WIESBADEN, Germany – U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden recently hosted a tabletop exercise with its tenant units and partners to discuss scenarios, contingencies and readiness to respond to a second heavy wave of COVID-19 or issues related to seasonal flu.
Instead of gathering around conference tables, almost 100 participants from the garrison, U.S. Army Europe, 66th Military Intelligence Brigade, the Army Corps of Engineers, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Commissary, Red Cross, USO, Department of Defense Education Activities and other units and partners joined the exercise virtually as necessitated by the initial pandemic.
While the garrison has been using online platforms for smaller meetings, this was its first large-scale use of the platform, said Casey Ross, director of S3/5/7, which oversees garrison operations and planning and facilitated the event.
Prior to our COVID response, garrison partners had limited day-to-day interaction for operational planning.
“The whole COVID pandemic response has brought us all closer together,” Ross said. “Because of COVID, and as demonstrated during the tabletop exercise, we’ve really brought the installation and the community together to talk about things of importance and to work through issues.”
During the initial response to COVID, the garrison called on its tenant partners to head up task forces targeted to specific COVID-related response missions such as tracing positive contacts, providing added screening and protection, and promoting community wellness. While many of those missions have scaled back as COVID infection rates have dropped, the task force commands stand ready to support the community if a second wave emerges.
“We’ll be able to keep the community and our employees safe,” said garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Truchon. “To think about where we were just seven or eight months ago, and to see where we’re at today, I’m confident in the leaders we have in the garrison and what our response will be in the face of a second wave.”
While leaders discussed the operational aspects of community safety and disease containment, prevention remains at the heart of efforts to stem the spread of the disease. Community members should continue to wear their masks, wash their hands and watch their distance.