Trump approves federal funding for Montana Guardsmen supporting COVID-19 response

President Trump has approved Montana’s request for funding for National Guard operations in the COVID-19 response.

Trump issued a memo on April 7 announcing that Montana, and several other states, will receive funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover costs associated with using National Guard troops for the COVID-19 response.

Bullock extends stay home, school closures, dining-in directives through April 24

Gov. Steve Bullock has activated Guardsmen to assist with the state’s response efforts. Those troops are in Title 32 status, meaning they are under state control. Typically that means the state covers the cost, but Trump has approved federal funding for all approved costs as those troops support the state’s response to the pandemic.

The cost of state active duty through the April 10 pay period is $171,823.68, according to the Montana National Guard.

April 3 update: Bullock expects to extend directives to stay home, close schools, restrict eateries to April 24; airport screenings begin in Great Falls; city suspends multi-animal permit inspections

Typically, federal funds cover costs for Guardsmen under Title 10 status, which means they are under federal control.

73 Guardsmen activated to COVID-19 response efforts in Montana

According to Capt. Dan Bushnell, spokesman for the Montana National Guard, as of April 8, the following Guardsmen have been activated:

  • 73 conducting the commercial airport/train depot mission
  • 1 as a liaison in the Joint Operation Center
  • 7 airmen conducting the health care mission at the Marias Medical Center and Heritage Center
  • 7 airmen will be driving Toole County ambulances due to their shortage of emergency medical folks in the county, starting April 9

“I’m pleased the President recognizes that Montana is working hard to fight this virus,” Bullock said in a release. “With this federal support, we can fully utilize the Montana National Guard to aggressively respond to COVID-19 and prevent further spread, and we can ensure that our guardsmen and women receive the resources they deserve.”