Home : News : Press Releases
Press Releases

National Guard response to COVID-19

20-016 | April 3, 2020

As of Friday morning, more than 19,700 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 29 requests moving through the approval process.

You may see National Guard men and women working in your communities. The Guard remains under the control of the state governors, supporting communities and neighbors in a variety of ways - most importantly focused on supporting community-based testing sites, creating additional medical capacity, and providing logistical support to include transportation and distribution of medical supplies and food.

"I'm hearing unfounded rumors about National Guard troops supporting a nationwide quarantine. Let me be clear: There has been no such discussion.” Gen. Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. “We’re going to show up at the point of the problem, and we’re going to show up as professional soldiers and airmen. That’s what we bring to every task.”

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 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 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:

State priorities continue to focus on supporting community-based testing sites, creating additional medical capacity, and providing logistical support to include transportation and distribution of medical supplies and food.

The Arkansas National Guard has 98 soldiers and airmen on state active duty performing a variety of missions in support of the Arkansas Department of Health, the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Arkansas Guardsmen are supporting 12 active missions as part of the state's COVID-19 response efforts. They include the following:

  • Medics, a physician, and physician's assistants are manning call centers for both general populace medical concerns about COVID-19, as well as a physician's lines. These call centers are averaging more than 650 calls per day.
  • Medics from both Arkansas Army and Air National Guard units are conducting patient screening at mobile triage centers and the UAMS drive-through center. Both screening and sample collections are being performed by soldiers and airmen, that helps free-up UAMS medical professionals to assist patients in other areas in the hospital.
  • More than 25 specialized airmen and soldiers are assisting the Arkansas Department of Health and working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other state and federal partners to assess and plan for several alternate care facilities throughout the state.
  • Soldiers and airmen with engineering degrees, specialized experience with communications and network systems, logistics expertise, transportation planners, and staff planners are working side-by-side with our state and federal partners in the execution of the COVID-19 response.

Currently 1,621 Florida National Guardsmen are activated in support of the State’s COVID-19 response performing operational support of community-based testing sites; augmenting airport screening measures; as well as statewide logistics support, coordination, planning and operational mission sets.

The FLNG has 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. These FLNG continues to support CBTS operations at Broward County, Miami/Hard Rock Stadium, Orange County, Miami-Dade/Marlins Park and Palm Beach County. Beginning April 7 the Guard will be supporting a second CBTS in Palm Beach. To date, the FLNG has assisted in the testing of more than 19,700 individuals for the COVID-19 virus.

Additionally, the FLNG has activated Guardsmen to augment the State Logistics Readiness Center, the State's Logistics Branch, as well as to facilitate statewide logistics needs of the Guard formations on mission. The FLNG support to the SLRC remains operational 24 hours daily. Logistics professionals continue to support the state’s Emergency Operations centers as well as sustaining mobilized FLNG personnel.

Florida Guardsmen are augmenting the State Emergency Operations Center and local emergency management offices across the state.

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.

The Idaho National Guard has 40 soldiers and airmen assisting food pantries at three locations throughout the state. These personnel are helping prepare food boxes and assisting with food distribution to members of the community.

In addition, two soldiers and two airmen are conducting forklift and logistics activities at local warehouses.

We've had personnel assisting with offloading FEMA supplies as they arrive in state and the IDNG delivered 150 cots to Idaho Power to enable the utility service to conduct 24-hour operations if necessary.

Idaho National Guard personnel are supporting the Idaho Office of Emergency Management in their Emergency Operations Center and the IDNG's Joint Operations Center has been mission planning and processing Soldiers and Airmen as they come forward to support these missions.

Today, more than 1,500 Maryland National Guard members continue to support Marylanders with about 700 Citizen-Warriors on stand-by in an enhanced readiness status. Recently, airmen from the Maryland Air National Guard's 175th Wing processed more than one million medical supply items from the Strategic National Stockpile, distributing masks, gloves and other protective equipment to health care workers and hospitals across the state.

The Massachusetts National Guard is working with state agencies to distribute PPE from the state stockpile to critical areas across the commonwealth.

Currently, 443 Michigan National Guard soldiers and airmen are actively supporting the state's COVID-19 response and an additional 6,600 Guardsmen are ready to assist. Across eight counties members of the National Guard are supporting requests from our local communities and state agencies.

Response missions 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. Additionally, Joint Task Force – Michigan includes more than 100 MING members to coordinate National Guard response efforts across the state.

Presently, 73 Montana Army and Air National Guard men and women have been activated for state active duty in response to COVID-19. These soldiers and airmen are being employed in 11 cities and 17 locations within those cities around the state.

Guardsmen will be tasked to screen individuals arriving in Montana from other states and countries through airports and train stations. They will be located at airports in: Bozeman, Billings, Kalispell, Missoula, Helena, Great Falls and Butte. Screening will include all arriving passengers at the airport terminals and most privately-owned, fixed base operations located at these major airports. Guardsmen will also screen individuals entering Montana by train at stations in: Whitefish, Havre, Shelby and Wolf Point.

Additionally, each location will have a Montana National Guard liaison officer to work with local disaster and emergency services representatives, public health officials, airport management and Transportation Safety Administration officials. These liaisons will work with each team to monitor inbound flight and train arrivals.

New York:
The New York National Guard has more than 2,850 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 in New York City. The Dual Status Command is coordinating the expansion of the Jacob Javits Center FEMA field hospital to care for COVID 19 patients.

New York Guardsmen continue to manage the site as the unified command post for the multi- agency response at the Javits Center. The build out of Javits to add 1,000 additional beds is expected to be completed this week.

The Guard continues support at seven drive-thru testing sites. Nearly 27,000 people have received testing at these sites since they first began.

National Guard personnel are continuing food packaging and distribution today in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan in New York City. Similar missions continue in Westchester County in New Rochelle and Albany County for the City of Albany. National Guard members have helped in the distribution of some 148,626 meals.

New York soldiers and airmen are also conducting 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.

The NYNG continues to provide logistics support to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City. National Guard personnel are working with members of the Medical Examiner's Office to assist in the dignified removal of human remains when required.

Soldiers are also on call to assist Department of Health officials at the Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany for packaging COVID 19 test kits. They provided assembly of 22,250 kits so far.

The Tennessee National Guard is supporting the state Department of Health in operating 35 testing sites across the state. Additionally, the Tennessee Guardsmen are operating PPE donation sites and distributing the PPE to first responders and hospitals, as well as assisting FEMA and DOH with building medical surge capacity in high risk areas.

West Virginia:
West Virginia currently has more than 420 soldiers and airmen on duty. In just one day the National Guard members:

  • Conducted 20 training missions for retailers, food establishments and convenience stores in the proper wear of PPE.
  • Logistics teams delivered critical PPE to 55 counties throughout the state.
  • Delivered 5,500 meals using refrigerated trucks; packed an additional 2,000 meals for distribution.
  • Assisted at two drive-through testing sites.