Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the military

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the military. Many military training and exercises have been postponed or cancelled.[1]


On 27 February, South Korea and the United States (US) cancelled joint military exercises scheduled for March 2020.[2]

On 11 March, the Norwegian Armed Forces cancelled the Cold Response 20 exercise planned to involve NATO and allied personnel.[1]

On 16 March, the National Defense Industrial Association in the US cancelled the 2020 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference scheduled for May 2020.[3]

On 27 March, the United States cancelled large-scale exercises involving thousands of troops in the Philippines that had been scheduled for May 2020.[4]

On 6 April, the United States Forces Japan declared a Public Health Emergency on the Kanto Plain installations.[5][6]

Withdrawal of US troops from IraqEdit

On March 20, 2020, CJTF-OIR confirmed that certain troops would be withdrawing from Iraq due to the coronavirus pandemic.[7]


Military basesEdit


INS Angre

On 2020.04.18, it was announced that 21 sailors staying at INS Angre, a naval base in Mumbai, had tested positive.[8] Most of the cases were asymptomatic, and all of the cases had been traced to a sailor who tested positive on 2020.04.07.[8] The Navy emphasized that no sailors serving on a ship or submarine had been infected.[8]

United KingdomEdit

Akrotiri and Dhekelia

On 15 March, The first case in Akrotiri and Dhekelia was confirmed.[citation needed]

United StatesEdit

United States Air Force Academy cadets partake in social distancing during their graduation ceremony, April 18, 2020
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

On 24 March, the first case in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base was confirmed.[9]

United States Forces Korea

On 26 February, the first case was confirmed to have spread to the Camp Humphreys.[10]

As of 22 April, a total of 22 SARS-CoV-2 cases were laboratory confirmed at United States Forces Korea bases: 10 at Camp Humpreys, 8 at Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk Province bases (Camp Carroll, Camp Henry and Camp Walker), 3 at the Osan Air Base, and 1 at the Camp Casey).[11]

Naval shipsEdit

The COVID-19 pandemic spread to a number of naval ships, with the nature of such ships, including working with others in small enclosed areas and the lack of private quarters for the vast majority of crew, contributing to the rapid spread of the disease, even more so than on cruise ships.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b Hurt, Martin (2020-03-17). "The impact of COVID-19 on military exercises in Europe".
  2. ^ Shinkman, Paul D. (2020-02-27). "U.S., South Korea Cancel Military Exercises Amid Coronavirus Spike". U.S. News & World Report.
  3. ^ "Cancellation updates: SOFIC cancelled". Military Times. 2020-03-16.
  4. ^ "US cancels military drills with Philippines over coronavirus". The Straits Times. 2020-03-27.
  5. ^ @USForcesJapan (2020-04-06). "USFJ commander declares Public Health Emergency for Kanto Plains installations" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ Gallagher, Chris (2020-04-06). "U.S. Forces Japan declares health emergency for bases in Kanto region". Reuters.
  7. ^ Rebecca Kheel (March 20, 2020). "US-led coalition in Iraq drawing down over coronavirus concerns". The Hill. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^ "Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Announces Positive COVID-19 Case". Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba Public Affairs. Retrieved 2020-04-03.
  10. ^ Lee, Geun-pyung (2020-02-26). "부대 내 접촉 감염자에 비상걸린 軍…주한미군 1명 추가 확진". JoongAng Ilbo.
  11. ^ Ha, Hyun-jong (2020-04-12). "평택 미군기지서 코로나19 확진…주한미군 22번째". Seoul Broadcasting System.
  12. ^ Faturechi, Robert; Rose, Megan & Miller, T. Christan (16 March 2020). "After Discovering a Sailor With Coronavirus, the U.S. Navy Crowded Dozens Into One Room". Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  13. ^ Gafni, Matthias & Garofoli, Joe (31 March 2020). "Exclusive: Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 8 April 2020.