FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – During the initial days of Fort Campbell’s COVID-19 response, the Emergency Operations Center team worked quickly to prepare for potential cases while establishing protections for the Soldiers, Families and civilians who live and work on the installation.“While COVID-19 was definitely unexpected – in our wildest dreams we weren’t expecting a pandemic – I will say we were postured from the get-go to respond quickly,” said Maj. Jon Roland, G33 division chief of operations. “Given the fact we have the relationship of working together, it was just a matter of adding the right pieces to improving our already great operations from before.”The collaborative effort between the EOC team and the rest of the installation management offices has been incredibly successful, said Brian Carrigan, garrison chief of operations.“Our response has been phenomenal, the actions we have put into place early on, the restrictions early on, have already helped contribute to leveling out the curve of the pandemic,” he said. “I believe our early response actions have definitely influenced lower numbers of cases in our area and other areas across the world.”“If you look at Fort Campbell’s numbers and cities of the same size – and Fort Campbell is a city – we’ve definitely helped lower the curve somewhat with just what we have done here on the installation,” Roland said.Round the clock operationsThe installation along with the EOC operates 24-hours a day.“It’s a collaborative effort between the G33 Contingency Operations and the Garrison Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security – we work together constantly,” Carrigan said. “We handle logistics, emergency planning, response and prevention on the installation.”The EOC is staffed by Soldiers and Department of Defense civilians from across the installation who are subject matter experts in their respective fields.“It’s about having the right people at the right time, at all times,” Roland said. “This affords the commander the right decision space to make sound decisions in regard to a host of different issues that may come up.”The EOC team has established a steady battle rhythm for responding to COVID-19 that ensures installation leaders are prepared for making decisions quickly and safely.“We typically execute a morning stand up meeting, like a battle update brief, which is meant to establish a foundation of crisis action response for the next 24 hours, address any issues that arose during the evening hours, and then we execute a series of touch-points throughout the day,” Roland said.The touch-points include morning check-ins with command teams of various operations across the installation, including Blanchfield Army Community Hospital; afternoon briefings for the garrison commander about the last 24 hours; and preparing for the evening shift where the EOC staff ensures the operations of the installation are secure.The EOC team also was responsible for establishing the quarantine and isolation facilities based on guidance from the Department of the Army and other higher commands. Once established, 101st Airborne Division Artillery Soldiers took over the day-to-day management of the facilities, Carrigan said.“We laid out what qualifies a person to go into quarantine and to come out of it, and what the life support of the facilities looks like daily,” he said. “We also made arrangements for keeping up with the morale and wellness of those Soldiers in quarantine and isolation.”Collaboration with experts, outside communitiesThe EOC staff works closely with experts on the installation every day, from legal advisers, Morale, Welfare and Recreation personnel, health care experts, employees from the Directorate of Public Works, and others, to ensure every person on Fort Campbell is healthy and safe.“It’s an entire installation effort,” Roland said. “We have a range of expertise available to us at all times. I believe implementing as many experts as possible on the installation into our team has contributed to our success. We’re in it together, our efforts with the surrounding communities are united, we’re proud to be members of this community and together we will overcome.”Roland and Carrigan said collaboration with the outside communities has impacted the success of Fort Campbell’s response to COVID-19.“Considering our relationship with the surrounding counties and our open dialogue, our method of working together as one community as we do with anything, as one team, has made a big impact,” Carrigan said. “Given the fact such a large population of Fort Campbell lives and works off the installation and in these surrounding communities, I think our ability to work together as one has helped these communities as well.”To create synergy among all functions of Fort Campbell, there must be seamless coordination and accuracy in decision making, Roland said.“For us, having coordination that is both timely and accurate is the definition of creating synergy,” he said. “Without having coordination that is timely, accurate and specific, we cannot engender trust between the different entities and people on the installation. Synergy creates an atmosphere for our senior commander and leaders to make sound decisions that are not only in the best interests of Fort Campbell, but the community on a larger scale.”Back to normalcyAccording to the EOC team, moving the installation back into a sense of normalcy will be a systematic process when the time comes.“When it comes to lessening our current posture, the decision is reserved for headquarters and the Department of the Army,” Roland said. “With that being said, we will be addressing and unfolding our postures in a very deliberate, methodical and well thought out manner. This is something that has been our calling card since we’ve been established, to make sure we get this right.”Carrigan and Roland want to recognize their team for going above and beyond the call of duty while putting in countless hours to ensure the people of Fort Campbell and the installation itself remain safe.“There is not a member of our team who has not gone above and beyond, day in and day out,” Carrigan said. “If you look on both the Soldier and civilian side of things, none of us are trained for a pandemic. So truly, everyone in the team and the teams we work with have gone above and beyond what they signed up to do, in order to protect the installation.”They also remind the community of Fort Campbell to continue to do their part in remaining vigilant and safe as the pandemic continues for the foreseeable future.“This is far from over,” Carrigan said. “Everyone needs to be vigilant. Everyone has to take extra precautions to keep themselves safe, which keeps our service members, their Families, and our workforce safe, so we can be ready for our greater mission.”