Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fw: TheList 4367



The List 4367
I hope your week has been going well. San Diego is going to get a lot of rain over the next 5 days so I can probably turn off my sprinklers and get the canoe ready.
Regards,
skip
 
This Day In Naval History - January 19
1840: During the Exploring Expedition, USS Vincennes, commanded by Lt. Charles Wilkes, becomes the first U.S. Navy ship to reach the Antarctic Continent.
 
 
This day in History January 19
1523
In Switzerland, Ulrich Zwingli publishes his 67 Articles, the first manifesto of the Zurich Reformation which attacks the authority of the Pope.
1783
William Pitt becomes the youngest Prime Minister of England at age 24.
1847
New Mexico Governor Charles Bent is slain by Pueblo Indians in Taos.
1861
Georgia secedes from the Union.
1902
The magazine "L'Auto" announces the new Tour de France.
1915
The first German air raids on Great Britain inflict minor casualties.
1923
The French announce the invention of a new gun that has a firing range of 56 miles.
1931
The Wickersham Committee issues a report asking for revisions in the dry law, but no repeal.
1937
Howard Hughes flies from Los Angeles to New York in seven hours and 22 minutes.
1937
In the Soviet Union, the People's Commissars Council is formed under Molotov.
1945
The Red Army captures Lodz, Krakow, and Tarnow.
1947
The French open a drive on Hue, Indochina.
1949
The Chiang Government moves the capital of China to Canton.
1950
Communist Chinese leader Mao recognizes the Republic of Vietnam.
1968
Cambodia charges that the United States and South Vietnam have crossed the border and killed three Cambodians.
1981
The United States and Iran sign an accord on a hostage release in Algiers.
1983
The New Catholic code expands women's rights in the Church.
 
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Thanks to Carl
EPA Pardons Itself in the Animas River Pollution Case
 

 
 
 
Posted by Leslie Eastman    Wednesday, January 18
 
EPA message to the little people: If you like your river, you can't keep your river.
As President Obama spends the remainder of his presidency pardoning trangenders who disclosed vital security information, appointing fabulists to key positions, and releasing dangerous Gitmo detainees, people are beginning to mull over what we will remember most about this era.
I assert that the damage caused by the rogue bureaucracy within the Environmental Protection Agency will float to the top of legacy cesspool. So, while Democratic politicos grill Scott Pruitt, the candidate likely to head the EPA in the Trump administration, the agency has finished its misrule under Obama appropriately enough.
The EPA has pardoned itself from paying claims totaling more than $1.2 billion for economic damages from a mine waste spill the agency accidentally triggered in Colorado the summer of 2015.
The EPA said the claims could be refiled in federal court, or Congress could authorize payments.
But attorneys for the EPA and the Justice Department concluded the EPA is barred from paying the claims because of sovereign immunity, which prohibits most lawsuits against the government.
"The agency worked hard to find a way in which it could pay individuals for damages due to the incident, but unfortunately, our hands are tied," EPA spokeswoman Nancy Grantham said.
The EPA is hiding behind the Federal Tort Claims Act, indicating that it prevents the agency from paying claims the result from "discretionary" government actions. Congress passed the law to allow government agencies to act "without the fear of paying damages in the event something went wrong while taking the action," according to its press release.
However, many people are not buying into that reasoning. To begin with, representatives from the region impacted by the toxic wastewater release will pursue restitution.
Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, New Mexico Democrats, and Rep. Ben Ray Lujรกn (D-N.M.) issued a joint statement saying they would continue pushing for legislation to hold the EPA accountable. They also said it would be up to the courts to determine whether the EPA's defense is legitimate.
"We are outraged at this last-ditch move by the federal government's lawyers to go back on the EPA's promise to the people of the state of New Mexico — and especially the Navajo Nation — that it would fully address this environmental disaster that still plagues the people of the Four Corners region," the statement reads.
Gov. John Hickenlooper released a statement, saying the state would continue to fight for residents.
"We are disappointed in the EPA's decision. We expected the EPA to make good on its promise to reimburse any Colorado resident or business that suffered a legitimate loss as a result of the spill," he said in the statement. "The Attorney General has agreed to help us find ways we can make sure our residents receive just compensation."
The Navajo Nation vows to continue its fight for compensation.
Navajo Nation officials say they are outraged the Environmental Protection Agency is refusing to pay millions of dollars in claims filed against it following the devastating Colorado Gold Mine spill.
…"The Navajo Nation call upon our Congressional leaders from the states of Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona to do what is right for our people by demanding that the U.S. EPA reconsider its decision and that the U.S. EPA provide full compensation to the many Navajo people who sustained extensive losses due to the spill that was caused by the agency," Navajo Nation speaker Lorenzo Bates said last Saturday.
I sure hope Pruitt brings up this debacle during his  hearing, as I would like the Democrats on the committee to understand prevention pollution is the mission of the EPA (and not imposing global warming theology).
I would like to humbly offer this piece of advice to President-Elect Donald Trump: Direct Pruitt to go on an apology tour of the region, and personally hand out checks to the people of New Mexico and Colorado hurt by the EPA's shenanigans. Then tweet about it. This will surely help ensure Trump's victory next time in these two states, which went for Hillary Clinton last November.
I offer this as the perfect slogan for this area in 2020: If you like your river, you can keep your river.
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Thanks to Dutch
US GITMO Officer Says Obama Releasing Jihadi's First Team - www.independentsentinel.com
Thanks to Tam -
 
My friend, Major Montgomery Granger, is on the left of tv screenshot. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ
Tam
 
 
 
 
US GITMO Officer Says Obama Releasing Jihadi's First Team
 
January 18, 2017
 
 
Retired U.S. Army ranking medical officer at Guantanamo Bay Montgomery Granger said Barack Obama is releasing the nuclear weapons of the jihad, the first team. He picked out four who will go back to the field and who are extremely dangerous.
 
It looks like the Attila the Hun look-alike contest. They should all be recruited as Hillary's bodyguards like she did for Ambassador Stevens. If you were NYPD, would you stop and frisk these guys?
 
 
Sufyian Barhoumi, an Algerian, was a senior weapons expert and trainer. He was recommended for prosecution but Obama decided to release him instead.
 
Abdul Latif Nasir was an associate of bin Laden since 1993 and was his top explosives expert. Nasir was a trainer at an Al Qaeda training camp. He commanded bin Laden's troops at the front line and called for terrorism at GITMO. He helped bin Laden escape.
 
Yasin Ismail assaulted guards and is labeled too dangerous to be released. He's very anti-American.
 
Muieen Abdal Sattar threatened to cut off a guard's head and called for killing all Americans, men, women, children, and babies.
 
Watch the latest video at <a href="http://video.foxnews.com">video.foxnews.com <http://video.foxnews.com> </a>
 
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The fate of the US Military is in the hands of one Marine | US Defense Watch
 
The fate of the US Military is in the hands of one Marine
 
By Ray Starmann   JANUARY 18, 2017
President-Elect Trump is a super patriot, a nationalist who has big plans to rebuild this nation and the US military after eight years of neglect and Marxist social engineering that have utterly destroyed its capability to wage war on sea, land and in the air.
Certainly, Mr. Trump has great intentions, but he has never served a day on active duty, in the reserves or in the National Guard.
Therefore, he will undoubtedly adhere to the recommendations and analysis provided by the nation's new Secretary of Defense.
Enter retired Marine Corps General James Mattis.
Nicknamed 'Mad Dog' Mattis, the general, "last served as the 11th Commander of United States Central Command, the Unified Combatant Command responsible for American military operations in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, and Central Asia, from August 11, 2010, to March 22, 2013.
Before President Obama appointed Mattis to replace General Petraeus on August 11, 2010, he previously commanded United States Joint Forces Command from November 9, 2007, to August 2010 and served concurrently as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation from November 9, 2007, to September 8, 2009. Prior to that, he commanded I Marine Expeditionary ForceUnited States Marine Forces Central Command, and 1st Marine Division during the Iraq War." 
Mattis also commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, which was part of Task Force Ripper during the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
The general was beloved by the Marines who served under him, a warrior intellectual in the spirit of Patton, whom the President-Elect frequently compares him to.
One the eve of the inauguration, the US military is in deep trouble. While the military is rearing from budget cuts and readiness and equipment issues, those are problems that the military has endured in the past and conquered. What the military has never experienced before is the catastrophic social engineering that has eviscerated the armed forces' fighting spirit and dragged down the operational tempo of each branch.
While the new Secretary of Defense will no doubt be dealing with topics such as navy ships that breakdown, air force planes without spare parts and an army with an all but extinct armor corps, his greatest challenge may very well be ending the social engineering forever.
You cannot have a Reaganesque military buildup that is successful with Berkeley style feminist social engineering. The two cannot co-exist together for the military to complete its mission, which is to defend the country when called upon and to vanquish our enemies quickly and violently.
If the social engineering does not cease, the US military will destroy itself and/or will be destroyed in a future conflict. That is a fact.
On his first day on the job, General Mattis must begin to RIF the duds, the feather merchants, the perfumed princes, the cultural Marxists and the feminists who have not only allowed the military to be put on death's door by President Obama, but actively supported the insanity that seeped through the Pentagon for eight years like a persistent nerve agent.
The military has lost many good people who either were forced out during the Obama Maoist Revolution or simply resigned because what was happening around them made them physically ill.
But, many senior officers were all too eager or simply too gutless to stand up to the cultural Marxists. Moral cowardice became the rallying cry of the Joint Chiefs. Fighting Joe Dunford and Martin Dempsey rubber stamped every directive from the White House.
Mattis must take a meat cleaver to the active duty rosters. The military is in dire need of killers and has succumbed to its ranks being stocked with fillers and too much fodder.
The military needs to once again ban open homosexuality in the ranks. While gays have served in the military since the dawn of time, the concept is anathema to combat readiness and esprit de corps. The military must return to 'don't ask, don't tell' as its policy.
A bigger problem for the military is the recent authorization by cultural Marxist and outgoing Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter to allow transsexuals to serve in the armed forces. Gender dysphoria is considered a mental illness by many physicians. The idea of allowing mentally ill personnel to not only serve on active duty, but to have their gender reassignment surgery financed by Uncle Sam is the height of lunacy.
The military in the last eight years has watched as its traditional macho, male culture has been eviscerated with a feminist glass knife.
US Army soldiers have been ordered to conduct physical training while wearing pregnancy simulators; ROTC cadets were ordered to wear red high heels to show empathy to rape victims; breastfeeding and lactation memos were distributed to special operations soldiers; the Bible and Declaration of Independence were taught as sexist documents during online DoD classes; three female graduated from Ranger School under dubious circumstances; US Navy ships were named after gay activists and a baby was born on a US Navy ship of war during a foreign deployment.
Most importantly, feminists drove the Pentagon to authorize women to serve in the crown jewels of the military, the combat arms and special operations forces; i.e. infantry, cavalry, artillery, the Rangers, Delta Force and the Navy SEALs.
This height of insanity was pushed by social engineers Ash Carter and Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, who will go down in history as the worst SecNav in the long and glorious annals of that service.
Mattis must fire Ray Mabus who is responsible for ships that don't float, crying sailors in Iranian captivity and a gender neutral lexicon for military titles, such as rifleperson.
Mabus pushed hard for the inclusion of women in the combat arms. He completely ignored the Marines' 36 million dollar study that showed what everyone already knew; all male units perform better in simulated combat tasks than coed or all female units. In fact, Mabus penned a crackpot OPED for the Washington Post in 2015.
Mabus wrote, "As the nature of warfare becomes more dynamic and unpredictable, we need to be the strongest force possible, and diversity is one of our greatest strengths. The Marine Corps Timeshas highlighted an anecdote about the creative, expeditious way a four-woman team in the Marine Corps' study confronted an 8-foot obstacle; an American Forces Network report featured female Marines who demonstrated that gender does not define their service. These are the thinkers we need in every part of our force; they will maximize our combat effectiveness."
According to Mabus' warped logic, diversity is a combat multiplier and since four adult females can negotiate an 8 foot wall, that gives the military a green light to authorize women to serve in the SEALs.
Newflash Mabus: four 10 year old Girl Scouts can figure out how to go over an eight foot wall.
Mabus needs to walk the plank into the Potomac.
The issue of women in the combat arms and special operations is still a hot potato, a third rail that those in uniform have been afraid to touch.
Last week, during his confirmation hearing, Mattis was grilled by New York Democrat Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand about the issue. He seemed to dance around the topic, even indicating that he wouldn't change the policies enacted by Carter and Obama.
 
Strangely, Mattis' tightrope walk on the Hill was different than his 2014 comments, "The idea of putting a woman in there (combat) is not setting them up for success. It would only be someone who never crossed the line of departure into close-quarters fighting that would ever even promote such an idea. Could we find a woman who could run fast enough? Of course we could. Could you find a few who could do the pullups? Of course we could. That's not the point. That's not the point at all. It is whether or not you want to mix eros. Do you really want to mix love, affection, whatever you want to call it, in a unit...? Some of us aren't so old that we've forgotten at times it was like heaven on earth to hold a certain girl's hand."
So, will Mattis roll over like everyone else and let the insanity unfold, or was his performance on the Hill, a mere charade to allow the left wing fools to rubber stamp his confirmation?
Mattis was also questioned by Senator Claire McCaskill, another advocate for women in combat, who wouldn't know a K Bar from a Snickers Bar if her life depended on it.
To fools like McCaskill and Gillibrand, allowing women to serve in the infantry is nothing different than women working for Apple or Google.
Perhaps they would change their minds if they watched just five minutes of Saving Private Ryan or The Pacific. Or, better yet if they spent five minutes in an actual war zone.
General Mattis knows better than anyone that women serving in the combat arms and special operations would be a disaster and the death knell for the nation. General Mattis also knows that the US military combat arms branches and special operations need the smartest, toughest, roughest SOB's on the planet.
What will General Mattis recommend to the President when asked? Will he allow the social engineering of the military to continue or will he ride to the rescue and save it?
President-Elect Trump calls Mattis the closest thing to Patton.
We're going to find out.
The fate of the US military is in the hands of one Marine.
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 01/19/2017 AFGHANISTAN - TRAINERS PUSH TO GET AIR CONTROLLERS IN SHAPE AHEAD OF FIGHTING SEASON (JAN 19/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- The Afghan military says it is speeding up the training of tactical air controllers to direct strikes to support ground troops, reports the Stars and Stripes.   U.S. and NATO officials acknowledge that the Afghans do not have enough controllers, which are considered vital to responding to surprise attacks, ambushes and situations where quick air action is needed to prevent forces from being overrun.   Since NATO withdrew much of its forces at the end of 2014, Kabul has been forced to rely more on its own air force for air support.   NATO trainers have been conducting trying to assist coordinators before this year's fighting season, officials said.   Strengthening the Afghan air force, including deploying more tactical air coordinators, will help the government troops some of the initiative lost to the Taliban since 2014, said NATO officials.   Before last autumn, about 200 Afghan personnel were trained as air controllers. There are also complicating issues with Afghan units using controllers for other tasks, rather than as specialists, according to the officials.   Students graduating this year will be employed solely as air controllers. The air force currently has 95 open slots for air controllers, but only 60 are expected to graduate from this year's course, officials said
Item Number:2 Date: 01/19/2017 AUSTRIA - FACING INFLUX OF MIGRANTS, GOVERNMENT EYES TIGHTER CONTROLS AT SLOVAKIAN BORDER (JAN 19/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Austrian Defense Minister Hans-Peter Doskozil says his nation is going to improve its border controls following an influx of migrants, reports Agence France-Presse, citing a Vienna newspaper.   Human-smugglers have shifted their focus to Austria's eastern border with Slovakia, Doskozil told the Kurier daily on Wednesday.   Already in 2017, 299 migrants have been intercepted in the state of Lower Austria, along the border with Slovakia and the Czech Republic, he said.   Those numbers compare to 174 in Burgenland state, which borders Hungary. That area has been the focus of tightened border controls, said the minister.   Most of the migrants are crossing from Slovakia by train, which requires more checks. Around 100 soldiers could be deployed to help, said Doskozil
  Item Number:3 Date: 01/19/2017 BRAZIL - RESPONDING TO GANG-RELATED VIOLENCE IN PRISONS, GOVERNMENT DEPLOYS 1,000 TROOPS TO GET WEAPONS, CONTRABAND (JAN 19/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Brazilian troops are being deployed to help "clean out" prisons following a wave of gang violence, reports the BBC.   About 1,000 troops were being sent to remove all arms, explosives and mobile phones from prisons across Brazil, said Defense Minister Raul Jungmann on Wednesday.   The soldiers "will only enter when the risk of rioting is minimal or nonexistent.... The armed forces are not going to confront these groups," he said.   On Wednesday, authorities began moving inmates from the Alacuz prison near the northern city of Nadal. Weekend violence between two rival gangs left 26 people dead at that facility, most of them beheaded.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 01/19/2017 COLOMBIA - ELN, GOVERNMENT TO BEGIN FORMAL PEACE TALKS ON FEB. 7 (JAN 19/DEWELLE)  DEUTSCHE WELLE -- The Colombian government and the ELN guerrilla group will begin official peace talks next month, reports Deutsche Welle.   On Wednesday, President Juan Manuel Santos announced that formal talks will begin on Feb. 7 in Quito, the capital of Ecuador.   ELN has agreed to hand over a key hostage, former Congressman Odin Sanchez. For its part, the government will pardon two ELN members.   Both of those actions are scheduled to take place on Feb. 2, reported the BBC.   Sanchez has been held since April 2016 when he took the place of his ailing brother, Patrocino Sanchez, who had been a captive for almost three years
  Item Number:5 Date: 01/19/2017 GAMBIA - WITH ECOWAS TROOPS ON BORDER, JAMMEH STAYS IN PLACE (JAN 19/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- Several West African nations seem to be on the verge of a military intervention in Gambia after President Yahya Jammeh refused to step down from his post, reports the Wall Street Journal.   The president, who has been in power for 23 years, has refused to leave after losing elections in December to Adama Barrow. His mandate ended at midnight on Wednesday.   Regional countries have been trying to convince Jammeh to step down. Troops from regional bloc ECOWAS, led by Senegal, have been deployed along the border.   Gambia's army chief said late Wednesday that he would not order his troops to fight the foreign force.   On Wednesday, lawmakers gave Jammeh a 90-day extension in office, reported the Daily Post (Nigeria).   By Thursday morning, no ECOWAS troops had crossed into Gambia, following a last-minute mediation attempt by the Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel, said sources cited by AFP. There were unconfirmed reports of soldiers crossing from Senegal.   President-elect Barrow has said he will be sworn in on Thursday. He is currently in Senegal
Item Number:6 Date: 01/19/2017 ISRAEL - MISSILE DEFENSES BECOME STRONGER WITH DELIVERY OF INITIAL ARROW 3 INTERCEPTORS (JAN 19/GLOBES)  GLOBES ONLINE -- The Israeli air force has taken delivery of its first Arrow 3 air defense interceptors, says the Defense Ministry, as cited by Globes (Israel).   The anti-missile systems were handed over on Wednesday at the Palmachim air base on Israel's Mediterranean coast.   According to the ministry, the system gives the service new capabilities to intercept ballistic missiles while they are outside of the Earth's atmosphere, noted the Jerusalem Post.   Should the first interceptor miss, there will be sufficient time for another missile to be launched at the threat, officials said.   The Arrow 3 uses existing infrastructure, allowing the system to be immediately declared operational. The missiles are located at facilities in Palmachim and Ein Shemer airfield in northern Israel.   The Arrow 3s development began in 2008, noted the Times of Israel.   The Arrow 3 forms the outermost layer of Israel's multi-layer air defense system, which also includes the Arrow 2, David's Sling and Iron Dome systems.  
Item Number:7 Date: 01/19/2017 MALI - MASSIVE SUICIDE ATTACK IN GAO SAID TO BE WORK OF AQIM BRANCH (JAN 19/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for Wednesday's massive suicide bombing on a military base in northern Mali, reports the BBC.   The blast in Gao killed at least 60 people and wounded 115 others, reported the Hindustan Times. Reports of the death toll ranged from 40 to 70.   Later on Wednesday, AQIM said the attack was made by its affiliate Al-Mourabitoun and gave the name of the bomber, Abdul Hadi al Fulani.   Some local accounts said as many as five bombers were involved, but AQIM said he acted alone, noted the U.S.-based Long War Journal.   The terror group said the attack was punishment for groups cooperating with France, which intervened in Mali in 2013
Item Number:8 Date: 01/19/2017 NATO - CYBERATTACKS AGAINST ALLIANCE UP 60 PERCENT LAST YEAR, SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL (JAN 19/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- NATO facilities have experienced a major increase over the past year in state-sponsored cyber attacks, reports Agence France-Presse, citing comments by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.   There was a monthly average of 500 cyberattacks against NATO facilities in 2016 that "required intensive intervention from our experts," Stoltenberg told the German Die Welt daily on Thursday.   "That's an increase of 60 percent compared to 2015. Most of these attacks did not stem from private individuals, but were sponsored by national institutions of other countries," he said. Most of those states are hostile to the alliance, he said.   Stoltenberg warned that such attacks could affect the readiness of NATO and called for improved capabilities.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 01/19/2017 NORTH KOREA - 2 NEW ICBMS APPEAR TO BE GETTING READY FOR LAUNCH, SAY SEOUL (JAN 19/YON)  YONHAP -- North Korea appears to be preparing two intercontinental ballistic missiles for a test-launch soon, South Korean officials told the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The two missiles do not seem to be more than 15 meters (50 feet) in length, which means they are shorter than the North's existing KN-08 and KN-14 ICBMs, said the South Korean officials on Thursday.   The ICBMs may have been intentionally revealed to send a "strategic message" to incoming U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, said officials.   Exactly when the missiles were seen was not reported. However, the U.S. Navy on Monday moved its sea-based X-band radar systems to the western part of the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii
Item Number:10 Date: 01/19/2017 PHILIPPINES - ABU SAYYAF FREES 2 FILIPINOS (JAN 19/PDI)  PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER -- The Abu Sayyaf terrorist group has freed two hostages it held for almost three months, the Philippine military said on Thursday, as cited by the Philippine Daily Inquirer.   The two Filipinos were abducted in October off the waters close to the town of Pangutaran. They were released Thursday in Indanan on the island of Sulu, said a military spokesman. The names of the two were not released, and many details were still unknown, noted the Manila Bulletin.   It was unclear whether a ransom was paid. The spokesman said the release was because of intensified military operations and troops deployments against Abu Sayyaf in Western Mindanao.   More hostages are expected to be freed in the coming days as operations continue, the spokesman said. The group is believed to be holding more than 20 foreigners and Filipinos in Basilan and Sulu.   On Saturday, Abu Sayyaf freed the captain of a South Korean cargo ship and a Filipino crewmember who were held since October, noted Reuters
  Item Number:11 Date: 01/19/2017 RUSSIA - MILITARY TRAINING RANGES IN WEST TO GET MAKEOVERS (JAN 19/TASS)  TASS -- The Russian Defense Ministry says it has begun large-scale upgrades for training ranges in the Western Military District, reports Russia's Tass news agency.   Ranges in the Voronezh, Leningrad and Nizhny Novgorod regions, in the northwestern and central part of the district, are being modernized, according to a release from the Western Military District on Tuesday.   In the Leningrad region, military units will receive tank mean lines and troop firing ranges. The other two regions are in line for new tank training areas, the district said in the release.   New tank training areas will meet the requirements for modern training for drivers of various tank models, said the release.   The improved ranges will reduce the amount of time needed to train personnel and interoperability among units, said the ministry.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 01/19/2017 SOUTH KOREA - BOTSWANAN MINISTER SIGNS DEFENSE MEMO OF UNDERSTANDING IN SEOUL (JAN 19/YON)  YONHAP -- The defense ministers of Botswana and South Korea have agreed to bolster bilateral military cooperation, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   South Korean Defense Minister Han Min Koo met with his Botswanan counterpart Shaw Kgathi on Wednesday in Seoul. They signed a memorandum of understanding on military cooperation.   The ministers also discussed ways to promote meetings of high-ranking military officials and defense industry cooperation, according to a statement from the South Korean Defense Ministry.   "Han explained the current security situation on the Korean Peninsula, citing North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs, to the Botswana minister. And he asked Botswana to join international efforts to pressure Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program," said the statement.   Botswana cut diplomatic ties with North Korea in February 2014 after the U.N. issued a report on human-rights abuses in that country.   Defense Minister Kgathi is also scheduled to meet with Chang Myoung Jin, the head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, to talk about potential defense industry cooperation.   Botswana previously expressed interest in buying F/A-50 fighters from South Korea; it has also considered Saab JAS 39C/D Gripens from Sweden, noted IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
Item Number:13 Date: 01/19/2017 SOUTH KOREA - U.S. ARMY HELICOPTER, TAKING PART IN LIVE-FIRE EXERCISE, SETS MOUNTAIN ABLAZE (JAN 19/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- A U.S. military helicopter taking part in a drill started a blaze at a firing range in South Korea, reports the Stars and Stripes.   The OH-58 Kiowa was firing munitions Tuesday at the Rodriguez Live-Fire Range in Gyeonggi province when the fire broke out and spread to the mountainside, according to the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division.   Firefighting helicopters were delayed by weather conditions, said a spokesman for the unit.   The flames were extinguished by Wednesday morning, having burned an area about half the size of a football field, the military spokesman said. No injuries were reported.  
Item Number:14 Date: 01/19/2017 SYRIA - AS REBEL FORCES BATTLE ISIS NEAR RAQQA, THEIR SUPPLIES ARE BEING DROPPED BY USAF (JAN 19/USA)  USA TODAY -- U.S. officials say the Air Force has been stepping up its airdrops of weapons, ammunition and other equipment to opposition forces advancing on Raqqa, the Islamic State's de facto capital in eastern Syria, reports USA Today.   "Our expanded precision airdrop capability is helping ground forces take the offensive to (the Islamic State) and efforts to retake Raqqa," Gen. Carlton Everhart, the head of Air Mobility Command, told reporters at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.   The Air Force conducted 16 airdrops in Syria last year, including six in December, according to the service.   The airdrop operations are vital to supplying opposition forces that lack significant ground supply lines and are in frequent contact with hostile forces.   The U.S.-led coalition backs the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition with about 45,000 fighters, with airstrikes and teams of special operations forces.   The service can drop supplies with precision at night and in different locations to make them harder for militants to capture.   Coalition airdrops are being made only to Sunni Arab forces in the coalition, however, to avoid antagonizing Turkey. The main force in the SDF is the YPG, or People's Protection Units, which is considered a terrorist group by Ankara
Item Number:15 Date: 01/19/2017 SYRIA - IN JOINT OPERATION, TURKISH, RUSSIAN AIRCRAFT BOMB ISIS IN AL-BAB; RESULTS DEEMED SUCCESSFUL (JAN 19/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Russian military officials say their first joint air operation with Turkey in Syria's northern Aleppo province was successful, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   Moscow provided four Su-24M, four Su-25 and one Su-34 strike aircraft, while Turkey sent four F-16 and four F-4 fighters during the air operation, according to Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, the head of operations for the Russian General Staff, during a briefing on Wednesday.   Thirty-six Islamic State sites near al-Bab in Aleppo province were targeted, the general said.   The general said the joint operation was conducted in agreement with the Syrian government, reported Reuters.   Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan wants Turkish-backed rebels to seize al-Bab to prevent Kurdish fighters from doing so.  
 Item Number:16 Date: 01/19/2017 TURKEY - AS RELATIONS THAW, TOP ISRAEL, TURKISH MILITARY OFFICERS GET TOGETHER FOR 1ST TIME SINCE 2010 (JAN 19/HUR)  HURRIYET -- Senior military officers in Israel and Turkey have met for talks for the first time since a rift following an incident off the Gaza Strip in 2010, reports the Hurriyet Daily News (Istanbul).   Bilateral relations were frozen in May 2010 after Israeli forces boarded an activist Turkish ship delivering aid and breaking Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. Ten Turkish activists were killed in the incident.   Last year, Israel and Turkey formalized an agreement, bringing an end to the diplomatic freeze, noted the Jerusalem Post.   The military meeting took place on the sidelines of a NATO conference in Brussels, according to the Turkish military.   Turkey and Israel are expected to hold political consultation meetings within a month and draft a road map for cooperation, including military ties, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told Hurriyet.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 01/19/2017 UGANDA - SCORES OF M23 REBELS, BREAKING DEMOBILIZATION DEAL, ARRESTED ON WAY BACK TO DRC (JAN 19/CBC)  CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION -- Government authorities in Uganda have arrested more than 100 former M23 rebels who were reportedly attempting to return to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, reports CBC News.   Former M23 fighters have been in Ugandan camps for years after their defeat in 2013.   Some members of the group "have been quietly escaping into the general public" in disguise, said a government spokesman on Thursday. This breaks their deal to demobilize, noted Reuters.   A total of 101 M23 members were caught while being ferried in four vehicles headed to DRC, he said. The deal reached in 2014 required them to stay in Ugandan camps, he added.   At least 270 are still being held at camps in western Uganda, but separate group of 40 reportedly escaped a week ago.   The Congolese government first reported the rebel movement last week.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 01/19/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - TIDE CLASS RUNS LATE, BUT INITIAL SHIP FINALLY IS DELIVERED (JAN 19/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The British Royal Navy says it has taken delivery of the first of four new supply ships being built in South Korea, reports Defense News.   The tankers of the Tide class will be commissioned into the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA).   Tidespring was accepted earlier this month and is scheduled to arrive in the U.K. later this year for customization and capability assessment trials before entering service, a Defense Ministry spokesman told the newspaper.   The delivery was delayed a year after technical problems were discovered during sea trials. New regulations involving cable insulation also required adjustments to the schedule, the ministry spokesman said.   All four ships were supposed to be delivered by April 2017 under the original schedule. They are now expected to be in service by the end of 2018, said the spokesman.   Planned customization work at the A&P shipyard at Falmouth, western England, will include self-defense systems, ballistic protection and communication systems.   The Tidespring is slated to enter service by the end of 2017.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 01/19/2017 USA - $140 MILLION CONTRACT MODIFICATION WILL KEEP BACN COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM FLYING (JAN 19/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman, San Diego, Calif., a contract modification for the Battlefield Airborne Communication Node (BACN) program, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The initial award was in June 2015.   The $140 million deal covers the BACN payload, operations and support, according to the Jan. 17 Pentagon release.   The BACN is integrated with U.S. E-11A and EQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft to improve battlefield communications.   Work under the contract is scheduled to be completed by Jan. 23, 2018.  
Item Number:20 Date: 01/19/2017 USA - T-45C GOSHAWK GOES DOWN AT NAS MERIDIAN, MISS., INJURING 2 (JAN 19/MERSTAR)  MERIDIAN STAR -- The U.S. Navy is investigating the crash of a training aircraft on Tuesday in Mississippi.   Two naval personnel were injured when their training aircraft crashed at Naval Air Station Meridian, Miss., reports the Meridian Star (Miss.), citing local officials.   The T-45C Goshawk, assigned to Training Squadron 9, Training Air Wing 1, went down during a training flight, according to base officials.   Both crew members ejected and were receiving medical attention for injuries. At the time, they said to be in stable condition.   The incident took place off the east runway at the air station.

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