02 April 2020 Military News
- Iraq's PMU warns Trump not to take any hostile action against Iraqis, resistance groups Press TV 02 Apr 2020 -- Iraq's Kata'ib Hezbollah resistance group, which is part of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), has warned US President Donald Trump about taking any hostile measures against the Iraqi nation and resistance groups.
- Zarif rejects Trump's claim amid tensions in Iraq, says Iran won't initiate any war Press TV 02 Apr 2020 -- Iran's top diplomat has dismissed US President Donald Trump's claim that Tehran is about to launch an attack on American troops in Iraq, reaffirming the stance that the Islamic Republic will not initiate any war but it will decisively respond to aggression.
- Zarif Says Iran 'Only Acts In Self-Defense' After Trump's Warning RFE/RL 02 Apr 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country "only acts in self-defense" after U.S. President Donald Trump warned Tehran of a "heavy price" if it or its allies attack U.S. troops or assets in Iraq.
- Afghan Taliban Say They'll Suspend Fighting in Their Areas if Coronavirus Hits VOA 02 Apr 2020 -- The Taliban said Thursday that they were willing to temporarily suspend fighting against the Afghan forces in areas hit by the coronavirus, rejecting news reports that the group could declare a truce amid the pandemic.
- Taliban to Swap 20 Afghan Security Members in Prisoner Exchange for 100 Fighters - Reports Sputnik 02 Apr 2020 -- On Wednesday, the Taliban's spokesman revealed that the militant group had discussed the details of the release of its prisoners by the Afghan government, identifying a list of 5,000 jailed members it wanted to free.
- Afghan government, Taliban prepare for prisoner swap Press TV 02 Apr 2020 -- Afghanistan is set to release from prison 100 Taliban militants in a prisoner exchange for 20 of its security forces personnel, the government and Taliban sources say.
- 250-Patient Army Field Hospital in Seattle Expected to Open Next Week DoD News 02 Apr 2020 -- The Army is assembling a 250-bed field hospital at the CenturyLink Event Center in Seattle that's meant to treat non-COVID-19 patients so area hospitals will be able to free up their own beds to care for those who have contracted the coronavirus disease, the commander of the 627th Hospital Center said.
- USNS Mercy, USNS Comfort Receiving Patients in LA, New York City DoD News 02 Apr 2020 -- To free overwhelmed local hospitals focusing on patients with COVID-19, the Navy hospital ships USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort are docked on both U.S. coasts to provide medical and surgical care to non-COVID-19 patients.
- Wisconsin National Guard Takes on New COVID-19 Missions DoD News 02 Apr 2020 -- The Wisconsin National Guard is helping to staff self-isolation facilities in Milwaukee and Madison and polling locations across the state for the April 7 election due to a shortage of volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Defense Policy / Programs
- Statement from the President Regarding the Defense Production Act The White House 02 Apr 2020
- Statement From SECNAV on Relief of CO Aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) NNS 02 Apr 2020 -- Statement from the Acting Secreatry of the Navy Thomas B. Modly, regarding the relief of the Commanding Officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt.
- US aircraft carrier's commander fired after pleading for help for sailors with coronavirus Press TV 02 Apr 2020 -- The US Navy has fired the commander of an aircraft carrier who had warned American sailors aboard the vessel would die unless the coronaviru-hit ship was evacuated.
- Navy, Marine Corps Partner With Industry, FEMA to 3-D Print Face Shields NNS 02 Apr 2020 -- Nine Department of Navy (DON) commands began 3-D printing medical face shields March 28 at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region VIII as part of the effort to combat the Coronavirus outbreak.
- US Army Predicted Worst Case Scenario of 150,000 COVID-19-Related Deaths in Early February – Report Sputnik 02 Apr 2020 -- Since emerging in China in late 2019, the new coronavirus has become the worst public health crisis in recent history, causing close to a million infections, 50,000 deaths and bringing the global economy to a standstill.
- Pentagon Seeks 100,000 Military-Grade Body Bags as US COVID-19 Death Toll Surges Sputnik 02 Apr 2020 -- The Pentagon is looking to obtain as many as 100,000 military-style body bags to potentially be used to hold civilian bodies, as the US death toll from the COVID-19 coronavirus is expected to rise in the next few weeks.
- Navy COVID-19 efforts linking to Joint Acquisition Task Force NNS 02 Apr 2020 -- Military and civilian personnel of the research, development and acquisition community received guidance Tuesday from the Navy's acquisition chief to support the Department of Navy's (DON) ongoing fight against COVID-19.
- Air Force update for COVID-19 US Air Force 02 Apr 2020 -- In an effort to minimize the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 and to prioritize the health and safety of Department of the Air Force personnel, the following modifications have been made:
- Before COVID-19, U.S. Naval War College War Game Examined Epidemic Response NNS 02 Apr 2020 -- In September 2019, months before COVID-19 became a household term, the U.S. Naval War College co-sponsored a "war" game that looked at how to battle to a rapidly spreading infectious disease in a major urban area.
- Manpower Chief Discusses Personnel Aspects of COVID-19 Response DoD News 02 Apr 2020 -- The Joint Staff's director of manpower and personnel discussed the personnel aspects of the fight against COVID-19 during a freewheeling exchange with Pentagon reporters.
- U.S. carrier Roosevelt sailors to be quarantined on Guam People's Daily 02 Apr 2020 -- Guam Governor Leon Guerrero said Thursday that she decided to allow sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt to leave the military base and be quarantined in hotels on the island after the Navy asked for help to deal with the spread of COVID-19 on the aircraft carrier.
- USS Roosevelt Commander Relieved of Duty Over 'Extremely Poor Judgement' - Modly Sputnik 02 Apr 2020 -- The US Navy relieved the captain of the COVID-19-infected aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt of duty after he wrote a letter to US Navy leaders demanding support in quarantining the crew, US officials told Reuters on Thursday.
- Air Force, Boeing agree on final KC-46 RVS 2.0 design US Air Force 02 Apr 2020 -- The Air Force and Boeing reached two agreements April 2 to implement a final KC-46A Pegasus Remote Vision System design, known as RVS 2.0, and help counter COVID-19 impacts on the defense industrial base.
- 'There's Nothing Like It': US Marine Corps Commits to Keeping F-35, But Cuts Not Off Table Sputnik 02 Apr 2020 -- While US Marine Corps (USMC) leaders have indicated the service is considering shedding some of its F-35 stealth fighter fleet, the Corps' top officer said on Wednesday that the jet is too valuable for the service to discard completely.
- NAVFAC Pacific Awards Contract for Work at Marine Corps Base Hawaii NNS 02 Apr 2020 -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific awarded a $118 million firm-fixed price contract to Nan Inc. of Honolulu, Hawaii March 31 for the construction of a bachelor enlisted quarters (BEQ) at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
- NAVFAC Pacific Awards Base Operating Support Services Contract for Work in Singapore NNS 02 Apr 2020 -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific awarded an $8.5 million indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract modification for the exercise of the fourth option period under an IDIQ contract to Centerra Group LLC of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, March 27 for base operations support (BOS) services at military and civilian installations in the Republic of Singapore.
- 355th wing sustains CSAR capabilities US Air Force 02 Apr 2020 -- Airmen from the 355th Wing executed a combat search and rescue task force exercise at Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge, March 26.
- German FM Warns NATO of 'Disinformation' During Coronavirus Crisis VOA 02 Apr 2020 -- Germany's foreign minister Thursday warned NATO members against taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to spread "disinformation," "propaganda" and "fake news."
- Declaration by NATO Foreign Ministers issued following their meeting of 2nd April 2020 NATO 02 Apr 2020
- NATO Foreign Ministers agree measures to help Coronavirus response NATO 02 Apr 2020 -- NATO Foreign Ministers directed NATO's top commander, General Wolters, to coordinate the necessary military support to combat the coronavirus crisis and to start using fast-track paths through Europe's airspace for military flights carrying medical supplies, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday (2 April 2020).
- Coronavirus response: NATO Foreign Ministers to address COVID-19 crisis NATO 02 Apr 2020 -- NATO Foreign Ministers will meet via secure video conference for the first time on Thursday (2 April 2020), with the COVID-19 crisis at the top of the agenda. They will assess further measures NATO and Allies can take to enhance the collective fight against the virus.
- NATO Top Commander To Work On Coronavirus Response RFE/RL 02 Apr 2020 -- NATO foreign ministers have tasked the alliance's top military officer to help boost the 30 allies' response to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Finnish Armed Forces to Proceed With Spring Drills Despite Coronavirus Crisis Sputnik 02 Apr 2020 -- The Finnish Armed Forces have about 10 drills planned this spring involving up to 18,000 conscripts, despite extensive nationwide emergency measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
- Wuhan's military industry back in action as epidemic situation eases Global Times 02 Apr 2020 -- As the novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) epidemic begins to subside in Wuhan, the city most severely affected by COVID-19 in China, the military industry of the city is now going back to normal and making up for time lost during the city's lockdown.
- Chinese Navy holds drills amid US violation Global Times 02 Apr 2020 -- The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy conducted combat-oriented drills featuring surface vessels, submarines and fighter jets in the South China Sea in late March, a month in which the US frequently sent warships and warplanes to intrude the waters.
- Chinese peacekeepers to Lebanon conduct emergency UN repair task PLA Daily 02 Apr 2020 -- The 18th Chinese peacekeeping multifunctional engineer detachment to Lebanon received the task to carry out emergency repair of the ammunition disposal site of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on March 31, in a bid to prepare for subsequent ammunition disposal by the Spanish peacekeepers.
- Iran closely watching US military movements in region IRNA 02 Apr 2020 -- Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri stated that Iran is watching the US military movements in the region closely.
- Iran to give strongest response to US if its security at stake: Top general Press TV 02 Apr 2020 -- The chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces says the country will show the most severe reaction to the United States if it does anything to undermine the security of the Islamic Republic.
- Briefing With Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback On COVID-19 Impact on Religious Minorities US Dept. of State 02 Apr 2020
- 2 April 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 02 Apr 2020
- As coronavirus spreads, UN seeks nationwide ceasefire in Yemen Press TV 02 Apr 2020 -- UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths has engaged in talks with the country's warring parties to secure a nationwide ceasefire amid fears of the spread of the new coronavirus in the war-ravaged impoverished Arab nation.
- Ansurullah calls on Saudi-led alliance to consider Yemen's mediation proposal Press TV 02 Apr 2020 -- Yemen's popular Houthi Ansarullah movement has called on the Saudi-led coalition of aggressors to consider its proposal for 12-party mediation aimed at ending the bloody war on the impoverished Arab state.
- Turkish forces, militants shell Syria's Hasakah; two civilians killed Press TV 02 Apr 2020 -- At least two people have lost their lives and several others sustained injuries when Turkish military forces and allied militants launched barrages of mortar shells at residential neighborhoods in the western sector of Syria's northeastern province of al-Hasakah.
- Syrian UN envoy calls for removing of all US economic sanctions amid COVID-19 pandemic Press TV 02 Apr 2020 -- Syria's Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Ja'afari has reiterated a call by his country for immediate and unconditional lifting of all US economic sanctions, a few days after the coronavirus killed the first patient in the Arab country.
- Trials of IS Fighters in Syria Suspended Indefinitely VOA 02 Apr 2020 -- "It's like we are holding a ticking bomb in our hands," a guard in a prison in northeastern Syria told us in February. The facility holds roughly 5,000 accused Islamic State militants from all over the world.
- Fighting Kills Five as Violence in Myanmar's Rakhine State Draws US Concern Radio Free Asia 02 Apr 2020 -- Five civilians were killed and eight others injured amid fighting between Myanmar soldiers and the rebel Arakan Army near Kyauktaw town in war-ravaged Rakhine state, residents and members of humanitarian groups said Thursday.
- India introduces new Kashmir domicile law, raising fears of demographic manipulation Press TV 02 Apr 2020 -- India has introduced a new law that would make its citizens eligible to become permanent residents of the Indian-administered Kashmir, raising fears of demographic change in the Muslim-majority, Himalayan region.
- Three Pakistani Soldiers Killed and 2 Injured in Ceasefire Violation in Jammu and Kashmir Sputnik 02 Apr 2020 -- Ever since India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August, 2019, there has been a growing number of ceasefire violations. During the first two months of 2020 alone, there were at least 646 incidents, according to India's federal government.
- Briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, Moscow, April 2, 2020 Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs 02 Apr 2020
- Russia's Coronavirus Man Of The Moment? For Now, It Looks Like Moscow's Mayor RFE/RL 02 Apr 2020 -- There he was, riding down the escalator at one of Russia's leading infectious disease hospitals alongside Vladimir Putin as the president toured the facility and its preparations for the coronavirus epidemic.
- Twitter Removes Thousands Of Accounts 'Promoting' Serbian Ruling Party RFE/RL 02 Apr 2020 -- Twitter says it has removed more than 8,000 fake accounts allegedly linked to Serbia's ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and its leader, President Aleksandar Vucic.
- 'Mask diplomacy' hype unhelpful Global Times 02 Apr 2020 -- Chinese officials, companies and analysts on Thursday called on the West to stop politicizing China's goodwill gestures in offering aid to countries devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic as some Western media and officials continue to hype China practicing so-called mask diplomacy and question China's intentions behind its humanitarian assistance to other countries like Italy and the US.
- China transparent in dealing with epidemic: FM Global Times 02 Apr 2020 -- China's Foreign Ministry on Thursday urged some US officials to focus on what they could do for Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic instead of making vicious accusations and attacks on other countries based on wrong and twisted information.
- Attacks on China's efforts to curb global spread of COVID-19 another form of stigmatization People's Daily 02 Apr 2020 -- As China does its best to alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic that struck 202 countries and regions around the globe, it is hit with stigmatization by others with efforts to politicalize the crisis.
- China Cracking Down on Those Critical of COVID-19 Response VOA 02 Apr 2020 -- Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), a coalition of Chinese and international human rights nongovernmental organizations, said as of March 12, there were 5,511 cases related to people being punished for allegedly spreading information about the epidemic. That is also the number used in official Chinese media.
- Hong Kong Police Get to Decide When to Take Data From Arrestees' Phones Radio Free Asia 02 Apr 2020 -- Hong Kong's High Court ruled on Thursday that warrantless searches of arrestees' cell phones could go ahead, as long as a full account of the search was made.
- Report: Iran 'Directly Involved' In Killing Of Iranian Dissident In Turkey, U.S. Believes RFE/RL 02 Apr 2020 -- A senior U.S. official has told Reuters that Washington believes agents under the direction of Tehran were "directly involved" in the killing of an Iranian dissident in November in Turkey.
- Pakistani Court Overturns Conviction, Death Sentence In Daniel Pearl Murder RFE/RL 02 Apr 2020 -- A Pakistani court has overturned a death sentence and murder conviction imposed on a British-born militant over the 2002 killing of American journalist Daniel Pearl.
- Pakistan Court Overturns Death Sentence of Key Accused in Daniel Pearl Murder Case Sputnik 02 Apr 2020 -- Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and later beheaded in Karachi in 2002. British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh was sentenced to death for murdering the journalist while three co-accused militants received life sentences.
- Pakistani Court Overturns Death Sentence of Accused Killer of Journalist Daniel Pearl VOA 02 Apr 2020 -- A Pakistani court Thursday overturned on appeal the death sentence of a man accused of kidnapping and beheading Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, sentencing him to seven years in prison for kidnapping only, and acquitted three of his co-accused.
- Burkina Faso crisis and COVID-19 concerns highlight pressure on Sahel food security UN News 02 Apr 2020 -- Food insecurity levels in the Sahel region are "spiralling out of control", the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Thursday, as it expressed concerns about the potential impact on humanitarian supply chains because of restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- UN Warns Mass Hunger Facing West Africa Will Worsen as Coronavirus Takes Hold VOA 02 Apr 2020 -- A new United Nations food assessment of 17 West African countries finds more than 19 million people in the region will go hungry during the upcoming lean season between June and September, when food stocks are depleted. This is a 77 percent increase over last year's number, and it's being complicated further by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Realities Of Coronavirus Economic Impact Shift U.S., Russia's Attention To Low Oil Prices RFE/RL 02 Apr 2020 -- When Vladimir Putin was given a dire forecast of the economy under the cloud of a crippling coronavirus pandemic and a sharp fall in global demand for petroleum, the Russian president was much less bullish about his country's prospects in a price war with oil-producing rival Saudi Arabia.
- UN Seeks $21 Million for Food Security in Zimbabwe amid Lockdown VOA 02 Apr 2020 -- The United Nations says it needs $21 million to ease food insecurity in Zimbabwe as the country deals with measures imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The government says it is going to release funds to help people most affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, such as the old and the unemployed.
- State of Emergency Draft Law Would Allow PM Hun Sen to Run Cambodia 'by Fiat': HRW Radio Free Asia 02 Apr 2020 -- Draft legislation authorizing a state of emergency to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Cambodia would "empower Prime Minister Hun Sen to override fundamental human rights protections," a rights group said Thursday, urging his government to withdraw the bill.
- Ex-Envoy Bildt Questions Serbia And Hungary's Use Of 'China Card' Amid COVID-19 Crisis RFE/RL 02 Apr 2020 -- Influential former UN and European envoy to the Balkans Carl Bildt has unloaded a torrent of concern over Serbian political signals amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Turkmenistan Bans Foreign Currency Cash Withdrawals In Sign Of Cash Crunch RFE/RL 02 Apr 2020 -- Turkmenistan has banned the withdrawal of cash in foreign currencies in banks as of April 1, a sign the Central Asian energy-rich nation may be cash-strapped.
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