Earlier this afternoon, Governor Kemp’s office announced the activation of up to 2,000 members of the Georgia National Guard in order to support efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Guard teams were deployed to Albany, and an additional 12 teams will be deployed across Georgia. The entire press release is posted below.
In related news, all former passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship who were quarantined at the Clay National Guard Center at Dobbins ARB in Marietta were released earlier this week.
Atlanta, GA – On March 14, 2020, Governor Brian Kemp authorized the activation of up to 2,000 members of the Georgia National Guard in order to combat COVID-19. At this time, over 170 service members are activated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have mobilized to support requests from the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) and Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).
“I am deeply grateful to the men and women of the Georgia National Guard fighting this pandemic,” said Governor Kemp. “Working with GEMA, DPH, and our partners in the medical field, the Georgia National Guard is providing critical support in our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate its impact on our state.”
Unit Operations Presently, Guardsmen from the Georgia Army and Air National Guard operate from the State Operations Center in Atlanta. Service members primarily serve as liaisons to receive and dispatch requests from state agencies to the Georgia National Guard’s Joint Operations Center for resourcing.
The Georgia National Guard is currently engaging two Medical Support Teams at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Georgia. The two teams – arriving on-site yesterday, March 26, and today, March 27 – are comprised of twenty-two service members, one doctor, two physician’s assistants, four nurses, thirteen military medics, and a medical supply specialist. The Georgia National Guard also provided five ventilators for use at Phoebe Putney and has an additional five service members currently supporting Pruitt Palmyra Nursing Home in Albany.
These teams provide support to the professional medical staff at each facility in order to enable them to focus on critical life-saving requirements. It is important to note that these teams do not exist in the military. They are “purpose built” and have been deployed to the point of need in just over a week.
In addition to these two teams deployed to Albany, the Georgia National Guard generated twelve more teams for deployment across the state.
Teri Anulewicz is a Democrat who represents House District 42 in the Georgia General Assembly. She previously spent nearly a decade on the Smyrna City Council. A native New Orleanian and quasi-Texan, Teri graduated from Agnes Scott College in 1998. She's been a front page contributor since 2015, and she compiles each Tuesday's Morning Reads.