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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-031 | April 22, 2020

This morning, 41,600 Air and Army National Guard professionals were supporting the COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors.

Thirty-nine 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.

“This response is not just about delivering food and supplies or supporting testing centers. It’s about protecting our children, our parents and grandparents against this virus,” said Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau. “As our nation fights its greatest challenge in recent memory, we are all going to need to draw on our inner strength and resilience to win this war and comfort those in pain.”

National Guard priorities are COVID-19 testing and screening as well as providing logistical support through warehousing and distribution of medical supplies and food. National Guard members are uniquely qualified to support civil authorities in the communities they live and work.

As part of its food delivery operation, men and women of the Pennsylvania National Guard recently delivered food to Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, and community points of distribution in Pittsburgh. In addition, the Georgia National Guard is assisting in the packaging and delivery of 47,000 meals per week to Atlanta Public Schools for distribution to communities in need.

The West Virginia National Guard is providing mobile testing for the Coronavirus. 1st Lt. Samantha Fabian, the program director who leads the mobile laboratories, said the requirements are extensive.

“We worked with the Defense Health Agency, which falls under the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Health Affairs, and then went through the necessary steps outlined in Department of Defense Manual 6440.02 to submit a proposal,” she said. “Once we arrive on-site, there’s about a 60-minute setup period in which we calibrate the machine. Once we complete calibration, then our lab is certified and ready for operation.”

Fabian holds degrees in applied and environmental microbiology, genetics and developmental biology, and is obtaining her Ph.D. in genetics and developmental biology from West Virginia University. https://www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article/2159402/wva-guard-has-first-dod-approved- mobile-covid-19-test-lab/

The Oklahoma National Guard is helping distribute critical medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile Warehouse to facilities throughout the state.

"We are here at a very important [time] for Oklahomans," said Maj. Gen. Michael Thompson, the adjutant general for Oklahoma. "This stockpile plays a tremendous role in the health of [the] citizens of Oklahoma. So, to be here and help distribute needed personal protective equipment across the state of Oklahoma is very critical. I'm glad that the Guard is here. It has an important role in that." https://www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article/2158189/oklahoma-guard-distributes-medical- supplies-from-stockpile/

Current National Guard COVID-19 response missions include, but are not limited to:

  • Building and outfitting alternate care facilities to alleviate stress on medical infrastructure;
  • Augmenting medical staff at hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities to protect our most vulnerable populations;
  • Supporting warehouse operations and logistics efforts to help deliver and distribute life- saving medical equipment and critical supplies;
  • Delivering and distributing food in hard-hit communities and supporting food banks;
  • Working with industry and civilian partners to satisfy demand for personal protective equipment used by essential staff and first responders;
  • Providing mortuary affairs assistance as needed. Guard members are conducting this important mission with respect and dignity;
  • Manufacturing, sewing and distributing masks and other personal protective equipment for mission essential personnel;
  • 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;
  • Providing time saving support to local law enforcement, freeing officers to perform their duty in the communities they serve;
  • Conducting traffic control support and helping manage foot traffic in public spaces and community shelters;
  • Manning call centers to be a knowledgeable and calming voice;
  • Providing vital Personal Protective Equipment training and delivery to civilian first responders;
  • Conducting force health protection assessments to ensure our Guardsmen are cared for;
  • Performing mobile testing and sample delivery;
  • Providing support and symptoms screening to testing facilities and passenger terminals.
  • Disinfecting facilities crucial to the bottom line mission of saving lives;

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 are focused on COVID-19 testing and screening as well as providing logistical support through warehousing 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.

More than 420 Colorado National Guard members are on duty supporting the state’s COVID-19 response.

The CONG soldiers and airmen are assisting the State Emergency Operations Center and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment with COVID-19 testing at long-term care facilities in multiple Colorado communities. Nearly 70 Colorado Army National Guard soldiers will test approximately 300 patients and staff members per site in Adams, Broomfield, and El Paso counties, in order to stop the spread of the virus to these facilities.

More than 275 Guardsmen are currently mobilized to help the State EOC and the city and county of Denver to shelter people in Denver experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 outbreak.

About 50 soldiers are assisting the state and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to convert the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, into a 600-bed medical shelter.

The CONG is also providing planners to support local emergency operation centers in other Colorado communities the state has designated.

Approximately 30 soldiers and airmen continue to serve in their full-time roles supporting the CONG operation from Joint Force Headquarters in Centennial.

For more information on Colorado National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Elena O'Bryan at elena.k.obryan.civ@mail.mil, 720-250-1051, or the Colorado National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ng.co.coarng.list.militarysupport@mail.mil.

The Florida National Guard has more than 2,800 soldiers and airmen in a mobilized status. The FLNG continues supporting 10 CBTS, and mobile testing teams supporting special populations at long-term care facilities throughout Florida. To date, the FLNG has assisted in the testing of more than 64,440 individuals at CBTS and collected 3,800 samples from long-term care facilities.

Additionally, more than 90 FLNG medical professionals are supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ alternate cate facility at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

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 Georgia National Guard is assisting in packaging and delivery of 47,000 meals per week to tlanta Public Schools for distribution to communities in need.

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 1,400 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; capable of coming on duty within a matter of hours.

Health and medical specialists from the Maryland National Guard’s medical detachment, 224th and 104th Area Support Medical companies have visited nearly 40 nursing homes and children’s facilities. About 30 MDNG members are 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 and other facilities across the state.

Maryland Guardsmen are supporting food distribution missions throughout Baltimore and Frederick counties, the city of Baltimore, and on the Eastern Shore.

Cyber specialists from the Maryland National Guard, Defense Force, and Department of Information Technology are assisting in the protection of virtual communities providing critical information related to COVID-19. The joint task force is evaluating Maryland government websites to ensure they function properly and present accurate information.

The MDNG continues to support Marylanders in need of screening at FedEx Field, Pimlico Race Course, Rawlings Conservatory, Maryland State Fairgrounds, vehicle emissions centers, and the state house.

Additionally, the Maryland Air National Guard continues to process and distribute pieces of medical equipment and PPE from the Strategic National Stockpile. To date, these airmen have processed nearly 3 million essential pieces of medical supply and PPE.

For more information on Maryland National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. Kurt Rauschenberg at kurt.m.rauschenberg.mil@mail.mil, 410-576-6179, or the Maryland National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ng.md.mdarng.list.pao@mail.mil.

More than 790 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 13 counties, members of the National Guard are supporting requests from local communities and state agencies. Response missions include food distribution, screening operations, reception and staging, supply and logistics management, state EOC staff augmentation, and alternate care facility support.

Joint Task Force – Michigan includes 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 3,630 personnel on mission across the state, joint task forces to support state and local governments with logistics management, warehouse operations. They also provide medical staff at Javits Center and New York City hospitals, and testing sites.

New York National Guard members continue to manage the Javits site as the unified command post for the multi-agency response. To date, more than 1,040 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. Additional forces are providing support at three other potential alternate care sites on Long Island or Westchester.
  • NYNG continues to support ten drive-through testing sites, supporting more than 6,385 test appointments April 12. The 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. Soldiers and airmen are collecting samples and providing general-purpose support at the testing locations.
  • National Guard personnel continue packaging and distributing food today in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan in New York City, and in Yonkers, providing 139,170 meals on April 20. To date, soldiers have distributed more than 1.7 million meals.
  • Similar missions resume today in Westchester County, where Guardsmen provided 73,569 meal packages and Albany County where 1,964 meals have been delivered to quarantined residents or picked up as of April 20.
  • Soldiers helping to process and ship goods at the regional food bank in Schenectady delivered 259 meals April 20. A similar food distribution mission began April 21 in Chenango County. An additional food support mission will begin April 24 in Montgomery County.
  • New York soldiers and airmen continue conducting logistics missions, including warehousing and commodity distribution of medical supplies at six sites in the Hudson Valley, the Albany area, and Mohawk Valley.
  • Members of the 719th Transportation Company delivered three total pallets of medical supplies and PPE April 20 to the Buffalo, New Rochelle, and Islip healthcare facilities.
  • Hand sanitizer delivery continues to 16 locations today. Nearly 179 gallons were distributed April 20 to 10 locations in the lower Hudson Valley. A total of 37,159 gallons of 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. The support mission also includes assistance to the Westchester County Medical Examiner. A similar mission is expected to begin in Orange County.
  • NYNG soldiers continue to man phones at two New York City call centers, including one for the New York City Division of Veterans Services. Soldiers also continue to provide administrative support at two New York City 911 call centers.
  • 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 38,500 kits April 20 for distribution across the state. The team has built 303,850 testing kits since starting the mission.

The New York National Guard Public Affairs Officer is Col. Richard Goldenberg. He may be reached at Richard.l.goldenberg.mil@mail.mil or 518 786-4581.

The Oregon National Guard delivered 395,000 pieces of medical PPE to long-term care facilities across the state.

For more information on Oregon National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. Stephen Bomar at stephen.s.bomar.mil@mail.mil, 503-584-3885, or the Oregon National Guard Public Affairs Office email at agpa@mil.state.or.us.

As part of its food delivery operation, men and women of the Pennsylvania National Guard recently delivered food to Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, and community points of distribution in Pittsburgh.

Additionally, PANG soldiers and airmen from the Pennsylvania National Guard established and opened a COVID-19 testing site at the Mohegan Sun Arena parking lot.

For more information on Pennsylvania National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Keith Hickox at keith.w.hickox.mil@mail.mil, 717-861-6254, or the Pennsylvania National Guard Public Affairs Office email at RA-MVPUBLICAFFAIRS@pa.gov.

The Texas National Guard will mobilize 1,200 personnel as part of its new coronavirus mobile testing teams; the 45-member teams will provide greater access to medical testing across Texas.

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.

West Virginia:
urrently, more than 683 West Virginia National Guard members are on duty supporting the state’s COVID-19 response. To date, the WVNG has completed 553 missions across the state.

The Guard is making progress in the testing of all nursing home facilities in the state. Two veterans’ home facilities in Barboursville and Clarksburg, with more than 410 patients and staff, were tested April 20.

Testing continues April 22 at Morgantown Health and Rehabilitation, for approximately 120 people. 14 additional nursing homes have identified a need for WVNG assistance in conducting COVID-19 testing at their facilities.

West Virginia Guard personnel are looking to expand sanitization lanes for first responder and public transport vehicles near five COVID-19 “hot spots” throughout the state. A new lane is was recently established in Cabell County, which will sanitize up to 50 buses and 30 ambulances over the next week. In Charleston, this team has sanitized 75 vehicles including ambulances, police vehicles and public transport buses to date.

Guardsmen are also providing instruction on PPE wear and proper cargo/box handling best practices to retail locations across the state. They trained personnel at nine retail locations April 20 and two stores April 21. They also provided PPE training to 11 long-term care facilities, and were scheduled to visit seven additional locations April 21. To date, the WVNG has trained 2,680 personnel at 634 stores, and at 37 medical or long-term care facilities.

WVNG members are also providing assistance for COVID-19 drive-through testing lanes. Task Force Sustainment, delivered PPE to 27 county emergency managers for distribution. West Virginia Guardsmen packed 2,258 meals at the Mountaineer Food Bank and 212 family meals at the Facing Hunger Foodbank April 20. In addition, they delivered 15,000 meals from Tamarack to Peterstown and Mountain View Elementary Schools and 4,035 meals to Braxton, Wirt, Ritchie, Webster and Tyler counties. April 21, 4,690 meals were delivered to Mercer County.

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