Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Fw: TheList 5160

The List 4160

To All,
I hope your week has started well.
This Day In Naval History - April 26
1921 - U.S. Naval Detachment left Yugoslavia after administering area around Spalato for 2 years to guarantee transfer of area from Austria to new country
1944: USS Frost (DE 144), USS Huse (DE 145), USS Barber (DE 161) and USS Snowden (DE 246) sink the German submarine U 488 northwest of the Canary Islands.
1952 - USS Hobson sinks after colliding with USS Wasp; 176 lives lost
Thanks to Dr Rich
Thanks to John ….
I invite you to take the time to watch this authentic live footage (fairly long clip of this conventional air assault on the Japanese mainland, just before the A-bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima! Absolutely fantastic footage of some the members of what WE consider to be THE GREATEST GENERATION!!! Riveting, to say the least.
To think of 600 B-29s all taking off to bomb Japan at one time is beyond my imagination. We hear so much about the Atom Bomb raids on Japanese cities that we forget these raids took place before that...
This is video from the color film archives. 

This is spectacular live footage of the 3,000 round trip mile air assault upon the Japanese mainland, with 3 bomber wings and a host of P-51's. This is the real way to end a war. 
No matter what war footage you ever saw before, this is the real deal and will keep your undivided attention. The P-51 & B29 footage is remarkable. The strafing runs by the P-51 pilots were incredible .
There are several "breaks" as the film canisters are changed, just wait for the count down.
(View Full Screen/Sound On) B-29/P-51 Actual WWII Footage :  Click below

Thanks to Bill
The show Impossible Engineering will be airing a special on the Virginia class submarine Wed, April 27 at 9pm on the Discovery Science Channel.
Be sure to tune in or set your DVR.
The Virginia Class is one of the most advanced nuclear powered, fast attack submarines ever produced for the US Navy. These technological titans are almost 400 feet long, and weigh a staggering 7,800 tons.
Thanks to Mugs
If you are interested in aircraft, this is site to visit...
There are 118 air and space museums that you can pick from that are accessible through this link.  Obviously it would probably take months to review all of them.  Most of them are truly fascinating.   There are many more that are not accessible through this link.
Absolutely mind boggling brilliant photos of museum aircraft throughout the USA and elsewhere.
Just click on any museum of interest, and see what's inside that museum.
Thanks to Doctor Rich
I sure hope the libs in DC are as tenacious about tracking this as they are guns…. not!

These can cause some serious problems for commercial aircraft.
Please see attachment, Texas DPS sent this out State wide and to all Fusion Centers. The attached MANPADS (Stinger Missile) was seized in Chihuahua, Mexico which boarders Texas. It can launch a missile that homes in on a heat source, adjusting its flight path and altitude in response to heat inputs received by its guidance system. Essentially its capabilities can take down a large aircraft. The range of a serviceable Redeye is between 2.5 to 3.5 miles depending on topography, weather, and other conditions.  The Redeye System, easily concealed within a vehicle, is approximately four feet long, and weighs 20 lbs. It can be re-armed with a new missile following firing.  Cartels having this capabilities so close to border is dangerous to border flight operations.
Thanks to Dutch and the Bear
50 years later, we must not let Vietnam repeat itself
Two great articles, one from THE Bear, a hero of Vietnam, on his web site, "Rolling Thunder Remembered" and the second by Rep  Sam Johnson, one of the "Alcatraz Gang"
26 APRIL 1966… ROLLING THUNDER OPS… One aircraft downed—
RIPPLE SALVO… THEN AND NOW… The standard boast about our 2016 military is that it is the finest fighting force in our history… I thought I'd take a look at the fighting forces in being in 1966 when we were tinkering around the edges of North Vietnam and applying the slow drip strategy to defeating a third rate country… Here's what we had available…
In January of 1965 the Department of Defense had completed a major build-up of U.S. conventional, counterinsurgency, and nuclear forces in order to contain communism around the world. And at that time the plan was to reduce military spending to address domestic requirements. The escalation of the Vietnam War in 1966 changed the plan.
The following is from volume six of the "Secretaries of Defense Historical Series'"entitled, "McNamara, Clifford and the Burden of Vietnam,"  authored by Edward J. Drea in 2011 — 700-pages of truth in fine print…
"While FY 1965 witnessed some retrenchment in Defense costs and personnel, in subsequent years the expanding war in Indochina and mounting troubles elsewhere necessitated continual increase. As of June 1965, the armed services had 2,624,779 men and 30,610 women on active duty, altogether some 32,020 fewer than a year earlier. Major force elements included 16 Army and 3 Marine divisions, 880 Navy ships, 78 Air Force combat air wings, and 22 intercontinental ballistic missile squadrons. DoD employed more than 1,164,000 civilians. The FY 1965 Defense budget amounted to $49.7 billion in new obligational authority, $1.2 less than the previous year. Three years later, 30 June 1968, the 3,509,506 men and 38,397 women in the active forces supported 18 Army divisions, 4 Marine divisions, 932 Navy ships, 67 Air Force combat air wings (each with more aircraft per squadron than in 1965), and 26 intercontinental ballistic missile squadrons. DoD civilians numbered 1,436,000. The FY 1968 Defense budget with supplements amounted to $76.8 BILLION."
Here is where we are NOW with "the greatest military in the history of the world," or some such, as the Administration is want to tell the American people… I refer to the "Heritage Foundation 2016 Index of U.S. Military Strengths" and  assessments of the four services and our nuclear war fighting capability…
Navy…"The Navy continues to be marginally capable of defending U.S. interests. Its fleet remains undersized and readiness challenges have  grown." The FY 2015 inventory of ships is 271 to meet a requirement of 308.
Army…"The U.S. Army score (on the annual Heritage Assessment) dropped to 'weak' in the past year, driven primarily by further cuts." The total end strength of the active Army in 2011 was 566,000 and in FY 2015 was 490,000. More cuts are planned with 450,000 identified as the minimum planned. Current total Department of the Army military personnel: 1,042,000 with 490,000 actives, 350,000 National Guard, and 202,000 Army Reserves. However, the cuts from 2011 have resulted in a 29% cut in Battalion Combat Teams.
Air Force…"the Air Force fell to 'marginal' in its ability to contribute to U.S. military power. This was driven largely by mounting readiness concerns." The Air Force has been required to absorb reductions in capacity in order to maintain capability. Personnel: 313,000 active, 67,000 reserve and 105,000 National Guard. Aircraft in inventory= 5,433. Aircraft Squadrons= a total of 54, with 40 active and 14 Reserve and Guard. This provides for 24 TACAIR squadrons and compares with 133 TACAIR squadrons during Desert Storm (1991). The average age of Air Force aircraft is 27 years and aircraft design life is 20-30 years. The F-15 force has expended 90% of its operational life. The Air Force B-52s that numbered about 350 in 1966 are now well below 100 in number at age 50 plus…
(Your Humble Host notes that the first B-52 strikes on North Vietnam (Mugia Pass east side) were on 20 April 1966 and the first B-52 strike on ISIS occurred on 18 April 2016– what a way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rolling Thunder…You go Buffs!…you Ageless Wonders)…..
Marine Corps… "The U.S. Marine Corps has had to favor current readiness over modernization due to budget cuts. The service is also too small to meet increasing demands of its forces." End Strength of 202,000 in 2012 has been reduced to 184,000 in 2015 with further cuts planned to 175,000. These reductions leave the Marines at 23 Battalions, currently, down from 25, and a plan to go to 21 Battalions (900 men and women per Infantry Battalion). the Marines of 2012 deployed for 7-months and were home to refit and train for 21 months. With the cuts this ratio of deploy/turnaround has changed to 7/14 months and will be at 7/7 months with further cuts. This tempo is unsustainable and destructive. Marine Air is now operating its 264 F-18 A/Ds to a new maximum life of 10,000 hours on an aircraft that is designed for a 6,000 hour life span.
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Capability: "America's nuclear deterrent force remains marginally able to provide strategic security. Modernization shortfalls factored heavily into this assessment." Our nation made a decision at the end of the Cold War to maintain the old inventory and forgo development of new weapons incorporating new technology. We now have an inventory of weapons that is of "unknown reliability." …"Thus assessing the extent to which anyone piece of the nuclear enterprise is sufficiently funded, focused and effective with regard to the nuclear mission is impossible," says Heritage, in their annual review of our military posture. A few notes for my readers cogitation. The warheads of old have been stored and can be returned to operational status within six to twenty-four months. Our Minuteman III ICBMs are ready to go with one warhead and can be upgraded to three warheads given 6 to 24 months to make the upgrade. Heritage reports that if our country wants to conduct tests to develop 21st century nuclear weapons two to three years of lead time will be required. They also note that the nuclear lab test equipment has aged and deteriorated along with lab personnel. Old hands are retiring and new hands are difficult to find since nuclear warfare is a tenuous occupation. Heritage wraps up their review with the following:…" U.S nuclear platforms are in dire need of recapitalization" and funding has been limited. Also:… "the readiness of forces assigned the nuclear mission has seriously eroded."
Two points from the writer for your consideration. One: In 1966 our country had the where withal to get in and get out of Vietnam with a win and honor, if we chose too. Two: Anybody who believes our current military posture and capability is the greatest in the world or in our history is woefully ignorant of the facts and is a voice to be ignored as the "winds of war" and "storm clouds gather" in every corner of the world. "Peace through strength" remains the paramount axiom of national survival. Just how strong are we? Not strong enough to keep Putin on his own turf or to keep the Chinese from new adventures in "the outer crescent." Our country is in peril, but our leaders, including admirals and generals, tell us all is well, and the people remain oblivious to the danger. Our national power, position and resolve are ebbing in the face of growing threats on all sides and from within… That is my opinion, what's yours?…
Lest we forget….      Bear  
50 years later, we must not let Vietnam repeat itself
By Rep. Sam Johnson 4/16/16 12:01 AM
The Washington Examiner
April 16, 1966. It was on this day 50 years ago, during my second tour in North Vietnam, that I took off on my 25th mission with the United States Air Force. And it was on this fateful mission that my co-pilot, Chesley, and I were shot down over enemy territory, captured, and imprisoned as POWs in the infamous "Hanoi Hilton."
Nearly seven years of my life were ripped from me — time away from my wife, Shirley, our three children, and the country I love. Perhaps, had circumstances been different that day, Chesley and I would have safely returned the next morning. I'll never know. But I do know this: Faulty equipment and a lack of cohesive military strategy from our commander in chief certainly didn't help us in the air that night.
I remember the mission vividly: Neutralize an enemy anti-aircraft gun and then eliminate a truck park they used for supply delivery with two loads of napalm. It was a simple mission, especially considering the fact that I had recently left the Air Force's precision demonstration flying team, the Thunderbirds. Chesley and I were flying low over the trees — about 50 feet above ground — doing 700 knots on the deck. When the enemy began firing at us from the ground, I switched to guns and squeezed the trigger, but the gun jammed.
Unfortunately, that was not out of the ordinary. The planes we were flying, F-4 Phantom IIs, were really Navy aircraft designed for fleet defense. Due to consolidation at the Defense Department, the Air Force had been ordered to use them, too. Never mind that the planes had no bombing system for air-to-ground combat, which the Air Force needed for ground support, no gun, and no sight system for bomb targeting and dogfighting. The planes the Pentagon fixed for us did have guns fitted to them, but the gun's success rate was about 50 percent.
04/26/16 6:00 AM
That meant our plane was defenseless. Enemy shots caught our right engine on fire, and as the plane was going down, we ejected just before the aircraft crashed. I broke my right arm and back during the ejection, and my left arm was severely injured, all which would not be properly treated until my return home nearly seven years later.
After landing in a rice paddy, I struggled to get to higher terrain while trudging through the jungle. However, the North Vietnamese spotted where my plane went down, quickly found me, and eventually brought me to the "Hanoi Hilton."
As a POW, I developed quite the reputation for being a "diehard resistor." For my refusal to give in to torture and denounce my country, my captors moved me out of the main prison and into "Alcatraz" along with 10 other "diehard resistor" POWs. But even in those direst of circumstances, my attitude toward rescue or escape remained notoriously positive. I say this because a positive attitude is vital. So too is a mighty will. That is why I am determined to see that we don't allow history to repeat itself. My experience 50 years ago should be a learning experience for our commander in chief: Both our current president and our future ones.
As I mentioned, two factors that contributed to my being shot down on my second tour and 25th mission in Vietnam were faulty equipment and lack of clear military strategy. It is vitally important that America provides all the resources our military needs so they can do their jobs safely and effectively.
When it comes to force modernization, history has shown that the investments we make in our military today directly impact our ability to defend the United States tomorrow. During a speech last year, my colleague from Texas who serves as the House Armed Services Committee Chairman, Mac Thornberry, discussed the situation former Chairman Carl Vinson faced here in the House back in the 1930s. Despite facing a constrained budget during the Great Depression, Chairman Vinson advocated for force modernization because he understood the threats America faced around the world at that time.
It was under Chairman Vinson's leadership that the aircraft carriers Enterprise, Hornet and Yorktown were built. A decade later, it was these three carriers that won the Battle of Midway in 1942 and turned the tide of the war in the Pacific – just six months after Pearl Harbor.
Make no mistake, the force-planning decisions we make in Congress today will directly affect our ability to provide for the common defense in the coming decades. No one knows when the next threat will strike, but it's a fact that you go to war with the equipment you have. Proactive planning saves lives. Therefore, it is vital that we continue to modernize the force to face the uncertain but dangerous threats of tomorrow.
Likewise, a clear military strategy is crucial. And sadly, to this day our current commander in chief still has no comprehensive strategy to defeat the Islamic State. Now, in response to a Congressional mandate, President Obama did release a "plan" for dealing with the Islamic State last month, but this short seven-page document lacks serious detail and was delivered to Congress over a month late.
In light of the recent wave of terrorist attacks, America should be intensifying the fight against the Islamic State. Instead, President Obama has imposed an overly restrictive set of rules of engagement on our warfighters that have limited our ability to go after these terrorists. America's Armed Forces deserve our full and unwavering support, and that includes providing them with a real strategy for success.
While my time in that Prisoner of War camp strengthened my faith and patriotism more than any other event in my life, it is an experience I would never want another United States solider or their family to endure. Let us uphold our most sacred duty. Let us properly provide for the common defense. As America faces an array of national security challenges around the world, this discussion is important now more than ever.
Sam Johnson represents Texas' 3rd Congressional District. He is a 29-year Air Force veteran and was one of 11 men in the Hanoi Hilton's self-named "Alcatraz Gang," along with other American patriots like Jeremiah Denton and Jim Stockdale. As a Prisoner of War (POW), Sam spent 42 months in solitary, 72 days in leg stocks, and 2 ½ years in leg irons. He chronicles his POW experience in Captive Warriors.
Back To Top  Item Number:1 Date: 04/26/2016 AUSTRALIA - LATEST AMRAAM MODEL WANTED FROM U.S. IN POSSIBLE US$1.22 BILLION DEAL (APR 26/DSCA)  U.S. DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY -- Australia is seeking to buy the latest version of the AMRAAM missile from the United States to equip its fighter aircraft, reports the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.   The proposed US$1.22 billion deal covers up to 450 AIM-120D AMRAAM missiles; 34 AIM-120D instrumented air vehicles; six instrumented test vehicles; and 10 spare AIM-120 guidance sections, said the agency on Monday.   The potential sale also includes containers, support and test equipment, spare and repair parts and associated technical and logistics support.   The missiles are being sought for Australia's F/A-18 Hornet, Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and F-35 fighters, the agency said in a release
Item Number:2 Date: 04/26/2016 AUSTRALIA - NEW AUSTRALIAN SUBS TO BE BUILT IN AUSTRALIA AFTER FRENCH FIRM WINS AWARD (APR 26/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- Australia has awarded a US$38.6 billion contract to French shipbuilder DCNS for build a fleet of a new generation of submarines, reports the Wall Street Journal.   The decision to award the contract for 12 subs was announced Tuesday by Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull.   The French Shortfin Barracuda design was chosen over Japan's Soryu submarine offered by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries and a version of Type 214 offered by Germany's ThyssenKrupp AG, reported Reuters.   Japan had been seen as the front-runner in the competition until France offered top secret pump-jet propulsion technology, said people familiar with the selection process.   The boats will be manufactured in Adelaide using Australian steel, creating 2,800 jobs, said Turnbull. The prime minister admitted a "premium" would be paid for building the fleet in Australia, as noted by the Australian newspaper.   French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the award means "thousands of jobs in France." He told Europe 1 radio that this is a "very-long contract. We have got married to Australia for 50 years."  
  Item Number:3 Date: 04/26/2016 BANGLADESH - GAY-RIGHTS ACTIVIST HACKED TO DEATH; TERROR GROUP CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY (APR 26/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- A Bangladesh-based terrorist faction linked to Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for killing two men, reported the Washington Post. One man killed was described as a gay-rights activist and employee of a U.S. government aid program.   Julhas Mannan, 35, and his friend Tanay Mojumder were killed Monday in an apartment in the Kalabagan area of Dhaka, the capital, said police. Two others were seriously injured, reported the New York Times.   The attackers pretended to be couriers to gain access to the apartment, said police.   Mannan was a U.S. government employee for the U.S. Agency for International Development. He was also an editor of the first gay-rights magazine in the country.   On Tuesday, Ansar al-Islam, the Bangladeshi branch of Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), claimed responsibility for the killings. The group said the two were targeted because they were "pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh
Item Number:4 Date: 04/26/2016 BURUNDI - INTERNATIONAL OFFICIALS TO INVESTIGATE LATEST ASSASSINATION OF GENERAL (APR 26/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- A top Burundian general has been killed in an attack in the capital Bujumbura, reports the BBC.   Brig. Gen. Athanase Kararuza, who was an adviser to the vice president, was shot and killed along with his wife and bodyguard on Monday. They were en route to drop off the general's child at school, said an army spokesman cited by Reuters.   Their daughter was wounded in the attack and died later, reported UPI. A subsequent report said the child had survived.   Kararuza "energetically fought against the coup plotters last year and contributed exceptionally in strengthening peace and security during and after elections," President Pierre Nkurunziza said in a statement.   Nkurunziza has given the security forces a one-week deadline to find the attackers.   The general was the seventh high-ranking army officer assassinated in less than a year.   International prosecutors said they would probe the series of atrocities, reported AFP
  Item Number:5 Date: 04/26/2016 CHINA - BEIJING EYES RECLAMATION EFFORTS IN S. CHINA SEA (APR 26/SCMP)  SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST -- China may begin land reclamation work at the Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea later this year, say unnamed sources cited by the South China Morning Post.   Beijing sees such a move as necessary to respond to the strengthening ties between the U.S. and the Philippines, said a source close to the Chinese navy.   The shoal outpost, which could receive an airstrip, would be about 140 miles (230 km) off the coast of the Philippines.   An anticipated ruling on territorial claims by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague is expected to go against China, and that would accelerate the plan, said the source.   "Beijing will take action to carry out land reclamation at Huangyan Island within this year," the source said.   The atoll is claimed by China, the Philippines and Taiwan.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 04/26/2016 EGYPT - TERRORIST ATTACKS HAVE PROMPTED SHIFTING OF U.S. PEACEKEEPERS IN SINAI (APR 26/LAT)  LOS ANGELES TIMES -- The U.S. military has moved more than 100 soldiers from a desert camp near the Egypt-Israeli border in the Sinai Peninsula in the face of a number of attacks by militants linked to the Islamic State, reports the Los Angeles Times.   The Americans, part of a U.N. peacekeeping mission that helps maintain the 1979 treaty between Egypt and Israel, were shifted about 300 miles (480 km) south to a more secure area, according to officials.   The Obama administration has also been considering reducing the 700-man contingent of U.S. troops in the Sinai and replacing them with remote sensors, cameras and other technology to monitor the border.   The Sinai Province terrorist group, which declared allegiance to the Islamic State last year, has conducted several attacks on military outposts in the northern Sinai, killing dozens of Egyptian soldiers.   Since they are peacekeepers, the U.S. soldiers are not permitted to fire at the militants. Only Egyptian forces can do that
  Item Number:7 Date: 04/26/2016 INDIA - NAVY FLOTILLA TO SAIL TO PERSIAN GULF WITH DIPLOMATIC MOTIVES (APR 26/TI)  TIMES OF INDIA -- The Indian navy plans to send a flotilla to the Persian Gulf as part of the nation's increased diplomatic program in the region, reports the Times of India.   The destroyer Delhi; Teg-class stealth frigates Tarkash and Trikhand; missile frigate Ganga; and the supply sheep Deepak are scheduled to depart Bombay (Mumbai) for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on May 3.   The flotilla will then travel to Kuwait around May 12, before sailing to Bahrain and Oman. The warships are expected to return to Bombay by May 28.   At the same time, a separate Indian naval vessel will pay a visit to Bandar Abbas on the southern coast of Iran.   Indian air force Su-30MKI fighters and Il-78 aerial tankers will also visit the U.A.E. for training on their way back from a Red Flag exercise in Alaska. The drill concludes on May 13.   New Delhi is stepping up its ties with the Persian Gulf and is attempting to balance relations with the Sunni Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and Shi'ite Iran, say officials
Item Number:8 Date: 04/26/2016 IRAQ - NEW U.S. STRATEGY PUSHES FOR STRONGER RESOLVE BY IRAQI MILITARY (APR 26/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- The U.S. had found it necessary to advance a new strategy to assist Iraqi forces in the fight against the Islamic State, reports the Military Times.   Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced it would expand its train-advise-and-assist mission, deploying another 200 personnel to work alongside Iraqi units at the brigade and battalion levels.   Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has also authorized the use of U.S. attack helicopters in Iraq.   This will increase the risk to U.S. personnel. The changes are intended to embolden the Iraqis and compel them to fight more aggressively, say American officials.   The U.S. also hopes to provide greater access to essential combat enablers such as reliable communications, close-air support and medical care.   Strengthening the lower ranks of the Iraqi army is proving to be the most important and complex part of the U.S. training mission, said U.S. officials
Item Number:9 Date: 04/26/2016 JAPAN - US$73.8 MILLION CONTRACT MODIFICATION COVERS WORK ON F-35 FIGHTERS (APR 26/USDOD)  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract for advance acquisition work on F-35 Joint Strike Fighters for Japan, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The US$73.8 million contract modification covers long-lead materials, parts, components and work to maintain the planned production schedule for six low-rate initial production Lot 12 F-35As for Japan.   Work under the Foreign Military Sales deal is scheduled to be completed in December 2020.  
Item Number:10 Date: 04/26/2016 NORTH KOREA - SEOUL KEEPS EYE ON ANOTHER POSSIBLE MISSILE TEST BY NORTH (APR 26/YON)  YONHAP -- North Korea appears to be preparing to test-launch another intermediate-range ballistic missile, say sources cited by the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   One or two Musudan missiles, also called the No Dong-B or BM-25, were loaded onto a launcher near the eastern port city of Wonsan earlier this month, said the military sources on Tuesday.   One missile was test-fired on April 15, but reportedly blew up seconds after lifting off. "The remaining missile appears to be standing by for launch," said one source.   "The military is picking up signs which indicate North Korea will likely launch the Musudan missile in the near future, and they are keeping close tabs on that," said another source.   The missile has never been successfully flight-tested, noted AFP. Its estimated maximum range is 4,000 km (2,500 mi
  Item Number:11 Date: 04/26/2016 PHILIPPINES - CANADIAN KIDNAPPING VICTIM BEHEADED BY ABU SAYYAF (APR 26/DEWELLE)  DEUTSCHE WELLE -- A Canadian hostage held for months has been beheaded by militants in the Philippines, reports Deutsche Welle.   Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the death of John Ridsdel, 68, on Monday.   Ridsfel and three others were kidnapped last September from Samal Island in the Philippines by the Abu Sayyaf group.   The militants demanded a ransom of US$6.52 million, threatening to kill one of the men if it was not paid by Monday afternoon. Hours after the deadline passed, the Philippine army said it recovered a severed head.   According to NBC News: the body was found in Jolo City, about 900 miles from where he was taken; the head was found near Zamboanga City some 425 miles west of Samal.   The group is believed to still hold the three other hostages -- Canadian Robert Hall, Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipino Marites
Item Number:12 Date: 04/26/2016 ROMANIA - U.S. SENDS MESSAGE, F-22 FIGHTERS TO ROMANIAN BASE (APR 26/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors have visited Romania for the first time, reports CNN.   Two F-22 fighter jets landed Monday at Mihail Kogalniceanu air base, close to the Black Sea port of Constanta in southeast Romania, reported Sky News (U.K.).   The aircraft flew back to the United Kingdom on Monday night. They will be headed to another NATO ally on Wednesday, according to officials.   The deployment was part of a NATO training exercise showcasing how quickly such U.S. fighter jets and support can be moved to a forward operating base.   The F-22s are part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which is aimed at reassuring U.S. allies at a time of Russian aggression
Item Number:13 Date: 04/26/2016 RUSSIA - 24 COMBAT TRAINING HELOS UNDER ORDER (APR 26/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Russian Defense Ministry has made a deal with the Russian Helicopters firm for a serial production contract for combat training helicopters, reports Interfax-AVN.   The contract covers 24 Mi-28UB combat training helicopters. The aircraft provides improved ergonomic characteristics and dual controls, while retaining its combat capabilities, according to the Defense Ministry on Sunday.   A second deal was also signed for two Mi-26 heavy-lift helicopters.   Deliveries under both contracts are to be completed by the end of 2018
Item Number:14 Date: 04/26/2016 SOMALIA - AL-SHABAAB ATTACKS MILITARY BASE NEAR BAIDOA; MULTIPLE DEATHS REPORTED (APR 26/REU)  REUTERS -- Al-Shabaab militants have killed five soldiers and wounded 12 in an attack on a military base in the northwest Somalia, reports Reuters, citing a Somali officer.   The terrorists attacked the base early on Tuesday in the town of Baidoa, said a military officer. Six Al-Shabaab fighters were said to have been killed.   Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility, saying it ambushed a truck carrying troops to the base and killed 11.   "We exploded the truck using a planted bomb and then ambushed," said a spokesman for the group
  Item Number:15 Date: 04/26/2016 SWEDEN - IRAQ SECURITY OFFICIALS SAID TO WARN OF ISIS THREAT TO STOCKHOLM (APR 26/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Sweden's Sapo intelligence service says it is investigating a possible terror threat in Stockholm, reports the BBC.   The Swedish newspaper Expressen reported that Iraqi security officials have claimed that seven or eight Islamic State militants traveled to Sweden to carry out attacks in the capital.   "Right now we're gathering information and intelligence and coordinating with our national and international partners," said a spokesman for Sapo.   National agencies and police were said to be on standby. The agency said it receives such reports "quite often
  Item Number:16 Date: 04/26/2016 TURKEY - U.S. ROCKET ARTILLERY TO BE USED AGAINST ISIS NEAR TURKISH-SYRIAN BORDER (APR 26/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Turkey says it will deploy U.S.-supplied multiple rocket launcher systems (MLRS) along its border with Syria to combat the Islamic State, reports Agence France-Presse.   High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARSs) will be deployed in May along the border, said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Tuesday.   Another account suggest that the U.S. will deploy HIMARS near the border as part of a joint agreement with Turkey, according to Reuters. The U.S. Embassy had no immediate comment.   HIMARs have a 90-km (56-mile) range. This compares to the 40-km (25-mile) range of Turkish artillery. The system "will be able to hit [ISIS] targets more effectively," said Cavusoglu.   The minister said Ankara is seeking to establish a safe zone for refugees in the 98-km (60-mile) stretch between the Syrian city of Manbij, in Aleppo province, and the Turkish border.   Washington has opposed the idea, saying a no-fly zone might lead to conflicts with Russian warplanes over Syria
Item Number:17 Date: 04/26/2016 UKRAINE - POROSHENKO GIVES ACTING NAVY CHIEF TIME TO PROVE HIMSELF (APR 26/INT-UKR)  INTERFAX-UKRAINE -- President Petro Poroshenko says he will keep Lt. Gen. Ihor Voronchenko as the acting commander of the Ukrainian navy, reports Interfax-Ukraine.   "Following my consultations with the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, the defense minister and the chief of general staff of Ukraine's army, I have decided to agree upon your candidacy, said Poroshenko in a statement on Monday.   "We are giving some time for you to be able to demonstrate your best qualities," said the president.   Poroshenko dismissed Voronchenko's predecessor Serhiy Haiduk on April 15.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 04/26/2016 USA - COMBAT TESTING EXPOSES ARMY'S CYBER VULNERABILITIES (APR 26/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- Combat testing has shown that U.S. Army's new mobile network has significant cybersecurity vulnerabilities, reports Bloomberg News.   The WIN-T Increment 2 network is designed to provide secure, mobile, voice, data and image transmissions from brigade commanders down to the company level. It has already been deployed to 11 of 32 Army combat brigades.   However, according to a U.S. Army spokesman, an assessment by Johns Hopkins University and the Army Research Laboratory has "recommended both improvements to user training techniques and procedures and hardware and software enhancements to harden against the cyberthreat."   The Army and manufacturer General Dynamics are already working to improve fielded systems and embed updates into networks that will be deployed through 2028, the service said in an email
Item Number:19 Date: 04/26/2016 USA - LONGER RUNWAYS NEEDED FOR RAPID-REACTION MISSIONS OUT OF FORT BRAGG (APR 26/FAYOBSV)  FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER -- Fort Bragg in North Carolina wants to extend the runway at Pope Field to improve the support of rapid-reaction operations, reports the Fayetteville Observer (N.C.).   Army leaders at Fort Bragg hope to add 2,000 feet (610 m) to the 7,500-foot (2,290 m) runway, as well as an additional 1,000 feet (305 m) of hardened overruns.   The expansion would permit a fully loaded C-17 transport to take off from Fort Bragg and allow C-5s operating from the airfield to carry more cargo, say the officials.   The extension could cost as much as $50 million, according to military planners.   Fort Bragg houses special operations forces, as well as the Global Response Force headed by the 18th Airborne Corps and the 82nd Airborne Division. The latter is responsible for deploying on short notice anywhere in the world.   Without the extension, officials say aircraft carrying troops on a rapid-response mission would need to refuel in the air or in South Carolina, Delaware, New Jersey or Newfoundland, Canada.  
Item Number:20 Date: 04/26/2016 VIETNAM - NEW FRIGATE ABOUT TO BE LAUNCHED, WITH TRIALS TO FOLLOW (APR 26/SPUTNIK)  SPUTNIK -- Construction has been completed in Russia for a new frigate for Vietnam.   A Russian shipbuilder plans to launch a third Gepard-class frigate for the Vietnamese navy on Wednesday, reports Russia's Sputnik news agency.   The Project 11661 vessel will be floated out at the Zelenodolsk facility in Tatarstan.   A contract to build two of the frigates was awarded in October 2012. The first is expected to be delivered in November 2016 and the second in March 2017, reported the Thahn Nien News (Vietnam).   The frigates will be equipped with an Uran anti-ship missile system, an AK-176M 76.2-mm gun, a Palma close-in weapon system, two AK-630M 30-mm gun mounts and 533-mm torpedo tubes. They will also be capable of carrying a Ka-28 or Ka-31 helicopter.   The new ship will undergo running trials after launching, a Zelenodolsk Shipyards spokesman told Russia's Tass news agency.


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