Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Fw: TheList 4692

The List 4692


To All
A bit of history and some tidbits.
Regards,
Skip
This Day In Naval History – April 4, 2018
April 4
1776—Continental Navy frigate Columbus captures the British schooner HMS Hawk, making the first American capture of a British armed vessel. Columbus later captures the British brig Bolton.  
1854—American and British naval brigades of 90 and 150 men engage Chinese Imperial troops at Shanghai after acts of aggression against American and British citizens. The American party fell under the command of Cmdr. J. Kelly, the commanding officer of USS Plymouth.
1898 - Appointment of first Civil Engineering Corps officer, Mordecai Endicott, as Chief, Bureau of Yards and Docks On this day in history (April 4):
 
1841: President William Henry Harrison, at the age of 68, became the first president to die in office. He had been sworn in only a month before he died of pneumonia, from speaking excessively long outdoors in the freezing rain at his inauguration.
1964: The Beatles became the first act in history to hold all top five places in the U.S. singles chart with "Can't Buy Me Love", "Twist And Shout", "She Loves You", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", and "Please Please Me". A top five grand slam that none has come close to ever since.
1969: Dr. Denton Cooley implanted the first temporary artificial heart.
 
And today is:
 
National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day
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April 4
527
In Constantinople, Justin, seriously ill, crowns his nephew Justinian as his co-emperor.
1581
Francis Drake completes circumnavigation of the world.
1812
The territory of Orleans becomes the 18th state and will become known as Louisiana.
1818
The United States flag is declared to have 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars.
1841
President William Henry Harrison, aged 68, becomes the first president to die in office, just a month after being sworn in.
1862
The Battle of Yorktown begins as Union gen. George B. McClellan closes in on Richmond, Va.
1917
The U.S. Senate votes 90-6 to enter World War I on Allied side.
1918
The Battle of the Somme ends.
1941
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel captures the British held town of Benghazi in North Africa.
1949
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty is signed.
1968
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
1974
Hank Aaron ties Babe Ruth's home-run record.
1979
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the president of Pakistan is executed.
1985
A coup in Sudan ousts President Nimeiry and replaces him with General Dahab.
 
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1933—USS Akron (ZRS 4) crashes tail-first into the sea due to a violent storm coming off the New Jersey coast, killing Rear Adm. William A. Moffett, Medal of Honor recipient and the first Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, along with 75 others. Only three survive.
1943—USS Porpoise (SS 172) sinks the Japanese whaling ship Koa Maru near Eniwetok.
1949—The North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C., establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The treaty promotes peace, stability, and well-being in the North Atlantic area with a collective defense effort.
1981—USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29) is launched and commissioned the following year. She is named in honor of Ensign Groves for "fearlessly plunging into aerial combat against large formations of enemy aircraft threatening the American carriers in the Battle of Midway."
 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national headlines include a shooting at YouTube headquarters and new Chinese/U.S. tariffs, leading to a global stock decline. The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump has suggested sending U.S. troops to the border with Mexico in an effort to curb illegal immigration, noting that while previous administrations have deployed troops to the border, sending active duty troops to the border could face legal challenges. The Trump administration extended 25% tariffs on over 1,300 Chinese products on Tuesday reports the New York Times. The move comes after China levied tariffs on 128 American products in response to U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel. Additionally, USNI News visited the USS Lewis B. Puller as the 5th fleet experiments with how to best utilize the ships flexibility to support amphibious, special forces, and mine countermeasures operations at sea.
 
This week's Webpage of the Week is in keeping with the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and Vietnam War Veterans Day. The chronology of the U.S. Navy in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, 1950-75, provides information about major U.S. Navy operations and other events of historical and human interest related to Southeast Asia during that time. Check out this informative webpage today. (https://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/wars-conflicts-and-operations/vietnam-war0/chronology.html)
 
 
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This Week In American History: From a "Murderous Fistfight" to the "Ribbon
Creek Massacre"
by W. Thomas Smith Jr.
 
This Week in American Military History:
 
Apr. 6, 1862:  Confederate Army forces under the command of Gen. Albert
Sidney Johnston attack Union Army forces under the command of Maj. Gen.
Ulysses S. Grant at Shiloh (Shiloh Church), Tennessee.
 
The fighting is desperate on both sides – described as "a murderous
fistfight" – and the bloodiest battle to date in American military history.
Confederate and Union casualties combined will exceed well over 23,000 in
two days. The Confederates carry the first day, but Johnston is killed. In
the end, Grant wins the Battle of Shiloh (also known as the  Battle of
Pittsburg Landing): stiff Union resolve and reinforcements determining the
outcome.
 
 
Apr. 6, 1917:  Pres. Woodrow Wilson signs a joint resolution of Congress
declaring war on Germany.
 
Wilson had appealed to Congress for a war declaration on Apr. 2: The appeal
stemming from Germany's renewal of its policy of unrestricted submarine
warfare as well as the British-intercepted Zimmermann telegram revealing
Germany's promise to Mexico of a huge chunk of U.S. territory (predicated,
of course, on a German victory) if Mexico would ally itself with Germany.
 
Wilson dreads entering the war, but as he says, "Right is more precious
than peace, and we shall fight for the things which we have always carried
nearest our hearts -- for democracy, for the right of those who submit to
authority to have a voice in their own governments, for the rights and
liberties of small nations, for a universal dominion of right by such a
concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and
make the world itself at last free."
 
Apr. 8, 1956:  In what will become known as the "Ribbon Creek Massacre,"
six Marine recruits drown during a night-march through a rain-swollen tidal
estuary at the U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C.
 
The deaths – which will result in the trial and conviction of the drill
instructor responsible – spawn widespread public condemnation of the
Marines' so-called "ruthless" training methods. The incident adds to the
mystique of geographically isolated Parris Island (near Beaufort). And it
will fuel the already-held reputation of Marines as being some of the
world's "toughest" fighting men for simply having survived the Corps'
notorious boot camp. It is a reputation that continues today.
 
Apr. 9, 1865:  The war lost, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee concludes,
"There is nothing left for me to do, but to go and see Gen. [Ulysses S.]
Grant, and I would rather die a thousand deaths."
 
Lee formally surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant at the home
of Wilmer McLean in the village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia.
 
Still-operating Confederate forces will surrender within months.
 
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Page 1: The Big Story with a picture of LCDR Dick Stratton bowing for the press above the fold. "U.S. Fears Hanoi is Brainwashing American POWs"..."The State Department expressed concern today that North Vietnam might be brainwashing American prisoners of war to obtain propaganda statements attacking United States policy. Robert J. McCloskey, the State Department spokesman cited an account in the current issue of Life magazine of a captured American pilot's appearance before foreign newsmen in Hanoi. The Department,, Mr. McCloskey said, is 'concerned at recent indications that North Vietnam may be using mental or physical pressure on American prisoners-of-war to obtain confessions or statements critical of United States policy in Vietnam. The article in Life by Leo Lockwood, a free-lance American photographer who visited North Vietnam for four weeks described the exhibition in Hanoi on March 6 by LCDR Richard A. Stratton, a Navy pilot who was shot down in North Vietnam in January. The article said 'the Navy man looked straight ahead, but wasn't really looking–his eyes never seemed to focus–he just wasn't there. He was like a robot,' Mr. Lockwood wrote, adding, 'When they said something to him, he acted, if they did nothing, he did nothing.' North Vietnam, Mr. McCloskey said, 'has given repeated assurances that it treats prisoners humanely. However, it has refused to permit the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other neutral observers to visit the prisoners, which is required by the Geneva conventions. In the absence of such independent verification North Vietnam's professions of human treatment cannot be accepted.' …According to Mr. Lockwood Commander Stratton, dressed in striped pajamas and sandals, read a five-page 'confession' over a microphone from behind a curtain while photographers and foreign newsmen listened. Copies of the statement were given to the newsmen…There are now about 380 American prisoners in North Vietnam. Definitive figures cannot be obtained because the North Vietnamese refuse to provide the Red Cross with lists. Of the total 128 have been confirmed by one means or the other as being in North Vietnamese captivity. Four are Marines, 63 are Air Force and 61 are Navy personnel. Fifty other men, all Air Force, are believed to have been captured and 204 are listed as missing in action and possibly captured. Commander Stratton appeared before the newsmen for four minutes after a recording of his 2000-word statement had been played. Life and The New York Times published the 2,000-word 'confession.'…"
 
RIPPLE SALVO… #395… Humble Host adds a little more to the 50th anniversary of Dick Stratton coming-out story of 4 April 1967… This from the Rochester and Kiley "Honor Bound"…. Pages 224-25 and 344…
"Navy Lt. Cdr.Richard Stratton, seized on 5 January 1967, the first American pilot bagged by North Vietnam in the new year, 'was a Communist propagandist's dream,' author John Hubbell observed.'He was just what the Vietnamese were waiting for, a big, heavyset, dark-visaged, rough looking…American imperialist.'
(Footnote: In a 1978 self-characterization, Stratton agreed that he fit the stereotype perfectly: "I've got the big nose, sloping forehead, the crew cut, the pot belly; I'm everything their cartoonists use to portray the typical American aggressor on the land, sea or air; and I've got the loud mouth; I was the arch-type of what the mad-bomber was going to be.")
"As Pigeye (Prison staff interrogator) administered the rope treatment, Stratton, his wrists already shredded from the handcuffs, felt the pain beginning instantly, 'as if someone had thrown a switch.' The sensation 'indescribable,' his shoulders seemingly 'trying to roll out of their sockets.' In repeated efforts to get the aviator to admit his plane had been felled while bombing Hanoi, Stratton was beaten to a pulp, burned with a cigarette, had his thumbnails bent back, and was twice left cinched in the ropes. After two weeks he capitulated, but not before urinating on the confession papers. (oohrah!!!) Stratton's defiance would soon manifest itself again in an episode that would cause Hanoi considerable grief and deliver another serious blow to its psywar campaign."…
Page 344… "The spring of 1967 had been a busy season for Hanoi's propaganda directors even prior to the activation of the Plantation camp. In one of the most dramatic incidents of the psywar, on 6 March the North Vietnamese had forced Dick Stratton to appear at a press conference in which they played an extracted taped confession, then escorted the PW onstage to bow before a swarm of television and movie cameras. Tortured repeatedly since his capture in January. Stratton had paid a steep price for his taunting defiance, suffering from multiple wounds and recurrent sickness, but his still husky build and 'imperialist' swagger continued to make him a prize candidate for the spotlight. With the Vietnamese apparently bent on both exploiting and humiliating him, the aviator decided this time to hedge his resistance with a maneuver that outwardly complied with the enemy's command but in such robotic fashion that it left the hosts non-pulsed and the assemblage of reporters shaken. Zombie-like, standing rigidly and glassy-eyed in his striped prison  pajamas, he bowed mechanically and expressionless before the cameras as though drugged or brainwashed. the resulting pictures, in stark black and white, were published worldwide, accompanied by stories in Life and Time referring to 'Pavlovian' and 'Orwellian' overtones of the exhibition. The Communists received a public relations black eye as damaging as the effect of the Hanoi March."
(Footnote on the page: "Stratton actually was reprising his 'Manchurian candidate' performance, mouthing monotone, programmatic responses to a reporter's questions about his condition: 'Get enough to eat…In the camp I can listen to the radio Voice of Vietnam…We get the medical care we need.' He repeated the same replies no matter the queries. The tape was edited to convey the impression that Stratton was fit and clear-thinking.")…
For Dick Stratton and the other POWs who were paraded in public for propaganda and other exploitation purposes, there was an upside. They were known to be alive and would therefore have to be accounted for at the end of their ordeal as prisoners of the North Vietnamese. Unfortunately, for Dick Stratton and the POWs of 1967, that ordeal had six more years to run. March 1973 was a long way off.
Lest we forget…             Bear
 
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With our thanks to THE Bear at http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/
 
ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 4 APRIL 1968… TOTAL KIA FOR WAR TO DATE: 20,775… 38,000 TO GO…
April 4, 2018   Bear Taylor  
RIPPLE SALVO… #760… THE SEVEN DAY BATTLE REPORT … AND… A REQUEST FOR "ARDENT PRAYER" by Senator Robert F. Kennedy… but first…
GOOD MORNING: Day SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTY of remembering the events, participants and the bravery, sacrifice and service of "the other generation"–the non-Greatest Generation– that fought and won the Vietnam war fifty years ago. At what cost? …
HEAD LINES from the Ogden Standard-Examiner for Thursday, 4 APRIL 1968, THE DAY DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DIED…
Page 1: "PEACE QUEST CALLS LBJ TO HAWAII–EARLY TALKS LOOM IN SOVIET UNION"… "President Johnson has agreed to direct contacts on peace between North Vietnamese and U.S. representatives and will fly to Hawaii late tonight to discuss peace and war prospects with top American officials from Saigon. Washington is understood to have messaged Hanoi informing the government of President Ho Chi Minh of U.S. readiness to meet for initial contacts on peace talks."… Page 1: "REDS EXPECT SESSION IN MOSCOW"… "Soviet informants said today they expect preliminary Vietnam peace talks to begin in Moscow next week. They said the North Vietnamese have already assured the United States privately they will launch no major offensive if all American bombing attacks are halted."…
Page 1: "U.S. RELIEF COLUMN NEAR KHE SANH; SIEGE LIFTED?"… "Advance elements of a big U.S. relief force drove through light enemy artillery and mortar fire today to within a half mile of the besieged Marine combat base at Khe Sanh. With resistance continuing light, Soviet informants in London said the North Vietnamese were lifting the long siege of Khe Sanh as evidence of good intention in preliminary peace talks. However, about 80 rounds of enemy artillery and mortar fire hit Khe Sanh and Marines striking out from the base were reported engaged in fighting with the North Vietnamese in hills to the west. A U.S. spokesman said he expected some of the 20,000-man relief force to link up with the 6,000 Marines inside Khe Sanh by nightfall for the first breakthrough in the siege of the fortress, now in its 11th week. Marines and helicopter-borne cavalrymen were pushing in three prongs toward the base. Reports from the field said they were encountering sporadic artillery and mortar fire but little resistance."… Page 3: "KHE SANH MARINES RELAX AS RELIEF COLUMNS NEAR"… "With field glasses you can see the allied relief column approaching this besieged U.S. Marine base. But even though a combined relief force of U.S. Marines and Army air cavalry had not arrived late today, there was an air of relief in Khe Sanh. Weary Marines, who have lived through three months of almost continuous artillery, rocket and mortar siege, lounged in bunkers. They watched as helicopters from the advancing relief force fired rockets and machine guns at suspected enemy positioned around Khe Sanh…"
 
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Status of the Navy
as of
April 4, 2018



Navy Personnel
Active Duty: 325, 826
♦ Officers: 54,116♦ Enlisted: 267,308
♦ Midshipmen: 4,402
Ready Reserve: 98,693 (As of Feb 2018)
♦ Selected Reserves: 57,650
♦ Individual Ready Reserve: 41,043
Reserves Currently Mobilized: 3,183
Navy Department Civilian Employees: 267,629
Ships and Submarines
Deployable Battle Force Ships: 282
♦ Deployed Battle Force Across the Fleet Including Forward Deployed Submarines: 93
♦ Deployed Ships Underway: 51 (18%)
♦ Ships Underway for Local Ops / Training: 25 (9%)
♦ Aircraft Carriers Underway:
USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) - Pacific
USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) - Pacific
Amphibious Assault Ships Underway:
USS Wasp (LHD 1) - Pacific
USS Essex (LHD 2) - Pacific
USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) - Pacific
USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) - 5th Fleet
♦ Aircraft (operational): 3700+
 
And if you are interested in de-homogenizing the force, the demographics status as of the end of the CY are at http://www.navy.mil/strategic/Navymil-Report-31Dec2017.pdf
 
 
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 04/04/2018 AFGHANISTAN - UNAMA INVESTIGATING CLAIMS OF CIVILIAN CASUALTIES AFTER AIRSTRIKE IN KUNDUZ PROVINCE (APR 04/TN)  TOLONEWS -- The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says it is investigating conflicting accounts of an airstrike in the northern Kunduz province, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan).   The U.N. mission is "actively looking in to disturbing reports of serious harm to civilians" from an airstrike in Dasht-e-Archi, UNAMA said on Tuesday.   Residents of Dasht-e-Archi say that an Afghan air force airstrike on a religious school on Monday night killed at least 50 civilians and wounded 150 more. There were about 300 civilians at the school at the time of the attack, the locals said.   The Afghan government rejected those claims, saying that 15 Taliban fighters were killed and 15 more wounded. There were no civilian casualties, said the government.   Some anonymous local officials offered their support for the government's account.   The Afghan air force launched the attack on Taliban fighters who were planning attacks in the area, according to government officials. Attack helicopters conducted the strike after drone imagery indicated that the compound was a Taliban training facility, said a Defense Ministry spokesman cited by the Voice of America News.   The spokesman said that Taliban fighters fired at the helicopters with anti-aircraft guns and later intentionally fired on civilians in the area.   One local official told Al Jazeera (Qatar) that at least 70 people, including Taliban commanders and civilians, were killed in the raid.   The Taliban denied any of its fighters were present.   Hospitals in the area say they received dozens of casualties but did not provide exact figures.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 04/04/2018 CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - 22 MILITANTS DIE IN ATTACK ON U.N. BASE (APR 04/REU)  REUTERS -- Christian militias have killed one peacekeeper and wounded 11 in an attack on a U.N. base in southern Central African Republic, reports Reuters.   On Monday, members of the anti-balaka militia attacked the base in Tagbara, about 190 miles (300 km) northeast of Bangui, the capital, according to a U.N. statement.   Twenty-two of the attackers were killed in the ensuing gunfight, which lasted hours.   The peacekeeper who was killed was from Mauritania, reported Agence France-Presse.   Peacekeepers later discovered 21 dead civilians near a church in Tagbara. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the deaths.   Members of the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) were sheltering 23 people who had been detained by the militants, reported U.N. News.   Central African Republic has been wracked with conflict after mainly Muslim Seleka rebels ousted president Francois Bozize in 2013.   The 12,000-member peacekeeping mission in the country has been unable to stop fighting outside of main cities.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 04/04/2018 CHINA - DOMESTICALLY DEVELOPED AIRCRAFT CARRIER READY FOR TESTING (APR 04/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- China's first indigenously built aircraft carrier is scheduled to begin its first sea trial later this month in the northeastern Bohai Sea, reports the South China Morning Post.   The first voyage of the Type 001A will likely coincide with the 69th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese navy on April 23, an anonymous military source told the newspaper.   The nature of the trial will depend on sea conditions, with high tides preferred, the source said.   Initial tests will focus on basic functions, including power systems, damage control and radar and communication systems, another source told the newspaper.   The Chinese navy is worried about repeating the experience of the British carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which suffered leaks during testing last year.   Recent photos showed the carrier with its scaffolding removed, after outfitting work was completed.   The Type 001A carrier was launched in April 2017. China's first carrier, the Liaoning or Type 001, was refurbished from a Russian-made steel hull and declared fully operational in 2016.   The new carrier could enter service as soon as late 2018 or 2019, said an unnamed source
Item Number:4 Date: 04/04/2018 ECUADOR - FARC GROUP SEEKS TO EXCHANGE JOURNALISTS FOR PISONERS, END COUNTERTERROR ACCORD WITH COLOMBIA (APR 04/TELESUR)  TELESUR -- Members of a Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) splinter group have released a video demanding the release of prisoners and suspension of anti-terror operations in exchange for the release of three Ecuadorian journalists, reports TeleSur (Venezuela).   The Oliver Sinisterra Front wants to exchange three prisoners held in Ecuador and to suspend a counterterrorism agreement between Ecuador and Colombia, Javier Ortega, one of the kidnapped journalists, said on Tuesday.   The Ecuadorian government expressed displeasure over the video, saying it rejected attempts to pursue change through violence.   Quito is doing everything possible to free the journalists, who were originally kidnapped on March 26 Ecuador's northern Esmeraldas province, officials said.   Ecuador also called on media to stop publishing militant materials.   Colombia says the Oliver Sinisterra Front is a rogue FARC group led by Walter Patricio Artizala Vernaza, also known as "el Guacho."   The group operates primarily in the border area between Colombia and Ecuador. Authorities have accused the band of launching attacks and involvement in the local drug trade.   The dissident group has no affiliation with the main body of the FARC, which signed a peace deal with the government in 2016
  Item Number:5 Date: 04/04/2018 LIBYA - ANTI-TERROR FORCES LAUNCH NEW OPERATION AGAINST ISIS IN MISRATA (APR 04/ASHARQ)  ASHARQ AL-AWSAT -- The internationally-recognized Libyan government based in Tripoli has launched a new operation to oust remaining fighters from the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) near the city of Misrata, reports Asharq Al Awsat (London).   Operation Storm of the Nation targets areas of east of the city in northwestern Libya, a Presidential Council spokesman said on Monday.   The council is the head of the Government of National Accord (GNA), the result of U.N.-sponsored negotiations. Control of the country is contested, with the rival House of Representatives holding much of the eastern areas and other groups controlling parts of the south.   The operation is commanded by the GNA's anti-terror forces and targets ISIS militants in Bani Walid, Tarhouna, Misallata, Al-Khumus and Zlitin, the spokesman said.   ISIS fighters entered the area after they were driven from Sirte in 2016. They have been using areas near Misrata to stage attacks
Item Number:6 Date: 04/04/2018 MALI - ICC HEARS CHARGES AGAINST MILITANT FOR DESTRUCTION OF HOLY SITES, RAPE, TORTURE DURING 2012 UPRISING (APR 04/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- A Malian militant is scheduled to face charges of war crimes in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, reports Agence France-Presse.   Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud will have his first appearance on Wednesday to face charges relating to the 2012 uprising in Mali.   Malian authorities captured Hassan over the weekend and transferred him to Dutch custody on March 31.   Hassan is accused committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in Timbuktu, including the destruction of religious sites, rape, torture and sexual slavery.   Hassan was the de facto police chief of Ansar Dine, an Al-Qaida affiliate that joined a coalition of Tuareg and jihadist groups that overran much of northern Mali in 2012.   As chief of Islamic police, Hassan often participated in whipping and torturing residents who broke strict, conservative laws set up by the group.   In 2016, ICC judges found Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi guilty of war crimes after he directed the destruction of shrines and holy sites during the uprising
  Item Number:7 Date: 04/04/2018 MOROCCO - ARMY SET TO RECEIVE EXCESS U.S. TANKS (APR 04/AL-MON)  AL-MONITOR -- The Moroccan military will receive 162 surplus M1 Abrams tanks from the U.S. to help the bolster its response to regional challenges, reports the Al-Monitor (Washington, D.C.).   The transfer was approved in September 2017 as part of an effort to supply Morocco with US$115 million in unneeded equipment, according to documents reviewed by the website.   Under the Excess Defense Articles program, Morocco was to receive tracked command vehicles, grenade launchers, howitzers, and 419 armored personnel carriers.   The transfer is part of U.S. and European efforts to strengthen the ability of Morocco to deal with drug-trafficking and terrorist networks in the region
Item Number:8 Date: 04/04/2018 QATAR - B-1B BOMBERS BACK IN MIDDLE-EAST (APR 04/MIL)  MILITARY.COM -- The U.S. Air Force has redeployed its B1-B Lancer conventional bombers to the Middle East after more than two years, reports Military.com.   Bombers from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., arrived at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on March 31. They are replacing B-52 bombers in the region and will support Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and Operation Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan, according to Air Forces Central Command.   The B-52 is moving back to the Pacific to replace the B-1B there, officials said. For the last 18 months, the Lancers have been operating from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.   The returning B-1s have been upgraded with the Integrated Battle Station, which includes new color displays, moving maps and diagnostics to provide greater situational awareness to air crews, as well as faster and more secure communication capabilities
Item Number:9 Date: 04/04/2018 SAUDI ARABIA - CROWN PRINCE AMENABLE TO IMPROVED RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL (APR 04/ATLANTIC)  ATLANTIC -- In an interview with the Atlantic, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that Israelis "have the right to their own land" along with the Palestinians.   He also hinted at the possibility of normalized diplomatic relations with the Jewish state if it reached a peace agreement with the Palestinians.   The de-facto ruler of Saudi Arabia is the first senior-level Saudi to recognize such an Israeli right.   For decades, the two nations have been rumored to quietly cooperate behind the scenes to address issues of mutual interest, likely with the U.S. acting as intermediary. In recent years, the gestures have become more public, such as a Saudi general visiting Jerusalem and Saudi Arabia allowing overflights to Tel Aviv.   Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have formal relations, noted the New York Times.   The crown prince has been changing the kingdom's stance toward Israel, viewing the Jewish state as an attractive regional economic and technological hub as well as a partner against Iran
Item Number:10 Date: 04/04/2018 SOMALIA - U.S. AIRSTRIKE KILLS 5 AL-SHABAAB MILITANTS (APR 04/HILL)  THE HILL -- Five Al-Shabaab militants have been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Somalia's central Galmudug region, reports The Hill (Washington, D.C.).   Sunday's airstrike took place near the town of El Bur, said U.S. Africa Command on Monday. No civilian casualties were reported.   The strike did not appear to be directly related to the Al-Shabaab attack on three African Union Mission in Somalia bases on the same day in the Lower Shabelle region.   The pace of U.S. airstrikes in Somalia, as well as the number of U.S. troops stationed there, has increased under the Trump administration. The White House has delegated greater authority to U.S. Africa Command to conduct airstrikes without high-level reviews.  
Item Number:11 Date: 04/04/2018 SOUTH KOREA - DEFENSE MINISTRY LOOKS TO TECHNOLOGY TO OFFSET PLANNED PERSONNEL REDUCTIONS (APR 04/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean Ministry of Defense is hoping that technological advancements on the horizon will make up for planned troop reductions, reports the Yonhap News (Seoul).   President Moon Jae In's defense reform initiative calls for cutting the armed forces from 625,000 to 500,000 personnel by 2022.   To make South Korean forces "nimbler and stronger," the ministry is prioritizing artificial intelligence; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the internet of things (IoT); and virtual reality and augmented reality training for troops.   Improved ISR will be supported by an AI system that integrates and analyzes video feeds from military satellites, spy aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and other sensors, officials said
Item Number:12 Date: 04/04/2018 UNITED KINGDOM - ARMY REJOINS BOXER ARMORED VEHICLE PROGRAM 15 YEARS AFTER QUITTING (APR 04/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The British Army has decided to rejoin the Boxer wheeled armored vehicle program nearly 15 years after it withdrew, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   The U.K originally stepped away from the program due to changing requirements and because the vehicle had gotten too heavy for transport on the C-130 cargo plane, noted Defense News.   The army plans to explore options to acquire the 8 x 8 troop carriers to meet its mechanized infantry vehicle requirements.   The U.K. played a large role in the original design, development and testing of the Boxer and would reassume its rights as a project partner if a deal is finalized.   German manufacturer Rheinmetall said that the deal could create or sustain at least 1,000 jobs in the U.K., with at least 60 percent of the manufacturing taking place domestically.   An assessment phase is scheduled to run through 2019 and consider industrial benefits and locations for production, the ministry said. Commercial negotiations are planned in 2019 with the goal of fielding initial vehicles in 2023.   The Boxer has won a number of new orders of late. Australia and Slovenia each selected it in February. Lithuania became the first export customer in 2016, with initial deliveries planned for this year.   The ministry's decision to move forward with a sole-source deal is controversial. Rival defense companies and British lawmakers have been advocating for an open competition
Item Number:13 Date: 04/04/2018 UNITED KINGDOM - SCIENTISTS CONFIRM NOVICHOK NERVE AGENT USED TO ATTACK RUSSIAN SPY (APR 04/SKY)  SKY NEWS -- British chemical weapons experts have identified the chemical used in the poisoning of a Russian double agent but say they cannot prove its exact source, reports Sky News (U.K.).   Only "a state actor" could have produced the military grade nerve agent used to poison Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Defense Science and Technology Laboratory CEO Gary Aitkenhead said on Tuesday.   Scientists were able to confirm that the substance used was Novichok, Aitkenhead said. Establishing the source would require "other inputs," some of them intelligence-based, that the government has access to, he said.   British Prime Minister Theresa May and other NATO leaders have publicly accused Russia of deploying the nerve agent in early March against Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in southern England.   On Wednesday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based in the Hague, assented to a Russian request for an emergency meeting, reported the BBC.   Russia denies involvement in the matter and has called on the U.K. to release evidence implicating Russia.   The U.K. dismissed requests for a joint Russian/U.K. investigation of the matter as perverse.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 04/04/2018 USA - ARMY CHANGES TACK IN EFFORT TO BUY JAMMER UAV (APR 04/D1)  DEFENSE ONE -- After more than a year of failing to finalize a contract for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)-mounted system to disrupt enemy communications, the U.S. Army has decided to switch to a lesser-known, less regulated, fast-track system to acquire the hardware, reports Defense One.   The multi-function electronic warfare Air Large program is being turned over to the Consortium for Command, Control and Communications in Cyberspace (C5). The Army will still choose the eventual winner, but all of the options will be from members of the C5. The consortium has more than 900 members.   Other companies can join the consortium at any time by paying the $500 annual membership fee.   Under the original proposal, the jamming system would have been mounted in the Army's MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system.   A C5 representative said new requirements for the program are expected to be released within a few weeks. The original solicitation was for a multi-year contract without a dollar ceiling. 
  Item Number:15 Date: 04/04/2018 USA - LAWMAKERS EXPEDITE FUNDING TO GET NAVY'S C-130TS BACK IN SERVICE (APR 04/USNI)  U.S. NAVAL INSTITUTE -- The U.S. Navy is set to regain its heavy airlift capability after lawmakers decided to accelerate funding to return grounded C-130T transports to the air, reports USNI News.   The C-130T provides the bulk of the service's supply and personnel transport.   Eighty percent of the U.S. Navy's C-130Ts have been down since July 2017, after a crash killed 16 servicemembers. The service has been forced to use the reservist-operated C-40 aircraft to fill the void.   The cost to install new propellers designed to improve performance on the fleet of 24 C-130Ts is approximately $121 million.   It was originally listed on the Navy's fiscal 2019 unfunded priorities list. Lawmakers decided to fund the program earlier, in the recently passed fiscal 2018 spending bill. The work is expected to take 12 to 18 months
  Item Number:16 Date: 04/04/2018 USA - TRUMP PROPOSES TROOPS ON BORDER UNTIL WALL IS BUILT (APR 04/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- President Donald Trump says he will send U.S. troops to the border with Mexico, reports the Wall Street Journal.   The military is necessary to guard the border in the absence of a wall, the president said on Tuesday. Trump pledged to build a border wall during his campaign.   Trump also said he would pressure the Mexican government to stop a group of asylum seekers marching through Mexico in an act of protest.   The Defense Dept. did not elaborate on the proposal. Defense Secretary James Mattis was sitting next to Trump during the announcement.   The proposal may require Congressional approval for funding, said analysts.   Geronimo Gutierrez, Mexico's ambassador to the U.S., told CNN that the move was "not something that the Mexican government welcomes," but said his government would seek clarification.   Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama deployed National Guard troops to the border. Those Guardsmen supplemented border agent numbers while the Border Patrol constructed fencing and trained new agents.   Texas Gov. Rick Perry deployed as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to the southern border amid a surge in unaccompanied minor immigrants in 2014, noted CNN.   Illegal immigration has reached its lowest rate since 1971.   Analysts cited by NPR and the Washington Post suggested that Trump was upset that the recently passed spending bill did not include money for the proposed wall.  
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