Headlines – June 29, 2020

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Russian bounties to Taliban-linked militants resulted in deaths of U.S. troops, according to intelligence assessments-
Russian bounties offered to Taliban-linked militants to kill coalition forces in Afghanistan are believed to have resulted in the deaths of several U.S. service members, according to intelligence gleaned from U.S. military interrogations of captured militants in recent months.
 
Spies, commandos warned months ago of Russian bounties on U.S. troops-
The recovery of large amounts of American cash at a Taliban outpost in Afghanistan helped tip off U.S. officials.
 
Allies worry U.S. drawdown could embolden Russian aggression-
The wrap up of a long-planned series of military exercises in Europe as President Donald Trump threatens to reduce troops in Germany shows the importance of the military partnerships and raises concerns about the ability to counter Russia should U.S. support dwindle.
 
 

Business

Leonardo DRS wins Army network installation contract-
The Army program executive office responsible for network modernization awarded Leonardo DRS a $206 million contract to provide vehicle installation kits for network systems, the company announced June 25.
 
Turkey’s ‘chronic engine problem’ is harming defense projects, warn officials-
Turkey’s inability to produce a fully indigenous engine is harming some of the country’s otherwise successful domestic defense programs, according to industry and government officials.
 
Lockheed paid suppliers $1.1 billion, added 8,300 jobs since pandemic-
Lockheed Martin has sent $1.1 billion in accelerated payment to support its network of suppliers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced June 26.
 
 

Defense

Appeals court: Trump wrongly diverted $2.5 billion in military construction funds for border wall-
A federal appeals court on June 26 ruled against the Trump administration in its transfer of $2.5 billion from military construction projects to build sections of the U.S. border wall with Mexico, ruling it illegally sidestepped Congress, which gets to decide how to use the funds.
 
Army selects eight counter-drone systems for the joint force-
Following an Army-led assessment, the Defense Department will be narrowing the number of different counter-small unmanned aircraft system solutions deployed by the joint force from about 40 to eight.
 
Air Force doesn’t have enough drone pilots or sensor operators, GAO says-
The shortage of drone pilots and sensor operators is making it harder for the Air Force to balance those airmen’s time between engaging in combat operations and conducting non-combat activities.
 
 

Veterans

Grim COVID-19 milestones for Veterans Affairs: 20,000 cases, 1,500 deaths in the last 100 days-
The Department of Veterans Affairs this week reached a series of new, grim milestones related to the coronavirus pandemic, including topping 20,000 cases of the fast-spreading illness since the nationwide crisis began.
 
90,000 VA workers would get paid parental leave under defense budget plan-
House Democrats’ massive defense budget policy plan includes hundreds of provisions affecting Defense Department personnel but also one big proposal targeting the Veterans Affairs workforce: paid parental leave for all department employees.
 
 
 

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