Monday, March 9, 2020

The List 5235

The List 5235 TGB

To All,

I hope that you all had a good weekend



Today in Naval History

March 9


An Army-Navy force begins the siege of Veracruz, Mexico. Approximately 12,000 U.S. troops land on the beaches, along with their horses, mules, artillery, and supplies. Veracruz surrenders March 29, and the forces make their way to Mexico City.


In the first battle between ironclads, USS Monitor and CSS Virginia engage in close combat in Hampton Roads, Va. Neither side could claim victory, but it eventually ends the era of wooden ships.


The first flight from a battleship platform is made by Lt. Cmdr. Edward O. McDonnell in a Sopwith Camel from turret No. 2 of USS Texas (BB 35) while anchored at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


USS Lapon (SS 260), while pursuing a Japanese convoy in the South China Sea, sank two freighters and survived a counterattack by Japanese gunboat.


USS Samuel N. Moore (DD 747) and HMS Morecambe Bay silence enemy shore batteries firing at USS Merganser (AMS-26) near Songjin, Korea.


USS Cowpens (CG 63) is commissioned in Charleston, S.C. The 17th of her 27-ship Ticonderoga-class of guided-missile cruisers, Cowpens.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• Multiple outlets report that a sailor in Naples and a Marine in Virginia have been tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first diagnosed cases within the Navy and Marine Corps.

• Multiple outlets covered the commissioning of USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, which was attended by the ship’s namesake, the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient from the Battle of Iwo Jima.

• In its second weapons test in a week, North Korea launched several missiles off its east coast on Monday, multiple outlets report.

Today in History: March 9

1617 The Treaty of Stolbovo ends the occupation of Northern Russia by Swedish troops.

1734 The Russians take Danzig (Gdansk) in Poland.

1788 Connecticut becomes the 5th state.

1796 Napoleon Bonaparte marries Josephine de Beauharnais in Paris, France.

1812 Swedish Pomerania is seized by Napoleon.

1820 Congress passes the Land Act, paving the way for westward expansion.

1839 The French Academy of Science announces the Daguerreotype photo process.

1841 The rebel slaves who seized a Spanish slave ship, the Amistad, in 1839 are freed by the Supreme Court despite Spanish demands for extradition.

1862 The first and last battle between the ironclads U.S.S. Monitor and C.S.S. Virginia ends in a draw.

1864 General Ulysses Grant is appointed commander-in-chief of the Union forces.

1911 The funding for five new battleships is added to the British military defense budget.

1915 The Germans take Grodno on the Eastern Front.

1916 Mexican bandit Pancho Villa leads 1,500 horsemen on a raid of Columbus, N.M. killing 17 U.S. soldiers and citizens.

1932 Eamon De Valera is elected president of the Irish Free State and pledges to abolish all loyalty to the British Crown.

1936 The German press warns that all Jews who vote in the upcoming elections will be arrested.

1939 Czech President Emil Hacha ousts pro-German Joseph Tiso as the Premier of Slovakia in order to preserve Czech unity.

1940 Britain frees captured Italian coal ships on the eve of German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop's visit to Rome.

1956 British authorities arrest and deport Archbishop Makarios from Cyprus. He is accused of supporting terrorists.

1957 Egyptian leader Nasser bars U.N. plans to share the tolls for the use of the Suez Canal.

1959 The Barbie doll is unveiled at a toy fair in New York City.

1964 The first Ford Mustang rolls off the Ford assembly line.

1967 Svetlana Alliluyeva, Josef Stalin's daughter defects to the United States.

1968 General William Westmoreland asks for 206,000 more troops in Vietnam.

1975 Iraq launches an offensive against the rebellious Kurds.

1986 Navy divers find the crew compartment of the space shuttle Challenger along with the remains of the astronauts.


More discussion on the weekend exchange of opinion.

thanks to Shadow


In response to Micro, I’d like to make a couple of points. First, I’m not a believer in most rumors... I know the famous Fonda taking a message from a POW and turning it over the North Vietnamese is bogus... got it first hand from a POW friend. However, I also don’t dismiss something out of hand... that may or may not be true.

Now Micro rightly points out that there is no irrefutable proof this happened since it doesn’t show up anywhere in the ten episode series... no quarrel with that; but I’m sure Micro has heard of “editing”. I met Arnett years ago in El Salvador and he is/was a known left wing operative, posing as a journalist. Hell, his wife was an VC/NVA spy (they both acknowledged this after the war). He contends that there is only the good General’s statement that has not been corroborated by anyone, anywhere. Therefore, the inference he makes is that the General was lying and/or... made the whole thing up. Kinda reminds me of the MSM contention that the Biden’s did no wrong in Ukraine... “Fake news they claim”! Or, who ya gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?

I’d also like to point out that “The Bear” was not looking for anything connected to the General’s claim, but was doing research on other things involving Rolling Thunder. In other words, The Bear had no agenda... it just struck him as interesting. The Bear is not a rumor monger; just passing on an interesting anecdote he’d discovered.

Now I’d like to disagree with a couple of inferences/assertions... slant by Micro. If it was true, surely it would have appeared in the film! I disagree... first, from a communist/leftist viewpoint, such an assertion would actually seem to denigrate and demean the heroic efforts of the NVA gun crews. Instead of being quick reacting, steely eyed marksmen and the “People’s Heroes”... knowing where and when the Yankee Air Pirates were gonna attack... puts them in the light of being practitioners of the art of the ambush. A difference without a distinction... except for perception. Doesn’t fit the legend.

On the other hand; neither Rusk, Arnett or his lefty producers, would ever want such a statement to see the light of day... in the documentary or in print! If it happened as the General said, you can bet your ass as soon as they were alone, Rusk would be hammering Arnett... “You can’t use that... I made a mistake... I should never have said it”! For Rusk, it was a CYA appeal. For the others... it didn’t fit the narrative of how ruthless and heartless we Americans were. After all, we (Americans) were killing hundreds of thousands of poor innocents with our indiscriminate bombing campaign. “If” it were divulged that American politicians and Foggy Bottom marplots, were giving the NVA targets and times beforehand... once again, it paints a different picture than the propaganda machine was spinning. Now our diplomats would make it seem it was a humanitarian gesture... while those of our persuasion would view it as another example of intellectual masturbation that caused many of our brethren to die needlessly... betrayed by a bunch of phony, so called intellectuals.

Don’t know if Micro ever considered this... but in light of all the insane and stupid shit stuff they had us doing all those years instead of fighting a small war we could easily have won... nothing is beyond one’s imagination, that isn’t conceivable or plausible where the politicians (in and out of uniform) and State Department narcissists are concerned. Now he may be right in asserting it didn’t happen... but in my mind, I wouldn't put anything past the conniving bastards. Deceit and denial is their favorite tactic. Videos are made to seem the opposite of what really happened... wordsmiths paint a picture of denial and excuse... and I didn’t have sex with that women... depends on what is, is.

So in conclusion... give The Bear a break... he was just passing along an interesting anecdote... he wasn’t advocating anything. Was the General stating fact? I don’t know? But at least he seems to have believed it since he was willing to put it in print... and I don’t recall ever hearing of Arnett denying it?

I tend to believe that old axiom... sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Considering all the lies that were told, all the insane ROE’s and stupid targets and tactics that came out of the Pentagon and Congress and the White House... I could believe just about anything vis a vis these schemers and scammers operating out of the D.C. area. They are not above virtually any malfeasance.

Micro, considering the evidence... it’s kinda like the lawyer’s tactic of demanding one disprove, the unprovable.

Keeping my options open... Thanks for sharing Bear...



Bear, et al:

I apologize for having seemed to be "lecturing" or with a "holier than thou" attitude. Neither was intended.

My only point is that GEN Piotrowski's assertion, upon which so many inaccurate opinions are based, is not correct. He could not have remembered seeing the Arnett show interview he quotes in his book because it did not happen. That has not been allowed to stand unchallenged, thus any assumed accuracy is misplaced.

To pursue that point, it turns out that the entire series that he claimed to have watched, The Ten Thousand Day War, is now available on DVD. I have just ordered it and will watch the 26 half-hour episodes. Bear, if you’ll send me your address, I’ll send you the set so you can do the same.

Here’s the link:



OK, Guys, stop putting words in my mouth.

I have never claimed that Rusk, Johnson, McNamara, or anyone else did anything good related to how the Vietnam War was prosecuted. I’ve stated the opposite, in fact. They were all stupid and got lots of people killed and captured that shouldn’t have been.

I have not implied or stated that “if it wasn’t in the film, it didn’t happen” when referring to the “statement” by Rusk that our government told our enemy in advance of specific targets so they wouldn’t get hurt. All I’ve said is that anyone that states that they know that our government did such things and based that knowledge on GEN Piotrowski’s book is wrong. Rusk did not state any such thing. It does not occur in the documentary, and the only person in the history of the world that has claimed that they actually saw that statement in such an interview between Rusk and Arnett is Piotrowski. To repeat: no one else has ever claimed to have witnessed such an interview. I have not claimed that such an interview took place and then denied that it could be edited out. I have no idea what was edited out. Piotrowski didn’t claim it was said and then edited out. He said he watched it on television, and I’m saying that he could not have watched something on television that didn’t take place. The series was first broadcast in Canada on CBC then sold into the U.S. and rebroadcast here. It is likely that Piotrowski saw it on U.S. television rather than Canadian television; therefore, there was plenty of time for anything that needed editing out to be removed before he saw it.

I do not claim that Piotrowski lied or “made it up” for some nefarious cause. He was mistaken. I don’t know why. There is simply no record of any such broadcast.

I have never claimed that politicians don’t spin things or even lie outright for any number of purposes. No one has claimed that any politician lied about giving our enemies information about our strikes. Nor have I ever claimed that no one ever DID give our enemies such information. I’ve simply said that there is no evidence of that happening. I’ve further said that I don’t believe it happened, and I have seen no reason to change that belief.

My response on The List was not the first time that Bear and I have disagreed on this matter. Thus, the depth of my response in “public” may have seemed overdone given the portion of his commentary that was on The List. I have asked several times for Bear to please give me what evidence he has that anyone at the Cabinet level of our government told our enemy in advance of our strikes, thus saving enemy lives while costing lives of our own. I asked for that because we had discussed several times his beliefs based, as far as I have been able to determine, solely on Piotrowski’s claim. I have merely tried to show that Piotrowski was wrong; however, the claim that our targets were known in advance, as noted on many forums, message boards, and email chains, hit such a nerve (rightly so, if true) that it has become gospel to many. Given that those claims originated with Piotrowski’s book, it is important for all of us to understand that there is no actual basis for that belief since Piotrowski was demonstrably wrong.

Unfortunately, once that belief has been planted firmly in anyone’s mind, other snippets of information (such as a quote from a Cabinet meeting that says we want to ensure collateral damage is minimized, as has happened in every air war in our history) can be interpreted to corroborate the claim; however, without that original, false belief, those snippets are completely disconnected and do not corroborate any such thing. It is very difficult for someone that has faith that the truth has been revealed to dismiss those snippets of information for what they actually are rather than “evidence” of the (erroneous) “truth.”

I fervently hope that we have never had senior government officials that have intentionally put our military’s lives at stake. If such a thing happened, we should not stay silent about it and let it fester while we quietly grow ever more cynical about our government. If it happened, it should be brought into the open, proved, and prosecuted. It is most certainly worthy of a death sentence, not just for a long-gone Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense or President, but all those staff and senior military that knew about it and were silently party to it. It is reprehensible, and it must never be allowed to happen without the most severe consequences.

On the other hand, if it did not happen, then we should revise our views so we can have a clearer vision to more accurately interpret what really did happen.

I have not asked anyone to disprove the unprovable. I have asked for evidence of what someone claims did happen. If you believe it, you must have a reason, and I hope the reason for such a belief is more than, “Well, it could have happened because these were nasty politicians with questionable motives.”




Apology appreciated...

Thanks for the offer of the DVD “The Ten Thousand Day War.” Not interested. l watched the Rusk clip(ped) in Episode 6 that starts at about 1:10. At about 4:45 targeting is discussed. Rusk’s comment is short, and in the words of a respected reviewer, “doesn’t make sense.” I concur, and agree with the conclusion that Rusk’s “original admission about revealing target information to the North Vietnamese was excised.” See for yourself. I have completed my homework on the Piotrowski assertion and will continue my search for additional confirmation on Rusk’s bad behavior in other quarters.

Micro, you and I will never see eye-to-eye on this subject since my personal experience in 1967 has been confirmed to my satisfaction in dozens of historical records. Rusk was a leaker. Further conversation between us on this subject is unnecessary. I am moving on...

All the best ... Bear🇺🇸⚓️🐻


Thanks to Al

Monday Morning Humor and Thoughts--Staying Healthy

Submitted by Jon Cook:

Just a warning: This week is starting by changing the clocks, has a full moon, and ends with Friday the 13th. Good luck people.

Personally, I believe that the media is fanning the flames concerning the coronavirus. The (non-coronavirus) flu deaths in the U.S. averages approximately 40,000 a year. Yes the coronavirus is a concern but so is the flu. Practice good hygiene and stay well. I believe in finding a little humor in most issues…here are couple…

Coronavirus tip: Wash your hands like you got a club stamp you don’t want Mom to see.

On the late show, they had a skit offering comedic alternatives to shaking hands. View at

Submitted by Mark Logan:

If you need a face mask but can’t find any, try this…

Cheerfulness is contagious but don't wait to catch it from others...Be a carrier.

Now for some good news…

Submitted by Mike Ryan:

Here are 20 good news stories that you might not be aware of. Funny that these don’t make the evening news.

Very important to know—There is no correlation between coronavirus and Corona beer.

Stay healthy and have a good week,



Thanks to Bill

Wacky Definitions


A cook that leaves Arbys to work at McDonalds


The act of torching a mortgage.


What a crook sees through


What a bullfighter tries to do


Workers who put together kitchen cabinets


What the bank robbers did when their bag

was full of money.


What a man in a boat does


What you see from the Eiffel Tower


Two physicians


A helper on a farm


What trees do in the spring


What you do to relax your wife


What the owner of a seafood store does


Brought litigation against a government official


News from around the world thanks to Military Periscope for 9 March

USA—Navy Kicks Off Biennial ICEX In Arctic Navy Newsstand | 03/09/2020 The U.S. Navy’s biennial Ice Exercise (ICEX) is officially underway in the Arctic Ocean, reports the Navy NewsStand. On March 4, ICEX commenced with the arrival of the submarines Connecticut and Toledo and the construction of a temporary ice camp, Camp Seadragon, on an ice flow in the Arctic Ocean. The three-week exercise is designed to increase the ability of U.S. and allied navies to operate in the Arctic and maintain regional stability. The Arctic Submarine Laboratory in San Diego organizes the exercise, which this year involves five nations and more than 100 participants, The Navy has worked to increase its Arctic capabilities in recent years as the retreat of sea ice caused by climate change has made the region increasingly accessible. In 2018, a Navy aircraft carrier operated above the Arctic Circle for the first time in approximately 20 years when USS Harry S. Truman operated in the region during an exercise, noted Defense News.

USA—Steel Cut For Flight III Arleigh Burke-Class Destroyer Brunswick Times Record | 03/09/2020 Bath Iron Works in Maine has launched construction of its first Arleigh Burke-class destroyer in the latest configuration, reports the Times Record (Brunswick, Maine). On March 3, Bath Iron Works cut the first steel plate for the Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG-126). The warship is the first Flight III Arleigh Burke-class destroyer to be built by Bath Iron Works, reported the Navy NewsStand. The latest configuration incorporates a number of improvements, including the new SPY-6 radar and additional power generation capacity. The Navy awarded Bath a contract for the DDG-126 and DDG-127, including funding for the Flight III radar design upgrade for DDG-126. DDG-127 is being built in the Flight IIA configuration amid concerns that the cost of design modifications would have to be borne by the shipyard.

USA—Marine Prioritize Anti-Ship Missile Capability Defense News | 03/09/2020 The Marine Corps has designated a mobile ground-launched anti-ship missile capability to be its highest modernization priority, reports Defense News. The new capabilities would provide an anti-ship capability from land as part of an integrated naval anti-surface concept, the service said in written testimony to the seapower subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The capability would help the Marines deny adversaries the use of key maritime terrain, the document says. Two anti-ship missile projects are currently underway: the Navy Marine Expeditionary Ship Interdiction System (NMESIS) and the acquisition of ground-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles. NMESIS pairs the Remotely Operated Ground Unit for Expeditionary Fires (ROGUE-Fires) uncrewed ground vehicle with the Naval Strike Missile (NSM). ROGUE-Fires is an uncrewed variant of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) fitted with the missile pod from the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). A test launch of the system is expected in June, reported the Marine Corps Times. The service has also requested 48 Tomahawk cruise missiles to provide a long-range anti-ship capability, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger told lawmakers on Thursday.

USA—New Envoy Appointed To Address Sahel Region Reuters | 03/09/2020 The U.S. has created a special envoy post to address the worsening situation in Africa's central Sahel region, reports Reuters. Peter Pham took up the position last week, the State Dept. said on Friday. Pham had been serving as special envoy for the Great Lakes Region since November 2018. He previously worked as the director of the Atlantic Council's Africa Center. The announcement comes as the Defense Dept. reviews its worldwide force commitments, stoking fears of a U.S. withdrawal amid a growing jihadist insurgency.

United Kingdom—Agreement Reached With Washington To Reduce Huawei’s Role In Telecom Infrastructure Defense One | 03/09/2020 The U.S. and U.K. have reached an agreement on further limiting Chinese telecom firm Huawei’s access to telecommunications infrastructure, reports Defense One. U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper met with British Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace on Thursday in Washington, D.C. Esper said U.S. officials want to work with the U.K. on ways to exclude “untrusted vendor components for 5G networks” in the U.K. and elsewhere. The U.S. has been working to convince its allies to keep Huawei out of their telecommunications infrastructure, especially 5G networks currently under development. Washington is concerned about the company’s links to the Chinese Communist Party. London previously announced restrictions limiting, but not eliminating, Huawei’s role in the country’s telecom infrastructure. It is not clear if the agreement would increase those restrictions.

United Kingdom—Navy Orders Experimental Large UUV U.K. Ministry Of Defense | 03/09/2020 The Royal Navy has awarded a contract to Plymouth-based MSubs to build an extra-large uncrewed underwater vehicle (XLUUV) for testing, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense. The contract has an initial value of 1 million pounds (US$1.3 million), which covers the integration of autonomous control systems in a crewed submersible for initial trials. The XLUUV will be approximately 30-ft (9-m) long and have a range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,560 km). It will be used to evaluate the use of XLUUVs for surveillance, reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare operations. Should these trials prove successful, up to 1.5 million pounds (US$1.9 million) in additional funding may be awarded to further test the capability.

United Kingdom—Navy Orders Experimental Large UUV U.K. Ministry Of Defense | 03/09/2020 The Royal Navy has awarded a contract to Plymouth-based MSubs to build an extra-large uncrewed underwater vehicle (XLUUV) for testing, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense. The contract has an initial value of 1 million pounds (US$1.3 million), which covers the integration of autonomous control systems in a crewed submersible for initial trials. The XLUUV will be approximately 30-ft (9-m) long and have a range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,560 km). It will be used to evaluate the use of XLUUVs for surveillance, reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare operations. Should these trials prove successful, up to 1.5 million pounds (US$1.9 million) in additional funding may be awarded to further test the capability.

Spain—U.S. Wants To Send 2 More Destroyers To Rota Defense News | 03/09/2020 U.S. Navy officials have expressed support for increasing the number of destroyers forward-deployed to Rota, Spain, reports Defense News. On Thursday, Adm. Michael Gilday, the chief of naval operations, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he supported sending two more Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to Spain in response to a request from European Command. The Navy initially deployed four destroyers to Rota in 2014 to provide ballistic missile defense to Europe. The warships have been used for a variety of missions, including cruise missile strikes against Syria, naval gun fire support in Libya and patrols in the Black Sea. EUCOM has been requesting the additional destroyers for several years. Gilday’s support suggests that the increase is likely to take place. The additional destroyers would increase the Navy’s sensor coverage of Europe and its command-and-control capabilities in the region. All the necessary infrastructure to support the vessels is already in place, and the Spanish government supports the move, said Gilday. The first four destroyers deployed to Spain are scheduled to rotate back to the U.S. for dry docking and maintenance later this year.

Italy—Lockdown Imposed In North Due To Coronavirus Outbreak Reuters | 03/09/2020 Italy has imposed a massive lockdown in its northern regions to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, reports Reuters. On Sunday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed measures limiting movement into and out of Lombardy, Italy’s richest region, and 14 neighboring provinces. Exceptions will be made for work- and health-related travel. The exceptions affect an estimated 17 million people, reported the Wall Street Journal. Italy is home to the world's third-largest coronavirus outbreak and has struggled to deal with the challenge. Over the weekend, the number of confirmed cases exceeded 7,375, with 366 deaths confirmed. At least six people were killed in a series of prison revolts across Italy following the imposition of emergency measures to control the spread of the virus in correctional facilities.

Turkey—Erdogan Says S-400 Systems To Begin Ops Next Month Yeni Safak | 03/09/2020 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that the Turkish military will activate recently acquired Russian air defense systems in April, reports the Yeni Safak (Istanbul). The final components of the S-400 will be delivered next month, at which time the systems will be activated, Erdogan told the newspaper. At the same time, Erdogan said that Turkey could still procure Patriot air defense systems from the U.S., reported the Ahval News. Erdogan has repeatedly rejected proposals from U.S. officials to keep the Russian system offline. Washington ejected Ankara from the F-35 stealth fighter program after Turkey signed a contract for the Russian weapons. Last week, U.S. envoy for Syria James Jeffrey said that the acquisition had undermined attempts to form a unified American position on supporting Turkey in Idlib, where Turkish troops and allied rebels are battling Syrian regime forces and their Russian backers, reported Reuters.

Norway—Russian Aircraft Flying Farther South Over Norwegian Sea Independent Barents Observer | 03/09/2020 Russian maritime patrol aircraft have been flying farther south than usual during reconnaissance missions over the Norwegian Sea, reports the Independent Barents Observer. On Saturday, two Russian Tu-142 reconnaissance aircraft and a MiG-31 interceptor were detected by an air control station in Sorreisa in northern Norway, said military officials. The Norwegian air force scrambled two F-16 fighter jets from Bodo air station, which were later reinforced by F-35 fighters from Orland further south. This marked the first time that a Norwegian F-35 had been used to monitor such Russian aircraft. Further south, six Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled after the Russian aircraft were reported off the northwestern coast of Scotland, reported BBC News. British officials described the interception as routine. Both the British and Norwegian aircraft are part of NATO's Quick Reaction Alert (QRA). Russian aircraft have been reported further south than usual in the Greenland-Iceland-U.K. gap as preparations are underway for NATO's Exercise Cold Response in Norway.

North Korea—Kim Oversees Another Rocket Test-Firing Yonhap | 03/09/2020 North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has supervised the latest in a series of rocket launches into the Sea of Japan as part of scheduled winter training, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). On Monday, three missiles were fired from Sondok, South Hamgyong province, northeastward into the sea, said the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff. The projectiles flew about 125 miles (200 km), reaching a maximum altitude of 30 km (50 km). The projectiles bore similarities to three short-range ballistic missiles that were test-fired on March 2, said the JCS. Several other rockets from "multiple types" of rocket launchers were also fired, officials said. The tests are part of an ongoing winter exercises that are expected to continue through the end of the month. North Korea has test-fired its super-large multiple rocket launcher at least five times, including the most recent launch.

Indonesia—Upgraded F-16 Flies For 1st Time Asian Military Review | 03/09/2020 The first Indonesian air force F-16A/B fighter jet to receive a mid-life upgrade has taken flight, reports Asian Military Review. On Feb. 18, the F-16 took off from the Iswahyudi Air Force Base in Madiun in the East Java province. The fighter had undergone Lockheed’s Falcon Structural Augmentation Roadmap (STAR) enhanced mid-life upgrade (eMLU). Work was carried out by PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) and included modernizing avionics and weapon systems as well as installing structural reinforcements. The Falcon STAR eMLU is expected to increase the service life of the aircraft from 4,000 to 8,000 flight hours, reported Flight Global. Plans call for 10 Indonesia F-16A/B Block 15 aircraft to complete the upgrade Indonesia also operates 23 F-16C/D jets that completed a US$670 million modernization in 2017.

Yemen—Saudis Claim To Foil Attack On Tanker In Gulf Of Aden Defence Web | 03/09/2020 Saudi Arabia says it has prevented an attack on an oil tanker off the coast of Yemen, reports Defence Web (South Africa). On March 3, three vessels approached the crude oil tanker about 90 nautical miles (170 km) southeast of the Yemeni port of Nishtun, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen said. At least one of those vessels may have been an uncrewed waterborne improvised explosive device, said coalition officials. Ship positioning data at the time indicated that the Saudi-flagged MT Gladiolus was in the vicinity, the website said. The coalition did not provide any information on how it foiled the attack or if the tanker was damaged. The coalition could be exaggerating the attack for political effect, or it might not have occurred, experts said.

Syria—Senior IRGC Commander Dies In Syria Radio Farda | 03/09/2020 A top Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander has been killed in Syria, reports Radio Farda. Farhad Dabirian was killed on Friday in the Sayyida Zeinab neighborhood outside Damascus, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (U.K.). Dabirian was a mayor of the central city of Palmyra (Tadmur) and a Shi'ite shrine called Zaynabiya, near Damascus, reported the semi-official Fars news agency (Tehran). Other details, including the circumstances of his death and his rank, were unclear. Multiple accounts of his death used the term assassination. It was unclear if Dabirian was a member of the regular IRGC or Quds Force, which is responsible for operations outside of Iran. Dabirian was believed to have been close to Lebanese Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Somalia—AFRICOM Identifies Terrorist Killed In February Airstrike Military Times | 03/09/2020 U.S. airstrikes last month killed a terrorist suspected of involvement in a deadly attack on U.S. personnel in Kenya, reports the Military Times. Bashir Mohamed Mahamoud, also known as Bashir Qoorgaab, was killed in a Feb. 22 airstrike near Saakow in southern Somalia, U.S. Africa Command said on Sunday. The military had previously announced the strike but had not confirmed the target. Mahmoud was a member of Al-Shabaab for more than a decade and is believed to have played a role in in the Manda Bay attack in January. A U.S. soldier and two U.S. military contractors were killed in that attack.

Sudan—Prime Minister Survives Assassination Attempt Sudan News Agency | 03/09/2020 Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdouk has survived an attack on his convoy in Khartoum, reports the state-run Sudan News Agency (SUNA). On Monday, an explosion targeted the prime minister's motorcade at the Kober Bridge in northern Khartoum during the morning commute, a source told the agency. Hamdouk was relocated to a "safe location," sources told Al Jazeera (Qatar). There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Hamdouk, a U.N. economist, assumed the top post in August as part of a power-sharing deal between the military and bodies representing the civilian protesters who ousted Omar Bashir in April 2019.

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