Join the Conversation: Thursday, March 19, 3:00-4:00 PM ET
The Association of Defense Communities (ADC), Blue Star Families, and participants from the White Oak Collaborative will be hosting a town hall meeting on “Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Our Military.” Register for the free virtual event here.
-An emergency funding request by the White House asked for an additional $45.8 billion from Congress to fight the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. The Veterans Health Administration would receive the largest portion of the supplemental request at $16.6 billion. The Department of Defense would receive $8.3 billion, CQ reports.
-Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned that using the Army Corps of Engineers to provide support to hospitals may not be feasible. He explained that the agency is not actively involved in construction, “I’m more than willing to send the Army Corps of Engineers out to work with states to see what we can provide,” Esper said. “The Corps of Engineers is a contracting body that does program oversight work, and if we can be useful, if we can help, I’m certainly willing to provide that service.”
-Over 1,500 members of the National Guard have been activated in 22 states affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, reports Military Times.
-Speaking at the Pentagon, Esper advised states and local authorities to find their own solution to the crisis before looking to the military. “In some ways, we want to be the last resort,” said Esper, reported Defense One.
-President Trump enacted the Defense Production Act of 1950 giving him war powers authority requiring manufacturers to produce critical supplies including respirator masks and protective equipment.
-A recent press release by DOD outlined TRANSCOM guidance for the recent stop move order. “The advisory directs moving companies to take no action on scheduled pick-ups or pack-outs of household goods until they confirm with the Personal Property Office responsible for the shipment that it should continue,” said the memo.
-The U.S. Air Force delivered 500,000 COVID-19 testing kits from Italy to Memphis, Tennessee on Monday, Defense One reports.
– Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) announced it will revoke the visitor policy and require ID checks before entering commissaries. The agency says the changes are made to help with social distancing and aid crowd control, military.com reports.
-Sailors who were scheduled to take a physical fitness assessment in the first half of 2020 will have the requirement waived to adhere to coronavirus social distancing policies.
-A spokesperson for the Commander, Navy Installation Command told Navy Times that changes are being made to the service’s Child and Youth Program (CYP) operations including waiving criminal background checks for “supplemental staffing” employees to help with cleaning and sanitation. The service says that unvetted personnel will be in constant line-of-sight of authorized staff.
-The Air Force announced it has cancelled its Red Flag-Alaska 21-1 aviation exercise, which was scheduled for April 30 to May 15.
Photo by Lisa Ferdinando // DOD