The Pentagon. | U.S. Air Force/Getty Images
The Pentagon has extended its freeze on domestic and international movement of troops through June 30 due to the coronavirus crisis, a top personnel official announced today.
The new order takes effect on Monday. The freeze was originally set to expire on May 11.
“We understand the impact this has on our service members and their families. However, this is a necessary measure to keep our people safe and our military ready,” Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matt Donovan said in a conference call with reporters announcing the extension.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper in March ordered a halt to all movement of U.S. troops for 60 days due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. Esper predicted the order would be extended at a press conference Tuesday, but did not specify a new date.
The order, Donovan said, includes exceptions for troop deployments and returns, recruiting and basic training, temporary duty travel or changes of station, travel needed for medical treatment and people who are leaving the military.
Donovan said the new guidelines are “a little bit more liberal” due to exemptions and waivers when compared to the previous order. He didn’t rule out another extension after June, and said Esper will review the policy every 15 days to determine whether travel may resume earlier.
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