Thursday, October 26, 2017

Fw: TheList 4571

The List 4571


To All
I hope your week has started well. Still working out a few bugs in the computer and the list. Not sure where the Fred thing is coming from in the address.
Regards,
Skip
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This Day In Naval History - October 24
1862: A landing party from stern wheel casemate gunboat Baron de Kalb, commanded by Capt. J.A. Winslow, lands at Hopefield, Ark., and engages a small Confederate scouting party. On mounted horses, the sailors then engage in a nine mile running fight, ending with the capture of the Confederate party.
1944 - USS Woolsey (DD 437) and British destroyer HMS Fortune sink two German explosive boats 16 miles off Cap Ferrat, France. Woolsey and minesweeper USS Sway (AM 120) then recover the prisoners.
1944 - In air-sea battle in the Sibuyan Sea, carrier aircraft attack Japanese Center Force.
1958 - USS Kleinsmith (APD-134) evacuates U.S. nationals from Nicaro, Cuba.
1962 - Atlantic Fleet begins quarantine operations to force Soviet Union to agree to remove ballistic missiles and long range bombers from Cuba.
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Thanks To  Barrett from 4570
VERRRY interesting.
Being of the ballistic persuasion, I believe the Shot of Whiskey tale is correct.
Being of the ballistic persuasion, I know that the whole 9 yards is not.  That's been a frequent topic in emails and Social Media.  In WW II every fighter had its own loadout, and none had 27 feet of linked .50 caliber.  (I computed it: equaled something like 340-50 rounds when 400 was typical.)  Some with thin airfoils had fewer rounds per gun outboard than inboard, like the P-51.
 
BT
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Robin Williams (About Our Flag!)
Thanks to Hawk
 "There are only two who have died for you, Jesus Christ and the US Military.  One to save your soul, the other to protect your freedom."
 
Subject: Fwd: Robin Williams 
 
  
Great tribute to the flag in Robin Williams own way.

 
The man was a genius.  He was 31 when he made this video... it is about 4 minutes long, but I guarantee you will never see anything as creative as this again.  His comment at the end is germane today.
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With our thanks to THE Bear at http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/
 
ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 24 OCTOBER 1967… PHUC YEN MIG AIRBASE (JCS 6), FINALLY!…
October 24, 2017    Bear Taylor     
RIPPLE SALVO… #597… "After President Johnson had approved it as a target on 18 October 1967, coordinated Air Force and Navy strikes against Phuc Yen MiG Airfield (JCS 6) commenced on the afternoon of 24 October followed by combined re-strikes on 25 October. The airfield was hit by bombs and CBUs. Post-strike photos showed that 5 MiG-21s and 5 MiG-17 parked in Area H were either damaged or destroyed, and that two MiG-17s in Area G were destroyed." (CINCPAC ROLLING THUNDER Status and Analysis Report)… but first…
Good Morning: Day FIVE HUNDRED NINETY-SEVEN remembering and reviewing the air war fought by the United States fifty years ago in the skies over North Vietnam…
24 OCTOBER 1967… HEAD LINES from The New York Times on a Tuesday full of sunshine in New York City…
Page 1: (25 Oct reporting 24 Oct ops) "BASE FOR MIG-21s STRUCK FIRST TIME BY AMERICAN JETS–U.S. Pilots Bomb Phucyen Field in Waves–10 Enemy Planes Are Destroyed–A MAJOR RAID OF THE WAR– Four Targets in North With Military Significance Now Remain Untouched"... "United States Air Force and Navy jets bombed the huge North Vietnam air base at Phucyen for the first time yesterday, damaging or destroying nine MIG fighters on the ground and shooting down another. The 9,270-foot main runway was pitted with scores of bomb craters, an American military spokesman said. Four missile sites and at least antiaircraft emplacements were knocked out.
"One of the swarm of late-model MIG-21's that took to the air to oppose the raiders was shot down by an Air Force F-4C Phantom jet according to the spokesman. (See Ripple Salvo below) No American planes were lost over Phucyen, but a Navy A-4 Skyhawk and an Air Force F-105 Thunderchief.
"The base, 18 miles northwest of Hanoi, was  struck by more than 65 Air Force, Navy and Marine fighter bombers in daylight raids today…The air strike is expected to reduce the number of MIG's that rise to challenge America's bombers in future raids.
"Phucyen had been one of only five untouched targets in the North that were described by strategists in Saigon as militarily significant. The four now remaining, informed sources said, are the Gialam airfield, which also serves as Hanoi's chief airport; the docks at Haiphong; the piers at the secondary port of Hongai, and the railway terminal and power plant at Laokay, less than a mile from the Chinese border. The ones struck earlier are Kep, 40 miles north of Hanoi, which was first bombed April 24: Hoalac, 20 miles west of Hanoi, April 24: Kienan, five and a half miles southwest of Haiphong, May 10; and Catbi, two miles southeast of Haiphong, October 8.
"In a formal statement on the increased air activity the Pentagon reported that while there were six engagements with MIG's in July and seven in August, this number increased to 14 in September and 10 in the first half of this month. United States shot down five MIG's and lost none of their own in aerial combat during the first half of this period, the statement continued, but during the second half American planes only shot down two and lost six to the enemy.
"The comparison covered only a fairly brief period but was indicative of new aggressiveness on the part of the North Vietnamese. About two months ago, apparently in anticipation of further airfield strikes, the North moved planes to the Peitun-Yunnani air base in Southwest China, the Pentagon said. Among these were the six IL-28 medium-range bombers previously based at Phucyen. No bombers are believed to be in North Vietnam now. the Pietun-Yunnani base is thought now to be providing a haven for 50 to 70 MIG-17's and MIG-21'sa and 8 IL'28's. Two of the bombers had previously been there. Philip G. Goulding, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, said, that 'there was no evidence of any attacks mounted up from China.'
"The apprehension in some quarters is that if the North Vietnamese Air Force does start to conduct operations from Chinese Sanctuary, this would increase the danger that American planes involved dogfights might stray over the Chinese border and create diplomatic incident.
"But some officers pointed out that if the North Vietnamese tried to defend the air corridors around Hanoi and Haiphong with China-based MIG's, they would have enough fuel, at most, for only 20 to 30 minutes over the defended area before they would have to return to their bases. 'This is hardly enough for effective operations,' one officer said. Instead, the North might try to move in additional numbers of planes, from time to time to operate out of Gialam, Kep or other bases that have been repaired, but this might be difficult…"
THE REST OF PAGE 1: "U.S. SAID TO URGE ISRAELIS TO SHUN REPRISAL ACTION–RUSH AND EBAN DISCUSS LOSS OF DESTROYER–DYAN ASSERTS CAIRO RENEWS HOSTILITIES"… Page 1: "Egyptian Missile Identified By U.S.–Soviet-Made Naval Weapon Called Styx Has No Real Equivalent in the West"… "…have been considered a potential threat since they first came to the attention of the United States Navy during the Cuban Missile crisis and blockade of 1962."… Page 1: "Johnson Affirms Vietnam Policies Despite Protest–Pledges U.S. Will 'Stay The Course"…"And Says Hanoi Is Unwilling to Seek Peace–Humphrey Backs View–Vice President Also Denies this Nation Is Trying To Crush Mainland China"... "…brushes aside a weekend of dissent and reasserts the Administration's intention to persevere in Vietnam." …Page 13: "Red Control Bill Passed By Senate-Dirksen Measure Would Let Subversives Unit Act"… "The Senate passed by a vote of 65 to 10 today a bill to rewrite the Internal Security Act of 1950 in an attempt to provide an effective means of exposing Communist organizations and individuals…Will pass the House easily… The Supreme Court had rendered the 1950 law inoperative… to require registration would violate constitutional rights against self-incrimination…two years of no action. Subversive Activities Control Board idle."…
 
24 OCTOBER 1967… OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER… "Vietnam: Air Losses" (Chris Hobson) There were four fixed wing aircraft lost in Southeast Asia on 24 October 1967.
(1) CAPTAIN M.D. SCOTT was flying an F-105D of the 354th TFS and 355th TFW out of Takhli on a strike mission to Kep airfield went hit by 85mm antiaircraft fire over the target. He was able to fly the failing aircraft about 45 miles toward the Gulf of Tonkin before he had to eject. He came down 22 miles inland and was fortunate to be rescued by a Navy helicopter and crew making a daring maximum effort to make the rescue of CAPTAIN SCOTT…
(2) LTJG RALPH EUGENE FOULKS was flying an A-4E of the VA-163 Saints embarked in USS Oriskany on a strike on the Haiphong railroad yard and had delivered his bombs on target when hit by antiaircraft fire exiting the target area. LTJG FOULKS was able to reach the water of the Gulf before he was required to leave his faltering Skyhawk. He was rescued by a Navy SAR helicopter to fly and fight again. Sadly, the young warrior was killed on an armed reconnaissance mission three months later...
(3) COMMANDER CHARLES ROGERS GILLESPIE, Commanding VF-151, and LTJG RICHARD CHAMP CLARK were flying an F-4B of the VF-151 Vigilantes embarked in USS CORAL SEA as part of the maximum effort coordinated initial strike on the Phuc Yen airfield. CDR GILLESPIE was leading a TARCAP section as the strike force flew west along Thud Ridge 13 miles north of the target, they were met with a volley of SA-2 missiles. CDR GILLESPIE manuvered away from one but was kit by another. The aircraft was burning and systems were failing. the cockpit filled with smoke, the radio failed and CDR GILLESPIE hand signaled LTJG CLARK to eject as he left the aircraft. CDR GILLESPIE was captured and interned for the duration of the war as a POW. The fate of LTJG CLARK is unknown. He was not seen in the POW camps, but his remains were returned to the United States in January 1991 and identified for final burial in 2014… Leave no man behind… Well done Joint Recovery folks…
(4) LTJG ROBERT FRANCHOT FRISHMAN  and LTJG EARLGRDNER LEWIS were flying an F-4B of the VF-151 Vigilantes as part of the strike group headed for Phuc Yen as an element of CDR GILLESPIE and LTJG CLARK's CAP unit. When the Skipper went down, and a rescue was setting up, LTJG FRISHMAN began an orbit in the areas. After about fifteen minutes the F-4 was damaged by one SAM and shortly thereafter hit by a second missile forcing the pair of young warriors to abandon the failing Phantom. They were both captured and interned as POWs. LTJG FRISHMAN was seriously wounded and hospitalized. The North Vietnamese selected the permanently disabled LTJG FRISHMAN for an early release and return to America in August 1969. LTJG LEWIS returned with CDR GILLESPIE on 14 March 1973.
 
RIPPLE SALVO… #597… On 24 and 25 October 1967 more than two hundred American fighter-bomber aviators had an up-close and personal experience welcoming JCS-6, the Phuc Yen Airfield, into the air war. Its taboo, fly-over sanctuary status was busted… Some of the very best tales of the first days of pounding Phuc Yen are found in the masterful compilation of Howie Plunkett found on-line under the heading "34TFS/F-105" … Humble Host quotes from Howie's collection of testimony in the following:
"On Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday, 24 and 25 October, F-105s from the 388 TFW from Korat and the 355 TFW from Takhli struck Phuc Yen for the first time. The airfield was located 18 miles northwest of Haiphong…in RP-6A, North Vietnam…."
"…USAF bombs made several craters in the airfield runway and taxi areas. Also during the strike a MiG-17 was downed by an F-4 crew assigned to the 8 TFW."
"F-105s from the 388 TFW were first in the attack stream.They dropped their bombs on the MiG parking revetments while the 355 TFW attacked the runways.
" 'Olympia' flight from the 34 TFS out of Korat was the first to attack the airfield. Take off 1405. Mission Length: 3+10. Flight Lineup was #1 Major Dalton Leftwich, who was also Mission Commander; #2 Captain Hugh Davis; #3 Major Floyd Herzig; and #4 Major Spence M. 'Sam' Armstrong (Who kept one of the best mission logs of the war. Google Sam and you get the whole log, an unpublished manuscript.) … see next two paragraphs…
"It was Maj. Armstrong's 11th combat mission into North Vietnam. 'Today was the big one, Phuc Yen! This airfield is the major airfield in NVN and had previously been off-limits. Today our wing, Takhli, the F-4s from Ubon, and I think the Navy, all zeroed in on Phuc Yen Airfield. We went in of course the land route. Lefty was also mission commander so that meant our flight was the first of 20 F-105s to bomb the field. The F-4 MIGCAP drew about 8 SAMs as they preceded us into the target. There was quite a bit of 85mm flak as we rolled in and as we pulled off plus some 37/57-mm. at least 2 aircraft got hit though they didn't know it until they got home. We dropped CBUs and as I pulled off, I could see a number of secondary explosions. We picked up several more volleys of 85-mm flak as we came too close to Yen Bay going out. (Major Armstrong's 100 mission combat log, pg. 4).
"Later, Major Armstrong commented further on this mission in his memoir. 'This was their primary MiG-21 base just Northwest of Hanoi. Up to this point it had been off-limits for attack. Whenever did strike the civil airfield (Gia Lam) outside Hanoi although it was widely known that MiGs sometimes used it. LBJ and McNamara had this dumb idea that we would gradually increase the targets were willing to strike and this was the way to get the North Vietnamese to sue for peace. Our wing came in using the land route and dropped CBUs along the flight line to hit the MiGs in their revetments. Takli rolled in just behind us with 3,000# bombs to destroy the runway. The F-4C's followed them with bombs and maybe even the Navy got it on this historic attack. I think we surprised them and did some considerable damage. There were no U.S. losses. No SA-2s were fired and 85-mm flak was spotty. I was written up for a Silver Star on this mission but it was down graded to a Distinguished Flying Cross. This was the first of three Silver Star downgrades–so I never got one although most Thud pilots did.' (LGEN Sam Armstrong chapter in unpublished manuscript titled , "Southeast Asia October 1967-May 1968")..
Comment of Major Kenneth W. Mays, also from the 34TFS, flew in the raid. "I was most pleased to be a flight lead on the first attack on Phuc Yen. As expected we received a lot of fireworks. Without exception every pilot put good bombs on the target and numerous MiGs were destroyed on the ground (I have several photos). I came back from this mission with 151 holes in my aircraft and have a collection of Russian metal that the crew chief picked from my aircraft."
Comment of Major James D. Gormley from the 333 TFS at Takhli, who was one of the 355 TFW pilots on the mission. "Phuc Yen airfield had been off-limits ever since the bombing began. Whenever we flew a mission near Hanoi, we would go right over Phuc Yen. we could look down at "MiG Haven" and see the planes coming at us. It gave us a futile feeling not to be able to bomb them in their sanctuary (When the strike was approved)….every pilot in the wing wanted to go.…and I was proud to be one who got a chance. Everything went as we had been briefed. We rolled in through heavy defenses but destroyed the target and got every bird back home safely. (Takhli Times, 29 March 1968 reporting Major Gormley's comments after his 100th mission)…
From Air Force Times: Major William Kirk… "It was absolutely great, " said a smiling, elated Major William L Kirk, a Phantom aircraft commander and now a double-MIG killer, as he described his latest MiG-21 Kill…"Flying combat air patrol (MIG-CAP) for strike-fighter pilots." Kirk caught the enemy aircraft as it attacked bomb laden aircraft. "They came at us from behind and I turned my flight around and had a good old knock-down, drag-out rat-race with him for almost 10 minutes. I ran him down and got him with the gun," said the veteran of more than 30 missions into the heavily defended Hanoi area.
Phuc Yen… The high-water mark of Rolling Thunder?…
RTR QUOTE for 24 October: TACITUS, History: "If we must fall, we should boldly meet our fate."…
Lest we forget…     Bear
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 10/24/2017 AFGHANISTAN - COMMANDER SAYS MOSCOW IS 'ACTIVELY MEDDLING' BY ARMING TALIBAN (OCT 24/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- The head of the Afghan army's 207th Corps in the western Farah province says his forces have captured Russian-made weapons that were supplied to Taliban fighters, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   "Many large countries are involved in the Afghan war. We can name Russia, who is actively meddling in Farah, and we have seized Russian-made weapons, including night-vision sniper scopes," said Brig. Gen. Mohammad Naser Hedayat.   A local police chief asked the Kabul government to summon the Russian ambassador in protest in an interview with local television.   The Kremlin's push for influence in Afghanistan is seen in some quarters as part of its wider pattern of challenging American influence.   Moscow's contacts with the Taliban began in 2005, when it sought assistance in curtailing militants, with a focus on those from Uzbekistan, said a former Taliban official.   Moscow has also admitted to sharing intelligence with the Taliban to help combat the Islamic State in Afghanistan.   The Kremlin has also been accused of supplying weapons and funding to local strongmen in northern Afghanistan, contributing to destabilization in the region.   Video obtained by CNN this summer, showing Russian weapons in Taliban hands, gave evidence to reports of Moscow's assistance.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 10/24/2017 AFGHANISTAN - IED CASUALTIES GENERALLY FALL IN CENTCOM AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY; AFGHANISTAN IS OUTLIER (OCT 24/FORPOL)  FOREIGN POLICY -- The U.S. Central Command has reported a decrease in the number of deaths and injuries attributed to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in its area of operations, save for Afghanistan, reports Foreign Policy.   Between the beginning of April 2017 and the end of June, 3,043 people were killed or injured by IEDs in 1,143 incidents in Afghanistan, according to internal slides obtained by the magazine.   The numbers represent an 8 percent increase in incidents and a 39 percent jump in casualties compared to the previous 90 days. It was also a 17 percent rise compared to the same period in 2016, although the number of different incidents fell 18 percent, says the report by the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO).   Afghanistan was the only country under CENTCOM to experience an increase in both incidents and casualties from IEDs compared to the previous 90 days, the report says. Iraq saw 15 percent fewer incidents and 30 percent fewer casualties during the same period.   The Taliban may be turning more to IEDs because they cannot control cities, said one analyst. Their use also demonstrates "visibility, power and influence."  
  Item Number:3 Date: 10/24/2017 AUSTRALIA - CANBERRA PROMISES URBAN WARFARE, COUNTERTERRORISM TRAINING TO PHILIPPINE TROOPS (OCT 24/PDI)  PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER -- Defense Minister Marise Payne says the Australian military will soon provide urban warfare and counterterrorism training for the Philippines armed forces, reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer.   Mobile training teams will start the training "in the coming days," Payne said in a media briefing on Tuesday.   Payne is in the Philippines for a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) defense ministers.   About 80 Australians will deploy to local bases to train Philippine army and marine units, reported Reuters.   "The practical training the ADF [Australian Defense Force] will provide will ensure the Philippines defense force is better able to counter the brutal tactics being employed by terrorists," she said.   Australia is concerned that Islamic State militants may return home after fighting in the Middle East and continue their terrorist activities in the region, the minister said
Item Number:4 Date: 10/24/2017 BURMA - U.S. ENDS BURMESE MILITARY AID, CONSIDERS SANCTIONS OVER ROHINGYA VIOLENCE (OCT 24/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- The United States announced it will withdraw military assistance to Burma over that country's treatment of the Rohingya Muslim minority, reports BBC News.   The State Dept. said on Monday that it had also cancelled travel waivers for Burmese military officials and was considering economic sanctions.   Nearly a million Rohingya people have fled Burma to Bangladesh, according to Bangladeshi officials at the U.N.   The Burmese military insists that it is fighting militants and not targeting civilians.   "It is imperative that any individuals or entities responsible for atrocities be held accountable," said the State Dept. statement. "We express our gravest concern with recent events in [Burma's] Rakhine state and the violent, traumatic abuses Rohingya and other communities have endured."   The U.N. has described the recent violence as a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing."  
  Item Number:5 Date: 10/24/2017 CHINA - AS XI BEGINS 2ND TERM, HIS THOUGHTS BECOME GUIDING PRINCIPLES (OCT 24/REU)  REUTERS -- The thoughts of Chinese President Xi Jinping are officially part of the country's constitution, reports Reuters.   This puts the president on a similar level to Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Xi is the only living person to have his ideology attached to his name in the constitution, noted the BBC.   As expected, the Chinese Communist Party has just endorsed Xi's second five-year term.   In another development, Xi ally Wang Qishan was not selected for the new Politburo Standing Committee, traditionally viewed as the pool from which China's next president will be drawn.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 10/24/2017 CHINA - WITH MORE SUBMARINES ON THE WAY, SOUTH SEA FLEET SETS UP NEW RESCUE SQUADRON (OCT 24/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- The Chinese South Sea Fleet has established a new marine rescue squadron as part of the navy's effort to improve combat readiness and deploy more submarines, reports the South China Morning Post.   The new unit is expected to improve the navy's ability to conduct missions at longer ranges.   The unit was activated during the "latest round of military reform," which was announced by its political commissar last week.   The North Sea Fleet created a marine rescue squadron in 2011. Such units are designed to minimize losses in a submarine accident.   The South Sea Fleet is responsible for the northern regions of the Taiwan Strait and southern areas from James Shoal, including the Paracel Islands, Macclesfield Bank and the disputed Spratly Islands.   That fleet requires more rescue capabilities because it has an increased operating tempo, said analysts
  Item Number:7 Date: 10/24/2017 DEM REP OF CONGO - MORE REGIONAL LEADERS PUSH FOR MONUSCO PERSONNEL (OCT 24/TANZDN)  TANZANIA DAILY NEWS -- A regional African summit has urged a stronger Force Intervention Brigade that is part of the U.N. Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), reports the Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam).   African heads of state and government met last week in Brazzaville, Congo Republic, for the eighth high-level meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC.   The leaders want to step up pressure against armed groups in the region, including the Ugandan Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and Kamuina Nsapu.   The participants called for the complete repatriation without pre-condition of disarmed FLDR combatants in transit camps in the DRC, as well as former M23 fighters that are still in Rwanda and Uganda, said President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Congo Republic, who chaired the meeting.   The African leaders reaffirmed that the political agreement of Dec. 31, 2016, remains the most viable framework for resolving the political crisis in the DRC
Item Number:8 Date: 10/24/2017 IRAQ - ISIS, IRAQI PARAMILITARIES CLASH NEAR MOSUL (OCT 24/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- At least 30 people have been killed in fighting between the Islamic State and an Iraqi militia near Mosul, reports Agence France-Presse.   The fighting came on Tuesday as Hashed al-Shaabi militia was repelling an ISIS attack about 60 miles (100 km) southwest of Mosul in the Hatra desert, a militia spokesman said.   The Hashed is an umbrella group of paramilitary auxiliaries formed in 2014 to support the Iraqi military following Baghdad's territorial losses to ISIS.   The Waad Allah forces said they were attacked by numerous suicide bombers. Twenty-four ISIS fighters and four militiamen were killed, said the group.   Iraqi forces have recaptured more than 90 percent of the territory ISIS seized in 2014, but the terrorist group still is able to attack in the liberated areas
Item Number:9 Date: 10/24/2017 IRAQ - PESHMERGA, PRO-GOVERNMENT FORCES BATTLE FOR OIL INFRASTRUCTURE (OCT 24/REU)  REUTERS -- Iraqi government and allied forces have clashed with Kurdish peshmerga units near the town of Rabia, located on the country's northwest border, reports Reuters.   Peshmerga fighters fought off the advance of Iraqi government forces and Popular Mobilization Units on Tuesday, reports Rudaw (Iraqi Kurdistan). An armored truck and two Hummer vehicles belonging the Iraqi government-aligned forces were destroyed in the attack, according to the peshmerga.   Iraqi forces advanced from the government-held town of Rabia towards the Fish-Khabur border crossing, which houses a section of Iraqi Kurdistan's oil pipeline.   Peshmerga fighters have dug into to defend key infrastructure
Item Number:10 Date: 10/24/2017 IRAQ - PRIME MINISTER, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE DUEL OVER IRAN-BACKED MILITIAS (OCT 24/REU)  REUTERS -- Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has defended his government's reliance on Iranian-backed paramilitary forces during a meeting with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, reports Reuters.   Tillerson made a surprise trip to Baghdad on Monday amid simmering discontent between the countries. U.S. officials have repeatedly expressed concern over the role of irregular forces in Iraq, especially those allied to Iran.   During the meeting, Abadi pushed backed against a narrowing role for the Popular Mobilization Forces in the country, calling them "part of the Iraqi institutions."   The president's office said: "No party has the right to interfere in Iraqi matters."   Tillerson also visited Afghanistan, with projected stops in Pakistan and India in the days ahead.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 10/24/2017 ISRAEL - 'CASE 3000' PROBE NOTWITHSTANDING, MOU INKED WITH GERMANY FOR NEW SUBMARINES (OCT 24/JP)  JERUSALEM POST -- The governments of Germany and Israel have signed a memorandum of understanding for the acquisition of three diesel-powered submarines by Israel, reports the Jerusalem Post.   The agreement, signed on Monday, comes amid an investigation into allegations of bribery and fraud in the sub procurement.   The corruption probe has been widely called the "submarine affair" in recent months, or "Case 3000."   The German government is subsidizing 27 percent of the cost, with the new boats to be delivered in a decade, said a German government spokesman.   The MoU includes an escape clause that could allow Berlin to back out of the deal if any criminality is found in the behavior of senior decision-makers or the officials involved in the procurement decision.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 10/24/2017 NIGERIA - GERMAN CONTAINER SHIP COMES UNDER ATTACK BY PIRATES; 6 KIDNAPPED (OCT 24/NAIJ)  NAIJ -- Six crewmembers of a German-owned commercial vessel were kidnapped over the weekend by pirates off the coast of Nigeria, reports Naij (Nigeria).   The Demeter was attacked on Saturday south of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, while the container ship was traveling from Equatorial Guinea to Liberia.   The "master, chief officer, second officer, second engineer, bosun and cook," were taken off the vessel, according to the Sea Guardian maritime consultancy, as quoted by Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.   The pirates attacked via speedboats while the ship was entering the port of Onne in Nigeria, said the MTI Network, a crisis communications firm that deals with incidents in the shipping industry.   The 12 remaining crewmembers of the Demeter were unhurt and the vessel was in safe waters, the firm said.   During 2017, there have been 121 piracy incidents in international waters recorded, including shootings, attempted kidnappings and hijackings of ships, according to the International Maritime Bureau.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 10/24/2017 RUSSIA - NATIONAL GUARD OFFICER KILLS 4 COMRADES BEFORE BEING SHOT HIMSELF (OCT 24/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Russian national guard says one of its officers has been killed after he fatally shot four of his fellows at a military base in Chechnya, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency, citing local media.   The senior lieutenant opened fire in the barracks before being killed by the on-duty response team, said a spokesman for the national guard.   Russian news agencies put Monday's incident in Shelkovskaya, a Chechen village.   There was no immediate information about the cause of the incident or the shooter's motive, the spokesman said.   An investigation has been started
Item Number:14 Date: 10/24/2017 SOUTH KOREA - COAST GUARDSMEN MAY NOW FIRE ON RESISTING CHINESE FISHERMEN (OCT 24/ARIRANG)  ARIRANG -- South Korean coast guard units now have the authority to use weapons against illegal Chinese fishing boats if they appear ready to attack or resist seizure, reports Arirang News (South Korea).   The revision to the law affecting the maritime police took effect on Oct. 20.   The change should enhance the coast guard's ability to respond quickly to Chinese fishermen who turn violent, say officials.   Previously, the service had to wait for an actual attack before using weapons.   The new law also calls for sentences of up to a year in prison or fines up to US$8,800 for those crews that refuse inspection without a legitimate reason.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 10/24/2017 SYRIA - CIVILIANS HIT IN AIRSTRIKE IN DEIR EZZOR; U.S. COALITION DENIES STATE MEDIA REPORT OVER RESPONSIBILITY (OCT 24/REU)  REUTERS -- Syrian media says an airstrike in a government-held district of Deir Ezzor city in eastern Syria has killed more than a dozen people, reports Reuters.   Syrian state television said an airstrike was made on Monday by the U.S.-led coalition and killed 14 civilians and injured another 32.   A spokesman for the coalition said on Tuesday that it had not conducted such a strike.   The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said that it was not known who carried out the strike. At least 22 people were killed, said the war monitor.   The Syrian army, supported by Russia, Iran and Shi'ite militias, has been fighting the Islamic State in the city of Deir Ezzor and parts of the surrounding area. Both Syrian and Russian jets have attacked ISIS targets there.   The U.S.-led coalition has been conducting its own airstrikes against ISIS in support of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of primarily Kurdish and Arab militias, to the east of Deir Ezzor, across the Euphrates River
Item Number:16 Date: 10/24/2017 SYRIA - LAND MINE EXPLOSION KILLS BRITISH VOLUNTEER FIGHTING ISIS (OCT 24/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- A British man who joined a Kurdish militia to fight the Islamic State group has been killed in Syria, reports BBC.   Jac Holmes, 24, had been fighting alongside the YPG since January 2015. The YPG is also known as the Kurdish People's Protection Units.   Kurdish representatives said the former IT worker from Bournemouth in southern England was killed while he was clearing civilian areas of landmines.   Holmes mother, who stayed in touch with her son throughout his time in Syria, called him "a hero."   A fellow fighter who served Holmes said the young man was respected and fluent in Kurdish. He was serving his third tour and served as a sniper in the battle to take Raqqa from the terrorists.   Holmes was shot in 2015 during a gun battle, as reported at the time. Before volunteering, he had no military experience
 Item Number:17 Date: 10/24/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - MEDWAY IS OFFICIALLY NAMED (OCT 24/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The British Royal Navy's newest offshore patrol vessel (OPV) has been officially named in Scotland, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   The 295-foot (90-m) Medway, which will deploy on counterterrorism and anti-smuggling operations, was formally named Friday in a ceremony at the BAE Systems Scotstoun shipyard in Glasgow.   The second of the River-class Batch 2 OPVs, Medway is expected to enter service in 2019.   Forth, the first of a class of five, is currently on sea trials. All in the class are due to be in service by the end of 2020.   The class displaces around 2,000 tons, has a maximum speed of about 24 knots and a range of about 5,500 nm. Armament includes a 30-mm cannon and flight deck capable of accommodating a Merlin helicopter
  Item Number:18 Date: 10/24/2017 USA - AIR FORCE HAS NEW AUTHORITY TO RECALL UP TO 1,000 PILOTS, BUT DOES NOT PLAN TO USE IT (OCT 24/BUSINS)  BUSINESS INSIDER -- The U.S. Air Force says it has no plans to employ its new authority under an amended executive order to recall retired pilots to fill gaps in its ranks, reports Business Insider.   On Oct. 20, President Trump signed the order, giving the Pentagon more flexibility. Defense Secretary James Mattis requested the move, according to a Defense Dept. spokesman.   Mattis was expected to delegate the authority to the Air Force secretary to recall up to 1,000 retired pilots for up to three years.   The service is about 1,500 pilots short of its mandated strength of 20,300. About 1,000 of those vacancies are for fighter pilots.   Under existing law, the Air Force was limited to recalling 25 retired pilots. The new authority temporarily lifts that cap.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 10/24/2017 USA - AMERICAN EMBASSY IN LONDON ANNOUNCES CLOSED OF U.K.-BASED CIA INTELLIGENCE MONITORING UNIT (OCT 24/FT)  FINANCIAL TIMES -- The United States government has decided to close its British open-source monitoring unit, which has operated in conjunction with the BBC for almost 75 years, reports the Financial Times (U.K.).   The future of the Open Source Enterprise was cast into doubt when the BBC announced it was going to move the facilities from the outskirts of Reading to central London in 2018.   Officials said that Washington considered moving the CIA unit to RAF Wyton, near Cambridge, but has since confirmed the bureau's closure.   "The Open Source Enterprise will be shutting down its U.K.-based bureau with the closure of Caversham Park, but it remains fully committed to sustaining and growing its relationship with the U.K. Government," said a statement from the U.S. Embassy in London.   The embassy did not say if the unit would return to the United States.   Under the agreement governing the program, the U.S. was in charge of monitoring foreign television, radio and internet broadcasts in 75 percent of the world, with the U.K. covering the remainder.   Both governments have played down any negative effects to bilateral information-sharing efforts.   The BBC stated that it "remained committed to working together closely" with the U.S. monitoring service, wherever it was located.  
 Item Number:20 Date: 10/24/2017 USA - LATEST REAPER VARIANT COMPLETES 1ST COMBAT MISSION; UAV ABLE TO PACK 4 HELLFIRES (OCT 24/ACC)  AIR COMBAT COMMAND (USAF) -- The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing has completed its first combat mission with the latest version of the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle, reports the Air Combat Command (ACC).   The 46th Air Expeditionary Attack Squadron recently completed the transition from the MQ-1B Predator to the MQ-9A Block 5, the command said in a release on Friday.   The Reaper UAV is larger and more powerful than the Predator and can carry four Hellfire missiles and 500-pound (227-kg) bombs, compared to the Predator's two Hellfire missiles.   The MQ-9 can also employ laser-guided weapons for better accuracy and reduced collateral damage, noted the ACC.   The first flight recently took place in support of Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.
 
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