Sunday, June 9, 2019

TheList 5017


The List 5017 TGB 

Some additional articles related to D-Day and some tidbits.

June 6


Although the term D-Day is used routinely as military lingo for the day an operation or event will take place, for many it is also synonymous with June 6, 1944, the day the Allied powers crossed the English Channel and landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, beginning the liberation of Western ... read more »
Thanks to Paul
On HBO June 6th at 8pm. It should be amazing if it is anything like the colorization and sound added to the WW1 documentary "They Shall Not Grow Old"
A 'monument' to D-Day's toll
Grief lingers in small town that paid high price from World War II invasion
BY ALAN SUDERMAN ASSOCIATED PRESS BEDFORD, VA. | Marguerite Cottrell remembers the summer day 75 years ago when a Western Union telegram was delivered to her family farm as her mother was hanging clothes on the line to dry.
Her mother read it, sat down and wept.
Ms. Cottrell's older brother, John Reynolds, had been killed in the D-Day invasion of Normandy on the coast of France.
"I knew something bad had happened," said Ms. Cottrell, who was 4. She remembers her mother telling her: "Well, little Jack has gone to heaven. I don't know what we're going to do."
All over the little town of Bedford, nestled next to the Blue Ridge Mountains, similar telegrams were delivered that summer — nine of them on one day — with the same opening line expressing the secretary of war's "deep regret" that a loved one was killed or missing.
Twenty men from Bedford or the surrounding area were killed on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Nineteen fell while trying to take Omaha Beach as members of Company A of the 116th Infantry Regiment. The 20th man was in a different company.
The decisive World War II invasion took a horrific toll on Bedford, a town of about 4,000 at the time. Its D-Day losses were among the steepest, proportionally, of any community in America.
The dead were country boys who came of age during the Depression and joined the National Guard before the war for extra income and uniforms that local girls thought looked sharp, according to author Alex Kershaw's 2003 best-seller "The Bedford Boys."
Frank Draper and Elmere Wright were local baseball standouts. Wallace Carter worked at the town's pool hall. Earl Parker left behind a young bride and a daughter he never got to meet. Twins Ray and Roy Stevens hoped to run a farm after the war, but only Roy survived.
Their time in combat was short. Among the first waves in the assault on Omaha Beach, Bedford's soldiers were wiped out by Nazi machine guns and mortars within minutes after their landing craft hit the sand.
"They were waiting for us, the minute the ramp went down, they opened up," said Elisha Ray Nance, one of the few Bedford Boys who survived that deadly beach landing, in comments recorded in "Bedford Goes to War," a book by local historian James Morrison.
In 1996, Congress designated a plot of land next to Bedford as the site of the National D-Day Memorial, a monument to the more than 4,000 Allied troops who lost their lives in the battle.
"When people come here, it is important to see the town as the monument itself," President George W. Bush said at a 2001 ceremony dedicating the memorial. "This is the place they left behind."
Amateur historian Ken Parker and his wife, Linda, have turned the town's old pharmacy into a coffee shop and tribute center to the Bedford Boys. Green's Drug Store was where Bedford Boys had hung out as high schoolers and their wives and girlfriends exchanged gossip and news during the war.
The center now is filled with war-era uniforms, pictures and other items, including the teletype machine that Mr. Parker says printed out the notices when the boys were killed.
On a recent Monday, Bedford resident Maryellen Cunningham came in to take a look around. She said seeing the old teletype gave her chills.
"I can't even imagine the operator that was getting one telegram after another after another," she said.
The Parkers — who recently moved to Bedford from Oklahoma — said they get similar visits all the time from Bedford residents, who often want to place a war-related family heirloom on display at the new tribute center.
Nance, the last surviving Bedford Boy, died in 2009. Only a few of the fallen soldiers' siblings are still alive. But the Parkers said younger generations have held on to many of the boys' letters and other keepsakes, handing them down through generations almost like sacred relics.
The couple said one of the Bedford Boys' nephews recently found a stash of unopened letters his grandmother had sent to her son before she knew he had been killed on D-Day.
"They just bottled this up for so long," Linda Parker said. "They can finally open that box and let the stuff out."
Ms. Cottrell, who recently dropped in at Green's Drug Store, said her mother used to open up an old trunk with her brother's belongings on Sunday afternoons and read his letters. Ms. Cottrell said her mother blamed herself for letting Jack enlist and talked about him often to keep his memory alive.
"There's so many people that have passed away, you know, that this would have meant so much to," she said of the drugstore. "My mom would have loved coming here."

Copyright (c) 2019 Washington Times , Edition 6/6/2019
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Ernie Pyle, a 43-year-old journalist from rural Indiana... 
Pictures included within article link below 👇🏾
Thanks to Dutch
Uncovering 2nd Ranger Battalion, the Inspiration for 'Saving Private Ryan'
Pointe du Hoc 75 Years Ago
One of D-Day's most famous, heroic assaults may have been unnecessary

U.S. Army Rangers show off the ladders they used to scale the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc in France on June 6, 1944. (U.S. Navy/U.S. National Archives/REUTERS) (Handout/Reuters)
Pointe du Hoc, France — Seventy-five years ago Thursday, a battalion of elite U.S. Army Rangers scaled the 100-foot promontory here overlooking Omaha Beach, with nothing more than ropes and rickety ladders. As enemy gunfire and grenades rained down, picking them off as they climbed, the Rangers managed to secure the strategic high ground and silence a small battery of long-range German guns that had been moved inland.
The battle for Pointe du Hoc became of one the most heroic moments of the D-Day invasion. It was lionized by the legendary Hollywood film "The Longest Day" and by President Ronald Reagan, who stood on this hallowed ground to deliver one of his most famous speeches, extolling the bravery of the "Boys of Pointe du Hoc" on the 40th anniversary of the largest amphibious assault in the world's history.
Mostafa Essabbar, who owns Sal's Pizza near the Virginia Beach municipal center, said many of the victims of the May 31 shooting were his longtime customers. (Drea Cornejo, Zoeann Murphy/The Washington Post)
But a little more than three miles down the windswept Normandy coastline, an archaeological dig on a vast swath of farmland is starting to tell another story about what took place that day. A World War II artifact collector and historian accidentally stumbled upon a massive German artillery installation that was buried after the invasion. His discovery, along with a trove of declassified U.S. and British military documents, threatens to alter the narrative of Pointe du Hoc and its importance as a military objective during the D-Day invasion.
Only now are historians beginning to reckon with the implications. Depending on which is talking, the discovery of what is known as "Maisy Battery" either calls into question the wisdom of the entire Pointe du Hoc operation or is simply one more footnote in a war full of footnotes.
June 6, 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the day allied forces landed on the coast of German-occupied France during World War II. (U.S. National Archives)
One thing is certain: The mythology of Pointe du Hoc is firmly established. Those who challenge the story do so at their own peril.
"Historians always shatter the idol, but let me tell you, when they do, they get a lot of pushback and angry emails in the middle of the night," said Rob Citino, the senior historian at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans who has written 10 books about the war and only recently learned about Maisy Battery. "Pointe du Hoc is such sacred ground, it's like bringing someone to Gettysburg and saying, 'Actually, there was a much bigger battle fought just a few miles away.' "
The artifact collector and historian, Gary Sterne, 55, has received nothing but pushback since he found a map at a military flea market 15 years ago that led him to the discovery of Maisy Battery, a complex that covers 144 acres one mile inland between Omaha and Utah beaches — the prime objectives of the U.S. invasion forces. He has published a two-volume, 1,160-page encyclopedia full of photographs, military documents and interviews with Army Rangers who climbed the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc.

Gary Sterne at Maisy Battery in 2006. The questions he raises about Pointe du Hoc have come under attack by some historians. (Vincent Michel/AP)
His startling conclusion: The assault was unnecessary, the commander of the U.S. Army Ranger unit failed to follow orders, putting his men directly in harm's way, and U.S. military leaders should have targeted Maisy and its battery of heavy artillery guns instead of Pointe du Hoc, which the Germans had largely abandoned by the time of the Normandy invasion.
"I have nothing but respect for the Rangers and what they did at Pointe du Hoc," Sterne said in a recent interview from his home in England. "It was truly heroic. But the facts are the facts."
'A lightbulb moment'
Sterne has been collecting military memorabilia since he was child growing up near Manchester, England. It became a full-time pursuit after he purchased a home in Normandy. In 2004, he traveled to Louisville to attend one of the largest military flea markets in the world.
Beneath one of the 5,000 tables set up there, Sterne spotted a cardboard box. Inside was the complete uniform of a U.S. Army soldier who had fought in WWII. Sterne bought it for $180. Inside one of the pockets was a map of Normandy. The map was marked with hand-drawn circles, each with an "X" in the middle, and the words: "Areas of High Resistance."
Sterne was confused. He knew the precise locations of those areas.
"I thought, 'There's nothing there. It's just fields,'" Sterne recalled.
Back in Normandy, Sterne drove to the fields and started to walk through the tall grass. He came across a clearing and a large slab of concrete. At first he thought he had found the foundation of a building destroyed long ago. As he stepped off the slab, he tripped over a small chimney protruding from the concrete.
He was standing on the roof of a building, not the floor.
"I thought, hang on a minute," Sterne said. "It was a lightbulb moment."
cid:BTOxHUINIaDZ2u0DVGxGThe entrance to a German bunker at the Maisy Battery, which was discovered by Gary Sterne in 2004. (Vincent Michel/AP)
cid:icI4G9nmRxBNXDv6mLxZOne of the bunkers uncovered at Maisy Battery, a massive German artillery base that was buried after the D-Day invasion and lost to history. (Scott Higham/The Washington Post)
Sterne and his brother grabbed some shovels and began to dig. They unearthed a perfectly preserved, bombproof German ammunition bunker. He and his son, Dan, have been digging ever since, uncovering bunkers and barracks and large concrete gun placements. They discovered a field hospital, a command and control center, evidence that an SS squad was embedded at the battery and the skeleton of a German soldier. All of it was buried by Allied forces after the invasion and Maisy was lost to history.
For nearly two years, Sterne kept his discovery a secret as he purchased dozens of tracts of land from their owners, quietly piecing together vast sections of Maisy for a World War II museum. When he went public with his findings in 2006 and opened the site to the public a year later, he said the backlash was ferocious. Other historians labeled him an opportunist, a fabulist, a "Mad Englishman."
Sterne returned fire. He argued that Maisy, not Pointe du Hoc, should have been a primary target on D-Day. The guns at Maisy, he noted, were still firing three days after the invasion and capable of striking positions on Utah Beach, about five miles away. What he said next amounted to heresy in the military world.
Based on previously secret intelligence and field reports he obtained from military archives in the United States and Britain, Sterne said the 2nd Ranger Battalion commander of the Pointe du Hoc mission, Lt. Col James E. Rudder, knew that the Germans had removed their guns from Pointe du Hoc as the D-Day invasion neared. When Rudder and his men reached the top of Pointe du Hoc on June 6, 1944, the guns were gone, some of them replaced with long wooden telephone poles resembling artillery cannons. The real guns had been moved inland. The Rangers found five guns that had been moved from Pointe du Hoc that morning and disabled them with thermite grenades.
Sterne went further. He said Rudder jeopardized the lives of his men by disobeying orders. The declassified orders show that the 2nd Ranger Battalion was tasked with attacking Pointe du Hoc, moving inland and knocking out the German artillery batteries at Grandcamp and Maisy. The orders, issued March 26, 1944, directed Rudder's Rangers to "capture enemy batteries at GRANDCAMP and MAISY" after taking Pointe du Hoc.
Instead, Rudder attacked Pointe du Hoc, despite the reports documenting that the guns were being moved, and he remained in the area without advancing to Maisy. He later said he was ordered to hold the Grandcamp-Vierville Highway to prevent a German counterattack. But Sterne said he could find no orders in the thousands of records he has reviewed directing Rudder to remain at Pointe du Hoc and hold that highway. Of the Rangers who served under Rudder during the invasion, 77 were killed, 152 were wounded and 38 were listed as missing in action.
Some comments from Mud and Don
Me first!
I always genuflect respectfully when some academic with no combat time starts teaching dumb riflemen our trade.
So Masiy was a mile behind Omaha and five miles from Utah. A mere stroll through the sunny farm land of Normandy. I  have a  hand painted picture of RANGERS tiptoeing through 2 divisions  OF Germans. Caen was a D-day objective for the Brits. but it was a month before it was taken. I talked to Lt Frank Dawson who landed on Omaha and fought his way to link up  late on D-day with the assault party and Len Lommell who was a sergeant. Len  was the man who penetrated to the orchard Where the German guns were hidden.
I also, for my Army War College paper interviewed MG Richard Collins who was deputy J-2. He had a complete set of pans forte invasion (now at Carlisle, I believe).
This is all well documented. Rangers (like many Marines) are, in general, considered to be "Frank" at upper echelons and blunt as a meat axe at the lower ranks. .
Funny how the "Now it can be told how these dummies screwed up start popping up when the principals have died off.
I have a  little deal like that going on about Tet in1968
On 06/03/2019 2:56 PM, Mud wrote:
    I find this very interesting reading.  I have been to Pointe du Hoc, and I can tell you I'd never have ordered anyone to attack a fortified position by scaling a cliff.  When there it appeared to me to be suicidal.  I don't know the exact size of an Army raider battalion in WWII, but I think LtCol Rudder lost a good 25% of his bn with 267 casualties KIA, WIA, and MIA.  I don't know the options available for taking out the arty at Maisy, but I believe I might have ordered a parachute drop from inland, an air strike with napalm, Naval Gun Fire, etc., anything but infantry scaling a fortified cliff, but what do I know; I wasn't there.
    As for LtCol Rudder not taking out guns at Maisy, I can't imagine what motive he had for not doing that if so ordered.  Seems to me I remember there were three guns that had been moved further inland from Pointe du Hoc that the remainder of the raider battalion moved on and took out.  Rudder must have thought they were more important than the ones at Maisy.  Why then didn't Rudder move on the guns at Maisy?  Who did eventually take out the guns at Maisy?  Scroll down to see what really happened.
    I'm eagerly awaiting rebuttal and other commentary from our West Point brethren, Prop, Russ, and and Don.  😁
Some news from around the world
Afghanistan—Security Forces Rescue Dozens From Taliban Prison TOLONews | 06/06/2019 Afghan commandos have rescued at least 84 people from a Taliban prison in the northern Faryab province, reports the Tolo News (Afghanistan). On Wednesday night, the commandos raided the prison in the village of Shakh in the Qaidar district with support from coalition forces, said a release from the Afghan Ministry of Defense. At least 20 Taliban militants, four ISIS members and eight foreigners were among the prisoners who were identified and arrested, the ministry said. Three Taliban fighters were killed during the operation, according to the statement.     
Sudan—Authorities Arrest Returned Rebel Leader Voice Of America News | 06/06/2019 Security forces in Sudan have arrested a rebel leader who returned from exile last week, reports the Voice of America News. Paramilitary forces arrested Yasir Arman, the deputy chairman of a faction of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N), at the temporary offices of the group in Khartoum, according to a member of the Sudanese Professional Association, which has been leading protests against the Transitional Military Council. The paramilitaries also beat other members of SPLM-N who were present during the arrest, the activist said. Arman's current location is unknown, said family members who have tried to locate him. The rebel leader returned to Khartoum on May 25 after more than 20 years in exile. He had received a death sentence in absentia in 2014.
North Korea—Operations Continuing At Yongbyon Uranium Facility Yonhap | 06/06/2019 A new analysis of satellite photographs indicates that operations are ongoing at the Yongbyon uranium enrichment plant in North Korea, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). Recent commercial satellite imagery shows vehicles, equipment and personnel moving around the facility, according to 38 North, a research project of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Researchers said that the photos showed periodic material transport over time, likely indicating that the facility is operational and producing enriched uranium. There is no way to determine either the levels of enrichment or total production of the estimated 4,000 centrifuges at the facility, the analysts said.     
Nigeria—16 Killed In Bandit Attack In Zamfara State Channels Television | 06/06/2019 At least 16 people have been killed and 14 injured in an attack by suspected bandits in Nigeria's northwestern Zamfara state, reports Channels Television (Nigeria). A large number of gunmen attacked the village of Kanoma in the Maru district, indiscriminately shooting at locals, according to local officials. Zamfara Gov. Bello Matawalle ordered security agencies to pursue the perpetrators and emphasized that his administration is prepared to work with local communities to resolve security challenges.     
Colombia—Many FARC Rebels Again Taking Up Arms, Report Says Reuters | 06/06/2019 A recent military intelligence report estimates that around a third of former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)terrorist group have taken up their weapons again following a 2016 peace accord, reports Reuters. The internal report reviewed by the news agency estimates the number of FARC combatants at about 2,300, a significant increase from the 300 at the time of the peace agreement. Following the signing of the pact, nearly 13,000 FARC members, including more than 6,000 fighters, turned in their weapons. The intelligence report says there are 31 dissident FARC groups operating in parts of Colombia that grow coca, the raw material for cocaine, and where illegal gold mining is taking place. The new estimate of FARC fighters is a 30 percent increase from the last official figures released in December. In addition to pressure to join dissident groups involved in illegal activities, former fighters were also returning to the field out of frustration over a lack of economic opportunities and anger about stigmatization and violence against them, said the FARC political party, which was established following the peace deal.
Sudan—U.N. Withdraws Staff Following Crackdown On Protesters In Khartoum Al Jazeera | 06/06/2019 The United Nations has decided to pull some of its personnel from Sudan following a military crackdown on protesters in Khartoum earlier this week, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar). Some staff members will be relocated due to the violence, but critical personnel will remain, a U.N. spokeswoman said on Wednesday. At least 108 people were killed and more than 500 wounded after security forces opened fire on Monday to clear demonstration sites in downtown Khartoum, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors. The SUNA state news agency on Thursday said that the death toll was not more than 61, according to a government health official.      
Egypt—14 Suspected Militants Killed In Reprisal Raid After Checkpoint Attack Agence France-Presse | 06/06/2019 Egyptian security forces say they have killed 14 suspected militants during an operation in the Sinai peninsula in response to Wednesday's attack on a police checkpoint near El Arish, reports Agence France-Presse. Eight police officers and five militants were killed in that battle, which was later claimed by the Islamic State. Security forces tracked down the perpetrators and killed 14 of them, said an interior ministry statement. Several suspected militants fled before the raid. Authorities recovered 14 guns, three explosive devices and two explosive belts following the shootout at a militant hideout, the ministry said. There was no mention of any casualties among the security forces, noted Reuters.    
USA—Pentagon Notifies Lawmakers Of $2 Billion Weapons Package For Taiwan Bloomberg News | 06/06/2019 The Dept. of Defense and State Dept. have informally told Congress about a potential $2 billion arms sale to Taiwan, reports Bloomberg News. The proposed package includes 108 M1A2 Abrams tanks, which have never previously been made available to Taipei, as well as 1,250 TOW anti-tank missiles, 409 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 250 Stinger shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles, Reuters reported on Wednesday. A possible sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan is still under review, said an unnamed official. Congress is expected to be formally notified of the sale in the near future, which is anticipated expected to be approved within the standard 30-day review process. On Thursday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman expressed concern about the sale and emphasized that Beijing opposes all U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.     
South Korea—Hanwha Unveils New 30-mm Anti-Aircraft System Yonhap | 06/06/2019 The South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) and Hanwha Defense have successfully completed development of a new 30-mm anti-aircraft gun system, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). Development of the US$46.58 million program began in June 2015. The wheeled anti-aircraft system recently completed trials and evaluations that demonstrated that it met all military requirements, said the DAPA on Wednesday. The system is designed to defeat low-altitude aerial attacks. The 30-mm weapon has an effective range of 3,280 yards (3,000 m), about 1.6 times greater than current 20-mm Vulcan guns, officials said. It also has advanced automatic tracking and self-targeting capabilities, according to the DAPA. When installed on a wheeled platform, it provides active, mobile and local support for troops on the ground.   
Ukraine—Serdar Missile Turret Wraps Up Trials Ukrspecexport | 06/06/2019 An anti-tank missile system jointly developed by Turkey and Ukraine has successfully completed its testing, reports Ukrspetstechnoexport, the Ukrainian state arms export agency. The Serdar anti-tank system was developed by Turkish firm Aselsan and the Ukrainian Luch design bureau for an unnamed foreign customer, the agency said on Wednesday. Aselsan served as the system developer and integrator, with a focus on the stabilization, fire-control, target detection and tracking systems as well as the infrared/video imagers and laser rangefinder. Luch supplies the Skif anti-tank missile as well as guidance and control systems. The Serdar is a lightweight, remote-controlled stabilized system that can effectively engage targets in day, night and adverse weather conditions, said Ukrspetstechnoexport. It can be integrated with a variety of combat vehicles. The Skif missile has a range of 3 mi (5 km) and can defeat armor as thick as 32 inches (800 mm) behind dynamic defense systems, the manufacturer said. The turret is also armed with 12.7-mm and a 7.62-mm machine guns. The Skif missiles can also be replaced with RK-2M missiles with a range of 3.4 miles (5.5 km) and the ability to pierce up to 43 inches (1,100 mm) of armor behind dynamic protection.     
Czech Republic—Air Force Receives Batch Of L-159 Trainers Aero Vodochody | 06/06/2019 Czech aerospace firm Aero Vodochody has announced the delivery of three upgraded L-159 training aircraft to the Czech air force. The last of the three L-159T2 jets was handed over on Tuesday. The aircraft have been modernized to meet the air force's requirements for advanced pilot training and military operations, the company said. The aircraft are scheduled to replace aging L-39ZA trainers, which are scheduled to retire by the end of the year. The L-159 features significant cockpit improvements, including full night-vision-goggle compatibility, fuel system upgrades and integration of the Grifo radar and self-protection systems, said an Aero Vodochody release. The Czech air force ordered three two-seat L-159s in 2016.    
Lithuania—Government Greenlights Plans To Boost Troop Levels Lithuanian Ministry Of Defense | 06/06/2019 The Lithuanian government has approved plans to increase the size of the military, reports the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense. On Wednesday, the government authorized the ministry's personnel increase plan for 2019 to 2028, which implements the National Defense System Development Program from 2018. The programs are designed to fund the synchronization of personnel, modernization and infrastructure development requirements. Under the plan, the number of professional servicemembers would increase from 10,900 to 14,500, with National Defense Volunteer Force and other active reserves to grow from 5,400 to 6,300. The number of reservists participating in refresher courses is also slated to increase from 1,400 to 3,900 by 2028, the ministry said. The number of annual conscripts will also grow from 3,800 to 3,900.      
Japan—Liaison Officers To Be Sent To U.S. Base To Strengthen Space Defenses Asahi Shimbun | 06/06/2019 The Japanese government has decided to station liaison officers at a U.S. Air Force base in California as part of efforts bolster its space capabilities, reports the Asahi Shimbun. The Japan Self-Defense Force plans to set up a unit specializing in space issues by the end of March 2023. As part of preparations, the military wants to permanently station liaison officers at the Combined Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to share and coordinate information, said unnamed defense officials. The new space unit is expected to be stationed at Fuchu Air Base outside of Tokyo to gather intelligence on space debris and monitor satellite activity by potential adversaries, such as China and Russia. In addition, advanced ground radars will be installed in the southern Yamaguchi prefecture. Surveillance will be performed jointly with the government's Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, officials said.  The SDF also plans to establish a new space career field to allow personnel to focus on space from the beginning of their careers.     
 United Nations—Inter-Communal Fighting Growing Threat To Stability In C. Africa U.N. News Center | 06/06/2019 A senior U.N. official has warned that clashes between communities in Central Africa pose an increasing threat to regional stability, reports the U.N. News. In eastern Chad, nomadic herders and farmers have been facing off, Francois Lounceny Fall, the U.N. special representative and head of the regional office for Central Africa (UNOCA), told the Security Council on Tuesday. There have also been attacks against villages in the Central African Republic. These clashes have generated "serious concern" about "regional security and integration," he said. Fall also said that the issue has been receiving more attention from regional leaders, including a workshop in late May in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The special representative emphasized that UNOCA would continue to support the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in efforts to address the problem. The U.N. office will also work with the world body's offices in the West Africa and Sahel to improve cooperation and the exchange of best practices in resolving intercommunal conflict, said Fall.   
USA—Lawmakers Call For Review Of Special Operations Forces Roles Army Times | 06/06/2019 Congress has ordered an independent review of the special operations force structure, roles and responsibilities in a new addition to the 2020 defense budget bill, reports the Army Times. The study, which could be performed by an organization such as the RAND Corp., would be due in the summer of 2020. The move is designed to better align special operations troops with the new National Defense Strategy, which prioritizes great power competition over the counterinsurgency and other missions that have dominated military operations over the last two decades. Lawmakers noted the growth of special operations deployments to Europe over the last several years. The review would ensure effective operations and the management of geopolitical and force protection risks related to operations, according to the defense bill markup. The House Armed Services Committee also ordered a review of the actual costs of special operations activities. U.S. Special Operations Command requested $13.8 billion for fiscal 2020. Each of the services also support special operations forces, adding another $8 billion for such missions, the lawmakers said. The goal is to enable Congress to better direct funding for special operations as well as determine if some resources are being redirected to the conventional force, which has happened in the past, analysts said.     
USA—Head Of Air Force Warfare Center Loses Job Over Suspected Unprofessional Relationship Air Force Times | 06/06/2019 The commander of the Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., has been relieved of duty following allegations of an unprofessional relationship, reports the Air Force Times. Gen. Mike Holmes, the head of Air Combat Command, fired Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten "due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command based on an alleged unprofessional relationship," said a command release. There is an ongoing investigation into the allegations, the command said, indicating that no further details would be provided. Gersten has led the Air Force Warfare Center since July 2017. He has also held leadership positions in the Pentagon and as deputy commander for operations and intelligence for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. He will be replaced by Brig. Gen. David Snoddy, the vice commander of the center, until July, when Maj. Gen. Charles Corcoran is scheduled to take over. The Air Force Warfare Center trains airmen on integrated combat operations. 

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