With the surge of COVID-19 cases, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has ordered an increase of National Guard members for the second hospital relief mission, with up to 1,200 Oregon Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen mobilized as of Wednesday, Jan. 12.
This new activation of the Oregon National Guard is an increased from 500 to over 1,200 service members in 40 hospitals across the state. National Guard members will provide much-needed support for understaffed hospitals during this deployment, which will begin no later than Jan. 18.
The soldiers and airmen will serve in non-clinical support roles as material handlers, equipment runners, in addition to COVID testing support, laundry, custodial services, ensure hospital operations and other services in support of healthcare systems. The mission's planning is ongoing, with guard members placed on orders and assigned to hospitals.
This activation follows a prior deployment of over 1,500 Oregon National Guardsmen that provided the same non-clinical support rolls in Oregon hospitals that began in August of 2021 and ended in December 2021.
The Oregon National Guard comprises over 8,000 Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen, dedicated to serving the communities they live in and maintaining the ability to serve the nation in times of war.
The organization has the motto "always ready, always there" and is the largest part-time employer in the state. Its members, on average, serve one weekend a month with an additional two-week period a year while maintaining civilian employment.