Monday, February 26, 2018

TheList 4665

The List 4665

To All
I hope that your weekend went well. Bubba Breakfast Friday in San Diego. I was reminded by a list member that 11 February 2000 was when the List 0001 was delivered. I missed it.
This Day In Naval History – February 26, 2018
Feb. 26
1811 - Congress authorizes first naval hospital
1913 - Approval of experimental wind tunnel for Navy
1944Sue Sophia Dauser, Superintendent of the Navy's Nurse Corps, is the first woman in the Navy to receive rank of captain.
1945TBMs (VC 82) from USS Anzio (CVE 57) sink two Japanese submarines: I 368, 35 miles west of Iwo Jima, and RO 43, 50 miles west-northwest of Iwo Jima.  
1945USS Finnegan (DE 307) sinks Japanese submarine I 370, 120 miles south of Iwo Jima.
1991During Operation Desert Storm, A-6E aircraft of VA-155 from  USS Ranger (CVA 61) and Marine aircraft bomb Iraqi troops fleeing Kuwait City to Basra.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
National headlines were dominated by calls to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel over increasing questions on his department's handling of the Parkland school shooting, as well as the House Intelligence Committee's release of the Democratic "rebuttal memo" on FBI surveillance. USNI reports that the Navy is moving forward with its plan overhaul new sailor training, intending to spend $930 million on specialized skill training that includes an initiative replacing A-school education with computer-based waterfront learning. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Syrian government continued to bomb Eastern Ghouta over the weekend, challenging the United Nations Security Council's call for a cease-fire. Additionally, USNI News reports that the Marines have identified the Navy flight surgeon that died on Saturday from injuries sustained during a helicopter accident as Lt. James A. Mazzuchelli.
February 26
On the death of Jovian, a conference at Nicaea chooses Valentinan, an army officer who was born in the central European region of Pannania, to succeed him in Asia Minor.
William the Bad succeeds his father, Roger the II, in Sicily.
As a result of the Revolution, France is divided into 83 departments.
Napoleon and 1,200 of his men leave Elba to start the 100-day re-conquest of France.
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels publish The Communist Manifesto in London.
France and Prussia sign a preliminary peace treaty at Versailles.
Boxer Rebellion leaders Chi-Hsin and Hsu-Cheng-Yu are publicly executed in Peking.
Russian aviator Igor Sikorsky carries 17 passengers in a twin engine plane in St. Petersburg.
General Henri Philippe Petain takes command of the French forces at Verdun.
President Wilson publicly asks congress for the power to arm merchant ships.
U.S. steel industry finds claims an eight-hour day increases efficiency and employee relations.
Ground is broken for the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Japanese military troops march into Tokyo to conduct a coup and assassinate political leaders.
British take the Somali capital in East Africa.
U.S. Flying Fortresses and Liberators pound German docks and U-boat lairs at Wilhelmshaven.
Syria declares war on Germany and Japan.
The 22nd Amendment is added to the Constitution limiting the Presidency to two terms.
Lyndon B. Johnson signs a tax bill with $11.5 billion in cuts.
Norman Butler is arrested for the murder of Malcom X.
Thirty-two African nations agree to boycott the Olympics because of the presence of South Africa.
Five Marines are arrested on charges of murdering 11 South Vietnamese women and children.
Soviets recover Luna 20 with a cargo of moon rocks.
A publisher and 10 reporters are subpoenaed to testify on Watergate.
Daniel Ortega, communist president of Nicaragua, suffers a shocking election defeat at the hands of Violeta Chamorro.
A bomb rocks the World Trade Center in New York City. Five people are killed and hundreds suffer from smoke inhalation.
THE Bear = MTY HERO !! -  need I say more?
Subject: Operation Rolling Thunder Remembered
Dear Sirs... for your information I am posting a daily blog that remembers both the "ground war" and the "air war" called Rolling Thunder... 722 consecutive daily posts in my archive and on my current schedule will go on to 31 Dec 2018... 1,000 posts is the goal... best damn daily blog in support of your charter currently in production ... website at:
Sincerely, Jeremy Taylor, Rear Admiral, USN. Retired, Ogden, Utah
With our thanks to THE Bear at
February 26, 2018   Bear Taylor  
RIPPLE SALVO… #SEVEN HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE… NYT, 25-FEB-68, Page E-1: "MR. JOHNSON KNOWS,TOO, THAT MORE–PERHAPS A GREAT MANY MORE–AMERICAN TROOPS WILL BE NEEDED AND THAT THEIR CASUALTY RATES WILL SOAR STILL HIGHER. And he has sensed, in his mail and in the public opinion polls, the impatience of his countrymen with this drawn-out and as yet far from successful war."… but first…
Good Morning: Day SEVEN HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE of a daily blog of this day fifty years ago at home and in the air over North Vietnam (and on the ground in South Vietnam)…
26 FEBRUARY 1968… HEAD LINES From The New York Times on a cold and sunny Monday in New Yawk…
THE GROUND WAR ("War is a killing business") Page 1: "U.S. CAMP HIT HARD IN 2-HOUR BATTLE BY A FORCE OF 500–AT LEAST 20 G.I.s KILLED AT SITE 42 MILES FROM SAIGON–11 Vehicles Burned–Planes Drive Foe Away–Raiders Leave 94 Dead–Chairman Wheeler After Visit, Sees No Quick End"… "An enemy force of 500 men attacked an artillery outpost 42 miles southwest of here today, destroying 11 armored vehicles and inflicting severe casualties on an American company before being repulsed by a barrage of firepower. At least 20 American soldiers were killed and 65 wounded in the clash, one source said. He added that the enemy battalion had left 94 dead behind when it retreated… The battle at the artillery post came during a day in which General Earle G. Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that he saw 'no early end to this war.'"….
Today on Fighter Sweep
Watch: F/A-18 Hornet Carrier Break and Landing. Closest Thing to Being There!
Classic US Navy carrier break and landing. Lots to see and enjoy in this video. Want to know what it is like landing on an aircraft carrier? Here you go! View More ›
(Fred tells us how America was destroyed!)
February 26, 2018
OK, so why is the country falling apart? Specifically, why are kids blowing each other away? America has become a source of wonder the world over with its Columbines and hundreds and hundreds of dead in Chicago and Baltimore and its burning cities and riots. Other advanced countries don't do these things.
America didn't either until recently.   Why now? Something has changed, or some things. What?  People under forty have never seen the country when it was sane. Let me point out things that have changed, at risk of sounding like a boilerplate cadger: "By cracky, when I was a boy, we could amuse ourselves for hours with just a piece of string and a couple of sticks." Let's compare today with the Fifties and Sixties. I mean this as sociology, not nostalgisizing.
I think that a combination of social changes have led to tremendous stress on today's kids that my generation did not suffer. To wit:
In my rural Virginia school, there was no racial tension. We were all white: teachers, students, parents.
The black kids went to their own school, Ralph Bunche. We had virtually no contact with each other. There was no hostility, just no contact. The academic gap didn't exist in the absence of contact. Integration would prove cruel when it came. and the black kid s sank to the bottom. The causes can be argued, but the fact cannot.
There was no black crime to speak of or, as far as I knew any black crime. Certainly blacks did not shoot each other, or anybody. Neither did we. The reasons I suspect were similar.
Divorce was extremely rare, so we all had parents. Whether it is better that unhappy couples stay together or that they divorce can be argued, but they then did stay together. It made a large difference in outcomes if one accepts the statistics. The welfare programs of the Great Society had not yet destroyed the black family, which I speculate accounted in part for low crime.
Drugs did not exist. These appeared only with the Sixties. A few of us had heard of marijuana. I read a clandestine copy of The Naked Lunch. That was it. We drank a lot of beer.
In the entire school I remember only one, moderately fat kid. Why? Because, I  will guess, we were very physically active. The school had PE classes, football and basketball teams, and so on. In summer kids aboard Dahlgren spent their days at the base swimming pool or swimming in Machodoc "Creek"{{it was perhaps three-quarters of a mile wide–bicycling, canoeing- playing tennis. The country kids chopped cord wood, lifted hay. There was ice skating for hours in winter. Gloria, my best girl, got up at four a.m. to help her father pull crab pots on the Potomac, Though feminine, she probably could have thrown a Volkswagen over a four-store building. Again, I offer this not as nostalgia but as biological fact with effects.
Physical fitness  has. I suspect  psychological consequences. For example, ADHD did not exist. Boys are competitive, physical animals full of wild energy and need–need–to work it off. Boredom and enforced inactivity are awful for them.  Two or three hours daily of fast-break pick-up basketball did this. If you force boys to sit rigidly in school, with no recess or only physically limited play, they will be miserable. If you then force them to take Ritalin, an approximate amphetamine, they will be miserable with modified brain chemistry. I don't think this is a good idea.
Sex and, I think, its psychological consequences were different then. We were aware of sex. I am not sure we were aware of anything else. But the culture was such that, first, young girls, middle school, say, were sexually (very) off limits. When barely pubescent girls are taken advantage of by boys of seventeen or of thirty-five, the emotional effects are devastating. By contrast, boys hoped desperately to be taken advantage of.
The de facto social theory was that girls should remain virgins until married. I  think few really believed this, and certainly many girls did not. However the necessity of pretending, plus the fear of pregnancy in those pre-pill days, allowed girls to say "no." if they chose. The Pill, backed up by abortion, would make girls into commodities. If Sally said no, Mary wouldn't, and boys, churning jhrmone wads, would go with Mary. Thus girls lost control of the sexual economy and the respect that went with it. More stress.
Anorexia and bulimia did not exist. We didn't know the words. Both look to me like a reaction to stress.
Uncertainty is a formidable source of stress. We had little uncertainty as to our futures in the sense that the young do  today. We assumed, correctly, that jobs would be available for us. For kids who were not going on in school, there were jobs at Dahlgren, the local naval base,  as secretaries or guards or maintenance personnel, federal jobs with benefits. More remotely, Detroit was paying what seemed to us astronomical wages. Those of us in the college track, which meant those whose parents were grads and those who had high SATs, knew we could work in whatever field we had chosen. Starbucks and living in our parents' basements never crossed our minds.
Social mobility existed, and girls had not yet been taught they were victims. Of my graduating class of sixty, two girls became physicists and my buddy Franklin, of non-college family an electronics engineer. Sherry a year  behind me, a nuclear biologist. All, I think, of non-college families. There must have been others.
Extremely important, I think, was that the school was apolitical. We didn't know that it was. School was where you learned algebra and geography, or at least learned at them. The teachers, both men and women, assumed this. The white kids were not endlessly told that they were reprehensible and the cause of the world's problems.  The boys were not told that masculinity was toxic. Hysteria over imaginary rape was well in the future. Little boys were not dragged from school by the police for drawing a soldier with a rifle. The idea of having police in a school would seem insane when it first appeared.
More speculatively: My wife Violeta recently commented that the young today seem about ten years younger than their age. There may be something go this. At least in the media and academic worlds, people in their mid-thirties  remind me of the young of the Sixties, displaying what appear to be the same hormonal rebellion and sanctimony. It has also seeped into high school. There is the same anger, the same search for grievance,  the same adolescent posturing.
I think feminism plays a large part in the collapse of society in general and specifically in pushing boys over the edge. In my school years boys were allowed to be boys. Neither sex was denigrated. Doing so would have occurred to nobody. Then came a prejudice against boys, powerful today
All of this affected society in its entirety, but especially white boys. They are constantly told that being white is shameful, that any masculine interest is pathological, that they are rapists in waiting. They are subjected to torturous boredom and inactivity, and drugged when they respond poorly. They go to schools that do not like them and that stack the deck against them. Many are fatherless. All have access to psychoactive drugs.
Add it up
Subject: OLD PHOTO - NEED ID Fwd: POW Photo
Thanks for the photo.  I agree with you that it is probably not a Marine – we were wearing green tee shirts.  Probably Navy or Air Force. 
Passing this on to my Aviators list.
Semper Fi,
Subject: Fwd: FW: OLD PHOTO - NEED ID Fwd: POW Photo
                                                                           Chad Hinton‎ to Vietnam Veterans photo club
1 hr · ago
Hi guys. So, my wife is Chinese and her uncle who lives in China has this photograph that was taking by a family member during Vietnam. This is an American pilot that was shot down. I don't know any details about where it was or what year but once I find out more information I'll post it here.
My aim is to try and get him identified maybe get some answers to his family. I'm hoping someone here knows how to start the process or who I should contact. They only know 1960s in north Vietnam

Item Number:1 Date: 02/26/2018 AFGHANISTAN - 31 TROOPS DIE IN COUNTRYWIDE STRING OF ATTACKS (FEB 26/DPA)  DEUTSCHE PRESSE-AGENTUR -- At least 31 Afghan soldiers have been killed in a series of attacks around the country that were blamed on both the Taliban and the Islamic State terrorist group, reports Deutsche Presse-Agentur.   Twenty-five soldiers were killed on Feb. 24 when Taliban fighters attacked an army checkpoint in Bala Boluk district, located in the western Farah province. The militants briefly took control of the checkpoint and stole all of the weapons at the site, local officials said.   In southern Helmand province, a suicide car bomber from the Taliban tried to enter an army base in the Nad Ali district but was forced back. Two soldiers were killed and a third wounded.   One person was killed and 16 injured in a car bombing at an intelligence compound in Lashkar Gah in Helmand.   A suicide bomber blew himself up near the diplomatic area of the capital, Kabul, killing three other people. Six others were wounded in the attack. That attack was claimed by ISIS.  
Item Number:2 Date: 02/26/2018 BURMA - SATELLITE PHOTOS SHOW DESTRUCTION OF ROHINGYA VILLAGES (FEB 26/NPR)  NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO -- Burmese authorities have been razing majority Rohingya villages emptied during the government's brutal campaign against the Muslim minority, reports NPR.   Images released by DigitalGlobe show what appears to be a systematic operation to bulldoze the remains of dozens of predominantly Rohingya villages over the last several months.   "Many of these villages were scenes of atrocities against Rohingya and should be preserved so that the experts appointed by the U.N. to document these abuses can properly evaluate the evidence to identify those responsible," Brad Adams, the Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said in a Friday statement.   The human-rights organization said that at least 55 villages have been leveled and all buildings, plant life and distinguishing features destroyed since November.   Most of the habitations had been partly burned to the ground since August, when the Burmese government launched a crackdown on the Rohingya in a response to an attack by Rohingya militants.   Since then, around 688,000 Rohingya have fled to neighboring Bangladesh.   Adams described the bulldozing operation as an effort to cover-up dozens of crime scenes, in addition to erasing the memory and legal claims of the people who lived in those villages.   Burmese authorities say the Rohingya burned their own homes as they left their villages and that the bulldozing work is related to rebuilding efforts, partly with the aim of repatriating those who fled to Bangladesh.   The government's controversial repatriation plan was put on hold in January due to logistical concerns.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 02/26/2018 CHINA - PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES CLEAR WAY FOR XI TO RULE INDEFINITELY (FEB 26/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Communist Party of China (CPC) has proposed eliminating the two-term limit for presidents, paving the way for President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely, reports China's state-run Xinhua news agency.   The announcement came as part of a tranche of proposed constitutional reforms released on Sunday.   "China and the CPC need a stable, strong and consistent leadership. So, removal of the section of the clause about the presidency in the Constitution is serving the most important and fundamental national interest and the Party's historic mission," said a scholar cited by the Global Times, a newspaper considered a semi-official organ of the ruling party.   The move was expected, reported Reuters. It is part of an effort to strengthen the party's control over Chinese society and restore China to what Xi considers its rightful place as a global power, reported the New York Times.   This agenda requires Xi's personal leadership, according to his allies.   The proposed changes included other previously announced reforms to strengthen Xi's role within the state's founding ideology.   The proposed amendment requires approval from the National People's Congress, which is expected to meet in March. The body has never voted down a proposal from party leaders.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 02/26/2018 CHINA - SPECIAL OPS UNIT GETS INTEGRATED SOLDIER SYSTEM (FEB 26/GT)  GLOBAL TIMES -- A Chinese People's Liberation Army special operations unit has been equipped with integrated individual soldier combat systems, reports the Global Times.   The Sky Wolf Commandos, part of the PLA special operations forces in the Western Theater Command, have been provided with the QTS-11 soldier system, China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Feb. 22.   The system integrates weapons, sensor and communication systems. The QTS-11 includes an assault rifle and 20-mm grenade launcher, thermal imager and electro-optical and positioning systems.   The complete system reportedly weighs about 15 pounds (7 kg).   The QTS-11 is being initially fielded with special operations units, in part due to its costs, analysts said.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 02/26/2018 COLOMBIA - TOP S. AMERICAN DRUG KINGPIN EXTRADITED TO U.S. (FEB 26/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Colombia has extradited one of the world's most wanted drug-smugglers to the United States, reports BBC News.   Washington Prado Alava was extradited to the U.S. on Feb. 24, according to a statement from Colombian prosecutors.   The Ecuadorian national is believed to have smuggled more than 250 tons of cocaine during the past decade in an operation that spanned five countries, reported Venezuela's teleSUR.   Prada Alava is also accused of ordering the murders of judges, prosecutors and police officers in Ecuador.   The drug lord was arrested in April 2017 while visiting family members in Cali in southwest Colombia. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) provided Colombian authorities with vital intelligence that led to his arrest and that of three other suspected gang members.   Prosecutors said Prada Alava tried to join the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels before it signed a peace agreement in 2016 in order to benefit from a transitional justice system.
Item Number:6 Date: 02/26/2018 DEM REP OF CONGO - 3 KILLED IN CRACKDOWN ON NATIONWIDE PROTESTS (FEB 26/REU)  REUTERS -- At least three people have been killed after security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo opened fire on demonstrators in several cities, reports Reuters.   Priests and parishioners took to the streets after church services on Sunday in Kinshasa, the capital, and the western city of Mbandaka, reported BBC News.   The planned protests against President Joseph Kabila were hindered by security forces who surrounded Kinshasa's main churches and blocked roads, preventing most demonstrations from starting. In some cases, teargas and gunfire was employed to disperse crowds.   At least 47 protesters were injured and more than 100 were arrested around the country, reported Bloomberg News.   Security forces killed around a dozen civilians during two previous marches organized by Catholic activists since December.   Kabila's term ended in 2016 but he has resisted leaving power. Planned elections in December 2016 were delayed, leading to protests. The electoral commission issued a plan in November to hold presidential and legislative elections in December 2018, but opposition parties have split on whether to support that timeline
Item Number:7 Date: 02/26/2018 EGYPT - MILITARY CHIEF SEEKS EXTENSION FOR SINAI COUNTERTERRORISM OP (FEB 26/EI)  EGYPT INDEPENDENT -- The chief of staff of Egypt's armed forces has asked President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to extend operations to clear terrorists and militants in the Sinai Peninsula, reported the Egypt Independent.   On Sunday, Mohamed Farid requested that the Sinai 2018 operation be extended by at least three months to ensure that all of the operation's aims are met. The military still faces numerous challenges in the region, he said.   The request came as Sisi attended the inauguration of the East Suez Canal Counterterrorism Command. The new command is part of a military development project, said a presidential statement cited by Ahram Online (Cairo).   An armed forces spokesman said on Saturday that 71 militants have been killed, and 1,852 suspects arrested since the operation began two weeks ago.   Sinai 2018 was launched on Feb. 9 with the aim of dismantling terror and criminal cells across the country. Much of the operation has occurred in the Sinai, where the ISIS-linked Sinai Province group has launched attacks on civilian and military targets.   Led by the second and third field armies, as many as 35,000 personnel and soldiers are believed to be participating in the effort
Item Number:8 Date: 02/26/2018 INDIA - AGREEMENT WITH CANADA AIMS TO COMBAT TERRORISM, EXTREMISM (FEB 26/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- The governments of Canada and India have agreed to cooperate against terrorist and extremist threats, reports the Press Trust of India.   The Framework for Cooperation between India and Canada on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism was agreed during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his visiting Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau.   The leaders agreed to particularly work together against the Sikh militant groups Babbar Khalsi International and the International Sikh Youth Federation as well as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, Al-Qaida, the Islamic State and the Haqqani Network.   The document noted "the urgent imperative to disrupt recruitment, terrorist movements and the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, address the threat posed by cross-border and state-sponsored terrorism, stop sources of terrorist financing, dismantle terrorist infrastructure and prevent supply of arms to terrorists and counter violent extremism and radicalization to violence."   The parties agreed to develop exchanges and facilitate cooperation in the areas of security, finance, justice and law enforcement.   The framework consists of institutionalized cooperation between India's National Security Council and the office of Canada's National Security and Intelligence Adviser, and regular exchanges and coordination between India and Canada. It will be guided by the joint National Security Adviser's Dialogue.  
Item Number:9 Date: 02/26/2018 PAKISTAN - FATF DECIDES TO RETURN PAKISTAN TO TERROR FINANCING WATCHLIST (FEB 26/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- A watchdog organization that monitors international efforts to fight terrorist financing has decided to return Pakistan to its watchlist, reports the Wall Street Journal.   The Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) decision reportedly came after Saudi Arabia relented to U.S. pressure, officials from countries involved in the process said.   The move is part of a broader effort by the Trump administration to punish Islamabad over its perceived inaction against terrorists operating on Pakistani soil.   The FATF's list of non-cooperative countries or territories includes those deemed to be taking insufficient steps to stop the flow of money to terrorist and criminal groups.   The Pakistani economy will suffer from the decision, which will make it harder for the government to access international markets and could lead to a risk downgrade by multilateral lenders, noted the Economic Times (India).   Pakistani officials denied that the move will hinder its economy.   Islamabad could be blacklisted by the FATF if it does not prepare a comprehensive action plan to eliminate terrorist financing by June, reported the Dawn (Pakistan).   The task force also reportedly decided against removing Iran from the list after extensively lobbying by European nations. Abbas Araqchi, Iran's deputy foreign minister, threatened to tear up the nuclear deal with the West if restrictions on investing in the country were not lifted.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 02/26/2018 SOMALIA - 45 DIE IN ATTACK ON PRESIDENTIAL PALACE IN MOGADISHU (FEB 26/REU)  REUTERS -- Twin car bombings in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, have killed 45 people and injured at least 36, reports Reuters.   On Feb. 23, a car filled with explosives was detonated at a primary security checkpoint around Villa Somalia, the presidential palace, said local police cited by CNN. Armed militants then attacked the palace, engaging in a gunfight with presidential guards.   A few minutes later, a second car bomb was set off near a new hotel. The militants who attacked the palace were wearing Somali police uniforms, officers said. The battle reportedly lasted nearly three hours.   The dead included military officers, local officials and bystanders, said a Somali army officer.   Al-Shabaab took responsibility for the attack in an online statement, saying it was targeting the government and security forces.   The terrorist group said it lost five fighters in the attack. It also claimed to have killed 35 soldiers
Item Number:11 Date: 02/26/2018 SOMALIA - AFRICAN UNION TROOPS NEEDED UNTIL 2021, SAYS ENVOY (FEB 26/XIN)  XINHUA -- An African Union envoy says that the organization's troops will be needed in Somalia until at least 2021, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Somali security forces are not yet prepared to take responsibility for national security, Francisco Madeira, the special representative of the chairperson of the A.U. commission for Somalia, said on Feb. 22.   "Given the level of the threat and the status of the political process, the option of ending the surge in uniformed personnel before 2021 could bring about a serious risk of reversals that could derail the gains already made," he said.   The drawdown of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops entails the handover of some forward operating bases to the Somali army, which must be fully capable of taking responsibility for the bases, Madeira said.   AMISOM is currently implementing a U.N. Security Council resolution passed in August 2017 that authorized a troop reduction and transfer of national security responsibilities to Somali security forces.   A.U. troops will be necessary until 2021 to help fight Al-Shabaab militants and stabilize the country, said the envoy.  
Item Number:12 Date: 02/26/2018 SOUTH AFRICA - PARAMOUNT LAUNCHES BRONCO II LIGHT ATTACK AIRCRAFT FOR U.S. MARKET (FEB 26/PARAGROUP)  PARAMOUNT GROUP -- South Africa's Paramount Group says it has launched a variant of its Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) for the U.S. market.   The Bronco II is a two-man command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) and strike aircraft that can be equipped with a wide range of weapons, sensors and systems for extended airborne missions, said a Paramount release on Feb. 22.   The light aircraft features an open system architecture permitting existing and future systems to be rapidly integrated.   An internal multi-mission system bay allows the aircraft to be rapidly reconfigured for different roles. Various targeting sensors, network communication systems, precision weapons, self-protection systems and mission-planning systems can be incorporated.   The South African firm has also established Bronco Combat Systems USA to sell the platform
  Item Number:13 Date: 02/26/2018 SYRIA - ARMY LAUNCHES NEW OPERATION IN GHOUTA IN DEFIANCE OF U.N. CEASE-FIRE (FEB 26/AL-MASDAR)  AL-MASDAR NEWS -- Syrian government forces have launched a new phase in an operation to retake the rebel-held areas of Eastern Ghouta, despite a U.N.-declared cease-fire, reports Al-Masdar News, a website close to the government in Damascus.   Led by the army's 4th Mechanized Division and backed by air support, the Syrian army pushed on Sunday to retake the town of Harasta, located outside of the capital, from rebels, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.   At least 43 people were killed in the first two days of the operation, many of them civilians, reported Al Jazeera.   Residents accused government forces of using chemical weapons on civilians in support of the army's advance. Eighteen people were injured in a suspected chlorine attack on Sunday, according to local doctors cited by the Guardian (U.K.).   Mortar attacks on civilian targets were also reported.   The U.N. Security Council unanimously voted in favor of a 30-day cease-fire on Sunday, noted Al Jazeera (Qatar).   More than 500 civilians have been killed since a broader air campaign began on February 18, said the U.K-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
Item Number:14 Date: 02/26/2018 USA - KEEL LAID FOR ANOTHER FREEDOM-CLASS LITTORAL SHIP (FEB 26/NNS)  NAVY NEWSSTAND -- Marinette Marine has laid the keel for another Freedom-class littoral combat ship at its shipyard in Wisconsin, reports the Navy NewsStand.   The keel-laying ceremony for the Minneapolis-St. Paul (LCS 21) took place on Feb. 22.   The milestone marks the joining of initial ship components and the ceremonial start of the ship.   The Minneapolis-St. Paul is the 11th ship in the Freedom class.  
Item Number:15 Date: 02/26/2018 USA - SQUADRONS TO GET MONEY FOR PROJECTS TO BOOST READINESS (FEB 26/AFNS)  AIR FORCE NEWS SERVICE -- The Air Force chief of staff has announced a new program that will give squadrons funds for airmen-led innovations to bolster readiness, reduce costs, return time to personnel or enhance lethality, reports the Air Force News Service.   The $64 million Squadron Innovation Fund will be provided across all total force squadrons to reduce resource barriers that hinder innovation, Gen. David Goldfein said on Friday.   "We need our squadrons to be aggressively persistent and take risks in the pursuit of new ideas and solutions," Goldfein said. "No one knows the problems we face day-to-day more than the airmen in our squadrons."   The goal is for squadrons to operate like start-ups. The squadron funds will serve as "seed money" for squadron-level innovation initiatives, the general said.   The service will use AFwerX and its innovation network to assist squadrons and wings in connecting, sharing and learning from one another, said an Air Force release.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 02/26/2018 USA - TRUMP UNVEILS NEW ROUND OF SANCTIONS ON N. KOREA (FEB 26/HILL)  THE HILL -- President Donald Trump has announced more sanctions on North Korea, reports the Hill (Washington, D.C.).   The measures, announced on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) outside of Washington, D.C., target Pyongyang's ability to evade international sanctions and conduct illicit maritime activities that facilitate coal and fuel transport,   "The Treasury Dept. will soon be taking new action to further cut off sources of revenue and fuel that the regime uses to fund its nuclear program and sustain its military by targeting 56 vessels, shipping companies and trade businesses that are assisting North Korea in evading sanctions," Trump said.   The measures cover 27 shipping companies and 28 vessels, registered in North Korea and six other countries, including China, reported the New York Times.   In addition, Treasury, the State Dept. and the U.S. Coast Guard are issuing a global shipping advisory that warns of "very significant consequences" for helping North Korea evade sanctions and reveals some of the steps its vessels take to do so, administration officials said.   North Korea's ability to evade sanctions at sea has received growing attention as other trade restrictions have been implemented. Most of the country's key exports have been banned.   The latest sanctions target ships and businesses from all over the world, including North Korea, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Marshall Islands, Tanzania, Panama and Comoros.

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