At the Ready

Governor Parson activates the Missouri National Guard

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The National Guard

“Missouri National Guard” by The National Guard is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

On Sept. 24, 2020, Missouri Governor Michael L. Parson issued executive order 20-17, activating the Missouri National Guard. The order declares that there is a state of emergency in Missouri due to civil unrest, according to governor.mo.com.

Parson issued the order following protests in downtown St. Louis that turned violent on Sept. 23, according to kctv5.com. The last time the National Guard was activated for a similar situation was in June.

Parson has stated that the role of the Missouri National Guard is more of a supportive one, providing security for infrastructure, such as police stations This frees up law enforcement, particularly the Highway Patrol, to address criminal activities. Besides being used to help contain civil unrest, the National Guard has been deployed since March 27 to help respond to the health and economic impacts of the virus, according to fox2now.com.

The National Guard was originally mobilized in March to support the COVID-19 response in Missouri, and now there are 265 soldiers on orders supporting those efforts. Parson has also extended the length of the National Guard’s support through Dec. 30, according to sos.mo.gov. The National Guard is helping set up and operate community-based testing sites, providing transportation of personnel and equipment for medical or testing support between states, support to local and state authorities and maintaining the construction of temporary medical or other facilities, according to moguard.ngb.mil.

The National Guard has been a significant supporter in Missouri’s response to COVID-19, providing medical supplies to hospitals and testing facilities, helping keep food banks and school lunches full of food, and maintaining current and future testing facilities. It is not certain how long the National Guard will be mobilized, and according to their mission statement, they will continue to support the “Show Me State.”