Home : News : Press Releases
Press Releases

National Guard response to COVID-19

20-043 | May 11, 2020

This morning, 46,400 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.

As states begin to reopen, National Guard priorities continue to focus on COVID-19 testing and screening as well as providing logistical support through warehousing and distribution of medical supplies and food.

"Most of the people working here have never worked in a food bank before. Most of the Guard members around the country have never tested people for the COVID virus. It shows the adaptability of the National Guard; whatever the task might be," said Gen. Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau. “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.”

Virginia National Guard soldiers and airmen are helping increase Virginia’s COVID-19 testing capacity at long-term care facilities with point prevalence sampling teams.

Led by the Richmond-based 34th Enhanced Response Force Package, point prevalence sampling “strike teams” are being deployed to long-term care facilities identified by the state as needing testing support.

“On that back end of the strike team, we have soldiers and airmen providing decontamination, to make sure we’re not bringing COVID out of the facility and potentially contaminating ourselves or the next facility,” said Maj. Andrew J. Czaplicki, the 34th CERFP’s deputy commander. https://www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article/2182503/virginia-guard-strike-teams-boost-covid-19-testing-capacity/

Members of the Delaware National Guard are fighting the spread of coronavirus, joining hundreds of frontline workers at community-based testing sites throughout Sussex County, the state’s southernmost region, and a recently declared hot spot for COVID-19.

“Everyone who gets tested receives a pamphlet and care kit,” said 1st Lt. James Willey, an Army officer with the Delaware National Guard. “The pamphlet is an explanation of both types of tests, covers preventative care, and what to do if you test positive.”

The coronavirus care kits, assembled by teams of Guard members working at the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, or DEMA, include spray bottles with disinfectant solution, paper towels, hand sanitizer and bandannas or similar face coverings.

“A lot of people don’t exactly know what the National Guard does, so this is a good time for them to see that this is what we’re here for,” said Sgt. Josh Bell. “We come out to help the community and show that we can do anything that needs to happen to get Delaware back where it needs to be.”

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. Guard members are conducting 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 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 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 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.

The California National Guard is assisting Community Action of Napa Valley with food distribution. Soldiers from the 223rd Military Intelligence Battalion, 115th Regional Support Group, distributed nearly 75 pounds of food per family. Distributions include canned goods, fresh produce, bread and frozen meat and chicken. An average of 300 families per day come to the pantry, tripling normal operations prior to COVID-19 outbreak.

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.

The Colorado National Guard is serving a multitude of roles to help the community combat the spread of COVID-19. Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 157 Infantry Regiment (Mountain), are helping Denver’s homeless by serving meals, conducting wellness checks and providing administrative assistance at the Denver Rescue Mission.

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 Connecticut National Guard is assisting the state Department of Emergency Services with the operation of a large-scale PPE warehouse in New Britain. To date, Guardsmen have distributed a total of 3.2 million pieces of PPE to first responders and health care workers across the state.

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 nearly 2,450 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 174,160 tests being completed.

Additionally, the FLNG is supporting a hybrid CBTS at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Operated by service members from the 50th Regional Support Group, the site has three separate missions; walk-up and drive-through testing as well as an alternate care facility. Anyone over the age of 18 will be accommodated at the site and there is no need to have an appointment to get tested.

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.

Iowa: The Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Air Refueling Wing provided 35 service members to assist with setting up a COVID-19 test site in Sioux City. To meet the goal of providing results every 24 hours, the 376th Aviation Support Facility has provided air transport to deliver samples to a lab in eastern Iowa.

For more information on Iowa National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Col. Michael Wunn at michael.a.wunn.mil@mail.mil, or 515-252-4582.

The Kansas National Guard is supporting four testing sites. In addition, they are increasing support at one site to expand testing capability in Southwest Kansas to support three meat processing communities.

For more information on Kansas National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Katie Horner at catherine.f.horner.nfg@mail.mil, 785-646-1192, or the Kansas National Guard Public Affairs Office email at ng.ks.ksarng.list.staff-pao@mail.mil.

More than 1,300 members of the Maryland National Guard continue supporting the state’s effort to combat the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, more than 700 additional Maryland citizen- soldiers and -airmen are in an enhanced readiness status, capable of reporting to duty within a matter of hours. The Maryland National Guard has completed more than 30 missions, and is continuing to support nearly 30 more.

Health and medical specialists from the MDNG’s medical detachment, 224th and 104th Area Support Medical companies have assisted at more than 70 nursing homes and children’s facilities. About 30 MDNG members are supporting the Maryland Department of Health as part of the state’s COVID-19 mitigation and suppression efforts, with multi-discipline assessment teams helping to safeguard the citizens at nursing homes and other facilities across the state.

Medical support teams are facilitating the delivery of thousands of test kits in nursing homes and actively working to establish the state’s “Bridge Teams.” For the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, the bridge teams will be used to help ensure the safety and continuity of care for nursing home residents amid any COVID-19 -related staffing shortages.

Members of the MDNG’s 29th Combat Aviation Brigade are delivering large quantities of hand sanitizer, produced by a Baltimore spirits distillery, to help combat the spread of the virus.

The National Guard has liaison officers serving alongside partner agencies to coordinate essential National Guard capabilities with civilian authorities throughout the state.

Additionally, the MDNG continues supporting essential 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 Prince George’s Health Clinic, 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 more than 15 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 1,010 Michigan National Guard soldiers and airmen are actively supporting the state’s COVID-19 response, with an additional 5,000 Guardsmen ready to assist.

Across 19 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 Emergency Operations Center staff augmentation; testing support and alternate care facility support.

Joint Task Force – Michigan includes Guardsmen, coordinating 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.

The Missouri National Guard continues support to mobile food banks. To date, they have provided meals to 22,622 families and assisted school meals program with delivery of 60,454 meals.

For more information on Missouri National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Breig at joshua.h.breig.mil@mail.mil, 573-638-9846, or the Missouri National Guard Public Affairs Office email at mo.ngpao@mail.mil.

New Jersey:
New Jersey National Guardsmen are preparing 2,400 meals a day for residents of Haven and Hunterdon developmental centers. Additionally, they are providing non‐clinical support at 10 long-term care facilities around the state.

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 more than 3,550 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 the unified command post at the Javits Convention Center for the multi-agency response. The Javits New York Medical Station, placed at Javits, is phasing out. More than 1,095 patients received care at Javits NY Medical Station.

  • The NYNG continues testing at five antibody testing sites, with more than 3,330 tests administered May 8.
  • 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 2,677 tests May 9. To date, 225,825 tests have been conducted at these sites.
  • 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 337,584 meals May 8. To date, Soldiers and Airmen have distributed more than 7.1 million meals.
  • Similar food distribution missions are underway in Westchester County, where Guardsmen distributed 2,639 meals May 8, and have provided 109,027 meal packages since the start of the mission. In Albany County 3,715 meals have been provided to quarantined residents as of May 8.
  • Soldiers helping to process and ship goods at the regional food bank in Schenectady delivered 5,004 meals as of May 8.
  • Hand sanitizer delivery to local governments is ongoing. A total of 57,872 gallons of sanitizer have been distributed in the lower Hudson Valley 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 10,650 kits May 8 for distribution across the state. The team has built 634,030 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.

North Carolina:
The North Carolina Army National Guard’s 449th Theater Aviation Brigade assists Action Pathways Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina by transporting and distributing food in Raeford. In addition to hauling 30 pallets of food to the distribution site, about 30 soldiers directed cars through the parking lot at the site, and loaded the vehicles with boxes of food.

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.

The Ohio National Guard is supporting the Mid-Ohio Food Collective distributing food to members of the community in need. To date, the OHNG has helped the local food bank manage an increasing demand for services.

Ohio Guardsmen helped increase the number of households receiving food to between 500 and 700 per day by employing efficiencies such as logistical planning, teamwork, and workforce capacity.

For more information on Ohio National Guard activities, please contact Stephanie Beougher, of state Public Affairs Office at stephanie.k.beougher.nfg@mail.mil, or 614-336-7369.

Vermont National Guardsmen are supporting an effort to expand bed capacity at four alternate care facility sites. The Guard is also providing medical personnel augmentation and medical logistics support.

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.

The Virginia National Guard is assisting state officials with increasing COVID-19 testing capacity at long-term care facilities. Since the testing missions began, VANG has collected more than 2,700 samples from more than 12 facilities across the state.

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:
More than 710 members of the West Virginia National Guard are on duty supporting the state’s COVID-19 response. To date, WVNG has completed 900 missions across the state.

Members of the WVNG met with safety representatives from Toyota Manufacturing’s Buffalo plant May 8 to discuss and share best practices for manufacturing facilities with regard to social distancing, facility spacing and proper PPE wear.

Guardsmen assisted with packing 1,423 boxed meals at the Mountaineer Food Bank and 360 family meals boxes at the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington. Guardsmen assisted in packing and delivering meals at the Milton Food Bank May 7. To date, working with food bank partners, the WVNG has packaged and delivered more than 207,000 meals for vulnerable and food insecure residents of West Virginia.

Guardsmen provided PPE training for children’s home society locations throughout the state, while also supporting training for area healthcare facilities and retail establishments. To date, this team has trained 3,797 personnel across 719 businesses and 87 medical or long-term care facilities.

Task Force Sustainment is preparing to deliver PPE, through local emergency managers. To date, this team has delivered more than 1.3 million items of PPE to all 55 counties in the state.

West Virginia Guard personnel continue to assist with sanitization of first responder and public transport vehicles. They have sanitized 334 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 212 voluntary COVID-19 mapping engagements and expedited 11 transfers to the state lab May 8. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have conducted more than 6,133 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.

The Wisconsin National Guard is conducting specimen collection for a testing site in Milwaukee, where approximately 500 specimens are collected per day. Additionally, more than 30 Soldiers and Airmen continue staffing a call center in Madison to help inform state residents of the results of COVID-19 testing at sites around the state.

Results typically take three-to-five days to arrive after testing, and Soldiers and Airmen received Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act training to ensure each patient’s personal medical information stays protected.

The WING currently has 15 COVID-19 specimen collection teams operating at sites across the state with plans to grow that capacity to 25 teams in the coming days.

Teams of Guardsmen are also supporting a state warehouse moving critical PPE around the state; serving as poll workers in the May 12 special election in the 7th Congressional District; staffing self-isolation facilities in Milwaukee and Madison; and assisting the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office with mortuary affairs support among other missions.

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.