New York Army National Guard Lt. Col. Aaron Lefton, commander of the state’s COVID-19 response force, recognized members of the task force for excellence during the past seven months of duties during ceremonies held in the Capital Region and Central New York November 11-12, 2020.
Staff Sgt. Katherine Michaloski from Dansville received a commander’s challenge coin for exemplary service with the task force COVID-19 response efforts. Michaloski is normally assigned to the 427th Brigade Support Battalion and has supported the Task Force COVID missions at the Oriskany logistics site.
Soldiers and Airmen continue to help staff 15 COVID-19 drive-in test sites located across the state from Long Island to Buffalo. As of November 20, personnel helped administer 802,000 tests at those locations.
New York National Guard personnel are also working to help state emergency and department of health personnel conduct logistics and warehouse operations at warehouse facilities located across New York.
Another enduring mission is the assembly of COVID-19 test kits in support of the New York State Department of Health. Guard Soldiers and Airmen have assembled 4,390,000 COVID-19 test kits for distribution across the state.
On Saturday, October 17, New York National Guard Soldiers and Airmen picked up a new mission; assisting the Department of Health in screening travelers entering New York at state airports.
Personnel will replace Department of Health employees who have been collecting travel advisory forms. Troops assisted with the collection of 437,500 travel advisory health forms at seven state airports.
More than 1,475 service members of the New York National Guard remain on duty November 20 for the state’s COVID-19 response. Initial operations began with 200 personnel in New Rochelle, N.Y. in early March.
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The New York National Guard (New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs) is the state’s executive agency responsible to the Governor for managing New York’s Military Forces, which consists of nearly 20,000 members of the New York Army National Guard, the New York Air National Guard, the New York Naval Militia and the New York Guard.