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U.S. Department of Defense

One day in early March, as the coronavirus was spreading across the country, Margaret McCown was in her office at the Pentagon figuring out how her staff could work from home.

As McCown went over the logistics, she began to feel a sense of déjà vu.

A pandemic. Government on alert. Schools and offices closing. It was a scenario she had seen before. Just not in real life.

"That was that uncomfortable moment where you find yourself a little bit living in your own war game," McCown said.

The Pentagon was aware of the likelihood of a pandemic brought on by a novel coronavirus years ago, predicting with startling accuracy shortages of masks, hospital beds and ventilators that could occur in an outbreak, according to a 2017 internal document reported by The Nation.

Updated at 6:54 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has notified Congress that it plans to divert $3.8 billion from the Defense Department's budget to build the border wall.

This is in addition to more than $11 billion that's already been identified to construct more than 500 miles of new barriers along the southern U.S. border with Mexico. That includes money that Congress has appropriated and funding that was previously diverted from military construction and counternarcotic operations.

The Pentagon is hitting pause on a massive, first-of-its-kind cloud computing contract after President Trump cited critics' accusations of favoritism toward Amazon.

Mark Esper, the new defense secretary, is re-examining the project just weeks before the winner was expected to be announced. Amazon and Microsoft are the finalists for the contract, which is worth as much as $10 billion and will be as long as 10 years. The project is called JEDI, for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure.

Updated March 27 at 5 p.m. ET

The Department of Defense is shifting $1 billion from a military personnel account to build a 57-mile fence at the southern U.S. border, saying the funds were freed up after some service branches fell short of their recruiting goals.

The U.S. trade deficit soared to a 10-year high in 2018 on the heels of a strong economy, despite President Trump's ongoing efforts to bring it down through tariffs on imported goods.

For 2018 as a whole, the deficit grew to $621 billion — the highest since 2008, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. When the service sector is excluded, the gap was even greater, rising to a record $891.3 billion.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

The Pentagon said Thursday that an investigation into the deaths of four American soldiers in Niger last year found "individual, organizational and institutional failures." But it said no sole reason was responsible for the ambush.

A Pentagon report has found that Islamist extremists ambushed and killed four U.S. troops in Niger last October after a series of missteps left the Americans exposed and vulnerable in a remote corner of the African nation.

The Pentagon has sent the classified report to Congress and military officers have started to brief the families of the soldiers who were killed. The report has not been released publicly, but an official who has seen it described it to NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman.

U.S. Air Force

The number of sexual assaults reported at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton rose in 2016, but officials say that does necessarily mean more assaults occurred.

armytimes.com

The U.S. Department of Defense says one of the three U.S. soldiers killed in an attack by Islamic extremists in Niger was from southwestern Ohio.

Federal prosecutors say a former defense contractor convicted of mail fraud and making false claims while supplying non-conforming parts to the military has been sentenced to two years in prison.

wikipedia

A Columbus-based Ohio National Guard unit's planned mission to West Africa to help control the Ebola outbreak in the region has been canceled.

State records show the U.S. military has given armored vehicles, assault rifles and thousands of other types of surplus military equipment to Columbus police and other Ohio law enforcement agencies in recent years.

Civilian Wright-Patt Workers Back On The Job

Oct 8, 2013

87 hundred civilian workers are back on the job at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton.

Ohio Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

Jul 18, 2013

The Defense Department says a U.S. Army soldier from Ohio has died in Afghanistan after being wounded when a rocket propelled grenade struck his vehicle.

The body of an Ohio man killed in Afghanistan last week has been returned to Preble County.

Length Of Military Furloughs Shortened

Mar 29, 2013

Officials say a U.S. Air Force reserve wing that flies troops around the globe will start shutting down on Fridays when civilian furloughs begin at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton.