The order applies to all service members, civilians and families, Esper said.March 26, 2020, 12:38 AM7 min read The Pentagon is halting all overseas travel for U.S. troops for 60 days in an effort to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the order applies to all service members, Defense Department civilian personnel and their families. However, there will be some exceptions, including the partial drawdown of American forces already underway in Afghanistan, as outlined in a deal signed by the U.S. and the Taliban last month. “The purpose is to make sure that we’re not bringing the virus back home, infecting others, that we’re not spreading it around the military,” Esper said of the move, first reported by Reuters on Wednesday. In a statement, the Pentagon said the stop-movement order impacts “exercises, deployments, redeployments and other global force management activities,” affecting approximately 90,000 service members slated to deploy or redeploy over the next 60 days. Exceptions include travel for medical treatment and scheduled deployments of U.S. Navy vessels. DOD also on Wednesday raised its Health Protection Condition (HPCON) level globally to “Charlie” — the second highest level which indicates sustained community transmission. Only essential


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