1000w_q95 1.jpg

Airmen with the Montana National Guard don personal protective equipment before screening passengers for COVID-19 at the Great Falls International Airport, Montana, April 3, 2020. Seventy-three Montana Army and Air National Guardsmen and women have been activated for State Active Duty by Montana Governor Steve Bullock to screen 17 locations in an effort to flatten the curve around the state.

HELENA, Mont. - The Montana National Guard is taking over COVID-19 support operations this week after being pulled from wildfire response earlier this month.

Two official requests were received by the Montana National Guard asking for personnel for COVID-19 Operations to start on Sept. 15.

Personnel will be volunteering to support the request under 502F orders according to Montana National Guard Public Information Officer, Robert B. Allinson.

A message was also sent out to all Montana National Guard Soldiers and Airmen asking for additional volunteers to help as needed.

At this time, 10 personnel will be activated to support the Billings Clinic, and seven will be activated to support the State Lab/Warehouse.

As of Monday, the Billings Clinic is the only hospital in the state to request resources from the Guard. When the clinic made its initial request, nearly 600 Guard soldiers were activated as a part of the state’s wildland fire response a release from the Office of the Governor said.

Since then, mid-September has been identified as the target date to fulfill the hospital’s request and starting Wednesday, volunteers will begin assisting the hospital.

“Billings Clinic is incredibly grateful to have support from the Montana National Guard to help with immense capacity and staffing challenges we are experiencing with this latest COVID-19 surge. We thank Gov. Greg Gianforte and his team along with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, local and state Disaster and Emergency Services, the Montana National Guard and everyone involved in securing these critical resources during this time of great need,” said Scott Ellner, DO, CEO, Billings Clinic.