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U.S. Air Force News

Air Force update for COVID-19

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs / Published May 08, 2020

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- In an effort to minimize the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 and to prioritize the health and safety of Department of the Air Force personnel, the following modifications have been made:

May 8, 2020
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, along with Chief Master Sgt. Manny Pineiro, the service's first sergeant special duty manager, visited Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland May 7, seeing firsthand how basic military training has adapted operations to fight through the COVID-19 environment.

Read more about their visit here: https://www.amc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2179223/nurse-and-tech-week-heroes-among-us/

The Department of the Air Force's Acquisition COVID-19 Task Force, or DAF-ACT, executed a $126 million contract on May 1 for expanded production of N95 masks – 26 million per month – starting in October. The contract, awarded to 3M, will increase the supply chain of N95 masks and resupply the Strategic National Stockpile following increased demand due to COVID-19.

Read this announcement here: https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2180225/daf-act-contracting-executes-n95-mask-production-for-dod/

What started as an idea from the Air Force chief of staff transitioning to a Joint Task Force capability fulfilled by 9th Air Force. Ninth Air Force stood up Task Force-Southeast to aid FEMA regions III and IV in the fight against coronavirus, showcasing to the Air Force chief of staff that the numbered Air Force is ready and able to execute JTF command and control.

The key to finding a vaccine or effective treatment against COVID-19 may lie in its genetic code. Researchers around the globe are searching for clues to unlock the secrets of the novel coronavirus as the epidemic continues to spread worldwide. The Air Force Genetics Center of Excellence at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, is aiding in that scientific research effort to sequence the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2, genome, the virus strain that causes COVID-19.

Read more about this effort here: https://www.aetc.af.mil/News/Article/2179613/dha-collaborates-to-further-sequence-the-sars-cov-2-code/

The process of changing duty stations is temporarily evolving now that more precautions are in place due to COVID-19.  Tyndall Air Force Base has created Task Force Roadrunner; a multi-agency, collaborate task force specializing in controlling the reception of incoming Airmen to limit the possible spread of COVID-19.

Read more about this effort here: https://www.acc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2180734/tyndall-takes-action-inbound-airmen-protected-through-quarantine/

Having served with a community-based organization at a ballpark in Macon, Georgia, for 40 years, Freddie Stewart Jr., a communications focal point in the 78th Air Base Wing's Communications Directorate at Robins, has seen the needs of many families in the area firsthand.

Read more about his efforts here:  https://www.afmc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2180845/robins-civilian-serves-community-during-pandemic/

Medical professionals from the Pennsylvania National Guard perform ventilator training at the Medical Simulation Training Center at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., May 6, 2020. The training is very relevant to what the Soldiers and Airmen might face while assisting the fight against COVID-19.

See video of their efforts here: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/369301/ohio-national-guard-front-lines-during-covid-19-pandemic-soldiers-airmen-provide-medical-assistance-federal-prison

Capt. Jim Kane's unit, the 144th Medical Detachment, 144th Fighter Wing, was one of the first of the California National Guard to be activated to serve a COVID-19 response mission. He and other members from one of his unit's medical support teams were tasked by the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services to support the California Emergency Services Authority with the care and monitoring of 21 passengers from the Grand Princess Cruise Line.

Read more about his efforts here: https://www.dvidshub.net/news/369446/capt-jim-kane-citizen-airman-caring-community

Airmen from the 190th Air Refueling Wing provide N95 protective mask testing for the staff of the Homestead of Topeka. The N95 masks are used by the Homestead of Topeka staff to minimize spread of diseases, such as COVID-19 and will strengthen their defense response while continuing to care for all residents. 

See photos of their efforts here: https://www.dvidshub.net/image/6202226/mask-fit-protect

Air Force units have recently conducted America Salutes flyovers in their local areas honoring COVID-19 responders and essential workers.  Below are links to imagery from the units that have conducted flyovers:

The Missouri Air National Guard's 131st Bomb Wing will conduct B-2 flyovers of six Missouri communities to honor medical and healthcare professionals, essential employees and volunteers in the fight against COVID-19 on the afternoon and evening of May 8.

Story: https://www.whiteman.af.mil/News/Article/2179682/missouri-air-national-guard-to-conduct-b-2-stealth-bomber-salute-to-covid-19-es/

910th launches second round of "Hercs Over America" flyovers

Photos: https://www.dvidshub.net/image/6201686/910th-launches-second-round-hercs-over-america-flyovers

The 302nd AW performed a C-130 flyover in support of "Operation Air Force Salutes" to honor Colorado healthcare workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Story: https://www.afrc.af.mil/News/Article/2180565/302nd-airlift-wing-thanks-colorado-healthcare-workers-with-flyover/

The Arizona Air National Guard aircraft took flight, combining a training mission with a tribute to the nurses and healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.

Photos: https://www.dvidshub.net/image/6202100/az-air-guard-pays-tribute-n-az-nurses-healthcare-workers

Essential missions throughout the Air Force still continue even during this pandemic.  Below are some links to stories on how these units have adapted to make sure they can continue to execute these missions despite COVID-19.

Gen. Brown testifies at CSAF confirmation hearing - https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2180422/gen-brown-testifies-at-csaf-confirmation-hearing/

Military Spouse Appreciation Day: A salute to their sacrifices - https://www.aetc.af.mil/News/Article/2181026/military-spouse-appreciation-day-a-salute-to-their-sacrifices/

Remaining safe, secure, lethal: COVID-19 has nothing on ICBMs - https://www.afgsc.af.mil/News/Features/Display/Article/2179562/remaining-safe-secure-lethal-covid-19-has-nothing-on-icbms/

Whiteman Key Spouses keep families informed - https://www.whiteman.af.mil/News/Article/2180727/whiteman-key-spouses-keep-families-informed/

Airpower demo showcases mission readiness, total force integration - https://www.477fg.afrc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2180582/airpower-demo-showcases-mission-readiness-total-force-integration/

First deployed Airmen return during COVID-19 -  https://www.acc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2180805/first-deployed-airmen-return-during-covid-19/

First group of Airmen from Hill's 34th Fighter Squadron return home - https://www.acc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2180815/first-group-of-airmen-from-hills-34th-fighter-squadron-return-home/

New roles, unexpected challenges for DAFB Battle Staff - https://www.amc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2180521/new-roles-unexpected-challenges-for-dafb-battle-staff/

Air Force Totals of COVID-19 Positive Cases as of 9 p.m., May 7, 2020.  

Military 409 (+9) 8 181 (+22) 0
Civilian*    206 (+1) 9 91 (+6) 0
Dependents 245 (+5)  6 (-1) 90 (+5) 0
Contractors 83 (-1) 5 28 1
Total 943 28 390 1

*Corrects previous reports.

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