Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told Congress June 23 he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the development of a coronavirus vaccine, saying he believes one could be available as soon as the end of this year, or the beginning of 2021. Fauci’s update came during a House Energy and Commerce Committee on the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Proceeds from the masks will support the COVID-19 Airman’s Assistance Fund to provide emergency support to Total Force Airmen and their families, as well as small business supporters impacted by the pandemic.
Five associations representing users of the Global Positioning System will be joining forces against the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to permit Ligado Networks to operate a terrestrial wireless network using satellite spectrum. The associations announced on June 23 they will support the Senate Armed Services Committee’s proposed legislation that would force Ligado to provide financial relief to GPS users impacted by the company’s 5G network, which the Pentagon claims will interfere with GPS.
The ADS-B Out program was established to upgrade the KC-135 fleet with the next-generation transponder system that is critical for air traffic control’s visibility into their respective airspace. The system broadcasts the precise position and location of aircraft in real time, giving air traffic control better visibility to track and manage, while enhancing safety by providing aircrew more situational awareness of nearby aircraft.
The Air Force and U.S. defense establishment are breaking down barriers and injecting speed, innovation, and creativity into the procurement system. Check out our new page to learn more about these efforts.
Senator Calls for New Opt-In Period for Military's Blended Retirement System, More Financial Literacy
A new bill from Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) would require service members to "affirmatively" choose between enrolling in the blended retirement system or a traditional military pension.
The Air Force Academy Association of Graduates and one of its class correspondents have apologized for offending Chinese-American alumni, students, faculty, staff, and parents.
In February, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew P. Donovan directed the services to issue general orders or regulations by March 1 prohibiting the use of products made from hemp under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Donovan's memo, dated Feb. 26, was highlighted in a June 22 tweet by the Defense Department’s Operation Supplement Safety, an initiative within the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences that provides information to service members on dietary supplements.
There are 60 spots in the Pentagon that require Senate confirmation, according to the Defense Department. And once the departures of Elaine A. McCusker, Kathryn Wheelbarger, and Lisa Porter are complete by July 10, only three of those spots will be filled by women who were appointed by the Trump administration.
A U.S. Army private has confessed to planning a terrorist attack with a satanic neo-Nazi group to kill as many members of his unit while deployed overseas, prosecutors said. Ethan Phelan Melzer, 22, has been charged in a 19-page indictment unsealed June 22 with a slew of terrorism offenses for sharing sensitive information about his unit with members of the Order of the Nine Angels that prosecutors described as "an occult-based neo-Nazi and racially motivated violent extremist group."
Lawmakers want to know what data exists, how it's shared, what threats these craft might pose, and if an adversary has new breakthrough tech.