WILSONVILLE, Ore. – The Oregon National Guard has conducted numerous missions throughout the state in response to COVID-19 while focusing on distributing millions of pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE).On March 29, 14 Soldiers from the Oregon Army National Guard (ORARNG) were called by the state of Oregon for a two-week mission to support the COVID-19 response effort. As the coronavirus rapidly spread, so did the demand for support, ultimately expanding to 183 Soldiers over 79 days.Soldiers of Task Force Assurance completed 2,604 missions, distributing more than 46 million pieces of PPE to all 36 Oregon counties, nine Tribal Nations, and two Tribal Health Agencies, covering approximately 140,000 miles throughout the state.The ORARNG helped ship 140 ventilators to New York and provided nearly 1 million masks to agricultural workers throughout Oregon.“We did what was required of the state at the time,” said Col. Philip DeMontigny, commander, Task Force Assurance. “I think the most important thing is that we know that if we need to flex the Guard, we can. We can quickly get Soldiers on duty and then throw them whatever, and they’re going to make the adjustments.”ORARNG, working alongside state partners, helped ensure a rapid and unified response. With support from Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) and the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST), Task Force Assurance distributed PPE acquired through the U.S. National Strategic Reserve, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state of Oregon, including face masks, gloves, face shields, gowns, and hand sanitizer.As delivery trucks arrived full of PPE at the central distribution hub in Wilsonville, Soldiers received, inventoried, and staged tens of millions of pieces of various PPE. The equipment was allocated to counties, tribes and medical facilities throughout Oregon based on population density and COVID-19 cases.DeMontigny attributed the success of his team to skill sets that are unique to the National Guard.“Regardless of military occupational specialty, the dual status of the National Guard and Reserves allows that opportunity for the civilian skill sets to be utilized within emergency situations,” he said.These skills, paired with military training in logistics, enabled the task force to adapt quickly and create a force structure to achieve the mission. In tactical logistics, the Brigade Support Battalion (BSB) supplies the Forward Support Companies (FSCs), which distribute supplies to forces on the front lines.Orders distributed from the Wilsonville central hub were transported throughout seven regional county assistance teams (CATs) consisting of approximately 12 Soldiers each, at armories in key locations across the state. From there, they were transported to the end users, similar to distribution in tactical logistics.With this unique merging of civilian and military knowledge, combined with infrastructure and logistics already in place by the Oregon Military Department, Soldiers of Task Force Assurance were able to get PPE to the user in as little as 24 hours of the allocation.“What we bring is, regardless of how modular the mission is, we can create a functioning unit that has a structure,” DeMontigny said. “Once that’s done, we can quickly adjust to whatever the mission is.”With fire season around the corner and the potential earthquake risk of the Cascadia subduction zone, DeMontigny has confidence in the ORARNG's readiness.“I’m glad that the task force could prove our value to the state as a response to domestic operations,” he said.For more National Guard newsNational Guard FacebookNational Guard TwitterHow the National Guard is helpingPhotos of the National Guard responseLatest from the CDCU.S. responseWhite House-CDC response