DOWNLOADS &Things Of Interest

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Fw: TheList 4443

_______________________________________________


 The List 4443
To All,
I hope you all had a great weekend.
Regards,
skip
 
This Day In Naval History - May 1
1898: The American squadron, commanded by Commodore George Dewey, defeats the Spanish squadron under the command of Rear Adm. Montojo at Manila Bay, Philippines.
 
1934- LT Akers demonstrates blind landing system at College Park, MD in
OJ-2 aircraft
1945 - VADM Barbey lands Australian troops on Tarakan Island, Borneo, supported by naval gunfire
1951 - USS Princeton aircraft attack Hwachon Dam using aerial torpedoes, only use of this weapon in Korean War
1980 - 11 Navy ships begin operations assisting Coast Guard in rescuing Cuban refugees fleeing Cuba in overcrowded boats
 
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
 
Today in History  May 1
408
Theodosius II succeeds to the throne of Constantinople.
1308
King Albert is murdered by his nephew John, because he refused his share of the Habsburg lands.
1486
Christopher Columbus convinces Queen Isabella to fund expedition to the West Indies.
1805
The state of Virginia passes a law requiring all freed slaves to leave the state, or risk either imprisonment or deportation.
1863
The Battle of Chancellorsville begins as Union Gen. Joe Hooker starts his three-pronged attack against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
1867
Reconstruction in the South begins with black voter registration.
1877
President Rutherford B. Hayes withdraws all Federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction.
1898
1915
The luxury liner Lusitania leaves New York Harbor for a voyage to Europe.
1927
Adolf Hitler holds his first Nazi meeting in Berlin.
1931
The Empire State Building opens in New York.
1934
The Philippine legislature accepts a U.S. proposal for independence.
1937
President Franklin Roosevelt signs an act of neutrality, keeping the United States out of World War II.
1941
The film Citizen Kane--directed and starring Orson Welles--opens in New York.
1944
The Messerschmitt Me 262, the first combat jet, makes its first flight.
1945
Martin Bormann, private secretary to Adolf Hitler, escapes the Fuehrerbunker as the Red Army advances on Berlin.
1948
North Korea is established.
1950
Gwendolyn Brooks becomes the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry called Annie Allen.
1960
Francis Gary Powers' U-2 spy plane is shot down over Russia.
1961
Fidel Castro announces there will be no more elections in Cuba.
1968
In the second day of battle, U.S. Marines, with the support of naval fire, continue their attack on a North Vietnamese Division at Dai Do.
1970
Students from Kent State University riot in downtown Kent, Ohio, in protest of the American invasion of Cambodia.
1986
The Tass News Agency reports the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.
2011
Osama Bin Laden is killed in Abbottabad Pakistan by US Navy SEALS in Operation Neptune Spear.
 
 
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
30 April 1975   Many call this the Day of Sorrow – many call it, also, the Day of Betrayal –
From the net, with a small addition -
Thanks to Dutch
The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973. How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides' forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification. The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American military running for their lives. There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast Asia (primarily Cambodia) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 than there were during the ten years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam. Thanks for the perceived loss and the countless assassinations and torture visited upon Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians goes mainly to the American media and their undying support-by-misrepresentation of the anti-War movement in the United States. As with much of the Vietnam War, the news media – especially Walter Cronkite -  misreported and misinterpreted the 1968 Tet Offensive. It was reported as an overwhelming success for the Communist forces and a decided defeat for the U.S. forces. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite initial victories by the Communists forces, the Tet Offensive resulted in a major defeat of those forces. General Vo Nguyen Giap, the designer of the Tet Offensive, is considered by some as ranking with Wellington, Grant, Lee and MacArthur as a great commander. Still, militarily, the Tet Offensive was a total defeat of the Communist forces on all fronts. It resulted in the death of some 45,000 NVA troops and the complete, if not total destruction of the Viet Cong elements in South Vietnam. The Organization of the Viet Cong Units in the South never recovered. The Tet Offensive succeeded on only one front and that was the News front and the political arena. This was another example in the Vietnam War of an inaccuracy becoming the perceived truth. However, inaccurately reported, the News Media made the Tet Offensive famous.
 
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
Thanks to Micro
 
 
It's worth putting on The List, I think; however, to titillate your interest, I'll include below just two excerpts, although the page above is filled with stats and debunking of myths.
 
1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August, 1995 (census figures). During that same Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served was: 9,492,958. As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between '95 and '00. That's 390 per day. During this Census count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,027. By this census, FOUR OUT OF FIVE WHO CLAIM TO BE VIETNAM VETS ARE NOT.
The fall of Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973. How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides' forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification. The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American military running for their lives. There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast Asia (primarily Cambodia) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 than there were during the ten years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam. Thanks for the perceived loss and the countless assassinations and torture visited upon Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians goes mainly to the American media and their undying support-by-misrepresentation of the anti-War movement in the United States. As with much of the Vietnam War, the news media misreported and misinterpreted the 1968 Tet Offensive. It was reported as an overwhelming success for the Communist forces and a decided defeat for the U.S. forces. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite initial victories by the Communists forces, the Tet Offensive resulted in a major defeat of those forces. General Vo Nguyen Giap, the designer of the Tet Offensive, is considered by some as ranking with Wellington, Grant, Lee and MacArthur as a great commander. Still, militarily, the Tet Offensive was a total defeat of the Communist forces on all fronts. It resulted in the death of some 45,000 NVA troops and the complete, if not total destruction of the Viet Cong elements in South Vietnam. The Organization of the Viet Cong Units in the South never recovered. The Tet Offensive succeeded on only one front and that was the News front and the political arena. This was another example in the Vietnam War of an inaccuracy becoming the perceived truth. However, inaccurately reported, the News Media made the Tet Offensive famous.
 
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
Thanks to Dr. Rich….Fun to watch
Thanks to Ken …
 
Great video about dogfights between F-86's and MiG's during Korean War … and US aviators MIA w/o a trace …
 
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
Thanks to Bart
Subject: Sea stories from the good old days...
 
This story happened at Chu Lai in the summer of 1966...when there was only a expeditionary field of 4,000 feet.  
 
All takeoffs were with JATO bottles (lots of things went wrong with these - especially at night) and all landings were arrested.
One day we taxied in to VMA-223 from a mission and noticed an Air Force C-123 parked at the main ramp. It had made an emergency landing at Chu Lai.
 
At the club that night, the only passenger from the C-123 was there.  He was an  F-100F  pilot in his flight suit on crutches and with two broken legs.  Of course, we wanted to know how he broke his legs.  He told us that he was an F-100F (two seater) Misty Fast FAC.  They took turns flying front and back seat.  He said that it was his day to go up North in the back seat. 
 
They found the target for the F-105s and marked it with 5" WP rockets. Then, after the 105s were done, they were supposed to fly low and fast and take an after-action picture of the target.   He was the guy with the hand-held camera.  Of course, the NVA knew the routine and began shooting the shit out of them.  The front seat guy did a lot of jinking and somehow, the lens came off the camera and disappeared.
 
They safely got "feet wet" and in-flight refueled for their return trip home down south to Tui Hua (or wherever).  Our guy said that he kept looking for the lens but the front seater said to forget it.  They would find it after landing.   Upon landing and taxi back, the front seater called "Canopy Clear" and raised the canopy.  The lens had landed near one of the actuators for the ejection seat.  He said that he heard this tremendous explosion and realized what had happened when he got seat separation about 250 feet up at the top of the arc and saw a miniature F-100F below him missing a canopy.  He said that it was like a "Wily Coyote" cartoon.  There was a point where you stop going up, a pause, and then a rapid going down thing.  The F-100F didn't have a zero/zero seat - it had neither (and needed 100 kts and 100 feet).  He also said that he had always heard that in a long fall, one dies of a heart attack before one hits the ground.
 
So he said he kept shouting, "Come on heart attack!"
 
The drogue chute had deployed and that kept his feet straight down.  It was real steep near the taxiway, they had been doing a lot of excavating and it had rained.  He hit feet first. The undeployed chute saved his back and kept it straight.  He skidded down the embankment into a large pool of water, suffering only two simple fractures.
 
Needless to say, he couldn't buy another drink that night.    
 
********************************
#2
 
This  second story is the single funniest thing that I have ever seen.  It was around September 1966 and they had just completed the installation of the land catapult (Oh good- no more JATO).  We had operated out of there for about 3 weeks with the land cat and it worked great.  Anyway, there was to be a change of command for Marine Air Group 12.   
 
Col. Les Brown was about to hand over MAG-12 to the great, one and only, Jay Hubbard.
 
The change of command ceremony was to coincide with the official inauguration of the first combat tactical SATS (Short Airfield Tacticaland I can't remember the S) field in the history of the Marine Corps.   
 
A real dog and pony show.  The guests of honor were the Secretary of the Navy, FMFPAC, Lt. General Krulak, 1st Marine Air Wing Commander, MGEN Robinshaw (a great guy by the way -he always flew with 223 and was the world's best wingman because he could hardly see).   
 
All pilots not flying were to put on their dungarees for formation in the sand for the change of command.  The program then called for all troops to fall out and observe four A-4s to be launched from the land cat.
 
That was the planned program.  Someone (no one would admit who) suggested the day before that two Marine F-4 Phantoms be brought in the night before to be launched after the A-4s.  Wouldn't that be a great idea.  Well, of course, with a 4 thousand foot strip and 50' wide taxiways, no F-4s had ever been to Chu Lai.   
 
But, in the late afternoon the day before the ceremony, two F-4s landed and took the arresting gear.  They folded their wings and proceeded to (very carefully) taxi into the biggest two revetments.
 
And, of course, the familiar F-4 engine wailing sound followed them everywhere. 
 
That night there was much harassment of the F-4 crews in the club about flying an aircraft that needed a committee to perform (2 seats instead of 1).  Furthermore, we took to calling the RIO 's (backseat guys)"hair-lipped dogs" because their only job was to shout "MARK MARK" when the pilot reached bomb release altitude.  Anyway, the next day those of us not on the flight schedule put on our dungarees and fell in for the ceremony.   
 
VMA-123 was led by the world's greatest Squadron Commander and my personal hero to this day, Lt. Col. Bob Sinclair (I was the world's saltiest 2nd Lt. at the time with 125 combat missions and Col. Bob's assigned wingman).
 
The ceremony went off without a hitch and Jay Hubbard was now our new Group skipper.  The dignitaries lined up on the high ground (read sand dune here) with the SECNAV on the right then FMFPAC "The Brute" General Krulak, then General Robinshaw, then the old Group CO, Les Brown and finally Jay Hubbard.  Sure enough, they launched four bomb laden A-4's off the land cat.  This was ho- hum stuff for us, because we had been doing it for three weeks already.  Next, the first F-4 taxied up with folded wings, putting out tremendous noise from 4 jet engines, dust and smoke.  
 
The two distinctive F-4 engines were doing a lot of wailing.  Up went the F-4's nose wheel on the dolly.  The wings were extended and locked.  The nose wheel was attached to the dolly with the frangible metal breakaways.  The hold-back for the tail was installed.  All was ready for the run-up.  The two J-57 engines powering the land cat were run-up.  The two F-4 engines were run-up to 100%.  Then BOOM BOOM - both F-4 engines went into afterburner. 
 
Man, there was something in this show for everyone!
 
Nothing could go wrong now!  The CAT Officer received the salute from the F-4 pilot and he dropped his hand.  BOOM the CAT fired.  Now about 60,000 pounds of F-4 and bombs are hurtling down the 1,500 foot CAT.  At this point, I must interject a minor technical point about the frangible metal devices holding the F-4's nosewheel to the dolly:  Well, you see, they break away at the end of the 1,500' CAT ride.  This, of course, is not a problem for an A-4 because it has a long nosewheel and sits up at a pronounced angle.  Unfortunately, the F-4 sits parallel to the ground.  In order to not make this too technical, both nosewheel frangible devices did what they were supposed to and broke off.  One went right into the left intake, and one was sucked into the right intake.  This was highly problematic for the Phantom.  BOOM, the left engine exploded.  BOOM, the right engine exploded.  The show got much better.  Flaming metal parts and discs sliced through the side of the F-4 causing total involvement of flames around the aircraft from the intakes back.  BOOM went the ejection seat of the backseater.  BOOM went the ejection seat of the frontseater. And KABOOM went the F-4 into the sand southeast of the runway.
 
Then the Three Stooges part: The SECNAV looks to his left at FMFPAC who looks to his left to 1st MAW CO, who looks at the old MAG-12 CO, Colonel Brown, and finally they are all looking at Jay Hubbard.  We laughed so hard that some of us fell down.
 
The Good News is...both F-4 crewmembers lived.  By the way, the second F-4 refolded his wings and slowly taxied back to the revetments.  They downloaded the bombs and defueled him, and then he flew back to Da Nang the next day with a very short takeoff roll.  Now, I don't know if this helps you, but it's what I remember.  And, to quote Anthony Swofford, author of "Jarhead" about the first Gulf War when asked whether his book was fact or fiction, he responded:  "I don't know, but it's what I remember."    
 
Semper Fi.
 
 
NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
Item Number:1 Date: 05/01/2017 CUBA - MILITARY AIRCRAFT CRASHES INTO MOUNTAIN, KILLING 8 (MAY 01/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- The Ministry of Revolutionary Armed Forces in Cuba says all eight military personnel on board a military aircraft were killed in a crash on Saturday, reports CNN.   The Antonov An-26 went down Saturday morning into the Loma de la Pimienta mountain in Artemisa province, about 50 miles west of Havana, said the military.   All on the plane, including the crew, were killed, noted the ministry. Most planes flown in Cuba were produced in the Soviet Union, noted Reuters.   An investigation has been opened into the cause of the crash
Item Number:2 Date: 05/01/2017 FINLAND - CONTRACT IN HAND FOR DESIGN OF NEW CORVETTES; CONSTRUCTION DEAL EXPECTED NEXT YEAR (MAY 01/FDF)  FINNISH DEFENSE FORCES -- The Finnish military has signed a design contract with domestic firm Rauma Marine Construction for a new class of corvettes under the Squadron 2020 program, reports the Finnish Defense Forces.   The 7.5 million euros (US$8.2 million) contract covers concept definition and basic design materials needed for four multi-role corvettes, the FDF said in a Friday release.   A construction contract is anticipated for 2018, the military said. The first ship is expected to be commissioned in 2021.   The design phase must account for surface warfare, mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, command-and-control and prolonged at-sea operations in all weather and ice conditions, said the release.   The new corvettes will replace four Rauma-class missile craft and two Hameenmaa-class minelayers as part of the Finnish navy's Squadron 2020 project, noted UPI
Item Number:3 Date: 05/01/2017 INDIA - DEAL WITH RUSSIA CALLS FOR 200 KA-226 HELICOPTERS (MAY 01/SPUTNIK)  SPUTNIK -- The Russian and Indian governments have agreed on a deal for joint production of Russian-designed Ka-226 light helicopters, reports Russia's Sputnik news agency.   The deal, worth more than US$1 billion, covers 200 aircraft, with 40 to be delivered in fly-away condition by Russia and the balance to be built under license in India, Sergei Chemezov, the head of Russia's Rostec company, said on April 27.   The joint venture agreement on the Ka-226T was signed in October 2016. All 200 helicopters are supposed to be delivered within nine years.   The Ka-226 is a light, twin-engine utility helicopter. It has an interchangeable mission pod that can accommodate various payloads.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 05/01/2017 IRAQ - FOREIGN JIHADISTS, WILLING TO BRUTALIZE LOCALS, SEEN FIGHTING TO THE END IN MOSUL (MAY 01/DTL)  DAILY TELEGRAPH (LONDON) -- The Islamic State is using foreign fighters to hold the final lines of defense in Mosul in northern Iraq, using brutal tactics that reflect their indifference to locals, according to senior coalition officials, as reported by London's Daily Telegraph.   As many as 1,000 ISIS fighters remain in Mosul, down from an estimated 8,000 at the start of the operation, the spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said on Thursday.   This total includes a "significant group" of foreign militants. These foreigners are often committed to fighting to the death, said Col. John Dorrian.   "One of the things we have seen repeated throughout the campaign is that as Isil leaders begin to leave areas that they expect to lose, what they like to do is to leave foreign fighters behind, because foreign fighters have no reluctance whatsoever to treat civilians that are in the area very, very poorly and to use the scorched earth tactics that we have seen before," he said.   On Thursday, the coalition reported that Iraqi paramilitary units had captured the northern Hatra province, cutting off several desert tracks used by ISIS to travel between Iraq and Syria
Item Number:5 Date: 05/01/2017 IRAQ - IED BLAST NEAR MOSUL KILLS U.S. OFFICER (MAY 01/ARMY)  ARMY TIMES -- A U.S. Army officer has been identified as the soldier who died Saturday of wounds sustained in an explosion near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, reports the Army Times.   First Lt. Weston Lee, 25, was hit by an improvised explosive device during a patrol Saturday outside of Mosul, where Iraqi government forces have been battling the Islamic State since late last year, said officials.   Lee, From Bluffton, Ga., was assigned to 1st Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, N.C.   Lee was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal, said the Army.   This was the second American military fatality since the start of the Mosul operation
Item Number:6 Date: 05/01/2017 JAPAN - HELICOPTER CARRIER ESCORTS U.S. SUPPLY SHIP IN JAPANESE WATERS, 1ST SUCH MISSION UNDER EXPANDED MILITARY DOCTRINE (MAY 01/JT)  JAPAN TIMES -- In the first such operation since new security laws have been in place, a Japanese warship has been deployed to protect a U.S. Navy supply ship, reports the Japan Times.   The Izumo helicopter carrier was deployed Monday to escort the USS Richard E. Byrd in Japanese waters. The cargo ship is heading to refuel the U.S. fleet in the region, said government sources cited by the BBC.   The Izumoleft Yokosuka naval base in Kanagawa Prefecture and linked up with the Byrd off the Boso Peninsual in Chiba Prefecture. The ships are expected to sail for two days toward the southwestern Shikoko region, the sources said.   Tokyo passed security legislation in 2015 loosening constitutional constraints on military activities. The change allows Tokyo to come to the aid of an ally under attack and to protect the weapons and equipment of allies defending Japan
Item Number:7 Date: 05/01/2017 LATVIA - DEAL COMPLETE FOR 47 USED PALADIN SELF-PROPELLED HOWITZERS FROM AUSTRIA (MAY 01/LATMOD)  LATVIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The Latvian and Austrian defense ministries have finalized a bilateral agreement on self-propelled howitzers (SPHs).   Under the accord, Latvia will acquire 47 M109A5Oe Paladins from Austria, including fire-control centers and training platforms, the Latvian Defense Ministry said on April 27.   The Austrian SPHs were fully modernized between 2003 and 2007 and then placed in storage.   The first weapons will be delivered in the fall of 2017, said Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis.   The howitzers will enhance Latvia's indirect-fire capabilities, the ministry said.   Latvian personnel are already in Austria to train on the systems
Item Number:8 Date: 05/01/2017 MALI - FRENCH OPERATIONS KILL 20-PLUS MILITANTS HIDING IN FOREST (MAY 01/F24)  FRANCE 24 -- France's military says it has killed more than 20 suspected militants in an operation in Mali this weekend, reports France 24.   On Saturday, French Mirage fighter jets and ground strikes hit several suspected arms depots in the Foulsare forest, southwest of the northern Malian city of Gao, said a French counterterrorism unit.   Large amounts of arms, ammunition, rocket launchers and explosives were discovered, the unit said.   France's Operation Barkhane is aimed at countering militants operating in the Sahel region of the Sahara desert.   Some militants may have been captured, reported AFP, citing an unnamed army official.   No specific group was identified
Item Number:9 Date: 05/01/2017 NORTH KOREA - YET ANOTHER BALLISTIC MISSILE TEST FAILS (MAY 01/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- A North Korean ballistic missile launched early Saturday apparently failed, say U.S. military officials cited by CNN.   The missile was fired near Pukchang, northeast of Pyongyang. It only flew "for several minutes," to the northeast and reached an altitude of 44 miles said the South Korean military, as cited by Yonhap.   The U.S. military detected the missile, said a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command. It blew up over land in North Korea, said the spokesman.   The test is apparently Pyongyang's fourth straight unsuccessful missile test since March, noted Reuters.   The missile likely a medium-range KN-17 missile, an anti-ship version of a Scud missile that is being developed, said unnamed U.S. officials.   North Korea has not yet commented on the incident.  
Item Number:10 Date: 05/01/2017 PAKISTAN - SENIOR LEADER OF AFGHAN TALIBAN KILLED IN PESHAWAR; ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY (MAY 01/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for last week's killing of a senior Afghan Taliban official in Pakistan, say senior Taliban officials cited by NBC News.   Maulvi Mohammad Daud, a member of the Taliban's leadership council in Peshawar, was shot and killed Thursday while traveling in a car in the city's suburbs, said Taliban officials on Saturday. Two bodyguards were also killed.   ISIS, through its Amaq agency on Friday, claimed responsibility for the "assassination of a Taliban leader," without naming him, noted Reuters.   Some Taliban officials said they thought Afghan intelligence services were behind the killing and were framing ISIS.   A Taliban spokesman confirmed the attack, but said he did not know who was responsible.  
Item Number:11 Date: 05/01/2017 SAUDI ARABIA - AUTHORITIES ARREST 41 CELL MEMBERS LINKED TO MEDINA, U.S. CONSULATE BOMBINGS (MAY 01/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Saudi authorities say they have arrested almost four dozen people responsible for an attack last summer in Medina, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   A suicide attack in July 2016 was directed the Prophet's Mosque in the holy city. Four security officers were killed.   There was no claim of responsibility, though it was widely blamed on the Islamic State.   The Interior Ministry on Sunday said 46 were arrested in to western port city of Jeddah.   Members of cell included 32 Saudi citizens and 14 from Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Sudan and Jordan, said the ministry. A statement said the cell provided the explosive belt used in the attack, noted the Anadolu Agency (Turkey).   The cell was also held responsible for a June 2016 suicide bombing near the U.S. consulate in Jeddah that wounded two policemen, the ministry said
Item Number:12 Date: 05/01/2017 SOUTH KOREA - KEEL LAID FOR ANOTHER DOKDO-CLASS AMPHIBIOUS SHIP (MAY 01/YON)  YONHAP -- Work has officially begun on a second Dokdo-class amphibious ship for the South Korean navy.   The construction is taking place at the Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction shipyard in Busan (Pusan), reports the Yonhap news agency.   The keel-laying ceremony was held on Friday at the shipyard, said the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).   The ship, which has not been named, will be launched in April 2018 and delivered to the navy in 2020 following trials, said the DAPA.   The vessel will be equipped with an improved self-defense system, including a vertical launching system.   The new amphib will be christened about three months before launch, said the agency.  
Item Number:13 Date: 05/01/2017 SYRIA - REBELS BATTLE EACH OTHER NEAR DAMASCUS (MAY 01/XIN)  XINHUA -- Fighting over several days between rebel groups near Damascus has left scores dead, says a monitoring group cited by Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Starting on Friday, there were clashes between Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam) on one side and Tahrir al-Sham and Failaq al-Rahman on the other, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Tahrir al-Sham includes Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, which is now known as Jabhat Fatha al-Sham.   The area, east of the capital, has been under siege by the government since 2013.   Failaq al-Rahman said that Jaish al-Islam attacked its positions. Jaish al-Islam said its dispute was with Tahrir al-Sham and urged Failaq al-Rahman to remain neutral, reported Reuters.   By Sunday, more than 200 rebels had been killed, according to the observatory. The same day, about 3,000 protesters called on the rebels to stop fighting each other.   Meanwhile, government forces attacked the rebel-held district of Qaboun, northwest of Eastern Ghouta.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 05/01/2017 SYRIA - SDF FORCES ISIS FROM OLD QUARTER OF TABQA (MAY 01/ARA)  ARA NEWS -- U.S.-backed Syrian rebels say they have gained more territory from the Islamic State in the key Syrian town of Tabqa in Raqqa province, reports ARA News, an Arab news service.   The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighting groups, has been conducting an multiphase operation to take Raqqa, the Islamic State's de facto capital. The SDF first seeks to get control of Tabqa, about 25 miles to the west.   The SDF began advancing against Tabqa's north last week. By Monday, the SDF said that it had ousted ISIS from the town's old quarter, noted Reuters.   The SDF now controls about 80 percent of Tabqa, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   The Islamic State still controls the important Tabqa Dam, which is Syria's largest
Item Number:15 Date: 05/01/2017 TUNISIA - SECURITY FORCES RAID MILITANTS' HOUSE IN SIDI BOUZID (MAY 01/REU)  REUTERS -- Two militants have died in Tunisia, including a senior commander, and three others were arrested in a raid on Sunday, reports Reuters, citing Tunisian officials.   National guard special operations forces raided a house in Sidi Bouzid, about 125 miles southwest of Tunis. The militants had been under surveillance for weeks, said officials.   The raid was launched after communications were intercepted of a possible attack, said a national guard spokesman.   A commander of the Okba Ib Nafaa militant group blew himself up during the raid. He was said to be planning attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.   Okba Ibn Nafaa operates in the remote Chaambi mountain range along the border with Algeria. It is connected with Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, noted AFP. It also has reported links to ISIS.  
 Item Number:16 Date: 05/01/2017 UGANDA - PAY RISES COMING FOR ARMY; SENIOR GENERALS TO GET RAISES OF MORE THAN 80 PERCENT (MAY 01/OBSERVER)  OBSERVER -- Ugandan soldiers of all ranks will receive significant pay increases in the next financial year, which starts on July 1, reports the Observer (Kampala).   The biggest raises apply to general officers, with four-stars in line for an 86 percent salary boost from about US$543 to US$1,024, according to Defense Ministry figures. Lieutenant generals will see an 83 percent increase from US$508 to US$924.   Pay for major generals will increase by 40 percent from US$462 to US$652, while brigadiers will see a 33 percent rise from US$435 to US$543.   All other ranks will receive a "significant" boost, though no details were given. The increases will further strain the military's already large salary budget, the newspaper said.   Over the medium term, the ministry plans to gradually increase the salaries of soldiers until the reach the level of teachers and medical workers, said Defense Minister Adolf Mwesige. Military scientists will also receive more pay, he said.   About half of the 2017-2018 defense budget is earmarked for salaries and wages.   The pay increases are unlikely to be implemented all at once. The ministry has not specified which ranks will see the rises first, the newspaper noted.  
 Item Number:17 Date: 05/01/2017 USA - 5,700 TROOPS TO DEPLOY TO EUROPE, AFGHANISTAN WITHIN MONTHS (MAY 01/ARMY)  ARMY TIMES -- The U.S. Army has announced the deployments of thousands of troops later this year to Afghanistan and Europe, reports the Army Times.   About 4,000 personnel from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan. will deploy in the fall to Europe as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, according to an Army release on April 27.   The brigade will be the second ABCT in Europe as part of the Army's new nine-month rotations there. The soldiers will replace troops from the 3rd BCT, 4th Infantry Division.   Separately, about 200 personnel from the 3rd Infantry Division headquarters at Fort Stewart, Ga., will deploy to Afghanistan to replace the 1st Cavalry Division headquarters, the Army said. The unit will be located at Bagram Airfield as the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan National Support Element.   Finally, about 1,500 troops from the 1st BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., will deploy to Afghanistan this summer to support Operation Freedom's Sentinel.   The paratroopers will support Afghan forces during their deployment, said Col. Toby Magsig, the brigade commander.  
 Item Number:18 Date: 05/01/2017 USA - 800 TAKING PART IN NATIONAL GUARD CYBER DEFENSE EXERCISE IN UTAH (MAY 01/ANS)  ARMY NEWS SERVICE -- The U.S. Army National Guard is in the midst of a major cyber defense exercise at Camp Williams, Utah, reports the Army News Service.   The Cyber Shield drills involve Guardsmen from 44 states and territories, the U.S. Army Reserve, state and federal government agencies, non-governmental organizations and industry.   About 800 personnel are taking part, according to a Guard release.   The drills, which run from April 24 to May 5, are designed to assess the ability of the participants to respond to cyber incidents.   The training is designed to improve the Guard's ability to respond to cyber incidents, support local responses to cyber incidents and strengthen network security, the Army said in a release late last week.   The exercise has two phases. The first week includes academic instruction on a variety of cybersecurity topics. The second involves participants from cyber protection teams taking on trained online adversaries.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 05/01/2017 USA - TOP ADMIRAL PROMOTES WIDER PARTICIPATION IN NAVIGATION OPS IN S. CHINA SEA (MAY 01/HILL)  THE HILL -- The top U.S. naval officer is looking for more international partners for freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, reports the Hill (Washington, D.C.).   "It would be great if we could -- because it is international law -- I think a greater international participation would be something to look forward to as sort of a strategic approach to that," Adm. John Richardson said last week at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.   The freedom of navigation operations are "an expression of our advocacy for international rules and norms," the admiral said.   He also said it would likely benefit both China and the U.S. to cooperate in addressing the North Korean threat.  
  Item Number:20 Date: 05/01/2017 USA - UPDATED .50-CALIBER MACHINE GUNS START REACHING FIELD (MAY 01/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- Marine units have started receiving an upgraded .50-caliber machine gun that fires quicker, is easier to use and is less visible to the enemy, reports the Marine Corps Times.   The improved M2A1 machine gun features a quick-change barrel; fixed headspace and timing; and a flash hider that reduces the weapon's visual signature by 95 percent at night, said officials from the Marine Corps Systems Command.   The current .50-caliber machine gun requires Marines to manually set headspace and timing before firing and after the barrel heats from volume of fire.   Headspace is the distance between the face of the bolt and the base of the cartridge when chambered, while timing is the adjustment of the weapon so firing occurs when the recoiling parts are in the correct position.   The fixed headspace and timing enables the new quick-change barrel, officials said.   The combination reduces the time personnel are exposed to hostile fire and shortens the time the weapon is out of operation for barrel changes.   Eventual plans call for fielding 3,600 M2A1s.
 
_______________________________________________