Active-duty airmen assisting in Monroe with COVID operations
By Staff Sgt. David C. Kirtland, LANG Public Affairs Office
NEW ORLEANS – Brig. Gen. Cindy Haygood, the Louisiana National Guard’s assistant adjutant general – Army, assumed the position of dual-status commander of Task Force 51 in Monroe, Louisiana, last week.
A dual-status commander is typically appointed in large, complex stateside missions or response efforts involving both Guard members in state, or Title 32, status and other service members in federal, or Title 10 status.
“Task Force COVID is again pleased to partner with U.S. Air Force Department of Defense medical forces to support St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe during the current Omicron surge,” said Haygood.
Haygood, who has commanded the LANG’s Task Force COVID since August 2020, is now able to command both National Guard and Active-Duty service members participating in COVID-19 operations, totaling more than 1000. Rather than having entirely separate state and federal chains of command, the dual-status commander acts as both, streamlining response operations.
“St. Francis Medical Center is grateful for the help we’re receiving from the highly-trained medical personnel provided by
the U.S. Air Force,” said Kristin Wolkart, St. Francis Medical Center president. “This support, through a federal COVID-19 response mission from the DoD in support of FEMA and the State of Louisiana, will ensure that we continue to provide care for COVID-19 patients, as well as patients with other medical and surgical needs throughout our community.”
Task Force 51 is comprised of approximately 40 U.S. Air Force medical personnel and will be providing COVID-19 operations support to St. Francis Medical Center.
“This is my second DoD COVID-19 deployment supporting FEMA and local communities across the United States,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Ray Mamuad, a senior nurse assigned to the 62nd Medical Squadron, Joint Base Lewis McChord. “For the past year and a half, I have been combatting COVID-19 as a lead clinician at my home station, and I’m proud to continue that fight assisting the people of Monroe.”