The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) will continue its work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the governors across the country to try to stay ahead of the pandemic, said Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper at a Pentagon news conference. Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking alongside Esper, said the military has been flexible in changing its responses to the needs of the various communities. Some 62,000 Service members are supporting the fight against COVID-19, with more than 3,500 DoD health care professionals working on the front lines of some of the hardest-hit areas, Esper said, adding that he will continue to assess the situation and tailor the DoD’s capabilities to what civilian agencies might need.
Developers from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) are collaborating with civilian partners to manufacture low-cost, emergency ventilators using 3-D printers.
The handheld gas ventilator, dubbed the Illinois RapidVent, is roughly the size of a water bottle. Due to its size and portability, the ventilator may also be ideal for soldiers in battle beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, said Tonghun Lee, a Champaign, Illinois-based ARL researcher.
The global pandemic is about to profoundly change the U.S. military’s role in defending the United States — even if Pentagon leaders don’t know it yet. As we noted in our last column, many Americans will look at the immeasurable damage wrought by the pandemic and conclude that defending the homeland from catastrophic threats is far more urgent than defending against foreign threats far from American shores. That fundamental shift is rapidly ushering in a new era for the Department of Defense, which will upend some of its bedrock assumptions about when, where, and how the U.S. military contributes to national security.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has created a “war room” to ramp up production of hypersonic weapons from a handful of prototypes over the last decade to “hundreds of weapons” in the near future, a senior official said Wednesday. Those weapons will range from huge rocket-powered boost-glide missiles, fired from Army trucks and Navy submarines at more than Mach 10, to more compact and affordable air-breathing cruise missiles, fired from aircraft at a relatively modest Mach 5-plus.
April 2, 2020 —
The 435th Security Forces Squadron received the Best Small Security Forces Unit Award for 2019 in all of U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA).
Each year, security forces units across the Air Force compete in their major command (MAJCOM) for the best small, medium, and large unit awards. The award recognizes the Airmen’s hard work and dedication to the mission.
“Our unit accomplished so many things this past year, but a couple of the really big lifts were running the Ground Combat Readiness Training Center for USAFE-AFAFRICA,” said Maj. Paul Dinkins, 435th SFS Commander. “This last year was important due to all the new training courses that were rolled out as a part of the Year of the Defender Initiative. Our team taught over 30 courses and spent over 240 days of training, making Defenders more lethal and ready for the current challenges we might face.”
Oshkosh Defense has begun upgrading the joint light tactical vehicle (JLTV) in response to a critical Pentagon report issued earlier this year, a company executive said on October 15. The Defense Department”s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation Robert Behler said in his 2018 annual report published in January that the JLTV was “not operationally suitable because of deficiencies in reliability, maintainability, training, manuals, crew situational awareness, and safety.”
To address some of these problems, Oshkosh modified the vehicle with bigger windows, a front-facing camera, and a muffler, George Mansfield, Vice President and General Manager of Joint Programs at Oshkosh Defense, said in an interview at the Association of the United States Army annual meeting in Washington, DC. “They weren”t contractual requirements, but they did want improvements to them,” he said.
The company is also doing additional work to reduce the vehicle’s interior noise. “We”re actually looking at a different alternator that”s a little quieter,” he noted. The Army authorized full-rate production of the JLTV in June. The research, development, test, and evaluation and procurement fiscal year 2020 budget request for all four services called for $1.641 billion to be spent on 4,090 of the vehicles, according to the Congressional Research Service. The Marine Corps is looking to purchase over 9,000 JLTVs over the life of the program.