Eglin, Duke Field move to HPCON Charlie
By 96th Test Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 25, 2020
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Brig. Gen. Scott Cain, the 96th Test Wing commander, directed Health Protection Condition Charlie effective today to combat the spread of COVID-19 across the Department of the Air Force and the local communities.
Cain also declared a public health emergency. Like similar declarations throughout the state, this declaration gives the installation more authority to deal with the COVID-19 situation, as well as access to resources to protect the base, community and military mission.
The increased health protection levels are aimed at the continued efforts to protect Team Eglin’s people, resources and to preserve mission capability.
HPCON Charlie measures include the following actions:
- Continue essential missions with required manning. Installation operations will be commensurate with federal, state and local guidelines; installation commanders will determine the installation’s essential missions and required manning in coordination with mission partners. Consider issuing documentation as proof for personnel who require movement to and from the base in support of essential missions.
- Maximizing remote/telework options. Only conduct in-person mission essential meetings that require the fewest personnel.
- Continued cancellation of daily/non-mission essential in-person gatherings (e.g., schools, daycare, all community activities) and potential restricted ability to travel. Commissary, Base Exchange and pharmacy remain open to ID card holders.
- Prepare for limited and/or restricted access to the installation, if directed. May include modifications to facility entrances/exits.
- Instruct military personnel and encourage civilian employees to limit off-base travel to movement to/from work, grocery and hospital/medical needs.
- Follow COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as from the 42nd Medical Group, to include social distancing, proper hand washing hygiene, avoiding touching face, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, staying home if sick.
“This declaration is intended to protect our members and the communities in which they reside," said Col. Kevin Merrill, 919th Special Operations Wing commander, at Duke Field.
The HPCON increase allows installations the opportunity to perform more preventative measures to combat the corona virus' spread.
At the same time, the increased health protection levels will impact many of the facilities and functions on base. Personnel and residents should expect on-base facilities to decrease activities or reduce hours of operation as conditions warrant.
"I remain committed to keeping our members and their families safe and continuing the close partnership we have with local and state officials while also adhering to guidance from the Air Force and Department of Defense leadership on helping to prevent the spread of this virus," said Merrill.