By Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
ALEXANDRIA, La. – The Louisiana National Guard, as directed by Governor John Bel Edwards, has over 1,210 soldiers and airmen assisting with the COVID-19 response, April 1. The number of guardsmen activated and equipment utilized is anticipated to increase until the situation is stabilized.
The Louisiana National Guard has mobilized Guardsmen throughout the state to support current operations, including: medical, engineering assessment, and commodities distribution support, shelter assistance, traffic control point and drive-through testing site support, assistance at food banks, and to provide liaison officer teams to Parish Emergency Operations Centers.
“Commodities distribution is a mission that we are wholly familiar with from the various natural disasters that we have responded to in the past,” said Col. Willus B. Hall, commander of the 139th Regional Support Group. “One key difference here though, is that instead of saving lives using high water vehicles and helicopters, we are saving lives by ensuring critical medical supplies like ventilators get where they need to go in a timely fashion.”
The commodities distribution mission has yielded over 366,555 N95 masks, 1,275,143 gloves, 300 ventilators, and 49,650 Tyvek suits … to only name a few items.
“I think it’s important to help out if you can,” said Pvt. 1st Class Delante Adkinson, a Guardsman from Austin, Texas, who joined the LANG to attend college at Southern University in Baton Rouge. “I like knowing I’m helping people out, even if it is in an indirect way of making sure things get where they need to go.”
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.