Yokota removes outdoor COVID testing tent site

  • Published
  • 374 AW/PA

Airmen stood by and watched as the tent, they spent the better part of two years in, was systematically taken apart and hauled away. This wasn’t the end of a wilderness expedition full of adventurous memories, it was a pivotal moment for Airmen of the 374th Medical Group as they discontinued the use of a field tent used for COVID-19 testing on Mar. 22, 2022.

The testing tent was erected in 2020 and served as Yokota Air Base’s dedicated testing site for the majority of the pandemic. After 24 months of operations, new case numbers have finally dropped to a point where the 374th MDG can safely move its operations back indoors.

“COVID is not going away, but is no longer significantly threatening to the health of the community at this time,” said Col. Craig Rhyne, 374 Dental Squadron commander and director of the COVID-19 response team. “Due to the lowered threat, we’re removing the testing tent that has been standing for two years.”

The tent was originally placed outside of the medical clinic in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable patients. Moving testing operations inside was made possible due to the base population’s high vaccination rate and a decline in COVID-19 cases.

“Our patients have had to experience the change in weather while standing outside (for testing),” said Tech. Sgt. Kacey Thomas, Yokota COVID-19 response team NCOIC. “Moving inside will make our patients more comfortable and give us easier access to medical supplies.”

The 374th Airlift Wing and 374th MDG are confident that by following the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and DoD policies, the Yokota community will continue to be safe and one to be enjoyed.

“In spite of the strain and stress, the Yokota community has remained resilient,” said Rhyne. “The medical Airmen have worked beyond expectation without complaint, while advancing our rapid airlift mission. More than anything, this is symbolic of our attempts to return to normalcy.”


COVID-19 testing can be found in the 374th MDG, building 4413. Travel and exit restriction of movement or ROM testing is available every day from 0800 – 0930. Symptomatic and close contact testing is available Monday thru Friday from 1000 – 1200. To reach the COVID response team contact DSN 225-1300.