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    NY National Guard continues missions with 3,500 troops on duty

    New York National Guard command team visits WNY

    Photo By Avery Schneider | Staff Sgt. Zachary Heberlein, assigned to the 107th Attack Wing of the New York Air...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    New York National Guard

    LATHAM, N.Y. -- Since mobilizing to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 6, the New York National Guard has assisted in conducting 225,825 COVID-19 tests, made 634,030 COVID-19 test kits and delivered 7.3 million meals to New York residents.

    As of May 10, the New York National Guard had 3,551 personnel on duty responding to the COVID-19 mission. This included 2,938 New York Army National Guard Soldiers and 451 New York Air National Guard Airmen.

    The remainder of the force consisted of 79 members of the New York Guard, the state’s volunteer self-defense force, and 83 members of the New York Naval Militia, the state force that allows members of the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve to serve on state active duty.

    This is down slightly from the 3,650 personnel on duty a week prior.

    “I feel great about this. This is what I signed up for. I signed up to help out in a time of crisis in a time of need,” said Sgt. 1st Class John Puffer, a member of Bravo Company, 427th Brigade Support Battalion, who was running a food mission on May 8.

    As service members who have been on the mission have come off duty, Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York, has directed planners to “right-size” the force for the mission and prepare for its continuation through the spring.

    “Everyone should be proud of the work being done and the efforts of our total force to ease the suffering of our fellow New Yorkers,” Shields said in a message to the force on May 6.

    “This is great work - important work to the people of New York and reflects on all of our service members and civilian staff. It is really a whole team effort,” he said.

    The New York National Guard continues to operate with six regional joint task forces, a logistics task force and a Dual Status Command – responsible for both New York National Guard and federal reserve and active duty troops—which is operating in New York City.

    Since April 30 the alternate care center in the Jacob Javits Convention Center, known as the Javits New York Medical Station and which cared for 1,095 patient, has transitioned to a cold status. The patient care area has been shut down and will be cleaned and disinfected after two weeks.

    About 800 Active Duty and Reserve component medical personnel are still in New York City assisting in local hospitals. These personnel will soon fall under the command of the Dual Status Commander, Brig. Gen. Michel Natali.

    Fourteen pararescue Airmen assigned to the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing concluded a four-week mission at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens on May 8. The pararescue specialists, who are trained as advanced emergency medical technicians, assisted in the healthcare teams putting patients on ventilators and monitoring those patients.

    They assisted with around 300 patients.

    Elmhurst, a public hospital, serves one of the areas of New York City hardest hit by the virus.

    New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen continue to assist at 15 drive thru test sites set up across New York. The first test set was set up in mid-March outside New Rochelle in Westchester County. Sites are now located in central New York and Western New York. 225,825 people have been tested at these sites.

    New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen continues to assist at sites established to test for COVID-19 antibodies in Newburgh, N.Y.; Williamsville, N.Y.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Albany, N.Y.; and Garden City, N.Y. This test is designed to identify people who have had the virus and may not even have known it.

    Since May 4 there have been 3,796 people tested at these sites.

    Overall, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the state has tested 1.18 million people.

    The New York National Guard also continues to assist the New York City Medical Examiner’s office in the dignified removal and transportation of human remains. There are 200 Guard Soldiers and Airmen conducting this mission under the leadership of the 369th Sustainment Brigade.

    Other Guard Soldiers are prepared to assist Westchester and Orange counties with similar missions.

    Food distribution for needy residents has become a major mission of the New York National Guard. In New York City, Guard Soldiers have passed out 7.1 million meals at stations operating in all five boroughs. On May 8, for example, Soldiers and Airmen distributed 337,584 meals.

    In Upstate New York, meal distribution efforts are taking place at drive through locations.

    In Fonda, 50 Soldiers and Airmen helped the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and local volunteers pass out 1,000 meals to people who drove through the racetrack at the Fonda Fairgrounds. The Guard members broke down 24 pallets of food from the regional food bank, 24 cases of milk, and 10 pallets of donated drinks into 1,000 family-sized packages.

    The Soldiers and Airmen were key to the success of the effort, said Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Smith, who organized the food give-away.

    “They have been amazing,” he said.
    New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have also been working at the regional food bank in Latham, N.Y. and have prepared 255 pallets of food for shipment across northeastern New York. That mission is complete.

    New York Soldiers and Airmen continue conducting logistics missions, including warehousing and commodity distribution of medical supplies at six sites in the Hudson Valley, the Albany area, and Mohawk Valley.

    More than 22,800 pallets of healthcare supplies, primarily PPE, have been received, stored or distributed by National Guard logistics Soldiers from the state stockpile to regional hospitals across the state.

    Soldiers and Airmen have distributed 57,872 gallons of sanitizer in the lower Hudson Valley and around New York City.

    Finally, Soldiers and Airmen have continued packaging COVID-19 test kits for the New York State Department of Health at the Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany. They assembled 10,650 kits on May 8 for distribution across the state. The team has built 634,030 testing kits since starting the mission.



    Date Taken: 05.11.2020
    Date Posted: 05.11.2020 14:06
    Story ID: 369725
    Location: LATHAM , NY, US

    Web Views: 232
    Downloads: 1