Hundreds of new hospital beds opened in Louisville, Ky., this week to treat patients recovering from COVID-19. The Kentucky National Guard built the alternate care facility inside the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center and can expand it to 2,000 beds if needed.

The project came together in about a week in collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineers, Kentucky Emergency Management and the Kentucky Department of Public Health, according to a DOD news story.

“We’re proud to come in here and help Kentuckians in any way possible,” said Army Lt. Col. Jessicah Garret, commander of the Joint Army-Air Guard unit providing clinical services.

Garret’s team of nearly 200 troops includes 82 doctors, nurses and medics who are ready to provide around-the-clock care if nearby hospitals reach capacity.

“If you talk to any Guardsman, Air or Army, they are 100% Team Kentucky,” she said. “They want to be out in the community helping. That’s the whole reason we serve.”

Air National Guard photo by Dale Greer