About 700 additional Nevada National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will enter the fight against COVID-19 this week, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced April 14.
That brings the total number of Nevada National Guardsmen on military orders to support the state’s COVID-19 response to about 800, the largest state activation in Nevada National Guard history.
This is the second activation during the COVID-19 response. Sisolak called 106 Soldiers and Airmen on state military orders April 6, two days after President Donald Trump approved the state’s major disaster declaration and additional federal funding. Those Guardsmen stood up donation management and supply distribution operations.
Nevada Guardsmen most recently called into service will provide medical support, food bank and warehouse logistics, transportation of supplies and set up of alternate care facilities. A majority are set to report in Las Vegas, where most of the Silver State’s confirmed cases and COVID-19 related deaths have occurred.
Guard medical professionals already working COVID-19 response in their civilian professions will not be asked to report and will remain working their critically important full-time jobs.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will approve all mission requests of the Nevada Guard for federally-funded requests pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The state of Nevada has requested large numbers of the Nevada National Guard force in the past for state activation, including about 400 Guardsmen during the post-Rodney King verdict riots in Las Vegas in 1992, at least 200 during the northern Nevada floods of 1997, and 140 in response to flooding in Lemmon Valley in 2017. The announcement of an additional 700 Guardsmen today would mark the largest state activation in Nevada’s history, according to research conducted by the Nevada National Guard public affairs office.
Across the nation, the National Guard provides a force of 450,000 Soldiers and Airmen throughout the 54 states, territories and District of Columbia capable of contributing to the response effort. About 30,000 Guardsmen have activated nationwide. The Nevada Guard includes about 3,200 Soldiers and 1,200 Airmen able to respond and assist any community in the Silver State.
National Guardsmen around the nation have typically provided support working to increase medical capacity; providing security at testing sites; managing food banks; delivering food and critical supplies; disinfecting public spaces and various other duties.