JOHNSTON, Iowa — Approximately 75 Soldiers from the 734th Regional Support Group, based at Camp Dodge in Johnston, were activated on March 27 to assist with COVID-19 response efforts in the state. That’s according to a news release from Col. Michael Wunn, of the Iowa National Guard. That brings the total to over a hundred guard members working in this effort.
Soldiers assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 734th Regional Support Group and its subordinate units, the 1034th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, out of Camp Dodge, and the 1133rd Transportation Company, out of Mason City, will provide additional logistical and transportation assets to the fight against COVID-19.
While many Iowans are used to seeing numerous Iowa Guard deployments for service overseas, or even help during times of flooding, this is a new mission of delivering critical medical supplies.
“Some of the most important missions, the missions they focus on is the delivery of the PPE, the medical personal protective equipment that the healthcare professionals and the first responders use to protect themselves from exposure as they’re treating COVID19,” said Wunn. “They’ve been delivering that on behalf of the Iowa Department of Public Health, and Iowa Homeland Security and Management to Counties across the state.”
“We are working to support our healthcare partners with a PPE request that was put in through the state that was just delivered and we’re working on getting that cued up and sit out to our partners in healthcare,” said Josh Harding of Jasper County Emergency Management.
‘For our mission was to pick up medical supplies and relocate them to people around the state that are in need,” said Tanner Thompson, a National Guard Truck Driver from Green Mountain.
“I think it’s important the National Guard today is much different it was many years ago,” said Wunn. “We still talk about the one weekend a month and two weeks of the year and that’s the foundational requirements that we have from a training perspective.”