Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The List 5209

The List 5209 TCB

To All,

I A bit of History and some tidbits

Regards,

Skip

This day in Naval History

Feb. 5

1813—During the War of 1812, the frigate Chesapeake chases the British merchant brig Earl Percy ashore on Long Island. Chesapeake’s crew saves the Earl Percy’s crew and the 58 prisoners who are on board.

1854—The dedication of the first chapel built on Naval property was held at Annapolis, MD.

1942—USS Bernadou (DD 153), escorting convoy HX 173, rescues 10 survivors of the Belgian freighter Ganda that had been sunk by German submarine U 135 on Jan. 22.

1944—USS Flasher (SS 249) sinks Japanese army cargo ship Taishin Maru off Mindoro. Also on this date, USS Narwhal (SS 167) lands 45 tons of ammunition and cargo to support Filipino guerrilla operations at Libertad, Panay, Philippines.

1962—USS Stoddard (DD 566) and USS Surfbird (ADG 383) rescue 29 crewmen from the sinking Greek merchant vessel Yanix off Luzon, Philippine Islands.

1971—Apollo 14 astronauts Capt. Alan B. Shepard Jr., commander, and Cmdr. Edgar D. Mitchell, lunar module pilot, become the fifth and sixth humans to walk on the moon.



Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• Secretary of the Navy told USNI News that the Navy’s plan to reach 355 ships by 2030 will rely on the development of new classes of warships.

• Multiple outlets report that after two years of repairs following a 2017 collision, USS Fitzgerald departed Ingalls Shipbuilding to conduct sea trials.

• USNI News reported on the arrival of Marine Corps F-35Cs at Miramar as the first squadron of Marine Corps F-35Cs prepares to reach initial operating capability next month.





Today in History: February 5New Post


1556 Henry II of France and Philip of Spain sign the truce of Vaucelles.

1631 A ship from Bristol, the Lyon, arrives with provisions for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1762 Martinique, a major French base in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, surrenders to the British.

1783 Sweden recognizes U.S. independence.

1846 The first Pacific Coast newspaper, Oregon Spectator, is published.

1864 Federal forces occupy Jackson, Miss.

1865 The three-day Battle of Hatcher's Run, Va., begins.

1900 The United States and Great Britain sign the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, giving the United States the right to build a canal in Nicaragua but not to fortify it.

1917 U.S. Congress nullifies President Woordrow Wilson's veto of the Immigration Act; literacy tests are required.

1918 The Soviets proclaim separation of church and state.

1922 The Reader's Digest begins publication in New York.

1922 William Larned's steel-framed tennis racquet gets its first test.

1945 American and French troops destroy German forces in the Colmar Pocket in France.

1947 The Soviet Union and Great Britain reject terms for an American trusteeship over Japanese Pacific Isles.

1952 New York adopts three-colored traffic lights.

1961 The Soviets launch Sputnik V, the heaviest satellite to date at 7.1 tons.

1968 U.S. troops divide Viet Cong at Hue while the Saigon government claims they will arm loyal citizens.

1971 Two Apollo 14 astronauts walk on the moon.

1972 It is reported that the United States has agreed to sell 42 F-4 Phantom jets to Israel.

1985 U.S. halts a loan to Chile in protest over human rights abuses.





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Military Milestones from Apache Pass to Patch’s Dispatch by W. Thomas Smith Jr.

02/09/2010



This Week in American Military History:

Feb. 9, 1943: U.S. Adm. William F. “Bull” Halsey receives the following message from U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Alexander M. "Sandy" Patch: “Total and complete defeat of Japanese forces on Guadalcanal effected 1625 today . . . Am happy to report this kind of compliance with your orders . . . because Tokyo Express no longer has terminus on Guadalcanal.” The campaign launched by U.S Marines and sailors in August 1942, and fought by Army, Navy, and Marine forces (and allies) over a six-month period, has resulted in the decisive defeat of Japanese forces on-and-near the island of Guadalcanal. The close of the campaign also ends the first major American offensive of World War II.

Feb. 10, 1763: The Treaty of Paris is signed ending the Seven Years War, known as the French and Indian War in the North American colonies. For America – militarily speaking – the war strengthens Great Britain’s territorial dominance and strategic supremacy in North America. The war also serves as the conflict prior to the American Revolution in which many future Continental Army commanders cut their teeth.

Feb. 10, 1962: In a dramatic Cold War prisoner swap between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers is exchanged for Soviet spy Rudolph Ivanovich Abel on the Glienecker Bridge between West Berlin and Potsdam in East Germany. Powers is a former U.S. Air Force officer who had been flying U-2s for the CIA when he was shot down over the Soviet Union and captured in May 1960. Abel, a KGB colonel, had been arrested in New York in 1957 and convicted of espionage activities against the United States. Feb. 12, 1955: Pres. (retired five-star U.S. Army general) Dwight D. Eisenhower sends U.S. military advisors to South Vietnam.

Feb. 12, 1973: The first American prisoners of war are released from North Vietnamese captivity.

Feb. 13, 1861: U.S. Army Assistant Surgeon Bernard J. D. Irwin takes voluntary command of combat troops, leading an expedition to rescue some 60 men of the 7th Infantry who are trapped and surrounded by Apache Indian forces under Cochise. According to his citation: “Irwin and 14 men, not having horses began the 100-mile march riding mules. After fighting and capturing Indians, recovering stolen horses and cattle, he reached [2d Lt. George N.] Bascom's column and help break his siege.”Though the Medal of Honor does not yet exist, Irwin will receive the new decoration in 1894. And his actions at “Apache Pass” will prove to be the first in history for which the medal is awarded.

Feb. 13, 1945: USS Batfish (the first of two so-named American submarines) sinks her third Japanese submarine in four days.



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Loss of Medal of Honor Recipient Lieutenant Commander Butch O’Hare

After sundown on 26 November 1943, the U.S. Navy attempted the first carrier-based night fighter intercept operations. The fighters were launched in response to continuing night attacks by Japanese land-based twin-engine Betty torpedo bombers (which had previously hit and damaged the light carrier Independence. During the mission, the commander of Enterprise Air Group, Lieutenant Commander Edward H. “Butch” O’Hare, was shot down, and neither his aircraft or body were ever found. O’Hare had previously been awarded the Medal of Honor for single-handedly downing several Japanese Betty torpedo bombers attempting to strike the aircraft carrier Lexington (CV-2) on 20 February 1942, making him the first naval aviator to be awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II. This also made him an instant national hero at a time when the nation needed one in the dark days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Like the loss of Doris Miller on Liscome Bay, the loss of Butch O’Hare was a shock to the American public. For many years, there was uncertainty as to whether he was shot down in the darkness by “friendly fire” from another Navy aircraft or whether he was shot down by the Japanese. The analysis that I find most compelling indicates that he was hit and downed by a lucky shot from one of the Betty bombers.

O’Hare came from a colorful background. At the time O’Hare was seeking to enter the U.S. Naval Academy, his father was a lawyer working for mobster Al Capone, but who turned on Capone providing key evidence leading to the gangster’s conviction on tax evasion, and was rewarded for his efforts by being gunned down in a mob hit in November 1939. Despite this, O’Hare graduated from the Naval Academy in 1937 and finished aviation training in May 1940, reporting to Fighter Squadron 3 (VF-3), where future “ace” Lieutenant John S. “Jimmy” Thach was executive officer. Thach quickly recognized O’Hare’s talent, especially at gunnery. When Saratoga (CV-3) was torpedoed and damaged by a Japanese submarine on 11 January 1942, VF-3 transferred to Lexington, replacing her obsolete F2A Brewster Buffalo squadron, and was re-designated VF-2. Thach led one section and future ace (and four-star) Noel Gayler led the other.

On 20 February 1942, Task Force 11, centered on Lexington, was approaching the Japanese base of Rabaul (which had yet to develop the formidable air defenses seen in 1943), but was detected by a Japanese flying boat while still 450 miles away. At 1112, Thach and another pilot shot down the four- engine Kawanishi H6K4 Type 97 Mavis at 43 nautical miles from the carrier, but not before the plane had radioed a report. At 1202, two other Lexington fighters shot down a second Mavis, while a third radar contact turned away. The Japanese wasted no time in launching a two-group 17-plane strikeof G4M Betty medium torpedo bombers. Unfortunately for the Japanese, no torpedoes or fighters had arrived at Rabaul yet, so the Bettys carried only bombs, and launched with no fighter escort.

At 1542, Lexington radar detected the incoming strike at long range, but lost the contact. At 1625, radar re-acquired the incoming strike at 47 nautical miles and closing fast, which turned out to be nine Bettys. Fighters were vectored to intercept and additional fighters were launched, including O’Hare (flying F4F BuNo. 4031 “White 15”), but O’Hare and his wingman Marion “Duff” Dufilho were held overhead as the Bettys were engaged and five were shot down. Four of the Betty’s dropped bombs on Lexington, but missed by 3,000 yards. The surviving Bettys were pursued and shot down, although two Wildcats were shot down by the Bettys’ lethal tail guns. One of the Bettys was actually shot down by an SBD Dauntless dive bomber on ASW patrol.

However, at 1649, Lexington radar detected a second formation of Bettys approaching from the disengaged side at a range of only 12 nautical miles. The situation was critical as seven Wildcats were pursuing the remnants of the other formation of Bettys in the opposite direction, while five were orbiting, waiting to recover and low on fuel. O’Hare and Dufilho were vectored toward the new threat and intercepted the incoming Bettys (reported as nine, but actually eight) at 9 nautical miles from the carrier. Dufilho’s guns jammed and O’Hare attacked alone. (Early models of the Wildcat mounted four .50-caliber machine guns with 450 rounds per gun, which amounted to about 34 seconds of firing time.)

On his first firing pass, using a deflection technique he had developed (which kept him out of the envelope of the 20-mm cannon in the Betty’s tail position), O’Hare hit the two trailing Bettys, knocking them out of formation, one of them on fire. However, the crew of the burning Betty was able to extinguish the fire, and, unbeknownst to O’Hare, both Bettys were able to catch up and rejoin the formation before the weapons release point. On his second firing pass, O’Hare hit two Bettys in a trailing “V” formation, one of which crashed in flames while the other dumped its bombs and aborted.

As the Betty’s approached their bomb release point, O’Hare made his third firing pass, shooting down the leader of the trailing “V,” and then shooting down the plane of the Japanese mission commander, Lieutenant Commander Takuzo Ito. O’Hare made a fourth firing pass on what was actually one of the planes that had caught up, but ran out of ammunition. As Ito’s command plane was falling, his command pilot, Warrant Officer Chuzo Watanabe, attempted to crash the flaming plane into Lexington, but missed. The four surviving Bettys dropped ten 250-kilogram bombs on Lexington, but missed, this time by only 100 feet. Of the 17 Betty bombers, only two made it back to Rabaul, both damaged by O’Hare.

O’Hare claimed to have shot down six Bettys and damaged one. Lexington’s commanding officer, Captain Frederick “Ted” Sherman, reduced it to five, since four of what was believed at the time to be nine aircraft flew over the Lexington. Lieutenant Commander Thach reported seeing three planes falling in flames at the same time, which, based on post-war records, was in fact the actual number, as only eight Japanese planes were in the second strike. Nevertheless, O’Hare was given credit for five kills, which made him the first Navy ace of the war. O’Hare’s plane received only one bullet hole in the engagement, although he was fired on by a Lexington .50-caliber gunner while returning, who fortunately didn’t lead enough. O’Hare’s historic aircraft crashed while later being transferred to Yorktown (CV-5). O’Hare was sent back to the States and, on 21 April 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt presented him with the Medal of Honor:

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in aerial combat, at grave risk to his life above and beyond the call of duty, as section leader and pilot of Fighting Squadron 3 on February 20, 1942. Having lost the assistance of his teammates, Lieutenant O’Hare interposed his fighter between his ship and an advancing enemy formation of 9 attacking twin-engine heavy bombers. Without hesitation, alone an unaided, he repeatedly attacked this enemy formation of 9 attacking twin-engine heavy bombers, at close range in the face of intense combined machine gun and canon fire. Despite this concentrated opposition, Lieutenant O’Hare, by his gallant and courageous action, his extremely skillful marksmanship in making the most of every shot of his limited amount of ammunition, shot down 5 enemy bombers and severely damaged a sixth before they reached the bomb release point. As a result of his gallant action – one of the most daring, if not the most daring action in the history of combat aviation – he undoubtedly saved his carrier from serious damage.”

After several months of duty as a national hero (and missing the Battle of the Coral Sea), Lieutenant Commander O’Hare assumed command of VF-3 from Thach on 19 June 1942 and spent the next year training others. On 15 July 1943, VF-3 swapped squadron designations with VF-6 and was equipped with the new F6F-3 Hellcat fighter. VF-6 was planned to go aboard Enterprise (CV-6), which is why the designation was changed, during a time when air group and squadron numbers were supposed to match the parent carrier’s hull number, a system that was soon given up on as too complicated. Instead, two thirds of O’Hare’s VF-6 (24 Hellcats) embarked on light carrier Independence (CVL-22) on 22 August 1943. It participated in the strikes on Marcus Island on 1 September 1942, the first combat missions for the Hellcat, during which O’Hare would be awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC.) He would be awarded a second DFC for actions on the Wake Island strikes on 5 October 1943.

On 17 September 1943, O’Hare became commander of Carrier Air Group 6 (CAG 6) embarked on Enterprise. However, his squadron, VF-6, was split up amongst the light carriers and VF-2 embarked on Enterprise instead. By this time of the war, it had become standard practice for the CAG to fly in a TBF Avenger configured as a command aircraft to coordinate strikes. However, O’Hare successfully lobbied to continue flying the F6F Hellcat.

During Operation Galvanic, groups of Japanese twin-engine Betty bombers, trained in making night torpedo attacks, flew from airfields in the Marshalls attempting to strike U.S. ships. On the evening of 25 November, 13 Betty twin-engine torpedo bombers from the Marshalls attacked the U.S. Northern Assault Group. However, Rear Admiral Turner’s insistence on constant battle drills while en route to Makin and Tarawa paid off. Due to radical (but purposeful) and constant maneuvering by the U.S. ships, the Japanese bombers were never able to gain an advantageous torpedo attack position. Nevertheless, the night-time raids represented a serious threat. In an attempt to counter these raids, the commander of the Northern Carrier Group (TG 50.2), Rear Admiral Arthur W. Radford (embarked on Enterprise), O’Hare, and the Enterprise air officer, Commander Tom Hamilton, worked to develop ad hoc tactics for conducting night carrier-based fighter intercepts.

The tactics involved using a “Bat Team” of one radar-equipped TBF Avenger and two F6F Hellcats. The Hellcats would join on the Avenger and would be vectored to the targets by the Enterprise fighter director officer based on shipboard radar, and then the Avenger would use its radar to lead the Hellcats to the incoming Japanese strike. Once the Hellcats sighted the blue-flamed exhaust of the Japanese bombers, they would engage. Four Bat Team fighter pilots were selected, one of which was Lieutenant Roy Marlin Voris, who would later found and command the Blue Angels Navy Flight Demonstration Team.

On the night of 26 November 1943, another Japanese raid was detected inbound and the Bat Team was launched, with O’Hare choosing to fly one of the fighters himself. The other was flown by Ensign Warren Andrew “Andy” Skon of VF-2. The TBF-1C Avenger was flown by the VT-6 (“Black Panthers”) squadron skipper, Lieutenant Commander John C. Phillips. The night tactics proved harder to execute in practice than in theory. The fighter director had difficulty sending the Bat Team in the right direction, and the fighters had a hard time finding the TBF. When they did, it appears they were already in the middle of the Japanese formation flying the same direction.

O’Hare’s plane was last seen by his wingman and the TBF turret gunner at the five o’clock position on the TBF. The turret gunner then saw a Betty bomber that was above and behind O’Hare in the six o’clock position. The turret gunner fired on the Betty and the nose gunner in the Betty returned fire. O’Hare’s plane did not appear to have been hit in the crossfire, but both the turret gunner and wingman reported that O’Hare’s plane veered to the left, dropped down into the darkness, and was never seen again, suggesting that a round from the Betty’s nose gun killed or incapacitated O’Hare and he lost control of the aircraft. The action caused confusion in the Bettys’ formation and they broke off the attack. Navy historian Samuel Eliot Morison recorded that one Betty was shot down by Phillips in the TBF (which had a forward-firing gun). An extensive search for O’Hare failed to find any trace of him or his aircraft, and, on 9 December, he was officially declared missing in action. O’Hare would be awarded a posthumous Navy Cross for his last action:

“The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Lieutenant Commander Edward Henry “Butch O’Hare, United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as a Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting Squadron TWO (VF-2), attached to the USS ENTERPRISE (CV-6), and deployed over Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands, in action against enemy Japanese forces on 26 November 1943. When warnings were received of the approach of a large force of Japanese torpedo bombers, Lieutenant Commander O’Hare volunteered to lead a fighter section of aircraft from his carrier, the first time such a mission had been attempted at night, in order to intercept the attackers. He fearlessly led his three-plane group in combat against a large formation of hostile aircraft and assisted in shooting down two Japanese planes and dispersed the remainder. Lieutenant Commander O’Hare’s outstanding courage, daring airmanship and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest tradition of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.”

The Gearing-class destroyer, USS O’Hare (DD-889), launched 22 June 1945 was named in honor of Butch O’Hare and served until she was decommissioned in October 1973 and transferred to the Spanish Navy before being scrapped in 1992. On 19 September 1949, Chicago’s Orchard Depot Airport (ORD) was renamed Chicago O’Hare, and an F4F Wildcat, recovered from Lake Michigan in the 1990s and restored and on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, is on display in Terminal 2, painted in the markings of O’Hare’s Medal of Honor flight.

(Sources for this section include: “Defending the USS Lexington: Action off Bougainville” by Allyn Vannoy, 27 November 2018, on warfarehistorynetwork.com, and Fateful Rendezvous: The Life of Butch O’Hare by Steve Ewing and John B. Lundstrom, 1997.)



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End of Operation Galvanic: Payback for USS Wasp Sinking

On 25 November 1943, Japanese submarine I-19 was detected on the surface 50 nautical miles west of Makin Island by radar on Radford (DD-446). Although I-19 submerged, Radford conducted seven depth charge attacks that sank I-19 with all 105 of her crew. I-19 had previously sunk the aircraft carrier Wasp (CV-7), fatally damaged the destroyer O’Brien (DD-415) and seriously damaged the battleship North Carolina (BB-55), all with a single spread of six torpedoes, on 15 September 1942 south of Guadalcanal.

(Sources for this H-gram include: History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II, Vol. VII—Aleutians, Gilberts and Marshalls, June 1942–April 1944 by Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison, USNR; The Little Giants: U.S. Escort Carriers Against Japan by William T. Y’Blood, 1987, Naval Institute Press; as well as numerous NHHC Dictionary of American Fighting Ships [DANFS] entries for individual ships. The website www.combinedfleet.com is invaluable for Japanese records of actions.)



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Thanks to Bill

This has been around before but still worth considering...

Wow......A gallon of ______ costs ?

WHATEVER GAS COSTS IT SURE BEATS WALKING.

YOU THINK GASOLINE IS EXPENSIVE

This is priceless!



All these examples do NOT imply that gasoline is cheap; it just illustrates how outrageous some prices are. You will be really shocked by the last one (at least, I was)!!!

Think a gallon of gas is expensive?

This makes one think, and also puts things into perspective.



Diet Snapple, 16 oz. , $1.29 ... $10.32 per gallon!

Starbuck's Reg. Coffee 16 oz., $2.10... $16.80 per gallon!

Lipton Ice Tea, 16 oz. , $1.19 ... $9.52 per gallon!

Gatorade, 20 oz. , $1.59 .... $10.17 per gallon!

Ocean Spray, 16 oz. , $1.25 .. $10.00 per gallon!

Brake Fluid, 12 oz. , $3.15 .... $33.60 per gallon!

Vick's NyQuil, 6 oz. , $8.35 ... $178.13 per gallon!

Pepto Bismol, 4 oz., $3.85 . $123.20 per gallon!

Whiteout, 7 oz. , $1.39 ........ $25.42 per gallon!

Scope, 1.5 oz. , $0.99 ....$84.48 per gallon!

And this is the REAL KICKER.



Evian water, 9 oz. , $1.49 ..$21.19 per gallon!

$21.19 for a gallon of WATER!! and the buyers don’t even know the source!!

(Evian spelled backwards is Naive.)

Ever wonder why computer printers are so cheap? So they can hook you for the ink. Someone calculated the cost of the ink; you won't believe it but it's true: $5,200 a gal.

$5,200 A GALLON!!!

So, the next time you're at the pump, be glad your car doesn’t run on water, Scope, Whiteout, Pepto Bismol, NyQuil or, God forbid, Printer Ink!!!!!



And - If you don't pass this along to at least one person, fewer people will know...... !!



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Daily News from Military Periscope for 5 February

USA—Trump Commits To Withdraw U.S. Troops From Afghanistan Voice Of America News | 02/05/2020 President Donald Trump has vowed to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan, reports the Voice of America News. During his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, Trump touted advances in peace talks with the Taliban and reiterated his intention to extricate the U.S. from Afghanistan. The U.S. does not seek the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people or to serve other nations as a law enforcement agency, the president said. He did not reveal any new developments in talks with the militant group. Before Tuesday's speech, a Taliban spokesman said that negotiations had been harmed by Trump's statements on social media and undisclosed "U.S. demands," reported Turkey's Anadolu Agency. Following the remarks, a spokesman for the group emphasized that "practical steps and not words" were needed from the U.S. to end the conflict. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the Taliban needs to significantly reduce violence for negotiations to advance, reported Reuters.



USA—Intel Program With Turkey Suspended Reuters | 02/05/2020 The U.S. has suspended an intelligence cooperation program with Turkey that helped target Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, reports Reuters. The program ended in late 2019 following Turkey's decision in October to launch a military operation into northern Syria that targeted U.S.-aligned Kurdish forces, four U.S. officials told the news agency. Since 2007, U.S. drone flights from Incirlik air base collected intelligence on positions used by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), particularly in northern Iraq, said a U.S. official. The information was used to launch attacks on PKK militants, who have hid in the mountains of northern Iraq since peace talks with the Turkish government collapsed in July 2015. A Turkish official confirmed that the program had ended. The report demonstrates the ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Turkey caused by diverging regional policies and Ankara's decision to acquire Russian air defense systems.



USA—Space Fence Nears IOC C4ISRNet | 02/05/2020 The U.S. Air Force could declare initial operational capability (IOC) for its Space Fence radar system as soon as this month, according to a Pentagon report cited by C4ISRNet. The Jan. 30 report from the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation indicated that the milestone could be reached as soon as February. The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced on Dec. 10 that the Space Fence system was entering a trial period. Space Fence, built by Lockheed Martin, is a radar system designed to detect and track objects in orbit. It is optimized for monitoring low earth orbit, but is able to track objects in other orbits. The system consists of a single S-band radar located at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The system’s restriction to a single site limits its ability to continually track objects. Space Fence is expected to be able to track targets smaller than 4 inches (10 cm) in orbit. It has already demonstrated its ability to identify previously undetected objects in orbit. It has not yet demonstrated such accuracy for objects outside of low earth orbit. Previous user-related issues with planning, scheduling and conducting tasks have been corrected with software updates, the report noted.



USA—Fitzgerald Destroyer Back At Sea After 2 Years Of Repairs Navy Newsstand | 02/05/2020 One of the two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers damaged in separate at-sea collisions in 2017 has returned to sea after completing repairs, reports the Navy NewsStand. USS Fitzgerald departed from Huntington Ingalls Industries Pascagoula Shipyard in Mississippi on Monday for comprehensive at-sea trials. The milestone comes after nearly two years of repairs and upgrades costing $523 million. The destroyer collided with a commercial vessel in the Sea of Japan in June 2017, noted USNI News. Seven sailors died in the crash. The superstructure housing the destroyer’s SPY-1 radar was warped, increasing the complexity of the repairs, officials said. This week’s trials are evaluating the performance of onboard systems, including navigation, damage control, medical and electrical, combat, communication and propulsion, the Navy said. Once the destroyer returns to the yard, crew training and certification will begin ahead of the Fitzgerald’s return to the fleet in the spring.



USA—Air Force Redeploys JSTARS Aircraft To Middle East After Iranian Missile Strikes Air Force Magazine | 02/05/2020 The U.S. Air Force has sent the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) back to the Middle East, reports Air Force magazine. The JSTARS was seen at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Jan. 16 in photos released by Air Forces Central Command on Feb. 1. The reconnaissance aircraft was observed about a week after Iran launched ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases with a U.S. troop presence. The service withdrew the single JSTARS in the region in October due to higher demand for the platform from other combatant commands, according to Air Combat Command at the time. A JSTARS had been continually deployed to the region since November 2001.



United Kingdom—1st Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft Arrives In Scotland Defense News | 02/05/2020 The first of nine new maritime patrol aircraft purchased by the U.K. arrived in Scotland to begin its operational duties, reports Defense News. On Tuesday, the P-8A Poseidon arrived at RAF Kinloss in northeastern Scotland. The aircraft will be temporarily stationed at the base until infrastructure upgrades are completed at RAF Lossiemouth, northeast of Kinloss. The service said that the new jet has already undertaken some tactical missions. In 2016, the British government ordered nine P-8As at a cost of US$3.9 billion. Four more Poseidons are expected to arrive this year, including one in March, with all nine to be delivered by the end of 2021, according to the U.K. Ministry of Defense. Full operational capability is anticipated in 2024. The acquisition is seen as rebuilding a critical RAF capability after the service's last Nimrod submarine hunters retired without replacement in 2010, reported the BBC News.



Norway—Navy Frigate Leads NATO Flotilla In Northern Europe Norwegian Armed Forces | 02/05/2020 A Royal Norwegian Navy frigate is serving as the flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) in northern Europe, reports the Norwegian Armed Forces. The Otto Sverdrup sailed from Bergen in southern Norway on Jan. 13 to begin a 7-month deployment as the head of SNMG1, according to the Feb. 3 release. In December, Norway assumed command of the task force, which consists of four to six destroyers and frigates and a multinational staff. During the deployment, the flotilla will provide presence in the waters of northern Europe, participate in training with other NATO members and conduct port visits throughout the region.



Turkey—Erdogan Warns Syrian Forces To Halt Push In Idlib Anadolu News Agency | 02/05/2020 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Syrian troops must end their operation in the northwestern province of Idlib, threatening to use force to halt it if necessary, reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency. If Syrian troops do not withdraw behind a ring of Turkish observation posts, Turkey will make them, Erdogan told lawmakers on Wednesday. The president said a Syrian regime attack on Monday that killed seven Turkish soldiers and a civilian contractor was "a turning point" for Turkey. Every attack on Turkish personnel will be responded to, he said. Following the deadly shelling, the Turkish government struck 50 targets in Syria, which it said killed 76 Syrian troops. The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the figure at 13 Syrian troops killed in Latakia and Hama provinces. The Turkish government has worked to salvage cooperation with Russia despite the escalating tensions in Syria, noted Reuters. About 500,000 people have fled the region of more than 3 million amid a regime offensive that began in December, noted the BBC News. Turkey—



Erdogan Warns Syrian Forces To Halt Push In Idlib Anadolu News Agency | 02/05/2020 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Syrian troops must end their operation in the northwestern province of Idlib, threatening to use force to halt it if necessary, reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency. If Syrian troops do not withdraw behind a ring of Turkish observation posts, Turkey will make them, Erdogan told lawmakers on Wednesday. The president said a Syrian regime attack on Monday that killed seven Turkish soldiers and a civilian contractor was "a turning point" for Turkey. Every attack on Turkish personnel will be responded to, he said. Following the deadly shelling, the Turkish government struck 50 targets in Syria, which it said killed 76 Syrian troops. The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the figure at 13 Syrian troops killed in Latakia and Hama provinces. The Turkish government has worked to salvage cooperation with Russia despite the escalating tensions in Syria, noted Reuters. About 500,000 people have fled the region of more than 3 million amid a regime offensive that began in December, noted the BBC News.



Turkey—Erdogan Warns Syrian Forces To Halt Push In Idlib Anadolu News Agency | 02/05/2020 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Syrian troops must end their operation in the northwestern province of Idlib, threatening to use force to halt it if necessary, reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency. If Syrian troops do not withdraw behind a ring of Turkish observation posts, Turkey will make them, Erdogan told lawmakers on Wednesday. The president said a Syrian regime attack on Monday that killed seven Turkish soldiers and a civilian contractor was "a turning point" for Turkey. Every attack on Turkish personnel will be responded to, he said. Following the deadly shelling, the Turkish government struck 50 targets in Syria, which it said killed 76 Syrian troops. The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the figure at 13 Syrian troops killed in Latakia and Hama provinces. The Turkish government has worked to salvage cooperation with Russia despite the escalating tensions in Syria, noted Reuters. About 500,000 people have fled the region of more than 3 million amid a regime offensive that began in December, noted the BBC News.



South Korea—U.S. Surveillance Aircraft Continue To Fly Over Peninsula Yonhap | 02/05/2020 The U.S. continues to perform surveillance flights over the Korean peninsula, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). A Navy EP-3E and Air Force E-8C JSTARS reconnaissance aircraft were seen above South Korea on Wednesday, according to the monitoring group Aircraft Spots. Monitors have noticed an increase in flights by U.S. surveillance aircraft in recent months amid stalled talks with the North Korean government over its nuclear weapons and missile programs.



Australia—PM Launches Inquiry Into Veteran Suicides Australian Associated Press | 02/05/2020 Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has launched a national investigation into the high rate of suicide among veterans, reports the Australian Associated Press. A national commissioner will investigate the deaths of at least 419 Australian troops since 2001, Morrison announced on Wednesday, as reported by Reuters. A report is expected within 18 months. Legislation is needed to authorize the permanent position. An interim investigator will work out of Morrison's office until such a law is adopted. Establishing the office of the commissioner is estimated to cost Aus$40 million (US$27.6 million). Suicide rates among Australian veterans are about 18 percent higher than the population as a whole. The report is expected to address ways to improve mental health and well-being, as well as means to reduce risk factors for suicide. The office will deliver an annual report to Parliament covering the reduction of suicide risks.



India—Deliveries Of S-400 To Begin In 2021 Tass | 02/05/2020 Russia will deliver the first batch of S-400 (NATO: SA-21) air defense systems to India by the end of 2021, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow). Indian personnel will begin training on the Russian air defense system before delivery, a spokesman for the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said on Wednesday at the DefExpo 2020 in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh state. In October 2018, India signed a US$5 billion contract for five regimental sets of S-400 systems. Deliveries are scheduled to conclude by 2025, noted the Moscow Times. U.S. sanctions barring transactions with Russia delayed Indian payments to Russia, the Hindu (Chennai) reported in August. The issue has since been resolved, said officials.



Afghanistan—Insider Attacks Spike At End Of 2019 Task and Purpose | 02/05/2020 The latest report from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that insider attacks in Afghan security forces significantly increased in late 2019, reports Task and Purpose. Over the final three months of 2019, there were 33 insider attacks, causing 90 casualties within the security forces, according to the Jan. 30 report. In one attack in December, a Taliban infiltrator killed 23 soldiers in their sleep at a base in Ghazni province, reported the New York Times. A total of 82 insider attacks were carried out last year, killing 172 and injuring 85. Overall Taliban attacks were up in the last quarter of 2019, totaling 8,204, a 17 percent increase over the same period in 2018, says the SIGAR report. Taliban-led attacks increased after peace talks with the U.S. broke down in September, with militants expanding their activity into northern and eastern Afghanistan, according to the study.



Iran—Supreme Court Confirms Death Sentence For Alleged American Spy Fars News Agency | 02/05/2020 An individual accused of spying on behalf of the U.S. in Iran has been sentenced to death by Iran’s top court, reports Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency. The sentence was announced on Tuesday by a judiciary spokesman. Amir Rahimpour is accused of accepting money to pass secrets on Iran’s nuclear program, reported BBC News. His execution is expected to take place in the near future. This was the first death sentence for spying for the U.S. in nearly a decade, noted NPR News. The decision was the latest salvo in the ongoing confrontation between Iran and the U.S. Two other individuals accused of spying for the U.S. while under cover as charity workers were also sentenced to 15 years in prison each.



Egypt—Sinai Gas Flow Unaffected By Militant Attack Asharq Al-Awsat | 02/05/2020 Gas flows in Egypt’s northern Sinai province were not affected by a bombing on Sunday, reports Asharq Al Awsat (London). On Sunday, gunmen attacked the pipeline 43 miles (80 km) west of Arish, the capital of North Sinai province, detonating a bomb and causing a fire, said security sources cited by Agence France-Presse. There were no casualties in the attack. The pipeline carries gas to Arish and central Sinai and had previously been targeted by militants, noted Reuters. Gas services in the region were not disrupted by the attack, the North Sinai government said on Monday. The Islamic State’s Sinai affiliate claimed responsibility for an attack on a pipeline linking Egypt and Israel on Monday, although it provided no evidence for the claim.



Libya—3 Civilians Killed By LNA Artillery Libya Observer | 02/05/2020 At least three civilians have been killed in artillery attacks in Tripoli by forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar, reports the Libya Observer. On Tuesday, a shell hit a home in the Sawani district south of Tripoli, killing two children, according to the media office of the Volcano of Rage Operation, which is affiliated with the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). Artillery rounds fired by Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) also struck a home in the Tarik al-Shoak area, killing one person and injuring four. Representatives of the GNA and LNA are in Geneva for U.N.-brokered talks intended to preserve a shaky cease-fire that entered force last month.



Argentina—Bouchard OPV Arrives From France Mercopress | 02/05/2020 The Argentinean navy’s newest offshore patrol vessel is set to arrive in Buenos Aires on Wednesday, reports MercoPress (Uruguay). The Bouchard departed from Toulon two weeks ago after being commissioned into Argentinean service on Dec. 6. She is the first of four Gowind-class patrol ships ordered from French shipbuilder Naval Group in 2018 for 320 million euros (US$354 million). The class is expected to patrol Argentina’s exclusive economic zone and prevent illegal fishing. The Bouchard was originally L’Adroit, which was built as a test ship by the shipbuilder and leased to the French navy for operational evaluation. She underwent a refit and upgrades before entering Argentinean service. The three remaining vessels are under construction, with the final OPV scheduled for delivery in 2022. .. .



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