OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Relocating to a new military installation in another country can be a stressful task, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. With so many uncertainties involving the pandemic’s impacts of changing living standards, a special group of professionals provide initial solutions and comfort for Osan Air Base’s inbound personnel upon arrival in the Republic of Korea.
Working around the clock, Osan’s Airman Dorm Leaders (ADL) strive to give new members the warmest welcome and essential needs during their two-week quarantine phase.
For U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Toni Bellamy, an ADL serving as Osan’s COVID-19 Command Center housing representative being the first line of defense for inbound personnel is a challenging, but fulfilling experience.
“Knowing that we help keep the base safe by housing nearly 500 quarantine personnel at a given time and giving them their essential needs is a huge reward,” said Bellamy. “We work alongside the base first sergeants, Red Cross and the United Services Organizations to help supply personnel with toiletries and meals to make the quarantine residents stay more comfortable.”
To administer a smooth process, the ADL’s proactively communicate with commanders, chiefs, first sergeants and supervisors to take care of inbound individuals. They are dedicated to ensuring six dorms and vacancies in the base hotel are readily available for occupancy.
“We take care of all residents from in-processing, meals, trash, grocery delivery and other orders to outprocess from quarantine,” added Bellamy. “I assign all inbound members to a living space and once assigned, the list of projected arrivals is passed to the ADL’s to ensure rooms are ready for incoming members.”
Free Wi-Fi is equipped in the quarantine dorms as well as the hotel to help with their needs during the 14-day period. Quarantine personnel are authorized and encouraged to bring in any items that may make their stay more comfortable such as blankets, televisions and computers. They’re also allotted daily recreational time outside to get fresh air and exercise.
“It was nice knowing I had a team of ADL’s dedicated to help smooth the transition process into the quarantine dorms,” said Staff Sgt. Tiffany Wallace, 51 Medical Operations Squadron orthopedic surgical technician. “For me, being able to adjust comfortably and FaceTime my family was a huge bonus.”
New inbound members are also given resources on how to acquire additional necessities from the Base Exchange and Commissary. They can also contact their leadership for additional needs.
“The biggest way to help our quarantine personnel is to stay in contact with them daily, asking them about how their stay is, from room maintenance to meals,” Bellamy said. “Another way to help is offering to bring your member a hot meal or forms of entertainment.”
Whether it’s preparing dorm rooms 48 hours prior for an inbound arrival or maintaining open communication with all leadership and anyone that may have concerns about COVID-19, the ADL team is committed to their focal role: expressing the importance of a combined effort.
“The biggest positive of this job is seeing how the whole base is coming together,” said Bellamy. “The augmentees are from all units around the base. We couldn’t do it without all the organizations stepping up to provide us with bodies and supplies.”