13 July

The US Army and the US Air Force (USAF) are at a similar recruitment and retention rates despite Covid-19 pandemic. For USAF, the basic training throughput is at about 90% of traditional capacity. The service reduced the number of new recruits this year from 38,000 to about 35,500. As of last week, the army was filling at 90% and graduation rates for basic trainees stood at about 92%. Both the services “are actually retaining above historic norms”. The USAF is planning to conduct basic military training at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi through the end of this fiscal year.

The Philippine Army has received new vehicles donated by the Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. The Philippine News Agency has reported that the nine new vehicles will support Covid-19 containment missions in addition to carrying out anti-terrorism operations. Currently, army medical personnel are deployed to control several quarantine control points in Metro Manila and neighbouring provinces. They are backed by their counterparts from the navy and air force. The personnel are supporting the government’s health facilities in caring and monitoring Covid-19 positive patients.

NATO scientists have provided over 40 responses to an Alliance call to identify solutions to some of the most pressing challenges presented by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Research topics include understanding Covid-19 related disinformation, how to keep Armed Forces healthy during relief operations and more. NATO Chief Scientist Dr Bryan Wells said: “This is a tremendous response from the Alliance network of scientists, showing how they are responding rapidly to the challenges of COVID-19 and bringing their scientific expertise to bear on this vital task”.