Oregon Guard helps respond to COVID surge at 40 hospitals Published Jan. 13, 2022 By Oregon Military Department SALEM, Ore. - The surge of COVID-19 cases prompted Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to order an increase of National Guard members assisting at hospitals around the state, boosting the number of Guardsmen on hospital relief missions from 500 to over 1,200 at 40 hospitals. During this deployment, National Guard members will support understaffed hospitals beginning no later than Jan. 18. Soldiers and Airmen will serve in non-clinical support roles, including COVID testing support. The mission's planning is ongoing, with Guard members placed on orders and assigned to hospitals. This activation follows a deployment of over 1,500 Oregon National Guardsmen that provided the same non-clinical support roles in Oregon hospitals from August to December. The more than 8,000 Citizen-Soldiers and Citizen-Airmen of the Oregon National Guard serve the communities they live in and maintain readiness to serve the nation in times of war with the motto, "Always Ready, Always There." Members of the Oregon National Guard, the largest part-time employer in the state, serve an average of one weekend a month with an additional two-week period a year while maintaining civilian employment.