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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-023 | April 12, 2020

This morning, more than 29,000 Air and Army National Guard professionals are supporting the COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors.

Thirty-four states, three territories and the District of Columbia have been approved for use of federal funds for state missions under Title 32, with another six requests moving through the approval process.

The California Air National Guard flew ventilators to four states last week. Prepping the medical equipment to load on the aircraft was a joint effort, and one the National Guard was proud to be a part of, according to Capt. Thomas Fitzgerald from California Guard’s 144th Fighter Wing. https://www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article/2145507/california-air-national-guard-flies- ventilators-to-4-states/

“While we’re able to be safe and practice social distancing, we need to provide these critical resources to help those that are potentially impacted by this crisis,” said Fitzgerald.

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.

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 personal protective equipment, 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 Arizona National Guard continues to assist state partners by providing surge capacity and capability in the state’s COVID-19 response with more than 895 service members. AZNG is providing aviation support and delivering material to be used to make protective gowns for statewide use.

For more information on Arizona National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Capt. Aaron Thacker at aaron.c.thacker.mil@mail.mil, (602) 267-2619, or the Arizona National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ng.az.azarng.mbx.azng-pao@mail.mil.

The California National Guard provided a C-130 Hercules from the 129th Rescue Wing to deliver medical supplies to Springfield, Illinois, to assist the state in their COVID-19 response.

For more information on California National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Jonathan Shiroma at jonathan.m.shiroma.mil@mail.mil, or (916) 854-3391.

District of Columbia:
The District of Columbia National Guard completed a convoy picking up medical ventilators with light medium tactical vehicles. The ventilators were picked up in Delaware and delivered to the D.C. Department of Health warehouse as part of Task Force Able's COVID-19 response.

For more information on District of Columbia National Guard activities, please contact the DCNG Public Affairs Office at (202) 685-9862.

Currently the Florida National Guard has 2,266 soldiers and airmen in a mobilized status continuing to support the state’s COVID19 response through operational support of CBTS; augmentation of airport screening measures; statewide logistics support; as well as coordination, planning and operational mission sets.

The FLNG is currently involved in planning support to the FEMA CBTS at TIAA Field in Jacksonville scheduled to begin operation April 13.

The National Guard has sent mobile testing teams to long-term care facilities throughout Florida. Within hours of this mission request, teams of Guardsmen arrived at those facilities and tested more than 250 at-risk citizens.

Additionally, the FLNG has activated all remaining available medical personnel from both the Florida Air and Army National Guard to operate an alternate care facility at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Task Force AID conducts coordination with MBCC as it provides medical staff augmentation. Close coordination with hospital leaders, Florida DoH and National Guard Bureau regarding proper certifications and privileges have been key to this effort.

Command teams from the Air and Army National Guard continue to canvas every member of the FLNG 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 more than 35,700 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.

Nearly 1,0890 members of the Georgia National Guard are currently supporting the COVID-19 response effort. The Georgia NG Joint Task Force has deployed more than 30 Infection Control Teams to long term care facilities; 17 Medical Support Teams to hospitals while simultaneously supporting nine food banks from Valdosta to Dalton.

Additionally, the Joint Task Force is providing PPE support to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Georgia Department of Public Health. The National Guard will continue to partner with the Georgia’s EMA and DOH to ensure that we provide the service, support, and direct action necessary to mitigate the impact of COVID 19.

For more information on Georgia National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Patrick Watson at ray.p.watson.mil.mil@mail.mil, or (678) 569-3957.

The Illinois National Guard is supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA in the temporary conversion of part of the McCormick Place Convention Center into an alternate care facility for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms who do not require intensive care in the Chicago area.

For more information on Illinois National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Brad Leighton at bradford.e.leighton.mil@mail.mil, 217-761-3539, or the Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ng.il.ilarng.list.staff-pao@mail.mil.

The Louisiana National Guard now has more than 1,340 soldiers and airmen assisting with the COVID-19 response throughout the state. Current operations include: medical; engineering assessment; commodities distribution support; shelter assistance; traffic control point and drive- through testing site support; proper PPE training; assistance at food banks; and providing liaison officer teams to Parish Emergency Operations centers.

In Orleans Parish, Guardsmen have assisted in setting up an alternate care facility and temporary housing units at Morial Convention Center. The facility now has more than 770 patient-ready beds.

  • Louisiana Guardsmen have aided in the testing more than 1,300 citizens to date at sites in four parishes – Orleans, Jefferson, Calcasieu, and Lafayette.
  • The commodities distribution mission has yielded more than 770,000 N95 masks, 3,632,890 gloves, 595 ventilators, and 104,745 Tyvek suits.
  • Guardsmen have packaged and distributed more than 580,540 lbs. of food through five food banks in East Baton Rouge, Central, Monroe, Terrebonne and Jefferson.

The LANG is actively taking steps to keep soldiers and airmen healthy and in the fight against COVID-19, such as: limiting non mission-specific travel, educating and enforcing strict CDC- recommended hygiene measures, and monitoring Guardsmen’s temperature readings and overall health daily.

For more information on Louisiana National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Col. Ed Bush at edward.m.bush.mil@mail.mil, (318) 290-5027, or the Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ng.la.laarng.mbx.pao@mail.mil.

The Nebraska National Guard is supporting the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services with alternate housing for medical professionals. DHHS has three facilities in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney where medical workers can stay so that they don’t have to go home and risk infecting their families with the virus.

Additionally, 33 service members are logging people in and out, who chose to stay in the facility, and performing symptom checks as people enter the buildings.

For more information on Nebraska National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Kevin Hynes at kevin.j.hynes.mil@mail.mil, or (402) 309-8390.

North Carolina:
Currently, more than 240 North Carolina National Guard personnel are supporting the state’s COVID-19 response. The NCNG remains ready to bring on hundreds of additional Guardsmen to battle COVID-19.

  • North Carolina National Guard engineers along with partner agencies and facility representatives have assessed more 20 locations for potential sites for alternate care facilities.
  • NCNG members are supporting logistic and commodities distribution of PPE to medical facilities and other vulnerable facilities.
  • NC Guard liaison officers have deployed to four county emergency operations centers to assist in tracking commodities and synchronizing operations.

For more information on North Carolina National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Matt DeVivo at matthew.r.devivo.mil@mail.mil, or (984) 664-6244.

Nearly 290 members of the Virginia National Guard continue to support Virginia’s COVID-19 response efforts, including planning and logistics in Blacksburg, Christiansburg and Roanoke; as well as supporting a Virginia Department of Emergency Management supply warehouse in Richmond.

Soldiers from the Lynchburg-based 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team have been providing logistical support to the Montgomery County Public Health Task Force’s Mobile COVID-19 testing site in Blacksburg.

The Virginia National Guard is postured to bring additional personnel on duty based on the needs of the Commonwealth. This includes soldiers airmen to assist with operations, logistics and medical planning. Additionally, soldiers are assisting with logistics support at warehouse operations and mobile testing sites at several locations in the state.

All personnel conducting support operations for COVID-19 response are following the prescribed health protection guidelines of social distancing, cloth face coverings and hand washing.

For more information on Virginia National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Cotton Puryear at alfred.a.puryear.civ@mail.mil, (804) 236-7892, or the Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ngva.pao@mail.mil.

West Virginia:
Since beginning operations in support of the state’s COVID-19 response, the West Virginia National Guard has completed nearly 320 missions. Currently, nearly 585 members of the WVNG are on duty serving the citizens across the state.

Members of a WVNG task force established protocol for, and took part, in the first government building sanitizing mission for the West Virginia Department of Higher Education in Charleston. This team of 20 service members sanitized the building to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19.

That task force also has also trained nearly 70 retail establishments, in the last couple days, on proper cargo, box handling and PPE wear. This team is also working with Operation Farm Stand in Hurricane on modified best practices to assist with addressing COVID-19 prevention for farmers and farm stands.

To date, the task force has trained more than 300 stores and 1,200 personnel while also assisting with COVID-19 drive through testing lanes in Huntington, Grafton, Weston, Williamson and Brooke County. Drive through testing support will expand to include Wyoming, Mingo, Logan, and Hampshire counties this week.

Task Force Sustainment, the team dedicated to moving critical PPE supplies and running supply chain logistics for COVID-19 response, delivered two ventilators to Bridgeport and Berkeley County April 10, and is distributing PPE to long term care facilities and county emergency managers today to address any shortfalls.

The number of WVNG personnel supporting the Workforce West Virginia mission has increased to 25, and will increase to 30 in the coming days.

WVNG’s mission of supporting the most vulnerable populations in the state continues to make an impact as service members recently packed 284 family boxes and 1,400 supplemental boxes at the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington and 2,420 meals at the Mountaineer Food Bank.

National Guard data analysts working with DHHR’s regional epidemiology teams were able to support 156 contact tracing engagements and three expedited specimen transfers to track the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

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.

Currently nearly 400 Wisconsin National Guard soldiers and airmen are serving on state active duty to support the state’s COVID-19 response.

The WING is helping staff two state-run self-isolation facilities – one in Milwaukee, one in Madison, and a third Milwaukee-run facility. Twelve personnel are staffing each of the state-run sites and providing medical and administrative support at each of those locations while approximately 25 Guardsmen continue work at the Milwaukee-run facility.

Additionally, Wisconsin National Guard supported the Wisconsin Elections Commission with more than 2,400 citizen-soldiers and airmen serving as poll workers on April 7. The Guard also assisted WEC by procuring and distributing supplies such as wipes, hand sanitizer, and spray bottles to polling sites.

Another team of 30 service members were dispatched to Sheboygan County April 5 to conduct a specimen collection mission after establishing a mobile COVID-19 testing site at a senior living facility there.

A team of Guardsmen continues to work every day behind-the-scenes to ensure critical PPE is received, repackaged, and distributed to entities in need across Wisconsin.

Nearly 25 soldiers are on duty in a warehouse supporting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services receiving PPE shipments, sorting it, and then getting it to places where it is needed the most. Wisconsin DHS coordinates PPE distribution across the state that arrives in Wisconsin from a variety of sources.

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.