WASHINGTON – The coronavirus pandemic is stressing the military’s ability to keep its troops ready to fight as 124 service members, their families and civilian workers had contracted the disease as of Friday and the Pentagon seeks to halt its spread.
The Pentagon has canceled or curtailed major war-training exercises, quarantined thousands of troops, closed recruiting centers and slapped limits on foreign and domestic travel. One former Pentagon official said the virus could degrade everything from maintenance of warplanes to troops’ effectiveness in combat.
Senior officials insist that the military remains ready to fight and win against any threat around the world.
“I want to assure the American people that the United States military remains ready and capable of meeting all of our national security requirements,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said this month.