Texas National Guard mobilizes to assist in state response to coronavirus

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File photo of a member of the Texas National Guard. (Nexstar File Photo)

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Members of the Texas Army, Air National Guard and Texas State Guard have been activated in response to COVID-19.

According to a statement by the Texas Military Department, the units “are assembling in preparation for operations around the state.”

“These Guardsmen will provide a quick response in the event of a state emergency,” the department wrote in an emailed statement. “Guard [sic] members are trained to provide a number of capabilities such as medical support, communication support, infrastructure maintenance, logistics and transportation.”

“The men and women of the Texas National Guard stand ready and prepared to assist our fellow Texans as requested by the Governor and state and federal emergency response forces,” Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, Adjutant General of Texas, said in a statement Wednesday. “We have a uniquely varied skillset which allows us to respond to this type of event, while maintaining our global operations in the warfight.”

Gov. Greg Abbott activated the units as a preparedness measure to prepare to assist with the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Our Texas National Guard has unique resources and equipment to support our civilian partners, their civilian partners, and they bring a wide breadth of expertise that we can use as an asset to help us with COVID-19,” State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels, said by phone on Wednesday.

“They’re there to help direct assistance to hospitals or health care professionals if they need to do that,” Campbell said.

“I don’t think this is a signal for any impending lockdown at all, but should we need to expand hospital beds or change traffic patterns, just any host of things that can potentially come up, if large numbers of people were to get sick, then we’ve got extra hands on deck that have critical knowledge and expertise to help with any type of emergencies that we, we have in our communities,” Campbell added.

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