Monday, November 20, 2017

Fw: TheList 4593

The List 4593

To All
I hope that you all had a great weekend.
This Day In Naval History - November 20
1856 - CDR Andrew H. Foote lands at Canton, China, with 287 Sailors and Marines to stop attacks by Chinese on U.S. military and civilians.
1917 - USS Kanawha, Noma and Wakiva sink German sub off France.
1933 - Navy crew (LCDR Thomas G. W. Settle, USN, and MAJ Chester I.
Fordney, USMC) sets a world altitude record in balloon (62,237 ft.) in flight into stratosphere.
1943 - Operation Galvanic, under command of Vice Admiral Raymond Spruance, lands Navy, Marine, and Army forces on Tarawa and Makin.
1962 - President John F. Kennedy lifts the Blockade of Cuba .
Today in History
November 20
Diocletian is proclaimed emperor of Numerian in Asia Minor by his soldiers. He had been the commander of the emperor's bodyguard.
Zumbi dos Palmares, the Brazilian leader of a 100-year-old rebel slave group, is killed in an ambush.
Sweden's 17-year-old King Charles XII defeats the Russians at Narva.
In Cheyenne, Wyoming, 42-year-old hired gunman Tom Horn is hanged for the murder of 14-year-old Willie Nickell.
Bulgaria proclaims its neutrality in the First World War.
Mrs. Glen Hyde becomes the first woman to dare the Grand Canyon rapids in a scow (a flat-bottomed boat that is pushed along with a pole).
Japan and China reject the League of Council terms for Manchuria at Geneva.
U.S. Army and Marine soldiers attack the Japanese-held islands of Makin and Tarawa, respectively, in the Central Pacific.
The Nazi war crime trials begin at Nuremberg.
Princess Elizabeth (future Queen Elizabeth II) marries Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in Westminster Abbey.
U.S. troops push to the Yalu River, within five miles of Manchuria.
The Maryland National Guard is ordered desegregated.
President John F. Kennedy bars religious or racial discrimination in federally funded housing.
The U.S. census reports the population at 200 million.
The United States announces it will give Turkey $35 million for farmers who agree to stop growing opium poppies.
The United States files an antitrust suit to break up AT&T.
South Africa backs down on a plan to install black rule in neighboring Namibia.
Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released.
Fire in England's Windsor Castle causes over £50 million in damages.
The first module of the International Space Station, Zarya, is launched.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average sinks to its lowest level in 11 years in response to failures in the US financial system.
Some notes on Vietnam from Admiral Cox
50th Anniversary of Vietnam War
Operation Rolling Thunder: LCDR John S. McCain III Shot Down - 26 Oct 1967
   Having barely survived the devastating fire aboard the USS Forrestal (CVA-59) on 29 Jul 67 off Vietnam (see H-gram 008 H008.6,) and recovering from wounds inflicted by fragments of a Zuni rocket that hit his aircraft (or the one next to him) on the flight deck, Lieutenant Commander John S. McCain III voluntarily sought return to combat status.  Reassigned to an A-4 squadron embarked on USS Oriskany (CVA-34,)  McCain flew 22 strike missions over North Vietnam (from Oriskany) before he was shot down by a surface-to-air missile on 26 Oct 67 on his 23rd mission.  The ejection broke both his arms and a leg, and he parachuted into a lake and almost drowned.  When pulled from the lake, he was beaten and bayonetted, before being transported to Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi (later known as the "Hanoi Hilton") where he was denied adequate medical care, tortured and interrogated.  McCain was transported to another prison in Dec 67, before being put in solitary confinement, for two years, beginning in March 1968.  When McCain's father, Admiral John S. McCain, Jr. became Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Command, in April 1968, the North Vietnamese offered to release McCain as a "humanitarian" (propaganda) gesture due to his status as an admiral's son.  However the Code of Conduct (developed after the Korean War) prohibits U.S. prisoners of war from accepting parole or special favors from the enemy.  McCain remained true to the Code and refused release.  He was then subject to months of extreme torture, before treatment became more tolerable in late 1969.  McCain was released with the rest of the surviving 591 POWs in the spring of 1973, after five and a half years in brutal captivity.
    McCain's experience was hardly unique.  During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Navy lost 530 aircraft in combat and 329 additional to accident; 377 Naval Aviators were killed, 179 captured, and 64 missing.  195 A-4 Skyhawks, like McCain's were lost in combat.  A number of other Navy pilots preceded McCain into captivity, including;
- Navy pilot Lieutenant Junior Grade Everett Alvarez, Jr. was the first American airman shot down over North Vietnam, when his A-4 Skyhawk was shot down on 5 Aug 64, shortly after the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.  For many months he was the only U.S. POW in North Vietnamese hands.  Alvarez endured repeated beatings and torture during his eight and a half years of captivity, the second-longest of any U.S. POW in history.
- Flying from USS Coral Sea (CVA-43,) Lieutenant Commander Robert Shumaker's F-8D Crusader was shot down by North Vietnamese AAA on 11 Feb 65 and was the second naval aviator to be captured.  Shumaker invented the "tap code," that enabled U.S. POWs to secretly communicate with each other, even when in solitary confinement.
- Commander Jeremiah Denton was shot down on 18 July, 1965 by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft artillery, while flying an A-6A Intruder, leading a 28-plane strike from USS Independence (CVA-62.)  Denton and his BN, LTJG Bill Tschudy, both ejected and were captured; and both spent the first four years in solitary confinement, subject to repeated torture.  In 1966, Denton was forced to participate in a televised propaganda press conference, where the North Vietnamese claimed prisoners were being treated humanely.  Instead, Denton blinked his eyes in morse code, spelling T-O-R-T-U-R-E.  He was tortured some more when the Vietnamese figured it out.  Denton was placed in a group known as the "Alcatraz Gang," whom the Vietnamese deemed most resistant and most troublesome, and as a result were subject to long periods of solitary confinement, when they weren't being tortured.  Denton would receive a Navy Cross, become a Rear Admiral after release, and eventually Senator from Alabama.
- Another member of the Alcatraz Gang was Commander James Bond Stockdale, who was the senior U.S. Navy Officer captured by the North Vietnamese.  Flying from Oriskany, Stockdales' A-4 Skyhawk was shot down over North Vietnam on 9 Sep 65.  Stockdale was a primary organizer of prisoner resistance, and created a code that governed prisoner behavior, which resulted in extra torture for him.  In several instances, Stockdale deliberately disfigured his face, with sharp objects or beating his face against the bars, so that the Vietnamese could not use him in propaganda broadcasts.  Stockdale would be awarded a Medal of Honor when he was released after over seven years in captivity.
More on Rolling Thunder in future H-grams.
With our thanks to THE Bear at
19 November 1967 – Rolling the Dice on a Failed Catapult Shot
November 19, 2017   Mighty Thunder 
Mighty Thunder is beholden to Dr. Richard "Brown Bear" Schaffert for sharing this life changing and very personal experience from his arduous and gallant combat tours on battle hardened USS ORISKANY in the years of Rolling Thunder.
Mighty Thunder proudly adds his personal memory and the last catapult launch of Lieutenant Ed Van Orden to the RTR archives… On 19 November 1967 the United States lost eleven combat aircraft and nine valiant warriors to be recorded as one of the most costly days in aircraft and aviators of the entire war… LT. Van Orden's I'll-fated cat shot—that wasn't—was the 30th aircraft lost by Attack Carrier Air Wing SIXTEEN and USS ORISKANY on their 1967 Rolling Thunder cruise.
Rolling the Dice on a Failed Catapult Shot
1730 hours, 19 November 1967, USS Oriskany, Yankee Station
At the time of his death, Edwin Van Orden was my roommate on the USS Oriskany. Ed was scheduled for a BARCAP flight, with a launch time that would result in a "pinky" recovery after sundown. CAG Shepherd required a rep in PRI FLY for each model of aircraft on the launch. That normally meant both an F8 and an A4 driver.
I was scheduled as the F8 observer and was standing forward of the Air Boss looking out the windows toward the bow. Ed's Crusader was spotted first to taxi onto the starboard catapult. The Oriskany was still turning into the wind as Ed taxied forward into the holdback. As the ship rolled steady, the Boss gave the signal to launch aircraft.
I could see the nose of Ed's Crusader lower as he went to full power. The Green Shirts finished checking his plane, and I saw Ed put his head back against the headrest and salute.
The Cat Officer touched the deck to initiate the launch. However, instead of the nose being pulled down by the force of the shot, the nose came up as the catapult shuttle shot forward and flung the empty bridle a couple hundred yards in front of the ship.
I immediately shouted "brakes," and turned toward the Air Boss who was already transmitting "brakes" and "back on the power." I looked back and saw Ed come out of afterburner. Unfortunately, his Crusader was sliding forward on the cat track, with the brakes locked and the wheels skidding on that slippery surface. I was under the impression Ed would get it stopped before he reached the end of the flight deck.
At the last second, the nose of his aircraft went down as the nose wheel dropped over the edge of the bow, and into the safety net below. Ed ejected at that moment. The Martin-Baker seat rocketed him up and slightly to the right. At the top of the trajectory, the drogue chute deployed and Ed tumbled forward out of the seat. His main parachute was coming out, but it was obvious Ed was going to hit the water before it completely deployed. I jumped through the PRI FLY hatch and looked back over my left shoulder, to see him still about 50 feet above deck level.
I was running down the ladder attached to the back of the island and could only see forward toward the bow as I reached each succeeding level. Ed was already out of sight when I reached the 0-5 level. I was certain he'd be in the water as I reached the flight deck and ran through Flight Deck Control. There was an F8 on the port cat, but it was shutting down and several people were running forward towards the port bow. The plane guard helo was pulling into a hover off the port bow, and I was certain they'd be picking up Ed. I ran to the rail behind the port blast deflector, which was coming down. I watched for a swimmer to emerge from the helo, but then I saw two White Shirts carrying a stretcher running for the port bow.
Ed's parachute had snagged on the port gun tub, and he had slammed into the side of the ship. Green shirts were already pulling the shroud straps, and Ed, up into the sponson when the stretcher crew got there. They immediately laid him face-up on the stretcher, lifted it to the flight deck, and started towards Flight Deck Control. His left arm was hanging down and I lifted it to lay it across his chest. I held it there as we ran across the deck, into Flight Deck Control, and descended the escalator to Sick Bay. The Corpsmen and Doc were there immediately and started working on him. I felt completely helpless standing back while that was happening. When they took off Lieutenant Edwin Van Orden's mask and helmet, I became aware that his face was completely white!
It was only a few moments before one of the Corpsman came to me and said:  "Sir, his neck was broken. He must have died immediately."
For some reason, I checked my watch and noted that I had to get to Ready Three. I was already a few minutes late for my flight briefing. I met Skipper Rasmussen in the passageway between Sick Bay and Ready Room Three (they were almost adjacent on the Oriskany). I could only mutter quietly, "He didn't make it, Sir!"
It was only a routine night BARCAP, and I was the flight leader. I briefed my wingman and the spare pilot, we manned aircraft; and the Oriskany performed another, of many, single-catapult launches. I don't recall any of the specifics of that mission. I was operating inside my mental "steel shell" which seemed to envelop and protect me often during those stressful times.
Oriskany continued flight ops until midnight. I was back in Ed's and my stateroom about 0100. I called Ship's Admin and told them I'd need some boxes to pack Lieutenant Van Orden's personal effects. I knew all too well how to do that, having done the same for my roomie Norm Levy a year earlier. I knew the importance of checking every detail, because Ed's parents would be the next ones who opened those boxes. I carefully browsed though his mail before sealing it in larger envelopes. It lifted my spirits when I noted several letters from a Western Airlines hostess. I remembered her very clearly. While Oriskany was in Hong Kong about a year earlier, Ed, Norm, and I had been dispatched to Japan to return some F8s repaired at a facility near Atsugi. On the commercial flight to Tokyo, we'd met this beautiful girl who had been on a holiday and was returning to the States. When we landed, we naturally volunteered to share a taxi into town. Turned out she didn't have a hotel reservation, and it was approaching midnight, so we invited her to come with us to the Sanyo Hotel (under contract with the US military) and use their phone to find a room. She wasn't able to find one, so we naturally invited her to share our "suite." There were actually four beds in three rooms and we were "Officers and Gentlemen," by act of Congress! The club was still open, so we "partied hearty." Unfortunately, we had to leave for Atsugi at 0800 the next morning; but we paid the rooms for her for the next two days.
Reading her letters to Ed, it was obvious something good was going on between them. Two days later, after Sundowner Tooter Teague left Yankee Station with Ed's body, to be buried near their homes in Texas, I wrote her probably the saddest letter I ever had to write. I wrote it while sitting the "Alert Five" in a Crusader on the starboard catapult which had killed Ed. I did not cry! In fact, I never shed a tear, starting at age 8 when my leg was shattered during a Nebraska tornado until I woke up one night, at age 53, in an apartment in the Austrian Alps. Yankee Station, Norm Levy, and Ed Van Orden all came back to me in a sudden dream and I cried for about two hours. My Austrian companion thought I was going crazy . . . she wasn't far from wrong.
When they finally counted, it turned out Ed's F8C Crusader had been launched 505 times, with a "keel pin" that was rated at 500!
Captain Richard (Brown Bear) Schaffert, US Navy (retired)
With our thanks to THE Bear at
November 18, 2017  Bear Taylor  
RIPPLE SALVO… #623… One of the worst days of ROLLING THUNDER as nine aircraft and eleven warriors make one way trips carrying the fight to the enemy… 94 of their SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILES SMITE 4 of our attackers …  but first…
Thanks to The Duck
 I changed my car horn to gunshot sounds People get out of the way much faster now.
Gone are the days when girls used to cook like their mothers.   Now they drink like their fathers..
You know that tingly little feeling you get when you really like someone?   That's common sense leaving your body.
I didn't make it to the gym today.That makes five years in a row..
I decided to stop calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim".   I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.
Old age is coming at a really bad time. When I was a child I thought "Nap Time" was a punishment.   Now, as a grownup, it feels like a small vacation.
 The biggest lie I tell myself is..."I don't need to write that down, I'll remember it."
I don't have gray hair; I have "wisdom highlights."I'm just very wise.
If God wanted me to touch my toes, He would've put them on my knees.
Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators we haven't met yet.
Why do I have to press one for English when you're just going to transfer me to someone I can't understand anyway?
Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice.
At my age "Getting lucky" means walking into a room and remembering what I came in there for.
Actually I'm not complaining because I am a Senager. (Senior teenager)   I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 60 years later.
I don't have to go to school or work.
I get an allowance every month.
I have my own pad.
I don't have a curfew.
I have a driver's license and my own car.
The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant.
And I don't have acne.
 Life is great.
Item Number:1 Date: 11/20/2017 AFGHANISTAN - U.S. PLAN FOR LOCAL TERRITORIAL FORCE DRAWS FIRE FROM SKEPTICAL U.N. (NOV 20/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- The United Nations and other international donors have expressed their concern about a U.S. plan, controversial in some quarters, to stand up Afghan militias to enhance security in Afghanistan, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   Critics say the new militias resemble the Afghan Local Police, a force known for human-rights abuses and undermining the central government.   The proposed Afghan National Army Territorial Force, consisting of self-defense units of locally recruited men serving in their own villages, will start with 1,000 fighters, once Afghan President Ashraf Ghani approves the plan. It could eventually reach some 20,000 members, said officials.   The object is to stabilize areas cleared by regular security forces and establish law and order, according to a NATO proposal circulated among embassies.   Detractors say the new force might amplify existing rivalries and will be hard to regulate. The army, which will oversee the militias, already has leadership issues.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 11/20/2017 ARGENTINA - SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING SAN JUAN SUBMARINE, 44 CREW (NOV 20/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- Search teams from around the world have joined efforts to find a missing Argentine submarine, reports CNN.   Ships and aircraft from at least seven countries are searching the South Atlantic for the ARA San Juan, which was last seen on Nov. 15.   "We have tripled the search effort, both on the surface and underwater, with 10 airplanes," said an Argentine navy spokesman.   "We have 11 ships from the Argentine navy, from municipalities, and from countries that have collaborated with research ships such as Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Peru, the United States, and [the U.K.]," he said. "These ships are following the submarine's planned route, (and are) sweeping the whole area and we also have navy ships sweeping from north to south and from south to north."   The San Juan went missing in the San Jorge Gulf, off the coast of Argentina's southern Patagonia region. The navy reported on Friday that it had lost communication with the boat.   On Saturday, the sub may have attempted to contact naval bases unsuccessfully seven times, said the Argentine Defense Ministry. The calls came between 10:52 a.m. and 3:42 p.m. and lasted between four and 36 seconds. Those communications are still being analyzed to determine if they came from the San Juan.   If the sub sank, but was still intact, it likely had between seven and 10 days of oxygen onboard, said experts. The sub has a crew of 44.   NBC News reported on Monday that a U.S. Navy rescue crew from San Diego had joined the effort. The Navy sailors with Undersea Rescue Command (URC) departed Miramar Saturday with a Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) and four aircraft.  
Item Number:3 Date: 11/20/2017 CANADA - COMBAT ENGINEERS BEGIN IED TRAINING FOR IRAQIS (NOV 20/CBC)  CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION -- The Canadian government has deployed a contingent of combat engineers to Iraq to train local forces to dismantle improvised explosive devices (IEDs), reports CBC News.   About 20 engineers from CFB Petawawa were sent to help Iraqis to clear roadside bombs and booby traps left by Islamic State fighters in the northern city of Mosul, the military said on Friday.   The Canadian bomb-disposal training is slated to take place at a base in Besmaya, Iraq, about 28 miles (45 km) from Baghdad in conjunction with other NATO member states, officials said.   At least three rounds of training will take place, the military said, as reported by CTV News.   The training will occur in the classroom and in the field until the spring of 2018, military officials said.   The Canadian military also announced that its last CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft supporting operations in the region will return to Canada in December.
 Item Number:4 Date: 11/20/2017 CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS, EXPANDS U.N. PEACEKEEPING MISSION (NOV 20/UNNS)  UNITED NATIONS NEWS SERVICE -- The U.N. Security Council has extended the mandate for the world body's peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic and increased the mission's authorized strength by 900 military personnel, reports the U.N. News Service.   Following the actions on Nov. 15, the MINUSCA mission is cleared to operate through Nov. 15, 2018.   The additional peacekeepers are needed because of increased fighting in the C.A.R. and resulting insecurity, said officials. The mission has also come under attack, with at least 12 peacekeepers killed this year.   The council also condemned incitement to ethnic religious hatred and violence in the country and reiterated its serious concerns over the "dire humanitarian situation" due to increasing insecurity
  Item Number:5 Date: 11/20/2017 EGYPT - AIR DEFENSE RADARS ON THE WAY FROM RAYTHEON IN U.S. ARMY DEAL (NOV 20/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Army has awarded Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Fullerton, Calif., a four-year contract to build air surveillance radars for Egypt, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The US$44.5 million Foreign Military Sales deal covers eight AN/MPQ-64F1 Sentinel radars; eight Ethernet extender kits; spare parts; and training.   Work under the contract is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 31, 2021
Item Number:6 Date: 11/20/2017 GEORGIA - IZORIA'S TRIP TO WASHINGTON INCLUDED DISCUSSIONS WITH U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER (NOV 20/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Georgian Defense Minister Levan Izoria has been meeting with top U.S. defense officials in Washington, D.C.   Last week, the minister and U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster discussed bilateral defense cooperation, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   That meeting covered security in the Black Sea region, regional stability and Georgia's role, said a release from the Georgian Defense Ministry on Nov. 17.   The leaders also agreed to increase the scope of joint exercises in the future, particularly those involving NATO members and their partners in the Black Sea region, Izoria said. Such exercises will be an important area of activity starting in early 2018, the minister said.   Earlier, Izoria met with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the Pentagon. One key topic covered was Georgia's commitment to spend 2.2 percent of GDP on defense, noted Civil Georgia
  Item Number:7 Date: 11/20/2017 INDIA - BANGLADESHI, INDIAN TROOPS COMPLETE JUNGLE WARFARE DRILLS (NOV 20/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- The Bangladeshi and Indian armies have just concluded a field training exercise at the Counterinsurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte in India's northeastern Mizoram state, reports the Press Trust of India.   The joint drills, which began on Nov. 6, concluded with a validation exercise on Nov. 15 and Nov. 16, the Indian Defense Ministry said.   The training covered familiarization with each military's organizational structure and tactical drills.   The final scenario involved operations against simulated terrorists hiding in a village. During the drill, the joint force cordoned off the village and conducted a raid to eliminate the mock terrorists
Item Number:8 Date: 11/20/2017 IRAQ - BOOBY-TRAPPED HOUSE EXPLODES IN WESTERN ANBAR, KILLING 3 PARAMILITARIES (NOV 20/IQN)  IRAQI NEWS -- Three Iraqi paramilitary personnel have been killed and five more injured during operations in Rawa in western Anbar province, reports Iraqi News, citing a paramilitary official.   The troops from the Popular Mobilization Forces were entering a house in Al-Qadisiya in central Rawa when they set off a booby trap, said officials on Sunday.   Troops cordoned off the blast area and began investigating nearby houses for other explosives, the officials said.   Last week, Iraq declared that Rawa had been liberated from Islamic State militants
  Item Number:9 Date: 11/20/2017 IRAQ - TOP FEDERAL COURT RULES KURDISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM 'UNCONSTITUTIONAL'; KRG PRIME MINISTER SEEKS NEGOTIATIONS (NOV 20/REU)  REUTERS -- The Supreme Federal Court in Iraq has ruled that September's Kurdish independence referendum was unconstitutional and voided the results, reports Reuters.   The Kurds in northern Iraq voted overwhelmingly on Sept. 25 in favor of independence from Baghdad.   The court is responsible for settling disputes between the central government and the regions, including Iraqi Kurdistan. Monday's verdict cannot be appealed.   On Nov. 6, the court ruled that no region or province can secede. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said last week that it would respect that verdict.   After the decision, Kurdistan's Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said the court made its decision without input from representatives of the ostensibly autonomous region. He called for a third party to oversee negotiations between Baghdad and the Kurds
Item Number:10 Date: 11/20/2017 JAPAN - U.S. MILITARY RESTRICTS TRAVEL, BANS DRINKING FOLLOWING FATAL OKINAWA TRAFFIC CRASH (NOV 20/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- The U.S. military has prohibited all personnel in Japan from drinking alcohol and ordered those on Okinawa to stay on base or in their homes after a fatal car accident on Sunday, reports the Washington Post.   The temporary ban covers drinking alcohol both on and off base, noted the Quartz website.   A Japanese man was killed in a collision with a Marine whose blood-alcohol level was reportedly three times the legal limit.   The Marine was driving a two-ton military truck when he ran a red light and hit the Japanese man's vehicle as it was making a right turn at about 5:25 a.m., said a witness cited by the Kyodo news agency.   The Marine is said to have sustained minor injuries.   U.S. Forces Japan announced that commanders would immediately lead mandatory training to address responsible alcohol use, risk management and acceptable behavior.   The accident also comes as Okinawans are protesting the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps base at Futenma.   Last summer, two criminal incidents — involving sexual assault and murder — linked to U.S. service members in Okinawa led to huge protests by the locals and U.S. authorities imposed a 30-day night curfew, noted the International Business Times
  Item Number:11 Date: 11/20/2017 NIGERIA - PLANS PROCEED FOR NEW NAVAL BASE IN NIGER STATE (NOV 20/LEADERSHIP)  LEADERSHIP -- The Nigerian federal government plans to construct a new naval base in Sagunnu in the central Niger state by 2019, reports the Leadership (Abuja).   The designs for the new facility have reached an advanced stage, Defense Minister Monsur Dan Ali told reporters last week after a meeting with Alhaji Abubakar Sani-Bello, the Niger state governor.   The base will facilitate peace and security operations in northwestern Nigeria, said a spokesman for the state government.   The site has been identified and the necessary expenditures will be in the 2018 budget, said the defense minister.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 11/20/2017 NORTH KOREA - PUNISHMENT METED TO SENIOR OFFICIALS OF MILITARY AGENCY, SAYS S. KOREA'S INTEL AGENCY (NOV 20/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean intelligence agency says top officials from the North Korean military's General Political Bureau have been punished after a rare inspection, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   Hwang Pyong So and Kim Won Hong, the chief and deputy chief of the bureau, were punished during the first inspection in two decades, the South National Intelligence Service (NIS) told lawmakers on Monday.   The inspection was reportedly led by Choe Ryong Hae, the vice chairman of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.   Officials of the NIS said the agency was still trying to determine the nature of the punishment.   The bureau is responsible for the personnel management of other military bodies, such as the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces.   The punishment against Hwang was said to be unexpected, since he was considered one of the military's most powerful figures
Item Number:13 Date: 11/20/2017 SOUTH SUDAN - U.K. ROYAL ENGINEERS WILL STAY IN S. SUDAN UNTIL 2020 ON U.N. MISSION (NOV 20/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The British government has extended the deployment of Royal Engineers to the U.N. Mission in South Sudan for another year, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   The deployment of around 300 combat engineers has now been authorized until April 2020, said Minister of State for Defense Earl Howe during last week's U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.   London is also cooperating closely with Vietnam as it prepares to take over running a field hospital in South Sudan from Britain in 2018. This will be the first Vietnamese field hospital in a U.N. peacekeeping mission, noted China's Xinhua in September.   The British minister also signed a statement of intent with Bangladesh to sell two Royal Air Force C-130J cargo aircraft to the Bangladeshi air force, the ministry said.  
Item Number:14 Date: 11/20/2017 TURKEY - ERDOGAN WANTS TO PUSH KURDISH FIGHTERS FROM SYRIA'S AFRIN PROVINCE (NOV 20/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for the elimination of Kurdish rebel groups in northwest Syria, calling them terrorist organizations, reports the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency.   The president said Syria's northwest Afrin province "must be cleared of the terrorist groups PYD [Democratic Union Party] and YPG [People's Protection Units]," calling them Syrian branches of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Erdogan made his comments to members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) during a speech in Ankara on Friday.   Turkey is "disappointed with the United States not keeping its promises since the crisis in Syria broke out," the president said, indicating that he "doesn't want the same thing to happen in Afrin."   Ankara has been pressing the U.S. to ensure that the Syria PYD and YPG groups are not present in certain parts of Syria liberated from the Islamic State.   The Turkish military is reportedly planning to establish 12 observation and security points in Idlib province as part of the Astana peace process, and intends to extend the operation to Afrin and the city of Manbij in Syria's Aleppo province.   Kurdish fighters dominate the Syrian Democratic Forces rebel group that has been fighting the Islamic State in Syria
Item Number:15 Date: 11/20/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - VIETNAMESE PILOT DIES AFTER MID-AIR COLLISION WITH HELICOPTER DURING TRAINING FLIGHT (NOV 20/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- A Vietnamese army official has been killed in a training crash near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire in the U.K., reports BBC News.   The Vietnamese Ministry of Defense confirmed the death.   Nguyen Thanh Trung was one of four men killed when a helicopter and a light aircraft collided on Friday.   The collision took place at about 1,000 feet over Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, noted the Daily Mail (U.K.).   Trung, the deputy manager of a Vietnamese army training center, was on a two-month training course in the U.K. to become a military flight instructor.   A Cessna 152 dropped in altitude suddenly, hitting the tail of the helicopter, causing the accident, said the Vietnamese Ministry of Defense.   Both aircraft were operating from Wycombe Air Park, officials said
Item Number:16 Date: 11/20/2017 USA - BORDER PATROL AGENT KILLED, PARTNER INJURED WHILE ON PATROL IN TEXAS (NOV 20/CBP)  CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION -- One Border Patrol agent has been killed and another wounded in an incident in the Big Bend Sector in Texas, reports U.S. Customs and Border Protection.   Agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were responding to activity on Sunday while on patrol near Interstate 10, in the Van Horn Station area, the agency said.   The partner reported that both were injured. Responding agents provided immediate medical assistance and transported both to a local hospital, where Martinez died.   The agency provided no other details.   U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas) said in a statement that the agents had been attacked, reported the New York Times.   A representative of the FBI's El Paso field office told the San Antonio Express-News that authorities were still gathering evidence. She said reports that the agents were shot were not true. A full account of what happened was not expected to be released until Monday, noted the Washington Post
  Item Number:17 Date: 11/20/2017 USA - MILESTONE REACHED FOR LONG-RANGE DISCRIMINATION RADAR; SYSTEM WILL PROTECT FROM BALLISTIC MISSILE ATTACKS (NOV 20/LM)  LOCKHEED MARTIN -- Lockheed Martin has announced that it recently completed a critical design review with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency for its Long-Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR).   The review, which took place on Sept. 28, validated the system's readiness to move into the fabrication, demonstration and test phase and that the hardware and software components had reached Technology Readiness Level 7 (TRL 7) and Manufacturing Readiness Level 7, said a Lockheed release on Nov. 16.   The radar system will support a layered defense strategy to protect the U.S. from ballistic missile attacks, noted Space Daily.   The program launched low-rate manufacturing in October and expects to start full-rate manufacturing in mid-2018, Lockheed officials said.   The project is on schedule to deliver the radar to Clear, Alaska, in 2020.   The radar is a high-powered S-band system featuring solid-state gallium nitride (GaN) components. It can discriminate threats at extreme ranges using the wideband capability of the hardware and advanced software algorithms.  
 Item Number:18 Date: 11/20/2017 USA - NAVY AWARDS $139 MILLION CONTRACT TO BAE SYSTEMS TO MODERNIZE USS TORTUGA; AMPHIB TO UNDERGO WORK FOR 16 MONTHS (NOV 20/BAE)  BAE SYSTEMS -- The U.S. Navy has awarded BAE Systems a contract to modernize the dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46), reports the defense firm.   The $139.8 million deal covers 16 months of restoration work at the BAE shipyard in Norfolk, Va., said a BAE Systems release on Nov. 16.   The contract includes potential options that could bring the total value to $183.7 million.   Work will begin in January and include maintenance, modernization and repairs. The project is slated to conclude in May 2019
Item Number:19 Date: 11/20/2017 USA - SPECIAL OPERATORS OVERUSED, SAY OBSERVERS; 8,000 DEPLOYED IN 80 NATIONS (NOV 20/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- Congressional leaders say a review is needed over of the overuse of special operations forces, reports the Military Times.   Because of the types of operations and adversaries faced by the U.S., the government has been leaning on special operators more than in the past, said speakers at last week's New America Special Operations Policy Forum in Washington, D.C.   While the forces are effective in their assignments, their constant use without other planning is causing long-term problems, said Rep. Mack Thornberry (R.-Texas), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.   Former Navy SEAL Chris Fussell agreed that special operations forces are overused and said that the military needs to figure out how best to use them.   "The bigger question, do we have any idea of what SOF is supposed to do?" Fussell said. "They're all over the world solving all kinds of problems. The military isn't designed to do that. SOF certainly isn't designed to do that."   A whole-of-government approach, using government, military, industry and academia to tackle global problems, would be more effective, said participants.   At the same time, Afghan officials taking part emphasized the importance of U.S. airpower and special operations forces in the fight against insurgents in Afghanistan.   There are about 70,000 active-duty, reserve and civilian personnel serving under U.S. Special Operations Command. According to congressional testimony, about 8,000 forces are currently deployed to more than 80 countries, reported the Voice of America News
  Item Number:20 Date: 11/20/2017 ZIMBABWE - AFTER MUGABE DOESN'T QUIT, HE FACES POSSIBLE IMPEACHMENT (NOV 20/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has failed to step down in time with a deadline set by his ruling party, Zanu-PF, reports BBC News.   The deadline was set for Monday. On Sunday, Mugabe surprised the nation by declaring on television that he planned to remain as president. He has been the country's top official since Zimbabwe gained independence from the U.K. in 1980.   Members of Zanu-PF were meeting to discuss the potential impeachment of the president.   The army intervened on Wednesday in a dispute over who should succeed the 93-year-old president.   The move was widely termed a military coup, though the military claimed otherwise.   The crisis began earlier this month when Mugabe fired his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa. Army commanders were upset with the move, seeing it as an effort to position his wife, Grace, as the next president.   Reuters reported that the ruler's late night Sunday television address was rambling and avoided any mention of resignation. Some have speculated that he read the wrong speech in his live television address, or that he skipped over passages about standing down from office.

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