• Wednesday, Aug 04, 2021
  • Last Update : 06:28 pm

US freezes overseas troop movements in virus lockdown

  • Published at 07:15 pm March 26th, 2020
US soldier
A US soldier walks at the Qayyarah air base, where US-led troops in 2017 had helped Iraqis plan out the fight against the Islamic State in nearby Mosul in northern Iraq, before a planned US pullout on March 26, 2020 AFP

It also freezes in place the families of service members who traveled overseas with their deployments

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper ordered a 60-day freeze Wednesday on moves by US troops and civilian defense employees overseas in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

The move stopped the deployment or redeployment of some 90,000 US service members for the next two months.

It also freezes in place the families of service members who traveled overseas with their deployments.

"This measure is taken to aid in further prevention of the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19), to protect US personnel and preserve the operational readiness of our global force," the Pentagon said in a statement.

The statement said Esper's order "is not expected to impact" the drawdown of some 4,000 US troops in Afghanistan targeted to be completed within 135 days of the February 29 peace pact with the Taliban.

As of Wednesday morning, the Pentagon said there were 435 current and recovered Covid-19 cases among military personnel, civilians, contractors and their families.

One Defense Department contractor died from the disease.

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