Gov. Mike Parson has signed an executive order to begin having Missouri National Guard members aid in the state’s battle against COVID-19. In a press release, Parson says soldiers will help to provide more immediate resources to Missourians and enhance the state’s ability to overcome the global pandemic.

Parson mobilizes National Guard in Missouri’s fight against coronavirus

Parson made the decision after conferring with some state department leaders.

“The COVID-19 crisis is constantly developing and changing, but we are taking steps each and every day to slow the spread and protect public health and safety,” says Parson. “Mobilizing the National Guard will help us provide more immediate resources to our citizens and enhance Missouri’s ability to overcome this global pandemic.”

During a Capitol press conference, Parson says he has signed an executive order to call on guard members to help.

“But I want to be perfectly clear, this is not about putting Missouri under martial law,” says Parson. “This is a planning stage operation to provide more assistance to Missourians and increase our capacity to deploy resources quickly. “The Guard will play a major role in supporting state and local communities, including the potential support of COVID-19 testing and transporting equipment and supplies – just as we did during the floods last year.”

Adjutant General Levon Cumpton says the Guard is providing specialized health and safety training to all personnel being mobilized in addition to guidance already received from the federal government.

“The National Guard is ready and poised to assist local and state civilian authorities in response to COVID-19,” Brigadier General Levon Cumpton says. “The Guard has flexibility in utilizing resources and deploying them around the state where they are most appropriate.”

According to National Guard Col. Anna Friederich-Maggard, 75 full-time members have been mobilized at this time.

Here’s the executive order: