A Sept. 28 memo from  Air Force Col. Kirsten Aguilar, JBER commander, mandates that all Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson personnel wear masks indoors, on and off base, and outside when unable to maintain six feet social distancing. The order applies to “personnel who live, work and recreate on JBER as well as visitors to the installation.”

Airman await takeoff at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in August.

Aguilar’s memo states that the new mandate is in force for the public health emergency which JBER declared on Sept. 17.

According to the memo, JBER personnel are now required to avoid “activities and establishments that do not utilize COVID mitigation controls,” which must include “mandatory mask requirements, social distancing, proof of vaccination status, or proof of a recent negative COVID test.”

The only exceptions are for accessing “essential services,” which include going to a grocery store, school sponsored activity, religious service and “other essential services.”

“Entry into and attendance at restaurants, bars, clubs, concerts, indoor sporting events, and other indoor non-essential activities without these controls is not permitted,” the memo states. That would include the vast majority of shops, events and other activities throughout Anchorage and the Mat-Su where masks are not mandated.

Family members of JBER personnel are also impacted by the new order. Any family member who has “close contacts” to a positive case are now “required to quarantine for seven days regardless of vaccination status,” the memo states.

When it comes to JBER visitors, personnel are responsible for their guest’s “conduct and compliance” with the mandate.

“Failure to comply with this directive may result in loss of sponsorship privileges, suspended base access, or disbarment,” the memo states, adding that “failure to comply with this order may also result in punitive or adverse administrative action as appropriate.”


To ask respectful questions about the new JBER mandate, call (907) 552-6738.

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JBER mandates masks off base, bans entrance to restaurants, other venues without mandates

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.