Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Air Chiefs and leadership representing 19 air forces across five continents came together for a video teleconference hosted by Pacific Air Forces Commander Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. on April 29. “Like the symposium that brought many of us together in person just a few months ago, this gathering is grounded in the shared belief that collaboration is required to meet the global challenges,” he said. “From cooperation to conflict and, now, through COVID-19, we remain stronger together.”
Culminating with an in-flight demonstration on April 30, the Negatively Pressurized Conex (NPC) proof of concept prototype successfully proved its capability to potentially transport individuals with infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. Air Force Materiel Command and Air Mobility Command leaders quickly joined forces in early April to invite creative materiel and non-materiel solutions to address a Joint Urgent Operational Need to move large numbers of COVID-19 patients should the need for that capability arise.
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is questioning whether the Defense Department’s policy of increasing payment rates for contractors—intended to keep assembly lines humming during the coronavirus outbreak—has sufficient oversight and is helping the companies that need it most.
Lockheed Martin said May 1 it advanced another $110 million in payments to suppliers this week, bringing the company's total to $365 million of its $450 million goal. Additionally, the contractor said it added new employees and now has hired more than 2,100 since the coronavirus crisis began.
A pair of F-15E Strike Eagles sprinted across the Atlantic earlier this month, not because they were called to war, but because they were in dire need of a tune-up all the way back in the United States. And maintenance crews at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., were able to get the pilots back in the air with a new set of twin-engine fighters, plus an additional F-15C Eagle, in just three days flat.
The Air Force and U.S. defense establishment are breaking down barriers and injecting speed, innovation, and creativity into the procurement system. Check out our new page to learn more about these efforts.
Josh Marcuse, the head of the Defense Innovation Board, is leaving his job as a champion of tech in the military to join Google’s public sector shop. Marcuse has served as executive director of the innovation board since 2016 and in a number of other innovation policy positions. In the director role, he organized the board and its meetings, and facilitated its recommendations to the Department of Defense.
Boeing has ramped-up flight trials of the T-7A Red Hawk jet trainer, noting its "busiest week ever" on May 1. According to the manufacturer, the production representative jets flew 11 engineering and manufacturing development test flights out of its St. Louis production facility in Missouri.
SEAKR Engineering will continue developing the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Pit Boss as the sole prime contractor, the company announced April 28. Pit Boss is the autonomous mission management system that will be used for DARPA’s Project Blackjack, an initiative to demonstrate the value of a proliferated low earth orbit constellation that takes advantage of off-the-shelf commercial satellite technologies for military uses.
President Trump has tasked the Energy secretary with issuing rules that would ban U.S. entities from procuring foreign equipment that the administration said could make the nation’s electricity systems vulnerable to cyberattacks. “The bulk-power system is a target of those seeking to commit malicious acts against the United States and its people, including malicious cyber activities,” he said declaring a national emergency in an executive order issued May 1.
The Air Force Association's CyberPatriot program announced this week the winners of the twelfth season of its National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. CyberPatriot XII began in October 2019 with nearly 7,000 registered teams among the Open, All Service, and Middle School divisions of the competition.
NASA has selected three U.S. companies to design and develop human landing systems for the agency’s Artemis program, one of which will land the first woman and next man on the surface of the Moon by 2024. NASA is on track for sustainable human exploration of the Moon for the first time in history.