Kentucky National Guard deployed during state of emergency

Published: Mar. 23, 2020 at 1:20 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

As part of the state of emergency issued by the governor, the Kentucky National Guard has been deployed.

This comes as the guard prepares for more medical supplies to arrive in the state.

Guardsmen and women are monitoring supplies and personnel.

Officials said this does not include preparing to institute martial law or to establish a security force to keep people in their homes.

“We are definitely not performing martial law. We are here to support, augment and enable the local agencies, the governor’s initiatives," said Brigadier General Jeffrey L. Wilkinson.

Governor Beshear activated the National Guard when he declared a state of emergency once Kentucky reported its first COVID-19 cases.

“We are Kentuckians. We are here to serve our fellow Kentuckians in the commonwealth. We signed up to serve and protect our nation as well as our state," explained General Wilkinson.

Beshear said Kentucky does not have all the medical supplies it will need once cases spike. It could be up to the guard to help disperse those supplies once they do arrive.

“We are doing that in line with logistics, supply chain management. We are a force to supply whatever the governor’s needs are," General Wilkinson pointed out. "So for example we have used warehousing space to break down some of the national stockpile to provide PPE to first responders in the medical system."

There is still a shortage of masks, gowns and goggles but the guard will work to get all of that to the right people.

About 50 additional people are working but those numbers could increase once supplies arrive in the Bluegrass.

“We are proud of the opportunity to serve. We flex as needed to meet our state’s requirements," said General Wilkinson. "We are used to dealing with adversity. Flexing against different kinds of enemies. The pandemic is one."

National Guard officials said they are also making sure they are doing their work apart from one another to keep the virus from spreading within their personnel.