Army Training Center and Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford “Beags” Beagle Jr., and Post Command Sgt. Maj. Jerimiah Gan announced changes to post operations in preparation of the post returning to a steady state during a virtual town hall May 7.Steady state means installation operations will return to a state similar to pre-virus operations with enhanced health and safety measures such as reduced hours, continued mask wearing in public facilities, reduced building capacities and social distancing measures.“As of today, we have added two additional days for the retiree population (to access the installation),” Beagle said. “This will increase over time but I have to protect vulnerable populations.”Retirees and their beneficiaries can now enter the installation to access services such as the Commissary and The Exchange on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Friday.Some other announcements included:The lifting of spending limits at the Commissary.The reopening of Child and Youth Service childcare to mission essential personnel June 1.Gan said the shipment of Soldiers to their Advanced Individual Training sites have increased as the coordination of air transportation has become more efficient.“We are shipping,” Gan said. “There are still one-sies and two-sies out there that may take a little more time because they have a much more remote AIT location, but we are working those as fast as we can.”More than 2,658 Soldiers have been shipped by bus and plane within the past two weeks, reducing the time to ship to AIT sites within days.Though installation access has been extended and shipping Soldiers to AIT have increased, Beagle reminded all listening to the town hall that discipline and compliance to health and safety standards needs to be continued and taken seriously.“The number of cases of COVID-19 haven’t gone down,” Beagle said. Fighting this pandemic is absolutely a ‘we’ thing and not a ‘me’ thing.”Beagle said the installation has been able to combat the spread of the virus through protecting “The Bubble.” The bubble includes trainees arriving to the installation and how daily screening and social distancing has ensured the safety and health of trainees throughout their Basic Combat Training cycle. Once properly quarantined and screened during in-processing at the 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception), the bubble of healthy trainees can be moved to their training battalions. Preserving the integrity of the bubble also ensures the health and safety of cadre and staff members.“Our efforts are worth it,” Beagle said. “We have had no (virus) cases involving children and have had no loss of life because of our efforts.”Beagle and Gan also addressed a recent rumor of food shortages for trainees during the pandemic.“I promise you, we have plenty of food,” Gan said. “(Trainees) are getting exactly what they need to eat when they need it. The problem is, they aren’t getting what they want to eat when they want to eat it. There are no problems with food.”Pre-virus, trainees would eat their meals inside dining facilities where trainees were able to select their meals from an array of foods. Today, trainee’s meals are delivered to their company areas and served on disposable plates. While trainees have reduced menu options now, full meals are being served to trainees to include side items such a dinner rolls and fruit.“Don’t give misinformation power,” Beagle said. “This is why we host town halls, to keep you informed.”Two drill sergeants also sat on the town hall panel to discuss daily life of trainees as they continue their BCT cycles amid the pandemic. Each explained how trainees continue to learn and become physically and mentally tough through physical fitness, socially-distanced classroom training and hands on training while remaining virus free.“A lot of this cycle is different,” said Staff Sgt. Chelsea Kasper, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment. “We are doing everything we can to protect ourselves and each other. There have been a lot of changes, but everybody has been doing their best to react quickly and understanding (of) why the guidance has been put out.”The town hall closed with the “Fast 40,” where Beagle and Gan spend about 40 minutes to answer questions from Facebook users who tuned into the livestream.The most popular question asked included when the installation will return to pre-virus operations.“It’s not a matter of when but a matter of how,” Beagle said. “I can’t turn everything back on all at once. It has to be phased over time. I can’t say when, but it will be gradual.”Beagle explained how the installation will begin slowly opening additional facilities and services in the near future but the reopening will remain dependent on the declining number of new COVID-19 cases.The next virtual town hall is scheduled for May 21 at 3 p.m. at the Fort Jackson Commanding General’s Facebook page.