KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Dozens of local Air National Guard members were deployed to hospitals in the Springfield-Eugene area to help deal with the COVID-19 surge.
50 airmen from the 173rd Fighter Wing based at Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls were activated on September 1 to assist with logistical support for hospitals.
“Oregon hospitals are at maximum capacity and our communities have asked for help from the National Guard,” said Col. Micah Lambert, 173rd FW vice commander. “Our activation can provide assistance that increases capacity and patient care. While the tasks we are being asked to perform are not direct patient care, this support will free up medical professionals and provide additional beds; that could be lifesaving.”
The deployment is part of Governor Kate Brown’s activation of 1,500 Oregon National Guard members to better support healthcare providers during an increase of COVID cases and staff shortages.
The airmen will work in non-clinical roles such as material handling, testing support, laundry, and custodial services.
“Our Airmen are highly capable, skilled, educated, and multifaceted individuals,” said Lambert. “We are teachers, private business owners, mechanics, students, commercial pilots, executives; we are in the community and we are your neighbors. We are citizen Airmen and ready to serve when called.”