Sunday, March 4, 2018

Fw: TheList 4669

The List 4669
To All,
I hope that you all have a great weekend.
This Day In Naval History – March 2, 2018
March 2
§  1859USS Saginaw launches from Mare Island, CA. The steamer is the first U.S. Navy ship built on the West Coast.
§  1867The Civil Engineer Corps is established by Congress. 
§  1899 - Act of Congress creates the rank Admiral of the Navy for George Dewey
§  1945USS Bowfin (SS 287) sinks Japanese transport Chokai Maru, and patrol bombers PB4Y-2 (VPB 119) sink transport Nichirin Maru in East China Sea.
§  1952During the Korean War, USS Endicott (DMS 35) silences enemy guns on the east coast of Chuuronjang, Korea, in a counter-battery engagement. 
§  1973The first four female U.S. Navy pilots begin training. The women are: Lt. j.g. Barbara A. Allen; Lt. j.g Judith A. Neuffer; Ensign Jane M. Skiles and Ensign Kathleen L. McNary.
March 3
§  1776Under the command of Commodore Esek Hopkins and Marine Capt. Samuel Nicholas, the Continental Navy makes the first American amphibious landing operation at New Providence, Bahamas, and captures the forts for much needed ordnance and gunpowder.
§  1777The Continental brig Cabot comes under attack by the British frigate HMS Milford and is run ashore off the coast of Nova Scotia, becoming the first Continental navy ship captured by the British.
§  1915The Office of Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is established by Congress with Adm. William S. Benson named the first CNO. 
§  1942USS Perch (SS 176), after being depth-charged and irreparably damaged by Japanese destroyers Ushio and Sazanami, is scuttled by her crew in the Java Sea. All hands survive but are taken prisoner. Also on this date, USS Asheville (PG 21) is sunk by gunboat fire of Japanese destroyers Arashi and Nowaki south of Java.
§  1945During the Battle for Iwo Jima, three Marines and two Sailors each commit acts of such "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty" to have them later awarded the Medal of Honor. The servicemen are: Cpl. Charles J. Berry, (posthumous); Pvt. 1st Class William R. Caddy (posthumous); Sgt. William G. Harrell; Pharmacist's Mate 3rd Class Jack Williams (posthumous); and Pharmacist's Mate 2nd Class George E. Wahlen.
§  1969Initially attached to Fighter Squadron (VF) 121 and operated out of a trailer, the Navy's Fighter Weapons School, also known as "Top Gun," is established.
March 4
§  1825The schooner Grampus, commanded by Lt. Francis H. Gregory, captures a pirate sloop off the southern coast of Puerto Rico.
§  1862The wooden side-wheel steamship USS Santiago de Cuba, commanded by Cmdr. Daniel B. Ridgely, reports the capture of sloop O.K. off Cedar Keys, FL.
§  1925Congress authorizes the restoration of frigate USS Constitution, which had launched in 1797. In July 1931, amid a 21-gun salute, Constitution is recommissioned and sails on a tour of 90 U.S. ports along three coasts.
§  1945USS Baya (SS 318) sinks merchant tanker Palembang Maru off Cape Varella, French Indochina, and USS Tilefish (SS 307) and sinks Japanese fishing vessel ShikoMaru.
§  1963US Navy C-130 Hercules aircraft complete a 12-day rescue operation of a critically-ill Danish seaman from a Danish freighter off the coast of Antarctic.
§  1991Iraq releases 10 Desert Storm prisoners of war (six Americans, three of whom were designated MIA), including Navy Lt. Jeffrey Zaun, Lt. Robert Wetzel, and Lt. Lawrence Slade.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
In national news, headlines are dominated with reports of a major Nor'easter hitting the East Coast Friday with heavy rain, some heavy snow, strong winds and the prospect of severe coastal flooding, and reports on President Trump's announcement on tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. The Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center at NAS Fallon is undergoing a massive modernization reports USNI News. Last summer NAS Fallon demonstrated the Combined Arms Virtual Environment simulator which is used for training Join Terminal Attack Controllers by integrating live and simulator training. The next step for NAS Fallon is the construction of the Integrated Training Facility which will bring under one roof "pretty much anything in the carrier strike group," stated Capt. Leif Steinbaugh, director of training systems at NAWDC. Federal news Radio reports that Navy Undersecretary Thomas Modly believes the key to implementing the new national defense strategy, not to mention prevailing in any future conflicts is agility. Additionally, The U.S. has assigned two Navy fleets to the Western Pacific for the first time since World War II as it tackles multiple challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, according to NPR.
On this day in history (March 2):
1877: Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 presidential
election by the U.S. Congress. Samuel J. Tilden, however, had won the
popular vote on November 7, 1876.
1923: TIME appeared on newsstands for the first time.
1949: The B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II landed in Fort Worth, TX. The
American plane had completed the first non-stop around-the-world flight.
1952: During the Korean War, USS Endicott (DMS 35) silences enemy guns on the east coast of Chuuronjang, Korea in a counter-battery engagement.
1962: Wilt 'The Stilt' Chamberlain scored 100 points against the New York Knicks 169-147. Chamberlain broke several NBA records in the game.
1973 The USS Midway and Airwing 5 return from a distinguished 11 month
cruise to Vietnam which will earn it the Presidential Unit Citation for
action over north Vietnam.
1991: The lowest flaming limbo bar height achieved: 6".  How low can you go?
1942 Due to rationing, selling dog food in cans is prohibited
March 2
Americans begin shelling British troops in Boston.
Maryland ratifies the Articles of Confederation. She is the last state to sign.
The Directory of Great Britain authorizes vessels of war to board and seize neutral vessels, particularly if the ships are American.
To put an end to robberies by the Barbary pirates, the United States declares war on Algiers.
Texas declares independence from Mexico on Sam Houston's 43rd birthday.
The Territory of Washington is organized.
President Abraham Lincoln rejects Confederate General Robert E. Lee's plea for peace talks, demanding unconditional surrender.
The first Reconstruction Act is passed by Congress.
Rutherford B. Hayes is declared president by one vote the day before the inauguration.
Congress passes the Indian Appropriations Bill, proclaiming unassigned lands in the public domain; the first step toward the famous Oklahoma Land Rush.
Bone Mizell, the famed cowboy of Florida, is sentenced to two years of hard labor in the state pen for cattle rustling. He would only serve a small portion of the sentence.
Congress passes the Platt amendment, which limits Cuban autonomy as a condition for withdrawal of U.S. troops.
An international conference on arms reduction opens in London.
Gabriel Lippman introduces the new three-dimensional color photography at the Academy of Sciences.
Congress passes the Jones Act making Puerto Rico a territory of the United States and makes the inhabitants U.S. citizens.
In Italy, Mussolini admits that women have a right to vote, but declares that the time is not right.
Novelist D.H. Lawrence dies of tuberculosis in a sanitarium in Vence, France, at the age of 45.
The center of Berlin is bombed by the RAF. Some 900 tons of bombs are dropped in a half hour.
MacArthur raises the U.S. flag on Corregidor in the Philippines.
Ho Chi Minh is elected president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
The U.S. Navy launches the K-1, the first modern submarine designed to hunt enemy submarines.
Claudette Colvin refuses to give up her seat in Montgomery, Alabama, nine months before Rosa Parks' famous arrest for the same offense.
France grants independence to Morocco.
More than 150 U.S. and South Vietnamese planes bomb two bases in North Vietnam in the first of the "Rolling Thunder" raids.
The siege of Khe Sanh ends in Vietnam, the U.S. Marines stationed there are still in control of the mountain top.
Federal forces surround Wounded Knee, South Dakota, which is occupied by members of the militant American Indian Movement who are holding at least 10 hostages.
A grand jury in Washington, D.C. concludes that President Nixon was indeed involved in the Watergate cover-up.
Czech pilot Vladimir Remek becomes the first non-Russian, non-American in space.
The United States plans to send 20 more advisors and $25 million in military aid to El Salvador.
WIth our thanks to THE Bear at


March 2, 2018   Bear Taylor  
RIPPLE SALVO #727 NYT, OPED: "It is evident that something is fundamentally wrong with both the American assessment of the Vietnam problem and the strategy adopted to deal with it. More of the same in terms of method is unlikely to bring anything other in results than more of the same."…  but first
Good Morning: Day SEVEN HUNDRED TWENTY-SEVEN of a long look back of fifty years to the air war secretly called ROLLING THUNDER
HEAD LINES from the Saturday, 2 March 1968 New York Times, at home and where the war was fifty years ago
THE GROUND WAR: Page 1: "CLASHES FLARE NEAR SAIGON; CITY PUT ON ALERT FOR ATTACK–South Vietnamese Paratroopers Battle With Foe Near Tansonnhut Base–B-52s Batter Enemy At Khesanh"... "Fighting on the northern outskirts of Saigon quickened today, with the South Vietnamese and American commands reporting more than 20 engagements in the last two days. South Vietnamese paratroopers fought a bitter battle only about a quarter of a mile from the runway at Tansonnhut Airport…The site was the ruins of the Vinatexco textile plant, the largest in the country before it was destroyed in the enemy's Lunar New Year offensive. Vietcong forces used it as a stronghold for their initial attacks on the airport on January 31…At Khesanh B-52s bombed enemy tunnels and bunkers only 1,000-yards from the perimeter this morning. The American command reported that four B-52 raids had been made in the last 24 hours, all within four miles of the isolated combat base. according to the command the 20,000-man enemy force surrounding Khesanh has pushed its trenched within 100-yards of the marines' barbed wire entanglements at the southern edge of the base. The Spokesman also said that an Air Force C-123 transport plane had burned after being hit by a mortar round as it was taking off from the Khesanh airstrip yesterday. Six crewmen were wounded…. In the fighting near Quangtri, the capital of South Vietnam's northernmost province, South Vietnamese troops reported having killed 189 of the enemy yesterday."...
Thanks to Carl

George Patton's Summer of 1944

George S. Patton (Library of Congress) Nearly 70 years ago, the lieutenant general began his advance toward the German border.
Nearly 70 years ago, on Aug. 1, 1944, Lieutenant General George S. Patton took command of the American Third Army in France. For the next 30 days they rolled straight toward the German border.
Patton almost did not get a chance at his summer of glory. After brilliant service in North Africa and Sicily, fellow officers — and his German enemies — considered him the most gifted American field general of his generation. But near the conclusion of his illustrious Sicilian campaign, the volatile Patton slapped two sick GIs in field hospitals, raving that they were shirkers. In truth, both were ill and at least one was suffering from malaria.
Public outrage eventually followed the shameful incidents. As a result, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was forced to put Patton on ice for eleven key months.
Tragically, Patton's irreplaceable talents would be lost to the Allies in the soon-to-be-stagnant Italian campaign. He also played no real role in the planning of the Normandy campaign. Instead, his former subordinate, the more stable but far less gifted Omar Bradley, assumed direct command under Eisenhower of American armies in France.
In early 1944, a mythical Patton army was used as a deception to fool the Germans into thinking that "Army Group Patton" might still make another major landing at Calais. The Germans apparently found it incomprehensible that the Americans would bench their most audacious general at the very moment when his audacity was most needed.
When Patton's Third Army finally became operational seven weeks after D-Day, it was supposed to play only a secondary role — guarding the southern flank of the armies of General Bradley and British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery while securing the Atlantic ports.
Despite having the longest route to the German border, Patton headed east. The Third Army took off in a type of American blitzkrieg not seen since Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's rapid marches through Georgia and the Carolinas during the Civil War.
Throughout August 1944, Patton won back over the press. He was foul-mouthed, loud, and uncouth, and he led from the front in flamboyant style with a polished helmet and ivory-handled pistols.
In fact, his theatrics masked a deeply learned and analytical military mind. Patton sought to avoid casualties by encircling German armies. In innovative fashion, he partnered with American tactical air forces to cover his flanks as his armored columns raced around static German formations.
Naturally rambunctious American GIs fought best, Patton insisted, when "rolling" forward, especially in summertime. Only then, for a brief moment, might the clear skies facilitate overwhelming American air support. In August his soldiers could camp outside, while his speeding tanks still had dry roads.
In just 30 days, Patton finished his sweep across France and neared Germany. The Third Army had exhausted its fuel supplies and ground to a halt near the border in early September.
Allied supplies had been redirected northward for the normally cautious General Montgomery's reckless Market Garden gambit. That proved a harebrained scheme to leapfrog over the bridges of the Rhine River; it devoured Allied blood and treasure, and accomplished almost nothing in return.
Meanwhile, the cutoff of Patton's supplies would prove disastrous. Scattered and fleeing German forces regrouped. Their resistance stiffened as the weather grew worse and as shortened supply lines began to favor the defense.
Historians still argue over Patton's August miracle. Could a racing Third Army really have burst into Germany so far ahead of Allied lines? Could the Allies ever have adequately supplied Patton's charging columns given the growing distance from the Normandy ports? How could a supreme commander like Eisenhower handle Patton, who at any given moment could — and would — let loose with politically incorrect bombast?
We do not know the answers to all those questions. Nor will we ever quite know the full price that America paid for having a profane Patton stewing in exile for nearly a year rather than exercising his leadership in Italy or Normandy.
We only know that 70 years ago, an authentic American genius thought he could win the war in Europe — and almost did. When his Third Army stalled, so did the Allied effort.
What lay ahead in winter were the Battle of the Bulge and the nightmare fighting of the Hürtgen Forest — followed by a half-year slog into Germany.
Patton would die tragically from injuries sustained in a freak car accident not long after the German surrender. He soon became the stuff of legend but was too often remembered for his theatrics rather than his authentic genius that saved thousands of American lives.
Seventy years ago this August, George S. Patton showed America how a democracy's conscripted soldiers could arise out of nowhere to beat the deadly professionals of an authoritarian regime at their own game.
— Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford 
Item Number:1 Date: 03/02/2018 AFGHANISTAN - 3 KILLED IN CAR BOMBING TARGETING FOREIGN FORCES IN KABUL (MAR 02/TN)  TOLONEWS -- At least three people have been killed and 22 wounded by a car bomb in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, reports TOLO News (Afghanistan).   The bomber detonated his vehicle on Friday morning as a convoy of foreign soldiers arrived in the area, said an Interior Ministry spokesman.   The attack targeted a convoy that was passing through the Qabel Bai area, in the ninth district of the capital, said ministry officials.   All of the casualties were civilians, reported Reuters.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility.   The attack comes days after the second Kabul Process conference began with both the Afghan government and the Taliban expressing a willingness to negotiate.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 03/02/2018 BURMA - DHAKA SUMMONS AMBASSADOR TO PROTEST TROOP DEPLOYMENT ON BORDER (MAR 02/DHTRIB)  DHAKA TRIBUNE -- Bangladesh has summoned the Burmese ambassador in Dhaka over a massing of Burmese troops along their shared border, reports the Dhaka Tribune.   On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Mohammed Khurshed Alam summoned Lwin Oo, protesting an unannounced deployment of Burmese troops to a site where thousands of Rohingya refugees have sought shelter.   Earlier that day, Burmese army personnel and 10 armed vehicles took positions between a joint border crossing.   The area, which is home to 5,300 refugees, is dubbed no man's land because it is beyond Burma's border fence but on the Burmese side of the international border, reported Reuters.   The troops attempted to cross the area by climbing a fence but were pushed back when Rohingya refugees threw bricks at them. Shots were reportedly heard at the border.   Speaking over loudspeakers, the soldiers and Burmese border guards warned the Rohingya to evacuate the area.   On Friday, the Burmese government said the military deployment was part of an anti-terrorism operation, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). Around 200 troops were deployed to the border area.   Bangladeshi border guards deployed to the area to head off any potential military confrontation at the border.   Locals said that Burmese troops had slowly been gathering in the area for several days.   More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled Burma, claiming they are victims of persecution and war crimes, noted Reuters. The Burmese government denies these accusations and says it is waging a war against terrorists.   Bangladesh hosts most of these refugees, who are concentrated in camps in the country's southeast. Bangladesh and Burma have attempted to negotiate a repatriation agreement
  Item Number:3 Date: 03/02/2018 CANADA - NAVY BUYS PUMA II AE DRONES FOR KINGSTON-CLASS PATROL VESSELS (MAR 02/AEROVIRONM)  AEROVIRONMENT -- The Royal Canadian Navy is acquiring Puma II AE unmanned aerial vehicles for its Kingston-class coastal defense vessels, reports AeroVironment, the California-based manufacturer of the drone.   The Puma II AE is equipped with the Mantis i45 sensor and a 360-degree antenna system, which enables the air vehicle to support maritime operations, said AeroVironment officials.   The system will give the navy a low-cost, hand-launched capability that is optimized for contested environments, the officials said.   The Puma II AE features a more powerful and lighter propulsion system than previous models; a lighter and stronger airframe; long-endurance battery; precision inertial navigation system; and an improved user interface, according to the company
Item Number:4 Date: 03/02/2018 CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - 6 AID WORKERS KILLED IN ATTACK NEAR BORDER WITH CHAD (MAR 02/AFRTIMES)  AFRICA TIMES -- Six aid workers have been killed in an attack in the northwestern part of the Central African Republic, reports the Africa Times.   Five education workers and a humanitarian worker with the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) were attacked on Feb. 25 while traveling near Markounda near the border with Chad, UNICEF officials said on Feb. 28.   The remote region has experienced numerous attacks on civilians in recent weeks, which have caused about 15,000 people to flee into Chad, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).   All six victims were citizens of Central African Republic, noted Reuters.   The identity of the attackers is unknown.   The C.A.R. has seen an increase in militia violence over the last year as the conflict between Muslim Seleka and Christian anti-Balaka groups has expanded.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 03/02/2018 EGYPT - 13 MILITANTS KILLED, 86 ARRESTED AS ARMY CONTINUES SINAI 2018 OPS (MAR 02/EI)  EGYPT INDEPENDENT -- The Egyptian army says it has killed 13 militants in the latest fighting as part of a major security sweep in the Sinai Peninsula, reports the Egypt Independent.   The militants were killed on Thursday in a shootout with security forces, according to an army spokesman. Two officers were killed and a third was injured in the clashes.   Separately, the Egyptian air force destroyed nine militant strongpoints in airstrikes, the spokesman said.   Another 100 hideouts used to store weapons and bombs were destroyed by ground forces and 10 improvised explosive devices were eliminated in controlled explosions, according to the armed forces.   Eighty-six terrorist suspects were arrested during the latest operations
Item Number:6 Date: 03/02/2018 FRANCE - DASSAULT TO INTEGRATE NEW EW SYSTEM ON FALCON JETS (MAR 02/DASS)  DASSAULT AVIATION -- The French Ministry of the Armed Forces has awarded Dassault Aviation a contract to integrate a new electronic warfare system on the company's Falcon business jet, reports Dassault.   Three Falcons will be equipped with the Thales Universal Electronic Warfare Capability, developed under the Epicure program.   The program features a new sensor that will enable simultaneous interception of radar and radio emissions, said a release from the Armed Forces Ministry.   The three aircraft will replace the French air force's two C-160 Gabriel aircraft starting in 2025.   It is not yet clear which Falcon model will be used for the program, noted AIN Online. An artist's impression showed a three-engine Falcon 7X/8X, but the new twin-engine Falcon 6X might also be a contender, said the publication
  Item Number:7 Date: 03/02/2018 NIGERIA - 12 DEAD IN ATTACK ON IDP CAMP, MILITARY BASE IN NORTHWEST (MAR 02/VANGUARD)  VANGUARD -- At least 12 people have been killed in an attack on an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in the town of Rann, in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state, reports the Vanguard (Nigeria).   On Thursday night, militants arrived on gun trucks and motorcycles and opened fire on the camp and a nearby military base, reported the News Agency of Nigeria.   The militants initially had the upper hand but soldiers eventually pushed them back, reported Reuters.   Four aid workers were killed in the attack, said a U.N. spokeswoman. Another was injured and one was missing and feared kidnapped, she said. All were Nigerian nationals.   The deceased included two camp managers from the International Organization of Migration, a doctor working as a consultant for the U.N. International Children's Fund (UNICEF) and an aid worker with an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) affiliate, the spokeswoman said.   Four soldiers and four police officers were killed in the attack, according to security reports.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Local media suspected Boko Haram, which is active in the area and has previously attacked the town
Item Number:8 Date: 03/02/2018 PHILIPPINES - PRESIDENT INSTRUCTS POLICE NOT TO COOPERATE WITH HUMAN-RIGHTS INVESTIGATIONS (MAR 02/REU)  REUTERS -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed police and soldiers not to cooperate with any investigation into alleged human-rights abuses that may have occurred during a bloody crackdown on drugs, reports Reuters.   "When it comes to human rights, or whoever rapporteur it is, my order to you: Do not answer. Do not bother," Duterte said in a speech to police on Thursday.   On Tuesday, the Philippines said it welcomed a U.N. investigation into Duterte's anti-drug campaign, but criticized the current U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard.   Callamard has previously condemned Duterte's crackdown, noted CNN.   In February, the International Criminal Court announced a probe into alleged crimes against humanity committed during the campaign.   Human-rights advocates claim that the campaign involves summary executions. More than 4,000 people have been killed by police since Duterte took office in 2016. Hundreds of drug users have also been killed by unknown gunmen.   Police and the Philippine government have denied the accusations.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 03/02/2018 ROMANIA - PROCUREMENT OF HIMARS, GMLRS TAKES ANOTHER STEP (MAR 02/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The Romanian government has signed a letter of agreement with the U.S. government to buy the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS), reports Defense News.   Romanian Secretary of State Mircea Dusa and Gen. Nicolae Ciuca, the defense chief, finalized the deal on Feb. 26.   If the sale is completed, Romania would become the first European HIMARS customer.   The U.S. State Dept. cleared the sale of 54 Lockheed Martin-made HIMARS launchers and 81 unitary GMLRS in August 2017.   Initially reported at a value of US$1.25 billion, Romanian media reported this week that the project cost has increased to US$1.5 billion.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 03/02/2018 SOMALIA - AL-SHABAAB MILITANTS TARGET DONKEYS IN ECONOMIC WARFARE (MAR 02/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia have been killing donkeys being used to transport goods to government-controlled areas, reports the Voice of America News.   Nine donkeys have been killed for transporting goods to government-held areas in the Bakool region of southwestern Somalia, said a security source.   The militants seized the donkey carts early on Feb. 28, near the village of Elboon, about 9 miles (15 km) west of Wajid.   The terrorists shot the donkeys and abducted two people who were escorting the carts, said unnamed sources.   The militants set fire to the goods and carts, which were carrying sugar, rice and flour to Wajid, said residents of the town.   Donkey carts have been the only way to transport goods to Wajid and several other towns besieged by Al-Shabaab. The effort against government- and African Union-held towns is aimed at forcing residents to leave the towns, officials said
Item Number:11 Date: 03/02/2018 SOUTH KOREA - PLANS MADE TO SEND ENVOY TO NORTH TO ENCOURAGE DIALOGUE WITH U.S. (MAR 02/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- South Korea is planning to send a special envoy to North Korea to encourage further dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   South Korean President Moon Jae In revealed the plans to his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, in a phone call Thursday.   The two leaders "agreed to continue the momentum in South-North dialogue so it may lead to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," said the South Korean presidential office.   The White House confirmed the call but did not comment on the agenda.   The move is in response to recent visits by North Korean officials during the Olympic Games held in February in South Korea, said Moon.   The South Korean president has expressed interest in an invitation to visit the North, presented by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, during the games.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 03/02/2018 SYRIA - 25 KILLED IN LATEST FIGHTING IN AFRIN (MAR 02/REU)  REUTERS -- At least 25 people have been killed in recent fighting in northwest Syria as part of Turkey's operation Olive Branch against Kurdish militants, reports Reuters.   On Thursday and Friday, Turkish warplanes bombed positions in northern Afrin, killing at least 17 people, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   Three of the dead were from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), while the rest belonged to militias loyal to the government of Bashar Assad, said the observatory.   Pro-Syrian militias began deploying to the area on Feb. 20 at the request of Kurdish militias.   On Friday, Turkish and allied forces began an operation to capture the town of Rajo in Afrin, according to Turkey's Dogan news agency.   Separately, eight Turkish soldiers were killed and 13 wounded in operations in Afrin on Thursday. The circumstances of their deaths were not disclosed.   Turkey launched its operation on Jan. 20 to clear Kurdish fighters from areas along its southern border. Ankara does not distinguish between the YPG and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is classified as a terrorist group by Turkey and the U.S.  
 Item Number:13 Date: 03/02/2018 UGANDA - AMISOM CONTRIBUTORS DISCUSS SECURITY SITUATION IN SOMALIA (MAR 02/DAILYMON)  DAILY MONITOR -- The army chiefs from those African Union countries contributing troops to the peacekeeping mission in Somalia have been meeting in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, to discuss the operation, reports the Daily Monitor (Kampala).   Wednesday's meeting covered an expert report on A.U. military operations and developing a "robust strategy" in response to growing challenges due to insufficient troops and resources, said Gen. David Muhoozi, the Ugandan defense chief.   The participating countries were Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. African Union officials also took part.   On Thursday, representatives of the defense and foreign affairs ministries of the countries were scheduled to meet. The heads of state of the contributing nations will meet on Friday.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 03/02/2018 UKRAINE - AFTER LONG WAIT, KIEV GETS APPROVAL FOR U.S. ANTI-TANK WEAPONS (MAR 02/DSCA)  U.S. DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY -- The U.S. State Dept. has approved the potential sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, reports the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.   Approval for the proposed sale was announced on Thursday.   The possible deal could be worth US$47 million and covers 210 Javelin missiles and 37 Javelin command launch units (CLUs).   The missiles would be drawn from U.S. Army stocks, while the CLUs would be taken from on-hand Special Defense Acquisition Fund-purchased stocks. The SDAF is a State Dept. fund that allows equipment to be preordered in anticipation of an ally's request, reported Defense News.   Ukraine has been seeking lethal military aid since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and began supporting separatists in the eastern part of the country.   The Obama administration declined to provide lethal aid to Ukraine. The Trump administration indicated last year that it would move forward with the sale
Item Number:15 Date: 03/02/2018 USA - ADDITIONAL AUTHORITIES BEING CONSIDERED FOR CYBERCOM (MAR 02/5THDOM)  FIFTH DOMAIN -- The head of U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) received expanded powers as part of a plan implemented late last year and more could be coming, reports the Fifth Domain.   The Pentagon and Congress are considering further extending those powers as CYBERCOM is on its way to becoming a full combatant command.   The head of the command does not currently have the authority to move cyber forces around the world, unlike the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).   The latest plan, approved by President Trump in November, gave CYBERCOM additional duties as part of Congress' intent to make it a hybrid command similar to SOCOM.   It also made the command responsible for planning and executing global cyberspace operations.   The construct provides CYBERCOM authority to balance risk across the joint force and focus resources where they are needed, Adm. Michael Rogers, the CYBCERCOM chief, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 27.   The plan permits the force to deter and pre-empt cyber threats. These concepts are being built into CYBERCOM's operational and contingency plans, the admiral said.   CYBERCOM forces are also assigned to the regional combatant commands and fall under the geographic combatant commander once there, noted a Pentagon spokeswoman.   Congress will further consider the matter in upcoming posture hearings, officials said.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 03/02/2018 USA - BOEING TO EXTEND SERVICE LIFE ON 4 SUPER HORNETS (MAR 02/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Boeing, St. Louis, Mo., a contract to extend the service life of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jets, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The $73 million indefini
te-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract covers modifications to four Super Hornets to extend their service life from 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours.   Work will take place in St. Louis (75 percent) and El Segundo, Calif., (25 percent), and is scheduled to be completed in April 2020.

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