Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

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...

DODEA Schools Keeps On With In-Person Classes, and Fall Sports, Too

Article
9/23/2021
Kids playing football

DODEA schools are striving to continue in-person learning in the 2021-22 school year.

Recommended Content:

Children's Health | Coronavirus

The COVID-19 Pandemic: How Health Care Workers are Coping

Article
9/13/2021
a nurse helping a COVID-19 patient

For health care providers, experiencing the pandemic inside a hospital has brought

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Military Health Podcasts

Increased COVID Restrictions on the Pentagon Reservation

Article
9/8/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and positive test cases in the National Capital Region, the Pentagon Reservation will move to Health Protection Condition Bravo Plus (Bravo+)

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus

DOD launches "First Aid For Severe Trauma" for HS students

Article
9/2/2021
High school students at a conference in Orlando, Florida

DOD's National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health launches "First Aid For Severe Trauma" designed for Grades 9-12, with Red Cross, Homeland Security.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support

Digital health innovation emerges during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
8/31/2021
The Defense Health Agency’s Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic. (Graphic courtesy of DHA Connected Health)

The DHA's Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise, and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Connected Health | Coronavirus

As Fitness Tests Resume, Troops Seek Post-COVID Exercise Routines

Article
8/31/2021
Military personnel physically training

Keeping fit during pandemic proves hard for some.

Recommended Content:

Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Coronavirus

Secretary of Defense Mandates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Service Members

Article
8/26/2021
An Army medic administers the COVID-19 vaccine to another soldier.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III yesterday issued a memorandum directing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for service members.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DOD Intends to Mandate Pfizer Vaccine, Pentagon Official Says

Article
8/25/2021
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a press briefing, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Kirby said the health of DOD's military and civilian employees, families and communities is a top priority.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Maintaining Mission Readiness During a Pandemic

Article
8/24/2021
Gen. Place presents at HIMSS in Las Vegas.

DHA Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place discussed the national security implications of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heroes Behind the Mask | Deployment Health

New Flag and Patch Symbolize Growth at the Defense Health Agency

Article
8/19/2021
Service members from the Army, Air Force and Navy display the new Defense Health Agency patch following a reflagging and repatching ceremony at Defense Health Agency Headquarters in Falls Church.

The DHA will reveal a new flag and seal in a ceremony August 20 to signify the unity of all services under one joint combat support agency.

Recommended Content:

Defense Health Agency | Military Health System Transformation | Combat Support

Reform, COVID-19 Have Been Catalysts for Change in Military Medicine

Article
8/16/2021
Dr. Terry Adirim speaking to an audience at a conference

Healthcare is about taking care of people, so no amount of change or innovation is ever sufficient if modernization does not lead to helping patients, says acting ASDHA at HIMSS21 in Las Vegas.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Military Health System Transformation

Don't Hesitate: Vaccinate Today for School

Article
8/13/2021
A boy gets the COVID-19 vaccine

Back to School Means Vaccine Time

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Recommendations | Children's Health | Immunizations | TRICARE Health Program

Services Will Make Call on Religious Exemptions to COVID-19 Vaccines

Article
8/13/2021
Two medical people prepare syringes with doses of the COVID-19 vaccine

"There is a religious exemption possibility for any mandatory vaccine, and there's a process that we go through to counsel the individual both from a medical and from a command perspective about using a religious exemption," Kirby said.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Austin Seeks Presidential Approval for Mandatory Troop Vaccinations by Mid-September

Article
8/10/2021
Sailors receive COVID-19 vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for service members by mid-September, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a message to the force released yesterday.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Top Military Medical Doctor Predicts Coronavirus Longevity

Article
8/9/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of Defense Health Agency, delivers remarks at a media briefing on COVID-19 at the Pentagon, April 21, 2021

I believe we will get to a place where we're not talking about COVID all the time

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 29

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.