Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Fw: TheList 4403

The List 4403


To All,
I hope your week has started well.
Regards,
skip
 
This Day in Naval History - March 07
1778 - Continental Navy frigate Randolph (32 guns) engages HMS Yarmouth (64). Randolph explodes and sinks with the loss of all but four men.
1942: USS Grenadier (SS 210) torpedoes Japanese Asahisan Maru south of Shioya Saki, causing damage to the transport ship.
1958 - Commissioning of USS Grayback (SS 574), first submarine built from keel up with guided-missile capability, to fire Regulus II missile.
1960 - USS Kearsarge (CVS 33) rescues four Russian soldiers from their landing craft 1,000 miles from Midway Island. The Soldiers were drifting several weeks after their engine failed off Kamchatka Peninsula.
1966 - The Department of the Navy is reorganized into its present structure under the Chief of Naval Operations.
1967 - River Patrol Boats assist Operation Overload II in Rung Sat Zone, Vietnam.
1968 - Operation Coronado XII begins in Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
1994 - The Navy issues its first orders to women assigned aboard a combat ship - USS Eisenhower (CVN 69).
 
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March 7
322 BC
The Greek philosopher Aristotle dies.
161
On the death of Antoninus at Lorium, Marcus Aurelius becomes emperor.
1774
The British close the port of Boston to all commerce.
1799
In Palestine, Napoleon captures Jaffa and his men massacre more than 2,000 Albanian prisoners.
1809
Aeronaut Jean Pierre Blanchard -- the first person to make an aerial voyage in the New World -- dies at the age of 56.
1838
Soprano Jenny Lind ("the Swedish Nightingale") makes her debut in Weber's opera Der Freischultz.
1847
U.S. General Winfield Scott occupies Vera Cruz, Mexico.
1849
The Austrian Reichstag is dissolved.
1862
Confederate forces surprise the Union army at the Battle of Pea Ridge, in Arkansas, but the Union is victorious.
1876
Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for the telephone.
1904
The Japanese bomb the Russian town of Vladivostok.
1906
Finland becomes the third country to give women the right to vote, decreeing universal suffrage for all citizens over 24, however, barring those persons who are supported by the state.
1912
French aviator, Heri Seimet flies non-stop from London to Paris in three hours.
1918
Finland signs an alliance treaty with Germany.
1925
The Soviet Red Army occupies Outer Mongolia.
1927
A Texas law that bans Negroes from voting is ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
1933
The board game Monopoly is invented.
1933
The film King Kong premieres in New York City.
1935
Malcolm Campbell sets an auto speed record of 276.8 mph in Florida.
1936
Hitler sends German troops into the Rhineland, violating the Locarno Pact.
1942
Japanese troops land on New Guinea.
1951
U.N. forces in Korea under General Matthew Ridgeway launch Operation Ripper, an offensive to straighten out the U.N. front lines against the Chinese.
1968
The Battle of Saigon, begun on the day of the Tet Offensive, ends.
1971
A thousand U.S. planes bomb Cambodia and Laos.
1979
Voyager 1 reaches Jupiter.
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Thanks to Barrel….What a ride!!
Flight test work for the Boeing 717 / MD-95.   This is why flight test pilots earn big bucks.


> https://vimeo.com/8511733
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Thanks to Carl
 
The Ghost Of Columbia University: No Students Or Professors Saw Him, Met Him, Or Heard Of Him
Wayne Allyn Root  -  Posted by Conservative Daily Post | Mar 6, 2017
 
I just returned from New York, where I attended my 30th Columbia University reunion. I celebrated with my esteemed classmates. Everyone except Barack Obama. As usual- he wasn't there. Not even a video greeting. Not a personalized letter to his classmates. Nothing. But worse, no one at our 30th reunion ever met him. The President of the United States is the ghost of Columbia University.
 
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Thanks to Robert
The mystery of the wiretaps
"Certainly may provide some insights into how General Flynn's conversations were listened in on.   Looks like an aspiring fiction writer (Ben Rhodes) wet dream.  Marching Trump nominees before as many evil Russians as possible, then contacting the NYT.  Foggy Bottom and the FISA court judges were unwitting tools.  Well, Foggy Bottom possibly not entirely unwitting."
In the run-up to the election Louise Mensch and others broke the story that the Obama Justice Department and federal law enforcement authorities had obtained a Trump-related FISA warrant in October following the denial of an earlier FISA warrant request the previous June. On its way out the door the Obama administration trashed the "minimization" procedures protecting the privacy of American citizens caught in the FISA net. Andrew McCarthy raised a red flag in the troubling NRO column "FISA and the Trump team." Earlier this week the New York Times reported the involvement of Obama administration officials in disseminating the information obtained along the way.
Breibart has posted a useful timeline with links, as has the Conservative Tree House site. In his NRO column today, Andrew McCarthy provides this summary of events to date as part of his inquiry into the "recusal" of Attorney General Sessions from something or other this week. Here is an excerpt:
While the commentariat was rending its garments over the mere prospect that Trump might have his political adversary, Hillary Clinton, investigated if he won the election, Obama was actually having Trump investigated.
To rehearse briefly, in the weeks prior to June 2016, the FBI did a preliminary investigation, apparently based on concerns about a server at Trump Tower that allegedly had some connection to Russian financial institutions. Even if there were such a connection, it is not a crime to do business with Russian banks — lots of Americans do. It should come as no surprise, then, that the FBI found no impropriety and did not proceed with a criminal investigation.
What is surprising, though, is that the case was not closed down.
Instead, the Obama Justice Department decided to pursue the matter as a national-security investigation under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In June, it sought the FISA court's permission to conduct surveillance on a number of Trump associates — and perhaps even Trump himself. It has been reported that Trump was "named" in the application, but it is not publicly known whether he (a) was named as a proposed wiretap target, or (b) was just mentioned in passing in the application.
Understand the significance of this: Only the Justice Department litigates before the FISA court; this was not some rogue investigators; this was a high level of Obama's Justice Department — the same institution that, at that very moment, was whitewashing the Clinton e-mail scandal. And when Justice seeks FISA surveillance authority, it is essentially telling that court that there is probable cause to believe that the targets have acted as agents of a foreign power — that's the only basis for getting a FISA warrant.
In this instance, the FISA court apparently found the Obama Justice Department's presentation to be so weak that it refused to authorize the surveillance. That is telling, because the FISA court is generally very accommodating of government surveillance requests. Unwilling to take no for an answer, the Obama Justice Department came back to the FISA court in October — i.e., in the stretch run of the presidential campaign. According to various reports (and mind you, FISA applications are classified, so the leaks are illegal), the October application was much narrower than the earlier one and did not mention Donald Trump. The FISA Court granted this application, and for all we know the investigation is continuing.
http://aviation.watergeek.eu/images/f-4/f-4-flight-2.jpgThere are two significant takeaways from this. First, a FISA national-security investigation is not a criminal investigation. It is not a probe to uncover criminal activity; it is a classified effort to discover what a potentially hostile foreign government may be up to on American soil. It does not get an assigned prosecutor because the purpose is not to prove anything publicly in court — indeed, it is a major no-no for the Justice Department to use its FISA authority pretextually, for the real purpose of trying to build a criminal investigation.
Second, remember when the New York Times gleefully reported in mid January that three Trump associates — Paul Manafort (who was ousted as campaign manager in August), Manafort's associate Roger Stone, and Trump's investor friend Carter Page — were being investigated over alleged ties to Russia? Well, deep into the report, after all the heavy breathing about potential Trump–Russia ties, the Times report conceded that this investigation may very well have nothing to do with Trump, the presidential campaign, or Russian hacking. To the contrary, indications were that it arose out of consulting Manafort had done for Putin's puppet party in Ukraine, beginning in 2005. That engagement is surely unsavory, but there may not be anything criminal about it, and it is not in any event related to whatever Russia was up to in the American presidential election of 2016.
Bottom line: The Obama Justice Department and the FBI spent at least eight months searching for Trump–Russia ties. They found nothing criminal, and clearly nothing connecting Trump to Russian hacking….
Read the whole thing here with McCarthy's links.
 
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Fun stuff thanks to Tom
 
Fighter Pilot Leader . . Joe Griffith  shares :
 
    " One of our aircraft handling tasks for F-4 Fighter Weapons School was to take the airplane VERTICAL  . . then recover to normal flight when the airspeed

decayed to ZERO.  "

Usually, it was a fairly benign maneuver .  . 
IF . . ITS PILOT MANUALLY  D-I-S-A-L-L-O-W-E-D . . ANY AILERON INPUT !

A bit of aileron added to the VERTICAL tail slide . . could easily create a wild . . disastrous . . adverse yaw and rotation . . at blurring speed. 

As the instructor in the F-4's back seat, I always ' trapped the control stick ' between my knees and forearms so the students could not put any aileron in. In spite

of my precautions, this student ' forced in ' aileron during his VERTICAL tail slide. 


    The airplane slid backwards, then flopped over on its back to immediately enter into a blurring roll—

so fast . .

. . that I truly didn't know if we were upright . . or inverted. 

    Quickly the ' thing ' yawed ' more severely . . when it began a highly oscillatory rotation with the nose above [ before pointing down about 70 degrees below ]

the horizon—while . . ' on its own ' . . it continued rolling
   I took over and attempted to unload the ' stalled ' wing . . and counter the yaw by shoving my boot to full rudder . . opposite the rotation. 

I relaxed forward pushing on the control stick .  .  Why ? Because it seemed to actually ' speed up ' the unwanted rolling. 

    Maybe with all the power to idle— the F-4 might have recovered if I had just kept the stick forward while holding its rudder—against the yaw. 

But I don't know.
Now . . the gyroscopic unfettered roll badly confused . . my brain.

 


    We slashed below 20M—and still out of control—I decided to  use  the drag chute—although afraid that uncontrolled roll might spin the chute  into a stream-

lined ' Roman candle ' . . making it useless. 

At that point, it was either try that or ' punch out.' Although I was very leery of a safe ejection in our weird circumstances. 

At about 18M I yelled at the student to deploy ' the drag chute—and held my breath. 

    As soon as it ' came out,' the coupling roll's ' fist released—allowed the nose to pitched down about 60 degrees and —our straight down

rotation faded. 

    I held neutral angle of attack on the AOA guage . . insuring zero aileron input. Airspeed quickly built up to flying speed.  The chute line

snapped off at about 220kts . . pulled out of a 70-80 degree dive. 

That dive ' bottomed out ' at about 10M feet . . we climbed back to altitude . . and  just kiddingly I told the student : 

" Okay.
Let's go try that again ! " 
 
He vehemently declined.  We took the airplane home for an Over-G'd  stress check. It was undamaged. 
   But after that I always held the stick in my hands, when students made their recoveries from zero airspeed in the F-4.


Bud McVay replies . . . 
" I AM NOW FAMILIAR WITH THE STRAIGHT UP/ NEAR ZERO AIRSPEED TAIL SLIDE IN AN F-4.  ALTHOUGH I WAS AN FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR IN COMBAT CREW TRAINING

AT SHAW, NO  ONE HAD EVER DEMONSTRATED THIS TACTIC TO ME.
    ONE DAY I JUST TRIED IT, THEN DEMONSTRATED THE VERTICAL TAIL SLIDE TO EVERY ONE OF MY FRONT SEAT AND BACKSEAT STUDENTS, AS A CONFIDENCE BUILDING

MANEUVER. 

THEY COULD PRACTICE THIS ON THEIR OWN TIME . . IF THEY FELT THE URGE . . ONCE THEY WERE FAR AWAY FROM SHAW.
     I NEVER TOOK THE PLANE TO COMPLETE ZERO AIRSPEED . . FIVE KNOTS WAS THE SLOWEST I EVER SAW AND I ALWAYS WAITED UNTIL WE HAD COMPLETED

THE LESSON AND THE FUEL WAS BURNED DOWN. THEN WE WOULD PICK UP SOME HEFTY AIRSPEED WHILE HEADING DOWN TO ONLY 500 FEET . .  BEFORE ZOOMING

UP STRAGHT UP TO THE VERTICAL. 
     AS OUR AIRSPEED DETERIORATED AND APPROACHED 60 KNOTS  I WOULD GENTLY EASE FORWARD ON THE STICK AND WE WERE WEIGHTLESS [ OUR REAR ENDS JUST

TICKLING THE SEAT CUSHIONS.]  I FIGURED THE PLANE WAS WEIGHTLESS SO REQUIRED NO LIFT. 

    I NEVER HAD THE NERVE TO PUT IN ANY AILERON WHILE WE WERE BACKING UP. BECAUSE OF THE F-4's ODD SHAPED TAIL FEATHERS, I THOUGHT THERE MIGHT BE

HELL TO PAY. 
    ANYWAY, TYPICALLY, THE PLANE WOULD JUST ARC OVER AT NEAR ZERO AIRSPEED. THEN THE NOSE WOULD FALL BELOW THE HORIZON AND THE AIRSPEED WOULD

GRADUALLY BUILD UP UNTIL YOU COULD PULL OUT OF ROUTINE DIVE.  

BY THIS TIME, I'D DONE THIS AT FULL THROTTLE [ BUT NOT IN AFTER BURNER ] AND ALSO WITH THROTTLES BACK TO IDLE RPM.
    ONE DAY, DURING THIS OTHERWISE FUN EXERCISE, WE FOUND OURSELVES HANGING FROM THE SHOULDER HARNESS AS MAPS AND ALL KINDS OF GARBAGE FLOATED

TO THE TOP OF OUR CANOPY. 

THE F-4'S DASH-1'S RED PAGES CLEARLY STATE INVERTED SPINS TO BE PROHIBITED.  


I'D HEARD MCDONNELL HAD  LOST A COUPLE AIRCRAFT WHILE TRYING TO RECOVER FROM INVERTED SPINS . . EVEN USING A SPIN RECOVERY DRAG CHUTE.
THE STUDENT WAS A BACK SEATER ON HIS 2ND FLIGHT.  I HAD JUST DEMONSTRATED A HIGH SPEED STALL AT 24,000 FEET AT ABOUT 340 KTS. 

    SIMPLE ENOUGH . ..  JUST ROLL INTO A TIGHT TURN . . ADD POWER AND BACK STICK PRESSURE UNTILTHE PLANE BEGAN AERODYNAMICALLY SIGNALING A HIGH SPEED STALL . .

GIFTING THE PILOTS AN ODD AERODYNAMIC  ' WING ROCK.' 

OKAY. JUST RELEASE BACK PRESSURE, ROLL WINGS LEVEL AND THAT WAS IT. 

SO I ASKED THE SECOND RIDE STUDENT TO GIVE IT A TRY. 
  
    THE STUDENT WAS TOO ' TIMID ' TO PULL ENOUGH G'S. HE HAD SEEN THE WINGS ROCK TOWARD THE END OF MY DEMONSTRATION BUT MISTAKENLY THOUGHT I WAS MANUALLY

DEMONSTRATING TO HIM HOW TO DO IT WITH THE CONTROL  STICK . . SO HE STARTED . . MANUALLY . . ROCKING THE WINGS USING AILERONS. 

    I TOLD HIM : ' STOP THAT . . AND START OVER . . GET IT INTO THE WING ROCK . . BY MERELY LETTING THE PHANTOM DO IT . . BY ITSELF . . BY YOUR USING ONLY CONTROL STICK

ELEVATOR BACK PRESSURE . .   

AGAIN HE CAME IN WITH THAT ' TIMID ' BACK STICK.  
MY VOICE ROSE : '' BACK PRESSURE . . BACK PRESSURE
PULL #$%$#@ !!! " 
PULL  IT  ! ! ! ! 
WITH THAT HE HONKS THE STICK HARD AND STRAIGHT BACK. 

THE PLANE SHUTTERS . .  AND BEFORE YOU COULD BLINK . . IT FLIPS CLOCKWISE ONTO IT'S BACK. 

I SAID , ' I'VE GOT IT '  [ ALTHOUGH I HAD NO IDEA OF WHAT TO DO NEXT.] 
   ALL KINDS OF JUNK HEAVED OFF THE COCKPIT FLOOR ON AND SHOT UP TO THE TOP OF  THE CANOPY MAKING ME BELIEVE WE MAY HAVE ENTERED IN THAT INVERTED SPIN

DESCRIBED IN THE F-4 DASH-1'S EMERGENCY ' RED EDGED ' PAGES. 
    WHEN I LOOKED ABOVE MY HEAD, ALL I SAW WAS SWAMPAS IT WHIPPED AROUND OUR HELMETS. .  ' BOUT THREE TIMES.  

I WISH I COULD SAY THAT I ANALYZED ALL THAT  WAS GOING ON  . .  AND TOOK APPROPRIATE ACTION TO RECOVER. 
    BUT, ALL I DID WAS NEUTRALIZE ALL THE CONTROLS . .  AND FEED IN RUDDER OPPOSED TO THE ROTATION'S DIRECTION. 

FORTUNATELY, THE PHANTOM'S  ROTATION  STOPPED AND ITS NOSE FELL BELOW THE HORIZON. WE RECOVERED AROUND 17,000 FEET.
   THE BACK SEATER THEN  ' PUKED ' IN HIS OXYGEN MASK SO WE LOGGED JUST 20 MINUTES AND CALLED IT A DAY.  WHEN I GOT HOME, MY WIFE ASKED, " HOW WAS  WORK, HONEY ?" 
"JUST FINE, BABY, JUST FINE—I  LIED." 
SHE'D NEVER UNDERSTAND.  BUT YOU—THE FIGHTER JOCK READING THIS—UNDERSTAND THESE ACID-ETCHED MOMENTS.

Fighter Pilot Leader . . Robin Olds shared :
  " September '66. Davis/Monthan. Second F-4 ride. Bill Kirk my IP.
I said : ' I want to experience adverse yaw. '
Up we went in a steep climb.
Indicating about 150 and Bill said :  ' Touch the ailerons.' 
The bird went apeshit. Dirt and pencil stubs were on the canopy over my head.

Not a spin. The bird was in a true tumble. 
Both engines had flamed out, and Bill told me to extend the RAT.
Tumbling through 15M Bill said : " Time to get out !"

"No way,"
I said.
"I 'll get her in the next couple of turns."
We recovered passing through 6,000.   And as I got the engines started again and I said to Bill :
' Damn, that was fun . . let's do that again, Bill ! '
The Captain said to his student : ' No way,  Colonel. '
     So I never did it again. But I knew how to put the fear of God in my replacement pilots . . thanks to Bill Kirk . . one

of the best fighter pilots I ever flew with.
https://media.defense.gov/2007/Jun/15/2000481586/-1/-1/0/020925-O-9999G-104.JPG
Sources : Tom Weeks' personal files
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 03/07/2017 BURMA - REBEL ATTACK FORCES THOUSANDS TO FLEE IN KOKANG; ARMY BRINGS IN ARTILLERY TO FIGHT BACK (MAR 07/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Thousands of Burmese have fled and more than 30 were killed in fighting between rebels and security forces in a town close to the border with China, say officials cited by Agence France-Presse.   On Monday, rebels dressed in police uniforms launched a surprise raid against police and military posts in Laukki, the capita of the restive Kokang region of the northwestern Shan state.   A separate group of fighters hit other parts of the town later. Artillery and small-arms fire were reported throughout the day.   At least five traffic police and five civilians were killed. Authorities reported that there were 20 "burned bodies" that could not be identified.   The Burmese government blamed the attack on rebels from the Myanmar Nationalities Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA).   A rebel commander part of the Northern Alliance umbrella rebel group said that the attack was primarily the work of the MNDAA, but that fighters from several other member groups also participated, reported the Voice of America News.   On Tuesday, the Burmese army said it had used artillery to repel the rebels, reported the Press Trust of India.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 03/07/2017 CANADA - BIDS FOR NEW FIGHTERS MAY BE SOUGHT BY 2019, AN ELECTION YEAR (MAR 07/OC)  OTTAWA CITIZEN -- The Canadian government has decided to launch bidding for a new fleet of fighter jets as soon as 2019, reports the Ottawa Citizen.   The date, noted the paper, coincides with the next federal election.   The request, along with efforts to take delivery of the first of an interim batch of F/A-18E/F Super Hornets by 2019, is seen as a way to blunt criticism directed at the Liberal government for botched military procurements and delays in buying a replacement for the air force's aging CF-18 Hornets, say military sources and analysts.   Ottawa expects to finalize a deal by the end of 2017 or in early 2018 to buy an interim fleet of 18 Super Hornets.   Taken together, the moves may provide political cover to the Liberals an election year, the analysts said.   A planned defense policy review will also address plans to procure a permanent replacement fleet for the current CF-18s, officials said.   Some critics say the best way to address an alleged capability gap is to kick off a competition for a Hornet replacement as soon as possible
Item Number:3 Date: 03/07/2017 CHINA - LATEST OFFICIAL DEFENSE BUDGET INCREASE SET AT 7 PERCENT (MAR 07/XIN)  XINHUA -- China has officially announced that defense spending will increase by around 7 percent this year, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Military expenditure will total about US$152 billion, including US$148 billion from the central budget, an unnamed Finance Ministry official said on Monday.   The figures come from the draft 2017 budget, which has been submitted to the National People's Congress.   The bulk will cover military and defense reforms, enhance military and civilian integration and improve living, training and working conditions for personnel, the official said.   The reported increase is the slowest for China's defense budget in at least a decade. Last year, a 7.6 percent increase was reported, the first under a double-digit increase in several years. China has yet to release figures to indicate how much was actually spent, noted the New York Times on Saturday.   Due to a lack of transparency about China's defense spending, outside experts believe Beijing's spending to be much higher than the official numbers, noted Bloomberg News.  
 Item Number:4 Date: 03/07/2017 EGYPT - SINAI PROVINCE TERRORIST LEADERS AMONG THOSE APPREHENDED BY SECURITY PERSONNEL (MAR 07/AHRAM)  AHRAM ONLINE -- Egyptian security forces arrested 34 suspects and killed four militants during a series of operations in the restive Sinai this weekend.   The army on Saturday announced that 12 leaders of the Sinai Province terrorist group had been apprehended in central Sinai, according to Ahram Online (Egypt). The group pledged allegiance to Islamic State in 2014.   Those detained were planning attacks in the near future, the army said.   Separately, raids on Sunday in North Sinai province nabbed 22 suspects, said a military spokesman. Four militants were killed and three hideouts were destroyed during the operations, reported Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Cairo has been fighting militancy in Sinai since the military overthrew President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.  
Item Number:5 Date: 03/07/2017 EUROPEAN UNION - E.U. MOVES FORWARD WITH MILITARY TRAINING HQ (MAR 07/EUO)  EU OBSERVER -- European Union member states have approved a plan to set up a new headquarters for military training missions, reports the EU Observer.   The foreign and defense ministers of the E.U. reached a deal on Monday to set up the Military Planning and Conduct Capability Office, reported the New York Times.   The office will be based in a building in Brussels that already is home to E.U. military experts. It will have about 30 personnel.   The headquarters is expected to begin working in April, taking charge of three E.U. training missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Somalia.   The office will be responsible for handling administrative and financial needs and briefing E.U. diplomats, said a senior E.U. official. That includes logistical, medical, legal and communications issues, he said.   Following a review in 2018, the headquarters may take over military missions with a combat element, said the official.   Critics have called the headquarters the nucleus of a future European army. Proponents insist there are no such plans. The Express (Scotland) quoted Austria's Defense Minister Peter Doskozil saying: "I don't think we are in a situation where nations... want to give up elements of their sovereignty
  Item Number:6 Date: 03/07/2017 FRANCE - H160 GETS NOD FOR LIGHT HELICOPTER REPLACEMENT PROGRAM (MAR 07/FG)  FLIGHTGLOBAL -- The French government has selected the Airbus Helicopters H160 as the basis for its tri-service light helicopter replacement program, reports Flight Global.   Deliveries under the HIL (helicoptere interarmees leger) project will begin around 2024, said Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Friday during a visit to the Airbus facility in Marignane.   The HIL program calls for between 160 and 190 aircraft to replace several aging types in service with the French army, air force and navy, noted Aerospace Daily.   These include the navy's Alouette III, AS365 Dauphin and AS565 Panthers; air force AS555 Fennec and SA330 Pumas; and the army's Pumas, SA341/342 Gazelles and Fennecs.   Development work on the H160 to date has focused on civilian missions. Airbus Helicopter has indicated it will look at a military variant in the future.   Plans call for civilian models to be operational in 2019
  Item Number:7 Date: 03/07/2017 GERMANY - NEW PLAN CALLS FOR PURCHASE OF TRITON UAVS FROM U.S. NAVY (MAR 07/REU)  REUTERS -- Germany's Defense Ministry has confirmed that it will purchase U.S.-made MQ-4C Triton unmanned surveillance drones, reports Reuters.   The U.S. drones will replace the Euro Hawk program, which Berlin canceled in May 2013 over the projected costs it would take to approve it for use in civil airspace, said ministry sources on Tuesday.   The acquisition was first reported by German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Plans call for buying the drones from the U.S. Navy, which contracted U.S.-based Northrop Grumman to design the drone in 2008.   Sensors for the UAV will be built by Airbus, as planned under the Euro Hawk program, said the sources.   No information was given on the number of aircraft to be purchased or the cost. The Euro Hawk plan was for five UAVs at a cost of 1.2 billion euros (about US$1.27 billion under current conversion rates
Item Number:8 Date: 03/07/2017 INDIA - 2 ARRESTED FOR SPYING FOR PAKISTAN, INCLUDING GIVING UP MILITARY MOVEMENTS (MAR 07/TI)  TIMES OF INDIA -- Authorities in India's western Rajasthan state have arrested two men on charges of spying for Pakistan, reports the Times of India.   Satram Maheswari and his nephew Vinod Maheswari were reportedly detained Friday by border intelligence agents.   According to a police deputy inspector general, "Satram came to India from Pakistan and became a citizen in 2008. Two years ago he also brought his nephew to India on sponsorship. Satram was a regular visitor to Pakistan. During one of his visits, he was contacted by an ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] major who offered Satram money for espionage," he said.   Police charged that Satram provided information to his handlers in Sindhi about the movement of Indian army tanks and units and Indian air force officials in the region.   The investigation into the alleged spy ring is continuing
Item Number:9 Date: 03/07/2017 INDIA - NAVY FACES CRITICAL SHORTAGE OF HELICOPTERS, NEEDING 147 (MAR 07/TI)  TIMES OF INDIA -- The Indian navy has a critical shortage of helicopters, hindering its anti-submarine warfare capabilities, say sources, as reported by the Times of India.   The service has an immediate requirement for 147 multi-role helicopters and 110 light utility helicopters to replace its obsolete Chetak aircraft.   An initial procurement of 16 multi-role helicopters, with an option for eight more, has not been finalized, despite being authorized in 2005.   A global tender issued on 2008 is now on the brink of being terminated because of a failure to reach an agreement on cost with Sikorsky.   Meanwhile, Sikorsky has raised its price for 16 S-70B Seahawks more than 40 percent over the original benchmark, after extending its original commercial bid several times, said an unnamed source. The company said in early 2016 it was unable to maintain the original offer.   The acquisition of 123 additional multi-role and the 110 light utility helicopters is reportedly stalled, since the Defense Ministry has not yet finalized a strategic partnership under New Delhi's "Make in India" policy.   While the navy continues to build warships at a rate of four to five annually, it is nearly out of helicopters to equip them. The service has just 10 Ka-28 and 17 Sea King helicopters for its 138-strong fleet, officials said
Item Number:10 Date: 03/07/2017 IRAN - FAST ATTACK IRGC BOATS APPROACH U.S., BRITISH SHIPS IN GULF, FORCING COURSE CHANGE (MAR 07/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- Reports are emerging about a close encounter this past weekend in the Strait of Hormuz.   Iranian naval boats came close to an unarmed U.S. Navy ship in the strait on Saturday, forcing the American tracking ship to change course, say U.S. officials cited by the Washington Post.   The Invincible, a surveillance ship equipped with scientific instruments and radar to monitor missile launches, was harassed twice in the past week, said a Pentagon spokesman on Monday.   An Iranian frigate came within 150 yards of the Navy vessel on March 2, said the DoD spokesman.   Then on March 4, fast attack boats believed to be from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) came within 600 yards of the Invincible, said a Pentagon spokesman on Monday.   In the March 4 incident, the Invincible and three accompanying British Royal Navy ships were forced to change direction, said a U.S. official cited by Reuters. The interaction was "unsafe and unprofessional," the official said.   According to the Sun (U.K.), the British and U.S. ships were observing the test-firing of Fateh-110 missiles, which were said to pose a risk to the area
Item Number:11 Date: 03/07/2017 IRAQ - GOVERNMENT FORCES FIGHT THEIR WAY INTO WESTERN MOSUL; ISIS COUNTERATTACKS (MAR 07/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Iraqi forces battling the Islamic State in western Mosul -- at least temporarily -- seized several key government buildings on Tuesday, reports the BBC.   Rapid-response forces made an overnight raid on the Nineveh governorate building and complex, reported Reuters.   Also taken were a building used by ISIS as a courthouse, the central bank and a museum, said the military.   The government buildings had been destroyed and were not being used by ISIS. Their capture was seen as a largely symbolic victory. Government troops raised the Iraqi flag over the complex, noted Iraqi News.   On Tuesday, federal police reported that its forces had been forced to pull back in the face of ISIS counterattacks
Item Number:12 Date: 03/07/2017 MALAYSIA - POLICE CHIEF REVEALS FOILING OF HOUTHI ATTACK ON VISITING SAUDI KING (MAR 07/NEWEEK)  NEWSWEEK -- Malaysian police say they thwarted a plan to attack Saudi Arabia's King Salman during his visit to the country last month, reports Newsweek.   King Salman and a delegation of about 600 arrived in Kuala Lumpur for a state visit on Feb. 26.   On Tuesday, Khalid Abu Bakar, Malaysia's national police chief, said that four Yemenis, two Malaysians and one Indonesian were arrested in raids between Feb. 21 and 26 for suspected links to Islamist groups, including the Islamic State.   The Yemenis were said to be Houthis, rebels that are fighting against a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. They "were planning to attack Arab royalties during their visit to Kuala Lumpur. We got them in the nick of time," said the police chief.   The four were detained in Serdange and Cyberjaya, police said earlier on Sunday. Multiple international passports and about US$60,000 in different currencies were reportedly seized, according to Reuters
  Item Number:13 Date: 03/07/2017 PAKISTAN - BORDER CROSSINGS WITH AFGHANISTAN OPEN FOR 2 DAYS (MAR 07/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- The Pakistani government has temporarily reopened two border crossing with Afghanistan that were closed after several terror attacks, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The Torkham and Chaman crossings, which were sealed on Feb. 16, are being opened on Tuesday and Wednesday, said the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.   This will allow people stranded to return home, said Omar Zakhilwal, the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan.   Suicide attacks in Pakistan in recent weeks have killed more than 130 people. Islamabad has demanded that Kabul take action against armed groups
Item Number:14 Date: 03/07/2017 SOMALIA - S. KOREAN DESTROYER JOINS E.U. ANTI-PIRACY OP NEAR SOMALI COAST (MAR 07/SHABELLE)  SHABELLE MEDIA NETWORK -- A South Korean navy destroyer recently concluded a week of operations with the European Union-led anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia, reports the Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu).   The Choe Yeong took part in Operation Atalanta from Feb. 27 to March 4 under the command of the Combined Maritime Forces, a multinational naval partnership and the E.U. maritime forces command for Somalia, said the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff.   The joint operation was focused on escorting commercial ships and conducting anti-piracy reconnaissance, officials said.   This was the first time the South Korean Cheonghae anti-piracy unit has taken part in the E.U. operation, the Defense Ministry said.   The joint operation was carried out under the South Korea-E.U. risk management activity agreement that took effect in December, said the military
Item Number:15 Date: 03/07/2017 SOUTH KOREA - THAAD COMPONENTS BEGIN ARRIVING; CHINA AIRS OPPOSITION (MAR 07/YON)  YONHAP -- The U.S. military has begun deploying an advanced missile defense system in South Korea, say officials of both nations, as cited by the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   Washington and Seoul agreed in July 2016 to intall a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system by the end of 2017. A land swap deal for the planned site of the system, a golf course in Seongju county owned by the Lotte Group, went ahead in late February.   The first parts of the THAAD, including two launchers, were reportedly delivered Monday by C-17 transports to Osan Air Base in Pyeontaek, about 43 miles south of Seoul. They will be transferred to the planned site in Seongju, said a spokesman South Korea's Defense Ministry.   The remaining THAAD equipment will be gradually delivered, said the official, without providing a schedule.   On Tuesday, China's Foreign Ministry declared that Beijing would "resolutely" defense its security interests, repeating its opposition to the deployment of THAAD, reported the South China Morning Post
Item Number:16 Date: 03/07/2017 SYRIA - DAMASCUS NOW HAS CONTROL OVER MANBIJ VILLAGES; SDF GIVES UP ITS POSITIONS (MAR 07/REU)  REUTERS -- A U.S.-backed militia in northern Syria has completed the transfer of control several villages to Syrian government forces as part of a deal brokered by Russia, reports Reuters.   Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels have been fighting with the U.S.-backed Manbij Military Council in villages west of the city of Manbij since last week. The council is part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which includes the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG).   The Turkish government views the YPG as an extension of the PKK and as such a terrorist group; Ankara has sought to oust Kurds from the border area.   On Tuesday, a council spokesman said that five villages were handed over to Syrian government forces.   A deal was announced earlier this month to prevent the villages from coming under Turkish control, noted Reuters.   The FSA opposes the Syrian government, but the two sides have established a security corridor in al-Bab, about 30 miles southwest of Manbij, in an attempt to avoid clashes.   Both cities were previously under the control of the Islamic State. The SDF gained control of Manbij in August 2016; the FSA took al-Bab in late February 2017
  Item Number:17 Date: 03/07/2017 SYRIA - SEEKING TO BOOST SUPPORT TO SDF, U.S. TROOPS EXPAND KOBANI AIRPORT FOR LARGER TRANSPORTS (MAR 07/BASNEWS)  BAS NEWS -- A source from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a U.S.-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, says the U.S. military is expanding the runway at Kobani Airport in northern Syria, reports the Bas News (Iraqi Kurdistan).   The runway started out at 3,610 feet (1,100 m) long and 200 feet (60 m) wide. The additional work is expected to lengthen it to 5,580 feet (1,700 m) and widen it to 360 feet (110 m), the unnamed source said. A 13-foot (4-m) wall will also be built around the airport.   This will allow the runway to accommodate larger U.S. cargo aircraft, he said.   The Americans are also installing radar systems around the airport to help protect it from air attacks, said the SDF source.   The American military maintains two bases in the Kurdish-held Kobani and Rmelan areas of northern Syria to provide logistical support to the SDF.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 03/07/2017 USA - CUTTER CHRISTENED; KIMBALL NAMED FOR LEADER OF COAST GUARD'S PREDECESSOR SERVICE (MAR 07/HUNINGALLS)  HUNTINGTON INGALLS INDUSTRIES -- The Coast Guard has christened its newest Bertholf-class national security cutter, reports Huntington Ingalls Industries, the shipbuilder.   The Kimball (WMSL-756) was christened on Saturday at the Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.   The cutter is named after Sumner Kimball, who organized and directed the U.S. Life-Saving Service and helped organize the various facilities associated with the service that eventually became the U.S. Coast Guard.   The Kimball is the seventh cutter in the class. She is scheduled to begin builder's trials in the fourth quarter of 2017. The eight cutter, Midgett (WMSL-757,) is slated to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2017.   Huntington Ingalls received a $486 million contract in December 2016 to build a ninth cutter
Item Number:19 Date: 03/07/2017 USA - WITH TOO MANY MARINES FAILING SNIPER SCHOOL, THE CORPS LOOKS TO CHANGE THE COURSE (MAR 07/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- Officials say the U.S. Marine Corps has a shortage of scout snipers because more candidates are failing the sniper course, reports the Marine Corps Times.   The graduation rate for scout sniper school has fallen significantly over the last several years. Though the rate did edge up in 2016 to about 44 percent, that is well below the nearly 56 percent in 2012, according to the Marine Training Command.   Said to be particular problems for graduating are practical application evaluations, which include stalking, marksmanship and landing navigation, the command said in a statement to the Marine Corps Times.   Snipers are seen as invaluable for protecting troops and civilians, supporting infantry battalions with forward reconnaissance and observation and to bolster force protection, particularly at U.S. embassies.   Such a capability will be more important in future environments, where Marines are likely to fight, said one service official.   The Corps has decided to reform the training course to get better results, said officials.   Previously, scout snipers completed a single training program. Within weeks, the service will start to experiment. The training will be split into two parts, with participants spending time in an operational unit between the two, officials said.   The goal is to give scout snipers the basic skills they need and allow them to learn on the job at lower levels in their teams before undertaking the advanced course, said the officials
  Item Number:20 Date: 03/07/2017 YEMEN - U.S. AIRSTRIKES DIRECTED AT AQAP KILL GITMO INMATE RELEASED IN 2009 (MAR 07/FN)  FOX NEWS -- The Pentagon has acknowledged that a former inmate of the military prison at Guantanamo Bay was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Yemen last week, reported Fox News.   Yasi al-Silmi, who was held in the prison from 2002 to 2009, was killed on March 2, said a DoD entagon spokesman on Monday. He was arrested in Pakistan in 2002.   Al-Silmi, also known as Mohammed Tahar, was not considered a "high-value" target, the spokesman said.   The Yemeni national was killed in the same strikes that killed Usayd al-Adnani, a "long-time explosives expert who served as the organization's emir within the Abyan governorate," said the spokesman.   The AQAP operation was repatriated by the Obama administration in December 2009, noted the Washington Post.   The U.S. has carried out more than 40 airstrikes against Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen since March 1.

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