Maj. Gen. Frank Tate, commanding general of First Army Division West, talks with quarantined Soldiers to assess the quality of life inside quarantine. Soldiers follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines by going into quarantine for 14 days following travel outside the continental United States. | U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy Gray, 5th Armored Brigade
FORT BLISS – Maj. Gen. Frank Tate, commanding general for First Army Division West, visited the various Soldier quarantine sites to check on the quality of life at Fort Bliss earlier this week.
With an abundance of caution and in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Soldiers returning from Center for Disease Control and Prevention level 2 and above countries are required to quarantine for 14 days. CDC quarantine guidelines ensure non-symptomatic people are not unknowingly spreading the virus, which also helps to ensure the health of the force.
Fort Bliss is First Army’s largest Mobilization Force Generation Installation and sees the most National Guard and Reserve Soldiers deploying and returning. First Army and 1st Armored Division have been working together to maintain overall readiness and the health of our force and do the right thing, the right way.
“Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is imperative to maintaining the readiness of the Total Force,” Tate said. “We’ve gained experience dealing with outbreaks of other diseases in the past. Now, it’s time to put those lessons learned to work to keep our Soldiers, families and communities safe.”
While Soldiers proudly train to fight and win our nation’s wars, Army leaders are resolute about keeping the best interests of those Soldiers uppermost in their mind. Tate says taking care of Soldiers who are not showing symptoms while in quarantine is one of his top priorities.
“Going through quarantine is part of a Soldier’s duty to safeguard the nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” Tate said. “It’s our duty as leaders to make sure Soldiers have the best quality of life possible while they’re doing their duty, whether at home or deployed.”
Thursday Tate visited three separate quarantine sites throughout the Fort Bliss area and saw Soldiers’ meals, laundry and living facilities, and opportunities for physical training and recreation. While he was pleased with what he saw, Tate says there are some improvements he’s looking forward to making.
“We’ve tackled issues with food and exercise opportunities already,” said Tate. “We’re taking a look at improving the way Soldiers and families are able to communicate while they’re dealing with quarantine. Internet and cellphone capabilities are paramount today, so we’re pursuing better connectivity at remote sites.”
Fort Bliss will continue to improve these quarantine locations in the coming days and will continually assess living conditions to ensure our service members have the best medical services and accommodations possible.
Maj. Gen. Frank Tate’s visit took place March 26, 2020