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Seth Robson

Herd immunity could keep coronavirus-afflicted carriers in the fight, former Navy captain says

The Navy should encourage herd immunity for crews on aircraft carriers in the western Pacific, rather than quarantine sailors ashore who need to be ready for action in the South China Sea, a defense expert and former Navy warship captain said Wednesday.

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Thousands of US Marines won’t be deploying Down Under this spring after all

The Marine Corps is delaying the deployment of thousands of Marines to northern Australia for a six-month rotation starting in April due to travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus, U.S. officials said Monday.


Coronavirus cases surge for US military in Japan; three sailors, two airmen, Army dependent test positive

Before the surge in cases, commanders across Japan had already imposed a series of personnel restrictions to curb the coronavirus’ spread.


US, Philippines cancel annual Balikatan drills over coronavirus concerns

Canceling the exercise follows restrictions on international travel implemented by the U.S. Department of Defense and the Philippines in response to the coronavirus.


Marines fire Okinawa-based helicopter squadron commander over ‘loss of trust and confidence’

Lt. Col. Andrew Mills lost his job leading Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466.


Air Force orders Tokyo personnel to stay close to home; governor says city is in ‘critical phase’

As of Thursday, no one at Yokota Air Base, which has a population of about 11,500, has tested positive for coronavirus.


Air Force base on Guam in midst of $260 million upgrades to sustain ‘critical missions’

One of the new facilities is a $132.6 million “Tanker General Purpose Maintenance Hangar,” 36th Wing spokesman Master Sgt. Richard Ebensberger said in an email Friday.


Navy restricts movement for some sailors as Indo-Pacific Command heightens health-risk status to ‘substantial’

Sailors living off base may travel only between the base and their homes, according to a Naval Forces Japan memo.


Japan imposes 14-day self-quarantine for travelers from United States

New restrictions by the Japanese government on travelers entering the country from the United States will not further impact U.S. military personnel already under similar restrictions, according to U.S. Forces Japan.


Yokota child development center worker tests negative for coronavirus

Yokota’s Yume Child Development Center has been closed since officials revealed last week that the staff member would be screened for the virus.


Coronavirus cases in the military community surpass 200, as Pentagon announces death of DOD contractor

The new statistics show a substantive rise among troops and other DOD-linked individuals in the last week, as the virus spreads and larger numbers of individuals are tested, especially in the United States.


A second US service member tests positive for coronavirus on Hawaii

“The Marine Corps is committed to ensure the health protection of our force and family members while also protecting our local communities," a service statement said.


AAFES’ gas prices fall as coronavirus pandemic shrinks demand

Fuel prices at overseas military bases are feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, though they haven’t dropped as much as they have in Kentucky, where it recently sold out of 99 cents-a-gallon gasoline.


Thousands of US Marines will be isolated for first two weeks of their six-month rotation to Australia

Marines arriving with the rotational force will be restricted to their rooms with access to necessary supplies, until the isolation period has passed, according to the service.


Financial relief options available for troops affected by coronavirus pandemic

Army Emergency Relief on Saturday posted instructions on its website for those affected by the coronavirus to submit online assistance requests.


Navy Exchange says lodges can be used to quarantine those infected with coronavirus

The Navy Lodge Program is prepared for any of its 39 facilities worldwide to be used as an official isolation or quarantine site, according to the Naval Exchange Service Command CEO.


GALLERY

New base expected to host thousands of Marines begins to take shape on Guam

The heart of Camp Blaz, where barracks will be built for unaccompanied Marines, is next door to Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Guam, just west of Andersen Air Force Base.


Japanese woman gets 15-year sentence for stabbing Yokota airman to death in 2018

Air Force Master Sgt. Nicholas Vollweiler, who served as the security forces squadron’s chief of standards and evaluation at Yokota Air Base, was stabbed to death in an altercation with his girlfriend in his off-base home.


Slain Yokota airman’s family asks court to hand his Japanese ex-girlfriend a life sentence

Aria Saito, 28, of Tokyo, is charged with murder in the Nov. 9, 2018, death of Air Force Master Sgt. Nicholas Vollweiler, 35, who served as the security forces squadron’s chief of standards and evaluation at Yokota Air Base near Tokyo.


Video game-style respawns keep Air Force jets in the sky during Cope North dogfights

During this month’s Cope North drills in the Northern Marianas, aircraft staging mock dogfights were “shot down” in simulated air battles and had to fly to a regeneration point before they could rejoin the fight.


‘I had the intent to kill’: Japanese woman charged in Yokota airman’s stabbing death gives her testimony

A Japanese woman who admitted to fatally stabbing an American airman in his off-base home said she aimed for his neck when questioned by a judge Wednesday during the third day of her jury trial in western Tokyo.


Soviet symbols in skies over Guam designate Aggressors as the enemy during Cope North drills

Members of the 18th Aggressor Squadron rocking red and black Soviet-style patches brought a dozen camouflaged F-16 Fighting Falcons from their home at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, to roleplay as the enemy during the drills.


Adventure racing less stressful than Cope North military medical field exercise, airman says

Air Force Maj. Brian Johnson, 35, a medical officer and avid adventure racer, was on the island of Rota on Tuesday leading a team of 40 troops who set up a four-bed field hospital during the multinational Cope North exercise.


'Waltzing Matilda' inspires Australian Cope North squad leader with an American accent

The Jolly Swagman is an Australian legend, but the much-loved sheep rustler shares some core values with his American cousins, according to a Royal Australian Air Force squadron leader involved in this month’s Cope North drills on and around Guam.


Troops from three nations train to respond to disasters where WWII atomic bombers took flight

The troops, doing humanitarian and disaster response training that’s part of the larger annual Cope North exercise, set up their headquarters not far from the spot where atomic weapons were loaded onto the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers Enola Gay and Bockscar in 1945.


Motorcyclist killed in on-base accident served as crew chief for Yokota’s C-130s

Senior Airman Michael Spradlin, of Yokota’s 374th Maintenance Squadron, was pronounced dead at approximately 8:25 a.m. Wednesday. No other vehicles were involved in the accident, which remains under investigation.


Army veterans blame health problems on asbestos removal at South Korean base

Between October 2000 and May 2001, the U.S. Army conducted an asbestos remediation project at Camp Walker in South Korea. Now, two decades later, veterans who worked on the project believe they may have been exposed to toxic dust.


Air Force B-52 bombers train with fighters and Japanese allies in northern Japan

The strategic bombers from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and Minot Air Force Base, N.D., trained with six Misawa-based 35th Fighter Wing F-16s and 45 Japan Air Self-Defense Force planes, including F-2s, F-4s and F-15s.


Isolating people may not prevent coronavirus’ spread, infectious disease expert says

Isolating those who have recently traveled to China might not be enough to stop the spread of a deadly new virus, according to a Japanese infectious disease expert.


Coronavirus: Pacific Fleet imposes 14-day isolation for sailors returning from China as US military bans travel there

The Navy has ordered sailors on leave in China to return immediately. Those sailors will be assessed within 24 hours and have daily checks for symptoms such as fever, sore throat, coughing or difficulty breathing.


Air Force commander in Japan tightens curfew after uptick in DUIs, other alcohol-related incidents

Lower-ranked service members throughout Japan are already subject to a 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that dates to October 2012, when restrictions were imposed following the rape of an Okinawan woman by two U.S. sailors.