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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-027 | April 16, 2020

This morning, more than 31,800 Air and Army National Guard professionals are supporting the COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors.

Forty states, three territories and the District of Columbia have been approved federal funds under Title 32 status, providing governors with greater flexibility and ensuring National Guard troops remain in the fight longer.

“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.” said Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Guard members continue to support community-based testing sites, create additional medical capacity, and transport and distribute medical supplies and food.

Strengthening partnerships and fostering innovation are long-standing National Guard priorities. State National Guards across the country have upheld these principles during the whole-of-nation response to COVID-19.

Maj. Pedro Concolino, director of the Connecticut National Guard’s State Partnership Program, said its SPP partner, Uruguay, is about 16 days behind Connecticut in terms of the virus progression. They held a virtual meeting that allowed both parties to look at the problem in a new way and continue to build upon their 20-year partnership.

“We don’t stop being partners just because we’re wrapped up in our own stuff,” said Concolino. “I think this exchange shows the extent to which both countries take it seriously. We both took time out of our schedule during a pandemic to talk to each other and share notes to try and potentially save some lives.”

The Michigan National Guard, working alongside its civil agency partners, had to innovate lightning quickly to enhance medical readiness and create lifesaving alternate care facilities. Working together, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Michigan National Guard transformed a 350,000-square-foot section of Detroit’s TCF Center into a 970-bed hospital, augmenting Detroit’s regional health care system with tailored treatment for COVID-19 patients.

“Nothing like this has ever been done before, so by definition, the whole thing is innovative,” said physician Lt. Col. Aaron Proffitt. “It’s pretty exciting to see how the Southeast Michigan community is coming together to support this – not only is the Department of Defense involved, but multiple hospital systems are contributing.”

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;
  • Supporting warehouse operations and logistical efforts by delivering lifesaving medical equipment and critical supplies;
  • 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

NGB 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.

More than 2,320 Florida National Guard soldiers and airmen continue to conduct missions to support the state’s COVID-19 response.

  • FLNG mobile testing teams continue sampling missions statewide, with more than 1,840 tests conducted to date, as the number of facilities requesting remote testing increases.
  • FLNG continues supporting ten CBTS, having tested more than 46,550 Floridians.
  • Task Force AID has been training and is preparing to provide medical professionals and planning expertise in support of the 64-bed alternate care facility at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The facility will be built out to 450 beds if needed.
  • Mobile testing teams are now postured across the state to provide close support to county and state health departments. The Florida Air National Guard Bio-Environmental Engineering medical team continues to conduct mask fit testing and training throughout the state, and has additional mobile testing teams available to deploy as needed.
  • The FLNG continues support to screening and information dissemination at seven airports.
  • Guardsmen continue round-the-clock operations at the State Logistics Resource Center, as well as augmentation to the State's Logistics Branch ensuring commodities distribution and asset visibility on both state and federal supply chains.
  • About 500 soldiers are working in four locations (Flagler, Lakeland, Miramar and Miami) to provide support for a variety of missions, as needed. These missions include food distribution, traffic control, security, etc.
  • To date the FLNG has completed three missions supporting the negotiated movement of ventilators and anesthesia machines from universities and elective surgery clinics around the state to hospitals.

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 Maryland National Guard is helping protect vulnerable nursing home residents across the state by deploying medical teams consisting of doctors, field medics and behavioral health specialists to provide additional medical support, strengthen facility procedures, and assist in the adoption of enhanced protective measures.

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.

Currently more than 65 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 support.

Joint Task Force – Michigan includes more than 120 Guardsmen 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:
The New York National Guard has 3,580 personnel on mission across the state, with six joint task forces to support state and local governments with logistics management, warehouse operations, as well as medical staff at Javits Center and New York City hospitals, and testing sites. To date, more than 810 patients have received care at the Javits NY Medical Station.

  • 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.
  • The NYNG is supporting the alternate care facility at the South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten Island.
  • NYNG supports ten drive-thru testing sites, supporting more than 6,000 test appointments April 15. The sites have seen more than 105,000 people since mid-March, and 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. Soldiers and airmen are
  • collecting samples and providing general-purpose support at the testing locations.
  • National Guard personnel continue food packaging and distribution in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan in New York City, providing 103,300 meals April 15. To date, soldiers have distributed more than 1 million meals.
  • Similar missions continuing in Westchester County provided 54,273 meal packages and Albany County where 1,117 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.
  • National Guard logisticians delivered 43 pallets of medical PPE to 25 locations across the state April 14.
  • Hand sanitizer delivery continues for local government offices in Ulster, Rockland and Westchester counties. The National Guard delivered more than 33,148 gallons of hand sanitizer to local governments.
  • 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. The support mission also includes assistance to the Westchester County Medical Examiner.
  • New York National Guard 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 speak with an average of 3,300 callers each day at each site and have provided response and support to more than 174,070 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 20,100 kits April 14 for distribution across the state, providing more than 138,800 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.

About 800 Nevada National Guard soldiers and airmen will be on duty by week’s end in the largest call up of the National Guard in the state’s history. Much of the work will be in Las Vegas, where the majority of the state’s confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths have occurred.

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.

North Carolina:
North Carolina National Guard’s 403rd Quarter Master Rigger Support Team, based at Simmons Army Airfield on Fort Bragg, is supporting their fellow Guardsmen by manufacturing protective masks for the more than 300 members of the NC Army and Air Guard on COVID-19 response duty throughout the state.

For more than a month, the NCNG has been working side by side with NC Department of Health and Human Service, NC Division of Emergency Management and many other local, state, and federal partners providing critical capabilities such as: delivering PPE to medical facilities; commodity distribution; cyber security response and protection; warehouse and logistics management; and engineer assessments of potential alternate care facilities.

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.

To date, the Texas National Guard has helped manufacture and distribute nearly 2.5 million items of PPE throughout the state. Additionally, TXNG soldiers and airmen have helped test 6,695 people at medical testing sites.

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.

The Vermont National Guard has established a temporary triage site outside of the Emergency Room at the University of Vermont Medical Center, where they are evaluating patients in a tent outside the main building in order to unburden the Emergency Department at the center.

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.