Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 150 military bases in 41 states have been hit with coronavirus, according to new information exclusively obtained by Newsweek. The Pentagon on April 8 also said that the armed forces had surpassed 3,000 cases, more than doubling their number of people tested positive for coronavirus in less than a week's time. The scope of geographic spread among the military in the United States mirrors the civilian world and also shows few signs of abating.
Fighting the novel coronavirus pandemic has put on hold a controversial plan to cut medical billets in the Military Health System and transfer retirees to outside providers, according to the Defense Health Agency.
Three House committee chairmen are urging the Trump administration, especially the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Health and Human Services Department, to begin using the Defense Department's industrial base to produce medical supplies needed to stem the outbreak of COVID-19 and re-open the U.S. economy.
The Senate Armed Services Committee has put its plan to hold “paper hearings” during the coronavirus crisis on ice after one hearing. “When the committee first laid out the concept of ‘paper hearings,’ we understood that, being in uncharted territory, we would remain flexible and re-assess the process as conditions changed,” panel spokeswoman Marta Hernandez said in an April 9 statement.
Some U.S. Air Force units have instituted a buddy system that groups individuals into cohorts or "pods" as the service attempts to stave off the spread of the novel coronavirus, officials say.
Air Force Sees Small Decline in Suicides for the First Quarter of This Year Compared to Same Point in 2019
The Air Force reported a total of 34 Air Force personnel have died by suicide as of March 31, including 20 Active duty Airmen. That number is down from the 41 suicides the Air Force reported across the entire force the end of March last year, officials said.
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has flown its MQ-9B SkyGuardian unmanned air vehicle in the U.S. airspace as part of an experiment for NASA. The company flew a special variant of the military aircraft on April 3 over Southern California as part of the NASA Systems Integration and Operationalization demonstration program it said on April 6.
“The Office” may be leaving Netflix eventually to spread its wings on NBC’s Peacock, but another workplace comedy starring Steve Carell will rise up to take its place. Enter Space Force, a workplace comedy by the creator of “The Office” (U.S.), centered around a gaggle of government employees tasked with creating a sixth branch of the U.S. military. The—you guessed it—SPACE FORCE. The series is set for a May 29 premiere.