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ARNORTH to expand military COVID-19 operations to North Dakota

Photo of U.S. Air Force Capt. Kimberly Warstler, R.N.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Kimberly Warstler, R.N., stationed at Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., dons proper personal protective equipment to enter a room with a COVID-19 positive patient at the Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, Nov. 13, 2020. Warstler is a Lone Star State native, having received her nursing degree from Texas Tech University, and says she’s proud to return to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. She, along with approximately 60 service members, are working jointly with the civilian hospitals to assist in the mitigation of the virus and help citizens in need. U.S. Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, remains committed to providing flexible Department of Defense support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in support of the whole-of-America COVID-19 response. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Samantha Hall)

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Defense is deploying approximately 60 U.S. Air Force medical personnel to support hospitals across multiple locations in North Dakota. U.S. Army North (ARNORTH), the Joint Force Land Component Command of U.S. Northern Command, will oversee the military operation in support of Federal efforts and the state.

"Our actions demonstrate our steadfast commitment to help communities in need as part of the whole-of-America response to the COVID-19 pandemic in support of FEMA," said Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, ARNORTH and JFLCC commander. "North Dakotans can expect the same high quality care we've provided in other cities across the U.S. as we continue to coordinate alongside our local, state, and federal partners to respond to the pandemic and help save lives."

The personnel, who are primarily nurses, including critical care nurses, will provide much needed assistance to several hospitals in four North Dakota cities. The hospitals are Essentia Health-Fargo and Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, CHI St. Alexius Health Medical Center and Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck, Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, and Trinity Hospital - St Joseph's in Minot.

The military medical personnel will come from several locations, to include Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and JBSARandolph, Texas; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; and Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

Under the command of ARNORTH, elements of Task Force 46, formed primarily by the Michigan Army National Guard's 46th Military Police Command, will deploy to Bismarck, North Dakota, to assist in the arrival of the Air Force Medical Specialty Teams. Designated as “Task Force Center,” this scalable organization will provide oversight of the military medical teams.

Additionally, elements of the U.S. Army Reserve's 377th Theater Sustainment Command from New Orleans, and the 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command from San Antonio, 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 teams.

The Task Force and the sustainment commands also continue to support the military COVID-19 response effort in El Paso, which ARNORTH announced earlier this month, following an approved FEMA request for assistance.

For additional information, contact ARNORTH Public Affairs office at usarmy.jbsa.arnorth.mbx.paomedia-operations@mail.mil or (210) 428-9835.

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