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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-040 | May 6, 2020

This morning, more than 46,600 Air and Army National Guard professionals were supporting the COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors.

Forty-four states, three territories and the District of Columbia have been approved for use of federal funds for state missions under Title 32, providing governors with greater flexibility and ensuring National Guard troops remain in the fight longer. National Guard members are uniquely qualified and ready to support civil authorities in the communities they live and work.

“Whether it’s helping people do testing or helping people with awareness ... the National Guard can help the nation deal with this crisis,” said Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau. “We’re very lucky as a nation to have men and women who are willing to serve, not just in the National Guard, but in all of the first responder networks.”

Eight soldiers from Company D, 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment, New York Army National Guard, were called to the State University of New York’s Delhi campus April 30 to lend a hand as volunteers prepared, packaged and distributed hundreds of surplus dairy care packages to Delaware County residents at what has been dubbed the “Drive through Dairy.”

Partnered with volunteers, New York Guardsmen distributed nearly 1,000 care packages to Delhi area residents.

“It’s about getting food out to the people who need it,” Pfc. Caelan Haney said. “I think that bringing people together and lending a helping hand makes the community stronger, especially in these smaller more separated communities.”


First responders are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Michigan National Guard is helping in every way it can.

In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, soldiers are delivering supplies to the different county seats for distribution to those in need.

“We were making trips to Mackinac, Newbury, and multiple trips to Marquette, which is an hour up and back, so with the National Guard dropping the supplies off, it’s huge,” said Sgt. Sheila Peters with the Alger County Sheriff’s Department. “It makes it so much easier. We’re so very thankful.”

One of the reasons Peters and others are so thankful is because they are getting the personal protective equipment they need. They were running low, and the National Guard just started the supply runs from the U.P.

“Anywhere that one calls home is near and dear to their heart,” said Capt. Michael Anderson of the Michigan National Guard. “To be able to affect our local community, helping our first responders, means a lot to me, they are on the front lines every day.”


“The National Guard is a big part of the United States Army and the United States Air Force and we’re proud of that,” Lengyel said. “But this role that we play here at home, in the homeland under the command of the governors in our states, is distinctly and uniquely National Guard business.”

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

  • 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, Guardsmen conduct this important mission with respect and dignity;
  • Building, staffing, and outfitting alternate care facilities to alleviate stress on medical infrastructure;
  • 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 execute an effective response;
  • Providing timesaving 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 PPE training and delivery to civilian first responders;
  • Conducting force health protection assessments to ensure our Guardsmen are cared for;
  • Performing mobile testing, sample delivery and processing;
  • 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 Columbia 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 CSTs 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 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.

The Delaware National Guard is distributing food at drive-through mobile pantries throughout the state.

For more information on Delaware National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Bernie Kale at george.b.kale2.civl@mail.mil, or 302-326-7010.

The Florida National Guard has more 2,500 soldiers and airmen in a mobilized status.

The FLNG continues supporting community-based testing sites, and mobile testing teams throughout Florida. To date, this effort has resulted in more than 141,780 tests being completed.

Additionally, 135 FLNG medical professionals are supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ alternate care facility at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

For more information on Florida National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. Caitlin Brown at mary.c.brown26.mil@mail.mil, or 904-823-0164.

The Michigan National Guard is assisting in the testing of more than 7,500 Michigan inmates at Upper Peninsula correctional facilities.

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 Jersey:
More than 200 members of the New Jersey National Guard are increasing healthcare capabilities by providing medical care in state-run nursing facilities.

For more information on New Jersey National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Barbara Brown at barbara.g.brownwilson.mil@mail.mil, or 609-530-6939.

New York:
The New York National Guard has 3,630 personnel on mission, across six joint task forces statewide to support state and local governments with logistics management and warehouse operations. They also provide medical staff at New York City hospitals and testing sites.

NYNG members continue to manage Javits as the unified command post for the multi-agency response. The Javits New York Medical Station, placed at the Javits Convention Center, is now phasing out. More than 1,095 patients received care at Javits NY Medical Station.

  • New York Air National Guard pararescue airmen, 106th Rescue Wing, who are trained as emergency medical technicians, have completed a mission assisting in Elmhurst Hospital.
  • 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.
  • The NYNG expands its testing for the community with five new antibody testing sites, located at: Orange County Community College, Newburgh; Erie Community College, North Campus, Williamsville; Onondaga Community College, Syracuse; Harriman State Office Building Campus, Albany; and Nassau County Community College in East Garden City. More than 915 tests were administered May 4.
  • NYNG is supporting 15 drive-through testing sites, providing administrative and logistical support, medical support at select sites and mask-fit testing services.
  • Guardsmen conducted 3,614 tests May 4. The sites are: SUNY Stony Brook; Jones Beach State Park; Staten Island (adjacent to Staten Island University Hospital); 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; Linden Blvd. in Brooklyn; SUNY Albany; Niagara County Community College in Sandborn; SUNY Binghamton; Griffiss International Airport in Rome; and Monroe County Community College in Rochester. 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. They provided 243,087 meals May 4. To date, soldiers have distributed more than 5.6 million meals.
  • Similar food distribution missions are underway in Westchester County, where Guardsmen distributed 2,187 meals May 4, and have provided 99,455 meal packages since the start of the mission. In Albany County 3,172 meals have been provided to quarantined residents as of May 4.
  • NYNG soldiers and airmen have been working at the regional food bank in Latham, and have prepared 225 pallets of food for shipment across northeastern New York.
  • Soldiers helping to process and ship goods at the regional food bank in Schenectady delivered 3,819 meals May 4.
  • 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.
  • Hand sanitizer delivery to local governments is ongoing. A total of 52,667 gallons of sanitizer have been distributed since the start of the mission.
  • The National Guard continues to provide logistics support to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City where 200 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, and the Orange County Medical Examiner.
  • 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 and airmen continue packaging COVID-19 test kits for the New York State Department of Health at the Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany. They assembled more than 13,200 kits May 4 for distribution across the state. The team has built 536,910 testing kits 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 518-786-4581.

P>uerto Rico:
The Puerto Rico National Guard is conducting elderly and first responder testing at various locations, and assisting with screening operations at ports of entry and maritime port facilities.

For more information on Puerto Rico National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Maj. Paul Dahlen at paul.w.dahlen.mil@mail.mil, or 787-289-1441.

The Texas National Guard is operating a call center in Austin to schedule appointments for Texans requiring COVID-19 testing, helping ensure testing is available in every corner of the state.

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:
More than 700 members of the West Virginia National Guard are on duty supporting the state’s COVID-19 response. To date, WVNG has completed 837 missions across the state.

Task Force Sustainment, dedicated to receiving and moving critical supplies across the state, reports that they have enough PPE on hand to meet any surge capacity needs for hospitals, first responders, or long-term care facilities. To date, this team has delivered more than 1 million items across West Virginia.

Guardsmen assisted in packing 1,500 boxed meals at both the Mountaineer Food Bank, and 386 family meals boxes at the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington. Additionally, they are delivering 3,145 meals to Lincoln, Mason and Wood counties via refrigerated trailers.

Guardsmen provided PPE training to the Paul Miller Home in Northfork, while also supporting training for area healthcare facilities and retail establishments. To date, this team has trained 3,665 personnel across 701 businesses and 84 medical or long-term care facilities.

In addition to training, this team has also conducted 279 COVID-19 tests for lane support and 2,508 tests as a part of their response mission.

West Virginia Guard personnel continue assisting in sanitization lanes for first responder and public transport vehicles. They have sanitized nearly 300 vehicles, including ambulances, police vehicles and public transport buses, in Huntington and Charleston.

WVNG medical personnel, augmenting the Department of Health and Human Resources’ regional epidemiology teams, supported 293 voluntary COVID-19 mapping engagements and expedited three transfers to the state lab. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have conducted more than 5,353 voluntary COVID-19 mapping cases.

For more information on WVNG 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.

More than 300 Wisconsin National Guardsmen, organized in 11 collection teams, are helping increase COVID-19 testing across the state.

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.