UTAH, April 15, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah National Guard has provided more than 80 soldiers and airmen thus far to assist in stemming the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“The Utah guard continues to be fully involved at the local, state and federal levels in the planning and execution of the nation’s response to COVID-19,” said a news release from the Utah National Guard.
“Each of our nearly 7,500 service members is also a civilian, living and working in communities across the state. They have a proven track record of answering the call to assist civilian authorities during emergencies.”
The Utah guard is trained to work with emergency responders during crisis response operations and supports the whole-of-government efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic as needed by the governor, the news release said.
“These soldiers and airmen bring significant skill to this challenge and are at their best when they are supporting their fellow Utahns,” said Brig. Gen. Michael J. Turley, the adjutant general, Utah Army National Guard. “We stand ready to help our state, by helping our neighbors.”
The guard is undertaking the following initiatives:
● Twenty linguists with Utah Guard’s 300th Military Intelligence Brigade translated 17 separate documents into 15 different languages for the Utah Public Health Department, March 26.
● Two members of the Utah National Guard’s 85th Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team were appointed by Gov. Gary Herbert to assist as part of the Utah Economic Response Task Force Plan, “Utah Leads Together.”
● Twenty Soldiers with the 300th MI have been assisting in a trace-back mission working with the COVID-19 Task Force and the Utah Department of Health to contact civilians who have tested positive for COVID-19. All supporting personnel perform their assignments while teleworking from remote locations.
● Approximately 20 members of the Utah Air National Guard’s 151st Air Refueling Wing, assisted Charity Anywhere, a Utah based non-profit organization run by Gordon and Susan Carter, with the loading of humanitarian aid onto an Ecuadorian Air Force C-130 cargo aircraft April 10, at Roland R. Wright Air National Guard Base.
● Seven soldiers and airmen are supporting the State Emergency Operations Center and other local partners, providing critical staff capabilities in logistics planning and augmentation, analytical planning, and operations.
Twelve parachute riggers and other members with 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Camp Williams are making 2,000 face masks for members of the Utah National Guard to comply with the recent Department of Defense guidance on the use of face coverings.