Thursday, March 14, 2019

The List 4945




The List 4945 TGB


 
To All,
 
I hope that you all had a great weekend.
Regards,
Skip
 
This day in Naval History
 
March 11
1778During the American Revolution, the Continental frigate Boston captures the British ship Martha in the North Atlantic.
1941President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act, which permits delivery of war materials to Allied Powers on credit or lease.
1942Lt. John Bulkeley, commander of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3, helps Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Rear Adm. Francis W. Rockwell, as well as their families and others, escape the Philippines in motor torpedo boats PT 32, PT 34, PT 35, and PT 41. For this action, along with other operations in the Philippines during the start of World War II, he receives the Medal of Honor.
1945The U.S. Navy begins use of LCVPs (Landing Craft, Personal Vehicles) to ferry troops across the Rhine River at Bad Neuenahr, Germany.
1845George Bancroft takes office as the 17th Secretary of the Navy. Although he serves in that position only 18 months, he establishes the Naval Academy at Annapolis and encourages the growth and importance of the Naval Observatory.
1965Operation Market Time (Coastal Patrol Force) patrols begin off the South Vietnam coast. The objective is to interdict enemy efforts moving supplies to South Vietnam by sea.
 
Thanks to CHINFO
 
Executive Summary:
Leading today's national news headlines are reports that several airlines around the world have grounded their fleets of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes following an Ethiopian Airlines crash yesterday that killed all 157 people on board, and reports that President Trump will request at least $8.6 billion more in funding to build additional sections of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. A Vietnamese official alleged on Friday that a Vietnamese fishing boat capsized after being rammed by a Chinese vessel near the Paracel Islands reports the Associated Press. The Wall Street Journal reports that North Korea has eluded UN sanctions through the acceleration of ship to ship transfers of petroleum and increasing coal exports. Additionally, U.S. 6th Fleet commander Vice Adm. Lisa Franchetti toured the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle March 7.
 
 
This day in World History
 
1649 The peace of Rueil is signed between the Frondeurs (rebels) and the French government.
1665 A new legal code is approved for the Dutch and English towns, guaranteeing religious observances unhindered.
1702 The Daily Courant, the first regular English newspaper is published.
1810The Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is married by proxy to Archduchess Marie Louise.
1811 Ned Ludd leads a group of workers in a wild protest against mechanization.
1824 The U.S. War Department creates the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Seneca Indian Ely Parker becomes the first Indian to lead the Bureau.
1845 Seven hundred Maoris led by their chief, Hone-Heke, burn the small town of Kororareka in protest at the settlement of Maoriland by Europeans, in breach with the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.
1861 A Confederate Convention is held in Montgomery, Ala., where the new constitution is adopted.
1863 Union troops under General Ulysess S. Grant give up their preparations to take Vicksburg after failing to pass Fort Pemberton, north of Vicksburg.
1865 Union General William Sherman and his forces occupy Fayetteville, N.C.
1888 A disastrous blizzard hits the northeastern United States. Some 400 people die, mainly from exposure.
1900 British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury rejects the peace overtures offered from Boer leader Paul Kruger.
1905 The Parisian subway is officially inaugurated.
1907 President Teddy Roosevelt induces California to revoke its anti-Japanese legislation.
1930 President Howard Taft becomes the first U.S. president to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
1935 The German Air Force becomes an official organ of the Reich.
1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorizes the Lend-Lease Act which authorizes the act of giving war supplies to the Allies.
1942 General Douglas MacArthur leaves Bataan for Australia.
1965 The American navy begins inspecting Vietnamese junks in hopes of ending arms smuggling to the South.
1966 Three men are convicted of the murder of Malcolm X.
1969 Levi-Strauss starts to sell bell-bottomed jeans.
1973 An FBI agent is shot at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
1985 Mikhail Gorbachev is named the new Soviet leader.
1990 Lithuania declares its independence from the Soviet Union.
 
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Thanks to THE Bear at 
COMMANDO HUNT AND ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 10-16 DECEMBER 1968… WEEK FIVE OF THE HUNT…
March 10, 2019Bear Taylor
COMMANDO HUNT AND ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 10-16 DECEMBER 1968… WEEK FIVE OF THE HUNT…
 COMMEMORATING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIETNAM WAR… IN THE WEEK ENDING 27 NOVEMBER 1968, 192 BOLD, BRAVE AMERICANS WERE KILLED IN ACTION, BRINGING THE TOTAL KILLED FIGHTING IN SOUTH VIETNAM AND IN THE SKIES OVER NORTH VIETNAM SINCE 1961 TO 30,057… LEST WE FORGET…
Good Morning. It's Monday, 11 March 2019. Humble Host remembers Week Five of OPERATION COMMANDO HUNT I–10-16 DECEMBER 1968…
HEADLINES from The NEW YORK TIMES (10-16 Dec 1968)…
THE WAR: (10 Dec) FOE SHELLS U.S. POSITIONS AND PROVINCE CAPITALS–Central Market In Town Near Cambodia Is Destroyed… "The enemy shelled three American positions and two provincial capitals near the Cambodian border last night and this morning…a provincial capital and a district town in the Mekong Delta also came under fire. Fewer than 400 shells were fired in all…casualties were light… In other attacks, the enemy shelled two American landing zones north of Saigon and an American advisor's compound nearby. They also struck Tayninh City, An Loc city and Quanlong city…Yesterday the United States lost its fourth jet plane over North Vietnam since President Johnson ordered a halt to the bombing there five weeks ago…the two crewmen of the aircraft, an unarmed RF-4C reconnaissance plane, were rescued by helicopter shortly after they parachuted into the Gulf of Tonkin 10 miles north of Donghoi." (Crew: MAJOR ROBERT McCANN and CAPTAIN J.B. KOEBBERTLING)… (12 Dec) ALLIES BATTLE FOE IN DELTA AND DMZ–Enemy Death Toll In Action In Mekong Put At 85… U.S. MARINES END AN ENCIRCLEMENT–Foes Death Toll In Major Drive Put At 1,019… (13 Dec) ENEMY'S BUILD-UP IN SOUTH VIETNAM STIRS WASHINGTON…"The Johnson Administration is concerned over reports of a new enemy build-up in South Vietnam. Intelligence reports from the field tell of North Vietnamese and Vietcong regiments and battalions moving from border regions closer to populated area north and northwest of Saigon, west of Danang and along the central coast west of Quinhon… General Creighton Abrams has alerted his forces to prepare for a new round of attacks and that an offensive may start within the next few days."…. FRESH FIGHTING REPORTS AT DMZ–AMERICAN COMBAT DEATHS PASS THE 30,000 MARK… "…Reporting on battlefield casualties, a spokesman for the United States command, said that 192 Americans died in combat last week, bringing the total killed in Vietnam since Jan. 1, 1962, to 30,057. This compares with the 33,629 Americans who were killed in the Korean war, which began in 1950 and ended in July, 1953. Nearly half–14,060–of the Americans who have died in Vietnam were killed this year (1968)…"… (14 Dec) B-52s FOCUS ON SAIGON's NORTHERN APPROACHES–Outposts Are Quiet… (15 Dec) U.S. ORDERS TROOPS IN SAIGON TO NIGHT ALERT AGAINST ATTACK… "American troops in Saigon were ordered off the streets tonight in anticipation of either enemy attack or terrorist activities…Meanwhile, United States B-52s continued their bombardment of the provinces north of Saigon with eight raids. In the last two days there have been a total of 18 B-52 strikes in the region…"…  ENEMY ATTACKS GUNBOATS… "Enemy troops ambushed U.S. Navy gunboats with rocket and machine-gun fire in an apparent attempt to break a massive blockade of a river infiltration route…Two United States sailors were killed and 14 wounded in a series of attcks along the three rivers west and northwest of Saigon."… (16 Dec) ENEMY SHELLED IN DMZ POSITIONS–Three Incidents Bring Total To 41 Since Bombing Halt…"…In the latest incident American observation pilots reported having sighted about 50 enemy soldiers in three positions about 13 miles from the coast. Attacks by fighter-bombers and artillery were directed against them… the pilots said the attacks had resulted in destruction or damage to 35 enemy bunkers. They said the bombs and shells also had set off three explosions and set one fire."…
THE PARIS PEACE TALKS: (10 Dec) SAIGON TEAM MEETS U.S. AIDES IN PARIS ON PARLEY STRATEGY…"Leading members of the United States and South Vietnamese delegations to the peace talks here held their first long working session today to coordinate their strategy for the expanded negotiation with the Communist side."… (11 Dec) NO PROGRESS MADE IN PARIS… (12 Dec) HANOI AIDE NOTES AMERICAN TROOP CUTS–Says U.S. Can Raise Topic At Extended Paris Talks… (13 Dec) KY AND HARRIMAN DRAFT NEW SEATING PROPOSAL… (14 Dec) U.S. AND HANOI DELEGATES DEBATE TABLE DESIGN–Vance Offers Four Variations In A Private Meeting–No Progress Reported… PEACE SIEGE IN PARIS–Saigon's Tenacious stand Expected To Force Long, Tedious Negotiating… (15 Dec) VIETCONG SHOWING WARMTH TO CHINA–Peking Believed Modifying Stand on Peace Talks… (16 Dec) ALLIED DELEGATES CONFER IN PARIS–New Instructions Sought To End Seating Impasse…SAIGON's NEGOTIATOR PHAN DANG LAM…
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK: (10 Dec) SARGENT SHRIVER REPORTED READY TO ACCEPT POST AS U.N. ENVOY–Ambassador To France Will Inform Kennedy Family Of Offer By President Nixon–Democrat Meets Nixon–Lodge Leading Candidate Among Republicans As Shriver Successor In Paris… NIXON WILL PRESENT CABINET ON TV TOMORROW NIGHT… RUSK WILL ASSUME FOUNDATION POST–Will Return to Rockefeller Organization After January 20 As 'Distinguished Fellow'… CAIRO LINKS END OF STATE OF WAR TO ISRAEL PULLOUT OF SINAI… LAIRD SHARES NIXON's VIEWS ON DEFENSE AND SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ROLE… (11 Dec) WILLIAM ROGERS CHOSEN TO REPLACE RUSK–Cabinet Is Shaped–President-elect To Go On TV Tonight To Name Appointees… SOVIET INCREASES MILITARY BUDGET–Announces A Billion-Ruble Rise For 1969–Also Gives More Funds For Science— (12 Dec) NIXON PRESENTS NEW CABINET–Pledges To Seek Peace And Unity–Emphasis On City Problems–Revision of Federal Role In Urban Matters Seen Likely–Cabinet All Republicans…A TEAM OF MODERATES–Nixon Cabinet Is In Middle Of The Road Without Usual Political Balance… U.S. JOBLESS RATE DECLINES TO 3.3%–Low For 15 years–Surcharge Extension Near–Administration Hopes To Halt Inflation Trend… (13 Dec) NIXON AGAIN PAYS CALL ON JOHNSON–Talk Far Ranging–Middle East, Vkietnam, And Missile Curb With Soviets are Discussed… CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT FOR NIXON CABINET CHOICES… DEFENSE DEPARTMENT TO DRAFT 33,700 IN FEBRUARY… U.S. PLANE DOWN OFF CARACAS–Wreckage Of Airliner Out Of New York Sighted–No Survivors… (14 Dec) LAIRD PLANS VISIT TO WAR ZONE AFTER HE's SWORN IN–Nixon Defense Secretary Voices Hope For Vietnam Peace In Next Year–Maps Pentagon Review–Announces He Will Set Up Panel to Make Study of Policy and Organization… HONG KONG FLU IMPACT GROWS ACROSS NATION–Business Slows Down And Many Colleges Close–Schools Here Are Hit… (15 Dec) DAYAN MEETS NIXON HERE–Sees No Drop In U.S. Help… IRAQ IS IN MILITANT MOOD… (16 Dec) NIXON IS GIVEN PLAN TO COMBAT ORGANIZED CRIME–G.O.P. Task  Force In House Backs A Doubled Staff–Wary Of Eavesdropping–Morgenthau Is Praised And Recommended For Retention–Strike Forces Of Attorney General Clark Termed Effective…
OPERATION COMMANDO HUNT I… TWO REPORTS by Terrence Smith of THE NEW YORK TIMES…
I.  The New York Times, 10 December 1968, Page 3: RECONNAISSANCE OVER NORTH VIETNAM STILL A RISKY AND BUSY JOB–Pilots At Thailand Base Out Every Hour In Unarmed Aircraft–Weapon Is A Camera–Laos Kept Under Close Watch…by Terrence Smith, Dateline: Ubon, Thailand…9 Dec…
"In the shack that is the headquarters of the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron here in northern Thailand, a sign over the operations door reads: 'Caution–flying over North Vietnam may be hazardous to your health.' The warning is no less true these days for the pilots of the two reconnaissance squadrons stationed here than it was before Nov. 1, when the bombing of North Vietnam was halted. The pilots still maintain an hour-by-hour surveillance of the movement of men and material in North Vietnam and the Communist-dominated secctions of eastern Laos. The reconnaissance flights provided an invlauable tool during the 44 months of bombing. The flights were specifically exempted from the agreement between the United States and North Vietnam on military restrictions that would allow the start of expanded peace talks in Paris.
"In fact, Pentagon sources repoorted after President Johnson's announcement of the agreement on Oct. 31 that the continuation of reconnaissance flights over North Vietnam and Laos was a principal reason American military commanders willingly accepted a bombing halt. 'We all heard it on the radio when the President spoke,' a reconnaissance pilot recalled. 'Then we suited up, went out and flew another mission. We have been at it every day since.'
"The two squadrons of the 432rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at this vast air base fly an average of 40 to 50 sorties a day in specifically-rigged snoutnosed RF-4C Phantom jet fighters. After the restriction March 31 of the bombing to southern North Vietnam, the two squadrons concentrated on that area and on Laos. The bulk of the long distance surveillance of the Hanoi area was left to the delta-wing SR-71's, the successor to the high-flying U-2's that are based in central Thailand. Since the total bombing halt, the nature of the mission over North Vietnam has changed. 'It's more strategic than tactical now,' a pilot explained. 'Where before we were searching out targets and assessing damage, now we're looking for changes in the larger military situation.'
LAOTIAN MISSION UNCHANGED
"Over Laos, however, the reconnaissance mission is more tactical than ever. The American bombing of the enemy supply network of jungle paths and roads known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail has at least tripled since the bombing halt, and the surveillance has increased. Reconnaissance flights are especially risky since the planes carry no armament. Instead, they are outfitted with three to nine cameras, valued at up to $75,000 each, which are capable of taking extraordinarily sharp pictures from several miles up. The cameras also have special infra-red equipment and side-looking radar linked to the plane's navigational gear to trip the shutter and record precise locations. The recce (pronounced 'wreckie') pilots set out from Ubon, just 40 miles south of the Laotian capital of Vientiane, and cruise to their target areas in the relative safety of high altitude.
"They usually must descend to get the pictures they want, sometimes to as low as 300 feet. The danger is multiplied because they frequently must hold a stable pattern for several minutes. MAJOR JAMES V. SMOTHERMAN, of Blythville, Ark., a recce pilot, explained: 'We watch the ground for muzzle flashes, or any sign of the enemy shooting at us. If they start popping away, we get down to the treetops and try to weave our way out of there. At night, there's not much we can do when they start shooting. When we see that red stuff (tracer fire) coming up we just grit our teeth and tke our pictures and get out of there.'
HOW THE JOB IS DONE
"Once they have their pictures, the pilots climb high and head home to Ubon at full throttle, 1,400 miles an hour. (Humble Host ???) The exposed film is snatched from the nose of the plane even before the pilot has a chance to open his canopy, and developed and printed in minutes. The pictures are studied by photo interpreters for evidence of the enemy's presence. The smallest detail can provide a valuable clue: a ladder left near the entrance of a cave once revealed the existence of an enemy fuel storage area. The reconnaissance pilots are prohibited from discussing what they see over enemy territory, but military sources in Bangkok and Saigon have reported that North Vietnam is repairing and shoring up its air-defense system.
"The pilots at Ubon take a philosophical attitude to peace prospects. 'I figure we'll be here even after a cease-fire, if there is one,' a pilot said. 'No matter what they agree to in Paris, they'll need us to keep the other side honest.'"… End Article…
II. The New York Times, 16 December 1968, Page 3: AMERICAN SQUADRON BOMBS THE HO CHI MINH TRAIL ONLY AFTER DARK–'Night Owls' Keeping Pressure On Foe In Laos Jungle–Pilots Under Orders Not To Give Details Of Their Missions… by Terrence Smith, Dateline: Ubon, Thailand, Dec. 7–
"The evening star  was diamond bright against the darkening sky as LIEUTENANT COLONEL STANLEY CLARK climbed into the cockpit of his F-4D Phantom jet. 'This is when my working day begins,' he said, flashing a grin beneath a luxuriant black handlebar mustache. 'I've been loafing all day, but now it's time to get to work.' After a final word with his chief mechanic, Colonel Clark pulled the egg-shaped canopy over his head, gave a thumbs up sign and taxied his twin engined fighter-bomber onto the runway. The plane swung around at the end of the strip, paused for  second, and then rocketed down the runway with a terrifying roar. The two afterburners glowed white hot against the night as the plane loaded with bombs, lifted into the eastern sky. Less that a minute later the burners snuffed out, and only the running lights could be seen disappearing into the darkness.
'WE GET OURS AT NIGHT'
"Colonel Clark is the operations officer of the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron with the nickname the 'Nightowls.' The squadron is the only one of the four based here that flies its missions exclusively after dark and it has suffered the heaviest combat losses. 'We get ours at night,' proclaims the unit motto, which hangs in the squadron briefing room. Despite the halt in the bombing of North Vietnam, annoounced by President Johnson Oct. 1, the men of the 497th are still flying missions each night. Their target is the Ho Chi Minh Trail in eastern Laos, and their activity has not diminsihed.
"To quench their thirst when they return to base, the bar in the officers' club at Ubon operates 24 hours a day. It was shortly after six the other night when Colonel Clark set out on his mission. By 8 P.M., he was behind a table in the officers' club, sipping a 25-cent bourbon and soda and losing at Liar's Dice. The colonel had come directly from the briefing session that follows each mission. He was still wearing his suit with the small silver figure of an owl on the vest. Around his neck he wore a silk scarf decorated with black and white polka dots. 'A routine mission,' he said cheerfully, when asked how it had gone. 'No problems tonight. Nobody even bothered to shoot at us. We made the round trip in an hour and ten minutes.'
"Like all the pilots at the airbase in Thailand, Colonel Clark is under an injunction not to discuss the operational details of the missions he has been flying since Nov. 1. The restriction rankles some pilots. 'I don't want the people in the states to think this is a picnic,' a first lieutenant who flies in the rear cockpit of one of the 497th's Phantoms as copilot and navigator. 'The guys who buy the farm (get killed) after the bombing halt are just as dead as those who went down in Hanoi.' The pilots who have been flying over Laos report that they have been encountering generally less enemy resistance and goundfire than over North Vietnam. Surface-to-air missiles apparently are no longer a problem, but the pilots still draw heavy flak from radar controlled 37mm antiaircraft guns along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
"Although discussing operational details  is forbidden Colonel Clark was able to describe some of the particulars of his profession. 'The ground is your enemy at night,' he said. 'We have to fly low enough to find our targets and the ground comes up at you pretty fast.' Many of the pilots who have been killed on night missions have smashed their planes into steep hillsides or the sharp pinnacles of rock that rise up from the darkened Laotian countryside. 'At night the navigator really counts,' Colonel Clark said. 'He watched the radar screen and tells where you are and what's coming up. I'm usually concentrating so hard on the ground, trying to find a light or a target or a bend in a road, I don't even know which direction I'm going, much less where I am. My instruments are blacked out, so I don't even have those to go by. The guy in back keeps me alive.'
AIR TRAFFIC HEAVY
"Although the pilots are prohibited from saying how frequently they fly, one made it clear that many missions over Laos each night, 'We have to keep our wing lights on when we fly, even though it helps the enemy on the ground to spot us,' he said. 'There's too much air traffic out there to black the aircraft out completely.' His statement came as no surprise to a reporter who spent a night last week at the Ubon Hotel immediately next to the base. He found it difficut to sleep because the windows of his room rattled every few minutes as one after another of the twin-engined Phantoms streaked off into the night….
AIRCRAFT LOSSES 10 THROUGH 16 DECEMBER 1968. References include CHRIS HOBSON's VIETNAM: AIR LOSSES… Two weeks before Christmas 1968 the fixed wing air forces in Vietnam lost nine aircraft and ELEVEN intrepid aviators… Lest we forget…
(1) On 10 December an A1H of the 602nd SOS and 56th DOW out of Nakhon Phanom piloted by CAPTAIN J.J. JENKINSON was downed by 12.7mm ground fire while executing aa third diving attack on enemy troops in Northern Laos (Barrel Roll) five miles south of Sopka. CAPTAIN JENKINSON was able to fly his enflamed Spad clear of the enemy to eject and be rescued by an Air ForceHelo…
(2) On 12 December an RF-4C of the 11th TRS and 432nd TRW out of Udorn crewed by pilot CAPTAIN HARLAN J. DREWRY and navigator CAPTAIN RUSSELL DALE GALBRAITH was hit and downed by enemy ground fire while executing a photo recon mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail near Ban Muangen in Commando Hunt country. CAPTAIN DREWRY ejected when the aircraft became uncontrollable and was rescued by an HH-3 out of NKP. CAPTAIN DREWRY did not observe CAPTAIN GALBRAITH eject or descend by parachute and never saw or heard from him on the ground. The following day a ground search team searched for CAPTAIN GALBRAITH and found nothing. In August 1978 he was declared dead– "Presumptive Finding of Death"– in other words, KILLED IN ACTION, a status sustained to this day…. He is memorialized in Arlington National Cemetery with a hero's marker… He rests in peace in Laos…
(3) and (4) On Friday, 13 December a B-57E of the 8th TBS and 35th TFW out of Phan Rang and a Candlestick C-123K flare-ship collided in midair in the 3:30 A.M. dark over southern Laos 20 miles south of the Ban Karai Pass. The two aviators in the B-57, MAJOR THOMAS WAYNE DUGAN and MAJOR FRANCIS KAY McGOULDRICK struck the C-123 Provider and were killed on impact. The C-123 pilot LT T.M. TURNER, the sole survivor of the collision, was knocked unconscious and came to as the C-123 slowly spiraled into the jungle. He saw none of his crew as he proceeded to bail out. But as he floated to earth he observed at least one other parachute. He was rescued at dawn by an NKP HH-3. The other six of his crew–1LT JOSEPH PETER FANNING, 1LT JOHN SCOTT ALBRIGHT, 1LT DOUGLAS VINCENT DAILEY, 1LT MORGAN JEFFERSON DONAHUE, SSGT SAMUEL FRANKLIN WALKER and TSGT FREDERICK LEE CLARKE were not so fortunate and were killed in the battlefield mishap. All are currently carried in the status of: "Presumtive Finding of Death" and remain where they fell fighting for our country. 1LT DONAHUE was originally thought to have survived and been captured. (Hobson: "As late as 1987 MAJOR DONAHUE's family received seemingly credible information that inidcated he was still being held captive in Laos. However, there have been no new developments since then {2001} and, officially at least, he remains listed as killed in action.") The story of the Donahue family's relentless search for MAJOR DONAHUE (Promoted to MAJOR while in MIA status) is worth a thoughtful read. Go to POW NETWORK and search for MAJOR M.J. DONAHUE. Also, a lengthy article: "Getting Past Not Knowing What Happened to Maj. Morgan Jefferson Donahue"( at  https://jcdonahue24.com ) is a good history lesson for understanding the tragedy MIA families endure without end. Jeff Donohue, the Major's brother, has written extensively–four detailed posts– on his family's search. Or just Google Major Morgan Jefferson Donohue for several links…  
(5) and (6) Also on Friday, 13 December–a second mid-air collision. An AC-47D Dakota Gunship of the 3rd SOS and 14th SOW was scrambled out of Bien Hoa in the middle of the night to counter a Vietcong attack on an outpost in the Mekong Delta. An OV-10A of the 19th TASS and 504th TASG was on scene and controlling the counter-attack. The OV-10 bumped the bottom of the AC-47 over the target. Both aircraft headed for Bien Hoa. MAJOR F.D. REEDER and 1LT P.N. ROSE were able to crash land the AC-47 when the landing gear would not extend. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair. Forward Air Controllers CAPTAIN CHARLES FARRELL GRIFFIN and CAPTAIN BRUCE BRIAN GREENE in the OV-10A were killed when their OV-10 became uncontrollable and crashed north of Saigon in a nest of Vietcong it took days to drive away from the crash scene to recover the bodies of the two heroic FACs. CAPTAIN GRIFFIN is buried at the United States Air Force Academy Cemetery and CAPTAIN GREENE is buried at Arlington National Cemetery…
7) On 13 December a TA-4F of MAG-11 out of Danang suffered an electrical failure on an attack mission and crashed. (The two on-board aviators survived the crash…
(8) On 14 December an O-2A of the 19th TASS and 504th TASG suffered a control failure and crashed while on a FAC mission. Both aviators on board survived…
(9) On 16 December an F-100D Super Sabre of the 612th TFS and 315th TFW out of Phu Cat piloted by CAPTAIN J.A. NUGENT was hit by ground fire on a night close air support mission 35 miles northwest of Nha Trang. CAPTAIN NUGGENT subsequently ejected from the faltering aircraft and was rescued by an Army helicopter….
RIPPLE SALVO…The New York Times, 13 December 1968. Page 1: HANOI ALLOWS GIFTS FOR CAPTIVE PILOTS by Peter Grose…
"Washington, Dec. 12–North Vietnam agreed today to let captive American pilots receive Christmas packages from the Untited States for the first time in the Vietnam war. The State Department announced that Ambassador W. Averell Harriman, chief United States negotiator in the Paris talks had received a message from the North Vietnamese chief negotiator, Xuan Thuy, conveying Hanoi's authorization. The message said: 'On the ocassion of Christmas, 1968, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, acting in pursuit of humanitarian policies, authorizes Untied States pilots in captivity in North Vietnam to receive postcard and Christmas gifts.' Last year, when families of captive Americans attempted to send Christmas parcels though the regular postal service, the packages were returned to the senders as undeliverable.
U.S. MADE REQUEST
"The United States asked the North Vietnamese delegation in Paris last October to grant permission for the receipt of packages this year. The request went unanswered until today (Dec. 12). Mr. Harriman was said to have been deeply 'gratified' when two North Vietnamese diplomatic messengers arrived at the United States Embassy in Paris with Mr. Thuy's note. The gesture was underlined by the manner in which permission for the receipt of the packages was conveyed–in a personal message between the heads of the two delegations, the highest level of diplomatic contact between Washington and Hanoi. If Hanoi had not intended the decision to be related to the atmosphere of the Paris talks, United States officials said, authorization could have been conveyed at a lower level. The United States request to Mr. Thuy was made before the halt in the bombing of North Vietnam Nov. 1. Hanoi's aauthorization presumably is in response to President Johnson's action because it is limited to pilots who had taken part in the air war and apparently does not extend to prisoners taken in other actions.
"North Vietnam has never given the United States or the International Red Cross the names or even the numbers of American servicemen held as prisoners. In its latest tabulation the Defense Department lists 336 servicemen as prisoners of war in Southeast Asia. An additional 879 are listed as missing in action. By agreement between the two Governments, the gift parcels are to be limited to nonperishable food items, personal articles, medications and clothes to a maximum weight of six pounds for each man. The United States Government has informed families of the men believed to be held prisoner of lthese regulations as well as the procedures for sending the packages by air parcel post. United States officials said a request had also been made for Christmas mailing privleges for the crewmen of the Pueblo, the United States intelligence ship captured last January by North Korea. So far there has been no reply from North Korea."…  END
Humble Host note. Reference Stuart Rochester's and Frederick Kiley's brilliant HONOR BOUND: American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1961-1973…Page 407: "For the first time many of the Zoo's residents received holiday packges from home… The Vietnamese attempted to extort statements of good treatment in return for delivering the Christmas mail, then relented when many of the prisoners refused to sign the formatted receipt."… "Although morale plunged with the realization that the Paris talks–and the PWs–were going nowhere, oversight of the camp remained lax and treatment relatively lenient into the new year (1969)."
HOLIDAY MAIL REACHES DANANG… Associate Press, Dec.12: "The Navy transpoetr ship  Hunter Victory, dubbed the Christmas Special pulled into Danang harbor today and dropped off 1,100 tons of holiday mail and packages for americans at war. The cargo averaged 13 pounds for each of 166,000 soldiers, saiolors, airmen and marines in the five provinces of the northern war sector. The 4,000 tons of mail remaining aboard the ship will be unloaded at Quinhon, Camranh Bay and Saigon for troops oin other war zones."
CAPTIVE'S MESSAGE BROADCAST… Associated Press, Dec. 12: "The Hanoi radio today broadcast a recorded Christmas message froma United States Air Force pilot captured in North Vietnam to his wife and children. Hanoi identified the broadcast voice as that of JAMES H. KASLER, serial number FR24551. It did not give the pilot's rank. The message was addressed to Mrs. Martha Kasler, Indianapolis. It said: 'Dear Martha, Jimmy, Nan and Suzanne, on the occasion of Christmas just a few words to let you know I am in fair health. I hope you are well. Give my love to our parents and all my love to you and the children. I pray that we may be together again soon. Love, Jim'"…
COLONEL JIM KASLER stands among the bravest of the brave as a triple AIR FORCE CROSS awardee… His extraordinary story is told by Perry luckett and Charlesl L. Byler in TEMPERED STEEL: The Three Wars of Triple Air Force Cross Winner… Or Google his name and enjoy the story of a great warrior… oohrah…
HUMBLE HOST END NOTE… From the current Navy League SEAPOWER Magazine: Rear Admiral Jon C. Kreitz, Deputy Director for Operations, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency: "Our mission is global in scope. DPAA teams deploy across the world, on land and sea, often to remote and dangerous locations. They operate in past battlefields from the the tropical jungles of Vietnam and Papua New Guinea, to the forests of Europe, to the mountains of the Himalayas, and the Atlantic and Pacioic Oceans–anywhere Americans have given their lives in the defense of our nation as far back as World War II. In fiscal year 2018, DPAA worked in 36 countries and accounted for 203 missing Americans from past conflicts, the highest yearly total ever reached by the agency or its predecerssor organizations. Broken down by conflict, 10 were from the Vietnam War, 37 from the Korean War, and 156 were from World War II… This is an amazing, honorable mission that I am extremely grateful to be part of. I cannot imagine a more meaningful call to service than this."… Right on, Admiral… Good hunting…
Lest we forget…    Bear.
 
 
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Thanks to NHHC
 
How Wolverine Made U.S. Aircraft Carriers Deadly During WWII
 

In August 1942, the U.S. Navy acquired the world's largest side-wheel passenger steamer and began converting it into a training carrier. Her name was changed from USS Seeandbee to USS Wolverine and was designated an "unclassified miscellaneous auxiliary." In addition to Wolverine, the Navy acquired another side-wheel excursion steamer, rechristened as USS Sable, to served alongside Wolverine. Their purpose was to qualify naval aviators, who just completed flight training, in carrier operations during World War II. Unfortunately, accidents were common. Young, inexperienced pilots, who took off or approached incorrectly, would often have nowhere to go but into the lake. In total, there were more than 200 accidents with 128 planes lost and eight pilots killed. However, about 35,000 pilots—one was future President George H.W. Bush—qualified between 1942–1945. To learn more, read the article in The National Interest.
 
 
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Thanks to Al
 
Monday Morning Humor--St. Patrick's Day
 
Submitted by Jerry Norris and Ed Ewert:
An Irish Friendship Wish
     May there always be work for your hands to do;
     May your purse always hold a coin or two;
     May the sun always shine on your window pane;
     May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
     May the hand of a friend always be near you;
     May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.!
     An elderly Irishman bought a sports car to recapture his youth and drove 120 mph.  Then he saw a police car behind him, blue lights flashing.  "I'm too old for this nonsense," he thought so he pulled over.
     The police officer said, "Sir, my shift ends in 10 minutes.  If you can give me a good reason why you were speeding, I'll let you go."
     The old man said, "Years ago my wife ran off with a policeman.  I thought you were bringing her back."
     "That'll do," said the policeman.
     The Irish girl knelt in the confessional and said, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned."
     "What is it, child?"
     The girl said, "Father, I have committed the sin of vanity. Twice a day I gaze at myself in the mirror and tell myself how beautiful I am."
     The priest turned, took a good look at the girl, and said, "My dear, I have good news. That isn't a sin--it's only a mistake."
     Three Englishmen were in a bar and spotted an Irishman. So, one of the Englishmen walked over to the Irishman, tapped him on the shoulder, and said, "Hey, I hear your St. Patrick was a drunken loser."
     "Oh really, hmm, didn't know that."
     Puzzled, the Englishman walked back to his buddies. "I told him St. Patrick was a loser, and he didn't care."
     The second Englishman remarked, "You just don't know how to set him off...watch and learn."  So, the second Englishman walked over to the Irishman, tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Hey, I hear your St. Patrick was lying, cheating, idiotic, low-life scum!"
     "Oh really, hmm, didn't know that."
     Shocked beyond belief, the Englishman went back to his buddies. "You're right. He's unshakable!"
     The third Englishman remarked, "Boys, I'll really tick him off... just watch."  So the third Englishman walked over to the Irishman, tapped him on the shoulder and said, "I hear St. Patrick was an Englishman!"
     "Yeah, that's what your buddies were trying to tell me."
Submitted by Mike Ryan:
     An Irishman fell overboard on a cruise ship in the Pacific and was fortunate to be washed ashore on a small island.  After scouting for water, food and shelter he discovered a lamp that had also washed ashore.  He rubbed it to see what would happen.
     Pooof, out came a very grateful genie who had been trapped on the island for centuries.  He told Timothy, "Thank you so much, I want you to have three wishes for anything at all, anything you want". 
     Timothy, an intelligent Irishman said "Easy, give me a fine bottle of Guinness and make certain it's never allowed to be empty" and poof, there it was! 
     Timothy quickly quaffed it down, and sure enough, it was still full to the top.  He bottomed it up again with the same results.  Timothy was a happy lad.
     He repeated this again and again, and the genie saw there might be a problem coming.  He said "Timothy, I see you're a happy man as am I, but you've got two more wishes and then I've got to get back in this bottle." 
     "Aye, no problem. Two more bottles of the same please."
Submitted by Mark Logan:
     Shortly after take-off on an outbound evening Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to Boston, the lead flight attendant nervously made the following painful announcement  in her lovely Irish brogue:  "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm so very sorry, but it appears that there has been a terrible mix-up by our catering service. I don't know how this happened, but we have 103 passengers on board, and unfortunately, we received  only 40 dinner meals. I truly apologize for this mistake and inconvenience."
     When the muttering of the passengers had died down, she continued, "Anyone who is kind enough to give up their meal so that someone else can eat, will receive free and unlimited drinks for the duration of our ten-hour flight."
     Her next announcement came about two hours later:  "If anyone is hungry, we still have 40 dinners available."
Submitted by John Hudson and Colleen Grosso:
Irish Humor
·        Friendship is when people know all about you…but like you anyway.
·        It doesn't matter how big your house is, how much money you have, or that you wear expensive clothes.  Our graves will be the same size.  Stay humble.
·        What did our parents do when they were bored with no internet?  I asked my 18 brothers and sisters, and they didn't know either.
·        The brain is the most amazing organ.  It works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from birth until you fall in love.
·        Every woman's dream:  Her ideal man takes her in his arms, throws her on the bed…and cleans the whole house while she sleeps.
·        If I actually 'spoke my mind' I'd be in big trouble.
·        I don't like to think before I speak…I like to be just as surprised as everyone else about what I say.
Work like you don't need the money.  Love like you've never been hurt.  Dance like nobody's watching.  Sing like nobody's listening.  Live like it's heaven on earth.
Al
 
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Some items from around the world
 
 
Syria—SDF Resumes Operations Against Baghouz  Cable News Network | 03/11/2019 The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has resumed its offensive against the final ISIS-held town in Syria, Baghouz, reports CNN.  Combat operations began Sunday night after a deadline to surrender elapsed, said an SDF spokesman. The attack had been paused for weeks to allow civilians to evacuate.  No civilians or surrendering ISIS fighters had appeared since Saturday, the spokesman said, as cited by Deutsche Welle.  Initial strikes targeted weapon depots, he said.  An estimated 1,000 to 1,500 fighters remain, reported Agence France-Presse.  The group is limited to a small area totaling less than half of a square mile.  The terrorist group still has a presence in the Badia desert in Syria, from which it has launched attacks in SDF-held territory, noted experts.   
 
Syria—Kremlin Denies Idlib Airstrikes  Tass | 03/11/2019 The Russian Defense Ministry has denied reports of a Russian strike inside a de-escalation zone in Syria, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow).  On Monday, the Russian daily Kommersant reported that Russian aircraft stationed at Hmeimim airbase attacked militant targets in Idlib province on March 9. The area, near Jisr al-Shugur, is covered under a de-escalation agreement with Turkey, which was designed to avoid large-scale fighting between rebels and government forces.  The defense ministry denied that Russian planes carried out any strikes in the area.  At least two people were killed, including a Syrian Civilian Defense rescue worker, in the bombing of the village of al-Muntar, the rescue force, also known as the White Helmets, said as reported by the New Arab (London).  Activists said a White Helmets center and maternity hospital were hit in the attack.  The attack came one day after Turkish and Russian forces began carrying out patrols near the zone, reported Agence-France Presse.  The patrols began after Moscow alleged Turkish inaction against a growing jihadist threat in the province.  
 
Iraq—Iranian President Makes 1st Visit Since Taking Office  Mehr News Agency | 03/11/2019 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made his first official visit to Iraq since taking office in 2013, reports the semi-official Mehr News Agency.  The three-day visit aims to strengthen bilateral ties, Rouhani said on Monday before departing, as reported by the semi-official Tasnim News Agency.  Iran is one of Iraq's largest trading partners, with trade amounting to about US$12 billion annually. Increased cooperation could increase this to US$20 billion, he said.  Transportation, health, energy and industry are also expected to be on the agenda, reported state news agency IRNA.  Rouhani's schedule includes meetings with President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Abdel Abdul Mehdi and Ayatollah Ali Sistani, along with trips to important Shi'ite shrines, reported Agence France-Presse.  Iran has come under growing economic pressure due to increased U.S. sanctions, said analysts. One of the goals of the trip is to boost economic cooperation and bypass the sanctions, said a senior Iranian official cited by Reuters.  Baghdad has not applied many of the U.S. sanctions on Iran and has sought to avoid becoming involved in the conflict between the two. Iran sees its western neighbor as key to its regional survival and influence and has supported a network of militias and political leaders, said experts.   
 
Malaysia—Charges Dropped Against Woman Accused Of Killing Kim Jong Un's Brother  The Star | 03/11/2019 Malaysian prosecutors have dropped murder charges against an Indonesian woman accused of killing the brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, reports the Star (Malaysia).  A judge ordered Siti Aisyah's release on Monday after prosecutors withdrew the charges.  Aisyah flew back to Indonesia following the court decision, reported the Guardian (U.K.).  The Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur said the Indonesian government, including President Joko Widodo, had worked to secure her release.  The trial of her Vietnamese co-defendant, Doan Thi Huong, is on hold until Thursday, when prosecutors are expected to announce whether her trial will continue.  The two women were accused of killing Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb 13, 2017. The women, who smeared VX nerve agent on Kim's face, have maintained that they thought the were part of a prank for a television show.  Most observers believe the plot was orchestrated by North Korean intelligence to remove potential challengers to Kim Jong Un's rule.   
 
USA—CENTCOM Chief Warns Against Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan  The Hill | 03/11/2019 The head of U.S. Central Command has advised lawmakers against withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, reports the Hill (Washington, D.C.). Current "political conditions" in Afghanistan do not merit a military withdrawal from the region, as Afghan forces remain dependent on coalition support to fight the insurgents, Army Gen. Joseph Votel told the House Armed Services Committee on March 7. These decisions must be based "more on conditions than specific times" and "pivot off political progress," the general said as quoted by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The Pentagon reportedly offered to completely remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan over the next three to five years as part of recent peace negotiations with the Taliban. The Taliban is said to have rejected the proposal, demanding all foreign forces to leave within one year. About 14,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan with a dual mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan troops in their fight against the Taliban, as well as counterterrorism missions against the Islamic State and other militants. Under the Pentagon's proposal, about half of the troops would drawdown over the next several months, with the remaining forces tasked solely with counterterrorism missions. Support and training missions would be delegated to European and Australian troops in the region.  
 
USA—Northrop Grumman To Develop Extended-Range Anti-Radar Missile  U.S. Department Of Defense | 03/11/2019 The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems, Northridge, Calif., a contract for an extended-range configuration of the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM), reports the Dept. of Defense. The $322.5 million engineering and manufacturing development deal includes design, integration and testing of a new solid-rocket motor for the AARGM-ER, said a Pentagon release on March 7. The AARGM-ER will be integrated with F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters and EA-18G Growler electronic attack jets and configured for internal carriage on F-35 Lightning II stealth aircraft, said a Northrop Grumman release. Work is expected to be completed by December 2023.  
 
USA—Officials Call For The Procurement Of Used Vessels For Reserve Fleet  USNI News | 03/11/2019 Top U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) and Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) officials have called for the purchase of used vessels to replace the aging fleet of reserve merchant ships, reports USNI News. Maintenance costs are growing and the time will come when it no longer makes sense to spend more money on the aging fleet, retired Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, the head of MARAD, told the House Armed Services readiness and seapower and projection forces subcommittees on March 7. The Navy is conducting a business case analysis of how to modernize the reserve fleet, which found that the surface life extension program is proving "three times more expensive" and "taking twice as long" as projected, Army Gen. Steve Lyons, the TRANSCOM chief, told lawmakers. The service is looking to purchase used vessels because of their affordability and speed of delivery. It would be extremely difficult for the service to obtain authorization for five new builds in its existing shipbuilding budget, Lyons said. The used ships would be at least 10 years younger than the ones they are replacing, which have an average age of 44 years and are made of steel that is beginning to rot, Buzby said. The officials also addressed the Maritime Security Program, which ensures that the nation has the U.S.-flagged commercial sealift capability and trained merchant mariners available in times of war and national emergencies. The program, which consists of about 60 vessels, currently faces a shortage of ships and trained personnel.  
 
United Kingdom—Suspected Republican Dissident Mortar Tubes Unearthed In County Armagh  Belfast Telegraph | 03/11/2019 Police have discovered mortar tubes buried by suspected dissident republicans in Northern Ireland, reports the Belfast Telegraph. On March 6, component parts of mortars, including six mortar tubes, were uncovered in a forested area in County Armagh, said an official with the Police Service of Northern Ireland Terrorist Investigation Unit. The location in Forkhill was not far from the border with County Louth in Ireland. The mortar parts were likely transported by vehicles or machinery, the official said. Early indications pointed to dissident republican activity, but it was too soon in the investigation to link the weapons to a particular group or individual, said the official. Paid Military Periscope subscribers can read more about the dissident republican threat in Northern Ireland in our special report "Blast from the Past."   
 
United Kingdom—Suspected Republican Dissident Mortar Tubes Unearthed In County Armagh  Belfast Telegraph | 03/11/2019 Police have discovered mortar tubes buried by suspected dissident republicans in Northern Ireland, reports the Belfast Telegraph. On March 6, component parts of mortars, including six mortar tubes, were uncovered in a forested area in County Armagh, said an official with the Police Service of Northern Ireland Terrorist Investigation Unit. The location in Forkhill was not far from the border with County Louth in Ireland. The mortar parts were likely transported by vehicles or machinery, the official said. Early indications pointed to dissident republican activity, but it was too soon in the investigation to link the weapons to a particular group or individual, said the official. Paid Military Periscope subscribers can read more about the dissident republican threat in Northern Ireland in our special report "Blast from the Past."   
 
United Kingdom—Defense Ministry Civilian Workforce Modernization Fails To Take Off, Says NAO  U.K. National Audit Office | 03/11/2019 The U.K. National Audit Office (NAO) says that the Ministry of Defense has made little progress in reforming its civilian workforce. In a report released on Friday, the NAO found that the ministry missed multiple targets to decrease the number of civilian personnel as part of efforts to reduce costs and modernize departmental roles. Between 2010 and 2015, the ministry cut the size of its civilian workforce by 27,000. The reduction failed to demonstrate an increase in efficiency and cost savings, according to the report.  A majority of staff left voluntarily. About 4,500 were transferred to other government departments or their work was contracted out to private sector companies, which continue to be paid by the government. In July 2015, the ministry agreed to again reduce its civilian workforce by 30 percent from 58,200 to 41,000 by 2020 to save an additional 310 million pounds (US$407 million). The number of civilian employees had only decreased 2 percent by October 2018, the report says.  The stagnation can be contributed to several factors, including a reduction in projects being put on hold; unrealistic initial expectations; poor management; and few incentives to reduce personnel. Defense organizations have not obtained accurate information on whether work is being performed efficiently and have not identified better working methods, said the auditor. They have instead identified a shortfall of 1,650 personnel across 57 roles in 12 trades, but have not developed clear plans to fill those gaps in the next five years, the report says. The ministry only began efforts to update civilian staff functions last year. The work is at an early stage, but could result in annual savings of 3 billion pounds (US$3.9 billion) by 2028, the ministry says. In February, the defense ministry announced that it would not meet its goal to save 310 million pounds by 2020, but instead would purse workforce efficiency as part of a wider modernization program. A freedom of information (FOI) request made by Jane's Defence Weekly revealed that out of the ministry's 17,200 civilian job reduction goal, only 835 positions were cut. The ministry's response to the FOI argued that the target for staff cuts "risked causing perverse outcomes and poor value-for-money decisions."  
 
Latvia—NATO Opens 1st HQ In Baltic Region  Latvian News Agency | 03/11/2019 NATO Multinational Division North has formally opened its new headquarters in Latvia, reports the Latvian Information Agency. On Friday, the headquarters, the first of its kind in the Baltic region, was stood up during a ceremony at the Adazi military base near Riga. The new headquarters will serve as a combat-capable command unit, which will ensure joint command over division-size units of member states and Enhanced Forward Presence battle groups currently deployed in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The headquarters will be responsible for defense planning, military training and planning and coordinating common projects as well as promoting interoperability among the participating countries. The division command will initially have officers from the three participating countries -- Denmark, Latvia and Estonia -- with the possibility to expand to include officers from other member states in the future. Latvia will contribute military officers, military personnel and necessary infrastructure, officials said.  
 
Estonia—Air Force Receives 1st M28 Skytruck Cargo Aircraft From U.S.  Baltic News Service | 03/11/2019 The Estonian air force has taken delivery of the first of two M28 short-takeoff-and-landing transport aircraft donated by the United States, reports the Baltic News Service. Details of the delivery, which was announced on Friday, were not disclosed. The donated M28s were built in Poland in 2009 and employed primarily for special operations missions in support of the Polish air force. The aircraft underwent inspections before delivery and were said to be in good technical condition, noted Estonian Public Broadcasting. The Estonian aircraft will be used for observation flights; medical evacuation; and troop transport. In October 2017, the Estonian government signed an agreement with Washington for two M28s to replace its aging fleet of An-2 transport aircraft. The M28s, worth about US$6 million (5.3 million euro), were to be gifted on a condition that Estonia cover the costs of transportation and ensuring that they conform with European flight safety regulations. The agreement was reached after Estonia scrapped a deal with the U.S. to purchase two C-23B+ Sherpa light military transport aircraft. The M28 offers lower maintenance costs and can land on shorter runways. The second aircraft is scheduled for delivery by the end of the year.  
 
Democratic Republic of the Congo—Another Attack On Ebola Treatment Center Kills 1  Cable News Network | 03/11/2019 At least person has been killed in an attack on an Ebola treatment center in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, reports CNN.  On Saturday, gunmen attack a treatment center in Butembo, North Kivu province, reported the U.N. News. The center was the same one that was burned by militants earlier this year.  A police officer was killed and staff member injured in the incident, said the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO).  Local officials said Mai Mai militiamen were responsible for the attack, reported Reuters. Security officers drove off the militants, the officials said.  Ebola treatment centers have come under increasing attack. Two attacks in February forced Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) to suspend some activities in the country.  The attacks come as the Democratic Republic of Congo battles the second-largest Ebola outbreak in history.  Since August 2018, an estimated 913 people have contracted the disease, 574 of whom have died, according to WHO statistics. 
 
Niger—Dozens Of Boko Haram Fighters Killed In Clashes In Southeast  Agence France-Presse | 03/11/2019 At least seven soldiers and 38 Boko Haram militants have died in fighting in southeastern Niger, reports Agence France-Presse.  On Friday, a convoy of about 12 Boko Haram vehicles attacked a group of soldiers near Gueskerou in the Lake Chad basin, the defense ministry said in a statement.  Seven soldiers and 38 terrorists were killed in the encounter, it said.  Troops recovered five vehicles and a large quantity of weapons and ammunition.  The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which includes Cameroonian, Chadian, Nigerien and Nigerian troops, said that 27 terrorists were killed and six gun trucks destroyed, reported the Daily Trust (Abuja).  In a separate encounter on Saturday in Abadam in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state, the MNJTF said it killed at least 13 Boko Haram terrorists, reported the Vanguard (Nigeria).  Task force troops destroyed four gun trucks and recovered three, as well as 32 AK-47s and various explosives and ammunition, the MNJTF said.   
 
Burma—Arakan Army Rebels Claim Deadly Attack On Police  Wall Street Journal | 03/11/2019 Nine Burmese police officers have been killed in the western Rakhine state, reports the Wall Street Journal.  On Saturday, rebels ambushed the officers at a police station in Yoetayoke village, north of the state capital, Sittwe, a police official told Agence France-Presse.  Another officer was reported missing. Two police officers survived the attack, locals told Reuters.  The attack was claimed by the Arakan Army, seeks autonomy for the Rakhine ethnicity, a Buddhist minority that says it has been marginalized.   
 
Egypt—46 Suspected Terrorists Killed In Sinai Ops  Reuters | 03/11/2019 The Egyptian military says 46 militants have been killed in fighting in the northern and central Sinai peninsula, reports Reuters.  A military spokesman released the latest figures from the ongoing operation on Monday.  At least 46 dangerous militants were killed, 100 suspects arrested and 200 explosive devices defused since the campaign last released official figures.  Three soldiers were killed in "various areas of operations," the army said without providing details, as reported by Agence France-Presse.  The spokesman did not indicate when the operations occurred or to which groups the suspects belonged.  In February 2018, Egypt launched a renewed effort against Sinai Province, the ISIS affiliate in the area, and other jihadist groups.   
 
Iran—Navy Stops Pirate Attack In Gulf Of Aden  Tasnim News Agency | 03/11/2019 The Iranian navy says it has foiled a pirate attack against one of the country's oil tankers while patrolling the Gulf of Aden, reports the Tasnim News Agency (Iran). On Friday, a convoy of 11 speedboats operated by pirates attacked an Iranian oil tanker in the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, which links the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, said a navy official. The tanker was carrying about 150,000 tons of oil, the official said. The navy has increased its presence in international waters in recent years as part of efforts to secure naval routes and protect merchant vessels and oil tankers from pirates. On Jan. 23, the 60th flotilla, comprising the destroyer Bayandor, Bushehr logistics vessel and Lavan warship, began conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.                                                                            
 



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