Corvid-19 Update: Department of Defense Statement on the use of National Guard

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has noted that the President of the United States Donald Trump modified and accelerated the process for how the Department of Defense authorizes the use of State National Guard Units under Title 32 Section 502(f).

The modification creates a conditional pre-authorization in response to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requests that ensures quicker federal funding for State National Guard forces mobilizing to aid in whole-of-government COVID-19 response efforts, according to a report for all first-responder organizations such as the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

“This authorization enables your timely use of the National Guard to save lives and protect public health and safety,” Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper said in a letter sent to local, state and federal agencies and the news media.

“The men and women of the National Guard are Citizen-Soldiers who stand ready to serve their communities as we fight COVID-19,” said Esper

The authorization is subject to several conditions:

  1. The States and territories or FEMA must identify specific requirements for COVID-19 support in accordance with the Stafford Act.
  2. For requirements originating from the States and territories, these requests must be submitted to FEMA
  3. FEMA then provides the Department of Defense with a fully reimbursable mission assignment.

Noting that FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center is the single point of entry for all requests for assistance, Secretary Esper told the governors that DOD will immediately approve requests meeting these conditions.

This action is one more measure the Department of Defense is taking to assist our interagency partners in the effort to check the advance of COVID-19.

–attributable to Jonathan Hoffman, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs








Edited by Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He's formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, a columnist, and a contributor to the nationally syndicated talk-radio program, the Chuck Wilder Show.. He's former chief of police at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at St. Peter's University and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.

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