DoD | National Guard Holds News Conference
Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Army Col. Robin Hoeflein, chief of the personnel division, Army National Guard, conduct a news conference at the Pentagon, March 19, 2020.
About 2,050 National Guard soldiers and airmen in 27 states have been activated to support COVID-19 response efforts, the chief of the National Guard Bureau said.
Air Force Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel said Thursday that by this weekend that number most likely would double, and it is even possible that tens of thousands of guardsmen could be activated as the situation unfolds, depending on the needs of communities.
There are about 450,000 Guard troops in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories, he noted, with logistical and other capabilities that include airlift, ground transportation, command and control, engineering, kitchens, tents and medical personnel.
Lengyel provided a snapshot of what the Guard is already doing:
“We remain flexible and committed for whatever mission we may be called to do,” Lengyel said. He noted that the governors of each state have the flexibility to use the Guard in ways they seem most fit and productive.
So far, six Guardsmen in the U.S. currently have tested positive for COVID-19, he said. Force health protection measures are in place in an effort to prevent more.(c)2020 DoD | SCVTV