On Jan. 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern for the 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. On Jan. 31, 2020, the secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in the United States and announced new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The current epidemic, which originated in mainland China, has demonstrated the capacity of COVID-19 to spread globally. While supporting other government agencies’ response to the COVID-19 threat, the Department of the Air Force is responding appropriately to protect the health of the force and maintain operational readiness.
A: Deployments are not cancelled, but the Secretary of Defense has ordered a stop movement for all OCONUS deployments with exceptions. Airmen will start deployment orders in accordance with their AF 938. Airmen are still required to complete pre-deployment training and should confirm with the training POC that classes are still scheduled, prior to departure from home station. Airmen will return to home station at completion of training. Airmen will not proceed to deployed location until directed.
A: Mobilized Airman are still expected to return home at their TDY expiration date, unless there is a SECDEF approved extension. Airmen that have volunteered to deploy (12301d) have the option to extend in theater with Combatant Commander’s approval. Airmen that do not elect to extend will return at their TDY expiration date. All redeployers should expect travel delays upon return to CONUS.
A: Currently, there is no official directive to quarantine members before deploying. After members start their AF 938, they are required to clear medical screening prior to departure to the deployed location. Medical screening will determine if you need to be quarantined. Your quarantine location will be at the discretion of your unit commander.
A: Pre and Post-deployment medical screening will determine if an Airman needs to be quarantined. Your quarantine location will be at the discretion of your unit commander.
A: No, the intent of quarantine is to prevent the spread of the disease.
A: ROM is required for all Airmen that have traveled through a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Health Notice (THN) Level 2 or 3 country via military or commercial means. Members will be placed in ROM at an appropriate location at the discretion of their commander for 14 days (beginning the day of departure from the Level 2 or 3 country).
A: Upon completion of ROM, Airmen will complete normal post deployment actions to include downtime and leave. Airmen must complete all processing action to include SHPE and TAP, but may elect to forfeit a part or all of their downtime after required in-processing action are complete. Additionally, Airmen have the option to forego (e.g., carryover, sell) earned leave.
A: Airmen who test COVID-19 positive, will transition from a deployment order to a pre-MEDCON order. Members will continue to receive pay and benefits.
A: Any hardship requests initiated at the unit level, will require endorsement by the first GO in the chain of command and coordinated by the FGC for an “Exception to Policy” (ETP). ETPs are not guaranteed and must be approved by the Joint Staff DJ-3.
A: Orders should not end in theater due to Stop Movement. The Force Generation Center is currently monitoring all TDY expiration dates and coordinating with unit IPRs to extend orders in accordance with applicable laws and policy.
A: Family members are encouraged to stay in contact with Airmen, and are welcome to contact the unit’s commander or 1st Sgt to for up-to-date deployment and redeployment information.
A: Your Installation Deployment Readiness Center (IDRC) is your first resource for deployment/redeployment questions. If they can’t answer your questions, contact the Force Generation Center (FGC) at DSN 497-0003 (Commercial 478-327-003). You can also email questions to the applicable FGC workflow.
Q: Does the Stop Movement apply to Reservists not in duty status? Or their families?
A: 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.
Q: What should I do if I live in an OCONUS in a level-3 affected area?
A: 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.
Q: I am a reservist returning home from official duty in a Level 2 or Level 3 Countries? What should I do?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: Does the SECDEF travel restriction policy impact AFR members? If so, who or what defines my local area?
A: This leave restriction applies to all AFR members currently in status. Per AFI 36-3003, leave begins and ends in the local area. The local area is the place where the member lives and from which he or she commutes to the duty station. Each Installation Commander may or may not have additional local policies for distance.
As of 16 Mar 20, there are no travel restrictions within CONUS. However, given pockets of high transmission within the US, Public Health Emergency Officers should advise commanders of travel risk and ensure travelers are armed with knowledge of National Provider Identifier and self-observation for 14 days prior upon return.
Q: I am a Reservist TDY for an Air University professional development course. How is it affected by the SecAF’s stop movement memo?
A: Many Air Education and Training Command Air University activities have been suspended to include all Eeaker Center functional courses and future leadership (Wing/Group/Squadron commander) level courses i.e., NCO Academy, Chiefs, and First Sergeant courses, as well as the Leadership Development Course and Squadron Officers School. Members should contact their course directors or the Air University website for further guidance.
Q: If I am performing a permanent change of station to a CDC Alert Level 3 Location, and am ordered to travel to an alternate location until transportation is available, what allowances am I authorized?
A: You may be authorized per diem while awaiting transportation. You should contact your new duty station to determine whether you are considered to be awaiting transportation, or if they are going to provide you Temporary Duty Orders. Dependent travelers may only receive per diem if they are in an awaiting transportation status.
Q: If my organization directs or allows telework, can I telework from outside of my location commuting area?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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.
Q: What should I do if I am on MPA/RPA in an area requiring quarantine?
A: 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.
Q: Are UTAs being cancelled?
A: In light of current travel restrictions, Commanders will decide if drills will be conducted or if alternative training methods will be used to accomplish training requirements balancing the mission need against the health risks to airman, local conditions as well as relationships with local partners. Commanders have the discretion to excuse or reschedule wing UTAs, reschedule individual UTAs, create super UTAs in combination with upcoming UTA drills. Commanders may also consider using telework if within the boundaries of governing regulation to accomplish online training and, where possible, mission-essential related operations as outlined in the AFRC/CC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus Commander’s Intent memo. Refer to AFRC/CC memo “2019 Novel Coronavirus Surveillance and Tracking Guidance;” additional guidance will be provided as this crisis evolves.
Q: 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)?
A: The LOD determination/process is always allowable for any condition incurred in the line of duty.
Q. What happens if a Reservist is in danger of having a “bad year” due to COVID-19 travel restrictions?
A. Liberal excusal or reschedule policies to include future ‘super’ four-day UTAs are a course of action commanders can consider to facilitate members achieving a good year. Virtual options to continue required training and events are also encouraged, when feasible. Individual members may work with their unit leadership for reschedules or equivalent training opportunities. Members should work with their chains of command for options available to meet satisfactory retirement and fiscal year requirements.
Q: Will Reserve units cancel the Seasoning Training Program?
A: The discretion to cancel STP resides with commanders. Unit commanders will determine if members on STP are mission essential for operations.
Q: Is the AFR mandating 14-day self-quarantine for Reservists not in status here in CONUS?
A: 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.
Q: What is the recommendation for reservists that serve as healthcare personnel or first responders as their civilian job?
A: 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.
Q: What are the rules for rescheduling Reserve PT tests? For how long do they hold? What if my local base has suspended PT testing?
A: As of 16 Mar 20, all fitness assessments have been suspended for all Department of the Air Force personnel until Jun 2020. More information will be forthcoming as this situation evolves.
Q: Is the March Yellow Ribbon Event cancelled?
A: Yes, all Yellow Ribbon Events have been cancelled through May 11, 2020.
Q: What AFR missions and/or positions are considered mission essential?
A: The SecAF has designated all Global Force Management missions as mission essential; all other mission essential requirements are determined by unit commanders who will balance the mission against the health and safety of their unit, mission readiness and local conditions.
Q1: What is the Selected Reserve?
A1: A member of the Selected Reserve is an actively serving Airmen who is currently assigned to an Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, or active duty unit. These Airmen are fully qualified and trained in their fields and able to deploy as tasked/required. Selected Reserve members regularly participate in unit training assemblies and have annual tour requirements.
Q2: Are Reserve medical personnel being mobilized?
A2: On March 27, the President signed an Executive Order to mobilize the Air Reserve Component (Guard and Reserve), as needed, in support of COVID-19 response. We expect medical personnel to be targeted for mobilization first. Currently, the Air Force Reserve plans to explore Selected Reserve and Participating Individual Ready Reserve (PIRR) members already serving to fill mission taskings. However, this Executive Order does give authority to expand to the IRR to mobilize under 10 USC Section 12302 as mission dictates. ARC members must be prepared for mobilization at any time.
Q3: Where is the location of tasking?
A3: At this time, there are no official taskings for COVID-19 support. Opportunities and locations that require support are contingent on operational need. In the event ARC members are tasked, the location may vary, depending on the situation.
Q4: When would potential taskings occur?
A4: At present, we do not have an official tasking for COVID-19 response. However, established procedures are in place to identify/validate all assigned taskings to the tasked installation/unit. ARC members--SelRes, PIRR and IRR--will be notified as mission dictates.
Q5: Does this mobilization apply to medical personnel who perform medical functions in their civilian jobs but DO NOT currently hold a Medical AFSC in the AF Reserve?
A5: This applies to medical personnel who are fully trained (AFSC/skill level/grade) and able to meet operational requirements associated with COVID-19 response.
Q6: Will this be RPA or MPA funded?
A6: Funds for pay and allowances for ARC members placed on voluntary orders (12301d) are provided from the Military Personnel Appropriation (MPA) account. For ARC members activated under 12302, pay and allowances come from the active component.
Q7: As a medic who would like to volunteer, do I need to be current on medical readiness training?
A7: Yes. However, we understand the current situation with the travel ban and the risk of possible transmission of COVID-19 creates a challenge in assuring medical readiness currency. Therefore, we are working closely with the Defense Health Agency to provide clear direction and guidance regarding life support skills and any appropriate training needed to meet a potential tasking requirement.
Q8: Will DAV codes or annual readiness requirements be waived to volunteer for this opportunity?
A8: There is no easy answer to this question. Waiver approval to allow ARC members with DAV codes to support a prospective tasking will depend on the specific code and other information. Waivers and/or exceptions will be addressed on an individual basis. HAF/A1 is currently exploring potential waivers to annual readiness requirements, as well. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Q9: For reservists who de-mobilize during this period, if they complete their orders and leave active duty, is there any plan for follow on care in the event they begin to exhibit symptoms after their orders terminate?
A9: A post-deployment medical screening will determine if an Airman needs to be quarantined. Your quarantine location will be at the discretion of your unit commander/assigned station. Restriction of Movement (ROM) is required for all Airmen who have traveled through a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travel Health Notice (THN) Level 2 or 3 country via military or commercial means. Members will be placed in ROM at an appropriate local-area location at the discretion of their commander for 14 days (beginning the day of departure from the Level 2 or 3 country). Upon completion of ROM, Airmen will complete normal post deployment actions to include downtime (reconstitution) and leave. These are separate. If a member is on voluntary orders (12301d), the same rules apply, reference quarantine; however, their orders would be extended to cover the 14-day quarantine period. If they exhibit symptoms and test positive while still on that order, then they will be placed on pre-MEDCON orders. If they exhibit signs or symptoms after the order ends, normal Line of Duty Determination rules and procedures would apply.
Q10: How will the mandatory quarantine once back in the states affect the orders of Reserve and Guard members? Specifically referencing the two weeks of reconstitution normally given at home base to close out the deployment orders.
A10: In coordination with their prospective commanders, the unit deployment managers and unit ARTs will determine the appropriate plan for post-deployment reconstitution aligned with mandatory quarantine measures that would ensure the safety and health of the deployed member.
Q11: How do I volunteer to mobilize?
A11: Airmen willing to volunteer for mobilization should contact their unit deployment manager, Readiness Integration Office Detachment, Functional Area Manager or email: HQAFRC.SG.AFRCPHEOs@us.af.mil to self-identify their availability. In the body of the e-mail please provide your name, rank, AFSC, assigned/attached unit, civilian email, address, and phone number.
Q1: What is the IRR?
A1: The IRR stands for the Individual Ready Reserve. IRR members have an unfulfilled portion of their initial 8-year Military Service Obligation or other service commitment (i.e. separation pay election). Members are assigned as a result of recent separation from active duty or a participating guard/reserve program.
Q2: What is the role of the IRR and how will they be utilized?
A2: While in the IRR, members are a mobilization asset and are subject to recall to active duty in case of a national emergency/war. As members of the IRR, they will be notified by the Air Reserve Personnel Center to meet annual screening requirements, such as updating personal information, contact information, and annotating medical status changes. Members may also be required to attend a mandatory in-person Muster screening. Additionally, IRR members are also able to participate in mobilization exercises. When mobilized, members will become Active Duty assets and will be utilized in a manner consistent with Active Duty requirements.
Q3: How do separated or retired members find out what status they are assigned to and how long their IRR or PIRR service commitment is?
A3: Members who have separated from the Air Force are able to find if they have fulfilled their MSO by checking section 6 on their most recent DD Form 214. A Reserve member’s separation order will provide this information. The NGB Form 22, Report of Separation and Record of Service, will indicate if Guard members have been transferred to the AF Reserve. Members can also contact the Total Force Service Center at 1-800-525-0102.
Q4: Why is the Air Force mobilizing the IRR?
A4: At this time, the President has approved Title 10 USC, Section 12302, Partial Mobilization, for COVID-19 operations. Mobilization of the IRR means that there could be shortfalls among Active and Reserve components that need immediate filling. Mobilization will be for up to 2 years unless formally released sooner due to end of national emergency.
Q5: What specialties are most likely to be mobilized?
A5: At this time we have no formal requirements from Air Staff; however, an IRR Mobilization would likely target certain medical specialties. Military leaders are likely to call upon military personnel already actively serving in the Selected Reserve first and look to the IRR to fill shortages in certain skill sets.
Q6: How many members make up the AF IRR program?
A6: Approximately 23,000 personnel make up the Air Force IRR force.
Q7: How long does an individual have to report once notified in the IRR?
A7: Typically, a member has 30 days to report to their designated location once notified, but this timeline can be waived by the Secretary of Defense. Minimum time to report is 5 days. Report date will be listed on the member’s orders.
Q8: How long are IRR required to serve once mobilized?
A8: Up to 2 years unless formally released sooner due to end of national emergency.
Q9: Once released from duty, will the member be subject to restart their IRR commitment again?
A9: Once released, if a member has fulfilled their service commitment while mobilized, they will be discharged. If they still have time remaining on their commitment, they will go back into the IRR to finish that time out and will be discharged once completed.
Q10: What is required of IRR members when they are activated?
A10: Members are required to report to their designated gaining location on the date and time specified on their orders. Additional information pertaining to uniform, travel, etc. will be on the orders.
Q11: How do we monitor the IRR and what is ARPC’s role?
A11: ARPC will mobilize and manage IRR members until arrival and accession into Active Duty. ARPC’s role is to identify who will be mobilized based on direction from Air Staff. They will create and disseminate orders to mobilized Airmen. These members then become Active Duty assets once accessed and remain on Active Duty through the duration of the emergency or conflict until released, but not to exceed two years.
Q12: What if an IRR is called up but is not current on dental and medical Reserve requirements or does not have a serviceable uniform?
A12: Any call up of the IRR will include medical/dental screening along with uniform issue and other initial actions upon mobilization.
The White House
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. Department of Defense
DOD Force Health Protection Guidance
U.S Air Force
Air Force Reserve