Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This Day In Naval History - August 6 2012

From: Skip Leonard
Subject: The List 3169
Date: Monday, August 6, 2012, 7:33 AM

THE LIST 3169
To All,
I hope you all had a great weekend.
Regards,
Skip

This Day In Naval History - August 6
1862 - CSS Arkansas destroyed by her commanding officer to prevent capture by USS Essex.
1943 - Battle of Vella Gulf begins. US destroyers sink 3 of 4 Japanese destroyers.
1945 - Atomic bomb detonated over Hiroshima, Japan. Navy weaponeer, Captain W.S. Parsons, USN, armed the atomic bomb on the B-29 bomber, Enola Gay.
1990 - President George Bush orders Operation Desert Shield, largest overseas deployment since Vietnam, to protect Saudi Arabia after Iraqi's invasion of Kuwait.
1997 - Naval Forces on Guam help rescue and begin providing medical care to survivors of Korean Airlines Flight 801 that crashed on Guam.
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EDITORIAL: Obama frags military voters
Support the troops, just don't let them vote
By THE WASHINGTON TIMES
-
Friday, August 3, 2012
President Obama goes out of his way to appear to support the troops. But when it comes to voting, he would like to keep them out of the fight.
The Obama for America Campaign, the Democratic National Committeeand the Ohio Democratic Party are suing the critical swing state of Ohio to strike down a law that makes it easier for members of the military to vote. Under the law, people in uniform may cast early ballots in person up to the day before an election, instead of the previous Friday cutoff for other voters.
Democrats have a transparent political motive. A May 2012 Gallup survey showed Mr. Obama trailing Mitt Romney among veterans 58 to 34 percent. "About a fourth of men are veterans," Gallup reported, "and it is their strong skew toward Romney that essentially creates the GOPcandidate's leading position among men today."
The Democrats' suit alleges the Buckeye State's law is "arbitrary" with "no discernible rational basis," but it is a response to a very real problem. "It's truly difficult to vote," an active-duty service member told The Washington Times. "The military tries hard to help us out with awareness and links to state voting sites but most troops don't exercise their franchise because it's too hard."
A study by the nonpartisan Military Voters Protection Project found that in 2008, less than 20 percent of 2.5 million military voters successfully voted by absentee ballot. In 2010, that participation shrank to a scandalous 5 percent. In response to these dismal numbers, the project has organized the Heroes Vote Initiative, "the first and only nationwide campaign to encourage military voter participation and to provide those voters with the tools to register and request an absentee ballot." The project has singled Ohio out as one of 15 "all-star states" for its efforts to promote and encourage military voting.
The political attack on our troops reopens a wound from the 2000 presidential race. During the controversial Florida recount process, Democrats issued a detailed eight-page guide to local operatives for challenging military overseas ballots. The instructions included erroneous guidance that resulted in over 1,500 ballots being wrongly rejected, which were later reinstated after legal action. Facing a public-relations disaster, the Gore campaign relented, but the damage was done. This year, Democrats are up to similar dirty tricks.
On Wednesday, AMVETS, the National Guard Association of the United States and the Association of the U.S. Army — among other military-affiliated organizations — petitioned a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. "It's disheartening given the full-court press of the Obama administration to court if not pander to the military community," said our source, an overseas combat veteran. "There is an awful lot of effort going into talking about wounded warriors, for example, and employment for veterans. What's going on in Ohio is discouraging but not surprising since the administration's outreach efforts have never seemed sincere."
"Those few who are making the effort to be citizens in every sense of the word should be supported," our source said. "It makes you wonder why they are investing that much time and effort to keep the troops from voting. They must be desperate."
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/3/obama-frags-military-voters/

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All, this is from a friend who is a retired Seal Commander working in Afghanistan. He was one of the first US military personnel into Afghanistan and is now back there in the mix.


(I realize this is two days old, but thought it was worth sending nonetheless.
It's a much shorter read than it looks. Nothing we didn't know already, but that does not make it easier to read in the open press.
The truth of the matter is that between the Pakistan border shut-down and some success in poppy eradication the Taliban have been in short supply of funds relative to other years.)
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY ALL
Taliban happy Pakistan reopened NATO supply line
The Taliban - an unlikely group, is celebrating Pakistan's opening of the NATO supply routes to Afghanistan. The insurgents have earned millions of dollars from Afghan security firms that illegally paid them not to attack trucks making the journey from Pakistan to coalition bases throughout Afghanistan.
NY Daily News Tuesday, July 31st 2012, 06:25 AM
As the United States trumpeted its success in persuading Pakistan to end its seven-month blockade of supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan, another group privately cheered its good fortune: the Taliban.
One of the Afghan war's great ironies is that both NATO and the Taliban rely on the convoys to fuel their operations — a recipe for seemingly endless conflict.
The insurgents have earned millions of dollars from Afghan security firms that illegally paid them not to attack trucks making the perilous journey from Pakistan to coalition bases throughout Afghanistan — a practice the U.S. has tried to crack down on but admits likely still occurs. Militants often target the convoys in Pakistan as well, but there have been far fewer reports of trucking companies paying off the insurgents, possibly because the route there is less vulnerable to attack.
Pakistan's decision to close its border to NATO supplies in November in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops significantly reduced the flow of cash to militants operating in southern and eastern Afghanistan, where the convoys travel up from Pakistan, said Taliban commanders. Pakistan reopened the supply route in early July after the U.S. apologized for the deaths of the soldiers.
"Stopping these supplies caused us real trouble," a Taliban commander who leads about 60 insurgents in eastern Ghazni province told The Associated Press in an interview. "Earnings dropped down pretty badly. Therefore the rebellion was not as strong as we had planned." A second Taliban commander who controls several dozen fighters in southern Kandahar province said the money from security companies was a key source of financing for the insurgency, which uses it to pay fighters and buy weapons, ammunition and other supplies. "We are able to make money in bundles," the commander told the AP by telephone. "Therefore, the NATO supply is very important for us." Both commanders spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being targeted by NATO or Afghan forces, and neither would specify exactly how much money they make off the convoys.
The U.S. military estimated last year that $360 million in U.S. tax dollars ended up in the hands of the Taliban, criminals and power brokers with ties to both. More than half the losses flowed through a $2.1 billion contract to truck huge amounts of food, water and fuel to American troops across Afghanistan. The military said only a small percentage of the $360 million was funneled to the Taliban and other insurgent groups. But even a small percentage would mean millions of dollars, and the militants, who rely on crude weaponry, require relatively little money to operate. The military investigated one power broker who owned a private security company and was known to supply weapons to the Taliban. The power broker, who was not named, received payments from a trucking contractor doing business with the U.S.. Over more than two years, the power broker funneled $8.5 million to the owners of an unlicensed money exchange service used by insurgents.
A congressional report in 2010 called "Warlord, Inc." said trucking contractors pay tens of millions of dollars annually to local warlords across Afghanistan in exchange for guarding their supply convoys, some of which are suspected of paying off the Taliban.
The military instituted a new, roughly $1 billion trucking contract last September with a different set of companies that it claims has reduced the flow of money to insurgents by providing greater visibility of which subcontractors those firms hire, said Maj. Gen. Richard Longo, head of a U.S. anti-corruption task force in Afghanistan.
But it's very difficult to cut off the illegal transfers completely, he said. "I think it would be naive on my part to suggest that no money is going to the enemy," said Longo. "I think there is still money flowing to criminals, and I think that the nexus between criminals and the insurgency is there."
Rep. John Tierney, the Democrat from Massachusetts who led the Warlord, Inc. report, said the new contract has resulted in some increased contractor oversight and accountability, but "the Department of Defense must take more aggressive steps to keep our military personnel safe and to protect taxpayer dollars from going to our enemies in Afghanistan."
The U.S. pushed Pakistan hard to reopen the NATO supply line through the country because it had been forced to use a longer route that runs into northern Afghanistan through Central Asia and costs an additional $100 million per month.
The Taliban commanders interviewed by the AP said the northern route was less lucrative for them because fewer trucks passed through southern and eastern Afghanistan, and contractors seemed to have less money to direct toward the insurgents. It's unclear if that is a result of the new trucking contract implemented by the military. But the commanders said they were determined to get their cut as the flow of trucks resumes from Pakistan — a process that has been slowed by bureaucratic delays, disputes over compensation and concerns about security. "We charge these trucks as they pass through every area, and they are forced to pay," said the commander operating in Ghazni. "If they don't, the supplies never arrive, or they face the consequence of heavy attacks."
Prior to the November attack, the U.S. and other NATO countries shipped about 30 percent of their nonlethal supplies from Pakistan's southern port city of Karachi through two main crossings on the Afghan border. The route through Pakistan will become even more critical as the U.S. seeks to withdraw most of its combat troops by the end of 2014, a process that will require tens of thousands of containers carrying equipment and supplies.
"We have had to wait these past seven months for the supply lines to reopen and our income to start again," said the Taliban commander in Ghazni. "Now work is back to normal."

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Thanks to the handler
The truth about gun
http://townhall.com/columnists/johncgoodman/2012/08/04/the_truth_about_guns/
page/full/

The tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, has led to a lot of unfortunate misinformation about firearms. Let's try to add some facts to the justified emotion.
Are Some Guns More Dangerous than Others? The shooter in Aurora had three firearms when he entered the theater: a pump action shotgun, a semiautomatic rifle and a semiautomatic handgun.
In a closed, crowded setting like a movie theater, the shotgun was probably the most lethal of the three. Every shotgun shell can spray a half-dozen or more pellets, each capable of killing or maiming a person. Twelve-gauge shotguns often fire five shells, and sometimes more, before needing to be reloaded. And unlike semiautomatics, they don't typically jam.
Yet in most American cities, just about anybody can buy a shotgun at the drop of a hat. Antigun activists and politicians almost never propose banning them.
Instead, the focus these days is on so-called "assault weapons."
Should We Be Especially Worried About Assault Weapons? Assault weapons are not usually the weapon of choice. Neither of the two worst shooting sprees in U.S. history involved assault weapons. James Huberty, who killed 20 people at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, California, in 1984, used a shotgun, a pistol and a hunting rifle. George Hennard, who killed 22 people at a Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, in 1991, used two ordinary pistols.
Still, gun opponents seem obsessed about them. So what exactly is an "assault weapon"?
What Are Assault Weapons? You would think that the definition would hinge on a weapon's fire power or its capacity to maim or kill. Not so. Assault weapons are mainly defined by their appearance. As Steve Chapman explained the other day:
Assault weapons are functionally indistinguishable from ordinary semiautomatic hunting rifles. They don't fire more rapidly, they don't deliver more lethal rounds, and they don't spray bullets. They only look like military arms.
The features that disqualified a gun under the federal ban were ones that didn't affect destructiveness, such as pistol grips and bayonet mounts. If accused [Aurora] killer James Holmes had been prevented from buying this gun, he could have found plenty of others that would have served his purpose just as well.
Basically, what disqualified a weapon when the short-lived assault weapons ban was in effect was looking like a military weapon. The offensive features included plastic stocks, extended ammunition clips, collapsible butt-stocks, and other decorative devices that made them look like, but not operate as, a fully functional assault rifle.
Contrary to the claims that military-looking weapons are only designed to kill human beings, they are, in fact, the fastest growing segment of the hunting rifle market!
What About Machine Guns? Most TV commentators who decry assault weapons imply that they are automatic — that you just pull the trigger and bullets start flying. Not so. It has been illegal to buy a machine gun on the open market in the United States for more than 80 years. However, you can obtain one under special permit and there are about 250,000 in private hands.
Now here is something interesting: despite all those guns in private hands, there appears not to be a single instance of a legally owned machine gun being used to commit a crime throughout the entire 80 year period. This illustrates two things: (1) the bumper stickers have it right: guns don't kill, people do; and (2) we can have reasonable restrictions on access to guns without banning them altogether.
That brings us to another obsession: the insistence that guns are useless as tools of self-defense.
Are Guns Useful for Self-Defense? As it turns out, they are. According to research by renowned Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, guns are used between 800,000 and 2.5 million times every year in self-defense.
A study by John Lott and David Mustard found that handguns appear to help women more than men. While murder rates drop when either sex carries more guns, the effect is especially pronounced when women carry. Each additional woman carrying a concealed handgun reduces the murder rate for women three to four times more than an additional armed man reduces the murder rate for men.
Do More Guns Cause More Crime? In the typical Western movie, everyone has a gun. When they go into a bar, they start drinking. Then, they start insulting each other. Before long, they start shooting each other. It may be good theater, but it's lousy history. Turns out, 19th century Dodge City was more peaceful than most American cities are today! Robert Heinlein explained why: "An armed society is a polite society," he wrote.
Overall, some of the most heavily-armed states have very low violent crime rates and vice versa. Also, it appears that when the good guys are armed there is less gun violence. Research by John Lott shows that allowing citizens the right to carry concealed handguns reduces violent crime. In those states that passed right-to-carry concealed handgun laws, the average murder rate dropped from 6.3 per 100,000 to 5.2 per 100,000 nine to 10 years later — about a 1.7% drop in the murder rate per year for 10 years.
In states that enacted right-to-carry laws between 1977 and 1999, the overall occurrence of multiple-victim shootings dropped by a remarkable 67% with deaths and injuries from such shootings plummeting by 75% and 81%, respectively. And since 1997, two of eight school shootings were both stopped by citizens with guns (before police even arrived at the scene).
What Does the International Evidence Show? Switzerland actually requires young males to keep weapons in their homes, as part of the country's militia. Yet no one has ever accused Switzerland of being a host to Wild West shootouts. Finland has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the world. Yet it too has a very low rate of violent crime.
DR


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Item Number:1 Date: 08/06/2012 AUSTRALIA - AFTER PROBLEM IS LOCATED, TIGER ATTACK HELICOPTERS RETURN TO AIR (AUG 06/ADOD)  AUSTRALIAN DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The Australian army has returned its fleet of Tiger attack helicopters to flying status after they were grounded for about a month, reports the Australian Dept. of Defense.   The helicopters were temporarily grounded on June 26 after one of the aircraft made a precautionary landing at the Shoalwater Bay training area when fumes were detected in the cockpit.   The source of the fumes was found to be a faulty capacitor in the power-supply module in a cockpit multi-function display.   The fleet has completed inspection and the faulty modules will be returned to the manufacturer for modification, according to a departmental release on Friday.
Item Number:2 Date: 08/06/2012 DEM REP OF CONGO - MORE SOLDIERS, INCLUDING SENIOR OFFICER, JOIN M23 REBELS (AUG 06/NOR)  NEWS OF RWANDA -- A senior Congolese military officer and about 25 of his men have become the latest soldiers to join the M23 rebel movement in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, reports News of Rwanda.   Lt. Col. John Gasasira, a former member of the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), linked up with M23 in the Masisi area, said Congolese officials.   Gasasira reportedly defected on or around July 31.   The group consists largely of rebels who joined the army and then later deserted.   Separately, M23 representatives said they are ready for peace talks with the government, which are scheduled to take place during a summit that is to begin Tuesday in Kampala, Uganda, reported Radio Netherlands Worldwide
Item Number:3 Date: 08/06/2012 ESTONIA - BORDER GUARD TAKES DELIVERY OF NEW SHIP (AUG 06/EPR)  ESTONIAN PUBLIC RADIO -- The Estonian border guard has just received a new Finnish-built pollution-control vessel, reports Estonian Public Radio.   The handover took place on Friday in Tallinn, the Estonian capital.   The 33 million euro (US$41 million) ship was named after Gen. Ants Kurvits, a commander of the border patrol during Estonia's brief period of independence between the world wars.   The government paid 5 million euros (US$6 million) of the cost, with the rest provided by the European Regional Development Fund, officials said.   The new vessel will increase the government's ability to clean up marine pollution and conduct marine rescue missions, said Interior Minister Ken-Marti Vaher.   The ship was built by Uudenkaupungin Tyovene in Finland
Item Number:4 Date: 08/06/2012 INDONESIA - AGREEMENT WITH AUSTRALIAN MILITARY EYES MORE HUMANITARIAN COOPERATION (AUG 06/ANTARANA)  ANTARA NEWS AGENCY -- The Indonesian and Australian governments have agreed to strengthen military cooperation in humanitarian areas, reports the Antara News, Indonesia's national news agency.   Both have expressed interest in greater teamwork, particularly in emergencies that occur in their bordering waters, said Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro.   Areas of cooperation may include emergency treatment in ship mishaps and in dealing with illegal immigrants.   For example, Yusgiantoro said, if immigrants were stranded in Australian waters, but Indonesia received distress signals first, Indonesian assets would be able to respond.   More joint patrols may also be conducted in the Timor Sea, he said
Item Number:5 Date: 08/06/2012 IRAN - IRANIAN 'CONFESSIONS' AIRED ON STATE TV OVER KILLING OF SCIENTISTS (AUG 06/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Iranian state television has shown the purported confessions of more than a dozen Iranians who allegedly were involved in the killing of four Iranian nuclear scientists, reports Agence France-Presse.   The suspects shown in the broadcast said they killed the scientists on orders from "Washington and London." Iranian officials have accused eight men and five women of being involved in the plot.   In the 40-minute report, the accused killers said how they prepared the attacks by attaching a magnetic bomb to the cars of the scientists.   Footage was also shown of what was called an Israeli camp where the Iranians were said to have been trained
Item Number:6 Date: 08/06/2012 IRAN - TEST OF SHORT-RANGE MISSILE CALLED A SUCCESS (AUG 06/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- Iranian defense officials say the newest version of the Fateh-110 missile has been successfully tested, reports CNN.   Footage from state-run television on Saturday showed a missile being fired from a desert area and falling over the horizon.   Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi told the state-run IRNA news agency that the weapon is from the "fourth generation."   This variant has a range of 185 miles and "can target spots without any diversion," IRNA reported. The missile is believed to be a variant of the Zelzal-2
Item Number:7 Date: 08/06/2012 ISRAEL - 1 KILLED IN AIR FORCE STRIKE (AUG 06/UPI)  UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL -- The Israeli air force says it has hit a terrorist target in the Gaza Strip, UPI reports.   The incident took place on Sunday in the Tel Sultan neighborhood, west of Rafah, officials said.   The army said the two men were planning an attack along the border with Egypt, reported the Jerusalem Post.   The men were members of the Popular Resistance Committees, Palestinian sources said. Israeli military officials said the men belonged to the Global Jihad group. One man was reported killed, the other wounded.   After the incident, Gaza terrorists reportedly fired a rocket and some mortar shells at southern Israeli. No casualties or damage were reported
Item Number:8 Date: 08/06/2012 NIGERIA - BOKO HARAM BOMB KILLS TROOPS IN YOBE STATE (AUG 06/DTRUST)  DAILY TRUST -- The Boko Haram Islamic sect has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a military vehicle in northern Nigeria, reports the Daily Trust (Nigeria).   On Sunday, a suicide car bomber slammed into a military patrol in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, killing six soldiers and three civilians, said security officials.   The troops were chasing the Islamist's vehicle before the attack, said the state police commissioner.   The commissioner said the bomber blew himself up as the troops closed in on him, reported AFP
Item Number:9 Date: 08/06/2012 NIGERIA - BORDER GUARDS ATTACKED IN SINAI (AUG 06/REU)  REUTERS -- Masked gunmen have killed at least 15 Egyptian police officers at a border post in the Sinai peninsula, Reuters reports.   Seven other police officers were wounded in Sunday's assault on the police station, medical and security officials said.   The militants commandeered two military vehicles and tried to storm the border into Israel, said officials.   One vehicle exploded at the Kerem Shalom border crossing, and Israeli warplanes destroyed the other one, said Israeli military officials.  At least three militants were killed, said the Israeli military, as reported by the Washington Post.   The attack was staged by jihadist militants, including some who infiltrated Sinai via Gaza tunnels, an Egyptian security official said.   The crossing will be closed until further notice, said Egypt's state-run news agency
Item Number:10 Date: 08/06/2012 PAKISTAN - NATO DRIVER KILLED AFTER SUPPLY TRUCKS BEGIN CROSSING TORKHAM BORDER (AUG 06/NIP)  NEWS INTERNATIONAL (PAKISTAN) -- Trucks carrying supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan have started crossing the border at Torkham in northwest Pakistan, reports the News International (Pakistan).   The crossing was reopened on Saturday, customs officials said.   Traffic at Torkham had been shut down for 12 days due to concerns over attacks in Khyber agency, officials said. A private company was reportedly contracted to provide security.   On Monday, militants killed the driver of a NATO supply truck in that area, CNN reported. "Three gunmen in a jeep" fired at the truck, a local government official told AFP.
Item Number:11 Date: 08/06/2012 POLAND - AS MANY AS 1,000 ARMORED VEHICLES MAY BE PRODUCED (AUG 06/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The Polish army has decided to acquire up to 1,000 armored vehicles based on a domestic design in a number of variants, reports Defense News, citing domestic media.   The Ministry of Defense is expected to soon sign contracts to launch production of the Anders armored vehicle developed by the OBRUM Gliwice research unit of the Bumar Group, according to the Rzeczpospolita (Warsaw).   The program is part of an effort to modernize the army and increase its mobility, officials said. The potential value of the deal was not made public.   Military testing of the Anders is expected to begin within two years, said defense officials.   Polish officials have indicated that the Anders prototype weighs between 32 and 40 tons depending on its configuration. It can be armed with a Ruag 120-mm main gun and has been equipped with a 710-hp MTU engine, which enables a top speed of 50 mph (80 kmh
Item Number:12 Date: 08/06/2012 RUSSIA - INDIA READY FOR JOINT COUNTERTERRORISM DRILLS (AUG 06/TI)  TIMES OF INDIA -- The Indian and Russian militaries are about to begin a joint anti-terrorist exercise in Russia's eastern Buryatia region, reports the Times of India.   About 250 troops from each nation and 50 pieces of equipment are expected to take part in the Indra 2012 drills at the Burduny firing range, according to a release from Russia's Eastern Military District.   The drills are scheduled from Aug. 7 to Aug. 17.   The Russian contingent will include a motorized infantry company, tank squadron and mortar, artillery, rocket and grenade-launcher units, district officials said. Indian troops will train in Russian combat vehicles.   The planned scenario focuses on reconnaissance, blocking and destruction of military groups
Item Number:13 Date: 08/06/2012 RUSSIA - KYRGYZ, TAJIK, RUSSIAN TROOPS TRAIN TOGETHER (AUG 06/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Military personnel from Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan are set to train together this week in Russia's southern Chelyabinsk region, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   The planned drills will involve more than 1,000 troops from motorized infantry, mountain and airborne units, as well as around 100 pieces of equipment and an air task force with combat helicopters and tactical strike aircraft, said a spokesman for Russia's Central Military District on Friday.   The training is being conducted under the auspices of the Collective Rapid Deployment Force (CRDF) of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization.   Kyrgyz and Tajik personnel will also take field exams to qualify for joint maneuvers of the CRDF, the spokesman said.  The exercise at the Chebarkul range is scheduled to run from Aug. 6 to Aug. 10.
Item Number:14 Date: 08/06/2012 SOMALIA - OFFENSIVE BY AL-SHABAAB DRIVEN OFF, SAY OFFICIALS (AUG 06/SHABELLE)  SHABELLE MEDIA NETWORK -- Somali government forces say they have repulsed an attack by Al-Shabaab insurgents in the Afgoye district, reports the Shabelle Media Network (Somalia).   At least 20 Islamist fighters were killed overnight, officials said on Sunday.  Commanders said on Saturday that they had pushed rebels from a key stronghold called the Km-50 airstrip in the Lower Shabelle region.   Meanwhile, in Mogadishu on Sunday, two people were killed by a roadside bomb, said witnesses. A government official said those who were killed were trying to plant the bomb.
Item Number:15 Date: 08/06/2012 SOUTH KOREA - DRILLS PLANNED IN WATERS NEAR DISPUTED ISLETS (AUG 06/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean military says it will hold a military exercise near the disputed Dokdo islands after Japan renewed its claim to the islands in Tokyo's latest defense white paper, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The islands are known as Takeshima in Japan.   South Korea's one-day exercise, scheduled for Aug. 13, will involve army, navy, air force and coast guard personnel, reported Arirang News (Seoul).   The training scenario calls for the services to work together to expel a vessel that has invaded South Korea's territorial waters near the Dokdo islands, said a military official.
Item Number:16 Date: 08/06/2012 SYRIA - PRIME MINISTER DEFECTS, JOINS 'REVOLUTION' (AUG 06/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Syria's prime minister has fled to Jordan.   Prime Minister Riad Hijab abandoned the Bashar Assad regime to join the "revolution," a spokesman said on Monday, as reported by the BBC.   Appointed less than two months ago, the prime minister defected and took his family with him. He is a Sunni Muslim from the Deir al-Zour area of eastern Syria.   Hijab is the first Cabinet minister to defect from the government since the uprising began in March 2011.   There are unconfirmed reports that other ministers also defected with Hijab.   State media reported the prime minister's dismissal, but gave no explanation. New Prime Minister Omar Ghalawanji will lead a caretaker government, state television said.
Item Number:17 Date: 08/06/2012 TURKEY - PKK ATTACKS BORDER POST; GOVERNMENT OFFENSIVE CONTINUES (AUG 06/NATTURK)  NATIONAL TURK -- Kurdish militants have attacked three Turkish military posts near Turkey's border with Iraq, reports the National Turk.   The raids took place overnight Saturday in Hakkari province, the provincial governor said the next day.   The fighting at the Gecimli paramilitary post left six soldiers, two guards and 14 rebels dead, said officials. At least 21 other people, including five civilians, were reported wounded.   The attack was blamed on the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).   Over the last two weeks, security officials have killed up to 115 Kurdish rebels, the interior minister said Sunday, reported local media
Item Number:18 Date: 08/06/2012 UNITED KINGDOM - MOD HOPES FOR MORE DRONES FOR ROYAL NAVY (AUG 06/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- The U.K. Ministry of Defense says it plans to develop a new generation of unmanned vehicles for the Royal Navy, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   According to documents cited by the paper, the ministry is seeking a greater role for drones in maritime operations such as mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare and anti-ship missile defense, counter-piracy and submarine support.   Unmanned vehicles may also be used to attack hostile forces, according to the cited ministry documents.   The ministry has called on industry and government labs to improve unmanned vehicle capabilities and also wants to integrate drones into all three services.
Item Number:19 Date: 08/06/2012 UNITED KINGDOM - S. KOREAN SHIPBUILDER TO SUPPLY 4 NEW TANKERS (AUG 06/DSTL)  DEFENSE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LABORATORY -- The U.K. Ministry of Defense has signed a contract with South Korea's Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering to build four new tankers for the Royal Navy, reports the U.K. Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL).   The 452 million pound (US$709 million) contract covers the construction of four double-hulled military afloat reach and sustainability (MARS) tankers, with service entry slated for 2016.   The vessels are needed to replace the navy's fleet of single-hulled tankers that no longer meet international maritime requirements.   The new ships are expected to maintain the navy's ability to refuel and resupply at sea and support amphibious land and air forces close to shore, said defense officials.   The tankers will be more than 656 feet (200 m) long and displace about 38,000 tons
Item Number:20 Date: 08/06/2012 USA - ARMY PROBES PREDATOR RUNWAY COLLISION (AUG 06/VDP)  VICTORVILLE DAILY PRESS -- The U.S. Army continues to investigate the collision of two unmanned aircraft at the El Mirage Flight Test Facility in California, reports the Victorville Daily Press (Calif.).   The MQ-1C Gray Eagle aircraft were undergoing individual flight tests in late July when they made contact on an active runway, said an Army spokesman.   Both aircraft were damaged, said the army, although the extent of the damage was not revealed
Item Number:21 Date: 08/06/2012 USA - INITIAL PRODUCTION BEGINS FOR UPGRADED NAVAL EW SYSTEM (AUG 06/NAVSEA)  NAVAL SEA SYSTEMS COMMAND -- The U.S. Navy has given the green light to an electronic warfare system upgrade to proceed with low-rate initial production, reports the Naval Sea Systems Command.   The Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 1B3 is part of a modernization effort for the AN/SLQ-32 electronic warfare system installed on aircraft carriers, surface combatants and amphibious warships.   The program consists of four block upgrades. The Block 1B3 component provides improved battlefield situational awareness and is the last part of the first block upgrade, according to a Navsea release.   Development of Blocks 1A, 1B1 and 1B2 are complete and are in production, with fleet installations underway, Navy officials said.   SEWIP Block 2, which will include an upgraded antenna, receiver and combat system interface, is under development as part of a September 2009 contract.   The SEWIP Block 3 program, with an improved electronic attack capability, is being established
Item Number:22 Date: 08/06/2012 USA - SENATE CONFIRMS WELSH AS AIR FORCE CHIEF (AUG 06/AFNS)  AIR FORCE NEWS SERVICE -- The U.S. Senate has confirmed the White House choice for the next chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, reports the Air Force News Service.   Gen. Mark Welsh III was confirmed late Thursday.   Welsh most recently served as head of U.S. Air Forces in Europe.   A hold had been placed on the promotion of Welsh by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who expressed concern with the service's handling of a sex assault scandal, reported the Stars and Stripes. The senator dropped his opposition on Thursday after meeting with the general.  Welsh will replace Gen. Norton Schwartz in a ceremony on Aug. 10.
Item Number:23 Date: 08/06/2012 YEMEN - DOZENS KILLED, WOUNDED IN SUICIDE ATTACK AT FUNERAL IN ABYAN PROVINCE (AUG 06/XIN)  XINHUA -- At least 46 people, including a prominent tribal chief, have been killed in a suicide attack on a funeral in southern Yemen, reports Xinhua, China's state-based news agency.   Dozens of others were wounded in Saturday night's attack in the town of Jaar in Abyan province, the Defense Ministry said on its website.   Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the attack.   The funeral was attended by a number of anti-AQAP militia fighters.   The incident was the deadliest since the army declared victory over the Islamists militants in June, reported the Sunday Telegraph (U.K.).

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