Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper is expected to support a request from the Department of Health and Human Services which asked DOD to identify military installations near 11 major airports that could house additional passengers being quarantined to monitor for coronavirus symptoms, should HHS facilities become filled. These are tertiary locations, and HHS already has primary and secondary locations identified that are not DOD facilities.
The DOD installations and the airports they could support as tertiary backups are:
- JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI (HNL)
- Great Lakes Training Center Navy Base, IL (ORD)
- Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, TX (DFW)
- March ARB, CA (LAX)
- Travis AFB, CA (SFO)
- Dobbins ARB, GA (ATL)
- Fort Hamilton, NY (JFK)
- Naval Base Kitsap, WA (SEA)
- Joint Base Anacostia, DC (IAD)
- Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ (EWR)
- Fort Custer Training Center (DTW)
Under the request, DOD support at each location will be limited to providing housing support for up to 20 people as they undergo a period of quarantined observation. The department will also provide office space for several HHS personnel and their equipment through February 22, 2020.
As with prior coronavirus Requests for Assistance, HHS will be responsible for all care, transportation, and security of the evacuees.
DOD personnel will not be in direct contact with the evacuees and will minimize contact with personnel supporting the evacuees. Should routine monitoring of the evacuees identify ill individuals, HHS has procedures in place to transport them to a local civilian medical facility. HHS will also ensure that no evacuated personnel are transferred to any DOD installation if they are infected or ill.
The department continues to work closely with its interagency partners, while monitoring the situation. DOD has assessed this support will not negatively impact readiness or critical operations.
DOD’s primary responsibility is the safety of our force, our families and our base communities. DOD personnel will follow guidance in the memorandum, “Force Health Protection Guidance for the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak,” to reduce risk.