Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Air Force wants advanced jet trainers to start experimenting with radical new pilot training concepts now before its first T-7A Red Hawks arrive.
The Pentagon has sent proposed legislation to Capitol Hill that would help clarify the role of the Space Force and fill in some details on how the new service will be organized. But while the proposal was initially anticipated to answer some major questions—like whether the service will have a vice chief or how to incorporate the Guard and Reserve forces—the version sent to Capitol Hill earlier this month kicks most of those issues down the road. Instead of submitting a single proposal, the Pentagon has split the more controversial policy issues into a separate document currently under consideration by the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
A report due to Congress on March 31 will recommend changes to how Space Force procurement programs are funded and managed. The report is in final draft and on track to be delivered on time, Shawn Barnes, head of the office of the assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition and integration, told SpaceNews March 18.
U.S. Africa Command conducted five airstrikes against al-Shabab terrorists near Janaale, Somalia, March 16-17. Somali security forces continue to lead operations alongside African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces to increase security and seize ground from al-Shabaab.
Veterans cemeteries are open to the public during the novel coronavirus outbreak, but are adhering to official guidance on how to avoid spreading COVID-19. In the latest development, the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Cemetery Administration (NCA) has limited funeral parties to no more than 10 people.
This week the Office of Management and Budget issued a memo asking federal agencies and departments to offer “maximum telework flexibilities” to eligible employees. A top representative for the federal services industry says it won’t do much good for contractors—or public health—if contracting officers aren’t specifically told to modify the relevant legal agreements.
Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools in Japan at Misawa Air Base, Yokota Air Base, and Kadena Air Base are temporarily closing amid the COVID-19 outbreak. On March 19, DoDEA Pacific announced that schools would close starting March 23 and virtual learning for students at schools would kick off on March 25. Schools will be deep cleaned and are slated to re-open on April 13.
“Chief Master Sergeant Thomas Gwaltney, USAF (Ret.), passed away Saturday, March 15,” the statement from Air Force Association chairman Gerald Murray, the 14th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force, reads. “Tom was a long-time member and field leader in the Air Force Association, including the Montgomery Chapter President, Alabama State President, and South East Region President. All of us at AFA offer our sincere condolences to Tom’s wife Helen and their son and two daughters."
The Air Force is leveraging emerging technologies and new legislation to accelerate acquisition decisions and streamline sustainment. Read more here.
Marines are often teased for being nothing but a bunch of dumb crayon-eaters, but in reality, they also like to play with Legos while deciding how best to destroy America’s enemies. At least, that’s how Gen. Jim Mattis and his staff came up with a way to keep the 5,000 vehicles and 20,000 Marines of the 1st Marine Division chugging into southern Iraq—a region where even the Iraqis thought their roads were of questionable quality—without a massive traffic jam.