DoD Plans For Resumption Of Normal Operations After Pandemic
by Jim Garamone, DOD News
April 29, 2020
Defense Department planners are working on how to resume normal
military operations following the coronavirus pandemic, Pentagon
spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said.
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman speaks with McClatchey reporter Tara Copp during a news conference at the Pentagon
on April 24, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders)
Because defense is a full-time necessity, the military cannot
shut down, Hoffman said at a Pentagon news conference on April 24,
2020. Still, officials curtailed exercises, limited training,
stopped military moves and took other measures in an effort to
flatten the curve of coronavirus infections.
evaluating many different areas," Hoffman said. "One is training ...
how are we protecting our trainees, and how are we keeping the
pipeline full? We're continuing to look at that, continuing to adopt
and adapt so that we can pursue full training classes in the
Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper is also closely
following the stop-movement order. The order goes until June 30,
2020. "But once it is lifted ... and the secretary is reevaluating
that every 15 days ... how are we going to deal with the backlog of
individuals that need to move throughout the world?" Hoffman said.
This is a complex issue, and the planners at the U.S.
Transportation Command have the lead for the department.
has done a good job of protecting strategic forces, but officials
are still going to look at the process to see if there aren't better
ways to do this in the future, Hoffman said.
A service member transports medical supplies delivered by the Egyptian military at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland
on April 21, 2020 to support COVID-19 response efforts. (U.S.
Air Force courtesy photo)
Even if there is a return to normal, the virus will still be
around. DOD planners are looking at the testing program, and
officials are putting the final touches on the system it will employ
and getting the supplies that will be needed. DOD scientists and
doctors are also heavily involved in developing a vaccine and for
treatment protocols for COVID-19, Hoffman said. "We're going to be
doing that for months and months going forward," he added.
Finally, the department is looking at the industrial base with an
eye to replenishing the DOD stockpile in case of future crises, and
to produce more equipment for the coronavirus fight, he said.
Hoffman announced that the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort will
soon leave New York City. It will return to its homeport of Norfolk,
Virginia, to restock and get ready for another mission, if needed.
"We'll be looking to [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] to
identify where that next location is; they are the federal
government's lead on this, and so they're the ones who will be
tasking us," he said.
Hoffman cited "modest progress" in
mitigating the virus in the nation's hardest-hit city, calling that
"a welcome sign." The rate of infections in New York is declining,
he noted, adding that there are still many places where this is not
the case, and that the department stands ready to assist.
of today, we have more than 60,000 personnel deployed nationwide,
including 4,400 medical professionals on the front lines," Hoffman
Our Valiant Troops |
Citizens Like Us |