Department of Defense Further Restricts Personnel Travel in Response to COVID-19
By R. Mitchell –
Today, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper enacted a 60-day stop movement order for all DoD uniformed and civilian personnel and their sponsored family members overseas as a measure to aid in further prevention of the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to protect U.S. personnel.
The order impacts exercises, deployments, redeployments and other global force management activities. Approximately 90,000 Service Members slated to deploy or redeploy over the next 60 days will likely be impacted by this stop movement order.
Authorized exceptions to the order include:
- Travel by patients and medical providers for the purposes of medical treatment for DoD personnel and their families.
- Scheduled deployments / redeployments of U.S. navy vessels and embarked units, provided they are in transit for 14 days and have met the restriction of movement (ROM) requirements associated with current force health protection guidance.
- Individuals who have already initiated travel.
- Individuals whose TDY ends while this order is in effect are authorized to return to their home station.
Additional exceptions may be granted on a case-by-case scenario where travel is deemed mission essential, humanitarian in nature or warranted due to extreme hardship. Such exceptions may be approved by Combatant Commanders, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or Secretaries of Military Departments.
Currently, this order is not expected to impact the continued drawdown of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, which is scheduled to be complete within 135 days following the signed agreement.
The DoD had already placed an order postponing all temporary duty (TDY), permanent change of station (PCS), leave and training travel.
All authorized DoD travelers must adhere to department force health protection requirements during travel.
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