Army North overseeing military COVID-19 response in Texas, California

By Ashley Tressel / July 14, 2020 at 11:19 AM

U.S. Army North and U.S. Northern Command's Joint Forces Land Component Command will oversee military operations in Texas and California as part of the Pentagon's response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, Army North announced yesterday.

The two commands will lead about 740 medical and support professionals from the Army, Navy and Air Force requested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"We are committed to assisting those in need as part of the ongoing whole-of-America response to COVID-19," Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, U.S. Army North commander, said in the release. "At the same time, we remain flexible and capable of providing other defense support to civil authorities as necessary."

In Texas, U.S. Northern Command assigned 580 military medical and support personnel from the Army and Navy to support FEMA and the state.

The first of those personnel, an 85-member enhanced Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force, from the 627th Hospital Center at Ft. Carson, CO, arrived July 6. The task force began treating patients at five San Antonio hospitals July 9.

"Our soldiers train daily to maintain clinical skills so we can save and sustain lives wherever and whenever the nation calls," UAMTF 627 Commander Lt. Col. Jason Hughes said. "We're proud to be here to support FEMA and Texas, and will work side by side with hospital workers to help communities as long as we are needed."

On July 10, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced a second 85-member Army UAMTF would go to Houston, the release states. Those personnel began to arrive in Texas yesterday.

In California, U.S. Northern Command assigned 160 military medical and support personnel from the Air Force to support FEMA and the state.