Monday, February 25, 2019

TheList 4934

The List 4934 TGB


 
To All,
 
I hope that you all had a great weekend. This is a Bubba Breakfast Friday here in San Diego.
Regards,
Skip
 
This day in Naval History
 
Feb. 25
§  1861—The sloop of war Saratoga of the U.S. African Squadron captures the slaver sloop Express.
§  1917—Marines and a naval landing force from USS Connecticut (BB 18), USS Michigan (BB 27), and USS South Carolina (BB 26) move into Guantanamo City, Cuba to protect American citizens during the sugar revolt.
§  1933—USS Ranger (CV 4), the US Navy's first true aircraft carrier, is launched.  
§  1944— USS Hoe (SS 258) attacks a Japanese convoy at the mouth of Davao Gulf, sinking the fleet tanker Nissho Maru and damaging the fleet tanker Kyokuto Maru, while USS Rasher (SS 269) sinks Japanese army cargo ship Ryusei Maru and freighter Tango Maru off the north coast of Bali. 
§  1991—During Operation Desert Storm, USS Wisconsin (BB 64) and USS Missouri (BB 63) provide naval gunfire support and other operations.
 
Thanks to CHINFO
 
Executive Summary:
Today's national headlines include President Trump announcing he will delay tariffs on China and coverage of his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In an interview with Yomiuri Shimbun Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Philip Sawyer emphasized the importance of maintaining a free and open sea and discussed enhancing interoperability between the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces. The program manager for the Arleigh Burke DDG-51 Flight III program Capt. Casey Moton stated that the program is on track reports USNI News. Additionally, the Virginian-Pilot reports that USS George H.W. Bush arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard Thursday to undergo a 28-month overhaul.
 
Today in History: February 25.
1570 Pope Pius V issues the bull Regnans in Excelsis which excommunicates Queen Elizabeth of England.
·         1601 Robert Devereux, the second Earl of Essex and former favorite of Elizabeth I, is beheaded in the Tower of London for high treason.
·         1642 Dutch settlers slaughter lower Hudson Valley Indians in New Netherland, North America, who sought refuge from Mohawk attackers.
·         1779 The British surrender the Illinois country to George Rogers Clark at Vincennes.
·         1781 American General Nathaniel Greene crosses the Dan River on his way to attack Cornwallis.
·         1791 President George Washington signs a bill creating the Bank of the United States.
·         1804 Thomas Jefferson is nominated for president at the Democratic-Republican caucus.
·         1815 Napoleon leaves his exile on the island of Elba, returning to France.
·         1831 The Polish army halts the Russian advance into their country at the Battle of Grochow.
·         1836 Samuel Colt patents the first revolving cylinder multi-shot firearm.
·         1862 Confederate troops abandon Nashville, Tennessee, in the face of Grant's advance. The ironclad Monitor is commissioned at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
·         1865 General Joseph E. Johnston replaces John Bell Hood as Commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.
·         1904 J.M. Synge's play Riders to the Sea opens in Dublin.
·         1910 The 13th Dalai Lama flees from the Chinese and takes refuge in India.
·         1913 The 16th Amendment to the constitution is adopted, setting the legal basis for the income tax.
·         1919 Oregon introduces the first state tax on gasoline at one cent per gallon, to be used for road construction.
·         1926 Poland demands a permanent seat on the League of Nations council.
·         1928 Bell Labs introduces a new device to end the fluttering of the television image.
·         1943 U.S. troops retake the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia, where they had been defeated five days before.
·         1944 U.S. forces destroy 135 Japanese planes in Marianas and Guam.
·         1952 French colonial forces evacuate Hoa Binh in Indochina.
·         1956 Stalin is secretly disavowed by Khrushchev at a party congress for promoting the "cult of the individual."
·         1976  The U.S. Supreme Court rules that states may ban the hiring of illegal aliens.
·          
 
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Thanks to the Bear
 

COMMANDO HUNT and ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… WEEK THREE OF THE HUNT… 26 NOVEMBER–2 DECEMBER 1968…

February 24, 2019Bear Taylor
COMMANDO HUNT and ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… WEEK THREE OF THE HUNT… 26 NOVEMBER–2 DECEMBER 1968…
AMERICAN WAR-FIGHTERS KILLED IN SOUTHEAST ASIA THROUGH 25 NOVEMBER 1968 TOTALED 29,438 with the addition of 160 killed-in-action last week…. LEST WE FORGET…
GOOD MORNING. It's Monday, 25 February 2019. Humble Host remembers the Vietnam War of fifty years ago and Week THREE of COMMANDO HUNT I…26 NOVEMBER through 2 DECEMBER 1968…
HEADLINES from THE NEW YORK TIMES (26 Nov-2 Dec)…
THE WAR: VIETNAM FIGHTING GAINS INTENSITY—DEATH TOLL RISES–160 Americans Are Killed In A Week–Up Fron 128–Saigon's Losses Doubled–Foe Initiating Combat… "The intensity of the Vietnam war increased during the last ten days. This was reflected in the casualty statistics made public yesterday (28 Nov) and also was evident in military communiques that told of sharp fighting at various points throughout South Vietnam, particularly in the provinces northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border… Enemy losses for the Nov. 17-23 period were 2,175 killed, the highest figure since September 28, when 2,866 were killed…"… (25 Nov) FOE SHELLS CITIES AND ALLIED BASES–4 Persons Dead, 12 Hurt, Damage Light… (26 Nov) 2 U.S. PLANES LOST IN NORTH VIETNAM–Rescue Craft Battle MIGs and Dodge Foes Missiles... (27 Nov) ALLIES ENTER DMZ–1st TIME SINCE BOMB HALT…U.S. AND HANOI TRADE ACCUSATIONS ON RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS… (28 Nov) GIs KILL 58 ENEMY SOLDIERS–Buffer Zone Reportedly Quiet–Bombing of North During Rescue Effort Confirmed… (29 Nov) PENTAGON CLEARED ABRAHMS DEMILITARIZED ZONE RAID… (30 Nov) VIETCONG ORDER DRIVE TO DESTROY ALLIES UTTERLY–Push Aimed At Units In Field, Pacification Teams and Vietnamese Officials–B-52 Attacks Resumed… CAMBODIA ADMITS OF NORTH VIETNAMESE TROOP PRESENCE–Tells of Capture and Return of 6 NVN Troops… (1 Dec) GIs KILL 70 OF FOE IN MEKONG DELTA–Infantrymen and Gunships Battle Enemy Near Caib… LAOTIAN INTELLIGENCE CHIEF SAYS HANOI PLANS TO SEIZE TWO TOWNS… (2 Dec) 48 OF FOE KILLED IN ATTACK ON GIs–Infantrymen 28 Miles From Saigon Drive Back 200-300 North Vietnamese…
THE PEACE TALKS: (25 Nov) MOVE BY NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT ASSAYED IN PARIS–Effort To Establish Basis For Contact With Saigon Seen–CLIFFORD VOICES HOPE FOR TALKS–Says Both Hanoi And Saigon Want Peaceful settlement… (26 Nov) U.S. EXPECTS SAIGON TO ANNOUNCE JOINING OF PARIS TALKS SHORTLY–Hanoi Termed Impatient With Pace of Talks… PEKING ASKS TALKS WITH U.S. FEB 20–Suggest a Meeting In Poland With Nixon Representatives–To Discuss Co-Existence Accord… (28 Nov) THIEU SELECTS KY TO OVERSEE TEAM AT TALKS IN PARIS–Vice President Designated As Chief Liaison Man For Saigon's Delegation–Direct Role Is Doubtful–President Says Negotiations Will Go To Conference Within 10 Days… CHINA'S PROPOSAL TO MEET FAVORED BY NIXON–Administration Expected To Accept Peking's Offer To Meet In Warsaw Feb 20… (29 Nov) NEGOTIATIONS IN PARIS GRAPPLE WITH ISSUE OF SEATING–Shape of Table at Top of Agenda… (30 Nov) KISSINGER CALLED NIXON CHOICE FOR ADVISOR ON FOREIGN POLICY… (2 Dec) PARIS SNAGS SEEN UNTIL NIXON ACTS–U.S. Aides Suggest He Take Hand In Vietnam Talks…
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK: (25 Nov) DeGAULLE ORDERS AUSTERITY PLAN, WAGE-PRICE FREEZE, BUDGET CUTS–Blames Spring Strikes For Crisis–President Pledges End To Disruptions On Economy… DOUBTS ON FRANC PERSIST IN EUROPE DESPITE MOVES–U.S. Backing Steps–Message By Johnson Is Swift and Draws A Grateful Reply... (26 Nov) FRANC AND POUND GAIN AS MARKETS RESUME TRADING–Doubts Continue–Restrictive Economic Measures Restore Calm For Present… UNITED STATES DEVELOPS NEW TACTIC FOR GAINING RELEASE OF PUEBLO SAILORS… (27 Nov) FRANCE CANCELS 1969 H-BOMB TEST IN BUDGET SLASH–Aid To Concorde Aircraft Cut–Deficit Reduced By 42% In Broad Austerity Effort… GALLUP POLL FINDS 43% IN U.S. SUPPORT POLICIES OF PRESIDENT JOHNSON… MANSLFIELD FORECASTS SUPPORT FOR UP-TO-DATE VIETNAM POLICY BY NIXON–Warns Against Disengaging Nation From Defense And Economic Air Abroad… (29 Nov) WARNINGS BY NATO TO SOVIET SEEN AS GAMBLE–Conventional Forces Ability To Deter Soviet Threat In Central Europe Doubted…  NIXONS AND EISENHOWERS SPEND THANKSGIVING TOGETHER–Johnson Gives Thanks In  Texas As Friends Attend Family Dinner… WEST COAST HUNT FOR BLACK PANTHER CLEAVER PRESSED–Hints Grow He Has Left the Country… (1 Dec) DEAN RUSK FEARS NEW ISOLATIONISM–Sees a Great Debate and Opportunity To Halt Trend… MOSCOW RESUMES ATTACKS ON CZECHS OPPOSED TO CURBS…Say Right Wing Elements are Balking Normalization Despite Communist Party Decision… (2 Dec) U.S. STUDY SCORES CHICAGO VIOLENCE AS A 'POLICE RIOT'–Says Many Officers Replied to Taunts In August With Unconstrained Attacks–Panel's Staff Report Also Cites The Provocation of Some Demonstrators… ISRAELI RAIDERS DESTROY BRIDGES DEEP IN JORDAN–Attacks Termed Retaliation For Arab Harrassment–Units Return Safely…
OPERATION COMMANDO HUNT I… Excerpts from PACAF November 1968 Southeast Asia Air Operations Monthly Summary (Declas 1992)…
"The Situation in South Vietnam"…
The 1 November bombing pause which prohibited bombing of all portions of North Vietnam and the accompanying agreement by Allied and NVA to respect the neutrality of the DMZ failed to produce the hoped for reduction in enemy conduct of the war in-country. On 2 November, a mortar attack against friendly I Corps forces was suspected of originating from the DMZ. On 5 November, a definite DMZ violation was reported. From 10 November through the end of the month numerous violations were reported daily with a total of 342 reported for the 21 day period. In a similar manner, enemy forces violated the Cambodian/South Vietnam border 5 times during the month by firing from Cambodia at Allied uniits and aircraft in South Vietnam.
Enemy tactics regressed somewhat from employment of sizable forces in direct frontal attacks to guerrilla tactics of ambushes, sneak rocket/mortar attacks and an increase in acts of terrorism against the civilian populace. Hit and run rocket/mortar attacks against field-depl;oyed friendly forces and civilian population centers in all 4 Corps were common. Sector/subsector headquarters, province capitals and hamlets were favorite targets with I and IV Corps centers being hit especially hard by such attacks. Frustrated by continued losses of large supply and munition caches, lop-sided defeats throughout the country and increased Allied knowledge of intentions/movements, NVA/VC forces reinitiated punishment tactics against the populace hoping to subjugate the people through terror and intimidation. Rocket/mortar attacks against friendly air base/airfields increased to 25 from a recent low of 3 reported for October. No personnel were killed and no aircraft lost as a result of the attacks. 25 personnel were wounded and 71 aircraft damaged (62 helos and 9 fixed wing)…
Allied forces continued on the initiative pressing the enemy into combat when possible. During November, I Corps activity was primarily centered along the coastal strip from the DMZ southward to Gio Linh, Hue, Danang, Hoi An, Tam Ky and Quang Ngai. In the area to the west of Danang, particularly around An Hoa, light to moderate contact occurred sporadically throughout the month. II Corps activity was relatively light throughout the month with contacts in the Dak To, Pleiku, Tuy Hoa, Kontum and Bong Song areas. The III Corps Cambodian border area in Tay Nionh and Binh Long provinces remained the 'hottest' area in South Vietnam. Fiendly and enemy initiated contacts usually resulted in lop-sided allied victories.
Heavy use of tactical air, armed helos, fixed-wing gunships and artillery influenced the resulting kill ratios. The following air/artillery supported contacts illustrate this point. A 13 November attack on a friendly artillery base near Katum resulted in a favorable friendly kill ratio of 287:4. A 25 November contact near Thien Ngon ended with 138 enemy killed versus 5 friendly killed. On 27 November near Loc Ninh the result was 65 to 0 and in the same area the next day, the outcome was 71 to 0. Near Trang Bang, gunships attacked an enemy force and killed 30. A 29 November battle near Loc Ninh was concluded with a favorable 78 to 6 KIA outcome. Ground activity in IV Corps was light and scattered. Countrywide, the friendly-to-enemy kill ratio was a favorable 7.2:1. This ratio along with the high October 7.1:1 showed considerable improvement over the 5.2:1 average for the 6 months prior to October 1968…
AIRCRAFT LOSSES 26 NOVEMBER–2 DECEMBER 1968… Ref: Vietnam: Air Losses by Chris Hobson… Seven fixed wing aircraft were lost and five fearless warrior gave their lives for the country they loved…
(1) In the early hours of 26 November an O-2A of the 20th TASS and 504th TASG operating out of Danang and piloted by CAPTAIN GREGG HARTNESS and 1LT ALLEN S. SHEPHERD went down on a visual reconnaissance mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The aircraft was hit by 37mm anti-aircraft fire southwest of the DMZ and as the aircraft faltered and spun, CAPTAIN HARTNESS ordered 1LT SHEPHERD to bail out as the aircraft spun through 6,000-feet. 1LT SHEPHERD (Covey 227) was successful and landed successfully in heavy jungle on a steep slope. He did not see or hear from CAPTAIN HARKNESS in the darkness after exiting the aircraft. His emergency beeper was heard a few hours after the crash and located 28 miles northeast of Saravane, Laos. 1LT SHEPHERD was rescued by an Air Force helicopter. The still burning O-2 was observed but deemed unapproachable due to burning ordnance, and the presence of enemy forces. No further emergency or radio transmissions were heard and the search was terminated. CAPTAIN HARKNESS was listed as MIA… Between 1993 and 2003, joint U.S.-Lao investigators interviewed more than 60 witnesses in 39 different settlements in Laos before selecting a site for evacuation in the relentless search for CAPTAIN HARKNESS. In January and February of 2005, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, with assistancer from the Lao government, excavated a site in Salavan Province. They recovered human remains, aircraft wreckage, life support equipment and personal effects. On 19 August 2005 the Department of Defense POW/Misssing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced that the remains of Air Force COLONEL GREGG HARKNESS had been identified and that he was to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. ALLEN SHEPHERD was among those who were there to pay final respects as COLONEL HARKNESS was buried with full honors on 14 September 2005. So was Paula (Harkness) Wetherell, who had spent 30 years travelling the world to learn the fate of her missing husband. "I thought this day would never be," said Ms. Wetherell, who has since remarried. "I did accept that he was dead. I just thought we'd never bring him home. It was a wonderful feeling to have him where he belongs." Ross Perot said in a telephone interview: "No man could ask for a better wife. She was solid as a rock." Perot founded United We Stand–a campaign dedicated to returning captured and missing warriors. COLONEL HARKNESS' son, Gregg Harkness: "It has been a long thirty-seven years. Soon, we can finally say goodbye. With gratefulness and gratitude I know he would want me to reach out to those who, over the many, many years, had him in their hearts and their prayers. We can never thank you enough. I want you to know your support has made a difference."
(2) On 27 November an A-4E Skyhawk of MAG-12 jumped its chocks during a maintenance activity and smashed into a building near the fuel pits.
(3) On 28 November a C-130B of the 772 TAS and 463 TAW out of Clark AFB, P.I. suffered irreparable damage when the nose gear failed on a landing at Tonle Cham, South Vietnam. Five in the crew went to the club…
(4) On 28 November an F-4D of the 390th TFS and 366th TFW out of Danang piloted by MAJOR THOMAS LAIRD BRATTAIN and LT KENNETH R. CRIST slid off a wet runway after encountering an uncontrollable roll at touchdown.  MAJOR BRATTAIN, killed in  the crash, is buried at Williamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. 1LT CRIST suffered fatal injuries in the crash and died as a consequence of hiss wounds on 17 December 1968 in the Hospital at Yokahama. He is buried at the Air Force Academy cemetery in Colorado Springs.
(5) On 29 November an F-100D Super Sabre of the 352nd TFS and 35th TFW out of Phan Rang piloted by 1LT W.L. COOK was hit by ground fire while attacking enemy troops in the mountains overlooking Phu Hiep and Dalat. He was forced to eject and was rescued by an Air Force helicopter before the targeted enemy troops could capture him… oohrah for the SAR guys…
(6) On 2 December an O-1G of the VMO-6 squadron of MAG-36 out of Danang piloted by 1LT JAMES ROBERT REESE, USMC, and 1LT RICHARD ELI LATIMER, USMC, (Infantry Observer) was on a visual reconnaissance mission 15 miles southwest of Quang Tri and attacked troops they had located at the site. They were hit by .30 calibre gunfire in the run and flew into the ground at the target. Both were killed in the crash and explosion. 1LT REESE is buried at the Garden of Peace, Westwood Garden Cemetery, Griffin, Georgia. 1LT LATIMER rests in peace at the Oakwood Cemetery in Waco, Texas… Oh, so young…
(7) On 2 December a B-52 of the 367 BS and 306th BW attached to 4252 SW out of Kadena was destroyed in a ground accident prior to an Arc Light mission. No casualties.
RIPPLE SALVO. A CAPSULE HISTORY OF THE VIETNAM WAR BEFORE COMMANDO HUNT. Humble Host snipped the following from Jon T. Hoffman's introduction to the United States Army Center of Military History's The U.S. Army Campaigns of the Vietnam War: Transition–November 1968-December 1969. I quote…
"To many Americans, the war in Vietnam was, and remains, a divisive issue. But fifty years after the beginning of major U.S. combat operations in Vietnam, well over half the U.S. population is too young to have any direct memory of the conflict. The massive American commitment–political, economic, diplomatic, and military–to the mission of maintaining an independent and non-Communist South Vietnam deserves widespread attention, both to recognize the sacrifice of those who served and to remember how those events have impacted the nation.
"U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia began after World War II when elements fo the Vietnamese population fought back against the reimposition of French colonial rule. Although the United States generally favored the idea of an independent Vietnam, it supported France because the Viet Minh rebels were led by Communists and U.S. policy at that point in the Cold War sought to contain any expansion of communism. France's defeat in 1954 led to the division of Vietnam into a Communist North (Democraticf Republic of Vietnam) and a non-Communist South (Republic of Vietnam). The United States actively supported the latter as it dealt a growing Communist-led insurgent force (the Viet Cong) aided by the (Communist) North Vietnamese. The initial mission of training South Vietnam's armed forces led to deepening American involvement as the situation grew increasingly dire for the Republic of Vietnam.
"By the time President Lyndon B. Johnson committed major combat units in 1965, the United States already had invested thousands of men and millions of dollars in the effort to build a secure and stable Republic of Vietnam. That commitment expanded rapidly through 1969, when the United States had over 365,000 army soldiers (out of a total of a half million troops of all services) in every military region of South Vietnam with thousands of Army personnel throughout the Pacific area providing direct support for operations. The war saw many innovations, including the massive use of helicopters to conduct airmobile tactics, new concepts of counterinsurrgency, the introduction of airborne radio direction finding, wide scale use of computers, and major advances in battlefield medicine. Yet, as in most wars, much of the burden was still borne by soldiers on the ground who slogged on foot over the hills and through the rice paddies in search of an often elusive foe. The enormous military effort by the United States was, however, matched by the resolve of North Vietnamese leaders to unify their country under communism at whatever cost. That determination, in the end, proved decisive as American commitment wavered in the face of high casualties and economic and social challenges at home. Negotiations accompanied by gradual withdrawal of U.S. forces led to the Paris Peace accords in January 1973, effectively ending the American military role in the conflict. Actual peace was elusive, and two years later the North Vietnamese Army overran South Vietnam, bringing the war to an end in April 1975."
******* COUNTDOWN TO COMMANDO HUNT  ************
"By 1968, the government of South Vietnam, backed by U.S. advsors, had been fighting Communist Viet Cong insurgents and their patrons in neighboring North Vietnam for fourteen years. It was a desperate struggle that pitted neighbor against neighbor and exacted a mounting to in the form of casualties, refugees, and socioeconomic dislocation. In 1965, the United States had added its own ground combat troops to the struggle, thwarting the very real prospect of a Communist victory. Since the low point the allies had been gradually gaining ground in an escalating conflict. In late January 1968, the Copmmunist leadership in North Vietnam had launched a major offensive in a bid to change the situation in its favor. The widespread attacks, which began during the Tet new year holidays failed miserably. The population of South Vietnam refused to rise up in support, and the Communists suffered enormous casualties.
"As the enemy aggression abated, the commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), General Creighton W. Abrams, believed the allies were poised to make significant gains. But time was not on his side. Although the allies had defeated the enemy militarily, the shock that the Communists had been able to launch such a masssive strike after years of American involvement had undermind support for the war back in the United States. With peace talks under way in Paris, Abrams raced against the clock to give South Vietnam the best chance for survival before the inevitable withdrawal of U.S. troops."
HUMBLE HOST NOTES: What a difference fifty years makes. We were in Vietnam and all over the world fighting COMMUNISM. In Vietnam 58,220 Americans died in the lost cause to establish South Vietnam as a Democratic Republic. Today, (AS OUR PRESIDENT ENTERS NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE NORTH KOREANS IN HANOI) there is no South Vietnam and there is no freedom in Vietnam. This week in America a writer did a nose count of "socialists and communists in Congress." He named fifty Members of the Congress of the United States of the more than 100 he contends have embraced the teachings of Marx. Something rotten is happening to our country. ….
On 29 September 1959 the First Secretary of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, appeared at the United Nations to address the world and the citizens of the United States. His angry tirade of a speech included this for Americans:
"YOUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN WILL LIVE UNDER COMMUNISM. YOU AMERICANS ARE SO GULLIBLE. NO, YOU WON'T ACCEPT COMMUNISM OUTRIGHT; BUT  WE'LL KEEP FEEDING YOU SMALL DOSES OF SOCIALISM UNTIL YOU WILL FINALLY WAKE UP AND FIND YOU ALREADY HAVE COMMUNISM. WE WON'T HAVE TO FIGHT YOU; WE'LL SO WEAKEN YOUR ECONOMY, UNTIL YOU FALL LIKE OVER-RIPE FRUIT INTO OUR HANDS."  For emphasis, he banged his shoe on the podium…  (A scene Humble Host will never forget!!!)
In an earlier speech on 18 November 1956, while addressing a meeting of Western ambassadors and envoys from a dozen NATO nations and Israel at the Polish embassy in Moscow, he declared: "WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT, HISTORY IS ON OUR SIDE. WE WILL BURY YOU."…
In 1963 Khrushchev said: "I once said, 'We will bury you,' and I got into trouble with it. Of course we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you."…
What the First Secretary meant was, "We will outlast you."… The unofficial "nose-count" of Socialists and Communists in Congress should be enough to scare the hell out of Americans who love this country… and especially those of my generation who spent their lives fighting communism….
Lest we forget…     Bear    
 
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Monday morning Humor from Al
 
     After my recent prostate exam, one of the most thorough examinations I've ever had—the doctor left the room and the nurse came in.
     After she shut the door, she asked me a question I didn't want to hear.  She said...."Who was that guy?"
Submitted by Rex Roloff:
Q:  What do you call the guy who finished last in his med school class?      
A:   Doctor
Submitted by Bob King and Tana Harvey:
     An old physician, Doctor Gordon Geezer, became very bored in retirement and decided to re-open a medical clinic.  He put a sign up outside that said: "Dr. Geezer's Clinic. Get your treatment for $500—if not cured, get back $1000."
     Doctor Digger Young, who was positive that this old geezer didn't know beans about medicine, thought this would be a great opportunity to get $1000. So he went to Dr. Geezer's clinic.
     Dr. Young: "Dr. Geezer, I have lost all taste in my mouth. Can you please help me?"
     Dr. Geezer: "Nurse, please bring medicine from Box 22 and put three drops in Dr. Young's mouth."
     Dr. Young: "Aaagh! -- This is gasoline!"
     Dr. Geezer: "Congratulations!  You've got your taste back. That will be $500."
     Dr. Young gets annoyed and goes back after a couple of days figuring to recover his money.
     Dr. Young: "I have lost my memory, I cannot remember anything."
     Dr. Geezer: "Nurse, please bring medicine from Box 22 and put three drops in the patient's mouth."
     Dr. Young: "Oh, no you don't -- that's gasoline!"
     Dr. Geezer: "Congratulations! You've got your memory back. That will be $500."
     Dr. Young (after having lost $1000) leaves angrily and comes back after several more days.
     Dr. Young: "My eyesight has become weak—I can hardly see anything!"
     Dr. Geezer: "Well, I don't have any medicine for that so here's your $1000 back" (giving him a $10 bill).
     Dr. Young: "But this is only $10!"
     Dr. Geezer: "Congratulations! You got your vision back! That will be $500."
Submitted by John Hudson:
Why our health care costs are so high!!!
     Bubba walked into a doctor's office and the receptionist asked him what he had.  Bubba said: "Shingles."  So she wrote down his name, address, medical insurance number and told him to have a seat.
     Fifteen minutes later a nurse's aide came out and asked Bubba what he had.  Bubba said, "Shingles."  So she wrote down his height, weight, a complete medical history and told Bubba to wait in the examining room.
     A half hour later a nurse came in and asked Bubba what he had.  Bubba said, "Shingles.."  So the nurse gave Bubba a blood test, a blood pressure test, an electrocardiogram, and told Bubba to take off all his clothes and wait for the doctor.
     An hour later the doctor came in and found Bubba sitting patiently in the nude and asked Bubba what he had.  Bubba said, "Shingles."
     The doctor asked, "Where?"
     Bubba said, "Outside on the truck.  Where do you want me to unload 'em??"
Submitted by Don Mills:
     As a new, young MD doing his residency in OB.  I was quite embarrassed when performing female
pelvic exams.  To cover my embarrassment, I had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly.
     The middle-aged lady upon whom I was performing this exam suddenly burst out laughing and further embarrassing me. 
     I looked up from my work and sheepishly said, "I'm sorry. Was I tickling you?"
     She replied with tears running down her cheeks from laughing so hard, "No doctor but the song you were whistling was 'I wish I was an Oscar Mayer Wiener'"
Submitted by Mark Logan:
     These singers are all Anesthesiologists in Minnesota and they can really sing.  They are also funny.  Here they sing "Waking Up Is Hard to Do."
Have a great week,
Al
 
 
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Some news from around the world
 
India—3 JeM Fighters Killed In Kashmir Op  Hindustan Times | 02/25/2019 Two Indian security personnel and three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) militants have been killed in fighting in India-administered Kashmir, reports the Hindustan Times.  On Sunday, police, army and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel conducted a cordon-and-search operation in the village of Yaripora in the Kulgam district.  Three JeM fighters, a soldier and a police officer were killed in the ensuing gun battle, a police spokesman said on Monday. Police recovered rifles and ammunition from the site.  Two of the slain JeM fighters were from Pakistan, said police. Authorities cut internet service in Kashmir, a common practice following such encounters, reported the Press Trust of India.  New Delhi has long accused Islamabad of sponsoring and failing to act against Pakistani militants who cross the border to launch attacks in Indian Kashmir.  India has launched a renewed fight against JeM, one of the leading militant groups in Kashmir, after a Feb. 14 attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel.  Thirty-seven militants and eight security personnel have been killed in clashes in Kashmir in 2019, the newspaper said. 
 
 Syria—20 Killed When Van Strikes Land Mine   Syrian Arab News Agency | 02/25/2019 At least 20 civilians have been killed in an explosion in Syria's central Hama province, reports the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA). On Sunday, a van carrying civilians struck a land mine near the town of Salamiyeh, said local police, as cited by Al Jazeera (Qatar).  
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Sudan—Bashir Declares Emergency, Dissolves Central, State Governments  Sudan Tribune | 02/25/2019 Protests in Sudan continued on Sunday after President Omar Bashir declared a state of emergency, reports the Sudan Tribune (Paris).  At least three people were shot on Sunday as security personnel used tear gas, batons and live rounds to disperse protests in Omdurman, the sister city of Khartoum, the capital, said the Central Committee of the Sudanese Doctors.  On Friday, President Bashir declared a one-year state of emergency and appointed military rulers for the country's 18 states.  Bashir also replaced his vice president with former Defense Minister Gen. Awad Mohammed Ibn Auf, reported the Voice of America News. Mohammed Taher Eyla will become the new prime minister.  Opposition groups said the moves were an attempt to silence popular demands for Bashir to step and urged demonstrations to continue, reported Reuters. The appointment of military governors indicated that the armed forces were holding power and also showed that Bashir was distancing himself from Islamist political parties in an effort to reassure regional allies, said experts.  Protests began on Dec. 19 against the rising cost of bread but have morphed into a broader movement against Bashir, who has ruled since 1993.  At least 30 people have been killed, according to official counts, though opposition source say the real figures are higher.  
 
Venezuela—5 Killed, Hundreds Injured As Protesters Clash With Security Forces  Cable News Network | 02/25/2019 Opposition sources say that five people have been killed and 300 injured in ongoing confrontations between protesters and soldiers in Venezuela, reports CNN.  On Saturday, protesters attempted to escort trucks carrying humanitarian aid into Venezuela.  At a crossing with the Colombian border, security personnel opened fire on trucks carrying food and medicine, setting two trucks on fire, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar).  At least two people were killed when police opened fire on protesters from Venezuela's indigenous community at a town near the Brazilian border.  Brazilian officials in the border state of Roraima said on Sunday that at least 18 Venezuelans had been treated for gunshot wounds. A boat carrying aid from Puerto Rico to Venezuela was forced to dock on the island of Curacao after it was intercepted by Venezuelan naval vessels, reported Agence France-Presse.  While most vehicles were blocked, two trucks carrying aid from Brazil crossed into Venezuela without incident, according to the Brazilian government.  The Colombian customs agency said that 104 Venezuelan security personnel had defected.  On Saturday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro told supporters he was breaking diplomatic relations with Colombia and calling for its ambassadors and consuls to leave the country. On Monday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to meet with members of the Lima Group, a bloc of nations opposed to the policies of Maduro. 
 
Nigeria—39 Killed In Election Violence  Voice Of America News | 02/25/2019 At least 39 people have been killed in election-related violence in Nigeria, reports the Voice of America News.  Polls closed on Sunday as the process of counting votes in the presidential election began.  Voting scheduled for Saturday was disrupted in parts of Lagos, Rivers and Anambra states and would need to be rescheduled, said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).  Hours before the polls opened on Saturday, there was a series of explosions across the northern Borno state, reported Agence France-Presse.  One soldier was killed and 20 wounded in the attacks, which were blamed on Boko Haram. The army said it killed six "hoodlums" in the southern Rivers state, where security forces have long battled militants seeking a greater share of the wealth from oil sales. An election worker was killed by a stray bullet and some state personnel were reportedly taken hostage.  Civil society groups monitoring the election said that 16 people were killed in Rivers state; four in neighboring Bayelsa state; and two in Delta state. Eight other states also saw election-related deaths. The groups said that previous reports indicated that around a quarter of the 120,000 polling stations were under-policed and that there were other security shortfalls.  In the southwest Osun state, ballot papers and boxes were destroyed at the local INEC office.  The civil society group said that the elections were a step back from voting in 2015 and called on officials to fix the problems.  The contest between incumbent Muhammadu Buhari, and his main opponent, Atiku Abubakar, was too close to call, with supporters of both candidates claiming victory. 
 
Mali—11 Peacekeepers Die In Pair Of Attacks  Agence France-Presse | 02/25/2019 Eight U.N. peacekeepers have been killed in an attack in northern Mali, reports Agence France-Presse.  On Sunday, gunmen in several vehicles attacked the Aguelhok base, 125 miles (200 km) north of Kidal, a source from the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) told the agency.  Peacekeepers responded, killing unknown number of attackers, said the source.  This was the second deadly attack on U.N. peacekeepers in Mali in two days. On Friday, militants struck a MINUSMA vehicle near the capital, Bamako, killing three Guinean peacekeepers, reported the U.N. News Service.  MINUSMA continues to be the most dangerous peacekeeping mission. Fifteen blue helmets have been killed so far in 2019. Separately, French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly announced on Friday that French forces had killed Yahya Abou El Hamame, a leader of the Group for Support of Islam and Muslim (JNIM). He is believed to have been the second-in-command of the JNIM, reported France 24.  JNIM has claimed several attacks on peacekeepers across Mali and the Sahel.
 
Japan—Abe Promises To Press On With Okinawa Base Move Despite Local Referendum  Guardian | 02/25/2019 Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says a plan to relocate U.S. Marine Corps base on Okinawa will go forward, reports the Guardian (U.K.). Abe made his comments on Sunday after a referendum in Okinawa on the construction of a new facility in Henoko on the island's northwestern coast.  In a nonbinding poll, over 70 percent of voters voted against the move, reported the Japan Times.  On Monday, Abe noted the strong feelings of Okinawans but said work to move the facility from its current location at Ginowan would continue nonetheless.  Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is in the middle of a densely populated city, raising concerns about crime, noise pollution and potential aircraft crashes.  Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki has been leading the campaign against the base.  Japan and the U.S. agreed to move the base to a less populated area of the island in 1996, a year after the abduction and rape of a 12-year-old girl by U.S. servicemembers.  U.S. officials emphasize that Marines need to be stationed on Okinawa to respond to potential crises in the South and East China Sea and threats from North Korea.
 
USA—Judge Declares Male-Only Draft Unconstitutional   San Diego Union-Tribune | 02/25/2019 A federal judge has ruled that a male-only draft violates the Constitution, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.  Gray Miller of the Southern District of Texas issued his decision on Friday, siding with the petitioner.  Miller noted that the previous decision on the matter, Rostker v. Goldberg in 1981, was premised on the idea that women did not serve in combat roles, reported USA Today.  The Pentagon lifted such restrictions in 2015.  The ruling was a declaratory judgement and did not immediately require the Selective Service to begin including women, noted the Lawfare blog.  An 11-member commission is currently studying the future of the Selective Service System, including the possibility of registering women.  A report released last month did not reveal the commission's position. A full report is expected in 2020. In his ruling, Miller noted that the commission is an advisory body and that Congress is not obligated to abide by its findings.  
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USA—USS George H.W. Bush In Dock For 28-Month Refit  Navy Newsstand | 02/25/2019 The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush has arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Virginia for a major maintenance and upgrade period, reports the Navy NewsStand. On Feb. 21, the carrier arrived at the shipyard for a 28-month drydocking planned incremental availability (DPIA). The DPIA will be the most extensive maintenance period for the George H. W. Bush to date, with the carrier being on blocks for most of the work, the Navy said. This will be the first time that the Bush is out of the water since she was launched in 2006, the service noted. 
 
Brazil—Navy Orders H135 Light Utility Helos  Airbus Helicopters | 02/25/2019 Airbus Helicopters has announced that it has received an order from the Brazilian navy for light helicopters. The deal covers three H135 light twin-engine helicopters, which will replace the navy's existing fleet of AS 355s, the company said on Feb. 21. Contract details, including the value and delivery schedule, were not made public. The Brazilian H135s will be equipped with a cargo hook, an emergency flotation system, a winch and weather radar. Two of the aircraft will be fitted with aeromedical kits, the release said. The aircraft will be used for special operations, transport, naval inspection, search-and-rescue and medical evacuation missions, said Airbus 
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Burundi—Troops Withdrawal From Somalia Underway  Horseed Media | 02/25/2019 Burundian troops deployed with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have begun to return home, reports Horseed Media (Somalia). On Feb. 21, around 200 Burundian soldiers boarded a flight from Somalia to Bujumbura, the Burundian capital, said an unnamed official. Further withdrawals are planned over the coming weeks as part of the A.U.'s plan to reduce the size of AMISOM and turn responsibility for security over to Somali forces. The Burundian government previously expressed dissatisfaction with the A.U.'s request that it reduce its contingent in Somalia by 1,000 troops by the end of February, reported Deutsche Welle. The government, supported by Somalia, called for an emergency summit to discuss the pullout. Bujumbura argues that a smaller contingent would not be able to effectively fight the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, reported Bloomberg News. The withdrawal would reduce its contingent to 4,400 troops. In December, Burundi proposed pulling out just 341 troops with other contributing nations to make up the difference. Analysts noted that the Burundian government, suffering from unrest at home, is concerned about losing revenue from A.U. payments for its military contingent. Burundi lost access to significant foreign aid in 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term, which some said violated the constitution, resulting in protests and a government crackdown. 
 
Finland—Defense Ministry Chooses Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile For New Corvettes  Finnish Ministry Of Defense | 02/25/2019 Finnish Defense Minister Jussi Niinisto has authorized the procurement of surface-to-air missile systems from the U.S. to equip its planned new corvettes, reports the Finnish Defense Ministry. The Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) system, to be designated ITO20 in Finnish service, will equip all four Pohjanmaa-class corvettes being procured under the navy's Squadron 2020 program. The missile systems, expected to cost 83 million euros (US$94 million), will be purchased through a government-to-government deal, said a ministry release on Feb. 21. The system will be integrated with the combat management system on the ships, the Finnish navy said. It will also be integrated with Finland's national air defense network. The number of missiles to be procured was not disclosed. The ministry continues to negotiate contracts for the construction of the corvettes and their combat systems. 
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