Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The List 5250 TGB

The List 5250 TGB

Good Wednesday Morning to all. I hope that you all are doing well. Today is National Medal of Honor Day. For more on this see The List 5248.




Today in Naval History

This Day In Naval History – March 25, 2019

1813 During the War of 1812, the frigate Essex, commanded by Capt. David Porter, takes the Peruvian cruiser Neryeda, which is the first capture by the U.S. Navy in the Pacific.

1822 USS Shark, commanded by Lt. Matthew C. Perry, raises the first U.S. flag over Key West, Fla., and claims the territory for the United States, calling it Thompsons Island to honor Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson.

1898 Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt, recommends to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long that he appoint two officers of scientific attainments and practical ability who, with representatives from the War Department, would examine Professor Samuel P. Langley's flying machine and report upon its practicability and its potential for use in war.

1915 The submarine, F-4 (SS 23) sinks off Honolulu, Hawaii, with the loss of 21 lives. It is the first commissioned submarine loss for the U.S. Navy.

1944 USS Manlove (DE 36) and submarine chaser PC 1135 sink Japanese submarine I 32, 50 miles south of Wotje.

1957 The first F8U-1 Crusader is delivered to a fleet unit, VF-32, in the record time of two years after the first flight of the experimental model.

2007 Congress designates March 25 each year as National Medal of Honor Day. The day is significant as it is the day the first Medal of Honor was presented in 1863.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

•             Multiple outlets report that three sailors aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first cases of sailors on a deployed ship.

•             Stars and Stripes reports that Navy installations in Japan have restricted movements and activities in response to a state of heightened risk for coronavirus declared by INDOPACOM.

•             Breaking Defense reported on INDOPACOM Commander Adm. Philip Davidson's vision for All-Domain Operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

This day in World History

0708 Constantine begins his reign as Catholic Pope.

1634 Lord Baltimore founds the Catholic colony of Maryland.

1655 Puritans jail Governor Stone after a military victory over Catholic forces in the colony of Maryland.

1668 The first horse race in America takes place.

1776 The Continental Congress authorizes a medal for General George Washington.

1807 British Parliament abolishes the slave trade.

1813 The frigate USS Essex flies the first U.S. flag in battle in the Pacific.

1865 Confederate forces capture Fort Stedman, during the siege of Petersburg, Va.

1879 Japan invades the kingdom of Liuqiu (Ryukyu) Islands, formerly a vassal of China.

1905 Rebel battle flags that were captured during the American Civil War are returned to the South.

1911 A fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, a sweatshop in New York City, claims the lives of 146 workers.

1915 The first submarine disaster occurs when a U.S. F-4 sinks off the Hawaiian coast.

1919 The Paris Peace Commission adopts a plan to protect nations from the influx of foreign labor.

1931 Fifty people are killed in riots that break out in India. Mahatma Gandhi was one of many people assaulted.

1940 The United States agrees to give Britain and France access to all American warplanes.

1941 Yugoslavia joins the Axis powers.

1953 The USS Missouri fires on targets at Kojo, North Korea, the last time her guns fire until the Persian Gulf War of 1992.

1954 RCA manufactures its first color TV set and begins mass production.

1957 The European Common Market Treaty is signed in Rome. The goal is to create a common market for all products--especially coal and steel.

1965 Martin Luther King Jr. leads a group of 25,000 to the state capital in Montgomery, Ala.

1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono stage a bed-in for peace in Amsterdam.

1970 The Concorde makes its first supersonic flight.

1975 Hue is lost and Da Nang is endangered by North Vietnamese forces. The United States orders a refugee airlift to remove those in danger.

1981 The U.S. Embassy in San Salvador is damaged when gunmen attack, firing rocket propelled grenades and machine guns.

1986 President Ronald Reagan orders emergency aid for the Honduran army. U.S. helicopters take Honduran troops to the Nicaraguan border.


Great story from Denny….I had never heard about this one


Air Combat Annals

By: Thomas McKelvey Cleaver


"There is a long-time unconfirmed rumor that a Grumman Mohawk shot down a MiG-17 in Vietnam." Nothing more came of it until one day in the fall of 2007 when I opened my e-mail to find one with the header "Mohawk shoot down of MiG-17," sent by someone named Ken Lee. I thought at first it was a comment from a fellow meddler about the review (I get a lot of those), but I opened it and read the opening line: "I'm the guy who shot down the MiG-17," I knew I had found the Grail.

Due to inter-service politics at the time, the U.S. Army had no interest at all in having anyone know that an army pilot had committed the unthinkable act of poaching a MiG from the Air Force. And so, for forty years, the story remained untold. But after "Mohawk Versus MiG" appeared in Flight Journal in 2008, the Army Aviation Museum at Fort Rucker, Alabama, admitted that, yes, Ken Lee had indeed shot down a MiG-17 in 1968. The Gods had spoken. So here is Ken's story.

Ken Lee: Mohawk Versus MiG

From 2,000 feet above the triple-canopy jungle, the Ashau Valley was deceptive in the early morning light through the clouds to the east. Twenty-two miles long and less than six miles from Laos, Ashau was one of the two strongholds for the North Vietnamese Army in South Vietnam, the other being the U Minh Forest north of Saigon. Known to the North Vietnamese as Base Area 611, it was Charlie's personal territory, a major hub on the Ho Chi Minh Trail for the infiltration of personnel and supplies into Thua Thien Providence and northern I Corps; the launch point for the Tet Offensive against the Marines at Khe Sanh and the ancient imperial capitol of Hue.

On that clear morning in mid-February 1968, the pilots of the two Grumman OV-1A Mohawks flew in loose trail over the valley as they headed toward the Laotian end of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The airmen could easily look through the scattered cumulus clouds and see the three abandoned U.S. airfields along the middle of the valley floor and the deserted Special Forces camp that had been overrun in March 1966. United States forces had been pushed out of Ashau back then and there were no plans as yet for a return.

Flying lead was Captain Ken Lee, a veteran pilot, considered one of the most experienced Mohawk drivers in the 131st Aviation Company; he had first flown Mohawks with the 73rd Aviation Company from December 1964 to November 1965, when the 73rd"wrote the book" for Mohawk operations in Vietnam. Captain Lee was thoroughly familiar with this particular piece of geography. He had taken hits regularly while over flying the Ashau as he "threaded the needle" through the pass at the eastern end of the valley that led to the Laotian plains beyond.

The two pilots kept at their altitude. They knew that beneath the riot of green below were more than six thousand permanent troops, their installations ringed by one of the most sophisticated complexes of interlocked antiaircraft batteries for be found south of the 17th Parallel. The bug-headed OV-1 Mohawk, with its distinctive triple tail, was both unmistakable and feared by the North Vietnamese, who had learned the hard way just how easy it was to be discovered beneath the jungle canopy by the Mohawk's side-looking radar and infrared detection gear. If luck wasn't riding with them and they were forced down, the fliers could expect to encounter leech-infested streams, stony cliffs, and 60-degree hills, all covered with jungle so dense that a man couldn't see more than a few feet in any direction, crisscrossed by meager animal trails covered with rotted tree roots, populated by one hundred forty varieties of poisonous snakes and the most unusual insects in the world-all that if the NVA didn't find you first.

"All of a sudden, I felt the airplane taking hits," Lee recalls, "but it felt different from before, not like the usual ground fire. I didn't know why, so I commenced a clearing turn to the right, but then my wingman, who was maybe half a mile behind me in trail, shouted 'You got a MiG behind you!'"

"I immediately leveled my wings, just as a silver, swept-wing airplane dove past on my left, about sixty feet away, at around 275 knots. My first thought was it must be an Australian F-86 Sabre. They were based in Thailand, but then I saw the red star on the tail and I knew I was in serious trouble."

The MiG-17, for that is what it was, was already pulling out of its dive two hundred feet below Lee and had turned back for more.  "I was a sitting duck. With our full load of ordinance and extra fuel, I was so heavy I'd stall at about 165 knots in a 30-degree bank, so I sure couldn't dogfight him." Lee ordered his wingman to break left and fly over the mountain range into a cloud bank. There was no point in both Mohawks being shot down that day.

The MiG pilot had made a major error in slowing down to execute his attack. While the OV-1A may have looked more like a dragonfly than an airplane, it was a thoroughly competent warplane. More than half of the wingspan was within the wash of the big, reversible pitch propellers, and the wing incorporated a pair of hydraulically operated auxiliary ailerons that worked only when the flops were down, for better low-speed control. It was fully aerobatic, rated at plus-5 Gs and minus-1.5Gs, and at least one Mohawk had reportedly pulled 7Gs without suffering structural damage. A British test pilot who flew one when RAF had considered operating them had compared its low-level performance favorably with the Gloster Meteor in terms of acceleration and power available.

Lee's immediate thought was that the best defense was a good offense. The OV-1A was different from all other Army fixed-wing aircraft in that it could carry a pod filled with twenty-four 2.75 inch rockets and a .50-caliber machine gun pod beneath each wing, a load Lee was carrying that morning. "I fired thirty-eight rockets in two salvoes and got what looked like four hits on the MiG. I then put about a hundred rounds of .50-cal into him. I could see the tracers going into the fuselage. When I hit his engine that killed his power."

The MiG was climbing at about a thousand feet per minute when Lee opened fire. "His right wing dropped when he got hit, and he went into a cloud bank. I pulled out of the clouds to the right and saw him come out about three to five seconds later. His right wing was low and his nose pitched over. There were flickers of red flame, then white smoke, then black smoke, and then orange flames."

The MiG went around one of the mountains ringing the Ashau and turned into what Lee knew was a blind valley. "He was so low, he could not have gotten out of that valley before impacting the hillside. The clouds were so dense, so I didn't follow him in there."

With the MiG gone, Lee and his wingman resumed their mission into Laos. On the way back to their base, they reported the attack to the C-130 control ship "Hillsboro."

The two Mohawks landed back at their home base at Phu Bai, home of the 131st Aviation Company. "I didn't get scared from the fight till I climbed out and saw the bullet holes in the e tail and the after fuselage, but the unit commanders were also worried that maybe it had been an Aussie Saber. Plus nobody could explain how a MiG could be down over South Vietnam when they had never come that far south before. The doubt continued for days."

One accusation made was that the two pilots, neither of whom were trained for combat, might be telling this story to cover themselves from the repercussions of being involved in a secondfriendly fire incident. "Three weeks earlier, my wingman was accused of hitting my airplane when he made a strafling run up in Ashau," Lee explained. The doubts came to an end with the production of incontrovertible evidence that an air battle had indeed happened. "My crew chief measured those thirty-nine holes in my rear section, and found that all the bullet had struck as about a 45-degree angle, which would mean my wingman would have been diving on me to do damage. And then there was the fact that the holes were bigger than .50-cal. They were about 20mm. After my chief reported that, they started taking my story more seriously.

For the U.S. Army, Lee's Victory" could turn into a major defeat if the event became widely known. As Lee explained, "The army was terrified that the air force would force them to either disarm the Mohawks or even turn them over to the air force.

This fear of the air force has dogged the Mohawk for fourteen years, ever since the army decided in 1954 to create the first designed-for-the-purpose "battlefield reconnaissance" aircraft since the North American O-47 had flown in 1937. To understand this problem, a bit of background history is required. The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk was firmly in the tradition of what was called "corps reconnaissance" in the First World War, and army co-operation" in the Second World War, in that it was a purpose built aircraft created to work with the ground forces. Some of the more famous of this type or airplane are the D.H.4 and Bristol fighter of the First World War and Westlander Lysander and Fieseler Storch of the Second World War.

The OV-1 was the product of a requirement put forth in 1954 to develop a more robust and capable design than the then-operational Cessna L-19 Bird Dog. Given the "great compromise" made in 1948, when the air force was broken off from the army and given control of all armed fixed-winged aircraft, the very design of the OV-1, a light weight two-seat field reconnaissance aircraft powered by twin turboprops, capable of short takeoff and landing from small, unprepared strips-set off warning bells that the army was trying to encroach the air force mission. The winning design was the Grumman Model 134. Following the army tradition of naming its aircraft after Indian Tribes, the Grumman Model 134 was first named the Montauk, which was later changed to the Mohawk.

What was by then known as the OV-1 achieved initial operational capability with the U.S. Seventh Army in Germany in 1961, just in time for involvement in the Berlin Crisis. The main task of this initial version was photo-reconnaissance, carrying a KA-60 high resolution camera with night capability mounted in the fuselage.

In 1963, in anticipation of their service in Southeast Asia, fifty-four OV-1As were returned to the factory for the addition of six underwing pylons capable of carrying fuel tanks, 500 pound bombs, or pods loaded with 2.75-inch rockets or 5-inch Zuni missiles. With this modification, the aircraft became the JOV-1A. Six were sent to South Vietnam for combat-service evaluation with the 23rd Special Aviation Group, which became the 73rd Aviation Company in 1965. These JOV-1As were responsible for a major blow up between the army and air force in 1965, as ground commanders were calling the armed Mohawks for air support, which was supposed to be a job strictly reserved for the air force. The result was an agreement that the army fixed-wing aircraft would no longer carry "offensive armament." While bureaucrats at "Versailles-on-the-Potomac" thought the argument was over, redesignated OV-1As continued to carry underwing armament throughout their active service in Southeast Asia. The army promised that the ordnance would only be used in "self-defense" when they came under fire from the ground. The Mohawks went about their business, and army aviators were ordered not to mention the missions to the Boys in Blue. While some might argue that Lee's actions were in fact self-defense in response to being attacked, senior army aviation commanders didn't see it that way. "When I came back with a probable MiG kill," Lee explains, "there was just terrific fear that any publicity at all would wreck the mission. I was specifically ordered not to talk to anyone about any of it." The army well knew that the air force had reserved destruction of airborne MiGs as its exclusive domain.

A few weeks later, Lee flew from Phu Bai to Ubon, Thailand, to deliver a target portfolio to Colonel Robin Olds, then commanding officer of the 8th Tacticle Fighter Wing. Olds had heard the rumors about a Mohawk shooting down a MiG, and he was interested to discover that Lee was the pilot involved. "He told me they knew the North Vietnamese Air Force had set up an airfield just north of the DMZ and planned to make air strikes on Khe Sanh during the siege there, so it was entirely plausible to him that there could be a MiG-17 all the way down over the Ashau Valley.

In May 1968, Lee flew another mission that stopped by Ubon. "This time, I was met by Robin Olds and Chappie James, and they ordered me to accompany them over to the officers' club. When we got there, the two of them accompanied me around the room on a 'MiG sweep' that ended at the bar, where drinks were waiting. They told me a MiG had definitely been shot down under the circumstances I had described. When I asked how they knew, Olds said to me 'We know things you guys don't and will never find out."

The celebration of his victory by Olds and James and the other fighter pilots of the 8th TFW would be the only recognition Ken Lee would ever receive as the only modern aviator to shoot down an enemy aircraft, and this article is the first time the story has been told in full.


Thanks to Carl….Now I have something to tell my wife also but I read lots of books

What Reading Does To Your Brain | Daily Infographic

You will like this one!!  I tell my wife this is why I read so much on the internet!

Of course, the Ready Room question would be "what happened to you"? 😎🤣


  USA—Pentagon To Increase Payments To Support Contractors During COVID-19 Pandemic Space News | 03/25/2020 The Dept. of Defense says it is increasing progress payments to contractors who may be facing cash flow issues due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, reports Space News. Progress payments are made on a monthly basis to cover a portion of the costs incurred and work performed under a contract. The DoD typically pays 80 percent of submitted expenses. Those payments are being increased to 90 percent for large companies and 95 percent for small businesses, said a Pentagon memo dated March 20. The Defense Contract Management Agency is working to conduct mass contract modifications rather than modifying each contract individually, officials said.  

USA—Boeing Halts Work At Puget Sound Facilities Boeing | 03/25/2020 Boeing is suspending all production at its Puget Sound facilities in Washington state in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Work at the facilities, including its Everett and Renton factories where the KC-46 aerial tanker and P-8 maritime patrol aircraft are built, would begin winding down on Monday, with all work to be halted by Wednesday, the company said on Monday. The move was made after Washington state declared a state of emergency due to the pandemic. The work-stoppage is scheduled to last for at least two weeks. All facilities will receive a deep cleaning during the break. Some non-production work will continue remotely during that period, including development of the problematic KC-46 remote vision system, reported Defense News. Employees who cannot work remotely during the shut-down will be provided with 10 days of paid leave. 

USA—Details Emerge Of New Marine Corps Designed For War In Pacific Marine Corps Times | 03/25/2020 The Marine Corps has revealed the first details of a major restructuring designed to create a lighter and faster force for potential conflicts in the Pacific, reports the Marine Corps Times. The changes, announced by Marine Corps Combat Development Command, were launched by Gen. David Berger, the commandant, last year to optimize the service for peer competition in the Asia-Pacific region. The plans call for the service to become lighter and more expeditionary, with the ability to briefly seize islands and control the surrounding seas using long-range anti-ship missiles and uncrewed aerial vehicles. Over the next decade, the Corps will eliminate all three of its tank battalions; all of its law enforcement battalions; and its three bridging companies, reported USNI News. Infantry battalions are to be reduced from 24 to 21; artillery cannon batteries from 21 to five; and amphibious vehicle companies from six to four. Aviation units will be cut, including MV-22 tiltrotor, attack and heavy lift squadrons. The service will also reduce the number of primary aircraft authorized for its F-35B and F-35C squadrons from 16 to 10. Funding freed up through the changes is expected to be invested in long-range precision fires, reconnaissance and uncrewed systems. The number of uncrewed aircraft squadrons is expected to increase from three to six; the number of missile/rocket batteries, from seven to 21; and C-130 squadrons, from three to four, reported the Wall Street Journal. Berger is expected to release his full plan in the near future.  

Germany—Translator Sentenced To Nearly 7 Years For Spying For Iran Agence France-Presse | 03/25/2020 A translator working for the German military has been sentenced to nearly seven years in prison for spying on behalf of Iran, reports Agence France-Presse. On Monday, Abdul S., 51, was sentenced to six years and 10 months in jail by the higher regional court in Koblenz. Prosecutors said he used his work as a translator and cultural adviser at the Heinrich-Hertz barracks to access and disseminate state secrets. The court found that he met with Iranian agents at least eight times between 2013 and 2017, where he passed on classified information, including military maps and defense ministry analyses on foreign countries. He was paid 34,500 euros (US$37,800) for the information before ending contact, the court said. From 2016, his wife assisted him with logistical matters. Accordingly, she received a suspended 10-month sentence. The sentence for treason in Germany is typically 15 years, but the court took into account that both suspects confessed and had no prior convictions. The two can file an appeal of the decision, noted the Jerusalem Post. 

Norway—Government Declines To Join French Special Ops Mission In Mali Defense-Aerospace | 03/25/2020 The Norwegian government has decided that it will not send troops to Mali to participate in a planned multinational special operations task force, reports On Monday, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense announced the decision not to join Task Force Takuba, a French-led special operations force intended to bolster the Malian military. France asked Norway and other European countries to contribute troops for the mission. French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly announced the creation of the task force in November. The Norwegian decision was driven by a lack of support in the Parliament and the deteriorating situation in the region, the ministry said. The ministry left open the option to re-evaluate its participation at a later date.  

Russia—Documents Reveal New Cyber Threat To Internet-Linked Devices Defense One | 03/25/2020 Leaked Russian government documents purport to show that Moscow has developed a new suite of cyber weapons designed to take advantage of the growing number of devices linked to the internet, reports Defense One. The new botnet tool was revealed in technical documents that provide instructions for the use of a suite of hacking applications dubbed Fonton, Fonton-3D and Fonton-18. The documents were published by the Digital Revolution group last week. The authenticity of the documents, which were allegedly produced in 2017 and 2018 by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Information Security Center, could not be independently confirmed. The hacking apps would use the rapidly growing network of devices connected to the internet to create a botnet that can shut down servers with floods of data in a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Such attacks could knock out the internet service of a small country for several hours, according to the document. Russia organized such an attack against Estonia in 2007, noted the website. 

South Korea—Chinese Surveillance Aircraft Enters Air Defense Zone Yonhap | 03/25/2020 A Chinese military aircraft has twice entered South Korea's air defense identification zone (ADIZ), reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). On Wednesday, the Y-9 surveillance aircraft entered the airspace around South Korea's southern island of Jeju, said the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff. Jeju is about 65 miles (100 km) south of the mainland. The Chinese aircraft identified itself before it entered the zone for the first time, said the JCS. Fighters were launched to escort the aircraft while it was in the zone, officials said. The Y-9 remained in the ADIZ for 17 minutes during the first pass and 18 minutes during the second. ADIZs are not territorial airspace and are not covered by international law. Foreign aircraft are expected to provide notification before entering to prevent accidents. 

China—New ELINT Satellites Launched Xinhua | 03/25/2020 China has successfully launched several new remote sensing satellites, reports Xinhua, China's state-run news agency. On Tuesday, the Yaogan-30 satellites were launched aboard a Long March-2C rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern Sichuan province. The satellite constellation will perform electromagnetic environment detection and related technology tests, officials said. The launch of multiple units at the same time suggests the satellites are intended for electronic intelligence (ELINT) missions. ELINT satellites are often deployed in groups to enable them to triangulate the location of a signal through measuring the time differential between when each satellite receives a signal. 

Egypt—At Least 2 Generals Die From COVID-19 Anadolu News Agency | 03/25/2020 At least two Egyptian generals have died of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) this week, reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency. Maj. Gen. Khaled Shaltout, the military head of water management, died of the virus, reported the semi-official Al-Ahram (Cairo) on Monday. Shortly afterward, Youm 7 (Cairo) reported that Maj. Gen. Shafia Abdel Halim Dawood, the head of infrastructure projects at the military engineering authority, had also died of COVID-19. On Tuesday, Maj. Gen. Mahmoud Shahin, the chief of staff of the military engineering authority, died from the disease, reported the Middle East Monitor (London), citing social media activists. On Wednesday, Arabi21 (London) cited unspecified sources who said that Shahin was still alive, but in critical condition. President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi was quarantined for two weeks after meeting with Dawood, reported the Middle East Eye (London). The virus is spreading quickly among the military, according to a researcher cited by the Middle East Monitor on Wednesday. The researcher told Arabi21 that there were at least 550 cases in the military, primarily within the engineering authority. The two generals who died had contracted the virus on March 9 prior to the military's campaign to sterilize public places, the researcher said. Senior military officials have attempted to suppress reports of the spread of the virus, he said.

  Libya—Heavy Fighting Continues Around Tripoli Reuters | 03/25/2020 The U.N.-backed Government of National Accord has launched an operation against Libyan National Army fighters, loyal to eastern commander Khalifa Haftar, at an airport outside of Tripoli following heavy shelling of the capital, reports Reuters. On Wednesday, GNA forces began an operation against LNA forces at the Al Watiya airbase. The base is a bout 80 miles (125 km) west of Tripoli and has been the site of previous clashes. The assault was a response to LNA shelling of targets around the capital on Tuesday, in which five civilians died, said a GNA source. Locals said the artillery attacks were among the worst in weeks. An LNA source said its air force had targeted the GNA forces trying to capture the base. The clashes came as Libya confirmed its first case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in a man who had recently returned from Saudi Arabia, reported the Libyan Express. The U.N. has called for a global cease-fire during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nigeria—Another Alpha Jet Returned To Service The Nation | 03/25/2020 The Nigerian air force has returned another Alpha Jet to service following a depot maintenance period, reports the Nation (Nigeria). The aircraft was reactivated on March 21 at the 407 Air Combat Training Group in Kainji, the Nigerian air force said. In addition to maintenance, the Alpha Jet received an avionics upgrade, including improved navigation and communication systems, enhancing flight safety and reliability, said air force officials quoted by Defence Web (South Africa). The new avionics system also resolves problems in obtaining spares for the older avionics. The maintenance was conducted domestically by Nigerian air force personnel, reducing cost and providing technical experience to the personnel, the officials said. 

Chad—Nearly 100 Soldiers Killed In Ambush On Lake Chad Reuters | 03/25/2020 At least 92 Chadian soldiers have been killed in a militant attack in the Lake Chad region, reports Reuters. On Wednesday, military sources told the wire service that the death told had increased to 98. The attack took place early on Monday at a military camp in Boma on an island in Lake Chad, reported Agence France-Presse on Wednesday. Chadian, Nigerian and Nigerien troops have been working together in the region to fight Boko Haram-affiliated militant groups. Reinforcements were called but were slowed by the terrain during the seven-hour firefight, military sources said. The president said it was the first time that so many Chadian soldiers were killed in a single attack. At least 24 military vehicles were destroyed, a soldier told AFP. There were no immediate claims of responsibility. The attack bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State's West Africa Province (ISWAP), which frequently targets soldiers. ISWAP is led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi, the son of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Youssef. 

Sudan—Defense Minister Dies During Peace Talks In Juba Sudan Tribune | 03/25/2020 Sudanese Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Jamal Omer has died during peace negotiations in Juba, South Sudan, reports the Sudan Tribune (Paris). Omer died of a heart attack on Wednesday. He was in Juba for ongoing peace talks with the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) to end the conflicts in the Blue Nile, Darfur and South Kordofan states. A spokesman for the Sudanese government said that talks would be suspended for a week, reported the National (Abu Dhabi). The general was a member of the transitional government of Sudan, which has a 39-month mandate following the ouster of Omar Bashir last year. The transitional government launched peace negotiations with rebels across the country in October.

Democratic Republic of the Congo—14 Soldiers, 62 ADF Militants Killed In Fighting In East Agence France-Presse | 03/25/2020 At least 14 soldiers and 62 militants have been killed in two weeks of fighting in the northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, reports Agence France-Presse. Since March 9, soldiers have been fighting militants from the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in and around Beni, Gen. Ychalingonza Nduru said on Tuesday. Nduru is the commander of an operation that began in October to wipe out the ADF, one of the last remaining militant groups in the region, from its bases in the eastern DRC. The group, which has been linked to ISIS, has increased its attacks on civilians in response. More than 1,000 have died since October. On Tuesday, a Congolese army spokesman told the Anadolu Agency (Ankara) that 37 militants and 12 soldiers had died in four days of fierce fighting in Beni. The spokesman said the army had reduced the ADF's influence in the region by 80 percent. 

Honduras—Esper Confirms Rescue Of American Woman Wall Street Journal | 03/25/2020 U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that the U.S. military recently rescued a woman from unspecified danger in Honduras, reports the Wall Street Journal. On Monday, Esper said that the military had rescued the American woman, who had been the victim of a violent crime, from Honduras, without providing any other details. The operation was first revealed on Sunday by President Trump during a press conference about the coronavirus pandemic, reported Honduras has long suffered from widespread crime, including drug- and human-trafficking and gang violence.

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