Friday, October 21, 2016

Fw: TheList 4295



 The List 4295
To All
I hope your week has been going well.
Regards,
Skip
 
This Day In Naval History - October 20
1824 - U.S. Schooner Porpoise captures four pirate ships off Cuba.
1944: The U.S. Navy lands four Sixth Army divisions ashore on Leyte. Japanese aerial counter-attacks damage escort carrier Sangamon and a few other ships, but do not hinder the landings. Later in the day, Gen. Douglas MacArthur gives his "I have returned" radio message to the Philippine people. The Japanese prepare to send five strong naval forces to drive off the American fleet and add more troops for the land fighting. In the following days, this response will lead to World War II's biggest and most complex sea fight, the multi-pronged Battle of Leyte Gulf.
 
1952 - Task Force 77 establishes ECM Hunter/Killer Teams of 2 ECM equipped aircraft and an armed escort of 4 Skyraiders and 4 Corsairs.
1967 - Operation Coronado VII began in Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
1983 - Due to political strife, USS Independence (CV-59 ) ordered to Grenada.
 
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And we expected…………….??
 
"May God save the country, for it is obvious the people will not."- Millard Fillmor
 
Dutch
 
Iran Seeking 'Many Billions of Dollars' in Ransom to Free U.S. Hostages
Source close to IRGC puts bounty on remaining U.S. hostages (Updated)
BY: Adam Kredo
October 19, 2016 4:18 pm
Iran is seeking "many billions of dollars" in payments from the United States in exchange for the release of several U.S. hostages still being detained in Iran, according to reports by Iran's state-controlled press that are reigniting debate over the Obama administration's decision earlier this year to pay Iran $1.7 billion in cash.
Senior Iranian officials, including the country's president, have been floating the possibility of further payments from the United States for months. Since the White House agreed to pay Tehran $1.7 billion in cash earlier this year as part of a deal bound up in the release of American hostages, Iran has captured several more U.S. citizens.
Future payments to Iran could reach as much as $2 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter, who said that Iran is detaining U.S. citizens in Iran's notorious Evin prison where inmates are routinely tortured and abused.
Iranian news sources close to the country's Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, which has been handling prisoner swaps with the United States, reported on Tuesday that Iran expects "many billions of dollars to release" those U.S. citizens still being detained."
"We should wait and see, the U.S. will offer … many billions of dollars to release" American businessman Siamak Namazi and his father Baquer, who was abducted by Iran after the United States paid Iran the $1.7 billion, according to the country's Mashregh News outlet, which has close ties to the IRGC's intelligence apparatus.
The Persian language news report was independently translated for the Washington Free Beacon.
Six hostages have been sentenced to 10 years in prison by Iran in the past months, including the Namazis.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told NBC News in late September that his government is in talks with the United States to secure future payouts, a disclosure that may have played a role in the White House's recent decision to veto legislation to block future ransom payments to Iran.
"We're currently conducting conversations and various dialogues in order to return this money to Iran," Rouhani was quoted as saying. "Perhaps these dialogues can be still conducted simultaneously on parallel tracks while we're conducting those same conversations in order to free the sums of money that are still owed to us."
Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) told the Free Beacon that the U.S. is incentivizing the abduction of Americans by Iran.
"I am saddened to learn of the sentencing of Baquer Namazi and his son Siamak by Iran this week," said Kirk, the co-author of key Iran sanctions laws and chairman of the Senate Banking Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance, which oversees Iran sanctions policy.
"After airlifting $1.7 billion in cash ransom payments to Iran, even the U.S. State Department ‎now warns of increased dangers that the world's biggest state sponsor of terrorism will continue to illegally seize Americans and Westerners who travel or do business with Iran. Companies, banks, and American citizens would be wise to stay away from Iran," Kirk said.
One senior congressional adviser familiar with the issue told the Free Beacon that Iranian officials have been pressing for another $2 billion from the United States for months.
"Iranian officials including Foreign Minister [Mohammad Javad] Zarif have been bragging for months that they're going to force the U.S. to pay them several billion dollars more," the source said. "Now officials across the spectrum in Iran—from IRGC hardliners to the ostensibly moderate President Rouhani—are talking about those billions, and maybe several more, alongside chatter about the U.S. hostages."
"Even some family members of the hostages talk that way, which is completely understandable given what they're going through, but it doesn't change the fact that the administration is gearing up to give Iran another ransom in the hundreds of millions and maybe again billions," the source added.
Rumors of future ransom payments to Iran come as Congress continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the $1.7 billion cash payment, a portion of which was delivered by plane to Iran just hours before it released several U.S. prisoners.
The Free Beacon recently disclosed that details of this payment and other details bound up in the hostage release are being stored in a highly secure location on Capitol Hill, preventing many from accessing the documents, which are not classified but are being treated as such.
The three documents show that the cash payment was directly tied to the prisoner release, adding fuel to claims of a ransom payment, according to sources who have viewed them.
Iran experts who spoke to the Free Beacon said that Iran senses weakness in the United States and is angling to squeeze more money from the administration before it leaves office.
"Paying $1.7 billion to Iran to release the U.S. prisoners has encouraged Iran to arrest more Americans," said Saeed Ghasseminejad, an associate fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "Iran senses weakness in the U.S. leadership as it constantly tests the administration through a chain of provocative actions. To put an end to Iran's abduction program, the administration should make it clear, by action and not words, that it does not reward Iran for its bad behavior."
Conceding to Iran's demands will only bolster the hardline regime, Ghasseminejad said.
"The administration must show strength in response to Iran's other provocative actions in the region," he said. "The administration also should warn American citizens and green card holders that Iran is a very dangerous place for them to travel or do business. However, such warning contradicts the administration's continuous efforts to encourage investors and big banks to do business with Iran. The administration also should impose sanction on the entities and individuals involved in this abduction program."
 
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Thanks to Barrel
A must see video by Jon Voight
 
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ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED… 20 OCTOBER 1966… GOING TO DODGE (3)…
October 20, 2016Bear Taylor0 Comments
RIPPLE SALVO… #232…   3rd SEGMENT OF "GOING TO DODGE" by Sam Butz of NYT… but first…
Good Morning: Day TWO HUNDRED THIRTY-TWO of a return to Operation Rolling Thunder (1965-1968)…
20 October 1966… FRONT PAGE NEWS AT HOME…New York Times… Gloomy Thursday morning but clearing gradually…
Page 1: "Johnson Appeals To Hanoi To 'End A War It Cannot Win' "…"President Johnson began his tour of the Western Pacific today in appealing to North Vietnam to give up a war that he said it 'cannot win' and to accept instead his help in a war on Asian poverty. The President revived this appeal in a luncheon with leaders of the New Zealand Parliament. He sounded several themes that are expected to dominate his speeches on foreign soil over the next two weeks, all related to his sense of the emergence of a 'new' Asia. The Johnson's left New Zealand for Canberra, Australia at 5PM (1AM EDT) after a short visit to a sheep shearing shed at a farm four miles from the Ohakia Air Force Base. The President's white and blue jet could not be accommodated in Wellington, 97 miles from this base. Mr. Johnson drew huge and enthusiastic crowds in downtown Wellington, an outpouring stimulated by the closing of schools and a general holiday spirit. But tweedy executives and shop girls in smocks and shoppers cheering, singing and waving their welcome. The President addressed the throngs with messages of good will and the common ancestry of New Zealand and the United States. Then in a formal address, while avoiding the local debate on Vietnam Mr. Johnson strongly defended his conduct of the war consistent with both 'reason and consequence.'… 'The war is tragic and vicious,' he said, 'but a necessary prelude to sustained development of independent and secure Asian nations.' Though he 'prefers peace to war,' he said, 'he sees no acceptable alternative now. When we succeed, and we shall succeed,' he promised,' we shall begin a nobler war against man's ancient enemies–hunger, ignorance and disease everywhere in Southeast Asia, including North Vietnam if its government desires.' He added: 'We say to the leaders of North Vietnam: a new Asia is emerging. Your people should be part of it–proud , independent and peaceful–the beneficiaries.'…"…Page 1: "Aiken Suggests U.S. Say It Has Won The War"…"Senator George Aiken of Vermont made a 'far-fetched proposal' today in achieving peace in Vietnam: …' that the United States declare that it has won the war. This could be followed,' the Vermont Senator said, 'by military de-escalation, including an end to the air attacks on North Vietnam and a regrouping of United States forces around strategic strong points. It may be a far-fetched proposal,' said the 74-year old Republican, who is ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, 'but nothing else has worked.'…"…
Page 1: "Mao Dispute With Rivals Believed Near New Crisis"…"The struggle for power between supporters of Mao Tse-tung and Lin Piao and their opponents is mounting to a new climax, analysts here (Hong King) believe.Despite the purges in the last year, supporters of Mao appear to be meeting continued resistance within the policy-making councils of the Chinese Communist Party."… Page 1: "Cabinet Rupture Is Delayed By Ky"…"Premier Nguyen Cao Ky appeared tonight to have dampened down a cabinet crisis that threatened to embarrass his regime just before the Manila conference. Two of the dissident Cabinet members have withdrawn their resignations and the remaining five have agreed to stay on until after the Manila conference in late October."…
Page 1: "250 Negroes Riot and Beat Teachers; Oakland School Shut"…"Some 250 young Negroes including many nonstudents ran wild at Oakland's Castlemount High School today. They beat five white teachers and three white students and forced the 2,700-student school to close early. The police later broke up a gang of Negro youths who looted a food market not far away. In late afternoon the police dispersed roving bands of raiders who smashed some store windows in a 10-block stretch along East 14th street. The police, mostly in cars and armed with shotguns and carbines, patrolled the streets. In the two hour disturbance at Castlemount, a predominantly Negro school, windows were broken, missiles thrown and cafeteria tables upset. Truants and nonstudents scaled the school fences and charged into the cafeteria lunch hour to get the riot started."… Page 1: "City Acts To Aid ghetto Schools"…"The School Board of Education of New York announced yesterday that it would set up a city-wide 'task force' of educators, public officials and community leaders to help improve education in Ghetto schools in New York. At the same time the board disclosed details on its plan for giving Harlem parents a voice in the operation of the controversial Intermediate School 201. In a 2,200 word statement the board said it agreed with Harlem representatives who felt that 'bold new steps must be taken to upgrade education in defacto segregated schools and that increased community participation is essential in the end.'…"
Page 13: "Ex-Pilot In Vietnam Accuses Pentagon Of Deception War"…"A former Navy pilot in Vietnam says that many officers feel the war is being run by 'uniformed potential voters who want a quiet war, one that will not make hardships for them at home.' He also accuses the Pentagon of deceptions, denials, and prevarications that contradict the true situation. 'Your true patriots are there trying to fight a war.' The pilot who is a former Navy Lieutenant made his comments in a letter to Representative William Menshall, Republican-Ohio."… Page 13: "3 Fliers Capture Related By Hanoi"…"North Vietnam's official news agency gave additional details on the capture of three American pilots downed in August and September. The news agency also released pictures of the three: Captain Donald Glenn Waltman from Idaho, whose F-105 from Korat was shot down on 19 September; LTJG Hubert E. Buchanan, from Indiana, who was shot down by a MIG on 19 September: and, Captain Norman Wells who was shot down on August 31."…
 
20 OCTOBER 1966… OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER… New York Times… No report on air war in North for 20 Oct… "Vietnam: Air Losses" (Hobson) Five U.S. fixed wing aircraft lost in Southeast Asia on 20 October 1966…
(1) MAJOR I. BRECKENRIDGE and 1LT E. MERRICK were flying an F-4C of the 433rd TFS and 8th TFW out of Ubon on a Steel Tiger armed reconnaissance mission when downed by ground fire on their second run on a truck park near Ban Kang in southern Laos. they ejected safely and a SAR task force was summoned. Here is Chris Hobson's report on the Rescue operation: (page 78) "A SAR force arrived and Jolly Green an HH-3E flown by Major Youngblood of the 38th ARRS, dropped its hoist for one of the survivors. As the survivor was being reeled into the helicopter it was hit repeatedly by ground fire and had to make an emergency landing in a field about a mile away. CAPTAIN LELAND KENNEDY in the second HH-3E landed next to Youngblood's helicopter and took its crew and the Phantom pilot on board before resuming his search for the second Phantom crewman. He was spotted hanging from a tree by an O-1 FAC and MAJOR KENNEDY picked him up under intense small arms fire from enemy troops. The downed HH-3 was destroyed to prevent it from falling into enemy hands."  CAPTAIN KENNEDY was subsequently awarded his second Air Force Cross for his courageous performance on this mission. See RTR for 5 October 1966 for CAPTAIN KENNEDY's earlier show stopper… oohrah…  (Two AFCs in 15 days)!!!       and related….
(2) CAPTAIN DAVID RAYMOND WAGENER was flying an A-1H of the 602nd ACS and 14th ACW out of Udorn with the SAR task force responding to the rescue of two downed F-4 pilots (see Breckenridge and Merrick in 1. above). CAPTAIN WAGENER was supporting the two HH-3s that made the pickups and while orbiting the scene his aircraft was hit by small arms fire and his aircraft fell off on a wing and went into the ground with no apparent attempt to fly the aircraft or eject. CAPTAIN WAGENER was Killed in Action and perished on a mission of mercy fifty years ago today… He rests in peace…     left behind?…
(3) LTJG FREDERICK RAYMOND PURRINGTON was flying an A-4C of the VA-172 Blue Bolts embarked in USS Franklin D. Roosevelt on an armed reconnaissance mission in the area south of Thanh Hoa. The flight took several barges five miles south of Thanh Hoa under attack. LTJG PURRINGTON's Skyhawk was hit in the engine section and as the cockpit filled with smoke LTJG PURRINGTON was forced to eject on his 29th mission in extremely hostile country. He was captured immediately and was interned as a POW until 18 February 1973. He returned to duty, including an assignment flying A-6Es in VA-35 under my command in Carrier Air Wing THREE on USS Saratoga in 1976. He retired from the Navy in the rank of Captain….oohrah, Fred…
(4) LTJG HARRY SANFORD EDWARDS was flying an A-4C of the VA 153 Blue Tail Flies embarked in USS Constellation on a mini-Alpha (a dozen or so attack aircraft with some support) on a bridge five miles southeast of Nam Dinh. His flight leader observed LTJG EDWARDS make his 45-degree dive on the target, release his bombs and continue to fly into the ground a few hundred yards from the target. The young Naval Aviator is thought to have fixed on the target and failed to pull out of his fatal dive. LTJG EDWARDS was Killed in Action on the attack with little regard for his own safety, so intent was his desire to accomplish his mission. His remains were returned to the United States in 1996. He is home…
(5)  CAPTAIN CHARLES EHNSTROM TOFFERI was flying an F-104C of the 435th TFS and 8th TFW out of Udorn was shot down on an armed reconnaissance mission over the Plain of Jars in Laos. His aircraft was struck in the fuselage by ground fire as he pulled up from an attack. His aircraft was observed to crash without an ejection or voice call. CAPTAIN TOFFERI was Killed in Action fifty years ago this day. He died carrying the fight to the enemy. The record is not clear where CAPTAIN TOFFERI's final resting place is…left behind?…
 
RIPPLE SALVO… #232… "OUR PILOTS CALL HANOI DODGE CITY" (PART III) by Sam Butz, New York Times…6 Oct 1966…I quote..
Military men the world over have followed the air war in Vietnam closely with one question in mind above all: how effective would SAM missiles be in acual combat as compared with their scores on gunnery ranges in peacetime?
On the range, scores have been very high, sometimes near 100%–about one aircraft down for every missile fired. Pentagon theoreticians and others who study war by fighting mock battles with computers had estimated that in actual combat missile performance would drop off but still be near 50%–that is, if 100 aircraft attacked a properly defended area would all be shot down if 200 missiles were fired at them. If such performance estimates were proved correct, the manned aircraft was absolutely through in conventional wars using high explosive iron bombs. No nation could bear such attrition, it's air forces would die quickly. Only in nuclear engagements would extremely heavy losses be acceptable, for each aircraft would then be carrying weapons more powerful than all the bombs dropped in World War II and it should matter if only a few reached the target.
Vietnam has proved the SAM estimates to be substantially incorrect. During the last six months of 1965 the military reported that approximately 150 SA-2 missiles were fired at U.S. aircraft over North Vietnam; only 10 hit their target and brought down a fighter-bomber. This is a kill rate of just over 6%–far less than most theoreticians had predicted.
During 1966 it has become Government policy not to reveal how many aircraft are lost to SAMs as that will require the enemy to keep their own score on missile effectiveness. But there is no reason to believe that the situation has changed radically.
Most Navy and Air Force fliers are confident that missiles can never achieve the very high kill ratios originally predicted. They contend that the manned fighter-bomber is so fast, maneuverable and versatile that it will be useful for the foreseeable future.
The missile however is far from discredited. Although it has not doomed manned aircrarft in a short spectacular campaign, as many predicted, it spells serious trouble in a war of attrition–as the air war in North Vietnam is turning out to be.
The SA-2 though over-rated, is by far the most deadly anti-aircraft weapon ever fired from the ground. The Germans by comparison had to expend 8,500 88mm flak rounds to bring down one U.S heavy bomber. Over-optimism in air defense planning did not begin in the missile era. German scientists at the beginning of World War II predicted that one bomber would be bagged for every 100 88mm shells fired.
The missile era then is off to a creditable start. The SA-2 is generally regarded as the most primitive type of SAM in operation today. It is 10 to 15 years old and has a command guidance system, no onboard 'intelligence.' Operators on the ground, assisted by computers, constantly command and steer it on a collision course with the target aircraft. To do this the operators need radars to track both the target aircraft and the SA-2. If the ground radars lose either, the intercept is busted and the missile is wasted.
U.S. pilots have evaded the SA-2 by diving down low so the radars lose track of them. This has been possible even though North Vietnam is fairly mountainous and offers many fine radar locations for looking down on low flying aircraft. Many radar sets are needed, however, to c0ver all the valleys and other blind spots on the approach routes to the targets in the Red River delta. According to current reports, the North Vietnamese are beefing up their positioning of defenses to eliminate this weakness.
Most advanced SAMs are more maneuverable than SA-2s, carry their own guidance system and are thus relatively free of restrictions of ground control. On these advanced SAMs ground operators control the launch and early guidance, then they give up control to a miniaturized computer…such missiles are as effective at low altitudes as well as high and will undoubtedly have a higher probability of kill. Perhaps 12%. Current U.S loss rates in Vietnam are 1% with the 8th Air Force encountering a high of 5% (operating in the Red River Valley).
The North Vietnamese defense record of 1965 however shows that it is producing about the same results as the best defenses of World War II. Last year the Navy and Air Force flew approximately 26,000 sorties over North Vietnam and lost 170 aircraft. This is a loss rate of about 2/3rds of 1%, or about 1 in 150… Currently, in October 1966 the U.S. is losing about one aircraft a day to enemy fire in North Vietnam-a big change from a year ago. The quality of the defense is also improving. Last month seven aircraft were shot down in one day, and the press is now reporting that salvos of 6 or 8 missiles are being fired in attempts to increase kill ratios.
Mobility and flexibility are key features of the North Vietnamese air defense system that integrates communications, radar, cannons, missiles and fighters…control of the defense system is at a central location and includes early warning radars to give the alarm, acquisition and tracking radars to link to computers that fix targets and provide data–altitudes, speeds, courses and positions. these are passed to batteries in the vicinity of targets. Most often 57 and 87 mm guns are trained and fired automatically using computer data.
Secretary McNamara recently reported to the congress that our overall air losses, combat and non-combat in both North and South Vietnam are below his office's predictions. The implication was that the North Vietnamese defenses are not doing as well as expected. However, complacency is not in order. The Communist defense is formidable and appears to be getting stronger rather than weakening. It could still raise U.S. air war costs to an unacceptable level… un quote…
Humble Host points out that the replacement aircraft order for 1967 by DOD is 580 new aircraft… (we will need every one of them)… Dear Readers, I apologize for the extraordinary length of the Sam Butz article. I present it here in RTR as indicative of the media words the American people were being provided while we were "on the line." Imagine, if you will how important an article like this was to our families and friends, who also served as they supported us. My father sent me this article as I prepared to take my turn with VA-113 in Enterprise…
Lest we forget…     Bear 
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Item Number:1 Date: 10/20/2016 AFGHANISTAN - AFGHAN GUNMAN KILLS 2 AMERICANS, WOUNDS 3, NEAR KABUL BASE (OCT 20/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- Two Americans -- one service member and one civilian -- have been killed in Afghanistan by an Afghan wearing a military uniform.   The Afghan fired on Americans at a base near Kabul, killing two and wounding three, say Afghan and U.S. officials cited by the New York Times.   Wednesday's incident took place at one of the Afghan army's largest ammunition and food depots, southwest of the capital.   The gunman was killed, said the Afghan Ministry of Defense.   The Americans were at the depot as part of the NATO training mission for Afghan security forces, said a U.S. defense official cited by the Washington Post.   It was unclear if this was an "insider attack" involving the Taliban, reported the Los Angeles Times.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 10/20/2016 AFGHANISTAN - U.N. REPORT COUNTS 8,000-PLUS CIVILIAN CASUALTIES OVER 9 MONTHS (OCT 20/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- A United Nations report on the war in Afghanistan says that there have been more than 8,000 civilian casualties, including nearly 2,600 fatalities, so far this year, reports the Voice of America News.   The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released the data on Wednesday. The mission pointed in particular to the increase in child casualties since 2013.   Over the first nine months of 2016, UNAMA recorded 2,461 child casualties, including 639 deaths. This represents a 15 percent increase over the same period in 2015.   The report blames Taliban forces for causing 61 percent of all civilian casualties, a 12 percent decrease from the same period in 2015.   Taliban elements continue to conduct illegal and indiscriminate attacks and deliberately target civilians, says the report.   The study finds that government security forces were responsible for 23 percent of civilian casualties, a 42 percent increase from 2015. The change was attributed to the use of indirect-fire weapons, explosives and air attacks.   The cause of 11 percent of the casualties could not be ascertained, said the UNAMA.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 10/20/2016 INDONESIA - APPARENT ISIS SYMPATHIZER ATTACKS JAKARTA POLICE; ASSAILANT DIES AFTER BEING SHOT (OCT 20/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- A machete-wielding man suspected of being an Islamic State supporter has been killed by police outside of Jakarta, reports the Wall Street Journal.   On Thursday morning, the assailant stabbed and wounded several police officers who were directing traffic Tangerang, on the outskirts of the capital, said authorities.   The attacker also attempted to throw a pipe bomb at the police post, but it failed to explode, a police spokesman said.   The assailant was shot in the leg and abdomen and died from blood loss, said the spokesman.   Police said the 21-year-old attacker put an Islamic State sticker on a traffic post before his attack, reported the Australian Broadcasting Corp.   The attacker was believed to be a member of Indonesian militant group Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which supports ISIS, reported Reuters
   Back To Top | Back To Headlines  Item Number:4 Date: 10/20/2016 INDONESIA - WITH TALL SHIP DEWARUCI DUE TO RETIRE, NEW TRAINING VESSEL IS LAUNCHED (OCT 20/ANTARANA)  ANTARA NEWS AGENCY -- A new sail training ship for the Indonesian navy has been launched at the Contruccion Navales Freire Shipyard in Vigo, Spain, reports Antara News, Indonesia's national news agency.   The Bima Suci was put into the water during a Monday ceremony attended by Adm. Ade Supandi, the Indonesian navy chief, and other dignitaries.   The ship will replace the navy's Dewaruci sail training ship, which is scheduled to retire in the near future after more than 60 years of service.   The 364-foot (111-m) training ship is expected to be delivered in 2017, reported IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
Item Number:5 Date: 10/20/2016 IRAN - IRANIAN DIPLOMAT CONFIRMS BOOST OF WEAPONS TO HOUTHIS; WESTERN SOURCES ACKNOWLEDGE IRANIAN TRAFFICKING TO YEMEN (OCT 20/REU)  REUTERS -- The government in Tehran has significantly increased its arms deliveries to Houthi rebels in Yemen, say U.S., Western and Iranian officials cited by Reuters.   The transfers of weapons have reportedly stepped up in recent months. The arms include missiles and small arms, said the officials.   Most of the arms-smuggling is neighboring Oman via overland routes, the officials said. Oman has denied any weapons smuggling across the porous border.   Some U.S. and Western officials are dubious about the scale of the support from Iran.   "We are aware of a recent increased frequency of weapons shipments supplied by Iran, which are reaching the Houthis via the Omani border," said one Western diplomat.   Other security officials say the shipments have included anti-ship missiles, explosives, money, surface-to-surface short-range missiles and small arms.   A senior Iranian diplomat confirmed that Tehran had stepped up weapons, training and money to the Houthis since May.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 10/20/2016 IRAQ - KURDS PUSH TOWARD BASHIQA NEAR MOSUL; IRAQI COUNTERTERROR UNIT MOVE ON BARTALA (OCT 20/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Iraqi special operations forces have opened a new front as part of the operation to retake the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State, reports the Washington Post.   The Kurds began advancing on Thursday toward the ISIS-held town of Bashiqa, about 12 miles northeast of Mosul, according to the Wall Street Journal.   An elite U.S.-trained Iraqi counterterror unit also joined the fight for the first time, attacking villages on the road to Bashiqa, according to the Post.   The unit besieged Bartala, about 6 miles from Mosul. They were reported to be prepared to enter the town after it was pounded by artillery.   Capturing Bashiqa would put central Mosul within range of government artillery. ISIS now faces assaults from the south, the east and the north. Iraqi military and Kurdish allies have been pushing from the south and southeast.   Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi told diplomats in a video call to Paris that Iraqi forces were moving "more quickly than planned."  
  Item Number:7 Date: 10/20/2016 JAPAN - 5,100-TON DESTROYER LAUNCHED IN NAGASAKI; ASAHI TO BE COMMISSIONED IN 2018 (OCT 20/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force has launched its newest destroyer in Nagasaki prefecture, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The Asahi, displacing about 5,100 tons, is scheduled to enter service in 2018.   Launched on Wednesday, the warship is 495 feet (151 m) long, has a beam of more than 59 feet (18 m) and is powered by a hybrid propulsion system with an electric system and a gas-turbine engine, said sources.   The destroyer is also fitted with a sonar for anti-submarine warfare operations.   The Asahi cost an estimated US$735 million to build
  Item Number:8 Date: 10/20/2016 NIGERIA - FOLLOWING BOKO HARAM ASSAULT NEAR NIGER BORDER, ARMY PULLS BACK TROOPS (OCT 20/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- The Nigerian army has pulled its soldiers from a town along the border with Niger after an attack by Boko Haram militants earlier this week, reports the Guardian (Nigeria).   On Monday evening, Boko Haram fighters attacked the town of Gashigar in Nigeria's northeastern Borno state. Thirteen Nigerian soldiers were injured and an unknown number reported missing.   The attack represented a "temporary setback" that forced the soldiers to withdraw, said an army spokesman.   An operation was underway to find the missing personnel and eliminate Boko Haram militants in the area, said the military
Item Number:9 Date: 10/20/2016 NIGERIA - NGO REPORT FINDS 18 ARMED GROUPS EMERGING SINCE ONSET OF BUHARI ADMINISTRATION (OCT 20/PREM)  PREMIUM TIMES -- As many as 18 new armed groups have emerged in Nigeria in less than one and a half years, says a new report by a Nigerian non-governmental group, as cited by the Premium Times (Abuja).   Nigeria has the fastest growing number of new armed rebel groups in Africa, says the report by the Public Security and Safety Advocacy department of the Intersociety NGO.   The development reflects poor crisis-management mechanisms, according to the study.   As of August 2016, at least 28 African countries were in the midst of internal conflicts fueled by 220 insurgent groups. The Democratic Republic of the Congo led the way with 36 such groups, followed by Libya with 28, South Sudan with 26 and Nigeria with 20.   Nigeria was 13th on the list in May 2015, noted analysts. The spike of new such groups in Nigeria coincides with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was sworn in on May 29, 2015.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 10/20/2016 NORTH KOREA - MUSUDAN MISSILE TEST FAILS IMMEDIATELY, 2ND TIME THIS WEEK (OCT 20/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- A North Korean missile test failed on Thursday, the U.S. and South Korean militaries say, cited by CNN.   The U.S. Strategic Command said it detected a launch of what appeared to be a Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile around 7 a.m., local time. It failed immediately, according to multiple accounts.   The launch occurred near the northwestern city of Kusong, said South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.   The Musudan has an estimated range of 2,500 miles, which has the potential to hit U.S. bases as far as Guam. (Some sources put the range at 1,800 miles.) This is the second time in a week Pyongyang has tested a Musudan; one failed on Oct. 17.   The Musudan has been tested eight times in 2016, with only one success, noted the BBC.  
Item Number:11 Date: 10/20/2016 PHILIPPINES - DURING VISIT TO BEIJING, DUTERTE SAYS U.S. HAS 'LOST,' ANNOUNCES TALKS OVER S. CHINA SEA (OCT 20/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- A state visit by the president of the Philippines to China may reflect a major realignment in the region.   As part of the visit, China and the Philippines agreed to restore diplomatic and defense consultations and boost economic cooperation.   President Rodrigo Duterte met with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jingping, on Thursday during his visit to Beijing, reported the New York Times. Both also agreed to resume talks on disputes in the South China Sea.   The two sides agreed to establish a joint coast guard committee on maritime cooperation. China will also provide assistance with aquaculture and commercial fishing.   "Both sides agreed that the South China Sea issue is not the sum total of the bilateral relationship," said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin.   Duterte indicated on Wednesday that a ruling on the dispute by an international tribunal in The Hague in the Philippines' favor could be overcome.   During the visit, Duterte announced what he called his "separation" from the U.S., saying Washington had "lost," and acknowledged that he had realigned with Beijing, reported Reuters.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 10/20/2016 PORTUGAL - PLANS PROCEED FOR REFITS ON 2 TRIDENTE-CLASS SUBMARINES (OCT 20/DEFAERO)  DEFENSE-AEROSPACE -- Defense Minister Jose Alberto Azeredo Lopes has authorized the Portuguese navy to upgrade its Tridente-class submarines, reports defense-aerospace.com.   The two boats entered service in 2010 and require a refit to maintain operational availability, said a Defense Ministry release on Monday.   The Tridente will be upgraded between 2016 and 2018 and the Arpao from 2018 and 2020. Each modernization is estimated to cost about 24 million euros (US$26.5 million).   ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) in Germany, which built the subs, is the only contractor capable of performing the work that is required, said the ministry.   The refit on the Tridente will take place in Germany. TKMS will cooperate with Portugal's Arsenal do Alfeite to refit Arpao in Portugal, reported IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
Item Number:13 Date: 10/20/2016 RWANDA - SHARED MILITARY INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES UNDER CONSIDERATION IN EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY (OCT 20/NEWT)  NEW TIMES -- The six-nation East African Community, headquartered in Tanzania, is advancing plans to share military industrial facilities among its members, reports the New Times (Kigali, Rwanda).   Officials from EAC states are touring Rwandan facilities to determine which one might be divided among members, Col. Francis Mbindi, Tanzania's defense liaison officer at the EAC Secretariat, said on Monday during a conference in Kigali.   "The good news is that partner states are willing to share those facilities. We are able to exchange technologies and are able to make orders from those facilities," said Mbindi.   The Kigali meeting will consider proposals made by Rwanda for jointly used facilities. Other EAC members have already approved industrial capabilities for shared use, said Mbindi.   The EAC members are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 10/20/2016 SYRIA - FEW BRAVE 'HUMANITARIAN CORRIDORS' DURING RUSSIAN PAUSE IN BESIEGED ALEPPO (OCT 20/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- A short humanitarian pause in the northern Syrian of Aleppo has come into effect, reports the Washington Post.   Moscow announced this week that the cease-fire would last from 8 a.m., local time, to 7 p.m. on Thursday. "Humanitarian corridors" were set up to allow residents to leave.   Rebels rejected the plan. Clashes were reported at one of the eastern corridors, reported the BBC. Most of the 250,000 civilians trapped in rebel-held areas have reportedly remained in place.   Residents cited by Reuters reported no raids on residential areas on Thursday morning. However, some rebel sources said suspected Russian jets continued to hit towns and villages in Aleppo's western countryside
Item Number:15 Date: 10/20/2016 SYRIA - TURKISH FIGHTER JETS HAMMER U.S.-BACKED YPG KURDS NORTH OF ALEPPO (OCT 20/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Turkish warplanes have hit U.S.-trained Syrian Kurds in northern Syria, reports the state-run Anadolu Agency.   Between 160 and 200 members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) were killed in airstrikes on Wednesday night in Maarrat Umm Hwash, a region north of the city of Aleppo, said the military.   A Kurdish leader confirmed that Turkish jets and artillery were attacking, but said no more than 10 fighters had been killed, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The bombing was part of Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, which was launched to clear the border area of ISIS and the Kurdish forces that are considered to be terrorists by Ankara.   The YPG was trying to retake the city of al-Bab, about 23 miles northeast of Aleppo, bringing it into conflict with the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FAS) rebel group, said the Turkish military.   The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said that at least nine YPG fighters were killed and 26 people injured. The observatory said it had no information on clashes between the FSA and YPG.   Washington considers the YPG to be a key element in the fight against the Islamic State. Turkey sees it as an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).  
  Item Number:16 Date: 10/20/2016 SYRIA - U.S. OFFICIALS SEEK COALITION TO RETAKE ISIS' HEART IN RAQQA (OCT 20/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- Even as a stronghold of ISIS is being attacked in Iraq, Washington is pushing for a campaign on the "caliphate" of the group in Syria.   U.S. officials are working to bring together a force in Syria to recapture Raqqa, the terrorist group's de facto capital there, Raqqa, reports the Wall Street Journal.   Senior Americans have been meeting with members of the anti-ISIS coalition, including Turkey, Kurdish leaders in Syria and the U.K., in an effort to reach an agreement on launching an offensive against Raqqa in the near future.   The operation would seek to isolate the militants in the city, limit their ability to reinforce other strongholds in Iraq and Syria and cut off escape routes.   The project is complicated by the limited U.S. military presence in Syria, forcing Washington to rely on an unstable alliance of Turkey and Kurds and Kurdish fighters and Arab Sunni forces.   Washington hopes that taking back the main ISIS strongholds in Iraq and Syria will fracture the terror group's leadership; end its claims to be building an Islamic caliphate; and restrict its ability to coordinate with affiliates around the world.   Perhaps 10,000 fighters will be needed for an assault on Raqqa, according to Western military officials
Item Number:17 Date: 10/20/2016 USA - ARMY TROOPS, ALLIES TEST NEW BATTLEFIELD TECHNOLOGIES AT FORT BLISS (OCT 20/ANS)  ARMY NEWS SERVICE -- The U.S. Army is in the midst of its first full warfighting assessment at Fort Bliss, Texas, reports the Army News Service.   The two-week exercise, which began on Oct. 17, is designed to gather feedback from soldiers on the performance of new combat capabilities, such as robots and autonomous weapon systems in realistic situations, said Maj. Gen. Terry McKenrick, the head of the Army's Brigade Modernization Command.   Participants include soldiers from the active U.S. Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve as well as troops from the Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy and the U.K.   The exercise will involve 41 concepts and capabilities designed to meet 20 "warfighting challenges" developed by the Army, said a service release on Monday.   Three breaks are planned that will allow the soldiers to provide insight on how new capabilities helped or hindered their operations.   In some cases, the new equipment will be fielded; others may require improvements. Some of the gear may be determined to be ineffective or incapable of meeting the Army's requirements, said the general.   The capabilities being evaluated include micro unmanned aerial systems and a "leader-follower" capability for unmanned trucks, which could reduce the number of drivers needed for convoy operations
Item Number:18 Date: 10/20/2016 USA - SOUTHCOM COMMANDER CALLS FOR INNOVATIVE MOVES TO COUNTER AREA'S COMPLEX THREATS (OCT 20/USNIN)  USNI NEWS -- The U.S. Southern Command is calling for less expensive but creative ways to get more ships into its area of operations for training and other missions, reports USNI News.   Senior officials note that the region has changed significantly from the days when it could focus on disrupting the drug trade with frigates and maritime patrol aircraft.   The regional threat has become more complex, with networks involved in transporting illegal goods, trafficking criminals and refugees, money-laundering and other illicit activities, Adm. Kurt Tidd, the SOUTHCOM chief, said on Tuesday at an event in Washington, D.C., co-hosted by the Center for International and Strategic Studies and U.S. Naval Institute.   At the same time, the ships and aircraft previously assigned to SOUTHCOM are mostly gone, with the retirement of the fleet of Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates and growing requirements for vessels in the Pacific and Middle East, said the admiral.   Tidd said SOUTHCOM needs ships for presence missions, to train with regional partners and help search for submersible vehicles being used to move people and drugs into the U.S.   Ships regularly sail through the command's area of responsibility while moving between the East and West coasts. He urged the Pentagon to find innovative ways to leverage that presence.   This could include port visits, bilateral exchanges and short-duration exercises, the admiral said.   Newly commissioned ships could also conduct initial training and testing in the region rather than in U.S. waters, said Tidd.   The admiral also praised the U.S. Coast Guard for boosting its presence in the region to pick up the slack.  
 Item Number:19 Date: 10/20/2016 UZBEKISTAN - 9 DIE IN CRASH OF MI-171 HELICOPTER OWNED BY DEFENSE MINISTRY (OCT 20/RFE/RL)  RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- Uzbek media say nine people were killed Tuesday in the crash of an Uzbek military helicopter in the eastern part of the country, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   The Russian-made Mi-171 transport helicopter went down in the Ferghana region, state news agency UzA reported on Wednesday.   Three crew members and six soldiers were killed, according to the Defense Ministry.   The helicopter was owned by the Defense Ministry. A special state commission has been established to investigate the crash
Item Number:20 Date: 10/20/2016 YEMEN - REPORTS OF SPORADIC CLASHES AS 72-HOUR CEASE-FIRE BEGINS (OCT 20/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- An announced 72-hour cease-fire between warring parties in Yemen appears to be holding, reports the BBC.   The United Nations-brokered truce came into effect on Wednesday night.   There have been sporadic reports of violations.   Under the agreement, humanitarian workers are supposed to have "free and unhindered access" to all parts of Yemen, said Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the United Nations special envoy for Yemen, as quoted by CNN.   The 72-hour pause could be renewed for another 72 hours, said Ahmed.   Five previous cease-fires broke down within a short time.   The 18-month conflict has led to the deaths of about 7,000, mostly civilians, says the U.N.
 

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