Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With 100 coronavirus-positive service members hospitalized so far, the military’s cumulative hospitalization rate of 2 percent is 50 times higher than the U.S. hospitalization rate reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On board the coronavirus-stricken USS Theodore Roosevelt, the crew is getting the aircraft carrier ready to head back out to sea. For the ship’s commander, Capt. Carlos Sardiello, the road to recovery has been a challenge. For the crew sidelined in Guam for more than a month, it’s been an emotional roller coaster.
U.S. Pacific Air Forces has issued a waiver for unaccompanied short tour assignments for PACAF Airmen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a memo obtained by Air Force Times. Although the Pentagon issued a stop movement order that has limited travel for service members and temporarily suspended almost all permanent-change-of-station moves due to the virus, the command has issued a waiver loosening restrictions for some PACAF Airmen.
L3Harris Technologies said May 5 its commercial and international businesses are facing a higher risk of challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. In its earnings announcement, L3Harris disclosed it recognized a $330 million charge during its most recent quarter for impairment of goodwill and other assets as well as other COVID-19-related impacts.
Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, discussed both commands’ efforts in combating COVID-19 and the role of Joint All-Domain Command and Control among other critical missions of homeland defense with retired USAF Lt. Gen. David Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, during the May 4 installment of the think tank’s “Aerospace Nation” series.
The Air Force leaders who sought to retire the A-10 in 2014 did not want to cut the aircraft, but they had no other choice due to the Budget Control Act of 2011. While that era has passed, the same dynamics are still at play—a service that is under-resourced, overtasked, compelled to retire aircraft to free up resources to modernize the remaining inventory of mostly geriatric aircraft.
Two Airmen who were found dead in a dorm room at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, in January had a toxic, fatal combination of drugs in their systems. Air Force Office of Special Investigations spokeswoman Linda Card said in an email May 4 that the final autopsy reports and death certificates of Airman 1st Class Xavier Leaphart and Airman 1st Class Aziess Whitehurst, who were both 20 years old, listed their causes of death as “multiple drug toxicity," and that their deaths were recorded as accidents.
On the fifth episode of Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Kaleth Wright's webseries "The New Normal," he and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff retired Army Gen. Colin Powell discuss leadership.