Wisconsin National Guard

Wisconsin National Guard

The duties of the Wisconsin National Guard keep expanding during the COVID-19 pandemic. In one community, nearly 20 Guard members are helping the local medical examiner with the dead.

In Dane County, the Air National Guard's 115th Fighter Wing Fatality Search and Recovery Team is assisting with the removal of decedents from their home or other location, any needed transportation of bodies to other counties, and with cleaning and decontamination. COVID-19 has killed almost two dozen people in Dane County. The Guard says it's helped with about 50 decedents in the region. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin National Guard members have not been immune from catching COVID-19, but the number of positive cases are low, Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp said Wednesday.

During a media briefing, Wisconsin's Adjutant General said, "Of the handful that we have had, the majority of them were not Guard members who were actively serving in response to COVID-19. Those are Guard members who have not been called up, and were basically working at their civilian jobs or at their homes out in the community."

Wisconsin National Guard

As the coronavirus outbreak expands in the state, the Wisconsin National Guard is being assigned to more missions and is training for possible additional assignments. Over the weekend, six Guard medical personnel began helping at Village Point Commons, a senior housing facility in Grafton. One resident died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, and a few more have tested positive.

Wisconsin National Guard / Flickr

Updated on Tuesday at 3:47 p.m. CT

The commander of the Wisconsin National Guard, Donald Dunbar, will step down by the end of the year. His departure is related to a critical report from the U.S. National Guard that was released Monday.

Wisconsin National Guard, flickr

The governor says he wants Wisconsin National Guard members to be able to protect themselves from attack, citing the shootings that killed five servicemen in Chattanooga, Tennessee last week.

Gov. Walker issued an executive order on Tuesday giving the state's Adjutant General Donald Dunbar the authority to arm guard members as necessary and to evaluate longer-term plans to better protect all of Wisconsin's soldiers.

Photo courtesy of Bryan Mohoric

As Wisconsin families sit down for a big Thanksgiving meal today, some will be missing loved ones who are deployed.