Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fw: The List 3164



--- On Mon, 7/30/12, Skip Leonard <skip@skipsthelist.org> wrote:

From: Skip Leonard <skip@skipsthelist.org>
Subject: The List 3164
To: skip.leonard@ngc.com
Date: Monday, July 30, 2012, 6:14 AM

THE LIST 3164
To All,
I hope you all had a good weekend. This is a Bubba Breakfast Friday in San Diego.
Regards,
Skip


This Day In Naval History - July 30
1918 - Units of First Marine Aviation Force arrive at Brest, France
1941 - Japanese aircraft bomb USS Tutuila (PR-4) at Chungking, China; First Navy ship damaged by Axis during World War II.
1942 - FDR signs act establishing WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). During World War II, over 80,000 officer and enlisted women served in the WAVES.
1944 - Naval Task Force lands Army troops near Cape Opmarai, New Guinea.
1945 - Japanese submarine, I-58, sinks USS Indianapolis (CA-35) in Philippine Sea; 316 out of 1199 crew survived.
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Thanks to Hawk
Just got this and thought it was significant news.

Hawk


Yahoo, NRA wins one!!! Maybe!!!
http://www.nraila.org/news-issues/articles/2012/nra-stops-un-arms-trade-trea
ty.aspx

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NSA chief: Internet 'at great risk,' needs defense system

General Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency, addressed an audience at the Defcon hacking conference in Las Vegas Friday, saying the Internet needed fundamental defenses against foreign incursion.
It's the first time an NSA official has spoken at the world-famous conference, where the attendees are often engaged in unquestionably illegal activities like attempting to breach the security of government agencies. But General Alexander seemed to regard them as kindred spirits as well as experts.
"Sometimes you guys get a bad rap. From my perspective, what you're doing to figure out vulnerabilities in systems is great," he told the crowd, according to a report from CNET.
But it wasn't all civilities. Alexander said that the Internet as it is today is "at great risk from exploitation, disruption and destruction." Tracking Internet activity is a massive task and even the NSA can't do it without some kind of fundamental access.
He compared the Internet's traffic to a toll highway, and said he'd like the NSA to act as the monitor. Most traffic would barely be paid attention to, like a car with an "EZ Pass" cruising through without being stopped. But suspicious traffic would be identified and tracked.
As MIT's Technology Review points out, NSA has prototyped a version of an Internet monitoring system, with 17 defense contractors participating. If an internal alarm is tripped, presumably in the event of a breach, telemetry from the event is relayed automatically to the NSA. Alexander would like to see something like this applied more broadly.
Naturally an audience of hackers would be skeptical of giving a government agency such broad access to all the U.S.'s Internet traffic, but Alexander assured them that their interest was strictly to investigate threats from abroad. "Our job is foreign intelligence. We get oversight by Congress," he said, also taking time to say that recent reports that the NSA had a file on every American citizen were "absolute nonsense."
He also exhorted the audience of technically proficient hackers to get involved. With a tacit nod to the bumbling efforts of some legislators in regulating the Internet and security issues, he suggested that the Defcon attendees should be helping from the inside, not just taking pot shots at it from outside.
General Alexander is head of perhaps the largest and most invasive intelligence and security agency in the world, and whether it's despite that or because of that, his overtures to the hacking community seem reasonable. He and the occasionally lawless hackers may in some ways seem to be natural enemies, but as one hacker told MIT, when it comes to advancing the field of cybersecurity, "Our interests overlap."
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Romney's Remarkable Speech in Jerusalem
by Daniel Pipes
July 29, 2012
Cross-posted from National Review Online: The Corner
Mitt Romney, the all-but-official Republican presidential candidate, delivered a stem-winder of a speech to the Jerusalem Foundation today, packing emotional support with frank policy statements. The contrast with Obama could hardly be more dramatic. Indeed, one could go through the speech and note the many refutations of Obama. For example, the opening comment that "To step foot into Israel is to step foot into a nation that began with an ancient promise made in this land" directly contrasts with Obama's crabbed statement in Cairo about "the aspiration for a Jewish homeland [being] rooted in a tragic history."
Also, in contrast to the nonsensical Obama administration stance on Jerusalem – sneaking in changes to captions that identified it as such and going through verbal gymnastics to avoid calling it that – Romney came out and plainly called Jerusalem "the capital of Israel."
Many of his statements are paeans to the Jewish state and its extraordinary ties to the United States. Some quotations, with my additions in italic on the key words in each quotation:
Our two nations are separated by more than 5,000 miles. But for an American abroad, you can't get much closer to the ideals and convictions of my own country than you do in Israel.
It is my firm conviction that the security of Israel is in the vital national security interest of the United States.
We have seen the horrors of history. We will not stand by. We will not watch them play out again. It would be foolish not to take Iran's leaders at their word. They are, after all, the product of a radical theocracy. … We have a solemn duty and a moral imperative to deny Iran's leaders the means to follow through on their malevolent intentions.
our alliance runs deeper than the designs of strategy or the weighing of interests. The story of how America – a nation still so new to the world by the standards of this ancient region – rose up to become the dear friend of the people of Israel is among the finest and most hopeful in our nation's history. Different as our paths have been, we see the same qualities in one another. Israel and America are in many respects reflections of one another.
the enduring alliance between the State of Israel and the United States of America is more than a strategic alliance: it is a force for good in the world. America's support of Israel should make every American proud. We should not allow the inevitable complexities of modern geopolitics to obscure fundamental touchstones. … A free and strong America will always stand with a free and strong Israel.
By history and by conviction, our two countries are bound together. No individual, no nation, no world organization, will pry us apart. And as long as we stay together and stand together, there is no threat we cannot overcome and very little that we cannot achieve.
But of the whole speech, it is the final words that most struck me: "May God bless America, and may He bless and protect the Nation of Israel." When last did a politician ask the Lord to protect another country and not his own?
Comments: (1) Obama and Romney stand as far apart on Israel as they do on the sources of economic growth. (2) Over and over again, Romney returned to the moral bonds between the two countries; yes, there are mutual benefits from our connection, but ultimately it reflects something higher and greater than any of us. (3) Were he elected, it will be fascinating to watch to what extent the outlook expressed today will convey to the workaday policy issues. I expect it will substantially convey.
http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2012/07/romney-remarkable-speech-in-jerusale
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Thanks to Tom
Rare North Vietnamese Air Combat Details For Their ' FIGHT ' TIL I D-I-E '. . Fighter Pilot ACES
Sixteen [ 16 ] Vietnamese pilots earned that honor.

   Nguyen Van Coc is also the Top Ace of Vietnam War with 9 kills : 7 planes and 2 UAV (Unmanned Airborne Vehicle) ' Firebees.' Among those seven US planes, six are confirmed by US records, and we should add to this figure a confirmed USAF loss ( the F-102A flown by Wallace Wiggins [ KIA ] on February 3 1968,) originally considered a probable by the VPAF. His 7 confirmed kills qualified Coc as the Top Ace of the war, even after omitting the downed UAVs.
Why so many Vietnamese Aces ? And why did so many VPAF pilots score higher than their American adversaries ?
Mainly because of their numbers [ and tactics. ]
   In 1965, the VPAF had only 36 MiG-17s and a similar number of qualified pilots, which increased to 180 MiGs and 72 pilots by 1968. Those brave six dozen pilots confronted about 200 F-4s of the 8th, 35th and 366th TFW, about 140 Thunderchiefs of the 355th and 388th TFW, and about 100 USN aircraft (F-8s, A-4s and F-4s) which operated from the carriers on "Yankee Station" in the Gulf of Tonkin, plus scores of other support aircraft ( EB-6Bs jamming, HH-53s rescuing downed pilots, Skyraiders covering them, etc.)

   Considering such odds, it is clear why some Vietnamese pilots scored more than the Americans; the VPAF pilots simply were busier than their US counterparts. And they " flew till they died." They had no rotation home after 100 combat sorties because
they were already home. American pilots generally finished a tour of duty and rotated home for training, command, or flight test assignments. Some requested for a second combat tour, but they were the exceptions.

What about the tactics of both sides ?

   Because the USAF did not attack the main radar installations and command centers ( it worried about killing Russian or Chinese advisers,) the Vietnamese flew their interceptors with superb guidance from ground controllers, who positioned the MiGs in perfect ambush battle stations.

   The MIGs made fast and devastating attacks against US formations from several directions (usually the MiG-17s performed
head-on attacks and the MiG-21s attacked from the rear). After shooting down a few American planes and forcing some of the F-105s to drop their bombs prematurely, the MiGs did not wait for retaliation, but disengaged rapidly. This " guerrilla warfare in the air " proved very successful.

   Such tactics were sometimes helped by weird American practices. For example, in late 1966 the F-105 formations used to fly every day at the same time in the same flight paths and used the same callsigns over and over again. The North Vietnamese realized that and took the chance: in December 1966 the MiG-21 pilots of the 921st FR intercepted the "Thuds" before they met the escorting F-4s, downing 14 F-105s without any losses.

That ended on January 2 1967 when Col. Robin Olds executed Operation "Bolo."


   What about training? In mid-1960's the American pilots were focused on the use of air-to-air missiles (like the radar homing AIM-7 Sparrow and IR AIM-9) to win the air battles. However, they had forgotten that a skillful pilot in the cockpit was as important as the weapons he uses.

   The VPAF knew that, and trained its pilots to exploit the superb agility of the MiG-17, MiG-19 and MiG-21 - getting into close combat, where the heavy Phantoms and " Thuds " were at a disadvantage.

   Only in 1972, when the "Top Gun" program improved the skills in aerial combat of USN Phantom pilots and the F-4E appeared with a 20 MM built-in Vulcan cannon, could the Americans neutralize that Vietnamese edge.

   Finally, the overwhelming US numerical superiority meant that, from the point of view of the Vietnamese pilots, the aerial battlefield was a " target rich environment." For the American airmen Vietnam was a " target poor environment." The Americans could not find enough enemy aircraft to pile up large scores simply because there weren't that many MiGs around; the VPAF never had more than 200 combat aircraft.
   All these factors created more Vietnamese aces than American, and created opportunities for a few Vietnamese aces to pile up bigger scores than their American counterparts. Officially, there were 16 VPAF Aces during Vietnam War (13 were MiG-21 pilots, and three were MiG-17 drivers, there were no MiG-19 aces). The number in parentheses indicates the kills confirmed by US sources; they could be increased in the future.
   Here are some accounts of deeds performed by those valiant pilots who faced the most powerful air force in the world in defense of their homeland, and who earned the respect of their enemies, the American airmen.
What about Colonel Toon ?
   Readers familiar with American military aviation may have heard of the legendary Vietnamese ace, Col. Toon (or Col. Tomb). Why is he not listed here?

Because, he was precisely that . . "legendary."

   No Colonel Toon ever flew for the VPAF; he was a figment of the American fighter pilots' imagination and ready room chatter.
( " Col. Toon " may have been shorthand for any good Vietnamese pilot, like any solo nighttime nuisance bomber in WW2 was called " Washing Machine Charlie.")
Nguyen Van Bay
   When the 923rd Fighter Regiment was created on September 7 1965, Nguyen Van Bay was one of the students chosen to fly
the MiG-17F Frescos. His training ended in January 1966, and soon the young Lt. Bay saw action against American aircraft.

   On June 211966, four MiG-17s of the 923rd FR engaged an RF-8A recce plane and its escorting F-8 Crusaders of VF-211. Even
as the escorting Crusaders destroyed two MiGs, Nguyen Van Bay opened his score when he shot down the F-8E of Cole Black, who ejected to became a POW. Even more important, the Vietnamese People's Air Force pilots achieved their main goal ; as Bay and his buddies distracted the escort, Phan Thanh Trung in the lead MiG shot down the RF-8A. The pilot, Leonard Eastman, was also taken prisoner.

   A week later - June 29- Bay and three more MiG-17 pilots engaged American F-105Ds heading for the fuel depots in Hanoi, North Vietnam and ( together with Phan Van Tuc ) Nguyen Van Bay surprised and shot down a "Thud." His victim, the leader of the US formation, turned out to be Major James H. Kasler, a Sabre Ace during the Korean War with 6 MiG kills.

    However, his greatest feat happened on April 24 1967.  Now a flight leader, Bay scrambled from Kien An airfield and led his flight of MiG-17Fs against a USN raid on the Haiphong docks. Bay closed on an unaware F-8C of VF-24 and fired a burst of deathly 37 mm shells which broke it into pieces.

   The F-8C -BuNo 146915, piloted by Lt. Cdr. E.J.Tucker- caught fire and crashed. Tucker ejected and was captured (unfortunately he died in captivity.) The escorting F-4Bs of VF-114 entered the battle and fired several Sidewinders against Bay, but Bay's wing-man - Nguyen The Hon- warned him, and Bay sharply broke off, evading all the missiles. Then, Bay headed his MiG-17 Fresco towards one of the Phantoms and shot it down with cannon fire.  [ After ejecting ] the crew, Lt. Cdr. C.E. Southwick and Ens. J.W. Land, was rescued.

They thought they had been downed by AAA.

   The next day, April 25, his flight of MiG-17s scored again, shooting down two A-4s with no losses themselves. Both kills are confirmed by the US Navy: the first victim was the A-4C BuNo 147799 piloted by Lt. C.D. Stackhouse (POW), who fell under the guns of Bay's MiG-17, and the second was the A-4C BuNo 151102, piloted by Lt (jg) A.R. Crebo, who was rescued.

   Bay was awarded the Hero's Medal of the Vietnamese People's Army for his outstanding skill and bravery in combat and for his superb flight leadership.

   In early 1972 this Vietnamese MiG ace and his buddy Le Xuan Di were trained by a Cuban advisor in anti-ship warfare, and they certainly were good students, because on April 19 1972 they attacked the destroyers USS Oklahoma City and Highbee,which were shelling targets in Vinh city. While Bay caused only slight damage to the first one, Le Xuan Di hit one of the Highbee's stern turrets with a 500 pound bomb.  It was the first air strike suffered by the USN 7th Fleet since the end of WW2.
Nguyen Doc Soat
   One of the merits of the Vietnamese People's Air Force was that the more successful pilots could transfer their combat exper-ience to the novice students. That was the case of Nguyen Doc Soat. Originally this young MiG-21 student was assigned to the 921st FR, and his instructors were the hottest VPAF pilots of the outfit : Pham Thanh Ngan ( 8 kills ) and the top Vietnamese ace, Nguyen Van Coc ( 9 victories.) Soat couldn't ask for better teachers. While he did not score kills at that time, he gained valuable experience.

   Re-assigned to the recently created 927th Fighter Regiment, when Operation "Linebacker I" began in May 1972, Soat was ready to show his abilities. On the 23rd he scored his first victory, downing a USN A-7B Corsair II with 30 mm fire. His victim was Charles Barnett (KIA).

   On June 24 1972 two MiG-21s flown by Nguyen Duc Nhu and Ha Vinh Thanh took off from Noi Bai at 15:12 to intercept some Phantoms attacking a factory in Thai Nguyen, North Vietnam. The American escort reacted rapidly and headed towards them.

   But those MiGs were actually only bait ; suddenly two MiG-21PFMs of the 927th FR appeared, piloted by Nguyen Doc Soat (leader) and Ngo Duy Thu (wingman), who took the escorting F-4Es by surprise. Firing a heat-seeking missile R-3S Atoll, Soat downed the F-4E of David Grant and William Beekman.  Both crewmen became POWs, as Thu [ caused ejection of ] a second Phantom crew.

   Three days later Soat and Thu scrambled from Noi Bai at 11:53 and headed towards four F-4s, but knowing that eight more Phantoms were incoming, they did not risk being "sandwiched" by the arriving US fighters. They turned back, climbed to 5,000 mts ( 15,000 feet ) and waited.

   Their patience was rewarded, and surprised the trailing pair of F-4s.  Both Soat and Thu bagged one Phantom each with
R-3 missiles.  Soat's victim was one F-4E.  And its crew ( Miller/McDow ) was captured.

   On August 26 1972, Nguyen Doc Soat had the distinction of shooting down the only USMC Phantom downed in air combat during the Vietnam War. The RIO of the downed F-4J was rescued, but the unfortunate pilot -Sam Cordova- died. The Vietnamese MiG Ace scored his last victory on October 12, when he destroyed the F-4E of Myron Young and Cecil Brunson ( both POW. )

   Along with Nguyen Van Coc and other VPAF vets, Soat is a living legend in the country for which he bravely and skillfully fought 30 years ago.

Source : S. Sherman and Diego Fernando Zampini  [ abridged ]

Other Sources :
Air War over North Vietnam, Dr. Itsvan Toperczer, Squadron/Signal Publications Inc. 1998.
MiG-21 Units of the Vietnam War, Istvan Toperczer, 2001, Osprey Military
MiG-17/19 Units of the Vietnam War, Istvan Toperczer, 2001, Osprey Military
© 1999- 2012, by Acepilots.com
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Item Number:1 Date: 07/30/2012 CHINA - LEADER URGES MORE MILITARY COOPERATION WITH AFGHANISTAN (JUL 30/XIN)  XINHUA -- Senior military officials have pledged to enhance China's defense cooperation with Afghanistan, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Guo Boxiong, vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission, called for better military ties during a meeting in Beijing last week.   Guo met on Friday with Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak.   Bilateral defense cooperation has grown steadily in recent years, Guo noted
Item Number:2 Date: 07/30/2012 GEORGIA - NATIONWIDE COMMAND POST DRILLS STRESS READINESS (JUL 30/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The military of the republic of Georgia has been conducting a major command-post exercise with U.S. assistance, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).  The Didgori drills simulate coordinate operations of different military branches in a total defense scenario, noted Defense Minister Dmitri Shashkin last week.   The national guard is serving as a mobilization reserve for the exercise, which has been taking place simultaneously in the eastern and western parts of the country.   Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, the deputy director for plans, policy and strategy at the U.S. European Command, observed the exercise on Friday.
Item Number:3 Date: 07/30/2012 GERMANY - CASSIDIAN USES NOVEL TECHNOLOGY IN AIRBORNE GROUND SURVEILLANCE RADAR (JUL 30/CASS)  CASSIDIAN -- Cassidian, the German-based defense subsidiary of EADS, has introduced a new airborne ground surveillance radar.   The SmartRadar (scalable modular aerospace radar technology) uses ultra-high-resolution radar technology to monitor wide areas with stationary targets while simultaneously detecting and tracking moving targets at long range, according to a Cassidian release.   The system uses a special modular architecture to scale the bandwidth, frequency band and processing performance.   Cassidian officials say the radar is designed to adapt quickly to new requirements with simple, configurable firmware and software along with variable cooling.   The SmartRadar has achieved positive results during testing at Goose Bay, Canada, company officials said.   A variant has already been adapted into a pod with an autonomous cooling system, enabling it to be rapidly integrated with various mission aircraft, said the release
Item Number:4 Date: 07/30/2012 HAITI - BRAZIL WILLING TO ASSIST IN BUILDING NEW MILITARY (JUL 30/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Brazilian government has decided to help Haiti build a military that will eventually replace the U.N. peacekeeping mission (MINUSTAH) in that country, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Brazil will send a military mission to Haiti to determine how such support might best be implemented, Defense Minister Celso Amorim told his Haitian counterpart Jean Rodolphe Joazile last week in Brazil.   The Haitian government requested the assistance, noted Amorim. The minister said the offer was based on the condition that the armed forces would not become a personal militia in haiti.   The minister also suggested that Haitian officers might study engineering in Brazil to help build professional and institutional capacity
Item Number:5 Date: 07/30/2012 IRAQ - KURDS SAID TO BE MAKING SECRET WEAPONS DEAL (JUL 30/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- A senior Iraqi official in Baghdad says the leaders of the autonomous Kurdistan region have been involved in a secret weapons deal with a foreign country, reports Agence France-Presse.   The deal includes Russian-made anti-armor and anti-aircraft missiles, as well as a large number of heavy weapons, the unnamed official told AFP.   Iraqi-Kurdistan's President Massoud Barzani was involved, the official said.   The Iraqi government is reportedly trying to block the deal
Item Number:6 Date: 07/30/2012 ISRAEL - FIGHTER, TANKER FORCED TO LAND AFTER REFUELING MISHAP (JUL 30/TOI)  TIMES OF ISRAEL -- The Israeli air force had to deal with an emergency landing situation and a major grounding of aircraft the same day.   An air force fighter and aerial tanker were damaged Friday while training in southern Israel, reports the Times of Israel.   An F-16I fighter and Boeing 707 tanker made emergency landings at Uvda air force base after both planes were badly damaged in the mishap.   Initial reports said that the refueling hose crashed into the F-16's cockpit after the aircraft failed to connect correctly. Flight International reported that the refueling boom had "disintegrated."   Also Friday, the air force grounded some of its F-16C/D fighters after technicians found that paint on the inner side of the air intake was peeling off and could potentially enter the engine, reported Flight International.   Only those aircraft with the peeling paint were grounded, said the air force
Item Number:7 Date: 07/30/2012 ISRAEL - LOCKHEED, PENTAGON REACH ACCORD ON ISRAELI SYSTEMS FOR F-35 FIGHTERS (JUL 30/ARUTZ)  ARUTZ SHEVA -- The U.S. Dept. of Defense has reached an agreement with Lockheed Martin on a project to integrate systems that are unique to Israel on that country's F-35 fighters, reports Arutz Sheva (Israel).   The US$450 million program will enhance the fighter's electronic warfare equipment and integrate Israeli-designed systems beginning in 2016, reported Reuters.   It may take a few more weeks to finalize details, said the wire service.   Israel is going to be allowed to install its own radio and data link systems as well as other equipment on its fighters under the terms of the agreement.   The accord is seen as a major step forward for Israel's program to buy 19 F-35s under an October 2010 contract.   Reaching the deal is expected to enable more participation by Israeli companies in the F-35 program. Israel Aerospace Industries, for example, is expected to begin building wings for the jets
Item Number:8 Date: 07/30/2012 ISRAEL - WITH SITUATION IN SYRIA DETERIORATING, MILITARY STEPS UP GOLAN HEIGHTS DEFENSES (JUL 30/HA)  HAARETZ -- The Israeli military has been beefing up its defenses along the border with Syria on the Golan Heights, reports Haaretz.   Military officials have expressed concern that militant groups could take advantage of the conflict in Syria and attack Israeli communities on the border.   Fences have been strengthened as have barriers at the border. A wide trench has been dug to prevent vehicles from approaching Israeli towns, officials said.   Earlier this month, Syrian forces crossed the demilitarized zone near the border, prompting an official complaint to the United Nations
Item Number:9 Date: 07/30/2012 JORDAN - TENT CAMP IS OPENED FOR FLEEING SYRIANS (JUL 30/AB)  AL BAWABA -- Jordan has opened its first refugee camp for Syrians fleeing the conflict in that neighboring country, reports Al Bawaba (Jordan).   The Zaatari camp can accommodate up to 120,000 refugees, said Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Jawdeh and Interior Minister Ghaleb Zoubi.   The tent camp, opened Sunday, is located in Mafraq, near the border with Syria.   More than 36,000 Syrian refugees are in Jordan, said Jawdeh.
Item Number:10 Date: 07/30/2012 NIGERIA - MOSQUE ATTACK IN JANBULO THWARTED (JUL 30/LEADERSHIP)  LEADERSHIP -- Nigerian police say they have foiled a suicide attack in the northern city of Kano, reports Leadership (Nigeria).   A suicide bomber and three gunmen stormed a mosque during prayers Sunday night in the Janbulo area, said witnesses.   A member of a militia group guarding the building alerted police, who killed the four militants, said officials.
Item Number:11 Date: 07/30/2012 PAKISTAN - U.S. DRONE HITS MILITANT COMPOUND IN N. WAZIRISTAN (JUL 30/XIN)  XINHUA -- Pakistani intelligence officials say a U.S. unmanned aircraft has attacked a militant compound in North Waziristan tribal agency, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.  The drone fired four missiles at a house on Sunday in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan, said the officials. Other accounts indicated six missiles were fired.   The attack took place in the village of Khushhali Turikhel, reported AFP.   At least seven militants were killed and several others injured, said the officials.
Item Number:12 Date: 07/30/2012 QATAR - REQUEST MADE FOR 200 GERMAN TANKS (JUL 30/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Qatar is seeking to purchase up to 200 main battle tanks from Germany, Agence France-Presse reports.   A delegation from the German defense firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann has traveled to Qatar to discuss the possible sale of Leopard 2 tanks, reported Der Spiegel.   The deal would be worth around 2 billion euros (US$2.46 billion), said the magazine -- which noted that it was supported by the Economic Ministry in Germany and the chancellor
Item Number:13 Date: 07/30/2012 RUSSIA - JAPANESE MINISTER SAYS TALKS WILL CONTINUE OVER SOVEREIGNTY OF KURILS (JUL 30/UPI)  UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL -- Officials from Russia and Japan have agreed to hold frequent high-level talks in an attempt to find a solution to their longstanding dispute over the Kuril islands, reports UPI.   Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba traveled to the Black Sea resort city of Sochi over the weekend to discuss the issue.   Both sides are far from resolving their differences, but they intend to continue negotiations, Gemba said.   Russia has held four islands in the Kuril chain since they were seized by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II.   The islands are known as the Northern Territories in Japan and the Southern Kurils in Russia.   The issue has been a major factor in the failure of Japan and Russia to sign a peace treaty.
Item Number:14 Date: 07/30/2012 SOMALIA - AL-SHABAAB FIGHTING REPORTED IN SEVERAL AREAS (JUL 30/GAROWE)  GAROWE ONLINE -- Somali government and allied forces have been involved in a number of recent battles with Al-Shabaab.   On Saturday night, Somali and Ethiopian troops were ambushed by insurgent fighters in the Gedo region, reports Garowe Online.   Allied troops repelled the attack in Yurkud, said officials.   The regional governor said Kenyan troops were involved in that battle, reported the Shabelle Media Network. He reported that 26 Al-Shabaab fighters were killed.   On Sunday, there were multiple explosions in the capital of Mogadishu, reported Shabelle.   The blasts at Carwo-idka junction and Dabka intersection killed two people and wounded seven others, including soldiers, said witnesses.
Item Number:15 Date: 07/30/2012 SOMALIA - U.N. REPORT SAYS U.S. IS VIOLATING ARMS EMBARGO IN FIGHT AGAINST AL-SHABAAB (JUL 30/SHABELLE)  SHABELLE MEDIA NETWORK -- A U.N. monitoring group says the U.S. is violating a 20-year-old arms embargo on Somalia by equipping militia groups fighting against Al-Shabaab, reports the Shabelle Media Network (Mogadishu).   Washington has carried out three covert programs to assist anti-Shabaab fighters, said the U.N.'s Somalia-Eritrea Monitoring Group.   Central Intelligence Agency officers and special operations soldiers have also reportedly been sent to the semi-autonomous of Puntland, said the U.N. group.   The Obama administration has not notified the U.N. of these activities, which is required under the 1992 embargo, said the monitoring group.   At least 11 other governments have also failed to inform the U.N. of cargo flights to supply various parties in the Somalia conflict, says the report.
Item Number:16 Date: 07/30/2012 SUDAN - TRIBAL CLASHES TURN DEADLY IN S. DARFUR (JUL 30/RADDABANGA)  RADIO DABANGA -- Tribal fighting in Sudan's Darfur region has left at least six people dead, reports Radio Dabanga (Netherlands).   Rival factions clashed on Saturday in the Abbouri area of South Darfur, said witnesses.   Two branches of the El-Taisha tribe -- El-Jararha and Sons of Rashed -- were said to be involved.   Several arrests were made, said a tribal leader
Item Number:17 Date: 07/30/2012 SWEDEN - DEVELOPMENT COSTS FOR LATEST GRIPEN HEAD HIGHER THAN ANTICIPATED (JUL 30/LOCAL)  THE LOCAL -- Swedish media say that domestic defense firm Saab now estimates that development costs for the latest version of the Gripen fighter will be much higher than initially anticipated, reports the Local (Stockholm).   Estimates in January put the cost of development at around US$4.8 billion. By May, an analysis provided by Saab predicted the price tag would be considerably larger, according to a report by Swedish Radio.   The military is expected to inform the government this week that funding needs to be diverted from other systems planned for 2013 and 2014 to cover the costs of the Gripen NG
Item Number:18 Date: 07/30/2012 SYRIA - BRIGADIER GENERAL, OTHER OFFICERS DEFECT TO TURKEY (JUL 30/REU)  REUTERS -- A group of Syrian officers have defected and fled to Turkey, including the deputy police chief of the city of Latakia, say Turkish officials cited by Reuters.   Twelve officers fled Syria late Sunday, a Turkish official said on Monday.   Around 600 Syrians have entered Turkey in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of Syrian refugees to around 43,500, he added.   The deputy commander, a brigadier general, is one of the most senior police officers to quit the regime.   More than 20 generals and scores of other officers have defected from Syria
Item Number:19 Date: 07/30/2012 SYRIA - FIGHTING CONTINUES IN ALEPPO (JUL 30/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Syrian government troops and rebel fighters have both claimed victories in fighting in Aleppo, reports the Voice of America News.   Damascus says its forces have won back a district in southeast Aleppo, reported CBS News.   The rebel Free Syrian Army on Monday denied the government's claim that it had overrun the rebel-held district of Salahhedine.   During a visit to Iran, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem vowed the rebels in Aleppo would be defeated.   Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi called any hopes of a peaceful transition in a post-Assad Syria an "illusion."   Fighting in Aleppo forced 200,000 people from the city over a two-day period, U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said on Sunday.   Syria's commercial hub, Aleppo is the largest city in the country
Item Number:20 Date: 07/30/2012 UKRAINE - ACTING NAVY COMMANDER GETS TOP JOB (JUL 30/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- President Viktor Yanukovych has appointed a new chief of the navy -- the former acting chief, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   Vice Adm. Yuriy Ilyin, who has been the acting leader, was appointed last week as commander of the Ukrainian navy.   Defense Minister Dmytro Salamatin formally introduced Ilyin to the other naval commanders the same day.
Item Number:21 Date: 07/30/2012 USA - AIR FORCE PILOTS TEST HELMET SYSTEMS DURING RIMPAC DRILLS (JUL 30/AFNS)  AIR FORCE NEWS SERVICE -- Reserve A-10 pilots from the 47th Fighter Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., has been using new helmet and survival radio technologies for their first operational tests during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises in Hawaii, reports the Air Force News Service.   The Scorpion helmet system takes the information in the aircraft and positions it on the ground so that each pilot can look at the head-up display and know precisely where targets are without losing visual contact, according to Lt. Col. Tom McNurlin of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command Test Center in Tucson, Ariz.   The full-color system is three times as accurate as currently fielded equipment and supports 512 lines of sight, he said.   Another new technology being tested during the exercises in the Pacific is the Lightweight Airborne Recovery System (LARS), which works with existing Air Force search-and-rescue radios and is also compatible with the current A-10 survival radio.   Both systems interface through the Suite 7B Operational Flight Program software. The total system began development in 2010 and is scheduled to begin fielding in October, said McNurlin
Item Number:22 Date: 07/30/2012 USA - LOCKHEED COMPLETES JASSM INTEGRATION WITH F-15E (JUL 30/LM)  LOCKHEED MARTIN -- Lockheed Martin has announced the successful integration of the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) with the F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft.   The milestone was reached with a recent all-up round flight test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.   The trial also marked the first time any missile has been integrated on a platform using the Air Force's universal armament interface (UAI), according to a Lockheed release.   The interface improves the integration cycle of new precision-guided munitions by eliminating the need to change each weapon and platform's operational flight program software, says Lockheed.   During the flight test, the JASSM was successfully launched at an altitude of 22,000 feet (6,700 m), navigated to and destroyed its target, while demonstrating end-to-end capability on the F-15E and validating the missile operational flight software program written for the UAI, said the release.   The F-15E is the sixth platform to be integrated with the JASSM, said company officials
Item Number:23 Date: 07/30/2012 USA - N.D. AIR GUARD TO USE CAMP GRAFTON FOR UAV TRAINING (JUL 30/GFH)  GRAND FORKS HERALD -- The Federal Aviation Administration has set aside eight blocks of restricted airspace at Camp Grafton, N.D., for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) training, reports the Grand Forks Herald (N.D.).   The area will be used for MQ-1 Predator training by the North Dakota Air National Guard's 119th Wing based at Hector International Airport in Fargo.   Previously, the only Predator training sites in the U.S. were at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., and Edwards AFB, Calif.   Predator flights at Camp Grafton are expected to begin in September or early October, said Col. Rick Gibney, the 119th Wing commander
Item Number:24 Date: 07/30/2012 YEMEN - GUNMEN SNATCH ITALIAN EMBASSY GUARD IN SANAA (JUL 30/SABA)  SABA NEWS AGENCY -- Gunmen have kidnapped an Italian Embassy guard in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, reports Saba, Yemen's state news agency.   Yemeni authorities have launched a search for the guard, who was seized on Sunday, said Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi.   The security officer is a member of Italy's Carabinieri paramilitary police, reported Reuters.   No group has yet claimed responsibility for the abduction, reported the New York Times.

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