Mississippi National Guard to provide medical relief efforts to fight COVID-19
At the request of the state through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, an initial group of about 20 active-duty Air Force medical personnel, along with a command and control element have arrived in Mississippi as part of a Department of Defense COVID-19 response operation.
A follow-on team of approximately 20 active-duty Army medical personnel will be arriving within the next week to further support the state. U.S. Army North, under U.S. Northern Command’s oversight, will provide operational command of the active-duty military COVID-19 response team in support of federal efforts and the state as we continue to fight the COVID-19 virus.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Mississippi National Guard has been a force-multiplier for the governor’s COVID-19 task force, lead by the Mississippi State Department of Health and supported by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
This interagency partnership began in March 2020 with various missions to include logistics support, COVID-19 testing, traffic control, outreach testing teams supporting long-term care facilities, vaccination sites and COVID-19 lab testing support.
Our united effort resulted in approximately 765,000 COVID-19 vaccinations administered, 226,000 COVID -19 tests administered and 109,000 lab samples processed. The MSNG logistics team traveled over 665,000 miles to deliver over 58 million pieces of PPE to the citizens of Mississippi.
Our service members have served with honor and integrity throughout this response effort.
“Every day, we continue to fulfill our mission to supplement medical staffing at our hospitals,” said Gov. Tate Reeves. “These two teams will be yet another resource supporting Mississippi’s COVID-19 response and we look forward to welcoming them to our state.”
“The Mississippi National Guard is proud to partner with U.S. Northern Command as we work together to provide vital support to our strained medical professionals and resources to continue the fight against COVID-19,” said Maj. Gen. Janson D. Boyles, the adjutant general of Mississippi. “We understand the ongoing challenges that plague our state and our nation, and we want to reassure the citizens of Mississippi that we stand ready and committed to the ongoing efforts supporting our local, state, and federal partners.”
The active-duty military personnel, including nurses, respiratory therapists and medical doctors, will support the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and the North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo. These medical professionals will work alongside civilian healthcare providers ensuring the absolute best care possible to Mississippians fighting the virus while easing the burden on our strained healthcare system.
“Defending the nation, which includes defeating COVID-19, is truly a joint effort,” said Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, ARNORTH commander. “U.S. Army North is proud to contribute alongside and in support of civil authorities in the whole-of-government fight against COVID-19, as the command remains prepared for potential, future all-hazards response and homeland defense.”
ARNORTH is the joint force land component command of U.S. Northern Command.