Approximately 30 Soldiers and Airmen from the Wisconsin National Guard mobilized to state active duty to support Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services in the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 — or coronavirus — outbreak in Wisconsin. The National Guard members mobilized to serve as drivers to transport state citizens returning to Wisconsin from a cruise ship with confirmed cases of COVID-19. None of the returning citizens have tested positive for COVID-19, and all are asymptomatic, but the citizens will be returning to their homes to self-quarantine for 14 days. Those citizens are returning to the state at a date, time, and location yet to be determined, but when they arrive in Wisconsin, Wisconsin National Guard members will be standing by waiting to transport them to their homes via state vehicles. Gov. Tony Evers cleared the way for National Guard support to DHS and civil authorities in declaring a public health emergency during a news conference Thursday. The emergency declaration gives the adjutant general the authority to mobilize National Guard resources to state active duty as he deems necessary or upon request from state or local emergency managers. The troops, consisting of approximately 20 Soldiers and 10 Airmen from Wisconsin National Guard units that make up the Guard’s CERFP — or Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear Enhanced Response Force Package — will be awaiting the arrival of the citizens returning to Wisconsin from the cruise. After they arrive in Wisconsin, they’ll be greeted by DHS personnel before Guard members transport them back to their homes. The 30 troops were all sourced from Soldiers and Airmen who volunteered for the mission in a matter of hours. Serving during times of need and emergency is one of the National Guard’s core missions. It simultaneously serves as the primary combat reserve for the Army and Air Force.