VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE- Current as of March 20.
Response to COVID-19 and Mitigating Risk:
Q: Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Vandenberg AFB?
A: There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Vandenberg AFB. However, there are confirmed cases in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. For the most up-to-date information about the local area, please visit publichealthsbc.org and https://www.emergencyslo.org/en/covid19.aspx.
Q: What is the guidance for staying at home?
A: The President is recommending that we stay at home for the next two weeks, and we are going to do our best to heed that direction. When human beings are traveling, it increases the rate at which the virus is spread. California Governor Gavin Newsom implemented an executive order on March 19, which ordered all individuals to stay home except for essential needs such as traveling to and from critical job functions, gas stations, grocery stores, medical appointments and more. For more information, please review the state’s official website at https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/.
Q: What are we doing to mitigate risks across the base?
A: Across the base, we have already eliminated many in-person meetings, implemented teleconferencing and teleworking programs for both military and civilians where applicable, and reduced the number of individuals in any given location to align with the President’s guidance of 10 people or less in any one room.
Q: Is there enhanced protocol for checking IDs at base gates?
A: Installation entry controllers have altered procedures in response to COVID-19. When approaching the gate, we ask that drivers have the ID cards of all occupants in the vehicle in-hand. Defenders will not touch ID cards. Please present the front of the card to the Defender. When prompted, turn the card for scanning. Repeat this process for all subsequent IDs.
Q: Are there test kits on base?
A: Yes. The Vandenberg Medical Group has the ability to test for COVID-19. Currently, we are testing our base populace on a case-by-case basis. At this time, testing is only for those who are presenting symptoms. If you think you might have COVID-19 or are presenting any symptoms, please call the 30th Medical Group at 805-606-CARE for further guidance.
Q: Will dependents be allowed to test for COVID-19?
A: Dependents are still entitled to the same level of care that their provider recommends, to include testing for COVID-19. Currently, we are testing our base populace on a case-by-case basis. At this time, testing is only for those who are presenting symptoms. If you think you might have COVID-19 or are presenting any symptoms, please call the 30th Medical Group at 805-606-CARE for further guidance.
Q: What are we doing for testing? Have any tests been administered?
A: We are testing personnel that meet the threshold for testing per a practitioner's assessment of their unique situation. At this time, we are only testing those who are showing symptoms. We have administered a handful of tests, which have all come back negative. We are still recommending that anyone presenting any symptoms remain at home and call the 30th Medical Group at 805-606-CARE for further guidance.
Q: What is being done to address the work situations of tenant units?
A: Members of tenant units, to include the 576th Flight Test Squadron and the 381st Training Group, should engage with their leadership regarding requirements and expectations during this time.
Q: If I have a cold, should I stay at home?
A: Yes. If you are sick, please stay at home. For a large percentage of the population who contract COVID-19, they only show cold-like symptoms. As a measure of precaution, we are recommending that even with minor symptoms you remain at home. Before returning to work, please call the 30th Medical Group at 805-606-CARE for further guidance.
Q: What do we do if we are around someone who has self-isolated due to minor illness and/or symptoms?
A: If you think you may have been exposed to any illnesses or are showing any symptoms, please call the 30th Medical Group at 805-606-CARE for further guidance.
Q: Will the gym be closing or be restricted to active duty only?
A: As a measure of precaution, we have decided to close the gym. At this time, it will also remain closed to essential personnel. We will continue to assess this decision and be sure to announce any updates or changes to this closure.
Q: Are preparations on base being made to prepare for the next stage after flatten the curve?
A: We are continually monitoring the situation and preparing ourselves for the long-term, to include health practices and mission requirements. Preserving the health and wellbeing of our space warfighters is the top priority. Our mission and national security depends on it. As guidance and information flow down, we are assessing what needs to be done for public health and mission requirements in both the short- and long-term.
Q: Can you elaborate on the email that was sent by Balfour Beatty to base residents?
A: This is a proactive step to ensure that all paperwork is in place should an enforcement stage of base access be necessary. You have time to pick up the memorandum in question. If you have any concerns regarding the pick up of your document, please reach out to BBC directly.
Q: Where can we get the most up-to-date information?
A: For all base-related information, please visit our official website: https://www.vandenberg.af.mil/COVID-19/. Our Facebook (Vandenberg Air Force Base), Twitter (@30thSpaceWing) and Instagram (@vandenberg_afb) pages are also great places to get quick, up-to-date information. For information regarding COVID-19, please visit the website for the Center for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Q: We did a Personally Procured Move (PPM) and are expecting our household goods container next week. Will I be able to sponsor the driver to drop off/pick up the container to base housing?
A: Yes. Private household good deliveries will be treated like a commercial delivery in which case they will be permitted on base. Please contact the Visitor Control Center at 805-606-7662 for further guidance.
Q: Can contractors still report for work?
A: Yes, if you are deemed mission essential and have official business on Vandenberg AFB, you will still be permitted on base. If you are unsure about your status, please contact your appropriate POC or chain-of-command for further guidance.
Q: Will base visitors be limited?
A: Base access has been limited to mission essential personnel and services only. Essential services include the pharmacy, Commissary and Base Exchange for all beneficiaries who possess a valid I.D. If you have official business on Vandenberg AFB and possess a valid I.D. or base pass, you will still be permitted on base for official purposes. Commercial deliveries such as USPS, UPS, FedEx, private moving companies and the like will also be permitted on base. Base residents will still be allowed to sponsor guests in their homes on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your chain-of-command and/or the Visitor Control Center at 805-606-7662 for further guidance.
Stop Movement (PCS/TDY/Leave):
Q: What is the current status of PCS?
A: The Deputy Secretary of Defense (DepSecDef) has taken proactive measures to restrict travel. These restrictions are necessary to “preserve force readiness, limit the continuing spread of the virus, and preserve the health and welfare of service members, DoD civilian employees, their families, and the local communities in which we live.” Late Friday evening, March 13, the DepSecDef announced a stop movement for all government travel for service members, DoD civilians and families. This includes all forms of travel including permanent change of station, temporary duty and leave.
Q: Will airmen scheduled to PCS to a base that has confirmed cases of the virus still be able to move if they are considered mission essential?
A: A travel exception may be granted for compelling cases where the travel is determined to be mission-essential, necessary for humanitarian reasons, or warranted due to extreme hardship. If you feel like your situation warrants an exemption, please get in contact with your chain-of-command. Additionally, you will want to get in contact with your receiving MPF to make sure they are able to in-process you.
Q: How does Governor Newsom’s executive order affect me?
A: Governor Newsom's executive order does not preclude essential personnel from traveling to and from Vandenberg AFB. You will also be allowed to travel for essential needs like food, medical appointments, banks and pharmacies. For more information on the order, please review the state's official website at www.covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/
Q: What is the current leave policy for Vandenberg AFB?
A: Military members can still take leave inside of the local area. Currently, the local leave area for Vandenberg AFB is defined as Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. All military members are hereby limited to local leave (and liberty) only. All other leave is cancelled.
Q: Will this keep people from deploying this month?
A: No. Deployers are considered mission essential and are planned to still depart as scheduled.
Q: Will this keep people from coming home from deployment within the next few months?
A: No. Currently, members will still return home; however, it is possible that returns will be delayed by two to four weeks. Disruptions to transportation movement caused by DoD travel restrictions will be mitigated as much as possible.
Q: The stop movement has created a hardship for me and my family. Are there any exceptions?
A: A travel exception may be granted for compelling cases where the travel is determined to be mission-essential, necessary for humanitarian reasons, or warranted due to extreme hardship. If you feel like your situation warrants an exemption, please get in contact with your chain-of-command.
Q: Does the stop movement order also apply to dependents?
A: All official government travel has been postponed for military and their dependents; however, dependents are not subject to the same stop movement restrictions as their military sponsor. Based on guidance from the President and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are recommending that everyone limit their travel to the best of their ability to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Q: I work for a local moving company. Will all moves be stopped?
A: Many moves will be postponed, but some exceptions apply to include mission essential moves and customers requiring shipments to be picked up due to termination of rental lease agreement or home sale. In addition, individuals pending retirement and separation within the next 60 days do not require an exception. Shipments already in route may be stored in transit at origin, en route, or at destination.
Military and Civilian Personnel:
Q: Are you planning on any kind of minimal manning for the base?
A: Commanders are continually evaluating mission requirements and personnel required to implement those tasks. Commanders have also begun to implement telework plans as the mission allows. The situation is ongoing and will be adjusted as required.
Q: Will civilians still get paid even if they are deemed non-mission essential personnel?
A: Yes. At this time, there is no guidance that will prevent non-mission essential civilians from getting paid due to the response to COVID-19. Guidance is rapidly changing, sometimes by the hour. We will inform everyone of any changes if/when we receive the guidance.
Q: Is MPF still open? Can I still re-enlist, in-process or out-process? What about retirements and separations?
A: The 30th Force Support Squadron’s Military Personnel Flight will be by appointment only for all re-enlistment and in/out-processing requirements. Retirements and separations remain unaffected. Please call MPF customer service desk at 805-606-2276 or reference their website at www.vandenberg.fss.com for further guidance.
Q: What is the plan for food and dining?
A: We are taking aggressive measures to increase your availability to food. We have eliminated all dine-in options across the base, but we are working to make all facilities available for carry-out. We have also expanded the Pacific Coast Club’s Meals-to-Go program to three days per week, now available Wednesday-Friday. We are also working with the Commissary to maintain regular shipments, which currently come five days per week (Monday-Wed, Friday and Saturday).
Q: What is the Commissary doing in light of COVID-19?
A: The Defense Commissary Agency has put up stations to direct customers to line up in an orderly fashion. Shelves are being restocked with available supplies daily, as efficiently and quickly as possible. The Commissary receives five shipments per week – Monday-Wed, Friday and Saturday. The Commissary is limited to 100 patrons at a time.
Q: Will dependents have access to the Commissary?
A: Yes. Dependents with IDs will still have access to the Commissary.
Child Development and Youth Centers:
Q: Will the Child Development or Youth Centers be closing?
A: At this time, the Child Development and Youth Centers will remain operational for mission essential personnel only. We will monitor drop offs to ensure that only children of mission essential personnel are using the CDC and YC. As the situation regarding base access changes, we will adjust. The intent is to keep them open as long as it is safe in order to continue to support children of personnel required to work. If you choose to voluntarily self-isolate your child, you are eligible for a refund. Please contact the appropriate program for further guidance - CDC: 805-606-1555 | YC: 805-606-2152
Q: If schools are closed, why keep the CDC and YC open?
A: At this time, the Child Development and Youth Centers will remain operational. The intent is to keep them open as long as it is safe in order to continue to support children of personnel required to work. We have increased sanitization, screening and contact tracing efforts. If it gets to the point that we feel the need to close the CDC and YC for health and safety reasons, then we will absolutely do so.
Q: What are you doing to mitigate risk at the CDC and YC?
A: Starting Tuesday, March 17, every child will be screened before entering the CDC or YC. Any child who has a fever will be sent home. We have also increased sanitization efforts within the CDC an YC, such as frequent hand washing and wiping down all surfaces.
Q: If we choose to remove our children from the Child Development Center or Youth Center, will we be charged?
A: Families enrolled at the CDC and YC are eligible for refunds if they choose to voluntarily self-isolate due to COVID-19. Please contact the appropriate program for further guidance - CDC: 805-606-1555 | YC: 805-606-2152
Q: Will programs through the Youth Center such as dance, karate and gymnastics be cancelled?
A: At this time, dance and gymnastics classes will remain operational. However, Jiu Jitsu is currently suspended. This could change in the future based on base status.
This list of FAQs will be updated with more questions and answers as the situation evolves. See Vandenberg Air Force Base's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/30thSpaceWing/
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