Maryland National Guard Takes on New Missions

  • Published
  • By Capt. Benjamin Hughes
  • 175th Wing

Members of the Maryland Air National Guard began delivering cases with vials of Remdesivir from a Strategic National Stockpile warehouse to institutional pharmacies that directly serve skilled nursing facilities across the state, Jan. 14, 2022.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced the new Maryland National Guard missions during a press conference the previous day. Remdesivir is one of the therapeutic treatments believed to be effective against the Omicron variant.

“It’s always a very nice collaboration between the Guard and our office,” said Dr. Al Romanosky, medical director with the Maryland Office of Preparedness and Response. “They’ve been a valuable partner in terms of assisting the Maryland Department of Health, Office of Preparedness and Response in various missions and objectives required for COVID-19 operational response.”

In March of 2020, Airmen from the 175th Wing worked SNS warehouse processing and delivering over 59 million pieces of PPE and other critical medical equipment across Maryland as one state’s earliest responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Governor also announced that the MDNG will also support MDH with the distribution of 20 million KN95 and N95 masks, which provide additional infection protection compared to cloth and general use face masks. 

Guard members will also deliver masks directly to skilled nursing facilities, testing sites, and vaccination clinics run by the Vaccine Equity Task Force. 

“Because of this pandemic and the uncertainty of COVID in the community, we are providing relief for them,” U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Robert Perry, service superintendent for the 175th Force Support Squadron, MDANG. “We are providing an extra layer of safety. There’s a lot of people in the community who may not have access to masks or [can afford these.]”

In addition to mask and Remdesivir distribution, up to 1,000 MDNG members will be supporting MDH with missions for COVID-19 testing, supporting local hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, and assisting with non-life-threatening patient transport. 

“I am proud of all our Airmen,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jori Robinson, commander of the 175th Wing, MDANG. “Quickly volunteering to support these critical missions for Marylanders is a testament to their dedication to our state and our nation. The willingness of our Airmen to get the mission done, is one of reasons we are leading the way in multi-domain operations.”