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US freezes overseas military movements due to coronavirus pandemic

Washington, March 26 (Petra) -- The US will freeze all military movements around the world for two months, including sending soldiers to combat areas or returning them to their homeland, as part of efforts to curb the new coronavirus epidemic, the Pentagon announced Wednesday night.

In a statement, the Pentagon said "Secretary of Defense Mark Esper enacted a 60-day stop movement order for all Department of Defense (DoD) uniformed and civilian personnel and their sponsored family members overseas", adding "this measure is taken to aid in further prevention of the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), to protect U.S. personnel and preserve the operational readiness of our global force."

"This stop movement order will also impact exercises, deployments, redeployments and other global force management activities. Approximately 90,000 Service Members slated to deploy or redeploy over the next 60 days will likely be impacted by this stop movement order," it also said.

The statement noted that this order is not expected to impact the continued drawdown of US forces from Afghanistan, which is scheduled to be complete within 135 days following the signed agreement.
//Petra// WH
26/03/2020 11:01:29