The Alaska State Defense Force has been assisting the Alaska National Guard with ensuring the ports of entry in the city of Kodiak are safe and free of any Covid 19 infections. Here is the article:
Ten Alaska Army National Guard Soldiers and one Alaska State Defense Force Soldier assigned to Joint Task Force-Alaska have been working alongside Kodiak Harbor personnel as part of a coordinated effort with the city of Kodiak to ensure COVID-19 pandemic safeguards are being followed at the ports of entry.
Since May 1st, the Guardsmen have been patrolling the harbor and ensuring that safety measures are in place and proper guidance is given related to COVID-19 mandates. The Guard’s involvement ensures public outreach and communication. The Soldiers have relayed all quarantine directives to incoming captains and their crews, and the local harbor masters are responsible for any potential enforcement actions.
For crews who have recently traveled to a port outside of Kodiak, Lima Flags have been issued, an international maritime signal flag code for infectious disease. The crew is then required to quarantine for 14 days before entering the Kodiak community.
These precautions are of significant importance due to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s recent mandate 018 that went into effect on May 12. This centralized all requirements related to intrastate travel and increased the ability of individuals within Alaska to travel.
Kodiak is the nation’s fourth busiest fishing fleet with a consistent influx of maritime vessels. Managing the harbor is a 24-hour operation and the Soldiers have been working in shifts that allow for full coverage of the harbor at all times.
Logistics for the Kodiak effort is run locally out of the Kodiak Emergency Operations Center. The Soldiers have integrated into the staff to assist local employees in their effort to keep Kodiak safe.
“This mission has highlighted the adaptability and flexibility of the Alaska Guard,” said Alaska State Defense Force Capt. Ryan Sharratt, Commander of C Co. 2nd Special Troops Battalion, who has been working as the JTF-AK liaison officer in Kodiak. “We’ve had the right Soldier, in the right formation, at the right time and the city of Kodiak deserves nothing short of that standard.”
The Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs employs military personnel that are equipped, trained, and ready to render assistance as needed in response the governor’s public health disaster emergency declaration for COVID-19. The DMVA’s priorities are the protection, health
and safety of personnel and their families, supporting and assisting interagency partners, and safeguarding and maintaining the ability to defend Alaska and the United States.