Thursday, September 28, 2017

TheList 4555

The List 4555

To All
A bit of history and some tidbits.
This Day in Naval History September 27
1922 - Report on observations of experiments with short wave radio at Anacostia, DC, starts Navy development of radar
1941 - SS Patrick Henry, the first U.S. Liberty ship, is launched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at Baltimore, Md. Numerous other vessels are launched on that day, known as "Liberty Fleet Day."
1942: The freighter, SS Stephen Hopkins, engages the German auxiliary cruiser, Stier, and supply ship, Tannenfels, in a surface gunnery action in the central South Atlantic. Stier sinks SS Stephen Hopkins but the German raider sinks after having receiving heavy damage by SS Stephen Hopkins naval armed guard, Lt. j.g. Kenneth M. Willett. For his actions, Willett posthumously receives the Navy Cross.
1944 - Special Air Task Force (STAG-1) commences operations with drones, controlled by TBM aircraft, against Japanese in Southwestern Pacific
1950 - First Marine Division captures Seoul, South Korea
Today in History September 27
The Society of Jesus, a religious order under Ignatius Loyola, is approved by the Pope.
The island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea falls to the Ottoman Turks after a 21-year siege.
Jews in France are granted French citizenship.
Confederate guerrilla Bloody Bill Anderson and his henchmen, including a teenage Jesse James, massacre 20 unarmed Union soldiers at Centralia, Missouri. The event becomes known as the Centralia Massacre.
Wild Bill Hickok, sheriff of Hays City, Kan., shoots down Samuel Strawhim, a drunken teamster causing trouble.
Constance of Greece declares war on Bulgaria.
President Woodrow Wilson opens his fourth Liberty Loan campaign to support men and machines for World War I.
Eight Chicago White Sox players are charged with fixing the 1919 World Series.
Germany occupies Warsaw as Poland falls to Germany and the Soviet Union.
Australian forces defeat the Japanese on New Guinea in the South Pacific.
Thousands of British troops are killed as German forces rebuff their massive effort to capture the Arnhem Bridge across the Rhine River in Holland.
U.S. Army and Marine troops liberate Seoul, South Korea.
The U.S. Air Force Bell X-2, the world's fastest and highest-flying plane, crashes, killing the test pilot.
The Warren Commission, investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, issues its report, stating its conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole gunman.
US Congress approves Department of Education as the 13th agency in the US Cabinet.
Sukhumi massacre: Abkhaz separatist forces and their allies commit widespread atrocities against the civilian population in the USSR state of Georgia.
The Taliban capture Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul.
European Space Agency launches SMART-1 satellite to orbit the moon.
NASA launches Dawn probe to explore and study the two larges objects of the asteroid belt, Vesta and Ceres.
Zhai Zhigang becomes the first Chinese to walk in space; he was part of the Shenzhou 7 crew.
(If you are not familiar with SOG, they were a classified special operations unit that conducted unconventional warfare in Vietnam and surrounding areas.  They were real combat heroes and did amazing things in their secret war!  Major John Plaster served three tours in SOG and has written some excellent books—highly recommended!  A second article on Operation Tailwind below.  CNN was involved in fake news back in the late '90s!!)
47 years after Vietnam War secret mission, Green Beret to receive Medal of Honor
By COREY DICKSTEIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 20, 2017
WASHINGTON — A retired Army Green Beret credited with saving multiple lives during a covert four-day mission into Laos to target North Vietnamese soldiers operating there will receive the Medal of Honor next month, 47 years after his heroic actions, the White House announced Wednesday.
President Donald Trump will present the military's highest honor to retired Army Capt. Gary Michael Rose on Oct. 23 at the White House, an upgrade of the Distinguished Service Cross Rose received in 1971. Rose was awarded the nation's second highest medal for valor just four months after the Special Forces mission in which he survived bullet and rocket wounds and a helicopter crash to provide life-saving aid to more than 100 comrades, according to the award citation.
Soldiers who served with him, lawmakers and Pentagon officials have lobbied for several years for Rose's award to be upgraded, which required a special waiver passed by Congress and presidential approval.
In an Army statement, Rose said the Medal of Honor belongs to the secretive unit he served with during the Vietnam War, the Army's Military Assistance Command Studies and Observations Group.
"That medal, to me, recognizes finally the service of all the men in all those years that served in MACSOG," Rose, 69, said in the statement. "It's a collective medal from my perspective [which represents] all the courage and honor and dedication to duty that those men served."
Rose, then a sergeant, was the only medic among 16 Green Berets and 120 Vietnamese tribal fighters called Montagnards when they were dropped by helicopter on Sept. 11, 1970 into the Laotian jungle on a mission, dubbed Operation Tailwind, to raid a North Vietnamese encampment. The elite Studies and Observations Group was based in southern Vietnam from where it routinely led such missions into Laos, leading the U.S. covert war against North Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Green Beret medic Gary Michael Rose walks with fellow troops after Operation Tailwind in 1970.
The force came under fire almost immediately after it was dropped off.
By the operation's end, every American and Montagnard soldier would be wounded – including three Montagnards killed – and three Marine helicopters would crash, including one with Rose inside, according to accounts provided by the Army.
During the four days of the mission, the Green Berets and Montagnards moved 15 miles through the jungle, facing "well-armed" platoon- and company-sized enemy units, according to the award citation.
On the second day of the mission, one of the Montagnards was wounded so badly that he could not escape to cover as rocket and mortar rounds fell on the group. Rose ran 50 meters through enemy fire and used his own body to shield the wounded soldier from further injury as he treated him, the citation read. After stopping the blood flow, Rose then carried the man back through a field of enemy fire to protective cover.
Throughout the mission, Rose continued to brave enemy fire to treat wounded comrades, often ignoring his own injuries, according to the award citation.
"Despite the deadly volleys falling around him, Sgt. Rose displayed a calm professionalism as he administered medical treatment to countless men. Two were so severely wounded that they would have died without the sergeant's vigilant care," the citation read.
As the mission came to an end, the helicopter carrying Rose from the battle was hit by an enemy anti-aircraft round, according to the Army. As the chopper fell, Rose saw a Marine helicopter crewman had been shot in the neck. He rendered life-saving medical aid to the Marine before the helicopter crashed, throwing Rose from the aircraft.
With the helicopter leaking fuel and smoking, Rose crawled back into the downed aircraft to pull his wounded comrades from the wreckage and administered medical treatment until another helicopter arrived to remove them from the fight, according to the Army.
"On return to base, Rose, covered in blood and wounds, refused all treatment until the other wounded men were attended to first," according to the Army statement.
Rose, who grew up in southern California, enlisted in the Army in 1967. After returning from the Vietnam War, he was commissioned as an officer, remaining in the service until he retired in 1987 as a captain, according to Army records. His other awards include two Bronze Star Medals with "V" device for valor and three Purple Hearts.
Rose's award will mark the second time that Trump has presented the Medal of Honor. The other recipient, James McCloughan, also a Vietnam War medic, was presented the award on July 31.
Though Rose said the award belonged to all of the men from his unit, he also said he was honored to have the opportunity to receive it.
"I am going to have the privilege of being able to meet the president of the United States with my dear wife, in the Oval Office, I have been told," he said in the Army statement. "And that is something I will treasure until the end of my days."
The media scandal surrounding Operation Tailwind
By STARS AND STRIPES Published: September 21, 2017
The story of Green Beret Gary Michael Rose's heroism is an epic of classified warfare and a stinging media scandal that will soon end with a Medal of Honor.
In 1970, Rose was the lone medic for a company of Special Forces soldiers and indigenous Vietnamese fighters during a risky, four-day assault deep into Laos. The badly injured Rose helped bring all the soldiers back alive and received the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest military honor, during a ceremony at the time in Vietnam.
But in 1998, Rose and the other men were wrongly accused of taking part in war crimes when the mission, called Operation Tailwind, was declassified and unearthed for the first time by CNN and its partner Time magazine.
CNN aired a program in June 1998 called "NewsStand' with an investigative expose titled "Valley of Death" hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Peter Arnett. The show made a series of hard-hitting allegations about the mission in Laos.
CNN claimed Special Forces soldiers were sent in to kill American military defectors, and during the mission they destroyed a village, killed women and children, and dropped deadly sarin gas, a chemical weapon banned under international law, according to a detailed examination of the reporting by the Defense Department.
The same claims were published by CNN's partner Time magazine in a story written by Arnett and April Oliver, a CNN producer.
The defense secretary at the time, William Cohen, ordered the leaders of the Army, Air Force and Navy as well as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to conduct their own full-scale investigation, which included interviewing witnesses and digging into military records and historical archives.
The Pentagon investigation shot down the claims in "Valley of Death." CNN and Time conducted an internal review and after the findings were reported, they retracted the story.
The incident became one of the biggest media scandals of the late 1990s and triggered a flurry of lawsuits against CNN.
Arnett, famed for his dispatches from the Vietnam War and Desert Storm, was reprimanded and later pushed out of CNN. Oliver was fired from the network after the story was retracted.
In the wake of the scandal, Rose's unit, the Military Assistance Command Studies and Observations Group, received a presidential citation in 2001 for heroism in Vietnam from 1964-1972, which is equivalent to the Distinguished Service Cross for all Green Berets who served during its existence
Thanks to Mike
Sgt William Carney (MOH)
The jerks who "take the knee", their owners and their league have no concept even of their own history. It is their right in our grand country to be jerks. However, I am amazed at those who pay good money - owners and fans -  to enable and to watch these fools disgrace themselves and their country. We damn yankees from Massachusetts happen to have a different perspective than that of the jerks:
The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was recruited in the spring of 1863 by Governor John Andrew, who had secured the reluctant permission of the War Department to create a regiment of African-American soldiers. Like all Massachusetts Civil War soldiers, the 54th's men were enlisted in the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. These Guardsmen would serve as a test case for many skeptical whites who believed that blacks could not be good soldiers. The battle that proved they could was fought on Morris Island, at the mouth of Charleston Harbor. Following three days of skirmishes and forced marches with little rest, and 24 hours with no food, the regimental commander, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, requested the perilous honor of leading the attack of Fort Wagner, a sand and palmetto log bastion. As night fell, 600 men of the 54th advanced with bayonets fixed. Despite withering cannon and rifle fire, the men sustained their charge until they reached the top of the rampart. There, Colonel Shaw was mortally wounded. There, also, Sergeant William Carney, who had earlier taken up the National Colors when the color sergeant had been shot, planted the flag and fought off numerous attempts by the Confederates to capture it. Without support, and faced with superior numbers and firepower, the 54th was forced to pull back. Despite two severe wounds, Sergeant Carney carried the colors to the rear. When praised for his bravery, he modestly replied, "I only did my duty; the old flag never touched the ground." Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, the first African-American to receive the award. The 54th Massachusetts suffered 270 casualties in the failed assault, but the greater message was not lost: some 180,000 African-American soldiers followed in the footsteps of these gallant Guardsmen, and proved that African-American soldiers could, indeed, fight heroically if given the opportunity.
Thanks to Burt …
Crazy good RC pilot … indeed.  
… how about shot from a drone flying across the tracks, UNDER a moving train … And how was this one taken?
… hang on!!
Item Number:1 Date: 09/27/2017 AFGHANISTAN - ROCKETS HIT KABUL AIRPORT SHORTLY AFTER MATTIS ARRIVES; HELICOPTERS STRUCK, BUT NO CASUALTIES REPORTED (SEP 27/FN)  FOX NEWS -- Dozens of rockets struck Afghanistan's international airport in Kabul shortly after Wednesday's arrival of U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis, reports Fox News.   As many as 45 rockets and rocket-propelled grenades were reportedly fired at the passenger terminal of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to some accounts.   The Taliban said the target was Mattis, whose visit was not previously announced, noted Tolo News (Afghanstan).   Mattis, along with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, were at the airport two hours earlier and then left via helicopter to attend a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani.   Local media cited by USA Today said air force hangers were damaged; one helicopter was destroyed and three others damaged, according to an airport official. All flights were then canceled.   Security forces cordoned off the area and counterterror police were called in, reported Tolo News.   The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Shortly thereafter, ISIS also claimed responsibility.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 09/27/2017 CHINA - WEEKS AFTER DEPLOYMENT, CHINESE STATIONED IN DJIBOUTI HOLD LIVE-FIRE EXERCISE (SEP 27/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- Chinese military personnel have conducted their first live-fire drill on the Horn of Africa, reports the South China Morning Post.   Last Friday's exercise in Djibouti involved dozens of officers and took place at the nation's gendarmerie training range, according to a report by the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).   Chinese troops deployed to the base, Beijing's first overseas garrison, less than two months ago. Chinese state media generally call it a logistics support base.   Last week's training was designed to evaluate the ability of the personnel to handle a variety of weapons and missions in extreme heat, humidity and salinity, said the PLAN.   One military commentator in Beijing said the drill was a message to local militants.   It will also help develop new training models for Chinese overseas garrisons, said Liang Yang, the base commander.  
 Item Number:3 Date: 09/27/2017 INDIA - ARMY RESPONDS AFTER BEING STRUCK BY NAGA INSURGENTS NEAR BURMESE BORDER (SEP 27/TI)  TIMES OF INDIA -- An Indian army operation is underway against Naga rebels near the border with Burma, reports the Times of India, citing military officials.   An army column operating close to the Burmese border came under fire Wednesday morning by suspected members of the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-K), said the military.   The insurgents suffered "a large number of casualties," said the army.   The army said it did not cross the border.   Similar operations against NSCN-K have been taking place in Changlang and Kunnu areas since late August, say military sources. New Delhi has been concerned that militant groups have been taking shelter in Burma.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 09/27/2017 INDIA - INS TARASA FAST ATTACK CRAFT JOINS NAVY (SEP 27/ECON)  ECONOMIC TIMES -- India's navy has commissioned its newest fast attack craft, reports the Economic Times (India).   INS Tarasa, an upgraded Car Nicobar-class patrol veseel, was commissioned Tuesday in Bombay (Mumbai).   The vessel is the fourth and last of the water-jet fast attack craft (WJFAC)  built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers.   The 50-meter ship is equipped with three water jets, giving it a speed of more than 35 knots.   She is expected to conduct offshore surveillance and patrols. Other missions are search-and-rescue, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.   The latest craft is the second to be named the Tarasa. The first was donated to the Seychelles coast guard in 2014
Item Number:5 Date: 09/27/2017 IRAQ - LAWMAKERS WANT TROOPS SENT TO OIL-RICH KIRKUK, CONTROLLED BY KURDS (SEP 27/DAILYSABAH)  DAILY SABAH -- Iraq's Parliament has called on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to send troops to Kirkuk, which is controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government, reports the Daily Sabah, citing state television.   A "yes" vote is widely expected from the Kurdish independence referendum that was held Monday in Iraqi Kurdistan. The referendum has been criticized by the Iraqi government and several regional powers.   The key oilfields in Kirkuk are claimed by both the regional government and Baghdad.   Abadi demanded that the vote be annulled, saying that Baghdad would not agree to secession talks.   On Tuesday, the prime minister ordered the Kurdish Regional Government to surrender control of its international airports by Friday or face a shutdown of international flights, reported the New York Times.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 09/27/2017 IRAQ - TROOPS BATTLE ISIS INFILTRATORS IN ANBAR PROVINCE (SEP 27/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Iraqi forces say they have repelled an Islamic State attack in Anbar province, say security sources cited by Agence France-Presse.   On Wednesday, ISIS infiltrators briefly took over the areas of Al-Tash and Majr and Kilometer Seven District near Ramadi, the provincial capital, said the source.   The terrorists were driven out after several hours of heavy fighting with security forces and allied tribes, said officials.   Casualties were reported variously. As many as 20 terrorists and two security personnel were killed. All of the ISIS attackers were killed, said a provincial police chief. Eighteen civilians were reported wounded.   Officials believe this was a diversion directed at a government offensive directed at ISIS' last two remaining strongholds in Iraq
  Item Number:7 Date: 09/27/2017 NATO - GERMANY, NORWAY JOIN MULTINATIONAL FLEET, SIGN FOR 5 TANKERS (SEP 27/EDA)  EUROPEAN DEFENSE AGENCY -- Germany and Norway have officially signed on to the Multinational Multi-Role Tanker Transport Fleet (MMF) program, reports the European Defense Agency.   In a ceremony on Monday, the two countries joined Luxembourg and the Netherlands for the project, which is acquiring a shared pool of Airbus A330 multi-role tanker transport (MRTT) aircraft.   Airbus said on Monday that it had received a firm order for five MRTT tankers, reported Reuters. They are funded by Germany and Norway.   The addition of Germany and Norway will increase the size of the fleet from two to seven A330s, with options to buy four additional aircraft.   Other countries are expected to join the MMF in the future and exercise the additional contract options, the EDA said in a release.   The program, which was launched by the EDA in 2012, is funded by the participants. They gain exclusive right to use the NATO-owned aircraft that will operate in a pooling arrangement.   The aircraft are configured for aerial refueling, passenger and cargo transport as well as medical evacuation.   The tanker-transports will be operated by multinational units in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and Cologne, Germany.   Deliveries of the seven A330 MRTTs are scheduled from 2020 to 2022.  
 Item Number:8 Date: 09/27/2017 NETHERLANDS - WITH EYE ON OVERDUE MAINTENANCE, NEW GOVERNMENT SETS ASIDE MORE FOR DEFENSE SPENDING (SEP 27/NLT)  NL TIMES -- The new Dutch government plans to spend another 1.5 billion euros (US$1.8 billion) on defense, reports the NL Times.   Two-thirds of those funds are intended for catching up on overdue maintenance, with the balance to go towards investment, unnamed sources told the Telegraaf newspaper (Amsterdam).   There has been broad agreement by most Dutch political parties that the armed forces need more money.   Recent reports have exposed major equipment maintenance and deployability problems.   RTL Nieuws, a Dutch news service, reported over the summer that equipment for the Corps Commandos was so outdated and worn out that it could pose a threat to personnel. A number of training exercises were halted because of the perceived danger.   In March, NATO criticized the deployability of the Dutch military and urged the government to make strengthening its military a priority.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 09/27/2017 NIGERIA - POLICE NAB WANTED BOKO HARAM COMMANDER, TURN HIM OVER TO ARMY (SEP 27/NANIGERIA)  NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA -- Police in Nigeria's southern Ondo state say they have apprehended a wanted commander of the Boko Haram terrorist group, reports the News Agency of Nigeria.   Idris Ibrahaim Babawo, also known as Idoko or Nagada, was arrested this week while trying to evade arrest, said an army spokesman on Tuesday.   The militant was arrested by Ondo state police on Sunday and turned over to the military on Monday, the spokesman said.   Babawo reportedly left northeastern Nigeria, where Boko Haram is based, because of military operations there
Item Number:10 Date: 09/27/2017 RUSSIA - ANTICIPATING U.S. RESTRICTIONS, KREMLIN PUSHES BACK ON INTERPRETATION OF OPEN SKIES TREATY (SEP 27/TASS)  TASS -- Responding to U.S. media accounts, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin insists that any disputes over the implementation of the Open Skies Treaty must be settled in compliance with the document, reports the Tass news agency (Moscow).   "There is hardly any room for interpretations. The Treaty on Open Skies is to be strictly followed and any complaints put forward in strict compliance with that treaty, because each party has its own obligations under this document," the spokesman said.   The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that U.S. authorities were prepared to announce restrictions on Russian military aircraft flights over the U.S. under the treaty in response to Russian restrictions on similar flights over the Russian exclave Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea.   The treaty allows signatories to send unarmed surveillance aircraft to fly over each other's territories to monitor military activities.   The goal is to promote transparency about military activities, noted the Independence (U.K.). The treaty was ratified in 1992 and took effect in 2002.   The U.S. delegation is expected to announce the restrictions during an Open Skies meeting in Vienna.   The agreement permits a flight range of 3,418 miles (5,500 km) per flight, but the Kremlin enforced a "sub-limit" of 310 miles (500 km) over Kaliningrad.   Pentagon officials said it requires around 745 miles (1,200 km) to cover all of Kaliningrad, meaning the restriction forces treaty members to allocate two flights, which would otherwise have been used to observe other parts of Russia.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 09/27/2017 RUSSIA - KREMLIN SENDS BOMBERS FROM ENGELS FIELD TO STRIKE JIHADISTS IN SYRIA WITH CRUISE MISSILES (SEP 27/SPUTNIK)  SPUTNIK -- Russian strategic bombers have fired cruise missiles at key terrorist targets in Syria, says the Defense Ministry, as reported by the domestic Sputnik news agency.   The airstrikes hit positions held by Islamic State and Nusra Front, Al-Qaida's former affiliate and now known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham), in Idlib and Deir Ezzor province, said the ministry on Tuesday. No time was provided about the strikes.   To reach the targets, the bombers left from Engels field in Russia and overflew Iran and Iraq.   Tu-95MS strategic bombers launched Lh-101 cruise missiles against the targets, destroying command posts, troops concentrations, military equipment and ammunition depots, the ministry said   The targets were not close to any civilian villages and positions held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) or U.S. forces, said a spokesman
  Item Number:12 Date: 09/27/2017 RUSSIA - NEW MEMO OF COOPERATION COVERS LAOTIAN-RUSSIAN MILITARY-TECHNICAL COOPERATION (SEP 27/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Laotian Defense Ministry has signed an accord with Russia's state arms export agency, Rosoboronexport, on military-technical cooperation, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   The agreement was negotiated by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.   The accord was signed on Tuesday in Moscow by Alexander Mikheyev, the director-general of Rosoboronexport, and Suvon Luongbunmi, the chief of General Staff for the Laotian army.   Laotian and Russian officials also signed agreements covering the transfer of convicts and cooperating on training personnel against money-laundering and financing terrorism
  Item Number:13 Date: 09/27/2017 SOUTH KOREA - MILITARY TO GET MORE ADVANCED JET TRAINERS (SEP 27/YON)  YONHAP -- A South Korean weapons procurement committee has agreed to purchase more advanced jet trainers from a domestic firm, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The model or number of aircraft to be procured was not specified. However, since it is to be a "domestic purchase" program, it is very likely that the T-50 Golden Eagle is the choice.   The procurement project will begin in 2019, said the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.   The committee also decided on another production run of a new military communication system following successful field trials.   Under the US$4.7 billion project, the military will replace its existing SPIDER analog communication platform with the digital Tactical Information Communication Network (TICN).   The five-year development of the first block of the TICN was completed in 2015, with an initial production run in 2016.   A second production run is anticipated by 2019
Item Number:14 Date: 09/27/2017 SWEDEN - PASSENGER TRAIN DERAILS AFTER COLLIDING WITH ARMORED VEHICLE DURING DRILL (SEP 27/LOCAL)  THE LOCAL -- Swedish authorities say at least four people were injured when a passenger train collided with a military armored vehicle, reports the Local (Sweden).   The train was derailed on Tuesday near Trosa, south of Swedish capital Stockholm, when it hit an Armored Modular Vehicle (AMV), reported local media.   Wire services reported that the train driver and three military staff were injured.   A preliminary investigation cited "negligence in traffic," reported the Expressen newspaper.   The Swedish military is currently holding its Aurora 17 exercise in the region; it is the largest drill in 23 years.   The 8 x 8 vehicle involved is built by Patria in Finland and used by multiple militaries.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 09/27/2017 SYRIA - AIRSTRIKE IN IDLIB PROVINCE TAKES OUT NUSRA FRONT FIELD COMMANDERS, SAYS KREMLIN (SEP 27/SPUTNIK)  SPUTNIK -- The Kremlin says a Russian airstrike has killed five field commanders of Al-Qaida's former affiliate in Syria, reports Russia's Sputnik news agency.   The raid reportedly killed 32 other militants. A nearby ammunition depot and six armed vehicles were destroyed in Idlib province, according to a Defense Ministry spokesman on Wednesday. The timing of the strike was not given.   The militants killed were members of Nusra Front (now known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham).   That group is part of Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance of jihadists. The group tried to capture a group of Russian military police officers in Idlib on Sept. 18, said the spokesman.  
 Item Number:16 Date: 09/27/2017 UKRAINE - BLAZE, MASSIVE EXPLOSION AT ARMS DEPOT; PRIME MINISTER POINTS TO 'EXTERNAL FACTORS' (SEP 27/DEWELLE)  DEUTSCHE WELLE -- Ukrainian authorities say they have contained a blaze at a munitions depot in the central part of the country that forced thousands to evacuate, reports Deutsche Welle.   The fire broke out late Tuesday at a depot near Vinnytsia, about 160 miles south of Kiev, said officials. There were massive explosions, noted Reuters.   The depot -- one of Ukraine's largest -- stored 188,000 tons of munitions, including projectiles for rocket-launched systems.   Authorities evacuated 24,000 residents from villages within 3 miles of the depot and closed the airspace in the region. Adjacent road and rail traffic was stopped and 14 passenger trains were diverted, said officials.   One person was injured, said officials.   When he arrived in the area hours later, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said "external factors" were behind the incident, reported the Independent (U.K.).  
  Item Number:17 Date: 09/27/2017 UKRAINE - JOURNALIST ORGANIZATION FINDS UKRAINIAN NETWORK SKIRTS EMBARGOED ARMS RESTRICTIONS, SELLS WEAPONS TO AFRICA, MIDDLE EAST (SEP 27/OCCRP)  ORGANIZED CRIME AND CORRUPTION REPORTING PROJECT -- An arms network in Ukraine has been selling European weapons to customers in Africa and the Middle East, bypassing European Union restrictions on such sales, reports the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).   The OCCRP is an international journalist organization.   In 2015 and 2016, the state-owned Ukrinmash arms exporter signed contracts with Burundi and Uganda to sell 59 amphibious armored vehicles. They were not Ukrainian weapons, noted OCCRP.   Leaked documents show that the BRDM-2 vehicles, worth at least US$4.1 million, were purchased in Poland, an E.U. member under strict arms export rules. They had been delivered to Ukraine in parts.   Forty-five of the vehicles were then delivered to East Africa via the United Arab Emirates, according to the report.   Documents obtained by the OCCRP show that Ukrainian authorities and firms have become a key node in a network that sends Soviet-era weapons from Europe to Africa and the Middle East. Many of the arms originate in countries that are now E.U. members.   In at least one case, an arrangement involving Techimpex, a private Ukrainian company that sells, repairs and upgrades military equipment, and a British shell company, S-Profit, facilitated deals that if implemented would have bypassed E.U. arms embargoes on Sudan and South Sudan, according to OCCRP.   The documents allege that Techimpex works with Ukrainian state arms exporters, including Ukrinmash, as well as the state arms export regulator, the State Service of Export Control, to make the sales.   At the core of the network is a loophole in Ukrainian regulations that allow for the origin and destination of weapon systems to be erased from documents, says the analysis.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 09/27/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - COUNTERTERROR POLICE ARREST 11 DURING PROBE OF BANNED NEO-NAZI GROUP (SEP 27/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- British counterterror police say they have arrested 11 men as part of an investigation into a banned neo-Nazi group, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   Six men were detained Wednesday in northwestern England, including a prisoner. Two were detained in South Wales; two in West Yorkshire; and one from Wiltshire. All are aged between 22 and 35.   All are suspected of being members of National Action, reported AFP.   They are suspected of a variety of offenses, including preparing terrorist acts, being members of a banned organization and possessing terrorism documents.   Police were searching properties across England and Wales as part of the investigation.   National Action was banned in December after it praised the murder of a member of Parliament.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 09/27/2017 USA - ARMY RELIEVES INFANTRY TRAINING BATTALION COMMANDER AT FORT BENNING (SEP 27/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- The U.S. Army has confirmed that the commander of one of its two infantry training battalions at Fort Benning, Ga., has been relieved of command, reports the Stars and Stripes.   Lt. Col. Robert Howard, the commander of 2nd Battalion, 58th Infantry Regiment, 198th Infantry Brigade, was removed "for a loss of confidence in his ability to command," said a spokesman for the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, which is responsible for infantry recruit training.   The spokesman declined to provide additional information.   The unit is one of two battalions that oversee the Army's One Station Unit Training for infantry, which combines basic combat training and infantry advanced individual training into a single 14-week class.   Howard's removal comes about a month after the Army announced that it had suspended several Fort Benning drill sergeants amid an investigation into allegations of sexual assault made by female recruits. Howard's battalion was one of the first "gender-integrated" units in the brigade, noted U.S. Army W.T.F! Moments, which reported a number of stories about misconduct.  
  Item Number:20 Date: 09/27/2017 USA - NAVY TAKES DELIVERY OF LITTLE ROCK LITTORAL SHIP; COMMISSIONING SET FOR DECEMBER (SEP 27/LM)  LOCKHEED MARTIN -- Lockheed Martin and Fincantieri Marinette Marine have delivered another Freedom-class littoral combat ship to the U.S. Navy, reports Lockheed.   The Little Rock (LCS 9) was handed over on Monday at the FMM shipyard in Marinette, Wis. She is scheduled to be commissioned in Buffalo, N.Y., in December. She will be the first Navy ship to be commissioned next to her decommissioned namesake, said a Lockheed release.   The Little Rock successfully completed acceptance trials in August in Lake Michigan, with the highest score of any Freedom-class LCS to date, the company said.   The trials also demonstrated performance improvements that are being incorporates in all future ships in the class, said the release.   After commissioning, the ship will be homeported in Naval Station Mayport, Fla., along with USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) and USS Detroit (LCS 7).

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