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Saturday, May 6, 2017

TheList 4447

The List 4447

To All,

I hope you all have a great weekend.

Regards,

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This Day In Naval History - May 5

1944 - USS Comfort is commissioned in San Pedro, CA; first ship to be manned jointly by Army and Navy personnel

1948 - VF-17A becomes first carrier qualified jet squadron (USS Saipan)

1961 - CDR Alan Shepard Jr. makes first U.S. manned space flight. Flight of Freedom 7 (Mercury 3) which lasted 15 minutes and 28 seconds reached the altitude of 116.5 statute miles with a velocity of 5,134 mph. Recovery was by HUS1 helicopter of HMR(L)-262 from USS Lake Champlain(CVS-39).


1980 - USS Robert E. Peary rescues 440 Vietnamese refugees from disabled craft south of Thailand

Thanks to Al

Today is Cinco de Mayo! (That's the fifth day of May for any of you gringos who don't speak Spanish.) Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the 1862 Battle of Puebla, when courageous and valiant Mexican fighters defeated their swarthy French opponents. What thinking person can't celebrate the defeat of the French, especially when the revelry involves burritos and tequila? Viva!

1961 The first American in space

1972 North Vietnamese turn back South Vietnamese relief column »

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An oldie but goodie thanks to Wigs

Hellmann's Mayonnaise

Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's Mayonnaise was Manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York. This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. ... But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank. The People of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so Great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning.

The National Day of Mourning occurs Each year on May 5 and is known, Of course, as - Sinko De Mayo. WHAT? You expected something educational from me? You need a shot of Tequila.OLE!

I haven't verified this....I'm just passing it along. I'm pretty sure it's factual.

This Day In Naval History - May 6

1909 - Great White Fleet anchors in San Francisco

1916 - First ship-to-shore radio telephone voice conversation from USS New

Hampshire off Virginia Capes to SECNAV Josephus Daniels in Washington, DC

1942 - CAPT Milton Miles arrives in Chungking, China, to begin building an

intelligence and guerilla training organization, Naval Group China

1945 - Naval landing force evacuates 500 Marshallese from Jaluit Atoll,

Marshall Islands

This Day In Naval History - May 7

1779 - Continental Navy sloop Providence captures British brig Diligent off Cape Charles

1934 - USS Constitution completes tour of principal U.S. ports

1940 - FDR orders Pacific Fleet to remain in Hawaiian waters indefinitely

1942 - Carrier aircraft sink Japanese carrier Shoho during Battle of Coral Sea

Today in History May 5

1494

Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Jamaica, which he names Santa Gloria.

1814

British attack the American forces at Ft. Ontario, Oswego, New York.

1821

Napoleon Bonaparte dies in exile on the island of St. Helena.

183
The first mainland railway line opens in Belgium.


1862

Union and Confederate forces clash at the Battle of Williamsburg, part of the Peninsular Campaign.

1862

Mexican forces loyal to Benito Juarez defeat troops sent by Napoleon III in the Battle of Puebla.

1886

A bomb explodes on the fourth day of a workers' strike in Chicago.

1912

Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda begins publishing.


1916

U.S. Marines invade the Dominican Republic.

1917

Eugene Jacques Bullard becomes the first African-American aviator when he earns a flying certificate with the French Air Service.

1920

Anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are arrested for murder.

1935

American Jesse Owens sets the long jump record.

1942

General Joseph Stilwell learns that the Japanese have cut his railway out of China and is forced to lead his troops into India.

1945

Holland and Denmark are liberated from Nazi control.

1961

Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space.

1965

173rd Airborne Brigade arrives in Bien Hoa-Vung, Vietnam, the first regular U.S. Army unit deployed to that country.

1968

U.S. Air Force planes hit Nhi Ha, South Vietnam in support of attacking infantrymen.

1969

Pulitzer Prize awarded to Norman Mailer for his 'nonfiction novel' Armies of the Night, an account of the 1967 anti-Vietnam War march on the Pentagon.

1987

Congress opens Iran-Contra hearings.

2000

The Sun, Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn align - Earth's moon is also almost in this alignment - leading to Doomsday predictions of massive natural disasters, although such a 'grand confluence' occurs about once in every century.

1961 The first American in space
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North Korean officers


 
These turkeys haven't fought a war in over 60 years ! ........What in hell are all the medals for




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Thanks to Mike

I Went to War Against Stealth Fighters—And Lost Badly
Flying with the bad guys into a mock air-to-air battle



WIB air May 4, 2017 Dave Majumdar

U.S. Air Force18

On April 26, 2017, I had the opportunity to fly on a training sortie during the U.S. Air Force's Atlantic Trident 17 exercise at Joint Base Langley Eustis in Virginia.

The war game brings together the three premier NATO air forces and the best operational fighters in the alliance's arsenal including the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor—flown by hosts, the 1st Fighter Wing—the Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, the British Royal Air Force's Eurofighter Typhoons and the French Armée de l'Air's Dassault Rafales.

U.S. Air Force Boeing F-15E Strike Eagles from the 391st Fighter Squadron and Northrop Grumman T-38 Talon jet trainers from the 1st Fighter Wing's own 71st Fighter Training Squadron provided "Red Air" support playing the bad guys.

Having had a long association with the Raptor community, Col. Peter "Coach" Fesler, commander of the elite 1st Fighter Wing, wanted me to see first hand how the F-22, F-35, Typhoon and the Rafale operate together from the air. To that end, the Air Force arranged for me to fly onboard a 71st FTS Northrop T-38A on an operational training sortie during the third week of Atlantic Trident 17—when the exercise is at its peak intensity.

The first order of business was a stop at the Langley Air Force Base hospital to get my temporary 72-hour flight physical. The medical examination was very similar to a Navy Class I flight physical—which I have undergone several times—but without an audiogram or cardiogram. The Air Force flight surgeon told me that the examination was indeed an abbreviated and modified version of the Class I flight physical that is required for the service's pilots.

After a very thorough examination, my flight surgeon gave her ascent and I was cleared to fly.

Because my sortie was what the Air Force calls a "familiarization flight"—which is usually afforded to Air Force pilots, officers and other personnel who normally carry out other duties rather than a typical media flight—I had to undergo survival training to fly onboard the T-38A that is identical to what the pilots receive.

The training included instruction on water survival, on all of the survival equipment—including the various radios—and how to properly don the T-38A's rather unique, old school flight-gear. Special emphasis was placed on how to harness into the parachute and ejection seat.

T-38 Talon. U.S. Air Force photo

More importantly, the Air Force instructors who taught the class—which included two photographers, a B-52 pilot, an E-3 pilot and an E-3 radar crewman—detailed the finer points of ejecting from the T-38A and how to egress on the ground in the event of an emergency.

Indeed, the instructors placed special emphasis on bailout procedures because the T-38A does not have a zero/zero ejection seat. We then had a class about parachute training that culminated in a simulated parachute landing using virtual reality goggles.

The next day I had to report to the 71st Fighter Training Squadron to be fitted for my flight gear. The Air Force technicians first had to fit me for an OTS 600 immersion suit—derisively referred to as a poopy suit because it is extremely uncomfortable—which is necessary for flying over the Atlantic during cold weather.

Next, I had to don a fireproof Nomex flight suit and boots, over which goes the G-suit. After that, I had to be issued a parachute, harness and seat-kit as well as be fitted for a helmet and mask. The 71st FTS technicians were absolute professionals in fitting me out for the flight.

The following morning I finally reported into the squadron ops desk at the 71st FTS. There I met my pilot—a very impressive young man with the callsign "Tsar" (for security reasons, the Air Force asked that we only publish the names of commanding officers) who was on his first assignment out of undergraduate pilot training. The 26-year-old pilot was near the top of his class and will report to the 43rd Fighter Squadron for his next assignment—the F-22 "B-Course"—where he will learn to fly the Raptor at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

An assignment to the 71st FTS where young pilots can learn from seasoned veterans while learning the strengths and weakness of the Raptor—not to mention F-22 tactics, techniques and procedures—offers enormous advantages to Tsar and his peers in the unit.

Scheduled to fly with us was our flight lead "Score"—a veteran F-16 pilot—and my old friend "Fangs"—who I first met over a decade ago at Nellis AFB, Nevada, when he was an operational test pilot putting the F-22 through its paces. Learning from veterans like Score and Fangs, Tsar will have an enormous advantage when he begins learning to fly the Raptor on his next assignment.

T-38 Talons. U.S. Air Force photo

For the actual sortie, our three-ship of T-38As was designated Vodka Flight. Score—as the flight lead—was Vodka 1, Fangs was Vodka 2 while Tsar and I were Vodka 3. Ahead of us was another flight of aggressors designated MiG Flight, while behind us were Iron and Fist Flights.

The idea—together with the F-15Es—was to present the F-22s, F-35s, Typhoons and Rafales a realistic high-end threat presentation. The Talons were replicating the Russian-made Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum while the F-15E replicated the Sukhoi Flanker series.

After we kitted up and "stepped" to the jets and strapped into the aircraft, Tsar quickly ran through the checklists and started up the aircraft. Once the jets were up and running, we taxied to the active runway for a formation takeoff.

The three aircraft in our formation—led by Score—climbed to altitude and transited to the range to start the fight. Typically, the T-38As fights at altitudes around 10,000 feet to 14,000 feet during a normal aggressor mission, but due to bad weather and icing conditions, we quickly climbed to 22,000 feet as we entered the range.

Entering into the fight, our three Talon/Fulcrums maneuvered around trying to engage the Blue Force aircraft. While the Talon doesn't have the avionics or the kinematic performance to truly mimic a real Russian fourth-generation fighter—especially for a within visual range fight—the aircraft offers a reasonable facsimile of fighter performance at beyond visual range distances.

Indeed, that's the idea behind the T-38 aggressors—the job is to provide the F-22s with thinking targets that can ruthlessly exploit any weakness in tactics or pilot errors at long range using their intimate knowledge of the Raptor and its operations. If the Talons reach visual range—or encounter the Raptors at the "merge"—something has gone terribly wrong. Even the British pilots flying the Typhoon agreed that the Talon provides a good threat presentation.

Royal Air Force Typhoon. U.S. Air Force photo

As luck would have it, it would be a Royal Air Force Typhoon that ultimately took down Tsar and I in Vodka 3. Within minutes of starting the fight, Vodka 1 and Vodka 2 were taken down before we even knew our flight was under attack.

As Tsar started to maneuver our aircraft, trying to evade an enemy we couldn't see, a Typhoon coordinating with an F-22 quickly and unceremoniously dispatched us. Unfortunately, the weather was terrible and we were ordered to return to base because of the need to maintain high fuel reserves—but normally the T-38s "regenerate" or come back to life several times during a sortie. But the bottom line is: Seeing is believing—the Raptor and Typhoon are a lethal combination.

"Even if you were in an Eagle or J-20 … you felt the same thing," a senior Air Force official with an air superiority background told me after my flight—referring to the feeling of utter helplessness of being attacked by an invisible enemy. "Because of the security cloak, it's just impossible to explain. If everyone really knew and we asked to 'choose their weapon'—there would be no doubt."

Flying back to Langley, the experience was an eye-opener. I have been covering the Raptor and the F-35 since beginning of both programs. It is one thing to intellectually grasp the power of stealth, but seeing it in action makes one a believer—our flight had no idea, no warning from the AWACS or GCI that we were about to be hit until it was all over. It's nearly impossible to fight an enemy you can't see.

While the Raptor would be the most formidable fighter in the world due to its raw performance even without stealth, it's now clear to me that even the F-35 with its mediocre kinematic performance will be an extremely dangerous foe in the air due to its low radar cross-section and sensors.

"If the pilots of both could carry a nine-millimeter and open the canopy inflight, they would have 15 more kills per sortie," the senior Air Force official told me. "It's like fighting Mr. Invisible."


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Item Number:1 Date: 05/05/2017 CHINA - BEIJING HOSTS LEADERS IN SECURITY TALKS FOR BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE (MAY 05/XIN) XINHUA -- Officials from more than 20 countries have been participating in a security cooperation conference in Beijing as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency. Also known as the One Belt, One Road (OBOR), the initiative has been likened to a New Silk Road. The initiative is a Chinese-led trade and infrastructure plan that seeks to connect Asia with Europe and Africa. More than 100 countries and international organizations have joined the project, according to Chinese officials. Bolstering international cooperation to combat threats and ensure security for the initiative is a common task for all participants, said Meng Jianzhu, the head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee. He urged participants in Thursday's dialogue to enhance information exchanges and strengthen security and law-enforcement cooperation. "We hope that all sides would foster the concept of common and cooperative security, and establish a sound security cooperation mechanism for the Belt and Road Initiative," said Guo Shengkun, China's public security minister. The countries taking part in the dialogue also pledged to strengthen security cooperation with China. A new report from a Hong Kong-based analyst cited by Bloomberg Markets suggests that the plan could funnel up to US$500 billion in investments into Belt-Road nations over five years.


Item Number:2 Date: 05/05/2017 COLOMBIA - DISSIDENT FARC MEMBERS KIDNAP U.N. WORKER (MAY 05/CR) COLOMBIA REPORTS -- A dissident faction of the FARC guerrilla group has kidnapped a United Nations observer in southern Colombia, say authorities cited by Colombia Reports. A Colombian national with the U.N.'s monitoring and verification mission was kidnapped Wednesday in Miraflores in Guaviare province, said the government. The U.N. team was meeting with locals to promote substituting legal crops for coca as part of a peace deal with the FARC. Deutsche Welle subsequently identified the kidnapped man as Arley Lopez, who was working on a coca-substitution project. Most of the FARC rebels last year agreed to a peace deal and disarmament process with the Colombian government last year. Several hundred members have refused. Local officials blamed the incident on the 1st Front of the FARC, which is led by a mid-level commander named Ivan Mordisco. It is believed to have about 100 members.


Item Number:3 Date: 05/05/2017 EGYPT - LOCAL ISIS LEADER WARNS MUSLIMS TO AVOID CHRISTIAN GATHERINGS, GOVERNMENT PLACES (MAY 05/NEWEEK) NEWSWEEK -- A commander of the Islamic State in Egypt has warned Muslims in that country to stay away from potential terrorist targets, including Christian gatherings, reports Newsweek. "We are warning you to stay away from Christian gatherings, as well as the gatherings of the army and the police, and the areas that have political government facilities," said the unnamed leader. He made his remarks in an interview in the Islamic State's Al Naba weekly newspaper published on the Telegram messaging app. ISIS claimed responsibility for two attacks against Coptic Christians in Tanta and Alexandria in April that killed 45 people, noted the Daily Mail (U.K.).

Item Number:4 Date: 05/05/2017 ETHIOPIA - NEW BORDER PATROL WITH SUDAN TO COMBAT SECURITY THREATS, HUMAN-TRAFFICKING, DRUG-SMUGGLING (MAY 05/XIN) XINHUA -- Ethiopia and Sudan have just started joint border patrol operations aimed at human-trafficking and drug-smuggling along their mutual frontier, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency. The patrol also seeks to address other security threats on the border, said Radio Fana, a pro-Ethiopian government media outlet. The joint force includes military, police and other administrations from both countries, noted Radio Dabanga. Establishing the patrol also is expected to strengthen bilateral relations, including in the economic sphere, said researchers at the Ethiopian Foreign Relations Strategic Studies think tank. Reinstating the bilateral visa-free agreement could be a next step. Relations between the neighbors soured after a failed assassination attempt in 1995 on then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. Sudan refused to hand over suspects in the case.

Item Number:5 Date: 05/05/2017 FRANCE - CONTRACT LET TO UPGRADE 3 LA FAYETTE-CLASS FRIGATES (MAY 05/DEFAERO) DEFENSE-AEROSPACE -- France's defense procurement agency, DGA, has awarded shipbuilder DCNS a contract to modernize three of the navy's five La Fayette-class frigates, reports defense-aerospace.com. The contract is part of Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian's plan to modernize the ships. He also intends to build new intermediate frigates to maintain a fleet of 15 first-rank frigates during the transition phase that begins when those new ships start to arrive in 2023, said a release from the French Ministry of Defense on Thursday. The La Fayette modernization will begin in 2020 and take place in Toulon during scheduled refits. The first upgraded ship will return to service in 2021, the ministry said. The work will include renovations of the ship, electronic and computer systems as well as installation of a new combat management system based on that of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. Tactical data links will be upgraded and the Crotale air defense system replaced by two upgraded SADRAL launchers, said the release. The frigates will also be equipped with an anti-submarine warfare capability, including a hull-mounted sonar and anti-torpedo countermeasures. The value of the contract and the ships involved was not made public


Item Number:6 Date: 05/05/2017 INDIA - NAVY SHIFTS GEARS, WILL BUY 4 LPDS FROM PRIVATE SHIPYARDS (MAY 05/DN) DEFENSE NEWS -- The Indian Ministry of Defense has decided to buy four landing platform docks (LPDs) from private shipyards instead of giving half the work to state-owned yards, reports Defense News. "MoD will shortly invite revised commercial bids for purchase of four LPD vessels costing around $3 billion from two shortlisted private defense companies because the price validity has expired [last month] and government-owned companies have been dropped from the program," said an unnamed senior defense official. Under the tender issued in 2013, two LPDs were to be built by a domestic private company, with two to be built on a nomination basis by state-owned Hindustan Shipyard. Only private companies Larsen & Toubro and Reliance Defense and Engineering (RDEL) could meet the financial and technical requirements. The navy is said to be worried that "private companies could underquote fresh commercial offers in desperation to win the order and eventually not deliver the vessels on time," said one unnamed service official. The project calls for the winning bidder to deliver the first LPD in eight years and the other ships within two years thereafter, said another navy official. Plans call for the amphibious ship to accommodate 1,430 personnel and be equipped with a point-defense missile system, a close-in weapon system, an anti-torpedo decoy system, a chaff system, and heavy and light machine guns. In addition, helicopters up to 35 tons are expected to be able to operate from the vessel

Item Number:7 Date: 05/05/2017 IRAN - TEST LAUNCH OF CRUISE MISSILE FROM MIDGET SUB CALLED FAILURE (MAY 05/FN) FOX NEWS -- U.S. officials say that Iran unsuccessfully test-launched a cruise missile from one of its mini-submarines on Tuesday in the Strait of Hormuz, reports Fox News. A Ghadir-class boat conducted the launch, the officials told Fox New. In February, Iran claimed to have successfully tested a submarine-launched missile. It was not immediately clear if the test on Tuesday was the first time that Tehran had tried to launch a missile from a submerged submarine

Item Number:8 Date: 05/05/2017 IRAQ - RECENT ADVANCE IN MOSUL 'HAS BEEN GOOD,' SAYS GENERAL WITH JOINT OPERATIONS COMMAND (MAY 05/REU) REUTERS -- -Iraqi forces say they have gained ground north of Mosul as part of a new push against holed-up Islamic State fighters, reports Reuters. The campaign has lasted seven months already. The Iraqi 9th Armored Division and rapid-response forces from the Interior Ministry began an offensive on Thursday from the north. By Friday, government forces were reportedly advancing in the Musherfa neighborhood despite ISIS suicide car bombs and sniper fire, according to an Iraqi commander. He said his troops killed about 30 militants and destroyed five car bombs. The militants "didn't have time to make barriers, the advance since yesterday has been good," said a spokesman for joint operations command overseeing the operation. A U.S. adviser working with the division said that ISIS was likely expecting the attack, "but they can't defend everywhere


Item Number:9 Date: 05/05/2017 MEXICO - FIGHTING BETWEEN TROOPS, FUEL THIEVES LEAVES 10 DEAD IN PUEBLA (MAY 05/LAT) LOS ANGELES TIMES -- At least four Mexican soldiers and six suspected oil thieves have been killed in fighting, Mexican officials said on Thursday, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Encounters began late Wednesday in the town of Palmaritio Tochapan. Alleged fuel-smugglers and their supporters attacked military forces investigating apparent theft from an oil pipeline, according to authorities. A group, using women and children as shields, reportedly fired on the troops. According to the military, armed gangs in five trucks, including three armored ones, opened fire on other soldiers, reported Reuters. About 1,000 troops were deployed to stop the violence, said the army. In addition to the deaths, more than a dozen people were injured and 14 suspects were arrested, said officials. Thieves known in Mexico as "huachicoleros," have been stealing fuel from pipelines belonging to the state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) for more than a decade. Gangs have taken effective control in some regions and work with corrupt police and politicians, noted the news agency


Item Number:10 Date: 05/05/2017 NIGERIA - OPERATION DEEP PUNCH PROVES FATAL FOR MULTIPLE BOKO HARAM LEADERS, SAYS ARMY (MAY 05/VANGUARD) VANGUARD -- Nigerian army officials say that recent operations in the Sambisa Forest have resulted in the deaths of a number of leaders of the Boko Haram terrorist group, reports the Vanguard (Lagos). The Nigerian air force and army troops attacked several Boko Haram hideouts and camps in the region as part of Operation Deep Punch, said military officials. Logistics bases, arms stockpiles and equipment in Mangusum, Balla and Parisu were destroyed, said an army spokesman on Thursday. "There were indications that quite a number of the terrorists' key leaders have either been killed or wounded," the spokesman said. More details were expected soon.


Item Number:11 Date: 05/05/2017 NORTH KOREA - CIA, S. KOREA, BEHIND 'BIOCHEMICAL' PLOT TO KILL KIM, CHARGES SECURITY AGENCY (MAY 05/YON) YONHAP -- State-run media in North Korea have carried official accusations charging U.S. and South Korean intelligence agencies of plotting to kill national leader Kim Jong Un, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). The North's Ministry of State Security said on Friday that a "hideous terrorist group" conspired with the CIA and South Korea's intelligence agency to assassinate Kim with a "biochemical substance," as quoted by CNN. "We will ferret out and mercilessly destroy to the last one the terrorists of the U.S. CIA" and South Korea's National Intelligence Service, said the ministry in a 1,800-word statement carried by the official KCNA. A "Korean-style anti-terrorist attack" will be launched "to sweep away the intelligence and plot-breeding organizations of the U.S. imperialists and the puppet clique," the statement said. The ministry claimed that the intel agencies bribed a North Korean timber worker in Russia and gave him funds and a satellite transmitter-receiver as part of the plot. The report offered no evidence. CNN noted that the North has a history of making unfounded and seemingly irrational claims.


Item Number:12 Date: 05/05/2017 PAKISTAN - AFGHANS FIRED ON CENSUS WORKERS, SAY PAKISTANIS; AFGHANS SAY OTHERWISE (MAY 05/ALJAZ) AL JAZEERA -- Casualties are mounting in a clash that began early Friday between Afghan border guards and Pakistani security personnel, say Pakistani security officials, as reported by Al Jazeera (Qatar). Afghan forces fired on Pakistani security personnel guarding a census team in Pakistan's Chaman area, said a Pakistani military spokesman. Pakistani forces responded and there was shelling from the Afghan side, reported Pakistan Today. One wire service said nine civilians were killed and 42 wounded. The civilian casualties were largely caused by a mortar shell, said Pakistani media. The Chaman border-crossing was closed following the incident, said the spokesman. Pakistani security forces asked people to evacuate villages on the border. An Afghan police spokesman told Germany's DPA news agency that the census team was working on the Afghan side of the border. The Pakistani military's official Inter-Services Public Relations said that the Afghan guards had been informed in advance about the census. Afghan and Pakistan officials dispute who fired first.


Item Number:13 Date: 05/05/2017 PHILIPPINES - 3 DIE WHEN HUEY GOES DOWN FOLLOWING TRAINING EXERCISE (MAY 05/CNNP) CNN PHILIPPINES -- A Philippine air force pilot and two crewmembers were killed and another seriously injured when a military helicopter crashed on Thursday, reports CNN Philippines, citing air force officials. The UH-1D helicopter went down in the northern province of Rizal during air-to-ground and disaster rescue operation training being conducted with the army, said the air force. "Their practical exercise for the day was over but the chopper experienced engine problem upon landing," said a spokesman. All UH-1D helicopters were temporarily grounded pending an investigation into the cause of the crash.


Item Number:14 Date: 05/05/2017 SUDAN - 2 REBEL GROUPS DECLARE UNILATERAL 6-MONTH CEASE-FIRE (MAY 05/RADDABANGA) RADIO DABANGA -- Two Sudanese opposition groups have jointly declared a unilateral six-month humanitarian cease-fire, reports Radio Dabanga, a short-wave station supported by Radio Netherlands. Wednesday's declaration followed meetings in Paris between the leaders of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Minni Minawi faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-MM) and Jeremiah Mamabolo, the new U.N. joint special representative for Darfur and head of the U.N.-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). The talks Monday and Tuesday reportedly focused on ways to resume the peace process in Darfur in western Sudan. The cease-fire, which covers the conflict areas of Darfur and Kordofan, is intended to protect civilians, provide unhindered humanitarian access to war-affected populations and create an environment conducive to peace, said a statement issued after the talks. The two groups emphasized that the cease-fire shows that they "remain resolved to adhere to the AUHIP [African Union High-Level Implementation Panel] Roadmap Agreement of 2016 as the means of achieving peace for all Sudan." "The cessation of hostilities shall not prejudice against acts of self-defense, acts for the protection of civilians, or acts against uncoordinated moving targets within or around the conflict areas," said the rebel groups.

Item Number:15 Date: 05/05/2017 SYRIA - TRYING TO REDUCE VIOLENCE IN SYRIA, IRAN, RUSSIA, TURKEY MAKE DEAL TO SET UP DE-ESCALATION ZONES (MAY 05/INT-AVN) INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Representatives of Iran, Russia and Turkey have agreed to the creation of security zones in Syria, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia). Meeting in the Kazakh capital, Astana, the Syrian cease-fire guarantor states adopted a memo setting up such de-esclation zones for an initial six-month period, says the document. This term could be extended if the three countries agree. The zones were earlier proposed by Moscow, noted RT (Russia). The three guarantor countries will put together a joint working group that will determine the zones and maps for separating the armed opposition from terrorists. The work is to be completed by June 4. Safety zones with checkpoints and observation posts will also be set up alongside the boundaries of de-escalation zones, says the memorandum. These zones are supposed to ensure unhindered movement of unarmed civilians and access to humanitarian aid, and facilitate economic activity. The memorandum calls for the end of all fighting, including air operations, inside the de-escalation zones. Iran, Turkey and Russia have indicated they will attempt to get more armed opposition groups to sign on to the agreement. Back To Top | Back To Headlines Item Number:16 Date: 05/05/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - MAN ARRESTED ON TERROR CHARGES AT HEATHROW FOLLOWING FLIGHT FROM TURKEY (MAY 05/CNN) CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- British police arrested a man for terror-related charges on Thursday after he arrived in London from a flight from Turkey, reports CNN. The 30-year-old man was detained as he stepped off a flight from Istanbul at London's Heathrow Airport, said Metropolitan Police. Authorities said he was suspected of preparing terrorist acts and terrorist training. An address in east London was searched, said a police statement. He was being held in a South London police station. Separately, on Friday, flights at one Heathrow terminal were temporarily suspended after a passenger attempted to run through security with an unscreened bag, according to unconfirmed reports cited by the Independent (U.K.). Police said a "suspicious" item was detected by an X-ray of luggage. Back To Top | Back To Headlines Item Number:17 Date: 05/05/2017 USA - ARMY REORIENTS NETWORK STRATEGY TO FIT NEW THREATS (MAY 05/C4ISRN) C4ISR & NETWORKS -- The U.S. Army is developing a new network strategy to address larger threats beyond the counterinsurgency operations of the last decade or so, reports C4ISRNET. The strategy was ordered by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. It will not necessarily be designed for major combat operations against a near-peer adversary, or what the service calls a "decisive action" scenario, according to Army officials at the C4ISRNET conference this week in Washington, D.C. For "decisive action, multi-domain warfare against a near-peer threat, you have to have mobility like you never had before, protection like you never had before," said Brig. Gen. Todd Isaacson, the top signals officer for U.S. Forces Command. The general noted that in a counterinsurgency mission, a commander generally needs to know where all of his troops are, while in a decisive-action scenario, he might only need that information for platoon-sized units or larger. The Army is also working on strategies to operate in domains where its dominance is not assured. The new strategy should produce a network that allows soldiers to control fires and integrate with partner forces, including special operations and foreign troops, in other components, said Isaacson

Item Number:18 Date: 05/05/2017 USA - F-22S ESCORT RUSSIAN BEAR BOMBERS, SU-35 FIGHTERS CLOSE TO ALASKA (MAY 05/S&S) STARS AND STRIPES -- U.S. Air Force F-22 stealth fighters intercepted a formation of Russian bombers and fighters off the coast of Alaska on Wednesday night, says the Pentagon, as reported by the Stars and Stripes. The American planes scrambled to identify two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers and two Su-35 fighters as they flew close to the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), according to North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), as reported by CNN. The Russian aircraft did not enter U.S. or Canadian airspace, a military spokesman said on Thursday. A Russian A-50 Mainstay airborne early warning aircraft later entered the Alaskan ADIZ, but was not intercepted, said a Pentagon spokesman. This was the first time an Su-35, which enterted into Russian service in 2014, has been seen near Alaska, said one defense official. He described the interaction as safe and professional. Russian bombers have flown near Alaska on at least four occasions in the last month. NORAD officials said this sort of activity had not been seen in several years, but stressed that it was not "unprecedented" or "unusual

Item Number:19 Date: 05/05/2017 USA - NAVY DELAYS NEW FRIGATE PROGRAM FOR ANOTHER YEAR TO DETERMINE ITS DESIGN (MAY 05/BLOOMBERG) BLOOMBERG NEWS -- The U.S. Navy has decided to postpone the awarding of a major contract for the construction of new frigates until fiscal 2020, reports Bloomberg News. Lockheed Martin and Austal are offering competing proposals based on their respective littoral combat ships for the program. The program for 12 successor ships could cost $9 billion. "The Navy's revised acquisition strategy is under development and will ensure designs are mature prior to entering into a detailed design and construction contract," said a joint statement from Rear Adm. Ron Boxall, the head of surface warfare, and Rear Adm. John Neagley, the LCS program executive officer to the House Armed Services seapower panel. The service will work with industry to "support an aggressive conceptual design effort, leading to a request for proposals to award" the design and construction contract in the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, 2019, the statement said. A decision was originally planned for mid-2018. The statement did not specify if the Navy was delaying making a choice between the competitors as well as the award of the initial contract. Last month, the Government Accountability Office recommended delaying the program one or two years because of a lack of answers about the new ship's cost and capabilities.