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Pentagon puts some 3,600 more troops on standby to assist with Covid vaccination efforts

The Defense Department announced Friday that it has put around 3,600 service members on orders to be ready to...

Posted: Feb 12, 2021 3:41 PM

The Defense Department announced Friday that it has put around 3,600 service members on orders to be ready to deploy around the country to help with mass vaccination efforts.

"Twenty teams are being organized to support FEMA-identified sites and will be deployed as requirements evolve. This will bring our total now to more than 4,700 active-duty personnel supporting or preparing to support FEMA," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said.

The boost comes after multiple defense officials told CNN on Thursday that the Biden administration's rollout of active-duty troops to boost vaccination capacity is off to a slow start as the Federal Emergency Management Agency sorts through requests from individual states.

With 1,110 troops already on alert to deploy, around 4,700 personnel are now on orders to be ready to move within 96 hours of receiving final orders after designated vaccination sites are approved by FEMA and the states. By establishing a large pool of military personnel, the Pentagon can respond more quickly as FEMA reaches agreements with states on vaccination sites.

The troops cannot move to locations until those agreements are finalized. Now troops will be automatically drawn from the pool without the delay of deployment orders each time, officials say.

Of the 1,110 troops already on alert to deploy, a team of 222 is going to Los Angeles from Fort Carson, Colorado. That team should begin vaccination operations in Los Angeles early next week.

Of the 20 additional teams there will be 10 teams of about 220 personnel expected to go to large-scale vaccination sites and 10 smaller ones of about 139 people.

"I want to stress the very deliberate and phased approach that we're taking here, working in lockstep with FEMA and with other federal government authorities here to make sure that what we're trying to do is be ready when we're needed," Kirby said.

Establishing standing pools of troops to be ready to quickly move is already underway. For months, hundreds of medical personnel have been on standby and deployed in groups at various times around the country to help civilian hospitals overwhelmed with caring for Covid-19 patients.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5061240

Reported Deaths: 74159
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152548627128
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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