Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fw: TheList 4535

The List 4535


To All,
A bit of history and some tidbits.
Regards,
Skip
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This Day In Naval History - August 30
1913 - Navy tests Sperry gyroscopic stabilizer (automatic pilot)
1923 - USS Colorado (BB 45) is commissioned. Notable during her pre-World War II service, she helps in the search for missing aviator, Amelia Earhart, in 1937. During WWII, USS Colorado serves in the Pacific during World War II and is hit by kamikazes at Leyte in November 1944.
1929: At New London, Conn., 26 officers and men test the Momsen lung to exit an intentionally-bottomed submarine. The device was created by Lt. C.B. Momsen following the failure to save surviving crew members trapped in USS S-4 (SS 109) that sank after a collision with Coast Guard cutter USS Paulding in 1927.
 
1961 - Two Cuban frigates fire on a Naval Reserve aircraft on a training mission over international waters
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Today in History August 30
1617
Rosa de Lima of Peru becomes the first American saint to be canonized.
1721
The Peace of Nystad ends the Second Northern War between Sweden and Russia, giving Russia considerably more power in the Baltic region.
1781
The French fleet arrives in the Chesapeake Bay to aid the American Revolution.
1813
Creek Indians massacre over 500 whites at Fort Mims, Alabama.
1860
The first British tramway is inaugurated at Birkenhead by an American, George Francis Train.
1861
Union General John Fremont declares martial law throughout Missouri and makes his own emancipation proclamation to free slaves in the state. President Lincoln overrules the general.
1892
The Moravia, a passenger ship arriving from Germany, brings cholera to the United States.
1932
Nazi leader Hermann Goering is elected president of the Reichstag.
1944
Ploesti, the center of the Rumanian oil industry, falls to Soviet troops.
1961
President John F. Kennedy appoints General Lucius D. Clay as his personal representative in Berlin.
1963
Hot Line communications link installed between Moscow and Washington, DC.
1967
US Senate confirms Thurgood Marshall as first African-American Supreme Court justice.
1976
Tom Brokaw becomes news anchor of Today Show.
1979
First recorded instance of a comet (Howard-Koomur-Michels) hitting the sun; the energy released is equal to approximately 1 million hydrogen bombs.
1982
Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) forced out of Lebanon after 10 years in Beirut during Lebanese Civil War.
1983
Lieutenant Colonel Guion S. Bluford, Jr., becomes the first African-American astronaut to travel in space.
1986
KGB arrests journalist Nicholas Daniloff (US News World Report) on a charge of spying and hold him for 13 days.
1983
Eiffel Tower welcomes its 150 millionth visitor, 33-year-old Parisian Jacqueline Martinez.
1830: The "Tom Thumb" was demonstrated in Baltimore, MD. It was the first passenger-carrying train of its kind to be built in America.
1963: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his "I Have a Dream" speech at a civil rights rally in Washington, DC. More than 200,000 people attended.
And today is:
National Cherry Turnover Day
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This Week in American Military History:
From the flag's first action to the Japanese surrender by  W. Thomas Smith Jr.
 
Aug. 28, 1862:  The Second battle of Bull Run (known to many Southerners as Second Manassas) opens between Union Army forces under the command of Maj.
Gen. John Pope and Confederate forces under Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall"
Jackson (Gen. Robert E. Lee in overall command).
Within days, Confederate forces will drive Union forces from the field, not unlike what happened at First Bull Run /Manassas on July 21, 1861.
 
Aug. 28, 1972:  U.S. Air Force Capt. Richard Stephen Richie, flying an F-4 Phantom, shoots down his fifth MiG over North Vietnam, becoming the Air Force's first ace of the war.
But to hear Richie tell it, it was just a ride. "My fifth MiG kill was an exact duplicate of a syllabus mission, so I had not only flown that as a student, but had taught it probably a dozen times prior to actually doing it in combat," he says.
 
Sept. 2, 1901:  Medal of Honor recipient and U.S. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt delivers a speech at the Minnesota State Fair in which he says, "A good many of you are probably acquainted with the old proverb, 'Speak softly and carry a big stick – you will go far.' If a man continually blusters, if he lacks civility, a big stick will not save him from trouble, and neither will speaking softly avail, if back of the softness there does not lie strength, power."
In four days, Pres. William McKinley will be mortally wounded by an assassin's
 
Sept. 2, 1945:  A delegation from the defeated Japanese Empire sign the documents of surrender about the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur , a Medal of Honor recipient and Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific, says, "Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always. These proceedings are closed."
World War II is over.
 
Sept. 3, 1777:  The Battle of Cooch's Bridge (a.k.a. the Battle of Iron
Hill) – the only pitched battle of the American Revolution to be fought in Delaware – opens between Continental Army and militia forces under the command of Brig. Gen. William Maxwell and a combined force of British, Hessian, and Ansbach soldiers under the overall command of British Gen. Sir Charles Cornwallis (and under the immediate tactical command of Hessian Lt.
Col. Ludwig von Wurmb).
Though a British victory, which devolved into a savage close-quarters engagement, the Battle of Cooch's Bridge is significant as the first time the Stars-and-Stripes is flown in action.
 
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Thanks to Dutch, Dick and  the Bear for this
 
August 31, 2016
RF-8G (146874, AH 602) of VFP-63; LCDR Tucker, Recovered
August 31, 2016
With many thanks to Dick Schaffert, aka "Brown Bear", Mighty Thunder is proud to present you with Peter Fey's excellent write-up for 31 August 1966 loss: RF-8G (146874, AH 602) of VFP-63; LCDR Tucker, Recovered
The officer-in-charge of VFP-63's detachment was shot down while attempting to photograph a foreign oil tanker and other ships in Haiphong harbor. As he approached Quang Yen, five miles northeast of Haiphong, his aircraft was hit by 37-millimeter ground fire. LCDR Tucker lost all his flight controls with the exception of his rudder and was forced to eject only 1,500 feet over Haiphong harbor. He landed in a shipping channel less than 150-yards from the shore and several junks began attempts to capture him. An SH-3 off the USS Kearsarge arrived within minutes to attempt a rescue. It was piloted by the commanding officer of HS-6, CDR Vermilya, and was escorted by LCDR Tucker's wingman, LCDR Teague. While Teague strafed junks in the area, the helicopter flew at less than fifty feet and under constant fire from vessels and shore batteries. The rescue attempt was successful and LCDR Tucker was recovered in one of the most dangerous rescue missions of the war. 
My additional comments: (Note – Tooter kept Tom in sight in the harbor; the HS-6 helo came into that hell-on-earth scene unescorted and Tooter escorted them out after they picked up Tom). 
Foster "Tooter" Teague played Texas A&M football for Bear Bryant.  During Rolling Thunder, he flew Crusaders with the VF-111 Sundowners aboard USS Oriskany.  His roommate was the OinC of the VFP-63 Photo Det, Tom Tucker.  The two were close friends. 
The "Terrible T's" recorded many unusual events, off and on the ship.   Tooter was escorting Tom on a "white-knuckle" mission to photograph Soviet and other freighters delivering war supplies to Haiphong Harbor when Tucker's RF-8G was hit by heavy 37MM fire.   The USS Kearsarge, with HS-6 and its SH-3 helicopter aboard, was in position as the "Northern SAR" for just such an emergency, and the fight was on! 
The burning Crusader, and Tom's blossoming parachute, were probably seen by several thousand inhabitants in and around the harbor.  Hundreds were eager to capture a "Yankee Air Pirate," and proceeded towards the downed pilot in anything that would float.  It would take about 20 minutes for the SAR helo to arrive on the scene.  Even if the Commanding Officer of HS-6, CDR Vermilya, and his crew arrived in time, their odds of surviving the barrage of fire from thousands of guns in and near the harbor were not good. 
Tom was only 150 yards off shore, and Tooter had to keep the bad guys at bay until they arrived.  He ran out of ordnance after the first 15 minutes but continued to discourage them from approaching Tom by making wave-top passes and lighting his afterburner at the appropriate time. 
Back in Oriskany's War Room, the Skipper was aware of the personal relationship between the "Terrible T's" and was heard to say something to the effect: "We better get Tucker quick!  Tooter will never leave him!  We'll have two guys in the water if he runs out of fuel."  Tucker's rescue was not only one of the most dangerous, but probably the most "Divine Assisted" rescue ever achieved by USS Oriskany, Air Wing Sixteen, and HS-6; and we had far too many of them!  By the summer of '67, it was an all-too-normal routine:  The "first-light" launch in the morning was frequently an all-out attempt to rescue those shot-down the previous day.
During Rolling Thunder, 43 aircrewmen from Air Wing Sixteen successfully ejected from, or bailed out of, downed aircraft and were known to be alive on the ground in enemy territory; 24 were rescued, unfortunately 19 were not.  27 others safely ejected into friendly waters around Yankee Station and were recovered. 
The Biblical phrase: "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for a friend," seemed a motto for Oriskany's Air Wing.  Impossible rescues were never-the-less attempted and, unfortunately, many indeed laid down their lives. 
Next July 18th will mark the 50th anniversary of the glorious, but extremely costly, rescue of two downed pilots and the unfortunate loss of a third.  In addition to the 3 original downed A4 Skyhawks, 3 rescue helo's and 4 A1-H escorts were lost or damaged beyond repair and 5 would-be rescue air crewmen were killed.  Their story of dedicated professionals exceeding all human expectations will make my point.
Courage was indeed a common virtue for American Aviators who let it all hang out over North Vietnam, day and night, for 9 years!  The unbreakable "Cord of Courage," which bound Air Wing Sixteen combat aircrews during Rolling Thunder, was composed of thousands of threads of individual human virtue of the finest quality, which were woven with pure American patriotism.
CVW-16's 70 assigned combat aircraft were hit by enemy fire 242 times during Rolling Thunder.  180 were damaged and 62 were knocked down.  With our assigned complement of 78 combat pilots, 56 were KIA, 12 POW, and 5 MIA.  Our statistical probability of surviving Rolling Thunder was 30 percent!
V/R  Dick Schaffert
 
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Thanks to Richard……This must have been some kind of failure test. I would not volunteer for it

Subject: Fw: Why you need to change the barrel

SUBJECT:  Why you need to change the barrel 
 
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More history thanks to RADM Cox
Subject: FW: H-Gram 004R - We Are Ready Now
100th Anniversary of WWI

The First Shot.

The first U.S. shot of WWI was fired on 7 Apr 1917 by a Marine embarked on the old U.S. Navy iron-hulled steam schooner USS Supply, at Guam, attempting to prevent the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Cormoran II from scuttling itself in Apra Harbor, where she had been interned since 1914.  The Cormoran II still blew herself up and sank, with the loss of 7 (or 9) German lives.  The lesson is that when war comes, it may come in a place least expected.  For more detail see attachment H-004-1 SMS Cormoran II.

We Are Ready Now (sort of)

In response to German resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare, the United States declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917.  In response to a desperate British need for destroyers to counter German U-Boats, which were sinking merchant ships at a grave rate, the U.S. quickly deployed a division of six destroyers to the United Kingdom, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Joseph Taussig, which arrived in Queenstown (now Cobh, Ireland) on 4 May.  Although Taussig didn't actually say the famous quote attributed to him, "we are ready now, sir!" the gist was essentially correct, and the destroyers very rapidly integrated into Royal Navy fleet operations.  Taussig's destroyers were the first U.S. combat forces to arrive in the European theater, and the first U.S. Navy forces to ever operate under foreign command.  Other divisions of U.S. destroyers arrived soon after, aided by the use of underway refueling, that had just been invented on the fly by Commander Ernest J. King, and Lieutenant Commander Chester Nimitz.  Another U.S. technological innovation, reliable radio-telephone, would significantly improve anti-submarine warfare tactics.  Although in many respects the U.S. Navy muddled through the First World War, and was far from ready for war, the U.S. Navy nevertheless succeeded in ensuring the safe arrival of 2,000,000 U.S. troops in Europe in 1917/18, despite the severe U-boat threat, which broke the years-long bloody stalemate and led to the rapid defeat of Germany.  Future H-Grams will cover the U.S. Navy's impact on the war, but attachment H-004-2 discusses more detail about the U.S. entry into the war and initial U.S. Navy operations.  Attachment H-004-3 shows a photo taken shortly after the war of Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt with the famous painting "Return of the Mayflower" depicting the arrival of Taussig's destroyers hanging in his office (and which later hung in the White House Oval Office.)  With Roosevelt in the photo is RADM William S. Sims, returned from duty as a Vice Admiral in charge of U.S. naval forces in Europe, and RADM Josiah McKean, acting CNO after CNO Benson retired.

75th Anniversary of World War II.

The Doolittle Raid - "Shangri-La."

On the morning of 18 April 1942, sixteen U.S. Army Air Force B-25B Mitchell twin-engine bombers, led by Lieutenant Colonel James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, launched from the flight deck of the carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) and bombed targets in Japan, the first strike by the U.S. against the Japanese homeland since Pearl Harbor.  The raid was a huge boost to U.S. morale.   Damage to military targets was good for the limited number of aircraft employed, but the psychological effect on the Japanese was profound.  All 16 aircraft were lost (none were shot down over Japan, but 15 crashed in or off the coast of China after running out of fuel and one was interned by the Soviets when it landed near Vladivostok.)  The human cost was seven aircrewmen dead (three killed in bailout/ditching, and of eight POW's, three were executed and one starved to death.)  As many as 250,000 Chinese men, women and children were killed in a three month Japanese campaign of retaliation for Chinese assistance to the Raiders, including use of bacteriologic agents from Japan's infamous Unit 731.  Attachment H-004-4 discusses the Navy origins for the Doolittle Raid and the consequences.

Enlisted Hero of the Month - AMM1/C Bruno Gaido

Although my H-grams tend to concentrate on command decisions, I will also periodically highlight a few of the many exceptional acts of valor displayed by enlisted Sailors throughout the history of the U.S. Navy.  Attachment H-004-5 highlights the actions of Aviation Machinist Mate First Class Bruno Peter Gaido during the raid on the Japanese held-Marshall islands by the carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) on 1 Feb 1942.  During an attack by Japanese bombers, Gaido jumped into the back seat of a parked SBD Dauntless dive bomber on the flight deck, and used its rear guns to shoot down a Japanese bomber intent on crashing into the Enterprise.  The wing of the crippled bomber cut the tail off Gaido's plane, yet Gaido continued to fire, and then extinguished a fire left by bomber remnants.  Spot promoted from Third Class to First Class by VADM William Halsey for his actions, Gaido was later captured and tortured by the Japanese at Battle of Midway, and after revealing nothing of value, was thrown over the side to drown.  Gaido was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, posthumously.

V/r,

Sam

Samuel J. Cox
RADM, USN (Retired)
Director of Naval History
Curator of the Navy
Director, Naval History and Heritage Command

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Item Number:1 Date: 08/30/2017 AFGHANISTAN - ISIS ATTACKS HOME OF DEPUTY SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT, KILLING 2 BODYGUARDS (AUG 30/TN)  TOLONEWS -- A gun and suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province has killed at least two people outside the house of a prominent lawmaker, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan).   Two bodyguards protecting Zahir Qadir were shot and killed Wednesday morning outside his house in Jalalabad, the provincial capital, said a spokesman for the provincial governor.   Officials said a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the residence, killing the guards. The other attacker was shot dead.   The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.   Qair is the deputy speaker of Parliament and a member of a prominent political family that has long opposed the Islamic State and the Taliban, noted Reuters.  
 Item Number:2 Date: 08/30/2017 BURKINA FASO - ORDER PLACED FOR 2 MI-171SH TRANSPORT HELICOPTERS FROM RUSSIA (AUG 30/ROSTECH)  ROSTECH -- The government of Burkina Faso has finalized a contract with Rosoboronexport, Russia's arms export agency, for two military transport helicopters, reports Rostec, Moscow's defense holding company.   The deal covers Mi-171SH aircraft and will be executed in 2018, said Rosoboronexport officials last week at the Army 2017 expo in Russia.   Burkina Faso already operates Mi-17s, the officials noted
  Item Number:3 Date: 08/30/2017 BURMA - THOUSANDS OF ROHINGYA MUSLIMS FLEE TO BANGLADESH (AUG 30/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Aid workers say more than 18,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Burma's Rakhine state to Bangladesh in less than a week, reported the BBC.   On Aug. 25, an armed group attacked police posts and an army base in Rakhine, killing 12 security personnel. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) claimed responsibility.   Members of the minority began fleeing last week after the government intensified "clearance operations," reported CNN.   About 18,445 Rohingya -- mostly women and children -- have since registered in Bangladesh, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Wednesday.   Witnesses and rights groups have accused the Burmese military of burning down areas and firing on civilians. Satellite images show fires in at least 10 areas of the state, said Human Rights Watch.   Neither Burma nor Bangladesh claims the Rohingya as citizens. Burma says Bangladesh harbors Rohingya militants. About a million members of the group live in Rakhine
  Item Number:4 Date: 08/30/2017 CANADA - RULES FOR SHARING SIGNALS INTEL WITH ALLIES UNDER SCRUTINY (AUG 30/CBC)  CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION -- Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan is preparing a directive covering how Canada's electronic intelligence agency shares foreign SIGINT with its closest allies, the Five Eyes partners, reports CBC News.   A 2016 report from the oversight commissioner of the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) revealed that the agency had illegally and unintentionally shared domestic metadata with those partners.   The Five Eyes consists of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and U.S.   The term metadata refers to information associated with phone or electronic communication that is used to identify, describe or route information.   The CSE is now conducting an analysis to support the defense minister's directive on information-sharing activities among the intelligence alliance, said a Defense Ministry spokesman.   The directive is expected to authorize and draw boundaries around what is permissible when gathering and sharing data, said analysts.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 08/30/2017 FINLAND - HELSINKI CORRECTS TRUMP'S COMMENTS ABOUT F-18 PURCHASE; NO DECISION MADE YET (AUG 30/REU)  REUTERS -- Finland's President Sauli Niinisto says his country is not purchasing fighter jets from the U.S. as suggested by President Donald Trump, reports Reuters.   Trump said on Monday that Finland was purchasing F-18 fighter jets from Boeing. He made his comments during a joint news conference with Niinisto.   The following day, Niinisto suggested that Trump had been confused, noted the Washington Examiner. One defense blog said the president may have misspoke during his answers.   The Finnish president said that the purchase process was just starting. "It seems that on the sale side, past decisions and hopes about future decisions have mixed," he said.   Helsinki is expected to procure new fighter jets in a deal estimated to be worth US$8-12 billion to replace is aging fleet of F/A-18 Hornets. An initial request for quotes is expected for 2018 with a decision scheduled for the early 2020s.   Potential candidates have been listed as Saab's Gripen, Dassault's Rafale, Boeing's Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin's F-35 and the Eurofighter.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 08/30/2017 IRAQ - ISLAMIC STATE FIGHTERS FLEE TAL AFAR, PUT UP STRONG RESISTANCE IN NEARBY TOWN (AUG 30/IQN)  IRAQI NEWS -- Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State militants near Tal Afar in Nineveh province have encountered heavy resistance, say officials, as reported by Iraqi News.   Government forces announced on Monday that they had regained control of the northern city. ISIS fighters fled to Al Ayadiya, northwest of Tal Afar. Troops then began an offensive to take the area.   Soldiers encountered hundreds of entrenched fighters inside houses and high buildings, making it hard to advance, said army officers cited by Reuters on Tuesday.   Government forces have increased airstrikes and brought in reinforcements from the army, air force, federal police, Shi'ite militias and the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), said officials.   There has been no significant advances, said army officers
Item Number:7 Date: 08/30/2017 IRAQ - MAIN BORDER CROSSING REOPENS BETWEEN JORDAN, IRAQ (AUG 30/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The main border crossing between Jordan and Iraq, closed since 2015, has been reopened, says the governments of both countries, reports Agence France-Presse.   The crossing -- known as Turaibil in Iraq and Al-Karameh in Jordan -- was reopened Wednesday after it was "secured against attacks by criminal gangs," said a joint statement.   The Iraqi army has taken back most of the main towns in Anbar province from ISIS, noted Reuters.   The road to the border crossing passes through Anbar province, where Islamic State terrorists still control territory. ISIS holds the towns of Rawa, Aanah and Al-Qaim, more than 125 miles north
  Item Number:8 Date: 08/30/2017 ISRAEL - ELBIT PICKS UP WORK FOR ASIAN F-5 FIGHTERS (AUG 30/ELBIT)  ELBIT SYSTEMS -- Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems says it has received a contract from an unnamed Asia-Pacific country to upgrade its fleet of F-5 fighters.   The three-year, US$93 million contract covers the installation of advanced head-up displays; cockpit; radars; weapon delivery and navigation systems, the Israeli firm said in a release on Tuesday.   Elbit will also supply its DASH IV helmet-mounted display system, the company said.   Early in August, the Royal Thai Air Force reported that the government had cleared a project to update avionics, radar, weapons, helmet-mounted display systems and more in its F-5 fleet, noted the Diplomat (Tokyo) at the time
Item Number:9 Date: 08/30/2017 ITALY - GOVERNMENT TRIES TO CURB MIGRANT INFLUX; NEWS SITE SAYS EFFORT INVOLVES PAYING LIBYAN MILITIAS (AUG 30/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- A London news site says the Italian government is paying Libyan militias linked to human-smugglers in an effort to stop the trafficking of migrants across the Mediterranean, reports the Voice of America News.   The claim from the Middle East Eye comes at the same time as an 86 percent decrease in the number of asylum-seekers reaching Italy over August the previous year.   The site reported that Rome has been paying off local militias in Sabratha, 50 miles (80 km) west of Tripoli, the Libyan capital.   The alleged payoffs have included cash, aid and equipment. They are channeled through the city's municipal authorities, which are controlled by the militants, said the Middle East Eye.   The Italian government has not yet responded to the allegations. In July, Reuters reported that an armed group had been stopping migrant boats from departing from Sabratha beaches.   There are also reports that trafficking from nearby Zawiya has nearly come to a standstill.   Trafficking may also have been disrupted by the recent arrest of Fahmi Salim Musa Bin Khalifa, known as the "king of smuggling," by the Rada Special Deterrence Force militia in Tripoli.  
 Item Number:10 Date: 08/30/2017 NORTH KOREA - MISSILE LAUNCH OVER JAPAN CALLED 'PRELUDE TO CONTAINING GUAM' (AUG 30/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- State media in North Korea maintain that the ballistic missile test on Tuesday over Japan is a prelude to more military operations directed at the U.S. territory of Guam, reports CNN.   North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presided over the launch of a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile that flew over Hokkaido in northern Japan, reported the state-run Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday.   The launch was "the first step of the military operation of [North Korea's military] in the Pacific and a meaningful prelude to containing Guam," said the KCNA, saying it was quoting Kim.   The test was also intended to counter joint U.S.-South Korean military drills, said the KCNA.   Earlier this month, Pyongyang threatened to fire missiles toward Guam
Item Number:11 Date: 08/30/2017 OMAN - U.K. SECURES ACCESS TO PORT COMPLEX IN DUGM (AUG 30/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- Senior British and Omani defense officials have signed a memorandum of understanding on the use of facilities at Dugm port by the U.K., reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   The port is located on the sultanate's southeastern seaboard on the Arabian Sea; it is the anchor of a huge special economic zone, as noted by the Dugm website.   British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon signed the accord with his Omani counterpart, Sayyid Badar bin Saud bin Harub Al Busaidi, during a two-day visit to Muscat.   The agreement allows the U.K. to use facilities at Duqm ahead of the completion of the British Joint Logistics Support Base at the port.   The Duqm Port complex offers a dry dock capability that can accommodate submarines and the Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, the ministry said in a Monday release.   This planned support base will give the U.K. a strategically important and permanent maritime base east of Suez, but outside of the Persian Gulf, the release noted.   The facility will also provide a permanent training facility in the region
Item Number:12 Date: 08/30/2017 PAKISTAN - BEIJING, ISLAMABAD AGREE TO WORK TOGETHER ON AFGHAN PEACE (AUG 30/EXPTRIB)  EXPRESS TRIBUNE -- The governments of China and Pakistan have pledged to coordinate on peace in Afghanistan and more trilateral engagement, reports the Express Tribune (Pakistan).   The matter was discussed on Monday in Islamabad by Affairs Ambassador Deng Xijun, China's special envoy on Afghan affairs, and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua.   They also discussed regional and international efforts to achieve peace in Afghanistan.   On Sunday, Islamabad postponed a scheduled visit by Alice Wells, the U.S. acting secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, reported Reuters.   On Aug. 21, President Donald Trump said that Pakistan was prolonging the conflict in Afghanistan and providing "safe havens to agents of chaos, violence and terror," as quoted by NPR.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 08/30/2017 SAUDI ARABIA - AT LEAST 100,000 SECURITY PERSONNEL GUARD ANNUAL HAJJ (AUG 30/REU)  REUTERS -- More than 100,000 Saudi security personnel have been deployed for this year's Muslim hajj pilgrimage, reports Reuters.   Around 2 million worshippers are expected to take part this year. Previous gatherings have included stampedes, fires and riots.   Speaking to the news agency on the heavy security on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said that there had been no specific militant plots detected.   Strict security measures were in place at the entrances to Mecca, Medina and other holy sites, as well as airports and seaports, he said.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 08/30/2017 SOUTH KOREA - PROPOSED DEFENSE BUDGET LARGEST IN 9 YEARS, UP 6.9 PERCENT (AUG 30/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean government has submitted a defense budget with a 6.9 percent increase for 2018 amid growing North Korean nuclear and missile threats, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   If approved, the proposed increase would be the highest since 2009.   The planned US$38.4 billion budget calls for about US$12 billion for programs designed to improve the military's firepower, a 10.5 percent increase from the 2017 budget, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.   "Investment will be focused on the early establishment of the three-axis system to counter the North's nuclear and missile threats, and the early transfer of" wartime operational control of South Korean military forces to Seoul, the ministry said.   The three-axis defense platform covers the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike system; Korean Air and Missile Defense (KAMD); and the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) scheme.   Seoul wants to have the system in place by the early 2020s. It is considered a prerequisite for the conditions-based operational control transition.   The budget for the three-axis program would increase 13.7 percent to US$3.8 billion under the proposal.   Seoul also plans to increase the budget for operations and maintenance by 5.3 percent, including better wages for enlisted personnel
Item Number:15 Date: 08/30/2017 SYRIA - CASUALTIES MOUNT IN RAQQA PROVINCE AS ARMY PRESSES TOWARD DEIR EZZOR (AUG 30/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Monitors say at least 64 people have been killed in fighting between Syrian government forces and the Islamic State in Raqqa province in 24 hours, as reported by Agence France-Presse.   At least 38 militants and 26 pro-government fighters have been killed since Tuesday morning, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday.   Earlier this month, government forces reached the outskirt of Madan, the last ISIS-held town before Deir Ezzor. ISIS fighters counterattacked last week.   The Syrian army has been on the offensive in Raqqa province, heading toward the mostly ISIS-held province of Deir Ezzor.   The conflict over the previous six days has left 145 dead in villages on the banks of the Euphrates River in the eastern part of Raqqa province, said the observatory
  Item Number:16 Date: 08/30/2017 SYRIA - COALITION ACKNOWLEDGES THAT TURKISH-BACKED REBELS, U.S. TROOPS EXCHANGED FIRE LAST WEEK (AUG 30/DAILYTEL)  DAILY TELEGRAPH -- U.S. troops returned fire after begin shot at last week by Turkish-backed rebels in northern Syria, says a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, as reported by the Daily Telegraph (U.K.).   The Americans were patrolling near an area held by rebels in the town of Manbij when they came under fire, said the spokesman on Tuesday night.   "Our forces did receive fire and return fire and then moved to a secure location. We have told Turkey it is not acceptable," he said.   The incident last week took place about the same time that U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was in Turkey to meet his counterpart and Turkey's president, noted CNN – which also noted that an official protest to Ankara was delivered from the coalition.   Turkey supports Free Syrian Army rebels that have been in Syria since the start of Operation Euphrates Shield in August 2016.   The U.S.-led coalition backs the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). Ankara views that group as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).   U.S. forces have been seen patrolling near Turkey-backed rebel areas while clearly displaying the U.S. flag since last year.   There were no casualties in the shooting incident, reported CNN
Item Number:17 Date: 08/30/2017 USA - IN MDA TEST OFF HAWAII, WARSHIP SHOOTS DOWN MISSILE (AUG 30/FN)  FOX NEWS -- The U.S. Missile Defense Agency says it has conducted a successful missile defense test off the coast of Hawaii, reports Fox News.   The USS John Paul Jones guided-missile destroyer intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile target using SM-6 guided missiles, said the agency on Wednesday.   The ship detected and tracked the target, which was launched for Kauai, Hawaii.   The director of the MDA said the test marked a "key milestone," reported USA Today.   The test gives the naval component of the Aegis missile defense system a higher ability to intercept missiles in their terminal phase, said the MDA.   The test, which was previously planned, followed a failed test in June from the same warship. The interception took place a day after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan, reported Reuters
Item Number:18 Date: 08/30/2017 USA - MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY ORDERS MORE SM-3 BLOCK IIA INTERCEPTORS (AUG 30/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Missile Defense Agency has awarded Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., a contract modification for additional SM-3 interceptor missiles, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The $614.5 million deal covers the manufacture of 17 SM-3 Block IIA missiles; production support and engineering efforts; obsolescence monitoring; technical baseline engineering support; quality assurance and audit work; and containers, the Pentagon said on Monday.   The modification decreases the total contract value from $630.7 million to $619.6 million.   Work will take place in Tucson and is scheduled to be completed by March 2020.   The missiles are expected to be exported to nations interested in operating the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system on either land or sea, noted UPI
  Item Number:19 Date: 08/30/2017 USA - SAWYER TAKES HELM OF 7TH FLEET IN WAKE OF SHIP INCIDENTS (AUG 30/NTIMES)  NAVY TIMES -- The new head of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet is in Yokosuka, Japan, after assuming command, reports the Navy Times.   Vice Adm. Phil Sawyer took the reins on Aug. 23, replacing Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, who was relieved after a second fatal collision involving one of the ships under his command.   The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore on Aug. 21. Ten sailors were killed. Less than two months before that, the destroyer Fitzgerald hit another commercial vessel off the coast of Japan. Seven sailors died in that incident.   In January, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay. A few months later, her sister Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel.   The incidents have raised questions about the ships and crews in the 7th Fleet, including whether they are able to safely execute basic functions. Various watchdog and other warnings have recently suggested a possible readiness crisis, CNN noted not long ago.   Sawyer, a submariner, previously served as deputy commander of the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii. He has also headed Submarine Force Pacific and commanded Submarine Squadron 15 and the submarine La Jolla
Item Number:20 Date: 08/30/2017 USA - WATCHDOG REPORT POINTS TO READINESS PROBLEMS WITH NAVY'S LOGISTICS FLEET (AUG 30/NTIMES)  NAVY TIMES -- The U.S. Navy's replenishment ships have seen a recent increase in readiness issues over the last five years, says a new report from the Government Accountability Office, as reported by the Navy Times.   Equipment casualties that limit the capabilities of the service's 29 support ships have risen 77 percent over the last five years, from 69 in 2012 to 122 in 2016, says the GAO report.   Oilers have had the most problems, with mission-limiting casualties having increased by 250 percent over the last three years. The problems have been linked to aging engine and diesel generator failures, the report says.   The fast combat support ship and fleet replenishment oilers have also been spending less time underway performing missions.   Operational availability for fast combat support ships have dropped from 289 days to 267 days since 2012, while oiler availability fell 16 percent from 253 days to 212 over the same period, says the report, dated Aug. 22.   The declines were primarily due to increased unscheduled maintenance, said the GAO.   The Navy's surge sealift fleet, reserve ships that would be used to rapidly transfer equipment and supplies in the case of a major conflict, is demonstrating reduced readiness, the report says.   The average age of the surge fleet is 40 years, with many of the vessels nearing the end of their service lives, notes the GAO.   The shortfalls could affect the Navy's new operational concept, which calls for wider dispersal of surface combatants. The service does not plan to review this effect on support ships until 2019, according to the GAO. 
 
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