ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFNS) --
In an effort to inform Reserve Citizen Airmen and their families with facts on COVID-19 effects, Air Force Reserve leaders encourage all to visit the Air Force’s COVID-19 web page for the latest on the virus and how it is effecting the service. The site contains the latest DoD and Air Force guidance, news, and links to helpful resources from the Centers for Disease Control, Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, travel advisories, frequently asked questions and answers, COVID-19 affected activities and gatherings, and health protection measures. Additional guidance for Reservists, to include Reserve-specific questions and answers, is available at the Air Reserve Personnel Center website, www.arpc.afrc.af.mil, at the Air Force Reserve website, www.afrc.af.mil, as well as the Air Force Reserve Facebook page.
“My number one priority is to take care of our Reserve Citizen Airmen and families,” said Lt. Gen. Richard Scobee, commander of Air Force Reserve Command. “I trust our commanders to make the right decisions at the local level to ensure safety of their people while balancing our national defense taskings and requirements.”
Reservists are encouraged to check their unit’s web page and social media sites regularly for specific, local information as well as reach out to unit leadership. Individual Reservists should stay in close contact with their chain of command and/or their RIO detachment when planning or scheduling training, duty days, or other travel orders.
The Air Force Reserve is committed to continuing mission essential operations, but leaders are aware the actions to prevent spread of COVID-19 will affect many activities. While the command has cancelled many Air Force Reserve-sponsored events and conferences, the Deputy Secretary of Defense stop movement order effective March 13 for all DoD personnel and families domestically will drive local commander decisions about UTA attendance.
“Force health protection is critical to our ability to accomplish the mission,” General Scobee added. “Local and base commanders are empowered to assess their community environments, work with local and state agencies, and make smart decisions affecting their Reserve Citizen Airmen, families and communities.”
Decisions on unit training assemblies, other unit-specific scheduling, and duty status decisions will be communicated through the chain of command and base websites, apps and social media, as they are made. Liberal excusal or reschedule policies or future ‘super’ four-day UTAs are a course of action a local commander can consider based on regional and local community guidance. Virtual options to continue required training and events are encouraged, as possible.
Members of the Air Force Reserve team who have the ability to telework (civilians) or telecommute (military) are encouraged to review, update or submit any required documentation and training, should your local unit consider telework/telecommute options. As a reminder, Desktop Anywhere, which utilizes a user’s personal computer (Mac or Windows), a valid Air Force CAC, and installed software, is the Air Force Reserve’s preferred method for telework/telecommute. To download Desktop Anywhere, CAC into the Air Force Portal, type "Desktop Anywhere" in the search bar in the upper right-hand corner and carefully follow the detailed installation instructions.
Air Force Reserve leaders recommend Reserve Citizen Airmen and their families practice preventative hygiene and stay informed through local agencies, chains of command and by following CDC, DoD and Force Health protection guidance.
STOP MOVEMENT MESSAGE
The Department of the Air Force issued a stop movement of all personnel to, from or through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated Level 3 COVID-19 locations effective March 13 and for the next 60 days following Secretary of Defense announcement of new travel restrictions.
Q1: Does the Stop Movement apply to Reservists not in duty status? Or their families?
A1: All reservists, to include civil service employees, currently in duty status (TR, IMA, and ART, MPA, RPA, IDT or civilian travel orders) are subject to Stop Movement for government funded Domestic Travel for DoD Components issued March 13, 2020. A Reservist who is not in status but is either in or coming from an area under the CDC’s Travel Health Notice Level 2 or 3, is required to be quarantined for 14 days. The Secretary of Defense stop movement guidance applies to all forms of official travel such as permanent change of station, temporary duty, and government-funded leave for uniformed and civilian personnel and includes personal leave and other non-official travel for uniformed personnel. Level 3 locations currently include most of Europe, South Korea, China, and Iran.
Q2: What should I do if I return to civilian employment (including ARTs) following a UTA and become symptomatic with knowledge of a fellow Airmen testing positive in my wing?
A2: ARC members who become symptomatic following UTA should follow guidance issued by the CDC and SecDef. Members should take precautionary measures to self-quarantine and limit exposure to others. They should also contact their commander immediately for further guidance.
Q3: I am a reservist returning home from official duty in a Level 2 or Level 3 Countries? What should I do?
A3: Based on SecDef Stop Movement order, members in status and ordered to remain in place based on level 2 or 3 locations will be placed under a minimum 14-day restriction of movement (ROM). Orders will be extended using the same funding type (MPA/RPA) to allow time to determine whether a member is infected. Exceptions to SecDef’s Stop Movement policy for individuals who wish to return prior to this are required to have the Combatant Commander or SecAF’s approval unless delegated to a General Officer or Senior Executive Service member and those coming back to HOR .
Q4: If my organization directs or allows telework, can I telework from outside of my location commuting area?
A4: Yes, if the telework or telecommute arrangements have been established and approved. For AFR military personnel, telecommute duty locations are determined by the commander. For civil service employee telework agreements may be utilized. Civilian employees should consult with local HR offices to determine appropriate collective bargaining obligations where bargaining unit employees are impacted.
Q5: What should I do if I live in an OCONUS in a level-3 affected area?
A5: Remain in place. See Part I, para 3 of “Stop Movement and Concurrent Guidance Related to Travel Restrictions Due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)”. Airmen currently at a location impacted by Stop Movement will remain in-place until further guidance or Stop Movement is terminated.
Q6: What should I do if I am on MPA/RPA in an area requiring quarantine?
A6: Airmen should inform the unit leadership and follow country, state, CDC, DOD, and local guidance to comply with all directives. Should RPA/MPA tour end prior to quarantine period, extend Airmen’s orders through the quarantine period.
Q7: Are UTAs being cancelled?
A7: While the command has cancelled many Air Force Reserve-sponsored events and conferences, the Deputy Secretary of Defense stop movement order effective March 13 for all DoD personnel and families domestically will drive local commander decisions about UTA attendance. Decisions on unit training assemblies, other unit-specific scheduling, and duty status decisions will be communicated through the chain of command and base websites, apps and social media, based on considering local health conditions and restrictions. Liberal excusal or reschedule policies or future ‘super’ four-day UTAs are a course of action a local commander can consider based on regional and local community guidance. Virtual options to continue required training and events are encouraged, as possible.
Q8: Is the AFR mandating 14-day self-quarantine for Reservists not in status here in CONUS?
A8: AFR members not in status should follow current CDC guidance issued for enhanced precautions for Level 2 countries; self-monitor and practice social distancing in addition to avoiding contact with sick people and employ frequent hand washing.
Q9: What is the recommendation for reservists that serve as healthcare personnel or first responders as their civilian job?
A9: Initial guidance for reserve members not in a full-time status is to follow CDC guidance including self-quarantine, monitoring and reporting to their unit.
Q10: If I am TDY or participating in an exercise in travel restricted areas (i.e. Korea), will I be kept on orders for their quarantine once returned?
A10: We are complying with all DoD travel restrictions and clearance processes. If an Air Force reserve member is currently on orders performing duty, they may finish their TDY, however this is up to the individual commander. They may curtail orders or extend orders accordingly depending on the specific situation to protect the health of their Airmen.
Q11: If a Reservist contracts COVID-19 because they were on orders in affected areas, will they be allowed to process a Line of Duty (LOD)?
A11: The LOD determination/process is always allowable for any condition incurred in the line of duty.
Q12: My HOR is designated a Level 3 country. I am also assigned to a unit in a separate Level 3 country (ex - I live in Italy and serve in South Korea). How do I handle this situation?
A12: The AF issued a stop movement of all personnel to, from or through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated Level 3 COVID-19 locations effective March 13 and for the next 60 days following Secretary of Defense announcement of new travel restrictions. If you live in a Level 3 country, you should not report for official duty until this stop movement order is terminated. Please reach out to your RIO detachment or unit of assignment if you have specific questions.
Q13: If an AFR civilian member is on leave outside the local area and is unable to return to their duty location due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, will the member be forced to extend chargeable leave?
A13: OPM has determined that agencies may authorize weather and safety leave for asymptomatic civilian members unable to return to their duty location due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Use ATAAPS code LN.
Q14: If a military member in status is on ordinary leave outside of the local area is unable to return to the local area due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, can leave be ended outside the duty area?
A14: For Airmen currently on leave at an impacted Stop Movement location, the unit commander may adjust the leave upon the member’s return to home station.
(as of 9:00 a.m. Mar. 15, 2020)