Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Army researchers are taking their first COVID-19 vaccine candidate to the next research stage—human clinical trials. Researchers are expecting to start recruiting volunteers in July in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, with injections to begin in early September, said Samir Deshpande, spokesman for Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on reforms of the Pentagon's health system, delaying plans to reduce services at 48 hospitals and clinics by months and forcing additional reviews of civilian care in locations affected by the changes.
The home of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo reported its first coronavirus case June 15, three days after the military relaxed its health protection condition in the country.
The Senate Armed Services Committee is scheduled to hold a June 18 hearing to consider nominations for a new National Guard chief and to reappoint a four-star general so he can help run the Defense Department’s COVID-19 vaccine initiative.
Deliveries of a new precision-guided bomb under development by Raytheon Technologies for the F-35 and other fighter jets have been at a standstill for about a year as the company struggles to correct a technical problem involving a key component. A fix for the issue, which brought production of the Small Diameter Bomb II to a halt in July 2019, could be approved by the government as soon as July, said Air Force spokesman Capt. Jake Bailey in response to questions by Defense News.
The delayed aircraft was to have been one of the first two KC-46s delivered to Air Force Reserve Command at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., on June 12. But while the first was successfully delivered, debris was found in the fuel tank of the second during its pre-acceptance inspections.
During a year that has included an Air Force-wide focus on modernization, lethality, and readiness through faster, more agile business processes, the ability of Air Force Materiel Command to successfully meet the needs of the National Defense Strategy was a major focus of Gen. Arnold Bunch Jr.’s first year as commander.
The Air Force is leveraging emerging technologies and new legislation to accelerate acquisition decisions and streamline sustainment. Read more here.
As the Defense Department struggles to catch up to Silicon Valley, top officials have loudly embraced the private-sector software development strategy known as “agile.” But in the Government Accountability Office’s annual survey of 42 major weapons programs, while 22 claimed to be using agile methods, only six actually met the private-sector standard of delivering software updates to users every six weeks—at most.
Whelan has been sentenced to 16 years of hard labor on spying charges in Russia. He was arrested in a hotel room in Moscow 18 months ago with a USB flash drive, which security officers say contained state secrets.
The head of the Navy’s Aviation Schools Command and a fellow Navy aviator were killed Wednesday after a private plane they were flying in crashed near Selma, Ala., officials confirmed June 12.
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Commander Col. Kimberly Peeples virtually hosted a June 14 ceremony to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Bakers Creek air crash, a WWII-era B-17 crash that took the lives of 40 Army Air Corps service members in Queensland, Australia, on June 14, 1943. Watch a replay of the event here.