Monday, September 18, 2017

Fw: TheList 4547


The List 4547


To All
Happy Friday. I hope you all have a great weekend.
Regards,
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This Day In Naval History - September 15
1944 - Invasion of Peleliu, Palau Islands, after several days of intensive carrier aircraft bombing and ship bombardment.
1950 - U.S. forces under VADM Arthur Struble achieve an amphibious landing at Inchon, Korea
1967 - Operation Crimson Tide in Mekong Delta
 
This Day In Naval History September 16
1854: Mare Island, Calif. becomes the first permanent U.S. naval installation on the west coast, with Cmdr. David G. Farragut as its first base commander.
 
1917 - Navy Department authorizes establishment of 16 Naval air stations abroad
1922 - Commander Halsey Powell in USS Edsall became the senior officer directing the evacuation of 250,000 Greek refugees from Turkey after war between Greece and Turkey.
1940 - President Roosevelt signs Selective Training and Service Act, the first peacetime draft.
1958 - USS Grayback fires first operational launch of Regulus II surface to surface guided missile off CA coast; Missile carries first U.S. mail sent by guided missile.
Thanks to Ed   Thought I'd add a little insight.....
My family lived on Mare Island Naval Shipyard twice.... first was when my Dad was the Production Officer.  We lived in Quarters 'E' which was huge!  That was in the late '50's.  We returned in 1962 when my Dad became Shipyard Commander, and we lived in Quarters "A".... awesome!  I lived on the third floor by myself!  Great place.  I graduated from Vallejo High School in 1966 with a buddy, Dennis Napior whose Dad taught Sub CO's tactics.  Both of us went to USNA, and Dennis into subs, I went air.  When the Grayback was launched it was a big event, but the even bigger event was the sub in San Pablo Bay launching the Regulus II missile.  On one of those events the missile was configured with blow-down landing gear and was flown to Hickam AFB and landed there safely!  Also, my Dad was the Chief of Bureau of Ships and was in command when it became Naval Ship Systems Command.  They were housed in the "Main Navy Buildings" on Constitution Ave.  Those buildings were made of wood!  When I was Pers-43 we were in wooden buildings up on the hill above DC where the new AF memorial is located.  I stayed as Exec to CNP when the rest of the staff moved to Millington, TN.  I had screened for major command and was on my way to SOSMRC in Newport, RI and then took command of JFK in Portsmouth, UK.  Today, if memory is right, the 2nd FORD class carrier will be JFK, and the 3rd FORD class carrier will be ENTERPRISE.  My buddy and USNA classmate, Mike Malone, was one of the Big E's CO's.  Great memories!  Great life!!!   All the BEST.... Fast Ed
 
 
1966 - USS Oriskany helicopters rescue 44-men crew of British merchant ship August Moon near Hong Kong
 
This Day In Naval History September 17
 
1861: During the Civil War, a landing party from USS Massachusetts takes possession of Ship Island, Miss., forcing the Confederates to evacuate. This was the headquarters for ADM David Farragut's Gulf Coast Blockading Squadron.
1944 - Navy Task Force lands Army troops on Angaur, Palau Islands supported by Navy carrier aircraft and shore bombardment
2012 - USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) is christened and launched at Mobile, Ala. The joint high-speed vessel provides rapid transport of military equipment and personnel in theater.
 
Today in History September 15
1588
The Spanish Armada, which attempted to invade England, is destroyed by a British fleet.
1776
The British occupy Manhattan.
1788
An alliance between Britain, Prussia and the Netherlands is ratified at the Hague.
1858
The Butterfield Overland Mail Company begins delivering mail from St. Louis to San Francisco. The company's motto is: "Remember, boys, nothing on God's earth must stop the United States mail!"
1862
Confederates capture Harpers Ferry, securing the rear of Robert E. Lee's forces in Maryland.
1891
The Dalton gang holds up a train and takes $2,500 at Wagoner, Oklahoma.
1914
President Woodrow Wilson orders the Punitive Expedition out of Mexico. The Expedition, headed by General John Pershing, had been searching for Pancho Villa, a Mexican revolutionary.
1916
Armored tanks are introduced by the British during the Battle of the Somme.
1928
Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovers, by accident, that the mold penicillin has an antibiotic effect.
1935
In Berlin, the Reich under Adolf Hitler adopts the swastika as the national flag.
1937
Prime Minister of England Neville Chamberlain flies to Germany to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia with Adolf Hitler.
1939
The Polish submarine Orzel arrives in Tallinn, Estonia, after escaping the German invasion of Poland.
1950
U.N. Forces, lead by the U.S. Marine Corps, invade occupied Korea at the port of Inchon. Considered the greatest amphibious attack in history, it is the zenith of General Douglas MacArthur's career.
1959
Nikita Khrushchev becomes first Soviet leader to visit the US.
1961
Hurricane Carla comes ashore in Texas, the second-most powerful ever to make landfall in that state.
1963
Four young African-American girls are killed by the bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama.
1966
US President Lyndon Johnson urges Congress to adopt gun control legislation in the wake of Charles Whitman's sniper attack from the University of Texas's Texas Tower; in all, Whitman shot and killed 15 people before being shot dead himself by an Austin police officer.
1968
The USSR launches Zond 5, which becomes the first spaceship to orbit the moon and reenter Earth's atmosphere.
1971
The environmental group Greenpeace is founded.
1981
Sandra Day O'Connor is unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee to become the first female justice on the US Supreme Court.
1983
Menachem Begin resigns as premier of Israel.
1990
France announces it will send 4,000 troops to join those of other nations assembling in the Persian Gulf to protect Saudi Arabia and force Iraq's dictator Saddam Hussein to withdraw troops from occupied Kuwait.
1998
MCI WorldCom begins operations after a landmark merger between World Com and MCI Communications.
2004
National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman announces a lockout of the players union.
2008
The largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US history is filed by Lehman Brothers financial services firm.
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Landing at Inchon - the beginning of the end.
 
INCHON LANDING
In June 1950, when North Korean troops poured over the 38th Parallel and swept across South Korea, Harry Truman realized that the United States had to stop the naked aggression "no matter what." If left unchecked, he argued, the Communists would soon challenge Western defenses elsewhere in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Truman turned to General Douglas MacArthur, who just five years earlier had stood on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay to receive the Japanese surrender that ended World War II.
 
The 70-year-old MacArthur came up with a plan that was audacity itself. He proposed a seaborne invasion behind the Red lines at Inchon, a port on the northwest coast of South Korea just 25 miles from its capital, Seoul. "We drew up every conceivable natural and geographic handicap, and Inchon had them all," said one of MacArthur's military aids. Those hazards included deadly 30-foot tides, dangerous currents, and a harbor surrounded by sea walls. MacArthur's naval chief could muster no better endorsement of the plan than it was "not impossible." MacArthur kept his own counsel, puffing constantly on his trademark corncob pipe.
 
The general gathered 261 ships, and on September 15, 1950, the Marines stormed ashore at Inchon. For breathtaking boldness, the assault ranked alongside Washington's crossing of the Delaware and Grant's descent on Shiloh. The invasion caught the North Koreans off guard— they had considered Inchon invulnerable to attack. American troops pushed inland and within eleven days entered Seoul. South Korea's aged president, Syngman Rhee, accepted the return of his liberated capital with tearful gratitude: "We love you," he told MacArthur, "as the savior of our race." The war would last nearly three more years, but the daring landing at Inchon ultimately saved millions of Koreans from a totalitarian regime.
 
From Bill Bennett's "The American Patriot's Daily Almanac"
 
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Former CIA Director Resigns From Harvard After Chelsea Manning Named Visiting Fellow | Zero Hedge
Thanks to Tam -
Applause for Mike Morrell πŸ‘πŸ½
Tam
Former CIA Director Resigns From Harvard After Chelsea Manning Named Visiting Fellow
According to her Wikipedia page, Chelsea Manning spent 1 semester studying History and English at Montgomery Community College in Maryland but dropped out after failing her first final.  She got her first job with a software company called Zoto, but was fired after 4 months because her boss said she would "just lock up and simply sit and stare."  Manning then served a short stint at Incredible Pizza before joining the army, stealing a bunch of classified documents, leaking them to WikiLeaks, getting convicted of espionage and serving 7 years in prison. Of course, with an impressive resume like that, Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government simply had to have her.
That said, while securing a visiting fellow position at Harvard was just the natural progression of what has been an already illustrious career for Manning, not everyone agrees with Harvard's most recent staffing decisions. 
As Fox News points out, Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell announced his resignation earlier today as senior fellow saying he couldn't be associated with an organization "that honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information."
Morell, a former CIA deputy director who twice served as acting director, announced his resignation from Harvard's Belfer Center was a result of Manning's appointment, saying he couldn't be part of an organization "that honors convicted felon and leaker of classified information."
"Senior leaders in our military have stated publicly that the leaks by Ms. Manning put the lives of U.S. soldiers at risk," Morell said. "I have an obligation in my conscience -- and I believe to the country -- to stand against any efforts to justify leaks of sensitive national security information."
Morell
Here is Morell's full statement:
Former CIA Deputy Director @MichaelJMorell resigns as Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy school over their hiring of Chelsea Manning
— Mosheh Oinounou (@Mosheh) 11:29 AM - Sep 14, 2017
Meanwhile, according Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Morell could be just one of many Harvard educators about to announce their exits.
Given the number of people I've heard from at Harvard and elsewhere, this from Pres. Obama's Deputy CIA Director could open the floodgates. https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/908371269585907712 …
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) 12:04 PM - Sep 14, 2017
Not surprisingly, the Twittersphere has been flooded throughout the day with tweets of utter confusion regarding Harvard's announcement...
Of all the veterans who honorably served...Harvard hires Chelsea Manning who was convicted of espionage. Unbelievable. https://twitter.com/foxandfriends/status/908295524188487680 …
— Jessie Jane Duff (@JessieJaneDuff) 7:07 AM - Sep 14, 2017
How to become a Harvard Visiting Fellow: Leak 700,000 classified documents & get convicted of 6 espionage charges. http://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2017/09/13/chelsea-manning-named-visiting-fellow-at-harvard/ …
— J Michael Waller (@JMichaelWaller) 9:47 PM - Sep 13, 2017
...but Chelsea has only responded to one...
— Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) 3:24 PM - Sep 13, 2017
...poor Spicy just can't catch a break.
Sent from Tamara's iUniverse 
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 09/14/2017 AFGHANISTAN - RECENT USAF BOMB TOTALS AGAINST INSURGENTS SPIKE; AUGUST NUMBERS HIGHEST SINCE 2012 (SEP 14/MIL)  MILITARY.COM -- The U.S. Air Force last month delivered more weapons against terrorists in Afghanistan than in any month since 2012, according to newly released statistics cited by Military.com.   About 2,000 bombs have been dropped by various aircraft this year, about double that in all of 2016, said the publication.   More than 500 weapons were released in August. Nevertheless, the number of airstrikes per month remains fairly steady in the hundreds, Gen. David Goldfein, the Air Force chief of staff, told the website.   The general did not indicate why there was a spike in August.   Airpower in the region has increased this year, even before President Trump's plans to add around 3,500 additional ground forces to the mission were announced.   In June 2016, then-President Barack Obama approved an expansion of airstrikes against terrorist groups in Afghanistan, noted Military.com.   Since 2015, F-16 fighters have conducted more than half of the airstrikes in Afghanistan, followed by the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle and B-52 bomber, according to the Air Force figures
Item Number:2 Date: 09/14/2017 AFGHANISTAN - SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 3 OUTSIDE KABUL CRICKET STADIUM (SEP 14/TN)  TOLONEWS -- Afghan police said a suicide bomber has killed at least three people and injured 12 near a cricket stadium in Kabul, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan).   The blast took place at a security checkpoint Wednesday near the Kabul International Cricket Stadium while a match was under way, said officials.   "The security forces by sacrificing themselves have prevented the attacker from reaching the crowd [inside the stadium] and creating a catastrophe," said a police spokesman quoted by Sky News (U.K.).   There was no immediate claim of responsibility.   Cricket was banned during the Taliban's 1996-2001 rule, but has become very popular in recent years, noted AFP
Item Number:3 Date: 09/14/2017 CANADA - DECISION ON U.N. PEACEKEEPING MISSION STILL UP IN THE AIR, SAYS DEFENSE MINISTER (SEP 14/TORSTAR)  TORONTO STAR -- Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan says that the Canadian government has not yet decided on a peacekeeping mission to join and will not announce such a decision before a major peacekeeping conference in November in Vancouver, reports the Toronto Star.   Not long after coming to power in November 2015, the Liberal government said it would dispatch around 600 military personnel and 150 police to a U.N. peacekeeping mission, likely in Africa.   Separately, a senior government source said that retired Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire had proposed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Canada should form a specialized standalone military unit to focus on demobilizing child soldiers.   Such a unit could be mobile and deployed to U.N. peacekeeping missions anywhere as required. The idea is under serious consideration, the source said.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 09/14/2017 FINLAND - ABDUCTED IN MAY IN AFGHANISTAN, FINNISH AID WORKER FREE, 'SAFE,' SAYS FOREIGN MINISTRY (SEP 14/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- A Finnish aid worker who was held hostage in Afghanistan for four months has been freed, says Finnish officials, cited by the BBC.   The woman was employed by Operation Mercy, a Swedish relief and development NGO in Kabul. She was abducted in May by unidentified gunmen. At the time of the May attack of a guest house, a German colleague and their Afghan guard were killed. There was no claim of responsibility.   The Foreign Ministry in Helsinki said on Thursday that the aid worker had been freed and was "safe," but gave no other details
  Item Number:5 Date: 09/14/2017 GERMANY - RHEINMETALL SHOWS OFF ITS MODULAR, WHEELED UNMANNED COMBAT VEHICLE (SEP 14/RHEINAG)  RHEINMETALL AG -- German defense firm Rheinmetall has unveiled an unmanned multi-role vehicle concept at this week's DSEI exhibition in London.   The Multi-Mission Unmanned Ground Vehicle (MM UGV) features a modular design with three main components: a robotic multipurpose vehicle platform; integrated mission systems; and a command post where missions are planned, controlled, analyzed and evaluated, said a company release on Sept. 12.   The vehicle can be controlled remotely or perform autonomous missions, said Rheinmetall.   The wheeled vehicle weighs around 1,650 pounds (750 kg) and can carry a payload of 1,320 pounds (600 kg) for ground operations or 660 pounds (300 kg) for amphibious missions.   It has a top land speed of about 25 mph (40 kmh) and a water speed of 3 mph (5 kmh).   The vehicle can be operated for eight hours in a battery-powered mode. With a range extender, this can be increased to more than 24 hours, according to Rheinmetall.   Various mission modules allow the system to conduct a range of missions, such as transport; weapon carrier; reconnaissance and surveillance; tactical overwatch; nuclear, biological and chemical detection; medical evacuation; and mobile radio relay.   At DSEI, the MM UGV was shown equipped with the Qimek remotely operated weapon station. A sensor mission module was displayed along with Rheinmetall's Sensor Command-and-Control Planning Suite (SC2PS
Item Number:6 Date: 09/14/2017 IRAQ - ISIS BELIEVED TO HAVE ABOUT 13,000 FIGHTERS LEFT IN IRAQ, SYRIA (SEP 14/AL-MASDAR)  AL-MASDAR NEWS -- Recent U.S. intelligence estimates put the number of Islamic State fighters still in Iraq and Syria at about 13,000, reports the Al-Masdar News, an online Middle East publication.   Meanwhile, Gilles de Kerchove, the European Union counterterrorism chief, told Die Welt in Germany that he estimates that there are around 2,500 Europeans among these fighters.   This is about half the previous total, de Kerchove said. About 1,000 have likely been killed, and another 1,500 are believed to have returned to Europe, he said.   Many of those remaining are likely to be killed, while others may move to other conflict areas, such as Somalia or Yemen, the E.U. official said, as cited by the Daily Sabah (Istanbul).  
  Item Number:7 Date: 09/14/2017 NETHERLANDS - JUSTICE MINISTER REVOKES DUTCH CITIZENSHIP OF 4 JIHADISTS WHO JOINED TERROR FIGHT ABROAD (SEP 14/NLT)  NL TIMES -- The justice minister of the Netherlands says he has revoked the Dutch citizenship of four suspected jihadists fighting alongside terror groups in Syria, reports the NL Times (Netherlands).   The four men were declared "undesirable aliens," which bars them from returning to the Netherlands or any other country in the E.U.'s Schengen passport-free zone, said Safety and Justice Minister Stef Blok on Wednesday, reported AFP.   The men were identified by Dutch media as Driss B., Noureddin B., Anis Z. and Hatim R. They were describes as dual Dutch-Moroccan nationals.   All four were convicted and sentenced in absentia. One is believed to have died years ago; the others are thought to be in Syria.   This is the first time the government has revoked citizenship in such a case. Dutch media noted that revocation is available only for dual nationals.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 09/14/2017 NIGER - SAYING TERRORISM KNOWS NO BORDERS, LEADERS OF NIGER, MALI APPEAL FOR INTERNATIONAL FUNDING FOR REGIONAL FORCE (SEP 14/REU)  REUTERS -- The leaders of Mali and Niger have called for international funding for their regional force established to counter Islamist militants, reports Reuters.   The G5 (Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad) conceived a 5,000-strong regional force in 2015. It was set up in July 2016 and is expected to be operational in the fall.   Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Niger's Mahamadou Issoufou said on Wednesday that the force is crucial to fighting the threat that goes beyond their borders.   "We bring this combat against terrorism not only to protect our own people and countries but for the whole world," Issoufou said during a press conference in Niamey, Niger's capital.   "It is important that the international community takes note of this and gets together to give us resources to ensure our mission can be accomplished," he said.   The Nigerien president indicated that the force would be divided into three deployments across the Sahel region: an eastern one made up of Chadian and Nigerien forces; a central one with forces from Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso; and a Western one with Malian and Mauritanian forces.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 09/14/2017 RUSSIA - UNDER WORRIED WESTERN EYES, KREMLIN KICKS OFF LARGE-SCALE ZAPAD EXERCISE IN BELARUS (SEP 14/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Russia and Belarus have begun their planned military exercise, whose scale has raised concern among NATO nations, reports the BBC.   The Zapad 2017 exercise, one of Russia's largest since its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, kicked off on Thursday in and around Belarus. It is expected to end on Sept. 20.   The concern of the West is not without good reason. In 2008 and 2014, the Kremlin used exercises as a preliminary for invasions of Georgia and Ukraine's Crimea, noted CNN.   The Defense Ministry in Moscow said about 12,700 troops were taking part. NATO and U.S. military officials have previously worried that Russia could amass up to 100,000 troops along the borders of NATO members in Eastern Europe.   The exercise is held every four years. The goal is to integrate the two nation's military headquarters in a realistic combat scenario, according to Russia's Defense Ministry.   This year's scenario involves an armed uprising in Belarus by "saboteurs" and "terrorists" backed by a fictitious country called "Veishnoria."   Russian and Belarusian officials insist the drills pose no threat to other nations and are exclusively defensive, reported Russia's Sputnik news agency.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 09/14/2017 SOMALIA - AFRICOM MAKES 3 AIRSTRIKES IN SOUTHERN SOMALIA, KILLING 6 AL-SHABAAB FIGHTERS (SEP 14/AFRICOM)  AFRICA COMMAND -- The U.S. Africa Command says that it has conducted three precision airstrikes against the Al-Shabaab terrorist group in Somalia.   The strikes were made early Wednesday morning, in cooperation with the Somali government. The strikes killed six militants, the command said in a release on Wednesday.   The operation took place in southern Somalia, about 160 miles (260 km) south of Mogadishu, said the statement.   The attacks took place within the authorities granted by President Trump in March 2017, which allow U.S. forces to target Al-Shabaab in certain areas in support of Somalia, said AFRICOM
  Item Number:11 Date: 09/14/2017 SOUTH KOREA - INVESTIGATORS SCRUTINIZE FRAUD ALLEGATIONS SURROUNDING KF-X FIGHTER PROJECT (SEP 14/YON)  YONHAP -- South Korean prosecutors who have been investigating accounting fraud allegations at Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) concerning a helicopter program say they are widening their probe to include the KF-X domestic fighter project, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office has been looking into the actions of the former head of the firm and other officials to determine if they obtained illegal profits by manipulating expenses in the production of Surion helicopters.   The prosecutors also suspect that KAI inflated the value of the proceeds from the sale of FA-50 light attack aircraft to Iraq in a US$2.65 billion deal, according to officials.   Some circumstantial evidence indicate some top officials may have collaborated on accounting fraud for the US$16 billion KF-X program, which aims to domestically design and produce more than 120 fighter jets by 2026, according to the prosecutor's office.   Documents reportedly suggest that former KAI chief Ha Sung Yong was briefed on the situations. Ha stepped down soon after the investigation began in July.   Fraud allegations involving KAI were first raised in 2015. At the time, the state auditor found that the company made some US$21 million in illicit profits by manipulating the development costs for the Surion.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 09/14/2017 SYRIA - AFTER U.S.-LED COALITION STOPS SURVEILLANCE, ISIS CONVOY REACHES DEIR EZZOR (SEP 14/NEWEEK)  NEWSWEEK -- Busloads of Islamic State militants and their families who had been stranded in the Syrian desert have finally reached jihadist-held territory in Deir Ezzor province, reports Newsweek.   The Syrian army and its ally Lebanon-based Hezbollah agreed to a deal on Aug. 28 to allow about several hundred ISIS fighters and family members to evacuate their enclave along the border with Lebanon. The agreement called for the return of the bodies of Lebanese soldiers who were captured in 2014.   The 17-bus convoy was stranded for several days after the U.S.-led coalition said it would stop it. Airstrikes cratered roads, destroyed bridges and hit militants trying to meet the convoy, reported the BBC.   The buses reached Deir Ezzor province Wednesday, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   The convoy took a route between al-Sukhna and Deir Ezzor, a main road that the Syrian army and allied forces captured in recent days, said a pro-government commander cited by Reuters.   The U.S.-led coalition said it halted the surveillance of the convoy at the request of Moscow to allow Syrian government and Russian forces "advance past" the convoy during their assault on Deir Ezzor and to "ensure safe de-confliction efforts to defeat" ISIS
  Item Number:13 Date: 09/14/2017 SYRIA - ISIS DEFECTORS IN SYRIA'S IDLIB PROVINCE AIM TO CROSS INTO TURKEY (SEP 14/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- Hundreds of Islamic State defectors have congregated in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, with many hoping to cross the nearby Turkish border, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   Several dozen militants have already sneaked across the heavily monitored border in recent weeks, the newspaper said. Four Saudi fighters arrived in a southern Turkish community in early September after paying smugglers US$2,000 each.   By Wednesday, many more had made it into southern Turkey, reported AMN News.   Scores of attempted infiltrators have been shot and killed by Turkish border guards in 2017.   Fighters have been fleeing Iraq and Syria as the terrorist group has lost much of its holdings to Iraqi and Syrian forces and the U.S.-led coalition.   Large numbers of the fighters and their families are trying to leave Iraq and Syria altogether, posing a challenge for intelligence services that view them as a threat.   One Saudi who fled Syria last month told the Guardian that as many as 300 former ISIS militants had set up a village north of the city of Idlib. Most want to leave, he said
Item Number:14 Date: 09/14/2017 SYRIA - LED BY KURDS, SDF SAYS IT HAS LIBERATED 70 PERCENT OF RAQQA (SEP 14/RUDAW)  RUDAW -- The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are continuing to gain ground in Islamic State-held Raqqa, says a monitoring group cited by Rudaw (Iraqi Kurdistan).   The SDF, which is led by the largely Kurdish militia YPG, began an operation in June to take Raqqa, ISIS' de facto capital.   The SDF, backed by U.S. special operations forces, was fighting ISIS in the al-Thankanah neighborhood on Tuesday, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   SDF forces reportedly gained control of that neighborhood. An SDF commander said their forces now hold 70 percent of the city, reported ANF News, a Kurdish agency.   A "few hundred" militants remain in the city, said the observatory on Thursday
  Item Number:15 Date: 09/14/2017 THAILAND - MUSLIM INSURGENTS SUSPECTED IN SERIES OF ROADSIDE BLASTS IN YALA (SEP 14/REU)  REUTERS -- A series of roadside bombs planted by suspected Muslim separatists have killed one soldier and wounded 20 people in southern Thailand, say security forces cited by Reuters.   Thursday's blasts took place in Yala province. Some of the injuries came when soldiers and EOD personnel were trying to reach the first blast. The injured included civilians, rangers and bomb squad members, noted the Bangkok Post.   "It is believed to be the work of violent groups already creating incidents in the area," said a police spokesman.   Insurgents rarely claim responsibility for attacks in the region.   A Muslim insurgency has been ongoing for years in Thailand's deep south, resulting in the deaths of more than 6,500 people since 2004.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 09/14/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - DRAGONFIRE LASER WEAPON MAKES APPEARANCE AT LONDON ARMS FAIR (SEP 14/MBDA)  MBDA CORP. -- The UK Dragonfire consortium is showing its laser weapon demonstrator for the first time at the DSEI exhibition in London, reports MBDA Systems, the head of the consortium.   Under a contract from the British Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), the consortium is developing a laser weapon for the British armed forces.   At the DSEI show, the consortium unveiled the design of the turret that will be used to test the technology. The beam director, supplied by Leonardo UK, features a QinetiQ laser emitter as well as advanced electro-optics for target identification and tracking, said an MBDA release on Sept. 12.   MBDA is the prime contractor and will also supply advanced weapon system command-and-control and image-processing capabilities.   The Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) capability demonstrator program anticipates testing the turret in 2019.   Potential missions include very short-range air defense; close-in protection for naval vessels; counter-unmanned aerial vehicle; and countering artillery and mortar attacks, said the MBDA release
  Item Number:17 Date: 09/14/2017 USA - 15 MARINES INJURED IN TRAINING ACCIDENT AT CAMP PENDLETON; AMPHIB VEHICLE CATCHES FIRE (SEP 14/LAT)  LOS ANGELES TIMES -- Fifteen Marines were injured Wednesday at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in a land-based training accident, reports the Los Angeles Times.   An assault amphibious vehicle caught fire on Wednesday morning, said the Marine Corps.   Six Marines were listed in critical condition and six in serious condition. One was hospitalized in stable condition. Two others were treated for minor injuries.   Several Marines were taken to a burn unit at the University of California San Diego Health, reported Fox News.   The injured were from the 1st Marine Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment and 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion.   The accident is being investigated, said officials
Item Number:18 Date: 09/14/2017 USA - GAO BLASTS CONDITIONS OF NAVY SHIPYARDS; FIXING FACILITIES MAY COST $4.8 BILLION OVER 2 DECADES (SEP 14/NTIMES)  NAVY TIMES -- A government watchdog says the U.S. Navy's four public shipyards are in "poor condition" and have shortcomings that will take decades to overcome, reports the Navy Times.   The naval shipyards in Norfolk, Va., Portsmouth, Maine, and the shipyard and intermediate maintenance facilities at Puget Sound, Wash., and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, are vital to maintaining the Navy's nuclear-powered fleet, notes the study released on Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).   Some drydocks are more than 100 years old and backlogged maintenance and restoration projects have increased by 41 percent over the last five years, says the report. Several drydocks cannot support existing ship classes, while others can only work when assisted by additional equipment or tides.   Existing drydocks are expected to become even less useful as current ship classes are retired. Fixing them would cost about $4.86 billion and would take nearly 20 years, the GAO says.   Shipyard capital equipment has an average age that now exceeds its expected useful life, according to a Navy analysis cited by the report.   Inadequate facilities and equipment have resulted in maintenance days contributing to more than 1,300 lost operational days for aircraft carriers and 12,500 lost operational days for submarines from fiscal 2000 to fiscal 2016, says the GAO.   Ongoing problems will prevent the service from conducting more than a third of 218 planned maintenance periods over the next 23 fiscal years, the watchdog estimated.   The Navy has developed capital investment plans for shipyards and equipment. However, the service's approach does not fully address the problems because plans are missing key elements, concludes the analysis.   Missing are a full assessment of the shipyards' resource needs, regular management reviews of progress, analytically based goals and reporting on progress to Congress, says the watchdog
  Item Number:19 Date: 09/14/2017 USA - NAVY ACCELERATES WORK ON TOMAHAWK MISSILE ABLE TO HIT MOVING TARGETS (SEP 14/RAYTHEON)  RAYTHEON -- The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon a $119 million contract to start integrating a new multi-mode seeker with the Tomahawk Block IV cruise missile, reports the defense firm.   The upgrade will allow the missile to attack moving maritime targets.   The seeker is being developed as a rapid deployment capability program to meet urgent fleet requirements for defeating emerging maritime threats, said a Raytheon release on Sept. 12.   The new capability is scheduled for delivery by 2022.   Separately, Raytheon is modernizing the radio suite and software of the Tomahawk, with certification of the upgraded missile slated for 2019. These improvements will extend the weapon's service life for 15 years and make it easier to upgrade
Item Number:20 Date: 09/14/2017 YEMEN - GOVERNMENT FORCES PUSH AQAP FROM WADEA DISTRICT; EXTREMISTS FLEE TO NEIGHBORING STRONGHOLD (SEP 14/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Yemeni forces, backed by the United Arab Emirates, have ousted fighters from Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) from a southern district in Abyan province, say security sources cited by Agence France-Presse.   An operation began on Wednesday to secure Wadea district, which has been a no-go zone for pro-government troops for months, sources said on Thursday.   Many militants fled to Wadea last month after a similar military operation in neighboring Shabwa province.   Seven suspected AQAP members were arrested, including an alleged explosives expert, the sources said.   The terrorists did not put up heavy resistance and most reportedly fled to neighboring Muhafid district, said the sources. That district remains an Al-Qaida stronghold.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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