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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-009 | March 26, 2020

As of Thursday morning, nearly 11,400 Air and Army National Guard professionals are supporting the COVID-19 crisis response at the direction of their governors. Eight states have approved the use of Dual-Status Commanders, giving them the authority to command active and reserve component troops under control of a state's governor. As a governor’s response to the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, so does the Guard response.

“This is a National crisis. Every American has a role in stopping this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gen. Joseph Lengyel, Chief, National Guard Bureau.

Current National Guard COVID-19 response missions include, but are not limited to:

  • Working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase medical capacity;
  • Supporting warehouse operations and logistics efforts to help deliver critical supplies;
  • 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 (NGB) 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 CERFPs 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 1,482 Guard men and women activated in support of COVID- 19. They continue to support the State’s COVID-19 response through operational support of Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS), augmentation to airport screening measures, statewide logistics support, coordination, planning and operational mission sets. To date, the Florida National Guard has assisted in the testing of over 7,200 individuals for the COVID-19 virus. Another state supported CBTS is projected for Tamiami in the next couple days, there will be more information to follow.

The Florida National Guard has been asked to augment local law enforcement and airport authorities in application of the Governor's order to conduct screening on passengers inbound from Calif, Wash., N.Y. and N.J. at major airports. Screenings are being conducted at airports in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville. These missions will support the Governor's recent travel ban guidance in an attempt to significantly reduce the number of infected individuals entering the State from areas with a high amount of community spread.

They have activated medical professionals, Army Combat Medic Specialists, and Air Force Medical Technicians in support of the Florida Department of Health's CBTS Guardsmen have reported in and formed Task Force Medical.

Florida Guard personnel have been activated to augment the State Logistics Readiness Center (SLRC), the State's Logistics Branch, as well as facilitate statewide logistics needs of the Florida National Guard formations on mission. They provide support to the SLRC remains at 24-hour-a-day operations. The Florida National Guard logistics professionals continue to support the State's Logistics Branch in order to maintain visibility on both State and Federal commodities better enabling Guard mission support.

The Florida National Guard has activated Guardsmen to augment the State Emergency Operations Center and local emergency management offices across the state.

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

New York:
As of Wednesday, 8 a.m., the New York National Guard has more than 2,200 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.

Six Joint Task Forces are operating on Long Island, New York City, the Hudson Valley, Capital Region, Syracuse and Buffalo to support state and local governments.

The New York National Guard is supporting the administration and reception of FEMA field hospitals in support of the State Department of Health and New York City officials at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan.

Soldiers are assisting with the reception and inventory 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, and the Bronx and in Rockland and Westchester counties. Testing is arranged by reservations made through the Department of Health.

New York National Guard personnel are continuing to support food packaging in New Rochelle. Also in New Rochelle, Soldiers continue to support the city's cleaning of public spaces. On March 26, they are expected to complete the cleaning of the Beth El Synagogue.

New York Soldiers and Airmen are also conducting logistics missions in support of the state response, including warehousing support and bulk distribution at five sites. Hand sanitizer warehousing and deliveries continue today across the lower Hudson Valley.

Support to local agencies for food distribution continues in Westchester County and New York City at nine locations.

New York National Guard also continues to provide support to the New York State Coronavirus Hotline by working in a call center in Rotterdam, N.Y. to offering updated information to the public. Other Soldiers support a call center mission in Brooklyn in New York City.

Soldiers and Airmen continue to assist Department of Health officials at the Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany in packaging COVID 19 test kits.

New York National Guard images continue to go up on DVIDS and our NY National Guard Flickr.

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.