US Air Force and army have basic training throughput amid Covid-19

13 July 2020 (Last Updated July 13th, 2020 15:15)

The US Air Force (USAF) and US Army carry out basic training throughput despite the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Visit our Covid-19 microsite for the latest coronavirus news, analysis and updates


Follow the latest updates of the outbreak on our timeline.


The US Air Force (USAF) and US Army have basic training throughput despite the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

USAF commander of Second Air Force Major General Andrea Tullos said that training throughput for the airforce is at about 90% of traditional capacity.

“But we are at 100% production for what the airforce is asking us to produce for the end of this year.

“We had lowered our production to around 60% capacity when Covid began so that we could evaluate the ability of our trainers and the trainees to fight through. But we have since ramped back up.”

The USAF had initially planned to recruit approximately 38,000 soldiers this year. However, the service recruited about 35,500 personnel, contributing to better retention.

A similar result has been noted with the army’s recruitment and retention rate.

The forces have prioritised to keep airmen and soldiers of both services safe by testing recruits for the virus when they arrive at the station.

Soldiers will undergo constant monitoring, and those who test positive will be quarantined to ensure the continuation of the training.

The army and the airforce have reported approximately 2% of new recruits testing positive for Covid-19. It was further noted that among the positively tested soldiers, about 60% were asymptomatic.

Army Center for Initial Military Training commander Army Major General Lonnie Hibbard said: “All soldiers who screen or test positive for exposure or symptoms of the virus are quarantined and given proper medical care, and after recovery, are cleared medically and returned to training.”

Once recovered, the soldiers and airmen return for basic training.

USAF personnel have undergone training at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and Keesler AFB in Mississippi.

US Army’s basic training facilities include: Fort Benning, Georgia; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.