Today's Top 5
    1. ‘Start finding me, boys’ — inside the rescue of Lt. Col. Dave Goldfein
(Air Force Times) The cockpit recording is striking for how steady the pilot’s voice remains.
 
    2. Iran shoots down American drone in 'clear message' to U.S.
(CBS News) The incidents come amid warnings that an accident or miscommunication in the Persian Gulf could lead to a conflict between the U.S. and Iran.
 
    3. House passes $983 billion spending package 226-203, bucking White House
(Defense News) The Democratic-controlled House passed a $985 billion appropriations package for fiscal 2020 that aims to fund national security at $17 billion less than the White House requested, end the post-2001 war authorizations after eight months, pull military support in Yemen and defund the W76-2 nuclear warhead.
 
    4. Navy SEAL convicted in death of Green Beret soldier investigated for contact with victim’s widow at party
(Washington Post) A Navy SEAL convicted in the death of a Green Beret soldier is under investigation by authorities for approaching his victim’s widow under a pseudonym at a Las Vegas party, allegedly requesting access to her room and telling her that the SEALs involved in her husband’s death were “good guys,” according to military documents and three people familiar with the case.
 
    5. Trump Weighs New Sanctions on Turkey Over Russian Missiles
(Bloomberg) The Trump administration is weighing three sanctions packages to punish Turkey over its purchases of the Russian S-400 missile-defense system, according to people familiar with the matter.
 
Overseas Operations
    US soldiers fight armor, heat, bugs in allied war games
(Stars & Stripes) Soldiers with the Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment "battled" Romanian troops in an exercise aimed at testing NATO forces’ readiness in the Balkans and Black Sea region
 
    South Korean woman caught trespassing onto US Army garrison in Seoul
(Stars & Stripes) A South Korean woman trespassed on this U.S. Army base in Seoul via one of the main gates but was quickly caught and turned over to local police, officials said Wednesday.
 
    Chinese military taking 'irresponsible actions' toward U.S. forces in Djibouti, intel chief says
(Washington Times) The Chinese military is guilty of “irresponsible actions” toward American forces stationed at Djibouti’s Camp Lemonnier on the Horn of Africa, a senior U.S. military intelligence officer said.
 
    Relearning the lessons of BALTOPS
(Navy Times) Facing an rising Russian and only two weeks after becoming operational, the U.S. 2nd Fleet is leading a multinational armada during war games in Northern Europe.
 
    Deployed Eglin civilian coined for her assistance after Taliban attack
(Air Force Times) Retired Air Force officer Kathy Lawhon’s efforts to help the evacuees resulted in her being coined by Gen. Scott Miller, the head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
 
Iran
    US Navy expert: Tanker attack mine resembles Iranian mines
(The Associated Press) The comments by Cmdr. Sean Kido came as the Navy showed reporters pieces of debris and a magnet they say Iran's Revolutionary Guard left behind when they spirited away an unexploded limpet mine after the June 13 attack in the Gulf of Oman.
 
    A ‘tanker war’ with Iran would be more complicated than the 1980s version
(Los Angeles Times) Today, as the Trump administration and Iran trade accusations and insults, tensions have soared once again in the volatile region, with the U.S. blaming several tanker explosions on Iran and stoking fears of a broader conflict and a new, more dangerous tanker war.
 
    US envoy on Iran says Trump wants diplomacy, not war
(The Associated Press) President Donald Trump’s Iran policy is ultimately aimed at bringing Tehran to the negotiating table, the U.S. special envoy for Iran testified Wednesday as lawmakers demanded clarity about the administration’s strategy in the Middle East.
 
Paris Air Show
    US officials threaten retribution for European Union’s restrictions on defense fund
(Defense News) The top Pentagon official attending the Paris Air Show this week made clear she would use the venue to make a declarative statement about a subset of European arms funding: Either give the United States the ability to compete for work, or risk retaliation.
 
    Gallery: Sights from the 2019 Paris Air Show
(Defense News) Sights from the 2019 Paris Air Show
 
    US officials threaten retribution for European Union’s restrictions on defense fund
(Defense News) The top Pentagon official attending the Paris Air Show this week made clear she would use the venue to make a declarative statement about a subset of European arms funding: Either give the United States the ability to compete for work, or risk retaliation.
 
    Raytheon CEO on Trump meeting: President appears to understand value of UTC-Raytheon tie-up
(Defense News) The CEOs of Raytheon and United Technologies seemed to convince U.S. President Donald Trump that the merger of the two companies would be “great for America,” in the words of Raytheon chief Tom Kennedy.
 
    AIA’s Fanning on Trump’s trade wars, allies & arms exports
(Breaking Defense) Eric Fanning is all the things you’d expect of a highly successful lobbyist and industry leader: he’s smart, well spoken and adroit when faced with a tough question. The former Army Secretary presides over the sprawling Aerospace Industries Association, widely viewed as one of Washington’s heaviest-weight industry lobbies.
 
    OPIR missile warning sats plow ahead amid $$ turmoil
(Breaking Defense) Lockheed Martin and subcontractor Raytheon are keeping calm and carrying on toward their original schedules for the next milestone in development of the Air Force’s next generation missile warning satellites — despite funding turmoil on Capitol Hill.
 
    Great power competition ushers in a new generation of European weapons
(Defense One) From a distance, the two red-white-and-blue helicopters seemed perfectly comfortable sandwiched between the flight-line chalets of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and L3 Technologies. But as music started blaring and a group of women wearing red-and-white-skirted leotards began to dance, it became obvious that these were Russian, not American, aircraft.
 
    Raytheon, Northrop will ‘soon’ fly hypersonic cruise missile
(Breaking Defense) Imagine a swarm of up to 30 hypersonic scramjets the size of cruise missiles, launched from air, land and sea. They share data with each other, correcting their flights, perhaps changing targets midcourse. And they can be manufactured relatively quickly and for much less cost than most of the hypersonic vehicles that have been built so far.
 
    Sikorsky Touts CH-53K’s Ease of Flying For German Sale
(Breaking Defense) Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky is touting the CH-53K King Stallion’s ease of flying as a key design feature in its campaign to win Germany’s “Schwerer Transporthubschrauber” (STH) competition.
 
    Pentagon shake-up won't effect space force, acting SecAF says
(Military.com) Acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan said he doesn’t believe the shake-up will affect the Space Force, the newest U.S. military branch, which is expected to fall under the Department of the Air Force. That's because the Air Force has been heavily involved in its creation.
 
Pentagon
    New acting Pentagon chief has closer ties to Trump
(Politico) Army Secretary Mark Esper, who's been tapped to be the new acting secretary of Defense, is a former aerospace executive like the departing Pat Shanahan. But he comes to the job with key supporters close to the president, deeper ties to the military and bipartsian support on Capitol Hill.
 
    Mark Esper is acting defense secretary. Will Trump make it permanent?
(Military Times) When asked by reporters if Esper would be eventually be named to the permanent defense secretary post, President Donald Trump responded, “most likely, that’s what I’m thinking about doing.”
 
    How the Pentagon can save over $1.2 trillion
(Defense News) The Pentagon could save more than $1.2 trillion with a number of tweaks to its spending plan for the next decade, including canceling the creation of a Space Force and nuclear weapons projects, according to a report by the Center for International Policy.
 
    Shanahan nomination implosion raises anew questions about White House background checks
(Military Times) After surprise revelations of family domestic abuse ended Patrick Shanahan’s bid to become defense secretary, Democratic lawmakers are wondering why the nine-year-old allegations weren’t raised in early confirmation work and whether they indicate troublesome oversights in the White House vetting process.
 
    Esper heads to NATO during first week on the job as top Pentagon official
(Defense News) Mark Esper will spend his first week as acting secretary of defense in Belgium.
 
    F-35 pilot killed in April crash may have ignored aircraft instruments: Selva
(Military.com) Air Force Gen. Paul Selva said recently that the Japanese F-35A Joint Strike Fighter pilot who was killed in an April crash into the Pacific Ocean may not have listened to what his aircraft was telling him.
 
    Who takes Esper’s SecArmy seat: McCarthy or Jette?
(Breaking Defense) With Army Secretary Mark Esper stepping up as acting Secretary of Defense, many in the service think Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy should fill in for Esper. But informal Trump advisor Jack Keane and allies in the White House are apparently pushing assistant secretary Bruce Jette to sit at Esper’s desk.
 
Army
    Army recruiter gets an upgrade to second highest valor medal
(Army Times) An Army recruiter’s Silver Star was upgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross — the second highest combat award a soldier can receive — following a Pentagon review of his citation.
 
    Dallas courthouse shooter honorably discharged from Army
(The Associated Press) The Army says Brian Isaack Clyde served as an infantryman from August 2015 to February 2017 and achieved the rank of private first class. He never deployed to a war zone.
 
    Medic featured in HBO’s ‘Band of Brothers’ provided honor guard at funeral
(Military Times) Soldiers from the Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, served as honor guards at the funeral for Staff Sgt. Albert Leon Mampre after he passed away on May 31. He was the last surviving medic from the so-called “Band of Brothers.”
 
    Fort Carson Celebrates National Pride Month with LGBTQ Soldiers
(Colorado Springs Gazette) Transgender Army Capt. Alivia Stehlik tells those at Fort Carson National Pride Month event: "Pride is not just a celebration. It's a battle cry."
 
    Man gets 26 years for role in 2009 Iraq suicide attack that killed 5 US soldiers
(The Associated Press) A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced a Canadian man to 26 years in U.S. prison for supporting a group of jihadists who committed a 2009 suicide attack that killed five American soldiers in Iraq.
 
    Contractor charged with taking kickbacks on Army projects at two Georgia bases
(The Associated Press) A construction executive from Tennessee was paid at least $436,000 in kickbacks in a scheme involving multimillion-dollar contracts at two Georgia military bases, according to court filings by federal prosecutors.
 
    Train carrying munitions derails near Nevada-Utah line; no injuries reported
(The Associated Press) A train carrying military munitions derailed in the high desert of northeast Nevada on Wednesday, closing an interstate for about an hour before emergency crews determined there was no danger. No injuries were reported.
 
Navy
    Navy: Next Large Surface Combatant Will Look A Lot Like Zumwalt
(USNI News) The Navy’s next large surface combatant will probably look more like the futuristic Zumwalt class of guided-missile destroyers than fleet’s current workhorse class of Arleigh Burke destroyers, the program executive officer said.
 
    Witness: Navy SEAL called dead prisoner an ‘ISIS dirt bag’
(The Associated Press) A Navy SEAL charged with killing a captive teenage militant in his care had told fellow troops that if they encountered a wounded enemy, he wanted medics to know how “to nurse him to death,” a former comrade testified Wednesday.
 
    Former sailor charged with sex crime
(Navy Times) A former sailor was arrested this week and charged for a sexual assault he allegedly committed while stationed in Japan 15 years ago, the U.S. Justice Department announced.
 
    Navy Mulling How to Make Surface Fleet Flexible, Lethal
(USNI News) There also is an emphasis on open architecture to make it easier, quicker and cheaper to upgrade combat systems, according to a panel of senior Navy civilian officials.
 
    Navy to christen new destroyer honoring Hawaii hero, statesman
(The Associated Press) The U.S. Navy will christen a new guided-missile destroyer the Daniel Inouye this weekend during a ceremony in Maine.
 
Air Force
    Shaw resumes PT tests as investigation into two deaths continues
(Air Force Times) Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina resumed physical fitness testing Monday, two weeks after halting them due to the running-related deaths of two airmen.
 
    USAF to demo new airborne mesh network for Latin American militaries
(Defense One) The U.S. Air Force has a new radio network that allows pilots to easily communicate with forces on the ground, and it’s showing it off to Central and South American military leaders this week.
 
Marine Corps
    Own the night: How new night vision tech will help Marines dominate in the dark
(Marine Corps Times) To regain dominance over the night, the U.S. military is looking at a slew of options from new ultrarealistic virtual trainers, upgraded night visions devices and technology, to free play exercises where troops are pitted against near-peer allied forces.
 
    Fired Marine one-star general was ‘abusive, bullying, toxic, abrasive, and aggressive,’ investigation finds
(Task & Purpose) In his seven months as legislative assistant to the commandant of the Marine Corps, Brig. Gen. Norman Cooling proved to be an abusive, bullying boss, who openly disparaged women, ruled through intimidation, and attempted to spread a rumor about a female officer after the Senate complained about him to the defense secretary, according to a Defense Department's Inspector General's Office investigation.
 
    US Marines to test drone-killing laser weapon
(Defense News) The U.S. Marine Corps is testing a prototype laser weapon that could be used by war fighters on the ground to counter enemy drones, according to a Wednesday news release.
 
National Guard
    Lawmakers ask Massachusetts governor to let transgender troops serve in National Guard
(The Republican) Sixty-five Massachusetts lawmakers are calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to allow transgender people to serve in the Massachusetts National Guard, despite President Donald Trump’s ban.
 
    Guardsman, accused of stealing WWII airmen’s dog tags from National Archives, says he was returning them to families
(The Associated Press) Rumsby told the Stars and Stripes newspaper he took the dog tags from the facility in College Park, Maryland, so he could give them to dead airmen’s families.
 
    2 National Guard soldiers, semi driver injured in collision
(The Associated Press) Authorities say two Illinois National Guard soldiers in a cargo truck and a man driving a semitrailer were injured when the two vehicles collided on a South Dakota highway.
 
Coast Guard
    Coast Guard Stages Massive Rescue Exercise in Waters Off Washington, DC
(Military.com) The training objectives included establishing an incident command post to control the response, observing and evaluating rescue preparedness, assessing participants' ability to function together and validating communications procedures and protocols.
 
Defense Industry
    The US Navy’s new frigate program is careening toward a roadblock
(Defense News) The U.S. Navy’s program to buy a new frigate, known as FFG(X), has been smooth sailing since it was announced in 2017, but congressional protectionism could torpedo much of the progress the service has made to date.
 
    Pentagon, Lockheed Martin failed to ensure proper parts for F-35
(GovExec) A major contractor and the Pentagon’s top management office came in for criticism from an inspector general for cutting corners in assuring that the massive joint-service F-35 stealth fighter is equipped with ready-for-issue parts.
 
    Norway’s Air Force tests Sidewinder missile
(Defense News) The AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II missile was launched for the first time from a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System during a flight test in May, according to a Raytheon news release.
 
Watch
    Video: EXCLUSIVE: An inside look at the US Navy's P-8 Poseidon
(Defense News) Defense News takes you on a tour of the U.S. Navy's anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
 
    2020 candidates: Would there be American troops in Afghanistan at the end of your first term?
(New York Times) Every Democrat said they would pull back troops. Only some — like Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker — promised a full exit.
 
    Video: Are those Legos? A look at the most futuristic fighter
(Defense News) Lego built a lifesize T-65 X-wing Starfighter at the Paris Air Show, and Defense News' Jeff Martin checks out its capabilities.
 
Veterans
    Veterans suicide prevention efforts will include more discussions on firearm safety
(Military Times) Federal suicide prevention efforts in coming months will include increased focus on veterans’ access to firearms, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said during a Capitol Hill appearance Wednesday.
 
    Put your ‘Punisher’ skull & ‘Molon Labe’ stickers away — they will never top this ‘Sh*t or Bust’ WWII battle flag
(Military Times) Symbolic displays of in-your-face, militarized masculinity are reaching epidemic status as misguided boots, small pockets of veterans, and the “I almost joined the military, but—” starter pack-wearing fraternity seek to silence any who doubt their ability to go from zero to Rambo in 2.7 seconds.
 
    Conspiracy of silence: After atomic blasts, a dangerous cleanup scarred troops for life
(Stars & Stripes) Before he died, Army veteran Paul Laird had an urgent message for his wife, Vicki.
 
    Trump takes credit for passing veterans bill that passed under Obama
(The Hill) President Trump at his 2020 campaign kickoff rally on Tuesday took credit for passing a veteran's health care bill that was signed into law by former President Obama.
 
    Lawmaker: Close GI Bill 'loophole' that benefits for-profit colleges
(Military.com) On the 75th anniversary of the GI Bill, freshman U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Florida, is taking aim at for-profit colleges, introducing a bill Wednesday that would close a loophole she says props up substandard schools that view veterans as "cash cows."
 
    As GI Bill marks 75th anniversary, some call for expansion
(Military.com) In marking the 75th anniversary of the original GI Bill, a top Department of Veterans Affairs official on Wednesday pointed to a glaring difference between the post-World War II and post-9/11 versions -- the small-business option.
 
    North Carolina VA hospital bought $2.3 million surgical robot without permission
(Stars & Stripes) A Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in North Carolina spent $2.3 million on a surgical robot without approval, a federal watchdog reported Wednesday.
 
Congress & Politics
    Drums of looming Iran war resound in Congress
(Roll Call) It is not clear to what extent possible U.S. military strikes on Iran will play a role in debate on the $750 billion measure or, for that matter, in a separate vote this week on blocking U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Iran’s arch foe.
 
    Trump to honor US military during Fourth of July address
(The Associated Press) President Donald Trump’s participation in the nation’s annual Fourth of July celebration will include a Trump speech honoring America’s armed forces, along with music, military demonstrations and flyovers, the administration announced Wednesday, about two weeks before the patriotic holiday.
 
    Congressional term limits: countering power abuse or counterproductive?
(Federal Times) Texas Senator Ted Cruz has a plan that he says will ensure lawmakers can’t make a career out of serving in the same congressional seat by adding an amendment to the Constitution that would limit U.S. senators to two six-year terms and U.S. House Representatives to three two-year terms.
 
    Outcry over ‘petty’ plan to fire OPM employees
(Federal Times) The struggle between members of Congress and the Trump administration over whether to keep or dismantle the federal government’s personnel office hit another point of contention June 19, after reports surfaced that the administration plans to furlough or fire personnel if its objectives are not approved by Congress.
 
National Security
    Government watchdog finds 3 issues disrupting US nuclear modernization efforts
(Defense News) The U.S. agency responsible for making explosive materials used in nuclear weapons is facing challenges that could impact the country’s planned modernization of its nuclear arsenal, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.
 
Cyber, Space & Surveillance
    This mobile comms unit has people talking
(C4ISRNET) The Expeditionary Signal Battalion-Enhanced (ESB-E) supports units that don’t have organic comms capabilities. These could include military intelligence battalions, chemical battalions, engineering battalions or air defense artillery branches.
 
    How shrinking an antenna may boost surveillance
(C4ISRNET) IMSAR and Optisys have collaborated on a miniaturized radar system to bring new capabilities and improved mission longevity to lightweight unmanned aircraft systems, according to a June 17 news release.
 
    Where AI factors in to DHS election security
(Fifth Domain) Artificial intelligence will factor into election security over the next few years, but the new cybersecurity agency at the Department of Homeland Security is still developing its role.
 
    Feds: Ex-CIA employee waged ‘information war’ against US
(Federal Times) An ex-CIA employee must be kept isolated in prison after claiming he was waging an “information war” against the United States, prosecutors said Tuesday.
 
    One of the military’s top cyber groups will get a new leader
(Fifth Domain) Brig. Gen. William Hartman is slated to lead U.S. Cyber Command’s Cyber National Mission Force, according to a June 19 personnel announcement from the Pentagon.
 
    Is this a roadmap to a map-reading AI?
(C4ISRNET) Maps are a human construct. They are a medium, an abstraction, through which space is known by how it is represented.
 
International Affairs
    UN expert urges probe of Saudi prince over Khashoggi killing
(The Associated Press) The scathing probe is likely to further harden opinion against the crown prince in Washington and other Western capitals, where critics say an operation of this magnitude would have required the powerful prince’s knowledge.
 
    UN: Nearly 71 million now displaced by war, violence at home
(The Associated Press) A record 71 million people have been displaced worldwide by war, persecution and other violence, the U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday, an increase of more than 2 million from a year earlier — and an overall total that would amount to the world’s 20th most populous country.
 
Commentary & Analysis
    Cutting language training is the latest foolish retreat from global engagement
(Defense One) Last month, students at the Defense Language Institute discovered that their study-abroad plans had been cancelled, thanks to unexpected funding cuts to foreign language immersion programs.