National Guard to arrive, provide humanitarian support on Friday

Long Beach officials announced Thursday that 50 members of the National Guard would arrive in the city on Friday to assist with humanitarian support.

The California National Guard approved the city’s request for logistical support during the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, according to the city. They will remain available through the end of June.

“This assistance from the National Guard will enable us to further expand our sheltering and healthcare capacity in Long Beach,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “The National Guard will be focused on humanitarian aid, and we thank them for the support.”

The National Guard members will not be enforcing the city health orders, the mayor emphasized in an email to residents. They will be helping by providing staffing at the temporary shelters, starting with the shelters at Silverado Park and Martin Luther King Jr. Park, and the clinic at Long Beach City College.

The guard members will be dressed in their camouflage uniforms, but will not be armed, according to the city. They “will only perform logistical and administrative humanitarian support functions. Examples of these duties include assisting medical staff and managing incoming and outgoing traffic at the [Rapid Assessment Clinic], monitoring the physical distancing of crowds, housekeeping and meal services at the temporary shelters,” the city said

The city will not be funding the National Guard personnel here, according to the city. They noted the city of Los Angeles has also received assistance.

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Valerie Osier is the Social Media & Newsletter Manager for the Long Beach Post. She started at the Post in 2018 as a breaking news reporter. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from the Cal State Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband and two cats.