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20-011 Kansas National Guard supports state efforts to combat COVID-19 virus

March 20, 2020 | By slarson

The current global situation involving the COVID-19 virus is at the forefront of the news, and the Kansas National Guard is doing its part to support the communities of Kansas.

"The National Guard is a unique military component with both a state and federal mission," Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, said. "Our more than 6,500 Guardsmen and women live and work in the communities we serve.

"One of the primary missions of the Kansas National Guard is to protect the health and safety of Kansans," Tafanelli said. "Currently, there are seven Soldiers and 14 Airmen on State Active Duty in Topeka who are providing logistics support to the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. These Soldiers and Airmen are supporting the State Emergency Operations Center and the Joint Operations Center in order to prepare to support local authorities."

"I am proud of the work these men and women do as citizen-soldiers and airmen - especially in the face of emergencies that threaten Kansans," Governor Laura Kelly said. "They live and work in our communities, and yet always are prepared when called to duty - whether at the state or federal level.  For that, they all deserve our support and praise.  They also share my highest priority, which is to protect the safety and well-being of all Kansans."

The men and women of the Kansas National Guard provide a strong skillset that can be drawn upon to support local and state missions in response to the COVID-19 virus if called upon to do so.

The Kansas National Guard is one of many resources available to support counties as needed.  The National Guard supports state emergency missions through the established process used by the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. "These are historic times," Tafanelli said, "and our Guardsmen are ready to help Kansans mitigate the effects of this coronavirus outbreak as they have done for all other natural disasters that have impacted Kansas such as wildland fires, tornadoes and flooding."