distribution mission has yielded more than 360,000 N95 masks, 1.2 million gloves, 300 ventilators, and nearly 50,000 Tyvek suits delivered to testing sites throughout the state.
  • In this instance, rather than saving lives in Louisiana using high water vehicles and helicopters, Guard men and women are saving lives by ensuring critical medical supplies like ventilators get where they need to go in a timely fashion.

Presently 347 Michigan National Guard soldiers and airmen are actively supporting the state's COVID-19 response and an additional 6,600 Guard members stand ready to assist. Additionally, approximately 160 MING members are mobilized federally under the operational control of U.S. Army North to FEMA in regions V, VI, and VII.

Across eight counties MING members are supporting requests from our local communities and state agencies with a variety of response missions that include: food distribution, Strategic National Stockpile support, screening operations, reception and staging, supply and logistics management, state Emergency Operations Center staff augmentation, and alternate care facility planning.

Joint Task Force – Michigan includes more than 100 National Guard members who are responsible for the coordination of Guard response efforts across the state.

Minnesota: The Minnesota National Guard has 150 soldiers and airmen supporting COVID-19 response in some way. Additionally, the “Star Tribune” published an OpEd piece by the Minnesota Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen that can be viewed at https://www.startribune.com/national-guard-adjutant-general-fellow-minnesotans-join-the-fight-against-covid-19/569285302/.

New York: The New York National Guard has more than 2,800 personnel on mission across the state. 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. An additional Dual Status Command Task Force leads efforts to employ active and National Guard military resources primarily in New York City.

The Dual Status Command continues supporting the care for patients at the Jacob Javits Center FEMA field hospital. U.S. Army medical personnel from the 9th and 531st Hospital Centers, part of the 44th Medical Brigade, staff the center for patient treatment. NYNG members continue to manage the site as the unified command post for the multi-agency response at the Javits Center.

Additional NYNG missions include:

  • The Guard continues support at seven drive-thru testing sites.
  • Food packaging and distribution in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan in New York City; as well as similar missions in Westchester County in New Rochelle and Albany County for the City of Albany.
  • Logistics missions in support of the state response, including warehousing and commodity distribution at sites in the Hudson Valley, the Albany area, and Mohawk Valley. Hand sanitizer warehousing and deliveries continue today across the lower Hudson Valley.
  • Logistics support to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City, NYNG personnel are working with members of the Medical Examiner's Office to assist in the dignified removal of human remains when required.
  • Providing support to the New York State Coronavirus Hotline by working call centers in Rotterdam, Schenectady and Brooklyn to offer updated information to the public.
  • 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.

Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico National Guard has 544 soldiers and airmen working directly in support of the COVID-19 response.

The PRNG is collaborating with island medical schools, and more than 60 medical students are supporting the screening and triage mission in the five airports around the island.

As of today, there have been 45,646 people medically evaluated and temperatures screened by PRNG soldiers and airmen at all five airports on the island. Of those, 153 passengers were referred for additional screening at the airports triage areas; 55 passengers were tested for COVID-19, counseled and sent home under the PR Department of Health supervision and their family doctor; and 130 passengers have been referred for home domiciliary quarantine.

In coordination with FEMA, PRNG soldiers installed a portable mobile hospital in Mayaguez, on the west side of the island.

Washington: The Washington National Guard has 130 soldiers and airmen that will be supporting food banks starting this week through the month of April. Citizen airmen and soldiers will support 11 food banks throughout the state. Guardsmen are assistance during this health crisis by transporting, packaging and distribution of food to homes, community-based locations and partner agencies in neighboring communities.

We have a Dual Status Commander and our Joint Task Force activated to support activities in Washington.

West Virginia:

Currently, more than 420 members of the West Virginia National Guard are serving the state of West Virginia.

Over the last 24 hours, experts from our Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Enterprise task force conducted 20 training missions today for retailers, food establishments and convenience stores in proper cargo, box handling and PPE wear

Food bank missions - packed and distributed 2,007 meals from two locations using refrigerated trucks to deliver 5,500 meals today

Data analysis and contact tracing for 430 engagements and eight expedited specimen transfers to our state lab

Soldiers are working two drive-through testing sites in the state

The state logistics team delivered critical personal protective equipment to all 55 counties in West Virginia, yesterday.