PHILADELPHIA – In partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the City of Philadelphia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, members of the Pennsylvania National Guard have deployed to the federally-supported Center City Community Vaccination Center in Philadelphia.
The 41-person unit consists of Soldiers and Airmen from units throughout the state, including the 728th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion based in Spring City, Pa., the 111th Attack Wing based in Horsham, Pa., and the 193rd Special Operations Wing based in Middletown, Pa.
“This is a joint mission to bring Pennsylvania back online,” said Lt. Col. Joseph E. Hensley, commanding officer of the Pennsylvania National Guard detachment in Philadelphia. “Who better to do it than the joint force, including the Pennsylvania National Guard?”
The National Guard members will be working solely in non-clinical, general purpose support roles such as registration and processing, augmenting the Marines and Sailors of Combat Logistics Battalion 22 that have been serving at the community vaccination center since late February.
The Center City Community Vaccination Center is a Type 1 site, which has administered 6,000 vaccinations daily for the past several weeks. The center recently reached the milestone of 100,000 total vaccinations and continues to operate 12 hour per day, seven days a week.
“The Pennsylvania National Guard is honored to be a part of this mission that will ultimately aid in recovery from the pandemic,” said Staff Sgt. Brian D. Bean, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the Pennsylvania National Guard detachment in Philadelphia. “Helping our fellow citizens is at the core of what drives our Soldiers and Airmen.”
Janice Barlow, FEMA Region 3 Acting Administrator, lauded the multi-agency partnership. “The Pennsylvania National Guard’s support of the Center City Vaccination Center lends critical experience and expertise to FEMA’s mission. The National Guard members, working alongside active duty Sailors and Marines, as well as FEMA and city staff, truly highlights the levels of interagency partnership supporting the City of Philadelphia’s safe, timely and equitable distribution of vaccines.”
For more information about the Center City Community Vaccination Center, please visit https://www.phila.gov/2021-03-16-open-access-at-the-center-city-vaccination-center-for-six-days-only/
Caption: Airman 1st Class, Mackenzie Taylor, a native of Milton, Pennsylvania, with the Pennsylvania National Guard, registers a community member for a COVID-19 vaccine at the federally-supported Center City Community Vaccination Center in the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on March 17, 2021.. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Zachary Zephir / Combat Logistics Battalion 22)
Caption: Army Specialist Grant Wagner, a native of Marysville, Pennsylvania, with the Pennsylvania National Guard, registers a community member for a COVID-19 vaccine at the federally supported Center City Community Vaccination Center in the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on March 17, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Zachary Zephir / Combat Logistics Battalion 22)