KNOW the Threat! RESPECT the Threat!! BEAT the Threat!!!

  • Published
  • By Brig. Gen. Matthew Higer
  • 412th Test Wing

KNOW the Threat!

RESPECT the Threat!!

BEAT the Threat!!!

*KNOW the Threat!

This threat that defines one of the four combat fronts at T-Cot-A-TU is a microbe that goes by many labels… I typically use Novel Coronavirus.  This virus causes the disease COVID-19. 

I encourage you to spend time reading up on – or listening to – what we know and continue to learn about this pathogen threat.  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) website ( ) is always the best place to start.  There are many, many excellent topics here that give data hounds (like me – Go Geeks!) authoritative items to contemplate.  As an example, I found the Guidance Documents page ( ) very insightful when considering how to adjust my actions and limits in my personal life, professional life, and as the Installation Commander. 

Example: What are the recommended ways to clean a residence with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case?  Look at the guidance here … ( )! 

In addition to a link to the CDC COVID-19 site, you’ll also find other official and reputable sources of information on the threat linked from the Edwards Portal ( ) and specifically the Edwards Coronavirus page ( ). 

KNOW the Threat!


*RESPECT the Threat!

I’ve observed many of our fellow Americans, both in person and on video feeds, acting in a manner that indicates their respect for this threat is NOT where it must be if we are to Compete(!) with this threat.  I know you’ve observed these situations, too.  I’ve also seen example after example of Team Edwards members displaying exceptional respect for this threat AND respect for their teammates as they do the right thing all day, every day, on and off duty.  In the aggregate, the trend line is that less of us are giving the threat (and our Teammates) the respect they both require. 

When flying in combat, I’d never willingly expose my aircraft or my flight to a surface-to-air threat that could harm my aircraft or another member of my 4-ship… unless I was required to enter that threat arena to conduct my mission.  Why should the COVID-19 threat be treated any different?  It shouldn’t!  This is a combat front in the US Homeland, and we must resist the temptation to be cavalier or complacent. 

Respect of the Novel Coronavirus by all of us is required.  Consider these mind-boggling, sobering, and somber facts: today was the day we surpassed a tragic milestone: 100,000 American deaths directly attributed to COVID-19.  ONE-HUNDRED-THOUSAND people… that’s just shy of double the number of 58,220 US combat fatalities in the Vietnam conflict… that’s more than double the 46,802 deaths in the US due to opioid overdoses for all of 2018, and it’s been just 89 days since the first US COVID death on 29 February 2020.  Read those comparisons again.  If you have not been personally impacted by the death of a loved one due to this threat, you are very fortunate; but this fight is far from over and the American death count will continue. 

However, don’t be paralyzed by the threat either.  And don’t simply rely on rules to protect you from the threat. 

RESPECT the threat!!


*BEAT the Threat!!!*    

But just like flying aircraft in combat, there are times where we must risk exposure to the potential COVID-19 threat to keep our lives, families, and missions moving forward.  It is not possible to hunker down for the time (12-18 months or more) it will likely take before we succeed in beating the COVID-19 threat.  We must continue our missions, at home and at work. 

The way we ALL contribute to beating the COVID threat is to KNOW the threat, RESPECT the threat, and then make exceptional risk management decisions that include the COVID-19 threat as one of your considerations.  As a simple, but very real, example of multi-faceted risk management, starvation is a real threat if you never get nutrition, so when eliminating the threat of starvation for you (and your family), don’t accept any unnecessary COVID-19 threat. 

Another way you can help beat the COVID threat is by limiting the number of close contacts ( ) you make on a daily basis out of people that don’t share your residence.  This thought process and behavior minimizing close contacts will dramatically expedite the tracing pillar of the Test-Isolate-Trace-Quarantine (TITQ) strategy and minimize the number of people impacted by quarantine pillar of the TITQ strategy should you become infected with Novel Coronavirus.  This pre-emptive and pro-active one-two punch against the threat allows our Public Health teams to focus more on preventive measures while it also keeps your friends and co-workers off the quarantine list while you focus on a full recovery with much less potential guilt. 

What does victory resemble in the COVID-19 fight?  It looks to me like a return to HPCON-0 enabled by a safe, effective, and widely implemented COVID-19 vaccine; on top of highly effective TITQ operations; enabled – in part – by near-realtime COVID-19 testing.  Under those conditions, I see a return to many (most?) of our pre-COVID activities with only mild modifications…

BEAT the THREAT!!!  


Be well.  Be safe.  KNOW, RESPECT, then BEAT the COVID-19 threat!