Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Weeks after the killing of George Floyd sparked national unrest over racial discrimination, Defense Secretary Mark Esper has introduced a new defense board for diversity. The "Defense Board on Diversity and Inclusion" will conduct a "six-month sprint to develop concrete, actionable recommendations to increase racial diversity and ensure equal opportunity across all ranks & in the officer corps," Esper said in a Twitter thread published June 18.
The Air Force inspector general is examining whether secretive National Guard surveillance aircraft improperly monitored demonstrators in Washington and Minneapolis.
In an emailed statement, Army Col. Lee Peters, chief USFK spokesman, said commanders knew about two recent "candlelight vigils and both were coordinated with appropriate authorities prior to execution." Abrams also put out guidance from his chief Judge Advocate General before the demonstrations in an effort to let all service members and civilians participating "know what they were allowed and not allowed to do," Peters said.
Kathryn Wheelbarger, who is highly regarded by national security experts in President Donald Trump’s Republican Party and among Democrats, did not explain the reasoning for her departure in a copy of her resignation letter obtained by Reuters.
"This is a just a DOD product. The 2011 National Security Space Strategy was very much a DID-IC product," one baffled national space security insider said.
The development of new rockets that are competing in the National Security Space Launch program is progressing at a rapid pace and all appear to be on track to meet the program schedule, Lt. Gen. John “JT” Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, said June 17.
Lockheed Martin Ventures has invested in Red 6, a Santa Monica, Calf.-based firm specializing in synthetic training. Red 6 said in its June 17 announcement that it will use the funds to "accelerate the development and commercialization of Red 6's ATARS (Airborne Tactical Augmented Reality System)."
The effort is meant to help small- and medium-sized companies get more bang for their cybersecurity buck.
An F/A-18F Super Hornet operating off the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) crashed in the Philippine Sea on June 18, a Navy official confirmed to USNI News. The pilot and the weapons officer ejected safely and were recovered by an MH-60S helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, according to a statement from the carrier.
The crew aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) successfully completed Basic Phase Certification earlier this month, the U.S. Navy confirmed on June 16. The Navy has been repairing and revamping McCain since the ship suffered damage in August 2017 following a collision with the oil tanker MV Alnic MC near the eastern entrance of the Strait of Malacca, resulting in the deaths of 10 sailors.
Check out footage of the Royal Air Force Red Arrows and the French Air Force's Patrouille de France performing flypasts of their home countries' capitals.