Wednesday, September 30, 2020

US Defense Secretary Esper Visits Africa For The First Time


CNN: US Defense Secretary visits Africa for first time seeking to push back on Russia and China Malta 

(CNN)US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper made his first visit to Africa Wednesday, a trip aimed in part at pushing back on Russian and Chinese influence in the region. 

 Esper arrived in Tunisia to meet with top officials, including the country's president, Kais Saied, and to lay a wreath and give a speech at a World War II cemetery to honor US service members who fell during the North African campaign. 

The trip was not announced until after Esper departed the country. 

 Tunisia which has been touted as the sole democratic success story to come out of the 2011 "Arab Spring," was designated "a major-non NATO ally of the United States" in 2015 and has partnered with the US on counterterrorism efforts aimed at ISIS-linked groups.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: China is throwing cash all around the African continent, and Russia is providing military support to their allies in the region. What is US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper offering? The answer is not much. My gut is telling me that he is in Africa trying to his best to stay away from the politics and the insanity of this election cycle. He also has the look of someone who is going to be out of a job in a few months. Regardless of who wins.

Video Emerges Of Marine Corps F-35B Crashing Into The Ground After A Mid-Air Collision During Refueling With A KC-130J


The Aviationist: Video Emerges Of Marine Corps F-35B Crashing Into The Ground After Mid-Air Collision With KC-130J 

As you probably already know by now, on Sept. 29, 2020, a U.S. Marine Corps F-35B and a KC-130J belonging to the VMGR-352 “Raiders” based at MCAS Miramar, were involved in a mid-air collision during AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) operations. 

The F-35B, callsign VOLT 93 crashed, while the KC-130J, callsign RAIDER 50, performed a safe crash landing on a field near Thermal Airport, California. 

The single pilot aboard the STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) variant of the Lightning II stealth jet ejected safely and the Super Hercules crew members survived. The pretty intense audio of the incident was posted by a user at the LiveATC forum.  

Read more ....  

Previous Post: Marine F-35B And KC-130J Collide And Crash In Southern California  

WNU Editor: All crew members are reported to be OK.

US Navy SEALs Have Adopted A Gender-Neutral Language In Their Ethos

Americna Military News:
Navy SEALs change official ethos to be gender neutral, remove ‘brotherhood’ and more 

The U.S. Navy SEALs and the Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) recently changed their ethos and creed statements to reflect a gender-neutral presentation of the elite Navy outfits, doing away with gendered terms like “brotherhood.” 

One change to the SEAL ethos was to alter a sentence in the first paragraph of the ethos to say, “Common citizens with uncommon desire to succeed” instead of the original, “A common man with uncommon desire to succeed.” 

Naval Special Warfare spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Stroup confirmed the changes to the ethos and creed statements in an emailed statement to American Military News. 

“Naval Special Warfare continues to deliberately develop a culture of tactical and ethical excellence that reflects the nation we represent, and that draws upon the talents of the all-volunteer force who meet the standards of qualification as a SEAL or SWCC,” 

Stroup said. Stroup said the changes to the ethos and creed statements were made to comply with changes in law opening the potential for women to join the elite military units.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Instead of focusing and addressing the epidemic of suicides in the US military, the leadership of the US Navy SEALs' are prioritizing gender neutral language.You just cannot make this stuff up.

Leaked UN Report Says UAE Delivered Weapons To Libya's Haftar Despite A UN Embargo

   UAE dispatched 150 military flights using Russian-made cargo planes to eastern Libya and western Egypt (AFP/File photo)  

Middle East Eye: UAE delivered weapons to Libya's Haftar despite UN embargo  

More than 150 flights ferried arms to Haftar's territory between January and April this year, according to unpublished UN report 

The United Arab Emirates continued to supply military equipment to Libya's eastern military commander Khalifa Haftar despite a United Nations embargo on weapons transfers to the country, according to a confidential UN report. 

The UAE made more than 150 flights to regions controlled by Haftar, mostly in eastern Libya, between January and April in what experts are calling an attempt to prop up the rebel leader's campaign against the UN-recognised Tripoli government. 

In particular, flights to Haftar-controlled zones increased during his failed assault on Tripoli earlier this year, a diplomat with access to the unpublished report that was prepared by a UN expert panel told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. 

UAE-supplied weapons, the report says, have proven crucial in Haftar's campaign and in his takeover of parts of eastern Libya.  

Read more ....  

Update: U.A.E. Boosted Arms Transfers to Libya to Salvage Warlord’s Campaign, U.N. Panel Finds (WSJ)  

WNU Editor: The UAE is not alone. There are scores of countries now involved in that war.

Armenia - Azerbaijan War News Updates -- September 30, 2020


Daily Mail: Russia claims Turkey has sent 'terrorists' from Syria and Libya into Nagorno-Karabakh warzone as fighting between Armenia and Aberbaijan escalates 

* Russia today said that illegal Syrian and Libyan fighters were being sent to the Nagorno-Karabakh region 

* Despite Azerbaijan and ally Turkey denying that F-16 downed Armenian SU-25, defence ministry in Yerevan named dead pilot as Major Valeri Danelin and published photos of jet painted in Armenian Air Force colours 

* Meanwhile Azerbaijan claimed it had 'neutralised' 2,300 Armenian soldiers as fighting entered fourth day 

* It is the worst eruption of violence between the two countries since a 1994 ceasefire over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory which is landlocked in Azerbaijan but largely inhabited by Armenians 

* Turkey is stridently backed Azerbaijan, raising fears that Russia - which has a military base in Armenia - could be drawn into a proxy war after Moscow and Anakara came close to trading blows in Syria last year 

 * French President Emmanuel Macron today slammed Turkey's fighting talk as 'reckless and dangerous' after Ankara pledged its full support for Azerbaijan to reclaim the ethnically-Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh territory 

Russia has accused Turkey of sending 'terrorists' from Syria and Libya into the Nagorno-Karabakh region, where fierce fighting has raged for the past four days between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces. 

Russia's foreign ministry said today that Syrian and Libyan fighters from illegal armed groups were being sent to the region. Russia called on the countries involved to prevent the use of 'foreign terrorists and mercenaries' in the conflict. 

Two Syrian rebel sources have said that Turkey is sending Syrian rebel fighters to support Azerbaijan, which Turkey and Azerbaijan have denied. 

 Earlier today, Armenia revealed photos of the wreckage of its SU-25 fighter jet which it claims was shot down by a Turkish F-16 amid accusations that Ankara is throwing its military might behind Azerbaijan. 

Azerbaijan today announced it had 'neutralised' 2,300 Armenian soldiers as fighting entered a fourth day in the worst eruption of violence between the two countries since a 1994 ceasefire over an Azerbaijani territory which is largely inhabited by Armenians. 

Read more ....  

Armenia - Azerbaijan War News Updates -- September 30, 2020   

Live Updates: Armenia's Ministry of Defence Publishes Photo of 'Downed' Su-25 -- Sputnik 

Azerbaijan, Armenia no closer to ending clashes after 4 days -- AP  

France and Turkey at odds as Karabakh fighting divides NATO allies -- Reuters  

Nagorno-Karabakh Clashes Enter Fourth Day Despite UN Call For De-Escalation -- RFE  

Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: Azerbaijan president vows to fight on -- BBC  

Nagorno-Karabakh: Azerbaijan and Armenian forces fight new clashes -- DW  

Nagorno-Karabakh: at least three Syrian fighters killed -- The Guardian  

Russia Warns Against Use of Mercenaries in Karabakh Conflict, Calls for Their Immediate Withdrawal -- Sputnik  

Baku claims to have destroyed S-300 air defense system & killed or wounded 2,300 Armenian soldiers as Karabakh clashes continues -- RT  

UN Security Council calls for immediate end to fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh -- France 24

Everyone Was A Loser From Tuesday's Debate

                            People watch the first presidential debate at a bar in Sydney, Australia. REUTERS/Loren Elliott 

Boyd Matheson, Deseret News: Tuesday’s debate had no winner — just 320 million losers 

If we decide to reject what has become accepted behavior, we will eliminate all that wasn’t on Tuesday night. 

Many have tried to describe the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Adjectives have failed, pejoratives have prevailed and analysis has fallen tragically short of capturing what happened Tuesday night. Sometimes when it becomes impossible to describe what something is, it is easier to outline what it is not. 

During and after the debate, my text messages lit up with comments and questions from colleagues, friends and sources around the country. Beyond the easy “hot mess,” “dumpster fire” and “train wreck,” most of the people I spoke with didn’t know what to say. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I am going to venture a prediction. No one will be talking about this debate by the end of this week.

The US Navy May Want More Ships But Its Repair And Maintenance Yards Are Crumbling

The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) sits in dry dock during a 14-month scheduled docking planned incremental availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Wesley J. Breedlove  

Defense One: As Navy Pushes for More Ships, Experts Warn Repair Yards Are Crumbling 

One congressman suggests contracting ship maintenance work to private yards or even working with allies. As the U.S. Navy struggles to enlarge its fleet, experts are warning that the service’s four public maintenance yards are ill-equipped to repair even the ships it currently has. 

These shipyards in Virginia, Maine, Washington state, and Hawaii don’t have enough workers, drydocks and modern infrastructure and equipment, these experts say. 

“[R]egardless of what the future size and composition of the Navy is going to be, the Navy needs to have the support and the maintenance infrastructure to ensure it can maintain that fleet now and in the future,” Diana Maurer, director of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office’s Defense Capabilities and Management team, said Wednesday at a Heritage Foundation event. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Can anyone say "poor planning" from the Pentagon?

Report: Russia’s Military Strength Now at Post-Cold War Peak


Bloomberg: Russia’s Military Strength Now at Post-Cold War Peak, Report Says 

Russia’s military is now more capable than at any time since the end of the Cold War, a development that comes as Western nations are increasingly concerned about President Vladimir Putin’s role in election meddling and conflicts from Ukraine to Syria, according to a new report. 

After more than a decade of investment and reform, Russia’s troops are better equipped and more professional than their predecessors, according to “Russia’s Military Modernization: An Assessment,” a report published on Wednesday by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. 

“Russia’s armed forces are today a capable military tool that Moscow has demonstrated a willingness to use or to threaten the use of,” according to the report. Since 2014, Russia has annexed Crimea, engaged in protracted fighting in eastern Ukraine, and intervened in the Syrian civil war. 

In July, the Kremlin publicly welcomed the Trump administration’s plans to withdraw about 12,000 troops from Germany, arguing that there was no justification for their continued presence. 

Russia began its current military modernization drive after its armed forces’ poor performance in the country’s brief war with Georgia in 2008, according to the report. 

It highlights particular improvements in Russia’s nuclear weaponry and in the Russian Aerospace Forces, as well as patchier progress in Russia’s ground forces and navy. 

 Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Russian military has come a long way in the past 30 years. The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies report (the introduction that is) is here .... An introduction to Russia's military modernisation.

Russia's Top Military Research Ship Returns After Spending Months On A Secret Arctic Mission

"Akademik Aleksandrov" arriving port in Severodvinsk by the White Sea after her first long-lasting voyage in Arctic waters. The ship belongs to the Main Directorate for Deep-Water Research (GUGI) of Russia's Ministry of Defense. Photo: Press service of the Northern Fleet 

The Barents Observer: Military research ship returns after months on secret Arctic mission  

The ship "Akademik Aleksandrov" is closely linked with testing of Russia's disruptive nuclear-powered underwater drone and the top-secret Harmony system of underwater sensors.  

“The crew has conducted scientific and practical research in the waters of the Arctic Ocean,” is all what the press service of the Northern Fleet has to say when posting a series of photos from the ship’s return to port at Belomorsk naval base in Severodvinsk this week. 

Greeted by high ranking officers and the navy orchestra highlight the importance of this first voyage by “Akademik Aleksandrov”. 

The ship, though, is sailing missions for the Main Directorate of Deep-Sea Research, often referred to as GUGI, a structure reporting to the Ministry of Defense. 

GUGI is one of the most secret units of the Russian Armed Forces and operates deep-diving, nuclear-powered, mini-submarines like the Losharik that caught fire last year, killing the crew of 14.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: It is this ship that has been linked to Russia's disruptive nuclear-powered underwater drone (see picture below). 

The Poseidon drone is estimated to be between 20-25 meters long and might weigh about 100 tons. Screenshot from Vesti Pomoriye by Covert Shores

Should The U.S. Congress Start A 'Manhattan Project' For Military Artifical Intelligence?

U.S. military has embraced AI, arguing that America cannot compete against potential adversaries without the futuristic technology. (U.S. Dept of Defense/Peggy Frierson) Congress Wants a 'Manhattan Project' for Military Artificial Intelligence 

A new bipartisan congressional report calls for the Defense Department to get a lot more serious about the race to acquire artificial intelligence and autonomous capabilities, modeling efforts to become dominant in these spheres after the "Manhattan Project" initiative to test and develop nuclear weapons in the 1940s. 

On Tuesday, the House Armed Services Committee released the results of a yearlong review, co-led by Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Jim Banks, R-Ind., aimed at assessing U.S. military capabilities and preparedness to meet current threats. The 87-page Future of Defense Task Force Report contains some expected findings -- China and Russia are identified as the top security threats to the U.S. and modernization is described as an urgent need -- but there are surprising points of emphasis.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is what the Pentagon wants .... How does the Pentagon’s AI center plan to give the military a battlefield advantage? (C4ISRNet).

China Is Doubling Down On Its Territorial Claims

CNN: China is doubling down on its territorial claims and that's causing conflict across Asia (CNN)

Since taking power in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has helped cement China's position as a global superpower -- and pushed forward an aggressive foreign policy, making bolder moves in several key flashpoints across Asia. 

From the South China Sea to the Himalayan Sino-Indian border, and even in one of its own cities, China has doubled down on its claims of territory, and taken a harder line in response to perceived challenges. 

And as those disputes escalated this year with renewed and rising tensions, Xi has bulked up the military and increased its budget, with the instruction to "resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests." 

Here's what you need to know about China's key flashpoints in the Asia-Pacific region.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: We all know about China's current border disputes. But the big prize for China has always been Central Asia and Russia\s Siberia .... Why China Will Reclaim Siberia (New York Times).

India And China Prepare For A Winter Of Tensions Along Their Disputed Border


Straits Times: Indian and Chinese troops settle in for winter of discontent along disputed border 

NEW DELHI - As India and China continue with military and diplomatic talks on their disputed border, troops positioned in the Ladakh region now have to additionally grapple with deteriorating weather conditions as winter sets in. 

At Pangong Tso, a Himalayan lake, where Chinese and India troops are in a stand-off, temperatures drop to sub zero. 

Temperature during the winter, starting next month till February, will plummet to minus 40 degrees Celsius and the lake, which cuts through Chinese and Indian territories, will freeze over. 

The area is known as the "cold desert", said retired Army colonel S Dinny, who served as commanding officer at Pangong Tso between 2015 and 2017. 

"The temperature goes down to sub-zero. The oxygen level is at 60 per cent. Fatigue increases manifold. You get chilblains if a body part is exposed for even a short duration," said Col Dinny. 

"There is definitely a decrease in activities in winter whether infrastructure development like building roads or patrols. It is quite challenging. It will test the limit of logistic backup, sustenance and survivability of people and equipment. It won't be easy. But there is a job to be done, we will do it."  

Read more ....  

Update: India races to build border roads, bridges to match China (Al Jazeera)  

WNU Editor: Another sign that the build-up is going to continue .... India Wants To Arm Its Drones With Laser-Guided Missiles Against China (Forbes).

The Feedback That I Have Received From Yesterday's U.S. Presidential Debate

President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden battled fiercely over Trump's record on the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare and the economy in a chaotic and bad-tempered first debate marked by personal insults and Trump's repeated interruptions. While being interrupted by Trump, Biden said, "Will you shut up, man. This is so unpresidential. ... Keep yapping, man." REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst  

WNU Editor: It has been an interesting morning. The main stream media's reaction and pundit commentary has been predictable. President Trump is blah, blah, blah. After four years nothing has changed in the main stream media. Talked to a few people who do not like President Trump. Same reaction. They do not care about Presidential candidate Biden and how he performed last night. Their focus is entirely on President Trump. I detected zero enthusiasm for the former Vice-President. Talked to a few Trump supporters. They loved how he was fighting back and refusing to stand down. They are firmly committed to supporting him.

In my case. I know where President Trump stands. What I wanted to know more is former Vice-President Biden positions. This is what I learned.

Law and order: This is an important issue. The former Vice President was not reassuring. The fact that he could not name one police precinct that supports him is telling.

Closing economy: President Trump wants to open the economy. Former Vice-President Biden is more focused on closing the economy.

Green deal: Former Vice-President says he does not support it. But it is on his web page. I believe he does support this program, and he just did not want to scare those who  may be impacted by it personally.

Antifa: This is an organization. Has been for years.

SCOTUS:  Former Vice-President Biden is not willing to publish his list. Why?

The U.S. Air Force's B-1 Bomber Is Back

A B-1B Lancer, assigned to the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth AFB, S.D., rests on the flightline at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam,   July 23, 2020. (Joshua Sinclair/U.S. Air Force)  

National Interest: America's B-1B Bomber Fleet Was Just Massively Updated 

 Integrated Battle Station represents an exciting leap forward in the modernization of the famous bombers. An eight-year-long project to install the Integrated Battle Station (IBS) on the B-1B Lancer fleet has been completed ahead of schedule, the United States Air Force announced. A total of sixty of the late Cold War-era aircraft went through the modification process, which began in late 2012. It was reported to be the largest and most complicated modification performed to date on the B-1 and it gave the flight deck a completely new look. 

The battle station was developed as three separate modifications that included a Fully Integrated Data Link, Vertical Situational Display Unit and Central Integrated Test System. “During development, it became obvious that modifying the same aircraft three times would be detrimental to aircraft availability and would create numerous aircraft configurations,” said William Barnes, B-1B Systems program manager at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. “Thus Integrated Battle Station was born.”  

Read more ....  

Update: Air Force Completes 8-Year B-1 Bomber Battle Station Upgrade (  

WNU Editor: This is a surprise. This modernization program is months ahead of what was planned .... Air Force’s B-1 Bomber Fleet Months Ahead of Repair Schedule, General Says (

Sonic Boom From A Rafale Fighter Jet Rattles Paris


 France 24: Sonic boom from fighter jet rattles Paris 

A thunderous noise that panicked residents of Paris Wednesday was caused by the sonic boom of a fighter jet breaking the sound barrier, police in the French capital said. 

The military said the jet had been scrambled to go to the aid of another aircraft that had lost radio contact, and was authorised to travel at supersonic speed. 

"A very loud noise was heard in Paris and in the Paris region. It was not an explosion, it was a fighter jet crossing the sound barrier," Paris police said on Twitter, urging people to stop calling emergency phone lines. 

The noise, which was heard all over the city and neighbouring suburbs and shook windows, rattled Parisians already on edge after a knife attack outside the former offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo last week that the government has called an act of terror. 

 "A Rafale, carrying out an intervention to assist an aircraft that had lost contact, was authorised to break the sound barrier to reach the aircraft in difficulty," a French air force spokesman told AFP. 

 Read more .... 

 WNU Editor: I have heard a few sonic booms in my life. It is always attention grabbing. I can understand why people who have never heard one react the way that they do as the above video shows.

Is An Asian NATO Emerging?

Washington Times: China's military might, aggressive policies spur talks of creating 'Asian NATO' 

China’s growing military prowess and increasingly aggressive foreign policy have revived talk among U.S. and European officials of creating an “Asian NATO” of regional powers to contain communist Beijing’s expansionist ambitions. 

 Past efforts for an East Asian security alliance, such as the post-World War II Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) to guard against Cold War-era communism, failed to gain lasting traction. 

But that was before China’s emergence as a rising superpower — a reality NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said is “fundamentally shifting the global balance of power” in ways should motivate NATO itself to “become more global.” 

Quietly, Trump administration officials have gone further. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun recently suggested that the informal defense alignment between the U.S., Japan, Australia and India already known as the Quad could be the beginning of a NATO-style alliance in Asia. 

“It’s something that I think in the second term of the Trump administration or, were the president not to win, the first term of the next president, it could be something that would be very much worthwhile to be explored,” Mr. Biegun said at a U.S.-India strategic dialogue on Aug. 31. 

 Senior officials from the four powers — all of which had tense recent relations with China — held another virtual meeting on Friday, Indian newspapers reported. 

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said the four countries called for a “free, open, prosperous and inclusive” Indo-Pacific region based on shared valued and respect for international law. 

Mr. Biegun said last month that the Asian NATO would be about more than simply countering China, and could focus on broadly coordinating militaries and economies of the region’s smaller nations around a rules-based value system.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I am surprised that an Asian NATO has not yet emerged. But the trend lines are very clear. Expect an Asian version of NATO to counter China emerging in the next few years.

Pentagon Wants Lockheed Martin To Solve The F-35s Spare Parts Problem

Two F-35s bank after receiving fuel over the Midwest on Sept. 19, 2019. The two aircraft were in route to the 158th Fighter Wing out of the Vermont Air National Guard Base, South Burlington, Vt., the first Air National Guard unit to receive the aircraft. (Master Sgt. Ben Mota/U.S. Air Force)  

Defense News: Here’s what Lockheed will have to do to make up for F-35 spare parts problems 

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin reached a handshake agreement that will require the defense giant to invest about $70.6 million to fix an ongoing problem with F-35 spare parts, one that resulted in increased government labor costs, the department announced Sept. 29. 

For the past few months, Lockheed and the Defense Contracts Management Agency have been locked in a dispute over more than 15,000 F-35 spare parts sent to the U.S. military with incorrect or incomplete “electronic equipment logs” or EELs, which allow the parts to be absorbed into the F-35′s logistics system and installed on the jet. 

Lockheed and the Defense Contracts Management Agency expect a final agreement to be formalized sometime within the next two weeks or so, said DCMA spokesman Matthew Montgomery, who confirmed the $70.588 million deal to Defense News.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: A handshake agreement to fix this problem?

Chinese State Media Upset Over US Military Patch Depicting Drone and Skull Over China

Patches on uniforms made for the exercise showed a drone superimposed over a red silhouette of China. Photo: Air Force Magazine 

SCMP: Does this US military uniform suggest it is preparing for war with China? 

* Island assault exercise off Californian coast uses badge depicting China on the uniforms 

 * Chinese state media condemns implication of possible action in South China Sea 

The United States has staged a simulated island assault exercise featuring a red silhouette of China on air personnel’s uniforms, in what Chinese state media described as a provocative gesture. 

The drill, to be completed on Tuesday, was being conducted in California, but triggered warnings from Chinese state media that China would fight back if the US attacked it in the South China Sea. 

US-based Air Force magazine reported that the training by the US veteran drone fleet, which began on September 3, suggested that the US Air Force was focusing more on the Pacific region. 

Patches on uniforms made for the exercise featured an MQ-9 Reaper drone superimposed over a red silhouette of China, the report said.  

Read more .... 

More News On A US Military Patch Depicting A Drone And Skull Over China  

Map of China on U.S. Military Badge Angers Beijing -- Newsweek  

With an Eye on China, Reaper Drones Train for Maritime War -- Air Force Magazine  

US Military Patch Depicts Drone and Skull Over China -- Anti-War

Marine F-35B And KC-130J Collide And Crash In Southern California

The tanker (pictured on Tuesday) was forced to make an emergency landing in a field near Thermal, California, just east of the airport. All eight crew members on board were unharmed

FOX News: U.S. military jet crashes after mid-air collision during refuelling

The F-35 crew ejected and is being treated, the KC-130 crew is safe, military officials said.

A U.S. military jet crashed Tuesday in California, after a mid-air collision with a KC-130J aircraft.

According to the military, the crash occurred around 4 p.m. after the F-35B hit the KC-130J during an air-to-air refueling.

A radio dispatch of emergency personnel on the ground reported that the F-35's pilot and co-pilot were able to safely eject before the plane crashed in Thermal, Ca.

The pilot of the F-35 is being treated and all crew members aboard the KC-130 were reported safe, a military spokesperson told FOX News.

The KC-130 was carrying at least eight passengers., KESQ reported.

Read more ....

More News On Today's Marine F-35B And KC-130J Colliding And Crashing In Southern California

Pilot of F-35 fighter jet parachutes to safety after colliding with a KC-130 Hercules tanker aircraft during mid-air refueling forcing it to make an emergency landing in a field in remote area of California -- Daily Mail
Marine F-35B And KC-130J Collide And Crash In Southern California (Updated) -- Warzone/The Drive
Marine KC-130 and F-35 collide in California -- Marine Times
Marine F-35B Crashes After Collision With KC-130 Over California; All Aircrew Recovered Safely -- USNI News
Marine Corps F-35 and C-130 Collide During Refueling Exercise, All Personnel Found Safe --
Marine F-35 jet crashes after clipping wings with refueling plane -- ABC News
Fighter Jet, Refueling Tanker Collide Midair Above Thermal Near Salton Sea -- NBC San Diego

Tweets For Today

Picture Of The Day

An ethnic Armenian soldier fires an artillery piece during fighting with Azerbaijan's forces in the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, September 29. Defense Ministry of Armenia/via REUTERS

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Fierce clashes erupt between Armenia and Azerbaijan (Reuters).

Spanish Speaking Viewers Of Telemundo By A Margin Of 2 To 1 Say President Trump Won Tonight's Presidential Debate

WNU Editor: The Telemundo numbers are shocking. It looks like President Trump resonated with Hispanic voters. These numbers are also the exact reverse for President Trump from 2016 when the majority of hispanic viewers believed Hillary Clinton had won the debate. CNN and FOX have also done a poll with their viewers. LOL Their numbers are the complete opposite of each other (see below).

Are Republican Supporters Happy With President Trump's Performance Tonight?

Fans of President Donald Trump applaud while watching a streaming of the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, from Lititz, Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Rachel Wisniewski

WNU Editor: Checked a few conservative sites. Talked to two friends who are Americans and who support President Trump. Everyone seems OK with President Trump's performance tonight. But the media's focus groups are saying differently .... Undecided voters describe Trump as a 'crackhead,' 'arrogant' in post-debate focus group (The Week).

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Are Democrat Supporters Happy With Former Vice-President Biden's Performance Tonight?

WNU Editor: Andrew Sullivan is a Biden supporter, and he is clearly disappointed in his candidate's performance. But what I find interesting is not his tweet, but the comment thread to his tweet from mostly Democrat supporters. They are all unhappy, and their vitriol and hatred towards President Trump is off the scale. I have checked other sites, and they are all the same. The anger and hate that I am reading is not healthy. If Presidential candidate Biden had nailed this debate tonight, they would be praising him to high-heaven. But they are not.

My Take On Tonight's US Presidential Debate

'How you doing, man?': Joe Biden greeted President Trump at the start of their first debate, where they adhered to social-distancing protocols by not shaking hands. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their first 2020 presidential campaign debate held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, September 29, 2020.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Here are some quick takes from tonight.

I hope this is the last debate that Mike Wallace ever moderates. He was awful. As moderators go. If he is not the worse, he is close to it.

Presidential Democrat candidate Biden did not collapse. But I found his demeanour oily and condescending. When he said "Will you shut up, man" at President Trump. That took me back. This is someone who is easily prone to anger. The racist jab is also not going to help him. His supporters probably loved these remarks and jabs, but it runs contrary to the reassuring Uncle Joe image that he has projected to the public in the past few months. Being and acting like Trump is not going to win him any new voters. Not answering about packing the court will raise some eyebrows. His response on Covid-19 was not reassuring, nor how to re-open schools. But what hurt him was when he was asked about calling Democrat mayors/governors and telling them to stop the rioting. Saying he's not an elected person, not an office holder....despite saying just 10 minutes earlier that he was the Democratic Party. Yeah. That is going to hurt him. Violence and crime is one of the three or four top issues for most Americans. They want to be reassured that this ongoing mayhem is going to be stopped. Joe Biden certainly did not deliver on that.

President Trump was also overly angry and aggressive. But I know that is what the base wants. I would not have focused my attention on Hunter Biden. I would have focused on the ongoing lawlessness in places like Seattle and Portland. The race questions, when he could have talked about record low black and Hispanic and women unemployment he talked about law and order. He is also responsible for prison and sentencing reform. This is a big issue among minorities, and President Trump did not push it. Big mistake. He also did not mention the peace deals in the Middle East. He owns it. Maybe he will bring it up in the foreign policy debate? In his rallies there is a certain energy that he projects which wins him converts. He did not bring that energy tonight.

So will anything change from tonight's debate. There was a side of Joe Biden that was revealed tonight that I do not think will appeal to those voters who are looking to vote for someone other than President Trump. They needed to be reassured, and Joe Biden certainly did not deliver on that tonight. I can see these voters staying home. President Trump was President Trump. He will not lose any voters, but he did not gain any tonight. But he could have done better.

Trump - Biden Presidential Debate (Live)

Armenia Accuses Turkey Of Shooting Down A Sukhoi Su-25

FILE PHOTO: (L) Turkish F-16 © REUTERS/Murad Sezer; (R) Armenian army Sukhoi Su-25 © AFP PHOTO/KAREN MINASYAN

SCMP/Reuters: Armenia accuses Turkey of downing warplane, as fighting with Azerbaijan continues

* Turkey, a close ally of Azerbaijan, has denied claims that a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down a Sukhoi Su-25 plane, killing the pilot
* This comes as dozens have died and hundreds have been injured in fresh clashes over the Nagorno-Karabakh region

Armenia said a Turkish F-16 fighter jet shot down one of its warplanes over Armenian airspace on Tuesday, killing the pilot, but Turkey
called the claim “absolutely untrue”.

Any such incident would mark a potentially major escalation of conflict in the South Caucasus region.
Turkey is a close ally of Azerbaijan, which is fighting ethnic Armenian forces in a major new flare-up of a decades-old conflict
over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

An Armenian defence ministry spokeswoman said the Armenian Sukhoi Su-25 warplane had been on a military assignment when it was downed by an F-16 fighter jet owned by the Turkish air force.

Read more ....

More News On Armenia Accusing Turkey Of Shooting Down A Sukhoi Su-25

Armenia says its fighter jet 'shot down by Turkey' -- BBC
Turkish F-16 warplane shoots down Armenian SU-25 fighter jet, Defense Ministry in Yerevan claims -- RT
Armenia accuses Turkey of shooting down warplane -- DW
Turkey denies claims that its F-16 warplane shot down Armenian fighter jet, tells Yerevan to stop 'cheap propaganda games' -- RT
Turkey Denies That Its F-16 Downed Armenian Su-25 Fighter Amid Tensions in Nagorno-Karabakh -- Sputnik

Armenia - Azerbaijan War News Updates -- September 29, 2020

Reuters: Azerbaijan and Armenia reject talks as Karabakh conflict zone spreads

BAKU/YEREVAN (Reuters) - Armenia and Azerbaijan accused one another on Tuesday of firing directly into each other’s territory and rejected pressure to hold peace talks as their conflict over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh threatened to mushroom into all-out war.

Both reported firing from the other side across their shared border, well to the west of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region over which fierce fighting broke out between Azeri and ethnic Armenian forces on Sunday.

The incidents signalled a further escalation of the conflict despite urgent appeals from Russia, the United States and others to halt it.

The conflict has reignited concerns about stability in the South Caucasus region, a corridor for pipelines carrying oil and gas to world markets.

Read more ...

Armenia - Azerbaijan War News Updates -- September 29, 2020

Nagorno-Karabakh Live Updates: Armenia Claims to Have Downed Azerbaijani Helicopter -- Sputnik
Azerbaijan-Armenia clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh escalate: Live -- Al Jazeera
Azerbaijan and Armenia brush off suggestion of peace talks -- AP
Fighting escalates in Nagorno-Karabakh ahead of UN Security Council talks -- France 24
More troops killed as clashes rage in Nagorno-Karabakh -- Al Jazeera
Nagorno-Karabakh fighting enters 3rd day; world leaders urge talks -- UPI
Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict: Death toll rises in Nagorno-Karabakh -- DW
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone widens as Turkey denies downing Armenian war plane -- ABC News Online
Armenia and Azerbaijan allege attacks outside Nagorno-Karabakh -- The Guardian
Nagorno-Karabakh clashes continue, prompting emergency UN talks -- Al Jazeera
Nagorno-Karabakh: BBC visits Azerbaijan's side of frontline -- BBC
Video of Azerbaijani Military Using TOS-1 System in Nagorno-Karabakh Released by Armenia -- Sputnik
Nagorno-Karabakh Flare-Up: Azerbaijani Forces Publish Video of 'Armenian' Tanks Allegedly Eliminated -- Sputnik
Pieces of 'Azerbaijani Drone' Downed by Armenian Forces Caught on Camera - Video -- Sputnik
Putin urges all sides to hold fire in Nagorno-Karabakh during phone call with Armenian PM -- Reuters
Nagorno-Karabakh: Russia urges Turkey to back ceasefire effort -- Al JAzeera
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Germany's Merkel urges ceasefire as violence escalates -- DW
Pompeo says violence must stop in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict -- Reuters
Everything We Know About The Fighting That Has Erupted Between Armenia And Azerbaijan -- Warzone/The Drive

World News Briefs -- September 29, 2020

Final preparations are done for the debate stage ahead of Tuesday night's first of three presidential debates

Daily Mail: Final countdown: Donald Trump and Joe Biden arrive in Cleveland for first presidential debate after president's $750 bombshell revealed - as president brings MMA fighter as guest and aides claim he will fight back by attacking Democratic rival's son Hunter

* Donald Trump and Joe Biden arrived in Cleveland for their first debate
* Trump arrived with Melania and his adult children
* Biden arrived solo; Jill Biden coming from Michigan where she was campaigning
* The 90-minute debate will be divided into six segments, selected by Fox News' Chris Wallace, who is moderating
* Major topics to include Trump taxes and SCOTUS nominee
* Trump and Biden will not shake hands because of COVID restrictions
* There will be no opening statements and first question will go to Trump
* A small audience will be in the room and will have gotten a COVID test

President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden have touched down in Cleveland for Tuesday night's first presidential debate.

Trump arrived with first lady Melania Trump, who wore a $3340 Dolce & Gabbana black pinstriped pantsuit.

Biden arrived solo. Jill Biden campaigned in Michigan earlier in the day and will join him in Cleveland Tuesday evening for the debate.

Read more


U.S. 'outraged' by rocket attack in Baghdad - state department.

Iraqis hit out at insecurity as seven buried after anti-US attack.

Hezbollah chief backs French initiative despite 'condescending' tone.

Netanyahu says Hezbollah arsenal next to Beirut 'gas' depot.

Hezbollah's Nasrallah: Israeli PM is lying about group's missile sites.

Israeli plan to limit protests at Netanyahu home passes panel vote.

Kuwait ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, dies aged 91.


Coronavirus pushes 38 million Asians into poverty.

More than 60 million Indians may have caught coronavirus: study.

Pakistan, Afghanistan shake hands as they aim to end mistrust.

China accuses India of ‘illegal’ move to change Ladakh’s status as border stand-off continues.

India does not recognize 1959 Line of Actual Control: New Delhi lashes out at China.

India races to build border roads, bridges to match China.

Amnesty International says gov't forced halt to operations in India.

Quad group, made up of US, Japan, Australia and India, to meet in show of unity to China.

North Korea tells U.N. that now it has 'effective war deterrent' it will focus on economy.

South Korea claims slain official tried to defect to North Korea.

Protests as teenager dies two weeks after alleged gang-rape in India.

US man faces jail in Thailand over hotel review.


Sudan launches mass disarmament campaign with bang in the desert.

Efforts to unify soldiers in South Sudan ‘stuck’: UN envoy.

Coronavirus lockdown costs South Africa millions of jobs.

South Africa: Hatred of migrants reaches new heights.

WHO investigating sexual abuse allegations amid Ebola fight in DR Congo.

Bacteria infection blamed for further elephant deaths in Zimbabwe.


Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone widens as Turkey denies downing Armenian war plane.

Azerbaijan's president says there cannot be talks with Armenia.

Armenian PM: atmosphere is not right for talks with Azerbaijan.

Germany: Angela Merkel unveils new coronavirus measures.

German compromise on releasing EU funds 'caves in to Viktor Orbán'.

French President Emmanuel Macron meets Belarus Opposition Leader Sviatlana Tshikhanouskaya. Belarus: France's Macron pledges support to opposition leader Tsikhanouskaya.

Canada and Britain sanction top Belarusian leaders.

French police start destroying illegal Calais camp full of 800 migrants desperate to cross the Channel to Britain.


Trump, Biden face off in first US presidential debate of 2020.

Trump, Biden camps trade barbs ahead of debate.

Trump taxes are 'national security' issue, Nancy Pelosi says.

SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett goes to Capitol Hill for first time to meet Republican senators before nomination hearings - as Democrats split on whether to sit down with her.

New coronavirus cases in the US are the highest they've been in six weeks and are rising in 27 states - as the average number of Americans dying remains steady at about 740 per day.

Governor Newsom asks Donald Trump for federal aid as California wildfires kill at least three, force nearly 70,000 evacuations and more wineries are completely devastated in Napa Valley.

Bolivia: Key ministers resign ahead of presidential elections.

New round of protests shakes Venezuela as public services fail.


Saudi Arabia says it took down ‘terrorist cell’ trained by Iran.

Video: US-led coalition conducts carrier-launched airstrikes on Daesh targets in Iraq.

Paris knife attack suspect wanted to set Charlie Hebdo offices on fire.

France arrests 29 in anti-terror Syria financing sting.


Wall Street closes lower, ending three-day rally ahead of U.S. presidential debate.

JP Morgan Chase agrees to pay $920 MILLION in fines tied to market manipulation of precious metals - the largest ever imposed by the US government.

Global Microsoft outage brings down Teams, Office 365 and Outlook.

Trump administration imposes restrictions on China's biggest chip maker: reports.

US-China trade: soybeans, corn and cars surge, but Beijing still not close to meeting demands of deal.

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 29, 2020

The Nagorno-Karabakh region has been running its own affairs with support from Armenia.(ABC News: Jarrod Fankhauser)

ABC News Online: Armenia and Azerbaijan have spent years fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh. What's behind the latest fatal clash?

A new and dangerous eruption of a decades-old conflict has broken out between Azerbaijan and its ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Scores are dead but the figures are disputed.

Hundreds have been injured and each side has blamed the other for instigating the deadly clashes as the shelling continued.

There have been many flare-ups between the former Soviet republics, which sit near strategic oil and gas pipelines, and are split along religious and ethnic lines.

"This is a life and death war," Nagorno-Karabakh leader, Arayik Harutyunyan, said.

So where exactly is the fighting, who is involved, why has violence again returned to the region and can it be stopped?

Read more ....

Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- September 29, 2020

Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict, Explained -- Zia Weise et al, Politico EU

Armenia and Azerbaijan's thawing of 'frozen conflict' shows past is never far away in war of identity -- Stan Grant, ABC News Online

Explained: Why Azerbaijan and Armenia are Clashing Over Nagorno-Karabakh -- Oleg Burunov, sputnik

Is Turkey a brother in arms or just extending its footprint into Nagorno-Karabakh? -- Leela Jacinto, France 24

Beijing ditches median line as tensions rise in the Taiwan Strait -- Mark Harrison, The Strategist

The Façade of Chinese Foreign Policy Coherence -- Strategy Bride

Assessing How Countries Can Compete with Chinese Hybrid Tactics Below the Threshold of Armed Conflict. -- William Freer, RCD

Zhenhua data leak exposes China's new 'hybrid warfare' -- Wesley Rahn, DW

Is Putin's war in Syria against America a miscalculation? -- Konstantin Eggert, DW

Is the Pentagon's Buildup in Northeast Syria a Message to Russia, Turkey, Damascus, or Someone Else? -- Ekaterina Blinova, Sputnik

One million coronavirus deaths: how did we get here? -- The Guardian

A new test from the WHO could be a game changer in the fight against Covid -- Charlotte Summers, The Guardian

Covid-19: Milestones of the global pandemic -- BBC

Is the internet falling apart? -- Roger Cochetti, The Hill

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- September 29, 2020

Politico: Trump administration orders assessment on bolstering nuclear warheads as talks with Russia stall

U.S. diplomats are trying to play hardball with Russia in negotiations over whether to extend New START.

The Trump administration has asked the military to assess how quickly it could pull nuclear weapons out of storage and load them onto bombers and submarines if an arms control treaty with Russia is allowed to expire in February, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

The request to U.S. Strategic Command in Nebraska is part of a strategy to pressure Moscow into renegotiating the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty before the U.S. presidential election, the people said.

In making the request, the Trump administration wants to underscore that it is serious about letting the treaty lapse if Russia fails to meet U.S. demands. The negotiating team is leery that Russia is dragging out the talks in the hope that Joe Biden — who has pledged to extend New START under what Moscow believes will be more favorable terms than what this White House is offering — wins the election.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- September 29, 2020

Biden says he would push for less U.S. reliance on nuclear weapons for defense -- PBS

Construction of New Underground Nuclear Warhead Facility At Warren AFB -- FAS

We Could See the Air Force's Secret New Fighter Jet Very Soon -- Popular Mechanics

America's B-1B Bomber Fleet Was Just Massively Updated -- National Interest

Transparent tanks? Army scientists discover new ways to make armor -- Army Times

As military rollover deaths increase, families push for change -- Roll Call

Fire on USS Antietam hurts 13 sailors -- UPI

U.S. Coast Guard to Test Autonomous Response Boat -- gCaptain

A Military 1st: A Supercarrier Is Named After An African American Sailor -- NPR

The Pentagon Wants to Supersize the Navy to 500+ Ships. Good Luck Paying for That. -- Popular Mechanics

Eighth US service member dies from COVID-19 -- The Hill

Nearly 50% of Pentagon workers still teleworking -- FCW

Microsoft Positions Itself To Win Space Data Market With Azure Orbital -- Breaking Defense

State Department Approves Potential Sale Of RAM Missiles To Japan -- Defense Daily

Pentagon denies claims of planning to relocate Incirlik Air Base -- Daily Sabah

Watch US Army Hold Drills Reportedly Simulating 'Battlefield Against Russia' -- Sputnik

How the US Army Fits into America's Indo-Pacific Strategy -- The Diplomat

UK leads thousands of NATO troops in major exercise off Scottish coast -- UK.Gov

USS Ross runs air defense exercises with NATO F-16s -- UPI

Cyberattack could trigger Article 5 response, NATO deputy secretary warns -- UPI

A Potentially Deadly Blow to NATO -- Defense one

Kolpino Russian submarine trains Kalibr anti-ship missile fire -- Navy Recognition

No sign China is preparing attack on Taiwan – but we will be ready if they do: defence chief -- SCMP

Lift-off for China’s high-altitude helicopter drone prototype -- SCMP

Despite made-at-home policy, India orders 72K rifles from U.S. company -- UPI

Turkey’s 1st maritime missile Atmaca nears mass production -- Daily Sabah

Iran Guards Unveil New Naval Ballistic Missile -- RFE

Iran showcases missiles and captured US drones again -- Jerusalem Post

Israeli sea-to-sea missile test conducted -- Israel Defense