Ohio National Guard, Defense Force transition COVID response to smaller team


COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — The Ohio National Guard and Ohio State Defense Force are transitioning from an emergency COVID response to a smaller, more flexible response.

In March 2020, Governor Mike DeWine ordered over 4,000 members to be deployed across Ohio to assist with local, county and state COVID initiatives. These contributions included providing 360,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, working with foodbank to help over 2.9 million Ohioans and helping at 30 long-term care facilities.

Service members started transitioning away from these July 2, bringing the total number of active personnel to around 180 as of July 19. Maj. Gen. John C. Harris Jr., Ohio’s adjutant general, is working to scale back further by July 30, leaving roughly 40 people to provide logistics and vaccination support across the state.

Federal funding for the mission is scheduled to continue until the end of September.

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