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COVID-19 Updates and What the U.S. Government is doing about it.

 

The Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Installation Commander has declared a Public Health Emergency, and directed Health Protection Condition (HPCON) to CHARLIE effective immediately and for the foreseeable future. HPCON CHARLIE is defined as an elevated risk of sustained community transmission. The state of Alaska currently reports a total of 32 confirmed cases.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has identified 7 people who tested positive for COVID-19 at JBER's testing center. All 7 individuals have been isolated, and are following all CDC and DHHS isolation protocols under the supervision of 673 MDG Public Health Office.

The 673 MDG is working with affected chains of command and is working to establish contact tracing.

The installation's top priority is preservation of force and mission while we work to protect the health, safety and welfare of our community. In order to achieve this, the Installation Commander has directed:

- Mission-Essential Personnel Reporting Only--contact your unit chain of command to determine your status and work requirements
- Stop Movement on the Installation--limited to mission essential travel only*
- Suspension of Trusted Travel Program; Closure of Government Hill Gate, and Post Road Gate closed to private auto traffic; Arctic Valley Gate closed on weekends; Richardson VCC closed--expect potential curtailments and closures
- Further reduction of garrison and tenant services--we are working to find ways to provide virtual services as much as possible
- Commissary and AAFES resources will remain available with current mitigating efforts in place
- CDCs will remain open for currently enrolled children but limited to on-duty mission essential members that are mil to mil, single military and CDC employees. Currently enrolled children with extenuating circumstance need to contact their CDC Director.

*Mission essential travel means remaining at home except to leave for work in critical jobs as prescribed by unit chains of command; to buy groceries or other important goods; to receive or provide health care; to drop off or pick up children from care; and to get fresh air while observing 6-foot social distancing between non-family members. Individuals are also encouraged to practice recommended personal and environmental hygiene, including regular hand washing.

The Installation Commander and 673d Medical Group Commander hosted a Facebook live virtual town hall to provide updates on the situation, and field questions from the community. You can find the townhall on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/JBERAK/videos/235719767571347/  and with closed captions on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKFKY6cJe_c

Special Tactics operators simulate first-ever extreme cold weather FARP with next generation fighters

By Senior Airman Rachel Williams | 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs | Feb. 5, 2020

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. —

If an aircraft is behind enemy lines and running low on fuel, a forward area refueling point may be necessary to refuel that aircraft and carry out the mission.

Behind those enemy lines, Special Tactics Airmen are relied on to survey the area of interest to ensure the aircraft can land and be refueled. Special Tactics teams can assess, open, and control major airfields to clandestine dirt strips in either permissive or hostile locations, providing strategic access for our nation’s military.   

For the first time, aircrew with the 27th Special Operations Wing, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, along with a team of Special Tactics Airmen carried out a simulated FARP for F-22 Raptors assigned to Pacific Air Forces’ 3rd Wing in an extreme cold weather environment during Emerald Warrior at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, January 21-31.

“The ability to refuel aircraft at forward airfields and in austere environments is a critical element of Agile Combat Employment,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Davis, commander of the 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. “Practicing this capability with Special Tactics operators enhances our interoperability with the special operations community and increases our ability to generate combat power in a contested environment.  Special Tactics operators are uniquely suited to seize and control airfields, and demonstrating our ability to conduct forward area refueling in challenging arctic conditions takes ACE to new heights.”

The ACE concept provides special operations forces an opportunity to produce lethality with a smaller footprint.

“Bringing together [Air Force Special Operations Command] and the [Conventional Air Force] capitalizes on the rapid planning cycle and precision lethality of Special Tactics in combination with the overwhelming firepower of the CAF,” said a Special Tactics officer and one of the leads for the exercise. “We are able to break open opportunities not afforded to aircraft, like the F-22, in a major combat operation when we rapidly seize an airfield and utilize it to rearm and refuel air dominance assets to keep them in the fight.”

The training familiarized Special Tactics operators with the Air Force’s fifth-generation aircraft, providing unmatched lethality and adaptability to the warfighter.

“F-22s and F-35s were designed to compete and win against advanced adversaries,” said a Special Tactics officer. “Working with the newest and most advanced fighters in the Air Force provides [Special Tactics] the opportunity to maintain technological edge and develop the tactics, techniques and procedures needed in order to leverage their full capabilities.”

During this exercise, Special Tactics operators integrated with an MC-130J Commando II and F-22 Raptors. The airfield was surveyed, secured and operated by an ST team while the C-130 crew refueled the fighters.

The environment allowed ST teams to train on how to best prepare and pack for an extreme cold weather mission as well as perform certain tasks with decreased dexterity.

“This year’s location pushed our limits on sustainability in a major combat operation and provided an opportunity to refine and rewrite TTPs for a challenging operational environment,” the STO said.

Emerald Warrior is a U.S. Special Operations Command directed exercise focusing on irregular warfare in a joint, NATO combined realistic environment. This training hones special operations forces’ air and ground combat skills and the development of improved tactics, techniques and procedures, while strengthening relationships for future deployments.

For Special Tactics, Emerald Warrior is a way to execute and demonstrate a range of skills while integrating the capabilities of joint assets and allies, maintaining an edge over the nation’s adversaries.

“The team was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the professionals in the F-22 and MC-130 community,” the STO said. “We experienced incredible motivation and creative problem solving to push this program forward.” 

Special Tactics is U.S. Special Operations Command’s tactical air and ground integration force, and the Air Force’s special operations ground force, leading global access, precision strike, personnel recovery and battlefield surgery operations.