Thursday, March 21, 2019

TheList 4953

The List 4953     TGB
To All,
I hope that your week has been going well.
This Day In Naval History – March 21, 2019
1804 The brig USS Syren (Siren), commanded by Lt. Charles Stewart, captures the Tripolitan brig Transfer off the coast of Tripoli, renaming it Scourge after being taken into US Navy service.
1903 The Honduras Expedition, made up with USS Marietta, USS Olympia, USS Panther, USS Raleigh, and USS San Francisco, embark and operate in Honduran waters during a period of civil strife.
1917 Loretta Walsh becomes the first woman Navy petty officer when sworn in as chief yeoman.
1919 - Navy installs and tests Sperry gyrocompass, in first instance of test of aircraft gyrocompass
1943 USS Herring (SS 233) sinks the German submarine U 163 off the Bay of Biscay. The sub was responsible for sinking USS Erie (PG 50) on Nov. 14, 1942.
1945 USS Baya (SS 318) sinks the auxiliary netlayer Kainan Maru off Cam Ranh Bay.
1945 - Bureau of Aeronautics initiates rocket-powered surface-to-air guided missile development by awarding contract to Fairchild
1952 During the Korean War, USS Osprey (AMS 28) comes under fire by enemy shore batteries while sweeping the shoreline at Wonsan. Osprey silences the three batteries in a counter-battery engagement.
1957 An A3D-1 Skywarrior aircraft piloted by Cmdr. Dale W. Cox, Jr., breaks two transcontinental records, one for the Los Angeles to New York flight in nine hours and 21 minutes, 35.4 seconds and the other for the return back east to west flight in five hours and 13 minutes, 49 seconds.
Thanks to  CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Today's leading headlines include New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announcing plans to ban nearly all military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles following the mosque attacks of last week and European Council President Donald Tusk telling reporters that Brexit delay may occur. In a move to counter growing threats from China and Russia, the U.S. Navy is planning to buy a version of Raytheon's Spy-6 Air and Missile Defense Radar for Flight 11A Arleigh Burke-class destroyers reports Defense News. Rear Adm. Ron Boxall stated that the Navy intends to deploy a laser aboard a guided-missile destroyer in the next two years in an effort to integrate directed energy weapon systems on warships reports USNI News. Additionally, Stars and Stripes reported on the Navy's efforts to implement the changes recommended in the wake of 2017's fatal collisions.
This date in World history
Heraclius restores the True Cross, which he has recaptured from the Persians.
Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is burned at the stake at Oxford after retracting the last of seven recantations that same day.
Pocahontas (Rebecca Rolfe) dies of either small pox or pneumonia while in England with her husband, John Rolfe.
Almost the entire city of New Orleans, Louisiana, is destroyed by fire.
Lewis and Clark begin their trip home after an 8,000 mile trek of the Mississippi basin and the Pacific Coast.
The Battle of Bentonville, N.C. ends, marking the last Confederate attempt to stop Union General William Sherman.
Emperor Tu Duc orders that Christian priests are to put to death.
British forces in India lift the siege of Lucknow, ending the Indian Mutiny.
Ohio passes a law that prohibits hazing by fraternities.
Frenchman Henri Farman carries a passenger in a bi-plane for the first time.
The U.S. Senate grants ex-President Teddy Roosevelt an annual pension of $10,000.
The Germans launch the 'Michael' offensive, better remembered as the First Battle of the Somme.
President Calvin Coolidge presents the Congressional Medal of Honor to Charles Lindbergh, a captain in the US Army Air Corps Reserve, for making the first solo trans-Atlantic flight. On June 11, 1927, Lindbergh had received the first Distinguished Flying Cross ever awarded.
Singer Kate Smith records "God Bless America" for Victor Records.
The last Italian post in East Libya, North Africa, falls to the British.
Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall reports that the U.S. military has doubled to 2.9 million since the start of the Korean War.
Alcatraz Island, the federal penitentiary in San Francisco Bay, California, closes.
The United States launches Ranger 9, last in a series of unmanned lunar explorations.
Two U.S. platoons in Vietnam refuse their orders to advance.
As North Vietnamese forces advance, Hue and other northern towns in South Vietnam are evacuated.
President Jimmy Carter announces to the U.S. Olympic Team that they will not participate in the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow as a boycott against Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.
A Soviet submarine crashes into the USS Kitty Hawk off the coast of Japan.
Thanks to NHHC
H-016-3: Battle of the Atlantic—The Lost Boarding Party, 10 March 1943 
H-Gram 016, Attachment 3
Samuel J. Cox, Director NHHC/CAPT James Bloom, MC, USN (ret.)
March 2018 
By 1942, the Allied blockade of Germany was pinching Hitler. Increasingly, Germany had to rely on trade with distant lands in the Far East. Thus, the Kriegsmarine commissioned blockade runners, who operated from occupied French Atlantic ports. Between 1940 and 1944, a total of 21 Asia-bound freighters attempted the breakout. Six of these fell victim to Allied warships, but the rest delivered 111,490 tons of cargo to Germany. One notable runner was the 7,323-ton Karin, the former Dutch passenger/cargo ship Koya Nopan. Armed with a 105-mm gun aft and four 20-mm cannon, she ran the blockade outbound in late 1942. In Malaysia, she loaded 4,000 tons of rubber and tin, and, on 4 February 1943, she put to sea for the return to Germany. Flying Dutch flags identifying her as Kota Tjandi, she coursed through the South Atlantic. However, the entry of Brazil into the war on 22 August 1942 had shifted control of the "Atlantic Narrows" between Brazil and Western Africa to the Allies. On 10 March 1943, Task Group 23.1, consisting of USS Savannah (CL-42), Santee (ACV-29), Livermore (DD-429), and Eberle (DD-430), was cruising just south of the Equator.
An SOC-3 Seagull from Santee spotted a solitary ship cruising at 12 knots near the St. Peter and St. Paul archipelago. At 1633, Savannah, embarking task group commander Rear Admiral Oliver M. Read, Jr., fired warning shots across the freighter's bows. She hove to and signaled "FM" ("I am sinking"). Eberle ignored the Dutch flag and closed. Suddenly, explosions echoed across the waves and smoke began rising from the freighter. The vessel proved to be Karin, whose crew lowered boats and threw papers overboard. Eberle's skipper, Commander Karl F. Poehlmann, dispatched 12 volunteers.
By 1649, heavy flames issued from the freighter. Lieutenant Junior Grade Frederick L. Edwards, leading the boarding party, gained the burning deck and ran for the bridge. Coxswain Joseph E.H. Metivier, Fireman First Class Dennis J. Buckley, Seaman Third Class William J. Pattison, Watertender Second Class Alex M. Diachenko, and three shipmates headed below decks to remove scuttling charges. The others fought fires in a gallant attempt to save Karin. However, the work of the 72 German crewmen had been too efficient. Poehlmann ordered the boarding party off just as three large explosions racked the bridge and after deckhouse. Holes were blown in Karin's hull and Metivier, Buckley, Diachenko, and Pattison took the full force of the blasts. All below decks were killed instantly. Eberle's whaleboat disintegrated into splinters. A second boat recovered Edwards and the injured Seaman First Class Alexander J. Bisheimer and Seaman Second Class Louis J. Doll—the only members of the boarding party to survive. Karin sank, the valorous attempt of the boarders having failed.
The entire German crew was rescued from their lifeboats and held as POWs. Edwards, Bisheimer, and Pattison received the Navy Cross; the remaining boarders were posthumously awarded the Silver Star. Signalman Pattison was subsequently remembered with USS William J. Pattison (DD-594). The World War II warships Diachenko (APD-123), Dennis J. Buckley (DD-808), Metivier (DE-582), Tinsman (DE-589), and Myers (DE-595) remember others who made the ultimate sacrifice with this fearless boarding party. The remaining boarders who lost their lives were: Fireman First Class William J. Jones; Carpenter's Mate First Class Robert M. Shockley; Machinist Mate First Class Merton B. Myers; and Seaman Second Class Wilbur G. Davis
My post on FB thread about 737
thanks to Otis – and Dutch for forwarding
In a mandated effort to make the aircraft 'safer' by putting a system in an aircraft (that has been flying since 1969) we (humans) have in fact designed a system that caused a crash. This, however, is not the first time and sadly not the last. I have an A320 and E190 type ratings, as well as time in a fly-by wire Navy aircraft. I say that because I'm well versed in aircraft that have systems that prevent the pilot from screwing it up (or should I say a pilot not flying the plane correctly?) The risk versus reward for taking the pilot out of the loop is accidents like K-9's FA-18 crash after a cat shot and France Flight 447. Two examples where the flight control computers did things that the pilots did not expect. K-9's crash was a tragic design flaw that was fixed by a later software upgrade (the only way to fix a fly-by wire system….) and there was nothing he could do (lift a glass to him the next time you have the chance). But other times, the 'operators' of the aircraft failed to understand what the aircraft was doing and the aircraft crashed due to pilot error- this was the case in Air France 447. The pilots in that doomed flight were taught that 'an Airbus can't stall' and all their training was to that effect. Laws of physics and aerodynamics be damned, just go to TOGA (full power) and pull back on the stick!! But if you think this reaction to 'add power and pull' in a stall is limited to Airbus pilots, take a look at Colgan Air Flight 4307- the aircraft iced up and the pilot reaction was to add full power and pull. Most aviators, and I know the Naval Aviators reading this are saying, "WHAT??!!" Without making this into a 30 page dissertation, airlines throughout the world don't train pilots to fly anymore, and they actually have stunted a pilot's ability to critically think (or 'do pilot shit' as I like to say). Because of Federal agencies and lawyers, no one wants a pilot to think- they want them to follow the 'procedures'. Had Cactus Flight 1549 been flown by anyone other that Sully, I don't think the outcome would have been the same. His background and training, as well as his conscience decision to critically think and just fly the aircraft rather than rely on procedures are what saved the day. Put it this way- had he just 'followed the procedures' there would be no miracle on the Hudson. So many people take flying for granted today- it's so safe! Sadly, even airline pilots allow the skills that Sully used to save the day to degrade. For countries that only require 200 hours to sit in the right seat of an airliner, these pilots don't even have the base knowledge and skill to even begin to degrade- they are already at the bottom. It's not a knock on the pilot, it just reality. I look back at my career thus far and think of my own 'development' as a pilot I count my blessings!! Im an effort to counteract this lack of skill, airliners are designed to account for this lack of ability. So additional complex systems and software are added to the plane to make it 'safe' let all they do is make the aircraft more difficult to understand. Now you have in experienced pilot who needs a doctorate degree in systems engining to be able to operate the aircraft in the event of a failure. So if we go back to risk versus reward, where is the line? The FAA's insistence on the implementation of these systems are what add to the complexity of problem. The more complex a system is, the more difficult it is to understand thus the more difficult it is to control, thus the more difficulty it is to understand how to fix it when it fails. In my opinion, the pendulum has swung too far towards removing the pilot out of the loop. There will be a day where there will be pilotless aircraft (hopefully long after I'm gone!) but today is not that day. What the world needs are Pilots to meet the demand of todays air travel, but in an effort to keep prices as low as possible and make travel as accessible as possible you now have 'aircraft operators', not pilots, at the controls of thousands of aircraft. Regulation of safety has its limits (regulation of anything has its limits). The traveling public wants air travel to be 'regulated' to where it is 100% safe. People live in a fantasy world where they believe everything can be 100% safe thru mandates and government regulation. The law of diminishing returns applies to regulation, automation, travel for all and lower ticket prices- this is the diminished return.
Thanks to Harold who provided a personal aspect to a recent historical article in the List
As an aside that may be of interest to you, your recent story about John Browning was a special read for me. The other primary gentleman in the story, Ad Topperwein, was a very good friend of my grandfather and his brother (Harold and Les Cline).  They all lived in San Antonio, Texas not far from each other, and I knew Mr Topperwein for most of my life until he died in 1962. Mr Topperwein gave me my first rifle on my 5th Birthday. We would often go out to his place in Leon Springs (near San Antonio) and shoot. He was blind and deaf by this time, but he would often come over and tell me how to do some of his tricks; show me how to throw things into the air, the timing necessary to hit it, where in the arc of travel to shoot at it, etc. I wish I'd been old enough to pay more attention and ask more questions.   I didn't realize at the time how fortunate I was being around him and the group of shooters that they knew and shot with.  There is no doubt the Browning story is true. I don't remember hearing that particular story, but there were many similar ones.  The recollections he had of shooting the 76500 wooden blocks in 1910 (with only 9 misses) were amazing. The Cline brothers were champions themselves.  Uncle Les was supposed to take Ad's place on the exhibition circuit, but the war interfered and Winchester never started it up again like they had done with Mr. Topperwein.  Uncle Les is also the only man to ever win the Texas State rifle and pistol championships.   My grandfather was a pistol shooter, and set 4 national records during his career. He also shot in the Pan American Games in Mexico City in 1939 and set a world record there while winning 4 gold metals.  All this is why that story was special to me.
Thanks  to  Chuck
Revealed: 50 Years Ago, a Top-Secret U.S. Base Was Overrun By Elite Vietnamese Commandos ---- ARTICLE
Preserving the memory of shadowy episodes like the battle of Lima 85 may not heal the wounds of the past, but it can help bring about an honest reckoning of the mistakes that were made and inspire reflection as to how to avoid repeating them in the future.
Sébastien Roblin holds a master's degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing and refugee resettlement in France and the United States.
Some humor from the archives
Thanks to Doctor Rich
The Italian Fire Crew
One dark night in the small town in Garfield , NJ ,a fire started inside the local sausage factory. In a blink the building was engulfed in flames. The alarm went out to all the fire departments for miles around.
 When the first volunteer fire fighters appeared on the scene, the sausage company president rushed to the fire chief and said, 'All of our secret sausage recipes are in the vault in the center of the plant. They have to be saved, so I will donate $50,000 to the fire company that brings them out and delivers them to me.'
But the roaring flames held the firefighters off. Soon more fire departments had to be called in because the situation became desperate. As the firemen arrived, the president announced that the offer to extricate the secret recipes was now $100,000 to the fire department that could save them.
Suddenly from up the road, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight. It was the fire engine of the nearby null , NJ . The volunteer fire department composed mainly of Italian firefighters all over the age of 65.
To everyone's amazement, the little run-down fire engine, operated by these Italian firefighters, passed fire engines parked outside the plant, and drove straight into the middle of the inferno.
Outside, the other firemen watched in amazement as the Italian old timers jumped off and began to fight the fire as if they were fighting to save their own lives. Within a short time, the Lodi old timers had extinguished the fire and saved the secret recipes.
The grateful sausage company president joyfully announced that for such a super human accomplishment he was raising the reward to $200,000, and walked over to personally thank each of the brave elderly Italian firefighters.
A TV news crew rushed in after capturing the event on film. The 'on camera' reporter asked the Italian fire chief,
'What are you going to do with all that money?'   'Wella,' said Chief Pasquale De Luccinelli, the 70-year-old fire chief, 'de fursta tinga we'gonnna do isza fixa de brakes ondat fockinna truck!!' 
Thanks toMike
Subject: FW: Space Station Tour Wow!!! This is amazing! Enjoy.
Being that most of us will never get to go into outer space, here is a long tour of the International Space station.
  Truly amazing, so much information
Some people have no idea what the Space Station looks like.
T his is very impressive   !
T-28 Carrier Operations …. thanks to Bill…and Dr. Rich.
Memories for all you Navy prop guys.
What a hoot!!!
Thanks to Nordo
When I listened and watched it; I believe that they unloaded everything they could and put in enough fuel to just take them to Danang. Only mentioned Pilot and Copilot on board. Notice that the base officers were only hanging out with the stewardesses.
Historic footage from way back....


(Note Mohawk in foreground)

Those of us in-country in 1969 remember this incident well, but here it is
on film. This DC-8 was cleared to land at Da Nang but mistakenly ID'd
Marble Mountain as DaNang. It's waaay too small for large aircraft and all
advice was to disassemble the aircraft and ship it home. The takeoff isn't
as astounding as was the night landing. Must've been a miracle
to get that big, loaded slug stopped in the few thousand feet that was
Marble Mt. I'll bet they never did find that pilot's seat cushion!!

This from a guy who worked at Trans International Airlines.  Names have
been deleted.

This event is pretty well known history among the "Non Sched"  flight crews
flying the MAC charters in and out of Vietnam but I had no idea it had
been filmed... found it recently.

What's interesting is, once Seaboard World Flight Opns got the word on
what happened, they contacted Douglas Aircraft Corp for advice...Douglas
said "take it apart and ship it home".

FAA said the same thing.......... you can see from this footage how the
flight crew handled the matter.

Enjoy a little history.
Thanks to Mud
    I imagine there are some youngsters on your email list that won't understand what the subject refers to.  You might have to explain.
    This is pure talent, so turn up the volume and watch it full screen.
Some news from around the world
Syria—Battle For Baghouz Not Yet Over, Says SDF Reuters | 03/21/2019 U.S.-backed fighters in Syria have denied that the battle to retake the last territory held by the ISIS terrorist group is over, reports Reuters.  "Combing continues in the Baghouz camp," a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Thursday, referring to the last village held by the group in eastern Syria.  The statement followed local media reports that the entire camp had been cleared.  On Tuesday, the mostly Kurdish force announced that it had entered Baghouz and pushed out most of the ISIS fighters.  SDF troops are now searching the area for hidden tunnels and explosives, as well as any remaining ISIS fighters.  ISIS is likely to remain a threat after losing its territorial holdings. A February report by the Pentagon said the terrorist group had thousands of sleeper cells across the region and could regain operational capability in six to 12 months.  Without sustained pressure, ISIS could retake some territory, the Pentagon said.    
USA—Inspector General Opens Investigation Into Acting Defense Secretary Over Possible Ethics Violations  The Hill | 03/21/2019 The Pentagon's Office of Inspector General has opened an investigation into allegations that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan violated ethics rules, reports the Hill (Washington, D.C.).  The investigation will examine complaints that Shanahan favored his former employer, Boeing, and disparaged competing firms, a spokeswoman for the inspector general said on Wednesday.  Shanahan has voiced support for and been informed of the investigation, she said.  The announcement came a week after a watchdog group requested an inquiry into the allegations of corruption.  The complaint comes after the Pentagon requested eight F-15EX fighters, which are built by Boeing. The Air Force has not sought to buy such aircraft, which are less advanced than the stealthy F-35, since 2001.  There is enough credible information beyond the complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics to warrant an investigation, a defense official told CNN on Wednesday.  In private meetings, Shanahan reportedly insulted Lockheed Martin and its next-generation fighter jet, the F-35, reported the Military Times.  Shanahan has served as acting secretary since December, when James Mattis resigned.   
Afghanistan—6 Killed In Nowruz Attack In Shi'ite Area Of Kabul Khaama Press | 03/21/2019 At least six people have been killed and 23 wounded in a series of explosions in Kabul, reports the Khaama Press.  On Thursday, three explosions struck the Karte Sakhi Shi'ite shrine and a neighborhood in the western part of the city, said the Public Health Ministry, as reported by Radio Free Afghanistan.  The blasts were caused by remotely detonated explosives -- one in the washroom of the mosque, one behind a hospital and one in an electricity meter, said police cited by Al Jazeera (Qatar).  A fourth explosive device was found and defused near Kabul University, said a police spokesman.  There were no immediate claims of responsibility. The Taliban denied responsibility for the attack.  The attack coincided with the Persian New Year, Nowruz, which some hardline groups say is un-Islamic, noted Reuters. U.S. officials warned of an increase risk of attacks in the run up to the holiday.  Last year, an attack on a Shi'ite shrine during Nowruz festivities killed 30 people. ISIS claimed responsibility.    
Bosnia-Herzegovina—Bosnian Serb Leader's Sentence Increased To Life For Crimes During Civil War Deutsche Welle | 03/21/2019 The U.N. War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has increased the sentence of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic for war crimes from 40 years to life imprisonment, reports Deutsche Welle.  On Wednesday, the court in in The Hague rejected all but one appeal by Karadzic, reported the Guardian (U.K.).  The panel of five judges deemed the previous sentence of 40 years too light, given the scale and systematic nature of the crimes. Voting three to two, the judges extended the 73-year-old's sentence to life imprisonment.  Karadzic was convicted in 2016 for his role as the leader of Republika Srpska during the Bosnian war.  The Serb leader was accused of ethnically cleansing Bosnian Muslims and Croats in Bosnia and involvement in the massacre at Srebrenica, where thousands of Bosnian Muslims were killed by Serb forces.  Judges noted an order signed by Karadzic four months before the killing that called for troops to make the situation "unbearable."  He was arrested Belgrade, Serbia, in 2008, where he was found living under a false identity after several years on the run.     
USA—Navy Says It Has Implemented Recommended Changes Following Destroyer Collisions Stars And Stripes | 03/21/2019 The U.S. Navy says it has enacted nearly all of the changes recommended after reviews into two destroyer collisions in 2017, reports the Stars and Stripes. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer ordered two comprehensive reviews following the collisions of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain in June and August 2017, respectively. The reports recommended 103 changes to fix the issues that led to the deadly incidents, which killed 17 sailors on the two warships. The changes were designed to address years of underfunded operations, an increased operational tempo and an erosion of safety standards, the reports said. The Navy has implemented 91 of the recommendations, Adm. William Moran, the vice chief of naval operations, said in a Feb. 25 letter to Congress. Moran declared that the Navy is currently safer and more effective than it was a year ago. The service has also eliminated policies that allowed ships to deploy without necessarily completing mandatory crew training and maintenance. New assessments evaluate staffing levels, training certifications and the status of onboard equipment before authorizing vessels to deploy. The memo also outlined a partial list of the recommendations, which were broken down into three tiers -- safety, operations effectiveness and "strengthening the culture of operational excellence." Recommendations included reducing workloads and changing crew sleep schedules to better accommodate circadian rhythms and reduce fatigue. All ships have reported implementing a sleep schedule policy, which was rolled out in November 2017, but "anecdotal feedback indicates uneven compliance during manpower-intensive operation scenarios," the memo says. The Navy also assigned personnel to temporary duty overseas and put some operations on hold to ensure that the ships only deployed when sufficiently manned. On average, 100 percent of overseas billets are filled, compared to 95 percent across the Navy, according to the memo.    
USA—New Targeting Pod For B-1B Bomber Requires Store Separation Tests Air Force News Service | 03/21/2019 The U.S. Air Force has begun store separation tests to evaluate the effects of the integration of a new targeting pod on the B-1B bomber, reports the Air Force News Service. The new pod configuration features enhanced avionics, improving the ability of the crew to locate targets, said an Air Force official. Wind-tunnel testing began earlier this year at Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., to evaluate how the new targeting pod affects stores released by the bomber, said a service release on Tuesday. Since the new pod has a different shape than the original, engineers must study the aerodynamic effects of the new system during a release, the official said. Turbulence or other disturbances across the weapons bay could cause stores to behave unfavorably, potentially damaging the aircraft. Tests will be conducted on five different store models to determine whether the full-size munitions will cleanly release from the bomber during flight, the release said. The trials are taking place in a 16-foot (49-m) transonic wind-tunnel on a 10 percent model of the B-1B. The Air Force will also evaluate stores at specific trajectories away from the aircraft.   
Finland—Defense Minister Inks Agreement To Join E.U. Cybersecurity Initiative Baltic Times | 03/21/2019 Finland was scheduled to sign onto a Lithuania-led initiative to develop European Union cybersecurity capabilities during a visit by Defense Minister Jussi Niinisto to Vilnius, reports the Baltic Times. On Wednesday, Niinisto met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Raimundas Karoblis, to discuss strengthening defense cooperation. He was also expected to sign a declaration of intent to join the project to establish E.U. Cyber Rapid Response Teams (CRRTs), said the Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense. Thirteen member states are currently involved in the project, including Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Spain. Belgium, France, Germany, Greece and Slovenia are observers.   
Ukraine—Testing Of Bayraktar TB2 Drone Concludes In Khmelnytsky Region Interfax-Ukraine | 03/21/2019 The Ukrainian armed forces have successfully completed flight testing of newly acquired unmanned aerial vehicles, reports Interfax-Ukraine.  The Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 UAV completed its trials on Wednesday in the western Khmelnytsky region, said President Petro Poroshenko. Poroshenko oversaw the trials from the ground-control station and shared a video on social media that showed the air vehicles detecting and destroying targets, reported the Anadolu Agency (Turkey). The president announced plans to purchase 12 Bayraktar TB2 UAVs in January, noted the Daily Sabah (Istanbul). The air vehicles will support special operations forces, paratroopers, motorized troops and other military units, the president said. The Bayraktar TB2, manufactured by Turkish firm Baykar, has a 330-pound (150-kg) payload; can reach altitudes of 27,000 feet (8,200 m); and a flight endurance of 24 hours. The aircraft is designed for reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence missions. It can also carry weapons.   
Russia—Su-27s Intercept B-52 Bomber Over Baltic Sea Tass | 03/21/2019 The Russian Defense Ministry says two of its jets intercepted a U.S. bomber after it approached the Russian border, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow).  On Thursday, Russian radar detected a B-52 bomber over international waters in the Baltic Sea.  Two Su-27 fighter jets were dispatched to escort the U.S. aircraft away from Russian airspace and returned to base after the bomber changed course, said the defense ministry.  The move comes after the U.S. deployed six B-52s to Europe for integration and training exercises with European allies, reported CNN.  The deployment comes on the fifth anniversary of Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea.   
Russia—New Missile For Mi-28NM Attack Choppers Has 25-km Range Tass | 03/21/2019 The Russian military is planning to equip its modernized Mi-28NM attack helicopters with a new, longer-range guided missile, reports the Tass news agency (Russia). The missile, known only as Article 305, has a range of more than 16 miles (25 km) and is guided by an onboard inertial navigation system. The missile is designed to destroy armored vehicles and reinforced concrete fortifications, a defense industry source said on Wednesday.  The Mi-28NM will be able to carry up to four Article 305 missiles on each of its two pylons, the source said. During the terminal phase, the missile will activate a homing device to locate the target in a designated area. Current guided missiles integrated with Russian attack helicopters have a maximum range of 9 miles (15 km). The new missile was developed based on military operations in Syria, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told lawmakers earlier this month.   
India—Suspects In Deadly Train Bombing Acquitted The Hindu | 03/21/2019 A special court has acquitted four men accused of a 2007 attack that killed 68 people, reports the Hindu (Chennai).  On Wednesday, the National Investigation Agency court acquitted Swami Aseemanand and three co-defendants of bombing the Samjhauta Express train.  The judges ruled the evidence presented by prosecutors was insufficient, said one of the defense attorneys in the case.  Aseemanand is a former member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu nationalist group linked to the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  He was jailed in 2010 after confessing to the attacks, reported Reuters. He later recanted and said he only admitted guilt after being tortured.  Pakistani officials criticized the ruling as a miscarriage of justice.  The Samjhauta Express caught fire in February 2007 after two improvised explosive devices detonated onboard near Panipat, north of New Delhi. The train was traveling from New Delhi to Lahore, Pakistan. Sixty-eight people died, including 44 Pakistanis, noted the Economic Times (India).    
Afghanistan—Another Round Of Intra-Afghan Talks Planned Afghanistan Times | 03/21/2019 Representatives of Afghan political parties and other important figures are scheduled to hold another round of talks with Taliban negotiators in April, reports the Afghanistan Times. Consultations are underway for the next round of talks, which is scheduled to take place in Doha on April 14, an unnamed source told the newspaper on Tuesday. About 80 people are expected to participate in the negotiations, which will be moderated by former President Hamid Karzai, the source said. The first such meeting was held on Feb. 5 in Moscow. The intra-Afghan dialogue does not involve the government in Kabul, which has opposed the meetings. Meanwhile, 58 Afghan soldiers were released from Taliban captivity on Monday, reported the Tolo News (Afghanistan). The troops were captured earlier this month in the northwestern Badghis province near the border with Turkmenistan.
Pakistan—TTP Strikes Checkpoint In Baluchistan Killing 6 Paramilitaries Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | 03/21/2019 Six paramilitaries have been killed in an attack on a security checkpoint in southwestern Pakistan, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. On Wednesday, militants ambushed a remote security outpost in the Ziarat district of Baluchistan province, said local authorities. Several paramilitaries were injured in the attack, some critically, reported the Express Tribune (Pakistan). The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan terrorist group claimed responsibility, saying it was in response to the killing of some of its fighters by the paramilitary Baluchistan Levies Force. An investigation has been launched into the incident.   
Nigeria—Boko Haram Blamed For Deadly Attack On Farmers In Borno State Agence France-Presse | 03/21/2019 Four farmers have been killed in a militant attack in northeastern Nigeria, reports Agence France-Presse.  On Tuesday, gunmen opened fire on farmers in a field outside of Lassa village in Borno state. Four people were killed, said a militia member.  The attackers tried to enter the village but were repelled, he said.  The village is near the Sambisa forest, where Boko Haram fighters are known to hide.  The attack was in response to a militia ambush on Boko Haram fighters as they fled military forces earlier this week, locals said. The militants suffered casualties and lost equipment in the ambush.  The insurgents were retreating to Sambisa Forest after attacking the town of Michika in Adamawa state, said the locals.     
Ethiopia—Military Shows Off Russian Air Defense System Defence Web | 03/21/2019 The Ethiopian military displayed a Russian air defense system not previously known to be in its inventory during an event in February, reports Defence Web (South Africa).  Earlier this month, ETV (Ethiopia) broadcast images of a Pantsyr-S1 system next to an S-125 surface-to-air missile launcher during a Defense Force Day event at the airbase outside of Bishoftu in central Ethiopia, reported IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. The footage became widely known only after it was posted on the internet by a Russian user on March 16.  The video showed an upgraded Pantsyr-S1 equipped with a bi-directional phased-array search radar, the magazine said. This was first exported to Algeria in 2010-2012.  Ethiopia has expressed interest in upgrading its air defenses in recent years, especially in light of the Grand Renaissance Dam mega project.  It is not clear when Ethiopia acquired the system or how many it may have purchased.  
Somalia—Top Al-Shabaab Leader Captured In Security Op In Mogadishu Shabelle Media Network | 03/21/2019 Somali security forces say they have captured a high-profile Al-Shabaab militant in an operation in Mogadishu, reports the Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu). An unnamed senior Al-Shabaab leader was reportedly detained on Wednesday. The suspect, whose identity was not released, was believed to lead militants in Barire outside of Mogadishu. In a separate operation, security forces arrested two Al-Shabaab militants suspected of carrying out several assassinations and bombings in Mogadishu earlier this year.                                                                                

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