By Maj. Holli Nelson
| West Virginia National Guard Pubilc Affairs | March 24, 2020
Members of the West Virginia National Guard assist state-level partner agencies, including the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, with the logistical movement and delivery of in-demand medical supplies to hospitals, clinics, and local departments of health throughout West Virginia in support of COVID-19 pandemic outbreak response efforts, March 24, 2020, in Poca, West Virginia. Workers packaged up large distributions of supplies such as surgical masks, respirators, sterile gowns, and examination gloves which were then loaded into vehicles for rapid dispatch and delivery around the state. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Edwin L. Wriston) (Photo by Edwin L. Wriston)
Today, Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the WVNG, outlined his four lines of effort for the Guard’s response to COVID-19 in the state. Those lines of effort include:
The WVNG will support the state’s coordinated response to this public health emergency by assisting partner agencies in developing an operational outlook similar to any other state emergency. In addition, we will work to stabilize and support the most vulnerable populations in the state to include our senior citizens and children; provide logistical support to responding agencies in order to get critical medical supplies to those healthcare facilities in most need; and build a network of intelligence, public health and epidemiology experts in order to provide trend analysis for our state leaders in order to make the best decisions for the health and welfare of our citizens.
“As I have said before, the men and women of the West Virginia National Guard are the best and brightest our nation has to offer,” stated Hoyer. “They are once again leading the charge to respond to our state’s need while also finding innovative solutions to critical problems and paving a path for the future, if and when we face a similar emergency. I cannot thank them and their families enough for the support they are providing during this unprecedented time in our state and nation’s history.”
Additionally, the WVNG is working with the state’s Department of Education and the Community and Technical College systems to action 3-D printers to help manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) that is in high demand or in shortfall for health care systems throughout the state.
Currently, nearly 100 members of the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) are serving the State of West Virginia by augmenting civil authorities, providing expertise to local hospitals and first responders and assisting with logistical movement of supplies to areas around the state.
All current and future missions performed by the WVNG are a part of a coordinated state-level public health preparation and response effort for the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, initiated by Governor Jim Justice, and being led by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
The West Virginia National Guard has a bench of nearly 6,400 experienced and proven Air and Army National Guard professionals who frequently train side-by-side with state and local emergency responders, making them well-suited for domestic operations.
Our National Guard members work and live in every community have a proven record of accomplishment supporting civilian authorities during and after homeland emergencies.