U.S. Central Command has ordered a stop movement of all forces deploying to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to either U.S. commands or U.S.-led coalitions and initiated the requirement for a 14-day quarantine at home station prior to deployment. U.S. Central Command will work with U.S. Transportation Command to ensure that deploying forces will also be quarantined in route to their final destination.
Service members deploying into the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility will be quarantined prior to departure at their point of embarkation so that they will be cleared for duty upon arrival as a prudent precaution to maintain critical combat and combat support functions. This will reduce the need for quarantine in a combat environment and potentially reduce stress on limited medical facilities and resources at their respective bases in the region. This quarantine will be required for both U.S. and coalition service members regardless of where they are coming from. We are working with all coalition members to ensure quarantines are established in accordance with U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
Some units and service members U.S. Central Command area of responsibility will be temporarily held on station while their replacements are quarantined, but this policy is not intended to otherwise delay or prevent the flow of service members or units out of the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. This policy is also not expected to delay the drawdown in forces from Afghanistan as part of the U.S. agreement with the Taliban.
Beyond these actions, U.S. Central Command is taking active measures to ensure U.S. and Coalition personnel in its area of responsibility are educated about and protected from the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The health and safety of our forces are our top priorities.
We are implementing recommended guidance from The Office of Personnel and Readiness and the CDC to ensure our forces remain safe and are able to continue normal operations throughout the region.
To date, COVID-19 has impacted training, but critical operations in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility continue as we adjust and overcome a dynamic environment. We will ensure that U.S. and coalition service members are protected, supplied and supported in all of their critical missions.