|Governor Activates Massachusetts National Guard|
|06:55PM / Thursday, March 19, 2020|
BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker late Thursday activated the Massachusetts National Guard to support the commonwealth's response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Baker's order authorizes activation of up to 2,000 National Guard members who will be tasked with supporting requests from state agencies for equipment, logistics, warehousing, and related duties. Local cities, towns, and state agencies should submit requests for support through the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
"Activating the National Guard will help support our administration's efforts to keep residents safe and secure during the COVID-19 outbreak," said Baker in a statement. "The expertise of the Massachusetts National Guard will benefit our communities with logistical support and other assistance as we continue to respond to this crisis."
The activation order reflects the governor's statutory authority to activate the Guard under state active duty to provide necessary assistance to state and municipal civilian authorities.
The National Guard is a diverse and trained force whose members live and work in communities across the commonwealth. The Guard has a proven track record of success supporting civilian authorities during and after state emergencies, and its units frequently train side-by-side with state and local first-responders, making them well-suited for domestic operations, according to the governor's office.
On March 10, Baker declared a state of emergency, giving the administration more flexibility to respond to the novel coronavirus outbreak.