Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pentagon has extended its freeze on domestic and international movement of troops through June 30 due to the coronavirus crisis, a top personnel official announced April 18. The new order takes effect on April 20. The freeze was originally set to expire on May 11.
Amazon's lawsuit against the Pentagon in the Court of Federal Claims is on hold after a judge today granted the Defense Department's request to "remand" the case so it can revise aspects of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud and address potential errors being challenged by Amazon.
The Defense Department in a statement April 17 called on the Federal Communications Commission to reverse its decision to allow Ligado Networks access to electromagnetic spectrum adjacent to the spectrum used by the Global Positioning System.
Frank Miller, principal at the Scowcroft Group, appeared in conversation with retired USAF Lt. Gen. David Deptula, dean of the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, during a virtual installment of the think tank's Strategic Deterrence Forum. Their discussion covered topics ranging from how COVID-19 will affect nuclear modernization to the implications of the U.S. withdrawal from the INF Treaty.
In its recently released “Strategic Guidance” document, Air Force Special Operations Command leadership articulates the principle that “AFSOC’s human capital is our competitive advantage.” One set of tactical organizations where that human capital stands in the spotlight are AFSOC’s deployed aircraft ground response element, or DAGRE—small teams within the Air Force’s security forces that receive specialized training to support the command’s assets and personnel in austere locations around the globe.
Orbital Insight has been tentatively awarded a contract with the U.S. Air Force to help detect anomalies around the world using artificial intelligence and geospatial data. The contract, which an Orbital Insight representative said on April 17 is still under final negotiations, is with USAF’s AFVentures Strategic Financing.
The Air Force is promoting nearly 400 officers to the ranks of major, lieutenant colonel and colonel, according to a promotion list released last week. Those being promoted include 126 Judge Advocate General officers, 95 Medical Service Corps officers, and 175 Nurse Corps officers, according to the Air Force Personnel Center.
About 35,000 military retirees will soon receive cash refunds from Tricare, thanks to a policy change made last year that affects how Tricare calculates annual out-of-pocket maximum payments. The rebates impact retirees with Tricare Prime who paid more than $2,400 out of pocket towards their annual maximum payment in 2018 and 2019. They do not impact Tricare for Life or Tricare Retired Reserve users.
The announcement applies to veterans and their beneficiaries who receive compensation and pension benefits from the Veterans Affairs Department and did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019. The Internal Revenue Service said that the timing of the automatic payments has yet to be determined.
An Air Force recruiting office in Ohio is hoping the scintillating popularity of Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, better known as the bleach-blonde mullet aficionado Joe Exotic, will yield results as recruiters struggle to keep up in an evolving landscape beset by COVID-19. Air Force Recruiting Portsmouth, Ohio, posted the solicitation April 15, referencing the wildly captivating Netflix documentary, “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”