Remembering all of our brothers on Memorial Day weekend: 

DAVIS MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Over the weekend, the 943rd Rescue Group memorialized the life of a fallen pararescueman who was killed in Afghanistan on April 6, 2013 while performing civilian duties as security contractor.

The memorial included family and friends of Chief Master Sgt. Nicholas L. McCaskill, 306th Rescue Squadron PJ. They recalled his life as a dedicated pararesuceman, mentor to junior rescue Airmen and a devoted family man.

“This memorial speaks volumes for the leadership and impact that Chief Master Sgt. Nick McCaskill had on those who knew him,” said Col. Harold Maxwell, 943rd RQG Commander. “Those who served with Nick loved him and respected him, and he was a role model to the younger Airmen that wanted to be like him.”

“He mentored them and inspired them; he was an outstanding example of what a senior non-commissioned officer should be,” said Maxwell.

The memorial included his induction into the rank of chief master sergeant which was earned on February 1, 2013, and also the presentation of the meritorious service medal.

“Nick was a humble man,” said Lt. Col. John Keeler, 306th RQS. “His actions and his life focused on saving lives and building his team, and not the decorations that he received.”

Follow me on Twitter to let me know if the profanity is too much/not enough/just right: 

Well done, Sergeant: 

A city of Portland employee and 23-year U.S. Army veteran is one of two men to have died confronting a white supremacist who was harassing to two young Muslim girls.

Ricky John Best, 53, of Happy Valley, died at the scene after the late Friday afternoon attack.

(Oregonian/OregonLive file )

He worked for the city of Portland at Bureau of Developments Services since January 2015 after 23 years in the Army. He retired in 2012 after rising to the rank of platoon sergeant for Corps maintenance, according to an email to BDS employees from the bureau’s interim director Rebecca Esau.

The Pic of the Day: Air Commandos remembering their own

Read Next: The Pic of the Day: Air Commandos remembering their own

At the city bureau, which regulates construction projects, he worked as a tech in the permitting department.

He is survived by his wife, Myhanh Duong Best, and four children, Erik, Isaac, David, and Tramanh.”

Hurry, I need to get off this planet:

WASHINGTON – The White House is asking Congress to provide $7.75 billion for military space systems in 2018, a $1.3 billion increase over what the Pentagon sought for 2017.

The space portion of the Defense Department’s 2018 budget request includes $4.33 billion for research, development, testing, and evaluation, and $3.42 billion for procurement, according to Air Force officials. The numbers reflect the scope of defense space operations, with most programs under the purview of the Air Force, but includes outlays for other national security agencies including the National Reconnaissance Office.

“We’ve got to be able to find that sweet spot between capability, affordability, and resiliency,” said Maj. Gen. Roger Teague, the director of space programs in the office of the U.S. Air Force assistant secretary for acquisition, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon May 24. “Budgets are tight and we can’t just continue to spend. We’ve got to be able to invest prudently, and focus our investments on the right kinds of capabilities to ensure we have the appropriate level of protection as well as capabilities in the future.”

With both Republican and Democratic lawmakers already declaring President Donald Trump’s broader budget request “dead on arrival,” the DoD portions of the annual spending request are likely to provide only rough guidelines for the spending bills House and Senate appropriators will be drafting in the weeks ahead.”

These guys officially have too much time (still impressive though): 

He looks exactly like a child molester:

A de Blasio administration employee and leading New York young Democrat has been arrested on felony charges of child pornography.

Jacob Schwartz, 29, was allegedly keeping more than 3,000 photographs and 89 videos of child pornography, including pictures of baby girls as young as six-months-old, court papers revealed.”

The highly illegal content shows ‘young nude females between the approximate ages of six months and 16 (years) engaging in sexual conduct on an adult male,’ reported the New York Post.

Schwartz’s father, labor lawyer Arthur Schwartz, called his son’s case a ‘personal tragedy’.

He expressed he understood ‘these are serious charges’ after watching his sons arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court Thursday night, and said he’s already receiving therapy.

        Schwartz was released after paying $7,500 bail Thursday, said his attorney James Roth — who acknowledged his client may be a very troubled man.”

A billion here, a billion there…:

The Army chief of staff said Thursday he’s worried that a $6 billion combat communications system that has been under development for the past decade might not work, prompting frustration from senators.

Gen. Mark Milley told the Senate he will likely finish a “rigorous, thorough and painful” review in six weeks of the system, called the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, to determine whether it can provide secure communications to soldiers in war zones as intended.

“The bottom line is, I have some serious hard questions that have not yet been satisfactorily answered as to whether it’s going to work,” Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee…

…Word that the long development may be failing after $6 billion in government investment riled Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican chairman of the committee, and some other members.

“Some of us feel frustrated,” McCain said. “It’s hard for us to continue to fight for more money [for the Army] when we see $6 billion wasted on one program.”

Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican Army veteran from Arkansas, said he had seen “credible reports” that WIN-T has ineffective line-of-sight communications, is too fragile to survive in war and has other serious problems.

The system “has an electromagnetic signature so loud that it practically would call for enemy artillery on the top of its users’ heads,” Cotton said.

Guys in their thirties do this stuff?:

They drove hours from their homes in Eastern North Carolina, hiding out on a roof last weekend to play a mysterious part in a pro-Confederate demonstration in Alamance County.

No one seems to know what activist organization the two men represented, or what they ultimately hoped to accomplish with the unfurling of a vague banner over the side of downtown building.

(Rich Jackson/Times-News)

Though the USMC hasn’t yet taken action in connection with the incident involving Michael Joseph Chesny, 35, of Havelock and Joseph Warner Manning, 32, of Jacksonville, the military branch has publicly come out against the cause for which the two men apparently stood.

“Of course we condemn this type of behavior,” Maj. Clark Carpenter said. “We condemn any type of behavior that is not congruent with our values or that is illegal.”

Carpenter described the pair’s actions and potential involvement with questionable activist organizations as “not representative of the rest of the Marine Corps,” a group of some 185,000 individuals.

“This is two Marines that behaved inappropriately,” Carpenter said. “That’s going to be investigated, and ultimately it’s an isolated incident.”

RIP Greg Allman:

You know how some roundups are all bad? This is one of those weeks: 

Eight people are dead, including a sheriff’s deputy, after shootings on Saturday night in three homes in rural Mississippi, the Associated Press reported.

A suspect was in custody, but no charges had been filed yet, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain told the AP on Sunday. He added that it was “premature” to discuss a motive.

Investigators told the AP that police responded to a call about a domestic dispute and that the shootings occurred at two homes in Brookhaven, Miss., a small city about 55 miles south of Jackson, and one home in Bogue Chitto, an unincorporated place to the south of Brookhaven.

The fallen deputy was identified as William Durr, 36, who had been with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office for two years, according to the Daily Leader.

As of Sunday afternoon, the names of the other victims were not yet released, though Strain told the AP that two boys had been among those killed.”

Ok… almost all bad:

Imzy, a site founded by former Reddit Inc. Vice President Dan McComas and pitched as a safe-space alternative to Reddit itself, is folding up shop.

McComas posted Wednesday that despite having raised $11 million in venture capital funding, the site was shutting down. Announced in April 2016, Imzy, created by Saurus Inc., attempted to take on the “front page of the Internet” with a community forum product that was heavily moderated so as to conform with social-justice norms. It had the added bonus of offering moderators and contributors the ability to earn money via tips from other users, with Imzy taking a small cut of each tip to make money as an alternative to advertising. Clearly, as a business model, that didn’t turn out well for them.”

We are sorry to say that after nearly two years of building Imzy, it is time for us to shut down the site,” McComas wrote on a post on the site that is likely to be its highest-trafficked ever. “Some of you have been here since our launch into beta and some are brand new. We’ve loved getting to know all of you and seeing you build communities and make new friends. Unfortunately, we were not able to find our place in the market.”

Ignoring the fact that he managed to burn through $11 million in funding from CRV, Index Ventures and OReilly AlphaTech Ventures, McComas concluded that “we still feel that the internet deserves better and hope that we see more teams take on this challenge in the future.”


Aspen police arrested a naked man running around in front of a local hotel Wednesday morning who was later found to be a registered sex offender, according to a police report.

Michael Quin Webber, 54, of Santa Monica, California, had white powder caked under his nose, told police he was seeing snakes and was charged with indecent exposure, according to the report and Aspen police Sgt. Rick Magnuson.

Emergency dispatchers received a 911 call about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday “regarding a naked man in front of The Gant” hotel, 610 S. West End, the police report states. Officer Walter Chi arrived on scene soon after and a city Parking Department employee pointed southbound down the street.

“About the same time, a male, completely naked, walked down the street towards my vehicle,” Chi wrote in the report. “Upon contacting the male, asking him to explain what was going on, he relayed that he was seeing ‘snakes.’

“Webber appeared to be extremely agitated.”

(Aspen Police)

After running his name through a database, Chi discovered that Webber is a registered sex offender from Santa Monica, according to the report.

Paramedics examined Webber and found him medically sound, though they “indicated that he appeared to be under the influence of something,” the report states.

Webber is a registered sex offender, according to the National Sex Offender Public Website. That site references a Texas Department of Public Safety page indicating that Webber registered in that state in 2010.

Webber pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery and was ordered to serve a year in the Marin County Jail in February 2007, according to a story from the Marin Independent Journal. He allegedly raped a 40-year-old woman Oct. 24, 2005, after going on a date with her in San Francisco, the story states.”

That’s all for Memorial Day weekend. Remember the fallen tomorrow and every day. -BK.