DES MOINES -- During Gov. Kim Reynolds' daily COVID-19 press conference today, April 7, Adjutant General Ben Corell, of the Iowa National Guard, explained how the Guard is providing support for the state during this pandemic.

Corell said the soldiers and airman of the Iowa National Guard are proud to be part of the solution as we all work together during this unprecedented challenge the state and nation are facing.

"We currently have over 200 Iowa National Guard soldiers and airman on duty directly supporting the state's response efforts," he said.

The Guard could increase these numbers if and when necessary.

As we speak, he continued, Iowa Guard transportation units are on the road delivering vital medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to county emergency management agencies across the state.

Also, three additional task force headquarters have also been set up across the state to support the pandemic response activities.

"These task forces, led by a senior Iowa National Guard commander, are designed to provide planning, coordination, communication and command and control of the military forces activated in support of our local, state and federal partners on our regional support efforts within the state," Corell said.

Six medical regional coordination centers (MRCC) have been set up in Iowa. They are located within the six healthcare regions across the state.

Those are located at Armories across the state including: the Sioux City Armory in Woodbury County, the Mason City Armory in Cerro Gordo County, the Cedar Rapids Armory in Linn County, the Iowa City Armory in Johnson County, Camp Dodge in Polk County and the Council Bluffs Armory in Pottawattamie County. 

Regional health officials, along with the aid of the Iowa National Guard, are staffing these centers, to help make informed treatment decisions based on immediate available resources like open beds, available staffing, PPE and other critical healthcare assets.

"In short, our MRCCs help facilitate multi- agency and civilian partner communication, critical information sharing and coordination of healthcare-related resources across the regions that they serve," Corell said.

This helps decision makers save lives as conditions within the region change and normal response processes are no longer an option, he added.

Corell said the Iowa Guard will always be ready to "answer the call" and support their fellow Iowans.

He continued that his commitment to the governor is the Iowa National Guard will "not be late to need in support of any state mission."

As Adjutant General, Corell said he will continue to provide Reynolds with his best military advice on how best to use the capability of the Iowa National Guard as we work together to support Iowans and mitigate the threat from this virus until it has been defeated.

"I also want to thank all the soldiers and airmen of the Iowa National Guard for all their services to our state," said Reynolds. "We deeply appreciate the sacrifices you and your families make whenever duty calls."