Friday, December 12, 2014

Fw: TheList 3770

The List 3770
To All,
I hope you all have a great weekend.  12 or so days to shop for Christmas. Sort of like a song.
This Day In Naval History - December 12
1862 - Confederate torpedo (mine) sinks USS Cairo in Yazoo River.
1937 - Japanese aircraft sink USS Panay in Yangtze River near Nanking, China.
1941 - Naval Air Transport Service is established.
1951 - First flight of helicopter with gas-turbine engine at Windsor Locks, CT, demonstrates adaptability of this engine to helicopters.
1972- Captain Eugene A. Cernan, USN, commander of Apollo 17, walks on the Moon. Commander Ronald E. Evans, USN, was the Command Module Pilot. The mission lasted 12 days, 13 hours and 52 minutes. Recovery by HC-1 helicopters from USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14).
This Day In Naval History - December 13
1775 - Continental Congress provides for the construction of 5 ships of 32 guns, 5 ships of 28 guns, and 3 ships of 24 guns
1941 - Commander William A. Sullivan designated the first Supervisor of Salvage with office in New York City.
This Day In Naval History - December 14
1814 - British squadron captures U.S. gunboats in Battle of Lake Borgne, LA.
1944 - Rank of Fleet Admiral, U.S. Navy (five star admiral) is established.
1945 - Captain Sue S. Dauser receives the first Distinguished Service Medal awarded to a nurse.
1965 - Navy announces completion of 1,272 ft. radio tower at North West Cape, Australia, highest manmade structure in the Southern Hemisphere at that time, as a link in fleet communications
This day in History
Thanks to Rich
In light of the Army Navy game on Saturday
Please take the time to watch the attached video [if you haven't seen it before] and try to understand what it really means.
Army Navy Football Game Dec 13th
Thanks to Dutch
The Navy Blue Angels schedule for 2015 plus some good info on the Blues.
Blues 2015
Thanks to  Chuck
Watch East Coast Navy F-18s In Their Craziest Moments Of '14 | The Daily Caller
The Man who was Unbroken

By Henry Howard - December 1, 2014

Thanks to Chuck… This is very interesting and I never knew this bit of history
Fascinating Story....and how Andrews AFB came to be named such
11/16/2014 6:01:00 AM
Memphis Belle vs. Hot Stuff: How history came to celebrate the wrong WWII airplane
Thanks to Micro
In relation to the Red Cross story:  the Red Cross is one of those things that you're considered a POS if you don't think they're wonderful.  So, all news outlets trumpet donation information every time there's a storm or earthquake or anything.  My personal opinion of the Red Cross was colored by a couple of very minor incidents.  The first was hearing my uncle tell about his contact with the Red Cross in Europe during WWII.  The Red Cross set up little coffee shops where the soldiers just back from the front lines could get some hot coffee.  The soldiers had to PAY FOR the coffee.  So much for being a charity.  Being predisposed to be suspicious of the Red Cross, my personal contact with them years later was magnified.  I was in a Navy hospital.  When I was able to walk around, some of us wanted to play cards.  A Red Cross person that visited the ward told us that they had cards, but we had to go down to the ground floor to their office to check them out.  I went down there and discovered that we could sign out a pack of cards, temporarily, but we'd have to turn them back in either 24 or 48 hours later.  If no one else had requested a pack of cards during that time, we might be allowed to check them back out for another 24 or 48 hours.  Now, today, you can buy a pack of cards for less than a dollar in many places, especially if you buy them in bulk of a dozen decks at once.  In 1968, a deck of playing cards was probably a dime.  But we weren't GIVEN a pack; we patients had to go down six floors to their office to check them out and go back down six floors to their office to check them back in every day or two days.  Yep, that's a great "charity."
In addition, the wife of a Naval officer I knew worked for the Red Cross in the Jacksonville area (mid-eighties).  She made $70,000 a year, plus benefits, and I recall thinking at the time that it sounded like an awful lot for a "charity."
So, I've never donated to them and won't.
Thanks to Carl
December 12, 2014

Defending the CIA

From the net…courtesy of Mike and JC
The other America
By Victor Davis Hanson

Germany's first chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, supposedly once said that there was "a special providence for drunkards, fools and the United States of America."

Apparently, late 19th century observers could not quite explain how the U.S. thrived when by logic it should not. That paradox has never been more true than today.

The U.S. government now owes more than $18 trillion in long-term debt. Even after recent income tax hikes for the very wealthy and huge cuts in the defense budget, the Obama administration will still run an annual budget deficit of nearly $500 billion.

No government official dares to trim Social Security or Medicare. Everyone knows that both programs are fiscally unsustainable.

More than 11 million undocumented immigrants are residing in the U.S. as federal immigration law is reduced to a bothersome irritant. A record 92 million American citizens 16 and older are not working.

Red-state and blue-state animosities reveal a nation more divided than at any time since the 1960s -- or perhaps the pre-Civil War 1850s.

The permanent bureaucracy is awash in serial scandals. The IRS, VA, GSA, NSA, ICE and Secret Service have all deservedly lost the public trust.

Congress suffers from overwhelming public disapproval. President Obama's approval rating hovers just above 40 percent.

Our new foreign policy could be characterized as managed decline. Three defense secretaries have retired or resigned under Obama. Two of them, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, wrote memoirs in which they blasted the administration. From Russia to the Pacific to the Middle East, the world seems to be descending into the law of the jungle as the U.S. withdraws from its traditional role as a global overseer of the postwar order.

The Michael Brown shooting illustrates seemingly irreconcilable racial divides not seen in 50 years. Al Sharpton once was seen as a social arsonist and tax delinquent. Now he appears to be the White House's most influential advisor on racial matters.

Student-loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion. Six years of college has become the new normal. Even then, more than a third of the students who enter college never graduate.

In such a depressing American landscape, why is the United States doing pretty well?

Put simply, millions of quiet, determined Americans get up every morning and tune out the incompetence and corruption of their government. They simply ignore destructive fads of popular culture. They have no time for the demagoguery of their politicians and the divisive rhetoric of social activists. Instead, these quiet Americans simply go to work, pursue their own talents, excel at what they do, and seek to take care of their families.

The result of their singular expertise is that even in America's current illness, the nation still soars above the global competition.

Only in America can you find the sort of innovation, talent, legal framework and can-do attitude needed to invent and refine hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling. Just a few hundred thousand scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, oil riggers and skilled craftsman have revived the once-ossified oil industry for 320 million Americans.

The United States is not running out of fuels -- as was predicted over the last 20 years. It instead has become the largest gas-and-oil producer in the world.

The epitaph for Silicon Valley is written each year. Its tech industry is copied the world over. Yet seemingly each year a new American technical innovation -- the laptop, Google, Facebook, the iPad, the iPhone -- sweeps the world. Apparently, American informality, meritocracy and top-flight engineering still draw global talent into Northern California, which sends back out the latest gadgets to be gobbled up by billions.

Neither drought, nor needlessly cumbersome regulations, nor unfair trade practices have stalled American agriculture. The farms of the United States -- where less than 2 percent of the population resides -- have never turned out so much safe, nutritious and cheap food that is feeding the world and earning America hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign exchange.

The U.S. military -- in which fewer than 1 in 100 Americans serve -- is facing record cuts. The Navy will have fewer ships than the American fleet of World War I. The Air Force and the Marine Corps are shrinking. Yet superb American forces continue to ensure that the United States and its allies remain safe. Neither Vladimir Putin's Russia, nor the communist Chinese hierarchy, nor the Iranian theocrats are quite ready to take the on the U.S. military. All are rightly worried that to do so would be suicidal.

America is not saved by our elected officials, bureaucrats, celebrities and partisan activists. Instead, just a few million hardworking Americans in key areas -- a natural meritocracy of all races, classes and backgrounds -- ignore the daily hype and chaos, remain innovative and productive, and dazzle the world.

The silent few of a forgotten America have given the entire country an astonishing standard of living that is quite inexplicable
Thanks to Chuck
I seriously doubt the veracity of the setting but 't'is a good story, nonetheless
Thanks to Hal -
Recently, the Chula Vista , California Police Department ran an e-mail forum with the local community (a question and answer exchange) with the topic being, "Community Policing."  One of  the civilian e-mail participants posed the following question:
"I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?"
From the "other side" (the law enforcement side) Sgt. Bennett, obviously a cop with a sense of humor, replied:

"First of all, let me tell you's not easy.  In Chula Vista , we average one cop for every 600 people. 
Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as "patrol") where we do most of our harassing.  The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents.
At any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty.
So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents.
When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.
Now, your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass.
This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring.
What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass.
The tools available to us are as follows:
PHONE:  People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment.
"My neighbor is beating his wife" is a code phrase used often. This means we'll come out and give somebody some special harassment.
Another popular one: "There's a guy breaking into a house." The harassment team is then put into action.
CARS:  We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no driver's licenses and the like.
It's lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light.
Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.
RUNNERS:  Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny.  When you catch them you can harass them for hours to determine why they didn't want to talk to us.
STATUTES:  When we don't have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called "Statutes"; Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle Codes, etc...They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people.
After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them.
Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there's this book we have that says that's not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It's a really cool system that we've set up, and it works pretty well.
We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they actually pay us to "harass" some people.
Next time you are in my town, give me the old "single finger wave." That's another one of those codes. It means, "You can't harass me." It's one of our favorites. 
Hopefully sir, this has clarified for you a little bit better how we harass the good citizens of Chula Vista ."
Item Number:1 Date: 12/12/2014 CAMEROON - WASHINGTON TO PROVIDE TRAINING TO COUNTER TERRORIST THREAT (DEC 12/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- During a visit to Cameroon, the top U.S. general in Africa has announced that the U.S. will increase its support for anti-terrorism efforts in that central African nation, reports the Voice of America News.   Gen. David Rodriguez, head of U.S. Africa Command, said this week that Washington would supply equipment and logistics training.   The assistance came in response to a request from Cameroon for more U.S. support to battle Boko Haram, said Rodriguez.   The U.S. effort is linked to concerns over killings in the northern part of the country, said U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon Michael Hoza.   The collaboration with the U.S. military should save the lives of thousands of people in the north, said the ambassador.   Elsewhere Cameroon, the political opposition has expressed its worries that a newly passed anti-terrorism bill would be used to crack down on political opponents
Item Number:2 Date: 12/12/2014 CANADA - WHILE WAITING FOR F-35 DECISION, UPGRADE FOR HORNETS WOULD COST US$350 MILLION (DEC 12/CP)  CANADIAN PRESS -- The Royal Canadian Air Force will be able to keep flying its current fleet of CF-18 Hornets until 2025 at a cost of about Can$400 million (US$350 million), according to an independent analysis cited by the Canadian Press.   The report, part of a package of documents delivered to the Cabinet last summer, warns that the Hornets should not be flown much past 2025 due to the risk.   The analysis is designed to help the government decide how to replace the Hornets. Options include buying the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter or holding an open competition.   Defense Minister Rob Nicholson earlier this year announced that the CF-18s would be upgraded so that they could remain in service another 11 years, though he provided no details.   In the independent analysis, the panel evaluated four possible replacements and found that each would be equally capable of meeting Canada's future fighter requirements.   However, said the analysts, the suitability depends largely on the types of missions Ottawa expects the jets to perform.   The report notes that an advanced fighter would make the difference in a potential state-to-state conflict, but called such an occurrence unlikely.   In order to phase out the CF-18s by 2025, the new jets will need to be selected and begin deliveries by 2020, according to the analysis.   A separate report, issued on Wednesday, found that the government's Can$9 billion (US$7.9 billion) budget to buy 65 F-35s has increasingly less flexibility.   The overall lifetime costs for the U.S.-built fighter have also increased to Can$45.8 billion (US$40 billion) over 40 years.   That review warned that time and various economic factors are eroding the budget's contingency funds, estimated at Can$76 million (US$66 million).  
Item Number:3 Date: 12/12/2014 CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - CHADIAN REBEL LEADER APPREHENDED BY PEACEKEEPERS NEAR BORDER (DEC 12/UNNS)  UNITED NATIONS NEWS SERVICE -- The U.N.'s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) says it has arrested a Chadian rebel leader, reports the U.N. News Service.   Mahamat Abdul Kadre, also known as "Babe Ladde," was detained by peacekeepers on Monday under its mandate to conduct basic police operations in support of the CAR authorities.   Abdul Kadre has been wanted by the government in Bangui since May.   He leads the Popular Front for Recovery in Chad, but left that country after a failed coup and set up a fiefdom in northern CAR. He has been a problem for governments on both sides of the border, noted AFP
  Item Number:4 Date: 12/12/2014 GERMANY - ARMY TAKES DELIVERY OF 1ST OF 20 LEOPARD 2A7 TANKS (DEC 12/KMW)  KRAUSS-MAFFEI WEGMANN -- The Krauss-Maffei Wegmann defense firm has announced the handover of the first modernized Leopard 2A7 tank to the German army.   The tank, delivered on Wednesday in Munich, is the first of an initial batch of 20 tanks being built for the service.   The Leopard 2A7 is the result of a cooperative project with Canada, which received 20 German Leopard 2A6Ms for operations in Afghanistan. The two sides agreed that further modifications could be made, resulting in the 2A7, according to a KMW release.   The tank features protection against conventional and asymmetric threats; an auxiliary power unit; integration into battle-management systems; and the latest reconnaissance equipment.   The initial batch of Leopard 2A7s are modified Dutch Leopard 2A6NLs, reported Jane's Defence Weekly
Item Number:5 Date: 12/12/2014 GERMANY - MILITARY PLANS MOVE AHEAD TO SEND CONTINGENT TO TRAIN PESHMERGA IN IRAQ (DEC 12/RUDAW)  RUDAW -- The German Foreign Ministry plans to send 100 soldiers to help train Kurdish peshmerga forces in northern Iraq, reports Rudaw, which is published in Iraqi Kurdistan.   "A political agreement has been reached among the relevant ministries on a training mission," said a ministry spokesman on Thursday. The goal is to have the decision approved by the Cabinet before Christmas, he said.   Training is expected to include Yazidi and Christian forces, added the spokesman.   Technical, legal and logistical details are still being worked out, said the ministry.   A change in the German constitution may be required to send the troops, reports the Daily Telegraph (U.K.).   Under the constitution, German troops can only take part in missions with an international mandate, or as a part of NATO. If this plan were to be approved, it would be the first military deployment of German troops abroad without a NATO or U.N. decision
  Item Number:6 Date: 12/12/2014 GREECE - SHOTS FIRED AT ISRAELI EMBASSY, NO INJURIES REPORTED (DEC 12/IBT)  INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES -- Greek police are investigating a shooting incident on the Israeli Embassy in Athens early Friday.   The Greek government has called the shooting a terrorist attack, reports the International Business Times.   Shots were fired by four people on motorcycles, said police. The attack occurred before the building opened for business, reported Euronews.   No one was reported injured or killed, nor was there any immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.   Fifty-four spent cartridges were found near the embassy, according to police, as reported by the Jerusalem Post.   Israeli officials blamed the Palestinian Authority and pro-Palestinian groups for inciting the attack
  Item Number:7 Date: 12/12/2014 INDIA - RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS TO BE BUILT IN INDIA; MOSCOW REMAINS INDIA'S TOP DEFENSE PARTNER (DEC 12/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin have reached an agreement on the production of Russian helicopters in India, reports the Press Trust of India.   Putin is in New Delhi this week on an official visit.   The leaders also agreed to enhance defense cooperation between their nations, with Modi noting that Russia will remain India's "most important" defense partner.   The Indian production program will involve Mi-17 utility and the new Ka-226T light multirole helicopters, reported Interfax-AVN (Russia). Production for the latter could include military and civilian aircraft and reach as many as 400 units annually, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.   Modi and Putin also inked an agreement on Thursday covering the training of Indian military personnel and Russian educational institutions, reported Reuters.   Russia will also build at least 10 nuclear reactors in India, reported the Voice of America News
Item Number:8 Date: 12/12/2014 INDIA - SEEKING RECRUITS, AIR FORCE PUTS OUT ANOTHER AIR COMBAT VIDEO GAME (DEC 12/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- The Indian air force has just launched a sequel to its popular air combat video game, reports the Press Trust of India.   The initial game was released in July, with the sequel being available on Thursday.   Players in the new release are Indian air force pilots involved in a conflict with a fictional country called Zaruzia, according to service officials.   "Based on the interest of the present generation we have designed these games to attract the best talent among our youth to join the armed forces, especially the air force," said Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, the air force chief.   In the course of the game, players complete flying training and conduct combat missions in various Indian air force aircraft, including fighters, transports and helicopters, said an official statement
  Item Number:9 Date: 12/12/2014 INDONESIA - NEW GOVERNMENT SHOOTS TO TRIPLE DEFENSE SPENDING BY 2019 (DEC 12/JAKGLOBE)  JAKARTA GLOBE -- The new Indonesian government has announced plans to triple its defense budget by 2019, reports the Jakarta Globe.   The goal is to increase defense spending to about 1.5 percent of gross domestic product over the next five years, said Luhut Panjaitan, an adviser to President Joko Widodo, who assumed office in October.   "We link to economic growth of about 7 percent ... so by 2019, the national defense budget can increase to around US$20 billion per annum," Luhut said, as quoted by Reuters.   The additional spending is needed to protect Indonesian sovereignty and national interests, Luhut said.   Domestic military experts praised the plan, noting that Indonesia's defense sector lags behind those of its neighbors.   The government has set the defense budget at US$6.6 billion for this year, or about 0.8 percent of the government budget, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said last month.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 12/12/2014 IRAN - RESUMPTION OF NUCLEAR TALKS SET FOR DEC. 17 IN GENEVA (DEC 12/UPI)  UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL -- Iran's chief nuclear negotiator says the next round of nuclear negotiations with world powers will begin on Dec. 17, reports UPI.   Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi made the announcement on Thursday in an interview with the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.   The talks will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, at the deputy foreign minister level, said Araghchi. Preliminary meeting with representatives from the P5+1 -- the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany -- will begin Dec. 15, he said.   After the expiration of the Nov. 24 deadline to reach a comprehensive nuclear agreement, parties from both sides said they would continue talks for another seven months.   Last month's extension was the second this year.   Diplomatic sources say the parties are far apart on points involving uranium enrichment and potential relief of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, reported Agence France-Presse
Item Number:11 Date: 12/12/2014 IRAQ - BAGHDAD, FACED WITH STRAINED BUDGET, TRIES TO POSTPONE KUWAIT REPARATIONS PAYMENT (DEC 12/REU)  REUTERS -- The Iraqi government wants to postpone a final installment of war reparations for its 1990-1991 occupation of Kuwait, reports Reuters.   Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari told the wire service on Thursday that Baghdad is trying to defer the final US$4.6 billion installment for at least one year to "present a realistic budget."   Iraq has paid more than a million claimants and most of the US$52.4 billion reparations bill though an annual allocation of 5 percent of crude oil exports to the U.N. Compensation Commission (UNCC).   Any change to the agreement would require the agreement of the governing council of the UNCC, who are the 15 members in the U.N. Security Council, said a UNCC official.   The issue will be considered at a special session tentatively set for Dec. 18, said the official.   Kuwait would also have to agree because the final payment is for compensation for damage to its oil facilities in 1991.   Iraq's economy has suffered from a sharp fall in oil prices and the Islamic State terrorist group's offensive in the north and west, making it more difficult to make the last payment, said the finance minister
Item Number:12 Date: 12/12/2014 ITALY - DURING TESTING, STORM SHADOW MISSILE RELEASED FROM TYPHOON (DEC 12/EUROFIGHT)  EUROFIGHTER GMBH -- For the first time, a Eurofighter Typhoon has successfully dropped a Storm Shadow cruise missile during trials, reports Eurofighter, the multinational builder of the jet.   Italian firm Alenia Aermacchi led the November tests. The Storm Shadow was tracked by radar until impact during the trials.   The Storm Shadow will significantly increase the Typhoon's standoff capabilities, enabling it to deploy multiple weapons at long range to stay clear of ground-based air defenses, said officials cited in the release on Thursday.   Separately, BAE Systems has completed the first trial installation of a Storm Shadow missile onto a British Royal Air Force Typhoon
Item Number:13 Date: 12/12/2014 KENYA - 1 KILLED, 2 WOUNDED IN ATTACK ON POLICE CAMP (DEC 12/REU)  REUTERS -- Separatists are suspected in an attack on a Kenyan police camp that has killed one policeman and critically injured two others, reports Reuters.   On Thursday, attackers wielding machetes raided a police camp in the Mwanamwinga in Coast Province, killing the corporal in charge, said a regional official.   Firearms were reported stolen in the raid.   Officials believed the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) to be involved in the attack, though that has been denied by a leader of the separatist group.   "We are not even aware of any attack in the first place. As usual, the government is using us as a scapegoat on this one again," said the secretary general of the MRC.   The outlawed group has previously carried out violent raids in the area. Crackdowns by the government in 2012 and 2013 reduced its strength.   Al-Shabaab has also been blamed for attack in the region, noted AFP.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 12/12/2014 NATO - AFTER DRILL IN GERMANY, NATO LAND COMMAND BECOMES FULLY OPERATIONAL (DEC 12/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- The head of NATO's Allied Land Command has obtained full operational capability, reports the Stars and Stripes.   The milestone was reached at the conclusion of the Trident Lance drills on Wednesday, said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. John Nicholson, the LANDCOM chief, on Wednesday in Germany.   One objective of the drill was to evaluate how a fully operational LANDCOM could respond to an international crisis.   The exercise scenario featured a simulated invasion of Estonia, which borders Russia.   More than 3,700 military personnel participated in the training, which included computer simulations and conventional training events covering a range of possibilities -- such as missile strikes and cyber attacks.   The exercise was mostly conducted from the Joint Multinational Training Command in Grafenwohr, Germany. Command elements from Greece, Poland and Turkey took part, while the U.S. Army provided significant logistics support.   Some lessons learned during the exercise will be utilized as LANDCOM builds its rapid-reaction force, Nicholson said
  Item Number:15 Date: 12/12/2014 NIGERIA - DOUBLE BOMBING IN JOS CAUSES DOZENS OF CASUALTIES (DEC 12/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- A twin bomb attack in the central Nigerian city of Jos has killed at least 31 people, reports the Voice of America News.   Two cars packed with explosives detonated within minutes of each other on Thursday in the city's main market, said a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency.   The first blast was said to have killed 11 people. The second, which occurred 50 meters (160 feet) from the first, reportedly killed another 20.   At least 25 people were reported injured.   No group has yet claimed responsibility, though officials believe Boko Haram was behind the attack.   The population of Jos is mixed between Christians and Muslims and Boko Haram has attacked both churches and mosques there, noted BBC News.   The site of the latest attck is near an area in Jos where two bombs exploded in May, killing at least 118 people, noted Al Jazeera (Qatar
  Item Number:16 Date: 12/12/2014 PAKISTAN - ARRESTS MADE OF AL-QAIDA SUSPECTS CHARGED WITH KARACHI SHIPYARD ATTACK (DEC 12/DAWN)  DAWN -- Authorities in Pakistan say they have arrested five members of Al-Qaida's Indian branch suspected of involvement in an attack on a Karachi navy dockyard in September, reports Dawn (Pakistan).   The militants were arrested Wednesday during a raid in Karachi by the Crime Investigation Department's anti-extremism cell, said police. The suspects are said to belong to Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).   Explosives, firearms and some ammunition were recovered in the raid, said police.   One was identified as Qari Shahid Usman, the chief of AQIS in Karachi, said a CID official.   The militants reportedly planned and funded an attack on the dockyard during which several navy personnel were killed. The group was plotting another attack on the same dockyard, said police
Item Number:17 Date: 12/12/2014 SOUTH KOREA - AIR FORCE SHOWS OFF FA-50 JET TO LEADERS FROM BRUNEI, PHILIPPINES (DEC 12/YON)  YONHAP -- The leaders of Brunei and Philippines have been briefed on South Korea's indigenous FA-50 fighter jet that is available for export, reports Yonhap News Agency.   On Friday, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Brunei leader Hassanal Bolkiah examined the fighter in Busan (Pusan), where they attended a summit, said the air force.   The fighter was specially displayed for them at the airbase there, after being flown from an airbase in Wonju, southeast of Seoul, for the occasion.   The leaders requested the display, said military officers.   In March, the Philippines signed a US$420 million contract for 12 KA-50s with South Korea.   Last month, Brunei's top envoy expressed interest when he was at the headquarters of the fighter's manufacturer, according to sources.   The FA-50, the light attack variant of the T-50 Golden Eagle, is the most advanced variant operated by the South Korean air force
Item Number:18 Date: 12/12/2014 SRI LANKA - 4 DIE IN CRASH OF AIR FORCE PLANE NEAR COLOMBO (DEC 12/IBT)  INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES -- A Sri Lankan air force plane has crashed near the capital of Colombo, killing four people and injuring one, reports the International Business Times.   The turboprop went down Friday evening near the city of Authrugiriyam, 12 miles east of Colombo, said an air force spokesman.   The pilot reported difficulty in finding the landing strip due to foggy conditions, said the spokesman.   The Russian-made An-32 was flying from Katunayake to Ratmalana when it went down, reported the Colombo Page (Sri Lanka).   The injured crewmember is being treated for severe burns, reported AFP.   No one on the ground was injured, said local police. The plane slammed into a rubber plantation
Item Number:19 Date: 12/12/2014 SWEDEN - RUSSIAN ACTIONS LEAD TO SWEDISH PLANS TO RETRAIN FORMER CONSCRIPTS (DEC 12/LOCAL)  THE LOCAL -- With an eye toward recent Russian aggression, the Swedish government says it will retrain those Swedes who previously completed mandatory military service with the army, reports the Local (Stockholm).   "The world has changed in a negative way," Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish broadcaster SVT.   The minister cited Russia's military modernization and its activities in Ukraine as the reason for the retraining plans.   Around 7,500 Swedes who have served since 2004 may be recalled for a month of retraining, according to the plan.   The move will allow the military to conduct "fully manned war preparations," resulting in improved operational capacity, said Hultqvist on Thursday.  
  Item Number:20 Date: 12/12/2014 UKRAINE - DEFENSE HEAD PUSHES FOR MAJOR SPENDING INCREASE; MORE TROOPS TO HEAD EAST (DEC 12/ITAR-TASS)  ITAR-TASS -- The Ukrainian government wants to its double defense spending for 2015, reports Itar-Tass (Russia).   Expenditures are projected to increase by US$3.2 billion for next year, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak told Parliament on Friday.   About 40,000 will be called to military service, said the minister.   The number of troops serving in the eastern part of the country will increase from the current 230,000 to about 250,000 next year, he said, as reported by Reuters
  Item Number:21 Date: 12/12/2014 USA - ANTI-ISIS EFFORTS SHOW PROGRESS, SAYS GENERAL (DEC 12/METNET)  METRO NETWORKS -- A retired U.S. general says the U.S.-led coalition has made progress in the effort against the Islamic State terrorist group, reports the Metro Networks broadcasting company (Houston, Texas).   During a briefing at the U.S. State Dept. on Wednesday, retired Gen. John Allen said that the "strategic and operational momentum" of the Islamic State has been stopped.   Allen is President Obama's envoy to the coalition against the group, also known as ISIS.   Allen said he expected that some ground will be traded between the two sides. However, the start of the training of Iraqi security forces and Syrian opposition forces will ultimately restore Iraq's territorial integrity, he said.   The main focus of U.S. efforts is in Iraq, said the general
Item Number:22 Date: 12/12/2014 USA - ARMY BEGINS TRANSITION TO LIGHTER MORTARS (DEC 12/ANS)  ARMY NEWS SERVICE -- The Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey has begun delivering new lightweight 81-mm mortars to the U.S. Army, reports the Army News Service.   The M252A1 mortar is 12 pounds (5 kg), around 14 percent, lighter than its M252 predecessor.   The new, lighter mortar "reduces the load for dismounted battalion mortar platoons, while retaining the same durability, rates of fire, and range of the legacy system," said Lt. Col. Will McDonough, the product manager.   The first M252A1 mortars were delivered to Fort Bragg, N.C., earlier this month.   The weight reduction was made possible by using lighter materials, including "aluminum and titanium in the elevation and traverse mechanism that lower and lift the bipod, and traverse it left and right, and nylon Kevlar for some of the internal gear parts," said Ted Greiner, the assistant product manager.   By 2016, all of the Army's existing 81-mm mortars are to be replaced with the lighter system
Item Number:23 Date: 12/12/2014 USA - MARINE RESERVES AVIATORS ELIGIBLE FOR $15,000 BONUS FOR FLYING CH-46ES, F/A-18S (DEC 12/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- The Selected Marine Corps Reserve (SCMR) has expanded its retention pay for pilots in more squadrons, reports the Marine Corps Times.   The fiscal 2015 pay program has been opened to pilots who are willing to fly CH-46E Sea Knight helicopters and F/A-18 Hornet fighters.   Eligible pilots in Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 774 (HMM-774) and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112 (VMFA-112) were not included in last year's retention pay program.   Those pilots who join the program could receive a $15,000 bonus annually for three years, according to a service spokesman.   The program was extended to the reserve squadrons this year to help keep them at full strength, said Maj. Alan Dinsdale from the Reserve Officer Plans Section, Manpower and Reserve Affairs.   The retention pay is also available to personnel in HMH-772, which flies the CH-53E Super Stallion heavy-lift helicopters; HMLA-773, which flies AH-1 Cobra and UH-1N Twin Huey helicopters; VMGR-234 and VMGR-452, which fly KC-130T aerial tankers; and VMM-764, which flies the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor.   To be eligible, pilots must have spent less than 15 years in service and less than 16 months in any of the eligible squadrons
Item Number:24 Date: 12/12/2014 WESTERN SAHARA - POLISARIO FRONT LAUNCHES MILITARY EXERCISE IN SOUTH (DEC 12/SAHPRESS)  SAHARA PRESS SERVICE -- The Polisario Front has just completed a military exercise in the southern part of the disputed Western Sahara region, reports the Sahara Press Service (El Aaiun).   Monday's maneuvers by the Sahrawi People's Liberation Army were conducted as part of a national alert ordered by the National Secretariat of the Polisario Front.   President Mohamed Abdelaziz and senior defense officials attended the drills.   Defense Minister Mohamed Lamine Ould El-Bouhali said that the army "is ready to return to armed struggle against the Moroccan regime." He also stressed that he trusted the United Nations to resolve the conflict over Western Sahara.   The former Spanish Sahara is under Moroccan control, with the independence-minded Polisario Front being backed by Algeria


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