Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Space Force is small in size but big on technology. To stay ahead of rivals that are trying to compete with U.S. military might, the Space Force needs a research-and-development organization that brings a broad pipeline of ideas. That essentially is the role of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Space Vehicles Directorate, its director Col. Eric J. Felt explained during a June 4 SpaceNews webinar.
In updated legal filings, the Defense Department said it will not be in a position to award its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract to either Microsoft or Amazon Web Services until at least Aug. 17. According to the filing, both Microsoft and Amazon Web Services submitted revised JEDI proposals in May, but they’ll have to revise and submit bids once more because the Pentagon intends to issue another amendment to the JEDI solicitation by June 22.
Coalition strikes took out three Islamic State group camp sites in Iraq's Kirkuk province on June 19, while a jet "blasted" an ISIS cave in Nineveh province. The "summer camp" in rural Kirkuk was located about 16 miles west of the city of Tuz Khurmatu in "densely vegetated austere terrain," the U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement June 20. Strike videos described them as ISIS mountain training areas.
For the first time since it was damaged in the March 2019 flood, the Type III Underground Fuel System became operational at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., on June 16. The underground fuel system allows personnel to refuel aircraft via an underground constant pressure system that takes it directly from fuel tanks located just south of the flightline.
Troops would see a 3.0 percent pay raise, more child care options at bases with 24-hour duty shifts, and a new basic needs allowance for low-income military families under a House draft of the annual defense budget policy bill to be released next week.
“The Pentagon wants Iran—and U.S. allies—to pay close attention to its decision to keep troops' families out of the region,” writes Kirsten Fontenrose, director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative and former senior director for Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council during the Trump Administration.
In an ongoing effort to analyze and evaluate progress towards remedying issues in base housing on MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., the 6th Air Refueling Wing hosted Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Installations, and Energy John W. Henderson and Air Force Materiel Command boss Gen. Arnold W. Bunch Jr.
Stars and Stripes has been chronicling the military angle of the COVID-19 crisis for months now: Sailors infected on Navy ships, face masks purchased for the Department of Defense workforce, stimulus checks cut for veterans. But in the midst of the pandemic, the newspaper faces an unprecedented threat all its own: In February, the Trump administration proposed eliminating all of the publication’s federal support in 2021.
Two aircraft maintenance squadrons from the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex in Georgia joined forces to memorialize 1st Lt. Kenneth “Kage” Allen, the 493rd Fighter Squadron’s assistant chief of weapons and tactics who died June 15 when his F-15C crashed into the North Sea. The 561st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and 558th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron paint team worked together to stencil Allen’s name on the side of an F-15E that had finished Programmed Depot Maintenance and was bound for RAF Lakenheath, U.K.