Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The List 4997






The List 4997 TGB


 
To All
A bit of history and some tidbits.
Regards,
Skip
 
 
This day in Naval History May 15, 2019
 
1800 The frigate USS Essex, commanded by Capt. Edward Preble, arrives in Batavia, Java, to escort United States merchant ships. During her journey, she is the first U.S. Navy warship to cross the Equator and the first U.S. man-of-war to double the Cape of Good Hope.
1930 The streamlined submarine (V 5) is commissioned, then named Narwhal in Feb. 1931, and receives the hull number (SS 167) that July. During World War II, Narwhal participates in 15 war patrols, serving in the Pacific Theatre, earning 15 battle stars.
1939 A contract is issued to Curtiss-Wright for the XSB2C-1 dive bomber, thereby completing action on a 1938 design competition. Retired from the active Navy in 1947, SB2Cs continues to serve in the reserves until 1950.
1942 The first Naval Air Transport Service flight across the Pacific takes place.
1944 PBY-5 Catalina aircraft from (VP 63) and British escort vessels HMS Kilmarnock and HMS Blackfly sink German submarine U 731 off Tangiers.
1969 The pre-commissioned submarine Guitarro (SSN 665) accidentally sinks while moored at U.S. Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Calif. Due to the damage, her commissioning date is rescheduled to Sept. 1972.
 
Thanks to CHINFO
 
Executive Summary:
Leading today's national headlines are news reports that Alabama lawmakers passed the most restrictive abortion bill in the country that could punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison. CNO Adm. John Richardson reaffirmed the partnership between the U.S. and Singapore navies while meeting with Singapore's Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen reports Straits Times. USNI News reports on the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group's participation in Northern Edge 2019 as the Navy continues to prioritize re-learning how to operate in the Arctic. Additionally, Seapower Magazine reports that U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750), currently under tactical control of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet, conducted join search-and-rescue exercises in the South China Sea with the Philippine coast guard.
 
 
Today in History May 15
756

Abd-al-Rahman is proclaimed emir of Cordoba, Spain.
1213

King John submits to the Pope, offering to make England and Ireland papal fiefs. Pope Innocent III lifts the interdict of 1208.
1602

English navigator Bartholomew Gosnold discovers Cape Cod.
1614

An aristocratic uprising in France ends with the Treaty of St. Menehould.
1618

Johannes Kepler discovers his harmonics law.
1702

The War of Spanish Succession begins.
1730

Following the resignation of Lord Townshend, Robert Walpole becomes the sole minister in the English cabinet.
1768

By the Treaty of Versailles, France purchases Corsica from Genoa.
1795

Napoleon enters the Lombardian capital of Milan in triumph.
1820

The U.S. Congress designates the slave trade a form of piracy.
1849

Neapolitan troops enter Palermo, Sicily.
1862

The Union ironclad Monitor and the gunboat Galena fire on Confederate troops at the Battle of Drewry's Bluff, Virginia.
1864

At the Battle of New Market, Virginia Military Institute cadets repel a Union attack.
1886

Emily Dickinson dies in Amherst, Mass., where she had lived in seclusion for the previous 24 years.
1916

U.S. Marines land in Santo Domingo to quell civil disorder.
1918

Pfc. Henry Johnson and Pfc. Needham Roberts receive the Croix de Guerre for their services in World War I. They are the first Americans to win France's highest military medal.
1930

Ellen Church becomes the first airline stewardess.
1942

The United States begins rationing gasoline.
1958

Sputnik III is launched by the Soviet Union.
1963

The last Project Mercury space flight, carrying Gordon Cooper, is launched.
1968

U.S. Marines relieve army troops in Nhi Ha, South Vietnam after a fourteen-day battle.
1972

Gov. George Wallace is shot by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, Maryland.
1975

The merchant ship Mayaguez is recaptured from Cambodia's Khmer Rouge.
1988

Soviets forces begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan.
 
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This Week in American Military History:
By Thomas Smith
 
May 15, 1862:  U.S. Marine Corporal John F. Mackie participates in an action against Confederate forces at Drewry's Bluff, Virginia, for which he will become the first Marine in history to receive the Medal of Honor.
 
According to his citation, "As enemy shellfire raked the deck of his ship, Corporal Mackie fearlessly maintained his musket fire against the rifle pits on shore, and when ordered to fill vacancies at guns caused by men wounded and killed in action, manned the weapon with skill and courage."
 
May 15, 1963:  Astronaut, fighter pilot, and U.S. Air Force Maj. Leroy Gordon "Gordo" Cooper Jr., piloting "Faith 7," becomes the first American to spend an entire day in space, and the first man to sleep in space.
 
A former U.S. Marine private who ultimately was commissioned an Army second lieutenant, Cooper will retire an Air Force colonel.
 
May 18, 1775:  Future turncoat Col. Benedict Arnold leads a successful surprise attack against a British fort and the adjacent shipyards at St.
Johns, Canada. Among Arnold's prizes is the British sloop HMS George which he renames "Enterprise," the first of eight so-named American Navy ships.
 
May 18, 1863: Union Army forces under the command of Maj. Gen. Ulysses S.
Grant move against the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Vastly outnumbered Confederate forces under Lt. Gen. John Pemberton fall back on prepared defenses. Pemberton's army is quickly surrounded. Grant strikes Pemberton's positions the following day hoping to destroy his army before it is properly positioned. Losses are heavy among the ranks of the assault forces. The siege of Vicksburg has begun.
 
May 21, 1881:  Clara Barton, the Civil War's famous "angel of the battlefield," founds the American Red Cross.
 
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Thanks to Barrel
 
Standing For The Flag
 
 
Memorial Day is coming and it is not all Sales and BBQ
 
 
 
The other Vietnam air war.
 
Vietnam helicopter pilots describe the war from the cockpit...
 
 
 
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Subject: 1945 Air Show
Neat stuff if you are interested.................A lot of History !! 
Incredible!
Never saw this particular footage ever before!
Nazi Jets. Nazi Helicopters. Italian fighters. Flying JU-88's.
Fascinating footage of captured weapons and Axis aircraft at a
1945 air show at Freeman Field in Seymour , Indiana ..
This footage is ONLY four months after the German surrender,
And just one month after the Japanese surrender!
Great Glenn Miller music will definitely get you in that
WW II (patriotic) "Mood" to remember!
Nearly a 70 year look back at a Victory celebration, the end of the war.
 
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Thanks to Dr. Rich
 
Black Dart is the US answer to Drones
 
 
 
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Thanks to Carl
 
JONATHAN MAYO reveals how the Chernobyl disaster unfolded minute by minute as new drama series sheds light on the nuclear tragedy
The V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station in Chernobyl was the pride of the USSR  
As a major drama series, Chernobyl sheds new light on the impact of one of the world's worst nuclear incidents — ranked equal with Fukushima in Japan, in 2011
Jonathan Mayo reveals in detail how the catastrophe unfolded minute by minute
 
 
 
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10,000 YEARS AGO – Climate change!!????? Before man started burning fossil fuels – before the advent or "clean energy" !!???
Impossible!!
Dutch
Giant beavers that stood over 5 FEET TALL roamed North America beside woolly mammoths 10,000 years ago - but climate change drove them to extinction
The 220-pound beasts did not eat wood, but chowed down on aquatic plants
They lived in mixed-conifer forests where wetlands had plentiful food for them
As the Ice Age ended and the climate changed, these wetlands dried up 
Published: 16:30 EDT, 10 May 2019 | Updated: 16:31 EDT, 10 May 2019
Giant sloths as tall as the average adult man once made their homes in wetlands all across North America.
But, toward the end of the last Ice Age, they began to disappear.
Unlike their modern and much smaller descendants, the 220-pound (100 kilograms) beasts did not eat wood, and instead chowed down on aquatic plants.
A new study has found that this restrictive diet may have directly played into their demise; as the Ice Age ended and the glaciers retreated, the wetlands dried up and their source of food dwindled.
+5
The creatures thrived in mixed-conifer forests that hosted wetlands, where they had plenty of access to submerged plants. An artist's impression is pictured
HUMANS HUNTED GIANT ICE AGE BEASTS
Huge mammals that lived during the Ice Age 10,000 years ago were hunted to extinction by prehistoric humans, according to new research from National University of Buenos Aires in Argentina.
Animals like the giant sloth the size of a double-decker bus, woolly mammoths and sabre-tooth cats all once roamed the planet but were eradicated by humans.
Archaeologists have now found evidence on the bones of a giant sloth that lived 10,500 years ago that proves it was butchered by humans using tools.
A haul of tone tools, spear heads and other chipped artefacts, some made from the creature's bones, were also discovered nearby.
Researchers used carbon dating to narrow down when the specimen lived.
'The new data offer definitive evidence for hunting and butchering of the giant ground sloth,' said Dr Gustavo Politis.
ADVERTISING
By the end, giant beavers that made up the genus Castorides could only be found around the Great Lakes region around 11,000 to 10,000 years ago, according to researchers from Western University.
In their prime, however, the enormous spanned the entire continent. Fossil bones and teeth have been found everywhere from Florida to Alaska and the Yukon Territory.
But, they were nothing like the beavers we know today.
'We did not find any evidence that the giant beaver cut down trees or ate trees for food,' said Tessa Plint, who conducted the research while a graduate student at WU.
'Giant beavers were not "ecosystem-engineers" the way that the North American beaver is.'
These creatures thrived in mixed-conifer forests that hosted wetlands, where they had plenty of access to submerged plants.
Researchers determined their diet by analyzing stable isotopes in their bones and teeth.
'Basically, the isotopic signature of the food you eat becomes incorporated into your tissues,' Plint said.
The rest of the story at -
 
 
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Thanks to Carl
 
 
Monday, May 13, 2019
We will start out this week with a guest post from our friend Bryan McGrath - focused on what could arguably be the marquee mission our nation asks of its Navy.

Bryan, over to you. 



So last week, we were told that the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) (and other Joint forces) was being re-routed from its activities in the Mediterranean Sea to proceed to the North Arabian Sea in response to "…heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations." I have no insight into what that heightened readiness amounts to, but presumably, senior national security decision-makers at the White House, the Department of Defense, and the Central Command determined that there would be utility in moving the carrier and its air wing several thousand miles closer to Iran. In so doing, two virtues of American Seapower much under scrutiny these days are placed front and center for renewed appreciation—forward presence and the large, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Let us begin with forward presence.

First, let us dispense with the notion that the re-deployment of the Abraham Lincoln is an example of "Dynamic Fleet Employment", unless we wish for this important new concept to come to mean "the way we've always done it". Dynamic Fleet Employment—perhaps the biggest and most useful idea to come out of the 2018 National Defense Strategy—suggests innovative and unpredictable force employment, such as was on display last autumn when the Harry S. Truman came back to Norfolk in mid-deployment (or at least what was the predictable deployment pattern) and then re-deployed (without notice) to proceed to the North Atlantic and operate where U.S. naval forces had not routinely sailed in decades.

The redeployment of Abraham Lincoln from the Mediterranean to the North Arabian Sea is neither innovative nor unpredictable. That so many have dipped into the "where are the carriers?" meme in response to these events is proof enough that what we are seeing is not only predictable, but routine. And what is it that has caused this question to be asked and answered over time with such repetition? Is it Dynamic Fleet Employment? No. It is forward presence.

Forward presence means that irrespective of where this country's national security interests lie, a powerful, integrated, naval response is close at hand. Are there elements of American military power that can arrive on scene more quickly? Absolutely. Are there elements of American military power that can arrive on scene in short order and conduct persistent, combat operations from existing logistics networks? Other than American Seapower, no, there aren't.

Forward presence provides this country with a repeatable, predictable posture upon which both routine diplomacy and crisis response can rely. The very nature of this predictability contributes to both assurance of allies and deterrence of adversaries. This is not an argument against Dynamic Fleet Employment. Quite the contrary. It is, however, an argument against de-weighting routine forward presence while we chase a shinier operational penny hoping to offset insufficient resources applied to American Seapower. At some point, the virtue of already being there, or much of the way there, cannot be overstated. Can and should we make that presence more effective? Absolutely. But if this nation hopes to achieve the much talked about shift (in the National Security Strategy) from a conventional deterrence posture of punishment to one of denial, it is going to ride on the back of lethal, forward postured naval forces.

As for the large, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, I find myself imagining its critics shaking their fists at the heavens over the newsworthiness of the (once again, routine) redeployment of CVN-72 from one theater to another. After all, if Presidents and Defense Secretaries and National Security Advisers keep reaching for this tool, the Valhalla of "cheaper and more numerous" (funded of course, from savings reaped from killing the CVN) remains outside our grasp. If only the President did not have the capability of a large, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and its air wing to call upon, he or she would have to choose from a menu of other capabilities to signal his intent. Assuredly, these alternative measures would suffice.

Or would they? By way of comparison, let's start with the other elements of the Joint Force that are currently being applied to this problem, forward basing an Army air defense battery and an Air Force bomber task force. Presumably in the absence of a carrier, these tools would be considered. Which of them falls in on an existing logistics network? Which of them is not subject to host-nation veto? Which of them can redeploy to a new location 800 miles away in 24 hours, every day if need be? You know the answers, of course.

Now, let's move onto future naval capabilities that carrier critics claim are stymied by the Navy's Neolithic clinging to the obviously past-its-prime and oh-so-vulnerable carrier. Mostly, we hear about longer range and more energetic missiles, many of which advocates wish to employ from our submarine force. Putting aside the inconvenient point that in the ISR environment of the future, EVERYTHING is vulnerable, there is the whole notion of conventional deterrence to answer to. A potential ne'er-do-well, when considering an act of aggression, attempts to determine U.S. capability AND WILL prior to its act. If it believes its aggression would be successful and the reward would be worth whatever response it faces, it may move forward.

How would the Navy contribute to the demonstration of will, if the methods of doing so rely on either the most difficult to detect platforms in the nation's military arsenal (submarines) or platforms so small that they cannot self-deploy into the theater? If any part of the answer to the second part involves land basing, then the whole question of vulnerability rises again. And if we wish to submerge our conventional deterrent (to go along with our strategic), we will have to deal with the consequences of injecting uncertainty into the mind of the adversary and the loss of certainty. Not that injecting uncertainty (in the form of not knowing where the deterrent is or whether it is in range to accomplish its mission) is in and of itself, a bad thing. It becomes a bad thing when the cost is the greater sense of certainty that being there with visible power provides. An effective conventional deterrent combines both.

If our Navy's only role were combat operations, and all we wished for it to do was to punish aggressors, a Navy of 150 attack submarines and long-range energetic missiles lobbed from sanctuary would be a reasonable option. But that's not what navies do, and it is certainly not what the U.S. Navy should do. We must be able to walk and chew gum, and that means that we understand that when the shooting starts, low-signature platforms and high energy missiles will be of great importance. We must further understand that when the shooting starts, the aircraft carrier will likely be the primary method of delivering tactical aviation for such pursuits as strike, ISR, and sea control, and if we believe these missions to be important in future warfare, we need to recognize that doing them from land will be problematic.

Finally, we must realize that unlike any other aspect of American military power, Seapower plays an outsized role in both peace and war, and both forward naval presence and the large, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier are essential to this role. Walking away from either in the unwise pursuit of capability or capacity that only is brought to bear after the shooting starts is a sure-fire path to the start of shooting.

Bryan McGrath is the Managing Director of The FerryBridge Group LLC and the Deputy Director of the Hudson Institute Center for American Seapower.
 
 
 
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Thanks to Dutch R.
and today's 'kids' think they are oppressed if they don't have the latest iPhone...….
Dutch
 
 
 
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Posted on 2019/05/12


This month, George Orwell's legendary novel Nineteen Eighty-Fourturns 70 years old, and the warnings contained within the story are now more relevant than ever. Orwell's predictions were so spot on that it almost seems like it was used as some type of accidental instruction manual for would-be tyrants.
In the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four, there is an all-encompassing surveillance state that keeps a watchful eye on everyone, in search of possible rebels and points of resistance. Censorship is the norm in this world, and is so extreme that individuals can become "unpersons" who are essentially deleted from society because their ideas were considered dangerous by the establishment. This is an idea that is very familiar to activists and independent journalists who are being removed from the public conversation for speaking out about government and corporate corruption on social media.
Orwell is famous for coining the term "double-speak," which is a way to describe the euphemistic language that government uses to whitewash their most dirty deeds. For example, in Orwell's story, the ministry of propaganda was called the Ministry of Truth, just as today the government agency that was once known as "The Department of War," is now called the "Department of Defense."
There was also never-ending war in Orwell's story, the conditions of which would change on a regular basis, keeping the general population confused about conflicts so they give up on trying to understand what is actually going on. Some of these predictions were merely recognitions of patterns in human history, since the idea of "unpersons" and war propaganda is nothing new. However, Orwell had an incredible understanding of how technology was going to progress over the 20th century, and he was able to envision how technology would be used by those in power to control the masses.
The technological predictions made in the book were truly uncanny, as they give a fairly accurate description of our modern world. Orwell described "telescreens," which acted as both an entertainment device and a two-way communication device. This type of technology was predicted by many futurists at the time, but Orwell's prediction was unique because he suggested that these devices would be used by the government to spy on people, through microphones and cameras built into the devices.
Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state. This police state was also a strong deterrent in the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four, because although many of the citizens in the book had a positive opinion of "big brother," it was still something that they feared, and it was a force that kept them in control. Of course, this is not much different from the attitude that the average American or European has when confronted with police brutality and government corruption.
Many of the ideas about power and authority that were expressed in Orwell's classic are timeless and as old as recorded history but his analysis of how technology would amplify the destructive nature of power was incredibly unique, especially for his time.
 
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Some news from around the world
 
USA—State Dept. Orders Non-Essential Personnel Out Of Iraq ABC News | 05/15/2019 The U.S. State Dept. has ordered its non-emergency personnel to leave Iraq as soon as possible, reports ABC News.  Wednesday's directive applies to U.S. diplomatic staff at the Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. consulate in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.  Contractors are not affected by the announcement, reported the New York Times.  The department asked employees to leave via commercial transportation and monitor the news and State Dept. travel warnings.  Visa services have been suspended.  U.S. officials believe that Iran and its regional allies, including militias in Iraq, are preparing attacks on U.S. facilities as tensions between Tehran and Washington increase.  Intelligence has reportedly indicated that Tehran indicated to some of its proxy forces that they are free to attack U.S. military personnel and assets in the region, reported NBC News.  
 
USA—Keel Laid For Lead Ship In New Class Of Oilers U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command | 05/15/2019 The Navy has laid the keel for the first vessel in a new class of fleet replenishment oilers, reports the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA). General Dynamics-NASSCO held the keel-laying ceremony for the John Lewis on Monday at its San Diego shipyard. The class is based on commercial design standards and will replace the current Henry J. Kaiser-class oilers, which provide at-sea refueling for Navy ships. Construction of the John Lewis, which honors the civil rights leader and Georgia congressman, began in September 2018. Delivery is planned for late 2020. The replenishment ship will be operated by the Military Sealift Command, noted NAVSEA.  
 
 
European Union—U.S. Officials Threaten Consequences Over Defense Initiatives Reuters | 05/15/2019 The U.S. has told its European partners that a new E.U. military agreement could spark retaliation if it hurts American defense companies, reports Reuters.  If Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) imposes restrictions on the participation of U.S. firms in Europe, Washington may be forced to respond in kind, Defense Dept. undersecretaries Ellen Lord and Andrea Thompson wrote to E.U. foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini on May 1. The letter also expressed concern about the European Defense Fund, a seven-year 13 billion euro (US$14.6 billion) project that was approved by the European Parliament in April, noted Agence France-Presse. PESCO, launched in December 2017, is designed to support cooperation between E.U. countries to develop new military equipment and capabilities.  U.S. officials believe that certain measures under consideration could amount to "poison pills," which would make fair competition between firms impossible.  In a statement to reporters on Tuesday, Mogherini denied that PESCO would close Europe to U.S. defense companies. The E.U. is currently significantly more open than the U.S. defense market, she noted.  E.U. defense ministers are trying to finalize rules by June over the involvement of non-E.U. countries in PESCO projects, including the U.K. after Brexit and the U.S. European defense officials say that the U.S. does not understand the project, arguing that close cooperation with NATO ensures projects align with alliance priorities.  PESCO is only one way to coordinate within the E.U. and cooperation will exist in other avenues regardless of the final language of the accord, said one European official. 
 
United Kingdom—Defense Minister To Announce Legislation Expanding Legal Protections For Soldiers Sky News | 05/15/2019 British Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt is expected introduce new legislation that would expand legal protections to troops accused of crimes in past conflicts, reports Sky News (U.K.).  An official announcement is expected this week, reported the Guardian (U.K.).  The new legislation would end repeated investigations into a single incident and establish a general policy against prosecuting individuals for alleged crimes that occurred more than 10 years prior.  The proposal would stipulate that such prosecutions are not in the public interest unless there are "exceptional circumstances," such as the discovery of new compelling evidence.  Alleged crimes committed in Northern Ireland would not be covered under the law.  Gen. Richard Dannatt, a member of the House of Lords, said he would lobby the upper house of the legislature to extend the protections to veterans of that conflict.  Mordaunt is also expected to reaffirm a controversial commitment made by Prime Minister Theresa May in 2016 to suspend the European Convention on Human Rights during war. Derogating from the convention during war or public emergencies is permitted under the rules of the Council of Europe, which oversees the convention. Human-rights groups oppose the idea, arguing that most legal claims are legitimate and relate to offenses that cannot be derogated from, such as torture.  Pressure has built on the ruling Conservative party since parliamentarian and veteran Johnny Mercer said he would abstain from most votes until such a law was passed. 
 
Turkey—Indigenous Anti-Ship Missile Set For Fielding Daily Sabah | 05/15/2019 The Turkish navy is preparing to field the country's first domestically developed anti-ship missiles, reports the Daily Sabah (Istanbul). Development of the ATMACA missile began in 2009. Testing was successfully completed in November 2018. An initial contract for series production was also signed in 2018. The guided missile is designed to engage fixed and moving targets. It can resist countermeasures, receive target updates, change targets after launch and abort attacks. The ATMACA features an advanced three-dimensional navigation system, according to Roketsan, the manufacturer. The missile has a range of up to 155 miles (250 km). It is designed to cruise just above the sea and then gain altitude prior to attack to strike its target from above. The ATMACA is slated to be integrated with Turkey's domestically designed corvettes and frigates built under the MILGEM program. Integration work is underway with test-firings slated for the near future.  
 
Spain—Frigate Pulled From U.S. Task Force Due To Changing Mission, Says Defense Minister El Pais | 05/15/2019 Acting Defense Minister Margarita Robles says that Spain has withdrawn a frigate from a U.S.-led naval group in the Persian Gulf after Washington changed its mission, reports El Pais (Spain). Madrid had agreed to include the frigate Mendez Nunez in a training mission with a U.S. task force to commemorate the first circumnavigation of the Earth by the explorers Ferdinand Magellan and Juan Sebastian Elcano. The mission was scheduled to run through October, when the task force was expected to arrive in San Diego, Calif. However, on May 5, the Trump administration announced that it would send the naval group to the Persian Gulf in response to growing tensions with Iran. Robles emphasized that Spain respects the U.S. decision and that once the mission returns to what was planned with Madrid, the Mendez Nunez will rejoin the task force, likely once it reaches the Indian Ocean.  Madrid wants to avoid being involuntarily dragged into a conflict between the U.S. and Iran, said analysts.
  
 
Belarus—Army In Line For Additional Upgraded T-72 Tanks Tass | 05/15/2019 Belarus is mulling upgrades to its tank and helicopter fleets, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow).  The Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) has received a request to modernize a second batch of Belarusian T-72main battle tanks, a spokesman said on Wednesday from the Milex arms expo in Minsk.  A Belarusian army source said that the request covered 10 T-72B tanks modernized to the T-72B3 configuration. An initial batch of 10 upgraded T-72B3s was delivered in November 2018.  The FSTMC said it was also prepared to maintain and upgrade Belarusian Mi-8MTV-5-1 transport and Mi-24P attack helicopters should it receive a request. The Belarusian army has 12 Mi-8MTV-5-1 and several dozen Mi-24P aircraft in service.    
 
India—Abhyas Target Drone Successfully Completes Test Flight Odisha Sun Times | 05/15/2019 The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in India has successfully tested a new aerial target, reports the Odisha Sun Times.  On Monday, the Abhyas high-speed expendable aerial target (HEAT) completed tests at a range in Chandipur.  The test-flight is demonstrated the performance of the Abhyas in a fully autonomous waypoint navigation mode, reported the Press Trust of India.  The air vehicle is powered by a small, in-line gas turbine engine, reported the Indo-Asian News Service. A domestically developed micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) navigation and guidance system is fitted.  An autopilot is fitted to support autonomous flight operations. A Luneburg lens in the nose cone improves the drone's radar cross-section for use as a target. An acoustic miss distance indicator is also provided.    
 
Sri Lanka—Former U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Ready To Join Navy Sri Lanka Navy | 05/15/2019 An ex-U.S. Coast Guard cutter has arrived at its new homeport in Colombo after being acquired by the Sri Lankan navy. The former Sherman (WHEC-720) arrived in Colombo on Sunday, said a navy release. The Sherman was decommissioned on March 29, 2018, and formally turned over to Sri Lanka in a ceremony in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Aug. 27, 2018. Once commissioned, the ship will be the largest in Sri Lankan navy service. The cutter will be used for patrol, surveillance, maritime security and search-and-rescue missions, the navy said.  
 
Yemen—Clashes Reported After U.N. Certifies Houthi Withdrawal From Key Ports Reuters | 05/15/2019 Clashes have been reported in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, hours after the U.N. certified the withdrawal of Houthi rebels from three ports, reports Reuters.  Rebel forces transferred administration of ports in Hodeidah, Ras Issa and Salif to the Yemeni coast guard, Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, the Danish head of the U.N. mission supporting the Hodeidah agreement, said on Tuesday, as reported by the U.N. News.  Military hardware remains on site and will need to be removed separately, he said.  Violence resumed on Wednesday, with Houthi media reporting strikes on different parts of Hodeidah, including the airport. It was not clear if the attackers were Yemeni forces or members of the Saudi-led coalition. Coalition forces said they attacked Houthis trying to infiltrate Hodeidah and al-Duraihmi, to the south of the port city.  The withdrawal, which began on Sunday, is part of an agreement reached in December designed to avoid a full-scale conflict in the vital port cities.  
 
Lebanon—Defense Minister Discusses Bolstering Cooperation With Kazakhstan Kazinform | 05/15/2019 The defense ministers of Kazakhstan and Lebanon have agreed to strengthen bilateral military cooperation, reports Kazinform. Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab hosted his Kazakh counterpart, Nurlan Yermekbayev, on Tuesday in Beirut. The ministers agreed to increase cooperation and discussed areas for potential joint projects. The sides decided to accelerate visits by military experts and enhance the exchange of expertise, reported Xinhua, China's state news agency. Bou Saab also thanked Kazakhstan for its recent contribution of peacekeepers to the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the southern part of the country.   
 
Sudan—Army, Opposition Reach Tentative Deal On Transition Sudan Tribune | 05/15/2019 Sudan's ruling military council and main opposition bloc have reached an agreement on the duration of country's transitional period and makeup of the transitional legislature, reports the Sudan Tribune (Paris).  On Wednesday, the council and the Alliance for Freedom and Change agreed to a three-year transition period, said Lt. Gen. Yasir al-Atta, a member of the military council's negotiating team.  Both sides agreed on a 300-member legislature, with two-thirds of the seats going to the opposition Declaration of Freedom and Change and the remainder going to unaffiliated members, he said.  The parties have not yet agreed on a sovereign council, reported BBC News. A member of the opposition team told the Asharq Al-Awsat(London) that the council would consist of a woman and six representatives of the Sudanese provinces in addition to three military members.  The first six months of the transition period would focus on peace negotiations with armed groups, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). The faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Minni Minnawi, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the faction of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) led by Malik Agar are members of the Freedom and Change bloc, noted the Tribune.  The SPLM-N faction led by Abdelaziz Adam al-Hilu and the SLM faction led by Abdul Wahid Mohamed Ahmed al-Nour are not parties to the opposition bloc. The SPLM-N al-Hilu continues to seek self-determination for the South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions, while SLM-Abdul Wahid has called for the return of all displaced people and refugees to their homelands.  Lt. Gen. al-Atta said the parties hoped to reach a final agreement within 24 hours.    
 
Niger—Officer Wounded In Prison Assault Dies Agence France-Presse | 05/15/2019 A Nigerien soldier has succumbed to wounds received during a terrorist attack on a prison near Niamey, the capital, reports Agence France-Presse.  The junior officer in the National Guard passed away on Tuesday, a source told the agency. He was injured on Monday in an attack on a high-security prison about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Niamey.  About 10 gunmen opened fire on the Koutoukale prison, which holds the country's most dangerous convicts, including members of Boko Haramand other terrorist groups.  Security forces, including the air force, responded strongly and the attackers were repelled.  The prison was previously attacked in October 2016.    
 
Cameroon—U.N. Warns Of Deteriorating Security Situation In Anglophone Regions Voice Of America News | 05/15/2019 The United Nations says that the security and humanitarian situation in Cameroon is declining and could spin out of control, reports the Voice of America News. In 2018, it was estimated that 160,000 people in the Anglophone Northwest and Southwest regions were in need of humanitarian assistance. Separatists there have been fighting against the government in the majority Francophone country, which they say discriminates against English-speakers. There are now more than 1.3 million people in need, Mark Lowcock, the U.N. humanitarian chief, told the Security Council on Monday. The U.N. and non-governmental organizations have increased their humanitarian assistance, but need more resources, he said. More than US$300 million is estimated to be needed this year to support 2.3 million people, one-third of whom are in the Northwest and Southwest regions. Only US$38 million has been received so far. Cameroon also has humanitarian requirements in the north, where it hosts Nigerians who have fled Boko Haram terrorists, and in the east, where it has hosted refugees from the Central African Republic since 2013.   
 
Nigeria—54 Women And Children Held By Boko Haram Freed, Says Army News Agency Of Nigeria | 05/15/2019 The Nigerian army says it has rescued 54 women and children captured by the Boko Haram terrorist group, reports the News Agency of Nigeria. Troops discovered the victims after clearing the villages of Ma'allasuwa and Yaa-Munye in the northeastern Borno state, said an army spokesman on Monday. The militants fled from the military forces, abandoning the women and children, the spokesman said. The captives included 29 women and 25 children of various ages, he said. Separately, an army operation in the Mobbar district destroyed two Boko Haram logistics vehicles and a makeshift camp, said the spokesman.                                                                                                                                                        
 



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