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Taking care of home base: 165th AW takes preventative actions to protect the welfare of its force

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Garrett Cummings a COVID-19 infection control team volunteer disinfects frequently used areas on the installation at the 117th Air Control Squadron at Hunter Army Airfield June 16, 2020.  The base infection control teams minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 for unit members by disinfecting common areas and workplaces as a precautionary measure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jamila Haven)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Garrett Cummings a COVID-19 infection control team volunteer disinfects frequently used areas on the installation at the 117th Air Control Squadron at Hunter Army Airfield June 16, 2020. The base infection control teams minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 for unit members by disinfecting common areas and workplaces as a precautionary measure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jamila Haven)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Garrett Cummings a COVID-19 infection control team volunteer disinfects frequently used areas on the installation at the 117th Air Control Squadron at Hunter Army Airfield June 16, 2020.  The base infection control teams minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 for unit members by disinfecting common areas and workplaces as a precautionary measure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jamila Haven)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Garrett Cummings a COVID-19 infection control team volunteer disinfects frequently used areas on the installation at the 117th Air Control Squadron at Hunter Army Airfield June 16, 2020. The base infection control teams minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 for unit members by disinfecting common areas and workplaces as a precautionary measure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jamila Haven)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kelvin Lanier a COVID-19 infection control team volunteer disinfects frequently used areas on the installation at the 117th Air Control Squadron at Hunter Army Airfield June 16, 2020.  The base infection control teams minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 for unit members by disinfecting common areas and workplaces as a precautionary measure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jamila Haven)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kelvin Lanier a COVID-19 infection control team volunteer disinfects frequently used areas on the installation at the 117th Air Control Squadron at Hunter Army Airfield June 16, 2020. The base infection control teams minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 for unit members by disinfecting common areas and workplaces as a precautionary measure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jamila Haven)

Georgia Air National Guardsmen assigned to the 117th Air Control Squadron disinfect frequently used areas on the installation at the 117th Air Control Squadron at Hunter Army Airfield, June 16, 2020.  The base infection control teams minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 for unit members by disinfecting common areas and workplaces as a precautionary measure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jamila Haven)

Georgia Air National Guardsmen assigned to the 117th Air Control Squadron disinfect frequently used areas on the installation at the 117th Air Control Squadron at Hunter Army Airfield, June 16, 2020. The base infection control teams minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 for unit members by disinfecting common areas and workplaces as a precautionary measure. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jamila Haven)

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- While teleworking is still an option for some jobs, the 165th Airlift Wing has expanded daily operations after the state of Georgia has mostly opened back up after COVID-19 precautions.

Signs are displayed serving as reminder members of health protection guidelines are placed on buildings and gate entrances around the base. This and other preventive measures, such as forming a base-specific Infection Control Team task force have been put in place.

Airmen from the 165th Airlift Wing and its geographically separated units make up the base ICT task force with eight teams of four to six volunteers per team.

Equipped with disinfecting supplies and personal protective equipment the teams follow a standard of procedure that outlines methods for disinfecting for both standard and enhanced procedures. Enhanced procedures are applied in common areas or when responding to incidents of known infections.

Teams not only disinfect floors, doors handles, light switches, common and frequently touch areas of the buildings but also the C-130H3 Hercules and shared tools and equipment.

“Commonly used tools are checked out of the tool area,” said Senior Master Sgt. Scott Farber, 165th AW ICT team lead. “When they’re checked back in they are sanitized for the next person who uses them.”

“We are also tasked with sanitizing the interior of the aircraft,” said Farber. “So as repairs are done, when we finish that, we would then sanitize the aircraft before the operations crew takes back over.”

Farber, who also helped draft the SOPs for the base-specific task force explains he came up with the procedures by getting input from 165th ICT volunteers who helped disinfect the long-term care facilities for the state mission.

The “Sheltering in Place” Executive Order is ending about three months after going into effect and Farber expresses hopes for these practices helping to slow the spread as operations begin to expand.

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