Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the Sept. 17 edition of the DefAero Report Daily Podcast, retired USAF Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, dean of AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies; Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Air Force Magazine Editorial Director John A. Tirpak; and Steve Trimble of Aviation Week and Space Technology discussed key takeaways from AFA’s virtual Air, Space & Cyber Conference.
“The Defense Secretary's claim that the two decades of countering violent extremism left the U.S. under-prepared for a near-peer fight doesn’t hold water,” writes Paul Scharre, senior fellow and director of the technology and national security program at the Center for a New American Security.
The chief of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard threatened Sept. 19 to go after everyone who had a role in a top general’s January killing during a U.S. drone strike in Iraq. The guard’s website quoted Gen. Hossein Salami as saying, “Mr. Trump! Our revenge for martyrdom of our great general is obvious, serious, and real.”
In 2017, a war between North Korea and the United States was “much closer than anyone would know,” President Donald J. Trump claims.
The Air Force has awarded General Atomics an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract that enables the service and its foreign military sale partners to purchase up to 36 MQ-9 Reapers annually over the next five years. The "Agile Reaper Enterprise Solution" deal is worth up to $7.4 billion and intended to stabilize costs and reduce the delivery schedule by about 35 percent via a streamlined contracting process, the Air Force confirmed Sept. 17.
Aviation Week editors discuss the roots of the service’s Next Generation Air Dominance program, its use of digital engineering to speed development, and some of the obstacles it may face in the future.
“The core challenge of the national security space architecture is not really engineering, it’s really culture and acquisition,” said Telesat executive Don Brown.
Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a contract by the Space Force for the rapid prototyping phase of the Evolved Strategic SATCOM program to develop a modernized strategic communications space segment with enhanced resilience and cybersecurity capabilities. During the rapid prototyping phase, the company will deliver the preliminary design for ESS’ space segment and a ground-based demonstration.
“We have to acknowledge we have racism, we have bias,” Lt. Gen. Jay B. Silveria said. “We have to find it and we have to fix it.”
The Pentagon has issued new guidance on religious liberty within the military—following pressure from Republican lawmakers to “prioritize protecting the rights and freedoms of service members” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While critics of the revised regulation say it will encourage military superiors to push their religious beliefs on subordinates and fellow service members, proponents of the rule have hailed it as a victory for religious liberty.
The situation was so dire on the USS Theodore Roosevelt that by March 30 leaders on the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier found themselves “inside a tornado fighting a war,” according to emails recently released to Task & Purpose by the Navy. The Navy handed over 200 pages of email communications in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Task & Purpose in April. More than 1,000 additional pages remain under review, Navy officials said.
What would it take for the U.S. military to “buy American” when it comes to military working dogs? That’s what Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wants to know.
Sept. 18 was the Air Force's 73rd birthday. To celebrate, top officials and government agencies posted photos commemorating ... the U.S. Navy.