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NEWS | Nov. 25, 2020

ARNORTH expands military COVID-19 operations to North Dakota

By U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) Public Affairs U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) Public Affairs

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, 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."

Twenty ICU nurses and 40 medical surgical nurses have been split among major hospitals throughout the state hospitals in the on-going fight against COVID-19. The personnel, who are primarily nurses, including critical care nurses, will provide much-needed assistance. 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 Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph, Texas; Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; 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.