Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The List 4986

The List 4986

To All,

A bit of history and some tidbits.



This day in Naval History May 1, 2019

1811 The American brig Spitfire is stopped by the British frigate Guerriere off Sandy Hook, N.Y., and the American seamen are taken aboard. On May 6, the frigate President, commanded by John Rodgers, was ordered to protect American shipping off Sandy Hook.

1822 60 men from USS Alligator, USS Grampus, and the chartered ship Jane, capture four pirate schooners near Sugar Key, West Indies.

1898 The American squadron, commanded by Commodore George Dewey, defeats the Spanish squadron under the command of Rear Adm. Montojo at Manila Bay, Philippines.

1934 Lt. Frank Akers makes a hooded landing in an OJ-2 at College Park, Maryland, in the first blind landing system intended for an aircraft carrier.

1943 USS Pogy (SS 266), in attack on a Japanese convoy, torpedoes and sinks the Japanese gunboat Keishin Maru off Iwaki, Japan.

1945 Patrol bomber aircraft from VPB 11 and FAW-1 sink Japanese cargo vessel Kyugkoku Maru off Mokpo, Korea.

1945 - VADM Barbey lands Australian troops on Tarakan Island, Borneo, supported by naval gunfire

1951 During the Korean War, AD-4 Skyraiders from Squadron VA-195, USS Princeton (CV-37), attack Hwachon Dam using aerial torpedoes, the only use of these weapons during the Korean War.

1980 - 11 Navy ships begin operations assisting Coast Guard in rescuing Cuban refugees fleeing Cuba in overcrowded boats

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

In today's world news, Japan's new emperor Naruhito, officially takes the throne at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, May 1. In Navy-related news, Vice President Mike Pence told Sailors that the Trump Administration would not retire the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) while touring the carrier. CNO Adm. John Richardson hosted Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, United Kingdom Royal Navy for a visit on April 29. In the C6F AOR, Maritime forces from Great Britain and France operated with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (CSG) in the Mediterranean Sea.

Today in History May 1


Theodosius II succeeds to the throne of Constantinople.


King Albert is murdered by his nephew John, because he refused his share of the Habsburg lands.


Christopher Columbus convinces Queen Isabella to fund expedition to the West Indies.


The state of Virginia passes a law requiring all freed slaves to leave the state, or risk either imprisonment or deportation.


The Battle of Chancellorsville begins as Union Gen. Joe Hooker starts his three-pronged attack against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.


Reconstruction in the South begins with black voter registration.


President Rutherford B. Hayes withdraws all Federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction.


The U.S. Navy under Commodore George Dewey defeats the Spanish fleet at the Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines.


The luxury liner Lusitania leaves New York Harbor for a voyage to Europe.


Adolf Hitler holds his first Nazi meeting in Berlin.


The Empire State Building opens in New York.


The Philippine legislature accepts a U.S. proposal for independence.


President Franklin Roosevelt signs an act of neutrality, keeping the United States out of World War II.


The film Citizen Kane--directed and starring Orson Welles--opens in New York.


The Messerschmitt Me 262, the first combat jet, makes its first flight.


Martin Bormann, private secretary to Adolf Hitler, escapes the Fuehrerbunker as the Red Army advances on Berlin.


North Korea is established.


Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry called Annie Allen.


Francis Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane is shot down over Russia.


Fidel Castro announces there will be no more elections in Cuba.


In the second day of battle, U.S. Marines, with the support of naval fire, continue their attack on a North Vietnamese Division at Dai Do.


Students from Kent State University riot in downtown Kent, Ohio, in protest of the American invasion of Cambodia.


The Tass News Agency reports the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.


Osama Bin Laden is killed in Abbottabad Pakistan by US Navy SEALS in Operation Neptune Spear.

1898 The Battle of Manila Bay »


Empire State Building dedicated


30 April 1975 Many call this the Day of Sorrow – many call it, also, the Day of Betrayal –

From the net, with a small addition -

Thanks to Dutch

The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973. How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides’ forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification. The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American military running for their lives. There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast Asia (primarily Cambodia) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 than there were during the ten years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam. Thanks for the perceived loss and the countless assassinations and torture visited upon Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians goes mainly to the American media and their undying support-by-misrepresentation of the anti-War movement in the United States. As with much of the Vietnam War, the news media – especially Walter Cronkite - misreported and misinterpreted the 1968 Tet Offensive. It was reported as an overwhelming success for the Communist forces and a decided defeat for the U.S. forces. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite initial victories by the Communists forces, the Tet Offensive resulted in a major defeat of those forces. General Vo Nguyen Giap, the designer of the Tet Offensive, is considered by some as ranking with Wellington, Grant, Lee and MacArthur as a great commander. Still, militarily, the Tet Offensive was a total defeat of the Communist forces on all fronts. It resulted in the death of some 45,000 NVA troops and the complete, if not total destruction of the Viet Cong elements in South Vietnam. The Organization of the Viet Cong Units in the South never recovered. The Tet Offensive succeeded on only one front and that was the News front and the political arena. This was another example in the Vietnam War of an inaccuracy becoming the perceived truth. However, inaccurately reported, the News Media made the Tet Offensive famous.



Some assistance if I may?

As noted by my last remembered sky e-mail announcement, I'm doing a series on the four aircraft carrier battles of 1942. I love aviation history, and website or not my best reading days are those of discovering something of note buried within the hundreds of pages of some book. Humorous example in researching the Battle of the Coral Sea is that on the night of 7 May, in the closing darkness, Japanese flyers returning to their carriers confused Yorktown and Lexington for their own and actually entered Yorktown's recovery pattern. For you LSO's out there great "wave-off" possibilities ;)

But to a more serious point. On the 8th, Yorktown took a bomb hit that penetrated several decks and started a fire that could have been devastating. It killed or incapacitated all of one damage control party under Lt. Milton Ernest Rickets, USNA, 35. Rickets was mortally wounded and would receive the Medal of Honor as follows:

For extraordinary and distinguished gallantry above and beyond the call of duty as officer-in-charge of the Engineering Repair Party of the U.S.S. Yorktown in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942. During the severe bombing of the Yorktown by enemy Japanese forces, an aerial bomb passed through and exploded directly beneath the compartment in which Lt. Ricketts' battle station was located, killing, wounding, or stunning all of his men and mortally wounding him. Despite his ebbing strength, Lt. Ricketts promptly opened the valve of a near-by fireplug, partially led out the firehose, and directed a heavy stream of water into the fire before dropping dead beside the hose. His courageous action, which undoubtedly prevented the rapid spread of fire to serious proportions, and his unflinching devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Anyone can conjecture "what if" but had Lt. Rickets not made a first move to staunch those fires, as he was in place now alone, Yorktown could have been lost or much more severely damaged and not capable of being repaired in time to be at Midway. Three against four was one thing, but only two carriers at Midway would have changed things drastically.

There were 464 awards of the Medal in WW II. No matter the "above and beyond" bravery and lives saved by those men, of how many could it truly be said "if not their deed the history of a theater of war might have been drastically altered?"
I'm going to write something on Lt. Rickets but there's really not much out there. I can't accurately say who among you were USNA grads, but I'm shotgunning hoping there might be some aspect at the academy or in your recall. Please assist if you can.



In the month to come we will be looking at 1942 and the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, The previous MOH note shows how one man might have been pivotal in those battles. Just as the One Marine with a Machine gun survived and stopped the last Japanese suicide charge on the Island of Guadalcanal a few months later.

This helps to feed into the Battle of Midway information which will start soon.

Thanks to Barrett Tillman for putting this together for The List on the Coral Sea Battle and its important relation to the Battle of Midway.

The battle of the Coral Sea.

Most histories treat the first two aircraft carrier battles separately, but in fact they were closely related. Coral Sea directly influenced Midway four weeks later, not only tactically but strategically.

On May 7-8, 1942 two fleets engaged in combat without sighting each other. It had never happened before, and it only occurred four times thereafter. The naval millennium had finally arrived.

The Battle of the Coral Sea began with Japan’s thrust toward the Allied base at Port Moresby on New Guinea’s southeast coast, opposite Australia. PacFleet intelligence picked up Tokyo’s plans, allowing Admiral Chester Nimitz to dispatch the carriers Lexington (CV-2) and Yorktown (CV-5) to intervene. They were opposed by three Japanese flattops: a small one screening the troop transports and a striking arm of two large fleet carriers.

The Americans got in the first blow. On the morning of May 7, a 93-plane strike from both U.S. flattops overwhelmed Japan’s small Shoho, which went down in about 20 minutes. Subsequently dive bombers from Vice Adm. Chuichi Naguno’s strike force sank a U.S. oiler and destroyer, and that evening another Japanese formation found Vice Adm. Frank Jack Fletcher’s force. A dusk dogfight erupted with heavy losses to the Japanese—one or two of whom entered Yorktown’s traffic pattern.

The next day was an all-out battle between heavyweights: “Lex” and “Yorky” versus the sisters Shokaku and Zuikaku. Again the Americans struck first, badly damaging Shokaku and mauling her sister’s air group. But the Japanese retaliated, inflicting mortal damage on CV-2 and hitting Yorktown with bombs. She limped away, making knots for Pearl where yard crews urgently waited.

Japan’s drive at Moresby was thwarted—a strategic win for the U.S. while “Lady Lex” was a far greater loss than little Shoho. Yorktown was sufficiently repaired to make Midway, mainly with beached Saratoga (CV-3) squadrons.

Thus, Coral Sea and Midway remain hand in glove. Had either Shokaku or Zuikaku made the Midway lineup, the battle probably would have been irretrievable for PacFleet.


Compiled by Brent Hunt, Naval History and Heritage Command’s Communication and Outreach Division

Welcome to Navy History Matters—our weekly compilation of articles, commentaries, and blogs related to history and heritage. Every week we’ll gather the top-interest items from a variety of media and social media sources and then link you to related content at NHHC’s website (, your authoritative source for Navy history.

H-Gram 029: “April is the Cruelest Month”

Slapton Sands Invasion Rehearsals, 1943-44.

T.S. Eliot once wrote, “April is the cruelest month.” Although upcoming H-Grams will be chockfull of U.S. Navy victories—Great Marianas Turkey Shoot, Battle of the Philippine Sea, Operation Neptune (Invasion of Normandy), and the capture of U-505—this H-Gram covers a litany of disaster. In his latest H-Gram, Director Sam Coxdiscusses Exercise Tiger (the deadly rehearsal for the Utah Beach D-Day landings in April 1944); U.S. Navy aircraft losses during the Cold War; the turret explosion on USS Iowa in 1989; and a history of previous U.S. Navy gun, ammunition, and powder accidents. If there is a moral to these incidents, it’s that peace or war, training or operation, the Navy is always an inherently dangerous business. To learn more, read H-Gram 029 at the Director’s Corner. Also, as promised in last week’s edition of Navy History Matters, we’ve published Exercise Tiger: Disaster at Slapton Sands, an essay by COD’s Adam Bisno, at NHHC’s World War II: 1944 pages.


Thanks to Glen

B-47 did you know?

sometimes, you just gotta do it.........


Sixty Years Ago, a Pilot Flew a B-47 Nuclear Bomber Under Michigan's Mackinac Bridge

We had a whole wing of those B-47s at MacDill in Florida in the late 50s. I can remember the alarms going off in the housing areas (one was right outside my bedroom window) and then I would wait and sure enough two of the pilots who lived next to us and above us would be slamming doors and running down stairs and starting cars and pealing out. Only minutes later you could hear the B-47s engines starting up and taxiing again close to our house and watch them nose to tail. One right after another and they would pour on the power and take off. They were really loud and smoked like an F-4. We would not see the pilots for over a week as they headed toward Europe to land and complete the exercise. skip


thanks to THE Bear -

Dutch... I have been watching, listening and waiting for the President to position a Navy carrier battle group and a Marine amphibious group 100 miles off the Venezuela coast... apparently a show of force in “our” waters isn’t happening and a blockade with a no-fly zone (“if it flys it dies”) is out of the question... It seems to me a strong Navy/Marine presence in the water and skies between Cuba and Venezuela is overdue and would work wonders... That option worked well in 1983 when Coral Sea spent 6-weeks quarantining Nicaragua on our around-the-world cruise... Do we have a Second Fleet anymore? (We sure don’t have much of a Sixth Fleet)... Where the hell is our Navy?... Apparently “striking fear in the enemy” is an option of the past... What would Ace Lyons do?... Bear🇺🇸⚓️🐻 and

Rolling Thunder and Commando Hunt Remembered

aAmerican losses–killed in combat–zipped through 31,000 this week with the deaths of 190 brave G.I.s on…

COMMANDO HUNT Week FOURTEEN posts Monday, 6 May


Thanks to Clyde Great one to save

U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Aircraft Tail Codes - Wikipedia


Thanks to Carl This is a keeper

This is a very interesting site for tool junkies!

Tool Industry Behemoths: The Tool Companies Who Make and Own Most Tool Brands


Thanks to Dave…I have more than one duplicate tool for that same reason. In fact one is a 4 foot bright yellow pry bar that I cleverly put between two studs in the corner of garage and then cleverly covered it up with a Corvette exhaust system. I found it a couple days after I bought the replacement.

My grill brush went missing. How could a grill brush possibly disappear? You only use it on the grill. Nonetheless, I looked all over for the darn thing, thinking that maybe my yard man borrowed it or that I used it on some task that I had forgotten about. Nope, nowhere to be found. Keep looking, it's bound to be here somewhere.

Dru finally advised me: If you want to find it, go buy another one. And if you want to find it quickly, buy an expensive one. The more expensive the new one is, the quicker you will find the old one. Ha, ha, very funny.

I finally gave in and went to Ace Hardware and bought a new one. Somewhat expensive: $10. Very nice, you can even replace the pad when it wears out. Brought it home, unpackaged it, and proudly hung it on my grill. After admiring it for a few seconds, I reached for my grill cover, which I had intentionally left off, draped over a nearby rack while I was looking for the old brush. Lifted the cover off. Guess what was hanging on the rack underneath? My damn grill brush!!

Want to buy a new grill brush with a replaceable pad?=


Thanks to Chuck…A bit long but look at the first few minutes

Subject: Global Warming; 31,487 Scientists say NO to Alarm - YouTube


Thannks to Carl

Great white shark chokes to death on a sea turtle: 4,500-pound beast is found tangled in netting off of Japan


A great white shark was discovered in Japan after it choked to death on a turtle

The grisly photographs show the 4,500-pound creature smeared in blood

Fisherman Greg Vella posted the images of the shark caught in a net to Facebook


Some news from around the world

USA—Military No Longer Tracking Areas Under Taliban Control Reuters | 05/01/2019 The U.S. military has decided to stop tracking the level of Taliban influence and control in Afghanistan, reports Reuters. In a report published on Tuesday, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR) said that the military had decided to cease such tracking because it had limited value to the Resolute Support mission commander, said the NATO-led mission. A spokesman for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan said that the intelligence community conducts its own classified assessments of the extent of Taliban control. The spokesman did not indicate if these would continue. The most recent SIGAR report, released in October, assessed government influence or control at 53.8 percent of Afghan districts, covering 63.5 percent of the population. If the military is no longer gathering such information, it will make it much more difficult to get a sense of the Taliban's strength, analysts said.

USA—Saudi-Led Coalition Begins Repaying Costs Of U.S. Refueling Missions Al-Monitor | 05/01/2019 The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen has begun reimbursing the U.S. for $300 million in refueling support, reports Al-Monitor (Washington, D.C.). A Pentagon spokeswoman confirmed that initial repayments have been received. Pentagon officials are still working to identify the final costs to the coalition, said the spokeswoman. The U.S. initially estimated that the coalition owed about $331 million. This figure was later revised down after a billing error was found. The bills cover fuel provided during aerial refueling missions and travel to and from the sites, which the Pentagon did not initially include. The United Arab Emirates has fully paid the roughly $118 million it owed the U.S., a Senate aide told the website. Saudi Arabia is expected to repay about $158 million for U.S. flights, said the source. Washington has not yet billed Riyadh for $23 million in refueling costs.

USA—CIA Officer Who Passed Information To China Expected To Plead Guilty Nbc News | 05/01/2019 A former CIA officer accused of passing information to China is expected to plead guilty, reports NBC News. Jerry Chun Shing Lee will appear in federal court in Virginia on Wednesday. The 53-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen previously pleaded not guilty but is expected to change his plea, according to court documents. Lee was arrested in January 2018 for illegally possessing classified information. The FBI found two notebooks containing personal information of CIA officers and assets in his luggage after luring him back to the U.S. in 2012, noted the New York Times. In May, a grand jury indicted him on espionage charges. Lee reportedly began passing information to Chinese intelligence officers in 2010, three years after he left the CIA. From May 2010 to December 2013, he deposited hundreds of thousands of dollars in his bank account, despite the failure of his business pursuits in Hong Kong. U.S. officials estimate that the disclosure resulted in the arrest and execution of at least 20 informants. The U.S. temporarily shut down its human intelligence-gathering operations in China following the revelation.

USA—Air Force F-35As Complete 1st Combat Mission Defense News | 05/01/2019 The Air Force has conducted its first airstrikes with its F-35A stealth fighter jet, reports Defense News. On Tuesday, two F-35s hit an ISIS tunnel network and weapons cache in Wadi Ashai, northeastern Iraq, U.S. Central Command said in a statement. The coalition strikes were part of Operation Inherent Resolve and supported an Iraqi operation against the terror group in the area. Intelligence assessments indicated that the terrorist group was moving men and materiel into the Hamrin mountains to prepare for a renewed offensive. The results of the strike were not made public. The service deployed the fifth-generation jet to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates on April 15. The F-35 first saw combat with the Israeli Defense Forces in May 2018. The Marine Corps first employed its F-35Bs in combat in September 2018.

USA—Foreign Terrorist Organization Designation Being Considered For Muslim Brotherhood Al Jazeera | 05/01/2019 The Trump administration is looking to designate the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group founded in Egypt in 1928, as a foreign terrorist organization, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar). Trump has initiated an internal process to designate the group after consulting with his national security team and leaders in the region, the White House said on Tuesday. The move follows a meeting between Trump and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on April 9 in Washington, D.C., in which Sisi urged Trump to designate the group, according to officials cited by the New York Times. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton support the move, although other officials have expressed legal and policy concerns. The State Dept. previously recommended not banning the Brotherhood due to its “loose-knit structure and far-flung political ties across the Middle East.” The designation could be used by Sisi to justify an even harsher crackdown against dissidents, warned human-rights groups. It could also hurt relations with Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a strong supporter of the Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood, a political and social organization that calls for societies based on Islamic law, renounced violence decades ago. Affiliated groups in Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey have joined political processes, noted CNN. Cairo declared the group a terrorist organization in 2013 after Sisi led a military coup against Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood member and the country’s first democratically-elected president.

Canada—New Tugs To Support Naval Bases In Esquimalt, Halifax Public Services and Procurement Canada | 05/01/2019 The Canadian government has awarded Quebec-based Ocean Industries a contract for four large tugs for the navy, reports Public Services and Procurement Canada. The Can$102 million (US$114 million) deal covers four large tugs to replace the navy’s five civilian-crewed Glen-class large tugs and two Fire-class rescue boats, said a departmental release on Tuesday. The tugs will be based at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, British Columbia, and CFB Halifax, Nova Scotia. Delivery of the first two tugs is scheduled for 2021, with the last two to be handed over in 2023.

Ukraine—T-84 Tank Put On Back Burner As Focus Shifts To Anti-Ship Missiles Forecast International | 05/01/2019 The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has shifted funding for the planned procurement of T-84 Oplot main battle tanks, according to Ukrainian magazine Defense Express as cited by Forecast International (Conn.). A US$3.79 million reserve fund intended to be used for the procurement of T-84 tanks has been reallocated for the development of the Neptune anti-ship missile, the magazine reported on April 27. The ministry has been focused on repairing and upgrading old armor, such as the T-64 tank, rather than introducing new systems to cut down costs. The Ukrainian budget is not large enough to support the T-84 program, which has achieved only one export order for Thailand. Kharkiv Morozov Machine-Building Design Bureau is working on improving the design of the T-84, with an emphasis on reducing Russian-made components. Kyiv plans to begin serial production of the Neptune soon. The defense ministry publicized a test-firing of the missile last month. The Neptune reportedly has a range of 190 miles (300 km).

Taiwan—Pilots Accidently Launch Flares During Aerial Encounters South China Morning Post | 05/01/2019 Taiwanese pilots have mistakenly launched infrared decoys during recent encounters with foreign jets, reports the South China Morning Post. During a recent encounter with a Chinese military jet, a Taiwanese pilot accidently launched a flare, according to unnamed sources cited by the China Times. A similar incident occurred when another Taiwanese pilot was monitoring a U.S. P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, said the source. The location and time of the incidents were not disclosed. The Taiwanese air force declined to confirm the incidents. The incidents come as tensions have increased between China and Taiwan. China has stepped up its air operations around the island, including crossing the "median line" between the countries in the Taiwan Strait in March.

Philippines—Military Plans To Deploy Tens Of Thousands Of Troops To Secure Polls Xinhua | 05/01/2019 The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will help police maintain security during upcoming mid-term elections, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency. Around 40,000 troops will be sent to areas where violence is likely to erupt during voting on May 13. More than 700 such areas have already been identified, said a military spokesman. Troops will also be responsible for transporting election materials such as ballot boxes. An AFP spokesman said that counterinsurgency operations will continue against various militant groups during election day. Dozens of election-related killings have already been reported, noted the news agency.

India—IED Blast Kills 16 In Maharashtra State Press Trust Of India | 05/01/2019 At least 15 police officers have been killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, reports the Press Trust of India. On Wednesday, members of the quick response team from the Gadchiroli police were on their way to investigate the burning of at least two dozen vehicles belonging to a road construction firm by Maoist militants when the bomb detonated. When the officers moved to clear trees blocking the road, the militants detonated explosives hidden nearby, reported the Indo-Asian News Service. The officers were in two vehicles. The civilian driver of one was also killed in the attack. Several officers were injured, reported the Hindustan Times. State police director Subodh Jaiswal said the attack was not the result of an intelligence failure and promised to respond. The attack coincided with one-year anniversary of an operation that killed 40 Maoists in Kasanasur and Rajaram, which are also in the Gadchiroli district.

India—Defense Ministry Orders Anti-Submarine Warfare Craft Indian Ministry Of Defense | 05/01/2019 The Indian Ministry of Defense has awarded two domestic shipbuilders contracts to build a total of 16 anti-submarine warfare shallow water craft (ASWSWC). On Monday, the ministry announced that it had signed a US$948 million contract with Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Calcutta for the design, construction and delivery of eight boats. On Tuesday, Cochin Shipyard signed its own US$948 million deal with the defense ministry for eight ASWSWCs, reported the Press Trust of India. The first ship is to be handed over within 42 months, with the remainder to be delivered at the rate of two ships per year, the ministry said. The project is slated to be completed within seven years. The ASWSWC will displace 750 tons and have a top speed of 25 knots. The vessels will be equipped with advanced integrated platform management systems, including propulsion, auxiliary, power-generation and distribution and damage-control machinery. The craft is designed to interdict and destroy sub-surface targets in coastal waters and can be deployed for search-and-rescue missions. The vessels have a secondary air defense and mine warfare role, officials said.

Qatar—Another Round Of U.S. Talks With Taliban Underway TOLONews | 05/01/2019 A new round of talks between the U.S. and the Taliban has begun in Doha, Qatar, reports the Tolo News (Afghanistan). U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and representatives of the militant group began the latest negotiations on Wednesday. Khalizad is expected to focus on a cease-fire declaration, a western diplomat told Reuters. He is also likely to push for inter-Afghan talks, said a source close to the envoy. The Taliban has refused to meet directly with the Afghan government, calling it a puppet of the West. The militant group said the talks would focus on the timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, said Afghan analysts. In March, both sides agreed in principle to a draft agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. troops and counterterrorism. The U.S. has emphasized that no deals are final until the full text of the peace agreement is agreed. Washington began direct talks with the Taliban in October in an effort to bring an end to the 18-year conflict.

Lebanon—Veterans Protest Potential Austerity Measures Asharq Al-Awsat | 05/01/2019 Lebanese veterans have held a sit-in to protest possible cuts to military wages and post-service benefits, reports the Asharq Al-Awsat (London). On Tuesday, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil chaired a meeting to discuss the 2019 budget, including ways to reduce public debt. Khalil previously suggested cuts to spending and benefits to reduce Lebanon's debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, which stands at over 150 percent. In response, a few hundred veterans gathered outside the central bank, finance ministry and central port in the capital, Beirut, reported Reuters. A spokesman for the protesters said the demonstrations would continue until their pensions were guaranteed. The Lebanese military is viewed by many as a key independent force in Lebanon's fractured political scene.

Syria—YPG Attacks Turkish Troops In Aleppo Anadolu News Agency | 05/01/2019 A Turkish soldier has been killed and three injured in an attack by Kurdish fighters in northwestern Syria, reports the Anadolu Agency (Turkey). On Tuesday, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fired several artillery shells towards the Turkish military base west of Azaz, reported Al-Masdar News. At least one soldier was killed in the attack. Three other Turkish soldiers were injured when the YPG attacked a Turkish convoy passing by the village of Marame, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry. Turkish troops responded with rocket and artillery fire. Several YPG casualties were reported. The northwestern Aleppo province has seen a rise in violence in recent weeks after Turkish-backed National Liberation Front (NLF) rebels continued to redeploy to the front line. Ankara has warned of military operations to clear areas controlled by the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces, but has so far been prevented by the presence of U.S. and French troops, analysts said.

Nigeria—More Than 30 Killed In Boko Haram Attacks In Northeast Premium Times | 05/01/2019 Separate Boko Haram attacks have killed at least 30 people in northwestern Nigeria, reports the Premium Times (Abuja). On Monday, a large group of Boko Haram militants on motorcycles attacked Kudakaya village in Adamawa state, said police. At least 26 people were killed and many injured in the attack, according to witnesses. The militants set several shops and homes on fire and stole food, said a local government official. The attackers likely came from Sambisa Forest, he said. Militants frequently conduct raids from the forest in search of food. Separately, five Nigerian troops were killed on April 26 after Boko Haram militants stormed a military base in Borno state. Dozens of troops were missing after the attack, the newspaper said on Tuesday. At least eight soldiers were badly injured and heavy military equipment was stolen, a military source said. The assault targeted a forward base in Marrabar Kimba, about 80 miles (130 km) outside of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno.

Venezuela— Guaido Steps Up Efforts To Bring Down Maduro The Hill | 05/01/2019 The head of the Venezuelan National Assembly Juan Guaido led a march on Tuesday near an air force base in Caracas, calling on the military to abandon President Nicolas Maduro, reports the Hill (Washington, D.C.). On Tuesday, Guaido announced the launch of what he called Operation Freedom, the “final phase” of efforts to bring down Maduro and hold new elections. He had previously called for countrywide protests on May 1. Some 70 military members and citizens had joined the movement, with the numbers steadily growing, reported Reuters. The group freed activist Leopoldo Lopez, the founder of Guaido's Voluntad Popular political party, from house arrest before calling on supporters to head to La Carlota military base in eastern Caracas for the “largest march in Venezuela’s history.” Protesters were met by tear gas. It was not immediately clear who fired the canisters, reported the Washington Post. The Maduro government dismissed the idea of a military uprising. The situation is under control, said a government spokesperson cited by CNN. There have been few signs of large-scale defections from the military and government officials have been reaffirming their loyalty to Madura, noted the Los Angeles Times. Guaido first declared himself interim president in January, claiming that Maduro’s election in 2018 was illegitimate. His presidency has been internationally recognized by the U.S. and much of Europe. U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo expressed support for Guaido’s movement on Tuesday, stating that Washington backed the Venezuelan people in their quest for freedom and democracy.

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