Tuesday, March 10, 2020

The List 5236

The List 5236 TGB
To All,

I hope that your week has started well.



Today in Naval History

March 10

1783 USS Alliance (CAPT John Barry) defeats HMS Sybil in final naval action of Revolution in West Indies waters

1933 Pacific Fleet provides assistance after earthquake at Long Beach, CA

1943 USS Savannah (CL 42) and USS Eberle (DD 430) intercept German blockade runner Karin in the South Atlantic. After boarding the ship, a timed explosion goes off, killing 11 of Eberle’s boarding party.

1944 USS Kete (SS 369) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks one cargo and two transport ships while dodging counterattacks.

1945 Navy and civilian nurses interned at Los Banos, Philippines flown back to U.S. Navy nurses awarded Bronze Star.

1948 First use of jets assigned to operational squadron (VF-5A) on board a carrier (Boxer)

2001 USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) is commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk. The 31st destroyer of the Arleigh Burke class is the fourth U.S. Navy warship to be named after a British citizen. Churchill has a Royal Naval officer assigned permanently to the ship and she flies the Royal Navy’s White Ensign as well as the Stars and Stripes.

2007 USS New Orleans (LPD 18) is commissioned at New Orleans, Louisiana. The second of the 12-ship San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock warships, New Orleans is homeported at Naval Base San Diego.


On March 10, 1945, Navy and civilian nurses interned in the Philippines as prisoners of war since early January 1942 returned to the United States, landing in San Francisco, CA. The nurses were working at the naval hospital in Cañacao when the war began. They were captured in Manila and had been at the Los Baños Internment Camp on Luzon since May 1943. While at the camp, they treated other internees the best they could considering dreadful conditions in a makeshift hospital. Their rescue came around 7 a.m. on Feb. 23, 1945, when U.S. Army paratroopers descended on the internment camp, which was still behind enemy lines. The nurses received the Bronze Star medal from the Army for their three years’ work as medical specialists while incarcerated. For more, read the essay by COD’s Adam Bisno at NHHC’s website.

During the Battle for Iwo Jima, Pharmacist’s Mate First Class Francis Pierce repeatedly opened himself up to enemy fire to protect Marines under his care while attached to the 4th Marine Division. On March 15, 1945, while caught in heavy enemy machine gun fire that wounded multiple Marines, Pierce quickly took charge, carried the wounded to safety, and rendered first aid. After directing the evacuation of three of the casualties, he stood in the open with his weapon blasting to draw enemy fire, enabling the litter bearers to reach cover. Turning his attention to other casualties, Pierce attempted to stop the profuse bleeding of a casualty when a Japanese soldier fired at him from less than 20 yards away, wounding his patient. Pierce proceeded to kill the enemy with the last of his ammunition. He then lifted the patient on his back and trekked 200 feet unarmed, bringing him to safety. Despite extreme exhaustion, he backtracked the same terrain and rescued another fallen Marine. The following morning, he led a combat patrol to a sniper nest and, while providing aid to a stricken Marine, was seriously wounded. Pierce received the Medal of Honor for his extraordinary valor and heroism.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• USNI News and Business Insider reported on Secretary Thomas Modly’s Future Carrier 2030 Task Force study announced Monday.

• Multiple outlets report that concerns over COVID-19 has caused the Navy to bar families from boot camp and officer candidate school graduations.

• Multiple outlets report that two Marine Raiders were killed on Sunday while advising Iraqi counterterrorism forces in a mission against Islamic State Fighters.

Today in History: March 10

0049 Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon and invades Italy. And many have crossed the Rubicon since

0241 The Roman fleet sinks 50 Carthaginian ships in the Battle of Aegusa.

0515 The building of the great Jewish temple in Jerusalem is completed.

1656 In the colony of Virginia, suffrage is extended to all free men regardless of their religion.

1776 ""Common Sense" by Thomas Paine is published.

1785 Thomas Jefferson is appointed minister to France.

1806 The Dutch in Cape Town, South Africa surrender to the British.

1814 Napoleon Bonaparte is defeated by an allied army at the Battle of Laon, France.

1848 The treaty of Guadeloupe-Hidalgo is signed which ends the United States' war with Mexico.

1876 Alexander Graham Bell makes the first telephone call to Thomas Watson saying "Watson, come here. I need you."

1893 New Mexico State University cancels its first graduation ceremony, because the only graduate was robbed and killed the night before.

1902 The Boers of South Africa score their last victory over the British, capturing British General Methuen and 200 men.

1910 Slavery is abolished in China.

1924 The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a New York state law forbidding late-night work for women.

1927 Prussia lifts its Nazi ban, Adolf Hitler is allowed to speak in public.

1933 Nevada becomes the first U.S. state to regulate drugs.

1941 Vichy France threatens to use its navy unless Britain allows food to reach France.

1943 Adolf Hitler calls Field Marshall Erwin Rommel back from Tunisia in North Africa.

1944 The Irish refuse to oust all Axis envoys and deny the accusation of spying on Allied troops.

1945 American B-29 bombers attack Tokyo, killing 100,000.

1947 The Big Four meet in Moscow to discuss the future of Germany.

1948 Author Zelda Fitzgerald (wife of F. Scott) dies in a fire at Highland Hospital.

1953North Korean gunners at Wonsan fire on the USS Missouri, the ship responds by firing 998 rounds at the enemy position.

1954 President Dwight Eisenhower calls Senator Joseph McCarthy a peril to the Republican Party.

1966 The North Vietnamese capture a Green Beret camp at Ashau Valley.

1969 James Earl Ray pleads guilty to the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King and is sentenced to 99 years in jail.

1971 The Senate approves a Constitutional amendment to lower the voting age to 18.

1975 The North Vietnamese Army attacks the South Vietnamese town of Buon Ma Thout, the offensive will end with total victory in Vietnam.

1980 Iran's leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, lends his support to the militants holding the American hostages in Tehran.

1982 The United States bans Libyan oil imports, because of the continued support of terrorism.

1987 The Vatican condemns surrogate parenting as well as test-tube and artificial insemination.


Some personal recollections of the NVN knowing we were coming

Hi Jack,

Appreciate your email. I certainly agree with your comments about SECSTATE Rusk. What a piece of political work!

Obie was indeed the greatest. One of the really good ones!

Actually, "The" Bear is Adm Taylor. I'm Brown Bear, and as you already know they don't bite. In fact, this one doesn't even have any teeth left!

A little levity in my memory: On 21 October 1967, it was my turn to pick up one of our VF-111 Crusaders, which had been repaired at Cubi Point. There were no ships in port, and the Clubs were nearly empty. I "partied hearty" as the only guy at the Cubi bar. Thoughtful waitresses made sure this rather drunk sailor got back to his room in the BOQ, but I was felling no pain the next morning when I took one of those Base Taxis down to the flight line. The Filipino driver asked me if I was going to take part in the strikes against Phuc Yen. I laughed, but asked him when that would be? He very seriously answered: "In a couple days, Sir!" Thankfully, my "overhead time" for Oriskany on Yankee was set back a few hours, and sweating it out in that hot sun did a lot for my physical well-being. Unfortunately, when I caught a wire on Oriskany about noontime, the shoulder harness restraint system on my ancient F8C failed and I tried to take out the radar scope with my head. Cracked up my almost new helmet, and wandered around with intermittent double vision for a few days. Down in Ready Three, I joked with the guys that I had the "straight word" we were going to Phuc Yen, and naturally got a big laugh. You know how fast scuttlebutt travels on a carrier, and about four that afternoon the duty officer told me to report to the Admirals War Room. I was sternly questioned how I'd found out about the Phuc Yen strikes . . . and that's where we went a couple days later. Go figure!

How did anyone ever survive any of that "crap?" As you well know, it was only with the Grace of God!

Take care, old war horses, the race ain't over yet!

Very Respectfully,

Dick Schaffert aka Brown Bear

Sent from my iPad

On Mar 9, 2020, at 12:42 PM, OMER BRACKX <brackx@cox.net> wrote:

Hi Richard/ Dick,

Not sure which name you prefer.

I read Skip Leonard's daily the list and have noted a discussion between a couple of members about the Vietnam conflict particularly the notes about Dean Rusk.

Is your call sign The Bear referred to in the recent version

I was the CATCC officer and later Assist Air Ops on Kitty Hawk 1970-72. Capt "Obie" Oberg CO CV-63.

Air Wing 11 embarked VF-213 & VF 114 F-4J; ; VA 192 & 196 A-7E; VA-52 A-6; RVAH 6 A-5 & A-3 squadronA-3 & EK_3

Clearly recall comments made after Alpha Strikes against the North during debriefs in Strike OPS and by VF & VA reps during night time recoveries while I was at the Air Ops desk.

Comments from the flight crews leads etc. " Seems they knew we were coming."

More importantly many years ago I observed a one on one TV interview between a news caster and Rusk when he was asked

the very question did you notify the Vietnamese about impending strikes and he confirmed he did to safe civilian casualties etc.

I remembered being outraged when he said that. I recalled the remarks by the flight crews on board the Hawk.

That SOB, along with McNamara and Johnson should all burn in Hell.

That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Best always ,

O.M. "Jack" Brackx Capt. USN (ret.)



With regard to the discussion re advance notice of NVN strikes, please refer to the following book:

Strategy for Defeat by Admiral U.S. Grant Sharp, USN (Ret.) Page 117.

That is the page I’ve made it to as of today about POL strikes in 1966. There may be more references beyond page 117.

Just bought it used on Amazon to read again after having read it 40 years ago. $3 plus shipping.

The book was published in 1978.

Adm. Sharp and JCS vs. Whiz Kids. Highly recommended for future warriors and future so-called Whiz Kids.

Hud’n, padre


This Day in Aviation History” brought to you by the Daedalians Airpower Blog Update. To subscribe to this weekly email, go to https://daedalians.org/airpower-blog/

March 8, 1908

In Washington, D.C., the Secretary of War approved the Wright brothers’ bid to construct a viable military aircraft within 200 days.

March 9, 1918

The first American air casualty in World War I was Capt. James E. Miller, who lost his life in a French SPAD while flying a practice patrol across the German lines. Miller, Daedalian Founder Member #1690, was honored with a Distinguished Flying Cross on June 6, 2017. Learn more HERE.

March 10, 1966

Maj. Bernard Fisher risked his life to rescue a fellow pilot shot down over the A Shau Valley in Vietnam in his Douglas A-1E Skyraider. He was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Lyndon B. Johnson during a ceremony at the White House on Jan. 19, 1967. To learn more about retired Colonel Fisher, view this VIDEO.

March 11, 1912

Secretary of the Navy George von L. Meyer authorized the expenditure of not more than $50 for developing models of a helicopter design proposed by MMC F. E. Nelson of West Virginia (Armored Cruiser No. 5). Meyer did allow for the possibility of an expanded interest in the future, stating, “The Department recognizes the value of the helicopter principle in the design of naval aircraft and is following closely the efforts of others in this direction.” Meyer, shown in the photo, served as secretary of the Navy from 1909-1913.

March 12, 1918

Capt. Phelps Collins became the first Air Service pilot killed in combat when his SPAD XII fighter crashed following a high-altitude dive over France. Collins, of Alpena, Michigan, enlisted in the French Aviation Service in May 1917 and transferred to the U.S. Air Service when America entered the war. He was assigned as a pilot to the 103rd Aero Squadron, successor to the Lafayette Escadrille, at La Noblette, France. On March 12, Collins and four other pilots were attempting to intercept enemy airplanes in the area of Paris when, for an unknown reason, Collins' SPAD VII fighter left the formation. Observers on the ground saw his plane make wide circles at about 15,000 feet, then descend and finally spin and dive into the ground. Collins' commanding officer wrote that "It will never be known whether he was shot down in combat, fought at so great an altitude that it could neither be seen nor heard, whether some vital part of his machine gave way or whether he fainted as a result of the terrific strain he had placed upon himself, flying at every possible opportunity." Investigators believed that Collins had fainted at high altitude, perhaps from lack of oxygen. He was Daedalian Founder Member #1839.

March 13, 2007

The first MQ-9 Reaper, a newer, larger and stronger version of the MQ-1 Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, arrived at Creech AFB, Nevada.

March 14, 1988

In ceremonies at Greenville, Texas, E-Systems Inc. unveiled the new MC-130H Combat Talon II special operations airlifter. The Air Force planned to use the aircraft for special operations units to infiltrate/exfiltrate troops and resupply behind enemy lines at night or in poor weather.


Thanks to Lee

Skip, I forwarded your email regarding prostrate issues to my brother. His response is below. He is nationally recognized as an expert in prostrate cancer. Among other qualifications, he ran the cancer center at Portsmouth Naval Hospital as his last job in the navy back in the 80s. He’s a straight shooter with LOTS of experience. Hope he can help. Lee Barthold

Sent from my iPad

Begin forwarded message:

From: joe barthold <bartholdjoe@gmail.com>
Date: March 9, 2020 at 8:28:05 PM EDT
Subject: Re: Cancer in Bubbas

It is complicated. Have an opinion on each of them and am able qualified and willing to help. Tell your bubbas that your brother has Cooperstown -Columbia, shields -mass general , and Plymouth -Beth Israel deaconess experience in over 3000 prostates. All started in Philadelphia and then Portsmouth naval hospital and a few dozen recitals with a couple of prostate cancers while on Nimitz! Anyway happy to help and or answer questions. Have them email me and I’ll call them

Sent from my iPad


Thanks to Mud and Walt


I don’t care much for the black background but that’s a good map. Here’s another that catalogs by country not individual cities: https://vac-lshtm.shinyapps.io/ncov_tracker/ . When you put your cursor on the dots it gives the stats.


This is an interesting chart to keep on file. It appears to be changing constantly.




News from around the world for 10 March thanks to Military Periscope

USA—Air Force Deploys Stealth Bombers To Europe U.S. European Command | 03/10/2020 U.S. B-2 Spirit bombers have deployed to Europe for theater integration and flight training, reports U.S. European Command. On Monday, a bomber task force arrived at Lajes Field, in the Portuguese Azores islands, EUCOM said. KC-10 Extenders from 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., provided aerial refueling for the transatlantic journey, said the command. The task force is composed of stealthy B-2 bombers from the 509th Bomb Wing and the 131st Bomb Wing, both based at Whiteman Air Base, Mo. EUCOM did not indicate the size or length of the deployment. The deployment will include operations from various military installations in the region, familiarization with the theater and demonstrate the U.S. commitment to allies. B-2s last deployed to Europe in August as part of a task force at RAF Fairford in the U.K., noted the Military Times.

USA—ERCA Howitzer Demonstrates Substantial Range Increase In Test Breaking Defense | 03/10/2020 The Army’s Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) howitzer has launched 155-mm projectiles more than 40 miles (65 km) during a recent test at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., reports Breaking Defense. On March 6, the XM1299 prototype zero ERCA cannon fired two shots, each with a different projectile, reported Defense News. The longer range, over twice the maximum of the latest M109A7 Paladin howitzer, was achieved through the increased length 58-caliber barrel and super-charged propellant. The trials used the new XM1113 Rocket-Assisted Projectile (RAP) being developed by General Dynamics and the Excalibur precision-guided munition. The Excalibur precisely hit its target, officials said. The Army expects to test the first developmental ramjet artillery rounds later this year. Such rounds are expected to significantly increase the range of the cannon. The service is also looking at hypervelocity projectiles developed for railguns as another way to increase the gun’s range. The Army ordered 18 XM1299s, based on the chassis of the M109A7, which are scheduled to enter service in 2023. Those Increment 1 vehicles will be followed by Increment 2 variants fitted with an autoloader, which is still under development.

USA—Navy Ends Plans To Extend Service Lives Of Destroyers Defense News | 03/10/2020 The U.S. Navy has decided to cancel plans to extend the service lives of its Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, reports Defense News. Assistant Secretary for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts said plans to extend the lives of the hulls from 35 to 45 years were not cost-effective in written testimony submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee. The Navy’s fiscal 2020 30-year shipbuilding plan called for the life extension to ensure the service could reach its goal of 355 battle fleet ships. The upgrades were aimed at 27 Flight I and Flight II destroyers, which have a hull life of 35 years. Flight IIA and later ships were built with a hull life of 40 years. Canceling the upgrade means that the first destroyer would leave service in 2026, with up to three ships per year facing retirement. All 27 destroyers would leave service by 2034 without the service life extension. A spokesman for Geurts emphasized that there were a lot of variables in achieving the 355-ship goal, and that the Navy was prioritizing the replacement of the aging Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines.

Netherlands—Initial Hearings Held In Trial Of Suspects In MH17 Airliner Shootdown Over Ukraine Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | 03/10/2020 A Dutch court has begun the trial of four individuals who are accused of participating in the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) over Ukraine in July 2014, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. On March 9, the trial of the three Russians and one Ukrainian national began. Two of the three Russians are allegedly tied to Russian military intelligence (GRU), reported BBC News. All four remain at large. The court ruled that the suspects could be tried in absentia. One of the accused has a defense team at the trial, and the court is willing to accept testimony from the four over video link. All four allegedly held senior positions in the separatist forces fighting in eastern Ukraine at the time the Boeing 777 airliner was shot down by a Buk surface-to-air missile. Prosecutors said the suspects helped arrange for the deployment of the Buk system used to shoot down the airliner, reported Reuters. The preliminary charges included the murder of 298 people and causing the aircraft to crash. The aircraft had taken off from Schipol Airport in the Netherlands and a majority of the victims were Dutch. The trial is expected to last for several months. The initial hearings are anticipated to run for two weeks.

European Union—4 Member States Push For Funding For Military Mobility Agence France-Presse | 03/10/2020 Several European Union defense ministers have formally urged the European Commission to ensure funding for military mobility in the European Union's upcoming seven-year budget, reports Agence France-Presse. Efforts to modernize the continent's military forces would be compromised if military mobility programs are not properly funded, the ministers from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania said in a letter to the commission on Tuesday. The latest budget technical document covering 2021 to 2027 proposed zero funds for the program. Through the negotiation process, the budget has been successively slashed from 6.5 billion euros (US$7.3 billion) in the initial proposal, noted EurActiv. The E.U. Commission began work in 2018 to improve infrastructure and remove legal complications to the movement of materiel and personnel across the continent. The bloc's ambition to strengthen its role in defense and security would be seriously hindered if military mobility enhancements are not adequately funded, the defense ministers said. Making it easier and faster for military equipment to move across the continent is a key issue for the countries on or near the border with Russia.

Russia—Putin Backs Move To Reset Presidential Term Limits Moscow Times | 03/10/2020 President Vladimir Putin says he supports a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow him to further extend his rule, reports the Moscow Times. On Tuesday, Putin told Parliament that he would support a proposal to reset his presidential term limits if the Constitutional Court approves it. Such a move would allow him to theoretically stay in power until 2036. His fourth term as president is due to end in 2024. Under the current constitution, Putin is required to step down at the conclusion of this term. Lawmakers approved the proposed amendment shortly after Putin concluded his remarks. A second reading was slated for Tuesday, with a third and final reading expected as soon as this week. The proposal was made by Valentina Tereshkova, a member of Putin's United Russia party. Russian citizens are scheduled to vote on the proposed constitutional reforms on April 22, once the changes have been approved by both houses of Parliament. Speculation has been growing that Putin would seek to extend his time in office since he proposed sweeping changes to the office of the presidency in January.

Japan—Updated Soryu-Class Sub Enters Service Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force | 03/10/2020 The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has commissioned into service its first Soryu-class submarine equipped with new lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. On March 5, the Ouryu was commissioned during a ceremony at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shipyard in Kobe, the service said. The Ouryu is the 11th boat in the class and the first fitted with Li-ion batteries, which will improve endurance and speed while submerged, reported Defense News. The 12th and final Soryu-class sub, the Toryu, will also feature Li-ion batteries. The new batteries replace the Stirling-cycle engines that recharge standard lead-acid batteries, which power the previous subs in the class. The Li-ion batteries are expected to require less maintenance and have a longer overall lifespan than lead-acid batteries as well as having a shorter charging time. Development work on the battery technology began in 2002, with testing beginning in 2006. The upgrade was expensive, with the Oury costing US$608 million to build compared to US$488 million for the earlier subs. The Ouryu is being assigned to the 1st Submarine Flotilla in Kure.

Indonesia—Soldier Killed In Rebel Ambush In Papua Agence France-Presse | 03/10/2020 An Indonesian soldier has died following a shootout with rebels in the eastern Papua region, reports Agence France-Presse. On Sunday, rebels ambushed a military office in the Jila district, the military said in a statement. The area is near the Grasberg gold and copper mine. A bullet ricocheted and struck the officer, who later died in the hospital, an army spokesman said. A spokesman for the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) claimed responsibility for the attack. More than 1,500 people have fled the area for the nearby city of Timika in recent days ahead of a promised escalation, regional police said. Indonesia's Papua regions have been home to a low-scale insurgency since the 1960s, when Jakarta took control of the region in a vote widely viewed as rigged. The rebels have frequently targeted mines, which are criticized for their environmental impact and their lack of benefit to the local community.

Afghanistan—Presidential Rivals Inaugurated In Separate Ceremonies In Kabul BBC News | 03/10/2020 Following contested elections, Ashraf Ghani and his political opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, have each taken the presidential oath of office in separate ceremonies in the capital, Kabul, reports BBC News. On Monday, incumbent Ashraf Ghani took the oath of office at the presidential palace. Foreign diplomats, including U.S. Special Envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalizad, attended the ceremony. Meanwhile, Abdullah held his swearing-in ceremony at the nearby Sapedar Palace, where he had worked as chief executive in the past. The ceremony went ahead despite assurances given to Khalilzad that Abdullah was prepared to cancel the event. In February, the election committee declared Ghani to be the winner of the September vote by a narrow margin. Abdullah has challenged the result, alleging fraud and various technical issues. Both ceremonies were interrupted by explosions. Two rockets reportedly hit the edge of the presidential compound, reported Reuters. There were no injuries in the attack, a presidential spokesman said, as cited by the Guardian (U.K). The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

Iraq—U.S. Marine Raiders Die In Joint Anti-ISIS Op Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve | 03/10/2020 Combined Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve says two U.S. servicemembers have been killed during anti-ISIS operations in Iraq. On March 8, the troops were accompanying Iraqi security forces in an advise and assist role during an operation in a mountainous area of north central Iraq against an Islamic State stronghold. The fatalities were Marine Raiders attached to an Iraqi special operations unit, according to unnamed sources cited by the Marine Corps Times. On Tuesday, the Dept. of Defense announced that the Marines were assigned to 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Saudi Arabia—Several Royals Arrested In Alleged Coup Plot Wall Street Journal | 03/10/2020 Saudi police have detained senior members of the royal family for allegedly planning a coup, reports the Wall Street Journal. Early March 6, authorities detained Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, the younger brother of King Salman, and Mohammed bin Nayef, a former crown prince and interior minister. A second sweep a day later included interior ministry personnel, senior army officers and others suspected of supporting a coup attempt. Among those arrested was Prince Nayef bin Ahmed, the former head of army intelligence. Sources told the newspaper that the suspects had plotted to overthrow the king and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the next in line to inherit the throne. The move was seen by many observers as a means to consolidate control over members of the royal family critical of bin Salman, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). The arrests followed discussions between Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz and Mohammed bin Nayef about potentially using the allegiance council to block bin Salman's accession to the throne if his father dies or becomes incapacitated, reported the Guardian (U.K.). on Tuesday. The allegiance council was key to bin Salman's securing the position of crown prince, ousting bin Nayef in 2017. The alleged discussions are not believed to have developed and appear to fall short of claims that the two royals were planning a coup, the British newspaper said. On Sunday, Interior Minister Abdulaziz bin Saud and Saud al-Nayef, who were detained on Friday, were released after interrogation. An unknown number of royals remained in custody at the time.

Yemen—Houthis Down Spy Drone Over Hodeidah Al Masirah | 03/10/2020 Houthi rebels in Yemen say they have shot down an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) over the port city of Hodeidah, reports the Houthi-run Al Masirah television channel. On Monday, Houthi air defenses shot down a reconnaissance UAV over the al-Tohayta district, said the TV channel. The militant group did not indicate the type of air vehicle shot down. Saudi officials did not immediately comment on the incident. The Saudi-led coalition launched a military operation over the weekend targeting sites manufacturing explosive boats and drones in the village of Salif in Hodeidah province, reported Al Arabiya (Dubai).

Mali—Militants Say They Won't Discuss Peace With Government While Foreign Forces Remain Reuters | 03/10/2020 A militant group in Mali says foreign troops must withdraw before it will hold peace talks with the government, reports Reuters. On Sunday, Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) issued a statement calling for the withdrawal of French troops and U.N. peacekeepers before talks with the government could begin. Malian officials have previously opposed such proposals and favored increased security cooperation with international forces and neighboring states. France pledged to increase its military mission to Mali earlier this year. In February, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita proposed peace talks with Iyad Ag Ghali, leader of Ansar Dine, and Amadou Koufa, leader of Katiba Macina, reported Radio France Internationale at the time. JNIM is an umbrella of Al-Qaida-affiliated jihadist groups that includes the Saharan branch of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), AQIM splinter Al-Mourabitoun, Ansar Dine and Katiba Macina. Around 5,000 French troops are deployed in Mali and neighboring states as part of Operation Barkhane. About 11,000 peacekeepers serve with the U.N. MINUSMA mission.

Burkina Faso—43 Killed In Assault On Fulani Villages In North Anadolu News Agency | 03/10/2020 At least 43 people have been killed in attacks on two villages in northern Burkina Faso, reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency. On Sunday, unidentified gunmen attack the villages of Dinguila and Barga in Yatenga province, which is near the border with Mali, according to a government statement. The military was dispatched to secure the area after the attack. At least six wounded were taken to a hospital in nearby Ouahigouya, said the government, as reported by Al Jazeera (Qatar). Both villages are predominately ethnic Fulani, a group of mostly Muslim herders. There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Previous attacks on Fulani villages have been blamed on government-backed militias, security forces and members of rival communities. Tit-for-tat killings between Fulani and rival agrarian communities have increased significantly over the last year, said analysts.

Brazil—Deal Finalized With ThyssenKrupp-Led Consortium For Frigates Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems | 03/10/2020 German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems has announced that it has signed a contract with the Brazilian navy to build four Tamandare-class frigates. On March 5, the state-owned firm Emgepron signed the contract with Aguas Azuis, a joint venture among ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Embraer Defense and Security and Atech. ThyssenKrupp is providing its MEKO ship design while Embraer will integrate the sensors and weapons into the combat system. Atech, which is part of the Embraer Group, will supply the combat management system and the integrated platform management system, the latter of which is being provided by L3 MAPPS. ThyssenKrupp will transfer combat management and sonar system technology from its Atlas Elektronik subsidiary to Atech as part of the deal. Construction will take place at the Itajai shipyard in Brazil. The first ship is expected to have at least 30 percent local content, which will increase to 40 percent on the remaining vessels. The contract was worth US$2.5 billion, reported the Rio Times. The ThyssenKrupp-led team was selected for the project in 2019, reported Reuters. It originally called for four Tamandare-class corvettes, but the design was enlarged and the ships are now frigates according to the Brazilian navy. The frigates will improve the navy’s ability to protect Brazil’s offshore resources.

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