- The Washington Times
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

It’s hard to maintain proper COVID-19 inspired social distancing when your office is the cramped confines of a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III shuttling testing kits and Army field hospitals around the nation to help battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Army Gen. Stephen Lyons is head of U.S. Transportation Command, which provides full global mobility needs for the U.S. military.


“We are mission ready to do what the Secretary [of Defense] asks us to do,” Gen. Lyons said Tuesday in a Pentagon briefing.

Because their flight crews can’t telework, officials at U.S. Transportation Command in Illinois want to make sure they can be kept safe even in a potential coronavirus “hot zone.”

“They are very, very isolated. You might characterize it as ‘isolation in motion,’” Gen. Lyons said. “We’re trying to create a ‘cocoon’ if you will over an entire flight crew.”

After their airplane arrives at a location, the flight crew is immediately whisked away to their temporary billets. They are essentially on lock-down with food being delivered to them.

“They don’t leave the billets until the next mission. It’s a very, very controlled environment,” Gen. Lyons said. “They never leave the base and even inside the base they’re very, very controlled.”

Gen. Lyons said he was hopeful at the concept that seems to be working.

“It allows us to continue the mission and protect the force at the same time,” he said.


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