Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fw: TheList 4524

The List 4524


To All,
Well we are back in business. I picked up the computer and am downloading over 300 backed up email and will catch up over the next day or so.
Regards,
Skip
 
This Day In Naval History - August 15
1845 - U.S. Naval Academy established at Annapolis, MD on former site of Fort Severn.
1895 - Commissioning of Texas, the first American steel-hulled battleship.
Texas served off Cuba during the Spanish-American War and took part in the naval battle of Santiago. Under the name of San Marcos, she was sunk in weapon effects tests in Chesapeake Bay in 1911. Her hulk continued in use as a gunnery target through World War II.
1908 - First Navy post offices established in Navy ships
1944: Operation Dragoon begins, which is the Allied invasion of Southern France. Western Naval Task Force, commanded by Vice Adm. Henry K. Hewitt, USN, lands the Allied force on the front between Toulon and Cannes.
 
1953 - First naval officer appointed Chairman, Joints Chiefs of Staff, Admiral William Radford. He served from 15 August 1953 until 15 August 1957.
1958 - USS Lexington (CVA-16) arrives in vicinity of Taiwan
 
This Day In Naval History - August 16
1812 - USS Constitution recaptures American merchant brig Adeline
1954 - Beginning of Operation Passage to Freedom, transport of
refugees from Haiphong to Saigon, Vietnam
 
On this day in history (August 16, ):
1977: The King is dead. Elvis Presley died in his Memphis mansion,
Graceland.
1987: Thousands of people prayed and meditated for universal peace
this day, as the much-publicized Harmonic Convergence took place.
Ancient prophecies were supposed to come true -- along with
predictions of alien visits. People gathered in 20 sites around the
world to greet the New Age at the Harmonic Convergence, the alignment
of our Solar System's planets; it was the dawn of the new age. Well sort of.
And today is:National Rum Day
Military History Anniversaries:
Aug 16 1780 - Revolutionary War: American troops are badly defeated
by the British at the Battle of Camden, South Carolina.
Aug 16 1945 - WWII: Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright, who was
taken prisoner by the Japanese on Corregidor on 6 MAY 42 is released
from a POW camp in Manchuria by U.S. troops.
 
This Day In Naval History - August 17
1812 - Frigate President captures British schooner L'Adeline in North Atlantic
1942 - Submarines USS Nautilus and USS Argonaut land 222 Marines on Makin Island, first amphibious attack made from submarines
1959 - ADM Arleigh Burke reappointed CNO for 3rd 2 year term, serving longest term as CNO
1962 - Navy's first hydrofoil patrol craft, USS High Point (PCH-1) launched at Seattle, WA
1969
 
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From Galloping Gates to the Gulf of Sidra by  W. Thomas Smith Jr.
08/17/2010
 
This Week in American Military History
 
 
Aug. 15, 1845:  The War Department transfers Fort Severn, Annapolis to the Navy Department, specifically the new Naval School under Commander Franklin Buchanan.
 
The U.S. Naval Academy is established.
 
Franklin, who serves as the school's first superintendent, is destined to become an admiral in the Confederate Navy.
 
Aug. 15, 1945:  Japanese Emperor Hirohito broadcasts his surrender message to the Japanese people, a portion of which reads:
 
"…the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interests. The enemy, moreover, has begun to employ a new most cruel bomb, the power which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking toll of many innocent lives. Should we continue to fight, it would only result in the ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation … but would lead also to the total extinction of human civilization."
 
Hours before the radio broadcast, Japanese Army Maj. Kenji Hatanaka – leading a group of diehards opposed to surrender – attempts a coup to prevent the broadcast. The coup fails. Hatanaka commits suicide.
 
Aug. 16, 1780: The Battle of Camden (S.C.) – one of the worst tactical blunders on the part of the Continentals during the American Revolution – opens between British Army forces under the command of Gen. Sir Charles Cornwallis and Continental Army forces under Gen. Horatio Gates.
 
Though the Americans will be decisively defeated at Camden – thanks to Gates' improperly positioning inexperienced militia against seasoned regiments of the regular British Army, as well as his complete loss of tactical control – the battle will prove to be something of a highwater mark for British forces in the southern colonies (after Camden, it's pretty much downhill for the British).
 
Gates himself will break and run, earning him the nickname, "Galloping Gates." But the heroics of many of the ill-fated albeit last-standing Continental officers and men (like Gen. Johann Baron de Kalb) will prove to be exemplary. And Gen. George Washington – always able to recover from strategic setbacks – will choose the exceptionally able Gen. Nathanael Greene as Gates' replacement.
 
Aug. 16, 1940:  Soldiers with the U.S. Army's parachute test platoon begin jumping over Fort Benning, Georgia. The airborne exercise (actually more of an experiment) is the first for the Army.
 
In 2001, Pres. George W. Bush will proclaim "August 16" of each year as National Airborne Day.
 
Aug. 17, 1942: Ahoy Raiders! U.S. Marine Raiders strike Makin Island in the Gilberts.
 
Sgt. Clyde Thomason, killed during the fighting, will become the first Marine in World War II to receive the Medal of Honor.
 
Aug. 17, 1943:  U.S. Army Gen. George Smith Patton Jr. beats his British Army counterpart Gen. Bernard Law Montgomery to the gates of Messina, Sicily, in what Patton had purportedly referred to as "a horse race in which the prestige of the U.S. Army is at stake."
 
Aug. 19, 1812:  In one of the most dramatic sea battles of the War of 1812, the frigate USS Constitution engages and captures the smaller frigate HMS Guerriere in a contest of broadsides and close-quarters combat between opposing crews of sailors and Marines (the American leathernecks pouring a terrific fire into the unfortunate British officers and men aboard Guerriere).
 
According to the Naval Historical Center, "Despite the rational excuse that Royal Navy frigates were not as large and powerful as their American counterparts, the real causes of these outcomes were inspired seamanship and vastly better gunnery. For the rest of the 19th Century, long after the War of 1812 was over, America's Navy was credited with an effectiveness that went well beyond its usually modest size."
 
Constitution (known affectionately as "Old Ironsides") is the oldest ship in the American Navy. Launched in 1797, she serves today as a duly commissioned ship crewed by active-duty U.S. sailors and Naval officers in order to further public awareness of American Naval tradition.
 
Aug. 19, 1981: One-hundred-sixty-nine years to the day after the victory over HMS Guerriere, the U.S. Navy – specifically two F-14 Tomcats -- knocks down two Libyan Su-22 fighters over the Gulf of Sidra.
 
Aug. 21, 1863: Confederate guerillas under the command of William Clark Quantrill (operating outside of the control of regular Confederate forces) launch a bloody raid on Lawrence, Kansas.
 
Quantrill – who purportedly once served in the Missouri State Guard – is widely considered a brigand and a cutthroat. That reputation continues today. To some, however, he remains a folk hero.
 
Aug. 21, 1942: Just after 3:00 a.m., "Banzai"-screaming Japanese assault forces – primarily members of the elite Japanese Special Naval Landing forces – attack U.S. Marine positions on Guadalcanal in what will become known as the Battle of the Tenaru River.
 
The first wave is momentarily slowed as the Japanese struggle to get through the Marines' barbed wire and American rifle machinegun fire rip into their ranks. At one point, the enemy breaks through and the fighting degrades into a savage hand-to-hand struggle with knives, machetes, swords, rifle butts, and fists. The Marines kill scores and hold their positions.
Subsequent Japanese attacks follow, but all are beaten back with heavy losses.
 
August 17
1743
By the Treaty of Abo, Sweden cedes southeast Finland to Russia, ending Sweden's failed war with Russia.
1812
Napoleon Bonaparte's army defeats the Russians at the Battle of Smolensk during the Russian retreat to Moscow.
1833
The first steam ship to cross the Atlantic entirely on its own power, the Canadian ship Royal William, begins her journey from Nova Scotia to The Isle of Wight.
1863
Union gunboats attack Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, for the first time.
1942
Marine Raiders attack Makin Island in the Gilbert Islands from two submarines.
1943
Allied forces complete the conquest of Sicily.
1944
The mayor of Paris, Pierre Charles Tattinger, meets with the German commander Dietrich von Choltitz to protest the explosives being deployed throughout the city.
1945
Upon hearing confirmation that Japan has surrendered, Sukarno proclaims Indonesia's independence.
1960
American Francis Gary Powers pleads guilty at his Moscow trial for spying over the Soviet Union in a U-2 plane.
1978
Three Americans complete the first crossing of the Atlantic in a balloon.
1987
93-year-old Rudolf Hess, former Nazi leader and deputy of Adolf Hitler, is found hanged to death in Spandau Prison.
1988
Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq is killed in an airplane crash suspected of being an assassination.
1998
President Bill Clinton admits to the American public that he had affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
1999
A 7.4-magnitude earthquake near Izmit, Turkey kills over 17,000 and injures nearly 45,000.
2005
Israel begins the first forced evacuation of Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, as part of a unilateral disengagement plan.
2012
Moscow's top court upholds ban of gay pride events in Russia's capital city for 100 years.
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Thanks to Ed. I was on the USS Midway in 1972/73 when much of this happened. Very exciting.
USS Midway Action
 
You may find this video interesting.  It starts out with the story of the first MIG shoot down of the Vietnam War done by Fighter Squadron (VF)-21 from the Midway.  Then, there is short mention of a major overhaul of the ship, after which there is the story of two MIG shoot down events by VF-161 of the Midway in the early 1970s.  I was on the staff of the air wing commander (CVW-5) on the ship then, and I knew the pilots and RIOs from VF-161 who describe their actions in the video.  One of the events was the last shoot down of a MIG in that war.  I saw the video for the first time yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to see their faces and hear those stories that were repeated often on the ship at the time.  Exciting times on the boat. The animation in the video isn't all that good, but the story is very good.
 
One of the F4s that is displayed on the ship now commemorates the first and last MIG shoot downs of the Vietnam War.  One side is painted with VF-21 markings, and the other with VF-161 markings.
 
I was in VF-161 once too.  I joined them when they formed up at NAS Cecil Field, FL in 1960 and made two deployments with them on the USS Oriskany.  That is when they had the F3H Demon.
 
 
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Thanks to Bill. I never knew the extent of this group. I thought they were only there to make the Germans think that Patton was going to go across the channel at the Pas de Calais
The Ghost army.
Interesting history
 
 
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 08/17/2017 AFGHANISTAN - UTAH NATIONAL GUARDSMAN KILLED IN COMBAT AGAINST ISIS MILITANTS (AUG 17/TN)  TOLONEWS -- The U.S. Army has confirmed that an American soldier was killed fighting the Islamic State in Afghanistan, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan).   The unnamed soldier died of his wounds in an operation on Wednesday against ISIS in eastern Afghanistan. Several other Americans were wounded, said U.S. Forces Afghanistan in a statement.   The fighting took place in the Achin district of Nangarhar province. The Utah National Guard said the soldier who died and several others wounded were members, noted one wire service.   Afghan forces were also wounded, according to the statement.   The death brings the number of U.S. soldiers killed this year to 11. Ten American service members died in Afghanistan in 2016
  Item Number:2 Date: 08/17/2017 CHINA - TOP U.S. MILITARY OFFICER PLEDGES IMPROVED COMMUNICATION WITH PLA (AUG 17/DODNEWS)  DOD NEWS -- The top military officers in China and the United States have signed an agreement intended to enhance communication and reduce the opportunities for miscalculations, reports DoD News.   Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed the accord in Beijing during a Tuesday meeting with Gen. Fang Fenghui, the chief of China's Joint Staff. Dunford is visiting to bolster bilateral military ties, the Pentagon said.   The agreement is intended for crisis mitigation, said U.S. Joint Staff officials. It covers direct communication at the three-star level between the Pentagon and the People's Liberation Army headquarters in Beijing.   The first meeting to set up the new framework has been scheduled for November.   During his visit, Dunford noted that the two nations had "many difficult issues where we don't necessarily share the same perspective," as quoted by the Canadian Press.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 08/17/2017 INDIA - KASHMIR SECURITY FORCES KILL DISTRICT LET COMMANDER (AUG 17/XIN)  XINHUA -- A district terrorist commander has been killed in a clash with security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir, say police, as reported by Xinhua, China's state news agency.   A gunfight broke out Wednesday at the village of Banderpora-Koil in Pulwama district, about 20 miles south of Srinagar city, according to police cited by the Hindustan Times (India).   Government forces had set up a barricade after receiving a tip that a local leader of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) was travelling in a vehicle, said police.   The militant leader opened fire after he was asked to stop and police shot back, killing him, said officials.   A police officer was reported wounded
  Item Number:4 Date: 08/17/2017 ISRAEL - HAMAS GUARD DIES IN SUICIDE BOMBING BLAMED ON ISIS; ATTACK TAKES PLACE ON EGYPTIAN BORDER (AUG 17/HA)  HAARETZ -- A Hamas security guard has been killed in a suicide bombing close to the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, say security sources, as reported by Haaretz (Israel).   The incident took place early Thursday at the border between the town of Rafah in the Gaza Strip and Egypt, reported AFP.   The Hamas security forces stopped two people who had approached to the border. One blew himself up, said a Hamas spokesman.   A 28-year-old Hamas field commander later died of his wounds, said the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing. The second man and four security guards were wounded.   The numbers about the attackers and casualties have been reported variously.   Hamas blamed "fundamental jihadists" for the attack. Security sources cited by Al Jazeera said the suicide bomber was an ISIS member. The attackers were said to be crossing into Egypt to join ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula, reported the Jewish Press
  Item Number:5 Date: 08/17/2017 JAPAN - DEFENSE MINISTRY PUSHES FOR AEGIS ASHORE FOR MISSILE DEFENSE (AUG 17/KNA)  KYODO NEWS AGENCY -- Japan's Defense Ministry wants to deploy a U.S.-developed land-based anti-missile defense system to counter growing North Korean missile threats, says a government source cited by the Kyodo News.   The ministry is expediting studies on purchasing and installing an Aegis Ashore system, the source said on Wednesday.   The ministry will include funding for the system –- a ground-based version of the SM-3 system used by the Maritime Self-Defense Force – in the budget request for 2018, reported the daily Mainichi.   The plan is to submit a budgetary request by the end of August. Costs are to be finalized by the end of the year, the source said. One Aegis Ashore unit is estimated to cost about US$728 million, not including funds for land purchases.   Aegis Ashore uses the same components of Japan's Kongo-class Aegis missile destroyers. The ministry is also planning to increase the number of ships from four to five.   A military space unit to protect satellites used by the U.S. and Japan to detect ballistic missile launches is also in the works, said the source
  Item Number:6 Date: 08/17/2017 MALI - WAR CRIMES COURT ORDERS JAILED ISLAMIST TO PAY REPARATIONS FOR DESTROYING TIMBUKTU HOLY SITES (AUG 17/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The International Criminal Court at The Hague has ordered an imprisoned North African jihadist to pay millions of dollars for destroying holy sites in Mali, reports Agence France-Presse.   In 2016, Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi pleaded guilty to war crimes for his involvement in destroying 10 ancient mausoleums and religious sites in Timbuktu. The attacks he directed were made with pickaxes and bulldozers, noted Newsweek.   At the time, Al Mahdi was a members of Ansar Dine, an Islamist militia that viewed the sites as idolatrous. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.   On Thursday, the ICC ruled that Al Mahdi was liable for damages of US$3.2 million.   The court asked the ICC's Trust Fund for Victims to pay the damages because Al Mahdi is in jail and is penniless. The money will go toward Timbuktu in the form of educational programs, economic aid schemes and possibly a memorial, reported Reuters.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 08/17/2017 PAKISTAN - F-7 CRASHES DURING TRAINING IN PUNJAB; PILOT EJECTS SAFELY (AUG 17/DAWN)  DAWN -- The pilot of a Pakistani air force jet that crashed on Thursday is safe, says the air force, as reported by Dawn (Pakistan).   The F-7PG went down during a routine training mission near Sargodha in Punjab province, said the air force.   The pilot ejected safely and there was no damage or casualties on the ground, the statement said. An investigation has been opened, said the air force.   The F-7 is the export designation of the Chinese J-7 fighter jet, which itself is an adaptation of the MiG-21. Ten or 11 F-7PGs have been lost in 15 years of service, noted the Financial Express (India).  
  Item Number:8 Date: 08/17/2017 PHILIPPINES - MILITARY IN LINE FOR 6 SCANEAGLE UAVS FROM U.S. (AUG 17/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Insitu, Bingen, Wash., a Boeing subsidiary, a contract to supply unmanned aerial vehicles to the Philippines, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The US$7.4 million order covers six ScanEagle systems, support equipment, training, site activation and technical services for the Philippine government, said a Pentagon release on Tuesday.   Work under the contract is scheduled to be completed in July 2019.   The Philippines was not known to field the ScanEagle until a U.S. Navy solicitation appeared in early June, IHS Jane's Defence Weekly noted at the time
Item Number:9 Date: 08/17/2017 SOUTH KOREA - NATION MUST PROTECT ITSELF, NOT JUST LEAN ON U.S., INSISTS PRESIDENT (AUG 17/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- In a key address, South Korean President Moon Jae In says his nation must do more to ensure its own security, reports the Stars and Stripes.   Saying that Seoul will work "very closely" with its U.S. ally to deal with threats from North Korea, the president also insisted "we cannot rely only on our ally for our security." The president made his comments in a televised speech on Tuesday, marking South Korea's independence from Japanese colonial rule in 1945.   "When it comes to matters related to the Korean Peninsula, our country has to take the initiative in resolving them," he said. "Without the consent of the Republic of Korea, no country can determine to take military action."   Moon emphasized that his "government will do all it can to prevent a war from breaking out."   Concerns that the U.S. could launch a pre-emptive attack or that threats could lead to unintentional warfare have prompted calls for better defenses
Item Number:10 Date: 08/17/2017 SYRIA - AMERICAN DRONES BEING USED FOR 'DANGER-CLOSE' SUPPORT FOR U.S.-BACKED REBELS (AUG 17/LAT)  LOS ANGELES TIMES -- U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles are now delivering many airstrikes in support of Syrian rebels in urban areas at close ranges, reports the Los Angeles Times.   American drone pilots routinely launch missiles at what the Defense Dept. calls "danger-close" ranges to rebels fighting the Islamic State.   In some cases, U.S. special operations force direct the attacks. Danger-close missions, however, require approval from Syrian militia commanders, since the strikes could pose a risk to their ground fighters.   In Raqqa, an important ISIS stronghold in eastern Syria, drone strikes have helped dislodge and kill militants in the city's narrow streets and crowded quarters, where snipers, booby traps and car bombs have been hidden, say U.S. officials.   About a dozen U.S. MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft patrol Raqqa every day, officials said. The crews launch airstrikes or pass targets on to manned aircraft.   The air campaign has helped the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces capture more than half of Raqqa since a three-pronged ground assault began two months ago, according to U.S. and Syrian officials.  
Item Number:11 Date: 08/17/2017 SYRIA - IRANIAN MISSILE FACTORY SPOTTED IN SYRIA (AUG 17/ARUTZ)  ARUTZ SHEVA -- Newly released satellite photos show that Iran has been building a missile factory in Syria, reports Arutz Sheva, citing Israeli television.   The TV account noted that the facility is being built near the city of Baniyas, south of Latakia on Syria's Mediterranean coast. It is constructed in the same way as an Iranian missile factory in Tehran, Israel's Channel 2 news said on Tuesday.   The images are said to indicate that construction of the Scud missile factory began in 2016 and will likely be completed in late 2017.   The construction of the plant suggests a high involvement of Iranian experts, intelligence experts told Channel 2.   Tehran has been a strong supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad and has been providing his government with military and financial aid.   The depicted facility can also store missiles underground, noted the Times of Israel
Item Number:12 Date: 08/17/2017 TURKEY - IN RARE VISIT, IRANIAN MILITARY CHIEF IS WELCOMED IN ANKARA (AUG 17/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- The head of the Iranian armed forces is leading a high-ranking military and political delegation in the Turkish capital, Ankara, for three days of talks, reports the Voice of America News.   This is the first visit by Iran's chief of staff to Turkey since the 1979 Iranian revolution.   Iran has become an increasingly important regional actor. Yet Tehran's interests are generally not aligned with those of Turkey, particularly in Iraq and Syria, note analysts.   Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has positioned himself as an advocate for Sunni Muslim rights in the region and has criticized Iran's policies in Iraq and Syria.   Maj. Gen. Mohammad-Hossein Baqeri's visit comes as the two countries are working with Russia in the Astana process in an effort to resolve the Syrian conflict. Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan, where many of the talks have taken place.   The Iranian-Turkish talks will cover the Syrian conflict, including the enclave of Idlib, one of the last areas that rebel forces control, said experts.   Idlib borders Turkey. The Turkish government is worried that if Syrian government forces overrun the area, it could create a major influx of refugees as well as radical jihadists.  
 Item Number:13 Date: 08/17/2017 USA - 5 CREWMEMBERS MISSING AFTER CRASH OF ARMY BLACK HAWK OFF OAHU (AUG 17/HSA)  HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER -- Five U.S. Army crewmembers are missing after their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed late Tuesday night off Kaena Point on Oahu, Hawaii, reports the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.   Officials at Wheeler Army Airfield told the Coast Guard in Honolulu at 10:08 p.m. that they had lost communication with one of the Black Hawk crews. The Coast Guard and local firemen on a boat launched a rescue operation.   Army and Coast Guard aircraft detected a debris field near Kaena Point at 11:28 p.m. on Tuesday, said a Coast Guard release.   Two Black Hawks were conducting training between Kaena Point and Dillingham Airfield when communications with the aircraft were lost.   The helicopter was part of the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, noted Fox News.  
Item Number:14 Date: 08/17/2017 USA - DARPA TESTS ELEVATED SENSOR MAST ON NAVY COASTAL PATROL SHIP (AUG 17/DARPA)  U.S. DEFENSE ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS -- The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) says it has successfully demonstrated a prototype low-cost, elevated sensor mast aboard an active U.S. Navy vessel.   The Towed Airborne Lift of Naval Systems (TALONS) research program was recently installed on the USS Zephyr coastal patrol boat for three days of trials near Naval Station Mayport, Fla., said the agency.   The system demonstrated safe and routine operation from the ship's deck under a variety of sea states and wind conditions without negatively affecting the vessel's operational capability, said a DARPA release on Aug. 15.   The TALONS significantly improved the ability of the Zephyr to detect, track and classify contacts of interest as well as boosting communication range between the ship and remote platforms, such as rigid-hull inflatable boats, said DARPA.   Towed behind naval vessels, TALONS could persistently suspend intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and communications payloads weighing up to 150 pounds (70 kg) at altitudes between 500 feet (150 m) and 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level to provide greater range and effectiveness, said the agency
Item Number:15 Date: 08/17/2017 USA - EXPEDITIONARY SEA BASE LEWIS B. PULLER TO BECOME WARSHIP (AUG 17/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- The U.S. Navy is recommissioning one of its civilian support ships into a warship, reports NBC News.   The USNS Lewis B. Puller (T-ESB-3) is being re-designated as the USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB-3) in a ceremony on Thursday in Bahrain, said the service.   The ship is named for the most decorated Marine in history, Lt. Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller, a combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War.   The change in designation will allow the expeditionary landing base ship to conduct more potential missions. Mine-countermeasure operations and special operations forces staging must be conducted by a warship under the law of armed conflict, said a Navy spokesman cited by USNI News.   The vessel will not physically change. The ship will have a crew of about 100 Navy sailors and just under 50 civilians.   The Puller is expected to be deployed in the U.S. Central Command area for the next five years.   The Navy is considering making the ship part of the forward deployed naval forces in Bahrain, the spokesman said
  Item Number:16 Date: 08/17/2017 USA - MARINE CORPS REQUESTS 50,000 MORE M27 INFANTRY AUTOMATIC RIFLES (AUG 17/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- The U.S. Marine Corps is requesting 50,000 more M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles, which are built by Heckler & Koch, reports the Marine Corps Times.   Commandant Gen. Robert Neller earlier this year said that he wants the rifle for every 0311 rifleman in the Corps.   The Marines began fielding 4,000 M27 IARs in 2010 to replace the M249 squad automatic weapon.   The service later decided that Marines needed both rifles, so that 5.56-mm M27 has been phased-in to replace the M4.   The M27 is generally agreed to be a superior weapon to the M4, although it costs about $3,000, compared to $1,000 for the M4.   The latest pre-solicitation notice issued on Aug. 11 for 50,184 rifles appears to be in addition to a planned order for 11,000 IARs that was revealed in March.   Once all Marine rifleman are equipped with the M27, combat engineers and light armored reconnaissance battalion scouts will begin to receive the weapon.   The M27 has a 30-round magazine and can fire at a rate of up to 40 rounds per minute. It also offers an additional 110-160 yards (100-150 m) of range compared to the M4
  Item Number:17 Date: 08/17/2017 USA - STATE OFFICIALLY LISTS KASHMIR-BASED HIZB AS TERRORIST GROUP (AUG 17/STATE)  U.S. STATE DEPT. -- The Kashmir-based Hizbul Mujahidin group has officially been designated as a foreign terrorist organization as well as a specially designated global terrorist (SDGT) by the U.S. State Dept.   The designations block the group's assets in the U.S. and prohibits U.S. companies and U.S. citizens from doing business with the group, noted a statement released Wednesday.   Known as Hizb and HM in India, Hizbul Mujahidin is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Kashmir. It is led by Syed Salahuddin (aka Mohammad Yusuf Shah), 71, who was designated as a global terrorist by State in June.   The group has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including one in April 2014 that injured 17 people, said the statement
Item Number:18 Date: 08/17/2017 USA - TROOPS TAKE PART IN PILOT PROGRAM FOR NEW COMBAT FITNESS TEST (AUG 17/ARMY)  ARMY TIMES -- The U.S. Army has been evaluating a new fitness test designed to reflect how a soldier will perform in combat, reports the Army Times.   Officials say the Army has long been aware of the shortcomings of the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). The service has been working for more than a decade on a better way to measure combat readiness and train personnel to that standard.   Earlier this month, the Center for Initial Military Training launched a pilot program with the Army Combat Readiness Test (ACRT) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.   Members of the Washington National Guard and 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, tried out the six-event test.   The test "is as close physically as you can get to replicate the types of physical actions you'll do on the battlefield," Staff Sgt. Talen Peterson, a Ranger assigned the 2nd Battalion's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, told the Army Times.   The ACRT measures five kinds of fitness, rather than just one. Instead of just covering muscular endurance, the new test covers muscular and cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, explosive strength and agility.   The six components of the ACRT are a two-mile run; a 270-yard (250-m) sprint/drag/carry; maximum weight deadlift; leg tuck; standing power throw; and T-pushup. The existing APFT has three events: two-mile run, pushups and situps.   More pilot programs are planned for the rest of the year, including at Fort Lee, Va., and Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., officials said
  Item Number:19 Date: 08/17/2017 VENEZUELA - PRISON RAID BY INTERIOR MINISTRY TURNS INTO 'MASSACRE'; 37 INMATES KILLED (AUG 17/FN)  FOX NEWS -- The governor of Amazonas state in Venezuela says 37 people died early Wednesday in fighting between inmates of a prison and security officials, reports Fox News.   Government security forces raided the prison in Venezuela's south to try to restore order there. Inmates reportedly seized control of the prison several weeks ago.   Special Interior Ministry troops were deployed early Wednesday after a massive fight in Puerto Ayacucho, the capital of Amazonas state.   Fourteen officials were reportedly injured. All of those killed were inmates, according to prison-monitoring groups, as cited by the BBC.   Witnesses reported hearing gunshots for several hours. "There was a massacre," said Gov. Liborio Guarulla on Twitter.   The prison was holding 105 inmates at the time. The prisons in Venezuela are said to be dominated by criminal gangs. 
 
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