COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a time of uncertainty, nearly 400 members of the Ohio National Guard have been called to state active duty to serve in their local communities and aid the citizens throughout Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four analysts assigned to the 178th Wing are currently assigned to the Joint Task Force 37 (JTF-37) in support of Operation Steady Resolve.
These analysts work to provide reports that tracks which counties are in greatest need of assistance throughout the state. This information is used to help aid in the ongoing humanitarian missions the Ohio National Guard is conducting across the state. The Airmen also look at local resources available in different counties. This allows them to predict which counties have vulnerabilities that might predispose them to being more greatly impacted by a surge in COVID-19 cases. They also provide weather and route information to Guard members serving at local food banks, which allows them to better serve Ohioans.
“We have been collecting data on coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and available hospital resources across the state, as well as providing weather and route information for the JTF-37 task forces that are supporting the local food banks,” said Tech. Sgt. Donavon, noncommissioned officer in charge of the JTF-37 S2 section.
After gathering all of the data, the analysts use tools including data models, maps and exponential growth charts to see what areas in the state are affected and have the potential to be affected the most by the novel coronavirus. This information is relayed to the JTF-37 commander, who can share that knowledge with other local and state agency counterparts as well as make timely, informed decisions.
“Being able to provide information to decision makers that directly influences the decisions they make regarding the welfare of Ohioans has been extremely rewarding,” Donavon said.
The data provided by these Airmen directly impacts the welfare of communities in Ohio, as the state continues to battle against COVID-19. Their knowledge and skill sets aid their fellow community members and the state in preparing for an expected increase in cases. Being able to serve in their local community in a time of need truly shows how Ohioans are helping Ohioans.
“I live in Columbus, so being able to help out here has been an incredible feeling,” said Senior Airman Elise, an analyst assigned to the JTF-37. “I feel like I am able to make an impact in my local community, which is important in a time like this.”