Monday, June 4, 2018

Fw: TheList 4736

The List 4736

To All,
I hope that you all had a great Weekend.  Today is a bit long but the Battle of Midway has many stories and is such a pivotal battle of WWII.
This day in Naval History
June 4
1775—The Continental Congress authorizes the enlistment of expert riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year, establishing the United States Army.
1934—USS Ranger (CV 4), the first US Navy ship designed from the keel up as a carrier, is commissioned at Norfolk, VA. During World War II, she participates in Operation Torch and Operation Leader.
1942—The Battle of Midway begins. During that morning, after sending planes to attack the U.S. base at Midway, the Japanese carriers Akagi, Kaga and Soryu are fatally damaged by dive bombers from USS Enterprise (CV 6) and USS Yorktown (CV 5). Later in the day, USS Yorktown is abandoned after bomb and torpedo hits by planes from Hiryu. The latter is, in turn, knocked out by U.S. carrier planes. Compelled by their losses to abandon their plans to capture Midway, the Japanese retire westward. The battle is a decisive win for the U.S., bringing an end to Japanese naval superiority in the Pacific.
1942—As the Battle of Midway continues, US dive-bomber pilots spot the whole Japanese carrier strike force below. The Japanese combat air patrol that should have been above the carriers to protect them were at sea level destroying the American torpedo-bombers. The SBD Dauntless dive bombers attack from 15,000 feet just at the moment when the decks of the carriers Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu are loaded with planes, fuel and ordnance. They were quickly enveloped in flames and destroyed.
1943—TBF aircraft from USS Bogue (CVE 9) attack German submarine U 603 in the Atlantic. Though U 603 is not sunk, it's forced to submerge, sparing a nearby LCI convoy from attack. USS Bronstein (DE 189) finally sinks U 603 in the North Atlantic on March 1, 1944.
1944—The hunter-killer group comprises of five destroyer escorts and USS Guadalcanal (CVE 60) captures German submarine, (U 505). This marks the first time a U.S. Navy vessel captures an enemy vessel since the early 19th century. The feat earns Lt. Albert L. David, who led the 9-man team to board the sub, the Medal of Honor.
1944—USS Flier (SS 250) sinks Japanese troopship Hakusan Maru about 375 miles southwest of Chichi Jima, Bonin Islands.  Also on this date USS Golet (SS 361) sinks Japanese guardboat No.10 Shinko Maru east of Japan.
2011—The destroyer USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110) is commissioned at the Port of Mobile, AL. 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
In today's headlines, media are reporting that First lady Melania Trump will return to the public eye Monday and co-host an event with President Donald Trump for Gold Star families, and that a dozen people who ignored evacuation orders, are now surrounded by flowing lava On Hawaii's Big Island. While attending the Shangri-La Dialogue, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis addressed concerns that the U.S. might reduce troop levels in the Korean peninsula as a part of negotiations with Kim Jong Un reports the San Diego Union Tribune. Mattis assured reporters that the U.S. is "not going anywhere," and that "it's not even a subject of the discussions." Reuters reports that according to U.S. officials and Western and Asian diplomats, the Pentagon is considering a more assertive program of freedom-of-navigation operations near Chinese installations in the South China Sea. Additionally, the Wall Street Journal reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is planning on meeting with Kong Un in North Korea.
Today in History June 4
The fortress at Osaka, Japan, falls to Shogun Leyasu after a six-month siege.
Parliamentary forces capture King Charles I and hold him prisoner.
The Freemasons are founded in London.
Captain George Vancouver claims Puget Sound for Britain.
British troops capture Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Tripoli is forced to conclude peace with the United States after a conflict over tribute.
The French army, under Napoleon III, takes Magenta from the Austrian army.
Confederates under General Joseph Johnston retreat to the mountains in Georgia.
Gold is discovered in Alaska's Indian Creek.
French and American troops halt Germany's offensive at Chateau-Thierry, France.
The U.S. Senate passes the Women's Suffrage bill.
The British complete the evacuation of 300,000 troops at Dunkirk.
In Argentina, Juan Peron takes part in the military coup that overthrows Ramon S. Castillo.
The U-505 becomes the first enemy submarine captured by the U.S. Navy.
Allied troops liberate Rome.
Juan Peron is installed as Argentina's president.
North Korea accepts the United Nations proposals in all major respects.
The Taiwan island of Quemoy is hit by 500 artillery shells fired from the coast of Communist China.
Black activist Angela Davis is found not guilty of murder, kidnapping, and criminal conspiracy.
Thanks to Admiral Cox and the team at NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
The pre-publication reviews for this H-gram are already in; "Excellent.  Thanks so much.   It's information we can ALL use as we prepare for this commemoration of the greatest battle in Naval history" - CNO ADM Richardson.
Naturally, I am in complete agreement with the CNO.
From: Director of Naval History
To: Senior Navy Leadership
Subj: H-gram 006 Battle of Midway
Battle of Midway – 75th Anniversary
"…the enemy lacks the will to fight…" – Japanese Midway Operations Order, Commander's Estimate of the Situation.
     The Battle of Midway (4-6 June 1942) was one of the most critical battles of WWII, and one of the most one-sided battles in all of history, although achieved at a very high cost for the U.S. aircraft and aircrew responsible for the victory. It was not, however, a "miracle."  At the decisive point of contact, it was four Japanese aircraft carriers (248 aircraft) and 20 escorts against three U.S. aircraft carriers (233 aircraft) and 25 escorts and an island airfield (127 aircraft – 360 total U.S. aircraft.)  The Japanese had some significant qualitative advantages, principally the ability to rapidly launch a massive integrated multi-carrier strike package, fighter maneuverability, and better torpedoes.  However, the U.S. had some advantages as well, such as the element of surprise, radar, damage control, and the ability of U.S. aircraft to absorb damage.  Although the total number of Japanese forces committed to the Midway Operation (essentially, almost every operational ship in the Imperial Japanese Navy) far exceeded that of the U.S., none but the four carriers were in a position to effect the outcome of the battle at the critical point and time.  In terms of numbers and capabilities of the decisive weapon system of the battle, dive-bombers, the two sides were at rough parity.
    Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, based his plan on inadequate intelligence and an inaccurate understanding of American intent, specifically the incorrect assumption that the "demoralized" Americans would have to be drawn out to fight.  Therefore Yamamoto's force distribution was not optimized for mutual support, but rather for operational deception, to conceal the true extent of the forces employed so as to not prematurely spook the Americans into refusing to give battle.  To a degree, his plan worked, in that Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Chester Nimitz did not know that Yamamoto's main body of battleships was trailing several hundred miles behind the Japanese carriers (with Yamamoto embarked on the new super-battleship Yamato,) intent on ambushing U.S. forces that took the bait of the Midway invasion force.  However, by doing so, the main body and other formations in the highly complex Japanese plan had no opportunity to engage U.S. forces in battle.  Yamamoto was further hampered by a poorly planned and executed surveillance and reconnaissance effort.  He had no idea the American carriers were already northeast of Midway waiting in ambush, and refused to consider the possibility that his plan might be compromised.  (In pre-battle war games, the Japanese commander playing the U.S. "OPFOR" did exactly what Nimitz did, with results that were remarkably close to what actually happened, but his actions were ruled "impossible" by the game umpire, and the Japanese game losses were resurrected.)
     Admiral Nimitz, on the other hand, had a very accurate understanding of Japanese intent, based on intelligence, of which code-breaking was only a part, albeit significant.  Based on breaking the Japanese Navy general operating code (JN-25B) and the work of Commander Joseph Rochefort's team in Station Hypo, Nimitz knew that Midway was the objective of Japanese Operation "MI," knew the approximate timing and approximate forces employed (four or five carriers,) and knew that the concurrent Aleutian operation ("AL") was not the Japanese main effort.  Armed with this useful, but still somewhat vague code-breaking intelligence, Nimitz nevertheless insisted that his Intelligence Officer, Commander Edwin Layton, produce a more precise estimate of where the Japanese carriers would be located when first detected.  Using all means of intelligence at his disposal, including his intimate understanding of Japanese thought-process from his years of language training in Japan, Layton came up with an estimated bearing, range and time from Midway Island (325 degrees, 175 nm, at 0600 4 Jun 42) that Admiral Nimitz later said was "five degrees, five miles, and five minutes off."  The actual location was a little father off than Nimitz said, but not by much.  Actually, the Japanese carriers arrived a day later than planned, but Layton's estimate had accounted for weather and the Japanese plan had not.  (see attachment H-006-1 "ISR at Midway")  Nimitz' decision, although audacious, was far from a desperate gamble that some accounts have portrayed, but rather was completely in accord with the principle of "calculated risk" which guided Nimitz and other operational commanders during the battle.
     Nimitz also later said that the battle was "essentially a victory of intelligence."  Up to a point, Nimitz' statement is true.  Forearmed with Layton's estimate, Rear Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher's two carrier task forces  (TF-17 centered on USS Yorktown (CV-5) with RADM Fletcher embarked, and TF-16 centered on USS Enterprise (CV-6) and USS Hornet (CV-8) led by RADM Raymond Spruance, replacing VADM William Halsey, bed-ridden with shingles) were in the perfect position (designated "Point Luck") to ambush the Japanese carriers on the morning of 4 June 1942 while the Japanese air strike on Midway Island was recovering.  Once RADM Spruance made the decision to launch full strike packages from both Enterprise and Hornet as early (and at as long range) as he did, the die was cast.  Given the Japanese weakness in shipboard anti-aircraft defense and the inexperience of Japanese fighters, however numerous, in dealing with a protracted multi-axis attack, there were enough U.S. aircraft in the air (117) to deal a mortal blow to all of the Japanese carriers, so long as the American strikes actually found the Japanese carriers.  Once the Enterprise and Hornet launched their strikes, all the Japanese could do at that point would have been to even up the score had they been able to get a counterstrike airborne (which they weren't) before the U.S. strikes arrived over their targets.
     Nevertheless, although intelligence could set the stage for victory, the battle still actually had to be fought and won by the skill, courage, and blood of those who flew the planes, manned the anti-aircraft batteries, and peered through the periscopes.  The Japanese fought with great tactical prowess, and extreme tenacity and bravery, as evidenced by Japanese pilots who somehow held their flaming planes in the air long enough to drop their bombs and torpedoes.  Despite the initial U.S. advantage of surprise, the battle could have easily gone the other way, such as when Hornet's air group, except for the torpedo bombers, completely missed the Japanese; or had the Japanese carrier Akagi survived the one bomb that actually hit her, the Japanese counterstrike from Akagi could well have taken out all three U.S. carriers, based on how much damage was later inflicted on Yorktown by Hiryu's relatively small uncoordinated last-ditch strikes (three direct bomb hits and two torpedo hits).  Far from being indecisive as portrayed in many historical accounts, the Japanese carrier task force ("Kido Butai" – mobile strike force) commander, VADM Chuichi Nagumo moved aggressively, and in accordance with Japanese doctrine, to counter threats; and it was his extreme offensive mentality that typified Japanese naval officers that arguably cost him the battle.  However, with a little luck he might have finished off the American carriers despite his losses.  If there is any enduring lesson of Midway it is that never again should the U.S. and Japan face each other on opposite sides of a field of battle.
     In the end, the battle was won by the initiative, toughness, and incredible valor of the U.S. pilots who pressed home their attacks against great odds; in the face of staggering losses, not one U.S. bomber is known to have turned away before either delivering ordnance or being shot down.  Several Yorktown dive-bombers even attacked after they had accidentally jettisoned their bombs.  The ferocity of the Marine anti-aircraft fire on Midway Island and the valiant fight by the Marine's hopelessly outclassed fighters, shocked the Japanese by hitting almost half the early morning 108-plane Japanese strike on the island, downing 11 aircraft and seriously damaging 14.  This set in motion Nagumo's fateful decision to re-arm his 107-plane reserve strike package for a re-attack on Midway, before he knew U.S. carriers were present, in violation of Yamamoto's orders to keep his reserve armed for anti-ship strikes.
     Four waves of U.S. torpedo bombers (six new TBF Avengers and four USAAF B-26 Marauders from Midway, and 41 older TBD Devastators in three squadrons from the carriers) suffered grievous losses, likened to the Charge of the Light Brigade, each wave encountering between 15 and 30 Zero fighters, but not one torpedo bomber turned away.  One TBF and two B-26's crash-landed on Midway afterwards, and only six of the TBD's made it back to the carriers, only three of which were flyable.  Of the 99 men in the 42 torpedo planes that were lost, only three survived the battle.  The skipper of Torpedo Squadron Eight (VT-8,) off the Hornet, LCDR John Waldron, had told his squadron during the pre-launch brief that "if only one plane is left, I want that man to go in and get a hit." That's exactly what his squadron tried to do, following Waldron's direction to the last man.  As 14 of the 15 TBD's of VT-8 went down one after the other in flames, the last plane, piloted by ENS George "Tex" Gay stayed on course and dropped his torpedo at the carrier Soryu, before being shot down.  Soryu avoided the torpedo, and Gay was the sole survivor of the attack.  The other two torpedo squadrons (VT-6 and VT-3) displayed equal valor with the same result; no hits and great loss.
    The slaughter of the torpedo-bombers was not part of the American plan, but was the result of the U.S. inability to effectively coordinate a multi-carrier strike, or even a single air group strike.  Nevertheless, the sacrifice of the torpedo-bombers was not in vain; their attacks, and those of Midway-based USMC SBD Dauntless dive-bombers (8 of 16 lost) and SB2U Vindicator dive-bombers (4 of 11 lost) and USAAF B-17 Flying Fortresses, strung out over two and a half hours (all with numerous near misses but no hits), forced the Japanese carriers to constantly launch and recover fighter aircraft in between wild defensive maneuvering.  The result was that the Japanese carriers were unable to spot their decks for a counter-strike launch; the Japanese were still over 45 minutes from being ready to launch their dive-bombers and torpedo-planes (not five minutes as in early accounts) when the decisive attack by U.S. Navy dive-bombers commenced; two squadrons from Enterprise and one squadron from Yorktown (launched over an hour later) that arrived simultaneously over the Japanese carriers by complete coincidence.  (see H-006-2 "The Sacrifice.")
    The U.S. dive-bomber strike crippled the Japanese carriers Akagi, Kaga and Soryu.  Hiryu survived to get off two small strikes that left the Yorktown in sinking condition.  Late in the afternoon, dive-bombers from Enterprise and Yorktown (flying off Enterprise) crippled the Hiryu.  (See H-006-3 "The Victory - Barely.")  None of the Japanese carriers were actually sunk by U.S. bombs; although flaming wrecks, all four had to be dispatched by Japanese torpedoes to ensure the still-floating ships did not fall into U.S. hands.  Two days later, the Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma, accompanying her more heavily damaged  sister Mogami, both damaged in a collision while avoiding the submarine USS Tambor (SS-198,) was sunk by carrier dive-bombers (mostly due to secondary explosions from her own oxygen-fueled torpedoes.)
    Over three thousand Japanese sailors were killed in the battle, most while valiantly trying to save their ships, including over 700 aircraft technicians/maintainers (a very limited skill in Japan.)  All 248 carrier aircraft were lost, most going down with their ship, along with several cruiser/battleship-launched float-planes.  However, most Japanese pilots were rescued; only 36 were lost on the carriers and 74 in the air, mostly from Hiryu.  Most of Japan's Pearl Harbor-veteran pilots would survive Midway only to perish in the meat-grinder battle of attrition in the skies around Guadalcanal later in the year, where over 2,000 Japanese aircraft would be lost.  It was not the loss of pilots at Midway that crippled Japan's ability to wage offensive naval operations, but rather the loss of the most important Japanese strategic asset, the irreplaceable aircraft carriers.  Only one new Japanese fleet carrier would make it into a major fleet action during the war, only to be sunk by a U.S. submarine in her first battle.
    ADM Nimitz, who had commanded several submarines early in his career, was disappointed in the performance of his submarines at Midway.  Of 19 U.S. submarines in Task Force 7, only three made contact with the Japanese (although seven were guarding the approaches to Hawaii).  The USS Grouper (SS-214) was repeatedly strafed, bombed and depth-charged, and was unable to close on the Japanese carriers.   For whatever reason, USS Tambor (SS-198) did not engage the heavily damaged cruisers Mikuma and Mogami (and her skipper was immediately relieved of command after the battle.)  The USS Grayling (SS-209 and host to ADM Nimitz' PACFLT change of command ceremony) was mistaken for a Japanese cruiser and bombed by USAAF B-17's (fortunately no bombs hit, which was also the case with over 320 bombs dropped by the B-17's on actual Japanese ships.)
    The USS Nautilus (SS-168), LCDR William Brockman commanding, tried to attack the Japanese carrier force and was strafed by an aircraft, tried again and was bombed by an aircraft, tried again, and was depth-charged by the light cruise Nagara while setting up an attack on the battleship Kirishima.  As soon as the depth-charging ceased, Brockman boldly came back to periscope depth and fired on the Kirishima with two torpedoes; one hung in the tube and the other missed, and Nautilus was then heavily depth-charged.  Later in the day Brockman tried yet again and succeeded in firing a spread of four torpedoes, all of which malfunctioned, at the dead-in-the-water and burning Kaga, only to barely survive another brutal depth charge attack (42 depth-charges, two of which clanged off her hull but did not explode.)  The one torpedo that hit the Kaga failed to explode and the buoyant after-body served as a flotation device for swimming Japanese sailors.  Brockman was awarded a Navy Cross.  Of note however, it was the Japanese destroyer Arashi, trying to catch up to the Japanese carriers after being left behind to depth-charge the Nautilus, that led Lieutenant Commander Clarence Wade McClusky and two Enterprise dive-bomber squadrons to the Japanese carriers and their doom.  Later in the war, however, armed with torpedoes that actually worked, more aggressive skippers like Brockman, and a steady stream of "Ultra" intelligence (derived from broken Japanese codes) U.S. submarines would go on to inflict significantly more losses to the Japanese than any other U.S. weapons system, at great cost (52 submarines) as well.
    At the end of 4 June, the gravely damaged and heavily listing USS Yorktown was still barely afloat.  Through the heroic damage control efforts of her crew, incorporating numerous hard lessons learned at the Battle of the Coral Sea, the carrier was still afloat on the morning of 6 Jun, under tow to Pearl Harbor.  (Of note, the Yorktown's air group, demonstrating the value of combat experience, was the only carrier air group to successfully execute a coordinated near-simultaneous torpedo-bomber, dive-bomber, and fighter strike on the Japanese carriers.)  However, in broad daylight, the skipper of the Japanese submarine I-168 (which had previously provided accurate, and ignored, intelligence on Midway Island's state of readiness, and had even shelled the island) picked his way through five escorting U.S. destroyers and torpedoed the Yorktown at point-blank range, sinking the destroyer USS Hammann (DD-412) that was alongside Yorktown, which went down in under four minutes, many of her swimming crew killed by the detonations of her own un-safed depth-charges (81 of 251 crew lost.)  Even with the two additional torpedo hits, Yorktown remained afloat until finally succumbing on the morning of 7 Jun.  I-168 survived, with heavy damage including leaking chlorine gas, an extensive U.S. depth charge attack (61 depth charges) by the U.S. destroyers.
    In addition to failing to protect the Yorktown from submarine attack, no Japanese aircraft were confirmed downed by anti-aircraft fire from any escorts, due primarily to the inadequacy of their AAA fit. (Japanese shipboard anti-aircraft fire was equally as ineffective.)  The AAA certainly did damage aircraft and disrupt bombers' aim.  Enterprise and Hornet were never located or attacked by Japanese bombers, so their escorts were never tested.  Nevertheless, the Japanese surface navy failed to get the memo that the tide of war turned at Midway, and the U.S. surface navy would get its chance to prove its mettle and extreme valor in the following months, persevering in several of the most savage and hard-fought ship-to-ship battles in naval history in "Ironbottom Sound" around Guadalcanal, at a cumulative cost of many more Sailors than Pearl Harbor.
   The Battle of Midway was not won by "Citizen-Sailors."  It was won mostly by volunteer, professional naval officers and Sailors (the draft had only been in effect for a little over a year.)  The more senior officers and enlisted Sailors had endured many years of inadequate resources, misguided treaty limitations, low pay, slow promotions, and in the intense isolationist and anti-war backlash from the carnage of WWI, a profound lack of appreciation and respect for U.S. military personnel in the interwar years by much of the U.S. population.  Yet it was these volunteers, and a few draftees, in many cases armed with obsolete inadequate weapons and hampered by fiscal constraints that severely curtailed realistic training, who held the line and paid with their lives to buy the time necessary for the United States to mobilize its massive resources in people and equipment that ultimately won the war.  Compared to the Japanese, the American cost in blood was much less, but still profound ; 307 Americans were killed in the battle.  The bulk of the losses fell upon the aviators, Marines, Army Air Forces, but mostly Navy.  Of the carrier aircraft that engaged the Japanese fleet on 4 June 1942, 40% were shot down, ditched due to battle damage or fuel exhaustion, or were no longer air-worthy despite recovering on a carrier.  Well over 150 U.S. aviators, most of them Navy, made the ultimate sacrifice in winning one of the greatest battles of all time.  Although only one Medal of Honor (posthumous) was awarded in the battle (Captain Richard Fleming, USMC,) approximately 170 Navy Crosses were awarded to Navy personnel, mostly aviators, many posthumously.
     Some historians argue that Midway was not "decisive" because (with 20/20 hindsight) the ultimate victory over Japan was never in doubt, Midway or no Midway, but was merely the inevitable application of overwhelming U.S. industrial power.  Although "what if" scenarios are generally frowned upon by professional historians, had the battle resulted in a military defeat for the U.S., President Roosevelt would have had an extremely difficult time maintaining his very politically unpopular "defeat Germany first" strategy.  Imagine a very different world in which the Nazi Germans had had time to develop an atomic bomb, or the Soviets had had time to overrun all of western Europe.  British Prime Minister Churchill's statement regarding the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain, that "never had so much been owed by so many to so few" applied just as well to the few naval aviators who turned the tide at the Battle of Midway.
After the battle, the New York Times banner headline read, "US Army Fliers Blast Two Jap Fleets at Midway."
The headline in the Japan Times in Tokyo read, "(Japanese) Navy Wins Epochal Victory."
(Over the years I have read probably almost every book on Midway ever written, including the classics, "Incredible Victory" by Walter Lord, and "Miracle at Midway" by Gordon Prange, and of course, RADM Samuel Eliot Morison.  However, declassification of most intelligence records in the 1970's and newer access to Japanese sources have significantly changed many of the conclusions of those earlier works.  A relatively recent work, "Shattered Sword" by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully is an extraordinary piece of research, telling the battle mostly from the Japanese side using many Japanese sources, and is probably the most comprehensive and accurate book on Midway I have read.  For this reason most of the numbers for casualties, etc. that I use are from this book, although other sources may vary.)
"ISR" in the Battle of Midway
S.J. Cox
17 May 17
"To Commander Joe Rochefort must forever go the acclaim of having made more difference at a more important time than any officer in history."  At least, that's what Captain Edward L. "Ned" Beach, Jr. (skipper of USS Triton's (SSNR-586) around-the-world submerged voyage and author of "Run Silent, Run Deep" and other submarine classics) said.  There is no question that CDR Rochefort, commander of Station Hypo at Pearl Harbor, had profound effect on the outcome of the battle.  He also had a lot of help, including from Japanese mistakes.
    Station Hypo was a short-hand term used for the U.S. Navy's code-breaking and signals intelligence operation, more formally known as the Combat Intelligence Unit embedded within the naval communications station in the basement of the 14th Naval District Headquarters (commanded by RADM Claude Bloch,) with CDR Rochefort as officer-in-charge of communications.  The 14th Naval District reported to the CNO, and Rochefort reported to OP-20G at Navy Headquarters in Washington DC.  Officially, any intelligence developed by Hypo was to be sent to Washington D.C. (Station Negat) for analysis and dissemination.  However, Rochefort had a long established relationship and friendship with the Pacific Fleet Intelligence Officer, LCDR Edwin Layton, when both underwent Japanese language training in Japan earlier in their careers.   Rochefort routinely passed intelligence directly to Layton (to the consternation of Washington) who was only one of two officers accorded immediate and direct access to Admiral Nimitz at any hour.
    Nimitz was a firm believer in the principle, first recorded by Sun Tzu and implemented by Julius Ceasar, that the commander should receive his intelligence direct from his intelligence sources, unfiltered by anyone else.  Despite the fact that both Layton and Rochefort had been in the same jobs for the Pearl Harbor debacle, Nimitz recognized Layton's unique talents and retained him, and made no effort to remove Rochefort (who technically didn't work for Nimitz anyway.)  Nimitz told Layton that his job was to think like Admiral Yamamoto and provide estimates of what he thought the Japanese intended to do.  Neither Layton nor Rochefort were intelligence officers (or codebreakers;) there was no such thing.  Both were line officers who had had a few intelligence assignments in between the line assignments necessary for promotion; intelligence work was generally considered non-career enhancing (junior officers assigned to an intelligence billet on a battleship were known to be made the ship's laundry officer) but was considered OK for a non-USNA officer like Rochefort.  Layton was a rare USNA line officer with exceptional talent, who had also willingly served in multiple intelligence assignments, and who, like Rochefort, spoke fluent Japanese.
     The U.S. Navy code-breaking effort dated back almost to WWI, and had progressed in fits and starts in the 1920's and 1930's, and had benefited greatly from Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) "black-bag jobs" such as breaking and entering the Japanese consulate to copy codebooks, etc. (which would be illegal now, and technically was illegal even then.)  By the time of Pearl Harbor, U.S. Navy and U.S. Army cryptologists (they took turns on alternate days) were breaking and reading the Japanese diplomatic code (called "Purple" and the program "Magic") faster than the Japanese embassy in Washington.  Initial inroads were being made on breaking the Japanese Navy general operating code, known at the time as the "5 num" code, and retroactively as the JN-25 series (JN-25B at the time leading up to Pearl Harbor and Midway – changed to JN-25C a week before Midway.)  Rochefort was not the "code-breaker."  He was in charge of code-breakers; he had some previous tours in signals intelligence and code-breaking, and was well-suited for the assignment.  The senior code-breaker in Station Hypo was actually LCDR Carter Ham.  At the time of Pearl Harbor, Hypo had been assigned to beat their heads against the wall trying to break the Japanese Flag Officers Code (which was never broken) while Station Negat in D.C. and Station Cast at Cavite, Philippines worked on JN-25B.
    After Pearl Harbor, Hypo was allowed to work on JN-25B, and began to have success.  Each raid by U.S. carriers on outlying Japanese garrison islands in early 1942 resulted in a flurry of Japanese communications (and communications security violations) tied to a specific, known event, which greatly aided the code-breaking effort, which in conjunction with "traffic analysis" (analysis of message externals; to, from, precedence, length, etc.) led to increasingly accurate estimates of Japanese force disposition and intent.  However, even at best, the U.S. was only intercepting about 60% of Japanese naval communications, analyzing about 40%, and actually breaking and reading only about 10-15%, frequently only fragments of message internals (the "text".)  Even when broken, the message was still in esoteric highly-technical jargon-laden "navalese" Japanese, i.e., very difficult to translate by even the best linguists (coupled with the fact that very many geographic locations in the Pacific had multiple different names.)  So, it was not as if ADM Nimitz before Midway had his own copy of the Japanese Operations Order.  All he had was fragments, amplified by traffic analysis, other signals intelligence (intercepted clear voice) and other basic intelligence analysis techniques, and the experience and intuition of Layton.
    Nevertheless, throughout the spring of 1942, Nimitz gained increasing confidence in the intelligence being provided by Layton and Rochefort.  It was intelligence that led him to commit the USS Yorktown (CV-5) and USS Lexington (CV-3) to counter the Japanese invasion attempt on Port Moresby, New Guinea, that resulted in the Battle of the Coral Sea on 7-8 May.  On 12 May, Rochefort's code-breakers got the first indications that the Japanese were planning a major operation in the Central Pacific, and Rochefort informed Layton that it was "really hot."  As more message traffic was intercepted, both Rocheforte and Layton became convinced that Midway Island was the target, and they convinced Nimitz as well.  Washington was not convinced, even though OP-20G/Negat and War Plans were analyzing the same intelligence.
    Before Pearl Harbor and well into the spring of 1942, the Intelligence situation in Washington D.C. was dysfunctional (contributing significantly to the disaster at Pearl Harbor.)  Four different Directors of Naval Intelligence in a little over a year (none with intelligence background; most who didn't want the job) didn't help, nor did the constant reorganizations.  The bitter long-running bureaucratic (and resource) battle between Naval Communications and Naval Intelligence over who should own "Communications Intelligence" (and code-breaking) had severe detrimental effect, and at the time Naval Communications was in the driver's seat.  After Pearl Harbor, the "father of U.S. Navy code-breaking," CDR Laurance Safford was removed and replaced by a line officer as OP-20G who had no experience in the subject.  ONI was also involved in a bitter losing battle with the War Plans Division, under RADM Richmond Kelly Turner, in which ONI was barred from providing "assessments" of intelligence, since Kelly convinced CNO's Stark and King that assessment was a War Plans operational function and ONI was just supposed to provide the raw intelligence.  Just prior to Pearl Harbor, Kelly officially assessed that the Japanese would not attack the United States but would attack Russia instead.  ONI held a different view.  Also, Layton and Rochefort had experienced the chaotic period after Pearl Harbor in which a flood of bogus rumors ("RUMINT") had paralyzed operational decision-makers.  Station Negat on the other hand, "under new management" still chased after and reported numerous false and contradictory leads, providing "worst case" analysis to King.
    Contrary to many books and movies, the famous "AF" gambit run by Rochefort was an attempt to get Washington to believe that "AF" stood for Midway, not to convince Nimitz.  With an idea provided by Jasper Holmes, one of his staff, Rochefort had a message sent via secure underwater cable to Midway for Midway to broadcast a phony radio message in the clear saying that Midway's fresh water-making capability was broken.  The Japanese intercepted the message and retransmitted the information, which was intercepted and broken by Hypo, confirming that AF stood for Midway.  Still, many in Washington were unconvinced under the "this is too-good-to-be-true" principle.  There were also a lot of good reasons why invading Midway Island seemed to make no sense.  In fact the Japanese Naval General Staff had made the same arguments in a losing battle against ADM Yamamoto's plan.  There was also considerable argument about the wisdom of basing a plan around Japanese intent rather than Japanese worst-case capability, and that it all might be an elaborate Japanese deception.  Eventually CNO King came around after ordering an assessment be provided to him direct from Rochefort.
    On 17 May, convinced that Midway was the main Japanese objective, Nimitz sent an eyes-only (and "no CNO") message to VADM Halsey, embarked on USS Enterprise (CV-6) directing him to deliberately expose Enterprise and TF-17 to Japanese reconnaissance aircraft in the vicinity of the Gilbert Islands, which Halsey dutifully did.  This accomplished several objectives.  By "blowing" Halsey's operation, Nimitz had a pretext to recall Enterprise and Hornet to Pearl Harbor (the damaged Yorktown was already en route Pearl Harbor for repair after Coral Sea) so that he could concentrate his forces at Midway, and get King off his back about keeping a carrier in the South Pacific to counter a possible Japanese thrust against the Fiji/Somoa area, which deeply concerned King.  It also fooled the Japanese into thinking at least one of the U.S. carriers was in the South Pacific, which would enable the Midway operation to defeat the U.S. carriers piecemeal.
    On 18 May, Nimitz directed Layton to provide his best estimate of where and when the Japanese carriers would first be detected.  Layton provided the estimate on 27 May (see Overview) and the same day Nimitz issued OPLAN 29-42, directing Enterprise and Hornet to proceed to the vicinity of Midway, and Yorktown to follow suit as soon as temporary repairs were complete at Pearl.  Nimitz also directed that TF-1, the battleships, several of which had been repaired after Pearl Harbor, to remain on the West Coast, to the dismay of TF1 Commander VADM Pye (and to some degree CNO King) because they were too slow, too vulnerable, and used up too much fuel.
    Nimitz also directed that Midway Island's defenses be significantly increased, including additional reconnaissance aircraft.  By early June, 1942, the 127 aircraft based on Midway Island included 31 PBY Catalina flying boats, a few rigged to carry a torpedo.  Seventeen USAAF B-17 bombers also provided additional reconnaissance capability.  The PBY's began to fly missions out to 700 miles from Midway, and on 3 Jun sighted the Japanese minesweeper group coming from Guam and also the Japanese invasion/occupation force, which was also sighted and reported by a U.S. submarine.  B-17's also bombed the invasion force with no hits (although many were claimed.)  Thick fog to the northwest of Midway, covered (and delayed) the Japanese carrier force.
   Before dawn on 4 Jun, 15 B-17's launched to attack the invasion force again, while 22 PBY's commenced reconnaissance flights, mostly to the northwest.  The Yorktown, at "Point Luck" northeast of Midway also launched 10 SBD Dauntless dive-bombers on a relatively short 100 nm search pattern to assure RADM Fletcher that no Japanese carriers were in close proximity.
    At 0530, a PBY flown by LT Howard P. Ady sighted Japanese ships northwest of Midway and issued a sighting report at 0534.  At 0545 another PBY, flown by LT William Chase sighted the inbound Japanese air strike and reported "many aircraft heading Midway." Several minutes later, at 0552, Chase sighted two of the Japanese carriers.  Midway radar detected the incoming strike at 0553.  Word of the Japanese carriers reached Fletcher, Spruance and Nimitz shortly after 0600 (almost right on Layton's estimate.)
    The Japanese Navy had a relatively robust intelligence capability, in particular a very effective shipboard radio intelligence capability that could intercept and translate U.S. clear voice communications in near-real-time providing useful tactical information to Japanese commanders even in the heat of battle.  The Japanese were also relatively proficient at traffic analysis.  Japanese radio intelligence picked up and reported the greatly increased volume of high-precedence U.S. messages in the days before Midway, but the significance was lost on senior Japanese commanders, who remained fixated on the plan and the belief that it could not have been compromised.   Japan's extremely long-range reconnaissance seaplanes were also very capable, although also very vulnerable to U.S. fighters. The Japanese, however, were not able to break U.S. Navy codes (but not for want of trying,) which left them at a significant disadvantage.  Also, the small but effective Japanese human intelligence network on Oahu was rolled up very quickly after Pearl Harbor, and Japanese-Americans (Nisei) in Hawaii (or the mainland U.S.) never engaged in espionage as feared.  (In fact the official ONI assessment was that the Nisei were not a threat and recommended against internment, but was overruled by the Army and President Roosevelt.)
    Without a human intelligence network in Hawaii, the Japanese plan depended on reconnaissance of Pearl Harbor by flying-boat, and a line of submarines between Hawaii and Midway.  Both operations failed miserably.  Operation K was to be a reconnaissance of Pearl Harbor by two Kawanishi H8K Type 2 "Emily" long-range flying-boats from the Marshall islands, which would refuel from submarines at French Frigate Shoals (midway between Oahu and Midway Island) specifically to determine whereabouts of the U.S. carriers.  The Japanese had done this before.  On the night of 3-4 March two Kawanishi flying-boats conducted a reconnaissance/bombing mission over Pearl Harbor.  Station Hypo provided advance warning of the operation, but night and overcast prevented intercept, but also precluded reconnaissance or accurate bombing by the Japanese.  One of the flying-boats dropped its bombs through the overcast onto the foothills near the Punchbowl.  No one knows where the other plane's bombs went.  (This is also the known as the "second air raid on Pearl Harbor.")  The Japanese tried another similar operation with one flying-boat on 9-10 March, but this was also compromised, and the flying-boat was shot down by a USMC fighter from Midway Island.  The Japanese did not catch on that this might be a bad idea.
    When Operation K was implemented, the Japanese submarine sent to conduct reconnaissance of French Frigate Shoals discovered a U.S. seaplane tender and destroyer camped out.  The U.S. ships were sent there deliberately by Nimitz to keep the Japanese from doing exactly what they were trying to do.  The two refueling submarines I-121 and I-123 lingered for a couple days hoping the U.S. ships would go away, but on 31 May, Operation K was cancelled, depriving the Japanese of critical intelligence on the U.S. carriers.  The implication that the U.S. might be forewarned was also ignored by senior Japanese commanders.
    The Japanese submarine reconnaissance line was an even bigger failure.  The plan called for seven submarines to be stationed along a line north of the Hawaiian Islands and seven more south of the Hawaiian islands, midway between Midway and Oahu, to detect and report the transit of U.S. carriers.  However, most of the submarines committed were among the oldest and least reliable in the Japanese Navy, although this was known, and ignored by senior Japanese commanders.  What Yamamoto and Nagumo did not know was that the entire submarine force had been held back by mechanical difficulties of several of them, and none of the submarines reached station when they were supposed to.  The politically-connected and royally-related RADM Marquis Teruhisa Komatsu, Commander of 6th Fleet (submarines) decided not to tell anyone about the late departure.  Actually it wouldn't have made any difference.  Even if the submarines had arrived on schedule, all three U.S. carriers had already gone past.
     The only Japanese submarine to distinguish itself in a reconnaissance role, was I-168 (which also later sank the Yorktown.)  I-168 observed Midway Island for several days before the battle, accurately reporting that Midway's defenses had been greatly beefed up, that the island was on high alert, and that numerous U.S. reconnaissance aircraft were flying missions out to extreme range, based on how long they were airborne.  This information was also filed under, "gee, that's nice" by Japanese commanders.
    On the morning of 4 Jun, the Japanese carrier force executed a woefully inadequate search plan.  Like the U.S., the Japanese knew very well from pre-war exercises that whichever carrier force found the other one first had a decisive advantage.  Yet despite this, the Japanese much preferred not to "waste" carrier-based strike aircraft on reconnaissance, preferring to rely instead on long-range land-based aircraft and catapult-launched float-planes from battleships and cruisers.  Relying on land-based aircraft did have an operational security advantage, in that reconnaissance by land-based aircraft did not give away the presence of an aircraft carrier.  This, however, was not an option for the Japanese at Midway.  It was an option for the U.S., which is why RADM Fletcher kept his morning reconnaissance flight close to his carriers (within 100 miles) so as to not give away is presence, relying on the Midway-based PBY Catalina's to find the Japanese carriers.   Given the complexity of the Japanese plan, float-plane capable escort ships were spread thin.  Within the Japanese carrier force, the two battleships, Haruna and Kirishima, carried three float-planes (of limited range) and the two cruisers Tone and Chikuma had been built to carry five longer range float-planes.
   Just before daybreak on 4 June, the Japanese launched seven aircraft to conduct a search of about a 200 degree sector, which resulted in Swiss cheese coverage, particularly given the cloud conditions to the east northeast, which is where the U.S. carriers were.  VADM Chuichi Nagumo and his staff understood that the search plan was weak, but accepted it.  They still believed they had the element of surprise, and they were fixated on maximizing the first strike on Midway Island.  They also still believed that it was unlikely any U.S. ships would be in the area, and if there was a carrier, there wouldn't be more than one.  The Japanese believed that the Lexington (CV-2) had been torpedoed and sunk by a submarine in January (actually it was the Saratoga (CV-3), but only damaged.)  The also believed they had sunk both the Yorktown and the Saratoga (because they'd already "sunk" her sister Lexington) at Coral Sea. One carrier had been spotted near the Gilberts (either Enterprise (CV-6) or Hornet (CV-8)) and although the Japanese didn't know for sure where the Ranger (CV-4) and Wasp (CV-7) were, they had last been located in the Atlantic.  That left one U.S. carrier to oppose the Midway strike, and the Japanese remained convinced, based on no evidence, that that carrier was cowering in Pearl and would need to be drawn out to fight.  Their complacency, a symptom of "victory disease," (the sense of their own invincibility coupled with the fatigue of six months of non-stop operations) would prove fatal.
    Tone's No. 4 scout (an Aichi E13A Type 0 "Jake") launched late, due to reasons that still remain unclear, to fly the #4 search line.  Her late launch has been cited by many historians as a key factor in the Japanese defeat by not detecting the U.S. carriers until it was too late.  Actually, Chikuma's No. 1 scout, launched on time, and flying #5 search line, should have seen TF-17 at approximately 0615, but did not, due to clouds or other factors that remain unclear.  Even if Chikuma No. 1 had found the U.S. carriers at 0615, it was already too late for Nagumo to launch the reserve strike (107 aircraft , armed with anti-ship weapons) before the U.S. carriers started launching.  Nagumo lost the battle as soon as he launched the first strike on Midway Island (in accordance with Yamamoto's plan) without knowing the U.S. carriers were in the vicinity.  Had Chikuma No.1 sighted the U.S. carriers earlier, the best Nagumo could have done would have been to trade blows (a typical outcome of pre-war U.S. exercises.)  If Tone No. 4 had launched on time and flown the prescribed route, she would have missed the U.S. carriers, and the first indication Nagumo would have had of U.S. carriers was the 15 TBD's of USS Hornet's Torpedo Squadron 8.
    Rochefort's reward for his success was to be recalled to Washington by OP-20G on a pretext, never to return to Hypo, and to be given command of a floating drydock.  Nimitz' recommendation that Rochefort be awarded the Distinguished Service Medal was denied by CNO King on the recommendation of Rochefort's Washington chain-of-command, who then took credit for having broken the Japanese code and predicted the Midway operation, even though they had done no such thing.  Nimitz tried to get King to reconsider, but got side-tracked by having a world war to run.  Not until Intelligence records become declassified in the 1970's did the real story become known to the public.  And not until after a years-long campaign by RADM Donald "Mac" Showers, who had been an ensign in Station Hypo with Rochefort, was Rochefort awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, posthumously. 
Item Number:1 Date: 06/04/2018 AFGHANISTAN - 14 RELIGIOUS SCHOLARS KILLED AFTER ISSUING RULING AGAINST SUICIDE BOMBING (JUN 04/TN)  TOLONEWS -- At least 14 people have been killed and 17 wounded in an attack on religious scholars in the Afghan capital, Kabul, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan).   The blast on Monday targeted a gathering of about 2,000 scholars at a meeting of elders known as a Loya Jirga near Kabul Polytechnic University.   A suicide bomber attacked the attendees as they exited the university's gate, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The scholars present at the meeting had just issued a religious ruling known as a fatwa against suicide bombings and the ongoing war in Afghanistan.   "War in its all types is forbidden under the Islamic and Sharia law and it is nothing but shedding the blood of Muslims," the scholars said.   The Taliban denied involvement in the attack, reported the Khamaa Press (Afghanistan).  
  Item Number:4 Date: 06/04/2018 CHINA - BRITISH, FRENCH DEFENSE MINISTERS ANNOUNCE FREEDOM OF NAVIGATION OPERATION IN S. CHINA SEA (JUN 04/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- The defense ministers of France and the U.K. say their countries will sail warships though the South China Sea to challenge China's growing presence, reports the South China Morning Post.   The ministers made their comments on Sunday during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.   A French maritime task group with British helicopters and ships will set sail next week from Singapore into disputed waters in the South China Sea. German observers will also be on board, said French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly.   The minister said that ships would likely cross into territorial waters claimed by Beijing and would anticipate a response. Any complaints would not be heeded because the ship will be in international waters under international law, she said.   Such maneuvers contribute to a rules-based world order, said Parly.   British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson indicated that London planned to send three warships to the region this year.   China says that it will not move to restrict movement in international shipping lanes, but that does not include anything within 12 nautical miles of its contested claims in the South China Sea.   The announcement came one day after Beijing defended its right to deploy troops across the South China Sea, the first acknowledgement by China of its policy of deploying troops and weapons on natural and man-made islands in the area
  Item Number:7 Date: 06/04/2018 NIGERIA - 11 BOKO HARAM FIGHTERS KILLED DURING WEEKEND OPERATIONS, SAYS MILITARY (JUN 04/NANIGERIA)  NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA -- The Nigerian army says it killed 11 Boko Haram fighters during weekend operations in Borno state, reports the News Agency of Nigeria.   Troops from the 153 Task Battalion and Cameroonian Defence Forces encountered the terrorists in the state's Ngala area, a spokesman for Operation Lafiya Dole said on June 2.   Government troops overpowered the Boko Haram fighters, who were on horseback, killing 10, said the spokesman for the anti-Boko Haram operation during a press conference in Maiduguri.   Troops recovered two AK-47 rifles, communications equipment and a Cameroonian passport from the scene, he said.   In a separate incident, troops from the 82 Task Force Battalion killed one Boko Haram fighter in the state's Gwoza area, said the spokesman. The remaining fighters were forced to flee.   At least four improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were recovered after the second attack
Item Number:8 Date: 06/04/2018 RUSSIA - VYSHNY VOLOCHEK MISSILE SHIP COMMISSIONED IN SEVASTOPOL (JUN 04/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Russian navy has commissioned into service another Grad Sviyazhsk-class patrol ship, reports Interfax-AVN.   The Vyshny Volochek formally entered operational service during a ceremony on Friday in Sevastopol in Crimea.   The ship is the sixth in the class and is assigned to the Black Sea Fleet.   The class is armed with the Kalibr supersonic cruise missile.    
  Item Number:9 Date: 06/04/2018 SAUDI ARABIA - KING THREATENS MILITARY ACTION IF QATAR ACQUIRES S-400 AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM FROM RUSSIA (JUN 04/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Saudi Arabia has threatened military action if Qatar acquires Russian-made S-400 air defense systems, reports Al-Jazeera (Qatar), citing France's Le Monde daily newspaper.   Saudi Arabia has "profound concern" over reports that Doha and Russia are discussing the sale of system, according to a letter from Saudi King Salman to French President Emmanuel Macron.   If such a sale were to go through, Saudi Arabia "would be ready to take all the necessary measures to eliminate this defense system, including military action," King Salman wrote.   Qatar's ambassador to Russia said in January that talks over the proposed acquisition were "at an advanced stage."   The two countries signed an agreement on military and technical cooperation in October 2017.   Saudi Arabia also signed preliminary agreements to buy the S-400 system during a visit to Moscow by King Salman in October 2017.   Since June 2017, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have maintained a sea, air and land blockade of Qatar over its alleged support of terrorism.   Qatar denies supporting terrorism.     
  Item Number:11 Date: 06/04/2018 SOUTH SUDAN - U.N. EXTENDS SANCTIONS FOR ANOTHER 45 DAYS (JUN 04/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- The United Nations Security Council has agreed to maintain sanctions on South Sudan for another 45 days, reports the Voice of America News.   The resolution to extend the sanctions, backed by the U.S., passed on Thursday with nine votes and six abstentions.   "The United States has lost its patience. And the status quo is unacceptable. It is long past time for all of us to demand better for the South Sudanese people," said U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley.   A decision on imposing travel bans and asset freezes on six South Sudanese leaders accused of impeding peace was delayed for 30 days, pending a review of the commitment of the parties to adhere to a cease-fire.   South Sudanese Ambassador Akuei Bona Malwal called on the Security Council to drop the threat of additional sanctions and allow the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional group, to move forward with its program to revitalize peace talks.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 06/04/2018 TAIWAN - F-16 FIGHTER DISAPPEARS DURING HAN KUANG LIVE-FIRE DRILLS (JUN 04/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Search efforts are under way for a Taiwanese F-16 fighter jet that disappeared during scheduled live-fire drills, reports Agence France-Prese.   The jet disappeared from radar on Monday afternoon, while flying over mountainous terrain in northeastern Taiwan, the air force said in a statement.   The jet left its base in Hualien about 34 minutes earlier, reported the South China Morning Post.   Search efforts were underway, said the air force.   A hiker on a trail near Keelung city found wreckage that may belong to the missing F-16, said police cited by the official Central News Agency.   The five-day Han Kuang live-fire drills began on Monday. The exercise simulates a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, reflecting increasing tension between the two neighbors.   The drills aim to dissuade any future Chinese military mission against Taiwan, said the defense ministry.   China considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province and has increasingly threatened to unify the two by any means necessary by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese Communist Party over nationalist forces.   
  Item Number:13 Date: 06/04/2018 USA - AIR FORCE OFFERS MAJOR RETENTION BONUSES FOR MANY PILOTS (JUN 04/AFT)  AIR FORCE TIMES -- The U.S. Air Force has decided to offer significant retention bonuses for many of its pilots and in line with those already available for fighter pilots, reports the Air Force Times.   Some bomber, fixed-wing combat search-and-rescue, special operations, mobility and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance pilots could receive bonuses of up to $420,000 if they sign up to serve for the maximum term of 12 additional years, an Air Force spokeswoman told the newspaper on May 31.   This is the largest expansion to the service's Aviation Bonus Program in years.   The Air Force is battling retention issues, as pilots separate to pursue lucrative salaries with commercial airlines.   The bonuses do not completely close the gap, but help narrow it, said officials.   The rate of pilots choosing to extend their service has been in decline, falling from 55 percent in 2015 to 48 percent in 2016 and 44 percent last year. These figures are well below the 65 percent the Air Force typically hopes will take advantage of the retention bonuses.   Lump sum payments for some portion of the bonuses are also being made available in some cases, officials said
Item Number:15 Date: 06/04/2018 USA - NAVY CHOOSES NAVAL STRIKE MISSILE FOR LITTORAL COMBAT SHIPS (JUN 04/USNIN)  USNI NEWS -- The U.S. Navy has officially selected the Norwegian-developed Naval Strike Missile to equip its littoral combat ships, reports USNI News.   On May 31, the Navy awarded Raytheon a $14.8 million contract to purchase an initial batch of missiles under the over-the-horizon anti-ship program. The deal covers around a dozen missiles   The deal has a potential value of $847.6 million if all options are exercised, said a Pentagon release.   The deal calls for the delivery of the NSMs in canisters loaded into launchers and a single fire-control suite.   The NSM was the only competitor for the program after Boeing withdrew the Harpoon Block II Plus and Lockheed Martin its Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM). Both companies complained that the Navy requirements did not account for the networking capability of their weapons
Item Number:16 Date: 06/04/2018 YEMEN - WHITE HOUSE MULLING U.A.E. REQUEST FOR SUPPORT TO RETAKE HODEIDAH (JUN 04/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- The White House is considering a request from the United Arab Emirates to increase U.S. support to the Saudi-led coalition for an operation to take the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah from Houthi rebels, reports the Wall Street Journal   Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ordered a review of the U.A.E. request and Yemen experts are expected to meet on Monday to weigh in, said U.S. officials.   Emirati and Saudi officials say they are waiting for U.S. backing before seizing the port   U.S. officials are worried that taking the port -- the main conduit for incoming aid in Yemen -- could have catastrophic effects, including significant civilian casualties.   Saudi officials unsuccessfully lobbied for a similar proposal last year, said former administration officials.   On Sunday, Yemeni forces supported by the Saudi-led coalition captured tourist resorts in Al Nukhaila, west of Hodeidah, reported the National (Abu Dhabi). At least 73 Houthi fighters were killed and 23 captured, said a Yemeni spokesman.   On Saturday, U.N. special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, arrived in Houthi-controlled Sanaa to discuss a plan for the rebels to turn over the airport to the U.N. and withdraw from Hodeidah.

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