Fort Bragg troops assisting FEMA in COVID-19 hotspots including NY, Washington state

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fort Bragg troops are preparing to deploy to COVID-19 hotspots and join the U.S. Army North to assist FEMA in places like New York and Washington State.

Several active army units, including the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC), will join the Army North's mission.

FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Major Allie Payne, a spokesperson for the 18th Airborne Division (AD), says the 3rd ESC and 531st Hospital Center, based out of Fort Campbell in Kentucky, will join the Army North. Both units preside under the 18th AD and will provide around 400 troops, with more than 100 of them coming out of Fort Bragg.

The 531st Hospital Center has already made its way to New York state to bring medical support to FEMA.

RELATED: Navy hospital ships set to arrive in NYC, LA within days to relieve pressure on local hospitals treating coronavirus patients



Meanwhile, 3rd ESC service members are preparing themselves to be sent out, focusing on the logistical aspect: providing fuel, clean water, and other necessary supplies to communities hit hard by COVID-19.

"This is why we exist. This is why we have an army. You know, it's not just to go and fight our nation's wars, but it's also to help our nation in a time of need," Payne said.
In total, there will be around 1,100 people from Virginia, Colorado Georgia and troops from Fort Bragg that will be helping communities in need.

As of Thursday evening, Fort Bragg soldiers are still preparing for deployment. Other units will be involved with communication, planning, and transportation.

Major Payne says there's no timetable on when the mission will be completed since it's a very fluid situation.

"These guys are absolute professionals. They take their skill-craft very seriously," Payne added.
Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.