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News | June 9, 2020

COVID-19 Update #11

By Maj. Gen. David Mikolaities

To the Soldiers, Airmen, and Civilian Employees of the NHNG,
After three months of continuous activation, we have finally helped turn the tide against the COVID-19 pandemic. Your dedication and commitment to your communities and fellow citizens is paying off.
There has been no greater symbol of our success, than the initial closure last week of six of the 14 additional care sites that we fielded at the start of this unprecedented response in March. And more to follow, as not one extra bed has been needed. We also completed our cyber mission in support of the state’s Department of Information Technology.
But while signs of a steady recovery are promising for the state, it’s far too early to proclaim victory. And as we experienced last week, it’s far too early to let our guard down.
Demonstrations triggered by the May 25 death in Minneapolis of George Floyd blanketed the state as well as our country. In seven days, we supported 17 standby missions to assist state and local law enforcement, if necessary, to protect life, property and the right of our fellow citizens to demonstrate peacefully. We had up to 400 New Hampshire guardsmen ready. Fortunately, they were not needed.
The tragic loss of one of our own continues to reverberate through our formation. Cpl. Pamela Anne Usanase, a 21-year-old culinary specialist with the 3643d Brigade Support Battalion, will truly be missed. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers. Calling hours are scheduled for this Saturday, June 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Bennett Funeral Home in Concord.
Across the state, our five task forces are still deeply engaged in relief operations. PPE is still being stored and delivered; for the seventh consecutive week our all-NHARNG team of cooks and food handlers supported the NH Food Bank with a large scale, drive-thru mobile pantry; our call center operators continue to handle unemployment claims, and our mobile response testing teams are still filling a crucial need in support of our most vulnerable population at nursing homes and assisted care facilities. Our mapping operations continue at the Grappone Conference Center as well as our hotel operations and security and medical screening for our guardsmen and state employees.
Overseas, our deployed soldiers and airmen, 86 in all, continue to do their part supporting combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere throughout the Middle East. Three guardsmen continue to support the Southwest Border mission, while nine others are supporting stateside missions.
Remember to safeguard against complacency and rumors. Stay informed and be especially mindful of social distancing and hygiene protocols.
Thank you for staying the course. What you’ve accomplished matters. You have been a reassuring presence for our state and nation.
Major General David Mikolaities
Adjutant General
New Hampshire National Guard