Friday, August 16, 2019

TheList 5072

The List 5072 TGB

To All,

A bit of history and some tidbits.



Today in Naval History

August 14

1813 In the early morning, the brig USS Argus, commanded by William H. Allen, battles HMS Pelican, off England's coast. During battle, Allens right leg is shot off, but he remains on station until fainting. As Pelicans men board, USS Argus strikes her colors. Allen died four days later.

1886 The Secretary of the Navy William C. Whitney signs General Order 354 establishing the Naval Gun Factory at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill agreed to the Atlantic Charter at Argentia, Nova Scotia.

1945 USS Spikefish (SS 404) sink the Japanese submarine (I 373), in the Sea of Japan. Also on this date, USS Torsk (SS 423) sinks Coast Defense Vessel (No.13), and Coast Defense Vessel No.47.

1945 The Japanese accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration and agree to surrender, ending World War II. It is known as V-J Day! Announcing the news to the country in the evening, President Harry S. Truman proclaims a two-day holiday. Explosive celebrations immediately follow as Americans and their Allies rejoice that World War II is finally over.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• The Chinese government denied requests for USS Green Bay and USS Lake Erie to visit Honk Kong amidst the ongoing protests, several media are reporting.

• The Virginian-Pilot profiled Capt. Kavon Hakimzadeh, the new skipper of USS Harry S. Truman whose family fled Iran following the Islamic Revolution.

• Reporting on anti-government protests in Hong Kong continued as the Hong Kong International Airport reopens after police forces cleared out protesters overnight.

Today in History August 14


The first book ever printed is published by a German astrologer named Faust. He is thrown in jail while trying to sell books in Paris. Authorities concluded that all the identical books meant Faust had dealt with the devil.


Spanish explorer Tristan de Luna enters Pensacola Bay, Florida.


The Popham expedition reaches the Sagadahoc River in present-day Maine and settles there.


French commander Louis Montcalm takes Fort Oswego, New England, from the British.


Republican troops in France lay siege to the city of Lyons.


The European allies enter Beijing, relieving their besieged legations from the Chinese Boxers.


The Chinese Parliament declares war on the Central Powers.


Dwight D. Eisenhower is named the Anglo-American commander for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa.


Japan announces its unconditional surrender in World War II.


Pakistan becomes an independent country.


British troops arrived Northern Ireland in response to sectarian violence between Protestants and Roman Catholics.


The United States ends the "secret" bombing of Cambodia.


Mark McGwire hits his 49th home run of the season, setting the major league home run record for a rookie.


Shannon Faulker becomes the first female cadet in the long history of South Carolina's state military college, The Citadel. Her presence is met with intense resistance, reportedly including death threats, and she will leave the school a week later.


Four coordinated suicide bomb attacks in Yazidi towns near Mosul, Iraq, kill more than 400 people.


First-ever Summer Youth Olympic Games open, in Singapore. Athletes must be 14–18 years old.


Blackout hits Northeast United States



Japan's surrender made public »


I hope that you all had a chance to visit the site that was introduced in List 5071

As Micro said on the site, the purpose is: To Preserve and Present What Really Happened for Our Children and Grandchildren.

In addition, the "site is dedicated to those that were lost in the skies over the Gulf of Tonkin, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and on routes to and from the war zone. May their stories never be forgotten. May their families and friends always be proud."

Everyone is invited to see for themselves at:


From Galloping Gates to the Gulf of Sidra by W. Thomas Smith Jr.


This Week in American Military History

Aug. 15, 1845: The War Department transfers Fort Severn, Annapolis to the Navy Department, specifically the new Naval School under Commander Franklin Buchanan.

The U.S. Naval Academy is established.

Franklin, who serves as the school's first superintendent, is destined to become an admiral in the Confederate Navy.

Aug. 15, 1945: Japanese Emperor Hirohito broadcasts his surrender message to the Japanese people, a portion of which reads:

"…the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interests. The enemy, moreover, has begun to employ a new most cruel bomb, the power which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would only result in the ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation … but would lead also to the total extinction of human civilization."

Hours before the radio broadcast, Japanese Army Maj. Kenji Hatanaka – leading a group of diehards opposed to surrender – attempts a coup to prevent the broadcast. The coup fails. Hatanaka commits suicide.

Aug. 16, 1780: The Battle of Camden (S.C.) – one of the worst tactical blunders on the part of the Continentals during the American Revolution – opens between British Army forces under the command of Gen. Sir Charles Cornwallis and Continental Army forces under Gen. Horatio Gates.

Though the Americans will be decisively defeated at Camden – thanks to Gates' improperly positioning inexperienced militia against seasoned regiments of the regular British Army, as well as his complete loss of tactical control – the battle will prove to be something of a highwater mark for British forces in the southern colonies (after Camden, it's pretty much downhill for the British).

Gates himself will break and run, earning him the nickname, "Galloping Gates." But the heroics of many of the ill-fated albeit last-standing Continental officers and men (like Gen. Johann Baron de Kalb) will prove to be exemplary. And Gen. George Washington – always able to recover from strategic setbacks – will choose the exceptionally able Gen. Nathanael Greene as Gates' replacement.

Aug. 16, 1940: Soldiers with the U.S. Army's parachute test platoon begin jumping over Fort Benning, Georgia. The airborne exercise (actually more of an experiment) is the first for the Army.

In 2001, Pres. George W. Bush will proclaim "August 16" of each year as National Airborne Day.

Aug. 17, 1942: Ahoy Raiders! U.S. Marine Raiders strike Makin Island in the Gilberts.

Sgt. Clyde Thomason, killed during the fighting, will become the first Marine in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor.

Aug. 17, 1943: U.S. Army Gen. George Smith Patton Jr. beats his British Army counterpart Gen. Bernard Law Montgomery to the gates of Messina, Sicily, in what Patton had purportedly referred to as "a horse race in which the prestige of the U.S. Army is at stake."

Aug. 19, 1812: In one of the most dramatic sea battles of the War of 1812, the frigate USS Constitution engages and captures the smaller frigate HMS Guerriere in a contest of broadsides and close-quarters combat between opposing crews of sailors and Marines (the American leathernecks pouring a terrific fire into the unfortunate British officers and men aboard Guerriere).

According to the Naval Historical Center, "Despite the rational excuse that Royal Navy frigates were not as large and powerful as their American counterparts, the real causes of these outcomes were inspired seamanship and vastly better gunnery. For the rest of the 19th Century, long after the War of 1812 was over, America's Navy was credited with an effectiveness that went well beyond its usually modest size."

Constitution (known affectionately as "Old Ironsides") is the oldest ship in the American Navy. Launched in 1797, she serves today as a duly commissioned ship crewed by active-duty U.S. sailors and Naval officers in order to further public awareness of American Naval tradition.

Aug. 19, 1981: One-hundred-sixty-nine years to the day after the victory over HMS Guerriere, the U.S. Navy – specifically two F-14 Tomcats -- knocks down two Libyan Su-22 fighters over the Gulf of Sidra.

Aug. 21, 1863: Confederate guerillas under the command of William Clark Quantrill (operating outside of the control of regular Confederate forces) launch a bloody raid on Lawrence, Kansas.

Quantrill – who purportedly once served in the Missouri State Guard – is widely considered a brigand and a cutthroat. That reputation continues today. To some, however, he remains a folk hero.

Aug. 21, 1942: Just after 3:00 a.m., "Banzai"-screaming Japanese assault forces – primarily members of the elite Japanese Special Naval Landing forces – attack U.S. Marine positions on Guadalcanal in what will become known as the Battle of the Tenaru River.

The first wave is momentarily slowed as the Japanese struggle to get through the Marines' barbed wire and American rifle machinegun fire rip into their ranks. At one point, the enemy breaks through and the fighting degrades into a savage hand-to-hand struggle with knives, machetes, swords, rifle butts, and fists. The Marines kill scores and hold their positions.

Subsequent Japanese attacks follow, but all are beaten back with heavy losses.


Thanks to Ed. I was on the USS Midway in 1972/73 when much of this happened. Very exciting.

USS Midway Action

From a friend, John Njaa:

You may find this video interesting. It starts out with the story of the first MIG shoot down of the Vietnam War done by Fighter Squadron (VF)-21 from the Midway. Then, there is short mention of a major overhaul of the ship, after which there is the story of two MIG shoot down events by VF-161 of the Midway in the early 1970s. I was on the staff of the air wing commander (CVW-5) on the ship then, and I knew the pilots and RIOs from VF-161 who describe their actions in the video. One of the events was the last shoot down of a MIG in that war. I saw the video for the first time yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to see their faces and hear those stories that were repeated often on the ship at the time. Exciting times on the boat. The animation in the video isn't all that good, but the story is very good.

One of the F4s that is displayed on the ship now commemorates the first and last MIG shoot downs of the Vietnam War. One side is painted with VF-21 markings, and the other with VF-161 markings.

I was in VF-161 once too. I joined them when they formed up at NAS Cecil Field, FL in 1960 and made two deployments with them on the USS Oriskany. That is when they had the F3H Demon.


Thanks to Gregg

This boy is perhaps the most brilliant person alive - and you can't help but REALLY LIKE him!!!


Thanks to Dr. Rich

Sixth-generation fighters and the future of air supremacy


Another from Dr. Rich

Spies Helped the USAF shoot down Hanoi jets

Thanks to Jon …

…and another! Pretty cool F-4 stuff.

Also attached is a photo I took at Steve Ritchie's birthday party in Bellevue last month. The really cool part is the gentleman to the right of Ritchie…John Madden. John had 3.5 kills in the F-4 and was the real reason Ritchie became an Ace. The thing that struck me most about John has been his statements to me about their successes - he has shared thoughts with me on two occasions, last year and this year. The greatest success story, Madden says, is that they never lost anyone during combat.

PS I always am the person who takes the photos and very seldom am I in one…mostly because I don't recognize the old looking man…me!:)


..........,I understand there may be a variance in what those in NSA said they knew, or not, but if it worked...,,,,,
Spies Helped the USAF Shoot Down a Third of North Vietnam's MiG-21s

Joseph Trevithick

Dec 30, 2014 · 7 min read

Spies Helped the USAF Shoot Down a Third of North Vietnam's MiG-21s

Joseph Trevithick

The American pilots had to keep the NSA in the dark

The American pilots had to keep the NSA in the dark

On Jan. 2, 1967, around 30 U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom fighter jets flying from Ubon in Thailand shot down a full third of North Vietnam's MiG-21s—for a loss of just one of their own.

It was a strategic victory in an air war that had been going poorly for American forces.

And now newly-declassified documents reveal that this complex mission—Operation Bolo—couldn't have succeeded without significant help from the signal-snooping Air Force Security Service.

And to avoid a squabbles over scarce intel resources, the Op Bolo units had to keep the National Security Agency in the dark.

The operation—originally known simply as the "special mission"—had a hard time getting approved in the first place. By the end of 1966, both sides in the bitter war had lost just a few aircraft in air-to-air combat over North Vietnam, rendering a dramatic aerial sweep unnecessary.

In almost two years of air strikes, the Pentagon had lost only 10 planes to enemy MiGs. American fliers had themselves scored fewer than 30 aerial kills.

On top of this, Washington was worried about drawing countries including the Soviet Union and China into the conflict—a distinct possibility considering that Soviet and Chinese advisers were working with Hanoi's air force.

The rules of engagement forbade American pilots from attacking Hanoi's airfields for fear of killing foreign advisers. Knowing all of this, the Vietnamese People's Air Force adopted new tactics for harassing its larger and vastly more powerful American enemy.

The MiGs would zip through flights of less nimble fighter-bombers just long enough to scare American crews into ditching their bombs or extra fuel tanks. Afterwards, the North Vietnamese pilots would often speed back to their bases—safe from their opponents—without even firing a shot.

A C-130A-II spy plane, similar to the Silver Dawn C-130B-IIs, at the NSA's National Vigilance Park. J. Brew photo via Flickr

The U.S. Air Force's Seventh Air Force, which controlled most of the service's operations in Southeast Asia, was soon fed up with this dynamic. So the unit's commanders proposed an elaborate ambush aimed at whittling down Hanoi's fighter jets.

Seventh Air Force chose the famous Robin Olds—then a colonel in charge of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing in Thailand—to lead the American strike force.

To lure out the North Vietnamese, American F-4s would fly the same routes into the country as the heavyset F-105 bombers—and at the same altitudes and speeds while using the same radio call signs.

But another key—and previously unknown—element of the top secret plan involved deploying signal-snooping aircraft to keep track of the MiGs. The special C-130B-IIs would listen in on enemy radio chatter and feed information straight to American pilots throughout the mission, according to a just-released historical study.

Olds wanted to be alerted if things weren't working out so he could "turn around and lead the force home rather than expose it for no purpose," the official document explains.

With timely information, the task force could also try to cut off the MiGs from their bases if "the North Vietnamese suddenly figured out what was going on and wanted no part of it."

But the secret spy planes in question were tangled up in a serious bureaucratic mess. While technically Air Force property, the special C-130s fell under the control of the National Security Agency, which could refuse to loan them out for the mission.

NSA officials had objected to sending the aerial spooks—which flew under the codename Silver Dawn—on regular military operations. With fewer than 20 modified Hercules flying worldwide, the NSA probably worried these sort of day-to-day requirements would impede its own intelligence-gathering.

To alleviate these concerns, Pacific Air Forces tacitly approved a novel idea. Up and down the chain of command, everyone would simply cut the NSA out of the loop.

In any event, the flying branch's commanders in the Pacific felt that the existing Silver Dawn mandate justified sending the C-130s to help out with Operation Bolo, anyway.

Intelligence specialists were already using radio chatter that the Silver Dawn planes scooped up to figure out how many fighter jets Hanoi had on hand and where the aircraft were located, according to separate documents the NSA released recently.

Col. Robin Olds in front of his F-4C Phantom fighter jet with two stars representing MiGs he had shot down. Air Force photo

The Air Force's Pacific headquarters "seemed to feel that [Seventh Air Force] was responsible for fighting the war in whatever way was necessary." But if the spy agency did find out, PACAF would "play down any prior knowledge of Silver Dawn involvement or deviation from normal operation," the special history notes.

The 6922nd Security Wing, which provided the intelligence personnel to operate the C-130s' special gear, also refused to be a part the final planning process—in order to shield itself from any repercussions.

Maj. John Chaueteur, who acted as a go-between for the Seventh Air Force and the Air Force Security Service, was most concerned about going behind the NSA's back. Chaueteur was in the uncomfortable position of effectively being ordered not to do his job.

"Chaueteur gets 'clobbered' every time he uses NSA as a reason for not doing something that [Seventh Air Force] wants done," the Air Force monograph quotes another official as saying.

Chaueteur was so worried about being reprimanded or relieved that he ordered the head of the Silver Dawn project to destroy evidence of any messages concerning Operation Bolo.

To help keep up this ruse-within-a-ruse, the bulk of the task force was told that normal EC-121 radar planes were supplying updates on the MiGs during the operation. This misinformation would also prevent the North Vietnamese pilots from thinking anything was amiss.

When Operation Bolo finally kicked off, two Silver Dawn C-130s were already orbiting in the Gulf of Tonkin, scanning the airwaves. Vietnamese, Russian, Chinese and Korean linguists were all at their posts.

These specialized personnel not only made sure the Vietnamese were responding as expected, but also kept watch in case Chinese jets decided to join the battle. Olds wanted to know if Russian or North Korean advisers were actually in the cockpits when the fighting started.

F-4s refuel over North Vietnam. Air Force photo

The operation turned out to be a major success for the U.S. Hanoi's pilots were caught completely off guard.

When Olds' strike team started its attack, the C-130s picked up enemy pilots shocked to find that "the sky is full of F-4s," according to the declassified report. "Where are the F-105s? You briefed us to expect F-105s!"

"I'd like to come down now," another Vietnamese pilot reportedly declared.

Seven MiG-21s fell to Earth. The Pentagon had estimated Hanoi possessed between 20 to 25 of the jet interceptors before the secret op.

The NSA doesn't appear to have been aware, at the time, that the Air Force had appropriated its aircraft. We couldn't find out what happened to Chaueteur, but Olds earned a promotion to brigadier general the following year.

After a series of additional aerial ambushes, the Vietnamese People's Air Force grounded its MiGs and completely revised its procedures. At the end of the year, Washington approved strikes on Hanoi's air bases.

By 1973, American airmen had scored 137 confirmed air-to-air kills against their North Vietnamese adversaries.


Some news from Military Periscope from around the world

USA—Air Force Makes Significant Progress In Inspecting Grounded Hercules Military Periscope | 08/14/2019 Air Force Air Mobility Command is continuing work to clear its fleet of C-130s grounded last week, a spokesperson tells Military Periscope. As of Monday night, the Air Force had inspected 88 of the 123 grounded aircraft, said a Air Mobility Command spokesperson. The service has made rapid progress to return the grounded C-130s, which represented a quarter of its fleet. The aircraft were grounded after atypical cracking was discovered in the rainbow joint of an aircraft undergoing depot maintenance. Of the inspected aircraft, 87 were cleared and returned to service. According to Defense News, 74 aircraft had been inspected on August 9, two days after the grounding was announced. Cracking was discovered in one aircraft during the inspection process, which is now set to undergo repairs prior to returning to flight. According to the command, a cracked rainbow joint takes approximately one to two months to repair.

USA—Blue Origin Files Protest As Launch Competitors Submit Bids Space News | 08/14/2019 Blue Origin has filed a pre-award protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) over the National Security Space Launch Phase 2 procurement process, reports Space News. The protest was announced on Monday, the same day that Blue Origin submitted its bid for the competition. United Launch Alliance, SpaceX and Northrop Grumman also submitted bids. According to the complaint, the request for proposals (RFP) released in early May uses ambiguous criteria and requires a backup launch vehicle, disadvantaging young firms. The RFP also says that the Air Force intends to select a winner based on value, without indicating those criteria. Blue Origin has previously complained that the requirements favor SpaceX and ULA, more established companies. In the complaint, Blue Origin argued that the plan to eliminate all but two bidders would make it harder for other firms to receive further Launch Service Agreement Funds. According to Blue Origin, the lack of such funds would adversely affect competition for phase 3 of the program, as they are critical maintaining a competitive bid. The GAO now has 100 days to issue a ruling.

Turkey—Ankara Continues To Threaten Military Action As Work Begins On Safe Zone Defense Post | 08/14/2019 A U.S. delegation has arrived in Turkey to begin work to implement an agreement for a safe zone in northern Syria, reports the Defense Post. Six U.S. officials arrived in the southeastern city of Sanliurfa on Monday to begin work on implementing a safe zone that both parties agreed to last week. Despite the announcement, Turkish officials continue to threaten military action against Kurdish forces, reported the Hurriyet Daily News (Istanbul). Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) that Turkey had contingency plans if the safe zone with the U.S. failed to materialized. Separately, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday that Turkey would not allow the U.S. to "stall the process." Last week, Turkey and the U.S. agreed to create a zone in northern Syria free of Kurdish militants that Turkey sees as terrorists and that the U.S. sees as an important ally against ISIS.

Russia—NATO Jet Approaches Plane Carrying Defense Minister Over Baltic Sea Tass | 08/14/2019 Russian officials say a NATO F/A-18 jet approached a Russian jet carrying Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu over the Baltic Sea, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow). On Tuesday, a NATO jet approached the plane carrying Shoigu as it flew from the exclave of Kaliningrad to Moscow, said Kremlin officials. A pair of Su-27 fighter jets forced away the NATO plane, which Russian officials said was Spanish. NATO officials told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that the alliance had tracked a Russian aircraft and at least one Russian fighter jet over the Baltic Sea. Jets from the Baltic Air Policing mission were scrambled to respond, according to a statement from the alliance. Once the Russian aircraft was identified, the NATO jet returned to base. NATO said that it had no information indicating the identity of anyone onboard. The NATO jets appear to be EF-18s operated by the Spanish air force, currently deployed to Siauliai Air Base, Lithuania, as part of the Baltic Air Policing mission, reported the Aviationist. The plane carrying Shoigu, which was not identified in Russian statements, appeared to be a Tu-204, different from the Tu-154 used in the past for official trips. Shoigu was returning from a ceremony in Kaliningrad marking construction of a new branch of the Nakhimov Naval School.

South Korea—Defense Budget Pushes Missile Defense Amid Growing North Korean Threat Yonhap | 08/14/2019 South Korea has announced plans to bolster its missile-defense capabilities to better respond to threats from North Korea, reports the Yonhap news agency. On Wednesday, the defense ministry unveiled a new budget plan projected to increase spending by 7.1 percent annually over the next five years. The US$240 billion plan calls for the acquisition of two ground-based anti-missile early warning radars by 2020. The air force currently operates two such radars, noted the news agency. The ministry also plans to construct three Aegis-equipped destroyers, which it aims to have in service by 2028, and deploy improved interceptor missiles, including the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3, Cheolmae-II and L-SAM, the latter of which is still in development. Plans also call for investment in non-lethal weapons and intelligence technology, including five new military satellites by 2023 and mid- and high-altitude drones. F-15K and KF-16 jet fighter jets will also be upgraded with electric-based radar detection system, reported the Korea Times. The push comes as North Korea has resumed missile launches and sharpened its rhetoric against South Korea and the U.S.

Australia—Defense Minister Highlights Rare Earths In Move To Protect Supply Chain Australian Financial Review | 08/14/2019 Defense Minister Linda Reynolds is labelling rare earth minerals and other "critical minerals" a strategic issue for the West, reports the Australian Financial Review. Speaking at the Western Australian Indo-Pacific Defence Conference 2019 in Perth on Monday, Reynolds said the subject had come up during recent talks with U.S. officials. The announcement comes as part of an increased drive to secure investment for the production of rare earths and other militarily sensitive metals in Australia in order to break China's effective monopoly on the market. Such dependence is a national security issue, as rare earths play an important role in the manufacturing of high-tech goods, including defense technology. According to Reynolds, Australia's deposits of such minerals could secure safeguard chains for partners such as the U.S. and U.K., reports Agence-France Presse. Recent progress on developing Australia's mining of such minerals include a trip by Mining Council of Australia boss Tania Constable to London to secure investments. Separately, German firm Thyssenkrupp Materials Trading announced that it had reached a deal to take 100 percent of the heavy rare earth carbonate produced by Brown Range pilot plant project. Northern Minerals, which owns the A$56 million (US$38 million) plant, recently terminated a two-year-old agreement with a Chinese firm for the plant's output.

Vietnam—Chinese Survey Ship Returns After Week-Long Absence Reuters | 08/14/2019 A Chinese survey ship has returned to waters in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, reports Reuters. After a brief absence, the Haiyang Dizhi 8 appeared to be returning the area near the Spratly Islands on Tuesday, escorted by two Chinese coast guard vessels, according to data from Marine Traffic, which tracks ship movement. The survey vessel first appeared in the area in mid-July, conducting what appeared to be a seismic survey near an oil rig within a Vietnamese oil block and operated by a Russian company. Hanoi criticized the behavior and called on Beijing to withdraw the vessel. On Aug. 7, the vessel left, docking at Fiery Cross Reef, a manmade island built in an area of the South China Sea that is claimed by Vietnam and the Philippines. Beijing may increase its activities in the area to flex its muscles during tense negotiations with the U.S. over trade, a Vietnamese analyst told Radio Free Asia.

Afghanistan—Security Forces Arrest Haqqani Weapons Supplier in Kabul Khaama Press | 08/14/2019 Afghan security personnel have arrested a high-value terrorist in Kabul, reports the Khaama Press (Afghanistan). Sardar Mohammad (alias Khalifa Daud) was arrested in a raid in the city's 9th police district (east-central), the interior ministry said on Wednesday. Mohammad is a suspected member of the Haqqani Network (HQN). He was responsible for supplying the group with weapons, munitions and other equipment, said police.

Tajikistan—Troops Conduct Counterterror Drill With Chinese Partners Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | 08/14/2019 Tajik troops are hosting their Chinese counterparts for a counterterrorism exercise in the country's east, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Drills in the mountainous Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region are expected to conclude on Friday, a Tajik Defense Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. The exercise includes the use of tanks and armored personnel carriers, said the ministry. About 1,200 troops are participating in the training, according to a Chinese military website. Military cooperation between the two has been increasing. In October 2016, joint drills in the same region brought together about 10,000 troops, most of them Tajik. Separately, China recently hosted Kyrgyz national guardsmen for counterterrorism exercises in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, reported the state-run Xinhua news agency. About 150 guardsmen and Chinese People's Armed Police participated in those drills, which concluded on Tuesday.

Iran—Defense Ministry Unveils Indigenous APCs Al Masirah | 08/14/2019 Iran has unveiled two new armored personnel carriers, reports the Houthi-run Al Masirah media network (Yemen). The Aras-2 tactical vehicle can achieve high speed in rough terrain and can be equipped with heavy weapons, Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami said in a ceremony in Tehran on Tuesday. Based on a picture published by the semi-official Fars news agency (Tehran), the Aras-2 is a four-wheel fitted with a two-person cab and a cargo bed. A large number of the truck will be delivered to the military, said the minister. During the ceremony, the minister also revealed the Ra'ad armored anti-mine and anti-ambush personnel carrier. Picture published by the semi-official Mehr news agency (Tehran) show a four-wheeled APC fitted with a protected machine-gun mount on its roof.

Qatar—Ankara Constructing New Base, Aiming To Increase Troop Deployments Hurriyet | 08/14/2019 Turkey is constructing a new military facility in Qatar, reports the Hurriyet Daily News (Istanbul). The facility will open in the fall, adjacent to the Tariq ibn Ziyad military base, Turkish officials told the newspaper. Once construction is completed, the number of Turkish soldiers deployed will increase substantially, sources told the newspaper. The report did not elaborate on the details of the new facility, including service-specific installations. Turkish soldiers first deployed to Qatar in October 2015, noted Ahval (Turkey). More troops arrived in June 2017, after Qatar's neighbors closed their borders to the small kingdom, citing its support for the Muslim Brotherhood and interference in its neighbors domestic affairs.

Yemen—Separatists Will Not Turn Over Aden Unless Islamists, Northerners Removed Reuters | 08/14/2019 Separatists in southern Yemen say they will not cede power in the temporary capital until Islamists and northerners are removed from positions of power, reports Reuters. On Wednesday, a Southern Transitional Council (STC) spokesman told the news agency that the only exit from the current crisis would be removing members of the Islah party from all political posts. The STC accuses Islah of involvement in a deadly attack on STC members. That attack was claimed by the Houthis but STC members believe that Islah played a role as well. On Sunday, the STC claimed control of Aden, the temporary capital of the internationally-recognized government. Most key sites were under the STC's control. Virtually all government officials left the city. The incident drove a wedge through forces that were ostensibly both fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the north. It also revealed the extent of divisions in the Saudi-Emirati coalition fighting the Houthis. The United Arab Emirates has backed STC-aligned groups in the fight against the Houthis, while Saudi Arabia tolerated Islah as a counterbalance to Houthi dominance.

Somalia—Al-Shabaab Claims Double Suicide Bombing At Base Garowe Online | 08/14/2019 Multiple deaths have been reported in a militant attack on a town southwest of Mogadishu, reports Garowe Online (Somalia). On Wednesday, two carbombs struck a Somali government base in Awdheegle, about 43 miles (70 km) southwest of Mogadishu, a military officer told Reuters. The explosions were immediately followed by heavy gunfire. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said killed 50 soldiers. Two Al-Shabaab suicide bombers were killed in the assault, said the Somali Al-Qaida affiliate. The militant group often inflates casualty numbers. A government source told Garowe Online that three people, including a journalist, were killed in the attack. Militants also cut off some communications lines, said a military source. African Union and Somali troops only regained control of the area earlier this month, reported China's Xinhua news agency.

Nigeria—Army Abandons Base After Boko Haram Raid Kills 4 Premium Times | 08/14/2019 Four Nigerian soldiers have been killed in a militant assault on their base in the northeastern Borno state, reports the Premium Times (Lagos). On Aug. 10, militants attacked a post held by the 5th Army Brigade in Gubio, killing four soldiers, military sources said on Tuesday. The attackers, suspected Boko Haram insurgents, stole four gun trucks, a mortar canister and a tank, which was later recovered nearby. As a result of the attack, military commanders abandoned the base and relocated the personnel from Gubio to a larger base at Damasak, about 62 miles (100 km) away. Officials told the news site that the move will leave a 99-mile (160-km) stretch of territory undefended.

South Africa—Officials Detail Progress Of Military Deployment As Cape Town Sees Record Number Of Murders Over Weekend News24 | 08/14/2019 Police Minister Bheki Cele says that the deployment of South African National Defense Force (SANDF) personnel to Western Cape province has led to the arrest of over 1,000 people, reports News 24 (South Africa). Out of 1,004 individuals arrested, 806 were previously wanted, Cele said on Tuesday. In addition, 45 firearms and 78 knives have been confiscated, reported the Daily Maverick (South Africa). Cele's comments came days after a dramatic spike in violent crime in the province's largest city. Over the weekend, Cape Town witnessed 47 murders, the highest since since SANDF was deployed to combat rising violence on July 18. Cele encouraged local police officials to prepare themselves to assume total responsibility for the areas once the army was withdrawn as "the presence of soldiers can't be a permanent solution.

South Africa—Officials Detail Progress Of Military Deployment As Cape Town Sees Record Number Of Murders Over Weekend News24 | 08/14/2019 Police Minister Bheki Cele says that the deployment of South African National Defense Force (SANDF) personnel to Western Cape province has led to the arrest of over 1,000 people, reports News 24 (South Africa). Out of 1,004 individuals arrested, 806 were previously wanted, Cele said on Tuesday. In addition, 45 firearms and 78 knives have been confiscated, reported the Daily Maverick (South Africa). Cele's comments came days after a dramatic spike in violent crime in the province's largest city. Over the weekend, Cape Town witnessed 47 murders, the highest since since SANDF was deployed to combat rising violence on July 18. Cele encouraged local police officials to prepare themselves to assume total responsibility for the areas once the army was withdrawn as "the presence of soldiers can't be a permanent solution. AA

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