AFMC commander provides COVID-19 mission update

  • Published
  • By Gen. Arnold W. Bunch, Jr., Commander, Air Force Materiel Command
  • Air Force Materiel Command

We are experiencing challenging times across the globe, as the impacts of COVID-19 continue to grow and change each day. These times are unlike anything I have experienced in my career, and the uncertainty of tomorrow due to this global pandemic impacts us all.

Responding to COVID-19 continues to drive much of our time and attention, both as a command and as a nation. We are working hard at all levels to stop the spread of this deadly virus, and we have taken extra steps to ensure that our Airmen across the Air Force Materiel Command remain safe, informed and up-to-date on changes and impacts as we receive them.

In the last few days, we have learned of an increasing number of positive cases across AFMC.  We extend our heartfelt concern and support to our members who have tested positive, and to their families, with the hope for speedy recoveries. They are our teammates and we deeply care for them. 

As we respond to this crisis, our priority remains to protect our AFMC Airmen and families while preserving their ability to accomplish our nation’s missions and to provide for national defense. We have an obligation to our warfighters who depend on our command across every mission area, and we will continue to conduct our wartime mission during these trying times.  We will place extra emphasis on a calm, disciplined urgency that enables us to execute our mission while protecting the health and safety of our Airmen, families and communities.

Across the command, we have implemented measures to minimize risk for exposure to COVID-19, while ensuring mission requirements are timely and being safely met. Some of these actions include:

  • Executing telework to the maximum extent possible for eligible positions.
  • Prioritizing work to focus on mission essential activities.
  • Implementing steps to improve social distancing and appropriate cleaning protocols outlined by the CDC within work centers.
  • Ramping up communications to make sure our workforce is aware of rapidly changing events and can respond accordingly.

This is a rapidly developing situation and commanders at all our locations are carefully monitoring and assessing local mission needs. Though COVID-19 is presenting significant challenges to our normal work routines, we are meeting critical mission requirements in all core aspects of our mission in the areas of research and development, life cycle management, test, sustainment, nuclear materiel management, and installation and mission support.

However, while we continue performing our critical missions due to the resourcefulness, ingenuity and flexibility of our people, there will likely be future mission impact. We will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate actions to minimize these impacts to ensure the readiness of our Air Force to answer the nation’s call. We are the most important command to enable the National Defense Strategy, and the health and readiness of our Air Force depends on us.

I am so proud of how AFMC’s military and civilian Airmen have come together during this crisis, first to take care of each other, and second to continue the operations our nation needs.  It is this dedication, resilience and sense of community that brings me the utmost confidence that we will emerge from this crisis stronger and more united than ever.

We are truly One AFMC…powering the world’s greatest Air Force.