The Arizona National Guard (AZNG) partnered with Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) and several GRIC organizations during a large-scale, drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination event at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix on Feb. 20. During the event, more than 900 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered to GRIC members that will help provide much needed relief to the GRIC.

“This disease has no border. It comes for any race, color, or religion.” said GRIC Lt. Gov. Monica Antone. “So to see the response of a COVID-19 effort, like this, with two communities that work together … it means a lot.”

More than 40 Arizona National Guard (AZNG) Soldiers with Task Force Med., Task Force Log., and the 996th Area Support Medical Company answered the call by serving in various roles during the vaccination event including registration support, logistics support, administering vaccinations, controlling traffic, and various other joint cooperation efforts - making this the first time that a drill status unit like the 996th has been able to join forces with an AZNG COVID-19 task force.

“This is a good foot in the community, in showing our presence in the community, and actually helping the community with such a virus and mass efforts of providing vaccinations”, said Maj. Robert Rodriguez, a Physician Assistant with the 996th Area Support Medical Company.

The GRIC praised everyone involved for their help and they hope that the mass vaccination event will provide much needed pandemic relief to their community and serve as a learning experience for other organizations looking to host similar events, serving as a reminder that we are all in this together.

Arizona National Guard, AZNG, Gila River Indian Community, GRIC, Tribal Leaders, COVID-19, Covid, pandemic, vaccine, vaccination, Community, Arizona, Soldiers, Servicemembers