Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Trump on May 15 launched a whole-of-government COVID-19 vaccine effort called "Operation Warp Speed" and said the Pentagon will have a major role to play. "When a vaccine is ready, the U.S. government will deploy every plane, truck, and Soldier required to help distribute it to the American people as quickly as possible," he said during a White House press conference alongside senior government officials.
Five sailors on the U.S. aircraft carrier sidelined in Guam due to a COVID-19 outbreak have tested positive for the virus for the second time and have been taken off the ship, according to the Navy.
Tensions with Iran and Its Proxies Led to Accelerated Transfer of Bases Housing Coalition Troops to Iraqi Forces
An inspector general report detailed how tensions between Iran and its militia forces with the U.S. led to an accelerated transfer of several bases to Iraqi troops over force protection issues.
A congressional watchdog agency has agreed to investigate the Veterans Affairs Department’s oversight of homes for aging veterans following a surge of coronavirus deaths at the state-run facilities. The Government Accountability Office said in a letter May 14 that it will conduct a review into the VA’s oversight of care at state veterans homes after a request by a group of Democratic U.S. senators.
Jason Howe, the Air Force's CTO and chief cloud architect for manpower, personnel, and services said the current reality has exposed DOD's need to loosen its view on mobile security.
The Pentagon does not plan to rescue companies in financial distress except in extreme circumstances, said Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics. The Defense Department would intervene if it were at risk of losing access to key supplies or if a U.S. company that develops technology of great value to the military were being targeted by foreign buyers, said Roper. Otherwise, “We simply cannot do stimulus for every company that is under duress right now.”
The Air and Space Forces are speeding efforts to adopt 3D printing as a major pillar of force sustainment, now making critical spare parts for weapon systems such as engine components for fighters and rockets.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on May 15 announced the appointment of 30 board members to the newly formed Women in Aviation Advisory Board. Former Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson will serve as chair of the board.
Daly will be in the No. 47 car, in order to pay homage to the founding of the U.S. Air Force in 1947. It will be painted bright orange, a tribute to Chuck Yeager, the first pilot to break the sound barrier. The 104th Indianapolis 500 will be run on Aug. 23 after being rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.