Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“Speed is a hallmark of our deliberately lean new service. We need to rapidly design, test, and employ the new technologies and innovative operating concepts we will require to compete, deter, and win. The branch’s creation came one year after the Pentagon crafted a new National Defense Strategy designed to pivot toward great power competition and the sophisticated threats it brings, and away from the counterterrorism focus that has marked the past two decades,” wrote Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond.
Trump administration officials at the Pentagon delivered to the Joint Chiefs of Staff a proposal to split up the leadership of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command. It is the latest push to dramatically reshape defense policy advanced by a handful of key political officials who were installed in acting roles in the Pentagon after Donald Trump lost his re-election bid.
As part of a broader move to boost the 5G industry in the United States, the Federal Communications Commission on Dec. 8 began auctioning a portion of C-band electromagnetic spectrum, a move the committee’s chairman, Ajit Pai, celebrated as “a big day for American consumers and U.S. leadership in 5G.” But, in the weeks leading up to the auction, more than a dozen commercial aviation groups warned the sale could, as one study put it, lead to “catastrophic failures” with the potential for “multiple fatalities.”
President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Defense Secretary made his first foray into the world of Twitter on Dec. 21, an uncharacteristic move for a retired general who studiously avoided the public spotlight for much of his four decades in the Army. Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin’s social media debut reflected a recognition within the Biden transition team that the nomination faces hurdles on Capitol Hill from lawmakers who balk at putting a career military officer in what is typically a civilian post. And it suggests they believe Austin will have to sell himself to lawmakers.
In an August memo, the Air Force said that past aircraft configurations had disqualified as many as 74% of Black women, 72% of Hispanic women and 61% of Asian women. “To put it bluntly, the U.S. faces a crisis of scale,” wrote Will Roper, the Air Force assistant secretary for acquisitions. The August memo eliminated height restrictions in place since a 1967 study and directed that all future aircraft acquisition would need to be designed to accommodate 95% of body sizes among the recruitment-eligible U.S. population.
With the passage of the sprawling fiscal 2021 defense policy and budget bill all but inevitable, one U.S. senator is looking forward to a new measure that will require the military to provide properly fitting body armor for female service members, and to develop centralized reporting on the injuries caused by years of requiring women to wear wrong-sized ballistic protection.
"I've watched it in action and its really quite impressive," says Air Force Chief Scientist Richard Joseph.
The Jetsons' flying car is closer to reality now that the Air Force is partnering with pioneers in the flying car field. Researchers will test and evaluate the technology in Springfield, Ohio, for military and commercial purposes.
Get a better sense of the drive for greater connectedness between air, space, cyber, land, and maritime forces. Catch up on all-things JADC2 now.
The warship’s move was done “in accordance with international law,” according to a statement from U.S. 7th Fleet. Such trips are regularly conducted in the strait to signal support for Taiwan, which Beijing contends is rightfully part of mainland China.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base — affectionately called “Wright-Patt” for short — is located just outside of Dayton, Ohio. If you ask the locals or the airmen stationed there, they will tell you about the Air Force Museum, the Oregon District, and maybe even the Dayton Dragons baseball team. But if you get a couple of beers in them or earn their trust by shouting “O-H,” the locals may even tell you about all the alien bodies, ghosts and secret tunnels the Air Force hides there.