The 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., is implementing a tag-teaming system to help halt the spread of the new coronavirus.
“Beale AFB has postured in a manner that will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by shifting to a two team system that will alternate duty location every two weeks,” said Capt. Joseph Homan, deputy director of the Commander’s Action group at 9th RW in a March 21 email to Air Force Magazine. “For two weeks, ‘Green’ Team will work on base to maintain our Recce Operations Mission, while ‘Gold’ Team will telework from their place of residence.”
According to Homan, “TDY movement … for all non-essential events” is paused indefinitely, and wing training “will slow, but not be halted.”
“Recce Town has two Formal Training Units that are following the two week cycle guidance which will allow for training to continue, however at a slower pace,” he wrote.
Beale raised its Health Protection Condition Level to B+ on March 16, days before California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a “Stay at Home” order for the state’s residents. This elevated HPCON level means that, on top of standard HPCON Bravo measures, the base is limiting “in-person meetings to six personnel or less” in cases where remote conferencing is unavailable, canceling “visits by outside personnel” and “non-mission critical TDYs,” and ramping up telework, a wing release explained.
On March 20, 9th RW Commander Col. Andrew Clark also announced that the wing has relaxed “grooming standards for length and bulk of hair” through April 10, though facial hair regulations still apply for male Airmen.
Last week, the wing also implemented “DOD Stop-Movement Guidance for Domestic PCS, TDY, and Leave” that halts PCSing, bans “new domestic TDY” and “non-local leave,” clears Beale Airmen currently on TDY to return to Beale, and directs Beale Airmen on non-local leave to come back, as well.
“We recognize that this is a rapidly changing environment and will remain flexible to ensure the safety of our Airmen first and foremost while maintaining operational readiness abroad,” Homan said.
During the shelter-in-place order, 9th Reconnaissance Wing Airmen will still have access to Beale’s “Commissary, Exchange, gas stations, and take-out food options to maintain mission readiness,” he added.
The base has also cancelled the 2020 Beale Air and Space Expo, which was slated for May 9-10, because of the virus, according to a March 23 Facebook announcement.