ARNORTH to oversee California COVID-19 response operation

Commanding Officer of the 44th Medical Brigade, Col. Kimberlee Aiello, right, gives Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commanding general of U.S. Army North, a tour of the patient care area of Javits New York Medical Station, April 12, 2020. In support of the Department of Defense COVID-19 response, U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, is providing military support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help communities in need. (Navy photograph by Barry Riley)

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, approximately 75 U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force military medical personnel deployed to California as part of a Department of Defense COVID-19 response operation. U.S. Army North, the Joint Force Land Component Command of U.S. Northern Command, will oversee the military operation in support of federal and state efforts.

“We are committed to supporting the whole-of-America response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, ARNORTH and JFLCC commander. “Our military medical personnel provided strong support to the state of California during the summer and I know they will bring much needed relief to their civilian healthcare partners now.”

This week, approximately 65 U.S. Air Force military personnel, including doctors, nurses and others from the 60th Medical Group, Travis Air Force Base, Calif., part of COVID Theater Hospital 1, and ten U.S. Army nurses from the 627th Hospital Center, Fort Carson, Colo., part of Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force 627, will begin providing support to four hospitals in California: Dameron Hospital in Stockton, Adventist Health Lodi Memorial Hospital in Lodi, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton and Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.

Task Force 51, ARNORTH’s scalable, deployable command post, deployed to California last week to set the conditions for the arrival of the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force personnel. Elements of the task force previously deployed to Farmington, New Mexico, December 11, to set the conditions for the arrival of U.S. Navy Rural Rapid Response Teams in support of the Navajo Nation. This mobile headquarters will provide command and control of all military medical personnel in California and Navajo Nation.

Additionally, elements of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 377th Theater Sustainment Command from New Orleans, La., and the 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command from San Antonio, Texas, along with elements of the 1st Infantry Division’s Sustainment Brigade from Fort Riley, Kansas, will provide multi-component sustainment services to the military medical personnel.

In addition to this support to California, approximately 100 military medical personnel are currently working alongside civilian healthcare providers, helping treat COVID-19 patients in North Dakota, Wisconsin and in the Navajo Nation as part of the whole-of-America response to the pandemic.

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