Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Fw: TheList 4445

The List 4445

To All,
A bit of history and some tidbits
This Day In Naval History - May 3
1777: During the American Revolution, the Continental lugger Surprise, led by Capt. Gustavus conyngham, captures the British mail packet Prince of Orange and the brig Joseph in the North Sea.
1861 - USS Surprise captures Confederate privateer Savannah
1898 - Marines land at Cavite, Philippines, and raise U.S. flag
1942: USS Spearfish (SS 190) evacuates naval and military officers, including nurses, from Corregidor before surrendering island to Japan.
1949 - First Navy firing of a high altitude Viking rocket at White Sands, NM
Whenever I read about one of the major battles fought by our carriers in WWII I remember a story that Nick Criss told me many years ago. He had met a guy who was an aircraft handler of sorts on one of the big decks and he asked him how they launched strikes since they really did not do cyclic ops like we do. They launched everything. So Nick asked him how they got so many aircraft on board. The guy said they brought the first group on board brought them into the hanger deck and then winched them into the overhead. Then they brought the next group in and filled up the hanger deck again then they filled up the flight deck. So Nick asked him how they got them all launched off and he said they just did the reverse. So Nick thought about that and said well how did you get them all back onboard after the strike. It would take a lot of time to winch all those aircraft back up to make room. The guys answer was we never had the problem…..think about it.
What we owe to those Naval Aviators that came before us and fought in that Pacific war is beyond measure.
This Week in American Military History:
Apr. 26, 1777:  Just after 9:00 p.m., 16-year-old Sybil (also Sibbell) Ludington – "the female Paul Revere" – begins her 40-mile, all-night ride (much of it in the rain) across an isolated circuit of New York–Connecticut backcountry, warning villagers of a British attack on nearby Danbury, Connecticut.
The daughter of a militia colonel, Ludington will be recognized for her bravery and patriotism by Gen. George Washington.
There is statue of Sybil in Carmel, NY.
Sybil was daughter of Col.Henry Ludington, who also had son, Lewis.
Lewis moved his family (including son James, Sybil's nephew) to Wisconsin about 1843.
James became noted entrepreneur, including loaning funds for a sawmill across the Lake in town of Pere Marquette.
When loan defaulted, James took over sawmill, grew it, brought in a railroad (the Pere Marquette).
Town was renamed Ludington in his honor, even though he never lived there!
Ludingtons were quite a family, a Harrison Ludington, another Sybil nephew, was an early governor of Wisconsin.
Ludington descendants still hold reunions in Ludington.
From Chancellorsville to Coral Sea
by  W. Thomas Smith Jr.
This Week in American Military History:
May. 2, 1863:  During day-two of the Battle of Chancellorsville, Gen.
Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's Confederates appear out of nowhere, smashing into Union Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker's right flank and literally rolling up the encamped Federal force. But the Confederate victory proves bittersweet, as Jackson will be wounded – his left arm shattered – that night in a friendly fire incident during a leaders-recon mission.
Following the amputation of Jackson's arm, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee will lament, "He has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right arm."
Worse for Lee, Jackson will develop pneumonia and die within eight days.
May 4, 1946:  Alcatraz prison guards and U.S. Marines recapture Alcatraz from rioting inmates, who had previously broken into the prison armory, seized weapons and taken hostages. The Alcatraz guards quickly realized they were no match for the inmates. But the inmates stood no chance against "a few good men."
May. 5, 1864:  The bloody albeit inconclusive Battle of the Wilderness
(Virginia) opens between Union Army forces under the command of Lt. Gen.
Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, and Confederate forces under Gen. Robert E. Lee.
Fighting is grim: Casualties will be heavy on both sides. Union and Confederate generals will be killed. Wounded and trapped soldiers will be burned alive by a battle-sparked woods fire. Within two days, Grant will disengage and advance toward Spotsylvania Courthouse.
May. 5, 1961:  U.S. Navy Commander (future rear admiral) Alan B. Shepard Jr. rockets to an altitude of more than 116 miles above the Earth's surface (space begins at 73 miles) becoming the first American in space. Shepard's spacecraft – a recoverable capsule launched by a Redstone rocket – is christened "Freedom 7."
In less than a year, John Glenn – a Marine – will become the first American to orbit the Earth. Shepard will become the fifth man to walk on the moon in 1971.
May 5, 1965: The first large-scale U.S. Army forces – the famous 173rd Airborne Brigade – arrive in South Vietnam.
May 6, 1962:  During "the 1962 atomic tests," the submarine USS Ethan Allen launches the first and only nuclear-tipped Polaris missile fired from a submerged sub. The warhead detonates over the South Pacific.
The submarine (the second of two so-named U.S. Navy vessels) is named in honor of Ethan Allen, the famous patriot leader of the "Green Mountain Boys" during the American Revolution.
May. 7, 1942:  The Battle of the Coral Sea begins in earnest between Allied (primarily U.S.) Naval forces and the Japanese Navy.
The battle – the first fought between opposing ships beyond visual range – is largely a carrier-air fight, and will result in the loss or damage of several American ships, including the loss of USS Lexington (the fifth of six American warships named for the famous battle of April 19, 1775), scores of destroyed planes and hundreds of sailors and Marines killed.
The Japanese will also suffer serious losses.
According to the U.S. Naval Historical Center: "Though the Japanese could rightly claim a tactical victory on 'points,' it was an operational and strategic defeat for them, the first major check on the great offensive they had begun five months earlier at Pearl Harbor."
May. 7, 1945:  Germany surrenders one week after Adolf Hitler and his new bride, Eva Braun, commit suicide in Hitler's Berlin Bunker.
May. 8, 1846:  In the first major battle of the Mexican War, U.S. Army forces under the command of Gen. (and future president) Zachary Taylor decisively defeat Mexican forces under Gen. Mariano Arista in the Battle of Palo Alto (Texas). The Mexicans will retreat to a seemingly more defensible position at Resaca de la Palma the following day, but Taylor will pursue and beat them badly there too.
May. 8, 1864:  Days after the bloody affair in the Wilderness, Grant and Lee again clash in the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse. Like the Wilderness, the outcome at Spotsylvania Courthouse will be inconclusive and the casualties terribly heavy.  In less than two weeks, Grant will again break contact and continue his advance toward Richmond.
May. 8, 1911:  The U.S. Navy places its first order with the Curtiss aircraft company for two biplanes. Thus, May 8 becomes the official birthday of Naval Aviation.
Thanks to Carl and others
While the US military interpreted the results of Desert Storm incorrectly, the real lessons from that conflict are crystal clear. The US military functioned well in an environment that focused on the mission, not on political correctness, LGBT rights, day care centers on submarines and breastfeeding Rangers.
How Desert Storm Destroyed the US Military
Tomorrow starts the battle of the Coral Sea a significant battle in WWII that stopped the march of the Japanese in the Pacific.
Battle of the Coral Sea, 7-8 May 1942
Overview and Special Image Selection
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought in the waters southwest of the Solomon Islands and eastward from New Guinea, was the first of the Pacific War's six fights between opposing aircraft carrier forces. Though the Japanese could rightly claim a tactical victory on "points", it was an operational and strategic defeat for them, the first major check on the great offensive they had begun five months earlier at Pearl Harbor. The diversion of Japanese resources represented by the Coral Sea battle would also have immense consequences a month later, at the Battle of Midway.
The Coral Sea action resulted from a Japanese amphibious operation intended to capture Port Moresby, located on New Guinea's southeastern coast. A Japanese air base there would threaten northeastern Australia and support plans for further expansion into the South Pacific, possibly helping to drive Australia out of the war and certainly enhancing the strategic defenses of Japan's newly-enlarged oceanic empire.
The Japanese operation included two seaborne invasion forces, a minor one targeting Tulagi, in the Southern Solomons, and the main one aimed at Port Moresby. These would be supported by land-based airpower from bases to the north and by two naval forces containing a small aircraft carrier, several cruisers, seaplane tenders and gunboats. More distant cover would be provided by the big aircraft carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku with their escorting cruisers and destroyers. The U.S. Navy, tipped off to the enemy plans by superior communications intelligence, countered with two of its own carriers, plus cruisers (including two from the Australian Navy), destroyers, submarines, land-based bombers and patrol seaplanes.
Preliminary operations on 3-6 May and two days of active carrier combat on
7-8 May cost the United States one aircraft carrier, a destroyer and one of its very valuable fleet oilers, plus damage to the second carrier. However, the Japanese were forced to cancel their Port Moresby seaborne invasion. In the fighting, they lost a light carrier, a destroyer and some smaller ships. Shokaku received serious bomb damage and Zuikaku's air group was badly depleted. Most importantly, those two carriers were eliminated from the upcoming Midway operation, contributing by their absence to that terrible Japanese defeat.
This page features a historical overview and special image selection on the Battle of the Coral Sea, chosen from the more comprehensive coverage featured in the following pages
•           Preliminary Activities, 1-6 May 1942
•           Events of 7 May 1942
•           Events of 8 May 1942
•           WWII Pacific Battles
From Wikipedia
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States and Australia.
The battle was the first ever fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged each other, as well as the first in which neither side's ships sighted or fired directly upon the other.
In an attempt to strengthen their defensive positioning for their empire in the South Pacific, Imperial Japanese forces decided to invade and occupy Port Moresby in New Guinea and Tulagi in the southeastern Solomon Islands.
The plan to accomplish this, called Operation MO, involved several major units of Japan's Combined Fleet, including two fleet carriers and a light carrier to provide air cover for the invasion fleets, under the overall command of Shigeyoshi Inoue. The U.S. learned of the Japanese plan through signals intelligence and sent two United States Navy carrier task forces and a joint Australian-American cruiser force, under the overall command of American Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, to oppose the Japanese offensive.
On 3–4 May, Japanese forces successfully invaded and occupied Tulagi, although several of their supporting warships were surprised and sunk or damaged by aircraft from the U.S. fleet carrier Yorktown. Now aware of the presence of U.S. carriers in the area, the Japanese fleet carriers entered the Coral Sea with the intention of finding and destroying the Allied naval forces.
Beginning on 7 May, the carrier forces from the two sides exchanged airstrikes over two consecutive days. The first day, the U.S. sank the Japanese light carrier Shōhō, while the Japanese sank a U.S. destroyer and heavily damaged a fleet oiler (which was later scuttled). The next day, the Japanese fleet carrier Shōkaku was heavily damaged, the U.S. fleet carrier Lexington was critically damaged (and was scuttled as a result), and the Yorktown was damaged. With both sides having suffered heavy losses in aircraft and carriers damaged or sunk, the two fleets disengaged and retired from the battle area. Because of the loss of carrier air cover, Inoue recalled the Port Moresby invasion fleet, intending to try again later.
Although a tactical victory for the Japanese in terms of ships sunk, the battle would prove to be a strategic victory for the Allies for several reasons. Japanese expansion, seemingly unstoppable until then, was turned back for the first time. More importantly, the Japanese fleet carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku – one damaged and the other with a depleted aircraft complement – were unable to participate in the Battle of Midway, which took place the following month, ensuring a rough parity in aircraft between the two adversaries and contributing significantly to the U.S. victory in that battle. The severe losses in carriers at Midway prevented the Japanese from reattempting to invade Port Moresby from the ocean. Two months later, the Allies took advantage of Japan's resulting strategic vulnerability in the South Pacific and launched the Guadalcanal Campaign that, along with the New Guinea Campaign, eventually broke Japanese defenses in the South Pacific and was a significant contributing factor to Japan's ultimate defeat in World War II.  Read more at
Item Number:1 Date: 05/03/2017 AFGHANISTAN - CIVILIAN DEATHS, DISPLACEMENT RATES STILL MOUNTING, SAYS IG (MAY 03/QZ)  QUARTZ -- The security situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, according to the latest report from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), as cited by Quartz, a New York-based blog owned by Atlantic Media.   The government in Kabul only controls around 60 percent of administrative districts, with 29 percent under dispute and 11 percent held by the Taliban, says the report, which was released on Monday.   Civilian casualties totaled 11,418 in 2016, the highest figure since 2009. Meanwhile, the Afghan security forces suffered 807 fatalities in the first six weeks of 2017 alone, say the statistics.   More than 660,000 people have been displaced by fighting, the highest number recorded since the U.S. invasion in 2001, according to SIGAR.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 05/03/2017 AFGHANISTAN - SUICIDE BOMBER IN KABUL HITS U.S. MILITARY CONVOY, KILLING MULTIPLE CIVILIANS (MAY 03/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- A suicide bomb attack targeting a U.S. military convoy in Afghanistan has killed at least eight civilians in downtown Kabul, reports the New York Times.   The explosion occurred during Wednesday's morning rush hour not far from one of the entrances of the U.S. Embassy in the Afghan capital.   At least 25 civilians were wounded, said the Afghan Interior Ministry.   The troops were traveling in mine-resistant vehicles. Three U.S. soldiers were wounded, but their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, said a spokesman for the U.S. military in Kabul.   The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. The terror group said, through its Amaq news agency, that the suicide attacker had detonated a car packed with explosives, as reported by the Wall Street
  Item Number:3 Date: 05/03/2017 ARMENIA - FORMER TOP ARMENIAN MILITARY OFFICER NOW IN CHARGE OF COLLECTIVE SECURITY TREATY ORGANIZATION (MAY 03/PAN)  PANORAMA -- The former secretary of Armenia's national security council on Tuesday assumed the position as the secretary-general of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, reports Panorama (Armenia).   Also on Tuesday, Yuri Khachaturov was formally relieved of his post at the Armenian national security council by President Serzh Sargsyan.   Khachaturov assumed that council post on Oct. 3, 2016, after serving as the chief of the General Staff of the Armenian military.   The heads of state of the CSTO members named Khachaturov as the CSTO secretary-general on April 14, noted Interfax-AVN (Russia
Item Number:4 Date: 05/03/2017 AUSTRALIA - NAVY CHRISTENS CAPE FOURCROY PATROL BOAT (MAY 03/AUSTAL)  AUSTAL -- The Royal Australian Navy has christened the first of two Cape-class patrol boats ordered from Austal, reports the shipbuilder.   The Cape Fourcroy was formally named during a Monday ceremony at HMAS Stirling naval base in Western Australia. The boat is named after the westernmost tip of Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory, noted an Austal release.   The boat is the ninth in the class overall. The first eight have been delivered to the Australian Border Force.   The Cape Inscription, the second boat for the navy, is scheduled for delivery later this month, said Austal officials
Item Number:5 Date: 05/03/2017 FRANCE - ANTI-TERROR RAIDS NAB 5; WEAPONS FOUND (MAY 03/DEWELLE)  DEUTSCHE WELLE -- Anti-terror authorities in France have arrested five people in multiple raids, says the Paris prosecutor's office, as reported by Deutsche Welle.   The raids on Tuesday occurred just days before the second round of presidential election.   There were raids reported near the cities of Rouen and Lille in northern France and Roanne in the central part of the country.   The suspects are aged between 18 and 24, said prosecutors. They were variously reported as four men and one woman or five men.   Police seized weapons, including two pistols and two machine guns, reported AFP. The weapons reportedly belonged to a man who legally owned them and was close to the suspects.   France remains under a state of emergency following a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks, noted Fox News.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 05/03/2017 GREECE - COURT DENIES YET ANOTHER EXTRADITION REQUEST FOR TURKISH SOLDIERS (MAY 03/REU)  REUTERS -- A court in Greece has blocked a second Turkish extradition request for Turkish soldiers who fled following the attempted coup in Turkey last year, say court officials, as reported by Reuters.   Eight soldiers -- three majors, three captains and two sergeants major -- fled to Greece in July 2016 and sought asylum.   Ankara alleges that the men were involved in the coup attempt. In January, Greece's top court ruled against first extradition request covering all eight in January.   On Wednesday, another court blocked the extradition request for three of the soldiers. The extradition of three others was blocked last week and the case of the remaining two is pending.   The prosecutor in the proceedings argued that the men might not get a fair train in Turkey, where many have been purged from the military and civil service.   "They may be subjected to torture and inhumane behavior," the prosecutor said.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 05/03/2017 INDIA - COUNTERTERRORISM COOPERATION ON TOP OF AGENDA BETWEEN ERDOGAN, MODI (MAY 03/TI)  TIMES OF INDIA -- The governments of India and Turkey have decided to work together more closely against terrorism, reports the Times of India.   Counterterrorism will be strengthened bilaterally and multilaterally, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday after meeting in New Delhi with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.   The leaders agreed on the need to work together against those who create and conceive, support and sustain, shelter and spread ideologies of violence.   The world has to disrupt terrorist networks, financing and cross-border movement, Modi said.   They also discussed other political and economic aspects of the bilateral relationship
Item Number:8 Date: 05/03/2017 JAPAN - FLEXIBILITY, AFFORDABILITY SEEN AS KEY BENEFITS OF LAND-BASED AEGIS MISSILE DEFENSE (MAY 03/KNA)  KYODO NEWS AGENCY -- The Japanese government has decided to expedite a feasibility study on acquiring a land-based Aegis missile defense system to counter North Korean missiles, reports the Kyodo News Agency, citing unnamed sources.   The addition of the Aegis Ashore system to Japan's multi-tiered ballistic missile defenses is a response to a "new level of threat" from Pyongyang's weapons programs, according to the government sources.   If approved, such a system could be deployed within several years, the sources said late last week.   Tokyo has also considered adopting the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, but decided to focus on Aegis Ashore, which is less expensive and more flexible.   THAAD costs about US$1.1 billion and requires six systems to protect the nation. Aegis Ashore, on the other hand, costs about US$719 million and could provide protection with just two systems, said the sources.   Currently, Japan has a two-tier ballistic missile defense system, consisting of its Aegis-equipped destroyers with SM-3 interceptors and the PAC-3 ground-based air defense systems
Item Number:9 Date: 05/03/2017 JORDAN - RECRUITMENT LAGGING AMONG JORDANIANS FIGHTING WITH TERRORISTS IN SYRIA, IRAQ (MAY 03/REU)  REUTERS -- About 900 Jordanians are fighting alongside Islamic State and Al-Qaida-linked groups in Iraq and Syria, a senior Jordanian official told Reuters. He also said that terrorist recruitment has been falling   Most of these left Jordan to fight between 2013 and 2014 when the conflict began, said the unnamed official on Tuesday.   Recruiting has drastically decreased over the last three years. The official credited the drop to an intelligence-led campaign against radicalized youths.   Tight controls on Jordan's border with Syria helped limit the number, despite its proximity, he said. Most found safe passage through third countries, according to security sources.   Measures have been aimed at reducing the risk of radicalized citizens going abroad to fight and returning to Jordan by preventing them from leaving Jordan in the first place, he said.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 05/03/2017 LITHUANIA - DURING CEREMONY AT SIAULIAI BASE, POLISH F-16S TAKE LEAD OF BALTIC AIR-POLICING MISSION (MAY 03/NATO)  NATO PRESS RELEASE -- Poland has just assumed command of NATO's Baltic Air-Policing mission at Siauliai air base in Lithuania, reports the alliance.   The Polish air force became the lead nation during a Tuesday ceremony, succeeding the Dutch air force.   Poland has deployed four F-16 fighters to Siauliai. This is the first time that Warsaw has dispatched its F-16s for the mission. Previous rotations employed MiG-29 fighters, noted the Baltic Times.   This is the sixth time that the Poles have led the NATO mission.   Meanwhile, Spain has replaced Germany as the support nation operating from Amari air base in Estonia. The Spanish air force deployed five F/A-18 Hornet fighters for the mission
Item Number:11 Date: 05/03/2017 MALAYSIA - 6 IN CUSTODY FOR ALLEGED ISIS ACTIVITIES; MARCH, APRIL ARRESTS JUST REVEALED (MAY 03/CNASIA)  CHANNEL NEWSASIA -- Counterterror officials in Malaysia have just revealed the arrests of six persons suspected of being connected to the Islamic State since late March, reports Channel News Asia.   The suspects -- four men and two women -- were detained at different times between March 24 and April 25, said authorities on Wednesday.   The suspects, all said to be Malaysian citizens, are accused of involvement in activities linked to ISIS.   One suspect was reportedly planning attacks an attack on a Shi'ite mosque in Penang. Two others are accused of smuggling weapons from southern Thailand, said police.   Two others allegedly promoted the terrorist group on social media, and another suspect attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS, police said
Item Number:12 Date: 05/03/2017 MALI - MILITANTS AMBUSH SUPPLY CONVOY, KILLING AT LEAST 8 TROOPS (MAY 03/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- Apparent jihadists have ambushed a military convoy in central Mali, says the Malian army, as reported by Al Jazeera (Qatar).   A military convoy was ambushed on Tuesday after one of the vehicles hit a mine near the town of Nampala in Segou province, said an army spokesman.   The supply mission was travelling between Dogofri and Nampala when it was hit, said a spokesman cited by AFP.   He put the latest casualty toll of nine dead and five wounded, up from an earlier account suggesting eight deaths.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the tactic used in the ambush bore the hallmark of local Islamist groups, said authorities
  Item Number:13 Date: 05/03/2017 PAKISTAN - LAST WEEK'S DRONE STRIKE KILLED KEY AL-QAIDA LEADER, CONFIRMS INTEL OFFICIAL (MAY 03/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- A senior Al-Qaida leader was among the dead in a U.S. drone strike last week in Pakistan, confirmed a Pakistani intelligence official on Tuesday, as cited by the Anadolu Agency (Turkey).   The April 26 strike took place in the North Waziristan tribal region close to the border with Afghanistan. At least eight suspected Pakistani Taliban militants were killed.   Abdul Raheem, described as an Iraqi national in his 30s, was among those killed. He was an "important" commander of Al-Qaida in Pakistan and Afghanistan, said the Pakistani official.   A number of earlier reports indicated that seven militants were killed, with Raheem being among those believed to be among the dead
Item Number:14 Date: 05/03/2017 POLAND - TROOPS ON THE WAY TO BALTICS, ROMANIA; PRESIDENT SIGNS ORDERS (MAY 03/SPUTNIK)  SPUTNIK -- As expected, Polish President Andrzej Duda has authorized the deployment of hundreds of troops to Romania and the Baltic states, reports Russia's Sputnik news agency.   Duda signed two orders on Wednesday, sending 250 troops to Romanian and 200 to the Baltics, mostly to Latvia.   The Polish military will also send a tank squadron to Latvia and armored vehicles to Romania.   The deployments are authorized until Dec. 31, 2017.   Poland's actions come amid NATO efforts to reassure Eastern European allies against potential Russian aggression.   More than 1,100 alliance troops from the U.S., U.K. and Romania were deployed to Poland in April 2017 as part of those efforts.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 05/03/2017 SOUTH SUDAN - MEMBERS OF REGIONAL PROTECTION FORCE START ARRIVING (MAY 03/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- The U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) over the weekend announced the arrival of an advance team of engineers to Juba, the capital, to prepare for the deployment of a regional protection force, reports the Voice of America News.   The advance party of a Bangladeshi construction engineering company arrived on April 20 to begin preparing offices for the 4,000-strong regional protection force (RPF), noted the Sudan Tribune. Troops from Rwanda are scheduled to begin arriving in June and July.   The RPG was established by the U.N. Security Council last year to protect "key facilities in Juba" as well as the main routes in and out of the city, said UNMISS. It will also boost security for U.N. sites to protect civilians and other U.N. facilities.   The deployment will allow other U.N. peacekeepers to operate in conflict-hit areas beyond Juba, officials said.   On Sunday, the South Sudanese welcomed the early arrivals of the force, saying it reflected the commitment to the government to end the conflict in the nation.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 05/03/2017 SYRIA - SNIPER SHOOTS, KILLS RUSSIAN MILITARY OFFICER DURING TRAINING (MAY 03/RFE/RL)  RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- A Russian military officer has been killed by a sniper in Syria, says the Kremlin, as reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   Lt. Col. Aleksei Buchelnikov, described by the Russian Defense Minister as a military adviser, was fatally wounded on Tuesday.   The colonel had been training Syrian artillery personnel when the unit came under fire by a "militant sniper," the ministry said.   The officer has been nominated for a posthumous state award, said the statement from the ministry..   This is the second reported death of a Russian military adviser over the last month.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 05/03/2017 USA - $327 MILLION CONTRACT COVERS INITIAL AIR AND MISSILE DEFENSE RADARS (MAY 03/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded Raytheon, Marlborough, Mass., a contract modification for the initial units of the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR), reports the Dept. of Defense.   The $327 million deal covers the first three AMDR low-rate initial production systems, including non-recurring engineering work in support of production, the Pentagon said in a Monday release.   The AMDR has been developed for the newest Arleigh Burke-class destroyers being built for the U.S. Navy.   Raytheon was selected in 2013 over Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, noted Military & Aerospace Electronics.   Work under the contract is scheduled to be completed by October 2020
  Item Number:18 Date: 05/03/2017 USA - 9TH AIR FORCE SHIFTS TO AIR STAFF, ALLOWING IT TO LEAD JOINT TASK FORCE (MAY 03/AFNS)  AIR FORCE NEWS SERVICE -- The Ninth Air Force headquarters at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C, has officially made the transition to a numbered air staff, reports the Air Force News Service.   The change took place on Monday.   The move from staff directorates into an air staff opens the door for the HQ to become a joint task force-capable headquarters, said Col. Rhude Cherry III, the vice commander of the Ninth Air Force.   An A-Staff consists of positions from A1 to A9, with each section handling different tasks, such as personnel, intelligence, plans and logistics. The change will reorganize personnel to reflect other service's numbered forces to cooperate better in joint environments, the Air Force said in a release.   Becoming an A-Staff also supports Ninth Air Force's new mission to organize, train and equip its headquarters to be a deployable, operational level joint task force, and for its subordinate commands to prepare for expeditionary operations.   Ninth Air Force will be the sole air staff in the service equipped to lead a joint task force, said Col. Bruce Munger, the director of operations for the unit.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 05/03/2017 USA - AIR FORCE TESTS ANOTHER ICBM FROM CALIF., 2ND TIME IN WEEK (MAY 03/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The U.S. Air Force has launched an unarmed intercontinental missile as part of a routine test, reports Agence France-Presse.   The Minuteman III missile was test-fired early Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, said Air Force Global Strike Command.   The missile traveled about 4,200 miles and landed near an atoll in the Pacific Ocean that is part of the Marshall Islands, said the strike command.   The Minuteman III is tested about four times a year and are scheduled up to five years in advance, said an air force spokeswoman. A similar launch took place last week that was delayed from November due to brush fires in California, reported Fox News.   The Air Force maintains 450 of the missiles on alert 24/7 in underground silos in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming
Item Number:20 Date: 05/03/2017 USA - MARINES TRY HITTING THE BEACH WITH ROBOTIC SYSTEMS (MAY 03/D1)  DEFENSE ONE -- The U.S. Marine Corps has been evaluating the role of unmanned systems for future amphibious operations, reports Defense One.   The service looked at various ideas for the future of amphibious warfare during an April 19-28 exercise at Camp Pendleton, Calif.   During a ship-to-shore demonstration, an AAV7 arrived ashore and deployed a MUTT unmanned ground vehicle armed with a .50-caliber machine gun. Another MUTT launched a small quadcopter. The acronym stands for Multi-Utility Tactical Transport.   A V-Bat tiltrotor drone provided aerial surveillance, while Puma unmanned aircraft provided targeting data to Switchblade air vehicles.   The Marines have been seeking to lead amphibious operations with unmanned systems.   Officials say one of their major concerns is ensuring robots on the beach, follow-on Marines and commanders are sharing the same tactical picture and not being hacked by enemy forces.   Some of the technologies projected to be most important for future amphibious assaults are still being developed. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory researchers attended the training to do initial trials with new concepts or otherwise provide feedback on potential new ideas, said officials.   Potential improvements include reducing the time it takes to receive high-resolution satellite imagery; creating common software interfaces; and developing drones that can follow voice commands.


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