Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in his first directive since taking office, has given his senior leaders two weeks to send him reports on sexual assault prevention programs in the military, and an assessment of what has worked and what hasn’t. Austin’s memo, which went out Saturday, fulfills a commitment he made to senators last week during confirmation hearings. He had vowed to immediately address the problems of sexual assault and harassment in the ranks.
Hundreds of Guard members who poured into Washington after the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol have tested positive for Covid-19 or are quarantining in nearby hotels.
A sophisticated threat actor gained illegal access into the networks of high-tech and aviation companies by initially hacking into their cloud-based services. Attacker dwell time on the secretly infiltrated networks sometimes lasted as long as three years. In a recently released report, the NCC Group and its subsidiary Fox-IT said researchers encountered this threat actor during numerous incident response engagements between October 2019 through April 2020. But the initial infections preceded this timeframe, in at least one case dating back to 2017.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Abdigafar Salad Warsame, 52, was a Navy Reserve logistics specialist assigned to Navy Operational Support Center in Columbus, Ohio, when he died Jan. 8 at a local hospital due to complications associated with the coronavirus, Cmdr. Ben Tisdale, a Navy Reserve Force spokesman, said in a statement on Jan. 21. The other service member who died from the virus was a member of the New York Air National Guard, according to the Pentagon. Due to the wishes of the airman's family, the Guard will not release any information about the service member, said Eric Durr, a spokesman with the New York National Guard.
The main gate at Sheppard Air Force Base is closed to inbound and outbound traffic until further notice. An Airman was found dead on base and an investigation is underway.
The New York Army National Guard has identified the three soldiers who died in a helicopter crash in upstate New York as Chief Warrant Officer 5 Steven Skoda, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Christian Koch, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Daniel Prial. The three men were flying in a UH-60 medical evacuation helicopter on Wednesday during a routine training mission when the aircraft went down in Mendon, New York.
In the third installment of the Mitchell Institute’s Aerospace Advantage podcast retired Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright, AFA’s president and a former F-16 pilot; B-52 pilot retired Lt. Gen. Michael R. Moeller; F-117 pilot retired Maj. Gen. Gregory A. Feest; F-15C pilot Col. Rico Rodriguez; Air Force Special Operations retired Col. Randy O’Boyle; and Dale Burton, who was the technical lead for JSTARS, discuss their role in the Gulf War. Each brings unique experiences to the conversation, ranging from Feest, who dropped the first bomb in Iraq from an F-117, or Rodriguez, who scored multiple air-to-air kills against Iraq MiGs.
President Biden is not expected to make abrupt changes to U.S. national security programs but there is particular uncertainty surrounding the Space Force because it was so actively championed by the Trump administration.
The Mitchell Institute hosts an Aerospace Nation event with the authors of the new book, Never Mind, We'll Do It Ourselves: The Inside Story of How a Team of Renegades Broke Rules, Shattered Barriers, and Launched a Drone Warfare Revolution. Retired USAF Col. Mark Cooter, former CIA case officer Alec Bierbauer, and co-author Michael Marks provide an inside-look into the story behind the armed Predator program and the dawn of unmanned aerial warfare. Listen to the discussion as we look at how RPAs became a critical airpower asset. Never Mind, We'll Do It Ourselves: The Inside Story of How a Team of Renegades Broke Rules, Shattered Barriers, and Launched a Drone Warfare Revolution will be available on Amazon on Jan. 26.
The Defense Department will focus on preventing interference to aviation instruments rather than trying to stop the Federal Communications Commission from auctioning C-band spectrum used for 5G communication, officials tell Defense News.
‘The President Threw Us Under the Bus’: Embedding with Pentagon Leadership in Trump’s Chaotic Last Week
Throughout the final, frenzied days of the Trump administration, a reporter rode shotgun with the outgoing acting defense secretary, Christopher Miller, the man who, under the distracted eye of his commander in chief, became America’s de facto guardian.