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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Fw: TheList 4779

The List 4779     TGB


To All,
I hope that your week has started well.
Regards,
Skip
This day in Naval History
July 31
1865—The East India Squadron, later known as the Asiatic Squadron, is established under Commodore Henry H. Bell, USN, to operate from Sunda Strait to Japan. The squadron consists of USS Hartford, USS Wachusett, USS Wyoming and USS Relief.
1874—USS Intrepid is commissioned, the first U.S. warship equipped with torpedoes.
1941—The Japanese government reports that the bombing of USS Tutuila (PR 4), which happens the previous day during the bombing raid on Chungking, China, is just an "accident, pure and simple."  USS Tutuila's motor boats were badly damaged and motor sampan is cut loose when one bomb falls eight yards astern of the vessel.  There were no causalities.
1943—PBM (VP 74), a Brazilian A-28 and a Catalina sink German submarine U-199 off Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Small seaplane tender USS Barnegat (AVP 10) rescues the survivors.
1951—Dan A. Kimball takes office as the 50th Secretary of the Navy, serving until January 1953. His tenure is marked by the continuation of the Korean War, expansion of the Nation's defense, and technological progress in aviation, engineering and other defense-related fields.
1959—President Dwight D. Eisenhower responds to Secretary of the Navy William B. Franke's recommendation to name three SSBNs (nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarines) with these names:  USS Sam Houston, USS Thomas A. Edison, and USS John Marshall. The proposed name from Secretary Franke, USS Nathan Hale, is used two years later.
2010—USS Missouri (SSN 780) is commissioned at Groton, CT. The seventh Virginia-class attack submarine is the fourth Navy vessel to honor the state of Missouri. 
 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national headlines include the Carr fire becoming the 7th most destructive fire in California's history, President Trump's shutdown threat disrupting Republican leaders' plan to fund the government, and no charges being made against Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot an armed man. The Wall Street Journal reports that satellite imagery shows that North Korea has constructed two new buildings at a missile facility in the northern suburbs of Pyongyang, indicating that North Korea continues to advance its nuclear and missile programs. USNI News reports that the Navy may once again arm attack submarines with Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles following a successful sinking exercise during RIMPAC 2018. Additionally, Seapower Magazine reports that Huntington Ingalls Industries has begun fabrication of the amphibious transport dock ship Richard M. McCool Jr.


Today in History July 31
904
Arabs capture Thessalonica.
1703
English novelist Daniel Defoe is made to stand in the pillory as punishment for offending the government and church with his satire The Shortest Way With Dissenters.
1760
Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, drives the French army back to the Rhine River.
1790
The U.S. Patent Office opens.
1882
Belle and Sam Starr are charged with horse stealing in the Indian territory.
1875
Former president Andrew Johnson dies at the age of 66.
1891
Great Britain declares territories in Southern Africa up to the Congo to be within its sphere of influence.
1904
The Trans-Siberian railroad connecting the Ural mountains with Russia's Pacific coast, is completed.
1917
The third Battle of Ypres commences as the British attack the German lines.
1932
Adolf Hitler's Nationalist Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis) doubles its strength in legislative elections.
1944
The Soviet army takes Kovno, the capital of Lithuania.
1962
Federation of Malaysia formally proposed.
1971
Apollo 15 astronauts take a drive on the moon in their land rover.
1987
An F4 tornado in Edmonton, Alberta kills 27 and causes $330 million in damages; the day is remembered as "Black Friday."
1988
Bridge collapse at Sultan Abdul Halim ferry terminal in Butterworth, Malaysia, kills 32 and injures more than 1,600.
1990
Bosnia-Herzegovina declares independence from Yugoslavia.
1991
The US and the USSR sign a long-range nuclear weapons reduction pact.
1999
NASA purposely crashes its Discovery Program's Lunar Prospector into the moon, ending the agency's mission to detect frozen water on Earth's moon.
2006
Fidel Castro temporarily hands over power to his brother Raul Castro.
2007
The British Army's longest continual operation, Operation Banner (1969-2007), ends as British troops withdraw from Northern Ireland.
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Thanks to Chuck
OSHKOSH..... F-16 demonstration pilot uses cockpit camera during air show — and the result is stunning
 
Fun video but also, from about time 3+00 and for about 2 minutes thereafter, you get an idea of how many planes are at Oshkosh and look at all the trailers/campers.  It's massive!
 
 
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H-Gram -20
Thanks to AdmiralCox for another great H-Gram. I will put the sections in the next few lists.
I've been writing these H-grams to track primarily with the 100th anniversary of World War I, 75th anniversary of World War II, and 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. This edition will also see the end of the Spanish-American War (120 years) and "Tanker War" (30 years). So, for example, I didn't write anything about the Battle of Midway this year (76th) since there wasn't much more I could say about it after what I wrote last year for the 75th anniversary. However, if you would like to read about events that occurred "last year" or missed some H-grams, all "back issues" can be found here.
30th Anniversary of the "Tanker War"
The Tragic End: Shoot-Down of Iran Air Flight 655, 3 July 1988
The "Tanker War" in the Arabian Gulf reached a tragic culminating point on 3 July 1988, when the Aegis cruiser USS Vincennes (CG-49) shot down Iran Air flight 655, killing all 274 passengers, including 66 children, and 16 crew members aboard. A series of human errors by U.S. Navy personnel led the commanding officer of Vincennes, Captain William C. Rogers III, to believe he was under attack by an Iranian Air Force F-14 (none were airborne). With no intent to become a victim like USS Stark (FFG-31), on 17 May 1987, Rogers gave the order that resulted in the destruction of an Iranian passenger jet, on a short scheduled flight—albeit 30 minutes behind schedule—on a commercial airway from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A week later, Iraq launched a major offensive into Iran, with extensive use of chemical weapons. The combination of the two events caused Iranian leadership to conclude that the United States was now actively engaged in the war on the side of Iraq, which then led Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini to accept United Nations Resolution 598 on 20 July 1988, which led to a cease-fire effective 20 August. The sad irony is that the deaths of 290 aboard Flight 655 were a significant factor in ending a bloody eight-year war between Iran and Iraq that had cost the lives of over 500,000 soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians. Although the situation in the Arabian Gulf remained tense (and still is today) the "Tanker War" was over. For more on the "Tanker War," USS Stark, USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58), and Operation Praying Mantis, please see H-Gram 018. For more on the shoot-down of Iran Air 655, please see attachment H-020-1.
 
H-020-1: The Fog of War: USS Vincennes Tragedy—3 July 1988
H-Gram 020, Attachment 1
Samuel J. Cox, Director NHHC
July 2018 
(Back to H-Gram 020 Overview) 
Following the execution of Operation Praying Mantis on 18 April 1988, President Ronald Reagan gave U.S. Navy ships authority to engage Iranian warships that were in the act of attacking neutral merchant ships in the Arabian Gulf. This was an even more aggressive expansion of the previous rules of engagement, which only allowed U.S. Navy ships to aggressively maneuver to deter a potential Iranian attack on neutral shipping, but to fire only in self-defense or perception of Iranian hostile intent toward a U.S. Navy ship. U.S. Navy ships were still barred from taking retaliatory action against an attack on neutral shipping that had already occurred. The U.S. Navy also increased its force levels inside the Strait of Hormuz.
Over the objection of CNO Admiral Carlisle Trost, the Secretary of Defense approved orders sending the Aegis cruiser USS Vincennes (CG-49) on a short-notice deployment into the Arabian Gulf—the first time a "latest-and-greatest" Aegis cruiser had operated in the very confined water space inside the Arabian Gulf. The Aegis cruiser had by far the most sophisticated radar and anti-aircraft missile suite in the world. Vincennes had a reputation as a "robo-cruiser," partly because of her powerful technological capability and partly because of the particularly aggressive way in which Captain William C. Rogers III handled his ship. Captain Rogers repeatedly lobbied the commander of the Joint Task Force Middle East, Rear Admiral Anthony "Tony" Less, to permit Vincennes to take a more active role than just providing air defense coverage to the southern Arabian Gulf.
The severe losses inflicted on the Iranian Navy during Operation Praying Mantis in April 1988 bought only about a month of relative calm. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) which had suffered much less loss and damage than the regular Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) increased their tempo of operations in late May 1988. Continued Iraqi attacks on land and at sea in the northern Arabian Gulf caused the Iranians to resume retaliatory attacks on neutral merchant shipping in the southern Arabian Gulf, which was presumed by the Iranians to be providing indirect aid to the Iraqi war effort. In addition, the Iranian Air Force deployed three F-14 Tomcat fighters (provided by the United States before the overthrow of the Shah of Iran) from Bushehr in the northern gulf, to Bandar Abbas on the Strait of Hormuz. Although Iranian F-14s had not been fitted with an air-to-ground capability when delivered, the Iranians had shown considerable ingenuity in modifying their aircraft to carry ordnance they weren't designed for, including their U.S.-supplied F-4 Phantom II and P-3 Orion aircraft. Although there was no actual intelligence that the Iranians had modified their F-14s with air-to-surface missiles, it was assessed to be possible that they could have done so.
On 2 July 1988, the cruiser USS Halsey (CG-23) issued radio warnings to two Iranian aircraft near the Strait of Hormuz before the contacts turned away. Later the same day, the frigate USS Elmer Montgomery (FF-1082) fired warning shots at three IRGCN speed boats that were in the process of attacking the Danish-flag ship Karama Maersk. On the morning of 3 July, several IRGCN small boats threatened a Pakistani merchant ship. Rear Admiral Less concurred with sending a helicopter from Vincennes to investigate. As a precaution, Rogers moved Vincennes 50 miles off her assigned air defense station, south of Abu Musa Island, northeast toward the Strait of Hormuz, an action countermanded by the destroyer squadron (DESRON) commander. The helicopter continued to monitor several IRGCN speed boats that were still in Iranian territorial waters. One of the IRGCN boats fired ten rounds of machine gun fire ahead of the helicopter. The helicopter reported it was under fire. Rogers reversed course again back toward the Strait of Hormuz at maximum speed in response to the helicopter's report, and in doing so crossed into Iranian territorial waters along with Elmer Montgomery, violating standing orders not to go into Iranian waters, due to the fact that his helicopter reported being under fire.
As the Vincennes and Elmer Montgomery closed on the IRGCN boats, two of the IRGCN boats turned toward the U.S. ships, while others appeared to be on erratic courses. Assessing that the IRGCN boats were commencing an attack, Captain Rogers requested permission from Rear Admiral Less to open fire, which was granted, although Less did not know that Vincennes was inside Iranian territorial waters. At 0943, Vincennes opened fire and the IRGCN boats responded with ineffective machine gun fire. Vincennes fired almost 100 5-inch rounds, hitting and sinking two IRGCN boats and damaging a third with a near miss.
At 0947, Iran Air Flight 655, an Airbus A300, took off 27 minutes late on a regularly scheduled flight (every Sunday and Tuesday from Bandar Abbas, a dual-use military and civilian airport) to Dubai— normally a short 30-minute flight. The pilot, Moshe Rezaian, was very experienced on this particular route. The flight was slightly off center, but still well-within the published flight corridor, Amber 59. Rezaian had no idea a surface action was going on directly under his flight path. Although Flight 655 was detected by Vincennes's radar shortly after takeoff, the cruiser also detected a Mode II (military) identification, friend or foe (IFF) reading, most likely from an F-14 on the ground at Bandar Abbas. The operator mistakenly correlated the Mode II signal with the aircraft taking off rather than with the plane on the ground. The Aegis detected Flight 655's Mode III (civilian) IFF transponder soon after take-off, but Vincennes's anti-air warfare coordinator accepted the Mode II correlation as valid since Iranian military aircraft were known to transmit both Mode II and Mode III IFF. Just to be sure, the anti-air warfare coordinator had a Sailor check the published flight schedule, and was told there was none (this was partly due to darkness in CIC, a time-zone change between Bandar Abbas and Dubai, and that Flight 655 was late). As a result, while in the middle of a surface action, Rogers received a report that an Iranian F-14 had taken off from Bandar Abbas and was on a course toward Vincennes. Also, at that moment, Vincennes's forward 5-inch mount jammed, and Rogers ordered the rudder hard-over to bring her aft gun to bear, which caused the ship to heel so far over that just about everything went flying in the CIC and on the bridge.
Meanwhile, USS Sides (FFG-14), under the command of Commander David Carlson, operating in the Strait of Hormuz, detected the takeoff of Flight 655, and was informed of the designation as an F-14. Carlson ordered verbal radio warnings which resulted in no acknowledgement from Flight 655. Carlson then ordered Sides's missile radar to paint the target, an action intended to get a reaction (which would be likely from a military aircraft equipped with a radar warning receiver) but got none. With no electronic emissions indicative of an F-14, and with Sides's radar continuing to indicate a gradual ascent to flight altitude by the contact, Carlson assessed it to be a civilian airliner. Carlson assumed that the Aegis radar on Vincennes would have a better picture than he did, so he did not transmit his assessment.
Vincennes broadcasted multiple radio warnings to the contact as it closed at 360 knots, with no response. Rogers asked for an update on the contact using its computer-generated track ID number, 4474. The response from CIC was that "TN 4474 is descending, speed 450 knots." This report was true, but for the wrong aircraft. The Aegis system computer had correlated Sides's radar track number, TN4131, to Flight 655. TN 4474 had been reassigned by the computer to what was a U.S. Navy jet over the Gulf of Oman descending toward the carrier. By now, the CIC on Vincennes was convinced an Iranian F-14 had taken off from Bandar Abbas to help protect the IRGCN speedboats and was descending to attack Vincennes, even though the cruiser's own radar showed TN4131 ascending, and squawking only the correct Mode III IFF.
Given the short flight duration, Rezaian's cockpit workload was heavy, and he was in contact (in English) with either Bandar Abbas or Dubai air traffic control during much of the flight. It will never be known whether he ever heard the radio warnings, or if his radio was set to the right frequency, or if he heard the warnings. Did he understand they were meant for him? It is not known whether he received the September 1987 notice to airmen (NOTAM) requiring all aircraft in the Arabian Gulf to monitor the international air distress and military air distress frequencies, and be prepared to identify themselves to U.S. Navy ships. Whatever the case, he did not respond. After repeated warnings—seven on military air distress and three on international air distress, but none on air traffic control frequencies—and the contact approaching to within 10 miles, Rogers initiated the sequence of orders to fire. Two SM-2MR missiles were fired and two hit, one in the wing, the other the tail. The plane broke up in flight, and bodies fell from the sky. It wasn't long before Dubai tower initiated queries for the missing aircraft, and the IRGCN speedboats were directed by higher authority to break off the engagement with Vincennes and commence a search and rescue mission, which was futile.
The post-mortem of the shoot-down would be one of the more emotionally charged events in recent U.S. naval history, as the shock set in that the most sophisticated anti-aircraft weapon system in the world had accidentally shot down a commercial airliner. Unsubstantiated rumors and speculation quickly spread, including via intelligence channels. The assumption was that the Iranians had to be conducting some sort of nefarious activity, such as having the airliner provide cover for an F-14 flying on its wing, or that because the bodies were all found without clothes (which had been blown off) the Iranians had packed the plane with people already dead in order to create an incident to discredit the United States. The reality is that it was just a commercial airliner that took off late.
The investigation of the shoot-down by Rear Admiral William Fogarty accurately depicts what happened, although some details were initially redacted from public release, such as the fact that Vincennes had gone into Iranian territorial waters after the IRGCN speedboats, which were not actively attacking neutral ships, and which had fired only a short burst, probably as a warning, at Vincennes's helicopter. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral William Crowe's statement (at a press conference shortly after the event) that Vincennes was operating in international waters was incorrect— which he later publically admitted.
The investigation concluded that "Based on the information used by the CO in making his decision, the short time available to him in which to make his decision, and his personal belief that his ship and USS Montgomery were being threatened, he acted in a prudent manner." Rear Admiral Fogarty did not recommend any disciplinary action, which was backed all the way up the chain of command. Rogers was awarded an end-of-tour Legion of Merit. There were others in the Navy—including commanding officers (COs) of other ships on the scene who had correctly evaluated the contact as a commercial airliner—who were less charitable, believing that Rogers's over-aggressive actions had gotten him into a jam of his own making. There was a combat camera team aboard the Vincennes, and the footage depicts considerable confusion and even ill-discipline amongst the crew (cheering, shouting, football game atmosphere) that contributed to one of the most tragic events in U.S. Navy history. For their part, the Iranians still believe that the shoot-down was deliberate and that it was a war crime.
Sources include: The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran, by Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Historian David Crist (2012) and "Formal Investigation into the Circumstances Surrounding the Downing of Iran Air Flight 655 on 3 July 1988," by Rear Admiral William Fogarty.
(Back to H-Gram 020 Overview)
Published:Fri Jul 27 08:56:59 EDT 2018
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Thanks to Bill
VIDEO: Navy May Bring Back Harpoon Missiles on Attack Subs After Successful
SINKEX; RIMPAC Also Highlights Ground-to-Ship Strike Capability
 
By Megan Eckstein, USNI News, 30 July
 
ack-subs-after-successful-sinkex-rimpac-also-highlights-ground-to-ship-strik
e-capability
 
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A few giggles from Micro
I got invited to a party and was told to dress to kill.
Apparently a turban, beard and a backpack wasn't what they had in mind.
 
After a night of drink, drugs and wild sex, Jim woke up to find himself next to a really ugly woman. That's when he realized he had made it home safely.
 
Seven wheelchair athletes have been banned from the Paralympics after they tested positive for WD40.
 
IT'S A BOY" I shouted "A BOY, I DON'T BELIEVE IT, IT'S A BOY!"  
And with tears streaming down my face I swore I'd never visit another Thai Brothel!
 
A boy asks his granny, 'Have you seen my pills, they were labeled LSD?' 
 
Granny replies, "Forget the pills, have you seen the dragons in the kitchen?"
 
 
Wife gets naked and asks hubby, 'What turns you on more, my pretty face or my sexy body?' 
 
Hubby looks her up and down and replies, 'Your sense of humor!'
 
I spent a couple of hours defrosting the fridge last night, or "foreplay" as my wife likes to call it.
 
After both suffering from depression for a while, me and the wife were going to commit suicide yesterday.
But strangely enough, once she killed herself, I started to feel a lot better.   So I thought, "Screw it, soldier on!"
 
I woke up this morning at 8, and could sense something was wrong.
I got downstairs and found the wife face down on the kitchen floor, not breathing.
I panicked.  I didn't know what to do. 
Then I remembered McDonald's serves breakfast till 11:30am.
 
 
The other night, my wife asked me how many women I'd slept with.
I told her, "Only you.  All the others kept me awake all night!"
 
 
My missus packed my bags, and as I walked out the front door, she screamed,
"I wish you a slow and painful death, you bastard!"
"Oh," I replied, "so now you want me to stay!"
 
 
The wife's back on the warpath again. 
She was up for making a sex movie last night, and all I did was suggest we should hold auditions for her part.
 
It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 07/31/2018 AFGHANISTAN - AT LEAST 2 DEAD, DOZENS CAPTURED IN JALALABAD ASSAULT (JUL 31/TN)  TOLONEWS -- At least two people have been killed in a standoff in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan).   The assault began on Tuesday when at least three gunmen attacked a government building used by the department of migrants and refugees, reported Reuters.   A suicide bomber blew himself up at the building's entrance and two gunmen entered, a witness said.   Minutes later, the car that brought the attackers blew up, injuring passersby.   At least eight people suffered minor injuries and two were critically injured, according to medical officials cited by Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The gunmen held about 40 people in the building hostage, said a local official.   The attack occurred during a meeting with NGOs working on refugee issues, said a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial government.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility. In a statement, the Taliban denied any involvement.   Nangarhar province is the principal stronghold of the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) in Afghanistan.   Over the last three months, at least 160 people have been killed and 490 wounded in attacks in Nangarhar, according to provincial health officials.   
  Item Number:3 Date: 07/31/2018 COLOMBIA - 8 KILLED IN ELN FEUD ON BORDER WITH VENEZUELA (JUL 31/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- At least eight people have been killed in intra-rebel fighting in northeastern Colombia, reports BBC News.   On Monday, gunmen opened fire on a pool hall in the village of El Tarra in the Norte de Santander province.   The area has witnessed fighting between the National Liberation Army (ELN) militant group and a breakaway faction, the Popular Liberation Army (EPL).   One of the factors driving the fighting is the desire to control lucrative drug-trafficking routes into neighboring Venezuela.   The Colombian army has deployed to the region to strengthen security, officials said.   The ELN has been involved in negotiations with the government for a peace deal similar to that reached with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016.   Analysts say that the ELN is less hierarchical and more ideologically rigid than FARC, potentially complicating negotiations
  Item Number:6 Date: 07/31/2018 INDONESIA - COURT OUTLAWS TERRORIST GROUP WITH ISIS CONNECTIONS (JUL 31/JAK)  JAKARTA POST -- An Indonesian court has issued a ruling banning an extremist group accused of serving as a front for the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS), reports the Jakarta Post.   On Tuesday, the South Jakarta District Court ruled that Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) was guilty of carrying out terrorist attacks across the country.   The justices ordered the organization to be disbanded and fined the group US$347.   The ruling outlawing JAD also provides legal jurisdiction for law enforcement to arrest anyone connected to the group, said one prosecutor. The ruling is also applicable to other organizations affiliated with ISIS, said a court spokesman.   Terrorism charges were initially brought against JAD on July 24.   JAD founder Aman Abdurrahman was recently convicted of terrorism-related charges and is currently on death row.   Zainal Anshori, the head of JAD's East Java and second-in-command, said his group would not appeal the ruling.   JAD was implicated in a 2016 attack in Jakarta that killed four civilians and a wave of attacks in May 2018 that killed at least 15 people, reported Agence France-Presse.   JAD is suspected of acting a front for a number of Indonesian terrorist groups that have pledged loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Item Number:7 Date: 07/31/2018 JAPAN - LEAD SHIP IN NEW CLASS OF AEGIS DESTROYERS LAUNCHED IN YOKOHAMA (JUL 31/JT)  JAPAN TIMES -- The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has launched its newest Aegis-equipped destroyer, reports the Japan Times.   The Maya, the first of two Improved Atago-class destroyers, was launched on Monday during a ceremony at the Japan Marine United shipyard in Yokohama in the Kanagawa prefecture, reported IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.   The new warships are part of efforts to strengthen defenses against North Korean and Chinese missiles in cooperation with U.S. military forces.   "We cannot avert our eyes from the harsh fact that several hundred ballistic missiles whose range covers our country still exist in reality," Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said earlier this month.   The new warships will also perform other key missions, including multinational naval drills and operations in the East China Sea.   The Maya-class destroyers will be equipped with the Aegis Baseline J7 combat system supported by the AN/SPY-1C radar, which can be linked to U.S. naval combat networks. The system will be able to launch SM-6 and SM-3 Block IIA air defense missiles. Both are capable of intercepting the ballistic missiles recently developed by China and North Korea.   The ship will also be equipped with Cooperative Engagement Capability, a U.S.-made real-time sensor network system that will allow Japanese warships to closely share radar and fire-control data with the U.S. Navy.   Japan also plans to upgrade the Aegis system of two Atago-class destroyers. Japan will have eight Aegis destroyers with ballistic missile defense capabilities by 2021.   The Maya is scheduled for delivery in March 2020
Item Number:8 Date: 07/31/2018 JAPAN - PAC-3 INTERCEPTORS WITHDRAWN AMID DIMINISHING THREAT (JUL 31/NHK)  NHK -- The Japanese Defense Ministry has withdrawn missile defense systems deployed last year to protect against potential North Korean missile attacks, reports Japan's NHK broadcaster.   Five Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) air defense systems were deployed to four eastern prefectures and Hakodate in southern Hokkaido in August and September 2017 amid growing fears of a North Korean missile attack.   North Korean missiles flew over Hokkaido on two occasions in late August and mid-September noted the Asahi Shimbun.   Officials say the prospects of an imminent attack have diminished following a June summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.   Japan has already withdrawn ballistic missile defense destroyers from the Sea of Japan.   Orders will remain in place to shoot down any incoming missiles, noted officials. The PAC-3 units can be rapidly redeployed should it be necessary, the officials emphasized.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 07/31/2018 NORTH KOREA - WORK CONTINUES ON MISSILE PROGRAMS, SAYS U.S. INTELLIGENCE (JUL 31/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- U.S. intelligence agencies say that North Korea is continuing work on its missile program, reports the Washington Post.   Recent satellite imagery shows one or two liquid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at a research facility in Sanumdong, outside of the capital, Pyongyang.   The factory has produced at least two North Korean ICBMs, including the Hwasong-15, the first missile that demonstrated a range that could allow it to hit the east coast of the U.S.   On image of the facility from July 7 shows a red trailer in the factory's loading area. In the past, North Korea has used similar trailers to transport ICBMs.   The report does not suggest that current North Korean work exceeds previous capabilities. Ongoing activity at North Korea's weapon facilities is not surprising, since Kim Jong Un has made no public promises to halt work, said U.S. officials.   Observers have expressed skepticism at the U.S. administration's claims that North Korea is denuclearizing after a June summit between President Donald Trump and Kim.   In addition, senior North Korea officials have discussed plans to deceive the U.S. about the number of nuclear warheads and missiles in their possession as well as the types and number of facilities, and to keep out international inspectors, according to U.S. intelligence. The strategy includes the possibility of declaring full denuclearization after declaring and eliminating 20 warheads, while maintaining dozens more.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 07/31/2018 PHILIPPINES - 11 DIE IN SUSPECTED ABU SAYYAF ATTACK (JUL 31/PDI)  PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER -- At least 11 people have been killed in a suspected terror attack in the southern Philippines, reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer.   On Tuesday, the bomber detonated a van packed with explosives 50 feet (15 m) from a police checkpoint outside Lamitan, in the southern Basilan province.   The driver of the vehicle appeared to be foreign and did not respond when police questioned him in the local dialect, security sources told the Rappler (Philippines).   The intended target was likely the nearby military camp, a military spokesman said.   Soldiers and civilians were among the casualties.   The attack occurred in an area known as a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group, reported the Manila Bulletin.   Police and military officers said they were investigating the involvement of the Islamist group in the attack
Item Number:12 Date: 07/31/2018 RUSSIA - AFTER YEARS OF DELAYS ADMIRAL GORSHKOV FRIGATE ENTERS SERVICE (JUL 31/TASS)  TASS -- The lead ship of a new class of frigates has entered service after more than a decade of construction and testing, reports Russia's Tass news agency.   The Admiral Gorshkov is the first of four Project 22350 frigates being built for the Russian navy.   The frigate displaces 4,500 tons and can reach speeds of 29 knots. It is equipped with Oniks and Kalibr cruise missiles and Poliment-Redut surface-to-air missile systems.   The Admiral Gorshkov was laid down in 2006 and launched in the fall of 2010. She began trials in November 2014. The final stage of state trials began on March 20, 2017.   The Admiral Gorshkov suffered a number of technical and other issues, which contributed to delays in her commissioning
  Item Number:13 Date: 07/31/2018 TAJIKISTAN - GOVERNMENT BLAMES ISLAMIST PARTY FOR TERROR ATTACK DESPITE ISIS CLAIMS (JUL 31/RFE/RL)  RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- The Tajik government says a banned opposition group was responsible for a terror attack that killed four foreign cyclists over the weekend, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty   On Tuesday, Dushanbe blamed the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT) for the deadly attack in Danghara district, which is 93 miles (150 km) south of the capital.   The Interior Ministry said that five suspects had been arrested and four others killed by police. The ministry claimed that the 22-year-old ringleader was trained in Iran and planned to flee to Afghanistan.   IRPT leaders denied the charge and condemned the attack, reported Reuters.   On Monday, the Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency.   The statement did not provide evidence but called the attackers were "soldiers of the Caliphate."   On Sunday, a driver crashed into a group of foreign cyclists traveling across the country.   Militants then attacked the cyclists with firearms and knives, the government and witnesses said.   The IRPT fought in the Tajik civil war from 1992 to 1997. It entered politics at the end of the war as a legal political party, the only Islamist party in Central Asia. It was banned in 2015 after losing elections.   Activists have accused the Tajik government of using the IRPT as a scapegoat for unrest in the country
  Item Number:16 Date: 07/31/2018 USA - CONGRESS DIRECTS MDA, PENTAGON TO MOVE FORWARD WITH BOOST-PHASE MISSILE DEFENSE CAPABILITY (JUL 31/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- Lawmakers have ordered the U.S. Missile Defense Agency to develop plans for a boost-phase missile defense capability, reports Defense News.   As part of the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, the director of the MDA must set up a program to develop the ability to intercept ballistic missiles in the boost phase of flight using kinetic interceptors starting in fiscal 2019.   The capabilities must be cost-effective and may be air-launched, ship-based or both. The MDA is permitted to work with Japan and South Korea for the project.   The legislation would require the secretary of defense to team with a federally funded research and development center to conduct a feasibility study with the goal of providing an initial or demonstrated boost-phase capability using unmanned aircraft and kinetic interceptors by year-end 2021.   The measure also calls for awarding three competitive contracts for technology risk-reduction with the object of achieving a live-fire boost-phase intercept in fiscal 2022, if feasible.   The UAV effort is centered around using a laser to disable ballistic missiles. The committee authorized $50 million for laser scaling for a boost-phase intercept capability.   Plans call for demonstrating a 500-kilowatt laser by 2021 and a 1-megawatt laser by 2023.
 
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