Saturday, April 8, 2017

Fw: TheList 4426

To All,
I hope that you all have a great weekend.
This Day In Naval History - April 7
1776 - Continental brig Lexington captures British Edward
1917 - Navy takes control of all wireless radio stations in the U.S.
1942 - Navy accepts African Americans for general service
1945 - First two Navy flight nurses land on an active battlefield (Iwo
Jima): ENS Jane Kendeigh, USNR, and LTJG Ann Purvis, USN
1945 - Carrier aircraft defeat last Japanese Navy sortie (Battle of East China Sea); Yamato, world's largest battleship, and five other ships sunk
1979 - Launching of first Trident submarine, USS Ohio (SSBN-726) at Groton, CT
This Day In Naval History - April 8
1925: Lt. John D. Price, piloting a VF-1 plane, makes a night landing on USS Langley (CV 1), at sea off San Diego, Calif., the first on board a U.S. Navy carrier.
1950 - Unarmed Navy patrol aircraft shot down over Baltic Sea by USSR
1951 - 1st of 4 detonations, Operation Greenhouse nuclear test
1945.  Sonderkommando Elbe (the elite German ramming unit) destroys 24 USAF bombers in it first and only operation
This Day In Naval History - April 9
1861 - Second relief convoy for Fort Sumter left New York
1941 - Commissioning of USS North Carolina, which carried 9 16-inch guns
1943 - Re-establishment of Commodore rank
1959 - Selection of first 7 Mercury astronauts, include 4 naval aviators
1942 The Bataan Peninsula falls and the Death March begins
April 7
The Dutch establish a settlement at Cape Town, South Africa.
A slave revolt breaks out in New York City.
The territory of Mississippi is organized.
General Ulysses S. Grant defeats the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in TN.
The British House of Commons passes the Irish Home Rule Bill.
The U.S. Secretary of the Interior leases the Teapot Dome naval oil reserves in Wyoming.
President Franklin Roosevelt signs legislation ending prohibition in the United States.
British and American armies link up between Wadi Akarit and El Guettar in North Africa, forming a solid line against the German army.
The Japanese battleship Yamato, the world's largest battleship, is sunk during the Battle for Okinawa.
Yugoslavia proclaims itself a Socialist republic.
President Nixon pledges a withdrawal of 100,000 more men from Vietnam by December.
The United States breaks relations with Iran.
Specialist Story Musgrave and Don Peterson make the first Space Shuttle spacewalk.
John Poindexter is found guilty in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Thanks to Micro
Dusty Kleiss was in List 4424. A real hero of the Battle of Midway
Dusty Kleiss died about six weeks after the interview last year.  He died in April 2016 at 100, so he's not 101 now.
Thanks to CArl
Don Rickles - "The Merchant of Venom" and "The King of Zing"!  When comedians were actually funny!!
Frank Sinatra is Surprised by Don Rickles on Johnny Carson's Show, Funniest Moment -
Don Rickles Roast Ronald Reagan -
Don Rickles Roasts Frank Sinatra -
Don Rickles Roasts Jerry Lewis -
Don Rickles Roasts Bob Hope Man of the Hour -
Don Rickles Roasts Redd Foxx Man of the Hour -
Don Rickles Roast Carroll O'Conner -
Don Rickles - Some of my favorite Don Rickles moments -
Thanks to Carl…Stay off ladders
("Unusual attitude recovery" is getting more critical as we add years to our logbooks!  I know several slightly older individuals with balance, dizziness and vertigo issues.  One has had extensive testing at Johns Hopkins which resulted in NO identified cause.  When asked about vitamin D levels, they do not know and do not demand a blood test from their doctor.  Have wondered if it could be caused by a nutrient/vitamin deficiency??  Leg and ankle strength is crucial for recovery/preventing falls.  Ask Skip about Tai Chi.)    

Falling Is Taking a Toll on Elderly Brains

April 06, 2017 
Thanks to Hal
With all else going on in politics today, there is a real and present danger from North Korea.  Young Kim is unstable, paranoid, and unpredictable. Witness that he has had several of his generals executed fearing a military coup, and recently had his half-brother killed with VX, fearing any rivalry.  It seems that the focus in on his ability to successfully launch a nuclear-tipped ICBM, but there are other ways.  How about shipping in one in a container which was the plot of one of Tom Clancy's novels and it nuked Baltimore.  Or, one could be fired from a ship off our coast using shorter range missiles. 
Tam mentions the concerns of former DCI Woolsey.  Many years ago I was invited to a retreat in the woods where he was one of several speakers and he voiced several concerns then of our safety.  I was there speaking on the real threats of chemical and biological agents upon our people by any of several rouge countries and had a chance to talk to him briefly.  North Korea was known to be genetically engineering smallpox which would make it a new disease for which we had no immunity.  That was twenty years ago, so who knows what they have developed since. 

Remember the CIA's James Woolsey? 

Experts Warn A Single North Korean Nuke Could Blackout National Electric Grid And Kill 90% Of Americans

For those who are skeptical about North Korea's capabilities, there is an excellent article presented by The Hill, entitled How North Korea could kill 90 percent of Americans."  The article is authored by none other than R. James Woolsey, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and by Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, the Executive Director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security and a former analyst with the CIA.

Although the President is moving forward with his agenda, he has hit a "stall" in these first two months just on repealing Obamacare: The Republican Party has been the stall, refusing to give him the necessary votes and impetus to overcome it.  As mentioned in previous articles, it will take the President at least 6 months before his actions and effectiveness can be assessed.  Six months is a long time.  In the meantime, the U.S. continues to emplace measures such as THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Aerial Defense) being deployed to South Korea.
China and Russia view it as an aggressive measure and a threat rather than a defensive strategy to protect South Korea and Japan.  This is partially correct.  The important thing to consider here is that North Koreans and their leader are starting to become more irate regarding the deployment of THAAD, the ongoing military exercises of U.S. and South Korean troops in the latter's nation, and the demand by Japan for a first strike initiative to occur.
Here are some excerpts from the article that readers should keep in mind:
"The mainstream media, and some officials who should know better, continue to allege North Korea does not yet have capability to deliver on its repeated threats to strike the U.S. with nuclear weapons.  False reassurance is given to the American people that North Korea has not "demonstrated" that it can miniaturize a nuclear warhead small enough for missile delivery, or build a reentry vehicle for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of penetrating the atmosphere to blast a U.S. city.
Yet any nation that has built nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, as North Korea has done, can easily overcome the relatively much simpler technological challenge of warhead miniaturization and reentry vehicle design."
These two paragraphs clearly state that North Korea can miniaturize a warhead.  Once again, the naysayers will only be satisfied that they "can" when either an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) weapon and/or a nuclear warhead is delivered with either complete loss of power in the U.S. and/or the loss of an American city.  When such occurs, the naysayers will then say nothing.
The objective is not to be "right" in this debate, but to be aware…to foster such awareness and help others to make whatever preparations they can before such occurs.  Here is another declaration by this article…a deep one:
"The notion that North Korea is testing A-Bombs and H-Bomb components, but does not yet have the sophistication to miniaturize warheads and make reentry vehicles for missile delivery is absurd."
The threat could not be made any clearer than that.  The article goes on to describe assessments made in February and March of 2015 by former senior national security officials who warned this:
"…North Korea should be regarded as capable of delivering by satellite a small nuclear warhead, specially designed to make a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack against the United States."
In April Admiral William Gortney, former Commander of North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) warned at a press conference that the KN-08 mobile ICBM missile system of North Korea could strike the United States with a nuclear warhead.
Exactly six months later, Gortney declared (based on intelligence analyses) that North Korea has nuclear weapons, the capability to miniaturize them, and is capable of placing them on a missile that can reach the continental United States. This last excerpt of the article is very important due to the gravity of the current situation (the article was written today), the warning it gives, and the denouncement of the MSM (mainstream media) for obfuscating the facts on the matter and "underreporting" an issue of this magnitude:
"According to the Congressional EMP Commission, a single warhead delivered by North Korean satellite could blackout the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures for over a year – killing 9 of 10 Americans by starvation and societal collapse.  Two North Korean satellites, the KMS-3 and KMS-4, presently orbit over the U.S. on trajectories consistent with surprise EMP attack. 
Why do the press and public officials ignore or under-report these facts?  Perhaps no administration wants to acknowledge that North Korea is an existential threat on their watch.  Whatever the motives for obfuscating the North Korean nuclear threat, the need to protect the American people is immediate and urgent…"
These men are experts in the field.  Why is the United States (as a whole) being so lackadaisical when it comes to such a problem?  As I have written in the past, it is my fervent wish that it never comes to pass…because the death of millions is not a "fair tradeoff" just to be able to be "right" or "correct" in a point of view.  For me personally, it is not about that.  It is about paying attention to men who make it their full-time business to be aware of the true threat that the MSM does not report, and reporting it here.  In this manner, you may be able to give yourself a small edge to make it by being aware and taking any precautions you can take with your family.  It is better to be aware, prepared, and have nothing happen than to wake up one morning and find an American city has been nuked and an EMP has rendered us without power.  Let us hope that doesn't ever happen.
Sent from Tamara's iUniverse 

The U.S. Air Force Must Have the Right Stuff

By Joe Ragonese
A CH-47 Chinook helicopter took off on a mission deep in the Takur Ghar mountains of eastern Afghanistan in the early morning hours of March 4, 2002.  The special operators aboard consisted of Navy SEALs and an Air Force Combat Controller (CCT).  As the aircraft closed in on its landing zone it was met with unexpected gunfire, including a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) that went through its walls; fortunately not exploding.
As the pilot of the stricken helicopter jinked his aircraft out of harm's way, one of the occupants, Navy SEAL, Petty Officer First Class Neil Roberts fell out and landed on the ground.  As the helicopter retreated, Senior Chief Petty Officer Britt Slabinski, who was commanding this SEAL Team on the mission, realized that Roberts was missing and requested the aircraft return.  The pilot landed the CH-47 under intense fire, taking several more hits that would disable the aircraft.  The SEAL Team, along with Air Force CCT, John Chapman, exited to attempt a rescue.  While rushing up the mountain, Chapman raced ahead of Slabinski, killing at least two al-Qaeda fighters.
They came under overwhelming gun, RPG, and mortar fire that forced them to take refuge behind rocks and in shallow depressions in the treeless landscape.  Intelligence had miscalculated the number of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters there would be in this location.  It was very early in the War on Terror, and the Department of Defense was eager to capture al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who had escaped capture at Tora-Bora in another part of the country.
As the battle quickly turned against the special operators, Sgt. Chapman was struck with shrapnel from an exploding hand grenade, that knocked him to the ground.  The intense fire was too overwhelming to continue the rescue mission, due to the limited number of fighters on the ground, and with several already wounded, so Chief Slabinski ordered a retreat.  He believed that Sgt. Chapman was already dead, seeing the body sprawled on the ground, the laser on his rifle scope, that was laying across his chest, not moving up and down, and led the remaining SEALs away from the gunfire.  Later evidence would show that Sgt. Chapman was only knocked temporarily unconscious.
Shortly after the SEALs left the area, Sgt. Chapman regained consciousness.  Realizing that he had been left behind, he continued to fight off the Muslim zealots, while protecting the SEAL's retreat.  For over an hour, while Chief Slabinski was coordinating assistance from an Army Ranger standby team at Baghran Air Force Base, Chapman continued fighting, killing several of the enemy.  Still, nobody knew that he was alive.
Two Army helicopters responded to Slabinski's call for assistance; aboard those aircraft were 19 Army Rangers and an Air Force three man special tactics team, consisting of a CCT and a medical Pararescue team (PJ).  Seeing the  CH-47's approach, Sgt. Chapman fought with a renewed vigor, standing up to get a better firing position to protect advancing Army Rangers, whose aircraft were taking intense ground fire.  The fighting was fierce, at one point Chapman fought off Muslim fighters in hand-to-hand combat, killing one.  It was while placing himself in direct fire to protect his fellow special operators, that he was hit with several rounds of machine gun fire.
When Rangers finally did arrive, Chapman was dead, his body riddled with nine bullet wounds.  His heroism was recorded for posterity on video from a drone circling overhead; but it would take another 14 years before technology would advance enough to witness his selfless acts.  The mission to rescue Petty Officer Roberts; however, was not yet over.
When the first Chinook landed, while Chapman was still alive, they immediately began taking fire and the helicopter's door gunner, Sergeant Phillip Svitak was killed.  As Rangers and Air Force Air Commandos left the aircraft, PFC Matt Commons, Sgt. Brad Cross, and Spc. Mark Anderson were killed.  The helicopter had made a crash landing due to multiple hits, and the aircrew, airmen and Rangers were forced to take cover.  The second helicopter landed several hundred meters down the mountain, offloading its soldiers and airmen, who charged uphill in thigh high snow to support their fellow warfighters.
The Air Commandos, SEALs and Rangers continued moving ahead under heavy fire.  During the battle, Air Force F-15 and F-16 fighter-bombers were called in, while soaring high overhead a B-52 dropped precision bombs, all at the direction the Air Force CCT on the ground, who dodged bullets and RPG grenades while calling out commands.  In the meantime, the PJ team tended to the wounded, carrying them from the battlefield to the remaining Chinook.  After securing the hilltop, where they found Sgt. Chapman's body, the enemy counterattacked, and in the heavy fighting that followed, Senior Airman Jason Cunningham, one of the PJ's tending to the wounded, was killed.
An Air Force AC-130 Spooky gunship was called to the scene.  Under ordinary circumstances the Spookies do not loiter during daylight, since one was shot down during Gulf War I; but their firepower was needed to save the troops in combat.  It was due to their sustained fire against the enemy, with 105mm cannon and 25mm Gatling gun, directed by the CCT on the ground, that broke the back of the enemy's counterattack.   This air support, combined with the soldiers, sailors and airmen on the ground, forced the Muslim fighters to retreat.  Afterwards special operators were able to recover Roberts' body.  He had been assassinated by an al-Qaeda zealot after his capture, with his head almost removed.
On today's integrated battlefield airmen play a vital role in the joint branch combat effort..  Those who serve on the ground and those who are in the air are an essential part of the coordinated forces whose cooperation makes America's armed forces the fiercest in the world.  To be a warfighter in any service branch takes someone who is different than the majority of Americans.  Most people do not have what it takes to face combat willingly.  The Air Force is a special branch, whose members not only need that warrior gene, but they receive years of training before becoming combat qualified.
Pilots, Navigators, Weapon's Systems Officers and Combat Controllers receive no less than two years of training before they are qualified.  Pararescue troops, boom operators, aerial gunners, loadmasters and other flight crew members; both enlisted and officer, have no less than 1 ½ years of training before being combat qualified.  Without these people, the Air Force cannot perform its mandated mission.
Yet, it would seem that the Air Force does not wish to continue its hard earned reputation as one of the most elite fighting forces in the world.  In a March 14 article by Ray Starmann, in U.S. Defense Watch, titled "Off we go into the PC Yonder!," he highlighted how little Air Force commanders care about having men and women in their service that can live up to the values and warrior code of people like Sgt. Chapman, rather they prefer compliance with a PC code that does not serve the military.
The Air Force has taken a path of self-destruction over the past eight years.  Combine that with the horrendous cuts in defense spending under our last three Presidents, and we find ourselves in a crisis.  As stated, the fighting members of the Air Force take years to train, and cannot be replaced easily or by draftees in time of war.  The actions of senior Air Force officials make those who do have the right stuff, leave in droves, while not creating an environment to recruit replacements.  The actions taken today cannot be repaired for years to come.  This shortsightedness by senior Air Force officers could render all branches of the service impotent in any future war.
President Trump needs to modify the behavior of senior members of the Air Force.  His appointing Heather Wilson to become the next Secretary of the Air Force is not a good start.  The feminization of the Air Force is at the heart of the problem.  While Wilson is an Air Force Academy graduate, nothing in her military career shows the right stuff to lead this branch of the service.  She is much better suited then the non-qualified Deborah James, whom Obama stuck the Air Force with for the past eight years; but not a good choice to rebuild a fighting force of airmen ready to accomplish the demands of the service.  In fact, it was James who created all of the problems and feminization that the Air Force is now coping with.  Further feminizing the Air Force seems counterproductive.
While women have played an important role in the Air Force, since World War II, they have not been, until James, the directing force that empowers feminine behavior and traits which undermine combat readiness and behavior.  Feminization is killing all of our services, but it is devastating the Air Force far worse than the other branches.
As a man who proudly wore the Air Force blue for six years, this decay of one of the best fighting forces in the world is very hard to accept.  President Trump must put this service on the proper path and fill it with men who have the right stuff, before it is too late.
Item Number:1 Date: 04/07/2017 CANADA - IN UPGRADE, 2 SUBS TO RECEIVE SHARPEYE RADARS (APR 07/KELH)  KELVIN HUGHES -- The Royal Canadian Navy has awarded Kelvin Hughes a contract for new submarine navigation radars, reports the British defense firm.   Under the deal, Kelvin Hughes will supply its SharpEye downmast radar for two Victoria-class subs. The radars will replace the existing Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 radar, the company said in a Tuesday release.   The amount of the contract was not reported.   The SharpEye I-band transceiver uses the existing bulkhead infrastructure as well as the external antenna, rotational drive and waveguide connections.   The system employs Doppler processing to detect surface contacts sooner and at longer range. Electronic filters allow it to distinguish between contacts of interest and environmental clutter, said Kelvin Hughes
  Item Number:2 Date: 04/07/2017 CHINA - COAST GUARD VESSELS CONTINUE PATROLLING REEFS CLAIMED BY MALAYSIA, 1,000 MILES FROM CHINESE MAINLAND (APR 07/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- Chinese coast guard vessels are making persistent patrols around reefs claimed by Malaysia in the South China Sea, according to ship-tracking data obtained by the Guardian (U.K.).   During the first two months of 2017, three Chinese vessels patrolled the Luconia Shoals, an area of islets and reefs about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from mainland China and 90 miles (145 km) north of Malaysian Borneo, the data showed.   The ships were tracked by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Center for Advanced Defense Studies. Both think tanks are headquartered in Washington, D.C.   The activity was not unusual and were consistent with regular rotations of up to 11 Chinese patrol vessels in the area since late 2015, the researchers said.   Beijing claims most of the South China Sea. There are conflicting claims by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 04/07/2017 CHINA - THINK TANK SPOTS J-11 FIGHTER ON CHINA-CONTROLLED ISLAND IN S. CHINA SEA (APR 07/IBT)  INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES -- Recent satellite imagery show a Chinese fighter jet on an island in the disputed South China Sea, the first time that has happened in a year, reports the International Business Times, citing a report by a U.S.-based think tank.   The image was shown on Thursday by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), which is part of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIC).   The image was taken on March 29, showing a J-11 fighter jet on an airstrip on the Chinese-controlled Woody Island in the Paracel chain, said AMTI.   "This isn't a first, but it's the first time in a year. There are likely more [aircraft] in the hangars nearby," said AMTI director Greg Poling.   It was unclear how long the plane had been on the island, said Poling.   One U.S. official told Reuters that the deployment was not unexpected. Woody Island "is already heavily militarized. The unnamed official said there was no surprise to be "seeing military aircraft there
Item Number:4 Date: 04/07/2017 EUROPEAN UNION - COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION EXPANDS SANCTIONS ON N. KOREA (APR 07/CEU)  COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION -- The Council of the European Union has approved additional sanctions against North Korea.   The new measures complement and reinforce those imposed by the U.N. Security Council, noted a release from the Council of the European Union (CEU) on Thursday.   The CEU is expanding the prohibition on investments in North Korea to new sectors, including the conventional weapons-related industry, metallurgy and metalworking and aerospace.   The latest sanctions also prohibit certain services to persons or entities in North Korea, especially computer services and those linked to mining and manufacturing in the chemical, mining and refining industry.   The measures are in response to Pyongyang's violation of multiple Security Council resolutions. North Korea's actions represent a significant threat to peace and security in the region and beyond, said the release.   The CEU also added four individuals to its sanctions lists for being responsible for supporting or promoting the North's nuclear-related, ballistic missile-related or other weapons of mass destruction-related programs. Forty-one North Koreans and seven entities are now subject travel restrictions and asset freezes
Item Number:5 Date: 04/07/2017 INDIA - ISRAEL, INDIA CONCLUDE ARMS DEAL WORTH NEARLY US$2 BILLION (APR 07/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- India has inked a defense contract worth almost US$2 billion with Israel, reports Agence France-Presse.   The contract is worth US$1.6 billion for IAI and the rest to state-owned Rafael, for components, noted the Press Trust of India.   Under the deal, IAI will supply India with a medium-range surface-to-air missile system and communications technology, said the company on Thursday.   IAI will also provide a naval defense system that includes long-range surface-to-air missiles for India's first aircraft carrier, the Vikrant, which is still under construction.   The deal is "considered to be the largest defense contract in Israel's defense industries' history," IAI said.   Some of the components will be assembled in India
Item Number:6 Date: 04/07/2017 IRAQ - 2 PILOTS KILLED AS ARMY HELICOPTER IS DOWNED FIGHTING FOR MOSUL (APR 07/IQN)  IRAQI NEWS -- An Iraqi military helicopter has been shot down in eastern Mosul, reports Iraqi News.   The aircraft was likely shot down by Islamic State militants in the al-Mohandeseen area, said provincial police officials.   Both army pilots were killed, according to a military statement cited by Reuters.   A spokesman for Iraq's Joint Operations Command told AFP that the aircraft was a U.S.-made Bell helicopter.   The helicopter was providing air support to federal police fighting ISIS militants in western Mosul, said the military statement
  Item Number:7 Date: 04/07/2017 JAPAN - 50-MEMBER UNIT WILL ASSIST WITHDRAWAL OF PEACEKEEPERS IN S. SUDAN (APR 07/JIJI)  JIJI PRESS -- The Japanese Defense Ministry says about 50 military personnel will be deployed to South Sudan to support the withdrawal of a Japanese engineering unit ending its service on a U.N. peacekeeping mission, reports the Jiji Press.   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced last month that Japan would end its five-year deployment in South Sudan by May. About 350 Japanese troops helped improve roads and other infrastructure as part of the mission.   The support mission, largely Ground Self-Defense Force personnel, will arrive in Juba on April 11, said the Defense Ministry on Friday.   The new personnel will help transport equipment that was used by the engineers back to Japan, said the ministry.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 04/07/2017 KAZAKHSTAN - DURING SCO MEETING, SECURITY OFFICIAL AGREES TO MORE COUNTERTERRORISM COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA (APR 07/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The heads of the security councils in Kazakhstan and Russia have been discussing stronger cooperation against terrorism, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   Kazakh Security Council Secretary Vladimir Jumakanov hosted his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, in Astana on Thursday.   The officials talked about the recent terrorist attack in St. Petersburg and the need to strengthen bilateral and multilateral counterterrorism cooperation.   Kazakhstan is hosting the 12th meeting of the security council secretaries of the China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO
Item Number:9 Date: 04/07/2017 NIGERIA - INVESTIGATION PROBES DEATH OF WESTERN NAVAL COMMAND CHIEF (APR 07/NANIGERIA)  NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA -- The head of the Nigerian navy's Western Naval Command has been discovered dead in his home in Lagos, reports the News Agency of Nigeria.   Gunshots were heard Wednesday near the home of Rear Adm. Teikumo Daniel Ikoli, said a spokesman for the command.   Ikoli previously commanded the ship Beecroft and served on the presidential committee investigating an arms deal.   The Guardian (Lagos) reported that Ikoli was found with bullet in his heart. The admiral was reportedly concerned that he might be targeted for his role on the arms deal committee, sources told the paper.   Various accounts suggested he was killed by bandits or committed suicide.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 04/07/2017 PHILIPPINES - SEEKING TO CLARIFY PRESIDENTIAL REMARKS, MILITARY SAYS IT WILL NOT OCCUPY NEW AREAS IN S. CHINA SEA (APR 07/PDI)  PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER -- The Philippine military has announced that it will upgrade existing facilities in the disputed South China Sea and not occupy new ones, reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer.   "We will reinforce our troops and improve the structures and facilities there," said military chief Gen. Eduardo Ano on Friday.   On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte said he had ordered troops to occupy uninhabited islands and shoals claimed by the Philippines in the region, reported Reuters.   The Friday military announcement was seen as a way to clarify that the government would adhere to a 2002 informal code about the region.   "The president's order was very crystal clear. Occupy only the existing areas that we claim," a navy commander told the wire service.   "The Philippines is not allowed to do that, occupy new territories in the Spratly, based on the 2002 agreement," he said.   "What he really meant was the already-occupied areas," said a military spokesman
  Item Number:11 Date: 04/07/2017 RUSSIA - JOINT VENTURE WITH INDIA TO BUILD 200 KA-226T HELICOPTERS MOVES FORWARD (APR 07/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- President Vladimir Putin has cleared an Indo-Russian joint venture to build Ka-226T light helicopters for India, reports the Press Trust of India.   The project began with a US$1 billion contract in 2015. Last October, both sides finalized a broad agreement in Goa, India, for the joint venture between India's Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) and Russian Helicopters and Rosoboronexport.   The three firms will now sign a memorandum of understanding to launch the joint venture, said Indian Defense Ministry sources.   Under the program, India will receive 60 Ka-226T helicopters built in Russia and delivered in fly-away condition. Another 140 aircraft will be built in India.   The Ka-226T helicopters are expected to replace India's aging Cheetah and Chetak aircraft
Item Number:12 Date: 04/07/2017 SOMALIA - DECLARING WAR ON TERRORISTS, PRESIDENT GIVES AL-SHABAAB MILITANTS 60 DAYS TO SURRENDER IN EXCHANGE FOR AMNESTY (APR 07/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- New Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has declared the nation to be a war zone and ordered the military to prepare a new offensive against Al-Shabaab terrorists, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The president, widely known by the nickname Farmajo, made the announcement on Thursday. He also offered a 60-day amnesty to any Al-Shabaab fighters who surrendered, reported the BBC.   Fighters who surrender would receive training, employment and education, he said.   The president warned that the rest would "face the consequences," as reported by AFP.   The government will first focus on the security of Mogadishu, the capital, then the rest of the company, said the president.   Also on Thursday, the president replaced Somalia's military, intelligence and police chiefs. The restructure has been seen as an attempt to consolidate power
Item Number:13 Date: 04/07/2017 SPAIN - BASQUE TERROR GROUP SAYS IT WILL DISARM ON SATURDAY (APR 07/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- The Basque separatist militant group ETA has confirmed that it will disarm on Saturday, reports the BBC.   The ETA was founded in 1959. It seeks independence of the Basque region between Spain and France. The group declared a cease-fire in 2011, but did not disarm.   ETA is considered a terrorist group by the E.U., notes AFP.   The group made the pledge in a letter dated Friday that was obtained by the BBC, confirming earlier reported disarmament plans. The process is expected to take place in Bayonne, in France's Basque region, according to the letter.   The ETA said "after giving up all its weaponry (arms and explosives) to Basque civil society representatives [ETA] now is a disarmed organization."   "We want to warn that still the process can be attacked by the enemies of peace. The only real guarantee to succeed are the thousands of people gathering tomorrow in Bayonne [southwestern France] supporting the disarmament," said ETA.   Spain's Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said the group would not get anything in exchange for disarming, as cited by France's Le Monde daily. ETA has been seeking amnesty and improved conditions for its imprisoned members
  Item Number:14 Date: 04/07/2017 THAILAND - MILITARY-BACKED CONSTITUTION GETS KING'S SIGNATURE (APR 07/NPR)  NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO -- In a ceremony on Thursday, Thailand's king endorsed the country's new constitution, reports NPR on its two-way news site.   The previous constitution was abolished after the military seized power in 2014. The new document was approved in a public referendum last year.   King Maha Vajiralongkorn signed the new constitution, Thailand's 20th since 1932, at a ceremony in Bangkok, reported the BBC. The signing opens the way for elections, which are to be held no later than November 2018.   The document calls for the military government to appoint a senate that will, in turn, appoint the prime minister.   Critics call the constitution undemocratic, saying it will allow the military to maintain power.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 04/07/2017 THAILAND - NUMEROUS ATTACKS IN SOUTH CAUSE WIDESPREAD BLACKOUTS (APR 07/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Thailand's south has been hit with almost two dozen arson and bomb attacks, reports Agence France-Presse, citing army officials on Friday.   Tires were set on fire overnight and electricity poles damaged by explosives, causing widespread blackouts, said the army.   The incidents took place in three southern provinces and four districts of Songkhla city, said an army spokesman.   One expert in the region told the wire service the attacks were likely unrelated to the signing of a new constitution by Thailand's king, a move criticized by some. The violence may have been revenge for the extrajudicial killing of two suspected rebels by security forces last month, he said.   There has been a separatist insurgency in Thailand's predominate Muslim southern provinces since 2004
  Item Number:16 Date: 04/07/2017 TURKEY - OUT OF HOSPITAL, SYRIAN MIG PILOT UNDER ARREST FOR ESPIONAGE, VIOLATING BORDER (APR 07/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Turkish prosecutors have ordered the arrest of the pilot of a Syrian fighter jet who ejected over Turkey last month, reports the state-run Anadolu Agency.   On March 4, a Syrian MiG-21 was damaged and crashed near the village of Yaylacik in Turkey's central Antakya. The Ahrar al-Sham rebel group claimed to have shot down the plane.   Pilot Mehmet Sufhan ejected. He was found injured and taken to the hospital for treatment.   On Friday, he was arrested after being discharged from the hospital. He was charged with espionage and violating border security, said a judicial source
Item Number:17 Date: 04/07/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - MOD GOES WITH GENERAL DYNAMICS UK TO DEVELOP NEW BATTLEFIELD NETWORK FOR ARMY (APR 07/GDUK)  GENERAL DYNAMICS UK -- The U.K. Ministry of Defense has awarded General Dynamics UK a contract to develop a new tactical battlefield network for the British army, reports the defense firm.   The 330 million pound (US$406 million) contract covers the design and development of a next-generation tactical communication and information system as the first phase of the Morpheus program, said company officials.   The system will be used to plan, deploy, manage and monitor communications and information for the army, said a General Dynamics release on Wednesday, which also noted that the contract would support new and existing jobs in Oakdale, South Wales.   It will also allow operators to integrate new radios, applications and other components faster and easier.   The company said it would implement a new architectural approach, called Evolve to Open (EvO), which will develop the Bowman tactical communication (BCIP 5.6) capability into an open, modular system.   The Morpheus program is developing new command-and-control networks for all three British military services
Item Number:18 Date: 04/07/2017 USA - MILITARY FIRES 59 CRUISE MISSILES AT SYRIAN AIRFIELD; STRIKE MADE IN RESPONSE TO CHEMICAL ATTACK (APR 07/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- The U.S. military fired dozens of cruise missiles Thursday night at a Syrian airfield believed to be involved in a chemical weapons attack that killed scores, reports NBC News.   An apparent gas attack on Tuesday in northern Idlib province killed at least 86 people, including 28 children, reported the New York Times. Other sources have different casualty counts.   Turkey's Health Ministry said its preliminary tests showed that sarin nerve gas was used.   Two Arleigh Burke-class missile destroyers, the Ross and the Porter, fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles overnight from the Mediterranean Sea. The missiles hit the Shayrat airfield in Syria's Homs province. President Trump and the Pentagon said Tuesday's chemical attack was launched from that airfield.   Aircraft and infrastructure at the site were hit, said U.S. officials. Initial damage assessments indicated that the airfield was severely damaged, said a Pentagon spokesman.   Russian media reported that nine aircraft were destroyed and that the airfield was intact. Russian military officials said less than half the missiles hit their targets, calling the effectiveness of the strike "very low."   Casualties were reported variously. Syrian state media said seven people were killed, including four children.   This was the first direct U.S. attack against the Syrian government since the start of the civil war in 2011.   Moscow confirmed that the U.S. gave advance warning of the strike to Russia, which has forces stationed at the base.   Russia's Defense Ministry announced on Friday that it was suspending a deal with the U.S. to prevent mid-air collisions. Moscow will also help Syria strengthen its air defenses, said a spokesman
Item Number:19 Date: 04/07/2017 USA - NAVY SOLVES ENGINEERING PROBLEM ON DESTROYER ZUMWALT (APR 07/USNIN)  USNI NEWS -- The manager of the U.S. Navy Zumwalt-class program says the service has found and tested a fix for an engineering issue that forced its stealth destroyer into port several times last year during the trip to its homeport in San Diego, reports USNI News.   During the voyage, lube oil chillers on the warship failed, leading to water leaking into the propulsion system. On one occasion in November, the Zumwalt lost power while sailing through the Panama Canal.   The seawater lube oil coilers prevent the lubrication of rotating shafts from breaking down due to heat and friction.   "What we did was shift to fresh water for the coolers," Capt. Kevin Smith, the program manager, said on Tuesday. "Before we got to San Diego we realized that's one way of fixing this problem. It's not a large demand on cooling so we decided to go down that path."   The Navy evaluated the fresh water fix for the chillers during two underway periods that the Zumwalt has undertaken since arriving in San Diego in December.   The fix worked and the change is being implemented in the Zumwalt's sisters, Michael Monsoor and Lyndon B. Johnson
  Item Number:20 Date: 04/07/2017 USA - STRUGGLES WITH HORNETS HAVE MARINES PUSHING FOR TRANSITION TO F-35 (APR 07/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- Leaders of the U.S. Marine Corps have decided to replace aging Marine F/A-18 Hornet fighters more quickly than previously planned with F-35 Lightning II jets, reports the Stars and Stripes.   The decision has been driven by ongoing problems keeping the Hornets airworthy.   The service originally planned to field F-35s to squadrons currently flying Hornets and AV-8B Harrier aircraft on similar timetables.   However, the Marines will now focus on just replacing F/A-18s, William Taylor, the assistant deputy commandant for aviation, told the House Armed Services' readiness subcommittee on Wednesday.   Three squadrons now flying Hornets will make the transition to the F-35 in the next three years. It will be at least four years, and possibly longer, before the first Harrier squadron receives F-35s, said Taylor.   The Corps may replace at least five squadrons of Hornets with F-35s before replacing any Harrier units, he said.   Currently, there are 12 Hornet squadrons, five flying Harriers and two F-35 units.   The service will soon kick off an independent readiness assessment of the Hornet fleet. Under current plans, the fighters would not be entirely replaced by F-35s until 2030.

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