N.M. Wing Transporting COVID-19 Supplies
Lt. Col. Dave Finley
Public Affairs Officer
Socorro Composite Squadron
New Mexico Wing
New Mexico Wing members are assisting the New Mexico National Guard in transporting COVID-19 test kits in their state.
The operation began April 24, with a CAP flight bringing sampled test kits from Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces to the Scientific Laboratory Division of the state Department of Health in Albuquerque for processing.
Flying the test kits from Las Cruces to Albuquerque allows processing to start sooner and provides quicker results to physicians and patients. New Mexico Wing ground crews pick up the packages from the hospital and transport them to Las Cruces International Airport. A CAP aircrew flies the samples to Albuquerque, where another ground team delivers them to the laboratory.
The National Guard has been transporting the kits for the Department of Health and requested CAP assistance with the task.
The April 24 flight was the first in an ongoing operation for the New Mexico Wing. CAP is prepared to continue supporting COVID-19 response efforts for the foreseeable future.
"We have the aircraft, vehicles, safety protocols and trained volunteers to help our fellow New Mexicans at this challenging time, and we welcome the opportunity to do so," said Lt. Col. John Grassham, incident commander for the mission.
Support for this mission is being funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency under a presidential disaster declaration covering all 50 states.
CAP members experienced in organizing and supporting emergency-services operations formed an oncident management team that used online tools and videoconferencing, maintaining the social-distancing practices mandated statewide.
"Our volunteers throughout the state have come together as a unified team to accomplish this new and important mission. We are happy to support our communities in the vital fight against this disease," said Col. Annette Peters, New Mexico Wing commander.