Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Donald Trump signed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion economic rescue package into law after swift and near-unanimous action by Congress to support businesses, rush resources to overburdened health care providers, and help struggling families during the deepening coronavirus epidemic.
But the Defense Department's No. 2 told Army, Navy, and Air Force budget planners to figure out a different solution.
U.S. Northern Command has dispersed essential command and control teams to multiple hardened locations, including the famous Cheyenne Mountain bunker complex in Colorado, as well as another unspecified site, and is keeping them in isolation. The command took these steps to help ensure these personnel can continue to watch around the clock for potential threats to the U.S. homeland as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expand across the country and around the world, including within the U.S. military.
President Donald Trump on March 27 ordered Defense Secretary Mark Esper to call up a yet-to-be-determined number of ready reserve components to help in the country’s response to the fast-spreading pandemic. The Pentagon is reviewing how many National Guard, Reserve, and Individual Ready Reserve troops it will call up in response to the order.
The military has a list of more than 100 possible sites nationwide to convert into makeshift hospitals to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic, including convention centers, sports arenas, hotels, dorms, and other existing buildings, the commander of the Army Corps of Engineers said March 27.
The Pentagon’s logistics agency has modified an existing contract and will spend $84.4 million to buy 8,000 ventilators from four vendors, with delivery of an initial 1,400 by early May.
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, home of the A-10C Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team, has resumed flying operations after a temporary COVID-19-induced pause, officials say.
The Veterans Affairs Department will not test non-veteran employees for COVID-19, including health care workers who are showing symptoms, an agency spokeswoman confirmed to Task & Purpose on March 27. “Per federal law, VA cannot provide medical care to non-veterans,” Christina Mandreucci, the VA press secretary, told Task & Purpose. “So if a non-veteran employee’s screening indicates that they may have symptoms of COVID-19, they would be referred to their health care provider for testing.
Senate Armed Services Committee members Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) introduced legislation to remove United States Armed Forces from Saudi Arabia. The bill, S.3572, would remove all forces and equipment from Saudi Arabia and relocate them to another location in the Middle East.
The challenges span two initiatives that the accelerator explored pursuing over the past several months. The Base of the Future effort encompasses five challenge areas that will support the Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, which was directly hit by the Category 5 Hurricane Michael in 2018. The startup’s Space initiative presents potential partners with four challenge activities that aim to boost the next era of space technology.
The U.S. Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force are making progress with efforts to develop unmanned jets that can serve as “loyal wingmen” for manned counterparts. Under the concept, robotic systems can accompany fighters as decoys, weapons carriers or sensor platforms.
The plan gives the German Air Force planes it can configure to carry American nuclear bombs and the most capable electronic warfare jet on the planet.
On March 27, the United States, as a treaty depositary, received the Republic of North Macedonia’s instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty, making North Macedonia the 30th NATO ally.
The Military Visual Awards has announced its winning photographs for 2019, honoring the best military photos captured worldwide over the past year. The top prize of 2019 MVA Photographer of the Year was awarded to photographer Chris Hibben, who is part of the Air Force’s 4th Combat Camera Squadron. Check out a selection of photos from his winning portfolio.