Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The number of active cases of COVID-19 at the Veterans Affairs Department has dropped by 38 percent in the past month, but the case count continues to be nearly three times that of late May, before much of the country began easing stay-at-home orders.
The United States and South Korea will begin their annual joint military exercises this week, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Aug. 16. But a spreading coronavirus outbreak has apparently forced the allies to scale back an already low-key training program mainly involving computer-simulated war scenarios.
Leanne Caret stepped into the top Boeing defense job in 2016, after the American company lost a lucrative contract for the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation bomber. Questions about Boeing’s future as a producer of fighter jets—and the prominence of its defense business—lingered as the end of the F-15 and F/A-18 production lines loomed in the near future. Now the tables have turned. With COVID-19 devastating the travel industry and eradicating near-term sales opportunities for commercial airliners, Boeing’s defense sector finds itself as the company’s model pupil.
The Defense Department Office of the Inspector General audit, publicly released on Aug. 14, set out to examine whether Special Operations-Peculiar (SO-P) equipment was thoroughly assessed as meeting mission requirements ahead of fielding to special operations forces from fiscal year 2017 to fiscal year 2019. SO-P equipment specifically refers to fancy tech unique to U.S. Special Operations Command units, and runs the gamut from communications and surveillance gear to specialized vehicles and aircraft.
U.S. Army Gen. James H. Dickinson this week will take the helm as commander of U.S. Space Command. He will be the first Army officer to lead the military’s unified combatant command for space operations.
This latest weapon closely resembles the American AGM-154 JSOW and its design is optimized for standoff attacks primarily against airfields.
Iraq’s prime minister said Aug. 17 ahead of a much anticipated trip to Washington that his country still needs U.S. assistance to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State group and his administration is committed to introducing security sector reforms as rogue militia groups stage near-daily attacks against the seat of his government. Mustafa al-Kadhimi said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press that Iraq currently does not need direct military support on the ground, and that the levels of help will depend on the changing nature of the threat.
The U.S.-led military coalition in Syria likely used a unique variant of the beloved Hellfire missile to kill a mercenary trainer who recently worked with an al-Qaida-affiliated militant group there, according to photos from the scene of the strike.
The Government Spent Tens of Millions on a Treatment for Chemical Weapons Exposure. The Company That Makes It Won’t Say Whether It Works.
A Washington Post examination shows that Emergent secured contracts to supply an unproven medical treatment at a time when the mission of protecting U.S. diplomats against chemical attacks had taken on fresh urgency, in an effort the government code-named Project Mandrake.
Members of the 6th Explosive Ordnance Disposal team were called out to Lakeland Linder International Airport on Aug. 14 after it was shut down in the wake of the discovery of the missile, which had been delivered to Draken International. Based at the airport, Draken has a fleet of about 150 former military aircraft it contracts out to help train current military pilots.“Our EOD team went out and secured the missile,” said Air Force 1st Lt. Brandon Hanner, a spokesman for the 6th Air Refueling Wing. “It was live, but unarmed.”