The Biden administration is expected to announce Friday that it will deploy approximately 1000 troops across the United States to assist with coronavirus vaccination efforts.
The announcement is expected from the White House as early as Friday morning, according to two defense officials.
The plan calls for the troops to form into five teams to travel to designated sites. The orders are expected to call for the troops to be ready to deploy within 96 hours.
This effort is in response to a FEMA request to the Pentagon to provide military assistance providing vaccinations to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of increasing the number of Americans who get shots during his first 100 days in office.
The Defense Department and FEMA have been discussing sending up to 10,000 troops. Each team will have personnel who can administer vaccines as well as support troops. The goal is for the military to eventually ramp up to administering approximately 450,000 vaccines a day.
US Northern Command in Colorado Springs is now expected to work out exactly which troops will go and could potentially include active-duty personnel and National Guard.
There is already a separate National Guard deployment across the country. “There are over 20,000 national guardsmen deployed providing COVID support including at over 216 vaccine sites in 36 states and territories,’ said Max Rose, COVID Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Defense.
The Pentagon has also kept hundreds of personnel on notice to be prepared to deploy to help overwhelmed health care facilities and hospitals around the country.
This story is breaking and will be updated