FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic due to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Two weeks later, at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Army North (ARNORTH), as U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command (JFLCC), began providing military support to validated requests for assistance across the nation.On March 26, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura J. Richardson, ARNORTH and JFLCC commander said, “As the Secretary of Defense directed, we will rapidly and effectively deploy military capabilities to assist our U.S. government partners across the country who are responding to this national emergency.”Since then, the JFLCC has deployed more than 10,000 Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, Marines and Coast Guardsmen to support the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.Of these, more than 4,400 were military medical personnel. They deployed to 68 hospitals, in 48 cities, in 14 states - Arizona, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin - and the Navajo Nation.“We have rapidly employed scalable and tailorable medical capabilities - everything from medical staff for alternate care facilities to integrated medical teams from various services and components - to assist in multiple states,” said Richardson.No single quote encapsulates the impact of this multi-state support like that of a New York hospital nurse in response to the military medical personnel arriving to assist: "You were our miracle when we needed a miracle most."While focused on its number one mission, homeland defense, ARNORTH recognizes that the pandemic is not yet over.“We will continue to protect our people by adhering to force health protection measures, monitoring COVID-19 trends, and leveraging lessons learned, as we continue to defend the homeland and maintain our readiness,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Phil K. Barretto, ARNORTH senior enlisted leader.One lesson learned during the response was the need to not only care for the COVID-19 patients, but the medical providers as well. The JFLCC supported the healthcare workers, support staff and mortuary affairs personnel by deploying more than 175 behavioral health specialists and military chaplains to provide resiliency support.“We are ensuring that our deployed service members have the emotional support they need to carry out these crucial, and at times somber missions,” said Richardson.The behavioral health personnel also exchanged information with their civilian counterparts to share behavioral health and resiliency program information and best practices through a series of webinars.For photos and videos on the Defense Department’s support to the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic visit: https://www.dvidshub.net/unit/DSFC19