Nevada Guard

Staff Sgt. Jennifer Nunes, a health care specialist assigned to the Northern Nevada Medical Detachment Nevada National Guard, checks the temperature of a Soldier at the front gate of the Office of the Adjutant General complex in Carson City, April 1, 2020. The Nevada National Guard started screening the Soldiers, Airmen, and civilians that continue to work despite the COVID-19 outbreak. (National Guard photo by Sgt. Walter H. Lowell)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A former Marine intelligence officer weighed in on Nevada's activation of the National Guard, reaffirming that the state is not under “martial law” despite rumors circulating online.

"They're suspicious when they see troops on the streets,” Lt. Col. Hal Kempfer said. “You know, fearing that the military is stepping in to do something draconian or nefarious. And what they miss is that the military is there in support of civil authorities."

Kempfer is now the CEO of a consulting agency called Global Risk Intelligence and Planning.

“I was part of the team that did the baseline training for pandemic preparedness for the military command that's responsible for North America," Kempfer said.

He's also trained people on pandemic issues at every level - working with foreign leaders all the way down to school districts employees.

"I've also done major exercises with Las Vegas on huge biological attacks," he said.

Kempfer went on to explain why the U.S. Military's uniquely equipped to help during this pandemic.

"For the military this is a mission,” he said. “They've been looking at this for a very long time - well over 20 years. There are plans on what to do. We know the resource that will be needed - whether it's hospitals or engineering support or other resources."

Gov. Steve Sisolak recently activated the Nevada National Guard but has not handed over law enforcement duties or powers to the Guard.

"There's someone on the civilian side that they're supporting,” Kempfer said. “It doesn't mean the military chain of command has been broken, but they're there supporting that warehouse. Or if they're there helping a hospital with doctors, they didn't just come in and take over the hospital. They're working in support of the civil authorities who run that hospital."

Copyright 2020 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(1) comment

Keegbro2

Why is that troop holding a rifle? You don't need guns if you're just "helping out". What are you going to shoot the virus?

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