Soldiers with the Nevada Army National Guard’s 1-221 Cavalry helped local hospitals transport, set up and secure tents for overflow patient care in one of many COVID-19 missions.
More than 1,000 Nevada Guard Soldiers and Airmen are on duty to support the coronavirus response across the state. This activation is one of the largest in Nevada history.
From warehouse operations to distribute emergency medical supplies to food distribution through the Clark County School District, the soldiers of the 221st have taken off their armor in exchange for humanitarian assistance to Las Vegans in this time of need.
On April 17, 1st Lt. Benjamin Holden, with the 221st Cavalry, began to command 17 soldiers to help hospitals transport and set up tents for emergency use by patients.
“Our mission is to set up tents for local hospitals, so if they were to hit capacity during this COVID-19 crisis, they would have an overflow area for patients.” Holden said.
Each tent will support about 20 patients.
None of the soldiers had experience setting up these structures, but one thing that Guard soldiers offer is a diverse civilian experience, Holden said.
“One of the great assets we have as Guard soldiers is being civilians in our everyday lives,” he said. “I think that experience helped us coordinate and eventually set up these tents. Some of these soldiers work construction: they’re planners and engineers.”
Many of the Nevada Guard soldiers called up have been furloughed or laid off due to this pandemic.
“Everyone involved has been impacted, whether you’re employed or not. You are still impacted in one way, shape, or form. Your way of life has changed, and it probably will be for some time.”