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Air Force General Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Press Briefing

20-005 | March 22, 2020

All 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia are engaged in combating COVID-19; as of this morning, 7,300 Guard men and women are providing critical skills and support to the 54. Current National Guard COVID-19 response missions include, but are not limited to:

  • Delivering food in hard-hit communities;
  • Manning call centers to be a knowledgeable and calming voice;
  • Providing critical Personal Protective Equipment training and sample collection to first responders and hospital personnel;
  • Supporting local emergency management agencies with response planning and execution;
  • Providing support to testing facilities;
  • Serving as response liaisons and support to state Emergency Operations Centers;
  • Proving transportation and assessment support to healthcare providers;
  • Assisting with disinfecting/cleaning of common public spaces;
  • Collecting and delivering samples.

Quotes:

"With COVID-19, it's like we have 54 different hurricanes hitting every state, every territory, and the District of Columbia. Some are Category 5, some are Category 3, and some are Category 1. Bur a historic event demands a historic response - and that's what you're seeing from the National Guard." Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau

"I hear unfounded rumors about National Guard troops supporting a nationwide quarantine. Let me be clear: There has been no such discussion." Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau

"The Department of Defense is not considering federalization of the National Guard. The COVID-19 response is dynamic, but at this time governors remain in control of their states' National Guard forces and can request additional assistance from federal Title 10 forces through FEMA." - Tweet from Alyssa Farah, DOD Pentagon Press Secretary

National Guard COVID-19 Response Efforts and State PAO Contact Information:

Maryland:
At the direction of Governor Hogan, the Maryland National Guard, Maryland Department of Health, and Prince George's County Executive, Angela Alsobrooks, continue to work together for the establishment of a pilot health screening location at Fed-Ex field in Landover, Maryland. The MDNG and Maryland State Police will also begin food distribution assistance in Baltimore City this coming week. MDNG members continue to support state agencies with supply distribution at the Strategic National Stockpile as well as screening site set-up at White Oak Medical Center. Please attribute to Kurt Rauschenberg, Maryland National Guard public affairs officer. He can also be reached at kurt.m.rauschenberg.mil@mail.mil or (410) 576-6179.

 

New York:
The New York National Guard currently has more than 1,750 personnel on mission across the state. Two additional task forces are coming into operation in Syracuse and Buffalo this week, providing support to local authorities across the entire state.

The New York National Guard supports five drive-thru testing sites on Long Island, Staten Island and in Rockland and Westchester Counties. These sites supported testing for more than 3,600 people yesterday. The National Guard provided support in Westchester County yesterday to deploy and install a tent adjacent to Montefiore Hospital to assist in their reception and treatment of patients in their community.

Troops also provided food packaging and distribution at Hope Community Services in New Rochelle for the community. Similar missions continue today.

Also in New Rochelle, the New York National Guard continues cleaning of public buildings. Yesterday the National Guard completed its support to the New Rochelle High School, a structure of some 600,000 square feet.

Hand sanitizer deliveries continue today across the lower Hudson Valley to more than 18 sites in support of local government agencies.

New York National Guard also continues to provide 24-hour support call a center in Rotterdam, N.Y. to offer updated information to the public. The center is operated by the Department of Health and the Department of Taxation and Finance.

Please attribute to COL Richard Goldenberg, public affairs officer. He can be reached at richard.l.goldenberg.mil@mail.mil or (518) 786-6150.

 

Florida:
There are more than 1,000 Florida National Guardsmen activated in support of COVID-19.

The Florida National Guard continues to support the State's COVID19 response with operational support for Community Based Testing Sites augmentation in Broward, Orlando, and Miami. The CBTS in Broward continues public testing assisting in the sampling of 1,446 patients in the last two days.

The Florida National Guard is providing support to medical professionals, the State Logistics Readiness Center, the State's Logistics Branch, the State Emergency Operations Center and local emergency management offices across the state. For more information, please contact 1LT TJ Coleman, public affairs officer, at (904) 823-0166 or tahisha.j.coleman.mil@mail.mil.

 

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. Guard units frequently train side-by-side with state and local emergency responders, making them well-suited for domestic operations.

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.

For more 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.