Headlines – June 28, 2019

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News

Two soldiers killed in Afghanistan were Special Forces in close-quarters fight, according to report-
The New York Times reported June 28 that the two soldiers were from an Army Special Forces team killed by small-arms fire in a close-quarters fight with Taliban forces. The Times, citing unnamed defense officials, reported the soldiers were killed in the southern Uruzgan province.
 
Trump says no large troop movements, but any fight with Iran ‘wouldn’t last very long’-
President Donald Trump said a conflict would Iran “wouldn’t last very long” because of American military might but also ruled out sending large numbers of ground troops into the region.
 
Is Navy investigating a SEAL for telling the truth?-
At issue is whether military authorities will go after Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott for claiming that he plugged the breathing tube of the Islamic State militant outside Mosul so that the enemy fighter wouldn’t be tortured to death later by Iraqi security forces — even if that was the truth.
 
 

Business

Lockheed braces for German blowback over cost of missile-defense pitch-
Lockheed Martin executives are preparing for a stiff debate in Germany about the price tag of a next-generation anti-missile system formally proposed to Berlin just days ago.
 
Sikorsky nabs $91.2M contract to support U.S. Army Black Hawks-
Sikorsky Aircraft Co. was awarded a $91.2 million contract for engineering and support work on all versions of the Army’s H-60 Black Hawk helicopters, the Defense Department announced.
 
 

Defense

Deal to move defense bill lets 2020 candidates vote on Iran-
The Senate reached a bipartisan compromise June 26 to let Democrats participating in the party’s first presidential primary debate in Miami this week vote on Iran, a Republican concession to clear the way for the massive 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.
 
Navy eyes shipyard in Philippines as repair and maintenance facility-
A bankrupt commercial shipyard in the Philippines may present an opportunity for the Navy to re-establish itself at a major port it vacated nearly 30 years ago.
 
Soldier convicted of massacring 16 Afghans seeks new civilian trial, citing a psychosis inducing anti-malarial drug-
The petition for a civilian trial comes after former Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 45, exhausted his appeals through the military justice system.
 
Navy’s newest LCS strikes another vessel-
The Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, the Billings, sustained minor damage June 21 afternoon when it struck a moored commercial vessel while getting underway in Montreal, Naval Surface Force Atlantic officials confirmed June 26.
 
After ‘MAGA’ patches, McCain scandal, Navy issues new memo on political activities-
An administrative message released on June 21 warns sailors and Marines against activities that “could appear to imply sponsorship, approval or endorsement of a political candidate, campaign or cause.”
 
Air Force investigating homophobic videos from airman in uniform-
The unidentified airman, who posted videos on YouTube under the name “Baptist Dave 1611” before taking down his account over the weekend, also voiced support for Grayson Fritts, a controversial Baptist pastor in Knoxville, Tenn., and his views supporting the execution of gay people in the nearly 11-minute video.
 
Air Force Reserve is busily preparing for 2035-
Airmen are imagining the changes that will be necessary to meet the National Security Strategy and stay in sync with the active duty Air Force over the next few decades.
 
Air Force pushes back on House lawmakers B-52 engine replacement concerns-
The U.S. Air Force wants to sprint toward buying new engines for the venerable B-52 bomber as quickly as possible. But disagreements between the service and House lawmakers over the Air Force’s acquisition approach threaten to slow down the program.
 
Marine Corps recovers, identifies remains of three more Marines killed in deadly 2018 aviation mishap-
The KC-130J’s cockpit voice recorder and digital flight recorder were also obtained in the operation.
 
 

Veterans

Benefits for ‘blue water’ veterans finalized after years-long fight-
Late June 27, President Donald Trump signed the legislation, which grants presumptive status for disability benefits to an estimated 90,000 Navy veterans who served in the seas around Vietnam during the war.
 
VA’s top suicide prevention official departing in July-
Dr. Keita Franklin, who has served as the National Director for Suicide Prevention at VA for the last 18 months, will step down from the job in July. Officials said the move was not related to any issues with her office’s performance but instead based on other career opportunities outside of VA.
 
VA IG: Department must be more transparent on hiring, vacancies-
The same day President Donald Trump said VA has hired more than 200,000 doctors, nurses and physicians’ assistants since being elected, the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General criticized the department for its public disclosures of staffing and vacancies, saying the data does not provide a complete picture of shortages.