Thursday, June 20, 2019

TheList 5028

The List 5028 TGB

I hope that your week has been going well.



Today in Naval History

June 20

1813 - Fifteen U.S. gunboats engage 3 British ships in Hampton Roads, VA

1815 - Trials of Fulton I, built by Robert Fulton, are completed in New York. This ship would become the Navy's first steam-driven warship.

1898 - U.S. forces occupied Guam, which became first colony of U.S. in the Pacific.

1913 While piloting the B-2 at 1,600 feet over the water near Annapolis, Md., Ensign William D. Billingsley is thrown from the plane and falls to his death. Billingsley is the first fatality of Naval Aviation.

1934 Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet, Rear Adm. Frank Upham reports to the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. William H. Standley, that based on the analyses of Japanese radio traffic, "any attack by (Japan) would be made without previous declaration of war or intentional warning."

1941 USS O-9 (SS 70) sinks off Portsmouth, N.H., during a test dive. Salvage ships located her in more than 400 feet of water, but she had suffered crushing damage from the water pressure at that depth and all 33 men on board had been killed.

1943 - PBY patrol aircraft from (VP 84) sinks German submarine U 388 south-southwest of Iceland, in the first use of homing torpedo (FIDO) and damages U 420.

1944 - Battle of Philippine Sea ends with Japanese losing 2 aircraft carriers and hundreds of aircraft.

1945 The coordinated submarine attack group, commanded by Cmdr. Earl T. Hydeman, continues operations against Japanese shipping in the Sea of Japan. USS Tinosa (SS 283) sinks army cargo ship Taito Maru and freighter Kaisei Maru. Also on this date, USS Kraken (SS 370) sinks Japanese auxiliary sailing vessel No.58 Tachibana Maru in Sunda Strait, off Merak.

1976 USS Spiegel Grove (LSD 32) and LCU 1654 (a Landing Craft Utility vessel) evacuate 276 American and foreign national refugees from war-torn Beirut, Lebanon and transport them to Athens, Greece.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:
• Reports of Iranian claims to have shot down a U.S. drone lead today's national news headlines.
• The Associated Press reports that Cmdr. Sean Kido, a U.S. Navy explosives expert, stated Wednesday that limpet mines used to attack a Japanese-owned oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz resemble mines displayed by Iran.
• USNI News reports that the U.S. and NATO allies want the expanded BALTOPS 2019 exercise to demonstrate a commitment to collective security in the region.
• The future USS Daniel Inouye will be christened during a ceremony in Bath, Maine on Saturday, according to Stars and Stripes.

Today in History June 20


Roman and barbarian warriors halt Attila's army at the Catalaunian Plains in eastern France.


The Union of Kalmar unites Denmark, Sweden, and Norway under one monarch.


Nearly 150 British soldiers are imprisoned in the 'Black Hole' cell of Calcutta. Most die.


Eli Whitney applies for a cotton gin patent.


The paddle-wheel steamship Savannah arrives in Liverpool, England, after a voyage of 27 days and 11 hours--the first steamship to successfully cross the Atlantic.


18-year-old Victoria is crowned Queen of England.


President Abraham Lincoln admits West Virginia into the Union as the 35th state.


On the way to the Philippines to fight the Spanish, the U.S. Navy seizes the island of Guam.


Charlotte M. Manye of South Africa becomes the first native African to graduate from an American University.


Mexican President Porfirio Diaz proclaims martial law and arrests hundreds.


Race riots in Chicago, Illinois leave two dead and many wounded.


France announces it will seize the Rhineland to assist Germany in paying her war debts.


The U.S. Army Air Force is established, replacing the Army Air Corps.


The AFL and CIO agree to combine names for a merged group.


The United States and the Soviet Union agree to establish a hot line between Washington and Moscow.


General William Westmoreland succeeds General Paul Harkins as head of the U.S. forces in Vietnam.


Boxing champion Muhammad Ali is convicted of refusing induction into the American armed services.


President Richard Nixon names General Creighton Abrams as Chief of Staff of the United States Army.


NATO declares an official end to its bombing campaign of Yugoslavia.

1975 Jaws released »

I was on the USS Hancock at the time and we liked the phrase "We got to get a bigger boat" We thought so also.


Thanks to Carl

This is the complete article below

Friday, June 15, 2018

Fullbore Friday

Do you know who Bill Slim is? You should. Maybe this will help.

Lieutenant-General Sir William Slim, KCB, CB, DSO, MC ("Bill") is 53, burly, grey and going a bit bald. His mug is large and weatherbeaten, with a broad nose, jutting jaw, and twinkling hazel eyes. He looks like a well-to-do West Country farmer, and could be one: For he has energy and patience and, above all, the man has common sense. However, so far Slim has not farmed. He started life as a junior clerk, once he was a school teacher, and then he became the foreman of a testing gang in a Midland engineering works. For the next 30 years Slim was a soldier.

A reader sent along a recommendation of Slim's book, Defeat Into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942-1945, and reading up on the man - someone who I only read about in passing - all I could think of is, "More Slim."


Thanks to the Early Bird Brief

1. 'Start finding me, boys' — inside the rescue of Lt. Col. Dave Goldfein
(Air Force Times) The cockpit recording is striking for how steady the pilot's voice remains.


Thanks to Robert


These workers 109 years ago did not have to worry about losing their jobs because FORD Co. stayed in AMERICA👍🏻....GLOBALIZATION & TRADE AGREEMENTS were not an issue. Oh yes and no trade deficits to boot👍🏻....Made in America & Buy in America👍🏻....American Jobs 1st.👍🏻

Just PASS'n on this video sent from a friend👍🏻



History lesson for today:

The workers shown in this video would never have imagined that people in 2017 would be able to watch them at work and driving.

Hope you enjoy this one; I did! ShbgvwazCZ


Thanks to Dutch

Reparations, Slavery v. Civil War

Read Top to bottom - Thanks to THE Bear and Brown Bear

On Jun 19, 2019, at 11:07 AM, Dick wrote:

In view of your family's proud military history, would you share your opinion of the current liberal politicians' and media's focus on reparations to black families whose ancient ancestors were reportedly slaves in the United States. It would seem that "reparations" would also be very much in order for the families of those hundreds of thousands of Union soldiers who died in the long and bloody battle that set those slaves free.

Very respectfully,

Brown Bear...

Thanks for asking... as requested, here are my thoughts on "reparations."...

I believe every person alive today who has been a slave should be provided an opportunity to state his or her case in a special court established by the Justice Department. Those who were born free and have lived free need not apply.

More than five decades of affirmative action has served to rectify much of what was wrong with respect to justice in America. Continued correction and elimination of racial discrimination, unequal justice, and unequal opportunity constitutes all the "reparations" for slavery in America in the pre-Civi War era that is justifiable.

Kin on my father' side came to America as indentured servants landing on Long Island as "flatlanders" in the 1680s. More than half the immigrants coming to the American colonies before 1775 came as indentured servants. Total? More than 500,000. After fulfilling their years of service (1 to 7, but as long as 18 years) in slave-like conditions to payoff the cost of their hazardous trip across the Atlantic and room and board, they became "freemen" and moved on to pioneer the Lackawanna Valley, on the east banks of the Susquehanna River. My kin settled near Slocum Hollow, later named Scranton. The forests were shared with seven nations of Indians, most of whom resisted the intrusion on their hunting grounds. It was these "freemen" who were the early settlers on our 18th century frontiers. Their lives were lived "free" at great risk and hardship as they cleared the land and subsisted gun in one hand, plow in the other, by their own hard labor, fortitude, fate and "rugged individualism." It was survival of the fittest. In the valleys west of Philadelphia there were times when Indian rage wiped out entire settlements of "freemen" while collecting scalps. My point is this: coming to America was a hard road no matter what your color or your continent of origin. In fact, survival as a black slave in American was more certain than as a white indentured servant cum "freeman" on the frontier. (Read James Fenimore Cooper).

Overlooked in the slave issue are the facts that slavery was endemic across the world from the beginning of civilization, and is still rampant in most of the world in one form or the other, with the notable exception of the United States. We aren't perfect, but we do deserve recognition for the unsurpassed progress we have made. Reparations—punishment—for our national commitment to equal justice, equal opportunity and the elimination of racial discrimination doesn't pass the "fairness test."

Every black in America should ask themselves: If my kinfolk had not been sold into slavery and shipped to America, where would I and my family be today? We all need to count our blessings. And there is no greater blessing than living in the United States of America. If you don't think so, you are always FREE to leave...

To your point on reparations for families of the Union troops who "paid the last full measure" in the fight to eliminate slavery in America— a reasonable person could conclude that the blood, lives and fortunes of about 360,000 Union troops ("the flower of white America's youth"), plus another 300,000 men and boys from the Confederate army, might be fair reparations for the enslavement of the 350,000 Negroes brought from Africa to the 13 colonies/states before the Civil War...

Final thought. My great grandmother's daddy on my mother's side, Private Isaiah T. Enders, Pennsylvania Ninth Calvary, 1863-1865, rode with Union cavalry in Sherman's successive campaigns in Tennessee, Georgia (Atlanta then to Savannah), South Carolina and North Carolina, mustering out in July 1865 after the Battle of Bentonville (two months after Lee's surrender at Appomattox). Prior to his enlistment in the cavalry, he was in Gettysburg in July and August of 1863 as a member of the PA Militia detailed to the battlefield cleanup/burial crew. My point here is that from 1863 through to 2019 my family has done everything we could to end the injustices of slavery and indentured servitude. That spirit will prevail into eternity. Reparations? For what?



This is worth the repeat. It was in the list a while back, The fact was that this group lost more men than all the Marines lost in the Pacific is sobering. One of my uncles was a B-17 pilot and I remember him saying something about waking up in the barracks after a big raid and it being very empty due to all the losses the day before. Every time a B-17 went down 10 men went with it. They list 100s

A story of the mighty 8th Air Force in World War II - Author Unknown

I was a pilot in the 95th Bomb Group, in late 1944 and early 1945, and what follows is a typical mission, as I remember it, from a crew member's perspective.

Early in the evening, our Squadron Operations would post the names of the crews that were scheduled to fly the following day. There were two ways we could be notified if the Group had been alerted to fly. One was by means of lights on the front of the orderly room, and the other with raising of colored flags. If a green light was on, the Group was alerted, if a red light was on we would fly, and if a white light was on, the Group would stand down. The light was monitored frequently throughout the evening to learn our status and, normally, we would know before going to bed if we would be flying the next day.

On the morning of a mission, the CQ (charge of quarters) would awaken the crews about four or five o'clock, depending on takeoff time. The questions we always asked were, "What is the fuel load?" and, "What is the bomb load?" If his answer was," full Tokyo tanks," we knew we would be going deep into Germany. Shortly after being awakened, "6-by" trucks would start shuttling us to the mess hall. We always had all the fresh eggs we could eat, when flying a mission. After breakfast, the trucks carried us to the briefing room. All of the crew members attended the main briefing, and then the Navigators, Bombardiers and Radio operators went to a specialized briefing. At the main briefing, in addition to the target information--anti-aircraft guns, fighter escort and route in--we received a sheet showing our location in the formation, the call signs for the day and all the information we would need to assemble our Group and get into the bomber stream

After briefing, we got into our flight gear, drew our parachutes and loaded onto the trucks for a ride to our plane. We were now guided by the time on our daily briefing sheet. We started engines at a given time and watched for the airplane we would be flying in formation with to taxi past, then we would taxi behind him. We were following strict radio silence.

We were now parked, nose to tail around the perimeter, on both sides of the active runway, and extremely vulnerable to a fighter strafing attack. At the designated takeoff time, a green flare would be fired and takeoff would begin. Every thirty seconds an airplane started takeoff roll. We were lined up on the perimeter so that the 12 airplanes of the high squadron would take off first, followed by the lead and then the low squadron

Each Group had a pattern for the airplanes to fly during climb to assembly altitude. Some would fly a triangle, some a rectangle and our Group flew a circle, using a "Buncher" (a low frequency radio station) which was located on our station. The patterns for each Group fit together like a jig saw puzzle. Unfortunately, strong winds aloft would destroy the integrity of the patterns, and there would be considerable over running of each other's patterns..

Many of our takeoffs were made before daylight, during the winter of '44 and '45, when I was there, so it was not uncommon to climb through several thousand feet of cloud overcast. Also it was not uncommon to experience one or two near misses while climbing through the clouds, although you would never see the other airplane. You knew you had just had a near miss, when suddenly the airplane would shake violently as it hit the prop wash of another plane. It was a wonderful feeling to break out on top, so you could watch for other planes, to keep from running into each other. To add to the congestion we were creating, the Royal Air Force Lancasters, Halifaxes, and Wimpys would be returning from their night missions, and flying through our formations. Needless to say, pilots had to keep their heads on a swivel and their eyes out of the cockpit.

After take off, the squadron lead would fire a flare every 30 seconds, so that we could keep him located and enable us to get into formation quicker. The color of our Group flare was red-green. The first thing you would see, when breaking out of the clouds, was a sky filled with pyrotechnics, so you had to search the sky for the Group flare, which would identify the lead airplane of your Squadron. Once you had it located, you could adjust your pattern to climb more quickly into formation with him. As each airplane pulled into formation, they would also fire a flare, with the lead plane, making it much easier for the following aircraft to keep him in sight. I think most crew members would probably agree that the pyrotechnic show, in the skies over England, in the morning when the Eighth was assembling, was a rare sight to behold.

The order of progression for assembling the Eighth Air Force was to first assemble the Flight elements, the Squadrons, the Groups, the Combat wings, the Divisions and, finally, the Air Force. As soon as the four Squadron elements were formed, the high, low and second elements would take up their positions on the lead element, to form a Squadron. When the three Squadrons had completed assembly, it was necessary to get into Group formation. This was accomplished by having the three Squadrons arrive over a pre-selected fix at a precise time and heading. The high and low Squadrons were separated from the lead Squadron by 1000 feet and, after getting into Group formation, they would maintain their positions by following the lead Squadron.

Then it was necessary to get into the Combat Wing formation. We were in the 13th Combat Wing, which consisted of three Bomb Groups: the 95th, the 100th and the 390th. Whichever Group was leading the Wing that day, would arrive over a pre-selected point, at a precise time and heading. Thirty seconds later, the second Group would pass that fix, followed by the third Group, thirty seconds later. We were then in Combat Wing formation. The navigators in the lead airplanes had a tremendous responsibility, to ensure that the rendezvous times were strictly adhered to.

There were three Divisions in the Eighth, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The 1st and 3rd Divisions consisted of B-17s only, and the 2nd Division was B-24s. The B-24s were faster than the B-17s, but the B-17s could fly higher, therefore, the two were not compatible in formation As a result the 1st and 3rd Divisions would fly together and the 2nd Division would fly separately.

Now that the Groups were flying in Combat Wing formation, it was necessary to assemble the Divisions. This was usually accomplished at the "coast out"--a city on the coast, selected as the departure point "fix." The Group leader in each Combat Wing knew his assigned position in the Division, and the precise time that he should arrive at the coast out departure point, to assume that position in the Division formation. The lead Group in the Division, which had been selected to lead the Eighth on the mission, would be first over the departure fix. Thirty seconds after the last Group in the first Wing passed that point, the second Wing would fall in trail, and so on, until all Combat Wings were flying in trail and the Division would be formed. One minute later, the lead Group in the other Division would fly over that point, and the Combat Wings in that Division would follow the same procedure to get into formation. When all of its Combat Wings were in trail, the Eighth Air Force B-17 strike force was formed and on its way to the target. At the same time the 2nd Division B-24s were assembling in a similar manner and also departing to their target

Meanwhile, as the bombers were assembling for their mission, pilots from the Fighter Groups were being briefed on their day's mission. Normally, 600 to 800 P-38's, P-47's, and P-51's would accompany the bombers to provide protection against enemy fighter attacks. Fighter cover was not needed by the bombers until they were penetrating enemy territory, therefore to help conserve fuel. fighter takeoffs were planned to give them enough time to quickly assemble after takeoff, and climb on course up the bomber stream to the groups they would be covering. The combined strength of the fighters and bombers brought the total number of aircraft participating in a mission to approximately two thousand.

A major problem that presented itself, on each mission, was that the bomber stream was getting too stretched out. It was not uncommon for the headlines in stateside newspapers--in trying to show the strength of our Air Force--to state that the first Group of bombers was bombing Berlin, while the last Group was still over the English Channel. It made great headlines but was a very undesirable situation. It meant that the Groups were out of position, and not keeping the proper separation. Furthermore, it was almost impossible for them to catch up and get back into the desired formation. This made the entire bomber stream more vulnerable to fighter attacks

Finally, our planners figured out what we were doing wrong.. When the first Group departed the coast out fix, it started its climb to what would be the bombing altitude. Then, as each succeeding Group departed that fix, it, too, would start climbing. The problem with this procedure was that, as soon as the first Group started its climb, its true airspeed would start to increase, and it would encounter different wind velocities. Now it would start to pull away from the Group in back of it, and the "stretch out" of the bomber stream would begin. By the time the last Group had reached the coast out, to start its climb, the first Group would be leveled off, with a true airspeed approaching 250 miles per hour, and the bomber stream would be really stretching out.

The solution to this problem that had been frustrating the Bomber crews for so long was pretty simple. We would no longer start climbing at the coast out, but instead, at a designated time, all Groups would start climbing, irrespective of position. This meant that we all would have similar true airspeeds and would be influenced by the same winds aloft. That took care of the problem. It was still possible for a Group to be out of position, because of poor timing, but the entire bomber stream wouldn't get all stretched out.

When you consider the way our Air Traffic Control system operates today, and all the facilities at their disposal to guide each individual airplane through the sky to ensure its safety, it's almost unbelievable that we were able to do what we did. To think of launching hundreds of airplanes, in a small airspace, many times in total darkness, loaded with bombs, with complete radio silence, and no control from the ground, and do it successfully day after day, with young air crews, with minimum experience, is absolutely mind boggling. The accomplishments of the Eighth Air Force have been and will be reviewed by historians from World War II on. There never will be another air armada to compare to it. I feel confident that they will never cease to be amazed by our ability to assemble hundreds of heavy Bombers, under the conditions we were confronting, into the devastating strike force we now fondly refer to as,

"The Mighty Eighth.


Some news from around the world

USA—IRGC Shoots Down Global Hawk Drone Near Strait Of Hormuz Islamic Republic News Agency | 06/20/2019 Iran has shot down a U.S. reconnaissance drone near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, reports the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency. On Thursday, air elements of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down an RQ-4 Global Hawk as it flew over the coastal Kuh Mobarak region, in the southern Hormuzgan province, the IRGC said in a statement. The region is located at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz, about 50 miles (80 km) from Oman and the United Arab Emirates. U.S. Central Command later confirmed that the downed aircraft was the U.S. Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator (BAMS-D), which apparently arrived in the region about five days ago, reported the War Zone website. A CENTCOM spokesman denied that the air vehicle was over Iran and called it an "unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace." The BAMS-D, a variant of the RQ-4A Global Hawk, was shot down by Iran's Raad air defense system, according to the Iranian Tasnim news agency. Tensions are high between the U.S. and Iran following Washington's tightening of sanctions after its withdrawal from a multinational nuclear deal with Iran, recent attacks on international tankers in the region and a spate of attacks by Iran-allied militias.

USA—Officials Threaten Retaliation If U.S. Firms Shut Out Of European Defense Projects Defense News | 06/20/2019 Pentagon officials at the Paris Air Show have warned that a failure to ensure participation by American firms and their European subsidiaries in the European Union's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) initiative and the European Defense Fund (EDF) would lead to retaliation, reports Defense News. Pentagon Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisitions and Sustainment Ellen Lord said that the programs as constructed shut European subsidiaries of U.S. firms from critical projects within PESCO and the EDF.
According to Lord, a response by the U.S. could include preventing European companies from bidding on American weapon contracts. She emphasized that cooperation is critical, noting that European companies are involved in a significant amount of business in the U.S. Washington wants to ensure that American firms have the same opportunities in Europe, the undersecretary said. At the same time, the U.S. is in no rush to make a decision and there is plenty of time for talks, said Lord. E.U. officials said that PESCO and the EDF are critical European projects and are not designed for transatlantic partnership. U.S. defense firms already do more work in Europe than the portion of work European firms perform in the U.S.

USA—Northrop Grumman To Supply Scramjets For Raytheon Hypersonic Weapons Defense News | 06/20/2019 Raytheon announced that it has teamed with Northrop Grumman to develop new hypersonic tactical weapons. Under the agreement, Northrop Grumman will supply 3D-printed scramjet combustors for the Raytheon hypersonic missile, reported Defense News. Scramjet engines employ high vehicle speed to forcibly compress incoming air prior to combustion to enable sustained hypersonic flight. Breaking Defense reported that the weapon will use additive manufacturing to reduce the cost of the system and reduce its size. The missile will be fueled by conventional aviation fuel. The weapon is being developed under a $200 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract for Hypersonic Air-Breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC) project. Lockheed Martin is also developing a hypersonic weapon under the program. An initial flight test for the Raytheon weapon is planned in the near future, officials said.

Canada—HMCS Regina Sails Through Taiwan Strait Globe And Mail | 06/20/2019 A Canadian frigate and support ship have transited the Taiwan Strait, reports the Globe and Mail (Toronto). On Tuesday, HMCS Regina and the Asterix passed through the strait dividing Taiwan from mainland China. The Canadian Dept. of National Defense confirmed the operation, saying the strait was the most practical route between Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, where the ships had made a port of call, and northeast Asia. Canadian vessels are deployed in the Pacific to enforce U.N. sanctions against North Korea, noted the Wall Street Journal. The maneuver was not intended to make any statement, said the defense dept. Taiwan's semi-official Central News Agency called the passage a freedom of navigation operation. Experts said that the move demonstrated that Canada was aligned with the U.S. and other nations that have sent ships through the strait.

United Kingdom—Court Rules That Arms Sales To Riyadh Violated Law Guardian | 06/20/2019 A U.K. appeals court has ruled that British arms sales to Saudi Arabia violated laws on arms transfers, reports the Guardian (U.K.). The government did not adequately assess allegations of violations of humanitarian law by the Saudi-led coalition during the conflict in Yemen, the court said in its ruling on Thursday. The decision does not mean that British arms sales to Saudi Arabia must be immediately suspended, said the three-judge panel. Ministers must assess future risks of Saudi breaches of humanitarian law before approving arms sales, the judges said. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said the government would not grant new export licenses until an internal review was conducted, reported BBC News. A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May said the government would try to appeal the judgment. Since the Saudi-led war against Houthi rebels began in May 2015, the U.K. has sold weapons worth about US$5.9 billion (4.7 billion pounds) to Riyadh.

Slovenia—Spike LR Tested From JLTV For 1st Time Jerusalem Post | 06/20/2019 In a first, Israeli defense firm Rafael has test-fired its Spike-LR anti-tank missile from a Joint Light Tactical vehicle (JLTV), reports the Jerusalem Post.
During a Spike missile users conference earlier this month in Slovenia, two Spike LR's were launched: one from a portable launcher and one from a Rafael Mini MLS Remote-Controlled Weapon Station installed on the JLTV. Both missiles successfully hit the static tank target at a distance of 1.4 miles (2.3 km). Slovenia is forming an anti-armor platoon equipped with JLTV's armed with Spike missiles that will be integrated into its future medium-sized infantry battalion. The Spike Firefly loitering ammunition was also demonstrated at the conference. The Firefly is designed for use by dismounted infantry in urban environments.

Russia—Security Council Chief Meets Iranian Counterpart in Ufa Fars News Agency | 06/20/2019 The heads of the security councils in Iran and Russia have been discussing regional and bilateral security issues, reports the semi-official Fars news agency (Tehran). The talks between Ali Shamkhani of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council and Nikolay Patrushev came on the sidelines of an international security forum on Wednesday in Ufa in southern Russia. The discussions covered cooperation, including the Astana peace talks in Syria and the need to work closely in developing a reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
Patrushev affirmed that Russia would brief Iran on the outcome of upcoming talks between the U.S., Israel and Russia regarding the Syria conflict. Iran and Russia have become increasingly close partners in recent years, working together to support the Assad regime in Syria. In January, the spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry described the two countries as being "important partners and neighbors" with "special and common goals."

North Korea—Xi Visits Kim In Pyongyang Ahead Of G20 Xinhua | 06/20/2019 Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in North Korea for the first visit by a Chinese head of state in 14 years, reports China's state-run Xinhua news agency. Xi was greeted at the start his two-day trip on Thursday by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, reported the South China Morning Post. While the leaders were expected to hold talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program and economic cooperation, the visit is largely symbolic, said analysts. Xi emphasized that China would continue to support North Korea's legitimate concerns through dialogue. The visit comes ahead of the G20 summit in Japan next week, when Xi is expected to meet with President Trump to discuss the ongoing trade war. China may seek to obtain concessions in trade talks if it can guarantee a resumption of serious negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, experts said.

India—Navy Orders Tele-Medicine Systems For Its Warships Times Of India | 06/20/2019 The Indian navy has ordered a domestically developed tele-medicine system for its warships and submarines, reports the Times of India.
The system consists of a Biomedical Data Acquisition System (BiDAS) and a ruggedized laptop computer that can monitor patients' vital signs, including ECG, blood pressure, respiration rate, pulse, oxygen saturation and body temperature. The information can then be monitored by doctors onshore via satellite link. The system can store and transmit annotated data and support high-quality, real-time video conferences, according to the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The technology, which was developed by the DRDO's Defense Bio-Engineering and Electro Medical Laboratory in Bangalore for nearly a decade, was transferred to private company Maestros Electronics and Telecommunications Systems in 2015 for production. The initial order was worth USD$13.1 million, with deliveries to begin in September with the first units expected to be operational in October 2019.

Saudi Arabia—Houthis Launch Cruise Missile At Power Plant In Jizan Al Masirah | 06/20/2019 A missile launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen has struck a power plant in southern Saudi Arabia, reports the Houthi-run Al Masirah television network. On Wednesday, a cruise missile hit the Shaqiq power plant in the Jizan region, said a spokesman for the militant group. Saudi officials confirmed a strike in the area, reported the official Saudi Press Agency. The missile hit a water treatment facility in Shaqiq but caused no damage or injuries, said a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels. Saudi defense personnel were working to identify the projectile involved, the spokesman said. Following news of the attack, senior U.S. officials met at the White House to discuss the incident, reported CBS News. Separately, Houthi rebels said they attacked a gathering of coalition troops in Al-Suh, Najran, in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen, with a Badr-F cruise missile on Thursday. A spokesman said the attack resulted in several casualties and deaths, providing no further details.

Israel—Air Force Eyes Pegasus Tanker Fleet From U.S. Times of Israel | 06/20/2019 The Israeli air force plans to acquire new aerial tankers from the U.S. to replace its aging fleet, reports the Times of Israel. The service is seeking to buy eight KC-46 Pegasus tankers using the US$3.8 billion in American defense aid that Israel receives annually. The procurement is estimated to be worth US$1 billion, according to a Channel 12 news report on June 18.
Deliveries could begin in as soon as two years.
Israel Aerospace Industries was disqualified from competing for the replacement program with its Boeing 767 tanker conversion after Boeing refused to grant the company permission to convert the aircraft, according to a report by Israel's Globes business daily last year.
Israel would be the third international customer for the KC-46. The United Arab Emirates issued a letter of request for three aircraft earlier this year and Japan requested 4 aircraft in 2016, noted Defense News at the time. Israel selected the aircraft despite ongoing issues with the Pegasus, including problems with the aircraft's remote vision system and foreign object debris left in the aircraft during manufacturing.

Kenya—Court Convicts 3 For 2015 University Attack East African | 06/20/2019 A Kenyan court has convicted three men for their roles in the April 2015 attack on Garissa University College, reports the East African (Kenya). On Wednesday, Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi found Mohamed Ali Abdikar and Hassan Aden Hassan, both Kenyan, and Rashid Charles Mberesero, a Tanzanian, guilty of participating in the planning of the attacks. The judge set sentencing for July 3, reported Agence France-Presse. It was unclear how the men were involved. All four gunmen were killed during the security forces' response. One man was acquitted on Wednesday, following another acquittal earlier this year, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). The attack, which was claimed by the Somali Al-Shabaab militant group, killed 148 people, mostly students, university workers and police.

Niger—2 Police Officers Killed North Of Niamey Agence France-Presse | 06/20/2019 Two Nigerien police officers have been killed and two wounded in a suspected militant attack on a police station near Niamey, the capital, reports Agence France-Presse. On Tuesday, two gunmen attacked a police checkpoint near Ouallam, just north of Niamey, the interior ministry said in a statement. The Menastream Risk Consultancy said the attack occurred farther north, in Kone Beri, about 9 miles (15 km) north of the city. Three officers were initially reported missing. It was not immediately clear if they had been accounted for. The attack was the closest to Niamey in recent memory. Most attacks in Niger have been concentrated near the Lake Chad region, noted the Defense Post. There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

Democratic Republic of the Congo—Soldiers Deployed To Protect Chinese Mine In South Reuters | 06/20/2019 Hundreds of Congolese soldiers have been deployed to protect a Chinese-owned copper and cobalt mine, reports Reuters. The deployment is intended to protect the Tenke Fungurume mine, one of the largest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from illegal miners, a military spokesman said on Wednesday. The operation began Tuesday in the southern Lualaba province, said the spokesman. It likely came at the request of the firm that owns the mine, China Molybdenum, he said. Up to 10,000 illegal miners operate in the area around the mine and present a major challenge to international investments in the area, said experts. A similar deployment in 2004 led to a confrontation with rebels that killed scores of civilians, noted the news agency.

Colombia—Former Leader Demands Action After Latest Killings Of Ex-FARC Members British Broadcasting Corp. | 06/20/2019 The former leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia has published an open letter to the president of Colombia calling upon the government to prevent further killings of former rebels, reports BBC News.
Rodrigo Londono called on political groups and the international community to demand "immediate and effective measures from President [Ivan] Duque … to put a definitive end to this bloodshed."The letter came after two former FARC members were killed on June 17 in the southwestern Cauca department, reported United press international. One was a journalist for a FARC-linked outlet and one was leaving a meeting with a team from the United Nations.
Since the beginning of the peace deal in 2016, approximately 140 former rebels and 30 family members have been killed in Colombia.
In January, the U.N. said most murders of former FARC rebels had been committed by illegal armed groups and drug gangs battling to control former FARC territory.
On Wednesday, President Duque ordered the defense ministry, national police, National Protection Unit and peace commissioner to develop a plan to address the issue.

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