Story by Senior Airman Ian Beckley
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M - Over the course of 136 days, 36 Air National Guard members worked as a part of the CARES Act team. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allowed for members of the Guard to be put on orders full time to support the needs and assistance of New Mexicans during the global pandemic.“I have nothing but positive things to say about the mission. Our team was able to keep many airmen safe across the wing,” said Senior Airman Antonil Luna, a member of the CARES Act Team. “This was done by keeping work spaces sanitary with routine disinfecting cleanings, temperature checks and applying boot bands at every entry control point to buildings, and also ensuring that every member wore a mask any time they were in a building or within six feet of another. Monitoring these protocols helped to ensure the slowing of the spread of COVID and also the health and safety of our essential NMANG members.”Between the 36 members and 136 days, the CARES team put in over 680 total man hours cleaning the New Mexico Air National Guard campus to keep everyone else safe. All members of the team were Civil Support Team trained to ensure consistency and quality no matter who provided the service.Luna also described the importance of the team and its members to the COVID-19 mission.“Cares leadership did an amazing job of making sure that all these tasks were being carried out and completed,” said Luna. “Without the Cares Act Team, the New Mexico Air National Guard would not meet capacity for mission requirements from June 2020 to October 2020. Every member of the Cares Team did an excellent job of adapting to a disease that the world does not know much about.”Due to the hard work of the members of the CARES team and its leadership, the November UTA will be returning to normal with all ANG members reporting in person to continue to train for readiness.