Wednesday, March 6, 2019

TheList 4942

The List 4942 TGB


 
To All,
 
Lots of history today courtesy of Admiral Cox and the Naval History and Heritage Command
Regards,
Skip
 
This day in Naval History
 
March 6
§  1822—The schooner Enterprise captures four pirate ships in the Gulf of Mexico. During her time in the Gulf, Enterprise takes 13 vessels while suppressing pirates, smugglers, and slaves.
§  1943—Task Force 68, commanded by Rear Adm. Aaron S. Merrill, bombards Vila and Munda, Solomons and sinks Japanese destroyers Minegumo and Murasame in the Kula Gulf. For his leadership, Adm. Merrill earned both the Legion of Merit and the Navy Cross.
§  1944—USS Nautilus (SS 168) attacks a Japanese convoy approximately 240 miles north-north west of Saipan and sinks transport (ex-hospital ship) America Maru.
§  1960—USS Kearsarge (CVS 33) rescues four Russian soldiers from their landing craft 1,000 miles from Midway Island, which had been drifting several weeks after their engine failed off Kamchatka Peninsula.
§  1991—President George H. W. Bush addresses a joint session of Congress and states, "I can report to the nation: Aggression is defeated. The war is over." 
§  2010—USS Dewey (DDG 105) is commissioned at Seal Beach, CA. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer is named after former Adm. of the Navy George Dewey, hero of the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War of 1899.
 
Thanks to CHINFO
 
Executive Summary:
Trending in today's news, North Korea has started rebuilding missile test facilities amid Bolton's warning of more sanctions. In other news, EUCOM Commander Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti called for two more destroyers to be stationed in Europe, along with a "better pace" of carrier strike groups and amphibious ready groups moving through the region in order to deter "an evolving and modernizing Russian fleet," reports USNI News. The Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese hackers targeted more than two dozen universities in an effort to steal research about maritime technology. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, hundreds of Jihadists surrendered in Syria, according to Reuters.
On this day in World history
 
March 6
1521

Ferdinand Magellan discovers Guam.
1820

The Missouri Compromise is enacted by Congress and signed by President James Monroe, providing for the admission of Missouri into the Union as a slave state, but prohibits slavery in the rest of the northern Louisiana Purchase territory.
1836

After fighting for 13 days, the Alamo falls.
1853

Giuseppe Verdi's opera La Traviata premieres in Venice.
1857

The Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision holds that blacks cannot be citizens.
1860

While campaigning for the presidency, Abraham Lincoln makes a speech defending the right to strike.
1862

The USS Monitor left New York with a crew of 63, seven officers and 56 seamen.
1884

Over 100 suffragists, led by Susan B. Anthony, present President Chester A. Arthur with a demand that he voice support for female suffrage.
1888

Louisa May Alcott dies just hours after the burial of her father.
1899

Aspirin is patented following Felix Hoffman's discoveries about the properties of acetylsalicylic acid.
1901

A would-be assassin tries to kill Wilhelm II of Germany in Bremen.
1914

German Prince Wilhelm de Wied is crowned as King of Albania.
1916

The Allies recapture Fort Douaumont in France during the Battle of Verdun.
1928

A Communist attack on Beijing results in 3,000 dead and 50,000 fleeing to Swatow.
1939

In Spain, Jose Miaja takes over Madrid government after a military coup and vows to seek "peace with honor."
1943

British RAF fliers bomb Essen and the Krupp arms works in the Ruhr, Germany.
1945

Cologne, Germany, falls to General Courtney Hodges' First Army.
1947

Winston Churchill opposes the withdrawal of troops from India.
1948

During talks in Berlin, the Western powers agree to internationalize the Ruhr region.
1953

Upon Josef Stalin's death, Georgi Malenkov is named Soviet premier.
1960

The Swiss grant women the right to vote in municipal elections.
1965

The United States announces that it will send 3,500 troops to Vietnam.
1967

President Lyndon B. Johnson announces his plan to establish a draft lottery.
1973

President Richard Nixon imposes price controls on oil and gas.
1975

Iran and Iraq announce that they have settled the border dispute.
1980

Islamic militants in Tehran say that they will turn over the American hostages to the Revolutionary Council.
1981

President Reagan announces plans to cut 37,000 federal jobs.
1987

The British ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes in the Channel off the coast of Belgium. At least 26 are dead.
 
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* Bill Bennett's The American Patriot's Daily Almanac
REMEMBER THE ALAMO!
Storm winds of tyranny blew across Texas in early 1836. In those days the region was a part of Mexico, where General Santa Anna had seized power and made himself dictator. Texans weren't willing to submit to his rule, so Santa Anna marched north with an army.
In San Antonio a small band gathered to make their stand at the Alamo, an old Spanish mission turned into a fort. They were tough characters, men who had settled a wild frontier. With them was the famous Davy Crockett from Tennessee.
The Mexican army arrived and demanded the Alamo's surrender. The Texans answered with a cannon shot. Santa Anna ordered a red flag raised, a signal meaning "We will take no prisoners."
Colonel William Travis, commander of the Alamo, dispatched messengers bearing appeals for reinforcements. "Our flag still waves proudly from the walls," he wrote. "I shall never surrender nor retreat . . . Victory or death!"
Only 32 men made their way through the enemy lines to join the Texans at the Alamo. That brought the number of defenders to about 189. The Mexican army, meanwhile, swelled to perhaps 5,000.
Legend says that Travis called his men together, drew a line in the dust with his sword, and announced that those who wanted to stay and fight should step over the line. Every man but one crossed over.
The attack came early the next morning, on March 6, 1836. For a while, the Texans managed to hold the Mexican army back, but soon Santa Anna's soldiers swarmed over the walls. All of the Alamo's defenders were killed.
The Texans weren't finished. On April 21, troops commanded by Sam Houston attacked and broke Santa Anna's army. "Remember the Alamo!" was their battle cry—a cry that still reminds Americans of unyielding courage and sacrifice for freedom.
 
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Military Milestones from Dueling Ironclads to Flying Tigers by  W. Thomas
Smith Jr.
 
This Week in American Military History
 
Mar. 8, 1965:  The lead elements of 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines begin coming
ashore at Da Nang, South Vietnam. Within hours, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines
will arrive aboard transport aircraft at the nearby airbase. The Marines of
3/9 and 1/3 – both part of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade – are the
first of America's ground-combat forces destined for offensive operations
against the enemy in Southeast Asia, once again putting teeth in the Marine
Corps' claim that it is "first to fight."
 
Mar. 9, 1847:  Thousands of American soldiers and a company-sized force of
Marines (though referred to as a battalion) under the overall command of
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott and "Home Squadron" Commodore David E.
Conner begin landing at Collado Beach, Mexico, just south of Vera Cruz.
 
In what will prove to be "a model" for future amphibious operations, the
landings are unprecedented: The largest American amphibious operation to
date, conducted in less than five hours without a single loss of life.
 
A portion of Conner's dispatch to the Secretary of the Navy reads:
 
"Gen. Scott has now with him upwards of 11,000 men. At his request, I
permitted the Marines of the squadron, under Capt. [Alvin] Edson, to join
him, as a part of the 3rd Regiment of artillery. The general-in-chief
landed this morning, and the army put itself in motion at an early hour, to
form its lines around the city. There has been some distant firing of shot
and shells from the town and castle upon the troops as they advanced, but
without result."
 
Though the landings are bloodless, grim fighting will continue in the
Mexican-American War.
 
Mar. 9, 1862:  In day-two of the now-famous Battle of Hampton Roads
(Virginia), the Confederate Navy's ironclad warship, CSS Virginia (built
from the remains of the previously scuttled frigate USS Merrimack) and her
Union rival, the also-ironclad USS Monitor, begin exchanging shots in one
of history's first clashes of ironclads.
 
The battle ends in a draw with both vessels inflicting marginal damage on
one another before breaking off the fight: Technically it is a tactical
victory for Virginia because she has inflicted greater damage on the
blockading ships than they on her (Virginia had attacked and destroyed the
Union Navy's wooden warships USS Congress and USS Cumberland the previous
day before the arrival of the Monitor). But it may also be seen as a
strategic victory for the Union because Virginia fails to break the
blockade. The battle however will not be remembered for which side might
have carried the day – though that is still being debated – but rather the
lessons learned in this particular clash which greatly contributed to the
ongoing revolution in Naval tactics and ship-design and construction.
 
Mar. 10, 1783:  The Duc De Lauzun, a Continental Navy transport-vessel
(laden with Spanish silver currency), and her escort, the frigate Alliance
(the first of two so-named American warships), are spotted by three Royal
Navy ships – HMS Sybil, HMS Alarm, and HMS Tobago –off Cape Canaveral,
Florida. Sybil pursues the two American vessels, fires on the slow-moving
Duc De Lauzun, then is aggressively engaged by Alliance. In less than one
hour, the badly damaged Sybil disengages and flees, ending the last Naval
battle of the American Revolution.
 
Alliance is commanded by Capt. (future commodore) John Barry, who – as we
said Feb. 4 – is considered in some circles to be "the Father of the
American Navy," though some would argue that title belongs to Capt. John
Paul Jones.
Mar. 11, 1862:  President Abraham Lincoln – frustrated over Union Army Gen.
George B. McClellan's unwillingness to attack the Confederate Army –
relieves McClellan of his post as general-in-chief of the U.S. Army, but
keeps him on as commanding general of the Army of the Potomac. McClellan –
who will lose his command after failing to destroy Confederate Gen. Robert
E. Lee's wounded army following the Battle of Antietam – becomes the second
well-known casualty in Lincoln's series of firing, hiring, and firing
generals until the Union Army (like the already well-commanded Confederate
Army) is led by some of the most able generals in American military history.
 
Mar. 11, 1943:  "The Flying Tigers" – the famous volunteer group of
American fighter pilots contracted to the Chinese Air Force during World
War II and ultimately brought under U.S. Army Air Forces command as the
China Air Task Force – is absorbed into the 14th Air Force.
 
Commanded by Gen. Claire L. Chennault, "the Flying Tigers" were so-named
because of the tiger-shark faces painted on the noses of their P-40
fighters.
 
Today, according to the U.S. Air Force, airmen of the 14th Air Force are
"the day-to-day operators of Air Force Space Command's space forces." And
the centerpiece of the 14th Air Force emblem is a tiger with wings.
 
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Thanks to the Naval History and Heritage Command
 
*  H-Gram 026: Operations Flintlock, Catchpole, and Hailstone
In his latest H-Gram, NHHC Director Sam Cox provides a detailed account of three U.S. Navy operations conducted in the Marshall and Caroline Islands during World War II. Operation Flintlock (the invasion of Kwajalein Atoll) began Jan. 31, 1944. Three hundred U.S. Navy ships provided support to U.S. Marine and Army troops as they simultaneously invaded both ends of Kwajalein Atoll. The next two operations were conducted simultaneously beginning Feb. 17, 1944: Operation Catchpole (the invasion of Eniwetok Atoll), which was successful even though supported by a leaner naval force; and Operation Hailstone (a carrier raid on the Japanese-held Truk Island, in the Caroline Islands), where aircraft from nine carriers of Task Force 58 destroyed 33 Japanese vessels and damaged nine. To learn more, read H-Gram 026 at NHHC's Director's Corner.
 
 
-Gram 026: Operations Flintlock, Catchpole, and Hailstone 
28 February 2019 

Historic Photo of the Month 


The pre–World War II Navy: U.S. Battle Force at anchor off Colon, Panama, circa 1933: carriers Langley (CV-1), Lexington (CV-2), and Saratoga (CV-3), as well as the battle line and the heavy and light cruisers of the Scouting Force (NH 50122).
This H-gram covers the invasion of Kwajalein and Eniwetok atolls in the Marshall Islands and the U.S. carrier raid on the Japanese stronghold of Truk in February 1944.
"Back issue" H-grams, enhanced with photos and charts, can be found here.

Contents

75th Anniversary of World War II

Operation Flintlock: The Invasion of Kwajalein, 31 January 1944

"Dangerous and reckless," argued Vice Admiral Raymond Spruance and Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner after Admiral Chester Nimitz made the decision to invade Kwajalein Atoll directly, bypassing other Japanese-held fortified islands in the southern Marshall Islands.
After the bloodbath on Tarawa in November 1943, U.S. Navy commanders and planners were seized by a sudden bout of retrospection and caution. Nimitz's own planners, Spruance (Commander of Fifth Fleet), Turner (Commander, V Amphibious Force), and Marine Major General H. M. "Howling Mad" Smith, all argued for taking the islands of Wotje and Maloelap in the southern Marshalls before attempting to take the heavily defended islands of Kwajalein Atoll. (Wotje and Maloelap were strongly defended as well.) Even after Nimitz overruled them all, Spruance and Turner continued to push back until Nimitz, in his typical gentlemanly manner, offered to fire them if they didn't want the mission. In the end, Nimitz's audacious judgment would be vindicated.

The U.S. force that simultaneously invaded both ends of Kwajalein Atoll (and the largest lagoon in the world) was massive, including 54,000 U.S. Marine and U.S. Army assault troops, with gunfire support provided by seven pre–World War II battleships, six escort carriers, and numerous cruisers and destroyers (about 300 ships total). The landings had to be delayed from early January to the end of the month in order to amass enough assault transports to execute the landings with two divisions of Marines and soldiers. Additional air support and cover (and suppression of other Japanese bases in the Marshall Islands) was provided by six fleet carriers and six light carriers with over 700 aircraft, accompanied by seven modern fast battleships. Japanese aircraft were swept from the skies before the landings even took place and all Japanese submarines in the area were sunk. Not one U.S. ship was lost in the operation and only a few were damaged––not severely. Numerous tactical, technical, and technological improvements had been made, all examples of the rapid implementation of lessons learned from the Tarawa landings. The battles ashore were vicious but short. The approximately 9,000 Japanese defenders fought and died almost to the last man, not knowing that their high command had already given up on holding the outermost ring of islands (including the Marshalls) and, therefore, that no reinforcement or support could get through. U.S. Marine and Army battle deaths were less than half of those on Tarawa, about 400.

With the capture of Kwajalein (and the undefended Majuro Atoll) the U.S. had acquired the bases necessary to sustain an offensive drive across the central Pacific while bypassing and strangling several other fortified Japanese-held islands in the Marshalls. The Japanese, however, also learned lessons from Kwajalein––in particular, the futility of trying to defend on the beach in the face of overwhelming U.S. Navy firepower. The Japanese would compensate and adapt, and future landings would prove far more costly for the U.S. as a result. (For more an Operation Flintlock and the invasion of Kwajalein, please see attachment H-Gram 026-1.)

Operation Catchpole: The Invasion of Eniwetok, 17 February 1944

The invasion of Eniwetok Atoll, the western-most island in the Marshalls (360 miles west of Kwajalein) was an opportunistic rush job, executed with an 8,000-man U.S. Marine and Army "reserve force" that had not been necessary to use for the landings on Kwajalein. Against a much smaller force of Japanese, the Battle of Eniwetok would cost almost as many U.S. lives as Kwajalein. A major factor was that the compressed timeline did not allow the extensive and detailed level of reconnaissance and intelligence preparation that had preceded the Kwajalein landings. On the other hand, delay of the landings would have enabled the Japanese to continue to improve their fortification effort. The U.S. knew there were about 800 Japanese on the island of Engebi. (On account of its airfield, Engebi was the primary objective of the Eniwetok invasion.) The big surprise was that two islands thought by the U.S. to have been empty (Eniwetok and Parry) were actually occupied by 2,000 troops of the veteran Japanese First Amphibious Brigade, which had begun to arrive there on 4 January 1944.

The U.S. Navy support to the landings on Eniwetok was leaner than at Kwajalein and included three pre–World War II battleships, three escort carriers, three heavy cruisers, as well as other escorts, amphibious ships, and auxiliaries. Additional air support was provided by one of TF 58's four carrier task groups, TG 58.4, consisting of the carrier Saratoga (CV-3) and two light carriers. Nevertheless, no Japanese air, surface or subsurface assets opposed the landings at Eniwetok Atoll, as the Japanese high command had already given up on it. The massive U.S. carrier strike on the major Japanese base at Truk was timed to ensure no air or naval forces from Truk could respond to the landings at Eniwetok (see also H-Gram 026-2).

After some initial confusion, the first landings at Engebi by two battalions of U.S. Marines went reasonably well, and the fight was over relatively quickly. Only then, however, did U.S. intelligence personnel sifting through captured documents discover just how many Japanese were on the two other islands––islands that the battleship Tennessee (BB-43) and ten troop transports had unwittingly passed within yards on entering the lagoon, while the Japanese "played possum." This discovery necessitated a change of plans from simultaneous to sequential assault on Eniwetok and Parry islands.

The assault by two Army battalions on Eniwetok Island initially became bogged down, and the third Marine reserve battalion from Engebi was committed to taking the island. As a result, the mission to assault Parry Island was given to the two Marine battalions that had taken Engebi. The Japanese on Eniwetok and Parry put up a tough fight. However, they had not expected the landings to come from inside the lagoon rather than from the ocean side––an assumption they had also made in Kwajalein. In the end, almost all the 3,500 Japanese defenders on the islands were killed and only about 100 taken alive. U.S. losses were about 400 killed or missing. The capture of Eniwetok prevented the Japanese from using the airfield on Engebi to attack U.S. forces in the Marshalls, and Eniwetok would be used as a forward logistics base for the invasion of the Marianas Islands planned for June 1944. (For more on Operation Catchpole and the invasion of Eniwetok, please see attachment H-Gram 026-2.)       

Operation Hailstone: The Carrier Raid on Truk, 17–18 February 1944

At dawn on 17 February 1944, 72 F6F Hellcats from five U.S. fleet aircraft carriers caught the Japanese by surprise at their major fleet forward base at Truk Island, piercing the aura of impregnability of the island, which until then had been known somewhat exaggeratedly as the "Gibraltar of the Pacific." Over the next day and a half, more than 1,200 strike sorties by more than 500 aircraft from nine aircraft carriers (five fleet carriers and four light carriers) pummeled the island in a near continuous stream of raids, flagrantly ignoring traditional "hit-and-run" carrier doctrine.
By the time the raids on Truk were over, which included the first carrier-launched night strike in U.S. Navy history, between 250 and 275 Japanese aircraft had been shot down or destroyed on the ground and 80 percent of the supplies on Truk had been destroyed, including 17,000 tons of fuel. More than 4,500 Japanese had been killed. Japanese ship losses included two light cruisers, four destroyers, three auxiliary cruisers, six other naval auxiliaries, three small warships, and 32 transports or freighters (including five tankers).  U.S. losses included one fleet carrier damaged by a torpedo in an aerial night strike, one battleship slightly damaged, 25 aircraft lost, and 40 dead. Several Japanese ships were sunk by U.S. submarines and surface ships, including a light cruiser sunk by the battleships Iowa (BB-61) and New Jersey (BB-62), with Commander of the Fifth Fleet Vice Admiral Raymond Spruance on board and in tactical control. The strikes would have been even more catastrophic to the Japanese had the commander of the Combined Fleet, Admiral Mineichi Koga, not ordered his ships out of Truk just days before the strike. The Japanese would not use Truk again as a major anchorage for the remainder of the war, and in March 1944, Admiral Nimitz made the decision that Truk could be bypassed and left to "wither on the vine." The raid was a huge blow to Japanese morale and a huge boost to the confidence of U.S. naval aviators, who, in addition to implementing numerous innovations during the raids, proved that U.S. carrier forces could stand and fight against large concentrations of shore-based air power and prevail. (For more on Operation Hailstone please see attachment H-Gram 026-3.)
 
 
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     South Korea—New Exercises Planned As Joint Drills With U.S. Pared Down  Yonhap | 03/06/2019 South Korea will launch a new civil-military exercise in May as it revamps its training schedule in support of peace efforts with North Korea, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).  The Ulchi Taegeuk exercise will run from May 27 to May 30, a government source said on Wednesday.  The exercise will combine the Taegeuk command-post drill and the Ulchi government war game, which is part of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) training with the U.S. The drill will focus on responding to contingencies such as armed attack, terrorist strikes and major natural disasters.  The long-running Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise is expected to be abolished as part of efforts to reduce tensions with Pyongyang.  The drill was suspended last year as ties warmed.  The U.S. and South Korea may set up a separate joint command-post exercise in August as part of the program to verify that Seoul has acquired an initial capability to retake wartime operational control of its forces. Once certified, the allies will work to verify South Korea's full operational and mission-control capabilities.   
 
USA—B-52 Flies Over Disputed S. China Sea Islands  ABC News | 03/06/2019 The Air Force says a B-52 Stratofortress bomber flew near contested islands in the South China Sea during a maritime mission, reports ABC News. Two B-52s took off on Monday from Andersen AFB, Guam, for routine training, the U.S. Pacific Air Forces said in statement.  One trained in the South China Sea, where China has built islands from reclaimed sand. The other operated near Japan with U.S. Navy and Japanese partner assets.  All flights were in accordance with international law, said PACAF.  The flights are designed to assert that the area is international airspace.  The flights were part of U.S. Pacific Command's long-standing Continuous Bomber Presence missions, which includes rotations of B-1, B-52 and B-2 long-range bombers from Andersen AFB. The missions are designed to maintain the readiness of U.S. forces, noted CNN.  B-52s last flew over the South China Sea in November.  China has declared sovereignty over much of the sea and built islands from reclaimed sand, deploying military systems on some to strengthen its claims.   
 
Pakistan—Imagery Shows Site Of Indian Strike Largely Intact  Reuters | 03/06/2019 Satellite imagery published by a private firm cast doubt on claims by India that it destroyed a terrorist training camp in Pakistan last week, reports Reuters.  Images show at least six buildings still standing on the site in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on March 4, six days after India conducted airstrikes, which it said destroyed a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camp there.  The buildings and surrounding area show no discernible damage in line with Indian claims, analysts said.  The pictures provided by Planet Labs show little change from photos taken in April 2018.  An Indian analyst reviewing similar imagery said the site had likely been hit but any damage was probably repaired, reported the Print (New Delhi).  On Feb. 26, India said it struck the area near Jaba village and the town of Balakot. New Delhi claimed the attack killed hundreds of terrorists.  The Indian air force has submitted a report with 12 pages of high-resolution imagery as proof that the Balakot attack was successful, senior service officials told India Today.  Indian Mirage 2000 jets employed Spice-2000 precision-guided bombs with penetration warheads in the strikes, the officials said. The bombs pierced the roofs of the buildings and detonated inside, so the damage was internal, they said.  The use of such 2,000-pound (910-kg) weapons would have left obvious damage to any structures, experts told Reuters.  Indian officials declined to comment on the claims.  The strikes were in response to an attack on Feb. 14 that killed 40 Indian paramilitaries in Indian-administered Kashmir.   
 
Syria—500 Fighters Surrender As Hardliners Continue To Battle  Cable News Network | 03/06/2019 About 500 members of ISIS have surrendered as U.S.-backed forces fight to take the last town held by the terror group in eastern Syria, reports CNN.  At least 3,500 people left Baghouz on Tuesday, 500 of them believed to be fighters, said a spokesman for the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).  Evacuations continued on Wednesday, with more civilians arriving in camps operated by the SDF, reported Agence France-Presse.  About 57,000 have fled the area in Deir Ezzor province since December, of whom about 10 percent are fighters trying to pass as civilians, said the spokesman.  Initially, the SDF estimated that 1,500 civilians and 500 fighters were in Baghouz.  Among those killed in the fighting was French jihadist Jean-Michel Clain, whose wife confirmed his death on Tuesday.  His brother, Fabian, was killed in Baghouz on Feb. 20. The brothers were wanted in connection to the deadly November 2015 attacks in Paris.   
 
USA—SACEUR Says U.S. Should Pull F-35 If Turkey Continues With S-400 Buy  Defense One | 03/06/2019 The top military officer in NATO says that Washington should reconsider Turkey's participation in the F-35 program if Ankara goes through with the purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia, reports Defense One.  The Russian system presents specific concerns for the F-35 stealth fighter jet, Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and head of U.S. European Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.  Scaparrotti advised against allowing the F-35 to operate with allies who employ Russian systems, particularly advanced air defense systems.  His comments came as a team of U.S. officials met with their Turkish counterparts in Turkey to discuss U.S. concerns.  Washington has long expressed concerns about Ankara's decision to purchase the air defense system and the threats it could pose to the F-35.  The major worry is that Turkish S-400s could provide information on the F-35 to Russia, which could help it defeat the jet. In December, Washington approved the potential sale to Turkey of the Patriot missile defense system, in a deal valued at US$3.5 billion.   
 
Philippines—Lorenzana Renews Call For Review Of Mutual Defense Treaty With U.S.  Manila Bulletin | 03/06/2019 Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has reiterated his call for a review of the mutual defense treaty with the United States, reports the Manila Bulletin. In a statement on Tuesday, he said that the ambiguity or vagueness of the treaty could lead to confusion during a crisis, pushing back against Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., who called vagueness the "best deterrence" during a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on March 1, reported the Rappler (Philippines). During his visit, Pompeo emphasized that any attack on Philippine forces, aircraft or vessels in the South China Sea would activate the treaty's mutual defense obligation. Lorenzana expressed concern that due to the increased passage of U.S. naval vessels in the South China Sea, it is more likely to become involved in a war, which Manila would be dragged into under the terms of the treaty. The 1951 mutual defense treaty says that the two countries will come to each other's aid in the event of an armed attack. The Philippine defense secretary wants to clarify provisions over responses to tensions in the region and for Washington to define what is covered by its assistance to the Philippines. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia Joseph Felter is scheduled to visit the Philippines this month to discuss potential changes to the treaty, Lorenzana said.  
 
USA—Raytheon Wins Hypersonic Glide Weapon Development Deal   Raytheon | 03/06/2019 The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded a contract to Raytheon to continue work on a hypersonic tactical boost glide platform for the Air Force, reports the defense firm.  The $63.3 million contract includes the critical design review for the project, the firm said on Tuesday.  The joint DARPA and Air Force tactical boost glide program covers both ground and flight testing.  The project is intended to produce a vehicle that is effective, controllable and affordable.  Hypersonic glide vehicles use rockets to reach hypersonic speeds -- greater than Mach 5 or 3,836 mph (6125 km/h) -- before the payload separates.  The unpowered payload glides to the target at high speed. The system can maneuver but cannot accelerate, noted C4ISRNet.  Experts have expressed concern at the slow pace of U.S. development of hypersonic systems and say China and Russia may have developed an advantage.    
 
USA—Army Selects Northrop Grumman To Develop Next-Gen Radar Warning Receiver  Northrop Grumman | 03/06/2019 Northrop Grumman says it has received a contract to develop next-generation AN/APR-39E(V)2 radar  
 
Pakistan—Authorities Arrest 44 In Anti-Terror Crackdown  Hindustan Times | 03/06/2019 The Pakistani government has launched a two-week crackdown on terrorist organizations, reports the Hindustan Times. On Tuesday, Pakistani authorities detained 44 members of terrorist groups, including Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), said Pakistani Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi. Among those taken into custody were Mufti Abdur Raoof, the brother of JeM founder Masood Azhar, and JeM's Hammad Zhar, who is accused of being behind several high-profile attacks, including the 2001 Parliament attack and the suicide attack on the Jammu and Kashmir state assembly. The names were part of the dossier shared by the Indian government last week, said Afridi, as quoted by the Times Now (India). Those detained will be investigated and charged if found guilty of any terrorist activities. The dossier lacked "concrete evidence" linking Pakistan with the suicide bombing that killed 40 paramilitaries in India-administered Kashmir, said the Pakistani government as cited by the Indo-Asian News Service. Intense diplomatic pressure forced Pakistan to act, according to sources cited by the news service. The arrests were ordered following a ministerial meeting on Monday to review the National Action Plan (NAP). The meeting was attended by all provincial governments. The government holds the right to seize the assets and properties of banned terrorist groups if there is proof of their complicity in any terror activities, said Afridi. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body focused on fighting money laundering and terrorism financing, has placed Pakistan on a tight deadline to stop terror funding and to act against terror organizations operating within its borders 
 
Afghanistan—Militants Kill 16 In Assault On Construction Firm  TOLONews | 03/06/2019 Five militants and 16 civilians have been killed in an attack in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, reports the Tolo News (Kabul).  On Wednesday, five gunmen attacked the office of a construction firm in Jalalabad, provincial officials told Reuters.  The company is involved in work at Nangarhar airport, said officials.  Two of the attackers detonated suicide vests outside the office and the others opened fire, reported the Pajhwok News (Afghanistan).  The incident ended after seven hours, when all five attackers where killed, said the spokesman.  Police seized two suicide vests, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) and several hand grenades.  At least 16 employees of the construction team were killed and nine wounded, two of them critically.  There were no immediate claims of responsibility.  
 
Qatar—Procurement Of Russian S-400 Air Defense System Under Consideration  Breaking Defense | 03/06/2019 The Qatari government is mulling the purchase of the S-400 air and missile defense system from Russia, reports Breaking Defense. On Monday, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani hosted his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Doha. Discussions are underway for the procurement of various Russian equipment, including the S-400, although no decisions have been made, al-Thani said following the meeting. Earlier this year, Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah, the Qatari ambassador to Moscow, said that talks were "in the advanced stage." The potential deal was reportedly opposed by Saudi Arabia, who accuses Doha of supporting terrorism, reported Al-Jazeera (Qatar). Washington is closely watching the S-400 talks, said a State Dept. official. Qatar is a U.S. ally and hosts Al Udeid air base, a key U.S. military facility in the Middle East. The official did not comment on possible U.S. pressure on Doha. The U.S. has legislation in place that would require economic sanctions in response to purchases of Russian equipment. 
 
Russia—Shoigu Outlines Anticipated Ship Deliveries For 2019  Interfax-Military News Agency | 03/06/2019 The Russian navy is set to take delivery of several submarines and warships this year, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia), citing Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The navy will receive two nuclear-powered and one diesel-powered submarines in 2019, the minister said during a Tuesday conference call. Other planned deliveries include the frigate Admiral Kasatonov; corvette Gremyashchy; landing ship Pyotr Morgunov; missile ships Merkury and Ingushetia; patrol ship Dmitry Rogachyov; minesweeper Vladimir Yemelyanov; five attack motorboats; and 20 support vessels, he said. Eleven naval ships and vessels are also scheduled to undergo maintenance at shipyards this year, Shoigu said. Officials also reviewed state-owned United Shipbuilding Corp. and its fulfillment of its obligations to the defense ministry. 
 
North Korea—Yongbyon Reactor Shut Down; Other Facilities Still Operating, According To IAEA  Yonhap | 03/06/2019 South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) says that North Korea suspended the operation of its main nuclear reactor late last year, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). The 5-megawatt reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex north of Pyongyang has shown no signs of reprocessing activities since early December, the NIS told the National Assembly's intelligence committee on Tuesday. The reactor is capable of producing spent fuel rods, which if reprocessed, can yield 11-16 pounds (5-7 kg) of weapons-grade plutonium annually. About 13 pounds (6 kg) of plutonium is needed to build a single bomb. The aging reactor may be having technical problems, according to analysts cited by Reuters. Underground tunnels of the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri also remain shut down and unattended since its destruction in May 2018, lawmakers said. The North appears to be restoring part of the Dongchang-ri missile launch site, the NIS said. On Monday, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that construction work continued at the Yongbyon complex on an experimental light-water reactor and there were indications of ongoing use of the site's uranium-enrichment facility, reported the Wall Street Journal. The purpose of the activities remains unknown and does not necessarily mean North Korea is producing highly-enriched uranium to stockpile for nuclear weapons, said experts. 
 
India—Government Set To Lease Another Nuclear-Powered Sub From Russia  Economic Times | 03/06/2019 The Indian government is set to sign an agreement with Russia later this week to lease another Akula-class nuclear attack submarine, reports the Economic Times (India). The US$3 billion deal covers the 10-year lease of an Akula-class submarine and is anticipated to be signed on Thursday, sources told the newspaper. The vessel, which will be designated Chakra III while in Indian navy service, will be fitted with Indian communications systems and sensors at a Russian shipyard before its delivery in 2025. The project involves a mothballed Russian boat that was transported to Severodvinsk in 2014. It will be nearly a new vessel once refurbishment work is completed, said the sources. This is the third Russian nuclear-powered sub leased by India. The first submarine, Chakra, was leased in 1988 for a three-year term. The Chakra II was leased in April 2012 for 10 years. That lease could be extended to 2027 until work is completed on the new submarine. In February 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved an indigenous program for the construction of six nuclear-powered attack subs. The program was launched in December 2017, according to navy officials, although the remainder of the program timeline remains under wraps. 
 
France—Navy Receives 3rd Offshore Support And Rescue Vessel  Defense-Aerospace | 03/06/2019 The French navy has accepted delivery of its newest offshore support and rescue vessel (BSAH), reports defense-aerospace.com. The Seine was formally handed over at Toulon naval base on France's southeastern coast, a release from the French defense procurement agency, DGA, said on Tuesday. The ships are designed for naval support missions, such as towing large-tonnage vessels and targets; accompanying surface vessels and submarines; search-and-rescue; assistance to ships in distress; environmental protection; and general support. The Seine is the third of four BSAHs ordered by the DGA. She is scheduled to enter service later this year after completing a long-term deployment, said the DGA. The Loire and Rhone, the first two ships of the class, entered service in July 2018 and January 2019, respectively. The fourth ship, the Garonne, is scheduled to be delivered to Brest naval base later this year. 
 
Afghanistan—Soldiers Deployed To Finish Highway After Separatist Attacks In Papua  Reuters | 03/06/2019 Indonesia has deployed 600 soldiers to finish building a highway in Papua province that has been the site of militant attacks, reports Reuters.  On Tuesday, the military said the troops were dispatched to construct the remainder of the Trans-Papua highway, along with 21 bridges.  Construction of the 2,700-mile (4,300-km) road stalled in December, when armed separatists killed 16 construction workers and a soldier in Papua's Nduga district.  Soldiers will complete the work because conditions are difficult and there are "disruptions from armed criminal groups," said a military spokesman.  Fighting between rebels and government troops has caused hundreds to flee the region.  Humanitarian groups have alleged numerous human-rights abuses at the hands of security forces, who are accused of torturing suspected separatists.  Papua, the easternmost and poorest region in Indonesia, was annexed in 1969. Separatist sentiments remain strong in some areas. 
 
 


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