JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. — The 87th Air Base Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst recently received a visit from the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center command team for a tour of several key facilities supporting COVID-19 Operations at the Joint Base.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark Camerer, USAF Expeditionary Center commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Anthony W. Green, USAF Expeditionary Center command chief, visited the 87th Medical Group on January 13 to get an understanding of Joint Base MDL's strategy to monitor and protect the health of personnel while staying operational during the pandemic.
“Chief Green and I were excited to meet some of the men and women of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst today and learn a little bit about what they have done in the short time that the COVID-19 vaccine has been available at the installation,” Camerer said. “I cannot overstate this team’s vital role ensuring the health of our service members!”
The visit occurred just under two weeks since the Joint Base received and distributed its first round of COVID-19 vaccinations on December 31, 2020.
“The 87th Medical Group will be issuing vaccinations as quickly as they come in and we will be scheduling large chalks of personnel for vaccinations on short notice,” said Col. Charles Hughes, 87th MDG commander when JB MDL received the vaccines. “We encourage you to seek facts on COVID-19 vaccination risks and benefits from reliable sources, such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.”
Joint Base MDL has maintained efforts to neutralize the virus since March of 2020 by utilizing the ability to telework, insisting on two-week quarantines and mandating that masks be worn in public places. Several designated lodging facilities, now called, “Camp JB MDL,” are available to those requiring isolation or quarantine before moving into dorms or while attending training.
Joint Base MDL personnel have now converted parts of the McGuire Fitness Center for Points of Distribution in order to administer the vaccine. Medical care providers, emergency services, safety personnel, and deploying forces were the first to receive the vaccine.
“It’s amazing how the Airmen of this wing were able to put together this point of distribution concept to help make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all services on the nation’s only tri-service joint base,” Camerer said. “It is clear they are dedicated to providing the latest information about the vaccines available as they are released so that our Airmen and their families can make informed decisions.”
Camerer expressed his appreciation for the 87th ABW Airmen's resiliency and resourcefulness throughout the pandemic.
“The level of professionalism displayed by our Airmen and their commitment to protecting our service members, civilian employees, and families since this pandemic started is truly remarkable,” Camerer said. “Units operating globally depend upon the Airmen, Sailors, Marines and Soldiers assigned here at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst to be healthy and ready. Chief Green and I are impressed by what we've seen here today.”