Tuesday, April 30, 2019

TheList 4982

The List 4982 TGB

To All,
I hope that you all have a great weekend.
This day in Naval History April 26, 2019
1869 As a post-Civil War push for re-enlistments, the Good Conduct Medal, then called Good Conduct Badge, is authorized by Secretary of the Navy Adolphus E. Borie.
1918 USS Stewart (DD 13) collides with an unidentified steamer near Brest, France. Just days earlier, Stewart crew members attacked a German submarine and saved the SS Florence H crew when she exploded internally.
1944 USS Frost (DE 144), USS Huse (DE 145), USS Barber (DE 161) and USS Snowden (DE 246) sink the German submarine U 488 northwest of the Canary Islands.
1952 While steaming at night in formation 700 miles west of the Azores, USS Hobson (DD 464) and USS Wasp (CV 18) collide as Hobson crossed the carriers bow from starboard to port and was struck amidships, breaking her in two. Hobson and 176 of her crew are lost, including her commanding officer, Lt. Cmdr. W. J. Tierney.
1960 USS George Washington (SSN 598) conducts a Polaris missile test firing in Long Island Sound in the Atlantic Ocean.
2002 The Watson-class vehicle cargo ship USNS Soderman (T AKR 317) is launched at National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, Calif.
This day in Naval History April 27, 2019
1805 With naval bombardment from USS Nautilus, USS Hornet, and USS Argus, Lt. Presley OBannon leads his Marines to attack Derne, Tripoli, and raises the first U.S. flag over foreign soil. The Battle of Derna was the Marines' first battle on foreign soil, and is notably recalled in the first verse of the Marines Hymn.
1813 A U.S. naval squadron under the command of Commodore Isaac Chauncey supports an attack on York (now Toronto), Canada, of nearly 1,800 troops under Gen. Zebulon Pike during the War of 1812.
1944 USS Bluegill (SS 242) torpedoes the Japanese light cruiser Yubari west of Sonsorol Island, while USS Halibut (SS 232) sinks Japanese minelayer off Okinawa.
1952 During the Korean War, USS Samuel N. Moore (DD 747) conducts counter-battery fire against enemy shore batteries off Kosong, Korea. The enemy guns are silenced. Also on this date, USS Waxbill (AMS) is damaged by enemy shore battery off Wonsan, Korea.
1963 USS Daniel Webster (SSBN 626) is launched at Groton, Conn. Commissioned a year later, she serves until decommissioned in August 1990.
This day in Naval History April 28, 2019
1930 Secretary of the Navy appoints the first Curator for the Department of the Navy, Dudley Knox.
1942 The U.S. Navy's Task Force 99, which consists of USS Wasp, USS Tuscaloosa and USS Wichita, plus four destroyers, sail from the Royal Navy base at Scapa Flow, Orkney Islands, as part of the mixed U.S.-British force Distaff, to provide cover for Russian convoy at Iceland.
1944 German torpedo boats attack U.S. Navy LST convoy in Lyme Bay during Operation Tiger training for the Normandy Invasion. USS LST 507 and USS LST 531 are sunk at Portland Bill, England, and USS LST 289 is damaged, with 198 Sailors dead or missing and 551 Army dead or missing from later reports.
1944 Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox dies. He expanded the Navy into a force capable of fighting in both the Atlantic and the Pacific during the early years of World War II.
1945 USS Sennet (SS 408) sinks the Japanese cable layer Hatsushima off Kii Strait, south southeast of Miki Saki; USS Springer (SS 414) sinks the Japanese submarine chaser CH 17 west of Kyushu as she is escorting landing ship T.146, and USS Trepang (SS 412) sinks T.146 off Ose Saki, Japan.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
China's President Xi Jinping announcing a recalibration of his global infrastructure-building program as he sought to assuage foreign critics who blame Beijing for pushing excessive lending onto developing economies. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said, alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin, the United States acted in "bad faith" during negotiations in Vietnam. The Kitsap Sun reports that Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson visited Naval Base Kitsap where he talked about the importance of Naval Base Kitsap and the future Columbia class submarine, calling the submarine program the "No. 1 priority" for the nation's defense. C4ISRNET reported that USS Thomas S. Hudner (DDG-116) participated in a successful live-fire missile exercise with an Aegis "virtual twin" system. The system, which can operate Aegis software with a fraction of the hardware previously necessary, could reduce Aegis upgrade costs significantly. Additionally, Stars and Stripes reports that the Navy will christen USNS Guam (T-HST 1) and the final Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer USS Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG 1002) on Saturday.
This day in History
April 26

Stephen II ends his reign as Catholic Pope.

Pazzi conspirators attack Lorenzo and kill Giuliano de' Medici.

Copernicus makes his first observations of Saturn.

William Shakespeare is baptized.

The British establish a colony at Cape Henry, Virginia.


Second Lieutenant William Rhodes-Moorhouse becomes the first airman to win the Victoria Cross after conducting a successful bombing raid.

The first non-stop flight from England to India is completed.

New York Yankee Lou Gehrig hits a home run but is called out for passing a runner, the mistake ultimately costs him the home run record.

The ancient Basque town of Guernica in northern Spain is bombed by German planes.

The first organ is played at a baseball stadium in Chicago.

Students seize the administration building at Ohio State University.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average breaks 1,200 for first time.

The world's worst nuclear disaster occurs at the Chernobyl power plant in the Soviet Union.

Nelson Mandela wins the presidency in South Africa's first multiracial elections.

In the summer of 1953 I contacted polio while I was at a summer camp on Fort Hood Texas. I spent the summer in the hospital but the disease never got a good hold on me for some reason. So I got to get the vaccine. In fact every time they came out with a new vaccine my mother had me in the front of the line to get the thing. Needles were not my favorite thing after taking a rabies series earlier that year after a dog got into our second grade school yard and bit 4 or 5 us. The dog bit me on butt as I was  climbing the fence to get away. They could not find the dog so we all got the long needle in the stomach as I remember. 
Thanks to Carl
Almost everything you thought about the famed Fall of Saigon photo isn't true
By Reed Tucker  April 23, 2019 

Helicopter pilot O.B. Harnage reaches out to help Vietnamese evacuees escape Saigon on April 29, 1975.
It's one of the iconic images of the Vietnam War. Hubert van Es' snapshot shows a military helicopter perched atop the US Embassy in Saigon as Americans stream up a stairway, desperately boarding the last flight out.
Except that isn't a military helicopter, that's not the US Embassy, those aren't Americans and that wasn't the last flight out.
And, perhaps most surprising of all, the photo is not about defeat.
"As I was researching it, I found that almost everything I had assumed about that photo was wrong," historian and author Thurston Clarke tells The Post.
The surprising tale of that photo, along with a complete story of the last days of the Vietnam War, is told in Clarke's new book, "Honorable Exit: How a Few Brave Americans Risked All to Save Our Vietnamese Allies at the End of the War" (Doubleday).
It's a nearly minute-by-minute account of the United States' pullout from the quagmire conflict, and much of the story is encapsulated in that single photo, taken on April 29, 1975.
By early 1975, America's prospects in Vietnam were looking bleak. The communists continued to push south, capturing territory and sending thousands of refugees fleeing for safety.
After Da Nang fell, World Airlines, a government contractor tasked with flying troops and equipment in and out of the country, attempted that March to evacuate people from the city, leading to a chaotic scene as panicked Vietnamese tried to push their way on.
The plane, under heavy fire, managed to get airborne, but stowaways and those clinging to the side plummeted to their deaths, leaving corpses littering the runway.
When President Gerald Ford saw footage of the fiasco, he remarked to a friend, "That's it. It's time to pull the plug. Vietnam is gone."
"The news reports, photographs, and films of Da Nang … received wide coverage in the United States," Clarke writes. "Instead of unleashing Americans' charitable impulses, the news convinced them that the United States should avoid becoming reinvolved in the war, even on a humanitarian basis, and opinion polls showed a majority of Americans opposed to accepting Vietnamese refugees."
Yet American leaders took a different path. They quickly began planning to evacuate as many Vietnamese as possible and resettle them in the US.
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger argued at an April 2 State Department staff meeting that it was America's duty "to get the people who believed in us out."
A list of potential Vietnamese evacuees was compiled. It included high-ranking officials, translators and others at high risk.
Kissinger wired the US Vietnamese ambassador, Graham Martin, that failure to address the "difficult question of evacuation" could result in the loss of American "lives, national dignity, and a common sense of confidence that we can manage whatever crisis the future may hold."
By April 27, 1975, North Vietnamese troops had surrounded Saigon and it became clear an attack was imminent. Chaos erupted as residents scrambled to flee. They tried to push their way into the US Embassy in hopes of escaping.
"Women outside the walls wailed and wept," the author writes. "Some rolled on the sidewalk in hysterics, crying out the names of the American servicemen, businessmen and diplomats whom they had served as clerks, drivers, cooks, cleaners, bodyguards and interpreters. Mothers tried to pass their babies to Marines."
The US finally initiated an operation known as Frequent Wind, which would helicopter evacuees out of Saigon to US ships offshore for eventual transport to America.
In early April, the Americans had scouted rooftops as potential helicopter landing sites, choosing 13 across Saigon. US contractors arrived to remove flagpoles and laundry lines, and built whatever infrastructure was needed.
On April 29, copters fanned out across the city, picking up the hopeful. The Hueys were operated by Air America, a line covertly run by the CIA. The 31 pilots flying the hazardous missions were volunteers. Nearly everyone who was asked stepped forward.
Besides the embassy, one of the pickup points was the Lee Hotel at 6 Chien Si Circle. There, the ambassador had assembled a group of VIPs for evacuation.
Manning one of the copters was O.B. Harnage, a macho, cigar-smoking, hard-drinking CIA officer who wore an eye patch after he was wounded by shrapnel in World War II.
Harnage's helicopter landed at the Lee Hotel, and the aircraft was quickly mobbed by desperate Vietnamese. One South Vietnamese soldier pushed toward Harnage and pulled the pin from a grenade, telling him, "We go with you or I drop the grenade."
Harnage shoved the barrel of a machine gun in the man's face and responded, "Go ahead. You'll never hear it go off." The soldier backed off.
After the Lee Hotel became unsafe, the CIA station chief urged Harnage to start picking up at 22 Gia Long Street. The apartment building's top floor served as quarters for CIA employees.
VIPs and other Vietnamese had been gathering at the location in hopes of a rescue. Wooden stairs had been built to the top of the roof's elevator shaft to aid the evacuation.
Harnage made three pickups, packing 20 people onto each flight. To make room for them all, he rode outside the bird, standing on the skid while gripping a machine gun.
"Remember, he wasn't taking people he worked with or he knew," the author says. "They were perfect strangers and he was risking his life."
The station chief had ordered him to concentrate on the VIPs, but Harnage decided to board on a first-come, first-serve basis. Some parents handed him their children with heartbreaking notes pinned to the kids' clothes, such as, "My son wants to be a doctor" and "My daughter is very musical."
When a burly Korean diplomat tried to elbow other evacuees aside to make it onto the chopper, Harnage punched the man, leaving him bloody and chastened. (He was allowed on a later flight.)
Harnage refused to let anyone board with more than one small bag, tossing everything else over the side of the building — including what was likely millions of dollars of hoarded gold.
On the fourth touchdown at Gia Long Street, van Es was sitting in the offices of United Press International about four blocks away when a colleague called out, "Van Es, get out here! There's a chopper on that roof!"
Van Es grew up in the Netherlands and decided to become a war photographer after seeing Frank Capra pictures. He first worked in Hong Kong for the South China Morning Post before heading to Vietnam to work for NBC, then UPI.
He grabbed his Nikon and a 300mm lens and began snapping.
The shot that went around the world showed Harnage, dressed in a white shirt and clutching a cigar between his teeth, reaching down the stairs to grab Thiet-Tan Nguyen, a young doctor who would ultimately become an anesthesiologist in California.
Next is Tong Huyhn, another doctor who would eventually settle near Atlanta. The slender teenage girl is Tuyet-Dong Bui, who would go on to earn a degree in microbiology before becoming a biotech researcher.
Just below her is her brother, who had traded his motorbike to the driver of a high-ranking military official in exchange for being shown to the building.
Also on the ladder is South Vietnamese Minister of Defense Tran Van Don.
Thanks to Ed
Confession of an A-6, then F-14 pilot
Well-written narrative.
Thanks to Gearbox
This may be a repeat for some or all – but the message is still clear and vibrant….
You owe it to yourself to take 5 mins and watch this interview.  It was done on the WWII battle site of Iwo Jima in 2015, one of the bloodiest battles in WWII.  Sadly, or perhaps not so, the Captain passed away in 2017.  Listen carefully to his words.
The Last Fighter Pilot of WWII flew the last mission
This is outstanding! The Last Fighter Pilot of WWII who flew the last mission Take five minutes to watch this video interview --- Listen carefully to what he says and how he says it. You won't regret a second of it.Ask yourself, how many of the few surviving WWII veterans kept themselves and their uniform in such good condition for over 70 years and can still proudly wear it?  Notice his superb delivery, no teleprompter, no scriptJust a 91-year-old fighter pilot representing the greatest generation at home and abroad who won WWII.He has some surprises and a great take on the philosophy of life. Click here to see this video: 
Thanks to Brown Bear
Oriskany Memorial plaque
Dear Susan,
Are you still planning another  Memorial Day dive back down to the Oriskany, to enshrine your much appreciated ship's bell memorial?  I'm so sorry that the Virtual Wall for Vietnamese War memorials has been out of operation since last December, and I've been unable to use them as a source for additional contributions to your efforts.
I'm honored to send you a remembrance note for Norm, for possible inclusion in your Memorial.  When the Virtual Wall finally gets back on line, I intend to attach it there also.
With greatest respect and admiration.
Dick (Brown Bear) Schaffert
Dear Norm,
We were Sundowners once . . . and roommates aboard the ill-fated USS Oriskany on Yankee Station, flying combat in F8 Crusaders against a heavily defended North Vietnam, which was intent upon enslaving their unfortunate neighbors in the South.  There were 37,646 aerial photographed, hardened, anti-aircraft artillery emplacements defending NVN, and they took a heavy toll on our Air Wing 16.  During Operation Rolling Thunder, our 60 combat assigned aircraft were hit 240 times.  93 went down, including you!   Thanks to our Almighty God, you were one of the 19 pilots who were rescued, to fly and fight again.  As I recall, I lent you a dry flight suit the next day because yours was still in the laundry!
Unfortunately, you also became one of our 92 to be killed during that bloody war..  It was early morning, 26 October 1966, you were sitting on the edge of your bunk in our room next to the ammunition locker, and I was standing in the doorway.  The alarm for "General Quarters, all hands man your battle stations" sounded, and smoke was coming into our room.  The explosion of magnesium flares in the locker blew me into the hangar bay, but it trapped you in our room.
God called you to His side that day, Norm.  He knew we needed you, desperately, in our squadron, to guide and protect our inexperienced pilots; but, in His infinite mercy, He had other plans for you.  He allowed me to continue for another six years in that never-ending war.  Maybe it was you who encouraged His Angel Gabriel to save me in that fight against those six MiGs a year later?
You were a great Navy fighter pilot, Norm.  You served our America with courage, honor, and distinction.  You were an inspiration and steady guiding hand within our squadron, and your professed love for our Father in heaven set an example for all, including this most-fortunate roommate.
See you soon, Roomie.  Been missing you these last 53 long years.  Give me a rendezvous point, altitude, and airspeed, and I'll gladly join on your wing again.
Very Respectfully,
Dick (Brown Bear) Schaffert
On Apr 26, 2019, at 6:06 AM, Susan Snapp <diveright@downrightdiving.com> wrote:
Mr. Richard,
I believe you sent me a quote to put on the plaque but I cannot find it anywhere in my email.  Could you see if you could find it in your sent folder and re send it?
Thanks to Dutch R
colorectal cancer vaccine
Success in first phase of human trials for colorectal cancer vaccine
Positive early results from the first phase of human testing for a unique colorectal cancer vaccine are proving promising. A newly published study outlining the Phase I trial results suggests the vaccine is safe, and stimulates immune activation, paving the way for larger human trials. Colorectal cancer is the second biggest cancer killer globally. It is not only tricky to diagnose early, but many current treatments are only marginally effective. Almost half of patients receiving surgical resections still don't survive due to the cancer's propensity for recurrence.
The new vaccine treatment is designed to stimulate a patient's immune system to attack and destroy the cancer. Immunotherapy treatments traditionally work by training the immune system to recognize a foreign agent so it is primed to identify and kill those substances when they naturally appear in the body. Tumor cells are notoriously tricky to target in this regard as they often closely resemble normal healthy cells.
The big breakthrough that inspired this specific vaccine was the discovery that almost all colorectal cancers seem to express a molecule called GUCY2C. This particular molecule is also found naturally in intestinal epithelial cells, however, its compartmentalized presence in those cells means any vaccine that targets it should only direct immune cells to tumors and not healthy intestinal tissue.
This first human trial of the vaccine was primarily designed to establish a safety profile for the treatment. Ten patients, with either stage I or II colon cancer, were administered a single shot of the vaccine and followed up for six months. The results were positive, with no serious adverse effects reported. Extensive blood sampling also revealed the vaccine did successfully promote increased activity of specific anti-tumor immune cells, suggesting the treatment does trigger the desired immune response.
"This pivotal study provides some of the first evidence that it may be possible to safely direct a patient's own immune system to seek and destroy this cancer type," says Karen Knudsen, from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. "This is a true milestone – made possible through the scientists and clinicians in our colorectal cancer team working in synchrony."
The next step for the research is to move into larger Phase II trials involving more patients with endpoints to clearly evaluate the efficacy of the vaccine. From the data generated by the Phase I trial the researchers have already modified the vaccine to hopefully be more effective in stimulating the desired immune response. It is also hoped that the vaccine will be effective for more than just colorectal cancer. Recent research has suggested the GUCY2C molecule is also expressed by gastric, esophageal and pancreatic cancers, meaning this prospective vaccine could be useful in targeting a large number of common cancers.
"The goal of the study to begin this fall is to show that version 2.0 of the vaccine is even better and that it may benefit a much bigger group of the overall cancer patient population," says Adam Snook, first author on the new study.
The new research was published in the Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer.
Thanks to Mike
TONS of RVN photos in several albums
This guy has an EXTENSIVE collection of Viet Nam Photos, divided up by service and locations. You will likely find some memories here if you care to... Mike
Some bits from around the world
USA—Spare Parts Shortage Hinders F-35 Ops, Says GAO Breaking Defense | 04/26/2019 A shortage of spare parts and the difficulties of managing a global logistics chain are keeping F-35 fighter jets on the ground, reports Breaking Defense, citing a report from the Government Accountability Office. Between May and November 2018, F-35s were unable to fly nearly 30 percent of the time due to a lack of parts, according to the report that was released on Thursday. The F-35 supply chain lacks sufficient spare parts to keep jets flying frequently enough to meet combat requirements, says the report, as quoted by Defense News. During the six-month period last year, mission-capable rates were around 50 percent for all three F-35 variants. The GAO assessed that all variants were far from meeting the 60 percent fully mission-capable goal. Only 2 percent of F-35C carrier aircraft were fully capable. The F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing version achieved 16 percent full mission capability, while the F-35A was at 34 percent. Modifications over time have exacerbated the parts shortage. For example, 44 percent of purchased parts were incompatible with the F-35Bs deployed by the Marine Corps recently due to aircraft and component changes.  There also remains a backlog of 4,300 parts, the report says. Part shortages are made worse by the complex logistics chain for the jet. As a result, some units have been forced to cannibalize other aircraft, exacerbating the problem. The GAO identifies the depots where most significant repairs are made as a key issue. The backlog of components awaiting repair is largely due to delays in standing up part repair capabilities at the depots, a problem which is unlikely to be fixed until 2024, according to the report.  The F-35 is unlikely to hit the 80 percent mission-capable rate goal set by former Secretary of Defense James Mattis last year, the study concludes.    
USA—Trump Administration Eyes Ambitious Arms Control Deal With Russia, China Cable News Network | 04/26/2019 The White House has decided to try and negotiate a major arms control agreement with China and Russia, reports CNN. Interagency work has begun on such an accord, which would build off the New START Treaty that expires in 2021, administration officials said Thursday. That treaty can be extended for up to five years if both countries agree. The administration is considering including some conventional weapons in the agreement, as well as the elimination of certain classes of weapons.  Officials said the potential agreement would be designed to include China's rapidly growing missile capabilities. China has previously said it will not engage in nuclear arms negotiations with countries that have significantly larger stockpiles.  The New START agreement limits the U.S and Russia each to 1,550 nuclear warheads and 700 launch-capable systems. It allows 18 site inspections annually to ensure compliance. Experts have expressed concern that trying to negotiate a new agreement that included China would be a non-starter. It would be better to renew New START and then work on a new accord that could include China and possibly other countries with nuclear weapons, analysts said.    
USA—Pentagon Investigation Clears Shanahan Defense News | 04/26/2019 Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Pentagon's Inspector General's (IG) office, reports Defense News. On Thursday, The IG's office released a report that said that no evidence had been uncovered that Shanahan had used his position to provide preferential treatment to Boeing, where he worked for more than 30 years. "We determined that Mr. Shanahan fully complied with his ethics agreements and his ethical obligations regarding Boeing and its competitors," investigators said. The favorable conclusion of the investigation likely clears the path for Shanahan to be nominated as defense secretary to succeed James Mattis, who resigned last year.  
USA—Navy To Christen Lyndon B. Johnson Stealth Destroyer Dept. Of Defense | 04/26/2019 The U.S. Navy is set to christen its newest Zumwalt-class stealth destroyer, reports the Dept. of Defense. The Lyndon B. Johnson (DDG-1002) will be formally christened on Saturday during a ceremony at the General Dynamics-Bath Iron Works shipyard in Bath, Maine, said a Pentagon release on Wednesday. The destroyer is the third and last of the class and the first naval vessel to honor President Lyndon B. Johnson, who served from 1963 to 1969. Johnson served in the Navy Reserve before being called up to active duty following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The Zumwalt class is 610 feet (186 m) long, displaces 16,000 tons and can reach a maximum speed of 30 knots. The vessel is designed for deterrence, power projection, sea control and command-and-control missions.    
Poland—Deal Inked With Leonardo For Naval Helicopters Leonardo | 04/26/2019 Italian firm Leonardo says it has signed a contract with Poland for four AW101 naval helicopters. The US$428 million (380 million euro) deal was signed on Friday, the company said in a release. The helicopters will be used for anti-submarine and search-and-rescue missions, said Leonardo.  Leonardo's Polish subsidiary, PZL-Swidnik, is the prime contractor for the program. Deliveries are scheduled to conclude by 2022.  The signing followed a US$100 million offset agreement signed earlier this month. Under the deal, the Italian firm will establish critical maintenance capabilities for the AW101 helicopter and its dedicated mission equipment in a facility in Lodz.    
North Korea—Kim Warns Of Return To Hostilities  Yonhap | 04/26/2019 North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has warned of a return to hostilities if talks on its nuclear weapons program do not progress, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).  Efforts to reach an agreement are at a standstill and hostile relations could resume, Kim told Russian President Vladimir during a summit on Thursday, as quoted by the official Korean Central News Agency.  Kim blamed Washington's "unilateral attitude in bad faith" during a February summit between Kim and President Trump. Pyongyang is preparing for all possible scenarios, he said. Kim has said he will wait until the end of the year for a change in Washington's position, noted Reuters.  
South Korea—U.S. Agrees To Expedite Transfer Of Wartime Operational Control Yonhap | 04/26/2019 South Korea and the United States have agreed to try and speed the planned transfer of wartime operational control from Washington to Seoul, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). The agreement was reached during the two-day Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) that began on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. During the meeting, senior defense officials agreed to accelerate joint efforts to meet the conditions required for the handover at an earlier date, the South Korean Ministry of Defense said on Thursday. Seoul handed over wartime operational control of its forces to the United States during the Korean War. Peacetime control was returned in 1994, but wartime control still remains with the U.S. A 2007 agreement called for control to be returned to Seoul in 2012, but this was postponed due to increasing threats from North Korea. The decision to expedite the transfer comes amid easing tensions on the Korean peninsula. Last year, South Korean President Moon Jae In and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un agreed to a series of trust-building and arms-control measures under a broader plan to restore inter-Korean relations. The next round of the KIDD is scheduled to take place later this year in Seoul.    
China—Naval Exercise With 6 Southeast Asian Countries Underway South China Morning Post | 04/26/2019 China has begun a maritime exercise with warships from six Southeast Asian countries, reports the South China Morning Post. The participants include the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, Vice Adm. Shen Jinlong, commander of the People's Liberation Army Navy, said on Thursday. He did not name the others taking part. Thirteen warships and four helicopters are participating in the maneuvers, which are being held in waters off Qindao in the eastern Shandong province.  The drills are focused on formations and movement, search-and-rescue operations, inspection and capture and medical procedures, the admiral said. The training is likely an effort to counter U.S. influence in the region, experts said.                  
Malaysia—Army Set To Take Delivery Of Turkish-Developed CBRN Vehicle FNSS Defense Systems | 04/26/2019 The Malaysian army is set to receive the first of four chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance vehicles from FNSS, reports the Turkish manufacturer. The AV8 Armored Engineer Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle (AENBCRV) is scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2019 following the successful completion of qualification testing, said a company release on Wednesday. The vehicle completed the first stage of testing in Ankara, which involved land performance and CBRN system tests. The second and final stage of testing, which focuses on endurance, began in February in Malaysia and was expected to wrap up in the near future, the release said. The AENBCRV, a specialized variant of the AV8 wheeled armored vehicle, is fitted with CBRN equipment and systems to detect and classify agents, determine hazard zones and alert other military units and civilians of potential dangers. The vehicle is the first of four ordered by the Malaysian army. The balance is scheduled to be handed over by 2020.   
India—Coast Guard Commissions Another Interceptor Boat Indian Ministry Of Defense | 04/26/2019 The Indian coast guard has commissioned its newest domestically-developed interceptor vessel, reports the Indian Ministry of Defense. The C-441 formally entered service on Wednesday during a ceremony at Vizhinjam harbor on India's southern coast, said a ministry release. The vessel, developed by Mumbai-based Larsen & Toubro, is 92 feet (28 m) long and displaces 106 tons. It is powered by two diesel engines and can reach a top speed of 45 knots with a range of 500 miles (805 km), noted the Mathrubhumi (India). On Tuesday, the coast guard commissioned two more 92-foot coastal interceptors at Kavaratti in Lakshadweep off the southwestern coast of India. The C-444 and C-446 were part of a 2013 order for 18 of the interceptors, reported Jane's Navy International. The vessels are designed for coastal surveillance, interdiction, search-and-rescue and assistance missions, reported the Hindu.  
Afghanistan—8 Taliban Killed In Military Op In Zabul Province Khaama Press | 04/26/2019 At least eight Taliban fighters have been killed in a military operation in Afghanistan's southern Zabul province, reports the Khaama Press (Afghanistan). On Tuesday, the 205th Atal Corps and Afghan special operations forces conducted a joint clearance operation in the Nawbahar district, the Afghan Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday Eight militants were killed, five injured and 17 captured in the operation, said the 205th Atal Corps, which is responsible for southern Afghanistan. Security forces recovered a vehicle and destroyed 10 motorcycles, noted Xinhua, China's state news agency. Separately, the Afghan air force carried out an airstrike in Zabul's Atghgar district on Tuesday, killing four Taliban militants and injuring five, the ministry said. No casualties were reported among the government forces. The province has seen an increase in Taliban activity after the militants launched their annual spring offensive earlier this month.
Sri Lanka—Defense Secretary Steps Down After Deadly Easter Bombings Colombo Page | 04/26/2019 Sri Lankan Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando has resigned following the deadly suicide bombings on Easter Sunday, reports the Colombo Page. President Maithripala Sirisena called for the resignation of Fernando and police chief Pujith Jayasundara on Wednesday after an investigation into the attacks found severe security lapses. On April 21, 253 people were killed and more than 500 injured in a series of coordinated attacks on churches and hotels throughout the country, noted the Hindu (India). On Thursday, the Sri Lankan Health Ministry revised the death toll from 359 to 253, saying that a calculation error had been discovered. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the assaults. According to the investigation, security officials had received credible intelligence of possible terror attacks prior to the incident and adequate measures had not been taken, reported Xinhua, China's state news agency. Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Tuesday that they had not been informed of the threat.  Sri
Lanka—Suspected Leader Of Easter Terror Op Died In Attack, Says President Agence France-Presse | 04/26/2019 Sri Lankan authorities say the man behind the terror attacks that killed more than 250 people was killed leading an assault on a hotel, reports Agence France-Presse. Zahran Hashim was killed during the attack on the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo, President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday, citing military intelligence. Hashim led the assault and was accompanied by a second bomber, according to intelligence based in part on CCTV video recovered from the scene, the president said. The luxury hotel was one of six sites targeted in Sunday's attacks.  Hashim was the leader of the domestic National Tawheed Jamath extremist group. He appeared in a video was released by ISIS following the bombings, in which the terrorist group claimed responsibility. Authorities are still looking for 140 suspects in connection with the attacks, reported Reuters.    
Egypt—Navy Picks AW149 Helos Flightglobal | 04/26/2019 The Egyptian navy has selected Leonardo to supply its AW149 helicopter for a requirement of around 20 aircraft, reports Flight Global. The deal, which has not yet been officially announced, was first reported by the French La Tribune newspaper on Wednesday, which cited unnamed sources. Cairo officially informed France last week that it had selected the AW149 over the French offer of the NH90 naval helicopter, the sources said. The helicopters are intended for land-based and shipborne troop transport and search-and-rescue missions. Further details of the contract were not disclosed. Launched in 2006, the AW149 has struggled to win sales, previously only obtaining a five-unit order from the Thai army.   
Mozambique—Provincial Court Sentences 37 On Charges Stemming From Militant Activity Mozambique News Agency | 04/26/2019 A Mozambican court has sentenced 37 people to jail for their role in a militant campaign in the northern Cabo Delgado province, reports the Mozambique News Agency. The charges included first degree murder, fighting the Mozambican state, instigating collective disobedience, possessing illegal weapons and membership in a criminal organization. The Cabo Delgado Provincial Court on Wednesday handed 10 people 40-year sentences for crimes that included homicide and weapons charges, reported Agence France-Presse. Twenty-four people received 16-year sentences on sedition and conspiracy charges. Three defendants under the age of 21 received 12-year sentences. Most of the defendants were Mozambicans, but there were also some foreigners, primarily Tanzanians. The trial began in October 2018 with 189 accused. The court previously acquitted 113 of the defendants due to a lack of sufficient evidence. The proceedings were the first of five convened after a wave of attacks struck Cabo Delgado beginning in October 2017. About 200 people have been killed by the group that is commonly referred to as Al-Shabaab, though it has no known links to the Somali group of the same name.  
Senegal—Navy In Line For 2 More French-Built Patrol Boats Defence Web | 04/26/2019 Senegal has ordered two additional RPB 33 patrol boats from French firm Raidco Marine, reports Defence Web (South Africa). The contract was signed in 2018 but announced on April 19. Senegal received an initial RPB 33, christened the Ferlo, in 2013. The boats are being constructed at the UFAST shipyard in Quimper, France. Deliveries are scheduled for October 2019 and June 2020.  Powered by two 1,100-hp MAN engines, the RPB 33 has a top speed of 22 knots. The vessels would likely be armed with a 20-mm cannon and 12.7-mm machine guns, the website said.  

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