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Montana National Guard activates 73 soldiers, airmen for COVID-19 response

Posted at 4:36 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 20:25:53-04

The Montana National Guard Public Affairs Office said in a press release 73 guard men and women will assist in screening for COVID-19 at airports and train stations.

Following is the press release from the National Guard:

Seventy three Montana Army and Air National Guard men and women have been activated for State Active Duty by Montana Governor Steve Bullock in response to COVID-19. The Soldiers and Airmen will be used in 11 cities and 17 locations within those cities around the state and will begin their duties on Friday, 3 April.

“Per the Governor’s directive, the Guardsmen will be tasked to screen individuals arriving in Montana from other states and countries through our airports and train stations. The Soldiers and Airmen will be located at airports in: Bozeman, Billings, Kalispell, Missoula, Helena, Great Falls and Butte. Screening will include all arriving passengers at the airport terminals and most privately owned fixed base operations located at these major airports. We will also be screening individuals entering Montana by train at stations in: Whitefish, Havre, Shelby and Wolf Point,” said Major General Matthew Quinn, the Adjutant General and Montana COVID -19 Task Force Leader.

Additionally, each location will have a Montana National Guard liaison officer to work with local Disaster and Emergency Services representatives, public health officials, airport management and Transportation Safety Administration officials. The liaison will work with each team to monitor inbound flight and train arrivals.

Prior to being staged at the airports and train station, all Guardsmen will be trained in how to properly screen, wear protective equipment and be fully versed on the Governor’s directive for execution.

“At the request of the Governor, Montana National Guardsman volunteers are stepping forward across the state to assist in the on-going effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In this time of need, the National Guard team will conduct screening with professionalism and will always treat Montana citizens and visitors with the dignity and respect they are entitled to. We are preparing our Soldiers and Airmen to respond to all future requests for assistance to support communities across the state,” said Quinn.