Number of COVID-19 cases in DOD, as of March 27:
|Total Cases (Current & Recovered)||652|
Number of COVID-19 cases in USAF, as of March 26:
National Guard activations in support of COVID-19 response, as of March 27:
|Approximate Number of Personnel||Approximate Change Over Prior Reporting Day|
Recent COVID-19 developments on AirForceMag.com:
- As of March 27, nine Air Force Reservists have lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the Air Force Reserve Command surgeon general.
- The new coronavirus is starting to impact operations in Indo-Pacific Command, as a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier was sent to dock in Guam after more than 20 sailors aboard tested positive. Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett, in a video to Airmen released March 26, said the outbreak is “a challenge we have not faced before.”
- The Defense Department on March 25 raised the Health Protection Condition level for all of its installations globally to Charlie, which means the virus has sustained community transition with a substantial morbidity threat. The DOD also ordered all troops to stop movement for the next 60 days.
- The $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed by the Senate and under consideration by the House would allow military leaders, including Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond, to stay in their posts longer than planned for continuity. Additionally, the legislation would give $10.5 billion to the DOD, including $2.5 billion to bolster the defense industrial base and $300 million to buy new information technology equipment and grow bandwidth as the department begins to telework.
- The Senate Armed Services Committee began holding “paper hearings” because the new coronavirus has made traditional hearings impossible. The first such hearing was March 26.
- The Pentagon, wary of “adversary capital,” is taking steps to keep the defense industry working while also following CDC guidelines for safety. Company chief executive officers “are reaching out to us to ensure that they can continue operations,” Pentagon acquisition and sustainment chief Ellen Lord said, leading her to put out memos saying defense work is critical and must continue.
- An Air Force Basic Military Training trainee tested positive for the new coronavirus, leading to the trainee and 40 others to be put into isolation. The trainee reported to BMT on March 18 and was placed in isolation as soon as they began showing symptoms.
- As of the morning of March 24, the National Guard Bureau is tracking 26 positive cases of the COVID-19 virus among its personnel, including one in a headquarters staff member, NGB Chief Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel said.
- Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley, and Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ramón Colón-López hosted an online town hall from the Pentagon about the COVID-19 pandemic. During the event, the leaders said the resulting crisis could take months and weaken military readiness.
Recent DOD, USAF, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve Town Halls and Leadership Updates from March 23-27:
Air Force Reserve Command:
Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska:
Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany:
Pentagon Editor Brian W. Everstine, Senior Editor Rachel S. Cohen, Jennifer Hlad, and Editorial Director John A. Tirpak contributed to this report.