Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Marines, Sailors, Civilians, Contractors, and Family Members,
1. Plenty has changed since I last wrote you, while much remains the same. We are still in a global pandemic, though Europe appears to be past the peak and trending in a positive direction. We continue receiving guidance and direction from USAG Stuttgart, HQMC, EUCOM, and AFRICOM, and will continue to provide this information to you and your families to ensure that you have the most up to date information. This message is intended to provide clarity and streamline the multiple forms of guidance you have received to date.
2. It is important to note that this is a dynamic situation, and that guidance will continue to evolve. Your sound judgement and adherence to guidance will continue to move us all in the right direction. For our allocated forces and outlier Marines, local commanders have the authority to make this guidance more restrictive as they balance risk in their respective areas.
3. For those in Germany, I want to highlight the recent changes to the USAG Stuttgart General Order - lB and Host Nation laws:
Leave and Liberty (applicable to all service members ADCON to MARFOREUR/AF)
-The approval authority for all leave remains the Commander, MARFOREUR/AF;
-All leave and liberty is restricted to the local area as defined by MFE/AO 1050.1B, and subject to additional guidance:
o MFE/AO 1050.1B defines the local area as 100 miles from your primary duty station;
o For those in the USAG Stuttgart area, the General Order states unofficial travel is limited to within national boarders and does not result in an overnight stay away from an individual's residence;
Emergency leave will be evaluated on a case by case basis, utilizing existing standards.
All forms of public transportation are authorized subject to the following guidance. Individuals will continue to exercise appropriate social distancing measures and exercise their best judgement when using public transportation to minimize exposure to COVlD-19. Wearing of cloth -face coverings on all public transportation is required by German Law, DoD Guidance, and MARFOREUR/AF Policy Letter 2-20.
For further information as to local Stuttgart regulations, Host Nation / Baden Wurttemberg updates can be found at the following link: https://www.baden-wuerttemberg.de/en/service/aktuelle-infoszu-corona/aktuelle-corona-verordnung--des-landes-baden-wuerttemberg/
The USAG Stuttgart commander is implementing measured, appropriate responses to this fluid situation, and re-emphasizing that the focus of the garrison is to protect and provide essential services to all military families. Garrison updates and procedures if you feel symptomatic at the two links below:
4. All Marines, regardless of location, must continue to follow Host Nation laws where applicable. The health and safety of our personnel and their families remains my top priority. We will continue to take a common sense and measured approach to this situation. I again want to emphasize that this situation is constantly evolving. My staff and I will do all that is possible to keep you informed with current direction and guidance from HQMC, EUCOM, and AFRICOM. Please continue to review the CDC website for details on COVlD-19 prevention at www.cdc.gov.
5. While this is impacting everyone both personally and professionally, we will remain resolute in our mission. Continue to communicate with your chain of command and the Deployment Readiness Coordinator to ensure that all of your questions are addressed in a timely manner.
6. We have established an organizational email box to streamline communication and optimize the flow of information in regard to COVID-19. Please email questions specific to this command to Mfeacovid19rfi@usmc.mil.
Thank you and Semper Fidelis,
MajGen Patrick J. Hermesmann, USMC
Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe/Africa