Trump Extends National Guard Orders, Qualifying Troops for Benefits

The California National Guard's 146th Airlift Wing held their annual Sept. 11th ceremony at Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Calif. on Sept. 11, 2019. The ceremony is an annual event for the wing. (Photo by Senior Airman Michelle Ulber)
The National Guard/Flickr

President Donald Trump on Thursday announced he is extending National Guard troops’ deployments in the fight against coronavirus until mid-August, which will allow them to qualify for certain benefits.

“The men and women of the National Guard have been doing a great job fighting the CoronaVirus. This week, I will extend their Title 32 orders through mid-August, so they can continue to help States succeed in their response and recovery efforts,” Trump tweeted.

The National Guard troops’ federal deployments were scheduled to end on June 24, which for many would have been just shy of the 90 days of duty needed to qualify for early retirement and education benefits.

Approximately 46,000 Air and Army National Guard troops are supporting the fight against the coronavirus that originated from China.

The deployment is the largest use of the National Guard for a domestic operation since Hurricane Katrina, according to the National Guard. More than 51,000 Guard members responded to that natural disaster.

However, whereas during Hurricane Katrina, the National Guard was deployed to one region, during the current fight, they are deployed in all 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia.

“The National Guard is as busy as it’s been for a very long time, and I’m proud to say we are trained and we are ready,” said National Guard Bureau Chief Gen. Joseph Lengyel in a statement Thursday.

“The men and women who put on this uniform expect to be called to duty and deployed around the world as part of the Army or Air Force. They expect to be called to duty for homeland emergencies, because that is a unique thing the National Guard does,” he said.

National Guard members are assisting at food banks, meal deliveries, serving as medical staff, supporting medical equipment delivery, distributing personal protective equipment, supporting law enforcement, conducting traffic control, performing testing, cleaning facilities, and many other critical tasks all across the nation.

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