ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. --
Leadership at Arnold Air Force Base initiated a three-phase Return to Full Capacity framework Monday June 1.
The initiation of Phase 1 was contingent on active COVID-19 case data from the four surrounding counties of Bedford, Coffee, Franklin and Grundy, where approximately 75 percent of the workforce resides, remaining flat or declining.
Phase 1 will be used to validate risk mitigation strategies in place to better protect the health of the workforce. Those strategies involve appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitizing materials and workplace practices such as physical distancing and room capacity limits.
The Arnold Engineering Development Complex entered an Operationally Urgent posture on April 6 which limited the amount of personnel entering the installation to perform critical national defense testing to about 23 percent of the workforce. This wing-level decision also impacted the nine geographically separated units across the country, many of whom will also need to comply with host installation guidelines as they implement the RtFC framework.
Phase 1 is estimated to return 500 Arnold AFB employees to the workplace. Supervisors contacted those personnel who returned during Phase 1 regarding workplace requirements and duties to be performed.
Once the Phase 1 processes are verified and proven to reduce the risk of viral exposure to the workforce, and sufficient personal protective equipment and sanitation materials are on hand, the AEDC Commander may then elect to enter Phase 2, which would bring back to the workplace those who can pass the gate screening criteria. Situational telework will remain an option for supervisors to reduce the risk of their employees.
It remains everyone’s personal responsibility to limit their exposure to potential infection by limiting travel to areas with a high rate of transmission using publicly available data. Employees are encouraged to continue avoiding crowded spaces, wearing protective face coverings while in public, washing hands frequently and not touching their face. These personal responsibilities better protect the individuals, their families and their co-workers.
Once initiated, Phase 2 will be considered the new normal for some time, with the Air Force predicting the COVID-19 pandemic to remain in communities for 18 months or longer.
A presentation on the full RtFC framework as well as a daily update on the trend data AEDC leaders are using to make informed decisions can be found on the Arnold AFB Coronavirus webpage at www.arnold.af.mil/coronavirus.