Despite his claims to respect veterans more than anyone, President Donald Trump has frequently made offensive statements about members of the armed forces and their families.
"The idea of fighting American citizens on American soil is not what the military does and not what the American people expect the military to do," one critic said.
Military officials also ordered use of two Army National Guard helicopters to intimidate civilians in Washington, D.C., sources told The New York Times.
Troops say commanders aren't taking the pandemic seriously, and a former Army epidemiologist says the military has "done a poor job" responding to the crisis.
Over 100 people were reportedly killed in the capital and across Sudan in a sweeping crackdown last week.
Clashes between protesters and police left five dead in the troubled nation this week.
He will succeed Gen. Joseph Dunford as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“There were soldiers lying everywhere and the smoke was so thick, it was difficult to see,” said a spokesman at the base.
The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force has now been used to justify U.S. military efforts in more than 20 countries.
The military drills will involve almost 300,000 troops.