II MEF COVID-19 screening process maintains force readiness

23 Mar 2020 | Courtesy Story 2nd Marine Logistics Group

II Marine Expeditionary Force is preparing to receive Marines and Sailors returning from Europe while adhering to COVID-19 post travel screening and reception guidance. 

As the impacts of COVID-19 continue to spread around the world, Marines and Sailors of II MEF are taking prudent measures to protect the force, their families, the community, and remain steadfast in their role as a naval expeditionary force in readiness. 

Recent exercises have been significantly impacted, with many events being deferred and in some cases cancelled such as Exercise Cold Response in Norway. With these changes there have been concerns about forces returning from overseas. Service members and units in Norway have been limiting their movements, executing medical monitoring, and are following CDC guidelines of social distancing and good hygiene while preparing to return home. 

As service members return home they will go through a process of medical screening before and after boarding their flights. Once stateside service members and units returning from Norway will enter a 14-day restriction of movement period where they are restricted to designated barracks separate from other units, practice social distancing, and will be monitored for potential symptoms. 

These measures are taken out of an abundance of caution and are designed to limit the potential for community exposure. The returning Marines have been closely monitored and medically screened in Norway prior to redeployment to the US and are asymptomatic. 

If service members remain asymptomatic for the 14-day restriction of movement, they will return to their parent unit. If a service member displays symptoms, that person will be moved to isolation where they will receive the necessary medical testing and care until they are cleared by medical personnel to return to full duty. 

“This is an unprecedented situation that we are taking very seriously. Every one of us is tasked with adhering to the guidance provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Department of Defense. We have to be smart, agile, and remain ready as we continue to assess and adjust to the impacts of COVID-19,” said Lt. Gen. Brian D. Beaudreault, commanding general II MEF. “These measures in place for returning units protect the rest of the force so that we maintain our readiness, and protect our families and communities that we are returning to.” 

Elements of II MEF remain forward deployed across the globe and continue to serve the American people. As these force rotate in and out of theater, protocols are in place to ensure that service members returning to the United States do so in a manner that safeguards their health, their families, their units and the community. 

Commanders and staffs will continue to analyze requirements to maintain readiness, accomplish mission essential tasks, prepare for scheduled deployments and train the force. They will continue to follow Department of Defense, service and II MEF for updates on COVID-19 response. 

To ensure that II MEF service members are receiving the most up-to-date accurate information, they are encouraged to visit the White House Coronavirus Task Force at https://www.coronavirus.gov, What the U.S. Government is Doing website at https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus, CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website at https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/public-health/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-response-north-carolina and maintain contact with their chain of command. Service members should also maintain good hygiene, practice social distancing and remain ready to train, fight and win.