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Missouri National Guard called up, begins deployment

Missouri’s National Guard has is being mobilized across the state. Governor Mike Parson Friday signed the executive order to begin the full call up of the Missouri National Guard to assist with the COVID-19 response efforts.

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“The COVID-19 crisis is constantly developing and changing, but we are taking steps each and every day to slow the spread and protect public health and safety,” Governor Parson said. “Mobilizing the National Guard will help us provide more immediate resources to our citizens and enhance Missouri’s ability to overcome this global pandemic.”

Adjutant General Levon Cumpton said the Guard is training personnel in health and safety protocols. He said that training is in addition to the guidance soldiers already receive from the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control.

“The National Guard is ready and poised to assist local and state civilian authorities in response to COVID-19,” he said. “The Guard has flexibility in utilizing resources and deploying them around the state where they are most appropriate.”

In a Friday press conference, Gov. Parson said the National Guard will support the unified response to COVID-19.

The Missouri National Guard is preparing to conduct several potential missions including, but not limited to, the following:

  1. Assisting in the setup and operation of community-based testing sites
  2. Providing intrastate transportation of personnel and equipment for medical or testing support
  3. Providing logistical support to local and state responders as needed
  4. Continued assessment, facilitation, and construction of temporary medical or other facilities

Parson said Friday in a statement that the use of the National Guard will enhance coordination among state government partners and help the state “overcome this global pandemic.”

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, in a YouTube video released Thursday, asked that any recently retired doctors, nurses or other health care professional come back to work. Page, himself a physician, said he’s worried that hospitals will be overwhelmed soon.

“In the coming weeks our medical institutions will face a heavy burden,” Page said. “We need your help to make sure everyone gets the treatment that they need.”

A news release said the Missouri National Guard is fully integrated in the planning and execution of the COVID-19 response with both state and national partners. The Guard is working closely with Governor Parson, the Missouri Department of Public Safety, and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to support a coordinated response.

–Metro Voice and wire services