Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
31 States, Territories Want National Guard to Stay Deployed on Coronavirus Missions into the Fall, Possibly Christmas
Governors for 31 states and territories are seeking federal funds to keep National Guard troops deployed on coronavirus missions into the fall—possibly to Christmas, Pentagon officials said July 15. The Defense Department has not made a determination whether the Title 32 orders, which grant troops federal pay and benefits but keeps them under state control, will extend beyond Aug. 21, when the military’s federal coronavirus relief mission is set to end.
The fighter jet demonstration team was scheduled to perform in Cheyenne, Wyo., on July 22 but canceled because “a few of our team members” tested positive for the virus, Nellis Air Force Base said in a statement.
Hackathons sponsored by the National Security Innovation Network are going virtual, starting with an urban-warfare challenge.
In its latest whitepaper, Japan discussed its impending acquisition of F-35B fighter jets and highlighted efforts by regional militaries to expand their influence and activities despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The full document, released July 14 in Japanese, contains a section on the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant of the Lockheed Martin aircraft, noting that with regional countries making “remarkable progress” in air power modernization, the country needed to respond in kind.
“If U.S. intelligence agencies determine that Russia put bounties on American and coalition lives, we must respond forcefully, publicly, and in ways that will drive home to the Russians and the Taliban that there is a price to pay for these actions,” writes retired Army Gen. John W. “Mick” Nicholson Jr., who commanded U.S. and NATO-led international forces in Afghanistan from March 2016 to September 2018.
Three months after the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to approve Ligado’s long-stalled request, at least 32 senators and 50 representatives from multiple committees have either signed letters or stated that the FCC should reverse its decision. But it remains unclear if the group is cohesive, or powerful, enough to push through legislation to stop the company from moving forward.
The United Kingdom is eager to jump aboard a range of high-profile U.S. Army modernization efforts, signing an agreement to begin participating in the U.S. Army’s Future Vertical Lift aircraft and its Long Range Precision Fires artillery program. Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy confirmed the budding partnership July 15 while speaking to reporters from Poland, where he was visiting U.S. troops and trying to wrap up a new defense cooperation agreement with the Polish government.
The defense industry needs to focus on developing technology that is easy to integrate and meets cybersecurity norms from the get-go, according to military officials speaking at the 2020 Army Signal Conference. At the conference, hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, officials urged industry partners to create products that build in standard security principles at the outset of development and allow for a wide range of use cases.
A new business unit, called Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, will focus on the military, intelligence, and NASA markets, said Christopher Emerson, CEO and chairman of the board of Airbus U.S. Space & Defense. He was previously the president of Airbus Helicopters.
In an hour-long speech on July 16, Attorney General P. William Barr alerted the public to economic and technological dangers posed by China, suggesting its plans for global domination could hinge on artificial intelligence. “Whichever nation emerges as the global leader in AI will be best positioned to unlock not only its considerable economic potential, but a range of military applications, such as the use of computer vision to gather intelligence,” Barr said.
In an interview, U.S. Air Force Academy Cadet J. P. Byrne, who serves as president of USAFA’s Institute for Applied Space Policy and Strategy, discusses the institute’s work.
The helmet is part of a major auction of famous movie props with the auction house estimating that it will fetch around $50,000.