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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-007 | March 24, 2020

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All 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia are engaged in combating COVID-19. As of this morning, more than 9,000 Guard men and women are providing critical skills supporting the COVID-19 response at the direction of their governors. Those numbers can change rapidly as states identify needs and communicate them to their National Guard.

"Every state has a different way to deal with disasters, and the National Guard is uniquely qualified and postured to act under the command and control of the governors in the state. And so if you were to federalize them, you would lose that ability," - Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau

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 and delivery to first responders and hospital personnel;
  • Supporting local emergency management agencies with response planning and execution; • Providing support and symptoms screening to testing facilities;
  • Serving as response liaisons and support to state Emergency Operations Centers;
  • Providing transportation and assessment support to healthcare providers;
  • Assisting with disinfecting/cleaning of common public spaces

The National Guard has long-standing partnerships with state emergency managers and first responders to help ensure a rapid and unified response.

If you were going to design an ideal military force to assist with a response like COVID-19, it would the National Guard. We are 450,000 strong in every state, territory, nearly every zip code in the country – Less time and distance = more lives saved.

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. 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. 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. The National Guard has unique capabilities such as its Civil Support Teams and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Enhanced Response Force Packages that could provide local first responders with additional resources to combat COVID-19.

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.

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

Florida:
The Florida National Guard has 1,147 Guard men and women activated in support of COVID- 19. They are augmenting Community Based Testing Sites in Broward, Orange, and Miami-Dade counties as well as in the City of Miami. Today the Florida National Guard will conduct rehearsals and operational checks in Orange county with a projected opening date for Wednesday, 25 March. Development of an additional community-based testing sites at the Marlins Stadium in the City of Miami is slated to be initiated in coming days.

The Florida National Guard has activated medical professionals, Army Combat Medic Specialists, and Air Force Medical Technicians in support of the Florida Department of Health's (DOH) Community Based Testing Sites. Our Guardsmen have reported in and formed Task Force Medical.

Guard men and women are augmenting the State Logistics Readiness Center, the State's Logistics Branch. They are facilitating statewide logistics needs of the Florida National Guard formations on mission. Support of the SLRC has expanded to a 24/7 operation model in order to maintain visibility on both State and Federal commodities, which has become critical to ensuring that Florida National Guard personnel have required Personal Protective Equipment and sampling kits to in order to conduct the mission support.

Please attribute to 1st Lt. Tahisha Coleman, public affairs officer. She can also be reached at tahisha.j.coleman.mil@mail.mil.

New York:
The New York National Guard currently has 2,080 personnel on mission across the state. This includes members of the New York Army and Air National Guard, the New York Guard (state defense force), and the New York Naval Militia. Joint Task Forces are operating on Long Island, New York City, the Hudson Valley, Capital Region, Syracuse and Buffalo, all supporting local authorities.

The National Guard is supporting the administration and setup of FEMA Field Hospitals in support of the State Department of Health and NYC officials at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Soldiers are assisting with the reception and setup of the infrastructure in the convention center's 1.8 million square feet of space. Governor Andrew Cuomo said yesterday that setting up the four 250-bed field hospitals at the site would take about a week to 10 days. The National Guard Soldiers will be supporting the 320 federal staff arriving to operate the site.

The New York National Guard continues to support six drive-thru testing sites today on Long Island, Staten Island, the Bronx and in Rockland and Westchester Counties. These sites supported testing for more than 3,000 people yesterday. Testing is done through reservations made through the Department of Health based on physician orders.

Fifty troops provide food packaging and distribution today at Tuckahoe High School in Eastchester, Feeding Westchester in Elmsford, Hope Community Services and the Community Center in New Rochelle.

Also in New Rochelle, Soldiers completed cleaning of the Young Israel Synagogue, the Holy Trinity Church and Methodist Church in support of the city's cleaning of public spaces. New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are conducting logistics missions in support of the state response. Hand sanitizer warehousing and deliveries continue today across the lower Hudson Valley. Yesterday, Soldiers provided support to local government agencies with 24 deliveries.

New York National Guard also continues to provide 24-hour support a call center in Rotterdam, N.Y. to offer updated information to the public. Other Soldiers support a call center mission in New York City.

Soldiers and Airmen are assisting Department of Health officials at the Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany to package COVID 19 test kits.

These missions are expected to continue throughout the week.

Our imagery continues to go up on DVIDS and our NY National Guard Flickr site.

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