Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic pushed the service’s internal DevOps team to hit a 10-updates-a-day deployment schedule for a new secure communications platform.
“The Pacific Deterrence Initiative will enhance budgetary transparency and oversight, and focus resources on key military capabilities to deter China,” write Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Ranking Member Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.). “The initiative will also reassure U.S. allies and partners, and send a strong signal to the Chinese Communist Party that the American people are committed to defending U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific.”
The latest Trump Administration sale to Saudi Arabia is tied up with the recent firing of the State Department's Inspector General, congressional unease, and a Saudi regime with few friends outside the White House.
The FCC pushed back on new criticism from the Senate and House Armed Services Committees. Committee leaders on May 27 accused the FCC of issuing the order without having received classified briefings from the Defense Department or other agencies on the impact of Ligado’s wireless network on the Global Positioning System that also operates in the L-band spectrum.
“The loss of an F-22 Raptor during a training flight on May 15 serves as a wake-up call regarding the size of the Raptor inventory,” write retired USAF Lt. Gen. David Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, and Douglas Birkey, the think tank’s executive director. “Tunnel vision over a decade ago related to counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq saw the nation buy too few F-22s, with just 187 purchased versus the 381 official military requirement. Now, with those wars largely in the rear-view mirror and a new National Defense Strategy, the capability attributes afforded by the F-22 are more important than ever.”
The U.S. Air Force conducted a test earlier this year of a palletized munition concept to launch new stand-off precision-guided munitions from its airlifters, allowing the service to relatively quickly turn them into weapons trucks, as necessary. This has also prompted important discussions within the service about command and control issues and other operational considerations that would be involved when rapidly shifting cargo aircraft into a strike role.
Italy’s defense minister has thrown his weight behind the F-35 program to counter demands from within his coalition government to suspend purchases of the aircraft to help Italy’s coronavirus-stricken economy. Lorenzo Guerini said he “confirmed that the program would continue,” after calls from Italy’s Five Star party to halt F-35 purchases for a year as Italy seeks cash to help rebound from the virus, which has killed 33,000 in Italy.
The 30-second ad, dubbed “Make History,” opens with a star-filled evening sky followed quickly by scenes of space-related activities, launches, and technology. “I see the future,” the narrator says. “I see exploration and courage. I see myself; the future is where I’ll make history.”