LANSING — On Monday, President Trump authorized the use of National Guard members under Title 32, United States Code, section 502(f), granting Governor Whitmer’s request for a formal Mission Assignment (MA) to allocate and order up to 3,000 members of the Michigan Army and Air National Guard for up to 90 days to perform humanitarian missions across the state.
Michigan’s National Guard, under Governor Whitmer’s command and control, will perform humanitarian missions across the state, such as helping run mobile screening facilities, distributing food and medical supplies, ensuring resiliency of supply lines, disinfecting public spaces and supporting public safety when required.
“This is good news for Michiganders everywhere who are worried about COVID-19’s impact on their community,” Whitmer said. “Now, our dedicated National Guardsmen and women can help ensure access to meals for families who need them, or medical supplies for our health care professionals.
“They’ll help us get Michiganders tested and keep our public places clean. I’m happy that the federal government granted this request and will continue to work closely with them as we slow the spread of COVID-19 together.”
“The Michigan National Guard is ready and eager to assist Governor Whitmer as she works to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state,” said Major General Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “Our number one priority is protecting Michigan families from harm and the federal government’s action today will help us do just that. We look forward to working closely with the governor to ensure our families are protected during this crisis.”
Governor Whitmer first requested Title 32 authorization on March 18. The president granted the governor’s request after she sent a letter earlier today to U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, outlining how Michigan meets required criteria for approval to utilize 32 U.S.C. §502(f) in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The use of federal funding for Title 32 will not federalize command of the activated National Guard personnel. Each state’s National Guard is still under the authority of the governor and is working in concert with the Department of Defense.