Good Wednesday Morning 16 June
A bit of history and some tidbits.
Today in Naval History
1943 At Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Japanese aircraft conduct the largest raid since April 7. Although a large number of enemy planes are shot down, LST-340 and USS Celeno (AK-76) are damaged.
1953 During the Korean War, USS Princeton (CVS 37) launches 184 sorties against enemy front-line positions, a new record for offensive sorties flown from a carrier during the Korean War in a single day.
1959 A P4M "Mercator" is fired on by two North Korean MiG aircraft while on a routine flight over international waters off Korea. The attack wounds one crewman and damages the plane, forcing an emergency landing at Miho, Japan.
1965 The U.S. Navy schedules the reactivation of USS Repose (AH 16), which is the first hospital ship active for the Vietnam War.
1990 USS Monterey (CG 61) is commissioned at Mayport, Fla. The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser is named for the Battle of Monterrey during the Mexican-American War in 1846.
Today in History June 16
Rome is sacked by the Vandal army.
Napoleon defeats the Prussians at the Battle of Ligny.
Abraham Lincoln, in accepting the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, declares that, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
The Russian czar dissolves the Duma in St. Petersburg.
The first Father's Day is celebrated in Spokane, Washington.
France accepts a German proposal for a security pact.
The ban on Nazi storm troopers is lifted by the von Papen government in Germany.
President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal legislation is passed by the House of Representatives.
French Chief of State, Henri Petain asks for an armistice with Germany.
Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl is published in the United States.
The U.S. House of Representatives votes to extend Selective Service until 1959.
Ballet star Rudolf Nureyev defects from the Soviet Union while in Paris.
An El Greco sketch, "The Immaculate Conception," stolen in Spain 35 years earlier, is recovered in New York City by the FBI.
Leonid Brezhnev is named president of the Soviet Union.
ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED Thanks to the Bear
LOOKING BACK 55-YEARS to the Vietnam Air War— … For The List for Wednesday, 16 June 2021… Bear🇺🇸⚓️🐻…
OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER (1965-1968)…
From the archives of rollingthunderremembered.com post for 16 June 1966… "Green Weenies with Vs for TR and 'The Spirits' of VA-76"…
This following work accounts for every fixed wing loss of the Vietnam War and you can use it to read more about the losses in The Bear's Daily account. Even better it allows you to add your updated information to the work to update for history…skip
Vietnam Air Losses
Access Chris Hobson and Dave Lovelady's work at: https://www.VietnamAirLosses.com.
This Day in U S Military History…….June 16
1944 – US battleships, under the command of Admiral Ainsworth, shell Guam. The invasion of the island is deferred, however, because of the approach of the Japanese fleet. On Saipan, the elements of US 5th Amphibious Corps link the two beachheads by capturing Charan Karoa and Afetna Point. There is substantial use of artillery by the Japanese and American counter battery fire in addition to the infantry combat.
1944 – Admiral Clark leads two groups of US carrier forces raiding Iwo Jima, Chichi Jima and Haha Jima. The Japanese fleets link up and refuel. US patrols make two sightings.
1945 – On Okinawa, Mount Yuza is captured by the US 381st Infantry Regiment. Fighting continues on the south of the island. At sea, the Japanese air offensive against American ships slackens, but the Japanese still sink 1 destroyer and damage 1 escort carrier.
Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
GREGG, JOSEPH O.
Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 133d Ohio Infantry. Place and date: Near the Richmond & Petersburg Ry., Va., 16 June 1864. Entered service at: ——. Born: 5 January 1841, Circleville, Ohio. Date of issue: 13 May 1899. Citation: Voluntarily returned to the breastworks which his regiment had been forced to abandon to notify 3 missing companies that the regiment was falling back; found the enemy already in the works, refused a demand to surrender, returning to his command under a concentrated fire, several bullets passing through his hat and clothing.
JACKSON, FREDERICK R.
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company F, 7th Connecticut Infantry. Place and date: At James Island, S.C., 16 June 1862. Entered service at: New Haven, Conn. Birth: New Haven, Conn. Date of issue: 1863. Citation: Having his left arm shot away in a charge on the enemy, he continued on duty, taking part in a second and a third charge until he fell exhausted from the loss of blood.
LEWIS, DEWITT CLINTON
Rank and organization: Captain, Company F, 97th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Secessionville, S.C., 16 June 1862. Entered service at: ——. Birth: West Chester, Pa. Date of issue: 23 April 1896. Citation: While retiring with his men before a heavy fire of can1ster shot at short range, returned in the face of the enemy's fire and rescued an exhausted private of his company who but for this timely action would have lost his life by drowning in the morass through which the troops were retiring.
*McCARD, ROBERT HOWARD
Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 25 November 1918, Syracuse, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as platoon sergeant of Company A, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, during the battle for enemy Japanese-held Saipan, Marianas Islands, on 16 June 1944. Cut off from the other units of his platoon when his tank was put out of action by a battery of enemy 77mm. guns, G/Sgt. McCard carried on resolutely, bringing all the tank's weapons to bear on the enemy, until the severity of hostile fire caused him to order his crew out of the escape hatch while he courageously exposed himself to enemy guns by hurling hand grenades, in order to cover the evacuation of his men. Seriously wounded during this action and with his supply of grenades exhausted, G/Sgt. McCard then dismantled one of the tank's machineguns and faced the Japanese for the second time to deliver vigorous fire into their positions, destroying 16 of the enemy but sacrificing himself to insure the safety of his crew. His valiant fighting spirit and supreme loyalty in the face of almost certain death reflect the highest credit upon G/Sgt. McCard and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
*SARNOSKI, JOSEPH R. (Air Mission)
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 43rd Bomber Group, Place and date: Over Buka Area, Solomon Islands, 16 June 1943. Entered service at: Simpson, Pa. Born. 30 January 1915, Simpson, Pa. G.O. No.: 85, 17 December 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. On 16 June 1943, 2d Lt. Sarnoski volunteered as bombardier of a crew on an important photographic mapping mission covering the heavily defended Buka area, Solomon Islands. When the mission was nearly completed, about 20 enemy fighters intercepted. At the nose guns, 2d Lt. Sarnoski fought off the first attackers, making it possible for the pilot to finish the plotted course. When a coordinated frontal attack by the enemy extensively damaged his bomber, and seriously injured 5 of the crew, 2d Lt. Sarnoski, though wounded, continued firing and shot down 2 enemy planes. A 20-millimeter shell which burst in the nose of the bomber knocked him into the catwalk under the cockpit. With indomitable fighting spirit, he crawled back to his post and kept on firing until he collapsed on his guns. 2d Lt. Sarnoski by resolute defense of his aircraft at the price of his life, made possible the completion of a vitally important mission.
The action below was known as the 4 motored dogfight and has been in the list before.
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ZEAMER, JAY JR. (Air Mission)
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: Over Buka area, Solomon Islands, 16 June 1943. Entered service at: Machias, Maine. Birth: Carlisle, Pa. G.O. No.: 1, 4 January 1944. Citation: On 16 June 1943, Maj. Zeamer (then Capt.) volunteered as pilot of a bomber on an important photographic mapping mission covering the formidably defended area in the vicinity of Buka, Solomon Islands. While photographing the Buka airdrome. his crew observed about 20 enemy fighters on the field, many of them taking off. Despite the certainty of a dangerous attack by this strong force, Maj. Zeamer proceeded with his mapping run, even after the enemy attack began. In the ensuing engagement, Maj. Zeamer sustained gunshot wounds in both arms and legs, 1 leg being broken. Despite his injuries, he maneuvered the damaged plane so skillfully that his gunners were able to fight off the enemy during a running fight which lasted 40 minutes. The crew destroyed at least 5 hostile planes, of which Maj. Zeamer himself shot down 1. Although weak from loss of blood, he refused medical aid until the enemy had broken combat. He then turned over the controls, but continued to exercise command despite lapses into unconsciousness, and directed the flight to a base 580 miles away. In this voluntary action, Maj. Zeamer, with superb skill, resolution, and courage, accomplished a mission of great value.
HOWARD, JIMMIE E.
Rank and organization: Gunnery Sergeant (then S/Sgt.) U.S. Marine Corps, Company C, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 16 June 1966. Entered service at: Burlington, Iowa. Born: 27 July 1929, Burlington, Iowa. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty. G/Sgt. Howard and his 18-man platoon were occupying an observation post deep within enemy-controlled territory. Shortly after midnight a Viet Cong force of estimated battalion size approached the marines' position and launched a vicious attack with small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire. Reacting swiftly and fearlessly in the face of the overwhelming odds, G/Sgt. Howard skillfully organized his small but determined force into a tight perimeter defense and calmly moved from position to position to direct his men's fire. Throughout the night, during assault after assault, his courageous example and firm leadership inspired and motivated his men to withstand the unrelenting fury of the hostile fire in the seemingly hopeless situation. He constantly shouted encouragement to his men and exhibited imagination and resourcefulness in directing their return fire. When fragments of an exploding enemy grenade wounded him severely and prevented him from moving his legs, he distributed his ammunition to the remaining members of his platoon and proceeded to maintain radio communications and direct air strikes on the enemy with uncanny accuracy. At dawn, despite the fact that 5 men were killed and all but 1 wounded, his beleaguered platoon was still in command of its position. When evacuation helicopters approached his position, G/Sgt. Howard warned them away and called for additional air strikes and directed devastating small-arms fire and air strikes against enemy automatic weapons positions in order to make the landing zone as secure as possible. Through his extraordinary courage and resolute fighting spirit, G/Sgt. Howard was largely responsible for preventing the loss of his entire platoon. His valiant leadership and courageous fighting spirit served to inspire the men of his platoon to heroic endeavor in the face of overwhelming odds, and reflect the highest credit upon G/Sgt. Howard, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service.
Thanks to Mike
Flying the Hump…….These are the pilots who flew across the Himalayas Mountains between India and China to bring supplies and personnel China in WWII
From the Little Big Horn to the '03 Springfield by W. Thomas Smith Jr.
This Week in American Military History:
June 20, 1941: The U.S. Army Air Corps is reorganized as the U.S. Army Air Forces (the predecessor to the U.S. Air Force).
June 22, 1944: Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 – commonly known as the "G.I. Bill of Rights" – into law.
The law will literally change the socio-economic landscape of the country:
putting teeth in the U.S. Veterans Administration, and providing education and work-training opportunities, home loans, farm and business startup capital, and other benefits for millions of soon-to-be-returning World War II veterans who otherwise would never receive such.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Before the war, college and homeownership were, for the most part, unreachable dreams for the average American."
The G.I. Bill changed that.
"Millions who would have flooded the job market instead opted for education. In the peak year of 1947, veterans accounted for 49 percent of college admissions. By the time the original G.I. Bill ended on July 25, 1956, 7.8 million of 16 million World War II veterans had participated in an education or training program."
June 23, 1903: The U.S. Army adopts the now-famous Springfield rifle
(M1903) as the standard infantry weapon.
The bolt-action M1903 Springfield will be the primary American rifle carried by soldiers and Marines during America's year (1918) in World War I. And in 1942, U.S. Marines fighting Japanese diehards on Guadalcanal are still armed with the '03 Springfield as their primary weapon (though the semi-automatic M1 Garand had begun to replace the Springfield a few years earlier).
Coincidentally among the American combat units on "the Canal" is the fighting 5th Marine Regiment, which – 25 years earlier during the bloody battle of Belleau Wood – won for the entire Corps a reputation as some of the world's best marksmen. And they did so of course with the '03 Springfield.
U.S. Army Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, commanding general of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, will say, "The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle [meaning his '03 Springfield]."
In his book, Guadalcanal Marine, author Kerry L. Lane will write: "The enemy on Guadalcanal would soon learn that a Marine marksman armed with a Springfield '03 rifle is a dangerous man at a great distance."
June 25, 1876: The battle of the Little Big Horn opens between a few hundred U.S. Army cavalry troopers under the command of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and thousands of allied Lakota and Cheyenne Indian warriors under the command of Crazy Horse and Chief Gall.
Also known as "Custer's last stand," the battle will result in the encirclement and total annihilation of Custer and his vastly outnumbered command.
Though a dark day for the American Army, the battle of the Little Big Horn represents multiple inescapable elements of American military tradition:
The dashing, adventurous cavalry trooper riding off into the unknown, mistakes made, mistakes corrected, courage, sacrifice, our American Indian heritage, and the growing pains of America's westward expansion.
June 26, 1948: The Berlin Airlift – a series of some 300,000 air-transport flights into West Berlin delivering an average of 5,000 tons of life necessities every day for nearly a year – begins.
Led by the U.S. Air Force, the airlift – codenamed "Operation Vittles" and unofficially known as "LeMay's Feed and Coal Company" – is launched in response to a Soviet blockade of West Berlin; cutting off all highway and rail routes into the Western zones.
(Gen. Curtis LeMay – affectionately known as "Old Iron Ass" – was the Air Force's brash, cigar-chewing master of strategic bombing.) U.S. Army Gen. Lucius Clay, the military governor of the American zone of occupied Germany, writes: "When the order of the Soviet Military Administration to close all rail traffic from the western zones went into effect …, the three western sectors of Berlin, with a civilian population of about 2,500,000 people, became dependent on reserve stocks and airlift replacements. It was one of the most ruthless efforts in modern times to use mass starvation for political coercion... ."
The blockade and subsequent airlift was the first serious confrontational crisis between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union following World War II. But the airlift, which gained wide public support around the world, was an enormous success. In May 1949, the Soviets conceded and reopened the land routes, though strict – in fact, harsh – control continued for the remainder of the Cold War.
More good common sense workout advice thanks to Carl
Senior Life Lessons
One day my dog and I were out for a walk to a mailbox and, coincidentally, the postman's truck was sighted just ahead of us. I decided to step up our pace and catch him. But each time we'd almost reach his truck, he would pull away to his next stop. This went on for a few blocks until we finally caught up.
As the postman got out of his truck I noticed how elderly he appeared, white-haired and well past the usual retirement age. I kidded him about our chasing down his truck. He remarked that both his knees had been surgically repaired. I told him that he looked quite nimble getting in and out of the truck and walking up the driveways.
"That's the only reason I still come to work," he said. "I could have retired some time ago. But if you don't keep moving, it's all over."
In those three short sentences, he had healthy aging figured out.
A popular men's magazine broke down by decades suggested exercise guidelines for people as they age. It wasn't one of the steroid-bodybuilding publications but a men's magazine of reasonableness. My only quarrel with the article is that more emphasis might have been placed on the word "guidelines."
Certainly, workouts must evolve and change from decade to decade, but rigid formats usually aren't the best way to go. And the magazine had broken it down to exact exercises, sets, and reps to do in each decade, beginning in your 20s, then your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s. (The 70s on up weren't mentioned.)
As mechanical as their guidelines sounded, I shouldn't be too critical, as long as the advice is not taken as absolute. Everyone's abilities and needs may not follow the same trajectory while moving from one decade to the next. Other factors, too, such as injuries or illnesses, must be taken into account when adjusting programs.
In my own case, I saw little difference in what I could do in my 50s. Capacity changes in my 60s also were quite gradual. Still, looking back at my training records, I can see there was some loss in strength as well as a need for more recovery time after workouts. Turning 70, I began noticing a steeper decline. But that's me. The need for adjustments may come at different stages for each of us.
Now in my mid-eighties, abbreviated workouts with resistance bands have become more sensible. I gave up one-rep-maximum lifts with free weights years ago. Seniors sending their blood pressure through the roof with do-or-die efforts isn't smart.
When the great bodybuilder Steve Reeves moved into his 60s and 70s, he still weight trained three days per week. But he cut back his sets from three or four to two, and used lighter weights, doing 15 to 25 reps, depending on which body part he was working. He isn't a bad example to follow.
So keep moving. That's the key. Make use of intelligent guidelines like those at Senior Exercise Central. Then make adjustments according to your own needs.
For senior beginners, a good, solid place to start is right here.
And if you can't catch up with the postman's truck, that's probably okay. The fact that you are out there moving is the important thing.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
AMERICAN AEROSPACE EVENTS for June 16, 2021 FIRSTS, LASTS, AND SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENTS. THANKS TO HAROLD "PHIL" MYERS CHIEF HISTORIAN AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE, SURVEILLANCE, AND RECONNAISSANCE AGENCY
1922: Lt Clayton Bissell initiated night cross-country flights from Bolling Field to Langley Field and back. (18) (24) Henry Adler Berliner made the first US helicopter flight of importance at College Park before representatives of the US Bureau of Aeronautics. (24)
1928: Successful tests made at Wright Field of superchargers designed to give sea level pressure at 30,000 feet, and a new liquid oxygen system for high altitude flying. (24)
1936: Seversky Aircraft Company received a contract to build P-35s for the Army. It was the Army's first single-seat fighter with a closed cockpit and retractable landing gear. (21)
1941: Consolidated's B-24 Liberator entered the Air Corps inventory. It flew faster and farther than the B-17. Eventually, more than 18,000 B-24s entered the inventory. (21)
1945: FIRST HELICOPTER MEDEVAC MISSION. Through 29 June, R-4Bs and R-6As of the 5th and 6th Aircraft Repair Units (Floating) evacuated 70 wounded soldiers from frontlines on Luzon, Philippines.
1953: North American delivered its 1000th T-28 Trojan to the Air Force. (20)
1959: The first F-105s arrived at Seymour Johnson AFB.
1965: AFSC directed its Aeronautical Systems Division to begin the prerequisite studies for the F-X fighter. (30)
1966: In the first Titan III-C launch from the Eastern Test Range, the USAF placed seven Defense Communications Satellite Program (IDCSP) repeaters and one gravity-gradient satellite into a random, near synchronous, equatorial orbit. This formed the nucleus of a world-wide military communications system that would have 15 other satellites. (26)
1971: The USAF and NASA signed an agreement to conduct joint Transonic Aircraft Technology (TACT) Program to explore application of supercritical wing technology to highly maneuverable advanced aircraft. The F-111 became the test bed aircraft. Operation BONNY JACK. Through 18 July, four C-130s from Pope AFB flew 308 sorties to support the humanitarian airlift of East Pakistani refugees from the Indian border state of Tripura to resettlement areas in Gauhati further inland. On return flights, the C-130s carried more than 1,750 tons of rice to feed refugees remaining in Tripura. On the deployment from the CONUS, the aircraft delivered one million doses of anti-Cholera vaccine to India. (16) (26)
World News for 16 June thanks to Military Periscope
USA—Pentagon Eyes Permanent Naval Task Force To Counter China Politico | 06/16/2021 The Pentagon is mulling additional steps to counter China's growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, reports Politico. Sources said that the plan involves establishing a permanent naval task force in the region, modeled on NATO's Standing Naval Forces Atlantic during the Cold War. It was not immediately clear if the task force would only include U.S. ships or if other countries would participate. The proposal includes creating a named operation, which would allow the defense secretary to funnel additional resources to the theater, the sources said. No decisions have been made. The proposals are part of a series of efforts to strengthen the U.S. approach to China.
USA—1st GBSD Test Flight Planned For 2023 Air Force Magazine | 06/16/2021 The first test flight of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) missile is scheduled to take place within two years, reports Air Force magazine. The initial GBSD missile launch is anticipated by the end of calendar year 2023 from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif., Col. Jason Bartolomei, the program manager, said during an Air Force Association virtual forum on Monday. The program is in the midst of the critical design review phase for subsystems, Bartolomei said. The missile is also begin tested in a "modeling and simulation environment." The GBSD, which is being developed by Northrop Grumman, will replace the Minuteman III in the land-based intercontinental ballistic missile role. It is expected to reach initial operational capability in 2029 and full operational capability in 2036 with the deployment of 400 missiles. The service must press ahead with the GBSD, because there is no longer any margin left to replace the Minuteman III due to growing issues, such as disappearing spare parts sources, increasing complexity of threats and the decay of missile infrastructure, which has been in service for decades past its original lifespan, said Global Strike Command chief Gen. Timothy Ray. The GBSD has been designed for a 70-year service life, with the ability to be easily and quickly updated with new technology and as threats change.
USA—Deal Reached With E.U. Over Aircraft Subsidies Cable News Network | 06/16/2021 The U.S. and European Union have agreed to end a trade dispute rooted in subsidies to aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus, reports CNN. On Tuesday, U.S. officials confirmed that a deal had been struck under which both sides committed to suspend tariffs that had been imposed during the dispute for five years. The sides will also release statements detailing acceptable support for aircraft manufacturers. An initial agreement to temporarily suspend tariffs for four months was forged in March by the U.S., E.U. and U.K. The dispute dates back to 2004 when the E.U. filed a claim with the World Trade Organization (WTO) alleging Boeing had received $19 billion in unfair subsidies from the federal and state governments. The U.S. subsequently filed a similar suit alleging unfair European subsidies for Airbus. The WTO ruled in 2019 that Airbus had provided illegal support and authorized the U.S. to respond with tariffs on up to $7.5 billion in annual trade. It ruled that Boeing had also received benefits that violated trade rules and authorized tariffs on up to $4 billion in annual trade, reported BBC News. The U.S. and E.U. have taken measures to remove the assistance ruled illegal by the WTO. The deal will allow the U.S. and E.U. to focus on areas of mutual concern, including China, observers said. The deal reached this week does not resolve disputes over steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and the taxation of large technology companies.
Germany—Iran Seeks Banned Tech In Germany, Says Domestic Intel Agency Jerusalem Post | 06/16/2021 Iran stepped up efforts to acquire prohibited missile and nuclear technology in Germany last year, according to a new report cited by the Jerusalem Post. On Tuesday, Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution released its annual threat assessment report for 2020. Iran made "proliferation-relevant procurement attempts" in 2020 but it was not immediately clear if those actions violated the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which Germany and Iran remain parties to despite the U.S. withdrawal in 2018, says the report. Iran and its agents also sought technology for its missile program and appeared to be increasing its efforts on that front, it concluded. In one public case, a Chinese businessman and a German employee in Bavaria were convicted in a state court of sending "proliferation-relevant machines" to Iran. Hamas and Hezbollah also saw an increase in membership in Germany, says the report. Both groups are backed by Iran.
NATO—Leaders Agree That Space Attack Could Trigger Collective Defense Response Nato Press Release | 06/16/2021 The leaders of NATO have agreed that an attack in or from space could trigger the alliance's collective defense mechanism, reports NATO. An attack to, from or within space could lead to the invocation of Article 5, which requires all allies to aid an ally that is attacked, according to a communique issued by the leaders following talks in Brussels on Monday. Such attacks are a clear challenge to NATO's security and the effect of such an attack could threaten the prosperity, security and stability of individual nations and the Euro-Atlantic community, says the communique. Such attacks could be as harmful to modern societies as a conventional attack, the leaders said. Previously, the collective defense mechanism had only been understood to apply to attacks on land, sea, air or cyberspace, noted Sky News (U.K.). The extension of Article 5 to space follows the alliance's decision in April to declare space its fifth operational domain.
Switzerland—Lower House Approves US$2.5 Billion To Strengthen Military Defense Post | 06/16/2021 Swiss lawmakers have approved plans to invest US$2.5 billion in the military, reports the Defense Post. The plan, recently passed by the lower house of the Federal Assembly, includes US$472 million for new combat vehicles and trailers and US$857 million for personal equipment, ammunition and cyber systems. It also covers US$284 million to acquire command and communication systems; US$133 million for nuclear, biological, and chemical protection systems; and US$56 million for combat simulators. The air force is in line for US$697 million for logistics, training, and command infrastructure. The spending is intended to upgrade equipment and training to strengthen the Swiss military's defense capabilities.
Kosovo—Little Progress Seen In Normalization Talks With Serbia Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | 06/16/2021 The latest round of talks between the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia on the normalization of ties made little progress, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Tuesday in Brussels. This was the first such meeting since last year and the first for Kurti, who came to power in February's parliamentary elections on a left-wing reformist platform. Kurti pledged to take a new tack in talks with Serbia. During the meeting, Kurti presented four proposals, including a peace agreement; mutual recognition of minorities under the principal of bilateral reciprocity, with the creation in Kosovo of a National Council for Serbs similar to those for Albanians and Bosniaks in Serbia; removing a Serbian official from a missing persons delegation who had participated as a district chief in the occupation of Kosovo; and a new free trade agreement among the six Western Balkan countries, reported Balkan Insight. The first three proposals were rejected, while no answer was received on the free trade agreement proposal. E.U. special envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue Miroslav Lajcak said following the meeting that it was not easy, but that it was important that the sides were talking. A second meeting is anticipated before the end of July, Lajcak said.
Taiwan—Dozens Of Chinese Aircraft Fly Through ADIZ The Hill | 06/16/2021 The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense says a record number of Chinese aircraft flew through its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) this week, reports the Hill (Washington, D.C.). On Tuesday, 28 Chinese military aircraft flew through the ADIZ, including 14 J-16 and six J-11 fighters and four H-6 bombers, the ministry said. Anti-submarine, electronic warfare and early warning aircraft also participated in the mission. Some of the aircraft flew close to the Pratas Islands, while the bombers and several fighters flew around the southern part of Taiwan near the tip of the island, reported Reuters. Taiwanese fighter aircraft were dispatched to intercept and warn away the intruding aircraft. The previous peak for aircraft incursions had been set on April 12, when 25 Chinese aircraft entered the Taiwanese ADIZ. Taiwan has complained about repeated Chinese incursions into its airspace in recent months.
Philippines—Outgoing ICC Chief Prosecutor Calls For Investigation Into Drug War British Broadcasting Corp. | 06/16/2021 The outgoing head prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has called for a full investigation into potential crimes against humanity committed during the President Rodrigo Duterte's crackdown on drugs, reports BBC News. On Monday, Fatou Bensouda formally requested an investigation into drug-war killings carried out between the start of Duterte's term in 2016 and Manila's withdrawal from the ICC in 2019, reported the Washington Post. The request calls for the judges sitting on the ICC war crimes court to authorize the investigation for her replacement. Bensouda was set to step down on Wednesday. She is being succeeded by British lawyer Karim Khan. Bensouda opened a preliminary investigation into abuses during the crackdown in 2018, leading Duterte to withdraw from the ICC. Her investigation determined there was a reasonable basis to believe that "state actors, primarily members of the security forces, had killed thousands of suspected drug users and other civilians during official law enforcement operations," with similar killings carried out by vigilantes, some of whom were police officers, outside official operations. Data from the Philippine government acknowledges 6,000 deaths, but rights groups believe the figure is far higher.
Burma—Rebel Group Suspends Offensive Reuters | 06/16/2021 A Burmese rebel group in the eastern Kayah state says it will suspend attacks on military forces following an outcry by locals, reports Reuters. On Tuesday, the Karenni National Defense Force (KNDF) said that it would temporarily halt offensive operations. The move comes after local communities called for an end to fighting that has damaged homes and displaced 100,000 people across the country, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. The KNDF is part of the People's Defense Forces, a network of armed militias backing the elected government that was overthrown in a Feb. 1 coup. It is primarily composed of civilians from Loikaw, Demoso and Nan Mei Khon in Kayah and Moebye and Pekhon in the southern Shan state, reported Myanmar Now. The KNDF did not indicate how long the cease-fire would continue but suggested that it would oppose the junta in other ways.
Pakistan—Steel Cut For 4th Jinnah-Class Corvette Pakistani Navy | 06/16/2021 Construction has begun on the final Jinnah-class corvette at a shipyard in Pakistan, reports the Pakistani navy. On June 15, the first steel was cut for the warship at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works. The frigate is the last of four vessels Pakistan ordered from Turkey in July 2018, reported Naval News. Two ships each were to be built by Istanbul Naval Shipyard and Karachi Shipyard. The first corvette is expected to be launched in Istanbul later this year and delivered in 2023.
Saudi Arabia—MoU On Aviation Security Inked With Abu Dhabi Al Arabiya | 06/16/2021 The civil aviation authorities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have signed a memorandum of understanding on aviation security, reports Al Arabiya (Dubai). The Saudi Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) and the Emirati General Civil Aviation Authority signed the accord on Tuesday, reported the Saudi Press Agency. The agreement calls for enhanced bilateral cooperation to modernize administrative, organizational, operational and technical aspects of aviation security. The accord also covers exchanges, development and enhancement of security infrastructure and the application of best practices and software systems.
Israel—Air Force Hits Hamas Targets In Gaza After Incendiary Attacks Times of Israel | 06/16/2021 Israel struck militant sites in the Gaza Strip after incendiary balloons launched from the area started dozens of fires, reports the Times of Israel. On Tuesday, incendiary devices launched by Palestinian factions in Gaza started more than two dozen fires in southern Israel. The Israeli air force subsequently attacked targets in Khan Younes and Gaza City. Palestinian media indicated that some of the sites belonged to the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas. There were no reports of casualties in the strikes and fires, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). One Palestinian was injured during rioting near the border. A Hamas spokesman told Reuters that the attacks were linked to a planned march celebrating Israel's capture of East Jerusalem in 1967. This was the first clash since an 11-day conflict between Israel and armed groups in Gaza ended in May.
Lebanon—China Donates Utility Vehicles, Trucks To Army Defense News | 06/16/2021 Lebanon has accepted a donation of 100 vehicles from China as part of a military assistance package, reports Defense News. On June 11, the vehicles were delivered to the Lebanese army during a ceremony at the Logistics Brigade in Baabda, southeast of Beirut. The vehicles will be divided among units to facilitate transportation and training rather than being assigned to a specific brigade, a military source said. The donation included 60 B80VJ four-wheel vehicles built by Beijing Auto, which can be used for command, utility and light assault operations. The vehicles can be armed with a machine gun or light rocket launcher, although the B80VJs handed over to Lebanon were not armed. The remaining 40 vehicles were Sinotruck Howo six-wheel drive military tractor trucks. Spare parts were not included in the assistance package, so the military will eventually have to buy spare parts from China, a retired military official noted.
Ethiopia—Government Rejects Arab League Proposal For U.N. Intervention On Controversial Dam Al Jazeera | 06/16/2021 Ethiopia has rejected an Arab League resolution calling for the U.N. Security Council to intervene in a dispute over a controversial dam on the Nile River, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar). On Tuesday, the foreign ministers from the 22-nation bloc met in Doha and signed a statement calling for the Security Council's intervention in the dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Ethiopia subsequently rejected the move, saying that "utilization of the Nile waters is also an existential matter for Ethiopia." The latest round of tension over the dam comes as Ethiopia is in a second rainy season in which it has promised to fill the reservoir behind the dam, currently about 80 percent complete, with the aim of bringing the dam online in two years. U.S.-sponsored talks ended in late 2020 after Ethiopia accused the U.S. of siding with Egypt. Both Egypt and Sudan say that the project will reduce their supplies of freshwater. Talks sponsored by the African Union ended in April.
Colombia—36 Soldiers Wounded In Cucuta Base Attack Agence France-Presse | 06/16/2021 At least 36 Colombian soldiers have been injured in an attack on an army base in Cucuta in northeastern Colombia, reports Agence France-Presse. On Tuesday, militants posing as government employees drove onto the base in a van laden with explosives, which they subsequently detonated, the Colombian Defense Ministry said in a statement. The ministry blamed the National Liberation Army (ELN) for the attack. Talks with the ELN have been at a standstill since 2019, when Duque withdrew the government from talks after a deadly attack in Bogota.