Apr 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pentagon extends freeze on U.S. troop movement

In this image, Mark Esper and Donald Trump stand in the White House

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and President Trump hold a White House breifing on the coronavirus on March 18. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The freeze on U.S. troops' international and domestic movement will extend until June 30, Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matt Donovan told reporters in a Saturday conference call, the Military Times reports.

What's happening: The original travel restrictions, which went into effect on March 16, apply to all Defense Department service members and civilians, as well as their family members. Travel for medical treatment is permitted and service members may take leave in their local areas, the original restrictions state.

What's next: Further guidance on the freeze is expected to be released when Defense Secretary Mark Esper signs the official order, which likely won't happen until early next week, the Times reports.

  • The freeze "will be reviewed every 15 days," per the Times, and troops that do move will be subject to 14-day quarantines.
  • “Never say never,” Donovan told reporters when asked if the freeze would last beyond June 30, per the Times.

Go deeper: First U.S. service member dies from coronavirus

Go deeper