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National Guard continues to protect, support communities

20-065 | July 8, 2020

More than 34,000 National Guard members are supporting domestic operations across the United States at the direction of their governors as of Wednesday morning. This includes support to COVID-19, civil disturbance, and natural disaster missions such as floods and wildfires.

More than 31,000 National Guard professionals continue COVID-19 response efforts in all 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia.

Presently, there are more than 72,000 Guard men and women engaged in homeland and overseas missions.

“We’re honored to be part of a historic mission that has kept our communities safe and helped heal our nation,” said Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau.

Kansas National Guard packages 4 million meals and counting.

Social distancing requirements have made it difficult for meal packaging services that rely on volunteers. The Kansas National Guard is pitching in to help fill the gap.

Since late April, 40 to 50 members of the Kansas Guard have been in Leawood working in one of seven meal packaging lines. Members of the Guard pack, weigh, seal and box food bags that include items such as macaroni and cheese, Spanish rice and minestrone soup. The food is portioned into seven-meal “pantry packs” in another line at the building, and then stacked on pallets to be distributed to needy families via food pantries throughout Kansas.

To date, Guardsmen have packaged more than 4 million meals for food-insecure Kansans.

“The Outreach program has provided us with meals that have been purchased through KDEM (the Kansas Department of Emergency Management),” said Capt. Michael Ludwick, commander, Battery B, 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery. “We are currently working toward 5 million meals.”

Many members of the Guard join the military with hopes of helping their community, and this meal packing mission provides that opportunity.


Colorado National Guard helps test wildland firefighting teams for COVID-19

Colorado National Guard soldiers and airmen conducted COVID-19 tests of more than 250 first responders involved in fighting wildland fires in late June.

Nearly 70 Colorado Army and Air National Guard members with Joint Task Force-Centennial, comprised of more than 12 units, conducted mobile testing and training in support of incident commanders and local jurisdictions.

“We are a rapid-response team tasked to go out and get ahead of any outbreaks,” said U.S. Army Capt. Brian Doble, commander of Task Force Test Support. “Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team was the first team in the nation to stand up an incident command process that allowed for mission control in a socially-distanced environment. We are coming in to test that their social-distancing processes and protocols were effective.

“It’s important to ensure that we identify and contain any potential outbreaks,” Doble said, “Especially among essential first responders and incident command staff in fire camps as we move toward what could be a busy fire season.”

Task Force Test Support has three mobile testing and training teams and a command and control element. The team travels to sites across Colorado.


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.