JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, three U.S. Air Force Medical Specialty Teams, including members of the 59th Medical Wing, were part of a Department of Defense COVID-19 operation in Texas that deployed Nov. 6 to El Paso. U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command, will oversee the military operation in support of federal efforts and the state.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment to assist those in need as part of the whole-of-nation response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of FEMA,” said Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, ARNORTH and JFLCC commander. “Alongside our local, state and federal partners, we will work to mitigate this virus and care for El Pasoans.”
The teams, each comprised of approximately 20 military medical providers and several administrative personnel, will support three El Paso city hospitals: the University Medical Center of El Paso, the Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus and the Las Palmas Del Sol Medical Center.
The approximately 60 medical providers come from Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and elsewhere.
Elements of Task Force 46, formed primarily by the Michigan National Guard’s 46th Military Police Command, deployed to El Paso Nov. 4 to set the conditions for the arrival of the Air Force Medical Specialty Teams. Designated Task Force Center, this scalable organization will provide command and control of the 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 joint force.