Wednesday, July 12, 2017

TheList 4499

The List 4499


To All,
A bit of history and some tidbits.
Regards,
Skip
This Day In Naval History - July 12
1836 - Charles H. Haswell is commissioned as the first regularly appointed Engineer Officer. In Oct. 1844, he is promoted to Engineer in Chief of the Navy.
 
1916: The AB-3 flying boat, piloted by Lt. Godfrey de Chevalier, is catapulted from USS North Carolina (ACR 12) while underway in Pensacola Bay, Fla. The launch completes calibration of the first catapult designed for shipboard use.
 
1921 - Congress creates Bureau of Aeronautics to be in charge of all matter pertaining to naval aeronautics.
1951 - Ninth Naval District forces assist in flood relief work in Kansas City through 20 July
1953 - United Nations Fleet launches heavy air and sea attack on Wonsan; Major John Bolt, USMC becomes first jet ace in Marine Corps.
1988 - SECDEF approves opening Navy's Underwater Construction Teams, fleet oiler, ammunition ships, and combat stores ships to women.
1990 - Commander Rosemary B. Mariner becomes first woman to command an operational aviation squadron (VAQ-34).
 
 
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This Week in American Military History
 
July 11, 1864:  Confederate Army forces under the command of Lt. Gen. Jubal Early reach the outskirts of Washington, D.C.
Brief skirmishing follows. Artillery fire is exchanged. But a previous delay at nearby Monocacy Junction, Maryland, caused by a sizeable, but numerically inferior Union Army force under the command of Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace (future author of Ben Hur) buys time for Union defenders to strengthen their positions around the nation's capital.
Early will withdraw the following day, commenting to one of his officers, "Major, we haven't taken Washington, but we scared Abe Lincoln like hell."
The New York Times will refer to Early's drive toward D.C., "the boldest, and probably the most successful of all the rebel raids."
 
July 11, 1955: The first U.S. Air Force Academy class begins with 306 cadets at the Academy's temporary site, Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado. The Academy will be moved to its permanent site at Colorado Springs in 1958.
 
July 11, 1798: The U.S. Marine Corps – born as the Continental Marines Nov.
10, 1775 (the official birthday of the Corps) and disbanded at the conclusion of the American Revolution – is reestablished by an act of Congress.
 
July 12, 1862: The U.S. Army version of the Medal of Honor – the nation's highest award for valor in combat – is signed into law, stipulating that the decoration be awarded "to such noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldierlike qualities, during the present insurrection."
The Navy version (awarded to both sailors and Marines) had become law more than six months earlier, on Dec. 21, 1861.
 
July 14, 1813: Lt. (future Lt. Col.) John M. Gamble becomes the first – and thus far only – U.S. Marine to command a ship in action. Gamble's vessel, the captured British whaler Greenwich, captures the British whaler Seringapatam.
Gamble – a Lieutenant (though several reputable sources say, captain) of Marines aboard USS Essex – had been awarded command of Greenwich by U.S.
Navy Captain (future commodore) David Porter, who was the father of the Civil War's famous Admiral David Dixon Porter.
Gamble's exploits will become legendary, though few know of him outside Marine Corps circles.
 
July 16, 1862: The U.S. Congress establishes the rank of rear admiral for David G. Farragut, who will become best known for purportedly uttering the command, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!," or the more likely command, "Damn the torpedoes! "Four bells. Captain [Percival] Drayton, go ahead! [Lt. Commander James] Jouett, full speed!" during the 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama.
Farragut (destined to become admiral) is the nation's first rear admiral
 
July 17, 1898: Spanish forces under the command of Gen. José Toral surrender Cuba to U.S. forces under Gen. William R. Shafter during the Spanish American War.
 
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Today in History July 12
1096
Crusaders under Peter the Hermit reach Sofia in Hungary.
1691
William III defeats the allied Irish and French armies at the Battle of Aughrim, Ireland.
1794
British Admiral Lord Nelson loses his right eye at the siege of Calvi, in Corsica.
1806
The Confederation of the Rhine is established in Germany.
1941
Moscow is bombed by the German Luftwaffe for the first time.
1954
President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposes a highway modernization program, with costs to be shared by federal and state governments.
1957
The U.S. surgeon general, Leroy E. Burney, reports that there is a direct link between smoking and lung cancer.
1974
G. Gordon Liddy, John Ehrlichman and two others are convicted of conspiracy and perjury in connection with the Watergate scandal.
1984
Democratic presidential candidate Walter Mondale chooses Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate.
 
 
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Thanks to Bart
 
An Interesting piece of forgotten U.S. History

 When Jefferson saw there was no negotiating with Muslims, he formed what is the now the Marines (sea going soldiers). These Marines were attached to U. S. Merchant vessels. When the Muslims attacked U.S. merchant vessels, they were repulsed by armed soldiers, but there is more. 

 
 The Marines followed the Muslims back to their villages and killed every man, woman, and child in the village. It didn't take long for the Muslims to leave U.S. Merchant vessels alone. English and French merchant vessels started running up our flag when entering the Mediterranean to secure safe travel. 

 
 Why the Marine Hymn Contains the Verse "… to the shores of Tripoli." This is very interesting and a must read piece of our history. It points out where we may be heading.  Most Americans are unaware of the fact that over two hundred years ago, the United States had declared war on Islam and Thomas Jefferson led the charge! 

 
 At the height of the 18th century, Muslim pirates (the "Barbary Pirates") were the terror of the Mediterranean and a large area of the North Atlantic. They attacked every ship in sight and held the crews for exorbitant ransoms. Those taken hostage were subjected to barbaric treatment and wrote heart-breaking letters home, begging their government and family members to pay whatever their Mohammedan captors demanded. 

 
 These extortionists of the high seas represented the North African Islamic nations of Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers - collectively referred to as the Barbary Coast - and presented a dangerous and unprovoked threat to the new American Republic .. 

 
Before the Revolutionary War, U.S. merchant ships had been under the protection of Great Britain. When the U.S. declared its independence and entered into war, the ships of the United States were protected by France. However, once the war was won, America had to protect its own fleets.

 
 Thus, the birth of the U.S. Navy. Beginning in 1784, 17 years before he would become president, Thomas Jefferson became America's Minister to France. That same year, the U.S. Congress sought to appease its Muslim adversaries by following in the footsteps of European nations who paid bribes to the Barbary States rather than engaging them in war. 

 
 In July of 1785, Algerian pirates captured American ships, and the Dye of Algiers demanded an unheard-of ransom of $60,000. It was a plain and simple case of extortion, and Thomas Jefferson was vehemently opposed to any further payments. Instead, he proposed to Congress the formation of a coalition of allied nations who together could force the Islamic states into peace. A disinterested Congress decided to pay the ransom. 

 
 In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Tripoli's ambassador to Great Britain to ask by what right his nation attacked American ships and enslaved American citizens, and why Muslims held so much hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts. 

 
 The two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that Islam "was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran that all nations who would not acknowledge their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise." 

 
 Despite this stunning admission of premeditated violence on non-Muslim nations, as well as the objections of many notable American leaders, including George Washington, who warned that caving in was both wrong and would only further embolden the enemy, for the following fifteen years the American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or the return of American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to over 20 percent of the United States government annual revenues in 1800. 

 
 Jefferson was disgusted. Shortly after his being sworn in as the third President of the United States in 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli sent him a note demanding the immediate payment of $225,000 plus $25,000 a year for every year forthcoming. That changed everything. 

 
 Jefferson let the Pasha know, in no uncertain terms, what he could do with his demand. The Pasha responded by cutting down the flagpole at the American consulate and declared war on the United States. Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers immediately followed suit. Jefferson, until now,  had been against America raising a naval force for anything beyond coastal defense, but, having watched his nation be cowed by Islamic thuggery for long enough, decided that it was finally time to meet force with force. 

 
 He dispatched a squadron of frigates to the Mediterranean and taught the Muslim nations of the Barbary Coast a lesson he hoped they would never forget. Congress authorized Jefferson to empower U.S. ships to seize all vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli and to "cause to be done all other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war would justify". 

 
 When Algiers and Tunis, who were both accustomed to American cowardice and acquiescence, saw the newly independent United States had both the will and the right to strike back, they quickly abandoned their allegiance to Tripoli. The war with Tripoli lasted for four more years and raged up again in 1815. The bravery of the U.S. Marine Corps in these wars led to the line"...to the shores of Tripoli" in the Marine Hymn, and they would forever be known as "leathernecks" for the leather collars of their uniforms, designed to prevent their heads from being cut off by the Muslim scimitars when boarding enemy ships. 

 
 Islam, and what its Barbary followers justified doing in the name of their prophet and their god, disturbed Jefferson quite deeply. America had a tradition of religious tolerance. In fact Jefferson, himself, had co-authored the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, but fundamentalist Islam was like no other religion the world had ever seen. A religion based on supremacy, whose holy book not only condoned but mandated violence against unbelievers, was unacceptable to him. His greatest fear was that someday this brand of Islam would return and pose an even greater threat to the United States . 

 
 This should concern every American. That Muslims have brought about women-only classes and swimming times at taxpayer-funded universities and public pools; that Christians, Jews, and Hindus have been banned from serving on juries where Muslim defendants are being judged; Piggy banks and Porky Pig tissue dispensers have been banned from workplaces because they offend Islamist sensibilities; ice cream has been discontinued at certain Burger King locations because the picture on the wrapper looks similar to the Arabic script for Allah; public schools are pulling pork from their menus. But in turn several American companies have placed the Muslim symbol on their products in the name of Allah; on and on and on and on.. 

 
 It's death by a thousand cuts, or inch-by-inch as some refer to it, and most Americans have no idea that this battle is being waged every day across America. By not fighting back, by allowing groups to obfuscate what is really happening, and not insisting that the Islamists adapt to our own culture, the United States is cutting its own throat with a politically correct knife, and helping to further the Islamists agenda. Sadly, it appears that today America 's leaders would rather be politically correct than victorious! 

 
If you have any doubts about the above information, Google "Thomas Jefferson vs. the Muslim World."
 
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Thanks to Carl
 
July 12, 2017
In Search of Nelson DeMille's TWA 800 Video
Nelson DeMille's bestselling novel. Nightfall, opens on July 17, 1996, with a steamy encounter on a Long Island beach. The man and women involved decide to videotape their coupling. In the process, they inadvertently capture the destruction of TWA Flight 800. The novel centers around that video.
Through his many contacts with the NYPD/Joint Terrorism Task Force DeMille learned there was a real video out there. To the best of my knowledge, the FBI confiscated the original from the MSNBC studios in the early morning hours of July 18, 1996.
Although I have communicated with scores of people who saw the video when it briefly aired, I have only spoken to one who knows exactly what he saw. His name is Thomas Young. Here is his story:
In early August 1996, I was admitted to the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Hong Kong for ten days with a back injury. My employer, Polar Air Cargo, flew my wife Barbara out to join me as our anniversary was in a few days, and I knew my wife would be worried sick with me being hospitalized in a foreign country. 
We had little else to do but watch TV as I was in traction for most of the hospital stay. From the first day of being admitted to the hospital until the morning I was discharged from the hospital and boarded a flight for San Francisco, I witnessed a devastating video of a missile launch recorded by an unknown Long Island, NY resident.
The video was re-played every 15 minutes (24/7) on the local English-language, Cantonese-, and Mandarin-language television stations. It was recorded on July 17, 1996.
The videotape began with people milling about on a deck facing a body of water. In the background, a streak of light can be seen leaving a point below the edge of the deck, vertically -- then curving to flatten the climb to have more of a horizontal component -- accelerating as it climbed. It passed behind what appeared to me to be a thin cloud layer and continued upward out of the frame, from right to left.
As the streak of light disappeared beyond the edge of the frame, after a slight pause, there is a generalized, dim, but sharp flash on the upper left side of the screen, followed almost immediately by a brighter and more pronounced flash lighting the layer of clouds near the top of the video image.
Three characteristics of the missile's flight clearly convinced me what I was seeing.
First, the missile's path changed from nearly vertical to an angle with much more of a horizontal component, consistent with that of a guided missile.
Second, for the entire time (of several seconds duration) that the missile was recorded on the video, as evidenced by the white-hot exhaust gasses and the smoke plume that followed, the missile was in powered flight -- unlike fireworks or flares.
Third, the rate of acceleration and course correction changes are consistent with a guided missile -- in my experience, quite possibly a shoulder-launched surface- to-air anti-aircraft missile (or MANPADS).
Why do I believe this?
In the 1980s, I was employed by the Boeing Aerospace Company (BAC) and worked in its Space and Strategic Missiles Systems division.  I worked on Army Air Defense missile systems, and -- more specifically -- had played a significant role in BAC being awarded the Avenger Pedestal-Mounted Stinger Air Defense System contract with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. 
Avenger was a truck, tracked-vehicle, or helicopter-transported Air Defense unit equipped with two pods of four FIM-92 Stinger missiles. I witnessed the Stinger missile being fired at the nearby Yakima Proving Ground/Training Center and was very familiar with other U.S. Army air defense missiles such as the ROLAND-based Hawk missile (deployed in Europe by NATO), among others. One part of my work was to understand the MANPADS operational and engineering requirements, and I viewed numerous military-furnished videos of ADS missile tests as one aspect of my work.
Given the TV reception in his Hong Kong hospital, I could not identify the type of missile that took out TWA 800, but I am confident I was looking at a guided missile. 
"If this was a Navy missile..." Barbara recalled me saying at the time, and she finished my thought for me,"...there goes Clinton's re-election." 
Upon returning to the United States, I was astounded that none of my coworkers (except those who were with me in Hong Kong) and neighbors knew of the video's existence -- which was mentioned only once in the press after my return to the U.S.  I called the FBI New York Field Office twice to discuss what I had seen in the video, but my calls were not returned or taken seriously.
I have very specific reasons to reject the conclusions of the FBI and NTSB in this case.
First, while employed by Boeing, I was given the opportunity to interview for a position as a Tour Guide at the BCAC Boeing 747 Assembly Plant in Everett, Washington. In preparation for the interview, I studied for months the 747's construction in detail sufficient to answer any potential customer's questions about the aircraft from either its modular construction to its operation.
I also spent considerable time on the factory floor studying its construction. At the time, I had more than 10,000 flight hours as a pilot and flight engineer (combined), including in Boeing air-transport category aircraft. As a Boeing employee, I had also previously completed several courses in each of the Boeing 727, 737, and 747 aircraft -- and knew those aircraft from engineering, construction, and operational standpoints.
Second, at the time of my 1996 hospitalization in Hong Kong, I was employed as a Boeing 747 First Officer, having just completed my upgrade from being a 747 Flight Engineer. I hold FAA Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) and Flight Engineer (Turbojet-powered) certificates and have thousands of hours in a variety of 747 aircraft. 
As a Flight Engineer, it is my job to know every system of the aircraft and its operation, in all environments from the Arctic to desert climes -- including risk awareness associated with those prevailing meteorological conditions we find ourselves operating within.  In the case of TW800, the climatic environment the aircraft was being operated in is well within its capabilities with no demonstrable risk evident, suspected, or imagined.  
Any wiring in the 747 center fuel tank operates the fuel quantity probes in the millivolt range of power: for wiring to create a spark sufficient to arc and cause fuel vapors to explode in the tank is higher than any part of the aircraft's systems produce -- other than the engines' burner can igniters.
In the final analysis, I cannot accept the FBI and NTSB conclusions being sold to the American public in the case of TW800. The scenario created to explain the aircraft's destruction as reported in my opinion is virtually impossible from an engineering standpoint of the aircraft structure and systems. In view of the video I viewed hundreds of times in Hong Kong, I have little doubt as to the true cause of the aircraft's loss.  
Young knows aviation as well as anyone. He also has a good sense of political realities. The sentence that he and his wife composed, "If this was a Navy missile, there goes Clinton's reelection" goes a long way in explaining the rationale behind the most successful cover-up in American peacetime history. The 21st anniversary is Monday, July 17. If you have access to that video, please contact me at jcashill@aol.com.
For more information, please read TWA 800: The Crash, The Cover-Up, The Conspiracy. 
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Thanks to Dutch R.
Thanks to JN
 
Another nearly forgotten hero.  We need to never forget these heroes who paid for our freedom!!!
Remembering a Nice Jewish Dentist, 73 Years After His Death
—J.J. Sefton
There isn't all that much we know about Ben Salomon. He has no living relatives that we know of, and any friends or acquaintances have more than likely passed on. With the very youngest of what has been called "The Greatest Generation" now in their late 80s or early 90s, it would take quite a bit of detective work to find anyone who knew him.
What we do know is he was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on September 1, 1914. He was an Eagle Scout, graduated from Shorewood High School then got his undergraduate degree from Marquette University and from there went on to graduate from the USC Dental School in 1937 and began a dental practice. In 1940, he was drafted into the U.S. Army as a private but by May 1943, he was serving as the regimental dental officer of the 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division, attaining the rank of captain in 1944.
On June 15th of that year, Salomon went ashore on the Japanese bastion of Saipan with the 27th along with two divisions of Marines. It is there, on the night of July 7th where he and his comrades in the 105th found themselves in the middle of the largest banzai charge of the Pacific war.
Medal of Honor Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Captain Ben L. Salomon was serving at Saipan, in the Marianas Islands on July 7, 1944, as the Surgeon for the 2nd Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division. The Regiment's 1st and 2d Battalions were attacked by an overwhelming force estimated between 3,000 and 5,000 Japanese soldiers. It was one of the largest attacks attempted in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Although both units fought furiously, the enemy soon penetrated the Battalions' combined perimeter and inflicted overwhelming casualties. In the first minutes of the attack, approximately 30 wounded soldiers walked, crawled, or were carried into Captain Salomon's aid station, and the small tent soon filled with wounded men. As the perimeter began to be overrun, it became increasingly difficult for Captain Salomon to work on the wounded. He then saw a Japanese soldier bayoneting one of the wounded soldiers lying near the tent. Firing from a squatting position, Captain Salomon quickly killed the enemy soldier. Then, as he turned his attention back to the wounded, two more Japanese soldiers appeared in the front entrance of the tent. As these enemy soldiers were killed, four more crawled under the tent walls. Rushing them, Captain Salomon kicked the knife out of the hand of one, shot another, and bayoneted a third. Captain Salomon butted the fourth enemy soldier in the stomach and a wounded comrade then shot and killed the enemy soldier. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Captain Salomon ordered the wounded to make their way as best they could back to the regimental aid station, while he attempted to hold off the enemy until they were clear. Captain Salomon then grabbed a rifle from one of the wounded and rushed out of the tent. After four men were killed while manning a machine gun, Captain Salomon took control of it. When his body was later found, 98 dead enemy soldiers were piled in front of his position. Captain Salomon's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Captain Salomon was recommended for the Medal of Honor, but the recommendation was rejected by the 27th's commanding general, citing medical officers and other non-combatants cannot receive the award for offensive actions. Over the years, the recommendation was resubmitted four more times but rejected on the same grounds. Finally, on May 1st, 2002, President Bush presented the medal to the chairman of the USC Dental School, where it is on display.
I've become somewhat obsessed with this story because I believe I might have a connection to Ben Salomon; it's a bit of a stretch but nevertheless it's there. My uncle was a PFC in Company K of the 105th Infantry Regiment of the 27th Division. Now, the 27th is based in New York and at that time many of its ranks came from the Albany/Schenectady/Troy area as well as NYC and elsewhere. Salomon was from Milwaukee and my uncle from Chicago. At 28, he was considerably older than most of the men he served with but just two years younger than Salomon, and both were Jewish. All that considered, there's no doubt in my mind that these two, older Jewish guys from the midwest, surrounded by younger New Yorkers, must have crossed paths and perhaps even developed a friendship.
We'll never know; my uncle was killed a week earlier on July 1st. Had he survived that night, he would have been in the middle of that banzai charge along with Salomon. And had they survived that, and the rest of the bloody battle to take the island, the next stop for the 27th was Okinawa.
It's strange to have a connection to a relative that you never knew. Oddly enough, that connection has grown more profound as the years have passed. My dad (his brother) never talked about him all that much and I never pressed him because I sensed it was too painful. Discovering Ben Salomon's story was exciting in its promise of learning more about my uncle, but aside from the commonalities cited above, there is nothing more to be learned.
As for Captain Ben L. Salomon, what we can say for sure is that he saved dozens of lives, as both a healer and as a soldier.
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0MG   Thanks to Dutch R.
Thanks to Tam -
 
San Francisco nearly had an aviation disaster on Friday evening!
Oh No at SFO!
Tam
Exclusive: SFO near miss might have triggered 'greatest aviation disaster in history'
Matthias Gafni
PUBLISHED: July 10, 2017 at 3:18 pm | UPDATED: July 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm
An Air Canada pilot on Friday night began his approach lining up to land on a taxiway full of airplanes, before being diverted and landing appropriately on a runway, according to the FAA. (Norm Betts/Bloomberg News archives)
SAN FRANCISCO — In what one aviation expert called a near-miss of what could have been the largest aviation disaster ever, an Air Canada pilot on Friday narrowly avoided a tragic mistake: landing on the San Francisco International Airport taxiway instead of the runway.
Sitting on Taxiway C shortly before midnight were four airplanes full of passengers and fuel awaiting permission to take off, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the "rare" incident. An air traffic controller sent the descending Air Canada Airbus 320 on a "go-around" — an unusual event where pilots must pull up and circle around to try again — before the safe landing, according to the federal agency.
FAA investigators are still trying to determine how close the Air Canada aircraft came to landing and potentially crashing into the four aircraft below, but the apparent pilot error already has the aviation industry buzzing.
"If it is true, what happened probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history," said retired United Airlines Capt. Ross Aimer, CEO of Aero Consulting Experts. He said he's been contacted by pilots from across the country about the incident.
"If you could imagine an Airbus colliding with four passenger aircraft wide bodies, full of fuel and passengers, then you can imagine how horrific this could have been," he said.
Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesman, said Flight AC759 from Toronto "landed normally without incident" after the go-around.
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"We are still investigating the circumstances and therefore have no additional information to offer," he said.
The SFO spokesman referred inquiries to the FAA, saying the airport had no comment on the event.
The aircraft had been cleared to land on Runway 28R, which runs parallel to that taxiway, according to the FAA. The pilot, flying the plane manually on a clear night, lined up wrong, the federal agency said.
Audio from the air traffic controller communication — archived by a user on LiveATC.net and reviewed by this news organization — recorded the confused Air Canada pilot asking if he's clear to land on 28R because he sees airplane lights on the runway.
"There's no one on 28R but you," the air controller responds.
An unidentified voice, presumably another pilot, then chimes in: "Where's this guy going? He's on the taxiway."
The air controller quickly tells the Air Canada pilot to go around, and adds, "It looks like you were lined up for Charlie (Taxiway C) there."
A United Airlines pilot radios in: "United One, Air Canada flew directly over us."
"Yeah, I saw that, guys," the control tower responds.
The event has launched a discussion among airline circles, Aimer said.
"This is pretty huge. My buddies called and asked if I knew about it," the former pilot said. "They're a sitting duck on the taxiway. They can't go anywhere."
Like our Facebook page for more conversation and news coverage from the Bay Area and beyond.
View more on The Mercury News


Sent from Tamara's iUniverse 
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 07/12/2017 AFGHANISTAN - KEY TALIBAN COMMANDER AMONG DEAD IN FIGHTING IN LAGHMAN PROVINCE (JUL 12/KP)  KHAAMA PRESS -- Local Afghan officials say a Taliban commander was among those killed in fighting earlier this week in the eastern Laghman province, reports the Khaama Press (Afghanistan).   Several militants made a coordinated attack on multiple security posts in the Alisheng district around 1 a.m., local time, on Tuesday, said the government officials.   At least five militants were killed, including the well-known commander Azam Gul, said the provincial government. Six others were injured.   Two police officers were killed and five were wounded, said the provincial statement. Seven civilians were also injured.   Another Taliban commander, identified as Abdul Hanif, was killed Monday and two other militants injured in a separate clash in the Alisheng district, said local officials.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 07/12/2017 CHINA - PLA PERSONNEL ON THE WAY TO DJIBOUTI TO MAN CHINA'S 1ST OVERSEAS MILITARY POST (JUL 12/XIN)  XINHUA -- Chinese ships carrying military personnel to man a support base in Djibouti have departed Zhanjiang in southern China for the Horn of Africa, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The vessels set sail on Tuesday.   China is building the base under an agreement with the government in Djibouti, noted the navy.   News of the start of construction emerged last year. The base is China's first overseas military post, noted the Wall Street Journal last August.   The installation is intended to support Chinese missions, including anti-piracy, peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Africa and west Asia.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 07/12/2017 HAITI - RECRUITING DRIVE BEGINS FOR SOLDIERS FOR SMALL ARMY (JUL 12/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Haiti's government has launched a recruitment campaign aimed at re-establishing the army, reports the BBC.   The Haitian army was disbanded in 1995 after a military coup.   Defense Minister Herve Denis told Reuters earlier this month that the government plans to recruit fewer than 500 soldiers. Their duties will included monitoring the border and dealing with natural disasters.   On Monday, the Defense Ministry released a statement saying that the recruitment drive was open to men and women between the ages of 18 and 25.   Potential recruits are to report to the ministry's training center between Leogane and Gressier between July 17 and July 21.   Critics say the government would be better served by focusing on its 15,000-member police force.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 07/12/2017 LEBANON - TOP ISIS BOMB EXPERT KILLED IN ARSAL RAID (JUL 12/NATIONAL)  THE NATIONAL -- The Lebanese army says it has killed the mastermind of several bomb attacks during a raid near the border with Syria, reports the National (U.A.E).   On Tuesday, security forces raided a meeting of suspected Islamic State-linked militants in the northeastern town of Ras Baalbek, said the army, as reported by Reuters.   Two Syrian nationals were killed. One is believed to be behind multiple bomb attacks in the town in May.   The bombmaker, Atef Al-Abyad – aka Al-Jaroudi – is believed to be one of the primary explosives expert for the ISIS branch in Lebanon.   Four others were arrested, included one suspected of weapons-smuggling, said authorities.   Troops seized seven explosive devices, an explosive belt, grenades and bomb-making materials
  Item Number:5 Date: 07/12/2017 NIGERIA - SUICIDE BOMBERS ATTACK CIVILIAN SELF-DEFENSE FORCE IN MAIDUGURI (JUL 12/REU)  REUTERS -- Suicide bombers in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri have killed at least 17 people and injured 21 others, say police cited by Reuters.   Four suicide bombers blew themselves up Tuesday night about 10 p.m., local time, in the Molai district, about 3 miles from the city center, said witnesses.   The bombers specifically targeted the members of a civilian self-defense force, said a police spokesman cited by one wire service.   Casualties were reported variously.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The attacks bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram
Item Number:6 Date: 07/12/2017 NIGERIA - TRAINING COMMAND DIVIDED INTO AIR, GROUND COMPONENTS; AIR FORCE ALSO SETS UP COMMUNICATION BRANCH (JUL 12/PREM)  PREMIUM TIMES -- The Nigerian air force has split its training command as part of a restructuring, reports the Premium Times (Abuja).   The former Training Command has been divided into the Air Training Command (ATC), headquartered in Kaduna, and the Ground Training Command (GTC), based in Enugu, the service announced on Tuesday.   The ATC will be responsible for policies covering flying and air operations, while the GTC will implement local ground training.   The move brings the total number of air force commands to six, officials said.   The service also established a new Communications Branch, separating it from the former Logistics and Communications Branch, said the air force. It will be responsible for communications, electronics, radar maintenance, information and space technology, said officials.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 07/12/2017 PHILIPPINES - DEATH TOLL IN MARAWI TOPS 500; FIGHTING EXPECTED TO LAST FOR ANOTHER 2 WEEKS, SAYS PRESIDENT (JUL 12/RAP)  RAPPLER -- The Philippine military says the death toll from the fighting in Marawi City has gone beyond 500, reports the Rappler (Philippines).   President Rodrigo Duterte has indicated that fighting between government forces and militants may last another two weeks, reports the Philippine Inquirer.   Fighting began on May 23 in the city in Mindanao after government forces attempted to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Insilon Hapilon.   On Wednesday morning, Philippine air force FA-50 aircraft were reported to be hitting militant positions in high rise buildings.   According to the military early this week, the dead include 381 Islamists. Thirty-nine civilians and 90 security personnel have also been killed, reported Al Jazeera
Item Number:8 Date: 07/12/2017 QATAR - WASHINGTON, DOHA AGREE TO WORK TOGETHER AGAINST TERRORISM FINANCING (JUL 12/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- The governments of Qatar and the United States have signed an agreement aimed at combating the financing of terrorism, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The accord was signed on Tuesday during a visit to Doha by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He has been pressing for talks to resolve a dispute between Qatar and its neighboring Gulf countries.   The signing was "not related to the recent crisis and the blockade imposed against Qatar," said Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.   Under the memorandum of understanding, the two countries will work together to uncover funding sources and share information, said Tillerson.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 07/12/2017 RUSSIA - NORTHERN FLEET PRACTICES RESCUING CREWS FROM SUBMERGED SUBMARINE (JUL 12/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Russian Northern Fleet says it has successfully completed a training mission aimed at rescuing a simulated sub in distress, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   The exercise took place at a combat training range in the Kola Bay, said a fleet spokesman on Tuesday.   The AS-34 submersible was launched from the Grigory Titov rescue ship. The submersible dived, located the stricken sub and landed on the coaming of the mock boat, the spokesman said.   During the mission, the crew of the AS-34 worked with the command post on the Titov.   Military and civilian personnel assigned to the Northern Fleet's search-and-rescue directorate also took part in the drill
Item Number:10 Date: 07/12/2017 SOUTH KOREA - INTEL AGENCY DOUBTS NORTH'S MISSILE RE-ENTRY CAPABILITIES (JUL 12/YON)  YONHAP -- South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) has told lawmakers that it is dubious that North Korea has developed the technology that would allow an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to safely re-enter the atmosphere, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   Pyongyang test-fired an ICBM on July 4 and claimed that the missile could carry a large nuclear warhead. State media said the missile was equipped with a stable re-entry system.   However, the North may not have the technology to precisely guide a warhead to a target, in addition to lacking re-entry technology, Rep. Yi Wan Young of the Liberty Korea Party said on Tuesday following a briefing with NIS officials.   Pyongyang is also capable of conducting a nuclear test at its Punggye-ri site at any time, although there is no evidence that one is planned imminently, the lawmaker said.   The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency in May assessed that Pyongyang had successfully developed either the booster or re-entry vehicle that would carry a nuclear warhead, noted Bloomberg News.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 07/12/2017 SRI LANKA - ELEPHANT SWEPT TO SEA RESCUED BY NAVY OFF COAST (JUL 12/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Sri Lanka's navy has rescued an elephant that got washed out to sea, reports Agence France-Presse.   The elephant had been dragged to sea by strong currents, noted Euronews.   The animal was spotted on Tuesday struggling to stay afloat about five miles off Sri Lanka's northeastern coast, said a navy spokesman.   Navy divers, aided by wildlife officials, launched a 12-hour rescue by tying ropes to the elephant and towing it to shallow waters near the coast, the spokesman said.   Photos showed the elephant trying to keep its trunk above water as the divers approached.   "It is a miraculous escape for the elephant," said the spokesman.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 07/12/2017 SYRIA - CORNERED ISIS MILITANTS IN RAQQA PUTTING UP HOUSE-TO-HOUSE RESISTANCE (JUL 12/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Islamic State fighters are battling desperately to defend their de facto capital Raqqa in eastern Syria against the U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, say U.S. officials cited by the Voice of America News.   The SDF controls about a quarter of the city and has breached the old quarter, according to American officials. However, the SDF fighters are having problems holding what they have captured.   Disputes between the SDF and some Free Syrian Army militias who have entered the battle have also been obstacles.   ISIS is using improvised explosive devices, snipers and an elaborate network of tunnels to conduct ambushes. Drones have been used to drop explosives, while civilians are being used as human shields, the U.S. officials said.   The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group says 311 ISIS militants, including several commanders, and 106 U.S.-backed fighters have died in the month-long battle. About 224 civilians are believed to have been killed.   U.S. officials say they expect house-to-house fighting in Raqqa to last for several weeks. There are an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 ISIS fighters remaining in the city
Item Number:13 Date: 07/12/2017 TAIWAN - TAIPEI KEEPS CLOSE EYE ON NEARBY CHINESE LIAONING CARRIER (JUL 12/REU)  REUTERS -- China's aircraft carrier Liaoning entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone Wednesday morning, says the Defense Ministry in Taipei, as reported by Reuters.   The Liaoning carrier group made its first port call in Hong Kong last week. The group of ships left Tuesday at noon before entering Taiwan's defense zone by traveling in a northerly direction on the west side of the Taiwan Strait, said the ministry, as reported by the Financial Times (London).   Taiwan has been monitoring the situation with fighter jets and navy ships. There have been "no unusual developments" and no cause for alarm, the ministry said.   This is the fourth time in recent months that the Liaoning has sailed near Taiwan, which Beijing views as a breakaway province.   The carrier group -- which includes destroyers Jinan and Yinchuan, the frigate Yantai, a squadron of J-15 fighters plus several helicopters -- left its base in Qingdao in Shandong province on June 25, reported the South China Morning Post
Item Number:14 Date: 07/12/2017 TURKEY - RAIDS NET 8 MILITANTS; 5 ISIS SUSPECTS KILLED IN KONYA CITY (JUL 12/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Turkish officials say an anti-terror operation Wednesday in central Turkey has left five Islamic State militants dead, reports the Anadolu Agency (Turkey).   The operation began in the Meram district of the city of Konya, said a statement from the governor's office. A series of raids netted eight ISIS suspects. Four police officers were injured, said the statement.   Also recovered were firearms, TNT and an explosive vest.   The operation was part of security measures to protect buildings along routes used by military vehicles. The raid was aimed at wanted ISIS militants, the statement said.   Police were suspicious that a militant cell was planning an attack this week during commemorations of the first anniversary of last year's attempted military coup, reported Turkey's Dogan news agency
Item Number:15 Date: 07/12/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - MOD EYES DEAL WORTH US$1 BILLION FOR U.S. JOINT LIGHT TACTICAL VEHICLES (JUL 12/DSCA)  U.S. DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY -- The British government is seeking to acquire Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs) from the United States, reports the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.   The potential US$1.035 billion deal covers up to 2,747 JLTVs, including baseline integration kits; basic issue item kits; B-kit armor; engine Arctic kits; fording kits; run-flat kits; spare tire kits; silent watch kits; power expansion kits; cargo cover kits; training; and associated technical and logistics support.   The proposed sale will help improve the U.K.'s light tactical vehicle fleet to meet current and future threats, the agency said.   The DSCA notified Congress of the potential sale on July 10. The State Dept. has approved the possible sale, noted the agency.  
Item Number:16 Date: 07/12/2017 USA - DESTROYER CO TEMPORARILY RELIEVED TO RECOVER FROM INJURIES (JUL 12/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- The commander of the USS Fitzgerald destroyer has been temporarily relieved of his duties for medical reasons.   The Navy says the commander has been relieved so he can recover from injuries sustained when his ship collided with a shipping vessel last month in Japan, reports the Stars and Stripes.   The destroyer and a Philippine-flagged cargo ship collided on June 17 about 64 miles southwest of Yokosuka naval base.   Seven U.S. sailors died. Cmdr. Bryce Benson and two others were medically evacuated.   A spokesman for the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet said on Tuesday, "We're focused on supporting Cmdr. Benson … getting him the resources he needs during the recovery process."   Benson's living area sustained significant damage, the service previously said
Item Number:17 Date: 07/12/2017 USA - ESTIMATED F-35 PROGRAM COSTS GROW BY $27.5 BILLION WHEN AIR FORCE EXTENDS PLANNED PRODUCTION (JUL 12/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- The latest Pentagon figures indicate that the overall cost of the F-35 Lightning II fighter program will grow by more than $27 billion in part because of an extension to the production period, reports Bloomberg News.   Total acquisition costs for the stealth jet is predicted to rise about 7 percent to $406.5 billion, according to the latest Selected Acquisition Report. This trend is a reversal after several years of declining estimates.   The projected $27.5 billion increase is reflected in "then-year" dollars for research, development, procurement and military construction, said the F-35 Joint Program Office in a release. The separate $1.1 trillion long-term operations and support estimate increased by $35.3 billion.   "The F-35 program remains within all cost, schedule and performance thresholds and continues to make steady progress," Vice Adm. Mat Winter, the program manager, said in a statement.   An anticipated increase in total procurement costs from $319.1 billion to $346.2 billion was "largely driven" by adjustments to the production schedule, said Winter.   The Air Force reduced its maximum annual rate of purchases from 80 to 60, which extended planned procurements by six years from fiscal 2038 to fiscal 2044, the admiral said.   As a result, the overall average per-jet program acquisition cost increased from $154.3 million to $164.6 million.   The report also said that the Pentagon is adding 13 F-35B jets for the Marine Corps, increasing the U.S. total from 2,443 to 2,456
  Item Number:18 Date: 07/12/2017 USA - INVESTIGATION CONTINUES AFTER USAF RECRUITING CENTER IS BOMBED IN OKLA. (JUL 12/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- The FBI has announced that a person of interest is in custody in connection to an explosion outside a U.S. Air Force recruiting office in Oklahoma, reports the New York Times.   The explosion took place Monday at about 10:30 p.m., local time, in Bixby, a suburb of Tulsa, authorities said on Tuesday. No people were inside at the time and there were no injuries.   Images showed the doors of the center were bent and burned.   Fragments indicated that a pipe bomb was used, said one FBI agent. The agency and the Bureau for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they were investigating the type of bomb and the motive.   This was the second attack on a recruiting office in the area in recent days, noted the FBI, as reported by CNN
Item Number:19 Date: 07/12/2017 USA - NAVY SHIFTS SPECS TO OPEN DESIGN PLANS FOR NEW MISSILE FRIGATE (JUL 12/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The U.S. Navy has released its request for information (RFI) from industry for potential designs for its requirement for a new guided-missile frigate, says a senior officer, as cited by Defense News.   The RFI seeks a vessel that could be met by almost any existing design, extending the program beyond the two littoral combat ship designs being built by Lockheed Martin and Austal USA.   The service has indicated that it wants a ship with combat and mechanical systems that can fully integrate with a carrier strike group; conduct anti-submarine warfare; and attack enemy ships over the horizon.   The FFG(X) will have to keep up with the full carrier strike group as well as operate independently in high-end threat environments, says the RFI.   At the same time, the Navy wants to keep the cost down, Rear Adm. Ronald Boxall, the director of surface warfare, told the newspaper in a Monday telephone interview.   The RFI calls for shipbuilders to adapt an existing design in an effort to get the new ship into service as quickly as possible.   Important capabilities include a fixed, phased-array radar; an Aegis-derivative combat system that uses a common source library; ability to launch a single MH-60R Seahawk helicopter; four canister-launched over-the-horizon weapons; SeaRAM air defense system; and MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.   The Navy expects to award a contract for the first ship in fiscal 2020. Plans call for a total of 52 small-surface combatants, with most to be littoral combat ships
Item Number:20 Date: 07/12/2017 USA - THAAD KNOCKS DOWN INTERMEDIATE-RANGE MISSILE IN TEST (JUL 12/HILL)  THE HILL -- The U.S. Missile Defense Agency says the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system successfully shot down an intermediate-range ballistic missile during a test on Tuesday, reports the Hill (Washington, D.C.).   The test was planned months ago, noted Fox News. It came a week after North Korea said it successfully tested an intermediate-range ballistic missile.   Troops from the 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade in Kodiak, Alaska, fired the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, hitting a target missile launched from an Air Force C-17 cargo aircraft north of Hawaii.   The ground-based THAAD is used to intercept short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.   The test was the first against an intermediate-range missile, said U.S. officials. THAAD has had 14 of 14 successful tests, says the MDA.
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