Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fw: TheList 4433

The List 4433

To All,
I hope your week has started well.
This Day In Naval History - April 18
1848 - U.S. Navy expedition to explore the Dead Sea and the River Jordan, commanded by LT William F. Lynch, reaches the Dead Sea.
1906: U.S. Navy assists in relief operations during the San Francisco earthquake and fire. Sailors and Marines fight fires and ships carry the homeless and injured to Vallejo, where medical personnel established emergency facilities.
1942 B-25 Mitchell bombers operating from the USS Hornet bomb Japan in what becomes known as the Doolittle Raid.
1988 - Navy destroys 2 Iranian surveillance platforms, sinks one frigate and one patrol ships, and severely damages a second frigate in retaliation for attack on USS Samuel B. Roberts
1775 Paul Revere made his ride "One if by land and two if by sea".
18 Apr 1988: Operation Praying Mantis
On 18 April 1988, in Operation Praying Mantis, US Navy ships, and US Navy and Marine aircraft efficiently and successfully struck Iranian oil platforms, sank the Iranian frigate Sahand and smaller boats, and damaged the frigate Sabalan in retaliation for when USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) struck an Iranian mine four days earlier.
For more information and photos on Operation Praying Mantis, visit our
If you did not have to memorize it when you were in school Here it is. I only remember the first verse. The rest of the brain cells have deteriorated over the last many years.
Paul Revere's Ride
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; Hardly a man is now alive Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British march By land or sea from the town to-night, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Church tower as a signal light,-- One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country folk to be up and to arm."
Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore, Just as the moon rose over the bay, Where swinging wide at her moorings lay The Somerset, British man-of-war; A phantom ship, with each mast and spar Across the moon like a prison bar, And a huge black hulk, that was magnified By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street Wanders and watches, with eager ears, Till in the silence around him he hears The muster of men at the barrack door, The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet, And the measured tread of the grenadiers, Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church, By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread, To the belfry chamber overhead, And startled the pigeons from their perch On the sombre rafters, that round him made Masses and moving shapes of shade,-- By the trembling ladder, steep and tall, To the highest window in the wall, Where he paused to listen and look down A moment on the roofs of the town And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead, In their night encampment on the hill, Wrapped in silence so deep and still That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread, The watchful night-wind, as it went Creeping along from tent to tent, And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread Of the lonely belfry and the dead; For suddenly all his thoughts are bent On a shadowy something far away, Where the river widens to meet the bay,-- A line of black that bends and floats On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near, Then, impetuous, stamped the earth, And turned and tightened his saddle girth; But mostly he watched with eager search The belfry tower of the Old North Church, As it rose above the graves on the hill, Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns, But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight A second lamp in the belfry burns.
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark, And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet; That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light, The fate of a nation was riding that night; And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight, Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep, And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep, Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides; And under the alders that skirt its edge, Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge, Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare, Gaze at him with a spectral glare, As if they already stood aghast At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees, And felt the breath of the morning breeze Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall, Who that day would be lying dead, Pierced by a British musket ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read How the British Regulars fired and fled,--- How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
>From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again Under the trees at the turn of the road, And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm To every Middlesex village and farm,--- A cry of defiance, and not of fear, A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door, And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past, Through all our history, to the last, In the hour of darkness and peril and need, The people will waken and listen to hear The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, And the midnight message of Paul Revere.
And now thanks to Charles to bust your bubble here is some more info on the ride CASHIN'S COMMENTS THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013 [AN ENCORE PRESENTATION] On this day in 1775, there occurred one of the best known yet most misunderstood events in American history. Thanks to Longfellow's famous poem, popularly but mistakenly called, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,"
nearly every schoolchild has heard of "that famous day and year."
But most of the image of the poem, while stirring, is not correct. Revere was not a volunteer. He didn't ride alone. He never finished the ride and he didn't hang any lanterns in the Old North Church.
Actually, Revere's heritage was French. He was Appollos Rivoire before a name change. Revere was a patriot, of course. He was one of the "Indians"
at the Boston Tea Party. He had been active in many pre-revolutionary groups. But that night he was serving as a paid messenger, a role he had often before served. (He actually submitted a bill for his famous ride.) Historians also believe the ride started at a time earlier than midnight.
The lanterns signaling "one if by land and two if by sea" were actually set by church sexton, Robert Newman. The signal meant the British regulars were setting out to arrest John Hancock and Samuel Adams (two higher profile
patriots) at Lexington and then to seize a stash of revolutionary arms and gunpowder at Concord.
Revere and a co-rider William Dawes rented horses and set out on their ride. They made it to Lexington, warning Adams and Hancock. They were joined by Dr. Samuel Prescott. On the way to Concord, Dawes and Reverewere arrested. (Speeding?) Prescott, however got through and so the patriots were ready the next day to fire "the shot heard round the world."
And sources say that Revere didn't shout, "The British are coming!" Rather it is believed he called out - "Awake! The Regulars are out!" (How
And finally despite thousands of barroom bets that Revere's horse was "Brown Betty", no one knows the name of the horse. (Not even the Boston Historical Society - it was rented after all!)
Thanks to Bob and all the Bubbas
Proud to have been one!!!!
And even more proud to have served with you all….
Thanks to Z-man for this one


June 15, 1971 Novosel served in three wars during his time in the military, initially enlisting in the Army Air Corps and becoming a captain who flew B-29 bombers in 1945. He also fought during the Korean War as a pilot before leaving the military to work in commercial aviation. In the 1960s, he learned he had glaucoma, disqualifying him from flying as a civilian. He was inspired by President John F. Kennedy's call for Americans to ask what they could do for their country, and decided to re-enlist in the Army, which needed combat pilots in Vietnam and chose to waive the glaucoma disqualification. He'd become a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, but had to accept a lower rank of chief warrant officer in the Army. His first tour ended in 1967. His second was with the 82nd Medical Detachment, 45th Medical Company, 68th Medical Group. He was a "dustoff" pilot — an airman who flew helicopters into battle to hover long enough to evacuate injured soldiers. His mission on Oct. 2, 1969, was to fly into the Kien Tuong Province to rescue a group of South Vietnamese soldiers who were surrounded by the North Vietnamese near the Cambodian border. All of the men on the ground were out of ammunition and had no radio communication, so Novosel had to repeatedly circle the area under heavy enemy fire and without cover or fire support. He and his crew flew low and scooped up the injured men, making six trips to drop off men at a Special Forces camp for medical attention. On his final trip, he saw a soldier close to an enemy bunker. Despite knowing he'd draw more fire, he went in backward so the man could be pulled on board. One of the enemy soldiers opened fire at close range, damaging the helicopter and hitting Novosel in the leg and hand. He nearly lost control of the helicopter, but managed to lift off and get everyone to safety. He and his men would save 29 soldiers that day, and during his two tours in Vietnam, Novosel reportedly evacuated more than 5,000 men. In early 1970, Novosel's son, Michael Jr., was a recent Army flight school graduate and was assigned to his father's unit. The two were reportedly the only father-and-son team to fly together in the same unit in combat. Novosel completed his tour in 1970, and the next spring, he learned that he was to receive the Medal of Honor. His presentation was delayed so that his son could finish his tour and attend the ceremony. On June 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon presented Novosel with his medal. Novosel died on April 2, 2006, at age 83.
Thanks to Tam and Dutch
Meet Hannah!
New Photos Show The Rare Heavily Modified B-707 Operated By MIT as a Communications And Sensor Testbed For The U.S. Air Force
With our thanks to THE Bear at
April 17, 2017   Bear Taylor
RIPPLE SALVO… #409… "Peace demonstrations adversely affect our country's interests."… but first…
Good Morning: Day FOUR HUNDRED NINE of remembering the fallen warriors of Rolling Thunder…
18 April 1967… HOME TOWN HEAD LINES from The New York Times on a cloudy, drizzly Tuesday in NYC…
Page 1: "More U.S. troops in Vietnam Moved to Border Area"... "The United States has sent 3,000 additional troops into the embattled Northern provinces of South Vietnam. The action brought to 7,500 the number of Army personnel posted in the five province region, formerly the domain of the Marine Corps and South Vietnamese Government troops. 'That place is in trouble. They need help,' said an American diplomat. There is little question that the northern provinces will get the help."... Page 1: "Justices Rebuff the South on Pupil Integration Stay"... "The Supreme Court refused today to delay the enforcement of a lower court ruling requiring the desegregation of all public schools in six southern states next fall. The action removed the last judicial barrier to enforcement of the historic decision and strongly suggested that the Supreme Court would let the ruling stand without reviewing it."… Page 1: "Posters Demand the Execution of Liu For Plot on Mao"… "Wall posters appearing in Peking today demanded that President Liu Shao-chi be condemned to death for planning to kill Mao Tse-tung, the party chairman, and seize power in China by a military coup d'etat. The posters said Liu and Teng Hsiao-peng, the party's General Secretary, were 'arch conspirators' in a minutely planned operation launched in February 1966… The posters also implicate Peng Cheng the former Mayor of Peking. The posters said, 'The people's war should be waged to unmask thoroughly the February conspiracy and condemn these people to death.. "… Page 2: "Nixon Indicates He Seeks Step-Up in War Effort"… "Former Vice-President Richard M. Nixon indicated today that he would recommend a sharp increase in American efforts to win the Vietnam conflict after his return to the United States next Monday. 'It can be said now the defeat of the Communist forces in South Vietnam is inevitable,' Mr. Nixon declared, 'The only question is how soon?' "…. Page 9: "Doolittle To Get Air Academy Award"...LGEN James H. Doolittle, the pilot who led a bomber raid on Tokyo during World War Ii was named winner of the Air Force Academy's Thomas D. White National Defense Award for 1967… given for 'outstanding contributions to the national defense and security of the United States.' The award will be presented at the Air Force Academy in May."  HUMBLE HOST notes that today –18 April 1967– marks the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid from USS Hornet to wake up Tokyo…. 18 April 1942
NYT Editorial Page: "HANOI'S REFUSAL"…
"The Canadian peace plan has now been added to the list of proposals turned down by North Vietnam. In recent months there have been President Johnson's direct approach to Ho Chi Minh, Pope Paul's pleas, a suggestion from the Wilson Government in London, and Secretary General Thant's revised plan. Hanoi says: NO. It has to be that for the time being, but it is necessary to seek the reasons…North Vietnam is being offered fair terms.
"It may well be that the Hanoi Government exaggerates the possible effects of the opposition to the war in the United States. There is opposition but it does not extend to an acceptance of defeat or a unilateral withdrawal of the United States from Vietnam. Hanoi may be so ill-informed as to think such a development is possible.
"There is, however, that one proviso which Hanoi, U Thant, Pope Paul, some United States Senators, and some American newspapers, including this one, make: Stop the bombing of North Vietnam and see what happens. It is risky, but to continue an always growing war is even more risky.
"One can only guess the way minds work in Hanoi."
18 APRIL 1967… OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER… New York Times (19 Apr reporting 18 Apr Ops) Page 2: "U.S. Jets Bomb Steel Plant in North Vietnam"... "United States Air Force jets bombed the big Thainguyen steel complex yesterday in what was believed to b the biggest attack so far against the industrial complex 38 miles north of Hanoi…United States spokesmen said they were unable to give details on raids over North Vietnam yesterday, But it appeared the air war had picked up again, at least briefly. For weeks bad weather had curtailed bomb strikes against targets in the North…The raid on the Thainguyen complex–the 10th of the war– was made by Air Force F-105 Thunderchiefs and F-4C Phantom jets. Pilots said their 500 and 750 pound bombs had left the area in flames."
"Vietnam: Air Losses" (Hobson) One fixed wing aircraft was lost in Southeast Asia on 18 April 1967…
(1) LCOL GORDON H. KELLER, USMC and CAPTAIN HUGH J. JULIAN, USMC were flying an F-4B of VMFA-323 Death Rattlers and MAG-13 were climbing out of Chu Lai on a strike mission in heavy rain and clouds. Their Phantom's electrical system failed at 28,000 and the two Marines were forced to eject. LCOL KELLER, CO of VMFA-323, was quickly rescued. CAPTAIN JULIAN was in the water for nine hours before a South Vietnamese fisherman pulled him out of water to fly and fight again…  
RIPPLE SALVO… #409… Humble Host yields the floor to Admiral Sharp who was in the news 50 years ago on this date…
NYT, 18 April 1967, Page 2… "ADMIRAL CRITICAL"…
"Admiral U.S.Grant Sharp, Jr., Commander in Chief in the Pacific, denounced anti-Vietnam war demonstrations in the United States as 'damaging our overall position. By encouraging North Vietnam to believe it can outlast the United States, peace demonstrations adversely affect the country' interests,' Admiral Sharp said. 'Such agitation,' he said, 'also annoys American combat troops in South Vietnam, lowering their morale.'
"Admiral Sharp, whose headquarters in Hawaii serves as the main executive agency for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference that he was cautiously optimistic about the trend of the war.'
"The soft-spoken Admiral who has returned here for conferences on Pacific defenses, cautiously praised the idea of a Vietnam barrier along the 17th parallel put forward by Nguyen Cao Ky of South Vietnam. The line would seek to halt enemy troops and supply infiltration. The Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield told the Senate meanwhile that such a line could do more than bombing to halt enemy troop and supply infiltration and could well mark a turning point in the war.
"Admiral Sharp said the enemy had suffered a series of crushing defeats in recent months with both his economy and his ability to support efforts. He warned that Hanoi still had a considerable military capability. He said it had recently concentrated three divisions in an area of the demilitarized zone on the 17th parallel which divides North and South Vietnam.
"Asked whether North Vietnam might try to invade South Vietnam's northern provinces, he replied quietly: 'I wish they would try. They face certain defeat. We look forward to the opportunity to use our firepower and mobility."
CAG's QUOTES for 18 April: HUGO VON FREYTAG: "History teaches that nations which are not ready to defend their honor with arms invariably decline."… PATTON: "Fires are not put out by disbanding the fire department and wars are not prevented by destroying a country's armed forces."….
Lest we forget….         Bear
Item Number:1 Date: 04/18/2017 AFGHANISTAN - TALIBAN BELIEVED BEHIND AMBUSH KILLING OF SENIOR COMMANDER IN KUNDUZ PROVINCE (APR 18/KP)  KHAAMA PRESS -- A senior Afghan security chief has been killed in a Taliban ambush in the northern Kunduz province, reports the Khaama Press (Afghanistan), citing Afghan authorities.   On Monday, Gen. Abdul Hai Atayi, the head of the Baghlan coordination command, was traveling from Badakhshan province to Baghlan province when his convoy was reportedly ambushed by Taliban militants.   A number of people accompanying Atayi were also reportedly killed, although exact figures were not available.   No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.   The Taliban has been stepping up its activities in the northern Kunduz province
Item Number:2 Date: 04/18/2017 CANADA - 408 TRANSPORT TACTICAL HELICOPTER SQUADRON TO SUPPORT SPECIAL OPS IN IRAQ (APR 18/OC)  OTTAWA CITIZEN -- Members of an Edmonton-based helicopter squadron are deploying to northern Iraq as part of Canada's operations against the Islamic State, reports the Ottawa Citizen.   About 60 members of the 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron left Edmonton on Monday, according to an air force statement.   Squadron members will operate four CH-146 Griffon helicopters to provide tactical transport for Canadian special operators near Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, reported the Edmonton Sun.   The Edmonton squadron will relieve members of the 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, from Valcartier, Que., which has been providing tactical support since early October 2016.   Canada first deployed the helicopters to Iraq in May 2016 as part Operation Impact, Canada's contribution to the coalition fighting ISIS
Item Number:3 Date: 04/18/2017 FRANCE - POLICE FOIL 'IMMINENT' TERROR ATTACK; GUNS, BOMB MATERIALS FOUND (APR 18/REU)  REUTERS -- French authorities say they have thwarted an "imminent and violent" attack ahead of presidential elections, reports Reuters.   Two French nationals were arrested Tuesday morning in the southern port city of Marseille, said Interior Minister Mattias Fekl.   "These two radicalized men, born in 1987 and 1993, of French nationality, intended to commit in the very short-term - by that I mean in the coming days - an attack on French soil," he said.   Both suspects were known to security services, reported the Daily Telegraph (U.K.). They had reportedly been radicalized while in prison, said a police source.   Police were conducting searches and election security has been heightened, the minister said.   A source told AFP that guns and bombs materials were found in a raid.   The first round of elections is scheduled for April 23 and a second on May 7. More than 50,000 police, gendarmerie and troops are being deployed for each round
  Item Number:4 Date: 04/18/2017 IRAQ - VICE PRESIDENT DISCLOSES POTENTIAL OF ISIS ALLIANCE WITH AL-QAIDA (APR 18/REU)  REUTERS -- Iraq's vice president says the Islamic State and Al-Qaida have been discussing a possible alliance, reports Reuters.   The information on the talks came from Iraqi and regional contacts knowledgeable about Iraq, said Ayad Allawi in an interview with the wire service on Monday.   ISIS, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, split in 2014 from Al-Qaida, headed by Ayman al Zawahiri. The two have become competitors for recruits and resources.   It was unclear how the two rival groups could work together, said Allawi.   An Iraqi government offensive has rolled back many of the Islamic State's gains made in 2014, including capturing Ramadi and Fallujah. An operation is ongoing to retake Mosul.   The terrorist group still controls the towns of Qaim, Hawika and Tal Afar
Item Number:5 Date: 04/18/2017 ITALY - FINCANTIERI LAUNCHES BOW SECTION OF NEW LOGISTICS SHIP FOR NAVY (APR 18/FINCA)  FINCANTIERI -- Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has launched the bow section of the new logistics support ship Vulcano for the Italian navy, reports the company.   The bow section, measuring 308 feet (94 m) long, 79 feet (24 m) wide, 53.5 feet (16.3 m) high and weighing about 4,100 tons, was launched on April 10 and will be taken by sea to the shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia) for assembly with the stern section of the ship.   The Vulcano is scheduled to be delivered in 2019.   The ship will be able to supply fuel and solid goods to other vessels; includes a full hospital and dental facilities; and perform at-sea repairs and maintenance work, said a company release on April 10.   France is also seeking to build three ships based on the Vulcano class in cooperation with Italy, noted the Italian Ministry of Defense.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 04/18/2017 JAPAN - INITIAL GROUP OF JAPANESE PEACEKEEPERS HEADING HOME FROM S. SUDAN (APR 18/KNA)  KYODO NEWS AGENCY -- Japanese peacekeepers have started to leave South Sudan after ending their five-year participation with the United Nations mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), reports the Kyodo News Agency (Tokyo).   The first group of 68 Japanese troops was due to leave Monday from Juba, the capital, said a spokesman for the mission.   Others will follow in three batches. All are expected to be home by the end of May.   Toyko began contributing 350 Ground Self-Defense Force personnel to the mission in 2012 to help build roads and other infrastructure. The government announced the pullout in March 2016.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 04/18/2017 NEPAL - CHINESE SPECIAL OPS FORCES TAKING PART IN COUNTERTERRORISM DRILL IN KATHMANDU (APR 18/HIMT)  HIMALAYAN TIMES -- Special operations forces from Nepal and China are in the midst of a 10-day exercise in Kathmandu, reports the Himalayan Times.   The Sagarmatha Friendship exercise, which began on Sunday, is the first between the two countries to focus on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism tactics.   The goal is to promote military relations and enhance interoperability at a functional level, said Maj. Gen. Binod Kumar Shrestha, the director-general of military operations for the Nepalese army.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 04/18/2017 PAKISTAN - CAPTURED WOULD-BE BOMBER SAID TO BE INVOLVED IN EASTER PLOT (APR 18/DPAK)  DAILY PAKISTAN -- A female would-be suicide bomber in Pakistan arrested last week was planning to attack a church on Easter Sunday, says the military, as reported by the Daily Pakistan.   A medical student identified as Noreen Leghari went missing in February from Hyderabad and was picked up in a counterterror operation on April 14 in Lahore, said an army spokesman.   In a video confession showed at a news briefing on Monday, the woman said she was part of a planned suicide bombing on a church in Lahore on Easter, reported AFP.   The bomber has reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS.   Two men she was working with "had two [explosives-filled] jackets and four hand grenades, and the jackets were to be used for an attack on some church during Easter, and I was to be the suicide bomber," she said.   The video was shown as part of an update on a military operation against militants. Around 4,510 suspected militants have been arrested since the start of the operation in February, said the army spokesman.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 04/18/2017 PAKISTAN - MARITIME SECURITY AGENCY RECEIVES 3RD PATROL SHIP FROM CHINA (APR 18/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Pakistani Maritime Security Agency has taken delivery of a 600-ton patrol ship from its Chinese shipbuilder, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The vessel, the third in its class, was handed over on April 11 in Guangzhou.   The patrol ship was built by China Shipbuilding Trading Co. (CSTC) and China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC) Xijiang Shipbuilding, reported the Times of Islamabad.   The first two vessels have already demonstrated excellent performance during a variety of missions, according to Pakistani officials.   The ships are used to protect Pakistan's maritime interests and are part of consolidating bilateral relations and advancing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Belt and Road Initiative.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 04/18/2017 SYRIA - U.S.-LED COALITION AIRSTRIKES KILLS 20 CIVILIANS IN DEIR EZZOR PROVINCE, SAYS MONITORING GROUP (APR 18/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Airstrikes made by the U.S.-led coalition on Monday targeting the Islamic State killed 20 civilians in eastern Syria, says a monitoring group, as reported by Agence France-Presse.   One of the incidents involved was the town of Albu Kamal in Deir Ezzor province. Airstrikes reportedly killed 13 civilians and three Islamic State members, said the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   An earlier airstrike killed seven civilians in the village of Husseinyeh, said the monitoring group.   Most of Deir Ezzor province is held by ISIS, including parts of the provincial capital of the same name.   There was no immediate comment from the coalition, noted the Middle East Eye
Item Number:11 Date: 04/18/2017 TAIWAN - DEFENSIVE WEAPONS SAID TO BE UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR TAIPING ISLAND (APR 18/CENTNA)  CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY (TAIWAN) -- The Taiwanese government is developing a comprehensive plan to strengthen its defensive capabilities on Taiping Island in the South China Sea, reports the Central News Agency (Taipei).   The island is also known as Itu Aba.   Taipei will not disclose details such as manpower and weapons deployment, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Monday.   The spokesman was responding to media reports that senior military officers have made a 17-point proposal to the Coast Guard Administration, which is responsible for the island's defense, as tension in the region has increased.   According to reports, the plan includes a coastal defense rocket system and medium unmanned aerial vehicles, according to the reports. The military also recommended deploying the XTR-102 short-range automated defense system, which is armed with two T75 20-mm automatic cannons.   The island, part of the Spratly chain, is about 990 miles (1,600 km) southwest of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. It has been administered by Taiwan since 1946.   Last year, the international court in the Hague ruled it a "rock," not an "island" and therefore not entitled to an exclusive economic zone. The court ruled that Taiwan retained sovereignty, noted the Diplomat (Tokyo).  
  Item Number:12 Date: 04/18/2017 TURKEY - MULTIPLE DEATHS FEARED AS POLICE HELICOPTER WITH SENIOR OFFICIALS CRASHES IN TUNCELI (APR 18/DAILYSABAH)  DAILY SABAH -- A Turkish police helicopter with senior officials on board has crashed in the country's southeast, say officials cited the Daily Sabah (Turkey).   The helicopter went down early Tuesday in the eastern province of Tunceli, said officials.   Two judges, seven police officers and three crewmembers were on board, said security sources.   Early reports were sketchy. Iran's Press TV said 14 were killed in the crash.   The crash may have been caused by poor weather conditions, said the local governor's office, as reported by Reuters.   A military unit and a 10-person team have been dispatched for search-and-rescue activities.  
Item Number:13 Date: 04/18/2017 USA - 2ND LIEUTENANT BECOMES 1ST WOMAN TO LEAD MARINE TANK PLATOON (APR 18/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- The U.S. Marine Corps has its first female tank officer after 2nd Lt. Lillian Polatchek graduated at the top of her class from the Army's Basic Officer Leaders Course, reports the Marine Corps Times.   Polatchek graduated as a candidate for distinguished honors out of a class of 67 students on April 12 at Fort Benning, Ga. Five of the 67 were Marines, including three in the top five, according to a Corps press release.   The five-month long course covers fundamentals tactics and other basic knowledge needed to safely and efficiently operate a tank.   Polatchek is the third female Marine officer to complete training for a front-line combat position (two artillery officers finished artillery training last year). Two will begin infantry training next month. The Marines noted that 30 female officers have washed out of that course.   Polatchek will now report to the 2nd Tank Battalion at Camp Lejeune, N.C.  
OURSE IN SOUTHERN MD.; 1 DEAD, 2 INJURED (APR 18/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- One crewmember was killed and two others injured when a U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed Monday on a golf course in southern Maryland, says the army, as reported by CNN.   The aircraft was carrying a crew of three when it went down at Breton Bay Golf Course in Leonardtown, Md., said a service statement.   The helicopter, based at Davison Airfield at Fort Belvoir, Va., was on a routine training mission. That is about 40 miles from the crash site, noted   One of the injured was in serious condition and the other is in critical condition, said the Army.   An investigation has been opened into the cause of the crash.  
Item Number:15 Date: 04/18/2017 USA - NAVY EXPANDS MERITORIOUS ADVANCEMENT PROGRAM, ALLOWING FOR MORE DIRECT PROMOTIONS (APR 18/NTIMES)  NAVY TIMES -- The U.S. Navy is working a plan that would give more commanders the authority to directly promote their best sailors, reports the Navy Times.   The planned expansion of the Meritorious Advancement Program (MAP) is expected to give many sailors the opportunity to skip traditional exam cycles and immediately move into the ranks of E-4 through E-6.   The new rules, which were announced on April 3, also give the commanders the authority to waive some time-in-rate requirements.   The Navy has been gradually expanding the authority of commanders to use MAP over the last few years. In 2017, the program will account for about 10 percent of sailors who advanced into the three eligible ranks, about twice the 5 percent that advanced through the program in 2015.   This year will also be the first year that Navy reservists will be eligible for direct advancement.   The object is to gradually increasing the number of MAP advancements to about 25 percent of the total, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano said last week.   Not all are onboard with the change, with some worrying this could advance sailors with less knowledge and professional skills or could result in commanders' or chiefs' prioritizing loyalty over merit.  
LYING WITH ALTITUDE RESTRICTIONS (APR 18/NNS)  NAVY NEWSSTAND -- The head of naval aviation announced that the U.S. Navy's T-45C trainer was being cleared to resume operations, reports the Navy NewsStand.   Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker said late last week that the operational pause for the T-45C fleet would be lifted as soon as April 17, after being grounded for more than a week.   Flight operations were to resume using a modified mask that has been successfully tested by the Naval Air Systems Command. The mask circumvents the aircraft's onboard oxygen generator system (OBOGS).   Instructor pilots will initially conduct warm-up flights, after which they will brief the remaining pilots and students on the use of the modified equipment. Additional warm-up and training flights will follow, say officials.   Flight operations will also be limited to below 10,000 feet to avoid using the OBOGS, said Shoemaker. About 75 percent of the training syllabus can be completed with the modified mask, while work continues to identify the root cause of the oxygen issues, the admiral said
  Item Number:17 Date: 04/18/2017 USA - UPGRADED B61-12 GRAVITY BOMB MAKES QUALIFICATION FLIGHT AT NEV. TEST RANGE (APR 18/NNSA)  NATIONAL NUCLEAR SECURITY ADMINISTRATION -- The National Nuclear Security Administration and U.S. Air Force have successfully completed the first qualification flight-test of the upgraded B61-12 gravity bomb, reports the NNSA.   During the test on March 14, an F-16 fighter dropped a non-nuclear test assembly at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, according to a NNSA release on April 13.   The trial evaluated the bomb's non-nuclear functions and the aircraft's ability to deliver the weapon, noted the release.   This was the first of a series of tests that will be conducted over the next three years to qualify the B61-12 for service. Three successful development flight tests were completed in 2015, said the NNSA.   The B61-12 will replace four B61 bomb variants. The first production weapon is scheduled to be completed by March 2020.  
Item Number:18 Date: 04/18/2017 UZBEKISTAN - FRANCE URGES COUNTERTERRORISM COOPERATION, CLOSER SECURITY RELATIONS (APR 18/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Uzbek government has been hosting the French foreign minister for talks on security and counterterrorism, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   France is "ready for interaction with Uzbekistan," Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters on Monday.   There is a need for a consolidated approach to countering the threat of radical groups that train extremists and send them off to conduct attacks, including in Europe, the minister said.   "Our countries have already established fruitful cooperation and we want to strengthen it," Ayrault said.   Ayrault met with his Uzbek counterpart, Abdulaziz Kamilov, and Prime Minister Abdulla Oripov on Saturday, according to previous reports. The talks also covered trade, political issues, culture and regional and international issues.  
 Item Number:19 Date: 04/18/2017 VENEZUELA - WITH MAJOR DEMONSTRATIONS LOOMING, MADURO PUTS TROOPS IN STREETS (APR 18/RTE)  RTE NEWS -- President Nicolas Maduro has ordered troops into the streets against a planned major demonstration against his administration, reports RTE (Ireland).   The defense minister says the army stands behind Maduro, reports Agence France-Presse.   The nation has been rocked with protests for two weeks.   Maduro's opponents have vowed to hold the "mother of all protests" on Wednesday. Demonstrators have called on the military to turn on the president, noted AFP.   Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said on Tuesday that the army "confirms its unconditional loyalty to the president."   He made his comments to thousands of army personnel and militia members outside the presidential palace in Caracas. The minister announced plans to increase the number of civilians involved in the military from 100,000 to 500,000, reported Press TV (Iran).  
  Item Number:20 Date: 04/18/2017 YEMEN - AIR DEFENSE FORCES INTERCEPT HOUTHI MISSILES INTENDED FOR MOKHA (APR 18/AL ARABIYA)  AL ARABIYA -- The Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen says its air defense forces have intercepted multiple ballistic missiles, reports Al Arabiya (Dubai).   The defenders intercepted four ballistic missiles that were launched Monday night by Houthi militias and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, said the Arab coalition.   The missiles were reportedly aimed at the port city of Mokha in western Yemen. Pro-government forces seized that city in February.   Coalition air forces also hit several Houthi outposts in Saana, the capital, according to the report.

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