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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    National Guardsmen have been mobilized in all states, 3 territories and DC

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

    More than 7,300 Guardsmen have been mobilized in all states, 3 territories and Washington, DC

    Dylan Gresik and Howard Altman

    All 50 of the nation's governors have declared emergencies in their states and now many are starting to activate their Air and Army National Guard to help deal with the growing coronavirus pandemic.

    Governors across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington D.C. have each mobilized components of their Army and Air National Guard to assist in their state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    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.

    In addition, Guard missions also include Weapons of Mass Destruction - Civil Support Teams (WMD-CSTs), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) training and sample collection; response planners; support to medical testing facilities; response liaisons and support to state Emergency Operations Centers; support to healthcare professionals - assessments, transportation; logistics support; assisting with disinfecting/cleaning of common public spaces; providing transportation support for health care providers; collecting and delivering samples; and assisting with sample administration.

    “We expect multiple states to use their WMD-CSTs to assist in sample collection, donning and doffing PPE techniques and decontamination techniques,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Cope, Chief, National Guard Bureau Weapons of Mass Destruction Program Office

    The National Guard Bureau (NGB) on the federal level assists in “synchronization” and planning between the states, and their coordination center is a “24/7 operation working at increased capacity in anticipation of COVID-19 requirements,” the bureau said.

    Currently, the NGB has not received state-level assistance requests, as of Wednesday morning.

    “This COVID-19 pandemic is a historic event and it requires a historic response from the National Guard,” said Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, National Guard Bureau chief. “My number one priority is taking care of our National Guard Soldiers, Airmen and their families. The readiness of our force will be critical to the success of this nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.”

    Despite the growing number of activated Guard components, during a Tuesday press conference, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper did not commit to federalizing the Guardsmen, instead opting to support governors in their individual responses.

    “As we get requests in, we will look at activating, if we need to, at the federal level or using the Reserves, whatever the case may be. We want to be very supportive with regard to our prioritization in terms of supporting the American people and the governors,” Esper said. “Right now, we are really focused on Guard and Reserve — in that order. There hasn’t been a need yet, a request, for active duty. So we will take these requests in due time.”

    Members of the Florida National Guard (FLNG) gather with local hospital staff to collaborate on donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) during Task Force – Medicals’ response to the COVID-19 virus, March 17, 2020. The FLNG is mobilizing up to 500 Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen in support of the Florida Department of Health response in Broward County. (Sgt. Leia Tascarini/Army)

    Here are the latest updates of National Guard activations across the United States:

    As of Tuesday, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has activated 20 National Guard personnel to state active-duty status to support the state’s emergency operations center. The mobilized guardsmen are medics from the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, headquartered at Camp Robinson.

    There are currently 22 confirm
    ed cases of COVID-19 in the state, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.


    Late Tuesday night, California Gov. Gavin Newsom placed the California National Guard “on alert” in preparation for state-wide mobilization.

    “The National Guard has been directed by the governor to be prepared to perform humanitarian missions across the state including food distribution, ensuring resiliency of supply lines as well as supporting public safety as required," a press release stated.

    “As Californians make sacrifices over the coming weeks to protect our shared health, we are all grateful for medical providers, first-responders and National Guard personnel who are assisting those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19," Newsom said in the release.


    Gov. @GavinNewsom Places National Guard Personnel on Alert to Support COVID-19 Community Readiness

    5:48 PM - Mar 17, 2020
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    Previously, the California Air National Guard activated a 10-person “medical augmentation team" from the 144th Fighter Wing of the California Air National Guard “to provide emergency pre-hospital stabilization response for up to 24 patients per 24-hour operations,” according to the National Guard Bureau.

    Currently, state health officials have confirmed 472 cases of COVID-19 with over 11,000 people self-monitoring.

    In a Tuesday press conference, President Donald Trump mentioned the possibility of sending the Army Corps of Engineers to California to increase hospital bed capacities.

    “The Army Corps of Engineers is ready, willing and able. We have to give them the go ahead if we find that it’s going to be necessary," the president said. “We’re talking to California about different sites, but we can have a lot of units up fairly quickly if we need them.”


    Colorado has 50 guardsmen mobilized on state active-duty status, “assisting local and state agencies with medical support and logistics at drive-up COVID-19 testing centers in various communities throughout the state," according to the National Guard Bureau.

    In addition, 30 full-time Guard personnel are advising state and local partners across Colorado on “validated tactics, techniques and procedures for future screening missions in Colorado," a release added.


    There are more than 1,000 Florida National Guardsmen activated in support of COVID-19., according to 1st Lt. Tahisha Coleman, a spokeswoman for the Florida National Guard.

    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.

    These guardsmen are assisting with planning functions in the State Emergency Operations Center and logistics in the State Logistics Readiness Center.

    A medical task force is also being stood up in Broward County, state officials said, and Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a Wednesday press conference that 800 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) are being provided to National Guard personnel.

    Florida currently has 314 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with seven deaths and over 950 tests pending, according to the Florida Department of Health and state officials.


    Six guardsmen of the Iowa National Guard are serving as liaisons officers in the State Emergency Operations Center, while the Iowa Air National Guard is providing facilities and flight line support to the Iowa Department of Public Health, according to Col. Michael Wunn, Iowa National Guard director of public affairs.

    There are 29 confirmed cases in Iowa with 199 persons being monitored, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.


    Gov. JB Pritzker of Illinois has recently mobilized 60 Army and Air National Guard personnel to state active-duty status, according to Lt. Col. Brad Leighton, public affairs director at the Illinois National Guard.

    Forty-three of these guardsmen are from the 182nd Airlift Wing Medical Group out of Peoria, Illinois, who will assist state health officials, including with COVID-19 screening and testing.

    IL National Guard@IL_Natl_Guard

    Governor JB Pritzker has activated about 60 Illinois National Guard service members to assist with COVID-19 response. These include 43 Airmen from the Peoria-based 182nd Airlift Wing's Medical Group and 17 planners and liaison officers from both Army and Air National Guard units.

    4:53 PM - Mar 17, 2020
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    Seventeen planning liaison officers are also assisting officials throughout the state with logistics and planning.

    Illinois currently has 160 confirmed cases with one death, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.


    Governor John Bel Edwards directed the Louisiana National Guard to activate over 238 soldiers and airmen so far, not including full-time Guardsmen, to assist with the COVID-19 response

    And the number Guardsmen and equipment is anticipated to increase until the situation is stabilized.

    More than 100 soldiers and airmen are stationed at three sites in Jefferson Parish and New Orleans to assist local agencies with COVID-19 testing. The drive-up testing stations have begun to take delivery of the necessary testing kits and protective equipment and are scheduled to become operational within the next few days.


    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, according to Kurt Rauschenberg, Maryland National Guard public affairs officer.

    Last week, Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan activated around 400 guardsmen from the Maryland Army and Air National Guard over the weekend to augment the state’s capabilities.

    In a press conference on Monday, Hogan said a total of 1,000 guardsmen will be activated by the day’s end with an additional 1,200 on “enhanced readiness” status, expected to be activated this week.

    Governor Larry Hogan


    · Mar 16, 2020

    Replying to @GovLarryHogan

    I am prohibiting utility providers from shutting off any residential customer’s service or charging any residential late fees, and prohibiting Maryland courts from ordering the eviction of any tenant who can show that their failure to pay rent was the result of COVID-19.

    Governor Larry Hogan


    At the direction of Major General Timothy Gowen, as of Monday, 1,000 @MDNG soldiers and airmen are fully activated and another 1,200 guardsmen are currently in a state of enhanced readiness.


    10:50 AM - Mar 16, 2020
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    These guardsmen include two Area Support Medical Companies to assist state health officials in screening patients, transporting supplies and distributing food.

    “One of things that the governor mentioned was the distribution of the Strategic National Stockpile mission, particularly personal protective equipment,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Gowen, Maryland adjutant general, in the press conference. “That’s always been a standing mission for us, and we are going to execute that in the coming days.”

    New Jersey

    On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy activated the New Jersey National Guard to assist in the state’s response.

    “We will be working closely with the [New Jersey] Office of Emergency Management to assist fellow residents as we change from our civilian attire and put on our uniforms to serve this state…. Our most likely mission sets are focused on capability gaps.” said Brig. Gen. Jemal Beale, adjutant general of New Jersey. “They are things like advise and assist, logistics, transportation, traffic control, security or bringing in our engineers to maybe bring a facility back online that’s needed in some way, shape or form for COVID-19.”

    Gov. Murphy said the role of the Guardsmen will likely focus on food delivery and manning drive-thru test locations in the intermediate — with the possibility of converting "a building for some self-quarantine reasons” if needed.

    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, according to Col. Richard Goldenberg, a New York National Guard spokesman.

    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.

    In a press conference last week, Gov. Cuomo stated that President Donald Trump has agreed to send the USNS Comfort to New York Harbor to provide additional beds for patients. The hospital ship has around 1,000 beds, although Secretary of Defense Mark Esper noted on Tuesday that the Pentagon’s medical resources are “focused on trauma."

    “[Hospital ships] don’t necessarily have segregated spaces to deal with infectious diseases,” Esper said. "One of the ways you can use field hospitals or hospital ships in between is to take the pressure off of civilian hospitals when it comes to trauma cases, to open up civilian hospital rooms for infectious diseases.”

    1,500 Guardsmen activated in 18 states, Army Corps of Engineers might be tapped, SECDEF says

    Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York has called for an increased role for the National Guard to retrofit facilities for in-patient care and for involvement from the Army Corps of Engineers to build additional hospital facilities in his state's response to the spread of COVID-19.

    Dylan Gresik

    This announcement follows Cuomo’s call on Monday for the New York National Guard to assist state officials in expanding in-patient hospital capabilities in anticipation of a spike in positive novel coronavirus cases requiring hospitalization.

    “We are going to organize the National Guard to work with the building unions and work with private developers to find existing facilities that could most easily be adapted to medical facilities," Cuomo said in the press conference. “Meaning dormitories, meaning former nursing homes: facilities that have that basic configuration that could be retrofitted.”

    As of Wednesday, the New York National Guard — including personnel from the Army and Air National Guard, the New York Guard (state defense force), and the New York Naval Militia — has 900 personnel activated to assist in the state’s response, according to a press release.

    Guardsmen are manning five drive-thru testing sites throughout the state, according to Col. Richard Goldenberg, public affairs officer at the New York National Guard.

    Cuomo was the first governor to activate the National Guard to assist in the state’s response in New Rochelle, New York, a suburb of New York City, where a “cluster” of cases were confirmed.

    Guardsmen continue to assist with food delivery, logistics and cleaning services in the previously identified “containment area.”

    In addition, guardsmen, including Army National Guard combat medic specialists and Air National Guard medical technicians, are “assisting state officials with the collection of samples” at drive-thru testing locations, the official added.

    According to the governor, New York State has 2,382 positive cases of COVID-19, including 1,000 new cases and 549 hospitalizations, as of Wednesday morning.


    The Oregon National Guard is also providing support and on Thursday announced that approximately 25 Citizen-Soldiers are assisting the Oregon Health Authority with the setup of a medical facility in Salem,


    Officials say the assistance ranges from Military Department Civilians providing maintenance and mechanical support, to uniformed personnel setting up facilities for civilian medical personnel.

    Guardsmen have coordinated with Oregon Health Authority, the Oregon Military Department, Department of Homeland Security, Oregon Department of Transportation, Department of Corrections and other state local and non-governmental agencies.


    Gov. Tom Wolf has activated 50 National Guard personnel to serve as “subject matter expert planners to assist the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency," the National Guard Bureau said.

    “One of the most important National Guard missions is to support our own communities,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Carrelli, adjutant general of Pennsylvania.

    “Assisting and serving our fellow neighbors is a very personal effort as this is where we live. We are all in this together.”

    See PA National Guard's other Tweets

    Guardsmen will also be supporting dozens of Pennsylvania residents who had previously been quarantined at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia, after departing from the Grand Princess cruise ship.

    Puerto Rico

    The Puerto Rico National Guard has been activated by Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced to screen passengers arriving on the island via the airport and cruise ship ports. This mobilization follows extended missions to respond to multiple hurricanes and earthquakes.

    “We are currently structuring this new mission to support the mitigation and control efforts of state and federal agencies in response to the COVID-19 emergency,” said Brig. Gen. Miguel Méndez, commanding officer of Task Force-Puerto Rico, in a press release. “Our staff is being evaluated and trained for this new contingency and is being deployed at Luis Muñoz Marín Airport to carry out the assigned functions.”

    Rhode Island

    Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has also activated a handful of National Guard personnel to State Active Duty Status.

    Currently, around ten Guardsmen are “providing response planners, liaisons and support to the state Emergency Operations Center, and logistics support,” according to officials.

    The state has confirmed 23 positive cases with over 300 pending results, according to state health officials.

    National Guard activation powers

    A state’s governor may activate the National Guard under “State Active Duty” status “in response to natural or man-made disasters or Homeland Defense missions.” In this capacity, guardsmen remain “command and control” of the governor and are sourced and paid for by the state, according to the National Guard Bureau.

    Across 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia, there are approximately 450,000 Air and Army National Guard personnel who “frequently train side-by-side with state and local emergency responders” in domestic operations, the National Guard Bureau noted.

    A governor may also activate the guardsmen to support other states through assistance agreements in a multi-state response to an emergency, although the funding comes from the federal government under Title 32 U.S.C. status. No states have sent personnel to neighboring states thus far.

    “The National Guard has unique capabilities such as its Civil Support Teams and [Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFPs)] that could provide local first responders with additional resources to combat COVID-19,” the previous release added.

    “20 National Guard Civil Support Teams (CSTs) have provided COVID-19 response support by conducting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) training for first responders at the request of civilian agencies,” a National Guard Bureau press release stated.

    “CST professionals’ HAZMAT and biohazard expertise make them well-suited for training how to properly don and maintain PPE.”

    The defense secretary retains the authority to order National Guard forces to active duty under Title 10U.S.C. when “necessary to maintain the national health, safety, or interest,” according to the Department of Homeland Security’s National Response Framework.

    As of Tuesday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper did not allude to plans to federalize National Guard components.

    This story will continue to be updated as the National Guard Bureau releases daily reports on National Guard activities nationwide. If you or someone you know has been called up to State Active Duty status, please contact Military Times managing editor Howard Altman,, if you are interested in sharing about your experience.

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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