JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
At the request of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Indian Health Service, approximately 25 U.S. Navy medical personnel deployed to Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona this week as part of a Department of Defense COVID-19 response operation. 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 tribe.
“Our commitment to support the whole-of-America response to the COVID-19 pandemic remains strong,” said Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, ARNORTH and JFLCC commander. “We consider this obligation sacred, and will work tirelessly to alleviate the burden of the coronavirus on the Navajo Nation as we have elsewhere.”
The military medical personnel, part of four Rapid Rural Response Teams, will come from several locations and support two IHS hospitals, the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico, and the Chinle Comprehensive Healthcare Facility in Chinle, Arizona.
Elements of Task Force 51, ARNORTH’s scalable, deployable command post, deployed to Farmington, New Mexico, Dec. 11, to set the conditions for the arrival of the RRRTs. Designated Task Force West, this mobile headquarters will provide command and control of the teams.
Additionally, elements of the U.S. Army Reserve's 377th Theater Sustainment Command from New Orleans, Louisiana, and the 4th Expeditionary Sustainment Command from San Antonio, Texas, 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.