Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Air Force wants help defending military bases in Europe from hypothetical attacks by Chinese drones and Russian cruise missiles, and it's willing to pay close to $1 billion to get it. The service recently put out a $925 million contract notice that calls for bidders to come up with an “Air Base Air Defense” plan for U.S. Air Forces in Europe—Air Forces Africa.
The White House released a new space policy directive Dec. 16 intended to serve as a strategic roadmap for the development of space nuclear power and propulsion technologies. Space Policy Directive (SPD) 6, titled “National Strategy for Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion,” discusses responsibilities and areas of cooperation among federal government agencies in the development of capabilities ranging from surface nuclear power systems to nuclear thermal propulsion, collectively known as space nuclear power and propulsion (SNPP).
Some of America’s most deeply held secrets may have been stolen in a disciplined, monthslong operation being blamed on elite Russian government hackers. The possibilities of what might have been purloined are mind-boggling. Could hackers have obtained nuclear secrets? COVID-19 vaccine data? Blueprints for next-generation weapons systems? It will take weeks, maybe years in some cases, for digital sleuths combing through U.S. government and private industry networks to get the answers.
The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously overruled the military’s top appeals court, which had put a five-year statute of limitations on rape cases that occurred between 1986 and 2006.
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In the Indo-Pacific region, the alliance the United States has with Japan is arguably its most important. If a high-end contingency erupts in the East China Sea and the United States becomes engaged in major conventional combat operations with China, what roles can and might Japan play? In this RAND report, Jeffrey W. Hornung assesses the strengths and limitations of Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF), as well as legal issues pertaining to the SDF use of force and U.S. base access in a contingency for combat operations that may not be directly tied to the defense of Japan.
This year’s edition of Operation Santa Claus didn’t have the pomp and grandeur of previous incarnations, but the mission of delivering gifts here and two other largely Alaska Native villages was completed with COVID-19 safety precautions in place. “For 65 years we have not missed a beat,” said Chief Master Sgt. Winfield Hinkley, Jr., command senior enlisted leader of the Alaska National Guard. “And I will tell you, COVID is rough,” he said, “but it will not stop us from carrying out this tradition. It is an honor to do it.”
While the idea of robotic dogs patrolling a major Air Force installation seems like a science fiction dream come true, it hasn't been exactly clear how these mechanized hounds would be put to use. To help us understand their real capabilities and why the U.S. military is interested in them, The War Zone spoke with Jiren Parikh, CEO and founder of Ghost Robotics, the robots’ designer and manufacturer.