Monday, January 29, 2018

Fw: TheList 4644

The List 4644

To All
I hope you all had a great weekend. This is a Bubba Breakfast Friday in San Diego.
This Day In Naval History – January 29, 2018
Jan. 29
1862—The storeship Supply captures schooner Stephen Hart loaded with a cargo of arms and munitions, south of Sarasota, FL
1914 - U.S. Marines land in Haiti to protect U.S. consulate
1942- Beginning of 2 day battle of Rennell Island after which U.S. transports reached Guadalcanal
1942—USS Quail (AM 15) bombards Japanese troop concentrations at Longoskawayan Point, Luzon.
1943—The Battle of Rennell Island begins when Japanese shore-based aircraft attack Task Force 18 cruisers and destroyers covering the movement of transports toward Guadalcanal. USS Chicago (CA 29) is damaged and sinks the next day.
1944—The battleship Missouri (BB 63) is christened. Built at the New York Navy Yard, her keel was laid on Jan. 6, 1941. After her christening and launching Jan. 29, she is completed rapidly, commissioning on June 11 of the same year, the last battleship to enter active service in the U.S. Navy.
1945—While loading a cargo of depth charges in Lunga Roads, off Guadalcanal, USS Serpens (AK 97) is destroyed by a massive explosion. All but two of the 198 Coast Guard crewmen, plus 57 Army stevedores are killed.
January 29
Jane Austin publishes Pride and Prejudice.
Kansas is admitted into the Union as the 34th state.
William Quantrill and his Confederate raiders attack Danville, Kentucky.
The Supreme Allied Council meets at Versailles.
Violette Neatley Anderson becomes the first African-American woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Seeing Eye, America's first school for training dogs to guide the blind, founded in Nashville, Tennessee.
Winston Churchill resigns as Stanley Baldwin's aide.
German and Italian troops take Benghazi in North Africa.
The world's greatest warship, Missouri, is launched.
Riots break out in Johannesburg, South Africa, over the policy of Apartheid.
Thirty-seven civilians are killed by a U.S. helicopter attack in Vietnam.
President Jimmy Carter commutes the sentence of Patty Hearst.
President Ronald Reagan announces that he will run for a second term.
The Soviets issue a formal complaint against alleged U.S. arms treaty violations.
Iraqi forces attack into Saudi Arabian town of Kafji, but are turned back by Coalition forces.
Executive Summary:
National news today is dominated by coverage of the 60th Grammy Awards that took place yesterday, and of what to expect from President Trump's first State of the Union speech scheduled for Tuesday. Navy Times reports that there is still uncertainty concerning the number of sailors that have received nonjudicial punishment in relation to last year's deadly crashes. The Navy is currently conducting a review of disciplinary actions taken and cites this review as the reason that it has not released more information. The Washington Post reports that the GPS tracking company Strava has published a Global Heat Map of fitness device users that reveals sensitive information about the location and activities of U.S. soldiers. Additionally, Afghanistan has accused Pakistan of supporting the Islamist militants responsible for Saturday's bombing which killed 103 people reports the Wall Street Journal. The Trump administration has also cited the attack, and others like it, as a justification for its suspension of military aid to Pakistan.
With our thanks to THE Bear at
January 29, 2018   Bear Taylor 
RIPPLE SALVO… #695… TOM WICKER, The New York Times… "Giap has put this force together and brought it to the point of battle despite an air campaign that has unloaded more destructive tonnage on North Vietnam than was dropped in all of World War II."… but first…
Good Morning: Day SIX HUNDRED NINETY-FIVE remembering and honoring the brave cadre of warfighters who took the Vietnam war to the enemy's heartland for 40-months with one hand tied behind their backs by a President who couldn't pull the trigger…
Monday Morning Humor from Al
Submitted by John Hudson:

Thoughts of a senior…
Someday we old folks will use cursive writing as a secret code.
Embarrassing our kids—that's just one of the services we offer!!!
When I'm an old man, I'm going to leave snacks in little bags on the floor all over the house in case I fall down.
Age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying you.
When I was a kid, I wanted to be older.  This $#!+ is not what I expected.
Think old and you'll be old.  Think young and you'll be a delusional old guy.
If things get better with age them I must be getting close to freakin' magnificent.
If you haven't grown up by age 50, you don't have to.
I've reached that age where my brain goes from "You probably shouldn't say that," to "What the heck, let's see what happens."
I remember being able to get up without making sound effects…good times.
I don't always drink…but when I do, I pee a lot.
Age gets better with wine.
The idea is to die young…as late as possible.
I hate it when I see an old person and then realize that we went to high school together.

Submitted by Ed Denker:

     Most seniors never get enough exercise. In His wisdom God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search for their glasses, keys and other things thus doing more walking. And God looked down and saw that it was good.
     Then God saw there was another need. In His wisdom He made seniors lose coordination so they would drop things requiring them to bend, reach & stretch. And God looked down and saw that it was good.
     Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional calls of nature requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise. God looked down and saw that it was good.
     So if you find as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember it's God's will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath

Submitted by Jamie Hapgood:

More thoughts…
I'm in therapy to learn how to deal with people who should be in therapy.
I can't believe how old people my age are.
If you weigh 200 pounds on Earth, you'll be 76 pounds on Mars.  I'm not overweight, I'm just not on the right planet.
Sometimes I look at my wife and think, "Wow, you ar one lucky woman!"
My super power is holding onto junk for years and throwing it away a week before I need it.
Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes:  small, large, circle, square, thin crust, thick crust, stuffed crust, extra toppings.
I'm beginning to think semility is going to be a fairly smooth transition for me.
I wonder if clouds ever look down on us and say, "Hey look…that one is shaped like an idiot."
I am starting to think I will never be old enough to know better.
I may look like I'm having deep thoughts but 99% of the time I'm thinking about what I'm going to eat later.
Morning:  Tired.  Afternoon:  Dying for a rest.  Night:  Can't sleep.
Be the reason someone smiles today…or the reason they drink.  Whatever works for you.
I always knew I'd get old.  How fast it happened was a bit of a surprise, though.
Apparently you have to eat healthy more than once to get in shape.  This is cruel and unfair.
A giraffe's coffee would be cold by the time it reached the bottom of its throat.  Ever think about that?  No, you only think about yourself.

Submitted by Mark Logan:

Even more musings…
Sometimes I'll look down at my watch three consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
There is great need for a sarcasm font.
How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
Was learning cursive really necessary?
Map Quest or Google Maps really need to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
Bad decisions make good stories.
You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day
Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection... again.
I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay.
I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?
I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!
Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey—but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from three feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

Submitted by Tana Harvey:

And more musings…
My goal for 2017 was to lose just 10 pounds.  Only 15 to go.
Ate salad for dinner!  Mostly croutons & tomatoes.  Really just one big, round crouton covered with tomato sauce.  And cheese.  OK…OK…FINE, it was a pizza. 
How to prepare Tofu: 1. Throw it in the trash.  2.  Grill some Meat. 
I just did a week's worth of cardio after walking into a spider web. 
I don't mean to brag but...I finished my14-day diet in just 3 hours and 20 minutes. 
A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it. 
Kids today don't know how easy they have it.  When I was young, I had to walk 9 feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel. 
Remember back when we were kids and every time it was below zero out they closed school? Me neither. 
I may not be that funny or athletic or good looking or smart or talented...I forgot where I was going with this. 
I love being over 50.  I learn something new every day...and forget five others. 
A thief broke into my house last night...He started searching for money so I got up and searched with him. 
My dentist told me I need a crown.  I was like:  I KNOW! 
I think I'll just put an "Out of Order" sticker on my forehead and call it a day.

Submitted by Jerry Norris:

     A 90-year-old man goes for a physical and all of his tests come back normal…The doctor says, "Larry, everything looks great. How are you doing mentally and emotionally? Are you at peace with God?"
     Larry replies, "God and I are tight. He knows I have poor eyesight, so He's fixed it so when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, poof! The light goes on. When I'm done, poof! The light goes off."
     "Wow, that's incredible," the doctor says.
     A little later in the day, the doctor calls Larry's wife.  "Bonnie," he says, "Larry is doing fine! But I had to call you because I'm in awe of his relationship with God. Is it true that he gets up during the night, and poof, the light goes on in the bathroom, and when he's done, poof, the light goes off?"
     "Oh good grief", exclaims Bonnie. "He's peeing in the refrigerator again!"

Submitted by Al Schlegel:

     An elderly, but hardy cattleman from Texas believed that if he wanted to live a long life, the secret was to sprinkle a pinch of gunpowder on his oatmeal each morning.  He did this religiously and lived to the age of 103.  He left behind 14 children, 30 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren and a 40 foot hole where the crematorium used to be.

Submitted by Steve Collins:

The Back Nine
     You know...time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went. I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.
     But, here it is... the back nine of my life and it catches me by surprise...How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?
     I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that I was only on the first hole and the back nine was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.
     But, here it friends are retired and getting gray...they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me...but, I see the great change....Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant...but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd become.
     And I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!! But, at least I know, that though I'm on the back nine, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over on this's over. A new adventure will begin! Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime.
     So, if you're not on the back nine yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you're on the back nine or not.
     You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past.
Have a great week,
Today on Fighter Sweep
Watch: Amazing Airplane Emergency Landings
Most of these planes are small single-engine aircraft such as the Cessna and other private aircraft. All pilots involved managed to escape unharmed. – YouTube Featured image U.S. Air Force View More ›
Item Number:1 Date: 01/29/2018 AFGHANISTAN - ISIS CLAIMS ASSAULTS ON MILITARY ACADEMY THAT KILLS 11 (JAN 29/TN)  TOLONEWS -- At least 11 soldiers have been killed and 16 wounded in an assault on a military academy in Kabul, the Afghan capital, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan).   Five attackers launched the dawn assault on the Marshal Fahim Military University in western Kabul on Monday, reported Reuters.   Two of the attackers detonated suicide vests at the gate. The remaining three militants then entered. The ensuing clashes lasted five hours. As many as 40 reinforcements were summoned to assist in subduing the attackers.   A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said that two of the attackers were killed and one arrested.   The Islamic State's (ISIS) affiliate in Afghanistan, known as Khorasan Province, claimed responsibility for the attack via the affiliated Amaq News channel.   A suicide bombing in October targeted a bus carrying cadets for the academy, killing 15
Item Number:2 Date: 01/29/2018 AFGHANISTAN - MAJOR INCREASE IN AIRSTRIKES SEEN IN AFGHANISTAN IN 2017 (JAN 29/TN)  TOLONEWS -- Around 4,300 munitions were dropped by the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan in 2017, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan), citing U.S. Air Force statistics.   This figure was about twice the number of strikes conducted in 2015 and 2016.   The U.S. and Afghan air forces conducted an average of 15 airstrikes daily in southern Afghanistan in 2017, according to the statistics.   The major uptick in missions was primarily due to President Trump's new South Asia policy, which enabled the coalition to more aggressively target the Taliban and Islamic State militants, said a spokesman for the Resolute Support mission.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 01/29/2018 AFGHANISTAN - TALIBAN SUICIDE ATTACK KILLS 103 IN HEART OF KABUL (JAN 29/TN)  TOLONEWS -- A suicide car bombing in the Afghan capital of Kabul has killed at least 103 people, reports Afghanistan's Tolo News.   At least 235 others were wounded in Saturday's attack, 30 of them police officers, said Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak.   Police flagged the attacker at one of the many checkpoints in the crowded downtown area but could not stop him before he detonated his explosives.   The attackers hid the bomb in an ambulance. A second ambulance was dispatched as an escort for the bomb.   The area, known as Chicken Street, not far from the Interior Ministry, was considered one of the most secure in the capital, reported BBC News.   At least four people have been arrested in connection with the attack, said Barmak.   The Afghan government announced national days of mourning on Sunday and Monday.   The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 01/29/2018 AUSTRALIA - CANBERRA LAUNCHES PLAN TO INCREASE ARMS EXPORTS (JAN 29/SBS)  SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE -- The Australian government is working to dramatically raise defense exports, reports SBS News (Australia).   The government will establish a Aus$3.8 billion (US$3.07 billion) fund that will offer loans to local arms manufacturers. The Defense export Facility is designed to help domestic firms access foreign markets. A four-year, Aus$80 million (US$65 million) will support small and medium businesses seeking to export.   Plans also called for setting up a special exports unit with the Defense Dept.   Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull said Australia aims to be one of the top 10 weapons exporters in the world within a decade.   Australia's current exports amount to about US$2 billion a year, noted ABC News (Australia).   Australia is currently ranked 20th, with a 0.3 percent share of the global market, according to a 2017 report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).   An increase in exports would not mean changes in current export controls on weapons, said Australia's Minister of Defense
Item Number:5 Date: 01/29/2018 CANADA - SPECIAL OPS FORCES GET NEW ULTRA-LIGHT COMBAT VEHICLE (JAN 29/CDND)  CANADA DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE -- The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) has accepted delivery of its initial Ultra-Light Combat Vehicles (UCVs), reports the Canadian Dept. of National Defense.   The vehicles, supplied by Polaris Industries, Medina, Minn., will provide fast, mobile transportation over challenging terrain.   The ULCV is specifically configured to allow it to be rapidly deployed by most Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft, particularly the CH-147F Chinook heavy-lift helicopter.   Canada ordered 52 of the vehicles in December 2016 and exercised an option for 10 more in July 2017, noted the Defense Dept. release.   The ULCVs are being delivered on time and on budget. Deliveries are scheduled to be completed by April 2018.  
Item Number:6 Date: 01/29/2018 GERMANY - MILITARY TOO SMALL, NOT READY TO SUPPORT COLLECTIVE DEFENSE MISSIONS, SAYS TOP OFFICIAL (JAN 29/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- A senior government official says that the German military is too small and incapable of effectively supporting collective defense missions, reports the Military Times.   The German defense budget has received a small boost, but readiness has continued to deteriorate over the last year, Hans-Peter Bartels, the parliamentary commissioner for the armed forces, recently told a German magazine.   The commissioner occupies a special position as neither a lawmaker nor a civil servant, with a focus on military issues. He or she assists the German Parliament in providing oversight of the Bundeswehr.   "The hard currency, in which the success of the [defense] minister is measured, is the readiness of the Bundeswehr," Bartels said. "And that has not really improved in the last four years, but rather has become worse."   The military has demonstrated its ability to perform small overseas missions, but it is unable to conduct collective defense operations, he said.   There have been numerous reports recently about the poor condition of the Bundeswehr. Pilots have reportedly been using private helicopters for training because many military aircraft need maintenance and repair, according to the Washington Post.   In November, about half of Germany's tanks were out of service. All of the navy's submarines were out of commission after its only operational boat had a mishap off the cost of Norway, noted Defense News.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 01/29/2018 IRAQ - 11 KILLED IN FRIENDLY FIRE INCIDENT (JAN 29/REU)  REUTERS -- Eleven people were killed in an apparent friendly-fire incident west of Iraq's capital, Baghdad, reports Reuters.   Iraqi forces called in an airstrike on Saturday in the town of al-Baghdadi, 106 miles (170 km) northwest of Baghdad.   The security forces targeted what they thought was were militants, mistakenly attacking local police forces. The police had entered the area without coordinating with a local army detachment that was in the area to arrest an Islamic State suspect.   U.S. aircraft launched the airstrike at the behest of Iraqi forces. Ten police officers and one local official were killed in the attack.   A spokesman for the U.S. coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq emphasized that airstrikes are only carried out at the request of Iraqi security forces.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 01/29/2018 LATVIA - DEFENSE MINISTRY EARMARKS US$62 MILLION ANNUALLY FOR MILITARY INFRASTRUCTURE (JAN 29/LETA)  LATVIAN NEWS AGENCY -- The Latvian Defense Ministry says it plans to spend 50 million euros (US$62 million) annually on military infrastructure from 2018 to 2021, reports the Latvian News Agency (LETA).   About 60 percent of the funding will go toward continued development of the Adazi military base, including the construction of barracks and warehouses.   Facilities for the deployment and maintenance of military equipment and a sports complex for soldiers are also planned.   A new barracks is planned for the Lielvarde air base, with construction to begin this year.   Existing Home Guard bases are also in line for expansion. The ministry also expects to acquire additional land for new bases, including six new Home Guard battalion bases over the next four years.   The new bases will be built in Riga, the capital, and in the Jelgava, Bauska, Dobele, Krustpils and Gulbene regions.   Training ranges in the Aluksne and Daugavpils regions will be upgraded and a specialized range built in Skrunda for urban combat exercises, the ministry said.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 01/29/2018 MALI - 14 SOLDIERS KILLED IN ATTACK ON TIMBUKTU CAMP (JAN 29/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- A militant attack on an army camp in northern Mali has killed at least 14 government troops, reports the New York Times.   At least 17 attackers were killed in the Jan. 27 assault on the camp in Soumpi in the Timbuktu region, said a military spokesman. Eighteen Malian soldiers were injured.   The militants briefly took control of the base before being pushed back by reinforcements, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). The roughly 30 fighters fled in the direction of the Mauritanian border, reported the Agence Malienne de Presse.   Mali recently commemorated the fifth anniversary of Operation Barkhane, a French military mission to oust militants who overran much of the country in 2012.   Government and international forces have struggled to maintain order and attacks on peacekeepers and soldiers are routine.   Meanwhile, a suicide bomber killed four Malian soldiers on Sunday at an army and national guard post near the northeastern town of Menaka, reported Agence France-Presse.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Al Qaida-affiliated groups, including the Group for the support of Islam and Muslims, is active in the area
Item Number:10 Date: 01/29/2018 TURKEY - AIRSTRIKES TARGET PKK IN NORTHERN IRAQ; NEARLY 600 MILITANTS KILLED OR CAPTURED IN OLIVE BRANCH OP, MILITARY SAYS (JAN 29/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- The Turkish military says fighter jets have destroyed 11 targets belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, reports the state-run Anadolu Agency.   The airstrikes targeted shelters and weapon caches in the Qandil and Asos regions, the military said on Monday. When the operation occurred was not disclosed.   In 2013, PKK fighters began withdrawing from eastern Turkey to northern Iraq.   Separately, Turkish officials said on Saturday that U. S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster had told a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Washington would stop supplying arms to Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, reported Voice of America News.   Details of the agreement were not announced.   Relations between the NATO allies have been strained by the Turkish offensive in Syria and U.S. support for the YPG. The Pentagon has described the Turkish operation as unhelpful and potentially harmful to efforts to defeat the Islamic State in Syria.   At least 597 members of the Islamic State, the PKK and affiliated groups have been killed, wounded or captured since Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20, the military said, as cited by the Anadolu Agency.   The Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led alliance of militias, says the Turkish operation has killed around 59 civilians and 43 fighters over the last week.   The predominately Kurdish People's Democratic Party (PYD), which represents the main Kurdish militia in the area, says that 100 airstrikes have targeted Kurdish positions so far, reported CNN.   Ankara's stated aim is to clear a 30-km (19-mile) buffer zone along the Turkish border of "terrorists" and occupy the area with friendly Syrian rebels
  Item Number:11 Date: 01/29/2018 UNITED KINGDOM - ROYAL NAVY ACCEPTS FORTH PATROL VESSEL (JAN 29/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The British Royal Navy has accepted delivery of its newest offshore patrol vessel, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   Guto Bebb, the minister for defense procurement, presided over the delivery ceremony on Jan. 25 at the BAE Systems shipyard in Scotstoun, outside of Glasgow, Scotland.   The Forth is the first of five new offshore patrol vessels being built for the Royal Navy. All of the ships are due to enter service by 2020.   Commissioning is scheduled for later this year at the ship's homeport of Portsmouth Naval Base, noted a BAE Systems release. Afterwards, the Forth will prepare for counterterrorism, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and other maritime
 Item Number:12 Date: 01/29/2018 USA - AIR FORCE KICKS OFF LARGEST RED FLAG AERIAL COMBAT EXERCISE TO DATE (JAN 29/AFT)  AIR FORCE TIMES -- The U.S. Air Force launched its largest-ever Red Flag air-to-air combat exercise on Friday at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., reports the Air Force Times.   The Red Flag series of drills take place several times a year at Nellis AFB and in Alaska. The training focuses on realistic scenarios to improve the readiness and efficiency of U.S. and allied aircrews in combat.   The three-week exercise, which concludes on Feb. 16, includes participants from the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy, as well as the British Royal Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force.   More personnel are taking part in the training than in any previous Red Flag evolution, said a release from Nellis AFB.   The Red Flag 18-1 exercise is focused on strike missions in a joint task force environment, said U.S. Air Force officials.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 01/29/2018 USA - BEIJING TO TAKE PART IN ANNUAL RIMPAC DRILLS OFF HAWAII (JAN 29/HSA)  HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER -- The Chinese government says it plans to take part in the biennial U.S.-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercises off the coast of Hawaii, reports the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.   "The Chinese side has received the invitation from the U.S. side," a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman said on Jan. 25. "Lately we sent representatives to participate in the (mid-planning conference) of the RIMPAC and discussed details with the U.S. side for the arrangement of China's participation," he said.   It was not immediately clear what forces China might send.   The RIMPAC drills are scheduled for June 27 to Aug. 2.   China took part in the last iteration of the multinational drills in 2016. The Chinese navy sent the destroyer Xi'an, frigate Hengshui, supply ship Gaoyouhu, submarine rescue ship Changdao and the hospital ship Peace Ark.   The flotilla took part in at-sea drills that covered live gun-firing; damage-control and rescue; anti-piracy, search-and-rescue, diving and submarine rescue operations.   All 26 nations that took part in the 2016 RIMPAC exercise have been invited back for this year's drills, said Navy officials
Item Number:14 Date: 01/29/2018 USA - FITNESS APP APPEARS TO SHOW SECURE FACILITIES (JAN 29/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Security concerns have been raised about a mobile fitness application that can reveal sensitive information about secure facilities, reports BBC News.   Online fitness tracker Strava has published heat maps, showing where users are jogging or biking.   Some of the data appear to show the perimeter and structure of foreign military bases, including in Syria and Afghanistan.   The application uses a mobile phone's GPS to track a subscriber's activity. It uses that data as well as that from fitness devices, such as Fitbit and Jawbone, to allow users to check their performance and compare it with others   The map show patterns of accumulated activity from 2015 and 2017, noted the Washington Post.   The military is looking at the potential implications of the maps, said a U.S. military spokesman.   The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State said on Monday that it was revising its guidelines on the use of all wireless and technological devices on its facilities.   Strava says it has 27 million users around the world.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 01/29/2018 USA - UPGRADED MOP READY FOR DUTY (JAN 29/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- The U.S. Air Force has fielded an upgraded variant of its largest non-nuclear bomb, reports Bloomberg News.   The GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) is a 30,000-pound (13,600-kg) bunker-buster bomb that can only be carried by the B-2 stealth bomber.   A fourth upgrade to the weapon has been completed and existing bombs are being retrofitted, an Air Force spokeswoman told Bloomberg in an email.   The latest modifications improve the MOP's performance against "hard and deeply buried targets," she said.   The GBU-57 might be used if the U.S. decided to strike underground nuclear or missile facilities in North Korea, noted the newspaper
  Item Number:16 Date: 01/29/2018 YEMEN - CLASHES BETWEEN SECESSIONISTS AND GOVERNMENT KILL 12 (JAN 29/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- At least 12 people were killed and 130 wounded in clashes between government forces and southern separatists in Yemen's temporary capital of Aden, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The circumstances surrounding Sunday's clashes differ.   The southern separatists said the clashes began when government authorities prevented them from organizing a rally in support of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) in the city, reported the National (U.A.E.).   The government said the fighting began when separatists seized the city's government headquarters. Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher said this amounted to a coup attempt.   The clashes quickly spread to neighboring areas of the city. Calm was largely restored by the afternoon, reported the National.   Separatists sent reinforcements into the city on Monday, reported AFP.   There have long been tensions between Yemen's north and south. The country was most recently placed under a united government after Ali Abdullah Saleh's government defeated secessionist forces in 1994.   The STC, which represents many southern secessionist groups, recently gave Prime Minister bin Dagher a week to resign. The deadline passed on Sunday.   The Saudi-led war to restore ousted Yemeni President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi has reignited tensions between the south, where Hadi's government is located, and the north, which is largely controlled by Houthi rebels.   While the coalition is ostensibly fighting to restore the ousted president, the U.A.E. has sought to empower the secessionists as an ally, noted BBC News.

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