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National Guard response to COVID-19

20-010 | March 27, 2020

As of Friday morning, more than 12,300 Air and Army National Guard professionals are supporting the COVID-19 crisis response at the direction of their governors. Eleven states and two territories have approved 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.

“Thanks to the 12,300 plus National Guard men and women responding to this crisis across the nation! Know that what you do in your state is part of a nation-wide effort to combat this virus. We talk about this as 54 separate hurricanes, but COVID-19 knows no state boundaries. What we do in one state has implications for all states. You are impacting how fast we get this massive American machine up and running again. Thanks for all you are doing! – Gen. Joseph Lengyel, Chief, National Guard Bureau

National Guard support focuses on supporting community based testing sites and creating enhanced medical capacity.

“We are here to protect our communities, not police them.” – Lt. Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, Director of the Army National Guard

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

  • Full-time 24-hour state Emergency Operations Center staffing to synchronize National Guard efforts with local and state mission partners to plan and execute an effective response;
  • 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;
  • Performing sample collection and delivery to medical personnel;
  • Providing support and symptoms screening to testing facilities;
  • Providing transportation and assessment support to healthcare providers

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 information about Dual Status Commander, access the story at this link: https://www.nationalguard.mil/News/Article/2128146/guard-dual-status-allows-flexibility-rapid- covid-19-response/

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 1,486 activated in support of COVID-19 providing operational support of Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS), augmentation to airport screening measures, statewide logistics support, coordination, planning and operational mission sets. To date, Guard personnel have assisted in the testing of more than 8,800 individuals for the COVID-19 virus.

The Florida National Guard has been asked to support the Florida Dept. of Health 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 now being conducted at airports in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Palm Beach International and Ft. Myers. 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.

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 Community Based Testing Sites. Guard personnel 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 for the Florida National Guard formations on mission. In addition Guard personnel will support the SLRC in their 24-hours-a-day operations. Guard logistics professionals continue to support the State's Logistics Branch in order to maintain visibility on both State and Federal commodities, better enabling personnel to have required personal protective equipment and sampling kits to conduct 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.

Hawaii: Hawaii National Guard assists Hawaii medical coalition

The Hawaii National Guard is continuing to support the state’s response to COVID-19 with more than 100 Soldiers and Airmen on State Active Duty (SAD) status.

Air National Guard members, from Medical Detachment 1, provided logistical support with personal protective equipment (PPE), and maintenance of valuable medical equipment at the Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management Coalition facilities. The PPE will be distributed to multiple Hawaii medical facilities facing an equipment shortage due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management Coalition is a statewide, federally-qualified, all- hazards comprehensive emergency management program whose mission is to sustain and maintain essential and critical healthcare system services statewide during a major emergency or disaster.

Along with logistics and organizing distribution, Guard members also took inventory of the medical supplies on-hand.

Hawaii National Guard images and video can be found at the DVIDS links below:

Hawaii National Guard Airmen assist in distribution of key medical supplies during COVID-19 response 1 Hawaii National Guard Airmen assist in distribution of key medical supplies during COVID-19 response 2 Hawaii National Guard Airmen assist in distribution of key medical supplies during COVID-19 response 3

Please make attribute to Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson, Hawaii National Guard Public Affairs Officer. He can also be reached at (808) 369-3521 or andrew.l.jackson@hawaii.gov.

Louisiana:
The Louisiana National Guard, as directed by Governor John Bel Edwards, has activated over 660 Soldiers and Airmen so far, not to include full-time Guardsmen, to assist with the COVID- 19 response, March 26. The number of Guardsmen activated and equipment utilized is anticipated to increase until the situation is stabilized.

The Louisiana National Guard has mobilized Guardsmen throughout the state to support current operations, including medical support, engineering assessment support, shelter security, traffic control point and drive-through testing site support, assistance at food banks, and to provide liaison officer teams to Parish Emergency Operations Centers.

In order to assist civil authorities, the LANG is ensuring the health and safety of its Soldiers and Airmen. The LANG is actively taking steps to support health protection in order to maintain mission readiness, such as: limiting non mission-specific travel, educating and enforcing strict CDC-recommended hygiene measures, and monitoring Guardsmen’s temperature readings and overall health on a daily basis.

Please visit https://geauxguard.la.gov/ for the latest Louisiana National Guard releases, photos and videos.

Please attribute to Col. Edward Bush, public affairs officer. He can be reached at (318) 290- 5027 or edward.m.bush.mil@mail.mil.

New York:
As of 0800 on Friday, March 27, 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.

In New York City New York National Guard, personnel are 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 and setup in the convention center's 1.8-million-square feet of space.

A New York National Guard mayor’s cell and other Soldiers will be supporting the 320 federal staff arriving to operate the site.

Brigadier General Michel Natali, the New York National Guard’s Assistant Adjutant General, Army, has been designated dual status commander for New York. This allows him to command both National Guard and active duty forces operating in the state.

As a safety precaution the 700 Soldiers and Airmen assigned to Joint Task Force Empire Shield, the New York National Guard security augmentation force, which operates at New York City transportation hubs, will begin wearing N95 masks.

The New York National Guard continues to support six drive-thru testing sites. Sites are located at SUNY Stoneybrook, Jones Beach State Park, Staten Island, Glen Island State Park in Westchester County, the Anthony Wayne Service area in Rockland County, and Lehman College in the Bronx. An additional site is being established at Coop City- Bay Plaza Mall in the Bronx and the New York National Guard will assist in staffing that location with Soldiers and medical personnel.

New York National Guard personnel are continuing to support food packaging and distribution in New Rochelle and are conducting similar missions at locations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.

Also in New Rochelle, Soldiers continue to support the city's cleaning of public spaces. On March 27, they are expected to clean the New Rochelle Library and Thornton Donovan Elementary School.

New York Soldiers and Airmen are also conducting logistics missions in support of the state response, including warehousing support and bulk distribution at sites in the Hudson Valley, the Albany area, and the Mohawk Valley.

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 are on call 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: https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/NYNG, and https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/106RW and our NY National Guard Flickr site, https://www.flickr.com/photos/nyng.

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.