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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-022 | April 10, 2020

This morning, nearly 28,000 Air and Army National Guard professionals are supporting the COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors. This is a drop of about 1,400 from Thursday, as members of the Wisconsin National Guard completed their mission in support of elections.

Twenty-one 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.

The National Guard has assisted in constructing nearly 150 alternate care facilities, providing nearly 83,700 extra beds for COVID-19 patients.

“Over the past few weeks, each day has seen about 1,000 additional soldiers and airmen called up throughout the 54 states, territories, and the District of Columbia,” Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Guard members are supporting COVID-19 testing sites, constructing and staffing alternate care facilities, assisting state agencies in testing analysis, medical care, communication capacities and delivering needed supplies and equipment.

In Louisiana alone, Lengyel said, Guard members have delivered more than 600,000 N95 masks, 3 million gloves, 300 ventilators, and nearly 100,000 protective suits to testing sites. Guard soldiers and airmen are also working at food banks and have distributed more than 400,000 pounds of food.

Sixty members of the Illinois Air National Guard are helping to build an alternate care facility at the sprawling McCormick Place to handle a potential surge of patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I could not be more proud of the work accomplished by our airmen this week," said 2nd Lt. Jon Kent, the officer in charge of the Guard's relief efforts at McCormick Place. "In just five short days, they were able to set up a system that they were unfamiliar with and greatly enhanced the capabilities of medical responders who will soon be using the facilities here. They are a great example of how the Illinois National Guard stands ever ready to support the citizens of Illinois in any mission assigned to us."

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;
  • Flying ventilators and other critical equipment to support response efforts in other states;
  • Providing mortuary affairs assistance as needed with dignity and respect;
  • Providing time saving support to local law enforcement, freeing officers to perform their duty in the communities they serve;
  • Conducting force health protection assessments to ensure our Guardsmen are taken care of;
  • Manufacturing, 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 and federal partners. Guard units frequently train side-by-side with state and local emergency responders, making them well-suited for domestic operations.

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.

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.

The Arkansas National Guard has more than 75 soldiers and airmen working in support of state authorities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Soldiers and airmen are manning and operating two separate call centers, handling more than 650 calls per day.
  • Guardsmen are assisting medical professionals at a drive-through testing center in Little Rock, screening and testing more than 100 patients per day.
  • The Arkansas National Guard is also assisting the Arkansas Department of Health with medical, logistics, and communications planning and analysis, as well as liaisons with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and staff at the Emergency Operations Center, Joint Information Center, and Joint Operations Center.
  • Soldiers are working at a centralized warehouse handling and distributing received PPE and other medical supplies to designated healthcare facilities throughout the state. More than 36 pallets of supplies have been processed to date. They are gearing up for large shipments off PPE and medical supplies expected to arrive over the weekend.

For more information on Arkansas National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. 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 2,299 soldiers and airmen operating in a mobilized status continuing to support the State’s COVID-19 response through operational support of CBTS, augmentation to airport screening measures, statewide logistics support, coordination, planning and operational mission sets.

  • The FLNG is supporting the Army Corp of Engineers in preparing the Miami Beach Convention Center for conversion to a 450-bed alternate care facility. The site is expected to be operational in mid-April, just prior to Florida's currently projected COVID patient bed utilization peak date of April 21.
  • The FLNG has activated all remaining available Air and Army National Guard medical personnel to operate the MBCC alternate care facility.
  • The state's response continuum recently established Task Force MED to work in close coordination with county, Florida Department of Health and federal planners to establish the MBCC alternate care facility.
  • The Command Teams from the Air and Army National Guard continue to canvas every member of the FLNG team and their families to communicate the mission, capture systemic issues and individual needs and instill a sense of unity during this historic response. The FLNG continues to aggressively support deployed soldiers and airmen and their families.
  • To date, the FLNG has assisted in the testing of over 31,085 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 Maine National Guard is providing equipment support to Veterans Affairs’ facilities.

For more information on Maine National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. Carl Lamb at carl.j.lamb4.mi@mail.mil, or (207) 430-5759.

More than 1,500 members of the Maryland National Guard continue to combat the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, nearly 700 additional Maryland Guardsmen are in an enhanced readiness status; capable of coming on-duty within a matter of hours if needed.

Medical specialists from the MDNG’s medical detachment, 224th and 104th Area Support Medical companies are proactively supporting the Maryland Department of Health in the state’s COVID-19 mitigation and suppression efforts with multi-discipline assessment teams to help safeguard the citizens at nursing homes facilities across the state.

Guardsmen are supporting food distribution missions throughout Baltimore County.

The MDNG is continuing to support transportation and logistics needs for the Baltimore Convention Center alternate care facility.

Members of the MDNG continue to work closely with the Maryland Department of Transportation to provide essential information at Amtrak stations in central-Maryland.

The National Guard is continuing to support Marylanders in need of screening at FedEx Field, vehicle emissions centers, and the state house.

The Maryland Air National Guard continues to process and distribute countless pieces of medical equipment and personal protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile.

For more information on Maryland National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. Kurt Rauschenberg at kurt.m.rauschenberg.mil@mail.mil, (410) 576-617927, or the Maryland National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ng.md.mdarng.list.pao@mail.mil.

640 Michigan National Guard soldiers and airmen are actively supporting the state’s COVID-19 response, and an additional 6,600 service members are ready to assist.

Across nine 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 120 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.

Men and women of the Nevada National Guard are organizing and preparing PPE for distribution to hospitals across the state. At the direction of medical professionals, they are also distributing 50 ventilators received from the State of California.

For more information on Nevada National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Mickey Kirschenbaum at mikol.kirschenbaum.mil@mail.mil, or (775) 887-7252.

New York: The New York National Guard has 3,425 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.

  • New York Air National Guard pararescue airmen, who are trained as emergency medical technicians, from New York’s 106th Rescue Wing, are also assisting in city hospitals.
  • NYNG members continue to manage the Javits site as the unified command post for the multi-agency response.
  • The NYNG is also supporting the alternate care facility at the South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten Island.
  • Guardsmen are supporting 10 drive-thru testing sites. Soldiers and Airmen are collecting samples and providing general-purpose support at the testing locations. They administered 5,400 tests April 9.
  • A tenth testing site opens April 10 in Brooklyn adjacent to a retail store parking lot in Flatbush.
  • National Guard personnel continue food packaging and distribution today in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan in New York City. Soldiers have distributed 542,687 meals.
  • Similar missions continue in Westchester County in New Rochelle where 24,365 meal packages have been distributed and Albany County where 778 meals have been delivered to quarantined residents.
  • New York soldiers and airmen are also conducting logistics missions, including warehousing and commodity distribution of medical supplies at sites in the Hudson Valley, the Albany area, and Mohawk Valley.
  • Soldiers delivered 50,000 protective masks from state stockpiles to ten downstate hospitals April 9.
  • Hand sanitizer warehousing and deliveries continue today to locations across the lower Hudson Valley. More than 32,300 gallons of hand sanitizer have been delivered to local governments.
  • The 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 Examiner's Office to assist in the dignified removal of human remains when required.
  • NYNG members continue to provide support to the New York State Coronavirus Hotline by working call centers in Rotterdam and Brooklyn to offer updated information to the public. Soldiers spoke with 3,361 callers April 9, and have provided response and support to more than 155,870 callers since the mission began.
  • Soldiers continue packaging COVID-19 test kits for the New York State Department of Health at the Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany. They assembled more than 20,000 kits April 9 for distribution across the state, providing more than 50,600 since starting the mission.

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:
More than 125 North Dakota National Guard soldiers and airmen are supporting the state’s COVID-19 response efforts. This includes assisting the North Dakota departments of Health and Emergency Services in any requested capacity.

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

The Texas National Guard is assisting with production of 2 million medical protective masks a week.

For more information on Texas National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Laura Cross at laura.s.cross2.mil@mail.mil, (512) 782-6045, or the Texas National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ng.tx.txarng.mbx.pao@mail.mil.

More than 210 Vermont National Guard soldiers, airmen on state active duty supporting the state and the Vermont National Guard’s response to COVID-19.

Members of the VTNG have partnered with state foremen to build a 400-bed alternate care facility at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction. The VTNG will also fully staff the facility with medical personnel.

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:
Since beginning operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response 27 days ago, the West Virginia National Guard has completed 280 missions. Nearly 560 members of the WVNG are on duty serving the citizens of the state.

The WVNG has increased the number of personnel supporting the Workforce West Virginia mission to 21 and are working on standing up a third call center to address the growing need for processing unemployment claims.

The WVNG has trained 174 retail establishments and 651 personnel on proper cargo, box handling and PPE wear. This team will develop guidelines and best practices, in conjunction with county health departments, for convenience stores and gas stations to implement to protect workers and customers in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Guardsmen are supporting the most vulnerable populations, which continues to make an impact. In the last 24 hours WVNG packed 417 family boxes at the Facing Hunger Food Bank in

Huntington and 2,086 meals at the Mountaineer Food Bank. Personnel operating our refrigerated trucks assisted in the delivery of 3,500 meals to Greenbrier, Ohio and McDowell Counties.

The WVNG logistics team received 50,000 gloves, 6,900 gowns, 92,100 surgical masks and 34,080 face shields April 9. They distributed critical PPE supplies to Morgan, Jefferson and Berkeley counties to address needs for areas where there has been an increase in cases. That delivery consisted of 3,300 gloves, 600 gowns, 650 surgical masks, 520 N95 masks, 105 face shields, and 80 goggles.

For more information on West Virginia National Guard activities, please contact the 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.