Friday, July 12, 2019

TheList 5044





The List 5044 TGB



To All,

I hope that your week has been going well.

Regards,

Skip

Today in Naval History

July 11

1798 President John Adams signs an act that reestablishes the Marine Corps under the Constitution. The following day, Maj. William W. Burrows is appointed Commandant of the Marine Corps.

1918 Henry Ford launches the first of the 100 intended Eagle boats. These boats have a solid cement bow, especially built for ramming and sinking submarines. Note, production is halted after (PE 60), though some of the boats continue to serve as training and transport vessels until 1947.

1943 Gunfire from U.S. cruisers and destroyers stop German and Italian tank attacks against Army beachhead at Gela, Sicily. Troop transport SS Robert Rowan is set afire by air attack and explodes. USS Orizaba (AP 24) rescues all hands of 421 troops, merchant marines and guards.

1944 USS Sealion (SS 315), in the Yellow Sea off the west coast of Korea, near Shosei Jima, sinks two Japanese freighters.

1987 USS Helena (SSN 725) is commissioned at Groton, Conn. The Los Angeles-class nuclear attack submarine is the fourth named for the capitol of Montana.



Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:
• Today's national headlines include reports that millions are under flood risk as tropical storm 'Bob' strengthens in the Gulf of Mexico.
• Multiple outlets are reporting that Iranian ships attempted to block a U.K.-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz but were turned away by a U.K. warship.
• Speaking before the Senate Armed Services emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee, SOUTHCOM commander Adm. Craig Faller warned of China's growing influence in the Western Hemisphere, reports USNI News.

Today in History July 11



1302

An army of French knights, led by the Count of Artois, is routed by Flemish pikemen.


1346

Charles IV of Luxembourg is elected Holy Roman Emperor in Germany.


1533

Henry VIII is excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Clement VII.


1708

The French are defeated at Oudenarde, Malplaquet, in the Netherlands by the Duke of Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy.


1786

Morocco agrees to stop attacking American ships in the Mediterranean for a payment of $10,000.


1799

An Anglo-Turkish armada bombards Napoleon Bonaparte's troops in Alexandria to no avail.


1804

Alexander Hamilton is mortally wounded by Aaron Burr in a duel.


1862

President Abraham Lincoln appoints General Henry Halleck as general-in-chief of the Federal army.


1942

In the RAF's longest bombing raid of World War II, 44 British Lancaster bombers attack the Polish port of Danzig.

WWII@75: Japanese Resistance Ceases on Saipan

After more than three weeks of brutal combat, organized Japanese resistance ceased in the World War II invasion of Saipan, July 9, 1944, 75 years ago. Dubbed Operation Forager, the bloody battle's victory provided the Allies the opportunity to build airfields that would bring Tokyo into range of U.S. B-29 bombers. Although the operation was a success, it was costly. Americans suffered 26,000 casualties, 5,000 of which were deaths. At least 23,000 Japanese troops were killed and more than 1,780 captured. It was the deadliest campaign of the Allied Pacific offensive to date. To learn more, read H-032-1: Operation Forager and the Battle of the Philippine Sea by Director Sam Cox and Operation Forager: The Battle of Saipan by COD's Adam Bisno.


1972

American forces break the 95-day siege at An Loc in Vietnam.


1975

Archaeologists unearth an army of 8,000 life-size clay figures created more than 2,000 years ago for the Emperor Qin Shi Huang.


1995

Full diplomatic relations are established between the United States and Vietnam.





1804


Burr slays Hamilton in duel



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NHHC Webpage of the Week

This week's Webpage of the Week is a report recently published to NHHC's website that covers combat operations up to March 1, 1944, during World War II. Our Navy at War, an official report by Adm. Ernest J. King, Commander in Chief, United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations, provided the Secretary of the Navy a comprehensive report on the peacetime and wartime Navy, including combat operations up to that point. King's progress report notes "the importance and complexity of our naval operations and the tremendous expansion of our naval establishment since [the United States] entered the war." Check it out today and learn more about the U.S. Navy during the war.





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Thanks to Donald

Military Readiness
 
 It is scary huh??? 
WE AIN'T IN GOOD SHAPE!!




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Thanks to the Smithsonian Daily. Nice article on Micky Thompson and his son Danny



Danny Thompson's Blazing Nitromethane-Fueled Pursuit of Racing Glory





Thanks to Ed

By George Friedman



Command of the Sea



Command of the sea is the foundation of American national security. Adm. Alfred Thayer Mahan, the greatest strategist in American history, identified it as the core American interest (though he wrote before the war on terrorism began and before the development of nuclear weapons). The United States, he argued, can be threatened only by an enemy naval force that could both invade its territory and curb its access to the oceans. Therefore, the foundation of America's national security, as with Britain's, had to be the command of the sea.

Indispensable Sea Lanes

Command of the sea guarantees security and trade. Ancient Rome certainly understood as much, focused as they were on controlling Mare Nostrum (or Our Sea, referring to the Mediterranean), which forced North African threats like Carthage to attack Rome on its flanks and ensured access to Egyptian crops. The land routes around the Mediterranean were powerful but slow. The naval routes were rapid but lighter, and commercially, they were indispensable.

China and Iran are now trying to secure their sea lanes, or at least deny others access to them. For China, now a massive trading power, access to the world's seas is an economic necessity. Its fear is that the United States could try to blockade China and, in doing so, strangle the Chinese economy (and keep in mind, the worst-case scenario is historically not the least likely one). Iran, which is hobbled by U.S. sanctions, does not have the political or naval power to break the blockade, but it does have the wherewithal to launch a counter-blockade of the Strait of Hormuz. The vast amounts of oil flowing through the strait are essential to many U.S. allies, and successfully blocking the strait would cause an economic crisis followed by a crisis in the alliance. Sanctioning Iran, therefore, might prove too costly for the United States. So long as trade is carried out on the seas, control of the seas is essential.

Historically, command of the sea depended on surface vessels, powered by oars, sails, coal, oil and so forth. The operational principle of national power was the possession of a sufficient fleet to overwhelm the enemy primarily in size and weaponry. The high point of this ancient concept of naval warfare was the battleship, a massive and expensive vessel, carrying a handful of guns able to fire large munitions at long range. Surface warfare had reached its peak with the battleship. Its cost would cripple a mid-sized country's economy. It could defeat any ship it encountered, save another battleship. The race was in size, armor and munitions, and whichever country had the most could protect its maritime interests.

The foundation of naval tactics was therefore the surface vessel against the surface vessel. This was replaced not by any advancement in the power of battleships but by the introduction of a new concept in naval warfare: air power. Whereas battleships fought by firing salvos of large shells at enemies, aircraft could fire small explosive shells that impacted the surface and torpedoes that hit battleships below the waterline. Another threat came from submarines.

Starting with the British attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto, and culminating with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, vessels designed to carry torpedoes and bombs devastated battleships in harbors. Very rapidly, the center of gravity of naval warfare shifted to the aircraft carrier and was supplemented by the submarine, which was designed to break the supply chain in the North Atlantic and Western Pacific.

This combination of aircraft carriers and submarines had been at the heart of naval warfare for nearly a century, but new munitions eventually challenged their primacy. Specifically, the introduction of precision-guided munitions increased the vulnerability of the carrier. These are not ballistic missiles; once fired, their direction could be corrected, making them much more accurate than the older missiles. In 1967, a Soviet Styx missile fired from Egypt sank an Israeli destroyer, the Eilat. The accuracy was stunning, as was the warhead's effect.

The sinking of the Eilat forced many to second guess the aircraft carrier. The assumption had been that fighters could provide protection to carriers. Enemy aircraft had to fly into the combat air patrol's space to deliver iron bombs and torpedoes. The Eilat incident showed that this was not necessary. A PGM fired from shore – or by an aircraft standing outside the air defense space of fighters, anti-air guns and missiles – could sink or wreck ships.

One way to defend against this was to expand the fighter space, but as this happens, it outstrips the availability of fighters. The focus turned, then, from shooting down attacking planes to destroying incoming missiles. Systems like the American Aegis were created, at enormous expense, to do so. No system is perfect, so keeping attackers at a distance remained critical. The cost of this was a massively increased number of advanced vessels designed to provide air defense and anti-submarine warfare capability. The carrier battle groups cost many billions of dollars in initial development and maintenance, to allow 30-70 attack aircraft to fly toward a target and fire PGMs into a similar defensive array.

The aircraft carrier had begun to look like the battleship, with pyramiding costs designed to provide defense. It was similar in a second sense. The PGMs evolved, partly in accuracy but mostly in speed and agility. This forced the air defense systems to evolve, too. The cost of evolving the PGM was much lower than the cost of evolving the defensive system, so as the cost of maintaining the security of the carrier battle group rose, the strike capability – the tonnage that could be delivered against an enemy – did not keep pace.

Introducing Hypersonics

The crisis point for the carrier has been reached with the emergence of hypersonic missiles, which can reach speeds of over five times the speed of sound, with maneuverability. The range of these missiles has expanded the combat envelope substantially, forcing extreme upgrades to the air defense system. Some claim that the explosives these missiles carry could not sink a carrier. But given their precision, they could render the carrier inoperable during battle by attacking key elements of the flight deck.









It is for this reason that the Russians and Chinese have trumpeted their hypersonic systems. They represent a challenge to the American command of the sea, so long as the foundation of the system is surface warships – and even submarines become more vulnerable as the oceans become more transparent to the hypersonic missile sensors.

As the range of the hypersonic missiles increases and their cost decreases, the dangers to surface warships rise. Defenses are possible, but the missile-versus-missile paradigm becomes increasingly risky. A less risky solution is to render the missiles inoperable. This can be done by targeting the guidance system, which requires the general location of the enemy, and the onboard terminal guidance system. It is the intelligence on the general location of the ship that is the failure point.

To locate a fleet, it is necessary to have some reconnaissance. This can involve aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles or space-based systems. Aircraft can stumble into the carrier's kill zone. UAVs can be shot down or, worse, their electronics corrupted, their signals spoofed and so on. Nothing is without risk, but the primary strategic platform for monitoring an ocean must be space based. It alone has the breadth of vision to provide useful guidance to hypersonic missiles that must have a vast range to be most effective.

If the key to control of the sea becomes the hypersonic missile, it is like the carrier-based aircraft, or the battleship's guns. It is the deliverable. But just as the carrier-based plane or battleship guns must have targeting information, so must the hypersonic missile, wherever it is based. The primary source of strategic targeting must be based in space. And that means that command of the sea will depend on a space-based system that will control munitions. The aircraft carrier began to separate the platform and the munitions it delivers. The hypersonic missile radicalizes this by taking the targeting platform away from the sea into space, and the munition to be delivered away from the ship and to the land.

As the range increases, deploying hypersonics at sea or even on submarines is dangerous. The sea makes it very hard to hide a firing platform. Land is full of folds and holes and vegetation, all supplemented by manmade confusion. Identifying these will also require space-based reconnaissance and range to strike. War must now begin by blinding the enemy, and that means taking out reconnaissance satellites and then filling the gap with UAVs. War is initiated with space-based attacks, and the control of space becomes the foundation of control of the seas. However, with hypersonic missiles being located on the ground, there must be attacks on land-based launchers, which, mapped out by satellites, must become mobile and stealthy to survive.

Command of space is becoming the foundation of the command of the sea. Those who can see enemy missiles can destroy them and do so rapidly with longer-range hypersonics. Space denial, therefore, would be essential to protecting merchant vessels from enemy attack. We are not far from this reality. The satellites and UAVs exist, and new generations of hypersonic missiles are appearing. The command of the sea shifted from the surface of the sea to the air and is now shifting from the air into space. It does not change the core geopolitics, but it does transform war.






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United Kingdom—IRGC Boats Attempt To Intercept British Tanker British Broadcasting Corp. | 07/11/2019 British officials say Iranian vessels tried to interfere with a U.K.-flagged tanker as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz, reports BBC News. At least three Iranian boats approached the British Heritage near the island of Abu Musa, officials said on Thursday. The Iranian vessels ordered the tanker to change course, appearing to direct it toward Iranian waters, U.S. officials told CNN. The British frigate HMS Montrose, which had been shadowing the British Heritage, moved between the tanker and the Iranian boats, which were believed to belong to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The frigate trained its guns on the Iranians after issuing a verbal warning. The Iranian vessels then dispersed. A U.S. patrol craft flying nearby recorded the incident, said U.S. officials. A spokesman for the British Defense Ministry called the incident "contrary to international law." IRGC officials denied that the incident took place, reported Agence France-Presse. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the U.K. of manufacturing the claim for political gain, reported the semi-official Fars news agency. The latest incident is suspected to be a response to the seizure of an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar on July 4. The tanker was believed to be transporting oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. Tehran has threatened to capture a British tanker in response.



North Korea—Hwasong-15 ICBM Capable Of Hitting Anywhere In U.S., Says USFK Yonhap | 07/11/2019 North Korea's Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) can reach anywhere in the continental U.S., according to U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) as cited by the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). The Hwasong-15 has an estimated range of 8,000 miles (12,900 km), according to the 2019 Strategic Digest, an annual report by USFK, the U.N. Command and the Combined Forces Command. South Korea estimated that the missile had a range of around 6,200 miles (10,000 km) in its 2018 defense white paper. The ICBM made its first, and so far only, test launch on Nov. 29, 2017. The missile flew for 53 minutes, reaching an altitude of 2,800 miles (4,500 km) and traveling 600 miles (960 km), noted the Japan Times. At the time, North Korea claimed the missile put the entire continental U.S. within range.



North Korea—Washington Considering Some Sanctions Relief In Return For Nuclear Freeze Yonhap | 07/11/2019 The U.S. government is considering suspending some sanctions on North Korea in return for a nuclear freeze, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). The plan would offer a 12- to 18-month reprieve from U.N. Security Council sanctions against North Korean coal and textiles exports in exchange for the dismantlement of the nuclear complex in Yongbyon and a freeze in other elements of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, a source close to the White House said on Thursday. Textiles and coal are key sources of foreign currency for the regime. The freeze would include a halt to the production of additional fissile material and warheads, said the source. If successful, the same approach could be used for other facilities, gradually resulting in the elimination of North Korea's nuclear program and the lifting of all sanctions, he said. The move represents a departure from the maximalist approach previously favored in negotiations, said analysts. Reports of the plan surfaced days before working level talks between U.S. and North Korean officials are expected to resume after a summit in February failed to produce a deal.



USA—Pentagon Reveals Leadership Moves As Esper Prepares For Confirmation Hearings For SecDef Post Military Times | 07/11/2019 The Dept. of Defense has announced its leadership plan ahead of the start of the nomination process for Mark Esper to be the next defense secretary, reports the Military Times.Under federal law, Esper cannot serve as acting secretary of defense while under consideration by the Senate for the position. Accordingly, he will resume his post as Army secretary once the Senate announces it has received his nomination.Esper will be succeeded as acting defense secretary by Navy Secretary Richard Spencer. Spencer will assume the role based on the succession order for secretary of defense outlined in Executive Order 13533 "Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Defense."The order from 2010 states that the Navy secretary is second in seniority behind the Army secretary.Spencer has been preparing for the position for the past two weeks with a team that will stay with him during his time as acting secretary of defense.Esper's nomination to the Senate will pause the approaching deadline set by the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, which sets a time limit of 210 days for a person to serve in an acting capacity. The limit was expected to be reached sometime around the end of the month.Navy Undersecretary Thomas Modly will temporarily replace Spencer during the transition.



USA—Pentagon Requests Funding Transfer For Hypersonic Missile Ground Launcher Defense News | 07/11/2019 The Pentagon has submitted a $50 million funding transfer request to Congress to support the development of a prototype mobile hypersonic weapon launcher, reports Defense News.On June 25, the Defense Dept. submitted an omnibus reprogramming request to lawmakers. Congressional defense committees must approve any spending changes.
The additional $50 million would be used to develop a transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) capable of accommodating two hypersonic missiles.The Pentagon says it needs the extra funds this year to be able to achieve a "residual" operational capability by fiscal 2023.The TEL would be used alongside the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System and M879 trailers to equip the Army's first road-mobile, battery-sized hypersonic weapon system. The effort is part of the Army's Long-Range Precision Fires program, which is one of the service's top modernization priorities.The service plans to spend $1.2 billion on hypersonic programs over the next five years



USA—Pentagon Requests Funding Transfer For Hypersonic Missile Ground Launcher Defense News | 07/11/2019 The Pentagon has submitted a $50 million funding transfer request to Congress to support the development of a prototype mobile hypersonic weapon launcher, reports Defense News.On June 25, the Defense Dept. submitted an omnibus reprogramming request to lawmakers. Congressional defense committees must approve any spending changes.
The additional $50 million would be used to develop a transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) capable of accommodating two hypersonic missiles.The Pentagon says it needs the extra funds this year to be able to achieve a "residual" operational capability by fiscal 2023.The TEL would be used alongside the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System and M879 trailers to equip the Army's first road-mobile, battery-sized hypersonic weapon system. The effort is part of the Army's Long-Range Precision Fires program, which is one of the service's top modernization priorities.The service plans to spend $1.2 billion on hypersonic programs over the next five years



Canada—Vice Chief Of Defense Staff Resigns In Latest Fallout Over Norman Case Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | 07/11/2019 The vice chief of the defense staff of the Canadian Armed Forces has resigned, reports CBC News.Lt. Gen. Paul Wynnyk announced on Tuesday that he was stepping down to spend more time with his family. The general said that he had been considering the move for several months. The resignation was also driven by a plan by Gen. Jonathan Vance, the defense chief, to replace Wynnyk with Vice Adm. Mark Norman, the previous vice defense chief, who Vance removed following accusations that the admiral had leaked government secrets in 2015, reported Global News.In May, Vance told Wynnyk that he planned to restore Norman to his previous post after charges against him were dropped due to a lack of evidence.Norman then reached an agreement with the government to retire, forcing Vance to change course and ask Wynnyk to stay on. The general had originally agreed to stay in the post until 2020, but decided to retire early.The Norman scandal has caused a leadership crisis at the top ranks of the Canadian military, with seven lieutenant generals and vice admirals retiring in the last year. There are concerns now that there are no qualified candidates available to replace Wynnyk.




United Kingdom—Queen Elizabeth Carrier Cuts Short Sea Trials After Leak Daily Telegraph | 07/11/2019 Britain's new aircraft carrier has cut short sea trials after springing a leak, reports the Daily Telegraph (London). HMS Queen Elizabeth was forced to return to port after a high-pressure seawater pipe burst on Tuesday, reported BBC News. About 250 tons of water spilled into the ship, flooding two compartments and a stairwell. Water in some areas reached neck height. The flooding buckled a stairwell, bent some bulkheads and split some deck plates, the Telegraph said. No injuries were reported. The 65,000-ton warship began five weeks of sea trials last month. This was the third leak on the Queen Elizabeth since her launch in June 2017. An investigation has been launched.



Germany—Chinese Military Medics Arrive For Joint Training South China Morning Post | 07/11/2019 For the first time, China has deployed military personnel to Germany for a bilateral exercise, reports the South China Morning Post.Around 100 Chinese medics are taking part in the Combined Aid 2019 exercise along with 120 medics and 120 support personnel from the Bundeswehr, according to a statement from the Chinese Defense Ministry. The training began on July 3 and runs to July 17.The People's Liberation Army also sent a contingent of vehicles, including armored, making this the first deployment of armored vehicles to Europe by China.The exercise is focused on humanitarian rescue operations and includes simulated responses to an outbreak of cholera at a refugee camp and the bombing of a U.N. vehicle.Chinese experts called the joint exercise a considerable breakthrough in trust-building with NATO forces.Germany and China held their first joint medical exercise in October 2016, when they simulated a response to an earthquake in Chongqing in southwest China.



Italy—Government Closes Major Migrant Camp, Steps Up Patrols Voice Of America News | 07/11/2019 The Italian government has officially closed a major holding center for migrants and asylum-seekers on Sicily, reports the Voice of America News.The CARA Mineo camp was once the largest holding area in Europe for migrants and asylum-seekers, holding more than 4,100 people. This declined to about 2,500 as of March 2018 when the current Italian government came to power. The remaining occupants have been removed to a camp in Calabria.Interior Minister Matteo Salvini emphasized that the number of migrants in Italy has declined from 182,000 a year ago to 107,000 and that asylum requests have halved to about 30,000, reported France 24.Salvini also claimed that a police investigation had uncovered organized criminal activity at CARA Mineo, including Italian and Nigerian groups.
Italian officials also said that the government would step up efforts to halt migrants attempting to reach Italy by boat, reported Reuters.Italy will step up its sea and air patrols and donate 10 motorboats to the Libyan coast guard as part of efforts to stop traffickers before they leave Libyan waters.The move comes amid an increase in migrant arrivals since June.Overall, 3,126 migrants have reached Italy this year, with two-thirds being picked up relatively close to land or having made it to shore.



Italy—Government Closes Major Migrant Camp, Steps Up Patrols Voice Of America News | 07/11/2019 The Italian government has officially closed a major holding center for migrants and asylum-seekers on Sicily, reports the Voice of America News.The CARA Mineo camp was once the largest holding area in Europe for migrants and asylum-seekers, holding more than 4,100 people. This declined to about 2,500 as of March 2018 when the current Italian government came to power. The remaining occupants have been removed to a camp in Calabria.Interior Minister Matteo Salvini emphasized that the number of migrants in Italy has declined from 182,000 a year ago to 107,000 and that asylum requests have halved to about 30,000, reported France 24.Salvini also claimed that a police investigation had uncovered organized criminal activity at CARA Mineo, including Italian and Nigerian groups.Italian officials also said that the government would step up efforts to halt migrants attempting to reach Italy by boat, reported Reuters.Italy will step up its sea and air patrols and donate 10 motorboats to the Libyan coast guard as part of efforts to stop traffickers before they leave Libyan waters.The move comes amid an increase in migrant arrivals since June.Overall, 3,126 migrants have reached Italy this year, with two-thirds being picked up relatively close to land or having made it to shore.



Bulgaria—Government Approves F-16 Buy After Price Drop Sofia News Agency | 07/11/2019 The Bulgarian government has approved the purchase of eight F-16 Block 70 fighters from the U.S. for US$1.25 billion, reports the Sofia News Agency.The F-16s are intended to replace the air force's current Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter aircraft and bring the country closer to NATO standards.Negotiations reduced the purchase price by US$200 million, defense officials said, although it is still higher than the original cost cap of US$1 billion for the program.The deal covers six single-seat and two two-seat jets, associated equipment, weapons and training. The parliament must still approve the purchase, which could come as soon as next week, said Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov, as reported by Bloomberg News.
Deliveries are scheduled to be completed by 2023, noted Defense News.



Japan—Defense Officials Consider Potential U.S. Request To Join Security Op In Strait Of Hormuz Asahi Shimbun | 07/11/2019 Japanese officials are preparing for an anticipated U.S. request to join a military coalition to secure maritime traffic in the Persian Gulf, reports the Asahi Shimbun. Washington has not directly requested Tokyo's help in the effort, Japanese officials said on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the U.S. was seeking to build a coalition to ensure maritime safety and navigation in and around the Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. would provide intelligence and organizational support, but countries would be independently responsible for escorting ships flying their flag. Such a request would complicate Japan's constitutionally-mandated defense policy, which limits military activities beyond self-defense. Under the Self-Defense Forces Law, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) can engage in some police-like activities in cases where Japanese peace and security are threatened. It is not clear that the current situation in the strait would meet that requirement, lawmakers said.



Australia—Army Seeks Replacement For Tiger Attack Helicopter Australian Defence Magazine | 07/11/2019 The Australian Dept. of Defense has released a request for information (RFI) for a replacement for its Tiger attack helicopters, reports the Australian Defence Magazine.According to the RFI, the army will acquire a total of 29 "proven, mature and off-the-shelf" armed reconnaissance helicopters to replace its existing 29 Tiger helicopters.
Requirements include the ability to fit in a C-17, operate from the navy's Canberra-class amphibious ships and work with unmanned aircraft systems. first 12 helicopters are to be delivered by 2026 to achieve initial operational capability, including four deployable helicopters, four additional aircraft and four for training. Full operational capability with 29 helicopters is anticipated in 2028.
Potential contenders include the Bell AH-1Z Viper, Boeing AH-64E Apache and the AirbusTiger Mk III, which incorporates lessons learned from combat operations in Afghanistan and Mali. The AH-1Z has the benefit of being designed to operate in a marine environment, while the AH-64E benefits from having manned-unmanned teaming designed into the platform, noted the National Interest.The army's Tiger helicopters only reached initial operational capability in 2016, years behind schedule.



Sri Lanka—Contradicting President, Prime Minister Says Talks Ongoing For Update Forces Agreement With U.S. Agence France-Presse | 07/11/2019 Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says his government is negotiating a replacement for the 1995 Status of Forces arrangement with the U.S., reports Agence France-Presse. Wickremesinghe told Parliament on Wednesday that talks between the two nations were ongoing for a new agreement that would permit their armed forces to access each other's ports and airports with fewer formalities. The current proposal includes provisions that Sri Lanka cannot accept, the prime minister said. President Maithripala Sirisena, a rival of the prime minister, said he would veto any arrangement that allowed U.S. personnel greater access to the island nation. Last week, U.S. Ambassador Alaina Teplitz said that the agreement did not involve establishing a military base, reported Reuters. The U.S. has increased its attention to Sri Lanka in response to growing Chinese investment.



Qatar—Pilots Eject After Training Aircraft Collide Al Jazeera | 07/11/2019 Two Qatari air force training aircraft have collided during a training flight, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).
The pilots of both aircraft ejected safely, the Qatari Defense Ministry said.The statement did not indicate what type of aircraft were involved or where the incident occurred.
Qatar currently operates Super Mushshak, PC-21 and Alpha Jet aircraft as trainers. However, the Super Mushshak lacks ejection seats, noted Jane's Defence Weekly.
Qatar is currently in the process of significantly expanding its air force through the purchase of Rafale, Typhoon and F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft.



Syria—8 Killed In Truck Bombing In Afrin Anadolu News Agency | 07/11/2019 At least eight people have been killed and 35 injured in a car bombing in a northwestern Syrian city held by Turkish-backed forces, reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency. On Thursday, a bomb planted in a fuel truck exploded in the southern part of Afrin, according to a local correspondent. The explosion took place near a checkpoint at the entrance to Afrin, where vehicles were lined up, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Initial reports in Turkish media said that eight people were killed and 35 injured. The observatory said that 11 people, including civilians were killed, reported the Daily Sabah (Istanbul). There were no claims of responsibility. Much of Aleppo province, where Afrin is located, is controlled by Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, a hardline group dominated by Al-Qaida's former Syrian branch. Turkish-backed forces took the city last year from Kurdish forces, which have regularly attacked Turkish troops and their allies.




Burkina Faso—E.U. Pledges Another US$155 Million For G5 Counterterror Force Defense Post | 07/11/2019 The European Union has pledged additional funds for the regional force fighting violent extremism in Africa's semi-arid Sahel region, reports the Defense Post. The 28-member bloc promised 138 million euros (US$155 million) to the G5 Sahel Joint Force, including its police component, according to a joint statement on Wednesday. On Tuesday, E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini arrived in Ouagadougou, the Burkinabe capital, for a summit with the foreign ministers of the G5 Sahel nations. In the joint statement, the two sides noted the deteriorating security situation in the region, with the growing threat of terrorists, militias and inter-ethnic disputes. Of particular concern are increasing reports of abuses by self-defense groups and retaliatory attacks, which further destabilize the region. The E.U. has previously donated about 115 million euros (US$130 million) to the G5 Sahel, which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. The group was launched in 2014 to enhance security cooperation in response to increasing terrorist activity in the region.


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