Headlines – June 26, 2019

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News

Two US troops killed in Afghanistan-
There now have been nine U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this year and 2,426 fatalities since the start of combat operations there in October, 2001, according to iCasualties.org
 
Iranians say new sanctions mean the end of diplomacy as way forward-
Iran on June 25 sharply criticized new U.S. sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader and other top officials, saying the measures spell the “permanent closure” for diplomacy between the two nations. Iran’s president described the White House as “afflicted by mental retardation.”
 
U.S. carried out cyberattack on key Iranian proxy group-
The cyberattack’s goal was to disable and degrade Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iranian sponsored Shia militia group. The specific goal was to attack its networked communications, one official said.
 
U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo visits Kabul, hopes for a peace deal before Sept. 1-
His visit to Afghanistan, which lasted about seven hours, comes ahead of a seventh round of peace talks between Taliban leaders and U.S. officials aimed at finding a political settlement to end the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan. The next round of peace talks is scheduled to begin on June 29 in Doha.
 
North Korea says it won’t surrender to U.S.-led sanctions-
The statement is yet another reminder that North Korea keeps mistrust of the U.S. though its leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump recently exchanged letters.
 
 

Business

L3 awarded $73.7M for Navy submarine photonics mast programs-
L3 Technologies Inc. was awarded a $73.7 million contract for repair, upgrades and overall services for the U.S. Navy’s submarine photonics mast programs.
 
Lockheed nets $561.8M for tactical missiles for Bahrain, Poland, Romania-
The contract for the MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, includes guided missiles and a launching Service Life Extension Program, or SLEP III, as part of foreign military sales, the Defense Department announced June 24.
 
Will foreign sales save the Chinook production line?-
The U.S. Army is hotly pursuing foreign military sales of its CH-47 F-model Chinook cargo helicopters in the hopes it will soften the blow from cuts made to its intended buy of the newest variant, according to the service’s undersecretary.
 
 

Defense

Big leadership changes could be first test of durability of Army’s modernization overhaul-
As Army Secretary Mark Esper transitions into the role of defense secretary, with little time for the promotion to sink in, the Army is now facing its first test of whether it can stay the course with its major overhaul of its procurement system and ambitious modernization plans.
 
New Pentagon chief seeks Europe’s help for Trump’s Iran view-
Speaking to reporters traveling with him to a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, Mark Esper said he wants to help form a broader coalition to deter Iran and compel its leaders to return to the negotiating table for nuclear talks.
 
Navy’s electromagnetic railgun is undergoing ‘shakedown’ tests at the White Sands Missile Range-
That pretty much means this is could be the last set of tests before actually slapping this bad boy onto a warship, for once.
 
This wearable Marine tech can boost human performance, track physiological status-
No, it’s not going to turn you into Marvel’s Iron Man or Captain America, but you might run a better PFT or have fewer fitness-related injuries.
 
 

Veterans

Two years, $32 million to go on Desert Shield, Desert Storm Memorial-
The National Desert Storm War Memorial committee has approval for a site on the National Mall and is hoping to dedicate the new monument on the 30th anniversary of the conflict, but it needs to raise another $32 million to get there.
 
Whistleblowers testify that fear, retribution are still widespread at VA-
Department officials criticized the testimony as a one-sided attack on VA by House Democrats, since they were not invited to participate.
 
Don’t implement controversial GI Bill transfer rule yet, or at all, lawmakers tell Pentagon-
The impending policy change would end GI Bill transfer options for service members with more than 16 years in uniform.
 
Big VA budget boost included in controversial spending bill-
The passage — by a 227-194 party line vote — was the second major appropriations package advanced by the chamber this month, as party leaders set their priorities for fiscal 2020 spending and push back on White House demands for more military spending and less money for other domestic priorities.