Thursday, March 9, 2017

Fw: TheList 4405

The List 4405
To All,
I hope that your week has been going well.
This Day In Naval History - March 9
1798 - Appointment of first surgeon U.S. Navy, George Balfour
1847 - Commodore David Connor leads successful amphibious assault near Vera
Cruz, Mexico
1862: In the first battle between ironclads, USS Monitor and CSS Virginia engage in close combat in Hampton Roads, Va. Neither side could claim victory, but it eventually ends the era of wooden ships.
1914 - Test of wind tunnel at Washington Navy Yard
March 9
The Treaty of Stolbovo ends the occupation of Northern Russia by Swedish troops.
The Russians take Danzig (Gdansk) in Poland.
Connecticut becomes the 5th state.
Napoleon Bonaparte marries Josephine de Beauharnais in Paris, France.
Swedish Pomerania is seized by Napoleon.
Congress passes the Land Act, paving the way for westward expansion.
The French Academy of Science announces the Daguerreotype photo process.
The rebel slaves who seized a Spanish slave ship, the Amistad, in 1839 are freed by the Supreme Court despite Spanish demands for extradition.
The first and last battle between the ironclads U.S.S. Monitor and C.S.S. Virginia ends in a draw.
General Ulysses Grant is appointed commander-in-chief of the Union forces.
The funding for five new battleships is added to the British military defense budget.
The Germans take Grodno on the Eastern Front.
Mexican bandit Pancho Villa leads 1,500 horsemen on a raid of Columbus, N.M. killing 17 U.S. soldiers and citizens.
Eamon De Valera is elected president of the Irish Free State and pledges to abolish all loyalty to the British Crown.
The German press warns that all Jews who vote in the upcoming elections will be arrested.
Czech President Emil Hacha ousts pro-German Joseph Tiso as the Premier of Slovakia in order to preserve Czech unity.
Britain frees captured Italian coal ships on the eve of German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop's visit to Rome.
British authorities arrest and deport Archbishop Makarios from Cyprus. He is accused of supporting terrorists.
Egyptian leader Nasser bars U.N. plans to share the tolls for the use of the Suez Canal.
The Barbie doll is unveiled at a toy fair in New York City.
The first Ford Mustang rolls off the Ford assembly line.
Svetlana Alliluyeva, Josef Stalin's daughter defects to the United States.
General William Westmoreland asks for 206,000 more troops in Vietnam.
Iraq launches an offensive against the rebellious Kurds.
Navy divers find the crew compartment of the space shuttle Challenger along with the remains of the astronauts.
Thanks to Hal -
Most of you know this, but some of you do not.  The word being used is 'wiretap' and it is an ancient word, but there is none much better unless you think of electronic snooping.  Back in the old days, you actually had to find the telephone cable, a copper wire, and then wrap your copper wire around it linking your listening device to a telephone cable.  But now the electrons flow not only through cables, but through the air.  And that is where they are intercepted.  Many years ago, James Bamford became aware of the capabilities of the National Security Agency.  They could 'hoover' up virtually all the electronic signals worldwide and he wrote his first book, "The Puzzle Palace".  Years later he followed up with "The Shadow Factory".  His latest is "They know much more than you think".
In the old days, NSA was covered under the CIA's black budget and few even knew of its existence.  They jokingly called it No Such Agency.  It was headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, which was the US Army's Intelligence post. Most Army posts are specialized, e,g,, Fort Sill was artillery, Fort Bragg was airborne, Fort Knox was armor, Forts Belvoir and Leonard Wood were engineers. Meade was intelligence.  NSA's computers were measured in acres.  And they required a lot of electric power and soon Meade could not support their needs.  So they carved out the Middle East and Africa and moved it to Fort Gordon, Georgia where there was sufficient electric power.  Now they are consolidating and moving everything to their new site in Utah. 
In his book, "The Shadow Factory", Bamford told of having to invent new words for electronic intelligence gathering. Petaflop was an early one and it meant that NSA could collect a thousand trillion data points A SECOND.  Think of what that number means. And now it is outdated.  There followed Teraflop and Zetaflop.  Google it.
There are listening devices all over the world and now many are being closed as our network of satellites gives us better and safer ways to listen.  If you have ever been to Cyprus you have noticed this huge what looks like a golf ball on the highest mountain.  It was there, along with the British intelligence agency, to monitor traffic from Russia.  My aunt Barbara, who was more like my younger sister and her husband Tom, were assigned by NSA to head the Cyprus op.  When the shooting started between the Turks and the Greeks, she took a bullet in the chest when trying to shoo in the kids from the front yard.  They were evacuated and never returned.
You may not know this, but someone with a device and get close and read your credit cards.  Electronics at work. So now there are billfolds and purses that prevent that reading from happening.  At the Shmoocon Hacking Conference, Kristin Paget demonstrated how a hand-held scanner could read a credit card in your wallet or purse. This chip, RFID, Radio Frequency Identification, makes this possible. As they say, "When they build a better mousetrap, there will be smarter mice".
Now on the news we are hearing that President Trump flatly stated that the Obama Administration was tapping into his Trump Tower server and reading his mail, looking of course for information that could knock him out of the running for the presidency and give it to Hillary.  Admiral Rogers, head of the NSA, took the evidence to Mr. Trump to tip him off that he was being monitored.  Everyone now is denying it, and moreover are saying that President Obama could not get a FISA order to listen in on Mr. Trump.  But they are talking about a LEGAL FISA tap, and are not thinking about an ILLEGAL tap. Might we wonder about that ?
Now the investigation has fallen into Congress' lap and so that will string it out for a long time. 
Space Station tour
Thanks to John
Subject: The egg trick
This was good, clean entertaining comedy.   This will put a smile on your face.
THE EGG TRICK - PRICELESS...This will make you laugh. These were the days when TV was fun and non-rehearsed! Click on the "Egg Trick" link below..
If Johnny Carson was still on, none of the current late night people would stand a chance!!
The real Tonight Show. The good ole' days. This trick has never been repeated in modern times. Johnny Carson and Dom DeLuise.
Be sure to have full-screen turned on and sound.
Click below:
Thanks to Barrel
Awesome Tour Of The Space Station
Thanks to Bill
This video explains why pound for pound an Osprey could kick an eagles ass.
With our thanks to THE Bear at
March 9, 2017  Bear Taylor         
RIPPLE SALVO… #369… "In a war like this one, a man's life is of small account."... but first…
Good Morning: Day THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-NINE a visit to one of the great battlefields of the last century–the Red River Valley of North Vietnam…
9 MARCH 1967… HEAD LINES and LEADS from The New York Times on a nice Thursday in NYC…
Page 1: "House Ethics Panel Vows Not to Snoop after Hours".."The House Administration Committee moved today to assume jurisdiction on ethics and assured Representatives that if it got the job it would not snoop into their afterhours morals. Omar Burleson, Democrat of Texas, the committee chairman said that ethics 'a barrel of worms' difficult to define and regulate. How can you formalize integrity.' "... Page 1: "U.S. Would Widen Equality of Vote"… "The Federal government asked the Supreme Court to extend the one-man one-vote doctrine to county and city governments throughout the country. Solicitor General Thurgood Marshall: "It is a matter of constitutional principle , logic and sound policy, the principles of Reynolds apply to local governmental bodies whose members who are elected from districts be substantially equal in population.'"… Page 1: "Business Spending in U.S. to Slacken"… Business spending on new plants and equipment was added to the lengthening list of signs of a general slowdown in the economy this year."… Page 1: "Bombing of North Vietnam Should Stop: Sweden Says"... "…and is ready to assist with peace negotiations. Sweden's Foreign Minister Torsten Nilsson: 'World opinion demands with increasing impatience, that the war in Vietnam…be put to an end. Start by stopping the bombing of North Vietnam.' "… Page 1: "Ivy League Papers Split on Deferment"... "Newspapers from seven of the eight Ivy League colleges split in formal joint statements defining their positions on the questions of draft deferments and reform. In a joint communication issued late Tuesday night the editors of the Brown, Cornell, Pennsylvania and Dartmouth campus newspapers called for preservation of the present system of deferments for undergraduates…Counter communication came from Columbia, Princeton, and Yale urging the abolition of undergraduate deferments. Harvard refused to associate with either position."…
Page 1: "Schlesinger Charges U.S. Wants No Peace Talks Now"… "Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., an advisor to President Kennedy, said today he had concluded that the Johnson Administration does not want to negotiate now to settle the war in Vietnam. 'Why else, unless it wishes to avoid negotiation now would the Administration have hardened it terms demanding today from Hanoi what it did not demand a year ago,' Mr. Schlesinger said. "The time has come to break the hopeless logic which can never find the right moment.' "...Page 1: "Stand By Kennedy"…"The Vietnam conflict was a sufficient basis for suspension of all student deferments. We now face a difficult time–it is not peacetime, but neither has a national emergency of war been declared.' Speaking to a meeting of educators in Chicago, Senator Kennedy said, 'In this situation while 300,000 young men are in Vietnam, serious questions can be raised about the continuation of any deferment policy.'…The President of Brown University, Dr. Ray Heffner said, 'The college student under this system becomes a member of a privileged class." "… Page 14: "De Gaulle Sees Freedom at Stake"... "President de Gaulle indicated today that he viewed France's Sunday runoff election for the National Assembly as a contest between Gaulism and communism–freedom and a dominating element in the government–communism."…
Page 38: "Chou En-lai At the Helm?" Though still unconfirmed, the Peking that Premier Chou En-lai has at least temporarily taken over the reins of command there is credible enough evidence to support that conclusion. From the beginning of the 'cultural revolution' Chou's speeches have been marked by an emphasis on the need for discipline, for reason rather coercion, and for attention to the needs of production. This pragmatic attitude seemed to have little impact on the Red Guards and revolutionary rebels as they went on with their destructive orgies.   Chou En-lai's point of view may now be in ascendancy."
9 March 1967… The President's Daily Brief (TS sanitized) VIETNAM: Some unusually good movie and still films have been acquired as an unexpected dividend from Operation Junction City. The best of these pictures show General Nguyen Chi Thanh–a member of Ho Chi Minh's Politburo and Hanoi's number one man in the South–and two other North Vietnamese Generals inspecting Viet Cong installations in South Vietnam. This is by far the most publicly exploitable evidence yet that these people are in fact operating inside the South. The Saigon embassy is planning to make full use of the opportunity.
9 MARCH 1967…OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER... New York Times (10 Mar reporting 9 Mar ops) Page 20: "In North Vietnam"… "American pilots flew 90 missions involving two or more planes against targets across the country while naval gunners continued to bombard the coast. The Nay reported destruction of a surface-to-air missile on the cost south of Thanh Hoa. Pilots reported that radar at two other sites, one north of Thanh Hoa and the south of Haiphong had also been struck…"…. "Vietnam: Air Losses" (Hobson)… Three fixed wing aircraft lost in Southeast Asia on 9 March 1967…
(1) COMMANDER CHARLES LANCASTER PUTNAM and LTJG F.S. PENDERGAST were flying an RA-5C of the RVAH-13 Bats embarked in USS Kitty Hawk on a coastal photo reconnaissance run north of Thanh Hoa with an F-4 escort. While on a high-speed low altitude — 350-feet — the aircraft was hit by automatic weapons fire and burst into flames. Both aviators ejected and came down about 200-yards off the beach. In the ensuing confrontation with two North Vietnamese militiamen LTJG PENDERGAST was captured but shot and killed his captors and re-entered the water, and swam for his life, to be recovered by a Navy SH-3 helicopter that braved active opposition to make the pick-up. COMMANDER PUTNAM was observed down and immobile on the beach. Heavy enemy fire precluded further rescue attempts… COMMANDER PUTNAM was Killed in Action fifty years ago, glory gained, duty done… His remains were returned to the United States in 1988…
(2) An O-1E Bird Dog of the 21st TASS and 504th TASG out of Nha Trang crashed due to pilot error. Two in the crew survived to fly and fight again…
(3) MAJOR IVEL DOAN FREEMAN, MAJOR LEROY PRESTON BOHRER, CAPTAIN ROGER PAUL RICHARDSON, TSGT RAYMOND FRANCIS LEFTWICH, SSGT PRENTICE FAY BRENTON, A1C CHARLES DWAYNE LAND and A1C DANIEL CORTEZ REESE were flying an RC-47P of the 361st TRS and 460th TRW out of Nha Trang on an RDF (radio direction finding) mission in the Central Highlands and failed to return to base. The crash site was found on 11 March and there were no survivors. It was determined that the aircraft had been shot down by small arms fire and thereafter the RC-47s were operated above a minimum altitude of 2000-feet. KILLED IN ACTION: MAJOR FREEMAN, MAJOR BOHRER, CAPTAIN RICHARDSON, SSGT BRENTON, TSGT LEFTWICH, AIRMAN LAND, and AIRMAN REESE. They rest in peace and are remembered on this day fifty years after their final mission… Killed in Action…
RIPPLE SALVO… #369… "KILLED IN ACTION"…  is the title of a little book by Gregory Coco that records the last moments of one hundred Union soldiers who gave the "last full measure" at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in July 1863. My great-great-grandfather Isaiah T. Enders was in the Pennsylvania Militia unit that was called to clean up the battlefield after the armies moved on. He spent July and August 1863 amid the dead and dying soldiers who were unable to move on. So Coco's books recounting the days, combat and the aftermath of Gettysburg is of special interest to me.  But my war was Vietnam and ROLLING THUNDER and my purpose in creating this journal –my motivation– was difficult for me to nail down, until I re-read this piece from Coco's "Killed in Action."  He introduced his explanation for his motivation to write his "small book" thusly…
Coco wrote:
"In a war like this one, a man's life is of small account." The words are appropriate enough…those of General Daniel E. Sickles as he lay dazed and bleeding on a surgeon's crude operating table near a place called Gettysburg, so many long years ago. He instinctively knew that oft-times an individual in battle, as in life, could make a difference. But Sickles was also consciously aware that, in reality, a battlefield is an intrinsic region where one man's mortal being is indeed, nearly worthless. War is like a great monstrous threshing machine; it does not keep score; it does not pick and choose; it does not show preference. It merely crushes and maims and destroys, with no rhyme or reason, until its bloody, sickening work is done. My inherent belief in the truth of what Sickles uttered on that Thursday, July 2, 1863, it then the primary motivation for this small book."
"A soldier, W.J. Patterson, formerly of the 62nd Pennsylvania Infantry, said it best when he noted in a speech given at Gettysburg in 1889:
'Have the dead been mentioned except in numbers? Have the cripples been referred to except in the aggregate? Yet it was the rank and file that stood the shock of battle and that gave blow for blow. It was the columns of soldiers that charged the enemy or stood like a rock against fierce assaults.'
"Patterson was correct of course, except he left out the general, field and line officers who died too, bravely beside and among the men they commanded."
Gregory Coco spent most of his adult life researching and recording the stories of the men who lived and died on the battlefield at Gettysburg. He was not satisfied with a name on a muster sheet or casualty list. He wanted to "find something more than that." He wanted "a witness to death, a view into the suffering and pain; much more than a passing notice of 'killed in action.' " Coco wanted to make the fallen more human. He wanted to record history. What he found was that such biographical and eyewitness details and data were to be found for only a few hundred warriors and witnesses out of the tens of thousands who were there. As a result, the good of those thousands, and their role in history, died with them–lost for all time. is a comparable endeavor. This is an open website with an opportunity for every warrior who was on the battlefield of North Vietnam to record for posterity the eyewitness details and testimonials that will make the fallen warriors "more human." Humble Host encourages readers to become writers and take this opportunity to make some contributions to the permanent records of the our war… 
CAG's QUOTES for 9 March: Mac Arthur: "Surprise is the most vital element for success in war."… PATTON: "If the fate of the only successful general in war depends on the statement of a discredited writer like Drew Pearson, we are in a bad fix."
Lest we forget…      Bear
Item Number:1 Date: 03/09/2017 CHINA - CASIC BEGINS DEVELOPMENT OF STEALTH DRONES, HIGH-SPEED RECON UAVS (MAR 09/CD)  CHINA DAILY -- China's largest missile-maker says it has started developing military drones that can evade radar, reports the China Daily.   China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC) is focusing on the development of a long-endurance stealth drone and a near-space drone, Wei Yiyin, a CASIC deputy general manager said on Thursday.   Under China's five-year plan for 2016-2020, the company will develop the technologies needed for the stealth drone and the design of high-speed reconnaissance drones, he said.   The company also plans to make multipurpose, stealth training aircraft, said Wei.   CASIC is the only producer of cruise missiles in the nation. Its drones resemble cruise missiles and are retrieved after descending from parachutes.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 03/09/2017 GERMANY - DISCOVERY OF WWII BOMB IN DUSSELDORF LEADS TO EVACUATION (MAR 09/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Around 8,000 people have been evacuated from the western German city of Dusseldorf after a World War II-era bomb was found, reports Agence France-Presse.   The 550-pound bomb was discovered Wednesday evening by construction workers in the northern district of the city, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia.   A radius of about half-mile around the bomb was sealed off, including two highways, said officials.   The bomb is scheduled to be defused by early Thursday afternoon.   Unexploded wartime bombs are often found in German cities. Authorities believe there are around 3,000 sunken bombs in Berlin alone.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 03/09/2017 IRAN - VETERANS OFFICIAL ACKNOWLEDGES DEATHS OF AT LEAST 2,100 IRANIAN FIGHTERS IN IRAQ, SYRIA (MAR 09/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- A senior Iranian official has acknowledged that more than 2,000 Iranian fighters have been killed in the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria, reports Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency.   "About 2,100 fighters have been killed in Iraq and elsewhere," said Mohammad Ali Shahidi Mahallati, an official at Iran's Foundation for Martyrs and Veterans' Affairs, as quoted by the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).   Mahallati did not provide any timeframe references.   The figure is more than twice the number used by Mahallati in November, which only covered operations in Syria, noted Agence France-Presse.   Iran supports the Assad regime in Syria and has organized militias fighting the Islamic State in Iraq. Tehran has also recruited fighters from Shi'ite communities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 03/09/2017 IRAQ - 'JAMMERS' SUPPLIED BY U.S. DEFEATING ARMED DRONES BEING USED BY ISIS (MAR 09/RUDAW)  RUDAW -- A U.S.-provided electronic warfare system in Iraq has been preventing Islamic State fighters in western Mosul from launching drones, say Iraqi officials, as reported by Rudaw (Iraqi Kurdistan).   Since the end of December, the terrorist group has armed commercial drones with hand grenades and employed them against Iraqi troops in Mosul, according to one U.S. officer.   The Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (ICTS) has been using "parasite machines" to counter such drone operations, said Lt. Gen. Abdul Ghani al-Assadi, an Iraqi ICTS commander.   The terror group "used it on the first day against the Counter Terrorism Service, which recorded 72 sorties from them. On the second day, we recorded 52 sorties. Then we used some machines, [interference] parasite machines, it became eight, and five days before now, and until today, not even a single flight," he said.   U.S. personnel assisting the Iraqi forces brought in an advanced system to eastern Mosul which has paralyzed ISIS drone operations, said Maj. Gen. Najim al-Jabbouri.   The system was described as "jammers" by a spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition
Item Number:5 Date: 03/09/2017 IRAQ - BADOUSH PRISON, SITE OF INFAMOUS ISIS MURDERS, NOW IN GOVERNMENT HANDS (MAR 09/MIDEEYE)  MIDDLE EAST EYE -- Advancing Iraqi government forces have captured a notorious ISIS prison in western Mosul where the terrorist group massacred hundreds of prisoners in 2014, reports the Middle East Eye.   On Wednesday, government armor forces and the Popular Mobilization Forces militia teamed to take the Badoush prison, about 6 miles northwest of Mosul, said the Iraqi army, as reported by the New Arab.   Fighters from ISIS broke into the prison in June 2014 and executed at least 670 inmates, mostly Shi'ites, Kurds and Yazidis. The prison was also used to house abducted Yazidi women, according to the New York-based Human Rights Watch.   The Iraqi army also said it had cut off an ISIS counterattack and seized the last major road leading west to the ISIS-held town of Tal Afar
Item Number:6 Date: 03/09/2017 IRAQ - DOZENS DIE IN DOUBLE BOMBING AT WEDDING; ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY (MAR 09/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Twin bomb blasts hit a wedding near the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Wedensday, killing at least 26 people and wounding 25 others, say local authorities, as reported by the BBC.   Other reports had a larger casualty count.   Two bombers detonated their explosives late Wednesday in the village of Hajaj. The village is about 14 miles from Tikrit.   The first blast targeted the wedding, and the second struck those who had gathered to help, said officials.   The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. The terror group said on its Amaq news agency that it had attacked a gathering of the Popular Mobilization Forces, a Iran-backed Shi'ite militia.   Iraqi security forces pushed ISIS from Tikrit in April 2015
  Item Number:7 Date: 03/09/2017 ISRAEL - RAIDS ON WEST BANK NAB PALESTINIANS SUSPECTING OF TRADING GUN PARTS ONLINE (MAR 09/TOI)  TIMES OF ISRAEL -- The Israeli military says it has arrested nine Palestinians suspected of buying and selling gun parts over the internet. Wednesday's operation was held in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus in the West Bank, reports the Times of Israel.   The Israel Defense Forces have been cracking down on the illegal trade in locally produced weapons.   The goal is to prevent such guns from falling into the hands of criminals and terrorists, officials said.   While the army has raided dozens of alleged gunsmithing workshops over the past 15 months, the latest operation was the first to target online dealing.   The IDF found that Palestinians have been using websites to buy firearm components, said an unnamed intelligence officer with the army's West Bank Division.   The most recent raid was directed at a warehouse where gun parts were being stored. It reportedly uncovered four completed firearms, 130 bullets, 90 magazines and 127 components, such as grips, sights and stocks.   Such parts, along with easily acquired pipes and scrap metal, have been used to create "Carlo-style" submachine guns. Officials said these weapons have been used effectively in a number of terror attacks despite their general inaccuracy and unreliability.  
 Item Number:8 Date: 03/09/2017 NIGERIA - JETS HIT BOKO HARAM LOGISTICS BASE IN SAMBISA FOREST (MAR 09/PREM)  PREMIUM TIMES -- The Nigerian air force says it has destroyed a Boko Haram logistics base in the Sambisa Forest in the northeastern Borno state, reports the Premium Times (Abuja).   Air force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft tracked two fleeing militants to the hideout, a service spokesman said, as cited by the paper on March 7.   A strike package, including two Alpha Jets and an F-7Ni fighter jet, then hit the base, according to the air force.   The attack created a large inferno, suggesting the facility was either a fuel or ammunition dump, the spokesman said
Item Number:9 Date: 03/09/2017 PAKISTAN - 5 'HARDCORE' CONVICTED PAKISTANI TALIBAN TERRORISTS HANGED (MAR 09/RFE/RL)  RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- Authorities in Pakistan have executed five "hardcore terrorists" found guilty of terrorism charges after being involved in attacks on security personnel, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   The five, all members of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP), were executed on Wednesday at Kohat district jail in Khyber Paktunkhwa province, according to a statement from the army's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).   The five admitted their crimes, said the statement. The convicts were hanged, noted local Baaghi TV.   The militants were tried under military courts established in January 2015 for two-year period. The courts were set up after a December 2014 attack on an army school in Peshawar that killed 147 people, mostly children.   The mandate of the courts was renewed on Feb. 28 for another two-year period, reported Dawn (Pakistan
Item Number:10 Date: 03/09/2017 PAKISTAN - CROSSINGS WITH AFGHANISTAN SHUT ONCE AGAIN (MAR 09/REU)  REUTERS -- Officials said on Thursday that Pakistan has indefinitely closed two key border crossings with Afghanistan, reports Reuters. They had been temporarily opened earlier this week.   Pakistan sealed the Torkham and Chaman crossings on Feb. 16 after a series of attacks in Pakistan blamed on militants being sheltered on the Afghan side of the border.   The crossings were opened on March 7-8. About 24,000 Afghans and 700 Pakistanis returned home via the crossings before the border was closed again, said a Pakistani official.   Two men, a woman and a child were trampled to death during the opening, said an Afghan provincial spokesman.   The border will remain closed until the Afghan government takes action against 76 "most-wanted terrorists" as part of a demand by the Pakistani military last month, said one official.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 03/09/2017 RUSSIA - KALIBR CRUISE MISSILES TO BE DEPLOYED IN UPGRADED OSCAR II SUBMARINES (MAR 09/TASS)  TASS -- The Russian navy has decided to conduct a significant upgrade of its Oscar II nuclear-powered submarines, including installing advanced supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles, reports Moscow's Tass news agency.   The Zvezda shipyard in Russia's Far East is conducting the work for the Project 949A boats, which includes integrating the Kalibr cruise missile system and replacing navigation, life support and other systems, Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said on Tuesday.   The navy currently operates eight Oscar II-class boats. Two are currently undergoing modernization at the Zvezda shipyard to extend their service lives by 15 to 20 years, noted the Diplomat (Tokyo).   The subs have carried P-700 Granit (Shipwreck) cruise missiles, among other systems, noted UPI
  Item Number:12 Date: 03/09/2017 SINGAPORE - NAVY DECOMMISSIONS INDEPENDENCE PATROL VESSEL, WILL GIVE NAME TO NEW LMVS (MAR 09/SIMOD)  SINGAPORE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The Singapore navy has decommissioned the first of its Fearless-class patrol vessels, reports the Singapore Ministry of Defense.   The Independence was withdrawn from service during a Wednesday ceremony at Tuas Naval Base after nearly 20 years at sea.   The name Independence is being passed on to the first of the navy's littoral mission vessels, which is scheduled to be commissioned on May 5, 2017, the ministry noted.   The Independence-class LMVs are progressively replacing the Fearless-class ships. All of the new ships expected to be in service by 2020, said the ministry.  
 Item Number:13 Date: 03/09/2017 SYRIA - MONITORING GROUP BLAMES COALITION FOR CIVILIAN DEATHS IN ISIS-HELD VILLAGE (MAR 09/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- A number of civilians have been killed by suspected U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in northern Syria, says a monitoring group cited by Agence France-Presse.   Air raids hit the Islamic State-held village of Matab early Thursday, said the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   The monitoring group first said 14 were killed and then raised the civilian death toll to 23. The earlier report said the airstrikes were made Tuesday. Another monitoring group had a different count and date. Reconciling such differences is impossible in the area held by ISIS.   The village is close to a key road linking Raqqa, the de facto capital of ISIS about 35 miles to the northwest, to Deir Ezzor city, the capital of the province of the same name.   The route was cut on Monday by fighters from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF
  Item Number:14 Date: 03/09/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - 1ST OF ROYAL NAVY OPVS, FORTH IS CHRISTENED IN SCOTLAND (MAR 09/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- The British Royal Navy has formally named its newest offshore patrol vessel, reports the BBC.   Named for the Scottish river, the Forth was christened in a ceremony on Thursday at BAE Systems' Scotstoun yard in Glasgow, Scotland, along the river Clyde.   The 90-meter (295-foot) vessel is expected to enter service in 2018, and will be used for counter-terrorism, anti-smuggling and defense, said officials.   She is first of five planned vessels of the new Batch 2 River class. The OPVs will be equipped with a 30-mm cannon and a flight deck capable of carrying a Merlin helicopter.   All five are expected to be in service by 2021
  Item Number:15 Date: 03/09/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - MOD ORDERS NEW AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM WITH ISRAELI GEAR TO PROTECT FALKLANDS (MAR 09/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The U.K. Ministry of Defense has placed contracts for a new ground-based air defense system for the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic, reports Defense News.   Contracts worth 153 million pounds (US$187 million) were awarded earlier this year for the Sky Sabre system.   The largest deal, worth 78 million pounds (US$95 million), was let to Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense Systems on Jan. 9 to develop a battle management, command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (BMC4I) network.   Missile firm MBDA Systems and Swedish company Saab also received contracts to integrate other ground-based air defense system elements into the BMC4I network.   The selection of a firm from Israel, a non-European and non-NATO partner, drew criticism in European industry circles. One senior analyst in London also expressed surprise over the choice for what could be considered technology "in the territory of sovereign operational capability," as quoted by Mercopress (Uruguay).   Rafael is supplying its Modular Integrated C4I Air & Missile Defense System and associated equipment. The development and manufacture phase is scheduled to be completed around 2020, officials said.   The missile component will be MBDA's Land Ceptor system, which uses the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM). Saab is supplying the Giraffe radar
  Item Number:16 Date: 03/09/2017 USA - 10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION TROOPS TRAIN WITH NATIONAL GUARD PARTNERS IN 36TH ID (MAR 09/ANS)  ARMY NEWS SERVICE -- An active-duty U.S. Army unit and National Guard unit have partnered under the Associated Unit Pilot (AUP) program for a major training event for the first time, reports the Army News Service.   Soldiers from the "Patriots" of the 3rd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, worked with members of the Texas-based 36th Infantry Division "Arrowhead" during the Mountain Peak drills at Fort Polk, La.   In September 2016, the Patriot Brigade became the only active-duty brigade combat team to wear a National Guard patch.   The AUP program aims to reduce the time needed for National Guardsmen to prepare for a deployment by pairing them with an active unit.   Personnel from the 36th ID took part in every aspect of the Mountain Peak exercise, including the preparation, planning, and execution.   Both active and Guard personnel benefitted from the joint training, officials said.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 03/09/2017 USA - HUNDREDS OF MARINES WILL BE INVOLVED IN FIGHT FOR RAQQA (MAR 09/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- U.S. Marines have been deployed from the ships in the Middle East to Syria to provide artillery support to take back Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State, reports the Washington Post.   The force is part of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which left San Diego in October, reported the Chicago Tribune.   The 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, will operate M777 howitzers to provide support for the U.S.-backed Syrian Defense Force (SDF) that is preparing to assault the city, said the officials.   For a base to be useful, it must be within about 20 miles of the U.S.-supported forces -- that being the estimated range of M777 howitzers, noted the Tribune.   Marine infantrymen will provide security, and resupplies will be handed by the MEU's logistics element, the officials said.   On Thursday, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition confirmed that about 400 U.S. personnel had been deployed to work with the SDF, reported Reuters.   The forces include Marines artillery personnel and Army Rangers, the spokesman said. The Rangers are on a separate mission near the city of Manbij to prevent Turkish-backed and U.S.-backed rebels from fighting each other.   The Pentagon previously avoided deploying conventional forces to Syria.  
 Item Number:18 Date: 03/09/2017 USA - NAVY HOLDS MISSILE TEST TO COUNTER SMALL BOATS, FIRES VERTICAL MISSILE FROM LCS (MAR 09/NAVSEA)  NAVAL SEA SYSTEMS COMMAND -- The U.S. Navy has successfully completed a structural test-firing of the surface-to-surface missile module from its newest Freedom-class littoral combat ship (LCS), reports the Naval Sea Systems Command.   The missile system is meant to protect an LCS from the threat of swarming boats, noted USNI News.   The trial on Feb. 28, aboard USS Detroit (LCS-7) off the coast of Norfolk, Va., was the first missile launch from the module from an LCS as well as the first vertical missile launched from the class, said a NAVSEA release on Tuesday.   The event was part of the developmental test program for the LCS surface warfare mission package.   The missile module fires the Army Longbow Hellfire missile to counter small boat threats. The capability is the next to be made available for the surface warfare mission package, which reached initial operational capability in November 2014, noted the service.   The structural test-firing is designed to determine of shipboard structures, equipment and systems can operate effectively after weapon firing and identify any personnel hazards, such as toxic gas intrusion or damaging noise levels, said NAVSEA.   The upgraded surface warfare mission package is scheduled to begin developmental testing aboard USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) later this, followed by operational testing and an initial operational capability in 2018
Item Number:19 Date: 03/09/2017 USA - NAVY LAB TOUTS LIGHTWEIGHT TRANSPARENT ARMOR THAT CAN BE REPAIRED IN THE FIELD (MAR 09/NRL)  NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY -- The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has announced the development (and patenting) of a transparent thermoplastic elastomer armor that is lighter than most bullet-resistant glass, while providing greater ballistic protection.   The transparent polymer armor consists of alternating layers of elastomeric polymer and a harder material substrate, said scientists. Very small crystalline domains, which provide rigidity, give the polymer its transparency, according to an NRL release on Wednesday.   Thermoplastic elastomers are soft, rubbery polymers that convert to a solid using physical means. The solidification is reversible, allowing damaged armor surfaces to be easily repaired in the field, said NRL officials.   The lab's researchers have been testing polymeric materials as a coating to improve the impact resistance of hard substrates. Body armor and helmets equipped with such materials provide better protection against ballistic threats and blasts.   The dissipative properties of elastomer also limit the damage of a projectile strike, permitting armor to effectively defend against multiple hits, said researchers.  
  Item Number:20 Date: 03/09/2017 USA - TRUMP MAY SEND 1,000 TROOPS TO KUWAIT TO PROVIDE FLEXIBILITY IN WAR ON ISIS (MAR 09/REU)  REUTERS -- U.S. officials say the Trump administration is weighing the possibility of sending 1,000 U.S. troops to Kuwait to serve as a reserve force in the war against the Islamic State, reports Reuters.   Such a reserve would give commanders on the ground more flexibility to respond to unforeseen opportunities and challenges, said the officials on Wednesday.   The decision on whether to deploy such a Kuwait-based reserve forces to Syria or Iraq would be left to local commanders, in a change from the previous Obama administration.   The possible force would be different from the existing U.S. troop presence in Kuwait, said the officials.


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