An additional 150 medical specialists with the Air Force Reserve have joined the effort to fight the coronavirus outbreak on the East Coast, according to Air Force Reserve Command. Nationwide, more than 770 Air Force reserve troops are performing tasks related to the pandemic, the AFRC says.
Pentagon officials are working on plans to return to normal military operations once coronavirus restrictions have been lifted. "We'll be evaluating many different areas," including training and travel, said Defense Department spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman.
The Air Force plans to accept entries next month in the first round of a hackathon that will allow contestants to try to find security weaknesses in a test satellite. Those who qualify for the final round will get to hack an orbiting satellite.
US cybersecurity officials have been asked by a bipartisan group of senators to provide more security for health care and pharmaceutical companies, which have come under attack from foreign agents during the coronavirus pandemic. The senators said security agencies should share information with health care leaders and the National Guard and, if necessary, make counterattacks against hackers in China, Iran, North Korea and Russia.
The Army Reserve has sent 85 medical specialists to Pennsylvania to help local medical professionals provide health care to patients with COVID-19 throughout the state. "We are extremely grateful to have these highly skilled military medical professionals serving on the front lines, side-by-side with our brave civilian health care practitioners, as we wage war against this highly contagious and life-threatening virus," said Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania's secretary of state.
West Virginia National Guard troops have developed a virus decontamination method using aerosolized hydrogen peroxide, which they say is safe for humans but deadly for viruses, spores, bacteria, fungi and mycobacteria. "We're trying to find out how much hydrogen peroxide is needed for how long, to be effective in different HVAC systems," said Capt. Dwight Siemiaczko.
Coast Guard commandant Adm. Karl Schultz says the coronavirus outbreak has emphasized the need for more agile technology within the service. "We need this tech revolution and this is really sort of fuel for the fire to talk about just how urgent it is for the future of the Coast Guard," he said at the Sea-Air-Space 2020 conference held virtually earlier this month.
The Marine Corps has issued new rules for pregnant troops, updating fitness rules, while offering exercise guidance. The update also says pregnant troops, including those in the Reserves, must notify their commanding officers of their pregnancy within two weeks of getting medical confirmation, and those planning to adopt or foster children have to give notice 60 days before placement.