By Johnnie Rosario
(Yigo, Guam) Viral pictures of military servicemembers gathering in crowds at Tumon Bay are not exactly what they seem to be, though still cause for concern.
According to Joint Region Marianas, the people pictured in the photos are sailors, but not from the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt or from any ships with that carrier strike group. The photos were taken on March 21, 2020, when the Roosevelt still was out at sea.
Those sailors still are in trouble, though, because by March 21, local and military social distancing policies already were in place.
According to Joint Region Marianas:
Joint Region Marianas (JRM) is aware of the photos of service members circulating on social media. The persons featured in the photos are not assigned to USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) or any of its embarked units.
One image showing groups of people standing near beach chairs was taken Saturday, March 21, before the ship had even arrived at Guam. In a separate photo, JRM has confirmed that some persons shown seated and standing in the water near the beach are active-duty Sailors completing a rotational deployment to Guam. JRM Commander Rear Adm. John Menoni has spoken with the Sailors' chain of command, who will conduct all investigative and corrective actions.
In accordance with Health Protection Condition C and the Governor's Executive Order, all service members on Guam are required to restrict unit and social group activities, including at public beaches and parks, and to implement social distancing. JRM is committed to enforcing these measures which are best practices for mitigating the spread of COVID-19.