La. Guard responds to COVID-19 emergency

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Medics with the Louisiana Army and Air National Guard conduct training with the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure proper protection and administering of drive thru testing, March 18, 2020 in New Orleans. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Maj. John Meche)

The Louisiana National Guard, as directed by Governor John Bel Edwards, has activated over 155 Soldiers and Airmen so far, not to include full-time Guardsmen, to assist with the COVID-19 response, March 18. The number of Guardsmen activated and equipment utilized is anticipated to increase until the situation is stabilized.

The Louisiana National Guard has mobilized Guardsmen to support current operations, including medical support, engineering assessment support, shelter security, traffic control point and drive-through testing site support and to provide liaison officer teams to Parish Emergency Operations Centers.

“Aside from our Guardsmen already responding, we are continuing to lean forward and plan for possible follow-on missions that we may be called upon to perform,” said Brig. Gen. D. Keith Waddell, adjutant general of the LANG. “As our missions develop and increase, today’s preparations will lead to tomorrow’s success.”

In order to assist civil authorities, the LANG is ensuring the health and safety of its Soldiers and Airmen. The LANG is actively taking steps to support health protection in order to maintain mission readiness, such as: limiting non mission-specific travel, educating and enforcing strict CDC-recommended hygiene measures, and monitoring Guardsmen’s temperature readings and overall health on a daily basis.