Friday, March 17, 2017

Fw: TheList 4410

 The List 4410

To All,
I hope your week has been going well.
This Day In Naval History - March 16
1911 - Hulk of USS Maine sunk at sea in deep water with full military honors.
1945 - Iwo Jima declared secure.
1966 - Launch of Gemini 8. Former naval aviator Neil Armstrong flew on this mission which completed 7 orbits in 10 hours and 41 minutes at an altitude of 161.3 nautical miles. Recovery was by USS Leonard F. Mason (DD-852).
On a trip to the Italian mainland from his home on Capreae, the emperor Tiberius dies on the Bay of Naples.
The Crusades begin the massacre of Jews in York, England.
The Emperor Babur defeats the Rajputs at the Battle of Khanwa, removing the main Hindu rivals in Northern India.
The first Indian appears to colonists in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
Susan Hayhurst becomes the first woman to graduate from a pharmacy college.
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is published.
Union troops push past Confederate blockers at the Battle of Averasborough, N.C.
The British cruiser Invincible, the world's largest, is completed at Glasgow shipyards.
The 15,000-ton battleship Pennsylvania is launched at Newport News, Va.
Russian Czar Nicholas II abdicates his throne.
Physicist Robert H. Goddard launches the first liquid-fuel rocket.
The United States plans to send 1,000 more Marines to Nicaragua.
Adolf Hitler orders a German rearmament and violates the Versailles Treaty.
Germany occupies the rest of Czechoslovakia.
Iwo Jima is declared secure by U.S. forces although small pockets of Japanese resistance still exist.
CBS introduces The Morning Show hosted by Walter Cronkite to compete with NBC's Today Show.
President Lyndon B. Johnson submits a $1 billion war on poverty program to Congress.
U.S. troops in Vietnam destroy a village consisting mostly of women and children, the action is remembered as the My-Lai massacre.
Mozambique and South Africa sign a pact banning support for one another's internal foes.
Associated Press newsman, Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut.
Thanks to Carl
Rocky Marciano - Lest We Forget
 (The Italian Stallion!)
       When's the last time you heard the name Marciano mentioned on any sports show? If you grew up in the 40's and 50's, you
       listened to most of his fights on radio since they weren't carried on the limited TV (ABC, NBC & CBS) of the time and
       Pay/Per View /didn't exist. His fights with Ezzard Charles, a black, were epics.Rocky didn't know about/"Rope a Dope"/. His
       secret trick was to just put the his opponent to sleep in the middle of the ring . . . . 49 wins  and no losses .
       Since he was white and boxing has been taken over by blacks, he will never be given his due in this PC socially engineered
       society of the last 60 years or so. Since the Liberal/Progressives control our culture, society, media and
       sports, Marciano and his record will be buried forever in sports history. He is the only undefeated (49 -0) Heavyweight Champion
       in the history of boxing. He was also drafted and served in the army. Just so you know…A lot of people have this title confused.
       The Greatest Boxer of All Time: Didn't die recently...he died 47 years ago.  He didn't have 5 losses, he had 0..None!!! He didn't have 37 Knock Outs, he had 43 (88%).  He didn't dodge the draft.  He      wasn't a race baiter and sure as hell didn't convert to Islam.  He was a local                
       kid named Rocky Marciano, aka The Brockton Blockbuster.   (No True!  Mu Pop and I listened to just about every one of his fights and his alias was "The Broxton Bomber!" from Broxton, Mass) 
       Don't let the mainstream media idolize false prophets.  When he was asked on TV if he could've knocked out Ali in his prime his response so classical!!  "I'd be conceited if I said I could've, but I'd be a liar if I said I couldn't."  Real name: Rocco Francis Marchegiano

Thanks to Carl

I met her once and she gave a little talk about computers and her love of the navy. It was a long time ago but she had two lengths of string to make a point. One demonstrated a second and the other a nano second. I don't remember what was measured but the difference was dramatic. She also quoted John Paul Jones.  I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way.
The Navy named a ship after her.
Amazing Grace Hopper
Mar 08, 2017

In the beginning, computers were people. When America entered World War II in 1941, a need arose to calculate precise trajectories of ballistic weapons. At the Ballistic Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., a hundred or so women - all college graduates - were enlisted to compute artillery firing tables using mechanical calculators. Their time spent at the task was calculated in "girl-years," or "kilo-girl hours." It was a cumbersome, inefficient system, but it was about to change, due in no small part to the efforts of Navy Reserve Lt. j.g. Grace Murray Hopper.
Joining the war effort
After several years teaching mathematics at Vassar College, N.Y., Hopper joined the Navy Reserve in 1943 and was assigned to the Navy's Bureau of Ships Computation Project at Harvard University, Mass. She reported to Navy Cmdr. Howard H. Aiken, an intense, no-nonsense officer who put her to work on the Mark I, America's first digital computer. 
At 50 feet long, 8 feet tall, and 8 feet wide, the Mark I was an imposing sight. In contrast to other, single-function calculating machines, the Mark I was a general-purpose computer, adaptable to different tasks. Aiken had designed it to help him calculate formulas more efficiently, calling it "a lazy man's idea." The Mark I was programmed using punched paper tape loops, the holes in the tape representing binary ones and zeros. Mechanical feelers translated the holes into directions for the machine. Hopper called the process of giving the computer instructions "coding" and was not happy when it later became known as programming.
Early on, each program was written from scratch, a constant "reinvention of the wheel" Hopper considered wasteful of time and effort. She began using notebooks to record snippets of code that could be reused when needed, though they still were entered manually for each program. Hopper called them "subroutines." Eventually, Aiken assigned her to create a manual for the Mark I, which became the first computer manual ever written. The Mark I proved so much faster and more accurate than manual computation methods that soon its processing time was booked 24 hours a day. No longer did the Navy need to employ rows of women with calculators to compute firing tables; with Hopper's programming, the Mark I could do the job in record time.
Compilers and COBOL
Hopper could have returned to teaching after the war, but by then, she was well aware she was helping to make history, and she stayed with Aiken at Harvard, where she worked on the Mark II and III computers.
In 1949, she went to work for Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corp., helping develop the UNIVAC - Universal Automatic Computer - a fully electronic system created for the Census Bureau and the first computer capable of translating numbers into letters, which set the stage for a revolution in the nascent computer industry.
Hopper realized subroutines now could be stored and assembled by the computer itself, instead of tediously copied from a notebook. She wrote a piece of code, called a compiler, that retrieved and stacked subroutines in the computer's memory to create a program. She later created a more capable version called MATH-MATIC, but the true breakthrough came with her FLOW-MATIC compiler, which for the first time allowed coding in plain English. By 1958, all Navy shipyards were using it.
By then, however, several competing programming languages were in use. DoD realized a standard was needed and established a committee to create one, with Hopper taking a major role. What emerged in 1959 was COBOL - Common Business-Oriented Language - largely based on Hopper's FLOW-MATIC compiler. Like its predecessor, COBOL was a plain-English computer language that made programming more widely accessible - and once more, Hopper had a hand in its creation.
COBOL was a resounding success, in large part because any company wanting to do business with DoD had to use it. One of COBOL's key advantages: It could run on computers made by different manufacturers, which greatly accelerated its adoption by both the military and private industry. By the mid-1960s, Hopper was so famous in Navy circles she no longer had to apply for standard two-week training stints. Instead, at the Navy's request, she spent that time helping naval installations set up their own computing systems. As a teacher, she was finally in her element - until a letter arrived from the chief of naval personnel in 1966: It was time to retire. Although a rebel in the world of computing, Hopper was a faithful naval officer, and on the last day of the year, she reluctantly separated from service.
So much for retirement
Hopper's retirement didn't last long. Seven months later, the Navy called again: Something had to be done about COBOL. In the years since its creation, differing versions of the language had emerged, creating confusion and conflict. Hopper was mustered back into the Navy Reserve and assigned the task of standardizing the Navy's computers, restoring order to its high-level programming languages. The job was to last six months, but she pursued that mission for the next 19 years.
When Hopper retired from the Navy for the third and final time in 1986, at the age of 79, she was the oldest active duty commissioned officer in the Navy. She was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, one of hundreds of awards she received, on the decks of USS Constitution in Boston Harbor. She promptly went to work as a consultant for Digital Equipment Corp., hitting the lecture circuit to promote careers in computer science. 
When she died in 1992 at the age of 85, Hopper left a legacy that will never be eclipsed. Today, her influence has spread around the globe. The Navy today has supercomputers capable of 800 trillion operations a second, direct descendants of the original Mark I. The guided missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) plies the world's oceans; the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference is held annually; and computer programmers again refer to their job as "coding." Somewhere, Grace Hopper must be smiling.
Item Number:1 Date: 03/16/2017 BANGLADESH - POLICE MAKE MULTIPLE RAIDS, KILLING 5 SUSPECTED MILITANTS (MAR 16/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Five suspected militants have been killed in raids by Bangladeshi police, reports Agence France-Presse.   Police stormed a building in the southern city of Chittagong overnight on Wednesday, leading to a 15-hour standoff.   The final assault began on Thursday. At least two suspects were killed when the detonated suicide vests, said police cited by Reuters. A woman was also shot and killed.   About 20 residents trapped in the building were rescued, said a police official.   Police said the suspects were part of a faction of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, which has been blamed for a July cafe attack in Dhaka in July that killed 22 people.   Raids were also reported in the Sitakunda area of Chittagong district. Three militants were arrested and two police officers injured in that raid, said officials.   Separately, another suspected, identified as a member of Harakat ul Jihad-I-Islami Bangladesh, was killed early Thursday in another raid in an eastern border district of Brahmanbaria, said police.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 03/16/2017 CANADA - SUPER HORNET DEAL WITH U.S. COULD BECOME OFFICIAL THIS YEAR (MAR 16/CANGOV)  CANADIAN GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE -- The Canadian government has submitted a letter of request to the U.S. government for a potential purchase of 18 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters.   The document outlines Canada's requirements for capabilities, schedule and economic benefits, a government release said on Tuesday.   Ottawa intends to apply its Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy to any purchase. This requires suppliers to make investments in Canada equal to 100 percent of their contract value.   A response is expected as soon as the fall of 2017. A contract could be finalized as soon as the end of 2017 or early 2018, said the release.   The agreement must also be approved by the U.S. government, noted the Canadian Press.   The Liberal government announced last year that it planned to acquire an interim fighter capability to augment the air force's aging fleet of CF-18 Hornets until a full competition could be launched in 2019
Item Number:3 Date: 03/16/2017 CHINA - LARGER CANDIDATES GET BIG NEWS ABOUT WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS FOR MILITARY ACADEMIES (MAR 16/XIN)  XINHUA -- Chinese military authorities have loosened the body weight requirements for candidates for military academies, reports Xinhua.   The updated rules allow a male candidate weighing up to 30 percent more than the standard body weight for his height, said the Chinese state news agency on Wednesday. Female candidates may weigh up to 20 percent over the standard.   The standard weight, in kilograms, is the difference between the candidate's height in centimeters and 110.   The regulations established in 2006 limited candidates to 25 percent heavier than the standard for males and 15 percent for females.   The latest amendment also permits candidates to have larger tattoos and eliminates examinations for carsickness, seasickness and chronic sinusitis, among other conditions.   The changes should better match the physical and mental conditions of today's young people, with improved living standards, the authorities said.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 03/16/2017 CHINA - SATELLITE SPOTS MORE CHINESE CONSTRUCTION IN DISPUTED PARACEL ISLANDS (MAR 16/IBT)  INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES -- New satellite imagery indicates that China has begun fresh construction work on disputed islands in the South China Sea, reports the International Business Times (Singapore).   A photo of North Island in the Paracel chain taken on March 6 shows recent work, including land clearing and possible preparation for a harbor to support what could become military installations.   Initial work was badly damaged in a typhoon last year, said experts.   Other imagery in January showed that China was conducting construction work on nearby Tree Island and other areas of the Paracels, which are also claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam. The images were provided by private satellite firm Planet Labs, which is based in San Francisco.   North Island is part of an arc of reefs that could form a protective screen for existing Chinese bases on Woody Island, also in the Paracels, said analysts.   The Chinese Defense Ministry said that it was "unfamiliar" with any work on North Island, reported Reuters
Item Number:5 Date: 03/16/2017 DENMARK - F-16S TO GET LITENING TARGETING PODS; PLANS MADE FOR NEW ARTILLERY (MAR 16/NG)  NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP. -- The Danish air force has placed an order for Litening advanced targeting pods for its F-16 fighter jets, reports Northrop Grumman, the maker of the pods.   Neither the value of the contract nor the number of systems involved was disclosed.   Denmark previously took delivery of fourth-generation Litening pods. The latest order will expand the use of the system to additional aircraft, said Northrop Grumman in a March 14 release.   Separately, the Danish government has approved the purchase of a new self-propelled howitzer and mortar system.   French defense firm Nexter will supply 15 Caesar 155-mm self-propelled artillery systems, said the Defense Ministry on Tuesday. The guns will be a new 8 x 8 version with an automated loading system and direct-fire capability, noted Defence Blog.   Austrian supplier ESL Information Technology was also chosen to supply 15 Cardom 10 120-mm mortar systems for installation on the army's new Piranha V wheeled armored vehicles
Item Number:6 Date: 03/16/2017 GERMANY - GREEK ANARCHISTS SAY THEY MAILED BOMB TO GERMANY'S FINANCE MINISTER (MAR 16/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- A Greek anarchist group has claimed responsibility for a bomb package sent to the German Finance Ministry in Berlin, reports Agence France-Presse.   The bomb was found Wednesday by German police at the office building of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. The package meant for the minister was intercepted at the mailroom.   The package "contained an explosive mix" with a substance often used in fireworks that was designed to explode when opened, Berlin police said in a statement.   The Greek militant group Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei claimed it was responsible, with a message on Thursday on an anti-establishment website.   Greek authorities are investigating how the package left the country with explosive material.   The German minister is unpopular in Greece for what was perceived as his hardline policies on austerity during Greece's financial crisis, noted Reuters
Item Number:7 Date: 03/16/2017 INDONESIA - MOCKED MILITARY MASCOT GETS THE BOOT (MAR 16/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- The Indonesian army has destroyed a statue of a grinning tiger outside one of its bases after it was widely mocked online for its appearance, reports the South China Morning Post.   The tiger is the mascot for the Siliwangi Military Command in the village of Garut in West Java.   The statue in front of the base had a cartoonish appearance and what looked like a broad grin. It had been at the base for several years, but recently went viral on the internet, reported the BBC.   On Monday, the army removed the statue. "Tigers should look fierce because they represent bravery and resilience. When some people criticized the statue for looking funny, we couldn't ignore it," said a local military spokesman.   A new statue will be erected in its place, he said.   A military official said that the army would look at other statues in the region to make sure they are "consistent with the original" military emblem.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 03/16/2017 IRAQ - CASUALTIES MOUNT FROM CAR BOMBING IN TIKRIT'S 'DOCTOR STREET' (MAR 16/RUDAW)  RUDAW -- A car bombing in the Iraqi city of Tikrit has killed at least 11 people and wounded 41 others, reports Rudaw (Iraqi Kurdistan), citing local officials.   A parked car exploded Wednesday on al-Atibaa Street ("Doctors Street" in English) in downtown Tikrit, reported Reuters.   The accounts have different casualty numbers.   The street, which has many clinics, was crowded with people and patients, said provincial officials.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility.  
Item Number:9 Date: 03/16/2017 IRAQ - FOG, RAIN PUT BRAKES ON ASSAULT AGAINST ISIS IN MOSUL'S OLD CITY (MAR 16/REU)  REUTERS -- Iraqi forces have been forced to delay their assault on the Islamic State-held Old City in western Mosul because of rain and fog, reports Reuters.   On Thursday, troops were attempting to surround the area to trap ISIS fighters. Several parts of western Mosul were recaptured despite car bombs and booby-traps, said officials.   Operations were later halted "due to bad, rainy weather. We can't advance without airstrikes cover due to the fog," said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry's rapid-response unit.   A federal police officer confirmed the halt and said commanders were meeting to adapt their plans to the city's difficult terrain. Complicated, narrow alleys prevent armored vehicles from being used.   ISIS fighters have taken advantage of the break to make sporadic attacks, said officials.   Up to 6,000 terrorists are still in Mosul, said a federal police commander
  Item Number:10 Date: 03/16/2017 IRELAND - COAST GUARD PILOT DIES AFTER HELICOPTER CRASH; 3 CREW MISSING OFF CO. MAYO (MAR 16/IRISHT)  IRISH TIMES -- Hopes have been fading for three missing crewmembers of an Irish search-and-rescue helicopter that crashed off the west coast of Ireland, reports the Irish Times.   The S-92 helicopter went down early Tuesday morning while en route to refuel at Blacksod lighthouse, coast guard officials said.   Capt. Dara Fitzpatrick, 45, was recovered from the sea in critical condition, but she later died in the hospital. The captain has been with the service for more than 20 years, noted the Daily Telegraph (U.K.).   At the time of the incident, the Dublin-based helicopter crew was providing cover to another coast guard helicopter that was conducting a medical evacuation from a U.K.-registered fishing boat 150 miles (240 km) off the coast of County Mayo, noted the Guardian (U.K.). A man on the fishing boat reportedly suffered a heart attack.   There was no warning of any difficulties when the helicopter crashed, said officials.   The incident is under investigation
Item Number:11 Date: 03/16/2017 ISRAEL - RESPONDING TO ROCKET FIRE, AIR FORCE HITS 2 HAMAS INSTALLATIONS IN GAZA (MAR 16/TOI)  TIMES OF ISRAEL -- The Israeli military says it has hit two Hamas position in Gaza in retaliation for an earlier rocket attack, reports the Times of Israel.   A rocket was fired Wednesday night from the Gaza Strip, landing in an empty field in the Sdot Negev Regional Council near Netivot city, said Israeli officials. No casualties or damage were reported.   Early on Thursday, the air force hit two Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, said the army. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties in the Israeli strike.   The rocket was likely fired by radical groups in Gaza, said military sources. Israel holds Hamas responsible for all attacks coming from its territory
Item Number:12 Date: 03/16/2017 LIBYA - FIGHTING CONTINUES IN TRIPOLI AMONG RIVAL FORCES (MAR 16/REU)  REUTERS -- Armed groups allied to the United Nations-backed Libyan government in Tripoli have seized a compound of a rival self-declared prime minister, reports Reuters.   Clashes began on Monday following a dispute between the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) and rival groups over control of a bank in the Hay al-Andalus neighborhood.   The fighting spread throughout western and southern Tripoli on Tuesday. Tanks and other heavy weapons were then deployed.   By Wednesday, forces belonging to the Central Security of Abu Salim brigade, which is allied to the GNA, had taken over the Rixos hotel complex, said the wire service. The compound had been used by the self-declared National Salvation Government, which opposes the GNA.   The prime minister of the National Salvation Government, Khafila Ghwell, was injured as he tried to leave the complex early Wednesday, said one of his aides. "Our National Salvation Government withdrew from its offices in Tripoli to stop the bloodshed," he said in a statement.   The offices of the Al Nabaa television station, which is sympathetic to the National Salvation Government, were burned down and the channel went off the air. A hospital in the Abu Saleim district was also hit in the fighting
  Item Number:13 Date: 03/16/2017 MALAYSIA - POLICE IN MALAYSIA SEEK HELP; INTERPOL PUTS OUT THE WORD ON SUSPECTS IN KIM KILLING (MAR 16/CHNA)  CHANNEL NEWS ASIA -- Interpol has issued a red notice for four North Korean men in connection to last month's murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, reports Channel News Asia.   Malaysian requested the assistance from Interpol. Kim was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13 with VX nerve agent.   "We have obtained a red notice for the four North Korean nationals who were at the airport on the day of the incident and who have since left .... We are hoping to get them through Interpol," Khalid Abu Bakar, Malaysia's police chief, announced on Thursday.   Such notices have been described as international arrest warrants. A red notice is a request to find and provisionally arrest someone pending extradition.   Interpol member countries are supposed to share any information on the suspects. North Korea is not part of the network, noted AFP.  
 Item Number:14 Date: 03/16/2017 PAKISTAN - BORDER TENSIONS BRING AFGHAN, PAKISTANI REPRESENTATIVES TO LONDON (MAR 16/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- The U.K. is hosting a meeting between Afghan and Pakistani officials in an effort to resolve a border dispute that has heated up of late, reports the Voice of America News.   Islamabad closed its border with Afghanistan to all traffic nearly a month ago after a number of deadly terrorist attacks.   Pakistani authorities blamed the attacks on fugitive militants said to be hiding in Afghan territory.   "We expect as a result of the talks in London and the recent contacts that we have had within the government and with the government of Afghanistan we expect this issue [border talks] to be resolved in the coming week," said Pakistani Trade Minister Khurram Dastgir.   Work is underway to open the Afghan border as soon as possible with "heightened security procedures," so that trade can resume, said the minister.   Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar and Pakistani foreign policy chief Sartaj Aziz were expected to meet Wednesday in London, with the talks to be mediated by British National Security Adviser Mark Lyall Grant, according to Tolo News (Afghanistan).   Afghanistan depends heavily on Pakistan for international trade. Thousands of shipping containers have been stranded by the border closure after leaving the port in Karachi, officials said.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 03/16/2017 SOMALIA - PIRATES, PUNTLAND MARITIME PERSONNEL EXCHANGE FIRE (MAR 16/GAROWE)  GAROWE ONLINE -- Maritime forces from Somalia's Puntland semi-autonomous region and pirates who seized an oil tanker earlier this week have exchanged gunfire, say local officials, as reported by Garowe Online (Somalia).   Somali pirates demanded a ransom after hijacking the Aris-13 on Monday and anchoring it near the town of Alula.   The ship is a Comoros-flagged tanker that was en route from Djibouti to Mogadishu. Eight Sri Lankan crewmembers are being held, noted Sky News (U.K.).   On Thursday, Puntland maritime forces attempted to intercept a boat carrying supplies to the pirates aboard the tanker. The pirates opened fire, said Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, the director general of the maritime force, as cited by Reuters.   There have been conflicting accounts about alleged casualties among the maritime forces
Item Number:16 Date: 03/16/2017 SOUTH KOREA - AIR FORCE HOLDS COMBAT DRILLS TO PRACTICE COUNTERATTACK OPERATIONS AGAINST N. KOREA (MAR 16/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean air force is in the midst of a week-long combat exercise focusing on potential North Korean provocations, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   Around 50 aircraft, including F-15K fighters and FA-50 light attack aircraft, and 500 airmen are taking part in the drills, the Air Force said in a statement earlier this week.   The Soaring Eagle drills are designed to enhance the service's ability to shoot down hostile missiles and strike core enemy military facilities, the statement said. Missile and nuclear facilities are among such potential targets.   The air force has conducted Soaring Eagle exercises twice a year since 2008
Item Number:17 Date: 03/16/2017 SYRIA - MORE RUSSIAN SAPPERS, DOGS, NEW DEMINING EQUIPMENT ARRIVE FOR PALMYRA DEMINING MISSION (MAR 16/SPUTNIK)  SPUTNIK -- More than 150 Russian military engineers have arrived in Syria to help demine the city of Palmyra, says the Defense Ministry, as reported by the Sputnik news agency (Russia).   The specialists and 17 pieces of cutting-edge equipment were flown by military transport aircraft from Chkalovsky airfield in the Moscow region to Syria's Hmeimim air base, said the ministry on Thursday.   The units then began a mounted search and began the demining process on roads leading to social infrastructure and heritage sites, the ministry said.   A unit with mine detection dogs was also sent. They will be testing new methods of finding mines and protecting personnel, said officials.   Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air support, regained control of Palmyra from the Islamic State on March 2. Nearly 200 Russian sappers were sent on March 10, noted Tass.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 03/16/2017 TAIWAN - 2 DECOMMISSIONED FRIGATES FROM U.S. SIGNED OVER TO NAVY (MAR 16/TAI)  TAIPEI TIMES -- The Taiwanese navy has taken delivery of two former U.S. Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, reports the Taipei Times.   The warships were formally transferred during a ceremony on March 9 in Charleston, S.C.   Taiwanese sailors have been training on the operation of the ships, which are expected to arrive in Taiwan within two months, said Taiwanese lawmakers.   The Taylor and Gary, which were decommissioned in 2013 and 2015, respectively, have been retrofitted to extend their service lives by about 30 years.   Both ships were purchased for about US$177 million, officials said.   The reactivated frigates are expected to replace some of the Taiwanese navy's six Chi Yang-class warships, noted Defense News. Those Taiwanese frigates previously were Knox-class ships in U.S. service
  Item Number:19 Date: 03/16/2017 USA - ISIS DRONE TACTICS PROVIDE FODDER FOR ARMY TRAINING (MAR 16/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- U.S. Army officials say the service has started applying lessons learned from the experience of Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State drones in Mosul to the Army's major training exercises, reports Defense News.   The Army's Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), part of the Combined Arms Center, and the Asymmetric Warfare Group from the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) are both represented in Mosul in northern Iraq.   Officials from those organizations are there at the tactical and operational level and reporting their observations, Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy said on Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army's Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Ala.   These reports have been "driving our counter-UAS training and technology significantly," Lundy said. ISIS has demonstrated a near "swarm-level capability in a couple of cases. That is a big area that we are learning," said the general.   While some ISIS capabilities are seen as unique to the conflict, other unmanned aircraft capabilities are enduring and worth incorporating into training as well as technology and capability development, said Gary Phillips, a senior intelligence adviser with TRADOC.   The program executive office for simulation, training and instrumentation took the inexpensive Outlaw drone, typically used to simulate threats for Avenger air defense units, and outfitted it with commercial cameras and sensors and integrated it with a National Training Center rotation, said Brig. Gen. William Cole, the head of the office
Item Number:20 Date: 03/16/2017 USA - SPECIAL OPS PLANE FROM CANNON AFB CRASHES; 3 DIE IN TRAINING FLIGHT (MAR 16/ABQJ)  ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL -- Three U.S. Air Force personnel have been killed in a crash during a training flight near Clovis, N.M., reports the Albuquerque Journal (N.M.).   The airmen, assigned to the 318th Special Operations Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., were in the midst of a training flight Tuesday evening when their U-28A aircraft went down.   The names were not released until their families could be notified.   The 318th SOS flies a variety of light and medium aircraft in support of special operations forces, noted The U-28A is used for intra-theater airlift.   The cause of the accident is under investigation, said the base commander.


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