2020 in photos: Department of Defense releases images of this year’s trainings, operations

U.S. service members have continued trainings, operations worldwide despite COVID-19 pandemic

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Department of Defense

U.S. Army Major Louise Eldred, assigned to 773rd Civil Support Team, tests COVID-19 samples as part of a preventative measure during Phase II of DEFENDER-Europe 20, Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland, July 15 2020. DEFENDER Europe 20 was designed as a deployment exercise to build strategic readiness in support of the U.S. National Defense Strategy and NATO deterrence objectives. In response to COVID-19, DEFENDER-Europe 20 was modified in size and scope. Phase I of the modified DEFENDER-Europe 20 was linked to exercise Allied Spirit, which took place at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland, June 5-19 with approximately 6,000 U.S. and Polish Soldiers. In phase II of the modified DEFENDER-Europe 20, a U.S.-based combined arms battalion will conduct an emergency Deployment Readiness Exercise to Europe July 14-Aug. 22. (U.S. Army photo by Jason Johnston.)

This year the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything as we’ve known it. From going out in public and wearing masks each day, to social distancing or quarantining from our friends and family, to kids attending school from behind a computer screen — the list goes on.

But despite the repercussions of the pandemic, it hasn’t stopped U.S. service members from working around the clock on training and other operations worldwide to ensure the nation’s security.

Photographs from the Department of Defense are giving us a glimpse of these operations, some of which are on the front lines to combat the pandemic.

Some of the images show Army soldiers testing COVID-19 samples in Poland, National Guard members handing out food supplies at pantry events as part of COVID-19 relief efforts and National Guard COVID-19 response teams assisting at health care facilities, and other operations.

The images in the gallery above are just a sample of what military photographers have collected this year. To see the entire photo collection, visit the DOD’s website here.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.