At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), about 90 military medical personnel — including doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists — are continuing to deploy in six teams to three states to support civilian health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.
“U.S. Army North’s priority remains defense of the homeland, which includes the ongoing, whole-of-government fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Army Lt. Gen. John R. Evans Jr., Army North commander, said. “It is a team effort — the Department of Defense is one of many federal agencies providing assistance — and I am thankful and proud of our service members’ role in this endeavor.”
The Defense Department support is beginning in Massachusetts and expanding to Arizona and Maine.
In Massachusetts, one 15-person team from the Air Force will support Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital in Brockton, while another 15-person Air Force team will support Lawrence General Hospital in Lawrence.
In Arizona, one 15-person team from the Navy will support Canyon Vista Medical Center in Sierra Vista, while another 15-person Navy team will support Valleywise Health Medical Center in Phoenix. These teams join a team supporting a hospital in Yuma.
In Maine, two 15-person teams from the Air Force will support Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. These teams join a team supporting a hospital in Lewiston.
In addition, the joint DOD effort currently or will soon include 30 teams working in 18 states: one in California, three in Connecticut, one in Indiana, two in Louisiana, one in Maryland, three in Michigan, one in Minnesota, one in Missouri, one in New Hampshire, one in New Jersey, one in New Mexico, five in New York, two in Ohio, two in Oklahoma, two in Pennsylvania, one in Rhode Island, one in Texas, one in Wisconsin, and one in the Navajo Nation.
Army North, under U.S. Northern Command’s oversight, provides operational command of the teams.
On Dec. 30, 2021, the secretary of defense approved the activation of 1,000 military medical personnel to support the federal government’s COVID-19 response. Five hundred of the 1,000 were made available to support requests for federal support on Jan. 15, 2022. The other 500 became available at the end of the month.
These 1,000 personnel join about 400 other military medical personnel, previously activated to assist civilian hospitals.
Most of the personnel helping with the FEMA effort are from the recently assigned additional forces. In total, more than 570 of the 1,000 additional forces are supporting, or will soon support, hospitals.