By Maj. Josh Poling
| West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs | June 20, 2020
Members of the West Virginia National Guard’s 1092nd Engineer Battalion conduct debris removal operations in Minden, Fayette County, West Virginia, June 19, 2020. The community was flooded earlier in the week when a severe storm dumped more than three inches of rain in less than an hour leading to flash flooding that damaged more than 100 homes and structures. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Edwin L. Wriston) (Photo by Edwin Wriston)
The West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) has been supporting the state’s COVID-19 response for 98 days through our six lines of effort including operationalizing of the event, stabilizing the population, providing logistical movement of critical supplies, innovation, state surge capacity and capability, and conducting data analysis to combat the virus. Currently, 439 members of the WVNG are on duty and we have completed 1,604 missions to date.
This week, members of the 1st Battalion, 201st Field Artillery Regiment conducted their annual training at Camp Dawson in Preston County.
Yesterday, service members from the 1092nd Engineer Battalion arrived on site in Fayette County to execute flood duty operations in order to assist debris removal from affected areas. This operation is in response to a State of Emergency by order of the Governor.
This weekend, Task Force CRE and Task Force Medical will assist at multiple COVID-19 testing lanes in Huntington, Gilmer, Hancock, and Mineral Counties. To date, these teams have conducted 140 COVID-19 lane support missions testing 15,120 individuals and 4,007 tests as a part of their rapid response mission. As of yesterday, Task Force CRE completed their sanitization of the Huttonsville Prison.
Over the past five days, West Virginia Guardsmen and women maintained the missions at the Clarksburg and Huntington Food Banks delivering 300 boxes in Huntington to a local food bank. To date, the Guard has helped to deliver or package 341,830 meals for food insecure West Virginians.
Task Force Sustainment, the team dedicated to receiving and moving critical supplies, delivered cloth facemasks to K-12 and college locations across the state this week. This team has completed all 55 of the county deliveries in West Virginia as of yesterday, thus providing a supply of masks to all K-12 and college locations.
West Virginia Guard personnel assisting in sanitization lanes for first responder and public transport vehicles have sanitized 595 vehicles in two locations – Huntington and Charleston – which includes ambulances, police vehicles and public transport buses.
Our medical personnel augmenting DHHR’s regional epidemiology teams continued inputting data into the state disease surveillance system and conducting COVID-19 mapping this week. To date, the state’s seven regional epidemiology teams have completed more than 12,422 voluntary COVID-19 mappings.
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.