Unit HomeCOVID-19Messages from Commander14 March 2020
14 March 2020
Marine Forces Europe and Africa

 

Marine Forces Europe and Africa

United States Marine Corps

USAG Stuttgart, Germany
14 March 2020

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Marines, Sailors, Families, and Civilians,

 

As the command continues to receive updates and direction from HQMC, EUCOM, and AFRICOM, we will continue to provide information to you and your families to ensure that you have the most up to date information. A few areas of interest I would like to amplify:

Stuttgart has begun additional health screening measures at the entry gates.

Beginning on Monday, 16 March:

AC/Ss, Chiefs, and deputies will meet at 0900.  All remaining personnel will arrive no later than 1000. Upon arrival, personnel will be notified if they are mission essential.

Leave and Liberty (this applies to all service members ADCON to MARFOREUR/AF)

Emergency leave will be evaluated on a case by case basis, utilizing existing standards.

All leave and liberty will be within the country in which the individual resides.

All leave and liberty is restricted to a 50 mile radius of your assigned station.

Public transportation of all forms is not authorized.

Avoid public gatherings of 50 or more people and in places where social distancing (6 feet) cannot be maintained.

For all Marines, Sailors, Families, and Civilians returning from the United States or within Europe, provide immediate communication through the chain of command confirming your return, which will allow us to track and approve travel waivers, monitor potential risk, and provide guidance on integration procedures.

School Closures

We understand our families have extra considerations to ensure children are cared for in light of school closures. The command has identified processes for routing telework requests through the chain of command to the Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander for approval.

SOFA Considerations

As members of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe and Africa, we are subject to SOFA and therefore subject to German laws. If the German Government begins to levy measures to restrict the spread of the virus, for example the institution of a curfew, we will need to abide by those restrictions.

Recent restrictions in Germany include the closing of bars, clubs, sporting events, museums, and theaters.

The USAG Stuttgart commander is implementing measured, appropriate responses to what is a fluid situation, and re-emphasizing that the focus of the garrison is to protect and provide essential services to all military families. We have reassurances that commissary supplies within Europe will continue to be restocked. The USAG Stuttgart Commander provides updates and procedures if you feel symptomatic:

•             https://home.army.mil/stuttgart/index.php/Directorates-Support/public-affairs/coronavirus-covid-19

•             https://www.facebook.com/USAGarrisonStuttgart

As of today, no Marine, Sailor, or civilian within the command has tested positive. On 13 March one of our Marines was tested for COVID-19.  The test results are still pending. All individuals with close contact to the Marine have been notified. The current wait time for test results is 3-5 days, meaning that we should have results earlier in the upcoming week.

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 armed with current direction and guidance from HQMC, EUCOM, and AFRICOM.

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 all of your questions are addressed in a timely manner. 

Review the CDC website for details on COVID-19 prevention at www.cdc.gov

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