DoD Response to COVID-19 - DoD ID Cards and Benefits

The Department of Defense is committed to protecting the security of our nation and its people by issuing identification (ID) cards to individuals requiring access to government systems and facilities, and to eligible individuals authorized to receive Uniformed Service benefits and privileges by law.

The Department is equally committed to the safety of our personnel and beneficiaries, including retirees and other high-risk populations. This includes ensuring continued access to healthcare and other benefits during this time of increasing precaution and restrictions in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). To ensure DoD ID card offices are postured to maintain continuity of operations, and to minimize the number of non-essential required visits at DoD ID card offices, the following guidance is in effect through September 30, 2020:

Common Access Cards (CAC) & Volunteer Logical Access Credentials (VoLAC)

  • CACs and VoLACs which expire on or after April 16, 2020, and are within 30 days of expiration, may have the certificates updated using ID Card Office Online to allow for continued use for logical access through September 30, 2020. The User Guide below provides details on who is eligible, and whom to contact for questions or problems. 
  • CACs shall not be reissued due to printed information changes (e.g., promotions, name changes). 
  • CACs that expire on or after April 16, 2020, are authorized for continued use to facilitate access to benefits through September 30, 2020, if the cardholder’s eligibility for benefits is unchanged. 
  • Existing and new Trusted Associate Sponsorship System (TASS) applications will be valid for 180 days, permitting TASS-sponsored cardholders to take advantage of the remote options to update their certificates. 
  • The policy memorandum allowing transferring DoD civilian employees to retain their CAC will be reissued. 

Uniformed Services ID Cards (USID) 

  • If a cardholder's affiliation is unchanged, USID cards which expired on or after January 1, 2020, are authorized for continued benefit use through September 30, 2020. 
  • Termination of cardholder affiliation with the DoD or termination of benefit eligibility shall be verified electronically prior to confiscating an expired USID card with an expiration date on or after January 1, 2020. 
  • Remote USID card renewals and reissuance shall be expanded. 
  • Remote family member enrollment/eligibility updates are authorized. 
  • Remote USID card initial issuance for first-time issuance or replacement of lost/stolen ID card is authorized. 
  • All remotely-issued USID cards shall be issued with an expiration date not to exceed one year from the date of issuance. 
  • The minimum age for initial USID card issuance is increased from 10 to 14 years. 
  • Continued use of the Reserve USID card to obtain active duty benefits is authorized for mobilized Reservists and their eligible dependents. 

The Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) will continue to be the authoritative source to verify statutory eligibility for DoD Healthcare and other benefits.

 U.S. Air Force Public Affairs published information on cac.mil about the new policy to accept expired credentials. Find the language and more information at:

https://www.cac.mil/Coronavirus/

Defenders, Firefighters Host Lunch for Medical Staff

By Lauren Russell, 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs, 10 April 2020

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Airmen from the 66th Security Forces Squadron and 66th Civil Engineering Division hosted an appreciation luncheon for members of the 66th Medical Squadron here, April 6.

The event recognized the hard work members of the 66 MDS have been putting in during COVID-19 response operations.

“We’ve all seen how hard they’ve been working and wanted to do something to really share our gratitude with the medical team,” said Maj. Shane Watts, 66 SFS commander.

The outdoor luncheon featured a “walking taco” lunch line, where volunteers spooned taco meat into prepackaged chip bags to minimize contact.

“Of course we spread ourselves out, and we all had our masks and gloves,” said Master Sgt. Ryan Francois, 66 SFS first sergeant. “The lunch was the best we could think of to show them how much we appreciate them while following the right protocols.”

Members of the three units are no strangers to essential operations, and the small gesture of appreciation between first responders made an impact on the medical staff.

“It was such a huge morale booster,” said Tech. Sgt. Yesenia Benjamin, 66 MDS noncommissioned officer in charge of Public Health Element. “It was such a great sense of community and support.”

Watts said that keeping the morale and spirits of his Airmen and wingmen high in the current state of global impact is more important than ever.

“In a time that requires such drastic posturing, there are some that need to make additional sacrifices,” he said. “We want to assure our medical team that their hard work is not going unnoticed.”

STAYING SAFE …

The unfolding coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has significantly affected meetings, travel, access to DoD and USAF facilities, events and installations. On March 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidance that all large events and mass gatherings of more than 50 people be suspended for at least eight weeks. "Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities.”

AFSFA Chapters are strongly encouraged to postpone any and all events and hold virtual chapter meetings as teleconferences at least for the next 30 days or until new guidance is issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

The well-being and safety of our members, families and Defenders is of upmost importance to us and we ask all to will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation. Each of us has a personal responsibility to take actions to minimize exposure to the virus by exercising personal hygiene and protection measures put forth by the CDC. Consult the website listed above and keep you and those around safe.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE
TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

DAYTON, Ohio —The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will temporarily close beginning Sunday, March 15, 2020 as a public health precaution in relation to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

All events and activities scheduled at the museum have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. The museum will re-evaluate its closure status on a week to week basis and will provide the latest updates on the museum website and social media sites.

The museum’s top priority is the health and safety of visitors, staff and volunteers and the museum will continue to closely monitor this situation in coordination with Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and local health officials.

Despite the closure to the public, the museum will continue its heritage stewardship duties and work with Air Force leadership to minimize risk to its personnel and their families.

Please watch the museum's website, www.nationalmuseum.af.mil and local media outlets for information on when the museum's normal operations will resume. Visitors are encouraged to follow the museum on social media as the museum will continue to provide posts and engage with the public during this temporary closure.

Visitors may also take a virtual tour of the museum or view 360-degree images of cockpits of aircraft on display at www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Virtual-Tour.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame, co-located at the museum, will also be closed. For more information, please contact them at 937-256-0944, ext. 19 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For general information about the Air Force Museum Foundation please call (937) 258-1218 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Air Force Museum Store, operated by the Air Force Museum Foundation is available online at http://store.airforcemuseum.com. For questions about the status of an event reservation, please call (937) 656-9393 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information, contact Rob Bardua at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Division at (937) 255-1386 or Danielle Almeter at (937) 255-1283.

 

SECURITY FORCES MUSEUM
TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS

Following the lead of the National Museum USAF and direction from HQ AETC, the AHTC and Security Forces Exhibits Annex will be closed to the public until further notice.

WILLIAM A. (BILL) MANCHESTER
Director, Airman Heritage Training Complex
Air Education and Training Command History Office
Lackland AFB, TX 78236
Comm. 210-671-3055

DEFENDER CHALLENGE POSTPONED UNTIL MAY 2021

Defender Challenge 2020 to Test Readiness, Lethality

By Vicki Stein, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs, 3 March 2020

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --The U.S. Air Force Defender Challenge 2020 will pit Security Forces teams against each other in San Antonio, Texas, May 2021.

Defenders will prove their abilities in dismounted skills, endurance, agility, individual weapons, and military working dog (MWD) teams through a series of gut-testing challenges. This year, Security Forces expanded the competitor pool to 19 teams from across the U.S. Air Force major commands, U.S. Army Military Police, and with our coalition partners.  

Brig. Gen. Roy Collins, Air Force Director of Security Forces, says his intent is to demonstrate improved Defender lethality and readiness to defend our personnel and resources in any environment to ensure mission success. 

“Our Defenders will push themselves to the breaking point in these readiness trials to showcase the capabilities we bring to the fight, while displaying our competitive spirit and camaraderie that makes us unique,” said Brig. Gen. Collins.

This year, the challenges are tougher. The dismounted skills assessment, known as combat endurance, will measure strength, endurance, agility, teamwork, leadership, problem solving and knowledge of core skills. Competitors can expect to encounter multiple training objectives throughout the patrol to test their grit and measure the team’s cohesion and resiliency, such as medical aid, fire and maneuver, and land navigation.  

The combat agility competition objective will test functional fitness and the ability to execute tasks in a field-based evaluation under stress.

The weapons challenge evolved into a practical application where shooters will engage in scenario-based shooting events at the individual, pair and fire team levels in the near, middle and far distances.   This event will require active engagement, quicker reaction to situations and higher weapons expertise to prove proficiency on weapons.

A new event this year pits premiere MWD teams against a series of dismounted skills assessments in much the same manner as the combat endurance competition. The MWD and handler are judged as a team through a series of patrol and explosives detection-based field problems.

Chief Master Sgt. Tamara Hartz, Security Forces Career Field Manager, explained that not only will those events determine the most lethal and most ready team, “they will also inform us of things we need to do in our training capacity to help create the best Defender warfighter for the Air Force. Training is the foundation that makes us more lethal and more ready,” said Hartz.

“We updated our training over the past few years as part of the Reconstitute Defender Initiative. By looking at how our Defenders accomplish these events, we can fine-tune our training programs moving us from qualified to proficient in our core skills using lessons learned from this year’s competition to improve them,” explained Hartz. “Using Defender Challenge as both a showcase for talent and a way to assess training needs, we will continue to develop more lethal and capable security forces Airmen.”

Many of the teams who competed in 2018 will be back to defend their titles. Others will take the opportunity to take it from them. In 2018 PACAF won the Defender Challenge title by taking first in the weapons competition, placing second in the dismounted operations challenge, and scoring well in the combat agility.

PACAF won the weapons competition and displayed the highest marksmanship skills of all teams in that category. They won the Coleman Cup, named after Brig. Gen. Richard Coleman, former U.S. Air Force Security Forces Center director of security forces and commander from 1997 to 2000.

Air Mobility Command won the Sadler Cup. The award is presented to the top team in the dismounted operations challenge, named after Maj. Gen. Thomas Sadler, who served as Air Force Chief of Security Police from 1975-1977.

United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force (RAF) Regiment previously held the trophy since winning it at the 2003 Defender Challenge.

In the combat endurance relay event, the German Air Force came out on top, and Lance Cpl. Adam Butler of the RAF team won the Outstanding Defender Award for demonstrating exceptional leadership throughout the competition.

“This year’s event will continue to evaluate our tactics, techniques and procedures and build upon our lessons learned, while working jointly with our world-wide partners, both in competition and crosstalk,” said Collins. “More lethal and more ready!”

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Editor's Note: The Air Force Defender Challenge video is a must watch. Go to the "Gallery" then "Videos" and scroll down to the bottom to view it.

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