-The first-round Senate GOP stimulus package would include direct payment rebate checks for $1,200 per person and an additional $500 per child, reported CQ.
-Fort Belvoir Army installation in Fairfax County, Virginia is starting to see a “steady stream” of patients to their newly created coronavirus clinic. The base admitted the first service member in the U.S. to test positive for COVID-19, reuters reports. The Pentagon reported on Wednesday that 49 service members worldwide have tested positive for coronavirus.
-Army officials announced the service will be offering special pay and voluntary assignment extensions to aid soldiers affected by the stop-movement order recently issued by the DOD, military.com reports. Military families preparing to PCS are eligible for hardship duty pay (HDP) of $100 a day, not to exceed $1,500 a month, to cover the cost of additional lodging, said Lt. Gen. Thomas Seamands, deputy chief of staff for Army G-1. The stop-movement order is set to last until May 15.
-The New York Times reports that the U.S. Navy is easing their standards on grooming guidelines to promote social distancing. This does not apply to facial hair, sideburns, or hair style.
-The State Department announced that all U.S. citizens currently abroad should return to the United States immediately or remain outside the U.S. indefinitely during the pandemic, CQ reports.
-Although President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act on Wednesday, CQ reports it might be unlikely that defense contractors could begin coronavirus response manufacturing immediately, “I’m not sure they’d be able to obtain the necessary certifications for producing advanced medical equipment quickly if they don’t already have them, so my guess is this will mostly involve existing medical manufacturers,” said Andrew Hunter, director of the defense-industrial initiatives group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
-Following the U.S. Navy’s lead, the Air Force will suspend fitness testing to impede the spread of coronavirus, Stars and Stripes reports.
-The Navy cancelling it selection boards, advancement exams and Reserve drill weekends will delay the promotion of over 159,000 sailors, military.com reports.
–Defense News reported a letter sent to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and acting Navy secretary Thomas Modly by Maine lawmakers that asked for financial assistance to help protect the state’s shipyards during the pandemic.
Photo by U.S. Air Force // Senior Airman Cody R. Miller