MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As of Monday morning, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest throughout the country, this is now the largest National Guard deployment in history.
There are currently 66,700 soldiers and airmen deployed, which surpasses the number of guardsmen activated during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina response — with more than 51,000.
Approximately 45,000 National Guard members are supporting COVID-19 response efforts in all 50 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia. Their efforts include performing mobile testing, delivering samples and processing, distributing PPE and vital medical equipment, supporting food banks and more.
Governors in 23 states and the District of Columbia have activated the National Guard to assist state and local law enforcement in support of civil unrest operations. Currently, more than 17,000 National Guard members are activated in areas facing unrest following the fatal arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis that sparked protests, rioting and outcry across the nation.
As of Sunday morning, more than 5,025 soldiers had been activated in Minnesota, with more plans to continue activation within the coming days.
National Guard General clarifies: Strong troop level presence will remain the same in the Twin Cities indefinitely. Extra troops who have been on standby will return home.
— Patrick Kessler (@PatKessler) June 1, 2020
Gov. Walz instilled a mandatory curfew, which took effect in the metro area at 8 p.m. Saturday after four nights of protests throughout the Twin Cities. The fifth night saw an unprecedented number of Minnesota National Guard sweeping the streets.
Minnesota’s public safety group and the Minnesota National Guard came together on Saturday evening to take a different approach on keeping the peace, according to Walz. He called it the “most complex public safety operation in the history of our state.”
On Monday, the National Guard General says that a strong troop level presence will remain the same in the Twin Cities indefinitely, and extra troops who have been on standby will return home.