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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fw: TheList 4612

The List 4612


To All
I hope that your week has been going well. Just a heads up that there are only 2 weekends left until Christmas.
Regards,
Skip
This Day In Naval History - December 14
Dec. 14
1814—Under the command of Commodore Thomas Catesby Jones, U.S. gunboats, along with Sea Horse and Alligator, engage the British during the Battle of Lake Borgne, LA. Though the American flotilla is defeated, the engagement delays the British attack on New Orleans for nine days, buying precious time for Gen. Andrew Jackson's successful defense of New Orleans.
1911—USS California (ACR 6) breaks a red, white, and blue ribbon stretched across a Hawaiian channel to become the first ship to call on Pearl Harbor after it becomes a naval base.
1942 - Pharmacist's Mate 1st Class Harry B. Roby performs an appendectomy on Torpedoman 1st Class W. R. Jones on board USS Grayback (SS 208). It is the second appendectomy performed on board a submarine.
 
1944—The rank of Fleet Admiral (five-star admiral) of the U.S. Navy is established during World War II due to the rapid build-up of U.S. military forces. The first five-star admirals are: William D. Leahy, Ernest J. King, and Chester W. Nimitz. Adm. William F. Halsey joined the selected group Dec. 11, 1945.
1944—Task Force 38 aircraft begins the attack on Japanese transport Oryoku Maru which, unbeknownst to the Task Force, is carrying approximately 1,600 Allied prisoners of war. The following day, the ship is sunk at Subic Bay.
 
 
Today in History December 14
1799
 
George Washington dies on his Mount Vernon estate.
1819
 
Alabama is admitted as the 22nd state, making 11 slave states and 11 free states.
1861
 
Prince Albert of England, one of the Union's strongest advocates, dies.
1863
 
Confederate General James Longstreet attacks Union troops at Bean's Station, Tenn.
1900
 
Max Planck presents the quantum theory at the Physics Society in Berlin.
1906
 
The first U1 submarine is brought into service in Germany. Italy's MAS torpedo boats.
1908
 
The first truly representative Turkish Parliament opens.
1909
 
The Labor Conference in Pittsburgh ends with a "declaration of war" on U.S. Steel.
1911
 
Roald Amundsen and four others discover the South Pole.
1920
 
The League of Nations creates a credit system to aid Europe.
1939
 
The League of Nations drops the Soviet Union from its membership. Joseph Avenol sold out the League of Nations.
1941
 
German Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel orders the construction of defensive positions along the European coastline. Desperate Hours on Omaha Beach
1946
 
The United Nations adopt a disarmament resolution prohibiting the A-Bomb.
1949
 
Bulgarian ex-Premier Traicho Kostov is sentenced to die for treason in Sofia.
1960
 
A U.S. Boeing B-52 bomber sets a 10,000-mile non-stop record without refueling.
1980
 
NATO warns the Soviets to stay out of the internal affairs of Poland, saying that intervention would effectively destroy the d├ętente between the East and West.
1981
 
Israel's Knesset passes the Golan Heights Law, extending Israeli law to the Golan Heights area.
1994
 
Construction begins on China's Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River.
1995
 
The Dayton Agreement signed in Paris; establishes a general framework for ending the Bosnian War between Bosnia and Herzegovina.
1999
 
Tens of thousands die as a result of flash floods caused by torrential rains in Vargas, Venezuela.
2003
 
Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, narrowly escapes and assassination attempt.
2004
 
The Millau Viaduct, the world's tallest bridge, official opens near Millau, France.
2008
 
Iraqi broadcast journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi throws his shoes at US President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad.
2012
 
At Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Conn., 20 children and six adults are shot to death by a 20-year-old gunman who then commits suicide.
 
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How Sly RAF Tornado Crews Repeatedly Killed U.S. Navy F-14s And F/A-18s In Training
(THE DRIVE 9 DEC 17)… Tyler Rogoway

When most people think of a the Panavia Tornado today the interdiction/strike (IDS) or electronic countermeasures/reconnaissance (ECR) variants come to mind. But the air defense variant (ADV) of the swing-wing Cold War era combat jet lived an entirely different life than its non air-to-air focused cousins. These jets were interceptors optimized primarily to efficiently hunt down and destroy Soviet bombers over long ranges, and their maneuverability was notoriously lacking when compared to fighters of the same era. But after some major developmental hurdles, the jet's straight line performance, Foxhunter radars, and Skyflash missiles proved to be a deadly combination, especially when paired with a very well trained aircrew.
Phil Keeble was a pilot flying the Tornado ADV F3 during the waning days of the Cold War. In an interview on the wonderful Aircrew Interview Youtube channel, he explains how the Royal Air Force used some very well tailored tactics to take on the very best fighters the U.S. Navy had to offer and come out on top time and time again.
In particular Keeble recalls one deployment to RAF Akrotiri on Cyprus for gunnery practice in Spring of 1990. There Tornado ADV and BAE Hawk crews gave F-14 Tomcats and F/A-18 Hornets a particularly bad time during some impromptu dissimilar air combat training (DACT) exercises. He explains how they pulled it off in detail in the video below:
You can read all about Phil's exploits in Tornados, and in the Royal Air Force in general, in his book Patrolling the Cold War Skies: Reheat Sunset.
As for ADV Tornados, they stopped tearing through the skies in 2012, with the Royal Air Force and the QinetiQ test team being the last to retire them. But the other two variants of the Tornado continue to soldier on for the UK (IDS), Germany (IDS/ECR), Italy (IDS/ECR), and Saudi Arabia (IDS).

The Christmas Ship
(NAVAL HISTORY BLOG 6 DEC 17)

The following item is from the New York Times of December 23, 1930 and was re-published in Proceedings magazine in 1931.
Washington, December 22 (AP)—Hundreds of happy children shouting from the decks of Uncle Sam's warships will greet their seagoing Santa Claus as he climbs aboard with his bag on Christ­mas morning.
About 63,000 officers and men will spend Christ­mas this year aboard naval vessels. Far from home and their own children, the personnel of battleships and aircraft carriers have softened the homesick feeling by giving Christmas parties to the needy children of the port of anchor.
Naval officials today said the custom, inaugu­rated by Captain Hugh Rodman of the battleship New York in 1916, would be continued this year. It was estimated that more than 2,000 needy chil­dren would be entertained on Christmas day by the Navy afloat.
Nothing could give me greater pleasure and satisfaction than to feel that I am justly entitled to the credit of having established and perpetuated this custom, for such, I am sorry to say, is not the case; it belongs solely to the enlisted force of the New York, at Christmas time, 1915.
The men from the USS Mississippi contributed to a fund to entertain and buy presents for 200 orphan children. A Christmas tree, hundreds of presents, and a great dinner was shared.
In 1917, when we entered the war, I was ordered to command our battleship force serving with the grand fleet; the New York was my flagship. After hostilities ceased, and I had returned to America, in discussing con­ditions and the very friendly and cordial re­lations which existed between the American and British naval forces, amongst other statements was the following:
My flagship, the New York, was known in the Navy as the "Christmas Ship," since it had origi­nated the custom of going into the highways and byways at Christmas time, collecting the waifs and strays who otherwise would have had no Christ­mas, and bringing them on board, after the ship had been elaborately decorated and prepared for their reception. We entertained them with a dinner, chil­dren's games, and a Christmas tree where toys were distributed and where each boy received a scout outfit, and the girls a set of cheap furs. Here let it be said, though this was done under my com­mand, the conception and execution of the idea was entirely in the hands of the enlisted personnel, who deserve the entire credit.
Not knowing that we would be ordered abroad, we had laid in our supplies on the supposition that we would be in an American port, but Christmas found us at Edinburgh, Scotland.
After discussing the situation, the men decided that a child was a child, whether American or Scotch. They asked 125 children to come on board, preferably those who had been orphaned during the war—the poorer and more dependent, the better. They were assembled and brought down to the ship, some seven or eight miles, in motor busses. Once aboard they were entertained, given a good dinner, and the usual toys and presents, and in addi­tion each youngster was given two bright silver shillings—probably the greatest amount of cash any of them had ever possessed at any one time.
This statement is quoted in full and ver­batim to reiterate and emphasize the fact, that I would be a hypocrite, and sailing un­der false colors, if I claimed or let others be­lieve that I am entitled to the credit which belongs solely to the enlisted personnel of the New York serving on her at Christmas time, 1915.
My recollection is that the committee of the crew, headed by the chief master-at- arms, first made the suggestion, that it at once appealed to me, and officers and men alike wanted to subscribe and cooperate in making it a success. But it soon became ap­parent that since the men had originated the idea, and it promised to be a success, that they should receive the entire credit; and while the officers were more than willing to subscribe, none of us did, but freely gave our aid and assistance in promoting the en­terprise.
The "Christmas Ship" idea spread at once to other ships in the Navy, and I sincerely hope it has become the custom with all ships, and will be continued as one of the Navy's most cherished traditions. It is interesting and advisable to record such events while fresh in one's memory, and it is with this spirit I have done so.
 
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Trump just made a 355-ship Navy national policy
By: David B. Larter 10 hours ago
 
Analyst: With ballooning costs for a smaller Navy, can it really afford 355 ships?
By: David B. Larter 6 days ago
 
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December 14, 2017
Things fall apart: The decline of 'Dumbledore's Army'
 
Resistance to the Trump administration within the intelligence community is beginning to unravel.  
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Thanks to Carl. This is a real thing you should read. Long story short I used to wake up at 0400 for over 30 years and was lucky to get 6 hours sleep or less a night. I would wake up every morning with a headache. Finally my VA doctor on my first appointment with her sent me to a sleep study which I ignored. She called me and said she set up another one and not to miss it. I said I had no problem getting to sleep and she said that was not the problem. I ended up on a CPAP machine every night and it changed my life. Now I try to get 8 hours a night and no longer have the headaches and some other things that affect you when you are not really sleeping. My study reported that I was stopping my breathing over thirty times a night.  I was also amazed at how many of my friends were on CPAP and had been for many years.
Catastrophic Consequences of Chronic Sleep Deprivation
 
 
Catastrophic Consequences of Chronic Sleep Deprivation
December 14, 2017
 
By Dr. Mercola
About 1 in 3 Americans gets less than seven hours of sleep a night and more than 83 million adults in the U.S. are sleep-deprived.1,2 If you work long hours, have a sleep disorder or spend a lot of time in front of electronic screens, you may be sleeping five or fewer hours per night. Such little sleep can trigger a wide range of health issues, such as chronic disease, increased risk of accidents, reduced sex drive and weight gain.
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Item Number:1 Date: 12/14/2017 BURMA - AID GROUP SAYS AT LEAST 6,700 ROHINGYA KILLED, 647,000 FORCED TO FLEE (DEC 14/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- At least 6,700 Rohingya were killed in the first month of recent violence in Burma's western Rakhine state, according to newly published figures from Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF).   An estimated 2,700 Rohingya died from disease and malnutrition during the government crackdown, reports CNN. The overall death toll during the 31 days following the start of the violence on Aug. 24 could be as high as 13,759, said MSF.   The numbers contradict government statistics, which say only 400 people were killed, according to the BBC.   At least 730 of those killed were children under the age of five, said the aid group.   The government of Burma, also known as Myanmar, claims that it has only killed Muslim terrorists.   The Rohingya are a Muslim minority group living in the country's west. Rohingya claim mistreatment at the hands of the state, while the Burmese government claims they are illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh.   The most recent round of violence broke out on Aug. 24, after a Rohingya rebel group attacked police outposts. Residents claim they are homes. At least 647,000 have fled Burma, says MSF.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 12/14/2017 CANADA - USED AUSTRALIAN HORNETS TO FILL GAP UNTIL NEW JETS ARRIVE IN 2025 (DEC 14/CBC)  CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION -- The Canadian government has announced that it will buy used Australian fighter jets to fill operational gaps until a new aircraft is delivered in the mid-2020s, reports CBC News.   On Dec. 13, the Australian Dept. of Defense announced that Canberra had agreed to sell 18 F/A-18A/B Hornets to Canada.   The first two aircraft are expected to be transferred in 2019. Australia plans to replace all of its Hornets with F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters by 2022.   The value of the sale was not made public.   The Australian jets are nearly three decades old and nearing the end of their service lives, according to Australian officials. The fighters will undergo the same service life-extension received by Canada's Hornets to keep them flying until 2025, said Lt. Gen. Mike Hood, Canada's air force chief.   The Australian Hornets are expected to be ready for operational service in Canada in the early 2020s, said a release from the Canadian Dept. of National Defense.   Ottawa also formally announced the start of a competition to replace the air force's aging fleet of CF-18 Hornets.   Plans call for purchasing 88 aircraft. Extensive planning and stakeholder engagement will occur in 2018 and 2019, said Public Works and Government Services Canada in a release.   Contract award is anticipated for 2022, with initial deliveries to follow in 2025.  
Item Number:3 Date: 12/14/2017 EUROPEAN UNION - MEDICAL HQ SEEN AS 1ST STEP TO STRENGTHENING JOINT E.U. MILITARY CAPABILITIES (DEC 14/EUO)  EU OBSERVER -- The European Union plans to establish a joint medical command next year as part of efforts to bolster its military capabilities, reports the E.U. Observer.   The European Medical Command, headquartered in Brussels, would provide a "multinational medical task force with a rapidly deployable capability for basic primary care" and "evacuation facilities" for soldiers on overseas E.U. military missions, officials said.   An initial capability is anticipated by the end of 2018.   By mid-2018, the E.U. expects to complete "implementation studies" for two more initiatives, the officials said.   The first is a strategic command-and-control system to help E.U. missions coordinate intelligence and surveillance. The other is a "crisis response operation core" to coordinate airlift and sealift to rapidly deploy troops abroad.   The three projects are among 17 agreed to by 25 E.U. member states as part of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) initiative to strengthen the bloc's joint military capabilities.   The largest of the projects, led by the Netherlands, will create the legal and physical infrastructure, including railways and roads, to allow troops to rapidly reach Europe's borders as required.   
  Item Number:4 Date: 12/14/2017 ISRAEL - BORDERS CLOSED WITH GAZA IN RESPONSE TO ONGOING ROCKET ATTACKS (DEC 14/JP)  JERUSALEM POST -- Israel has closed its border crossings with the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire originating from the area, reports the Jerusalem Post.   The move, announced Thursday, comes amid increasing tensions after U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Dec. 6.   Militants in Gaza launched three rockets on Wednesday evening. Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted two over the southern city of Sderot. The third exploded in an empty area, and a fourth failed to reach Israel, landing in Beit Hanun in northeastern Gaza. No injuries were reported.   Following the attacks, Israeli aircraft struck three facilities belonging to Hamas, the group that has controlled much of the strip for the last decade, reported Reuters. Israel holds Hamas responsible for all attacks that come from Gaza.   Before the latest rocket firings, the Israeli military said it was planning to take "dramatically" more aggressive action in response to the increased number of launches, reported the Times of Israel.   This was the third night in a row and sixth in a week that rockets were fired at southern Israel, noted the paper.   About 15 rockets have been fired at Israel from Gaza since Trump's announcement
Item Number:5 Date: 12/14/2017 ISRAEL - WASHINGTON NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE MEDIATOR IN PEACE PROCESS, SAYS ABBAS (DEC 14/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has formally declared that Palestinians will no longer accept the U.S. as a mediator in the Middle East peace process, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   Abbas made his comments on Wednesday at an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul, about a week after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.   "Jerusalem is and will forever be the capital of the Palestinian state," Abbas told delegates. "We do not accept any role of the United States in the political process from now on. Because it is completely biased towards Israel," the president said.   The Palestinian leader called on the United Nations to take over the peace process, because Washington was no longer "fit" for the job.   Nevertheless, Abbas is likely to continue to work with the U.S. on the peace process, said analysts cited by NPR.   "There's absolutely nothing new in these declarations," said Khalil Shikaki of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. "If you go back to the last 10 years, you'll find such statements repeated time after time after time. They never meant it before. I don't think they mean it today."   The Palestinian Authority believes that the American proposals remain "the only game in town," Shikaki told the news service
  Item Number:6 Date: 12/14/2017 KAZAKHSTAN - MILITARY COOPERATION PLAN INKED WITH FRANCE (DEC 14/KAZINFORM)  KAZINFORM -- The defense ministries of France and Kazakhstan have agreed to a new plan for military cooperation, reports Kazinform.   The document was signed on Wednesday in Astana, the Kazakh capital, after a meeting between Kazakh Defense Minister Saken Zhassuzakov and French Ambassador to Kazakhstan Philippe Martine.   The talks focused on priorities for cooperation in the areas of military education, peacekeeping and interaction between verification services.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 12/14/2017 LEBANON - ARMED FORCES IN LINE FOR U.S.-SUPPLIED ATTACK HELICOPTERS, UAVS (DEC 14/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- The U.S. will provide more than US$120 million in aid to the Lebanese army as part of a deal to ensure the country's stability amid an ongoing war in Syria and ascendant militant groups, particularly Hezbollah, reports CNN.   The package includes six new MD 530G light attack helicopters, six new ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and sophisticated communication and night-vision devices, the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon announced Wednesday.   The equipment "will help the army build on its steady strong capability to conduct border security and counterterrorism operations and importantly to defend the country and the people of Lebanon," said Ambassador Elizabeth Richard.   The MD 530Gs will be Lebanon's first attack helicopters, reported Agence France-Presse. The aircraft will provide close air support, precision targeting, intelligence and surveillance capabilities, analysts said.   The announcement came during a visit to Lebanon by Gen. Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command.   The U.S. has provided more than US$1.5 billion dollars to Lebanon in security assistance since 2006, noted Reuters
Item Number:8 Date: 12/14/2017 PARAGUAY - ARMS TRAFFICKER TO RIO GANGS ARRESTED (DEC 14/REU)  REUTERS -- The most wanted arms dealer in Brazil has been captured in southern Paraguay, reports Reuters.   Marcelo Pinheiro Veiga, known as Marcelo Piloto, was arrested on Wednesday in the town of Encarnacion, where he had allegedly been hiding for years, said Brazilian authorities.   From Encarnacion, Veiga supplied weapons, drugs and ammunition to the largest criminal gang in Rio de Janeiro, the Red Command (CV), a police source told the outlet.   The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration participated in the arrest, said the authorities said.   He will face charges of murder, trafficking, and criminal association.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 12/14/2017 SAUDI ARABIA - RAYTHEON TO BUILD HUNDREDS OF JSOW MISSILES FOR RIYADH (DEC 14/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., a contract modification for cruise missiles for Saudi Arabia, according to a statement by the Dept. of Defense.   The US$302 million Foreign Military Sale covers 618 AGM-154 Block IIIC Joint Standoff Weapons (JSOWs,) containers, spare parts and associated technical support.   Work under the contract is scheduled to be completed in June 2022
  Item Number:10 Date: 12/14/2017 SERBIA - PRESIDENT EMPHASIZES INDEPENDENT PATH OUTSIDE OF NATO; ADDITIONAL RUSSIAN MILITARY EQUIPMENT EYED (DEC 14/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The Serbian government is considering buying at least six transport helicopters as well as air defense systems from Russia, reports Defense News.   The nation is part of Europe but unlike its neighbors does not seek to join NATO, said President Aleksandar Vucic, emphasizing that his country seeks to remain independent.   Belgrade has been considering a purchase of the S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile system from Belarus, noted the newspaper. The latest statement suggests that Russia might be the eventual supplier of the system.   The potential purchase will be discussed during Vucic's Dec. 18-20 visit to Moscow.   Six MiG-29 fighter jets, transferred to Serbia from Russia this year, will be operational in the coming months, said Vucic.   Serbia is also planning to purchase new Lazar 3 8 x 8 armored vehicles and Milos unmanned ground vehicles, noted Defense News
Item Number:11 Date: 12/14/2017 SINGAPORE - MORE MILITARY COOPERATION PLEDGED WITH CHINA (DEC 14/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- Senior Chinese and Singapore military officials have agreed to boost military exchanges, including joint counterterrorism and naval exercises, reports the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong).   Bilateral military relations have "developed smoothly" in recent years and Beijing is prepared to take ties to "a new level," Rear Adm. Jiang Guoping, an assistant to the chief of the People's Liberation Army Joint Staff Dept., said in a statement published by the Chinese Defense Ministry on Monday.   Jiang made his remarks in Singapore while he co-hosted the sixth bilateral defense policy dialogue between the two countries along with Singapore's Permanent Secretary for Defense Chan Yeng Kit.   Chan said Singapore looked forward to high-level exchanges and joint exercises with China to boost defense cooperation.   Singapore also welcomes and supports China's continued development and efforts to play a larger role in regional affairs, he said
Item Number:12 Date: 12/14/2017 SOMALIA - SUICIDE ATTACK AT MOGADISHU POLICE TRAINING CENTER KILLS AT LEAST 13 OFFICERS (DEC 14/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- A suicide bombing has killed at least 13 police officers and injured at least 15 during a parade at a police training center in Mogadishu, reports BBC.   Reports differed on the number of casualties. Reuters reported that at least 18 officers were killed. As many as 20 may have been injured, according to other sources.   The bomber disguised himself as a police officer and infiltrated the General Kaahiye Police Academy in Somalia's capital city, a police spokesperson told Reuters. Officers were beginning to line up for the morning parade when the attacker detonated his explosives, according to witnesses.   The Al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that 27 officers were killed.   The U.S. and Somali government have stepped up operations against Al-Shabaab this year
Item Number:13 Date: 12/14/2017 SYRIA - 23 CIVILIANS DIE IN COALITION AIRSTRIKE, SAYS MONITORING GROUP (DEC 14/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Syria have killed 23 civilians in Deir Ezzor province, says a monitoring group cited by Agence France-Presse.   "At least 23 civilians, among them eight children and six women, were killed Wednesday before dawn by airstrikes carried out by the U.S.-led coalition, targeting a village controlled by [ISIS] on the eastern banks of the Euphrates river," said the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   The monitoring group, which gathers accounts from witnesses in the area, said that all of those killed were members of a single family, taking cover in a house in the eastern province.   The U.S. and its allies are fighting to retake the last areas held by ISIS. Russia and Iraq have already declared victory against the group.   A U.S. military spokesperson said the allegation would be investigated, emphasizing that the coalition only attacks "valid military targets
Item Number:14 Date: 12/14/2017 SYRIA - GOVERNMENT FORCES TARGET RECENT ISIS GAINS IN DEIR EZZOR PROVINCE; OPERATION TO BE LAUNCHED SOON (DEC 14/AL-MASDAR)  AL-MASDAR NEWS -- Syrian government forces and allied militias have arrived in the western province of Deir Ezzor as part of an imminent operation to retake towns lost this week in a surprise offensive by the Islamic State, reports Al-Masdar, a news outlet close to the government in Damascus.   Syrian army soldiers began arriving in the city of Al-Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor on Wednesday, joined by fighters from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Lebanon-based Hezbollah, Popular Mobilization Forces and other pro-Damascus militias.   One of their first targets will likely be Al-Salihiyah, captured by ISIS on Tuesday. The terrorist group has captured 10 towns this week in the desert province.   Sources in the area told the news site that the group is weak and will likely not put up strong resistance.  
Item Number:15 Date: 12/14/2017 UKRAINE - KIEV SEEKS GREATER ROLE IN NATO MILITARY PROGRAMS (DEC 14/INT)  INTERFAX -- Ukrainian officials have been discussing ways to enhance cooperation with NATO during a visit to the alliance's headquarters in Brussels, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   Enhanced cooperation with NATO is important to European security, Oleksandr Turchynov, the secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council (SNBO), said after a recent visit to Brussels.   Those talks covered the possible enlargement of military programs in which Ukraine can take part, according to a release from the SNBO.   Kiev plans to maintain its contributions to alliance international operations, as well as NATO rapid-response forces, said Turchynov.   The parties also discussed improved information exchange between Ukrainian and NATO intelligence agencies and cooperation against cyber attacks.   Ukraine needs to study NATO's experience as it updates its systems of analysis and decision-making and advanced information technology, the secretary said
Item Number:16 Date: 12/14/2017 UNITED NATIONS - HALEY TO PRESENT EVIDENCE OF IRANIAN VIOLATIONS OF NUCLEAR DEAL (DEC 14/ABC)  ABC NEWS -- The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. will provide "irrefutable evidence that Iran has deliberately violated its international obligations and has tried and failed to cover up these violations," reports ABC News.   Ambassador Nikki Haley is expected to present the evidence on Thursday, as the Security Council hears a report on U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorses the Iranian nuclear agreement. Iran is not to undertake ballistic missile activity for eight years under the terms of the deal.   The report on Iran's nuclear activity, presented by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, criticizes Washington's public stance against the deal but also says that Iran might be violating its obligations regarding missile tests.   Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched numerous ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia contend that these missiles have been supplied to the rebels by Iran. Tehran has denied the accusations.   This would not necessarily violate the agreement, which does not explicitly forbid ballistic missile production or arms exports, noted Business Insider. A non-binding part of the deal forbids Tehran from building ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.   U.N. investigators have been inspecting debris from missiles launched in July and November.   A Foreign Policy report published last week revealed that the U.N. study confirmed that a missile launched on Nov. 4 contained Iranian components. The report also stated that at least one part of the missile -- a set of carbon-fiber compressed air bottles that circulate liquid jet fuel in the missile --was manufactured in the U.S.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 12/14/2017 USA - B-1B BOMBER SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES PAIR OF LRASMS IN TEST (DEC 14/LM)  LOCKHEED MARTIN -- A U.S. Air Force B-1B bomber has successfully fired production-configuration Long-Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASMs) in a test over the sea range at Point Mugu, Calif., reports Lockheed Martin, which builds the weapon.   During the trial, the bomber crew simultaneously launched two LRASMs against multiple maritime targets. The test met its primary objectives, including hitting the target, said a company release on Dec. 12.   "This continued success with LRASM provides confidence in its upcoming early operational capability milestone," said David Helsel, the Lockheed program manager.   The missile is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships through the use of technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments, according to the manufacturer.   The LRASM is scheduled to be integrated with the B-1B in 2018 and on Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornets in 2019
Item Number:18 Date: 12/14/2017 USA - MOBILITY WING COMMANDER AT SCOTT AFB LOSES JOB AFTER 5 MONTHS (DEC 14/AFT)  AIR FORCE TIMES -- The commander of the 375th Air Mobility Wing at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., has been removed from his post, less than five months after taking command, reports the Air Force Times.   Col. John Howard was relieved of duty by Lt. Gen. Giovanni Tuck, the commander of the 18th Air Force, due to a loss of confidence "in Howard's leadership and ability to continue serving in command," according to an Air Force statement.   The release did not provide further details.   Col. Chris Buschur, the vice commander of the 375th, will assume interim command of the unit.   Howard took command of the wing on July 24. He previously commanded the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall in the U.K
  Item Number:19 Date: 12/14/2017 YEMEN - ARMY MAKES GAINS IN HOUTHI HEARTLAND (DEC 14/ALA)  AL-ARABIYA -- The Yemeni army has made a strategic breakthrough in the country's north, retaking the Al-Jawf governorate, north of the capital Sanaa, with the help of Saudi-led coalition air support, reports Al-Arabiya (Dubai).   The army retook the first directorates in the region on Thursday, crossing through the far-northern Saada governorate, an area controlled by the Houthi rebels.   The Yemeni army succeeded in liberating large swaths of the northern desert from the Iran-backed rebels, the commander of the forces in the country's north told the news site.   The Houthis recently buried more than 30 soldiers, suggesting heavy losses in the fighting, said an unidentified local source.   The military promised more operations in the days to come, adding that the militia has been rapidly losing strength.  
Item Number:20 Date: 12/14/2017 YEMEN - DOZENS KILLED IN AIRSTRIKES, RAIDS ON HOUTHI FACILITIES IN SANAA (DEC 14/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- At least 39 people have been killed and 90 injured in Saudi-led airstrikes on Houthi facilities in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The coalition jets hit a military police camp on Wednesday, said an official and witnesses cited by Reuters. Some prisoners were among the dead.   A total of seven raids targeted Houthi facilities, including the prison that held about 180 prisoners at the time of the attack, said the Al Masriet online publication.   The strike is part of an air campaign by the Saudi-led coalition against the Iran-supported Houthis, which has escalated since the rebels crushed an uprising last week led by former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The president, an erstwhile ally of the Houthis, was killed by the militants.
 
 
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