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Bell: We will work to flatten the COVID-19 curve, take care of each other

Sheppard implements 'no-touch' ID checks

82nd Security Forces Squadron personnel demonstrate the "no-touch" identification card check now enforced at the gates to remove one more method of transferring the coronavirus, or Covid-19, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, March 15, 2020. Follow the orders of entry controllers when entering Sheppard AFB to protect them and you from transmission. (U.S. Air Force photo 2nd Lt. Megan Morrissey)

Sheppard implements 'no-touch' ID checks

A digital sign notifies drivers that entry control personnel with the 82nd Security Forces Squadron have implemented a "no-touch" identification check at the base gates at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, March 15, 2020. Be sure to follow SFS instructions when entering the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Megan Morrissey)

Sheppard implements 'no-touch' ID checks

82nd Security Forces Squadron personnel demonstrate the "no-touch" identification card check now enforced at the gates to remove one more method of transferring the coronavirus, or Covid-19, at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, March 15, 2020. Follow the orders of entry controllers when entering Sheppard AFB to protect them and you from transmission. (U.S. Air Force photo 2nd Lt. Megan Morrissey)

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – Team Sheppard, we are entering new era as we work to manage and mitigate this national emergency, as declared by the president.  We will now diligently work to “flatten the curve” of coronavirus, or COVID-19, activity in our community.

Now is not a time to panic, rather it’s time to join together, stay calm, be patient and flexible. We will get through this together.

The first thing you need to know is, contrary to what you might have heard, we have had no cases of COVID-19 at Sheppard or in our local community. We do have a small number of personnel within our Sheppard community who have self-reported and entered self-isolation protocols in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Defense guidance.

I ask that you keep two messages in mind as we continue into this uncharted territory. First, the health and safety of our team is a top priority and our actions will reflect. We have no greater resource than you.

Second, we will continue our critical technical and flying training missions to the best of our ability. The Air Force, our sister services and our international partners will continue to look to us to make global operations happen.

Education is one of the best methods of prevention, so we’ve created a document that lays out information that touches on topics from the current situation here, travel instructions and restrictions, hygiene and security procedures, Health Protection Conditions, local guidance on mass gatherings, and a thank you to the many professionals on Sheppard and in surrounding communities working to keep you safe.

Finally, you will see a personal request from me for all of us to take care of each other. We provide a critical service, and we can’t do it without each of you.

I implore you to stay safe. Use good judgment. Follow the guidance the professionals have provided you. And we all need to trust leadership in these trying times. 

We are resilient!  I’m confident together, we will get through and overcome this unprecedented emergency.

 

Col. Kenyon K. Bell
Sheppard AFB Installation Commander