Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fw: TheList 4435


To All,
A bit of history and some tidbits.
This Day In Naval History - April 19
1783 - George Washington proclaims end of hostilities
1861 - President Lincoln orders blockade of Southern ports from SC to Texas
1917: The U.S. Naval Armed Guard crew on board SS Mongolia engages and damages a German U-boat, the first engagement against the enemy after declaration of war on April 6.
1955: USS Albany (CA 123) and USS William Wood (DD 715) begin providing disaster relief to citizens of Volos, Greece, following a catastrophic earthquake.
On this day in history (April 19):
1987: "The Simpsons" premiered as a cartoon short created by cartoonist
Matt Groening between skits on the second episode of "Tracey Ullman Show"
on Fox. They would get their own series in January 1990. In the opener.
Marge and Homer say "good night" to their kids -- but Bart wants to know
how tangible the mind is, Lisa is afraid of being bitten by bedbugs, and
Maggie takes "Rock-A-Bye Baby" too literally.
1995: The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, was
destroyed by a bomb. It was the worst bombing on U.S. territory. 168 people
were killed including 19 children, and 500 were injured.
And today is:
National Amaretto Day
75 years after the daring Doolittle Raid, the sole survivor, 101-year-old Dick Cole, looks back.
From a Midnight Ride to Doolittle's Raid by  W. Thomas Smith Jr.
This Week in American Military History:
Apr. 18, 1775:  Paul Revere and William Dawes begin their famous "midnight ride" from Boston to Lexington, Mass., where they link-up with Samuel Prescott, who rides on to Concord. All three are sounding the alarm – warning town leaders and alerting the militia – that British soldiers are advancing from Boston. One of America's most-famous battles is about to take place.
Apr. 18, 1942:  Sixteen B-25 Mitchell bombers launch from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet in the first raid against the Japanese mainland during World War II.
Led by U.S. Army Air Forces Lt. Col. (future four-star Air Force general) James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, the raid is beyond daring: B-25's are not designed to take-off from carriers, so the bomber pilots have to be specially trained to fly the heavy, ground-launched airplanes (designed for long runways) off short carrier decks. It is also a one-way mission: The crews will not have enough fuel to return to the carrier, so they have been instructed to strike Tokyo and other targets on Honshu, then fly to China and pray they'll find suitable landing sites or bail out.
The raid will be successful, but all aircraft will be lost. Eleven men will be killed or captured.
Forced with his crew to make a nighttime parachute jump in stormy weather over China, Doolittle will ultimately receive the Medal of Honor. A portion of his citation reads: "With the apparent certainty of being forced to land in enemy territory or to perish at sea, Lt. Col. Doolittle personally led a squadron of Army bombers, manned by volunteer crews, in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland."
Apr. 19, 1775:  Nearly 1,000 British regulars – light infantry, grenadiers, a few Royal Marines – cross the Charles River from Boston, Mass. to the Cambridge shoreline (thus the famous "two" lantern signal in the Old North Church as opposed to the "one" lantern which would have signaled a British approach on land across "Boston neck").
Lt. Col. Francis Smith of the 10th Lincolnshires commands the force.
Commanding Smith's lead elements is Maj. John Pitcairn of the Royal Marines. Gen. Sir Thomas Gage, commander-in-chief of the King's men in North America, had previously ordered Smith to lead an expedition to Concord, and seize and destroy the military stores hidden in the town.
First stop along the way is Lexington. There, just before dawn, two militia companies – the Minute and the Alarm – under Captain John Parker are forming for battle on Lexington Green.
Before the day is over, the British will bowl over the militia at Lexington. The Redcoats will then advance on Concord where they will spike cannon and burn weapons stores. The militia will retreat to high ground, regroup, then advance on the North Bridge. Shots will be exchanged. The British will withdraw. Then the most serious bloodletting of the day will
begin: Firing from rock outcroppings, trees, and houses, the American militia will open a "veritable furnace of musketry" on the British companies streaming back toward Boston.
The British barely escape the gauntlet. The war is on.
Apr. 19, 1861:  Pres. Abraham Lincoln orders a Naval blockade of Confederate ports in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. The blockade will be extended to North Carolina and Virginia the following week.
Apr. 19, 1945:  Following a massive artillery, Naval gunfire and air bombardment of Japanese defenses on Okinawa, U.S. forces launch a coordinated ground assault against the infamous Shuri Line.
Apr. 20, 1861:  A reluctant Col. Robert E. Lee – forced to choose between the United States and his home state Virginia – resigns his commission in the U.S. Army.
In a letter to his sister, Lee writes: "With all my devotion to the Union and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have therefore resigned my commission in the Army, and save in defense of my native State, with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed, I hope I may never be called on to draw my sword."
In three days, Lee will accept command of Virginia state forces. He is destined to become general-in-chief of Confederate forces.
Apr. 21, 1836:  Described as "one of the biggest military upsets in the [western] hemisphere," Texas Army forces under the command of Gen. Sam Houston decisively defeat Mexican forces under Gen. Antonio L√≥pez de Santa Anna in the bloody Battle of San Jacinto. The fighting is grim – much of it hand-to-hand – but it is over in less than 20 minutes. Houston is wounded.
Santa Anna, hiding and dressed in a common soldier's uniform, will be captured the following day.
The Mexican Army is finished. Texas independence is secured.
Apr. 21, 1898:  America declares war on Spain. The following day, U.S. Navy warships begin blockading Cuba, and USS Nashville (one of five so-named American warships, including two Confederate vessels of the same name) fires the first official shots of the war.
Apr. 23, 1778:  Capt. John Paul Jones – commanding the Continental sloop-of-war Ranger (the first of 10 so-named American warships) – leads a daring ship-to-shore raid on the British fortress at Whitehaven, England.
Jones' sailors and Marines spike the enemy's guns, burn a few buildings, and set fire to a ship before withdrawing. The raid is the first on British soil by an American force.
Apr. 24, 1778:  Jones captures the Royal Navy sloop HMS Drake in an action off the Irish coast in which Drake's captain, Commander George Burdon, is killed by a Continental Marine.
Apr. 24, 1862:  Union Naval forces under the command of Adm. David Farragut knife past Confederate gunboats and batteries at Forts Jackson and St.
Philip in the Mississippi River at New Orleans. Farragut will capture the city.
Apr. 24, 1980:  Following a string of glitches from missed deadlines to malfunctioning helicopters, a U.S. operation aimed at freeing American hostages in Iran is aborted at a remote staging area – code-named "Desert One" – some 200 miles from Tehran. As the rescue force begins to withdraw, one of the helicopters operating in night black-out conditions accidentally hovers into a C-130 transport aircraft. A terrific explosion follows, killing five airmen and three Marines.
Though an operational disaster, America's enemies will be stunned by the fact that such a mission in adverse conditions was nearly carried out so far from American shores. Moreover, the disaster will force military planners to ramp up and retool U.S. special operations forces, establishing a special warfare capability that is today the envy of foreign militaries worldwide
April 19
Emperor Charles V reaches a truce with German Protestants at Frankfurt, Germany.
Residents of Boston oust their governor, Edmond Andros.
The English Parliament bans the American colonies from printing paper money.
The American Revolution begins as fighting breaks out at Lexington, Massachusetts.
The Netherlands recognizes the United States.
Tadeusz Kosciuszko forces the Russians out of Warsaw.
The Spanish reopen New Orleans port to American merchants.
English poet Lord George Gordon Byron dies of malaria at age 36 while aiding Greek independence.
The Baltimore riots result in four Union soldiers and nine civilians killed.
President Abraham Lincoln orders a blockade of Confederate ports.
The Times war correspondent telephones a report of the Battle of Ahmed Khel, the first time news is sent from a field of battle in this manner.
In China, Hankow communists declare war on Chiang Kai-shek.
Shirley Temple appears in her first movie.
General Francisco Franco declares victory in the Spanish Civil War.
Connecticut finally approves the Bill of Rights.
The Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazi rule begins.
Baseball uniforms begin displaying player's names on their backs.
Russia launches its first Salyut space station.
Alex Haley receives a special Pulitzer Prize for his book Roots.
NASA names Sally Ride to be the first woman astronaut.
The battleship USS Iowa's number 2 turret explodes, killing sailors.
The FBI ends a 51-day siege by storming the Branch Davidian religious cult headquarters in Waco, Texas.
A truck bomb explodes in front of the federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
Last surviving 'Doolittle Raid' pilot commemorates 75th anniversary
By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Updated April 18, 2017 at 12:54 PM
A U.S. Army Air Forces B-25B Mitchell bomber takes off from the USS Hornet (CV-8) aircraft carrier to take part in the first U.S. bombing of Japan on April 18, 1942. The surprise attack, retaliation for the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, would go down in history as the "Doolittle Raid," named after the man who commanded it, Lt. Col. James Doolittle. File Photo by NARA
April 18 (UPI) -- Richard Cole, the last surviving U.S. servicemember who participated in the Doolittle Raid against Japan following the Pearl Harbor attack, took part in a 75th anniversary ceremony at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, on Tuesday.
In retaliation for the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, 16 U.S. bombers carrying 80 men took off from the USS Hornet aircraft carrier to bomb Tokyo, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Nagoya, Kobe and Nagoya on April 18, 1942.
In the attack, dubbed the Doolittle Raid after the group's leader, renowned aviator Lt. Col. James Doolittle, all but three of the 80 U.S. servicemembers survived the mission. Most returned to the United States. One of the B-25 Mitchell medium bombers survived. Most crashed in Chinese territory or were ditched at sea.
To commemorate the mission that followed the United States' entry into World War II, Cole, who is 101 years old, will complete a decades-long tradition of drinking a toast to a deceased Raider and of turning over a goblet belonging to the late fellow member. This year, Cole will toast to David Thatcher, a fellow Raider who died on June 22, and he will turn over Thatcher's goblet.
"It's kind of lonely because I'm the last one," Cole told CNN.
When asked what the 75th anniversary of the attack means to him, Cole said, "It means I'm getting to be an old man."
In the commemoration event, 17 B-25 bombers were on display and there was a B-1 flyover at the conclusion of the memorial service, in which a wreath was laid.
The last year the ceremony was held was in 2013 because of the Raiders' ages and increasing difficulty traveling. Four Raiders were still living at that event.
"I propose a toast to those who were lost on the mission and to those who have passed away since," Cole said. "May they rest in peace."
The U.S. Air Force Museum said that while the Doolittle Raid "caused minor damage, it forced the Japanese to recall combat forces for home defense, raised fears among the Japanese civilians and boosted morale among Americans and our allies abroad."
Thanks to Robert
Oh man, love this one!

Item Number:1 Date: 04/19/2017 BURUNDI - YOUTH WING OF RULING PARTY CHANT FOR DEATH, RAPE OF OPPONENTS, SAYS SENIOR U.N. OFFICIAL (APR 19/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- The U.N. high commissioner for human rights has denounced what he calls the growing, widespread terror campaign in Burundi conducted by government-backed militia against opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza's party, reports the Voice of America News.   A video on social media shows more than 100 members of the Imbonerakure, the government's youth wing, inciting violence, according to the U.N. human-rights office.   The video reportedly calls for the killing of opponents or making them pregnant "so they can give birth to Imbonerakure," as quoted by Reliefweb.   "These grotesque rape chants by the young men of the Imbonerakure across several provinces across Burundi are deeply alarming -- particularly because they confirm what we have been hearing from those who have fled Burundi about a campaign of fear and terror by this organized militia," said a spokesman for High Commissioner Zeid Raad al-Hussein.   The ruling CNDD-FDD party initially said the video, released on April 5, was a fake. After admitting the footage was real, party officials downplayed it, saying youths at the rally sang a song that "does not conform to the morals or ideology" of the party.   The human-rights office, however, told VOA News it has documented eight large rallies organized across Burundi involving similar slogans inciting rape and violence.   Senior government officials have been present at some of these rallies, the spokesman said. In addition, torture and other serious human-rights violations are continuing, he said.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 04/19/2017 CHINA - XI DEMANDS MILITARY TO SERVE PARTY, REORGANIZES SCORES OF UNITS (APR 19/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Chinese government has announced the reshuffling of 84 newly adjusted or established corps-level units, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The Communist Party of China Central Committee and Central Military Commission decided on the moves, which are considered part of President Xi Jinping's reform program to strengthen the military.   Xi demanded that military units be absolutely loyal to the Communist Party, noted the South China Morning Post.   Military units need to ensure combat readiness and conduct research to achieve that goal, Xi told a meeting of senior military officers on Tuesday in Beijing.   Improvements need to be made to better adapt for joint operations and the newly implemented military system, he said.   Xi also ordered corps-level units to take the lead in reform and innovation; increase research and development; upgrade combat training; and accelerate military modernization.  
 Item Number:3 Date: 04/19/2017 EGYPT - GUNMEN KILL POLICEMAN NEAR RENOWNED MONASTERY (APR 19/AHRAM)  AHRAM ONLINE -- The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on Egyptian police near an iconic ancient monastery, reports Ahram Online (Cairo).   Gunmen killed at least one police officer and injured four others in Tuesday's attack on a checkpoint near the St. Catherine's Monastery in Sinai.   The checkpoint was about 800 yards from the entrance to the monastery, which is one of the oldest in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site, reported Al Jazeera. The monastery was built in the 6th century.   ISIS claimed the shooting through its Amaq news agency.   The monastery is part of the Eastern Orthodox Church, which has been targeted by the Islamic State since December, noted the New York Times. ISIS claimed responsibility for bombings last week at two Coptic Christian churches that killed at least 45 people
Item Number:4 Date: 04/19/2017 GREECE - 4 OFFICERS DIE IN HELICOPTER CRASH IN ELASSONA (APR 19/GR)  GREEK REPORTER -- Military officials say four Greek army officers were killed and another was severely injured when their helicopter went down in central Greece, reports the Greek Reporter.   The UH-1H Huey crashed in the Elassona region after departing from Stefanovikio and picking up two of the passengers from Larissa.   A major general, a colonel, a major and a lieutenant were among the dead, said a military statement. A female first sergeant on board was injured, but is said to be out of danger, reported The major general, Ivannis Tzanidakis, was deputy commander.   The helicopter likely hit power cables, said state television ERT.   The prime minister declared three days of national mourning.  
Item Number:5 Date: 04/19/2017 IRAQ - U.S. SPECIAL OPS PERSONNEL MOVE TO NEW FIGHT AGAINST ISIS IN ANBAR PROVINCE (APR 19/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- U.S. special operations personnel are now in Iraq's western Anbar province to help local forces take back territory from the Islamic State, says a senior Iraqi officer cited by the Anadolu Agency (Turkey).   A "large number" of the special operators arrived at the Ain al-Assad Airbase in the Al-Baghdadi district, said an unnamed Iraqi army brigadier general on Tuesday.   The Americans arrived by military convoy from Baghdad's Al-Bakr air base. "They arrived fully equipped to take part in the anticipated liberation of the cities of Anah, Rawa and Al-Qaim," said the officer.   Iraqi government troops and allied tribes are said to have begun their preparations to retake those cities
  Item Number:6 Date: 04/19/2017 LATVIA - US$9.5 MILLION NEEDED TO COVER SUPPORT COSTS FOR NATO BATTALION, SAYS DEFENSE MINISTRY (APR 19/BALTIMES)  BALTIC TIMES -- The Defense Ministry has asked the Latvian government for 8.9 million euros (US$9.5 million) to help cover the costs of hosting a NATO-led battalion, reports the Baltic Times.   The funding would be used for support functions related to the stay of the NATO battalion. It would not fall into the category of host-nation support functions, as governed by the bilateral agreement signed with Canada last month, the ministry said.   Under that accord, Latvia will cover the support needs and Ottawa will pay for the services received within 60 days of the invoice date. The estimated US$9.5 million in pre-financing would be repaid in 2017 and 2018, the ministry said.   An additional 2 million euros (US$2.1 million) will be needed monthly to support the NATO units; that will be repaid by allies, said the ministry.   The funding will cover items such as meals, drinking water, portable toilets and sinks, fuel and other supplies.   The Canada-led battlegroup is scheduled to arrive in Latvia in June.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 04/19/2017 NIGERIA - ARMY RESCUES MORE THAN 1,600 IN BORNO STATE DURING OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE (APR 19/THIS)  THIS DAY -- The Nigerian army has begun an offensive against suspected Boko Haram hideouts in the Jarawa area of the northeastern Borno state, reports This Day (Lagos).   Troops from 3 Battalion, 22 Brigade, are taking part in Operation Lafiya Dole, along with personnel from the 10 Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF). The operation started on Monday.   The soldiers came under heavy fire at Jarawa village, according to an army spokesman.   During the operation, 21 Boko Haram militants were killed and 1,623 residents of Jarawa held captive by the terrorists were freed, the spokesman said.   No casualties were reported among the government forces, he said
Item Number:8 Date: 04/19/2017 NORTH KOREA - PYONGYANG PARADES NEW SPECIAL OPS FORCE (APR 19/YON)  YONHAP -- North Korea has shown off its special operations units for the first time in an apparent show of strength, according to analysts cited by the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The existence of the elite troops was revealed during a Pyongyang military parade on April 15 marking the 105th birthday of the late Kim Il Sung, the long-time leader and founder of the nation.   During the parade, special operations personnel marched in formation while wearing black camouflage paint on their faces and black sunglasses, according to footage by North Korean state TV.   The troops also carried a new type of rifle fitted with a grenade launcher and wore helmets with night-vision goggles.   The elite units are seen as an effort to counter potential South Korean and U.S. operations known to be aimed at "decapitating" North Korean leadership in a conflict, said analysts.  
Item Number:9 Date: 04/19/2017 SOMALIA - REGIONAL LEADERS ESTABLISH NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL, TO BE CHAIRED BY PRESIDENT (APR 19/UNNS)  UNITED NATIONS NEWS SERVICE -- The federal government in Somalia and what it calls "federal member states" have agreed to form a national security council to help bolster security, reports the U.N. News Service.   Among the states are Puntland and Jubaland, noted Africa Times.   The decision came after two days of talks in Mogadishu led by President Mohamed Abdullah Farmajo.   "This agreement marks a major milestone for Somalia. It is a cornerstone of the federal state building process and is a basis upon which strengthened security can be built," Michael Keating, the special representative of the U.N. secretary-general in Somalia, said on Monday.   President Farmajo will chair the council, whose members will include regional leaders.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 04/19/2017 SOUTH KOREA - FRIGATES WILL SOON PACK NEW GROUND ATTACK MISSILE (APR 19/NKN)  NK NEWS -- The South Korean navy has plans to field a new ship-to-surface guided missile able to hit key facilities and military bases in North Korea, reports NK News (Washington, D.C.).   The unnamed missile has been approved for operational use, six years after development began in 2011, according to a Tuesday release from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) in Seoul.   Development was formally completed last month, the agency said. Production is slated to begin in 2018, with installation set for the navy's latest frigates by 2019.   The missile's fragmentation warhead can "wipe out an area about the size of two football fields" and "penetrate armored vehicles," said the DAPA.   The weapon can be fired from both vertical and inclined launching systems, noted the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   Inclined launchers are fitted to the navy's initial batch of Incheon-class frigates. Vertical launchers are being installed on the upgraded Batch II and Batch III frigates.   The weapon features an inertial navigation system and counter-jamming capabilities, said the DAPA.   The new missile will serve as a key maritime component of the military's Kill Chain pre-emptive strike system against North Korean provocations, DAPA officials said
Item Number:11 Date: 04/19/2017 SYRIA - RECIPROCAL EVACUATIONS, STALLED BY BOMBING, RESUME (APR 19/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The evacuations of Syrian towns that have been under siege by rebel and government forces have resumed following a deadly blast over the weekend, reports Agence France-Presse.   Under a deal between the opposition and the government, residents and rebels have been moved from the government-besieged towns of Madaya and Zabadani. In exchange, civilians are being allowed to leave towns of Fuaa and Kefraya, both surrounded by rebels.   A bombing over the weekend hit a transit point of evacuees, killing 126 people. Most of the dead were government supporters. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.   The evacuation resumed on Wednesday, with 3,000 people leaving Fuaa and Kefray and almost 300 from Zabadani and rebel-held areas, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   These are the last rebels in Zabadani, reported Reuters, citing pro-government media.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 04/19/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - CORNWALL LOCALS CLAIM LOW-FLYING U.S. F-15S SCARED THEIR HORSES, CAUSING THEM TO BE PUT DOWN (APR 19/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- The U.S. Air Force denies that its fighter jets was responsible for the deaths of spooked horses in southwestern England, reports the Stars and Stripes.   Two U.S. F-15 fighters based at RAF Lakenheath reportedly flew low on April 12, scaring four horses, including a toddler's pony. The animals had to be put down because of internal injuries blamed on their being scared, reported Cornwall Live.   On Tuesday, the Air Force confirmed that the F-15s flew over Cornwall, but insisted that they could not have flown low enough to startle animals.   "These aircraft were flying in accordance with the rules and limitations of the U.K. Low Flying System and would have been no less than 500 feet above the ground," said an Air Force statement.   The incident has been referred to an office of the U.K. Defense Ministry that handles complaints about low-flying aircraft.  
Item Number:13 Date: 04/19/2017 USA - DRONES PROVEN INVALUABLE IN DRIVING ISIS FROM SIRTE IN LIBYA (APR 19/USA)  USA TODAY -- The U.S. military sees its drone-heavy effort in support of Libyan forces who defeated Islamic State militants in Sirte in December as a potential model for future operations, reports USA Today, citing U.S. officials.   The four-month air campaign relied on three Air Force MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles, Marine aircraft flying from amphibious ships and a small number of special operations forces who worked with local ground forces.   Fighting in the dense city required special authorization for nearly 70 percent of the drone strikes, because of the proximity of targets to friendly forces, Air Force officials said. In some cases, those targets were 30 yards from local allies.   Nevertheless, there were no reports of civilian casualties.   The Sirte operation will "serve as a model for future U.S. operations in the region," Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, the head of U.S. Africa Command, recently told lawmakers.   The Reapers provide 24-hour surveillance and launched Hellfire missiles at threats as they appeared, said officials.   Between August and December of 2016, U.S. forces conducted 495 airstrikes in Sirte. By early December, the ISIS terrorists had been driven out of the city
Item Number:14 Date: 04/19/2017 USA - HUNDREDS OF ARMY LOGISTICS VEHICLES TO BE RECAPITALIZED (APR 19/OSH DEF)  OSHKOSH DEFENSE -- The U.S. Army has awarded Oshkosh Defense multiple contracts for the recapitalization of Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles (FHTVs), reports the Wisconsin-based defense firm.   The awards, worth more than $258 million, cover the refurbishment of Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks (HEMTT) and Palletized Load Systems (PLS) to the latest configuration and same zero-mile, zero-hour condition as new production vehicles, the company said in a Tuesday release.   A total of 670 vehicles will be modernized and an additional 356 trailers produced under the contracts, noted the release. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in December 2017
  Item Number:15 Date: 04/19/2017 USA - NAVY HOLDS KEEL-LAYING CEREMONY FOR FUTURE USS CINCINNATI LITTORAL COMBAT SHIP (APR 19/NNS)  NAVY NEWSSTAND -- Austal USA laid the keel for its 10th littoral combat ship for the U.S. Navy earlier this month, reports the Navy NewsStand.   The keel-laying and authentication ceremony for the Cincinnati (LCS-20) was held on April 10 at Austal USA's shipyard in Mobile, Ala., the Navy noted in a Monday release.   The milestone marks the joining of the ship's components and ceremonial beginning of the ship, the service said.   Austal USA builds the Independence-class littoral ships. Another variant, the Freedom class, is led by Lockheed Martin
  Item Number:16 Date: 04/19/2017 USA - RAPTORS INTERCEPT RUSSIAN BEAR BOMBERS OFF ALASKA, SAYS DOD (APR 19/FN)  FOX NEWS -- The Pentagon has confirmed the fighter interception of Russian bombers off the Alaska coast earlier this week.   Two F-22 Raptors and an E-3 airborne early warning plane were scrambled to meet two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers in international airspace about 100 miles from Kodiak Island, as first reported by Fox News. The DoD confirmed the encounter on Tuesday.   The scramble took place after the Russian aircraft flew into the Alaskan air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The American jets flew alongside the Russian aircraft for 12 minutes before the bombers reversed course and returned to their base in eastern Russia, said the Pentagon.   The intercept was described as being safe and professional and there was no cockpit-to-cockpit radio communication between the U.S. and Russian aircraft, said a U.S. official cited by CNN.   U.S. jets last intercepted Russian bombers in July 2015 off the coasts of Alaska and California.  
 Item Number:17 Date: 04/19/2017 USA - REPORTS ABOUT AIRCRAFT CARRIER HEADED TO N. KOREA WERE INCORRECT (APR 19/FN)  FOX NEWS -- The U.S. Navy acknowledged on Tuesday that it did not move the USS Carl Vinson carrier toward North Korea despite earlier reports that it was doing so as a show of force, reports Fox News.   The Vinson carrier strike group is now expected to arrive in the Korean Peninsula next week, reports the New York Times.   White House officials said on Tuesday that a series of events led to incorrect reports that the carrier group had been diverted from exercises with Australia to immediately head to the Korean Peninsula.   U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) and the White House announced on April 9 that the carrier strike group had been ordered to sail north to the western Pacific from Singapore, toward the Korean Peninsula.   Multiple reports indicated -- erroneously, as it turned out -- that the carrier group had been diverted from planned joint exercises with the Australian navy.   Comments by senior White House and defense officials seemingly reinforced the perception that the ships were changing course. However, the exercise with the Australians was not canceled and went through as planned. Neither the Pentagon nor the White House corrected its timeline.   Over the weekend, images showed that the carrier group was actually operating close to Indonesia, reported Defense News.   A senior White House official said the Pentagon did not realize the mistake until Tuesday, reported Fox News.   Rear Adm. James Kilby, the commander of the carrier group, announced on Wednesday that the carrier was being deployed for an extra month to head to the Korean Peninsula, according to the Stars and Stripes.   The Carl Vinson strike group includes the carrier's air wing, the Wayne E. Meyer and Michael Murphy destroyers and the Lake Champlain cruiser
Item Number:18 Date: 04/19/2017 YEMEN - U.S. AIRSTRIKES KILL AQAP TERRORISTS IN MARIB, SHABWA (APR 19/NA)  NEW ARAB -- Multiple Al-Qaida militants have been killed by two U.S. drone strikes in Yemen, military sources said on Wednesday, as reported by the New Arab.   One U.S. drone strike has killed four suspected members of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, say local officials, as reported by Reuters.   The overnight strike hit a car carrying the terrorists near the town of Al Hami, in the central province of Marib, said the officials.   The dead had not been identified because they were badly burnt, said one official.   Another overnight strike in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa killed two suspected militants, said military sources on Wednesday, as cited by AFP. Those sources had a different casualty count for the strike in Marib, saying three were killed
Item Number:19 Date: 04/19/2017 YEMEN - YEMENI DEFENSE MINISTRY ALLEGES FRIENDLY FIRE DOWNED SAUDI MILITARY HELICOPTER; 12 KILLED IN MARIB PROVINCE (APR 19/DEWELLE)  DEUTSCHE WELLE -- Twelve Saudi military personnel were killed when their helicopter went down in eastern Yemen on Tuesday, say officials cited by Deutsche Welle.   The Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Marib province, said the Saudi-led military coalition that is fighting the Houthi rebels.   Four officers and eight non-commissioned officers were killed, said the Saudi news agency SPA.   Yemen's Defense Ministry said on its website the helicopter was shot down close to where it was supposed to land because of "a technical fault that caused a misreading of the air defense system, which resulted in the destruction of the plane before it landed." The ministry was unclear about those said to fire on the aircraft.   A spokesman for the coalition said that it was "too early" to comment on the cause of the crash.

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