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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-019 | April 7, 2020

An additional 5,000 Guardsmen and women were activated since yesterday morning, bringing the total to nearly 27,000 Air and Army National Guard professionals supporting the COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors.

This morning, 21 states, three territories and the District of Columbia have been approved for use of federal funds for state missions under Title 32, with another 20 requests moving through the approval process.

“Our combined combat and civilian-acquired skills help to create a blueprint for an ideal military force capable of addressing the myriad challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau. “If you need us to drive trucks, fly airplanes, be mechanics or plan a large response effort, the National Guard is able to adapt to whatever the mission demands.”

The National Guard expects the demand to grow as governors continue to assess needs and call on specific Guard skills to meet their states’ needs to meet this national crisis. The National Guard is neighbors helping neighbors. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen live and work in the communities they serve.

Such is the case for Maj. Lorenzo Paladion, a New York City emergency room doctor at the heart of the fight against COVID-19 who recently became a flight surgeon in the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing.

Our combined combat and civilian-acquired skills helps to create a blue print to address the myriad challenges presented by COVID-19. Across the nation, Guardsmen with medical skills are putting them to practical use in fighting the coronavirus.

Much like Delaware National Guard’s 1st Lt.Tyrell Hargrove, of the 166th Medical Group, who is putting his civilian experience as a critical care nurse at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center to use while serving on state active duty as a medical liaison officer working with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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;
  • Sewing and distributing masks for mission essential personnel;
  • Building and outfitting alternate care facilities to alleviate stress on medical infrastructure;
  • 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

The National Guard Bureau facilitates integration and synchronization of National Guard support to civil authorities and associated planning between states, the Department of Defense andfederal partners. The National Guard's'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 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 depth and breadth of knowledge and skills the National Guard brings to the COVID-19 fight is making a difference in the communities they serve; it is truly neighbors helping neighbors.

Currently 95 soldiers and airmen are serving in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Missions include: patient call center; physician call center; patient screening and testing drive-through; logistics planning; liaisons; medical surge planning; medical supply handling and distribution; and alternate care facility assessments and planning.

For more information on Arkansas National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. Brian Mason at brian.l.mason2.mil@mail.mil, (501) 212-5020, or the Arkansas National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ng.ar.ararng.mbx.daily-guard@mail.mil.

The Florida National Guard currently has 2,325 soldiers and airmen in a mobilized status.

Members of the FLNG continue supporting 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.

To date, the FLNG has assisted in the testing of more than 26,640 individuals for the COVID-19 virus.

For more information on Florida National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. M. Caitlin Brown at mary.c.brown26.mil@mail.mil, or (904) 823-0164.

The Iowa National Guard delivered 280 pallets of medical supplies to 90 counties.

For more information on Iowa National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Col. Michael Wunn at michael.a.wunn.mil@mail.mil, or (515) 252-4582.

The Kentucky National Guard is supporting set up of an alternate care site in the Louisville Expo Center.

For more information on Kentucky National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. Stephen D. Martin at stephen.d.martin1.mil@mail.mil, 502-607-1898, or the Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs Office email at KYNG.PAO@mail.mil.

The Michigan National Guard has 488 soldiers and airmen actively supporting the states COVID-19 response. Across nine counties members of the MING 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.

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

For more information on Michigan National Guard activities, please contact Capt. Andrew Layton, deputy PAO, at andrew.b.layton.mil@mail.mil, or 517-481-7735.

Minnesota National Guard men and women are cutting fabric, laundering, and distributing masks to be worn by mission essential personnel in various agencies throughout the state.

For more information on Minnesota National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. Scott Hawks at scott.d.hawks.mil.mil@mail.mil, (651) 282-4789, or the Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs Office email at mn.ng.web@mail.mil.

The Missouri National Guard set up nine alternate care sites.

For more information on Missouri National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Sgt.

1st Class. Joshua Breig at joshua.h.breig.mil@mail.mil, (573) 638-9846, or the Missouri National Guard Public Affairs Office email at mo.ngpao@mail.mil.

New York:
Currently the New York National Guard has 2,910 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.

Expansion of the Jacob Javits Center continues. The center capacity now accommodates some2,500 beds and staff. NYNG members continue to manage the site and its conversion. The NYNG also continues support at nine drive-thru testing sites; they supported more than 5,645 tests for the community April 6 alone.

National Guard personnel continue food packaging and distribution. Additionally, New York soldiers and airmen are also conducting logistics missions, including warehousing and commodity distribution of medical supplies. These missions include delivery of ventilators from New York State Department of Health stockpiles to hospitals in need.

Hand sanitizer warehousing and deliveries continue, with more than 30,000 gallons of hand sanitizer delivered by National Guard personnel to local governments to date.

The New York National Guard 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 Examiners Office to assist in the dignified removal of human remains when required.

New York National Guard also continues to provide support to the New York State Coronavirus Hotline by working call centers and speaking with more than 5,000 callers on average a day.

Soldiers continue packaging COVID-19 test kits for the New York State Department of Health at the Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany. They assemble about 11,000 kits per day for distribution across the state.

For more information on New York National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Col. Richard Goldenberg at richard.l.goldenberg.mil@mail.mil, or (518) 786-6150.

North Dakota:
The North Dakota National Guard set up a 200-bed alternate care site in Fargo, North Dakota.

For more information on North Dakota National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. Amber Balken at amber.r.balken.mil@mail.mil, or (701) 333-2007.

Rhode Island:
Rhode Island National Guard members helped open a fourth COVID-19 testing site capable of testing 1,000 people per day.

For more information on Rhode Island National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. Dennis Pineault at dennis.n.pineault.mil@mail.mil, or (401) 680-3092.

The Vermont National Guard helped increase the bed capacity from 150 to 300 at alternate care sites.

For more information on Vermont National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Capt. Mikel Arcovitch at mikel.r.arcovitch.mil@mail.mil, or (802) 338-3478.

West Virginia:
West Virginia currently has more than 490 soldiers and airmen on duty. Current WVNG missions include:

The West Virginia National Guard is helping increase capacity for the state to process unemployment claims, as 15 members of the WVNG are assisting Workforce West Virginia. That number will increase to 30 personnel by April 8.

WVNG personnel assisted in COVID-19 testing of more than 150 residents and staff from a nursing home in Charleston, West Virginia.

The WVNG communications team recently assisted St. Francis Hospital by rewiring phone lines as former office spaces are turned into COVID-19 treatment rooms.

Members of the logistics team packaged 825 gallons of hand sanitizer for distribution and picked up additional PPE from Maryland. Later this week, our logistics personnel will provide assistance at St. Francis Hospital by converting space to support COVID-19 patients.

WVNG has distributed 2,700 meals throughout Pleasants, Ritchie, Barbour and Gilmer counties.

Epidemiology teams supported 77 contact-tracing engagements and assisting with 17 expedited specimen transfers.

Guard personnel continue working drive through testing sites in Huntington, Grafton and Lewis County, and will expand support to Wyoming and Mingo counties later this week.

For more information on West Virginia National Guard activities, please contact the WVNG state PAO Capt. Holli Nelson at holli.r.nelson.mil@mail.mil, (304) 561-6762, or the West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ng.wv.wvarng.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil.

More than 2,400 Wisconsin National Guard members mobilized to state active duty to support the Wisconsin Elections Commission and county clerks across Wisconsin in the state’s upcoming election.

Guard members completed Wisconsin Elections Commission-provided training for poll workers and other roles at a polling station. WEC developed a series of training videos for chief inspectors, election inspectors, voter registration and new roles like helping with line management and polling station hygiene.

The WING also assisted the WEC leading up to the election by procuring and distributing items necessary to ensure safe and sanitary polling sites around the state such as hand sanitizer, wipes, spray bottles, and more.

For more information on Wisconsin National Guard activities, please contact the WING state PAO Maj. Brian J. Faltinson at brian.j.faltinson.mil@mail.mil, (608) 242-3059, or the Wisconsin National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ngwi.pao@mail.mil.