Nevada National Guard ready to serve in times of COVID 19

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Over the years in Northern Nevada we've seen the Nevada National Guard in action.

We saw guard members surveying the flooding in Lemmon Valley by helicopter in 2017. They can be used to secure roads, or delivery of materials to a troubled area.

But such activity isn't done at the direction of the guard nor on a whim.

“The majority of the time we are in federal status,” says Brigadier General Ondra Berry, Nevada National Guard Adjutant General.

Berry says the guard uses federal funds for equipment and other supplies, but is stationed in each state to serve in wars, protect the homeland and for a state partnership.

When a situation like COVID 19 occurs, our state's governor could call the guard up for assistance.

But it doesn't happen at the snap of a finger--especially if the governor is looking for federal funds to finance the state operation.

“We can't use federal assets to work state missions unless we are activated,” says Berry.

In these times, Berry said, careful consideration must be given to the task at hand.

The guard is willing and able to serve at a moment's notice. It needs to be understood who will be deployed and if that deployment will mean a shortage of critical personnel out in the community.

Nothing has been settled yet and Berry wants to emphasize there is NO martial law underway.

“The president recognizes the importance of governors and their expertise and their understanding of what the needs are in their communities,” says Berry. “And that is what the guard is good at. They have the understanding the knowledge the knowhow, resources and expertise to take care of their respective communities. So I will say again: The guard is not going to be used for martial law,” says the general.

Asked how quickly the guard could deploy, Berry says that all depends on the mission, and where that mission will take place.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020