SAN ANTONIO, TX – Fearing the further spread of the coronavirus, the Joint Base San Antonio has decided to suspend all guest attendance for mass gatherings that are not deemed essential.
“It is our responsibility to keep our force, our families and our base communities safe,” said Brig. Gen. Laura Lenderman, 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander. “These force health protection actions are necessary to ensure mission readiness for our forces and their families.”
Every year nearly 40,000 airmen march down the parade field for basic training graduation ceremonies. Each ceremony hosts thousands of family members who join the airmen for the momentous occasion.
“Gatherings of this size increases the possibility that the virus could be transmitted to our training population. We realize families want to show support to their loved one and they will be disappointed they can’t participate in the graduation events, but we have a responsibility to protect not only our Airmen but those citizens they will come into contact with as they travel to their follow-on training locations,” said Maj. Gen. Andrea Tullos, 2nd Air Force commander.
According to a press release by the base, beginning on March 13 at 9:00 a.m. basic military training graduation events will be live-streamed via the 37th Training Wing’s Facebook page.
It is unclear at the moment when guest attendance at graduation events will resume. Base officials will continue to monitor and discuss the situation with medical experts. The live stream will be available at the following link: www.facebook.com/37thTrainingWing.
“This is a prudent decision to protect our people and the community in which we live and work,” said Maj. Gen. John DeGoes, 59th Medical Wing commander. “Infectious diseases don’t respect the fence line and these actions make sense to protect us and our neighbors.”