Thursday, September 21, 2017

TheList 4551



he List 4551
To All
Happy Thursday. I hope that your week has been going well.
Regards,
Skip
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This Day In Naval History - October 21
1797: The frigate Constitution launches at Edmund Hartt's Shipyard, Boston, Mass. The ship is now the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy.
1862 - During the Civil War, the wooden screw gunboat USS Albatross, commanded by Cmdr. Henry French, captures the schooner Two Sisters off the Rio Grande River. The schooner later serves in the East Gulf Blockading Squadron.
 
1942 - British submarine lands CAPT Jerauld Wright, USN and four Army officers at Cherchel, French North Africa, to meet with a French military delegation to learn the French attitude toward future Allied landings.
1943:T(October 20) BFs from Composite Squadron (VC) 13, then based on board the escort carrier USS Core (CVE 13), sink the German submarine U 378 north of the Azores.
 
1944 - Leyte Landings continue.
 
American Minute for October 21st:
  British Admiral Horatio Nelson lost his right eye capturing Corsica and his right arm attacking the Canary Islands. He captured six and destroyed seven of Napoleon's ships at the Battle of the Nile and successfully assaulted Copenhagen. Horatio Nelson is best remembered for winning one of the greatest naval battles in history, The Battle of Trafalgar, on OCTOBER 21, 1805. The daring 47-year-old Nelson defeated 36-year-old Napoleon's combined French and Spanish fleets, consisting of 33 ships with 2,640 guns off the coast of Spain. The fifteen million dollars Napoleon received two years earlier from selling 600 million acres to the United States was not enough to change the outcome. Admiral Nelson's defeat of the French navy abruptly ended Napoleon's power at sea, and with it, his dreams of world conquest. The 90,000 French troops assembled on the coast of France were forced to abandon their plans of crossing the English Channel and invading Britain. During the Battle of Trafalgar, cannonade and musket shot ripped apart ships at point blank range, killing or wounding nearly ten thousand.
Admiral Nelson was fatally shot in the spine. He was carried below deck to the ship's surgeon where he died. Admiral Horatio Nelson's last words were:
"Thank God I have done my duty."
 
Today in History September 21
454
In Italy, Aetius, the supreme army commander, is murdered in Ravenna by Valentinian III, the emperor of the West.
1327
Edward II of England is murdered by order of his wife.
1520
Suleiman (the Magnificent), son of Selim, becomes Ottoman sultan in Constantinople.
1589
The Duke of Mayenne of France is defeated by Henry IV at the Battle of Arques.
1673
James Needham returns to Virginia after exploring the land to the west, which would become Tennessee.
1745
A Scottish Jacobite army commanded by Lord George Murray routs the Royalist army of General Sir John Cope at Prestonpans.
1863
Union troops defeated at Chickamauga seek refuge in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is then besieged by Confederate troops.
1904
Exiled Nez Perce leader Chief Joseph dies of a "broken heart".
1915
Stonehenge is sold by auction for 6,600 pounds sterling ($11,500) to a Mr. Chubb, who buys it as a present for his wife. He presents it to the British nation three years later.
1929
Fighting between China and the Soviet Union breaks out along the Manchurian border.
1936
The German army holds its largest maneuvers since 1914.
1937
The women's airspeed record is set at 292 mph by American pilot Jacqueline Cochran.
1937
J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Hobbit is published.
1941
The German Army cuts off the Crimean Peninsula from the rest of the Soviet Union.
1942
British forces attack the Japanese in Burma.
1944
U.S. troops of the 7th Army, invading Southern France, cross the Meuse River.
1978
Two Soviet cosmonauts set a space endurance record after 96 days in space.
1981
Belize granted full independence from the United Kingdom.
1989
General Colin Powell is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
1991
Armenia granted independence from USSR.
1993
The Russian constitutional crisis of 1993 begins when Russian President Boris Yeltsin suspends parliament and invalidates the existing constitution.
1999
Earthquake in Taiwan kills more than 2,400, injures over 11,305, and causes $300 billion New Taiwan dollars ($10 billion in US dollars).
2003
Galileo space mission ends as the probe is sent into Jupiter's atmosphere where it is crushed.
 
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If you are bored with your football game this weekend this has a lot of really neat videos.
CV-60 Saratoga 1965-66
Thanks to YP …AND Dr..Rich
 
I suspect some of you will see yourself in the video!
From way back when:  REAL AIRPLANES!
WAY more formal uniforms than I remember.
YP
British Pathe color video of Saratoga in the Med 1965-66. It includes some pretty good flight deck scenes and an Air Wing when we still had variety out there.  (F-4, F-8, A-4, A-1, E-1, RA-5C)
 
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Save this to show your friends what it was like to crank on the Gs
Thanks to Carl. Each G is one times your body weight.  So your 10 pound head weighs 60 pounds at 6 G.
The Centrifuge: What it's Like to Pull Gs | Fighter Sweep
(And they wonder why we have a bad back and neck??)
 
 
The Centrifuge: What it's Like to Pull Gs
 
 
Former F-16 fighter pilot Nate "Buster" Jaros takes us along for a ride in the Centrifuge and tells us what it is like to feel 9G's crushing your body.
You are basically put into a small coffin. It swings a little as you enter, reminiscent of how a gondola swings on its wire, or how a Ferris wheel car wobbles as you climb aboard at the local carnival.
Except this is no carnival ride. If it were, it would be the worst carnival ride known to man.
You are about to feel pain like never before…in the USAF centrifuge.
The centrifuge seat is unlike an ejection seat and feels a bit odd. Immediately there is a sense of claustrophobia in this tight pod-like device. There are no windows in this ride but there is a faint smell of vomit, and sweat…or is that just fear? A worker comes to the hatch and makes sure you are strapped in, goes over a few reminders on safety, and gives a not-very-reassuring "have fun" before sealing you in the dark pod.
Alone and Unafraid Before The Ride
The door clangs shut with a loud and metallic clank. It's immediately dark and warm. You notice a pocket on the side wall with a strategically placed and unused barf bag in it.
The inside of this coffin is metal. There is a side stick like in the F-16 and a TV screen in front of you. After a few minutes, you notice a row of small lights, positioned horizontally above the screen, as well as the camera staring back at you. The one dim light in the pod reveals a lot of Squadron stickers and "zaps" inside the pod from previous carnival riders who have had the experience. There is also a large LED readout panel. It currently reads "1.0" as this is your current G level.
Simple tips to
get the most
from your router.
The Holloman Centrifuge seat. Still gives me chills. Courtesy Holloman AFB
Soon a voice is heard from the controller calmly asking if you are ready. You respond yes, but you're also not quite sure about that. Since there are no windows, you cannot discern motion or movement outside your "death bobsled." This is when the fun begins.
There is a faint hum, and suddenly you feel really dizzy. Your eyes ping left and right, in rapid-fire movement. It is apparent that you are now spinning in this pod, but without visual cues from the outside world, it just feels weird.
The dizziness is an uncontrollable reaction to your inner ear, telling your body that you are spinning when your visual world is not. After a few minutes, the dizziness goes away as vision and movement stabilize at this pre-determined RPM. Unbeknownst to you, the centrifuge is actually hurtling around a room at 45 MPH, with the pod attached to the end of a long mechanical arm. The gauge up front reads "1.1" (G's).
The thought crosses your mind: to fly fighters, you have to pass this test.
The voice asks again if you are ready. This first run is one of five needed to complete the training. Thankfully, this first run is a warm-up. You will only be pulling about seven Gs and must hold that for 30 seconds. Not a problem, right?
A computerized F-14 Tomcat appears on the screen and it looks like a video game. In this simulation, you are chasing the F-14 and the goal is to follow him. The harder he turns, the more you are supposed to pull on the stick. Pulling on the stick instantly increases the speed of your spinning pod to nearly 90 MPH but also increases the Gs. This means you are in direct control of the speed of the centrifuge AND the pain.
Double checking your G suit, you remember the G straining maneuver. This involves clenching every muscle in your body…from your toes to your chest. The goal is to physically hold blood in your brain and keep from passing out, or G-LOCing. G-LOC (G induced Loss of Consciousness) in the centrifuge is under a safe and controlled environment, but in a fighter it can be deadly. Passing out is not an option today if you want to fly fighters.
The Pain Train Begins
Your answer to the voice is a determined "Ready!"
Breath, clench, ready….Fights on, fights on!
The Tomcat takes off and you pull the stick as far as it will go to keep him on the computer screen. Immediately it feels like a hammer on your chest. The pod accelerates to the sensation of warp speeds. Unfortunately, this is only the beginning.
The speed stabilizes and the G meter reads 7.0. You continue the G strain, but your body is in pain. Not only does it feel like being smothered by really heavy weights, but every inch of your body feels as if it is under a vise. The pain is overbearing, but you have to hang on.
Your face begins to droop as if your cheeks are being stretched down to your shoulders. You're just three to four seconds in now, but here is where the ride gets harder.
The G-Force Process on Human Body -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmikjomAkBc
 
At this point, the body's natural tolerance for G's diminish. Your body wants to quit and pass out as all the blood is now draining from your head. It's nearly impossible to breathe, but this is imperative to survive. Your pulse skyrockets as your heart attempts to keep blood pumping upstairs.
As your tolerance diminishes just three to four seconds into the pull, you distinctly notice that everything turns black and white. Color drains from the visual world and it is like watching a Black & White copy of Top Gun—except it's not as funny. You continue to strain and push and breathe in short, succinct breaths in an effort to hold back the monster on your chest and in your head. What happens next is even scarier.
After everything goes black and white, the tunnel vision begins. A dark circle encroaches your vision, starting in the periphery, and slowly constricting what you can see. The lights on the end of the horizontal light bar above the screen entirely disappear. The circle begins to shrink further and further until everything is black, except for a little computerized F-14 on the now black and white screen in front of you.
The fight is even harder now. The black hole is beginning to swallow you…and you don't want to fail. Getting all of your muscles to perform the G strain maneuver is your only hope. Exacting every bit of energy from every last muscle and timing your breathing in three second bursts is the only hope. The dark circle slowly begins to expand. It's working! You continue to sustain the massive weight of G and most importantly continue to fight.
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With our thanks to THE Bear at http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/
 
ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 21 SEPTEMBER 1967… THE LAST FLIGHT OF LCDR MILTON JAMES VESCELIUS, JR., USN…
September 21, 2017  Bear Taylor 
RIPPLE SALVO… #564… and the September 21, 1967 "last stand" of a warrior of brave heart with fighting spirit… a fitting companion story with the ongoing and compelling Ken Burns' "The Vietnam War." (4 EPISODES DOWN, SIX TO GO, BE THERE –#5 PICKS UP THE STORY IN FALL 1967)…. but first…
Good Morning: Day FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY-FOUR of a return of fifty-years to an air war fought without a cause…
21 September 1967… HEAD LINES from The New York Times on a cloudy, rainy Thursday in New York City…
FALL IN AMERICA 1967: New York City School Accord is Reached; Classes Monday if Teachers Ratify Terms–Union is Due to Vote Sunday"… "A tentative settlement of the school dispute which has kept most teachers and many pupils out for eight days was announced yesterday by Mayor Lindsay…normal operations should begin Monday for 59,500 teachers and more than one million students."… Page 1: Senate Approves Model City Funds of %537-Million–Also Votes $40-Million for Rent Supplementals–Fight in Conference Expected"... "President Johnson's legislative program for improving living conditions in the slums received a substantial boost today when the Senate voted for the Model Cities and rent subsidies."… Page 1: "President Urges $5-Billion Effort to Air Safety–Asks for Increase in Personnel and Material to Handle Rising Traffic–Airlines Will Help Pay–Cost Would Also be Shared by Passengers–$7-Million is Requested Immediately"… "President Johnson called today for a comprehensive government plan to expand and improve the nation's air control system and said he would ask the beneficiaries to pay for it."... Page 20: "Johnson Warned of Spending Cuts"… "Ways and Means Committee member Representative Al Unman said the President is living in a dream world 'if he thinks Congress will pass a tax increase without a large cut in government spending."… Page 1: "Anti-War Slate to Oppose Johnson in New York State Primary"… Page 1: "Queen Elizabeth Launches Queen Elizabeth II"…"Cunard Lines choice of names is a surprise, but it is not without precedent."… Page 1: "10 Women Fight Police Near White House"… "Anti-War demonstrators crashed through the fence but were turned back."…
VIETNAM: Page 1: "U.S. Balked In U.N. On Vietnam Talks–Some Allies Join Soviet In Opposing Debate On War By Security Council"... "The U.S. delegations efforts to involve the Security Council in Vietnam peace making have met strong opposition."… Page 4: "B-52s Bomb Enemy Artillery in Buffer Zone–Seek to Silence Guns of Foe as Marine Casualties Rise"… "… strike twice before dawn today…Marine casualties have continued to mount with one killed and 100 wounded on Tuesday. Yesterday 5 were killed and eleven wounded. Marine fighter-bombers from Chu Lai flew 27 missions to strike targets in the buffer and just north of the DMZ between 3 and 12 miles inland from the Gulf of Tonkin…"
21 September 1967… The President's TS and "President's Eyes Only"… "Special Daily Report on North Vietnam" by the CIA…
North Vietnamese Conditions Last Month (August)... The material situation in North Vietnam is very precarious. Except for basic food stuffs nd war materials, there is nothing– Morale in the rural areas is very high, but much lower in large cities such as Hanoi and Vinh.–In Hanoi, many civilians, particularly older segments of the population, would like to see an end to the war. They have had enough of living in a perpetual war footing and of continually receiving orders and instructions.– The young people in general are fanaticized, probably because they have never known anything but war. The bombings have had no effect on the morale of the youth.– Politically, the North Vietnamese are persuading themselves that as long as political and social troubles persist in South Vietnam they cannot lose.– As long as action against North Vietnam is restricted to bombing, no change in the situation can be expected. Only an invasion and occupation of part of their territory can decide the North Vietnamese to change their attitude.– Air raids on North Vietnam do not appear always to be very accurate… (rest remains redacted 50 years after the fact)….  GIAP ANALYZES THE WAR. North Vietnamese Defense Minister Giap published another in his series of analyses of the war. So far, only a portion of the first installment is available in Washington. The general tone of the article exudes confidence. He claims that the military situation has never been better, that his military forces are "invincible," and foreign aid "increasingly effective." Although there is nothing unusual or startling in the first part, it should be noted that Giap frequently keeps the heart in his analysis–such as current and future Communist strategy and predictions of future actions–until the conclusion of his article….  THE RICE CROP: The regime has turned out city dwellers in unusually large numbers this year to assist in transplanting the important tenth month rice crop. Some 120,000 for instance have been sent to one province alone, according to a party journal. It is too early to assess prospects, but transplanting was delayed a by a long drought which ended only in mid-August. A bumper harvest will be needed if North Vietnam is to overcome its dependence on food imports…
21 SEPTEMBER 1967… OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER… New York Times (22 Sept reporting 231 Sept ops)… Page 1: "HAIPHONG BOMBED THIRD TIME IN FIVE DAYS–PLANES ATTACK TWO BRIDGES–ONE FIRST TIME"... "….in a continuing effort to isolate North Vietnam's main port city…It was the fourth raid since 11 September. Pilots flying A-4 Skyhawk fighter-bombers pounded the Haiphong railroad and highway bridge just to the southwest of the city's limits. Until yesterday (21st) Kienan bridge was the only rail or road bridge leading from Haiphong that had not been attacked The other bridges had been bombed in each of the four raids this month… No assessment of damage… " (Humble Host notes that the RF-8A Photo recce/BDA aircraft was downed…)
"Vietnam: Air Losses" (Chris Hobson) There were two fixed wing aircraft lost in Southeast Asia on 21 September 1967…
(1) CAPTAIN JAMES H. BENNETT and an unnamed observer were flying an O-1E of the 20th TASS and 504th TASG out of Danang and was taking-off from Khe Sanh when hit in the engine by small arms fire and crashed. CAPTAIN BENNETT was killed in action and the observer survived the short flight into the jungle…
(2) LCDR MILTON JAMES VESCELIUS, JR. was flying an RF-8A of VFP-63 (Det. 4 on USS CORAL SEA) on a bomb damage assessment reconnaissance flight in support of an Air Wing 15 strike on the bridge at Kienan at the city limits of Haiphong... Chris Hobson tells part of the story: "As LCDR VESCELIUS was making his run over the target at 3,000-feet and 600-knots, just as the last of the strike aircraft left the target area, his aircraft was hit by AAA and the starboard wing burst into flames. The aircraft commenced a shallow starboard turn and the pilot ejected just to the north of Haiphong harbor. The aircraft exploded shortly afterwards. LCDR VESCELIUS was seen alive on the ground by other pilots but he may have been killed by North Vietnamese troops. His remains were eventually returned to US authorities on 14 August 1985." His remains were identified and announced on 30 October 1985. There is more to this tragic story of a warrior who gave his life for his country 50-years ago today…
RIPPLE SALVO… #564… LCDR MILT VESCELIUS went down fighting? Humble Host thinks so? Here is what is known…
"Lcdr Milton J. Vescelius was the pilot of an RF8A on a combat mission over North Vietnam on September 21, 1967. As he was about 5 miles west-southwest of the city of Quang Yen, and near the borders of Thai Binh and Quang Ninh Provinces, his aircraft was hit by enemy fire and crashed. Vescelius was seen to eject, and other pilots in the area reported that when he reached the ground he was surrounded by Vietnamese. The following day, a Radio Hanoi broadcast described the incident and stated that the pilot had been captured. The U.S. classified Milton Vescelius as a Prisoner of War.
"For the next six years, Vescelius' family waited for the war to end. In 1973, when 591 Americans were released from POW camps in Vietnam, Vescelius was not among them. The Vietnamese denied any knowledge of him.
"Then in August 1985, the Vietnamese 'discovered' the remains of Milton Vescelius and returned them to United States control. For 28 years, he had been a Prisoner of War–alive or dead. The U.S. gratefully accepted the 'gift' of the remains of Milton Vescelius, and others which should have been returned decades ago. We allowed the Vietnamese to politically choose the moment it complied with that section of the agreement that ended American involvement in the war in Vietnam
 

"Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S. Government. many authorities who have examined this largely classified information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive today (1990 report). These reports are the source of serious distress to many returned American prisoners. They had a code that no one could honorable return unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code of honor, but the honor of our country is at stake as long as even one man remains unjustly held. It is time we brought our men home." (Source: Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990)…
LCDR MILTON VESCELIUS case file also contains the undated (post 1973) results of further investigations into his final day(s) on the ground in North Vietnam. "LCDR Vescelius ejected. Two escort aircraft overflew the area and saw LCDR Vescelius standing on the ground surrounded by about five North Vietnamese."… "In September 1972 a North Vietnamese Army rallier reported in September 1967 he had seen a captured U.S. pilot in North Vietnam in the vicinity of the vicinity of grid coordinates (GC) Xi 765 105. The U.S. pilot had reportedly shot a militiaman and was then beaten when captured. The U.S. pilot was evacuated from the area in a vehicle."… "During the existence of JCRC, the hostile threat in the area precluded any visits to or ground inspection of the sites involved in this case. Details of this case together with information indicating enemy knowledge of the case were turned over to the Four Party Joint Military Team on 7 November 1973 with a request for any information which would assist in determining status and resolution. No response was forthcoming. LCDR Vescelius is currently carried in the status of Captured."…
Humble Host is sure there is more to this story… and commits to turning a few more rocks… Anybody out there with a missing piece of the gap of 28-years of "captivity" of LCDR MILT VESCELIUS?…   
RTR Quote for 21 September: HENRY ST. JOHN, LETTER, 1721: "Plain truth will influence a score of men at most in a nation, while a mystery will lead millions by the nose."…
Lest we forget…    Bear
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Item Number:1 Date: 09/21/2017 BULGARIA - CONCERN ABOUT CONTRACT FAIRNESS HOLDS UP PURCHASE OF NEW WARPLANES (SEP 21/REU)  REUTERS -- Bulgaria's planned acquisition of eight fighter jets has been put on hold amid a legislative investigation, reports Reuters.   In June, Sofia said it would begin talks with Saab to purchase Gripen fighters jets to replace its aging MiG-29s. The potential deal was estimated to be worth US$920 million.   However, a parliamentary committee set up to investigate the bidding process found "disturbing facts," said lawmakers on Wednesday.   The committee requested a Defense Ministry review to see if all bidders for the contract had been treated equally.   Bulgaria has been seeking to upgrade its warplanes in 2018-2022 to bring its fleet close to NATO standards. Portugal offered its secondhand F-16s, and Italy has offered its Eurofighter Typhoons.  
 Item Number:2 Date: 09/21/2017 CHINA - NEW NUCLEAR-POWERED SUBMARINE DELIVERED TO NAVY (SEP 21/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- A new nuclear-powered submarine has been delivered to the Chinese navy, reports the Press Trust of India, citing Chinese state media.   China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. (CSIC) posted the information on Thursday on its website.   The submarine was built at the Dalian shipyard, where CSIC manufactured China's second aircraft carrier.   The type and name of the boat was not given. A military expert cited by China's Global Times said the sub could be a Type 094 or Type 093. Work is still underway on the more advanced next-generation Type 096, he added
  Item Number:3 Date: 09/21/2017 CHINA - XI TIGHTENS HIS GRIP, APPOINTS LOYALISTS TO TOP POSTS (SEP 21/NAR)  NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW -- President Xi Jinping is emphasizing personal loyalty as he fills Chinese military command positions ahead of a major Communist Party congress next month, reports the Nikkei Asian Review (Japan).   "Xi is trying to tighten his grip on the military by choosing people who don't have allegiances to past leaders," a party source said, noting that low-ranking cadres have been named to command jobs.   Seven of eight key recent military appointments come from the Communist Party's rank and file. Four are still lieutenant generals.   Because the appointees rapidly climbed the ladder after connecting with Xi, their nominal standing in the party has not risen as quickly as their new posts, said observers.   That is about to change. The seven are expected to become members or alternate members of the party's Central Committee at the upcoming twice-a-decade congress on Oct. 18
Item Number:4 Date: 09/21/2017 CYPRUS - DRONES BEING USED TO CATCH BIRD POACHERS ON BRITISH MILITARY BASE ON CYPRUS (SEP 21/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Military police at a British base in Cyprus have been equipped with drones to combat the trapping of illegal songbirds, reports Agence France-Presse.   Millions of migratory birds use Cyprus as a stopping-off point during their spring migration from Africa and the Middle East to Europe. Trappers often operate in British military-controlled areas, including the Dhekelia base on Cyprus, close to the south coast resort of Larnaca.   The effort is part of Operation Freedom, with authorities in sovereign base areas (SBA) trying to stop the trapping and killing of songbirds on British territory, noted the BBC.   Police on the base were equipped on Thursday with a drone equipped with night vision to improve their ability to cover areas difficult to reach, said a base commander.   Police in the British base will also use hidden cameras, he said.   The police "are absolutely committed to targeting anybody involved in illegal bird trapping and we will use all legal methods in order to do this," the commander said.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 09/21/2017 ESTONIA - RECORD DEFENSE BUDGET PLANNED; MECHANIZING SCOUTS BATTALION SEEN AS KEY FOCUS (SEP 21/BNS)  BALTIC NEWS SERVICE -- The Estonian government is preparing the largest defense budget in history for 2018, reports the Baltic News Service.   Defense spending will total about 528 million euros (US$633 million) next year, said Defense Minister Juri Luik.   "There is still a political consensus in Estonia that funding national defense is a priority," the minister said. "Two percent of the GDP is the minimum which we must contribute to national defense to guarantee its sustainability."   The latest budget features three main areas: long-term development; guaranteeing an allied presence; and investment.   For 2018, 490 million euros (US$587 million) is earmarked for the independent defense capacity development plan, with a focus on mechanizing the Scouts Battalion, said Luik.   Outside of the defense budget, about 12 million euros (US$14 million) will be spent on infrastructure for allied forces; 6 million euros (US$7 million) on costs associated with hosting allied forces; and 20 million euros (US$24 million) on ammunition.   Other priorities include developing the Tapa army base, Amari air base, infrastructure at the Central Training Area and an air operations control center, the minister said.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 09/21/2017 INDIA - 3 KILLED IN KASHMIR GRENADE ATTACK; MINISTER UNHURT (SEP 21/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- A government minister in Indian-administered Kashmir has survived after militants threw a grenade at his motorcade, reports the Press Trust of India.   On Thusrday, militants attacked the convoy of Nayeem Akhtar, a local minister of public works, as it passed through the town of Tral in the southern Pulwama district, said police. The minister was not injured.   Three people were killed and 20 were wounded, including 10 security personnel, said a police official cited by AFP.   Reports on the number of casualties differed.   The area was then cordoned off and a search operation began, reported the International Business Times.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 09/21/2017 INDIA - AIR FORCE, ARMY HELICOPTERS ABOUT TO GET AIR-TO-AIR MISSILES (SEP 21/PRINT)  THE PRINT -- The Indian Defense Ministry is preparing to equip Rudra and Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) attack aircraft with air-to-air missiles, reports the Print (India).   The ministry is in the final process of ordering Mistral missiles for the Rudra, while a live-fire test of the missile on the LCH is planned by the end of the year, officials said.   The Rudra, based on the Dhruv advanced light helicopter, has been in service since 2013. The LCH is under development for both the army and air force.   The Rudra is now armed with just a forward-mounted machine gun and rockets, limiting its capabilities. Adding the Mistral missiles will allow it to shoot down enemy helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.   The entire Rudra fleet will be integrated with the Mistral. Most will serve with the army. Efforts are also underway to acquire an anti-tank missile capability, said officials
Item Number:8 Date: 09/21/2017 IRAQ - GOVERNMENT FORCES KICK OFF OFFENSIVE TO TAKE HAWIJA FROM ISIS (SEP 21/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Iraq's prime minister says government forces have begun an offensive to retake the Islamic State-held town of Hawija, reports the BBC.   The offensive began at dawn on Thursday, announced Prime Minister Hader al-Abadi. Hawija is located 135 miles north of Baghdad in Kirkuk province.   The operation involves the army, federal police, rapid response forces and the Shi'ite Popular Mobilization militia.   Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition aircraft stepped up airstrikes against ISIS facilities in the area earlier this month, noted Al Jazeera.   The latest operation means all of ISIS' remaining territory in Iraq is under attack, noted AFP. Earlier this week, the security forces began an operation against the town of Ana, in the Euphrates River Valley in Anbar province
  Item Number:9 Date: 09/21/2017 ISRAEL - AIR FORCE ACTIVATES 2ND IRON DOME BATTALION TO PROTECT NORTH (SEP 21/ISRAF)  ISRAELI AIR FORCE -- The Israeli air force recently established a new air defense battalion equipped with the Iron Dome missile defense system.   The second Iron Dome battalion stood up earlier this month and will cover northern Israel, the air force said in a release on Sept. 18.   The system offers an effective response to a wide range of threats and has successfully performed more than 1,000 interceptions since entering service in 2011, the air force said.   Before the unit's activation, it completed a readiness inspection. It also took part in the Or HaDagan Northern Command exercise. That combination verified its readiness for duty
Item Number:10 Date: 09/21/2017 MALAYSIA - COUNTERTERROR POLICE PICK UP 7 SUSPECTS LINKED TO ABU SAYYAF (SEP 21/CHNA)  CHANNEL NEWS ASIA -- Police in Malaysia say they have arrested seven people suspected of working with the Abu Sayyaf terror group, reports Channel News Asia.   The men were picked up in a counterterror raid on Sept. 24, said police on Thursday.   The seven, all from the Philippines and between the ages of 22-38, worked as security guards for private companies in the capital Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding state of Selangor, said Mohamad Fuzi Harun, the inspector general of police. One was said to have worked at a major water utility company.   One 22-year-old suspect was an Abu Sayyaf member involved in fighting the military and kidnapping hostages in the southern Philippines, he said.   The men entered Malaysia in September 2015 through the town of Dandakan in Sabah state, before traveling to Kuala Lumper with fake documents, said Harun, as cited by Reuters.   Since the start of the year, police have arrested 41 suspects classified as foreign terrorist fighters, he added
  Item Number:11 Date: 09/21/2017 MALAYSIA - POTENTIAL MILITANT SABOTAGE PLOT LEADS TO CANCELLATION OF BEER FESTIVAL IN KUALA LUMPUR (SEP 21/MMAIL)  MALAY MAIL -- An annual beer festival in Malaysia's capital was scrapped because it could have been a target for militants, says a top police official, as reported by the Malay Mail Online.   The Better Beer Festival, scheduled for Oct. 6-7, was canceled after an Islamist party objected and said it could lead to criminal acts, rape and free sex, reported Reuters. The party said Kuala Lumpur might be turned into "the biggest center of vice in Asia," as quoted by the South China Morning Post.   "There is information that militants might be planning to sabotage the festival as it goes against their struggle," Tan Sri Fuzi Harun, the inspector-general of police, said on Thursday.   "To avoid any incident beyond our control, the police had to be proactive, by objecting to the organizing of the festival," he said.   The police official did not identify which group might be targeting the event.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 09/21/2017 NEW ZEALAND - MILITARY PERSONNEL BATTLE FUEL SHORTAGE (SEP 21/NZH)  NEW ZEALAND HERALD -- New Zealand's navy has been called in to help transport fuel amid an extended shortage, reports the New Zealand Herald. Other services are also involved.   A single privately owned pipeline carrying jet fuel from a refinery to Auckland's airport was damaged on Sept. 14, causing a nationwide shortage. More than 120 flights have been canceled, noted Reuters.   Army drivers are going to drive civilian fuel trucks to Auckland, Palmerston North and Napier.   The air force is also supplying refueling operators to help transfer jet fuel from tankers to the airport, noted Stuff (New Zealand).   The Endeavor, a navy tanker, was expected to arrive Thursday at the refinery at Port Marsden to transport up to 4.8 million liters (1.2 million gallons) of diesel, the equivalent of about 150 trucks of fuel.   This will free up resources to deliver jet fuel by road to Auckland, said officials.   The pipe is expected to be repaired by Sept. 26, said a government official. Fuel rationing was eased on Thursday night. No flight cancellations were expected by Friday.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 09/21/2017 NORTH KOREA - PYONGYANG'S MILITARY DEVELOPMENT REPRESENTS GRAVE THREAT, SAY U.S., JAPANESE, S. KOREAN OFFICIALS (SEP 21/YON)  YONHAP -- Defense officials from Japan, South Korea and the United States have promised to step up their pressure on North Korea over its ongoing nuclear and missile development, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   In a three-way video conference on Wednesday, working-level officials from the three countries strongly condemned Pyongyang's latest ballistic missile test on Sept. 15, according to the South Korean Defense Ministry.   The North's Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missile flew over northern Japan and landed in waters to its east.   The officials agreed that the action poses a serious and grave threat to regional peace and stability, said the ministry.   The U.S. emphasized its "ironclad" security commitment to the defense of Japan and South Korea.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 09/21/2017 SLOVAKIA - NEW FIGHTER JET DECISION SET ASIDE; GROUND FORCES NOW PRIORITIZED (SEP 21/REU)  REUTERS -- Defense Minister Peter Gajdos says Slovakia will delay a planned fighter jet purchase for a broader upgrade of the military, reports Reuters.   Slovakia has been in talks with several companies to replace its aging Russian-made MiG-29s. Firms include Lockheed Martin for its F-16s and Saab for Gripens. A decision was expected by the end of the month.   Gajdos said Wednesday that the fighter decision would be delayed to focus on ground forces.   "While we have been replacing some parts of the air force, the ground forces have not been renewed for decades," he said.   A strategy document released last week anticipated that the government would spend about US$7.8 billion by 2030 to modernize the army. Defense spending is to rise from 1.1 percent of GDP to 1.6 percent in 2020 and 2.0 percent by 2024, according to the document.   Slovakia has a maintenance contract with Russia for its 12 MiG-29s until autumn 2019. An order of new jets would take 18-24 months to deliver, noted the wire service, which might mean extending the Russian contract
  Item Number:15 Date: 09/21/2017 SWEDEN - SAAB RECEIVES ORDER FOR GIRAFFE 1X SURFACE RADAR (SEP 21/SAAB)  SAAB -- Saab says it has signed a contract to deliver a Giraffe 1X ground radar system.   The value of the contract and its customer are not being disclosed due to a confidentiality arrangement, the Swedish defense company said in a release on Sept. 20.   The Giraffe 1X is a flexible and agile three-dimensional active electronically scanned array radar with the latest gallium nitride (GaN) technology.   The radar is optimized for mobile forces and can be transported on pickup-truck-sized vehicles, the company said
  Item Number:16 Date: 09/21/2017 SYRIA - MOSCOW THREATENS TO STRIKE U.S.-BACKED REBELS IF SYRIAN GOVERNMENT FORCES COME UNDER FIRE FROM SDF AREA (SEP 21/RFE/RL)  RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- The Kremlin has warned the United States that it will retaliate if artillery fire from an area controlled by U.S.-backed fighters hits government troops in eastern Syria, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   Syrian army forces and the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have come close to one another as they fight the Islamic State in Deir Ezzor province in separate campaigns. A "de-confliction line" was established to prevent fighting along the Euphrates River.   Syrian government forces, supported by Russian special operations forces, were targeted twice with mortars and rocket artillery in areas east of the Euphrates River, where SDF forces and U.S. special operations forces are, said a Defense Ministry spokesman on Thursday, as cited by Tass.   Moscow warned a U.S. representative in Qatar that "any attempts of shelling from the areas where the militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces are based will be immediately curbed," said the spokesman.   Earlier this week, government troops crossed the Euphrates, sealing off Deir Ezzor city on three sides. Meanwhile, the SDF advanced from the province's northeast
  Item Number:17 Date: 09/21/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - LOSING TERRITORY IN IRAQ, SYRIA, HASN'T ELIMINATED ISIS' THREAT TO EUROPE, SAY OFFICIALS (SEP 21/SKY)  SKY NEWS -- The Islamic State cell responsible for planning and encouraging attacks on Europe remains active despite the terrorist group's territorial losses in Iraq and Syria, say intelligence officials cited by Sky News (U.K.).   Key commanders have been killed "in the last few weeks," but the group still has the ability to control terrorist activity in the West, despite the losses of Mosul in northern Iraq and most of Raqqa in eastern Syria, officials said.   The cell has "likely moved -- we don't know for sure that it was ever in one specific location," said an unnamed British military intelligence officer.   The militants are very aware of security. They realize that if they are in one building for an extended time, the coalition will find them.   The main leaders will therefore move around a place. Many departed Raqqa before the operation to retake it really got started, the officer said.  
Item Number:18 Date: 09/21/2017 USA - AT-SEA INCIDENTS PROMPT CREATION OF NAVY COMMAND TO CERTIFY JAPAN-BASED SHIPS (SEP 21/NTIMES)  NAVY TIMES -- The U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet is creating a new command to take responsibility for overseeing training and certification of ships based in Japan, reports the Navy Times, citing congressional testimony.   Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, announced the change Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The hearing focused on recent at-sea incidents, including two fatal collisions with civilian vessels in the Pacific.   The newly created Naval Surface Group Western Pacific will help ensure 7th Fleet ships are properly certified.   Recent government watchdog reports indicated that 37 percent of Japan-based U.S. cruisers and destroyers were operating with expired certifications as of June.   The service is also reviewing its risk assessment management plan (RAMP), which allowed ships to deploy even if their qualifications in critical areas such as damage control, navigation and flight deck operations had lapsed.   All Japan-based ships are now undergoing inspections to ensure they are ready for sea duty, Richardson told lawmakers.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 09/21/2017 USA - N.C. STATE ENGINEER DEVELOPS METAL FOAM ABLE TO SHATTER BULLETS (SEP 21/ARMY)  ARMY TIMES -- An engineer at North Carolina State University has developed a composite metal foam that can absorb multiple bullet strikes, reports the Army Times.   Afsaneh Rabiei created a new material that combines metal foam, or metal with gas-filled pores, with a metal matrix composite to improve performance against ballistics.   "It works like a heavy-duty bubble wrap," Rabiei told the newspaper. "The bubbles inside can squeeze down and provide protection."   The researchers at the university have previously described how their composite can turn a bullet "into dust on impact."   The composite material creates stronger protection and allows the material to be used multiple times.   When struck with a bullet, the spheres are crushed. This resilience allows the foam to take multiple hits, said Marc Portanova, who is at the Army's Aviation Applied Technology Directorate.   Researchers at the directorate have helped make the material lighter and allow it to take on bigger threats.   The material will likely be used for ground vehicles before aircraft, Portanova said. It would be not much more expensive than existing armor, while weighing half or one-third as much.  
 Item Number:20 Date: 09/21/2017 USA - NAVY'S SURFACE FLEET TO BROADCAST PRESENCE IN BUSY AREAS, SAYS CNO (SEP 21/USNIN)  USNI NEWS -- The U.S. Navy is considering efforts to make its ships less stealthy in certain circumstances after two deadly collisions with civilian vessels earlier this year, reports USNI News.   Part of the problem is that the Navy is very good at disguising itself at sea, Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.   Warships are designed to appear much smaller than they are on radar and their haze gray paint jobs make them difficult to see visually, the admiral said.   Such stealth creates a responsibility for Navy crews to understand that civilian marine traffic will have problems recognizing the size, location, and speed of Navy ships, he said.   One step being taken is to require naval surface vessels to operate their automatic identification systems (AIS) when in high traffic areas. The AIS can help ships avoid collisions by providing identification and position of vessels not always possible through voice radio communication or radar alone.   Naval vessels have been equipped with the system for years, but rarely used it, said Richardson.
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