Dugway Proving Ground continues critical operations in support of military readiness, while implementing several mitigation measures to protect the health and safety of its Soldiers, families and employees during the current coronavirus pandemic.
DPG started operating under a level Health Protection Condition Bravo (HPCON-B) on March 16, and moved to HPCON Charlie (HPCON C) March 25, 2020.
Under HPCON C, the installation is only open to: Dugway residents, mission-and emergency-essential employees, contract employees, and other personnel who have authorized business at Dugway Proving Ground.
Approximately 45 percent of Dugway employees are working from home.
“Limiting access to the installation is key to preventing the spread of the coronavirus,” said Matthew Adams, who leads Dugway’s Crisis Action Team (CAT), a dedicated working group comprised of representatives from every organization on the installation that oversees proactive COVID19 planning efforts.
Mitigation measures recommended by the CAT and approved by the DPG Commander include the closure of many installation facilities, including eating establishments, fitness centers, the visitor center, library, and Dugway Hope Chapel. Children and Youth Services is providing care for children of mission essential employees and service members only. The health clinic has limited its services and the fuel station is open but has reduced its hours. The Commissary has not reduced its hours but continues to experience, like almost all grocery stores across the country, supply shortages of high demand items such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and meat. Those items are being strictly rationed.
“Even though we are limiting the number of high-demand items, I strongly encourage shoppers to take only what they need,” said Col. Scott Gould, Commander of Dugway Proving Ground.
Since 1942, Dugway Proving Ground has tested the nation’s chemical and biological defense capabilities, including agent detectors, protective equipment and decontamination systems.
Some testing activities at the West Desert Test Center (WDTC) have been postponed, mainly because of travel restrictions, but many continue to be carried out, including testing of the new Chemical Agent Vapor point detector test fixture to ensure its accuracy when challenging prototype detectors later.
“It certainly is not business as usual,” admitted Ryan Harris, WDTC Director, “but despite the impacts of COVID-19, we continue critical operations in support of our warfighters.”
For now, Dugway Proving Ground will continue that balance of executing its mission and taking measures to protect its workforce against coronavirus.
“Dugway exists because of its mission, but we can’t accomplish that mission without people,” said Col. Gould. “We need everyone to stay focused, stay positive, and most importantly, stay safe.”