The List 3846
A bit of history and some tidbits.
This Day In Naval History - February 18
1846 - General order on Port and Starboard
1944 - Amphibious Force under RADM Hill lands troops on Engebi Island, Eniwetok
1955 - 1st of 14 detonations, Operation Teapot nuclear test
This day in History
Military Milestones from Patrick Henry's Speech to the First Medals of Honor by W. Thomas Smith Jr.
This Week in American Military History:
Mar. 22, 1820: Commodore Stephen Decatur – "America's Lord Nelson," the hero of Tripoli, and the author of the famous aphorism, "Our country, right or wrong" – is mortally wounded in a duel with Commodore James Barron near Bladensburg, Maryland.
Mar. 23, 1775: In a speech before the House of Burgesses, future Virginia governor (and colonel of the 1st Virginia Regiment) Patrick Henry exclaims, "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
Mar. 23, 1776: As a force-multiplier for the fledgling Continental Navy, the Continental Congress authorizes the employment of privateers (privately owned and armed merchant ships) against "enemies of these United Colonies,"
specifically Great Britain, her commercial shipping, privately owned vessels, and ships of the Royal Navy.
Mar. 23, 1815: Though the War of 1812 has officially ended – communications being what they are in the early 19th century – the Royal Navy sloop-of-war HMS Penguin under the command of Capt. James Dickenson engages the sloop USS Hornet (the third of eight so-named American Navy
ships) under Capt. James Biddle off the South Atlantic archipelago Tristan da Cunha. The fighting is quick and hot: Both captains are wounded; Dickenson mortally. HMS Penguin surrenders in less than one half hour.
Mar. 23, 1943: Elements of Germany's vaunted Afrika Korps clash with U.S.
Army forces near the oasis of El Guettar in Tunisia.
In previous fighting at Kasserine Pass, inexperienced and marginally led American troops had been defeated. At El Guettar, however, the American soldier under the command of Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr., literally outfights his German and Italian counterpart. At one point during the battle, Patton – observing the destruction of German forces – remarks, "My God, it seems a crime to murder good infantry like that."
Mar. 23, 2003: Task Force Tarawa (2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade) under the command of Brig. Gen. (future Lt. Gen.) Richard F. Natonski attack – and will ultimately defeat – Iraqi forces in heavy fighting at An Nasiriyah.
Mar. 24, 1945: Paratroopers of Maj. Gen. (future four-star general) Matthew B. Ridgway's XVIII Airborne Corps – composed of the U.S. 17th Airborne "Thunder from Heaven" Division and their British 6th Airborne Division comrades – strike and seize key German positions on the enemy side of the Rhine River.
Codenamed Varsity, the airborne assault is the last major parachute and gliderborne operation of World War II. During the fighting, Ridgway himself will be wounded by a grenade blast.
Mar. 25, 1863: Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton presents six Union Army soldiers – members of Andrews' Raiders – with the first-ever Medals of Honor.
Today, America recognizes all of its Medal of Honor recipients on National Medal of Honor Day – Mar. 25 (of each year) – the anniversary of the first presentations.
Mar. 25, 1864: Confederate cavalry under the command of Maj. Gen. (future Lt. Gen.) Nathan Bedford Forrest, "the wizard of the saddle," strike Union forces under Col. Stephen G. Hicks in the Battle of Paducah, Kentucky.
Forrest's horsemen quickly seize the town. Hicks' men retreat to prepared defenses at nearby Fort Anderson where Forrest issues an ultimatum: "If you surrender, you shall be treated as prisoners of war; but if I have to storm your works, you may expect no quarter."
Hicks refuses. A detachment of Forrest's cavalry attempts to take the fort, but the troopers are repulsed by both the defenders and two gunboats on the Ohio River. Forrest withdraws.
Nevertheless, Forrest's previous and future exploits will earn him a reputation as one of the most feared and respected cavalry commanders of the Civil War.
Forrest will be wounded four times over the course of the war. Twenty-nine horses will be shot out from under him. But he will purportedly kill 30 men in single combat, spawning the boast that he has one up over the Federals (Some sources say 30 horses and 31 men, but you get the idea).
In the decades following the war, U.S. and foreign military officers alike will study Forrest's campaigns. It has even been speculated that some aspects of the German Blitzkrieg were patterned after some of Forrest's operations.
Union Gen. William T. Sherman will describe Forrest as "the most remarkable man our Civil War produced on either side." And when Confederate Gen.
Robert E. Lee is asked to name the greatest soldier under his command, he will purportedly respond, "A man I have never seen, sir. His name is Forrest."
Thanks to Dan and Les. If you have never heard of or seen pictures of Ulithi and what it was this will be a treat.
Skip — For your historic files. Les Horn — CAPT USN (Ret). Great guy/test pilot. Rabble rouser.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Les Horn <email@example.com>
Subject: FW: Naval Base WW II. Ulithi Naval Base WWII
Date: 18 March 2015 at 1:39:42 MST
Bill, Anthony --Here's a bit of WWII nostalgia -- The Ulithi Atoll Anchorage, in its time the largest naval base in the world, ever -- a record that still stands, and probably always will. Les
Subject: Naval Base WW II. Ulithi Naval Base WWII
Date: March 17, 2015 11:43:26 AM PDT
AKA MacKenzie Island-- Wikipedia has a good article with more pictures and info.
Naval base in WWII - Ulithi Atoll 70 years ago…
US Naval Armada Deployed for Invasion:
Staging area for the invasion of Japan.
Click here: Warbird Information Exchange • View topic - ULITHI ...
Naval base in WWII - Ulithi Atoll 70 years ago…
US Naval Armada Deployed for Invasion:
Staging area for the invasion of Japan.
Click here: Warbird Information Exchange • View topic - ULITHI ...
Where will this end……
Big Brother in the BarB -
This EPA in boundless – saving us from ourselves just everywhere one can think of
Obviously too many employees who have far too much time on their hands
Lawmaker calls for a rebellion against EPA pollution emissions for backyard barbecues
Published March 17, 2015
A Missouri state legislator wants the Environmental Protection Agency to back off of people's backyard barbecues.
On Monday, State Senator Eric Schmitt (R) from St. Louis kicked off a #porksteakrebellion after he discovered the EPA is funding a study on propane grill emissions that suggest pit masters use a special tray to catch grease drippings and a "catalytic" filtration system to reduce air pollution, reports Fox News KTVI.
"The idea that the EPA wants to find their way into our back yards, where we're congregating with our neighbors, having a good time, on the 4th of July, barbecuing pork steak or hamburgers, is ridiculous and it's emblematic of agency that's sort of out of control," Schmitt said.
The EPA is funding a $15,000 University of California-Riverside study to look at the particulate emissions you breathe when grilling over an open flame. Along with the drip tray, the emission removal system includes the use of a "secondary air filtration system is composed of a single pipe duct system which contains a specialized metal filter, a metal fan blade, a drive shaft, and an accompanying power system with either a motorized or manual method," according to study.
Those opposed to the study met Monday night at St. Louis' LeGrand's Market & Catering sandwiches shop after Schmitt launched the rebellion via Twitter.
"Personally, I think being able to barbecue in your back yard extends your life," customer Pat Schommer told Fox. "It's part of pleasure – backyard barbecuing and I love it."
The EPA said that it doesn't regulate people's backyard barbecues and that the grant is part of the EPA's "National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2014)", which is a student-designed competition for sustainability.
Schmitt called on people to grill in their backyards this week as a sort of "peaceful protest".
Those of us that spent many years on ships have a lot of stories about water hours and being all soaped up and then turned on the water again and got nothing. Also the temp going from one extreme to the other. Very uncomfortable.
Thanks to THE Bear -
Dutch and Navy Shower Takers...
I am drafting a little piece that advertises "the Navy Shower" vice "the Hollywood Shower" as a solution to California's water rationing/shortage problems... The Navy Shower was/is a risky business aboard ship since interrupted flow and rapidly shifting water temps were/are unpredictable....Among other woes associated with bathing the Navy way...
Anybody with a tale to tell on the subject, I'd like to hear it... Don't be bashful, I will guard your good name...
The attached EPA article makes the Navy Shower a pertinent and timely suggestion.... Bear
RUN BEN RUN!!!!!!!!
RUN BEN RUN!!!!!!!!
EPA Wants to Monitor How Long Hotel Guests Spend in the Shower
BY: Elizabeth Harrington
March 17, 2015 5:00 am
March 17, 2015 5:00 am
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants hotels to monitor how much time its guests spend in the shower.
The agency is spending $15,000 to create a wireless system that will track how much water a hotel guest uses to get them to "modify their behavior."
"Hotels consume a significant amount of water in the U.S. and around the world," an EPA grant to the University of Tulsa reads. "Most hotels do not monitor individual guest water usage and as a result, millions of gallons of potable water are wasted every year by hotel guests."
"The proposed work aims to develop a novel low cost wireless device for monitoring water use from hotel guest room showers," it said. "This device will be designed to fit most new and existing hotel shower fixtures and will wirelessly transmit hotel guest water usage data to a central hotel accounting system."
The funding is going toward creating a prototype and market analysis for the device. The goal of the project is to change the behavior of Americans when they stay at hotels.
"This technology will provide hotel guests with the ability to monitor their daily water online or using a smartphone app and will assist hotel guest in modifying their behavior to help conserve water," the grant said.
The project was filed under "Water conservation," "Urban water planning," and "Sustainable water management."
The EPA also has a WaterSense program that challenges hotels to track their water use and upgrade their restrooms with low-flow toilets and showerheads.
The program also encourages "linen and towel reuse programs" in guest rooms.
The EPA is concerned that the average shower, which lasts just eight minutes, uses 18 gallons of water, and has asked Americans to reduce their shower length by at least one minute.
Tyler W. Johannes, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Tulsa's School of Chemical Engineering who is working on the project, told the Washington Free Beacon that the researchers hope to see the technology "adopted by all major hotels and used across the country."
He said the device seeks to get hotel guests to limit their showers to seven minutes as a start.
Johannes and his team assumed the average hotel shower lasts 8.2 minutes, using 17.2 gallons of water per guest per shower.
"Initially our device/app seeks to get hotel guests to reduce their water use by 10 percent or to reduce their showers by about one minute," he said.
Johannes provided a link to Home Water Works, which recommends taking a five minute shower to reduce water use.
The website, which is a project of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, also suggests watering plants with discarded cold water from showers that take a long time to heat up, and taking "navy showers."
"The method requires three steps: 1) turn on water to rinse body and hair; 2) turn off water while shampooing hair and washing body with soap and washcloth; 3) resume water flow and rinse off all shampoo and soap," the group said. "Using this technique, the total duration of water flow can easily be reduced to 5 minutes or less."
Following publication of this story, EPA deputy press secretary Laura Allen, said the "EPA is not monitoring how much time hotel guests spend in the shower."
"Let us be very clear, EPA is not monitoring how much time hotel guests spend in the shower," Allen said. "As part of the People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3), a student design competition for sustainability, students at the University of Tulsa are conducting research to develop a novel low-cost wireless device for monitoring water use from hotel guest room showers. The marketplace, not EPA, will decide if there is a demand for this type of technology. It's ultimately up to hotels to use technology like the monitors being developed at the University of Tulsa. EPA is encouraging creativity with water conservation efforts."
Irish Yoga…very funny
Thanks to JD
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
Item Number:1 Date: 03/18/2015 AFGHANISTAN - TALIBAN SUICIDE BOMBER HITS GOVERNOR'S COMPOUND IN LASHGAR GAH (MAR 18/VOA) VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Afghan officials say there has been a massive explosion in Helmand province on Wednesday. A suicide car bomber killed at least seven people and wounded 41 others, reports the Voice of America News, citing provincial officials. The explosives were detonated at the governor's compound in the city of Lashgar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, reported CNN. The compound houses the governor and the head of the provincial council. A provincial government spokesman and a local district governor were among those reported to be injured. The explosion was so powerful that most of the buildings inside the compound and nearby homes were damaged, said a local official. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Item Number:2 Date: 03/18/2015 AUSTRIA - PANDUR VEHICLES TO BE UPGRADED FOR KOSOVO MISSION IN AUGUST (MAR 18/DEFAERO) DEFENSE-AEROSPACE -- The Austrian Ministry of Defense has announced that it will upgrade several armored vehicles ahead of their deployment to Kosovo this summer, reports defense-aerospace.com. Twelve Pandur wheeled armored vehicles will be equipped with a new weapon station. The project is estimated to be worth 23 million euros (US$24 million). The remotely operated station will enhance crew protection, since troops will be able to fire while under armor, the ministry said on Monday. The turrets will be equipped with a daytime camera; laser rangefinder; thermal imaging camera; and a searchlight to improve observation in day and night conditions, said the ministry. Smoke grenade launchers are fitted. The Austrian army has already received five upgraded Pandurs. All 12 are expected to be completed in time for the August deployment to the E.U. peacekeeping mission in Kosovo
Item Number:3 Date: 03/18/2015 GEORGIA - DEFENSE MINISTER PUSHES FOR NATO INTEROPERABILITY BY END OF 2016 (MAR 18/INT-AVN) INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Georgia has ambitious defense goals for the next two years, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia). On Monday in Tbilisi, Defense Minister Mindia Janelidze presented his vision through the end of 2016. The defense document urges the creation of an effective, mobile and modern army that is capable of operating with NATO military units within two years. The nation's priority is integrating its army in European and Euro-Atlantic structures, while still participating in international missions, Janelidze said. He said the military will fulfill the special package from NATO; create a NATO-compatible training center; and continue active cooperation with E.U. and NATO member states. The vision also urges institutional reform of the armed forces; social support for servicemembers and their families; cybersecurity; and transparency and accountability of defense agencies
Item Number:4 Date: 03/18/2015 INDIA - ASTRA MISSILE FAILS TO FIRE (MAR 18/NIE) NEW INDIAN EXPRESS -- An Indian missile launch has failed. The test of an Indian-developed air-to-air missile was put off on Monday after a technical issue prevented a launch, reports the New Indian Express. The Astra missile test had already been rescheduled for Monday after it could not take place last week, said defense sources. An official said the target drone launched successfully, but the Astra missile could not fire due to unspecified technical problems. The trial might be rescheduled for later in the week, officials said. The induction testing is intended to assess the control system and its stability. The missile also failed trials in 2011
Item Number:5 Date: 03/18/2015 INDIA - DEFENSE MINISTRY SAYS MILITARY IS SHORT 11,000 OFFICERS (MAR 18/PTI) PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- New Delhi has acknowledged that India's armed forces face a shortage of thousands of officers, reports the Press Trust of India. In a written reply to the Parliament delivered on Tuesday, Defense Minister Manohar Parikkar said the army was short 9,642 officers as of the beginning of the year. He attributed the shortfall to an increase in the service's authorized end strength. The navy lacks 1,322 officers and air force 152, putting the total shortage at 11,116. Those figures do not include personnel shortfalls in the medical and dental branches, the minister said. The military is taking a number of steps to improve recruiting and retention, including pay structure reforms, improved accommodations and better promotion prospects.
Item Number:6 Date: 03/18/2015 IRAQ - TURKS HELP TRAIN IRAQIS TO RECAPTURE MOSUL (MAR 18/ANADOLU) ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- The Turkish military is already training Iraqi soldiers at different Iraqi bases in preparation for an operation aimed at retaking Mosul in northern Iraq from the Islamic State, reports the Anadolu news agency (Turkey). The Turkish instructors are at several Iraqi military camps to provide training to Sunni fighters, Asil Nujaifi, the governor of Mosul, said on Sunday. The Kurdish regional government last week said that at least 16,000 Iraqi troops had been trained over the previous four months for the Mosul mission. The governor complained that the government in Baghdad had not provided assistance to Kurdish fighters in the north
Item Number:7 Date: 03/18/2015 JORDAN - U.S. PATROL BOATS, WEAPONRY SOUGHT FOR TERRITORIAL DEFENSE (MAR 18/DSCA) U.S. DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY -- The government of Jordan has officially requested to buy coastal patrol boats from the United States, reports the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency. The potential US$80 million deal covers two 115-foot (35-m) patrol boats armed with Seahawk A2 DS30M 30-mm gun systems equipped with Mk 44 Bushmaster cannons; associated ammunition; spare and repair parts; and technical and logistics support. The proposed sale will enhance Jordan's ability to protect its territorial waters, said the agency release on Tuesday. The principal contractor for the program has not been determined and would be identified during contract negotiations, the agency said. The State Dept. has given its approval of the potential deal, noted the DSCA.
Item Number:8 Date: 03/18/2015 KENYA - AL-SHABAAB CROSSES BORDER, ATTACKS TOWN IN NORTHEAST; 4 DEATHS REPORTED (MAR 18/WB) WORLD BULLETIN -- Kenyan officials say the Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militant group has launched a cross-border raid into Kenya, killing at least four people, reports the World Bulletin (Turkey). On Tuesday, a group of gunmen attacked a market the town of Wajir, about 100 km (60 mi) from the border, according to witnesses cited by AFP. The assailants locked people inside a shop, setting it on fire. Three died inside while another died on the way to the hospital, said a country government official cited by Reuters. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the raid. It was the fourth in five days in the northeast region, according to Agence France-Presse
Item Number:9 Date: 03/18/2015 KUWAIT - EXPLOSIVES-LADEN TRUCK KILLS 3 IN BLAST NEAR KUWAITI BORDER (MAR 18/REU) REUTERS -- A blast from a booby-trapped truck has killed three Iraqi civilians near the border with Kuwait, reports Reuters. Five Iraqis were wounded Wednesday at a garage about 12 km (7.5 mi) north of the Safwan border crossing, said a local Iraqi official cited by Kuwaiti news agency KUNA. The explosives-laden truck was left at a rest stop near the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr, said police sources and witnesses. The trailer was reported to have license plates from Anbar province in Iraq, where militants from the Islamic State operates. The driver left the area before the blast, said a security source cited by Turkey's World Bulletin.
Item Number:10 Date: 03/18/2015 MALAYSIA - ASEAN URGES COLLECTIVE ACTION FOR REGIONAL SECURITY (MAR 18/NST) NEW STRAITS TIMES -- The defense ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have pledged to strengthen regional security, reports the New Straits Times (Malaysia). There was unanimous agreement that the Islamic State poses a new threat to the region and needs to be monitored, Malaysian Defense Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said on Monday in Langkawi, Malaysia. "We will do whatever it takes, whether sharing intelligence or monitoring progress in countering the [Islamic State] threat," Hishamuddin said after the meeting. In addition, the ministers adopted concept papers on the organization's militaries ready group on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief; set guidelines for responding to requests for informal engagements or meetings by ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM)-Plus countries; and agreed to the creation of a center for military medicine
Item Number:11 Date: 03/18/2015 MALI - 2 DUTCH OFFICERS WITH U.N. MISSION DIE IN CRASH OF HELICOPTER (MAR 18/BBC) BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Two United Nations peacekeepers have been killed in a helicopter crash in northern Mali, reports the BBC. A Dutch Apache helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing on Tuesday near the city of Gao, according to the U.N.'s MINUSMA mission. A 30-year-old captain and a 26-year-old first lieutenant died in the accident. One of the Dutch men survived the crash but later died of his injuries at a French field hospital, said Gen. Tom Middendorp, the chief of defense of the Netherlands. An investigation has been opened into the cause of the crash, reported the Dutch News. "Everything points to this being an accident," said Middendorp. The Netherlands has 450 military personnel deployed with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), including four Apache and three Chinook helicopters
Item Number:12 Date: 03/18/2015 NIGERIA - DEFENSE HEADS FROM NIGER, CHAD, NIGERIA TAKE JOINT AIM AT BOKO HARAM (MAR 18/THIS) THIS DAY -- The defense chiefs of Chad, Niger and Nigeria are coordinating their campaign against Boko Haram militants, reports This Day (Lagos). Meeting Monday in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, the defense chiefs reviewed progress to date and pledged to continue cooperating to eject the militants from those areas still under their control, said a Nigerian defense spokesman, Monday's meeting was focused on maximizing coordination among the three armed forces, said Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, the Nigerian defense chief. They also agreed to set up a joint planning structure to enhance operations and consolidate the progress already made, the spokesman said. The joint operations headquarters will be set up immediately, said Badeh
Item Number:13 Date: 03/18/2015 PAKISTAN - JETS POUND MILITANTS IN TIRAH VALLEY (MAR 18/DAWN) DAWN -- The Pakistani military says it has killed at least 34 suspected militants in airstrikes in the Khyber tribal region in the northwest, reports Dawn (Pakistan). On Wednesday, air force jets hit suspected militant hideouts in the Tirah Valley area, according to a statement issued by the military. Other sources placed the death toll at 20. Those killed belonged to the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) and an allied group called Laskar-e-Islam, said a security official cited by Reuters
Item Number:14 Date: 03/18/2015 RUSSIA - DURING SHOW OF STRENGTH, KREMLIN MOVES ISKANDER BALLISTIC MISSILES TO KALININGRAD (MAR 18/TASS) TASS -- Russia is moving Iskander tactical ballistic missile systems to the Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic Sea, reports the Tass news agency (Russia). "The redeployment of the fighter and bomber aviation is planned to the Kaliningrad region, and the army grouping in the Baltic region will be reinforced with the Iskander missile systems of the Western Military District that will be moved by the large landing ships of the Baltic Fleet," an unnamed Russian Defense Ministry source said on Tuesday. The move is taking place during a major previously unannounced exercise in Russia's northwest. There is no indication when the missiles are coming from the 26th Missile Brigade, near Luga, or the 112 Missile Brigade, close to Shuya, reported Lithuania's ELTA news agency. Kaliningrad is bordered by Poland to the south and Lithuania to the north. After a previous exercise in December, Russia moved its missiles back to their original locations, noted ELTA
Item Number:15 Date: 03/18/2015 SERBIA - ARRESTS MADE OF SUSPECTS IN 1995 SREBRENICA MASSACRE (MAR 18/NYT) NEW YORK TIMES -- Authorities in Serbia have arrested seven men suspected of participating in a massacre at Srebrenica in 1995, reports the New York Times. An eighth man was later arrested, noted Reuters. The seven men were arrested Wednesday in several places across Serbia. They are accused of killing more than 1,000 Muslim Bosniaks at a warehouse near Srebrenica in Bosnia. The eighth suspect was apprehended in Novi Sad, in the north of Serbia. The massacre occurred over several days after Serbian forces overran Srebrenica amid the breakup of Yugoslavia. The arrests were the first in Serbia of alleged participants in the massacres. A search is said to be underway for more suspects in Serbia and in neighboring countries. Those detained will likely be tried in Serbia, not at The Hague, said Serbian officials. Serbia has previously detained and tried men who were not directly involved in the massacre, reported the BBC.
Item Number:16 Date: 03/18/2015 SOUTH KOREA - U.S., CHINA ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF POTENTIAL MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM IN S. KOREA (MAR 18/YON) YONHAP -- The potential deployment of a U.S. air defense system on South Korean territory is expected to be discussed in high-level talks next month, reports Yonhap news agency (Seoul). The possible deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery is going to be on the agenda at the Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue (KIDD) set for mid-April in Washington, said an unnamed South Korean source on Wednesday. China has begun to publicly oppose the move, which has made some in Seoul concerned over relations with South Korea's largest trade partner, reported Reuters. The U.S. believes the system is needed to counter North Korea's missile threat. The government in Seoul finds itself caught between financial and military pressures.
Item Number:17 Date: 03/18/2015 SYRIA - TROOPS TAKE BACK STRATEGIC TOWN OF HANDARAT, OUSTING NUSRA FRONT (MAR 18/XIN) XINHUA -- Syrian government forces have reportedly recaptured all the areas of a contested town in the northern Aleppo province, according to Xinhua, China's state news agency, citing government media in Syria. Syrian soldiers took over Handarat, about 5 km (3 mi) north of the city of Aleppo, on Wednesday, reported state news agency SANA. State media said the Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other rebel groups were pushed out of the town that they had held since March 9. Handarat sits on a strategic road connecting the city of Aleppo to Turkey, which is one of the last remaining supply lines for rebels in the city.
Item Number:18 Date: 03/18/2015 SYRIA - U.S. PREDATOR DRONE LOST; DAMASCUS SAYS IT SHOT UAV DOWN (MAR 18/WP) WASHINGTON POST -- The Syrian government says its air defenses shot down a U.S. unmanned surveillance aircraft, reports the Washington Post. The official Syrian Arab News Agency reported on Tuesday that its forces shot down a "hostile U.S. surveillance aircraft" near the northern city of Latakia. U.S. defense officials confirmed later on Tuesday that they had lost contact with a MQ-1 Predator drone over Syria and said that they were investigating the claims. Turkish military sources said the aircraft took off from the U.S. Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, reported the Hurriyet Daily News. If confirmed, this would represent the first time the Syrian government has engaged a U.S. aircraft over its airspace since the start of the anti-ISIS mission in September 2014. Syria has allowed U.S. drones to overfly its territory to hit ISIS targets, noted the McClatchy Newspapers. However, this area is not close to known areas where ISIS terrorists are operating
Item Number:19 Date: 03/18/2015 TUNISIA - TOP TERRORIST DIES FIGHTING IN LIBYA (MAR 18/REU) REUTERS -- One of Tunisia's most wanted men has been killed in Libya. Tunisian sources say a Tunisian commander of the Islamic State terrorist group has been killed in fighting in Libya, reports Reuters. Ahmed Rouissi died in clashes with Libyan forces in the coastal city of Sirte, said a Tunisian security source. The Islamic State acknowledged the death on a militant website on Monday, according to multiple sources. Rouissi was a top member of the Ansar al-Sharia militant group. He later joined the Islamic State in Libya, conducting training and recruitment operations for the group, said the Tunisian source. He is believed responsible for planning the murders of two Tunisian opposition leaders in 2013. Separately, the Tunisian Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that it dismantled a cell that was recruiting jihadists to fight in Libya.
Item Number:20 Date: 03/18/2015 UKRAINE - WITH CAUTIOUS EYE ON RUSSIA, PENTAGON PUTS OFF TRAINING PROGRAM FOR UKRAINIAN SOLDIERS (MAR 18/WSJ) WALL STREET JOURNAL -- A top U.S. general says the Defense Dept. will delay a training program for Ukrainian troops, reports the Wall Street Journal. The postponement is intended to avoid giving Moscow an excuse to walk away from a February cease-fire between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army in Europe, said on Tuesday. "The start of the training was delayed to try and provide some more space to see that the cease-fire and the full Minsk agreement could be successfully implemented," said Hodges, referring to a deal made last month. The training is now set to begin later in the spring, said the general. Under the program, Ukrainian national guard battalions are to be matched with U.S. Army battalions for training in first-aid, how to counter radio jamming and how to survive heavy artillery.
Item Number:21 Date: 03/18/2015 USA - ARMY ORDERS MORE GRAY EAGLE UAVS; REAPERS HIT 1 MILLION HOUR MARK (MAR 18/U-T SD) U-T SAN DIEGO -- The U.S. Army has awarded General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Poway, Calif., a contract for a score of additional MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), reports U-T San Diego. The $132.7 million contract modification covers 19 Gray Eagle aircraft; 19 satellite communication air data terminals; initial spares; and ground support equipment, according to a Pentagon release on Monday. Work is scheduled to be completed by May 31, 2017. Separately, General Atomics announced on Monday that its Predator-B/MQ-9 Reaper fleet had reached 1 million cumulative flight hours, with almost 90 percent of missions being flown in combat. In addition, the firm said its Predator/Gray Eagle family flew more than 500,000 flight hours in 2014
Item Number:22 Date: 03/18/2015 USA - BRITISH PARATROOPERS, 82ND AIRBORNE TO TRAIN TOGETHER AT FORT BRAGG (MAR 18/FAYOBSV) FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER -- More than 1,000 British paratroopers have arrived at Fort Bragg, N.C., for a month of training, reports the Fayetteville Observer (N.C.). The troops from the British 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (3 Para), 16th Air Assault Brigade, will join the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, for drills. The exercise will build up to a combined joint operational access exercise in mid-April. The training will also integrate operations with the British Royal Air Force's newest cargo aircraft, the A400M. Army officials have indicated that Fort Bragg will host more multinational training as the 82nd Airborne seeks to improve its interoperability with allied airborne forces
Item Number:23 Date: 03/18/2015 USA - FORT BLISS APACHE UNIT BECOMES RECON SQUADRON, TO RECEIVE SHADOW UAVS (MAR 18/ARMY) ARMY TIMES -- The first of 10 AH-64 Apache attack helicopter battalions being converted to a heavy attack reconnaissance squadron has been reflagged, reports the Army Times. The 1st Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas, became the 3rd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, during a Monday ceremony. This will add three platoons of RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial vehicles to the squadron. The move is part of the Army's five-year aviation restructuring initiative. The squadron is the first unit to receive the Shadow and have it organically assigned to it, said Lt. Col. R.J. Garcia, the unit commander. The armed reconnaissance mission, previously performed by OH-58D Kiowa Warrior light helicopters, will now be conducted by AH-64s teamed with Shadow drones, said Col. John Lindsay, the director of aviation for Army operations. The 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, at Fort Campbell, Ky., and 4th Squadron, 6th Cavalry, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., are slated to convert to reconnaissance squadrons this fiscal year. All 10 units are scheduled to be converted by fiscal 2019
Item Number:24 Date: 03/18/2015 USA - GRAND JURY INDICTS AMERICAN FOR ATTEMPTING TO SUPPORT ISIS (MAR 18/VOA) VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- A 47-year-old American has been charged with attempting to support the Islamic State terrorist group, reports the Voice of America News. The indictment against Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh, a former Air Force airplane mechanic, was unsealed on Tuesday in Federal District Court in Brooklyn, reports the New York Times. The accused is reported to have been in the Air Force from 1986 to 1990 and has recently been living overseas, noted the Wall Street Journal. Pugh is alleged to have attempted to travel to Syria in January after being fired from his job in the Middle East. He reportedly traveled from Egypt to Turkey, but was sent back by Turkish authorities to Egypt and then deported to the U.S. from Egypt. A search of his laptop by a U.S. terrorism task force unearthed Internet searches for information on ISIS, as well as ISIS propaganda videos, according to U.S. authorities. The maximum sentence Pugh faces is 35 years in prison.