Snapshot: DOD and COVID-19
Here's a look at how the Defense Department is being impacted by and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leaked Pentagon Memo Warns of 'Real Possibility' of COVID-19 Resurgence, Vaccine Not Coming Until Summer 2021
The Defense Department should prepare to operate in a "globally-persistent" novel coronavirus (COVID-19) environment without an effective vaccine until "at least the summer of 2021," according to a draft Pentagon memo obtained by Task & Purpose. "We have a long path ahead, with the real possibility of a resurgence of COVID-19," reads the memo, authored for Defense Secretary Mark Esper but not yet bearing his signature.
‘Hard Stop’: States Could Lose National Guard Virus Workers
The Trump administration’s order ends deployments on June 24, just one day before thousands would qualify for education and retirement benefits.
Progressive Dems Urge Defense Spending Cut
Nearly 30 progressive House Democrats have sent a letter to the House Armed Services Committee seeking a cut in defense spending in favor of devoting more elsewhere to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. "We encourage you to constrain defense spending during this pandemic so that we can defeat the greatest threat to our nation—the coronavirus," the lawmakers wrote. "America needs a coronavirus cure, not more war. We need more testing, not more bombs."
OPINION: Funding Two Military Services—with the Resources for One—Risks Both
“America relies on space every day, and the benefits of our nation’s space-based capabilities are clear,” writes retired USAF Col. Keith Zuegel, the Air Force Association’s senior director for government relations. “The U.S. Space Force needs support now, and sustained investment over the next several years, to maintain our critical war-fighting advantages in space.”
Mitchell Institute Releases New Forum Paper: ‘The Future of RAF-USAF Co-operation and Integration’
Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, Royal Air Force Chief of the Air Staff, writes “it is one of my key goals to reinforce and expand our cooperation and integration over the next three years, building on the solid foundations we have constructed together in peace and war over the past century.”
Senate Committee Advances Nomination of U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe for Director of National Intelligence
The Senate Intelligence Committee moved in a party-line vote May 19 to advance the nomination of Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) for director of national intelligence. The move sends the nomination to the full Senate, which is expected to confirm Ratcliffe in the coming weeks. This is the second time President Donald Trump has tapped Ratcliffe for the cabinet-level position, which oversees 17 intelligence agencies.
OPINION: Winning The Spectrum: Pentagon Unveils New Strategy
The U.S. largely abandoned electronic warfare after the Cold War ended. Then the Russians made it very clear in their war against Ukraine just how effective EW could be and senior folks in the U.S. military grew uneasy. They and Congress realized how much we had made ourselves vulnerable and the Hill ordered the creation of a group to devise a strategy to restore American EW eminence. Bryan Clark and Tim Walton of the Hudson Institute preview the new strategy.
How AI Will Soon Change Special Operations
A new U.S. Special Operations Command office is pursuing tools to understand and influence populations, clear rooms with robots, and spot new forms of jamming.
Pentagon’s AI Center Awards $800M Contract Through GSA Center of Excellence Program
Through its partnership with the General Services Administration’s Centers of Excellence, the Defense Department’s central artificial intelligence program signed an $800 million contract with Booz Allen Hamilton for AI-powered warfighter support tools.
A Lucky Flight in the Fight: Aircrew Receives Combat Medal
For their actions during the mission, the aircrew was awarded the Air Force Combat Action Medal. This medal is awarded to U.S. military personnel who actively participated in either air or ground combat while operating in an unsecured space.
Rapid Acquisition & Sustainment
The Air Force and U.S. defense establishment are breaking down barriers and injecting speed, innovation, and creativity into the procurement system. Check out our new page to learn more about these efforts.
Air Force Photo Contest Launches July 1
The theme for this year’s contest, which runs July 1-31, is “We Are Family.” The contest highlights and celebrates photography created by Airmen and families and is open to anybody ages 6 and older, at the time of submission, in five categories. When the contest closes on July 31, expert photographers will evaluate each entry based on impact, creativity, and technical excellence. Winners will be announced a few months later with the top three photographers in each category winning Amazon gift cards of $500 for first place, $400 for second place, and $200 for third place.