Va. Wing Transports COVID-19 Tests for Guard
Maj. Jacob Bixler
Assistant Public Affairs Officer
The Virginia Wing responded to a request to support the Virginia National Guard by transporting COVID-19 tests to and from Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
After being contacted by the Guard with a request May 13 to transport the tests, the wing quickly developed a plan to do so. On May 17 in Chesterfield, 262 tests were loaded into one of the wing’s 12 planes and flown to the Eastern Shore.
On May 19, three teams split up the 559-mile drive to transport the tests for laboratory evaluation. Each team sanitized its vehicle and drove to a predesignated relay point, handing off the tests to the next team.
“I am very proud of the responsiveness and quick reaction of the wing to make this happen,” said Col. Dean Gould, Virginia Wing commander. “Thanks to our dedicated volunteer members, we are strengthening our relationship with the National Guard and are a force multiplier benefiting the entire Commonwealth proving our capabilities and availability to respond.”
The Virginia Wing is prepared to answer any future calls for support. Over 190 members throughout the state have indicated they’re available, and 30 have helped staff a virtual incident command post.
CAP is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to non-military threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.
“In challenging times like these, partnering our auxiliary Air Forces with the Virginia National Guard is of great benefit to our nation,” said Joe Sanders, deputy director of National Security and Preparedness Center, First Air Force, Air Forces Northern, headquartered at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. “With the dedication and expertise of these CAP volunteer citizen airmen assisting the Guard, the response is more comprehensive for our country.”