During this time of the Coronavirus outbreak, one should not forget what is happening to our U.S. military forces around the world. Here are a few items Right Wire Report has collected to show what is happening:
Stripes – Defense Secretary Mark Esper has issued orders barring nearly all official movement for Defense Department personnel overseas and instituted new health protection measures worldwide as the Pentagon attempts to slow the spreading Coronavirus.
Esper’s stop-movement order applies to all service members, DOD civilians, and sponsored family members serving in any location overseas, the Pentagon announced. The order halts almost all travel for at least 60 days related to “exercises, deployments, redeployments, and other global force management activities,” according to a Pentagon memorandum. Esper’s overseas stop-movement order will likely impact some 90,000 service members slated to deploy or return to their home stations during the next 60 days, Pentagon officials said.
Fox – More sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier currently in the western Pacific, have tested positive for Coronavirus, and officials fear the number will continue to rise. Like cruise ships, it’s nearly impossible to isolate sailors at sea or practice social distancing while launching F/A-18 Super Hornets from the flight deck or standing watch on the Nimitz-class carrier’s two nuclear reactors.
MSN – N.J. VA hospitals and Hunterdon Veterans Services Office continue to help military vets during the Coronavirus pandemic. This is happening in many areas throughout the VA system. While VA hospitals continue to provide general medical treatment to veterans, patients are required to call and make an appointment prior to visiting. The hospitals in both Lyons and East Orange are spacing patient visits in response to COVID-19, according to a press release circulated by the county freeholders’ office.
In addition to the VA hospitals, Richard Booth, VSO for Hunterdon County, is working remotely and answering veterans’ calls and emails during regular business hours. Booth can also arrange to meet with a veteran if paperwork needs to be signed in person, but proper social distancing regulations would be enacted.
Reuters – U.S. cancels military drills with the Philippines over Coronavirus. The exercises, set to run from May 4 to May 15, have taken place in the southeast Asian nation for decades, involving thousands of troops from both countries. The alliance with the Philippines is one of Washington’s most important in Asia.
Two U.S. Navy hospital ships – the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort – are being deployed on both U.S. coasts.
Stripes – Trump issues order to bring former troops back to active duty to assist in Coronavirus response. Trump signed an executive order that allows Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper to order units and individual members “and certain Individual Ready Reserve” members, Chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a statement released just after midnight on Saturday morning. The Individual Ready Reserve comprises former active-duty and reserve service members, who are commonly considered out of the military and rarely recalled.
Daily Mail – U.S. military command teams in charge of protecting homeland security are being isolated in the infamous Cheyenne mountain bunker where they will remain “sealed off” until the Coronavirus pandemic passes.
“To ensure that we can defend the homeland despite this pandemic, our command, and control watch teams here in the headquarters split into multiple shifts and portions of our watch team began working from Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, creating a third team at an alternate location as well,” Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, head of U.S. Northern Command and NORAD, said.
‘Our dedicated professionals of the NORAD and NORTHCOM command and control watch have left their homes, said goodbye to their families and are isolated from everyone to ensure that they can stand the watch each and every day to defend our homeland.
Military – Back on March 6, 2020, officials prepare to keep the Pentagon up and running in the event of a major Coronavirus outbreak. Defense Secretary Mark Esper met with senior leaders to gauge the military’s response to the novel Coronavirus epidemic worldwide, including preparations to protect the Pentagon building itself and its massive workforce of more than 20,000.
Here is the latest rundown of Coronavirus in the U.S. military. In the past, our military has instrumental in not just providing security to the nation and its allies, but also with providing logistical support. During this Coronavirus pandemic, it will be no different.