The unprecedented COVID-19 environment is fluid and complex but one thing is constant – leaders of U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hunter Liggett/Parks Reserve Forces Training Area are 100 percent committed to the safety and welfare of their installation population.
Both installations are at HPCON C and has no COVID-19 cases to date. The garrison has a three-phased approach to combat the fight against COVID-19, and the plan is continually refined and updated to meet CDC and higher command requirements. All individuals involved in suspect cases or exhibit COVID-like symptoms are told to self-quarantined or self-isolated to avoid spread of virus.
Phase I of the garrison plan is Team Trace, and it goes into action when a suspect case is reported. The team contacts all individuals that had contact with the suspect and advises them to self-isolate and follow CDC guidelines.
Phase II Team Clean consists of trained emergency services staff wearing protective gear to disinfect all areas the suspect came into contact with. Concurrently with the first two teams, Team Support contacts isolated individuals to ensure they have the services they require and offer counseling if needed.
USAG FHL/PRFTA leaders keep their installations informed by holding virtual town halls and sharing information using multiple communication platforms, such as teleconferences, E-mails, videos, social media, and the installation websites.
The garrison has adapted to COVID-19 environment by temporarily converting many programs using social distancing and going virtual to continue servicing the garrison population. The FHL Liggett Lanes provides take-out food service, the chaplains provide Facebook services, and Army Community Services offers Facebook book readings. Although the FHL library is physically closed, the Army offers free online library services at https://www.armymwr.com/programs-and-services/libraries. The public affairs office produces a variety of products and provides many resources to engage the garrison.
“I encourage everyone to stay informed, engaged and take advantage of the many programs available such as FMWR’s virtual exercise classes,” said Command Sgt. Major Mark Fluckiger. “I’m glad that our community morale is good, and people are staying active. It’s good to go out once in a while with your family to get some fresh air but it’s very important to stay safe.”
The PX and Commissary remain open with social distancing and limit amount of customers at facility. While PRFTA is located in the heart of the City of Dublin with many choices, the PX and Commissary are critical to the remote FHL location in Jolon, California. The Network Enterprise Center have been extra busy given the higher demands of a virtual environment. The Logistics Readiness Center stands by to support transient customers, such as the Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force (UAMTF) that was at PRFTA for three weeks in April. The UAMTF used PRFTA as an in-processing and training station before deploying to different states to support community medical facilities.
Though much has been postponed or halted, the USAG FHL/PRFTA continues to plan for future operations, such as the Army Reserve Combat Support Training Exercise, Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Boss Lift and the FHL 80th Anniversary in 2021.
“We must continue to be forward looking and have plans in place for when shelter-in-place restrictions are eased,” said Garrison Commander Col. Charles Bell. “It’s important to not become complacent because the virus is still out there. I strongly urge everyone to abide by CDC guidelines and continue protecting yourselves and your families.”