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NEWS | April 6, 2020

Navy Reservists Answer the Call for COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Efforts

By Petty Officer 1st Class Arthurgwain Marquez

Under the direction of U.S. Northern Command for COVID-19 pandemic response efforts, approximately 500 Navy Reserve medical professionals will soon expand local medical capabilities in the New York area.

“I cannot be more proud of our Reservists,” said Rear Admiral John Schommer, commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command. “Our Reserve health care professionals are on the front lines right now, and it has only been possible because of their flexibility, agility, and dedication to selfless service.”

In total, the Navy Reserve has approximately 850 citizen-Sailors engaged in COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts. In addition to the 500 medical professionals being sent to New York, the Navy Reserve has approximately 225 Reservists currently aboard the USNS (T-AH 19) Mercy and USNS (T-AH 20) Comfort. Other Reservists are serving across the Joint Force.

“We have Reservists across our country that have volunteered to meet this urgent need,” said Schommer. “Many of them were ‘out the door’ in less than 48 hours from the moment they were notified.”

As part of the 500 Reservists deploying to New York, approximately 400 are deploying as part of Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) Bethesda. Personnel assigned to EMFs are trained to provide medical support, such as acute care and emergency care. Upon arrival, EMF Bethesda Reservists are expected to support medical relief efforts at the Javits Federal Medical Station (FMS) in New York City. The rest of the deploying Reservists are expected to support multiple hospitals in the New York City area.

“We are ready to help, and we will continue to answer the call whenever, wherever we are needed,” said Schommer.

For 105 years, the Navy Reserve has been a ready, agile force that provides valuable, vital support to the Navy and the Nation. The Ready Reserve Force consists of approximately 49,550 Selected Reserve (SELRES) Sailors, 10,163 Full Time Support (FTS) members, 48,815 Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) members and over 422 civilians. This force of over 100,000 delivers strategic depth and unique capabilities to the Navy and Marine Corps team, and the Joint Force in times of peace and war.