Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sixteen West Point cadets have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to the campus for a commencement address by President Donald Trump scheduled for June 13, according to sources on Capitol Hill. The affected cadets, a fraction of the 850 who have returned to the campus since spring break in March, are receiving treatment, but are not showing symptoms of the disease, Army Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, the West Point superintendent, said in an interview.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper compared protests in cities across the country over the weekend to “battlespace” in a White House call with governors on June 1, urging leaders to overwhelm protestors to restore the peace.
National Guard Involved in at Least Two Shootings, One Fatal, in Response to Protests throughout U.S.
A soldier with the Minnesota National Guard fired his weapon at a moving vehicle on the night of May 31 in Minneapolis as street protests turned violent over the death of a man in police custody, Army Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, the state’s adjutant general, said during a news briefing. The shooting in Minneapolis is at least the second reported incident of a Guard member activated to help control protests using a weapon. In Louisville, Ky., a National Guard member and a city police officer were involved in a fatal shooting on June 1, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement.
The Pentagon’s costliest program, Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35, is starting to look a little less expensive, with the latest estimate for development and procurement down 7.1 percent to $397.8 billion.
“The Space Force should leverage the infrastructure and accessions pipeline from the other services,” writes Maj. Joe Mroszczyk, president of the Army Space Professionals Association, National Capital Region Chapter, who works at U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group.
The Air Force's HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter flew its first combined test mission with the Army's AH-64 Apache aircraft on May 19, according to a notice published June 1. The joint flight took place at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., where the 413th Flight Test Squadron oversees developmental testing of the Sikorsky-built CRH that's replacing the Air Force's legacy HH-60G Pave Hawk fleet. The Army sent in the Apache combat helicopter for the event from Redstone Army Test Center, Ala.
The Russian military on June 1 accused the U.S. and its NATO allies of conducting “provocative” military drills near the nation's borders, a statement that reflected simmering Russia-NATO tensions. Col.-Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian General Staff said Russia has sent a formal letter to NATO proposing to scale down each other's military activities for the period of the coronavirus outbreak, but the alliance has stonewalled the offer.
The Taliban has maintained ties with al-Qaida despite signing an agreement with the United States the Trump administration has touted as a commitment from the insurgents to break from the terror group, according to a United Nations report released June 1. The report, prepared by the U.N.’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, says the Taliban assured al-Qaida of continuing ties even as it negotiated with the United States.
The building that will house the National American Huey History Museum will include space for a living history museum and maintenance and repair hangar for the aircrafts, which first served during the Vietnam War. But construction on the facility is happening much sooner than expected after its founding nonprofit learned the home of their temporary museum facility will eventually be demolished.