February UTA mission essential only

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Marnee A.C. Losurdo
  • 403rd Wing

The 403rd Wing Feb. 6-7 Unit Training Assembly is for mission essential personnel only.

Do not plan to attend the UTA in-person unless told to do so by squadron leadership.

“Commanders are authorized maximum flexibility for all others to telework, reschedule or excuse the February UTA,” said Col. Jeffrey A. Van Dootingh, 403rd Wing commander. “Slowing the spread of COVID is everyone’s job, and we must not unnecessarily expose our Airmen to COVID. My goal remains to return to in-place UTAs as soon as it’s safe to do so.  Until then, thank you for your continued flexibility and unwavering commitment to duty.”

Airmen who attend the UTA must comply with base security and health protection requirements. Keesler is currently in Health Protection Condition Bravo +. On Jan. 19, the 81st Training Wing Commander Col. Heather W. Blackwell published an updated Public Health Emergency Order, with the major change reducing official and unofficial mission and service-essential activities and gatherings from 25 people to 10. Per Department of Defense guidance, face coverings are required when individuals cannot maintain six feet of physical distance in public areas or work centers.

Previous base guidance is still in effect for off-base dining. Members may not dine-in at off-base restaurants but takeout is authorized. Military members are also prohibited from attending bars and nightclubs.

As of Jan. 1, there are also new UTA dining hours. The Azalea Dining facility will allow up to 50% capacity for dining inside and will be open for takeout with breakfast from 6-9 a.m., lunch from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and dinner hours from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Units will still perform COVID screenings during UTA sign-in. Wing buildings may utilize more than one entrance provided that there is hand sanitizer available, and unit members should practice strict hygiene, such as no hand-shaking and proper hand washing, social distancing and taking appropriate actions if sick.

“If wing members develop symptoms or think they have been exposed to anyone with COVID, please stay home,” said the wing commander. “Air Force Reserve members must remember that they are required to notify their commander if they or a family member is diagnosed with or exposed to COVID.”

If a wing member starts to feel ill during the UTA, they should not go to the 403rd Aeromedical Staging Squadron, but either go to the Keesler Medical Center or a physician of their choice such as an Urgent Care, he added. Reservists may also use the Keesler Medical Center drive-up COVID Clinic. The hours are 7 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, and closed Sunday.

For more information, visit the 403rd Wing Website www.403wg.afrc.af.mil, the wing’s Air Force Connect App, and the Keesler AFB Health page at www.keesler.af.mil/Health.