Analysis / Forces

Covid-19 Response Update: June 12-June 19

Combating Covid-19 Series

This is CSIS’s weekly roundup of major updates on the military and the novel coronavirus since Friday, June 12. It explores what the military has done to combat Covid-19 and how the military has in turn been affected by the virus.

For a third week, new Department of Defense (DoD) cases of Covid-19 have risen at a troubling rate. As of this Friday, DoD’s new case average stands at 370, up from 270 last Friday, a 37% increase. This rate of new cases is particularly concerning as it has now surpassed mid-April’s average high of 366 and is looking like a second wave. It is uncertain what exactly is driving up case numbers. The military is returning to its normal operating tempo with a variety of social distancing efforts to minimize the virus’ spread. If new case numbers continue to rise at the current rate, there will likely need to be a re-assessment of how successful these preventative measures have been.

Some medical reserve units that were supporting civilian hospitals in New York are returning to their home bases.

Global deployments of troops continue. Attempts to find a vaccine are ongoing, as DoD and HHS partnership on Operation Warp Speed continues to select vaccine candidates.

Major Updates

Navy

  • June 10: The guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd resumes its deployment after being sidelined in San Diego for six weeks after an outbreak of Covid-19. The USS Kidd’s derailed deployment was the second most notorious case after the USS Roosevelt. This again signals a slow return to normal operations as the Navy adopts precautionary procedures.
  • June 16: 1,600 Navy reservists are called up to assist Navy shipyards as 25% of their workforce is absent due to Covid-19. The reservists will begin their deployment in July and will head to shipyards in Portsmouth, ME; Puget Sound, WA, Pearl Harbor, HI, and Norfolk, VA. The repair and modernization of nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers is directly affected by these workforce changes.

Marine Corps

Army

Air Force

Military Cases of Covid-19

How DoD cases have been trending over time is broken down below, by new cases; total cases; active cases in the DoD; and across the military services.

Methodological note: 1) Monday totals are divided across the weekends since DoD Covid-19 updates are only released during the work week 2) Adjustments were made on April 9 and April 15 when new cases where negative. These days were totaled and divided by the previous day to account for the correction. 3) DoD appeared to change the way cases were reported between April 15-Aprilt 16. A resulting spike in cases on April 16 was divided over the two prior days to account for this methodological shift.

This weekly update is made possible by the International Security Program at CSIS.

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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Mark Cancian, Adam Saxton and Nidal Morrison, "Covid-19 Response Update: June 12-June 19," Center for Strategic and International Studies, June 19, 2020, last modified June 19, 2020, https://defense360.csis.org/covid-19-response-update-june-12-june-19/.