COVID-19 Updated Q&A for Reservists

  • Published
  • 482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
  • Q1: Does the Stop Movement apply to Reservists not in duty status? Or their families?

A1: All reservists, to include civil service employees, currently in duty status (TR, IMA, and ART, MPA, RPA, IDT or civilian travel orders) are subject to Stop Movement for government funded Domestic Travel for DoD Components issued March 13, 2020. A Reservist who is not in status but is either in or coming from an area under the CDC’s Travel Health Notice Level 2 or 3, is required to be quarantined for 14 days.  The Secretary of Defense stop movement guidance applies to all forms of official travel such as permanent change of station, temporary duty, and government-funded leave for uniformed and civilian personnel and includes personal leave and other non-official travel for uniformed personnel. Level 3 locations currently include most of Europe, South Korea, China, and Iran.

  • Q2: What should I do if I return to civilian employment (including ARTs) following a UTA and become symptomatic with knowledge of a fellow Airmen testing positive in my wing?

A2: ARC members who become symptomatic following UTA should follow guidance issued by the CDC and SecDef.  Members should take precautionary measures to self-quarantine and limit exposure to others.  They should also contact their commander immediately for further guidance.

  • Q3: I am a reservist returning home from official duty in a Level 2 or Level 3 Countries? What should I do?

A3: Based on SecDef Stop Movement order, members in status and ordered to remain in place based on level 2 or 3 locations will be placed under a minimum 14-day restriction of movement (ROM).  Orders will be extended using the same funding type (MPA/RPA) to allow time to determine whether a member is infected.  Exceptions to SecDef’s Stop Movement policy for individuals who wish to return prior to this are required to have the Combatant Commander or SecAF’s approval unless delegated to a General Officer or Senior Executive Service member and those coming back to HOR.

  • Q4: If my organization directs or allows telework, can I telework from outside of my location commuting area?

A4: Yes, if the telework or telecommute arrangements have been established and approved. For AFR military personnel, telecommute duty locations are determined by the commander. For civil service employee telework agreements may be utilized. Civilian employees should consult with local HR offices to determine appropriate collective bargaining obligations where bargaining unit employees are impacted.

  • Q5: What should I do if I live in an OCONUS in a level-3 affected area?
  • Q6: What should I do if I am on MPA/RPA in an area requiring quarantine?

A6: Airmen should inform the unit leadership and follow country, state, CDC, DOD, and local guidance to comply with all directives. Should RPA/MPA tour end prior to quarantine period, extend Airmen’s orders through the quarantine period.

  • Q7: Are UTAs being cancelled?

A7: In light of current travel restrictions, Commanders will decide if drills will be conducted or if alternative training methods will be used to accomplish training requirements balancing the mission need against the health risks to airman, local conditions as well as relationships with local partners. Commanders have the discretion to excuse or reschedule wing UTAs, reschedule individual UTAs, create super UTAs in combination with upcoming UTA drills. Commanders may also consider using telework if within the boundaries of governing regulation to accomplish online training and, where possible, mission-essential related operations as outlined in the AFRC/CC’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus Commander’s Intent memo. Refer to AFRC/CC memo “2019 Novel Coronavirus Surveillance and Tracking Guidance;” additional guidance will be provided as this crisis evolves.

  • Q8: Is the AFR mandating 14-day self-quarantine for Reservists not in status here in CONUS?

A8: AFR members not in status should follow current CDC guidance issued for enhanced precautions for Level 2 countries; self-monitor and practice social distancing in addition to avoiding contact with sick people and employ frequent hand washing. 

  • Q9: What is the recommendation for reservists that serve as healthcare personnel or first responders as their civilian job?

A9: Initial guidance for reserve members not in a full-time status is to follow CDC guidance including self-quarantine, monitoring and reporting to their unit.

  • Q10: If I am TDY or participating in an exercise in travel restricted areas (i.e. Korea), will I be kept on orders for their quarantine once returned?

A10: We are complying with all DoD travel restrictions and clearance processes. If an Air Force reserve member is currently on orders performing duty, they may finish their TDY, however this is up to the individual commander. They may curtail orders or extend orders accordingly depending on the specific situation to protect the health of their Airmen.

  • Q11: If a Reservist contracts COVID-19 because they were on orders in affected areas, will they be allowed to process a Line of Duty (LOD)?

A11: The LOD determination/process is always allowable for any condition incurred in the line of duty.

  • Q12: My HOR is designated a Level 3 country. I am also assigned to a unit in a separate Level 3 country (ex - I live in Italy and serve in South Korea). How do I handle this situation?

A12: The AF issued a stop movement of all personnel to, from or through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated Level 3 COVID-19 locations effective March 13 and for the next 60 days following Secretary of Defense announcement of new travel restrictions.  If you live in a Level 3 country, you should not report for official duty until this stop movement order is terminated.  Please reach out to your RIO detachment or unit of assignment if you have specific questions.

  • Q13: If an AFR civilian member is on leave outside the local area and is unable to return to their duty location due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, will the member be forced to extend chargeable leave?

A13: OPM has determined that agencies may authorize weather and safety leave for asymptomatic civilian members unable to return to their duty location due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.  Use ATAAPS code LN.

  • Q14: If a military member in status is on ordinary leave outside of the local area is unable to return to the local area due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, can leave be ended outside the duty area?

A14: For Airmen currently on leave at an impacted Stop Movement location, the unit commander may adjust the leave upon the member’s return to home station.

  • Q15: What are the rules for rescheduling Reserve PT tests? For how long do they hold? What if my local base has suspended PT testing?

A15: As of 16 Mar 20, all fitness assessments have been suspended for all Department of the Air Force personnel until Jun 2020. More information will be forthcoming as this situation evolves.

  • Q16: Does the SECDEF travel restriction policy impact AFR members? If so, who or what defines my local area?

A16:  This leave restriction applies to all AFR members currently in status. Per AFI 36-3003, leave begins and ends in the local area.  The local area is the place where the member lives and from which he or she commutes to the duty station.  Each Installation Commander may or may not have additional local policies for distance. As of 16 Mar 20, there are no travel restrictions within CONUS.  However given pockets of high transmission within the US, Public Health Emergency Officers should advise commanders of travel risk and ensure travelers are armed with knowledge of National Provider Identifier and self-observation for 14 days prior upon return.

  • Q17: What AFR missions and/or positions are considered mission essential?

A17: The SecAF has designated all Global Force Management missions as mission essential; all other mission essential requirements are determined by unit commanders who will balance the mission against the health and safety of their unit, mission readiness and local conditions.

  • Q18. What happens if a Reservist is in danger of having a “bad year” due to COVID-19 travel restrictions?

A18.  Liberal excusal or reschedule policies to include future ‘super’ four-day UTAs are a course of action commanders can consider to facilitate members achieving a good year.  Virtual options to continue required training and events are also encouraged, when feasible. Individual members may work with their unit leadership for reschedules or equivalent training opportunities. Members should work with their chains of command for options available to meet satisfactory retirement and fiscal year requirements.

  • Q19: I am a Reservist TDY for an Air University professional development course. How is it affected by the SecAF’s stop movement memo?

A19: Many Air Education and Training Command Air University activities have been suspended to include all Eeaker Center functional courses and future leadership (Wing/Group/Squadron commander) level courses i.e., NCO Academy, Chiefs, and First Sergeant courses, as well as the Leadership Development Course and Squadron Officers School. Members should contact their course directors or the Air University website for further guidance.

  • Q20: Is the March Yellow Ribbon Event cancelled?

A20: Yes, all Yellow Ribbon Events have been cancelled through May 11, 2020.

  • Q21: Will Reserve units cancel the Seasoning Training Program?

A21:  The discretion to cancel STP resides with commanders. Unit commanders will determine if members on STP are mission essential for operations.

  • Q22: If I am performing a permanent change of station to a CDC Alert Level 3 Location, and am ordered to travel to an alternate location until transportation is available, what allowances am I authorized?

A22: You may be authorized per diem while awaiting transportation. You should contact your new duty station to determine whether you are considered to be awaiting transportation, or if they are going to provide you Temporary Duty Orders. Dependent travelers may only receive per diem if they are in an awaiting transportation status.

(as of 7:49 p.m. Mar. 18, 2020)