COVID-19 Update #6
By Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities
/ Published April 20, 2020
CONCORD, N.H. --
To the Soldiers, Airmen, and Civilian Employees of the NHNG,
Our lines of effort continue to increase as we begin week six of what has been the longest continuous mobilization of New Hampshire National Guard resources for a domestic response in the past half century. Not since an 18-month stretch from 2006 to 2007, when three separate 100-year storms devastated the Granite State with severe flooding, has the National Guard been used with such frequency.
More than 350 NH guardsmen are supporting eight different missions across the state, doubling the number of citizen soldiers and airmen activated from a week ago. It’s fair to say you are everywhere, right beside our first responders, healthcare workers, and state emergency planners as they make a difference every day.
This week, our 12th Civil Support Team joins the state’s COVID-19 response with a mobile testing lab to help expedite testing results at select locations. In addition, we have drastically increased call center operation support for unemployment claims as well as providing staff for entry control screening at three state facilities. Furthermore, the warehouse and national stockpile distribution efforts have doubled as the state receives hundreds of thousands of additional pieces of personal protective equipment.
Overseas, it’s the same good news story. Eighty-six of our fellow soldiers and airmen are supporting combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere throughout the Middle East, while several of our NHARNG units prepare for their nine month deployment rotations in the next calendar year. Three guardsmen are supporting the Southwest Border Mission, and another eight are involved in other stateside missions.
With April being the month of the military child, I’d like to take a moment and recognize the sacrifices made by our Guard families. Military children often have a parent or parents who are called to serve their nation whether for drill, training, deployment or state active duty, and may miss a birthday, holiday or other special events. Our military children have been especially resilient and brave while we are all under stay-at-home orders and school has transitioned to a remote learning setting.
April is also national volunteer month. The NHNG has more than 100 volunteers and more than 65 of them work with unit command teams as part of Soldier and Family Readiness Groups. Many of our volunteers are spouses or parents who share their service member’s volunteer spirit. Approximately 35 of our volunteers work with NH Employment Support for the Guard and Reserves (ESGR). Most of our ESGR volunteers are prior service members themselves. Our volunteers contribute countless hours of their time and skills each month enhancing the quality of life for our guardsmen. They deserve our sincere appreciation for their contributions to the force.
As our missions continue, remember to safeguard against complacency and rumors. Stay informed. Maintain social distancing and hygiene protocols. If you are struggling financially or emotionally, contact the FAC’s resource and referral number at 1-877-598-0666, the Airman and Family Readiness Program Coordinator at 603-828-3892, or our Care Coordination Program at 1-888-989-9924.
Stay the course. Our state and nation remain forever grateful.
Major General David Mikolaities
New Hampshire National Guard