Thursday, March 5, 2020

The List 5230

The List Authors - Editors

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The List 5230 TGB

To All,

A bit of history and some tidbits, This Sunday 8 March Daylight Savings Time begins again.



This day in Naval History

March 4

1825—The schooner Grampus, commanded by Lt. Francis H. Gregory, captures a pirate sloop off the southern coast of Puerto Rico.

1862—The wooden side-wheel steamship USS Santiago de Cuba, commanded by Cmdr. Daniel B. Ridgely, reports the capture of sloop O.K. off Cedar Keys, FL.

1925—Congress authorizes the restoration of frigate USS Constitution, which had launched in 1797. In July 1931, amid a 21-gun salute, Constitution is recommissioned and sails on a tour of 90 U.S. ports along three coasts.

1945—USS Baya (SS 318) sinks merchant tanker Palembang Maru off Cape Varella, French Indochina, and USS Tilefish (SS 307) and sinks Japanese fishing vessel ShikoMaru.

1963—US Navy C-130 Hercules aircraft complete a 12-day rescue operation of a critically-ill Danish seaman from a Danish freighter off the coast of Antarctic.

1991—Iraq releases 10 Desert Storm prisoners of war (six Americans, three of whom were designated MIA), including Navy Lt. Jeffrey Zaun, Lt. Robert Wetzel, and Lt. Lawrence Slade.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:
Leading national news headlines today are reports that a series of tornados in Alabama yesterday has killed at least 23 people, as first responders continue to search for the missing. Five thousand people gathered in Charleston, S.C. for the commissioning of the Navy’s newest littoral combat ship USS Charleston. “This ship was made to defend America. Take care of her, so you in turn can take care of all of us,” said Adm. James Foggo III to the crew of the newly commissioned Charleston. The United States and South Korea announced the cancelation of the Key Resolve, Foal Eagle and Ulchi-Freedom military exercises reports Stars and Stripes. Additionally, the Navy issued a draft RFP on Friday for its planned class of 20 next generation guided-missile frigates reports USNI News.

This Day in World History

1152 Frederick Barbarossa is chosen as emperor and unites the two factions, which emerged in Germany after the death of Henry V.

1461 Henry VI is deposed and the Duke of York is proclaimed King Edward IV.

1634 Samuel Cole opens the first tavern in Boston, Massachusetts.

1766 The British Parliament repeals the Stamp Act, the cause of bitter and violent opposition in the colonies

1789 The first Congress of the United States meets in New York and declares that the Constitution is in effect.

1791 Vermont is admitted as the 14th state. It is the first addition to the original 13 colonies.

1793 George Washington is inaugurated as President for the second time.

1797 Vice-President John Adams, elected President on December 7, to replace George Washington, is sworn in.

1801 Thomas Jefferson becomes the first President to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C.

1813 The Russians fighting against Napoleon reach Berlin. The French garrison evacuates the city without a fight.

1861 The Confederate States of America adopt the "Stars and Bars" flag.

1877 The Russian Imperial Ballet stages the first performance of "Swan Lake" in Moscow.

1901 William McKinley is inaugurated president for the second time. Theodore Roosevelt is inaugurated as vice president.

1904 Russian troops begin to retreat toward the Manchurian border as 100,000 Japanese advance in Korea.

1908 The New York board of education bans the act of whipping students in school.

1912 The French council of war unanimously votes a mandatory three-year military service.

1914 Doctor Fillatre of Paris, France successfully separates Siamese twins.

1921 Warren G. Harding is sworn in as America's 29th President.

1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt is inaugurated to his first term as president in Washington, D.C.

1944 Berlin is bombed by the American forces for the first time.

1952 North Korea accuses the United nations of using germ warfare.

1963 Six people get the death sentence in Paris plotting to kill President Charles de Gaulle.

1970 Fifty-seven people are killed as the French submarine Eurydice sinks in the Mediterranean Sea.

1975 Queen Elizabeth II knights Charlie Chaplin.

1987 President Reagan takes full responsibility for the Iran-Contra affair in a national address.


* Bill Bennett’s The American Patriot’s Daily Almanac


Storm winds of tyranny blew across Texas in early 1836. In those days the region was a part of Mexico, where General Santa Anna had seized power and made himself dictator. Texans weren’t willing to submit to his rule, so Santa Anna marched north with an army.

In San Antonio a small band gathered to make their stand at the Alamo, an old Spanish mission turned into a fort. They were tough characters, men who had settled a wild frontier. With them was the famous Davy Crockett from Tennessee.

The Mexican army arrived and demanded the Alamo’s surrender. The Texans answered with a cannon shot. Santa Anna ordered a red flag raised, a signal meaning “We will take no prisoners.”

Colonel William Travis, commander of the Alamo, dispatched messengers bearing appeals for reinforcements. “Our flag still waves proudly from the walls,” he wrote. “I shall never surrender nor retreat . . . Victory or death!”

Only 32 men made their way through the enemy lines to join the Texans at the Alamo. That brought the number of defenders to about 189. The Mexican army, meanwhile, swelled to perhaps 5,000.

Legend says that Travis called his men together, drew a line in the dust with his sword, and announced that those who wanted to stay and fight should step over the line. Every man but one crossed over.

The attack came early the next morning, on March 6, 1836. For a while, the Texans managed to hold the Mexican army back, but soon Santa Anna’s soldiers swarmed over the walls. All of the Alamo’s defenders were killed.

The Texans weren’t finished. On April 21, troops commanded by Sam Houston attacked and broke Santa Anna’s army. “Remember the Alamo!” was their battle cry—a cry that still reminds Americans of unyielding courage and sacrifice for freedom.


Military Milestones from Dueling Ironclads to Flying Tigers by W. Thomas

Smith Jr.

This Week in American Military History

Mar. 8, 1965: The lead elements of 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines begin coming

ashore at Da Nang, South Vietnam. Within hours, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines

will arrive aboard transport aircraft at the nearby airbase. The Marines of

3/9 and 1/3 – both part of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade – are the

first of America’s ground-combat forces destined for offensive operations

against the enemy in Southeast Asia, once again putting teeth in the Marine

Corps’ claim that it is “first to fight.”

Mar. 9, 1847: Thousands of American soldiers and a company-sized force of

Marines (though referred to as a battalion) under the overall command of

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott and “Home Squadron” Commodore David E.

Conner begin landing at Collado Beach, Mexico, just south of Vera Cruz.

In what will prove to be “a model” for future amphibious operations, the

landings are unprecedented: The largest American amphibious operation to

date, conducted in less than five hours without a single loss of life.

A portion of Conner’s dispatch to the Secretary of the Navy reads:

“Gen. Scott has now with him upwards of 11,000 men. At his request, I

permitted the Marines of the squadron, under Capt. [Alvin] Edson, to join

him, as a part of the 3rd Regiment of artillery. The general-in-chief

landed this morning, and the army put itself in motion at an early hour, to

form its lines around the city. There has been some distant firing of shot

and shells from the town and castle upon the troops as they advanced, but

without result.”

Though the landings are bloodless, grim fighting will continue in the

Mexican-American War.

Mar. 9, 1862: In day-two of the now-famous Battle of Hampton Roads

(Virginia), the Confederate Navy’s ironclad warship, CSS Virginia (built

from the remains of the previously scuttled frigate USS Merrimack) and her

Union rival, the also-ironclad USS Monitor, begin exchanging shots in one

of history’s first clashes of ironclads.

The battle ends in a draw with both vessels inflicting marginal damage on

one another before breaking off the fight: Technically it is a tactical

victory for Virginia because she has inflicted greater damage on the

blockading ships than they on her (Virginia had attacked and destroyed the

Union Navy’s wooden warships USS Congress and USS Cumberland the previous

day before the arrival of the Monitor). But it may also be seen as a

strategic victory for the Union because Virginia fails to break the

blockade. The battle however will not be remembered for which side might

have carried the day – though that is still being debated – but rather the

lessons learned in this particular clash which greatly contributed to the

ongoing revolution in Naval tactics and ship-design and construction.

Mar. 10, 1783: The Duc De Lauzun, a Continental Navy transport-vessel

(laden with Spanish silver currency), and her escort, the frigate Alliance

(the first of two so-named American warships), are spotted by three Royal

Navy ships – HMS Sybil, HMS Alarm, and HMS Tobago –off Cape Canaveral,

Florida. Sybil pursues the two American vessels, fires on the slow-moving

Duc De Lauzun, then is aggressively engaged by Alliance. In less than one

hour, the badly damaged Sybil disengages and flees, ending the last Naval

battle of the American Revolution.

Alliance is commanded by Capt. (future commodore) John Barry, who – as we

said Feb. 4 – is considered in some circles to be “the Father of the

American Navy,” though some would argue that title belongs to Capt. John

Paul Jones.

Mar. 11, 1862: President Abraham Lincoln – frustrated over Union Army Gen.

George B. McClellan’s unwillingness to attack the Confederate Army –

relieves McClellan of his post as general-in-chief of the U.S. Army, but

keeps him on as commanding general of the Army of the Potomac. McClellan –

who will lose his command after failing to destroy Confederate Gen. Robert

E. Lee’s wounded army following the Battle of Antietam – becomes the second

well-known casualty in Lincoln’s series of firing, hiring, and firing

generals until the Union Army (like the already well-commanded Confederate

Army) is led by some of the most able generals in American military history.

Mar. 11, 1943: “The Flying Tigers” – the famous volunteer group of

American fighter pilots contracted to the Chinese Air Force during World

War II and ultimately brought under U.S. Army Air Forces command as the

China Air Task Force – is absorbed into the 14th Air Force. Commanded by Gen. Claire L. Chennault, “the Flying Tigers” were so-named because of the tiger-shark faces painted on the noses of their P-40 fighters. Today, according to the U.S. Air Force, airmen of the 14th Air Force are “the day-to-day operators of Air Force Space Command's space forces.” And the centerpiece of the 14th Air Force emblem is a tiger with wings.

There is a P-40 out front of the Headquarters up at Vandenberg AFB-- Skip


Thanks to Brown Bear

Freedom Days, 4-6 March 1973, Coming Home

Semper Fi, Marine Colonel Orson Swindle!

Once again, WELCOME HOME!!! Later that month, when, with the Grace of Almighty God, the last flight of you Guys came out of Hanoi, the USS Constellation was in-port Subic Bay, P.I. There was a big celebration, and my VF-92 squadron was honored to make the Missing Man flyby. This photo by the local news isn't very good anymore, but it did get national distribution at that time. My #3 guy, LT "Olie" Olson did the pitch up honors from his position on my left wing. Believe LT's Tennyson and Godley were the other two pilots. Too many losses before that memorable day, and so much water under the bow since; but, again with the Grace of God, we survivors are all allowed some fantastic memories. You're certainly among those!

Very Respectfully,

Dick Schaffert aka Brown Bear

Sent from my iPad

On Mar 4, 2019, at 11:42 AM, f8flyer <> wrote:


An older H-Gram with information on battles in early 1944

Thanks to the Naval History and Heritage Command

H-Gram 026: Operations Flintlock, Catchpole, and Hailstone

In his latest H-Gram, NHHC Director Sam Cox provides a detailed account of three U.S. Navy operations conducted in the Marshall and Caroline Islands during World War II. Operation Flintlock (the invasion of Kwajalein Atoll) began Jan. 31, 1944. Three hundred U.S. Navy ships provided support to U.S. Marine and Army troops as they simultaneously invaded both ends of Kwajalein Atoll. The next two operations were conducted simultaneously beginning Feb. 17, 1944: Operation Catchpole (the invasion of Eniwetok Atoll), which was successful even though supported by a leaner naval force; and Operation Hailstone (a carrier raid on the Japanese-held Truk Island, in the Caroline Islands), where aircraft from nine carriers of Task Force 58 destroyed 33 Japanese vessels and damaged nine. To learn more, read H-Gram 026 at NHHC’s Director’s Corner.


Thanks to Carl

SAVE this link for reference: EWG’s Skin Deep - Notice it is not just cosmetics but most products you put on your skin to include mouthwash and toothpaste.

Cosmetics Are a Menace — But You Have Options

by Dr. Joseph Mercola March 04, 2020


The beauty industry was worth $532 billion in 2019, yet the FDA has no way to police the dangerous chemicals absorbed through your skin

Industry trade groups say their voluntary initiatives protect the consumer, but self-regulation is not working

Congress has taken specific aim at personal care products to give the FDA teeth in the regulatory process, but lobbyists have thwarted efforts each time

Lipstick may be a barometer of cosmetic safety as it is the least expensive and most popular cosmetic; testing reveals it contains chemicals banned in the EU

You can protect your family by reporting adverse events to the FDA and seeking healthier alternatives using the EWG's Skin Deep database

Business Insider1 reports that the beauty industry reached a value of $532 billion in 2019 and is projected to rapidly rise in the coming years. Cosmetics and personal care products are benefiting from social media, targeted pricing and companies that are aiming at sustainable alternatives demanded by consumers.

In other words, it’s big business. Women have been using products to alter or enhance their appearance since at least the times of ancient Egypt.2 Despite continued growth in the industry, it’s important to note that just because you can buy it at the store, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to use.

In fact, the Environmental Working Group (EWG)3 says that legislation passed in the 1930s marked the last time federal supervision regulating personal care products was updated,4 “before most of the synthetic chemicals in use today were even invented.”

In addition to this well-known lack of oversight, the Food and Drug Administration allows products to be sold without basic safety testing of the ingredients.5 To investigate the extent of the problem, the EWG database was used to study how many personal care products and cosmetics may contain Teflon or other forms of the perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFASs).

The product survey by EWG scientists6 revealed there were 13 different types of PFAS chemicals found in nearly 200 products across 28 brands of makeup, shampoo, sunscreen and shaving cream. However, the most common was Teflon, which showed up in 66 products involving 15 brands. It has become more than apparent that self-regulation isn’t working.


Two Medal of Honor recipients thanks to NHHC

On March 3, 1945, during the Battle for Iwo Jima, Pharmacist’s Mate Second Class George Edward Wahlen, despite injuries that left him in agonizing pain, remained on the battlefield to aid his fighting comrades. At one point, he spotted a fallen Marine, advanced forward of the front lines, and then carried him back to safety despite heavy enemy fire. When an adjacent platoon suffered heavy casualties, he heroically ignored the continuous pounding of heavy mortars and treated 14 causalities before returning to his platoon. After being wounded again and not being able to walk, he crawled 50 yards to administer first aid to another fallen fighter. Wahlen’s extraordinary self-sacrifice was a constant inspiration to the men of his company during the fight. On Oct. 5, 1945, President Harry S. Truman presented Wahlen with the Medal of Honor. After World War II, Wahlen earned a commission in the U.S. Army, serving in combat during the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

On March 3, 1945, during the Battle for Iwo Jima, Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Jack Williams moved forward of the front lines under heavy enemy small arms fire to assist a Marine wounded during a fierce hand grenade battle. After reaching the Marine, Williams dragged him to a shallow depression, used his own body as a shield, and administered first aid. While rendering aid, he was struck by enemy fire in the abdomen and three times in the groin. Momentarily stunned, Williams continued to render aid. Unaware of his own urgent need for medical attention, Williams remained in the fire-swept area to care for another Marine casualty. Bleeding profusely and in agonizing pain, Williams made his way to the rear. On his way back, a sniper bullet hit Williams, causing him to collapse. He succumbed to his injuries later that day. Williams received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his extraordinary heroism. USS Jack Williams honored the World War II hero.


From the List archives

Thanks to Carl

Concorde at 50: How supersonic passenger jet with 1,350mph top speed and iconic nose-cone made the world a smaller place... before devastating air-crash that killed 113 chimed its death knell

Graphic reveals technical marvel of Concordes including their pointed nose which drooped during take-off. The first Concorde prototype took off from Toulouse in the south of France on 50 years ago on March 2, 1969 . Aircraft had a cruising velocity of twice the speed of sound allowing it to cover one mile in just 2.75 seconds . In July 2000 Air France Concorde crashed shortly after take off and killed 113 people including four on ground


Daily news from around the world from Military Periscope for 4 March

USA—DARPA Launch Challenge Fails To Get Off Ground Space News | 03/04/2020 The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Launch Challenge has ended without a winner after the last competitor canceled its launch at the last minute, reports Space News. On Monday, Astra attempted to launch its Rocket 3.0 vehicle at the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska in Kodiak, reported Spaceflight Now. The launch was halted 53 seconds before launch by an issue with the guidance, navigation and control (GNC) systems. Astra was unable to resolve the issue before the launch window closed and was forced to scrub the mission. Monday was the last day Astra could have launched its rocket to win the first phase of the DARPA competition and receive the $2 million prize. The second phase of the challenge called for a second launch within two weeks. If successful, the company would have received a prize of up to $10 million. Astra officials said that it was still investigating the root cause of the problem. The issue was expected to be resolved within a week or two. The company's first launch is now expected to be with a commercial customer, the officials said. The DARPA Launch Challenge, established in 2018, sought to find companies able to provide rapid access to space, potentially offering launch services within days of receiving a request, reported C4ISRNet. It required the participants to launch a rocket into space on short notice without early knowledge of the payload or destination orbit.

USA—Pentagon Looks For Gaps In Hypersonic Industrial Base Defense News | 03/04/2020 The U.S. Dept. of Defense has kicked off a study to identify weak spots in the industrial base for hypersonic weapons, reports Defense News. On Monday, Mark Lewis, the director of research and engineering for modernization at the Pentagon, told reporters that he and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition Kevin Fahey were leading a deep dive into the hypersonic industrial base to identify "critical nodes" in the supply chain. The department wants to establish the state of industry and whether it is in position to meet the military's production goals for offensive and defensive hypersonic capabilities. A series of departmental reviews over the last two years have raised concerns about the U.S. defense industrial base, particularly in the areas of high-end materials and design knowledge for missiles. Lewis also emphasized the importance of developing and building up the workforce in areas key to hypersonic technologies. An initial report is expected to be completed within a few months. The study is expected to be an ongoing effort as the Pentagon's hypersonic programs mature, said Lewis.

USA—Trump Administration Formally Nominates Candidates For Several Pentagon Posts Defense News | 03/04/2020 The Trump administration has officially nominated its candidates for several empty positions at the Dept. of Defense, reports Defense News. On Monday, Kenneth Braithwaite, the current ambassador to Norway, was nominated as the next Navy secretary. In November, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper proposed Braithwaite for the job. Victor Mercado was nominated as assistant secretary of defense for strategy plans and capabilities to replace James Anderson. Anderson is expected to be nominated for the deputy undersecretary of defense for policy post. He has served in the assistant secretary role since August 2018 but has been performing as the deputy undersecretary for policy since David Trachtenberg retired in July. The administration has been making a push to fill empty jobs at the Pentagon. In the last week, Matt Donovan was nominated as undersecretary for personnel and readiness, and William Jordan Gillis as assistant secretary of defense for sustainment. It has also indicated that it will propose Kathryn Wheelbarger as deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security. Separately, Esper announced that Gen. Charles Brown Jr., the commander of Pacific Air Forces, had been nominated to succeed Gen. David Goldfein as Air Force chief of staff, reported Air Force magazine. Gen. Brown would be the first African American to serve as chief of staff of any of the military branches.

Spain—Government Approves Extradition Of Former Venezuelan Intel Chief To U.S. BBC News | 03/04/2020 The Spanish government has approved the extradition of a former Venezuelan military intelligence chief to the United States, reports BBC News. On Tuesday, Madrid approved the extradition of Hugo Carvajal, who faces charges of drugs and weapons-trafficking in Florida and New York. He is believed to have coordinated a 12,350 pound (5,600 kg) shipment of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico in 2006. If convicted, Carvajal could face from 10 years to life in jail. He could also be a valuable intelligence asset if turned. He has publicly denounced President Nicolas Maduro. Carvajal was stripped of his rank after backing opposition leader Juan Guaido. He then fled Venezuela to Spain. A Spanish court ruled in favor his extradition in November but the former intelligence chief disappeared before he could be apprehended.

Russia—Putin To Host Erdogan In Moscow As Idlib Crisis Worsens Tass | 03/04/2020 Russian President Vladimir Putin will host his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an effort to find a political solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow). Kremlin officials said the meeting would be held in Moscow on Thursday. Ankara hopes to reach a peaceful political solution during the talks, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told Turkey's Anadolu Agency. Until then, Turkey will continue with its military operations, said the minister. Erdogan told the Turkish NTV television channel that he expected a cease-fire to be declared following the meetings. Turkish officials want an agreement that would allow Ankara to set up areas in which it could settle millions of refugees in northwestern Syria, reported Bloomberg News. Such an area would likely need to remain under Turkish observation or control, a position likely unacceptable to Damascus, which has vowed to retake every inch of territory from rebels. The region is one of the last in Syria still under rebel control. A renewed government offensive that began late last year has sent tens of thousands of refugees to the border with Turkey, which already hosts more than 3 million Syrians.

Tajikistan—Mastermind Behind 2018 Cyclist Attack Dies In Prison Asia-Plus | 03/04/2020 The alleged mastermind behind a deadly attack on cyclists in Tajikistan in July 2018 has died in jail, reports Asia-Plus (Dushanbe). Hussein Abdusamadov died while serving a life sentence for his role in the attack, Mansourjon Umarov, the head of the Main Penitentiary Directorate of the Ministry of Justice, said on Tuesday. Umarov said that the prisoner's death was not the result of torture. Forensic examiners are investigating the cause of death, he said. Abdusamadov's mother told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that she suspected foul play by authorities. Officials said he became sick on Sunday and quickly succumbed, she said. Authorities told her that he died of kidney failure. Abdusamadov was the sole survivor of an alleged five-person terror cell blamed for the July 2018 attack, which killed four people and injured two. He was convicted of murder in November 2018. The men are believed to have filmed a video claiming the attack in the name of ISIS.

China—Computer Security Firm Accuses CIA Of Offensive Hacking Op Reuters | 03/04/2020 A Chinese cybersecurity firm has accused the CIA of an 11-year hacking campaign against Chinese targets, reports Reuters. On Monday, anti-virus firm Qihoo 360 said it had discovered a campaign to penetrate Chinese aviation, energy, research, internet and government targets. A particular focus was the civil aviation industry, according to a company blog post cited by ZD Net. The breach was discovered by comparing samples of malicious software against tools revealed by Wikileaks in 2017. The creation times of the software indicated that they were produced during working hours on the U.S. east coast, said Qihoo 360.

South Korea—7 Injured In Live-Fire Accident On Patrol Boat Yonhap | 03/04/2020 An accidental grenade explosion during a live-fire drill has injured seven South Korean sailors, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). Tuesday's blast took place on an unidentified Chamsuri-class patrol boat participating in an exercise in the waters near Geoje island off the southern coast of South Korea. Two sailors sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries, while five others received light wounds, the navy said. The service halted all firing drills and launched an investigation into the incident.

Malaysia—Light Helos To Start Arriving Later This Year Free Malaysia Today | 03/04/2020 The head of the Malaysian army says that deliveries of light attack helicopters ordered in 2016 will begin later this year, reports the Free Malaysia Today. Gen. Ahmad Hasbullah Mohd Nawawi told reporters earlier this month that a team of Malaysian technical experts was already in the U.S. to inspect the MD 530G helicopters, verify their performance and perform flight certifications. Malaysia ordered six MD 530Gs in 2016 for US$76.4 million, noted Defense News. The first helicopter is due for delivery by the end of the year, with the balance to be handed over throughout 2021. The aircraft were originally scheduled to be delivered in 2017 and 2018, but that date was pushed back several times due to unspecified technical and other issues. The army plans to base the helicopters in the eastern Sabah state to defend against terrorist and other threats from the southern Philippines.

Vietnam—Japan Agrees To Transfer Shipbuilding Tech VN Express | 03/04/2020 Japan has agreed to transfer technology for military shipbuilding to Vietnam, reports the VNExpress. On Monday, Gen. Koji Yamazaki, the head of the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) Joint Staff, and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Defense Phan Van Giang met in Hanoi to discuss bilateral ties. During the meeting, the parties agreed to boost cooperation in several areas, including shipbuilding technology and increasing visits by Japanese ground forces to Vietnam. Japan also agreed to provide training in diving medicine and rescue as well as supply medical and rescue equipment to the Vietnamese navy. The nature of the shipbuilding technology to be transferred was not disclosed.

Afghanistan—U.S. Conducts 1st Airstrike On Taliban Fighters In 11 Days TOLONews | 03/04/2020 For the first time since a reduction in violence agreement was implemented in Afghanistan, U.S. aircraft have attacked Taliban fighters in the southern Helmand province, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan). On Wednesday, the U.S. struck Taliban fighters who were attacking an Afghan military checkpoint in Nahr-e-Saraj, said a spokesman for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. The operation was defensive in nature, said the spokesman. U.S. forces would continue to defend its partners "when required," he said. The reduction in violence agreement was finalized on Feb. 22. On Feb. 29, the U.S. signed an agreement with the Taliban designed to end U.S. involvement in the war, covering the withdrawal of most foreign troops in exchange for counterterrorism guarantees and the start of an intra-Afghan dialogue. Afghan officials say they are not bound by a prisoner exchange included in the deal. Taliban fighters have since resumed attacks on Afghan security personnel.

Israel—Fleet Of Aerial Tankers Sought From U.S. U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency | 03/04/2020 The U.S. State Dept. has approved the potential sale of KC-46 tanker aircraft to Israel, reports the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The potential US$2.4 billion sale covers eight tankers, as well as 17 PW4062 turbofan engines (one spare); 18 MAGR 2K-GPS SAASM receivers (two spares); AN/ARC-210 U/VHF radios; APX-119 identification-friend-or-foe transponders; and other spare parts and technical assistance. The possible sale would allow Israel to provide a redundant capability to U.S. assets in region, freeing up U.S. tankers in case of a conflict, the agency said.

Egypt—Former Special Operations Officer Turned Terrorist Executed Middle East Eye | 03/04/2020 Egypt has executed a former army officer who defected to Al-Qaida, reports the Middle East Eye (London). Hisham al-Ashmawy was executed by hanging on Wednesday, the army said. A Cairo court sentenced him to death on Monday, reported Agence France-Presse. Local media previously reported that the former special operations officer had been killed. These reports were denied by officials. Ashmawy was forced to retire in 2012 after officials discovered his extremist views. He went on to join Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in the Sinai Desert but left when the group pledged loyalty to ISIS. He was accused of high-profile attacks, including an assassination attempt on a former interior minister in 2013 and the killing of the prosecutor-general in 2015. Ashmawy was captured by eastern Libyan forces under Khalifa Haftar in Derna in October 2018 and then extradited to Egypt, reported the Egypt Independent. He was accused of involvement in 17 terrorist operations that killed dozens of soldiers and police officers.

Djibouti—Donated U.S. Patrol Boats Delivered Defence Web | 03/04/2020 The U.S. has donated four patrol boats to the Djiboutian navy, reports Defence Web (South Africa). The Defender patrol boats arrived in Djibouti in late February in two batches. The 27-foot (8-m) boat has a crew of two and can carry up to 10 people. The Defender is also in service with the U.S. Coast Guard and Dept. of Homeland Security, as well as Benin, Liberia and Togo. The donation is part of a train-and-equip partnership between the U.S. State Dept. and Djibouti. Djibouti has taken delivery of a variety of naval patrol boats over the past several years, including two Defiant-class patrol boats from the U.S. in 2013 and two 66-foot (20-m) patrol boats donated by Japan in 2015.

Niger—Predator Drone Goes Down Near Agadez Military Times | 03/04/2020 A U.S. military drone has crashed near its airbase in central Niger, reports the Military Times. The MQ-1 Predator went down on Saturday near Agadez, where the joint Nigerien Air Base 201 is located, U.S. Africa Command told the newspaper on Monday. The initial assessment was that it suffered a mechanical failure, a command spokeswoman said. There was no evidence that hostile action was involved, she said.

Cameroon—Military Denies Allegations Of Human-Rights Violations In Anglophone Regions Radio France Internationale | 03/04/2020 The Cameroonian military has defended its operations in its western Anglophone regions following recent allegations of human-rights violations, reports Radio France International. Cameroonian troops operate professionally and within the bounds of the law, an army spokesman told the news service. The spokesman also accused unspecified foreign non-governmental organizations of supporting Anglophone secessionists. Both soldiers and separatists have been accused of numerous violations in the conflict, which began in 2017. Several reports have documented violations including the summary execution of civilians by both parties as well as collective punishment of villages suspected of supporting the separatists by the military. Soldiers are also accused of paying hush money to the families of civilians killed in fighting and using taxis for transportation during operations.

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