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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-058 | April 13, 2020

This morning, nearly 29,000 Air and Army National Guard professionals are supporting the COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors. This is an increase of about 1,000 from Sunday.

Thirty-four states, three territories and the District of Columbia have been approved federal funds under Title 32 status, providing governors with greater flexibility and ensuring their Guard force is cared for. Six requests are moving through the approval system.

“Nearly three-out-of-every-four people you see in uniform today supporting testing centers or delivering critically needed medical supplies and food are likely National Guardsmen and women,” said Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Guard members supporting COVID-19 continue to focus on expanding bed capacity and providing clinical support at medical facilities; supporting community-based testing sites; and packaging, transporting and distributing critically needed medical supplies and food.

The New York National Guard now has about 3,500 Guardsmen and women mobilized to support the statewide response, from the eastern tip of Long Island to Buffalo. The most visible National Guard missions are the 450 soldiers and airmen supporting 10 New York state COVID-19 testing sites. The sites have been testing an average of more than 6,000 people daily.

The toughest mission for the soldiers and airmen of the New York National Guard, according to Maj. Gen. Ray Shields, adjutant general, is assisting the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City.

Because the work is emotionally trying, New York National Guard chaplains and behavioral health representatives have been meeting regularly with the Soldiers and Airmen working on this mission.

In just one month, the Georgia Department of Defense has moved from contingency planning in preparation for COVID-19 operations to full engagements in 10 missions across the state.

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 industry and civilian partners to satisfy demand for personal protective equipment used by essential staff and first responders;
  • Manufacturing, sewing and distributing masks and other protective equipment for mission essential personnel;
  • Conducting force health protection assessments to ensure our Guard members are safe;
  • Placing full-time, 24-hour staff at state Emergency Operations Centers to synchronize National Guard efforts with local and state mission partners to help facilitate a unified and rapid response;
  • Providing mortuary affairs assistance as needed. Guard members are conducting this important mission with respect and dignity;
  • Supporting local law enforcement, freeing police officers to perform their duties in the communities they serve;
  • Conducting traffic control support and helping manage foot traffic in public spaces and community shelters;
  • Building and outfitting alternate care facilities to alleviate stress on medical infrastructure;
  • Delivering and distributing food in hard-hit communities and supporting food banks;
  • Manning call centers with a knowledgeable and calming voice;
  • Performing sample collection and delivery to medical personnel;
  • Providing support and symptoms screening to testing facilities and passenger terminals.

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 CBTS, creating additional medical capacity, and providing logistical support to include transportation and distribution of PPE, 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.

Arizona: The Arizona Air National Guard delivered 40,000 yards of fabric from North Carolina to Arizona to be made into medical gowns. The wing volunteered for the airlift mission to speed the transportation of medical supplies and PPE needed for COVID response in Arizona.

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 Connecticut National Guard is currently building a 646-bed alternate care facility at the Connecticut Convention Center.

For more information on Connecticut National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Capt. Dave Pytlik at david.c.pytlik.mil@mail.mil, or (860) 524-4857.

The Florida National Guard has more than 2,280 soldiers and airmen mobilized in support of the state’s COVID-19 response providing operational support of CBTS; augmentation of airport screening measures; mobile testing teams; statewide logistics support; establishment of an alternate care facility at the Miami Beach Convention Center; as well as conducting continued coordination, planning and operational mission sets.

Florida National Guardsmen have formed mobile testing teams. They are supporting special populations at long-term care facilities throughout the state, testing more than 690 individuals to date. There are now 10 mobile testing teams supporting this endeavor in close support to county and state health departments.

  • The FLNG has collected more than 38,510 samples at CBTS across the state. The FLNG will start operations in support of the FEMA CBTS at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville April 13. Mission analysis continues for support of two walk-through based CBTS locations in Broward County (Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale).
  • The FLNG’s Task Force AID continues set up and coordination at the Miami Beach Convention Center alternate care facility. The TF will provide medical staff augmentation when the site is operational later this month.
  • Members of the FLNG continue to support screening, facilitating information at seven airports. Passenger densities continue with an uptick in travelers potentially due to the holiday.
  • Soldiers are activated across four locations (Flagler, Lakeland, Miramar and Miami) to provide support for a variety of missions to include food distribution, traffic control, security, etc. To date, the FLNG has completed three missions supporting negotiated movement of ventilators and anesthesia machines from universities and elective surgery clinics to hospitals.
  • FLNG is supporting the State Logistics Readiness Center with continuous operations, as well as augmenting the state's logistics branch, ensuring commodities distribution and asset visibility on both state and federal supply chains.

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.

More than 1,885 Georgia National Guard soldiers and airmen are on duty in support of the state’s fight against COVID-19.

  • ANG soldiers and airmen in 58 Infection Control teams have cleaned nearly 120 facilities.
  • Guardsmen continue working shoulder to shoulder with medical personnel at 19 hospitals across the state.
  • Citizen-warriors are providing support to food bank operations in Valdosta, one of nine foodbanks supported by the GANG across the state.
  • Logisticians support Georgia Emergency Management Agency and Department of Public Health warehouse operations and isolation facilities. GANG personnel provide health screenings at hospitals in Athens, Atlanta, Albany, Macon, and Gainesville, freeing nurses and medical support personnel to care for patients.

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.

More than 1,340 Air and Army Guardsmen from Louisiana support civil authorities by providing medical, engineering assessment, commodities distribution support, shelter assistance, traffic control points and drive-through testing site support.

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.

More than 1,500 members of the Maryland National Guard continue supporting the state to combat the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, nearly 700 additional Maryland citizen-warriors are in an enhanced readiness status; ready to come 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 supporting the Maryland Department of Health in the state’s COVID-19 mitigation and suppression efforts at nursing homes and other facilities across the state.
  • Maryland Guardsmen are supporting food distribution missions throughout Baltimore County.
  • Cyber specialists from the Maryland National Guard, Defense Force, and Department of Information Technology are assisting in the protection of virtual communities by evaluating Maryland government websites to ensure they are functioning properly and the information presented is accurate.
  • 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 MDNG continues to support Marylanders in need of screening at FedEx Field, Pimlico, vehicle emissions centers, and the state house.
  • Maryland Air National Guard continues to process and distribute medical equipment and PPE 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.

About 650 Michigan National Guard soldiers and airmen are actively supporting the state's COVID-19 response, with an additional 6,600 service members 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.

New York:
More than 3,530 New York Air and Army National Guardsmen are on mission across the state with six joint task forces to manage logistics, warehouse operations, medical staff at Javits Center and New York City hospitals, and testing sites.

  • The NYNG is supporting the alternate care facility at the South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten Island.
  • New York Guardsmen are supporting 10 drive-thru testing sites. More than 5,800 tests were conducted on April 12. Sites are located at: SUNY Stony Brook; Jones Beach State Park; Staten Island; Glen Island State Park in Westchester County; Anthony Wayne Service area in Rockland County; Lehman College and the Bay Plaza Mall in the Bronx; Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, Flatbush in Brooklyn; and the SUNY Albany campus in Albany. Since the first test site was set up in Westchester County 100,000 people have visited these sites.
  • National Guard personnel continue food packaging and distribution in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan in NYC. The soldiers provided 105,186 meals April 12 and have distributed 819,917 meals. Similar missions resume in Westchester County in New Rochelle where 50,757 meal packages have been distributed; and Albany County where 833 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 six sites in the Hudson Valley, the Albany area, and Mohawk Valley. Soldiers have delivered 31,420 N95 masks and another 360,000 surgical masks to hospitals across the state.
  • Hand sanitizer warehousing and deliveries continue to locations across the lower Hudson Valley. More than 33,148 gallons of hand sanitizer have been delivered to local governments.
  • The NYNG continues to provide support to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City. Soldiers and airmen are working with members of the Medical Examiner's Office around the clock to assist in the dignified removal of human remains. The support mission expands today to assist the Westchester County Medical Examiner, as well.
  • New York National Guard members are still providing support to the New York State Coronavirus Hotline by working call centers in Rotterdam and Brooklyn. Soldiers speak with an average of 3,300 callers each day and have provided response and support to more than 165,427 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’ve assembled more than 101,100 to date.

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.