ICYMI: Inslee letter requests extension of National Guard mission

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In case you missed it: Gov. Jay Inslee sent a letter today to the Trump administration requesting an extension of authority and additional funding for Washington National Guard employment in support of COVID-19 pandemic emergency response operations through July 31, 2020.

The letter reads, in part:

"This nationally declared emergency is causing second and third order effects that will last long beyond the immediate threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. … Current Washington National Guard-fielded support includes Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS), building testing kits, and food bank distribution support. Additionally, National Guard planners assist in coordination with our COVID-19 Food Security Team and other agencies to meet the health and welfare needs of Washingtonians through our phased re-opening plan.

“Current National Guard response missions are absolutely critical to the state’s efforts to sustain a safe and responsible opening of our economy. The state of Washington continues to need the National Guard’s unique military administrative, logistics, and operational support to COVID-19 pandemic missions.”

More than 1,200 soldiers and airmen are supporting the state’s COVID-19 response. As of May 20, 2020, the Washington National Guard has delivered more than 1 million meals to struggling families at food banks across the state, tested nearly 2,300 people at community-based testing sites, and built more than 30,000 test kits.

Read the full letter.

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