Back to Top Skip to main content

Air Force takes steps to assure ‘unblinking’ operations, readiness and capabilities amid pandemic

Air Force medics and health personnel around the globe are resolutely following and ensuring compliance with guidelines issued by the Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention according to Air Force Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg. Air Force medics and health personnel around the globe are resolutely following and ensuring compliance with guidelines issued by the Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention according to Air Force Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

How do you stand “shoulder to shoulder” in a time of COVID-19? For the United States Air and Space Forces, and indeed the entire United States military, this is no small question. It is so pressing, in fact, that the Air Force’s medical staff, in collaboration with experts nationwide, have been working nearly around the clock to answer it.

It’s not hard to understand why.

The critical responsibilities and missions of our 685,000 total force active duty Guard and Reserve Airmen do not fade even during a pandemic. Across a worldwide enterprise, our Airmen must remain healthy so they can maintain full readiness and the capability to protect our nation’s security and interests.

Achieving those goals often demands Airmen work literally “shoulder to shoulder” in tight spaces over long hours. You can find it with crews aboard our aircraft, maintenance personnel on the ground, analysts at remote radar stations, recruits at training centers, and of course, at every Air Force barracks. Even within the sprawling Pentagon, thousands of active duty and civilian staff work in tightly bunched cubicles.

With the coronavirus’s arrival, those arrangements must be modified to ensure not only the health and safety of all personnel but to assure the Air Force’s unblinking ability to complete all missions.

Air Force medics and health personnel around the globe are resolutely following and ensuring compliance with guidelines issued by the Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s why leaders at each of our bases are working closely with local public health officials to actively monitor the health of Airmen and their families, as well as to monitor those who have been stricken by COVID-19. By now, most Americans know that safety demands maintaining a social distance beyond which the virus can spread. It means being alert to symptoms including low-grade fever, respiratory distress and body aches.

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, DoD has enacted travel restrictions, including the halt of domestic travel for service members. The goal is to “flatten the disease curve” by slowing the spread of the virus and preventing medical systems from being overwhelmed.

Within the Air Force, our medics are executing all available measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with CDC and force health protection guidelines, and remain aligned with state and local public health organizations.

It demands ingenuity and flexibility. In Europe and Asia, where the outbreak has been severe, we have adjusted health procedures to account for the threat and continue to safely fly fighter and bomber missions to deter aggression. And across the globe, our airlift forces have continued their missions apace, refueling U.S. aircraft and delivering vital cargo. It is in the best tradition of our service, echoing the work of those who flew during the Berlin Airlift and other global crises.

We are reminding – and reminding again – commanders and senior non-commissioned officers about best practices such as avoiding contact with those who are sick, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Our Airmen have always displayed such agility, adaptability and resiliency.

Although it is easy to forget the military’s long history in the fight against infectious diseases, that history informs our actions and decisions today. The Office of Malaria Control in War Areas was established in 1942 and charged with protecting soldiers from malaria and other vector-borne diseases, such as typhus. It is the direct forbearer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s worth remembering, especially now, that military physicians and researchers played important roles in developing vaccines against smallpox, yellow fever, influenza and typhoid.

We do not yet know how COVID-19 will evolve, how many Americans will be infected or die. What we do know is that the Air Force will take the actions necessary to protect our Airmen while also protecting the nation.

You also may be interested in...

Back-to-school vaccinations in the age of coronavirus

Article
8/12/2020
Medical technician wearing a mask, filling an immunization needle

DHA experts answer questions about back-to-school vaccines

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Public Health | Preventive Health | Children's Health | Immunizations | August Toolkit

Camp Pendleton Marines and civilians donate blood to save others

Article
8/12/2020
Two people in masks giving blood

Marines line up to donate blood

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Army general donates COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma at Tripler

Article
8/11/2020
Man wearing mask in hospital chair giving blood

COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate against who it infects – even general officers are susceptible.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

DoD reiterates FDA warning on using some hand sanitizers

Article
8/11/2020
Three men in PPE examining bottles of hand sanitzer

Gel hand sanitizers are flammable and consumers must be aware of their surroundings when using them.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

COVID-19 patient treated at Evans

Article
8/10/2020
Woman in wheelchair wearing a mask, being wheeled out of hospital surrounded by crowd applauding

During her stay, [Joyce Woffenden ] was also the first patient to receive convalescent plasma at EACH.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

New Navy units join in the fight against COVID-19

Article
8/7/2020
Military nurse putting on PPE

This deployment marked the first use of the newly established Acute Care Team and Rapid Rural Response Team medical platforms.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Air Force updates medical courses with COVID-19 content, procedures

Article
8/7/2020
Two lab technicians wearing full PPE handling vials for testing

COVID-19 has pushed instructors and trainers to be more innovative.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness | Combat Support

BAMC nurses: “It’s us against COVID”

Article
8/6/2020
Group of nurses at a hospital

With safety on the line, mistakes aren’t an option when it comes to PPE.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Madigan collects CCP in fight against COVID-19

Article
8/6/2020
Four people in a hospital room wearing masks

Convalescent plasma has been used for nearly a century to transfer antibodies from a recovered person to help protect another from an infection.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 12) -Department of Defense Guidance for Personnel Traveling During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Publication
8/6/2020

This memorandum supplements requirements in references (a), (b), and (c) with respect to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and replaces reference (d). It provides pre- and post­travel guidance for purposes of force health protection (FHP) of Service members, DoD family members, DoD civilian employees, and DoD contractor personnel.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DHA to recognize COVID-19 front-line innovators and leaders

Article
8/5/2020
Hospital Corpsman administers a COVID-19 test to service member aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex.

Who are the COVID-19 change makers?

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Patient Safety | Patient Safety Champion Recognition Program

Indiana National Guard continues to train in the COVID-19 environment

Article
8/5/2020
Soldiers in the field, wearing masks and testing equipment

Training in a time of COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Health Readiness

One Airman’s Life of Service – in and out of uniform

Article
8/5/2020
Man wearing mask checking inventory on shelves

Serving the nation is a way of life for one Airman

Recommended Content:

Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Combat Support | Total Force Fitness

MHS asks COVID-19 recovered to donate plasma for seriously ill

Article
8/4/2020
Woman wearing mask and PPE holding a bag of plasma

Plasma donations needed in the fight against COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

MTFs plan and prepare to face any emergency or disaster

Article
8/4/2020
Hospital personnel surrounding a patient

Military hospitals make emergency plans and conduct practice drills long before a natural disaster strikes.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Emergency Preparedness and Response
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 39

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.