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COVID-19 Update #2

By Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities

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To the Soldiers, Airmen, and Civilian Employees of the NHNG,

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate. Over the weekend, President Trump approved Title 32 status (100 percent federal reimbursement) for Washington, California and New York states.

Here in New Hampshire, we continue to take steps to mitigate risks to our force and families while posturing for state active duty missions. Our enduring priorities remain: 1) Protect the Force and Our Families, 2) Ensure That We Are Mission Ready, and 3) Support the Partners in the COVID Response.

Within the NHNG, we have taken the necessary steps to ensure you are not only protected, but can continue to do your job. We have instituted a liberal telework policy at Concord, Pease and our outlying armories. Maximum flexibility will be provided to unit commanders to accomplish their April drill. Dates and times will be scattered to reduce large gatherings while maintaining our readiness and maximizing virtual training opportunities to ensure that our soldiers and airmen can be paid.

Military IDs are by appointment only, our Veteran Service Officers are working remotely to handle their caseload, and burial services at the State Veterans Cemetery are graveside only with limited attendance. Family Assistance Centers (FAC) are on call 24/7. If you are having emotional or financial difficulties, reach out through the FACs resource and referral number at 1-877-598-0666, the Airman and Family Readiness Program Coordinator at 603-828-3892, or our Care Coordination Program at 1-888-989-9924.

Meanwhile, aviation operations continue at both Pease and Concord. Our maintainers are performing yeoman’s work, ensuring our aircraft are flight worthy and our crews can continue to fly in order to maintain their qualifications.

The pace picked up over the weekend with 18 NH guardsmen supporting three different state active duty missions:

1. Two guardsmen are serving as mission assignment coordinators at the state emergency operations centers. This will most likely be an enduring requirement for the length of the pandemic.

2. Six guardsmen are serving as an assessment team for developing hospital surge capacity at underutilized facilities, the first being at Southern NH University (SNHU).

3. And finally, a follow-up team of 10 guardsmen is installing equipment and materials to furnish SNHU with 250 bed spaces.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard, phrased it best at a recent press conference, “With COVID-19, it’s like having 54 different hurricanes hitting each state, territory and the District of Columbia. Some are category 5, some category 3, and others category 1. And unlike a hurricane, we don’t know when it will swing out to sea.”

Thanks for your support and professionalism as we live by our motto, “Always Ready, Always There.” I expect additional missions to roll our way and have complete confidence in your ability to protect and serve our communities and state.

Sincerely,

Major General David Mikolaities
Adjutant General
New Hampshire National Guard