Military medical personnel

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jarimaris Garcia, a registered nurse stationed at Joint Base Andrews, Md., prepares medical equipment for incoming patients within the emergency department of Del Sol Medical Center, El Paso, Texas, Nov. 24, 2020.

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas – At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, approximately 60 military medical personnel deployed in three 20-person teams, each to one of three states – Idaho, Arkansas and Alabama – to support civilian health care workers treating COVID-19 patients in local hospitals.

A 20-person team from the U.S. Army is supporting Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene. The hospital — which is the largest in northern Idaho — is struggling to accept any of the high-level trauma patients that would normally be transferred from the smaller hospitals in the region because of its high number of COVID-19 patients, according to a Tuesday report by the Associated Press.

These three teams join six other teams currently working in six hospitals — three in Louisiana, two in Mississippi, and one in a different Alabama city. U.S. Army North, under U.S Northern Command’s oversight, will provide operational command of the active-duty military COVID-19 response in support of federal efforts and the states.

“This is the first time Department of Defense medical assets have deployed to support both Idaho and Arkansas during the pandemic,” said Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, ARNORTH commander. “We are proud to be called upon to support our local, state, and federal partners there, and in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, in this whole-of-government response.”

The military medical personnel include nurses, respiratory therapists and medical doctors.

In Arkansas, another 20-person team from the U.S. Army will support University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

In Alabama, one 20-person team from the U.S. Navy will support Dale Medical Center in Ozark. They join a U.S. Air Force team already in Dothan.

ARNORTH is the joint force land component command of USNORTHCOM.

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