Friday, May 24, 2019

The List 5004

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The List 5004 TGB

To All
I hope that you all have a great Memorial Day weekend.



This day in Naval History May 24, 2019

1917 The first U.S. convoy left Hampton Roads, Va. to cross the North Atlantic after entering World War I. During the 18 months of war while American vessels escort convoys through the war zone, 183 attacks are made by submarines, 24 submarines are damaged and two are destroyed.
1918 USS Olympia (C 6) is anchored at Kola Inlet, Murmansk, Russia, to protect refugees during the Russian Revolution.
1939 Vice Adm. Allan McCann's Rescue Chamber is first used to rescue 33 men from the sunken USS Squalus (SS 192). Four Navy divers receive the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions on May 24-25 to rescue the trapped men.
1945 Patrol bomber PBM aircraft sink Japanese Special Coast Defense Ship No.21 off the China coast, Task Force 58 attacks airfields on southern Kyushu. In return, the Japanese attack U.S. positions and ships at Okinawa and kamikazes strike USS William C. Cole (DE 641), USS Sims (APD 50), LCS (L) 121.
1961 USS Gurke (DD 783) notices signals from 12 men from Truk Island who are stranded for three months first at sea and then on an island. USS Southerland (DD 743) investigates the situation and notifies Truk Island, and provides provisions and supplies to repair their outrigger canoe. The men are picked up on June 7 by the motor launch Kaselehlia.
1962 Aurora 7 (Mercury 7) is launched and piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Malcolm Scott Carpenter. Aurora 7 completes three orbits in 4 hours, 56 minutes at an altitude up to 166.8 statute miles at 17,549 mph.

This day in Naval History May 25, 2019

1911 USS Wyoming (BB 32) launches. She is commissioned in Sept. 25, 1912 and later participates in the Veracruz Intervention and World War I.
1943 Patrol bombers from (VP 84) sink German submarine U 467 south-southeast of Iceland.
1944 USS Flying Fish (SS 229) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks guardboat Daito Maru and freighter Osaka Maru north of Palau.
1952 USS Iowa (BB 61) begins shelling industrial and rail centers at Chongjin, Korea. For her Korean War service, she receives two battle stars. USS Iowa is decommissioned in 1990 and is struck from the Navys list in 2006. Iowa is currently a museum ship.
1973 Skylab 2, the first U.S. manned orbiting space station, launches with all-Navy crew: Capt. Charles Conrad, Jr., Cmdr. Paul J. Weitz and Cmdr. Joseph P. Kerwin.
1985 USS Alabama (SN 731) is commissioned at Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn.

This day in Naval History May 26, 2019

1911 USS Wyoming (BB 32) launches. She is commissioned in Sept. 25, 1912 and later participates in the Veracruz Intervention and World War I.
1943 Patrol bombers from (VP 84) sink German submarine U 467 south-southeast of Iceland.
1944 USS Flying Fish (SS 229) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks guardboat Daito Maru and freighter Osaka Maru north of Palau.
1952 USS Iowa (BB 61) begins shelling industrial and rail centers at Chongjin, Korea. For her Korean War service, she receives two battle stars. USS Iowa is decommissioned in 1990 and is struck from the Navys list in 2006. Iowa is currently a museum ship.
1973 Skylab 2, the first U.S. manned orbiting space station, launches with all-Navy crew: Capt. Charles Conrad, Jr., Cmdr. Paul J. Weitz and Cmdr. Joseph P. Kerwin.
USS Alabama (SN 731) is commissioned at Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:
The Senate late yesterday confirmed Adm. Bill Moran to become the Navy's next Chief of Naval Operations and Vice Adm. Burke for promotion and appointment as the next Vice Chief. Leading national news headlines today is continued reporting on the U.S./China trade war, reports on the continued political confrontations between the President and the Speaker of the House, and reports that U.K. Prime Minster Theresa May to step down today as U.K. Prime Minister. reports on USS Theodore Roosevelt’s (CVN 71) participation in Exercise Northern Edge, the first time a carrier has participated in the exercise in a decade. "With a renewed emphasis and focus on the Pacific ... my strike group had the opportunity to participate, and we're happy to do so," said Rear Adm. Dan Dwyer. U.S. Navy ships conducted joint drills with warships from Japan, Australia and South Korea as a part of the Pacific Vanguard exercise reports Reuters. “Pacific Vanguard joins forces from four, like-minded maritime nations that provide security throughout the Indo-Pacific based on shared values and common interests,” Vice Admiral Phillip Sawyer said in a statement. Additionally, the Virginian-Pilot reports that Newport News Shipbuilding cut the first piece of steel for the Columbia-class submarine.

Today in History May 24


Nicolaus Copernicus publishes proof of a sun-centered solar system. He dies just after publication.


Captain Christopher Newport and 105 followers found the colony of Jamestown at the mouth of the James River on the coast of Virginia.


Sir Thomas Gates institutes "laws divine moral and marshal, " a harsh civil code for Jamestown.


After years of unprofitable operation, Virginia's charter is revoked and it becomes a royal colony.


The English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration, protecting Protestants. Roman Catholics are specifically excluded from exemption.


The Methodist Church is established.


Boston lawyer James Otis denounces "taxation without representation," calling for the colonies to unite in opposition to Britain's new tax measures.


Believing that a French invasion of Ireland is imminent, Irish nationalists rise up against the British occupation.


Samuel Morse taps out the first telegraph message.


General Zachary Taylor captures Monterey.


General Benjamin Butler declares slaves to be the contraband of war.


Bushwackers led by Captain William Marchbanks attack a Federal militia party in Nevada, Missouri.


The first American bicycle race is held in Boston.


Amy Johnson becomes the first woman to fly from England to Australia.


The British battleship Hood is sunk by the German battleship Bismarck. There are only three survivors.


Willie Mays begins playing for the New York Giants.


Civil rights activists are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi.


Still relevant from last year
Thanks to Carl
The Meaning of Memorial Day, From the Civil War On

The Meaning of Memorial Day, From the Civil War On
Lee Edwards / May 26, 2017

As we pause this Memorial Day to honor those who died so that we might enjoy the blessings of liberty, here are some facts to remember about the day and some inspiring words from a great president.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day, set aside to decorate the graves of fallen Civil War soldiers.
On the first Decoration Day in 1868, Gen. James Garfield spoke at Arlington National Cemetery where some 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were buried. Garfield said they “summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtue of men and citizens.”
Red poppies are often worn on Memorial Day as a symbol of remembrance and to honor those who died in war.
Since the late 1950s, soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, have placed small American flags at each of the over 260,000 gravestones in Arlington National Cemetery.
In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, a practice that continues to this day.
For those who have flags at home, remember this Memorial Day custom: The American flag should be hung at half-staff until noon, and then raised to the top of the staff.
Presidents have long honored Memorial Day with speeches, and President Ronald Reagan did so in 1982 while visiting Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.
After placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Reagan spoke briefly about sacrifice and obligation, saying:
If words cannot repay the debt we owe these men, surely with our actions we must strive to keep faith with them and with the vision that led them to battle and final sacrifice.
Our first obligation to them and ourselves is plain enough: The United States and the freedom for which it stands, the freedom for which they died, must endure and prosper. Their lives remind us that freedom is not bought cheaply. It has a cost; it imposes a burden. And just as they whom we commemorate were willing to sacrifice, so too must we—in a less final, less heroic way—be willing to give of ourselves.
How, then, will we respond to the challenge of this Memorial Day 2019?
Will we accept the burden of preserving the freedom for which so many died? Will we sacrifice ourselves for those who will come after us? Will we keep faith with those who gave their all for us?


Thanks to Tam – attribution to a Vietnam Vet – doesn’t matter by whom -

Some good rules of conduct for those of us who haven’t been in combat

Written by Vietnam Vet. Here's some ground rules for next weekend:
1. Don't wish me a Happy Memorial day. There is nothing happy about brave men and women dying.
2. It's not a holiday. It's a remembrance.
3. If you want to know the true meaning, visit Arlington or your local VA, not freaking Disneyland.
4. Don't tell me how great any one political power is. Tell me about Chesty Puller, George Patton, John Basilone, Dakota Meyer, Kyle Carpenter, Mitchell Paige, Ira Hayes, Chris Kyle and any other heroes too numerous to name. Attend a Bell Ceremony and shed some tears.
5. Don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about. I have carried the burden all too many times for my warriors who now stand their post for God.
6. Say a prayer... and then another.
7. Remember the Fallen for all the Good they did while they were here.
8. Reach out and let a Vet know you're there, we're losing too many in "peace".


Thanks to Doctor Rich

Did you know?? I didn’t!!

Thanks to Black …

Why Is the Flag At Half-Staff Until Noon on Memorial Day?

For 142 years, Americans have taken the last Monday in May to remember those who have died in our wars. Like all deaths honored by the state, flags fly at half-staff. However, on Memorial Day, the U.S. Flag only flies at half-staff for the first half of the day, and then is raised to full height from noon to sundown. This unique custom honors the war dead for the morning, and living veterans for the rest of the day.

No one knows the exact date this tradition began, but an Army regulations book from 1906 carries instructions for the procedure, so it predates the 20th Century, said Clark Rogers, executive director of the National Flag Foundation. In 1924, Congress codified the tradition into U.S. Code Title 4, Section 6, with the proclamation, “For the nation lives, and the flag is a symbol of illumination,” explaining how the noon flag-raising symbolizes the persistence of the nation in the face of loss, Rogers told Life’s Little Mysteries.

“The first part of the day honors those who sacrificed, and the second part of the day honors those who are still with us,” Rogers said.

Gerald T. Pothier
Capt. USMC (Ret)

A good Memorial Day read….Thanks to Laurel


Thanks toChuck

Why the (Almost) Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier Is Not Obsolete | VodkaPundit


Thanks to Super

This has been around before! However, I would like you to know that I am thinking of you. To those who served our county, I thank you on this coming Memorial Day!
Charles Plumb was a US Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent 6 years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience!
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, ' You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!
'How in the world did you know that?' asked Plumb.
'I packed your parachute,' the man replied.
Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude.
The man pumped his hand and said, 'I guess it worked!'
Plumb assured him, 'It sure did. If your chute hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today.'
Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, 'I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat; a bib in the back; and bell-bottom trousers.
I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said 'Good morning, how are you?' or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.' Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn't know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, 'Who's packing your parachute?' Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory - he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all these supports before reaching safety.
Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is really important. We may fail to say hello, please, or thank you, congratulate someone on something wonderful that has happened to them, give a compliment, or just do something nice for no reason.
As you go through this week, this month, this year, recognize people who pack your parachutes.
I am sending you this as my way of thanking you for your part in packing my parachute. And I hope you will send it on to those who have helped pack yours!
Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word. Maybe this could explain it! When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do - you forward jokes. And to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still cared for, guess what you get? A forwarded joke.
So, my friend, next time when you get a joke, don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile, just helping you pack your parachute.


Thanks to THE Bear
May 23, 2019Bear Taylor
COMMEMORATING THE 50th ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIETNAM WAR (1961-1973)…with an URGENT MESSAGE for the PRESIDENT, National Security Advisor JOHN BOLTON, the Secretary of State and his minions, and the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff…
“On Memorial Day, the American people unite to pay tribute to the many brave men and women who have given their lives in the service of their country. We pause to reflect upon the courage and sacrifice of those who responded when their nation called, who left home and family to take up arms on distant shores to ensure to posterity the blessings of peace and freedom. We render our thanks and express our gratitude, for we have not forgotten what they did or the price they paid. On this Memorial Day, a great American army is in the field in Vietnam, and other American forces stand guard on the frontiers of freedom throughout the world. These young men and women are responding bravely today as their forefathers did on previous occasions when the call of duty came. Their sense of purpose, their personal courage, their professionalism, and their loyalty are an inspiration to all. For the heroism and sacrifice displayed by the American fighting man, past and present, we are indeed filled with pride and gratitude.”… Richard Nixon….

II. The New York Times, Saturday, 31 May 1969… Page 5: “KENNEDY RENEWS VIETNAM CRITICISM AT COMMENCEMENT”…Robert Reinhold, Boston, May 30… “Senator Edward M. Kennedy renewed today his criticism of the Nixon Administration’s handling of the Vietnam war. The Massachusetts Democrat’s remarks lacked the sharpness of his 20 May Senate speech on the assualt of Apbia Mountain (Hamburger Hill). In that speech, Mr. Kennedy called the assaults ‘senseless and irresponsible.’ Apbia Mountain, a 3,000-foot-high stronghold overlooking the Ashau Valley, was the scene of heavy fighting recently when United Statews airborne troops and South Vietnamese forces dislodged a North Vietnamese detachment from the summit. ‘Above all else,’ he told the graduating class of Emmanual College ‘they (the young generation) ask why after four fruitless years, after all the lessons we have learned, all the lives we have lost, all the promises we have heard–they ask why we must conduct the same kind of senseless military actions in the hills and valleys of Vietnam–actions that do not contribute to what we are trying to do in Paris and which delay the day of successful negotiations.’… “

Battle of Hamburger Hill - Wikipedia
The Battle of Hamburger Hill was a battle of the Vietnam War that was fought by U.S. Army and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) forces against People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) forces from 10 to 20 May 1969 during Operation Apache Snow.Although the heavily fortified Hill 937 was of little strategic value, U.S. command ordered its capture by a frontal assault, only to abandon it soon thereafter.

III. The New York Times, May 31, Page 1: New York … by Will Lissner... “U.S. HONORS THOSE WHO DIED IN WARS–AGNEW AT ARLINGTON CALLS ON NATION TO RESPOND TO SACRIFICES–Parades Mark Tributes”… “A nation shaken by the death toll of the war in Vietnam yesterday honored the 35,000 men who had given their lives on that Asian battlefield and the hundreds of thousands who had made similar sacrifices in earlier wars. Memorial Day tributes were paid, at parades and outdoor exercises across the land. Typical was the wreath-layng ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, where Vice President Spiro Agnew called on the nation to respond to the sacrifices by expanding ‘the heritage of democracy on new horizons.’ President Nixon, spending the three-day weekend with his family at Key Biscayne, Fla., urged Americans not only to honor our fighting men, past and present, but also to pray for peace throughout the world.”…

IV. The New York Times, May 30, Page 26…OpEd…
“As last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, American soldiers are once again losing their lives in combat while the nation observes Memorial Day. World War II engaged the virtually total commitment of the American people. The Korean war was unpopular when it ended in the truce of 1953, but most Americans still regarded it as a war worth fighting, a nasty job that had to be undertaken if Communist aggressors were not to be tempted to venture elsewhere. But the Vietnam war, now in its talk-and-fight stage, in which diplomats bicker and declaim while soldiers fight and die, is drawing to its uncertain but inevitable end, in a miasma of national regret, recrimination and disillusionment. The war still has its resolute defenders; but beyond dispute, no conflict since the Civil War itself has so deeply divided Americans.
“For what purpose have 35,000 men died in Vietnam? What responsibility does their sacrifice impose on their fellow citizens? These are questions which both critics and the defenders of the war have to ponder on this Memorial Day. The classic response to these questions, as to so many others, was framed by Abraham Lincoln. At Gettysburg, he said, ‘From these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion…. We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain.’
“At first glance, the Lincolnian response does not seem to fit the conflict in Vietnam. In the Civil War the political purpose–to preserve the Union, and the moral purpose–to free the slaves, were clear and were deserving of the ‘last full measure of devotion.’ In Vietnam, the political and moral issues are not, at least for most Americans, susceptible of such clean definition.
“But not every war is a crusade. It is perhaps a peculiarly American failure to attempt to turn every war into a morally shining adventure. President Kennedy once defined peace as ‘a process–a way of solving problems.’ In this more pragmatic and prosaic context, a nonnuclear war can be defined as a temporary breakdown in the process, as an alternative way of solving problems. In the long effort of the free and the Communist societies to learn to live together since 1945 without collapsing in the irretrievable catastrophe of nuclear war, there have been the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, innumerable brush fires and insurgencies and the political and psychological violence of the cold war.
“The cause for which men have fought and died in Vietnam is peace–that is, a better understanding of how men can live together despite ideological antagonisms and conflicting interests. From their sacrifice, Americans have gained new wisdom and insight about the limits of their power, about the nature of Communist revolutions and guerrilla warfare, and about the character of their adversaries and themselves. Comfortable illusions have been dispelled and disatrous temptations rebuked.
“Brave men have paid with their lives for the hard won wisdom. The responsibility of the living is to act upon that wisdom. If they do, if they have advanced in their understanding of that complex process called peace, then the men who have fallen in Vietnam have won a victory far more profound than the conventional triumph celebrated with bands and parades.” End OpEd…

Humble Host End Note…Tragically, American leadership disdains the bloody lessons of history. Consequently, young men and women continue to die on battlefields best avoided. Fortunately, the lessons provided for all-time by the 58,200 young Americans who perished in the folly of the Vietnam war– and the wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan– are well documented and readily available for current and future leaders, and their advisors, to absorb and employ. With the winds of war blowing in every quarter, Memorial Day 2019 is a good time for the President, John Bolton, the legions of “cookie cutters” in Foggy Bottom, and the Big Elephants in the Pentagon to listen to the Voices of The Vietnam Wall…
“The acme of skill is to win without fighting.” (Sun Tzu)…
Have a safe and thoughful Memorial Day holiday enjoying time with family and friends, and memories of those we left behind…
Bear…. Lest we forget…


Good read from Paul

Memorial Day Remembrance for Able Company

Normandy. D-Day. Operation Overlord. The events of June 6, 1944 are known by many names, and have been commemorated in countless books, dramas, and documentaries. You’ve seen the pictures of GIs wading through rough, freezing water onto a murderous, mine-strewn beach. You’ve heard the stories of those who braved smoke and shell to scale the cliffs beyond. But most of the stories we hear were told by the survivors – the lucky ones who made it to the top and saw France on the other side.
What about the others?
As you know, Memorial Day is just around the corner. It’s a day for remembering those who didn’t make it. The ones who gave their lives so that others might live. And since this Memorial Day coincides with the 75th anniversary of Normandy, I think it’s an especially good opportunity to remember the men who couldn’t tell their stories afterwards.
Men like the soldiers of Able Company.
The First Wave
Picture it: Roughly two-hundred soldiers packed like sardines in tiny boats that sway with the choppy sea. This is Company A – “Able Company” – of the 116th Infantry Regiment. Most are in their early twenties and barely into manhood, yet men they are. Long before they land, they are already fighting fear and the worst seasickness any of them has ever known. If they lift their heads above the sides, they can see the imposing cliffs of Normandy in the distance – and the 200-yard beach they’ll have to cross just to get there. A beach that offers no shelter or protection.
But when the order comes – “This is it men, you’ve got a one-way ticket and this is the end of the line,” – they shoulder their packs and lift their weapons, ready to do their duty.
Until everything starts going wrong.
First, water begins spilling over the sides of the boats, and many are swamped completely. Those that stay afloat do so only because the men of Able Company use their helmets to bail the water out. Other boats, hit by German artillery, catch fire and sink. The noise is deafening.
Then, at 6:36 A.M, the boat ramps are lowered, and it’s time.
One by one, the men jump into the frigid ocean. They are not yet on the beach at all, but on a sandbar that stretches up to 100 yards out. To even get to the beach, they’ll have to wade through water that often comes up to their necks. Many soldiers, weighed down by heavy jackets, packs, and equipment, start to sink. Those who can’t shed the weight, drown. Those who can come up gasping for air – only to be greeted by a hale of bullets.
From the cliffs, German machine guns pepper the ocean, decimating Able Company before they even reach the shore. But still they advance. One pair of boots makes it to dry land. Then a second, and a third. They are the first wave, and they know what’s expected of them. What’s required. Despite fire and water, despite mine and mortar, they are the first liberators to step onto the shore.
The first free men to set foot on the beaches of France.
But in the meantime, they have more work to do. Medics do what they can for the wounded, pulling anyone who might still be alive from the ocean. Minutes pass. No one from Able Company has yet fired a shot, and almost every officer – the men who give commands, who know the plans and have studied the maps – is dead. The others, leaderless and bloodied, continue anyway. It’s no glorious charge, but a desperate crawl. Liberating France inch by inch, foot by foot.
Thirty minutes later, over half the Company is dead. Most of the survivors are wounded and exhausted. But still they continue. Those who fall lift their heads to shout encouragement one final time. For they are the first wave. This is their job, their mission, their calling. To pave the way for waves to come.
Finally, after an hour, the survivors make it across the sand to the bottom of the cliff. A few join a nearby group of Army Rangers and scale to the top. The others remain behind, holding the beach. Most will remain forever.
Behind them comes the second wave.
Seventy-Five Years Later
It may seem like Able Company’s sacrifice was futile, or their assault was a failure. But I don’t think so. Every yard they gained was a yard the next wave wouldn’t have to. Every bullet they attracted was a bullet someone else was saved from. Theirs was the smallest of footholds, yet it was enough – for the next wave, and the one after. For what they did that morning led to everything that followed. By the afternoon, the beach was theirs. By evening, the cliffs were theirs.
And less than one year later, all of Europe was theirs.
History is often written down as the story of great leaders making grand speeches and grander plans. But in truth, history is made up of moments. Moments when normal men and women stared fear in the face and acted. Moments when men and women offered service and sacrifice. Moments that lasted the length of a heartbeat…and yet still affect our lives to this day.
This Memorial Day, I want to remember those men and women. I want to remember the beaches of Normandy. I want to remember the men of Able Company. I hope you can take a moment to remember them, too.


USA—Espionage Charges Announced Against Assange New York Times | 05/24/2019 A federal grand jury has indicted Wikileaks founder Julian Assange under the Espionage Act, reports the New York Times. The Justice Dept. announced 18 new charges against Assange on Thursday. The new charges, which include one count of conspiracy and 16 counts of illegally obtaining defense information, supersede a previous indictment. Much of the information backing the indictment is based on the 2013 court-martial of former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. Prosecutors allege that Assange worked directly with Manning when she leaked classified information to the website. Assange encouraged Manning to break into the site and offered to crack a password hash on Defense Dept. computers, according to a Justice Dept. release. Some expressed concern that charging Assange with espionage for publishing information could endanger national security journalists, reported USA Today. The department played down these fears, arguing that most of the charges stem from Assange's role in obtaining the files, not publishing them.

USA—New Warhead Exceeds Army Requirements, Says Raytheon Raytheon | 05/24/2019 Raytheon says it has successfully tested an advanced warhead for the Army's new DeepStrike surface-to-surface missile. The DeepStrike missile is Raytheon's offering for the service's Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) program, which aims to replace the aging Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). During the recent test, the warhead was detonated inside a controlled environment and demonstrated that it exceeded Army requirements based on the mass and distribution of fragments, said a Raytheon release. The DeepStrike features an innovative design with two missiles in a single pod. The missile will fly farther, faster and provide twice the firepower at half the cost of the ATACMs, the company said. It is also more maneuverable and has an open architecture to simplify system upgrades. DeepStrike is expected to be able to hit targets at ranges from 37 miles (60 km) to 310 miles (499 km). An initial flight test is planned for later this year.

USA—Air Force Looks To Team Valkyrie Drones With F-15, F-35 Fighter Jets Defense News | 05/24/2019 The U.S. Air Force is looking at ways to enable some of its fighter pilots to control drone wingmen in combat, reports Defense News. The service is exploring ways to team the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter and Boeing's proposed F-15EX fighter jets with the XQ-58 Valkyrieuncrewed combat aircraft. The Air Force is in talks with Boeing and Lockheed on the project, while the Air Force Research Laboratory is developing the technology, Will Roper, the service's top acquisition official, told the newspaper. Roper told lawmakers earlier this month that the Valkyrie would move to a new prototype program dubbed Skyborg, in which it would be fitted with new sensors and payloads and networked with crewed aircraft. In March, he called the program an artificial intelligence wingman that would train and learn alongside pilots or possibly be incorporated into a crewed fighter cockpit to assist the pilot. The Skyborg capability could be integrated with the F-35 as part of its planned Block 4 upgrade, which is expected to be ready in the early 2020s.

USA—Pentagon Seeks Thousands More Troops For Middle East Due To Tensions With Iran Los Angeles Times | 05/24/2019 The Dept. of Defense has requested authorization to deploy thousands of additional troops, aircraft and air defense systems to the Middle East in response to increased tensions with Iran, reports the Los Angeles Times. Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was scheduled to brief President Trump on the request on Thursday. The requested forces include an Air Force fighter squadron, several warships and special reconnaissance aircraft, the official said. Patriot air and missile defense batteries are being sought to help defend against potential Iranian missile attacks. Other officials emphasized that no decisions had been made and that all of the requested troops might not be needed at the same time, reported CNN. Some could be sent immediately to bolster deterrence, while others would be held in reserve until Washington believes that an attack is imminent. The U.S. Central Command made the initial request for additional forces.

Germany—Multinational Unit Simulates Defending Ruhr From Attack Defense-Aerospace | 05/24/2019 The joint German-Dutch Rapid Forces Division has just completed a two-week exercise simulating the defense of Germany's industrial Ruhr region, reports Around 3,000 troops took part. The Netherlands supplied five CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters, six AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, 250 soldiers from its helicopter command and nearly 500 troops from 11 Airmobile Brigade, said a release from the Dutch Ministry of Defense. Germany provided 10 NH90 transport helicopters and six Tiger attack helicopters, which formed a joint task force with the Dutch aircraft. The mock enemy, with four divisions and significant air defense capabilities, attacked from the northeast toward the town of Celle. To halt the advance, the German-Dutch airmobile units had to seize four bridges at Wieren. A loading zone and two forward arming and refueling points (FARPs) were established to support the logistical requirements of the unit, the ministry said.

Switzerland—Government Decides To Join NATO Cyber Defense Center In Tallinn Swiss Information Service | 05/24/2019 The Swiss government has decided to become a member of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia, reports the Swiss Information Service. Membership in the organization will help Switzerland implement its national strategy to defend against cyber threats, the Federal Council said on Wednesday. Switzerland will send one or two civilian or military experts for training, the news agency said. The Swiss army announced earlier this year that it was strengthening its cybersecurity capabilities in response to growing attacks on its computer systems.

North Korea—Pyongyang Rejects Further Talks Until U.S. Reduces Demands Yonhap | 05/24/2019 The North Korean government says it will not resume talks over its nuclear program with the United States unless Washington comes up with a "new method of calculation," reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). An anonymous North Korean official told the Korean Central News Agency on Friday that talks between the two nations would never resume unless the U.S. revised its demands for a total and summary disarmament. The official blamed the U.S. for the lack of progress over talks on its nuclear weapons program. A second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un failed to reach an agreement. U.S. officials later said that North Korean negotiators had requested major sanctions relief in return for limited concessions. The statement comas as tensions have risen following the U.S. seizure of a North Korean-flagged cargo vessel for allegedly violation U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

South Korea—Moon Reshuffles Deputy Ministers Yonhap | 05/24/2019 South Korean President Moon Jae In has removed his vice ministers for foreign affairs, defense and inter-Korean affairs, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). On Thursday, he fired the current ministers as part of efforts to revive the peace process with North Korea and resolve longstanding historical disputes with Japan. The president has appointed Choi Sei Young, chancellor of the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, as first vice foreign minister, said a presidential spokeswoman. Suh Ho is the new vice unification minister. He has significant experience in inter-Korean relations and North Korean affairs, the spokeswoman said. He has also served as presidential secretary to Moon for unification policy. Finally, Moon named Park Jae Min to serve as vice defense minister. He previously headed the office of military force and resource management at the defense ministry.

Pakistan—3 Die In Bombing At Quetta Mosque Dawn | 05/24/2019 At least three people have been killed and 19 injured in an explosion targeting a mosque in Pakistan's Baluchistan province, reports the Dawn(Karachi). The device detonated as worshipers gathered for Friday prayers at a mosque in Quetta's Pashtoonabad district, said the city's deputy inspector general. The explosive was placed near the imam, who was killed in the blast, a police officer told Al Jazeera (Qatar). About 100 worshipers had gathered at the site at the time of the explosion, reported Reuters. This is the fifth attack in the province since the start of Ramadan on May 7, noted the Dawn. There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Many attacks have targeted members of the minority Shi'ite community. Others have been claimed by secessionist Baluchi groups.

India—Wanted Militant Leader Killed In Gunfight In Kashmir Press Trust Of India | 05/24/2019 Security forces in India-administered Kashmir have killed a wanted militant leader during an operation in the Pulwama district, reports the Press Trust of India. On Thursday, police launched a cordon and search operation after receiving intelligence about the presence of two militants. Police ordered the suspects to surrender but the militants responded with gunfire and grenades. Zakir Musa was killed in the subsequent gun battle, reported the Indo-Asian News Service. Musa was the leader of the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, a small group that pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida. He was a former commander of the Hizbul Mujahedin (HuM) and close to late HuM leader Burhan Wani, a charismatic Kashmiri militant whose death in 2016 lead to massive protests across Indian Kashmir, reported Reuters. Following news of the killing, protests broke out in Shopian, Pulwama, Awantipora and downtown Srinagar. On Friday, officials announced that internet service had been cut in Jammu and Kashmir to tamp down on protests, which often turn violent. Certain restrictions on movement were also implemented.

Saudi Arabia—Houthis Target Patriot Missile Battery At Najran Airport Al Masirah | 05/24/2019 Houthi rebels in Yemen say they have attacked a Patriot missile battery in southern Saudi Arabia, reports the Houthi-run Al Masirah television. On Thursday, the rebels said they attacked the missile systems at the airport in the Saudi city of Najran. This was the third drone attack on the airport this week, noted Al Jazeera (Qatar). A military source told the outlet that the Houthi unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) successfully targeted a Patriot system deployed at the base. Saudi officials acknowledged the attack but said that the drone was intercepted and destroyed, reported the official Saudi Press Agency. In the two previous days, the rebel group claimed that it had carried out attacks on combat aircraft and weapons depots at the site using Qasef K2 drones laden with explosives. Separately, the rebels on Thursday released video that they said confirmed a July 2018 drone attack on the Abu Dhabi International Airport, reported China's official Xinhua news agency.

Saudi Arabia—Crown Prince Meets With Senior Sudanese Transitional Council Leader In Jeddah Saudi Press Agency | 05/24/2019 Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has met with the deputy head of Sudan's transitional military council, Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, in Jeddah on the Red Sea, reports the official Saudi Press Agency. The two leaders met on Friday to discuss bilateral cooperation and regional developments. Saudi Foreign Minister Musaed bin Mohammed al-Aiban and state minister for foreign affairs Adel al-Jubeir also attended the meeting. Daglo was accompanied by the military council's spokesman, Gen. Shamsaddin Kabbashi. On Sunday, Saudi Arabia said it had donated US$250 million to Sudan as part of a US$3 billion Saudi-Emirati aid package. The infusion to the central bank is designed to address some of the economic losses incurred during four months of protests that began in December.

Syria—Turkish-Backed Militias Join Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham To Battle Regime Al Jazeera | 05/24/2019 Turkish-backed rebel groups in Syria have joined with the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) militant group to fight government forces in the northwestern Idlib province, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar). On Tuesday, HTS recaptured the town of Kfar Nabuda from regime forces with assistance from the National Liberation Front (NLF), an umbrella group of Turkish-backed rebels. More than 80 combatants were killed in the battle, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The rebels captured or destroyed several military vehicles as well as seizing ammunition depots and medium and heavy weapons, locals said. A spokesman for the Al-Ezzah Army, part of the NLF, said that it helped HTS to protect rebel-held territory from a "common enemy." Other NLF fighters indicated that they had to join with the stronger HTS to defend parts of northern Syria from regime efforts to capture it. The NLF has previously fought with the HTS over ideology and territory.

Burkina Faso—7 Killed In Ambush On Border With Mali Citi News | 05/24/2019 Seven people have been killed in an ambush near Burkina Faso's border with Mali, reports the Citi News (Ghana). Two Ghanaian drivers were making a delivery into Mali when they stopped at the Burkinabe border town of Koury, officials said on Thursday. While negotiating the fee to cross the border, armed men attacked the drivers and security officers. Two Malian gendarmes, two Malian customs officers and a civilian customs employee were killed along with the drivers. The attackers were believed to be affiliated with Nigeria-based Boko Haram terrorist group. On Wednesday, Ghanaian Interior Minister Ambrose Dery said the country was on high alert for potential terrorist attacks. Ghana hosts an increasing number of Burkinabe refugees in the wake of growing violence in the region.

Rwanda—Peacekeeping Police Chiefs Meet In Kigali New Times | 05/24/2019 The heads of police peacekeeping missions in Africa are meeting in Kigali this week to discuss challenges and best practices, reports the New Times (Kigali). The three-day conference, the fourth such meeting and second to be held in Rwanda, brings together police commissioners and senior officials from MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; UNAMID in Darfur in western Sudan; UNMISS in South Sudan; UNISFA in Abyei between Sudan and South Sudan; AMISOM and UNSOM, the African Union and U.N. missions in Somalia; and various U.N. organizations. The head of the Rwandan national police, Dan Munyuza, emphasized that police missions need to work on empowering host nations law enforcement agencies to take over policing roles once peacekeeping missions end. The conference is also expected to assess the Action for Peacekeeping initiative, which calls on U.N. member states, the Security Council, host countries and regional partners to renew their engagement with U.N. peacekeeping and improve the performance of its missions. Other topics include enhancing police performance; protecting civilians; building capacity; and the role of women in peace and security. There are currently more than 10,000 police officers deployed on 14 peacekeeping missions with contributions from 90 countries.

El Salvador—Controversial Amnesty Bill On Ice After Outcry Reuters | 05/24/2019 Salvadoran lawmakers have agreed to suspend an amnesty bill after an outcry from survivors and family members of victims in the country's civil war, reports Reuters. On Thursday, lawmakers agreed to suspend the bill and review two other proposals with the military, Catholic Church and civil society on Monday. The bill would prohibit jail time for military personnel and guerillas and replace it with community service. In 2016, the Supreme Court struck down a 1993 amnesty law that prevented the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed during the 12-year conflict. It ordered a new law be adopted by July 2019. Representatives had rushed to pass the measure ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Nayib Bukele on June 1. Bukele opposes the bill in its current form. Victims' families, survivors and human-rights groups have all criticized the proposed legislation. Between 1980 and 1992, about 75,000 people were killed and 8,000 disappeared during fighting between the government of El Salvador and the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front

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