The Pentagon on Monday canceled or scaled down major drills across the globe, took dramatic new steps to protect Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and ramped up teleworking as the U.S. military races to deal with the global coronavirus pandemic.
The wave of new directives stretch across all corners of the military, from the sprawling Pentagon complex and its more than 25,000 workers to U.S. military personnel in Europe, Africa, and elsewhere around the world. The Army said it is downsizing the long-awaited Defense Europe 20 exercise — the largest military drill on the continent since the Cold War — in an effort to keep coronavirus from spreading through the ranks.
More than 20,000 U.S. military personnel were expected to take part in the landmark set of drills, but that number now will be closer to 6,000. No additional American service members will deploy to Europe and the transfer of additional equipment has been halted.
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