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Thursday, March 22, 2018

TheList 4683



The List 4683
To All,
I hope that your week has been going well.
Regards,
Skip
This Day In Naval History – March 22, 2018
March 22
1820Commodore Stephen Decatur fell mortally wounded in a duel with Capt. James Barron at Bladensburg, MD, over criticism Decatur had when Barron lost his ship, USS Chesapeake, to HMS Leopard in 1807.
1915"Naval Aviator" replaces the title "Navy Air Pilot" for officers who become qualified as aviators.
1929Destroyers USS Robert Smith (DD 324), USS Moody (DD 277), and USS Selfridge (DD 320) protect Americans and their property during the Mexican Cristero uprising.
1943USS Gudgeon (SS 211) attacks a Japanese convoy 30 miles north Surabaya, Java, sinking an army cargo ship while surviving the depth charge attack by her escort vessels. Also on this date, USS Tambor (SS 198) damages a Japanese transport in the Sulu Sea, off Negros, Philippines.
1946USS Missouri (BB 63) departs the U.S. to return the body of deceased Turkish ambassador, Mehmet Munir Ertegun, back to his homeland for burial, arriving in Istanbul on April 5.
1991USS Macdonough (DDG 39) and USS Nicholas (FFG 47) arrive back at their homeport at Naval Base Charleston, SC, the first Navy surface combatants to return to CONUS after participating in Desert Storm.
 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
In national news headlines, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he believes it's time to impose more regulations on technology companies in the latest on alleged use of Facebook data to influence the U.S. election, and Austin Police announced a 23-year-old man who is suspected of terrorizing Texas residents with explosive packages for several weeks recorded a 25-minute confession on his cellphone. Speaking to Congress, senior service leaders said overheating problems have not delayed the development of the Columbia-class submarine reports USNI News. While the overheating issue has consumed time, "the risk is manageable and well in hand," said Rear Adm. Michael Jabaley, program executive officer for submarines. Military.com reports that the Navy is expanding aviation bonus programs in an effort to retain experienced pilots. "Aviators reported they wanted our programs to be more flexible, merit based, and competitive with civilian opportunities," said Capt. Michael Baze, head of aviation career management at Naval Personnel Command. "We took that feedback seriously, incorporating each of these elements in the program changes." Additionally, the Wall Street Journal reports that Congressional leaders have reached a budget deal to avert the looming government shutdown.
 
 
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1622
Indians attack a group of colonists in the James River area of Virginia, killing 350 residents.
1630
The first legislation prohibiting gambling is enacted in Boston.
1664
Charles II gives large tracts of land from west of the Connecticut River to the east of Delaware Bay in North America to his brother James, the Duke of York.
1719
Frederick William abolishes serfdom on crown property in Prussia.
1765
The Stamp Act is passed, the first direct British tax on the American colonists.
1775
British statesman Edmund Burke makes a speech in the House of Commons, urging the government to adopt a policy of reconciliation with America.
1790
Thomas Jefferson becomes the first U.S. Secretary of State.
1794
Congress passes laws prohibiting slave trade with foreign countries although slavery remains legal in the United States.
1834
Horace Greeley publishes New Yorker, a weekly literary and news magazine and forerunner of Harold Ross' more successful The New Yorker.
1901
Japan proclaims that it is determined to keep Russia from encroaching on Korea.
1904
The first color photograph is published in the London Daily Illustrated Mirror.
1907
Russians troops complete the evacuation of Manchuria in the face of advancing Japanese forces.
1915
A German Zepplin makes a night raid on Paris railway stations.
1919
The first international airline service is inaugurated on a weekly schedule between Paris and Brussels.
1933
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill legalizing the sale and possession of beer and wine.
1935
Persia is renamed Iran.
1946
First U.S. built rocket to leave the Earth's atmosphere reaches a 50-mile height.
1948
The United States announces a land reform plan for Korea.
1954
The London gold market reopens for the first time since 1939.
1968
President Lyndon Johnson names General William Westmoreland as Army Chief of Staff.
1972
The U.S. Senate passes the Equal Rights Amendment. The amendment fails to achieve ratification.
1974
The Viet Cong propose a new truce with the United States and South Vietnam, which includes general elections.
1990
A jury in Anchorage, Alaska, finds Captain Hazelwood not guilty in the Valdez oil spill.
 
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With our thanks to THE Bear at http://www.rollingthunderremembered.com/
 
ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 22 MARCH 1968… COL. THEODORE W. GUY, USAF… A COMMANDING VOICE FOR AMERICA's MIAs…
March 22, 2018   Bear Taylor  
RIPPLE SALVO… #747… ON THIS DAY FIFTY YEARS AGO LIEUTENANT COLONEL TED GUY BECAME A POW OF THE NORTH VIETNAMESE WHEN HIS F-4 PHANTOM WENT DOWN IN LAOS… From 22 March 1968 to 16 March 1973 (Operation Home Coming) Colonel Guy was one of the most senior of American POWs. He commanded all the POWs downed in Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam held at "Plantation Gardens." His oral history is an inspiring record of fortitude.  http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/g/g065.htm   From 1991 until he was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery in June 1999 he was the leader and commanding voice for "those we left behind." Humble Host is honored to focus this post on the extraordinary service of Ted Guy on the 50th anniversary of an event that so changed his life and service for others… I quote from his oral testimony…
"Until 1991 , I was a firm supporter of the US Government's position that all Vietnam POWs were home and were released during Operation Homecoming. In fact, I spoke at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery on Memorial Day 1991, expressing my support for the USG position… My message was always the same. There are no more POWs…. The reason that I felt so strongly about the MIAs and POWs and that no more were alive was simple. As a combat veteran of two wars–Korea and Vietnam and 26 years of service, many of which were in key command positions, I was certain that my government would not lie to me. I knew that we would never abandon any fighting man or woman if there was any doubt what so ever that he or she might be alive and missing as a result of combat. The thought that anyone was left behind was inconceivable to me. I could spend an hour telling you why I changed my mind, but let it suffice to say that I did in the summer of 1991. I changed it 180-degrees and believe me, it was extremely difficult to do. But the evidence to me was overwhelming. Men were left behind."….  Continued in RIPPLE SALVO below…
GOOD MORNING: Day SEVEN HUNDRED FORTY-SEVEN of a remembrance of an air war fought by brave men fifty years ago called ROLLING THUNDER…
HEAD LINES from The New York Times on a rainy Friday, 22 MARCH 1968…
GROUND WAR & KHESANH: Page 1: "TOTAL AMERICANS KILLED-IN-ACTION EXCEEDS 20,000–FOE SHELLS ALLIED BASE–338 AMERICANS ARE KILLED IN SOUTH IN WEEK–LOWEST TOLL SINCE ENEMY DRIVE"… "…The Vietcong fired several 122-mmrockets into the Bienhoa air base 20 miles northeast of Saigon early today, but there was little damage and casualties were light. They also shelled Binh Thuy air field 95 miles to the southwest in the Mekong Delta with similar results. Bienhoa is one of the largest bases for United States jets and cargo planes in South Vietnam. At the daily briefing on military affairs a United States military spokesman reported that 336 Americans died on the battlefield last week, bringing the total killed-in-action in the war to 20,096. The number of American deaths was down from the 509 reported the previous week. For the first time since the enemy Lunar New Year offensive began January 30, the total has dropped below 400. The decrease in deaths reflected the lessened fighting throughout the country since the peak weeks in February. On the battlefield yesterday American infantrymen operated on the coastal plains near Hoian, 360 miles northeast of Saigon, reported having killed 112 enemy soldiers. There were no American casualties. Meanwhile, 10 miles north of Hue, armed helicopters swept in on a group of North Vietnamese soldiers and reported having killed 45 of them. In the Central Highlands 15 miles south of Dakto, American paratroops discovered an enemy cache containing 50 122mm mortar shells and 24 122mmrockets…In the operation to clear the Vietcong out of the areas surrounding Saigon, armed helicopters sank 27 sampans and killed 14 of the enemy on a canal four miles south of the capital. To the north, enemy gunners shot down a Marine helicopter 13 miles southwest of Danang killing the four men aboard."…
 
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Thanks to Chuck
Great bit of Naval Aviation history
In early March, the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, led an expedition 800 kilometres east of Australia, where he found the long-lost wreck of the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea almost 76 years ago.
Among the stunning images to come back from that deep-sea exploration were several from a debris field on the ocean bottom three kilometres below the surface that included Devastator, Dauntless and this single Wildcat fighter aircraft.
 
Noel Gayler's VF-3 Aircraft on USS Lexington Wreck
Maybe not O'Hare's as originally thought, I sure can't see the "GA_R" they talk about though:
 
The story of a forgotten airplane
March 14, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
 
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Thanks  to  Chuck
Revealed: 50 Years Ago, a Top-Secret U.S. Base Was Overrun By Elite Vietnamese Commandos ---- ARTICLE
Preserving the memory of shadowy episodes like the battle of Lima 85 may not heal the wounds of the past, but it can help bring about an honest reckoning of the mistakes that were made and inspire reflection as to how to avoid repeating them in the future.
 
S├ębastien Roblin holds a master's degree in conflict resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing and refugee resettlement in France and the United States.
 
 
 
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Benghazi hero unloads on McCabe, Comey for what they 'tried to pin on him' and his team: 'worst scum of human'
March 20, 2018 | Samantha Chang
 
No matter who you are, you don't want to get caught in the crosshairs of Benghazi hero Kris Paronto, an Army Ranger.
Paronto unleashed a fiery Twitter takedown of Obama-appointed Deep State agents Andrew McCabe, James Comey, and John Brennan. And they're going to need some aloe to nurse those sick burns.

Benghazi hero Kris Paronto shut down fired FBI employees James Comey and Andrew McCabe. (screenshots)
Paronto started off by blasting McCabe, who whined to the media that his firing was an attempt by the Trump White House to "slander" him and the entire FBI.
For the record, President Trump has repeatedly praised the rank-and-file members of the FBI as hard-working patriots. Trump's issue is with top-level political appointees, most of whom are Obama holdovers that have been working nonstop to undermine his presidency.
Paronto tweeted: "Slander the @FBI and Law Enforcement?! You've got to be sh*tting me, Andy. You , James [Comey] and your @BarackObama appointed syndicate brought nothing but lies, politics, corruption & disgrace to a once great FBI."
Paronto then slammed fired FBI director James Comey, who allegedly tried to pin "excessive force use" claims on Paronto and his team after they returned from Benghazi. "You all are the worst scum of human[ity]," Kris tweeted.
 
Paronto is the U.S. Army Ranger who was part of the CIA Special Forces that responded to the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
The attack by radical Islamic terrorists led to the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Immediately after the Benghazi attack, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied to the world by falsely claiming the terrorist attack was caused by an anti-Muslim video.
Barack Obama and his partisan CIA and FBI backed up these lies, presumably because he didn't want the Benghazi scandal (which occurred in September 2012) to hurt his re-election (in November 2012).
Kris Paronto was a U.S. Army Ranger and part of the Army National Guard. (K. Paronto)
Kris Paronto tore into John Brennan, the former CIA director under Obama, for politicizing the CIA, which is supposed to be nonpartisan.
Brennan had attacked President Trump after McCabe's firing in a veiled tweet, saying: "When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history."
Paronto had a few choice words for Brennan: 
Showing your true partisan colors that you took into the @CIA , a govt organization that should be politically neutral. Being nominated by @BarackObama though it should come as no surprise . You put #politicsbeforepatriots
 
Paronto saved his best smackdown for last, when he savaged the New York Times for trying to goad him into badmouthing Senator Devin Nunes. Nunes is one of several GOP lawmakers who are calling for a second special counsel to investigate Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
"Hey @NYTimes stop trying to contact me, I don't have time for your left wing, slandering hit piece on @DevinNunes," Paronto said. "Go F**k yourselves and the horse you rode in on!"
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 03/22/2018 AFGHANISTAN - SECURITY FORCES PLAN OPERATIONS TO SECURE PIVOTAL AREAS FOR UPCOMING ELECTION (MAR 22/ABC)  ABC NEWS -- The Afghan military has determined vital areas to be cleared of Taliban control ahead of this year's parliamentary elections, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said while visiting Afghanistan on Wednesday, as reported by ABC News.   Gen. Dunford added that holding successful parliamentary elections this summer and fall and presidential elections next year would be a major indicator of how successful the Trump administration's war strategy has been.   The Afghan military will be focusing on heavily populated areas, and base the timing of the election on the security conditions in those areas.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 03/22/2018 BELGIUM - FIGHTER COMPETITION IN QUESTION AFTER LOCKHEED REVEALS POSSIBLE F-16 LIFE-EXTENSION PROGRAM (MAR 22/DEFAERO)  DEFENSE-AEROSPACE -- The Belgian government is under scrutiny for not revealing to Parliament that a life extension program for its F-16 fighters was possible, and at a significantly lower cost than buying a new jet, reports defense-aerospace.com.   Lockheed indicated that Belgium could wait until 2029 to replace the F-16, six years longer than government estimates, at a price of US$1 billion. The defense firm noted that as many as 20 F-16s could remain in service until 2035.   Belgian Defense Minister Steven Vandeput blamed the air force, claiming that the service did not share the life-extension possibilities that were provided by Lockheed in April 2016.   Vandeput also remained firm that the Defense Ministry did not plan to pursue the life extension program.    
  Item Number:3 Date: 03/22/2018 CAMEROON - ARMY FREES THREE MEN ABDUCTED BY ANGLOPHONE SEPARATISTS (MAR 22/ANO)  AFRICA NEWS ONLINE -- The Cameroonian army has freed three hostages being held in the southwest part of the country, reports Africa News.   One of the hostages -- a Tunisian construction worker -- was killed during the operation on Tuesday, which freed two Cameroonians and a Tunisian, reported Middle East Monitor (U.K.).   Authorities said that four of the attackers were "neutralized" in the operation.   The four men were abducted from the towns of Kumba and Isangele, in Cameroon's Anglophone region, on March 15 while working on a project for the for the Tunisian Soroubat Construction Co.   The group was kidnapped by English-speaking separatists who call the area "Ambazonia." Separatists in the region have been clashing with authorities since October.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 03/22/2018 CHINA - UNMANNED TANKS UNDERGOING TRIALS FOR POTENTIAL INTEGRATION OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (MAR 22/DTL)  DAILY TELEGRAPH (LONDON) -- The Chinese military is determining how to network unmanned tanks with aircraft and satellites to work more quickly and with greater lethality than crewed versions, reports the London's Daily Telegraph.   The tests were being conducted on the Type 59 main battle tank, which was due to be retired. Successful integration of artificial intelligence could allow the Type 59 to stay in service longer as an unmanned vehicle, officials said.   China's efforts are likely driven by Russia's announcement that its new Armata main battle tank will have the capability to be fully unmanned
Item Number:5 Date: 03/22/2018 FRANCE - DEFENSE MINISTRY BOOSTS FUNDING FOR FUTURE MILITARY SYSTEMS (MAR 22/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- France is investing more resources into concept and feasibility studies for its future fighter, tank, and aircraft carrier programs, reports Defense News.   A proposed 2.8 billion euro (US$3.4 billion) funding increase for concept and feasibility studies as part of the draft 2019-2025 military budget is designed to move away from a procurement process that involves using only existing and proven technology to eliminate risk, which leads to end products being obsolete after the time spent in development and production.   The new funding would focus on a future fighter jet, tank and potential successor to the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said on Tuesday.   The proposal includes 1.8 billion euros for large arms programs and an increase for feasibility studies from 730 million euros to 1 billion euros annually by 2022.   Much of the effort will go towards reimagining alternatives for the future, rather than planning for the support of existing projects.   France will also gain by partnering with other regional developers, such as Germany, in producing its next generation of weapons platforms.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 03/22/2018 ISRAEL - PALESTINIAN WOMAN GETS 8 MONTHS FOR HITTING ISRAELI SOLDIER (MAR 22/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- A young Palestinian woman has been sentenced to eight months in jail for hitting and slapping an Israeli soldier, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Ahed Tamimi was sentenced on Wednesday in Israel's Ofer military court as part of a plea bargain reached with prosecutors.   Tamimi, 17, pled guilty to four out of the 12 charges brought against her after the December 2017 incident, according to her lawyer. She was also finedbUS$1,500.   The remaining charges, which included charges of inciting violence and terrorism, were dropped.   Tamimi's mother, Nariman, also agreed to a plea bargain stemming from charges lodged against her for streaming parts of the trial on the internet in defiance of a court order.   Both are slated to be released in July.   The video of Tamimi slapping, pushing and shouting at two Israeli soldiers near her house in the village of Nabi Saleh was widely viewed among Palestinians and Israelis.  
 Item Number:7 Date: 03/22/2018 NIGERIA - 11 SOLDIERS KILLED IN ATTACK ON BASE IN DOKA (MAR 22/PREM)  PREMIUM TIMES -- Bandits conducted a retaliatory attack against a Nigerian army base in Doka on Tuesday, killing 11 soldiers, reports the Premium Times (Nigeria).   The bandits were avenging the assassination of their former leader, Buhari Tsoho aka Burari Daji, who was reported killed on March 9.   The attackers arrived at the base on motorbikes around 10 p.m. local time and engaged the soldiers with small arms. Earlier in the day, the bandits attacked a volunteer security group, wounding nine.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 03/22/2018 NIGERIA - MILITANTS FREE MOST GIRLS KIDNAPPED LAST MONTH AFTER NEGOTIATIONS (MAR 22/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Militants have released most of the girls kidnapped from a school in northeastern Nigeria, reports the Voice of America News.   The militants released 104 girls and one boy early Wednesday morning, said Nigeria's information minister, reported CNN. One of the freed girls said that five girls had died.   The victims were freed through "back-channel efforts, and with the help of some friends of the country, and it was unconditional," said the minister. He insisted that no money changed hands in the process.   In a visit to the young women's hometown last week, President Muhammadu Buhari promised that the victims would be released by negotiations, not military force.   There was no official statement on the remaining people taken by the group.   On Feb. 19, militants kidnapped 110 female students from the Government Girls' School and Technical College in the town of Dapchi.   Because of the similarity between the kidnapping and 2014 kidnapping of 276 students from Chibok, many initially blamed Boko Haram for the attack.   U.S. and Nigerian sources cited by the Wall Street Journal on March 18 said that culprits behind the February 2018 attack were a breakaway faction of Boko Haram. This faction is believed to be loyal to the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) and led by the son of Boko Haram's original founder, Mohammed Yousef, who was killed in 2005.    
  Item Number:9 Date: 03/22/2018 PAKISTAN - HIGH-TECH OPTICS SYSTEM SOLD TO PAKISTAN FOR MISSILE DEVELOPMENT WORK (MAR 22/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- China has revealed that it sold a tracking system for Pakistan's missile development program, reports the South China Morning Post.   The sale of the sophisticated, large-scale optical tracking and measurement system was revealed Wednesday in a statement on the Chinese Academy of Sciences website.   A Chinese team traveled to Pakistan to assemble and calibrate the system, which consists of four telescope units positioned in different locations to monitor a missile launch and gather data.   Pakistan recently tested the system on a firing range and has been using it to test and develop new missiles, said a researcher with the academy.   The announcement provides rare confirmation of Chinese support for Pakistan's missile program, noted the Post.   The announcement comes two months after India's January test of the advanced Agni-V, a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The successful test put Beijing or Shanghai within range of India's strategic forces.   In an effort to offset the strategic advantage of India's longer-range rockets, Pakistan has focused on multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs), which can direct multiple warheads to different targets.   These efforts include the nuclear-capable Ababeel missile, whose successful January 2017 test was recently confirmed by the U.S Defense Intelligence Agency.   The Chinese tracking system, which includes four tracking telescopes, is uniquely capable of working with MIRVs, said researchers
Item Number:10 Date: 03/22/2018 PERU - PRESIDENT RESIGNS; PROSECUTORS TRY TO BLOCK HIM FROM LEAVING THE COUNTRY (MAR 22/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- The president of Peru has resigned due to a growing corruption scandal, reports BBC News.   President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski offered his resignation on Wednesday. Party leaders in Congress have agreed to accept the resignation.   An impeachment hearing was scheduled for Thursday.   Prosecutors requested that a court prevent Kuczynski from leaving the country after resigning, reported Reuters. Previous President Alberto Fujimori lived for several years in exile before being apprehended by Peruvian authorities on charges of corruption and extrajudicial killings.   Kuczynski previously weathered accusations of corruption stemming from his involvement in the Odebrecht scandal in Brazil.   But audio and video recordings released this week showed some of Kuczynski's associates offering opposition members financial payments in exchange for votes.   Kuczynski denied the authenticity of the tape, saying it was edited, but the political momentum had turned against him.   Vice President Martin Vizcarra is likely to be sworn in to replace Kuczynski on Friday.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 03/22/2018 SEYCHELLES - PLANS FOR POSSIBLE INDIAN MILITARY BASE 'DEAD,' LAWMAKER SAYS (MAR 22/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- A proposed 20-year deal with India to build an airstrip and jetty for the Indian navy, will not be advancing, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar), citing Wavel Ramkalawan, the majority leader of the National Assembly in Seychelles.   Seychelles law requires that an agreement of this type to be ratified by the assembly.   The small island, east of Africa in the Indian Ocean, is of strategic importance to both India and China, as the surrounding waters are major sea-lanes.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 03/22/2018 SYRIA - DEAL REACHED TO EVACUATE TOWN IN EASTERN GHOUTA (MAR 22/NAT)  NATIONAL -- The Syrian government and rebels holed up in part of Eastern Ghouta have reached an agreement to evacuate the area, reports the National (U.A.E.).   Buses lined up outside the town of Hasrata on Thursday following the Russian-brokered agreement reached on Wednesday.   Under the agreement, 1,600 people -- fighters from Ahrar al-Sham, which controlled the area, and their families -- will be transferred from the Damascus suburb to the northwestern Idlib province, the largest territory controlled by Syrian rebels.   The evacuation will begin with injured civilians, reported Reuters.   Evacuations were scheduled to begin early Thursday morning but were delayed. A spokesman from Ahrar al-Sham said the agreement would still be honored.   With Hasrata -- one of the largest cities in the area -- pacified, only Douma and a second pocket of small cities remain under rebel control. The Syrian army currently controls about 70 percent of the territory in the former rebel bastion.   The remaining areas are controlled by Failaq al-Rahman and Jaish al-Islam, both of which boast larger numbers than Ahrar al-Sham.   More than 1,500 civilians have died in the fighting to retake the area, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
Item Number:13 Date: 03/22/2018 TURKEY - UNDERSTANDING, NO AGREEMENT, WITH U.S. OVER MANBIJ, SAYS FOREIGN MINISTER (MAR 22/REU)  REUTERS -- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says that his government has reached an understanding, but not an agreement, with Washington on the future of Turkey's military operations in northern Syria, reports Reuters.   Both nations agreed on the importance of stabilizing the town of Manbij and other Kurdish-controlled areas east of the Euphrates, the minister said on Wednesday.   However, a final agreement has yet to be reached, he told reporters.   Any finally agreement would include the withdrawal of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), said Cavusoglu.   Ankara is seeking an agreement over who would govern these areas after the withdrawal of the YPG, said the minister.   Turkey does not distinguish between the YPG and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a secessionist group that is considered a terrorist entity by Washington and Ankara.   On March 18, Turkish troops and some Syrian rebel groups took the town of Afrin, a town held by the YPG in Aleppo province. The mission capped the first stage of Turkey's Operation Olive Branch, which was launched on January 20.   Ankara previously threatened to extend its operation to push out Kurdish militants from northern Syria to Manbij, 60 miles (100 km) east of Afrin. In Manbij, U.S. military advisers and special operations forces work with predominately Kurdish groups against the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS
  Item Number:14 Date: 03/22/2018 USA - ARMY SUCCESSFULLY TESTS 5-KW LASER ON STRYKER VEHICLE (MAR 22/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- U.S. Army-Europe has successfully tested a5-kW laser mounted on a Stryker wheeled armored vehicle, reports Defense News.   During the trials, the 5-kW laser successfully engaged and neutralized 12 off-the-shelf drones. The Army is considering a laser for its ongoing Short-Range Air Defense (SHORAD) program.   Separately, the Marine Corps is seeking a laser air defense system armed for the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), reported Military.com   Officials from both services have expressed concern about new and resurgent airborne threats to U.S. ground troops, including drone swarms.    
  Item Number:15 Date: 03/22/2018 USA - EYEING COST SAVINGS, NAVY SEEKS TO ORDER 2 CARRIERS AT ONCE (MAR 22/USNIN)  USNI NEWS -- The U.S. Navy has asked Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding for potential cost savings for purchasing two aircraft carriers under the same contract, reports USNI News.   Combining the next two Ford-class carriers, Enterprise (CVN 80) and CVN-81, could save between $1 billion and $2.5 billion through combining materials and components purchases, and accelerating the rate of production, according to Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, and Acquisition James Guerts. A previous two-carrier contract for the Nimitz class resulted in a cost savings of roughly 10 percent.   To reach its legally mandated requirement of 12 aircraft carriers, the Navy must build a new aircraft carrier every four years instead of five, according to Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin.   The first two carriers in the New Ford-class, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) have been criticized for being behind schedule and over budget by around $2.3 billion each, noted Breaking Defense.
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