DoD releases stop movement order to prevent spread of Covid-19

26 March 2020 (Last Updated March 26th, 2020 15:29)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has released an overseas stop movement order for all uniformed and civilian personnel to avoid the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

DoD releases stop movement order to prevent spread of Covid-19
The DoD’s stop movement order will impact exercises, deployments, redeployments and other global force management activities. Credit: Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Taylor.

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The US Department of Defense (DoD) has released an overseas stop movement order for all uniformed and civilian personnel to avoid the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

The 60-day order also extends to their sponsored family members.

Announced by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, the order will also protect US personnel and preserve the country’s operational readiness across the globe.

The order imposed is a continuation of existing restrictions on foreign travel, permanent change of station moves, temporary duty and personal leave.

Once enacted, this stop movement order will also impact exercises, deployments, redeployments and other management activities.

An approximate of 90,000 service members will be affected by the notice over the period of next 60 days.

Under the stop movement order, some exceptions have been given, which include travelling patients and medical providers for DoD personnel and their families.

Authorised exceptions also include scheduled deployments and redeployments of US Navy vessels and embarked units. This is permitted only if they are in transit for 14 days, meeting the restriction of movement (ROM).

Individuals who have already initiated travel will also be permitted to reach their destination.

Additionally, individuals whose temporary duty ends while this order is in effect have been authorised to return to their home station.

Other travel may be permitted according to significance, if it is humanitarian in nature or warranted due to extreme hardship.

The exceptions are to be approved by Combatant Commanders, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or Secretaries of Military Departments.

Currently, the continued drawdown of US forces from Afghanistan is not expected to be affected by the order.