Home : News : Press Releases
Press Releases

National Guard response to COVID-19

20-051 | May 29, 2020

This morning, approximately 46,000 Air and Army National Guard professionals were supporting the COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors.

COVID-19 response efforts have taken place in all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia, and is the largest use of the National Guard for a domestic operation since Hurricane Katrina. More than 51,000 Guard members responded to Katrina.

“The men and women of the National Guard have been doing a great job fighting the coronavirus,” said President Donald Trump. “This week, I will extend their Title 32 orders through mid-August, so they can continue to help states succeed in their response and recovery efforts.”

The National Guard remains committed to its service in support of the fight against COVID-19 and will remain in that fight as long as we are needed. Our nation is looking to the National Guard to help and we will not let them down.

“Guard men and women continue to support our nationwide response to COVID-19,” said Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau. “I am so proud of the work you are doing. It is one of the National Guard’s finest hours.”

In addition to providing civil disturbance support to the people of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the surrounding communities, the Minnesota National Guard is supporting ongoing COVID-19 response efforts including planning, logistics and communications support to state agencies in coordination with the state Emergency Operations Center.

“The Minnesota National Guard has been assisting state agencies with logistics and planning efforts up to this point,” said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General. “Our efforts shift to more directly assist those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight.”

Minnesotans who needed or wanted COVID-19 tests were invited to visit testing sites at six National Guard armories across Minnesota throughout the Memorial Day holiday weekend. They remain ready to respond, as needed, to assist Minnesotans with COVID-19.

https://minnesotanationalguard.ng.mil/mnng-covid-19/; https://twitter.com/MNNationalGuard

Eighty-three days into the COVID-19 pandemic response mission, New York National Guard soldiers and airmen have helped test 289,248 New Yorkers for the coronavirus, delivered more than 17 million meals and assembled nearly 1.5 million test kits.

By May 28, nine of 10 regions in New York had begun to reopen while New York City, the final region, was still working to meet the opening metrics for available hospital bed space and available contact tracers for potential new outbreaks. The New York National Guard is supporting that process from Long Island to Niagara Falls.

National Guard members are most visible at 15 New York state-run COVID-19 drive-through testing sites across New York. Army medics and Air Guard medical technicians have helped take tests, but most Guard elements at these sites are providing administrative and logistical support. The testing is important during reopening for workers returning to jobs in construction, retail or other essential functions.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, Guard soldiers assembled 350,000 COVID-19 test kits, which were shipped to nursing homes across the state.


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 PPE 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 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 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 Arkansas National Guard continues to support state and federal partners in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Approximately 75 soldiers and airmen are currently on state active duty performing a variety of missions such as support for general medical and physician call centers; static and mobile medical screening and COVID-19 testing sites; PPE and medical supply warehousing and distribution; medical and logistics planning, analysis, and liaison assistance; and state veterans cemetery facility and grounds maintenance operations.

For more information on Arkansas National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Brian Mason at brian.l.mason2.mil@mail.mil, (501) 212-5020, or the Arkansas National Guard Public Affairs Office at ng.ar.ararng.mbx.daily-guard@mail.mil.

Members of the Arizona National Guard are conducting food bank support operations to assist the communities of Nogales and Flagstaff. Guardsmen also recently delivered a shipment of PPE to the Navajo Nation.

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 at ng.az.azarng.mbx.azng-pao@mail.mil.

The California National Guard is supporting 21 food banks and three food pantries in 16 counties across the state. To date, the CANG has helped deliver more than 35.1 million pounds of food.

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.

Members of the Colorado National Guard are assisting with testing at Manorcare Health Services in Boulder. Guardsmen are conducting an assessment of Springbrooke Retirement and Assisted Living in Denver, and continue to support 11 shelter locations in the Denver metro area.

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 at ng.co.coarng.list.militarysupport@mail.mil.

The Florida National Guard is supporting COVID-19 antibody testing at the Miami Beach Convention Center and Hard Rock Stadium community-based testing sites. The FLNG is assisting state and local partners to conduct antibody testing for first responders at both facilities.

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

The Iowa National Guard is supporting Iowa Department of Public Health with PPE warehouse operations, and delivering PPE to county emergency operations centers. Additionally, Guardsmen are assisting with planning efforts at six regional medical coordination centers.

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 Mississippi National Guard is expanding its COVID-19 testing to the Madison County Nursing Home in Canton.

Additionally, the MSNG is supporting the Mississippi Department of Health at testing sites throughout the state to minimize the spread of the coronavirus and maximize quality of life.

For more information on Missouri National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Deidre D. Smith at deidre.d.smith8.mil@mail.mil, 601-313-6148, or the Mississippi National Guard Public Affairs Office at ng.ms.msarng.list.public-affairs@mail.mil.

New York:
The New York National Guard has nearly 3,400 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 NYNG continues to support the alternate care facility at the South Beach Psychiatric Center on Staten Island, as well as three other potential alternate care sites on Long Island or Westchester.
  • The NYNG continues testing at five antibody testing sites, with 688 tests administered May 27. To date, 9,437 antibody tests have been administered.
  • 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 3,589 tests May 27. To date, 289,248 tests have been conducted at these sites.
  • NY Army National Guard medics are conducting COVID-19 tests in nursing homes and adult care facilities in Queens, Westchester, the Bronx and Staten Island.
  • Guardsmen are currently conducting COVID-19 testing of staff and patients at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Brooklyn.
  • National Guard personnel continue packaging and distributing food today in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan in New York City. They provided 667,710 meals May 27. To date, soldiers and airmen have distributed more than 17.3 million meals.
  • Similar food distribution missions are underway in Westchester County, where Guardsmen have provided 139,185 meal packages since the start of the mission. In Albany County 5,294 meals have been provided to quarantined residents as of May 27.
  • Soldiers helping to process and ship goods at the regional food bank in Schenectady delivered 8,105 meals as of May 27. Additionally, soldiers have distributed 10,634 meals in Chenango County as of May 27.
  • Guardsmen conducted a food support mission May 28 in Amsterdam, where food was distributed to 1,000 families. Additionally, 2,500 meals were distributed in Mohawk Valley.
  • Hand sanitizer delivery to local governments is ongoing. A total of 64,853 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 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.
  • NYNG soldiers continue to man phones at two New York City call centers, including one for the New York City Division of Veterans Services, where 6,101 calls to veterans have been made. 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 50,000 kits May 27 for distribution across the state. The team has built nearly 1.5 million 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.

Members of the Ohio National Guard are supporting sample collection efforts at eight locations across Ohio. Additionally the OHNG is supporting the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction with medical support at Pickaway Correctional Institution.

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.

Oregon National Guard soldiers and airmen continue PPE warehouse operations and distribution. Guardsmen have also begun working with the Department of Agriculture to provide PPE to migrant workers.

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 at agpa@mil.state.or.us.

The Tennessee National Guard is supporting 28 active Remote Assessment Sites, where they are completing nearly 25% of the state’s COVID-19 testing.

For more information on Tennessee National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Christopher Messina at christopher.g.messina.mil@mail.mil, or the Tennessee National Guard Public Affairs Office at tnpao@live.com, or 615-313-0633.

The Texas National Guard is supporting the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas, the N95 Mask factory in Fort Worth and the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council Emergency Medical Coordination Center in Arlington.

For more information on Texas National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Lt. Col. Rita Holton at rita.m.holton.mil@mail.mil, 512-782-6045, or the Texas National Guard Public Affairs Office at ng.tx.txarng.mbx.pao@mail.mil.

U.S. Virgin Islands:
Members of the U.S. Virgin Islands National Guard are conducting screenings at two airports in St. Croix and St. Thomas.

For more information on U.S. Virgin Islands National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO at 340-712-7750.

Members of the Vermont National Guard are continuing food distribution efforts in Brattleboro, where they have distributed more than 808,800 meals to more than 11,300 families to date. Guardsmen are also distributing food in Swanton.

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 Washington National Guard is partnering with the Northwest Harvest food distribution center in Kent to increase food security capacity and support local families. To date, the WANG has packed more than 100,000 food boxes at the Kent distribution center.

Additionally, the WANG is supporting food banks at 30 sites, where they have distributed more than 1.1 million meals and 18.4 million pounds of food.

Soldiers and airmen are assisting state and local health departments conduct voluntary COVID-19 mapping to track and reduce the spread of the virus. Guardsmen are playing a key role as Washington begins preparations to reopen parts of the state.

For more information on Washington National Guard activities, please contact the state PAO Capt. Joseph Siemandel at joseph.f.siemandel.mil@mail.mil, or 253-512-8005.

West Virginia:
More than 650 members of the West Virginia National Guard are on duty supporting the state’s COVID-19 response. To date, the WVNG has completed 1,232 missions across the state.

Guardsmen will once again assist with COVID-19 testing lanes in Berkeley, Jefferson, Kanawha, Mineral and Morgan counties May 30-31. To date, the WVNG has supported 96 COVID-19 lane support missions and tested 5,925 individuals, including 3,430 tests as part of their rapid response mission.

Guardsmen continue to provide PPE training for various businesses, state agencies and first responders. To date, this team has trained 4,411 personnel across 772 businesses and 101 medical or long-term care facilities.

Guardsmen assisted with packing 1,250 family meal boxes at the Facing Hunger Food Bank, and helped provide 1,375 boxed meals to the Harrison County Board of Education food mission in Clarksburg. In addition, they delivered 3,850 meals to Ohio County via refrigerated trailers.

Task Force Sustainment, dedicated to receiving and moving critical supplies across the state, delivered PPE to 17 of 55 county emergency managers May 27.

West Virginia National Guard personnel continue to assist with sanitizing first responder and public transport vehicles. They have sanitized 472 vehicles, including ambulances, police vehicles and public transport buses, in Huntington and Charleston.

WVNG medical personnel, augmenting the Department of Health and Human Resource’s regional epidemiology teams, supported 212 voluntary COVID-19 mapping engagements and expedited 10 specimen transfers to the state lab May 18. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have conducted 8,379 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 at ng.wv.wvarng.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil.