Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For weeks, National Guard members have stood on the front lines of the coronavirus fight and now the majority of the 36,750 troops deployed in every state and U.S. territory are working under a federal status that offers more benefits and military health coverage.
The Defense Department has ordered three million cloth face masks for uniformed and civilian personnel, but the vast majority won't arrive until this summer, the Pentagon's top acquisition official said April 20.
"Ligado Networks, a commercial communications company, seeks to harness spectrum in a way that may interfere with these crucial systems—systems upon which America’s military and its economy both rely,” writes retired Air Force Gen. Paul Selva, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "As a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I can confidently say that the FCC needs to pause this process, which began in 2011, and seek a path that unequivocally ensures the wide-ranging interests of the nation are not compromised for a limited business opportunity.”
Essye Miller, who served temporarily as acting Defense CIO, plans to retire after 35 years supporting military technology.
Russia on April 20 disputed the U.S. Navy’s account of an “unsafe and unprofessional” incident April 19 in which a fighter jet from Moscow intercepted an American spy plane over the Mediterranean Sea.
The partnership will “drive fielding of the critical technologies needed to ensure U.S. and Allied military superiority in hypersonic systems,” Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin says.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has issued nine new contracts to companies developing drone swarm technologies, the agency announced April 13. Through the agency’s Offensive Swarm-Enabled Tactics program, or OFFSET, it hopes to foster technology developments that will enable 250 small unmanned air or ground robots to work together in support of the war fighter.
The Air Force is leveraging emerging technologies and new legislation to accelerate acquisition decisions and streamline sustainment. Read more here.
Data analytics company Palantir won a contract to provide software and data services to U.S. Space Force units that track objects in orbit and monitor space traffic. The contract is for a project called Kobayashi Maru, an effort started last year by the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center to replace decades-old space command-and-control software with modern apps.
NASA is relying on the skills and experience of an Active-duty Air Force colonel and a retired Marine Corps colonel to put the U.S. back in the business of manned space launches after a nine-year hiatus.
Facebook recently donated 7,488 Portal video-calling devices to the Veterans Affairs Department, which the agency will soon distribute to qualifying veterans and caregivers—free of charge—who might be lonely due to recent COVID-19-driven social distancing measures. “We believe this technology will help veterans who might otherwise be unreachable,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said in the agency’s announcement of the new partnership.