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NEWS | Dec. 1, 2020

Pa. National Guard Operation COVID-19 Summary

By Lt. Col. Keith Hickox

As of December 1, nearly 250  Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) members remain activated in supporting the response to COVID-19. At it's peak, there were over 1,500 members activated in support.  

Under Gov. Tom Wolf’s proclamation of disaster emergency, signed March 6, the PNG can enter onto state active duty for missions designated by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. The PNG receives its tasks from PEMA under any state of emergency.

To date, the PNG has assisted in:

The PNG is currently continuing support to:

  • long-term nursing and care facilities - To date, over 200 PNG providers, nurses, medics and general purpose service members have assisted over 80 facilities in total with assessments, supplemental staffing and/or training on PPE and infection control. 
  • mobile testing, where the PNG is sending teams into long-term care facilities identified by Dept. of Health to conduct point prevalence sampling. To date, testing has been conducted in 38 different facilities with over 24,000 tests completed.  
  • planning with our state partner agencies

The PNG has set up its Joint Operations Center and all five Pennsylvania Task Forces, the same ones used for storms and other state emergencies. The geographic task forces, known as PTF Force North, PTF South and PTF West, provide localized command and control over the PANG units, resources and tasks within their assigned geographic areas. The two functional task forces are known as PTF Aviation and PTF Support.  

Members of the PNG live and work in communities throughout Pennsylvania and are following the Pennsylvania Department of Health recommendations to protect their force, families and fellow Pennsylvanians.

The PNG had canceled or went virtual with most of its scheduled training in March, April and May to support mitigation efforts and help protect the force, families and communities. Units that had been preparing to deploy overseas continued that preparation with special measures taken to prevent transmission.  In June, many units started returning to their regularly scheduled drills and annual training while implementing mitigation efforts such as social distancing, wearing masks and alternating schedules to reduce the size of groups.  

The Pennsylvania National Guard has approximately 1,500 Soldiers and Airmen currently deployed around the world as part of our federal mission.