The List 4973 TGB
I hope that your week has started well.
This day in Naval History April 16, 2019
1942 USS Tambor (SS 198) sinks the Japanese stores ship Kitami Maru 50 miles southeast of Kavieng, New Ireland.
1944 USS Gandy (DE 764) intentionally rams German submarine U 550 off Nantucket Shoals in Atlantic Ocean. USS Joyce (DE 317) and USS Peterson (DE 152) join Gandy and deploy depth charges and gunfire to sink the submarine.
1944 USS Wisconsin (BB 64) is commissioned and joins the Pacific Fleet, providing gunfire support for the Battle for Iwo Jima and the Okinawa Campaign.
1945 After three days of US naval and aerial bombardment and Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) beach reconnaissance during the Okinawa Campaign, the 77th Army Division lands on Ie Shima. Kamikaza attacks take their toll on Navy ships, sinking USS Pringle (DD-477) and damaging 10 other ships.
1947 Congress passes Army-Navy Nurses Act, giving Navy Nurse Corps members commissioned rank.
1959 Helicopters from USS Edisto (AGB-2) begin rescue operations in Montevideo, Uruguay. By April 26, they carry 277 flood victims to safety.
2011 USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12), is christened and launched at San Diego, Calif.
Thanks to CHINFO
Today's national headlines include updates on the fire that burned through Paris' historic Notre Dame Cathedral during Holy Week, and China's military drills in Taiwan seen as a threat but not intimidation by Taiwanese leadership. Stars and Stripes reports that retention rates have improved following the changes instituted by the Navy after the fatal collisions of 2017. P-8 aircraft from the U.S. and Indian navies joined USS Spruance (DDG 111) in the Indian ocean to conduct anti-submarine warfare training on Monday. "The U.S. Navy is committed to engaging with regional partners in establishing common practices and developing mutual capabilities. Spruance is proud to exercise alongside the Indian Navy," said Cmdr. Matthew Smidt. Additionally, USNI News reported on the Navy's new more expansive Offensive Missile Strategy that replaces the narrower Cruise Missile Strategy.
This day in World History
Defeated by Vitellius' troops at Bedriacum, Otho commits suicide.
Pelagius I begins his reign as Catholic Pope.
The Norman Robert Guiscard takes Bari, ending five centuries of Byzantine rule in southern Italy.
Queen Anne of England knights Isaac Newton.
Prince Charles is defeated at the Battle of Culloden, the last pitched battle fought in Britain.
The U.S. Senate ratifies the Rush-Bagot amendment to form an unarmed U.S.-Canada border.
San Salvador is destroyed by an earthquake.
Slavery is abolished in the District of Columbia.
Vladimir Lenin returns to Russia to start the Bolshevik Revolution.
Annie Oakley shoots 100 clay targets in a row, setting a woman's record.
The Island of Malta is awarded the George Cross in recognition for heroism under constant German air attack. It was the first such award given to any part of the British Commonwealth.
The destroyer USS Laffey survives horrific damage from attacks by 22 Japanese aircraft off Okinawa, earning the nickname "The Ship That Would Not Die."
American troops enter Nuremberg, Germany.
A lens which provides zoom effects is demonstrated in New York City.
The Pentagon announces the "Vietnamization" of the war.
Two giants pandas arrive in the U.S. from China.
Thanks to Al
Monday Morning Thoughts and Humor--Easter
Top Reasons to Celebrate Easter Sunday:
You absolutely loved the movie, "The Ten Commandments".
You look really, really good in yellow.
It's a good time to check out your neighborhood church and not be noticed.
You have this bunny suit you love to wear, but are too insecure to wear it without a reason.
Even though you don't know what it is, you really like the sound of hearing the "Passion story."
You figured since Jesus went to all that trouble to make it to the first Easter, you'd give it a shot.
As a Christian you celebrate the resurrection every other day, why not Easter too?
Submitted by Al Anderson:
Jeremy was born with a twisted body and a slow mind. At the age of 12, he was still in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool, and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy just irritated his teacher.
One day she called his parents and asked them to come in for a consultation. As the Forresters entered the empty classroom, Doris said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn't fair to him to be with younger children who don't have learning problems. Why, there is a five year gap between his age and that of the other students."
Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue, while her husband spoke. "Miss Miller," he said, "there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here."
Doris sat for a long time after they had left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn't fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write. Why waste any more time trying? As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. Here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared to that poor family, she thought. "Lord, please help me to be more patient with Jeremy."
From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy's noises and his blank stares. Then one day, he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. "I love you, Miss Miller," he exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to hear. The other students snickered, and Doris' face turned red.
She stammered, "Wh-why that's very nice, Jeremy. N-now please take your seat."
Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. "Now," she said to them, "I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Miss Miller," the children responded enthusiastically, all except for Jeremy.
He listened intently; his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus' death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.
That evening, Doris' kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse, and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy's parents.
The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller's desk. After they completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs.
In the first egg, Doris found a flower. "Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life," she said. "When plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here."
A small girl in the first row waved her arm. "That's my egg, Miss Miller," she called out.
The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. "We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that's new life, too."
Little Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller, that one is mine."
Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that moss, too, showed life.
Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom, "My daddy helped me," he beamed.
Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty. Surely it must be Jeremy's she thought, and of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another.
Suddenly, Jeremy spoke up. "Miss Miller, aren't you going to talk about my egg?"
Flustered, Doris replied, "But Jeremy, your egg is empty."
He looked into her eyes and said softly, "Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty, too.'
Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris asked him, "Do you know why the tomb was empty?"
"Oh, yes," Jeremy said, "Jesus was killed and put in there. Then His Father raised Him up."
The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.
Three months later, Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.
The making of these Easter cookies are a really great "hands-on" way of helping the children in your lives, to understand what Easter is all about. It is recommended that they be made Saturday night before Easter. You will need::
1c. whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
A pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 300 (This is important--don't wait till you're half done with the recipe).
Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.
So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1c. sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.
Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
Fold in broken nuts Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matt. 27:65-66.
Go to bed! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow!
On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matt. 28:1-9
Submitted by Rob Hansen:
"Equal" is not always synonymous with "the same." Men and women are created equal. But, boys and girls are not born the same.
You dress your little girl in her Easter Sunday best, and she'll look just as pretty when you finally make it to church an hour later.
You dress a boy in his Easter Sunday best, and he'll somehow find every mud puddle from your home to the church, even if you're driving there.
A friend was in front of me coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always is to shake hands. He grabbed my friend by the hand and pulled him aside.
Pastor said, "You need to join the army of the Lord!"
My friend said, "I'm already in the army of the Lord, Pastor."
Pastor questioned, "How come I don't see you except at Christmas and Easter?"
He whispered back, "I'm in the secret service."
One Easter Sunday morning as the minister was preaching the children's sermon; he reached into his bag of props and pulled out an egg. He pointed at the egg and asked the children, "What's in here?"
"I know" a little boy exclaimed..."Pantyhose!"
Wishing you a blessed and happy Easter,
Subject: Fw: Paul Allen's Stratolaunch flies world's biggest plane for the first time: 'Paul would have been proud'
Subject: Fw: Paul Allen's Stratolaunch flies world's biggest plane for the first time: 'Paul would have been proud'
Subject: Paul Allen's
Stratolaunch flies world's biggest plane for the first
time: 'Paul would have been proud'
Thanks to Paul
Ex-senator and Vietnam POW who blinked "torture" in Morse code dies
Thanks to David
25 Century Old Survival Hacks You Can Use Today
Life was a lot harder in the old days, and people had to have some survival know-how just to get by.
That's why we can learn so much about survival just by looking into the past.
I've compiled a list of 25 survival hacks that are over a century old...and are still relevant today!
>> Check out the blog post here.
~ David Adams
That's why we can learn so much about survival just by looking into the past.
I've compiled a list of 25 survival hacks that are over a century old...and are still relevant today!
>> Check out the blog post here.
~ David Adams
Thanks to Clint
Subject: Born 1925 - 1955:
And still forging ahead.
NO MATTER WHAT OUR KIDS AND THE NEW GENERATION THINK ABOUT U S WE ARE AWESOME !!!
Our Lives are LIVING PROOF !!! > To Those of Us Born 1925 - 1955: At the end of this email is a quote of the month by Jay Leno.
If you don't read anything else, Please read what he said. ~~~~~~~~~
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED THE 1930's, 40's, and
First, we survived being born to mothers who may have smoked and/or drank While they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then, after that trauma, we werep ut to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs Covered w ith bright colored Lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets, And, when we rode our bikes, We had baseball caps, Not helmets, on our heads.
As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no seat belts, no air bags, bald tires and sometimes no brakes..
Riding in the back of a pick- up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter, and bacon. We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar. And we weren't overweight. WHY? Because we were always outside playing...that's why!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day .. And, we were OKAY.
We would spend hours building Our go-carts out of scrapsand then ride them down the hill, Only to find out We forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned To Solve the problem.
We did not Have Play Stations, Nintendo and X-boxes. There were No video games, No 150 channels on cable, No video movies Or DVDs, No surround-sound or CDs, No cell phones, No personal computers, No Internet and No chat rooms. WE HAD FRIENDS And we went Outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, Broke bones and Teeth, And there were No lawsuits From those accidents.
We would get Spankings with wooden spoons, switches, ping-pong paddles, or just a bare hand, And no one would call child services to report abuse.
We ate worms, And mud pies Made from dirt, And The worms did Not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, 22 rifles for our 12th, rode horses, made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and -although we were Told it would happen- we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes Or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just Walked in and talked to them.
Little League had tryouts And not everyone Made the team. Those who didn't Had to learn To deal with Disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent Bailing us out If we broke the law was unheard of ... They actually sided with the law!
These generations have Produced some of the best risk-takers, Problem solvers, and Inventors ever.
The past 60 to 85 years Have seen an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, Failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.
If YOU are One of those born Between 1925-1955, CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the
luck to grow up as kids before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives for our own good. While you are at it, forward it to your kids, so they will know how brave and lucky their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it ? ~~~~~~~
The quote of the month by Jay Leno: "With hurricanes, tornadoes , fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"
For those that prefer to think that God is not watching over us... go ahead and delete this.. For the rest of us....you know!
Thanks to Donald and to Shadow for his answer below
Subject: Fwd: Marines "Crisis"
Many of the Marine Corps' iconic battles such as Iwo Jima and Inchon are decades in the past, and the amphibious assaults that were once the service's calling card seem to have fallen by the wayside in a world of artificial intelligence weaponry, cyberwarfare and the Pentagon's strategic focus on outer space and great-power rivals such as China and Russia.
Now, an open letter to Lt. Gen. David H. Berger, the White House's pick to become Marine Corps commandant, is fueling debate over whether the Corps is in the midst of an identity crisis that could mean tighter budgets and fewer clear missions.
While the Army and other services look to expand into cyberwarfare and other modern modes of combat, some strategists and many Marines themselves say the Corps is moving further afield from its core mission as America's expeditionary force in combat.
Thanks to Shadow for his input to my request for his take on this article
I may be the wrong one to ask… I've been perplexed for decades about the changing mission and what the future holds for our Corps.
Our heyday was always as a strike force… the tip of the spear if you will. But that has evolved over the years to where I'm not exactly sure where we fit in today?
Back in the last "Great War" (WW II)… the FEBA (Forward Edge of the Battle Area" was less than three miles off the coast. It was the stepping off point for our vaunted amphibious assaults. That held true even to Korea and the last all out amphibious landing at Inchon. From then on… things have changed and changed dramatically.
Note: I even, as a young Marine came to doubt the necessity of such campaigns. Manchester (fraud that he was) was still right when he pointed out MacArthur captured more territory (islands) with far fewer casualties than the Navy/Marines using the frontal assaults strategy. MacArthur's strategy was to bypass and starve the enemy to death with blockades of food, fuel and supplies, until they were easy pickings. There was a lot of Marine blood shed on those beaches. I've always questioned the absolute necessity?
After WW II, the FEBA was moved out to 25 miles… as even Third World nations became adept at artillery and other defenses. In today's world, I think the FEBA is now way out there due to cruise and anti-ship missiles. That's why we have exotic aircraft and landing craft that really stresses the budget and capability of the force. That's why we now have Osprey's and LCAC's. And each falls way short in designed intent. One helicopter can carry three to four times the Marines as a V-22 (no matter what the book says). There's got to be a better, cheaper and more sensible way?
When I first joined the Corps, the mantra was always "KISS"… Keep it simple stupid. Man have we gone far and away from that! A lot of the dogma was the never ending battle by politicians, the Army and the Navy in trying to rid the country of the Marine Corps all together. The Army made the push between World Wars and then the Navy joined in after WW II. One of the ways we validated our existence was by proving we were by far the best bang for the buck of all our military services. We did more for less than anyone else (of course that's why when I was a Grunt in Vietnam, my 782 gear was left over from the Big War… we didn't get the light weight web gear like the Army had until long after I left the theater). But we made do. Nowa days; the Corps is right up there with anybody in terms of modern (and outrageously expensive) equipment. Now that's good for the boots on the ground, but makes our cost numbers right up there with the big boys too. But that exposes a weakness for our "raison d'exister". And I worry about that.
Having lived in both worlds of the Corps, I've always had a schizophrenic thought process about all things Marine. In particular at odds with even close friends about aviation decisions vis a vis what was truly "needed" to support our boots on the ground. I have always been adamant that I considered it folly to have fallen for the siren song of "Stealth" and "VTOL/VSTOVL". Both concepts seemed counterintuitive to me based on my Grunt experience. For it costs a huge penalty in what we really wanted (and needed) in terms of ground support (which is really the very essence for the existence of Marine fixed wing assets). Here's what it cost us from a Grunt perspective...… Time on station (loiter time)… max ordinance (payload)… an accurate gun to keep the bad guys heads down, once the primary load has been expended until the next flight could arrive on station. And, critically important… the range to get there and stay there as long as the need existed. And I haven't even mentioned the exorbitant actual monetary costs associated with these two white elephants.
Fact… the primary reason for Marine fixed wing assets should always be "Ground Support"… first and foremost… everything else is secondary or tertiary. Everybody wants to be called a fighter pilot… but not everybody is; regardless of what we called ourselves. Think back on Vietnam… how many Marines shot down a MIG during all our years involved… off hand; only one. "Bear" Lassiter and Little John Cummings got a 21 (maybe two), flying off a Navy aircraft carrier. How about Desert Storm? None, zero, zilch. Desert Shield… nada. Go even further back to Korea… other than two or three F3D (not exactly an airplane you'd consider a "Fighter" in the purest sense) bagging a couple of night intruders… the only Marines that shot down enemy airplanes were flying Air Force Sabres. I think we had a Marine in Desert Storm flying an F-15 did get a kill? So why were we spending over 50% of our time in the F-4 community practicing ACM? Didn't make sense to me.
In my simple mind and a student of KISS… why spend all that money for the exotics, when electronic jamming might be just as effective in the CAS environment… as stealth?
When it comes to the VTOL or VSTOVL… name me one conflict we have engaged in since WW II, where there was an absolute necessity for a VTOL/VSTOVL aircraft? In every conflict, land based, conventional runways, were accessible or available either in country… or right next door… not to mention carrier based aircraft. So why waste the money on the concept? While incurring the penalty on range, ordinance load, loiter time and a gun? When you combine stealth and VTOL/VSTOVL… You've double downed on dumb!
When the Harrier came out, they'd show us movies of them landing on roads and fields… and everybody would think "How cool"! I would be thinking… how ya gonna feed it (fuel), how you gonna load it (bombs and ordinance), How ya gonna service it (support equipment)? It was and is… a fools choice. And now we have beast that has ground power needs, never encountered before in history. None of the conventional GPU's supply sufficient electrical power to service this aircraft. The truth is… you will always need a conventional airstrip or aircraft carrier to support this beast. The MMH to support these aircraft exceeds anything we've ever experienced in the past. Hell, if I recall correctly… the MMH to support Harrier exceeded the A-4 by five fold and the F-4 by three. And that's before the new exotics that require specialized needs of ground power and exotic test equipment. How are those wonderful new helmets gonna hold up in an expeditionary environment? You got stealth… how long are the coatings (ablation) and surfaces gonna hold up? We have totally gotten away from the one concept that served us best… "KISS"! Hell, I remember that in the F-4, as the planes got older and the strain of operations continued… if an item wasn't on the Minimum Essential Equipment List… Maintenance just ignored it. You don't have that luxury in the F-35… everything is integrated… one goes down, almost all goes down. I really question the logic by decision makers these days (and just so you know, the Godfather for the F-35 is a friend of mine… and it was never intended to be a stealth aircraft). What you started with was an airplane that fit our needs, that morphed into a Jack of all trades for all three services… and what we're left with is the proverbial horse, designed by committee that ends up being a camel… go figure. Just because you can do something… doesn't, mean you should.
Back to the Grunts… I have long felt that the days of the vaunted frontal, amphibious assault… has long since been over. Losses were bad enough with WW II weaponry… today it is suicidal. Instead of assaulting the beach… the beach needs to be secured first… and then the FEBA can be moved forward, in order to provide logistic support. My thought is… someone needs to come up with a new tactics and ideas as to how to get that done. I also think that the best hope for my Corps's future; is to become some kind of elite strike force in order to ensure our continued existence. Otherwise the Army will once again start to question the need for our existence.
Off the top of my head… that's my take. I could probably go on for another hour and not say all I want… but it's a start.
Tongue in cheek… Aviators deciding what Grunts need for Close Air Support… is like letting computer nerds decide what information the aircrews need to know about airliner systems.
In both cases, the "deciders" underestimate the intelligence and experience of the end user… while overestimating their own intelligence and knowledge of reality.
USA—Treasury Sanctions ISIS Financial Network U.S. Treasury Dept. | 04/16/2019 The Treasury Dept. has imposed sanctions on a node of ISIS financiers in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The measures announced on Monday target six individuals in Belgium, Iraq and Turkey and a money services business based in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, which are part of the Rawi Network, according to a departmental release. Led by Mushtaq Talib Zughayr al-Rawi, the network is a key ISIS financing hub that operates in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, noted the release. As of December 2018, Rawi was a resident of Belgium. The network was previously targeted by a joint Treasury-Defense action in October. It began under the government of Saddam Hussein as a means to evade sanctions. Also sanctioned was Halima Adan Ali, a Kenyan woman who has facilitated financial transactions for the group in East Africa. The sanctions block all assets and interests of those named in the United States and generally prohibits Americans from engaging in transactions with them.
USA—Air Force Deploys F-35s To Middle East For 1st Time U.S. Air Forces Central | 04/16/2019 The U.S. Air Force has deployed its advanced F-35A fighter jet to the Middle East for the first time, reports the U.S. Air Force Central Command (AFCENT). F-35s from the active 388th and the reserve 419th Fighter Wings from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, arrived at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates on Monday. The stealthy jets were previously deployed to the RAF Lakenheath in the U.K. and the U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility. The sensor fusion and survivability provided by the F-35 will enhance security and stability in the region and deter aggression, said Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, the head of AFCENT.
USA—Boeing To Modernize Weapon Systems For B-1, B-52 Bombers U.S. Department Of Defense | 04/16/2019 The U.S. Air Force has awarded Boeing a contract to modernize and sustain the weapon systems on the B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress bombers, reports the Dept. of Defense. The $14.3 billion indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity deal covers the modification, modernization, engineering, sustainment and testing of the B-1 and B-52 weapon systems, said a Pentagon release on April 12. The flexible acquisition and sustainment award will support planned modernization and sustainment work to increase lethality, enhance survivability, improve supportability and increase responsiveness, the release said. Work is expected to be completed by April 11, 2029.
Canada—RFP For Fighter Replacement Program Anticipated In May Canadian Broadcasting Corporation | 04/16/2019 The Canadian government is expected to formally launch a competition to replace its aging CF-18 fighter jets next month after years of political setbacks, reports CBC News. A request for proposals is scheduled to be issued by the end of May. Bidders will have until the end of the year to submit their proposals, industry sources told CBC. The competitors include the Saab Gripen E; Airbus Eurofighter Typhoon; Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet; and Lockheed Martin F-35. The program was first kicked off by the Conservative government in 2010. This effort was unsuccessful amid a dispute about how the F-35 was selected and ongoing technical problems with the jet at the time. During the 2015 election campaign, the Liberals, who came to power, pledged not to buy the F-35. The program has been stalled since. A final decision will be made after elections this fall, noted the CBC.
Russia—Meeting In The Works Between Putin, Kim Yonhap | 04/16/2019 Russia is preparing for a summit between President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun told reporters on Monday that Russian officials had confirmed that work was underway for a potential meeting between the two leaders. Some have speculated that a meeting could take place in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok next week ahead of an international forum in Beijing from April 26-29. The Tass news agency (Moscow) first reported on a potential meeting in March. Kim may be seeking to boost ties with China and Russia as part of efforts to circumvent international sanctions that are hindering North Korea's economy, analysts said. Pyongyang has been frustrated with a lack of progress in obtaining sanctions relief in talks with the U.S. over its nuclear program.
Russia—Air Force Receives 2 Upgraded Bombers Tass | 04/16/2019 The Russian air force has taken delivery of two upgraded Tupolev Tu-95MS bombers, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow). On Monday, Beriev announced that the bombers had flown to their airfields on April 11 and April 13, respectively. The modernization included a new control system and hardpoints for Kh-101 cruise missiles as well as a service life extension, said the company. The Kh-101 proved effective in the Russian campaign in Syria in support of the Assad regime, noted the news agency.
Taiwan—Sustainment Package Sought For F-16s Stationed At Luke AFB Defense Security Cooperation Agency | 04/16/2019 The U.S. State Dept. has approved the renewal of a pilot training and F-16 sustainment program for Taiwan, reports the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The proposed US$500 million Foreign Military Sale would extend an existing training and maintenance program at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., including flight training; participation in approved training exercises; inert training munitions; spare and repair parts; support equipment; program management; personnel training and training equipment; fuel and related services; engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and sustainment support. The potential sale would support the foreign policy of the U.S. by improving the security of a key regional ally, said the DSCA. The training program allows Taiwan to develop mission-ready and experienced pilots through a capstone program to enhance tactical proficiency, the agency said. The prime contractors of the potential sale would be URS Federal Services and L3. This approval is separate from Taiwan's plans to purchase new F-16V fighter jets, which were announced in March, noted CNN.
Japan—Coast Guard Set To Receive New 6,000-Ton Patrol Vessels This Year NHK | 04/16/2019 The Japanese coast guard is scheduled to receive three new large patrol vessels later this year, reports NHK, Japan's public broadcaster. The 6,000-ton vessels are currently under construction at a shipyard in Shimonoseki and are scheduled for delivery this fiscal year. The vessel can accommodate two helicopters and is equipped with a desalinator to supply the crew with freshwater on long missions. The Shunko (PLH-42), the first in the class, has been configured to respond to emergencies and is armed with larger automatic guns and two more water cannons than previous patrol ships of this type, officials said. The coast guard routinely deploys its patrol vessels in response to Chinese ships that enter Japanese territorial waters around the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
China—U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Makes 1st Visit To Hong Kong In Nearly 2 Decades Stars And Stripes | 04/16/2019 A U.S. Coast Guard cutter is visiting China following a contentious passage through the Taiwan Strait late last month, reports the Stars and Stripes. On Sunday, the Bertholf arrived in Hong Kong harbor for a port visit, said a service release. The Bertholf is the first cutter to visit China in 17 years, the Coast Guard said. The service did not say how long the Bertholf would stay in the city. The move comes two weeks after the cutter sailed through the Taiwan Strait with the guided-missile destroyer Curtis Wilbur. Beijing protested the passage, urging the United States to respect the "One China" principle in which China claims sovereignty over Taiwan.
Pakistan—Police Officer, 5 Militants Killed In Peshawar Standoff Dawn | 04/16/2019 At least five suspected militants and a police officer have been killed in a standoff in Peshawar in northern Pakistan, reports the Dawn(Karachi). Police launched an operation on Monday after receiving a tip that as many as seven alleged terrorists were operating out of a building in the city's Hayatabad neighborhood. The militants opened fire, sparking a 17-hour standoff, said a police spokesman. Security forces broke the impasse by knocking down one of the building's walls. Parts of the house and a bicycle inside were booby-trapped, said a police spokesman. One police officer and a soldier were also injured, reported Geo News (Karachi). There were no indications as to which militant group the men might have belonged.
Yemen—Houthis Agree To Plan To Withdraw From Hodeidah Arab News | 04/16/2019 The Yemeni government and Houthi rebels have agreed on a plan to redeploy their forces from Hodeidah, reports the Arab News (Saudi Arabia). Officials met in Sanaa last week to discuss the redeployment, which was first agreed to under the December cease-fire deal. "Both parties have now accepted a detailed redeployment plan" for the first stage of the pullback agreement, U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on Monday. A timeline for the redeployment was not disclosed. A two-stage pullback plan was introduced in February. The first step called for the withdrawal of Houthi rebels from the city and ports. The second stage would see local forces deployed to those areas. Houthi rebels refused to pull back from Hodeidah, citing concerns that forces linked to the Saudi-led coalition would move in and seize the facilities. Hodeidah is the main port through which humanitarian aid enters Yemen.
Sudan—14 Killed In Clashes In Darfur IDP Camp Agence France-Presse | 04/16/2019 At least 14 people have been killed in fighting in a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in southern Sudan, reports Agence France-Presse. Violence erupted in the Kalma camp on Saturday, the largest camp in the region, reported the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA). The camp has many weapons and groups, including elements of the Sudan Liberation Army-Abdul Wahid group, said Hashim Khalid, the acting governor of South Darfur state. The governor provided no details on which groups were involved in the clashes or their cause. The government has limited influence in and access to the camp, reported Xinhua, China's state-run news agency.
Somalia—ISIS Leader Killed In Airstrike In Puntland Voice Of America News | 04/16/2019 A top Islamic State leader has been killed in a military operation in northeastern Somalia, reports the Voice of America News. Abdihakim Dhuqub, the deputy leader of ISIS in Somalia, was killed in an airstrike on Sunday between the villages of Hol Anod and Hiriro in the semi-autonomous Puntland region, a local official told the news site. The strike hit a vehicle carrying Dhuqub and another militant, the official said. The 4 x 4 vehicle was hit by several missiles about 2 miles (3 km) outside of the village Xiriiro, said witnesses cited by Reuters. Helicopters then hovered over the site. Dhuqub helped create the first cell of al-Ittihad al-Islamiya, an ideological predecessor to Al-Shabaab, and later defected to the Islamic State in 2015. Officials have not said who carried out the airstrike. Analysts downplayed the importance of the strike, noting that ISIS is only believed to have 150-200 fighters in Somalia and has not conducted a major attack since coming into existence.
Nigeria—4 Bandits Killed In Air Attack On Logistics Base News Agency Of Nigeria | 04/16/2019 The Nigerian air force says it has killed four bandits during an operation in the northwestern Zamfara state, reports the News Agency of Nigeria. On Sunday, an Mi-35 helicopter supported by an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft conducted airstrikes against a bandit logistics base in the Kagara forest, said an air force spokesman. Four bandits were killed after firing at the helicopter, sources said. Local sources confirmed that the base had been destroyed and four bandits killed, the spokesman said. Troops received intelligence that the bandits had relocated logistics equipment, including fuel, motorcycles and supplies to make arms to the forest following earlier airstrikes in the region, the spokesman said. Separately, the Nigerian army, in coordination with Cameroonian forces, attacked a Boko Haram position on April 13 near the Nigeria-Cameroon border, reported the Premium Times (Abuja). At least 27 militants were killed in the operation. Troops recovered heavy arms, ammunition and gun trucks, a military spokesperson said on Monday.
Venezuela—Lima Group Calls On U.N. To Act In Venezuela Mercopress | 04/16/2019 The Lima Group has called on the United Nations to take action to prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Venezuela, reports MercoPress (Uruguay). On Monday, the 14-nation group issued a collective statement following a meeting in Santiago, the Chilean capital. The group urged the U.N. to take action to preserve peace and security and provide humanitarian aid. It also called for foreign security and intelligence services to leave Venezuela, reported Reuters. Russian advisers arrived in Caracas in March. Cuban intelligence operatives are also known to operate in the country. The statement coincided with Canada's announcement of sanctions against 41 individuals from the government of President Nicolas Maduro, whom the Lima Group does not recognize as the legitimate president. Ottawa previously sanctioned 70 other members of the Maduro government. The group was formed in 2017 to find a solution to the increasingly dire situation in Venezuela. More than 3 million people have fled the country amid hyperinflation, food and medicine shortages due to an economic collapse.