Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fw: TheList 4398

The List 4398

To All,
I hope your week has started well.
This Day In Naval History - February 28
1844 - Explosion of Peacemaker, experimental 14 inch gun, on board USS Princeton.
1893 - Launching of USS Indiana (BB-1), first true battleship in U.S. Navy.
1944: USS Balao (SS 285) and USS Sand Lance (SS 381) sink Japanese army cargo ship Akiura Maru, transport Shoho Maru about 90 miles northwest of Manokawari, New Guinea and transport Kaiko Maru just east of Musashi Wan, off Paramushir, Kurils.
1959 - USS Strong rescues 13 Arab fishermen from Bahrain when their fishing boats floundered in a storm.
1980 - Blue crew of USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN-657) launches 4 Trident I
(C-4) missiles in first C-4 Operational Test.
On this day in history (February 28, 2006):
1953: In a Cambridge University laboratory, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.
1973: Bamboo Harvester, better known as "Mister Ed" the talking horse, dies at the age of 33. A corpse is a corpse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a deceased horse!
And today is:
National Chocolate Souffle Day
February 28
Westminster Abbey, the most famous church in England, opens its doors.
On the orders of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, two Englishmen and an Irishman are burnt for heresy.
Thomas West is appointed governor of Virginia.
Indians attack Deerfield, Mass. killing 40 and kidnapping 100.
Colonel Alexander Doniphan and his ragtag Missouri Mounted Volunteers ride to victory at the Battle of Sacramento, during the Mexican War.
The territory of Colorado is established.
After a 119-day siege by the Boers, the surrounded British troops in Ladysmith, South Africa, are relieved.
Four Union gunboats destroy the CSS Nashville near Fort McAllister, Georgia.
Haiti becomes the first U.S. protectorate.
U.S. troops are sent to Honduras to protect American interests during an election conflict.
The Japanese Army restores order in Tokyo and arrests officers involved in a coup.
U.S. tanks break the natural defense line west of the Rhine and cross the Erft River.
The U.S. Army declares that it will use V-2 rocket to test radar as an atomic rocket defense system.
Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia sign a 5-year defense pact in Ankara.
In Mississippi, 19 are indicted in the slayings of three civil rights workers.
A Los Angeles court refuses Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan's request to be executed.
The male electorate in Lichtenstein refuses to give voting rights to women.
U.S. warplanes shoot down four Serb aircraft over Bosnia in the first NATO use of force in the troubled area.
Thanks to Phil…I remember all this stuff.  The flexible Flyer sled is in my garage. skip
Take a trip down Nostalgia Lane back into the 50's. This video is much better than others that attempt to do the same thing.
Thanks to Carl
Astute Observations - Humor
 Some old, some new ones….
        ·       The closest I ever got to a 4.0 in college was my blood alcohol content.
·       I live in my own little world, but it's OK. Everyone knows me here.
·       I saw a very large woman wearing a sweatshirt with "Guess" on it. I said, "Left Tackle?"
·       I don't do drugs. I find I get the same effect just by standing up really fast.
·       I don't like political jokes. I've seen too many get elected.
·       The most precious thing we have is life, yet it has absolutely no trade-in value.
·       If life deals you lemons, make lemonade. If life deals you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.
·       Shopping tip: You can get shoes for a buck at bowling alleys.
·       Every day I beat my previous record of consecutive days I've stayed alive.
·       No one ever says, "It's only a game!" when their team's winning.
·       Ever notice that people who spend money on beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets are always complaining about being broke and not feeling well?
·       Isn't having a smoking section in a restaurant like having a peeing section in a swimming pool?
·       Marriage changes passion; suddenly you're in bed with a relative.
·       Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked?
·       Snowmen fall from Heaven un-assembled.
·       Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.
·       I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose fitting clothing, I wouldn't need the class!
·       Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
·       Wouldn't you know it! Brain cells come and brain cells go, but FAT cells live forever.
·       Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?
Thanks to Carl…They are still after the second amendment
February 28, 2017
Fourth Circuit Infringes on Heller
Thanks to Glen
              Nesting Falcon
I've seen many remarkable nature photographs over the years but this photo of a
nesting Falcon in an old tree is perhaps the most remarkable nature shot that I've ever seen.
Please send this to most of your older friends, since the younger
ones probably have never seen a falcon, and wouldn't recognize it.
Thanks to  Barrel
The Hindenburg 
Hangar One at Lakehurst is still standing in what is now a Joint Military base.  Every weekend indoor RC and rubber powered flying activities take place in the hangar. About a half mile from there is a small memorial to the Hindenburg. A plaque and white stones outlining of the fallen vehicle shape are maintained for visitors. Inside Hangar One is the Lakehurst Historical Society, a small museum with Hindenburg artifacts. It is available for visitors on weekends.
Over the years people have seen parts of the Hindenburg but nothing like these.
Thanks to Mike
January 17th, 1991 during the Gulf War, a US Air Force F-111A
flown by pilot Captain James Denton and Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO) Captain Brent Brandon lifted off at midnight.  
They were p
atrolling in an unarmed electronics warfare plane that would receive credit for an enemy "Kill" without firing any shots or weapons at the hostile aircraft.
On the first night of the war, USA special aircraft were deployed in advance of the USA main invasion force. 
 Mission was to jam hostile position's including support bases, electronic targeting radars, warning radars, anti-aircraft missile systems and missile defense systems. 
Just after midnight, an Iraqi fighter pilot flying a French Mirage F1 on a combat air patrol came upon their US EF-111A Raven flying at low level beneath the Mirage .   
Eager for a kill the Iraqi  pilot decided to attack it knowing it was unarmed and an easy target.
The Mirage is a decent aircraft, the Mirage F1 put its own mark on the Mirage tradition of cost-effective, light-weight fighters world wide.
Despite being the only non-delta winged Mirage fighter ever put into production it became an instant hit, with orders coming from France, Libya, South Africa, Iran, Iraq and many other countries.
Quick, agile, and with surprisingly high performance for its size, the F1 proved itself to be a capable combat-ready package that could take on fighters, attack aircraft, and even anti-shipping roles its clients acquired it for.
Still flying today 45 years after the original prototype took to the skies, the Mirage F1 is an all-too-noticeable reminder that the light fighter can still pack a heavy punch in aerial combat and anti-aircraft attack roles. 
But it was not designed for low level attacks.  To the contrary, the USA EF-111A  Raven is designed just for low level flight to avoid enemy missiles and radar.
It's an unarmed electronic warfare version of the F-111 Aardvark, and has computerized terrain following radar navigation, which enables it to fly at Mach 1+ speeds, in total darkness, fog, sand storms or dense smoke less than 200 ft. above the ground.
That's about 0.04 seconds reaction time for the plot to act to avoid a crash into the ground, a hill or even a tall building), while the pilot watches the "view" screens flying at Mach speed, they can only see where they just were, not actually where they are at.
It's one of the fastest aircraft in the world at low level because of an onboard computerized total integrated computer navigation system. 
It takes an average human .03 seconds from when the eye sees it to get to the hands via the brain to act.  That's too long at Mach spend.  The F 111 A's system does the same thing in "nano" seconds, nearly instantaneously. 
Maybe this Iraqi pilot didn't know anything about the F-111 ability's, but he decided that it looked like an easy target, and pursued it diving down to very low level to get his first US kill. 
It would be reasonable to believe his much smaller fighter aircraft could go anywhere the larger F 111 fighter-bomber could and he could pull up as they did.
He took the aircraft for a F111 Aardvark, a fighter bomber being phased out at the time.  An Aardvark would have been an easy target flying that low. 
The after action recording reported the warning radar alerted the F-111 crew they were being targeted!  In front and below the attacking aircraft, they were in a bad spot. 
They did the only thing they could and they gave total control to the computers and electronics to let the aircraft do the flying. 
The F 111 A computers took command in the ground skimming mode dove down sharply and went to max speed, with no clear shot because ho kills ridges and dunes hiding the F 111, the tried to follow. 
Unable to match the ground hugging computer system and trying to match the F-111's speed and maneuvers proved too much for the enemy pilot, he crashed into the hillside the F 111 A just "jumped over".  
The EF-111 crew were credited with a kill because it caused the Iraqi jet fighter slam into the ground. This is one of the few occasions when an unarmed aircraft scores a kill. 
The F111-A also had a jamming pod plus heat flares making it near impossible to hit with a modern radar guided or heat seeking anti-aircraft missile or radar directed anti-aircraft fire from the ground. 
Soon as the pod senses enemy radar, it duplicates the frequency directing it at an electronically generated target while disguising itself. 
The last one of these "Ravens" as they were called was retired from the US Air Force in 1998 and are on display in many military museums throughout the nation.
St. Lawrence Seaway: "Operation Inland Seas" 1960 US Navy; narrated by Glenn Ford - YouTube
Thanks to KenG
Amazing that the Navy actually did this.... now that's Public Affairs!
Item Number:1 Date: 02/28/2017 AFGHANISTAN - 11 POLICE OFFICERS KILLED IN HELMAND IN APPARENT 'INSIDER ATTACK' (FEB 28/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- At least 11 Afghan police have been killed by a colleague in a suspected Taliban insider attack, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The attack took place at a checkpoint on Tuesday in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand province.   A spokesman for the provincial government said one police official killed 11 comrades while they slept, and then apparently fled in a police vehicle after taking weapons and ammunition, reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   One of the guards is still missing, said a provincial official. "An investigation is ongoing to find out if someone from inside has defected to the Taliban and paved the way for this crime," he said.   Separately, 12 policemen were killed Tuesday in a gun battle in Helmand's Marjah district, said a Taliban spokesman
Item Number:2 Date: 02/28/2017 AUSTRALIA - COUNTERTERRORISM FORCES ARREST MAN CHARGED WITH HELPING ISIS DEVELOP MISSILE TECHNOLOGY (FEB 28/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- Authorities in Australia have arrested an electrician accused of trying to help the Islamic State build long-range missiles, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   Haisem Zahab, 42, was arrested on Tuesday in the rural town of Young in New South Wales, said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.   Federal police alleged that Zahab sought to advise ISIS on "researching and designing laser warning devices to help warn against incoming guiding munitions used by coalition forces in Syria and Iraq" and helping Islamic State develop its own long-range guided-missile capabilities.   The arrest came after an 18-month operation that has focused on the extended Zahab family, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.   The operation was aimed at seizing about US$400,000 from the sale of a house that was going to be used to fund an ISIS arms racket, said police. Hicham Zahab, the homeowner and cousin of Haisem Zahab, fled to Syria with his wife, son and daughter-in-law. He is wanted on suspicion of arms trafficking for ISIS.   About half the funds was seized, with the other half having been sent to the Middle East, said police.  
Item Number:3 Date: 02/28/2017 BURMA - 160 KILLED IN ETHNIC FIGHTING IN SHAN STATE SINCE NOVEMBER, SAYS GENERAL (FEB 28/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- A senior Burmese army official says that at least 160 people have been killed during the last three months in the northern state of Shan, reports Agence France-Presse.   Fighting between Burmese troops and armed ethnic groups broke out in late November near Shan state's border with China. More than 20,000 people have been displaced, say officials.   Gen. Mya Tun Oo, the chief of the general staff, said on Tuesday that 74 soldiers, 15 police, 13 government militia fighters and 13 civilians were killed during that period.   The general said the government had the bodies of 45 rebels and had arrested four. Hundreds of rebels may have been killed based in pictures of a mass funeral, he said.   Peace talks between the armed groups and the government are expected to restart this week in the capital, Naypyidaw. Several groups earlier signed a statement saying they would never agree to a broad government-backed cease-fire deal.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 02/28/2017 CHINA - 10,000 RIFLE-TOTING SOLDIERS MASS IN STREETS OF URUMQI IN OFFENSIVE AGAINST 'TERRORISM' (FEB 28/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- For the second time in a week, huge security rallies against terrorism have been held in China's restive Xinjiang province, reports the BBC.   More than 10,000 troops marched on Monday in Urumqi, the provincial capital. About 1,500 were deployed to Hotan, Kashgar and Aksu for similar demonstrations.   The soldiers were accompanied by heavy weaponry, including tanks, military vehicles and helicopters for what have been billed as "anti-terror rallies," noted the Guardian (U.K.).   Helicopters from the People's Armed Police and the military, as well as 10 civilian aircraft, provided transportation. This is part of a new air-land mechanism in Xinjiang that will involve high-speed armed helicopter patrols, said the Defense Ministry, as cited by Reuters.   The rally is the fourth in the region this year. They come after an uptick in violence in the province. China generally blames such attacks on extremists from the Uighur ethnic group
  Item Number:5 Date: 02/28/2017 GERMANY - PRE-DAWN RAIDS IN BERLIN HUNT FOR LINKS TO DECEMBER TRUCK ATTACKER (FEB 28/ES)  EVENING STANDARD -- German police have raided two dozen locations in Berlin to gather evidence linked to radical Islamists, including to the Christmas market attacker, reported London's Evening Standard.   About 460 police officers launched pre-dawn raids in the capital at a mosque, apartments, two businesses and six prison cells.   The properties had been used by the organizers of the Fussilet 33 group, which was banned in mid-February, noted authorities.   There were no arrests reported, noted AFP.   The mosque was closed earlier in the month. The site was frequented by Tunisian Ani Amri, who drove his truck into a market in Berlin in December, killing 12. He was killed by police after fleeing to Italy, noted the BBC.   Police say the mosque was used as a center for radicalizing Muslims for the Islamic State.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 02/28/2017 INDIA - MONTH-LONG COMBAT READINESS EXERCISE WITH DOZENS OF AIRCRAFT, SHIPS, COMES TO AN END (FEB 28/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- Indian military forces have concluded a month-long combat readiness exercise, reports the Press Trust of India.   The Theater-level Readiness and Operational Exercise (TROPEX) began on Jan. 24 and concluded on Feb. 23. The Indian air force, army, navy and coast guard took part with more than 45 ships and 70 aircraft.   The training took place in the Arabian Sea and north central Indian Ocean. It focused on enhancing combat capabilities and interoperability among the services in a complex conflict, said the Indian Defense Ministry.   The drills included live-firings by ships, submarines and aircraft, officials said.   Participating vessels included the nuclear-powered submarine, Chakra; Vikramaditya aircraft carrier; and air force Su-30 and Jaguar fighters
Item Number:7 Date: 02/28/2017 IRAQ - ISLAMIC STATE USING CAR BOMBS AS 'MISSILES' IN DEFENSE OF MOSUL (FEB 28/LAT)  LOS ANGELES TIMES -- By their own accounts, Islamic State fighters in Mosul in northern Iraq have been producing car bombs on an industrial scale, reports the Los Angeles Times.   The terrorist group conducted 1,112 suicide bombings in Iraq and Syria in 2016, including 815 with vehicles carrying explosives, according to the group's affiliated Amaq news agency.   In Mosul, the car bomb has become a terrorist weapon of choice, according to Iraqi officials. In many cases, civilian vehicles are fitted with armor to create primitive tanks.   For ISIS, vehicle-borne bombs are relatively cheap and easy to use. Typically, such explosives are made from ANFO, a mixture of ammonium nitrate (which is found in fertilizer) and diesel oil.   A standard-sized sedan can deliver 1,000 pounds (454 kg) of explosives with a lethal radius of about 125 feet (38 m), according to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.   The capture of Mosul by ISIS in 2014 brought thousands of armored vehicles under its control. The group even established vehicle-borne improvised explosive device battalions.   Iraqi troops rely on U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles to destroy many of the weapons. To avoid the drones, ISIS has been known to keep the vehicles in houses or garages, driving them out only when Iraqi forces approach.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 02/28/2017 IRAQ - PUSH AGAINST WESTERN MOSUL CONTINUES, WITH MAIN BUILDING NOW IN RANGE (FEB 28/REU)  REUTERS -- Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State in western Mosul say they are within range of the city's main government buildings, reports Reuters.   By Tuesday, the Interior Ministry's elite rapid response forces were within firing range, or about 1,300 feet, of the provincial council and the governorate building, said a spokesman for the unit.   Taking those buildings would allow the government's forces to attack militants in the old city center, noted the wire service.   Meanwhile, troops from the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) have been moving eastwards from Wadi al-Hajar, in Mosul's south, to link up with rapid response and federal police units by the edge of the Tigris River.   Mosul's airport and the 4th Bridge, both located east of the district, have already been taken. Military engineers began repairing the bridge on Monday.   Government forces seized the eastern side of Mosul in January. Operations to retake the west began on Feb. 19
Item Number:9 Date: 02/28/2017 ISRAEL - MILITARY FINDS VALUE IN DEGRADING ADVERSARIES, KEEPING ENEMIES THREATENED (FEB 28/JP)  JERUSALEM POST -- The Israeli military has been conducting more covert airstrikes as part of efforts to keep its adversaries off balance, reports the Jerusalem Post.   The government has for at least 10-15 years maintained the concept of the "battle between wars."   The concept recognizes that wars and large-scale military operations have significant costs, including casualties, economic and potential to lose international support. But this does not mean that the military does not act against the nation's enemies.   Indeed, during such a period, the goal is to make adversaries feel perpetually threatened, in order to force them to continue to spend time and energy to defend themselves. This will leave them less time to plan attacks against Israel, or so goes the theory.   The intervening operations mean enemies will fight at less capability should war break out.   In recent practice, according to officials, regular airstrikes in Syria against weapon convoys headed to Hezbollah in Lebanon do not stop the militant group from acquiring advanced arms. Without the attacks, however, Hezbollah would have more advanced naval and air defense systems, say proponents of the concept.   Operations against Sinai Province, the Islamic State-linked group in Sinai are also believed to have degraded its capabilities. It has conducted few attacks against Israel, say officials.  
Item Number:10 Date: 02/28/2017 JAPAN - DEFENSE MINISTRY NOW DISPATCHES 4 AIRCRAFT WHEN AIRSPACE THREATENED (FEB 28/KNA)  KYODO NEWS AGENCY -- The Japanese Defense Ministry has been doubling the number of fighter jets it sends up in response to a given challenge when aircraft approach Japan's airspace, reports the Kyodo news agency.   The Air Self-Defense Force began scrambling four jets for each potential airspace violation in 2016, said government sources late last week.   The first two check on the potential threat, while two others keep an eye out for any other aircraft that might join an incursion.   The previous practice had been to dispatch two aircraft; that had not changed since 1958, according to the service.   The number of intercepts has been increasing as China steps up its military activities around the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Japan administers the islands, which are also claimed by China and Taiwan. The islands are known as the Diaoyus in Beijing.   Chinese and Japanese air defense identification zones overlap near the islands, contributing to potential confrontations in the region.   The Air Self-Defense Force launched nearly 1,000 scrambles between April 2016 and January 2017, surpassing the annual record of 944 set in fiscal 1984, officials said.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 02/28/2017 NIGERIA - GOVERNOR'S LOBBYING HELPED BRING NAVAL WAR COLLEGE TO AKWA IBOM STATE, SAYS DEFENSE MINISTER (FEB 28/NANIGERIA)  NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA -- Nigeria's Naval Council has approved the creation of a naval war college in the southern Akwa Ibom state, says Defense Minister Mansur Dan-Ali, notes the News Agency of Nigeria.   Dan-Ali revealed the council's decision during Sunday's opening ceremony for the 11th Nigerian Navy Games in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom.   Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom pressed for the college to be built in his state, said the defense minister.   The governor urged the Defense Ministry to upgrade a proposed facility in Akwa Ibom to a naval war college, reported the Business Day (South Africa
Item Number:12 Date: 02/28/2017 NIGERIA - UNDER PRESSURE, KIDNAPPERS RELEASE 2 GERMAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS; 2 LOCALS KILLED PROTECTING GERMANS (FEB 28/VANGUARD)  VANGUARD -- Nigerian security forces have freed two German archaeologists who were abducted at a dig site last week, reports the Vanguard (Lagos).   The archaeologists from the University of Frankfurt were kidnapped Wednesday in the Kagargo district of Nigeria's northwestern Kaduna state.   Two local Nigerians were killed trying to stop the abduction by assailants with guns and machetes, noted AFP. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of about US$200,000, reported Deutsche Welle.   Nigerian police discovered the Germans being held along the road from Abuja to Kaduna on Saturday night.   Police said no ransom was paid. A spokesman for the Kaduna state police said the "kidnappers released them after we mounted pressure on them," as quoted by the Japan Times. At last report, the abductors were still at large.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 02/28/2017 QATAR - RAYTHEON'S EARLY WARNING RADAR SYSTEM TO BE PART OF DEFENSE SYSTEM; CONTRACT WORTH $1 BILLION (FEB 28/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Air Force has awarded Raytheon, Woburn, Mass., a contract to build an early warning radar system for the government in Qatar, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The US$1.07 billion Foreign Military Sales contract covers a radar system that will be part of Qatar's integrated air and missile defense system, according to a Raytheon release.   Work is to take place in Woburn and is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2021
Item Number:14 Date: 02/28/2017 SINGAPORE - DEFENSE MINISTRY REPORTS CYBER BREACH OF PERSONAL DATA; NO CLASSIFIED INFORMATION LOST (FEB 28/PHYS)  PHYS.ORG -- Hackers have stolen the personal information of about 850 Singaporean servicemen and employees in an apparent targeted cyber attack, says the Defense Ministry, as cited by Phys.org.   The ministry's I-net system was breached earlier this month, the ministry said Tuesday in a statement.   The system is used to surf the internet on dedicated computers in the ministry and military. No classified information is stored on I-net and it is physically separated from internal systems, said the ministry.   The data stolen included telephone numbers, dates of birth and national ID numbers, said the statement.   The "carefully planned" attack may have been directed at gaining "access to official secrets, but this was prevented by the physical separation of I-net from our internal systems," the ministry said.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 02/28/2017 SYRIA - AIRSTRIKE KILLS AL-QAIDA'S DEPUTY IN IDLIB (FEB 28/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- Multiple sources say Al-Qaida's deputy leader has been killed in an airstrike in Syria, reports CNN.   The attack against Abu al-Khayr al-Masri was directed by the U.S. intelligence community, two U.S. officials told CNN.   Several jihadist websites also have reported that a drone strike on Sunday killed al-Masri in Idlib province. Al-Masri is the nom de guerre of Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abdulrahman -- one of the few remaining core leaders of AQ, noted CBS News.   A car with two people inside was targeted by "international coalition aircraft," said opposition activists cited by the BBC.   Al-Masri was known to be close to Al-Qaida emir Ayman al-Zawahiri. Both are Egyptian nationals. Al-Masri was also the husband of one of Osama bin Laden's daughters.   Al-Masri is believed to have participated in the planning for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. He was appointed deputy leader last year.   He was reportedly sent to Syria in recent years to help set up Al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front (now known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham
Item Number:16 Date: 02/28/2017 SYRIA - ISLAMIC STATE BRINGS 300 FAMILIES FROM MOSUL, RAQQA TO DEIR EZZOR (FEB 28/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Islamic State terrorist group has been relocating families from fighting in Syria and Iraq, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency, citing a monitoring group.   The families have been dislocated because of the fighting between ISIS and Iraqi government forces in Mosul in northern Iraq and U.S.-backed rebels near Raqqa in northern Syria.   At least 300 Iraqi families from Mosul and Raqqa have been moved to the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Tuesday.   The displaced families were put in schools in al-Mayadeen, said the monitoring group. More are expected to arrive, said the monitors
Item Number:17 Date: 02/28/2017 SYRIA - TURKISH-BACKED REBELS EYE MANBIJ, NOW HELD BY KURDISH FIGHTERS SUPPORTED BY U.S. (FEB 28/WB)  WORLD BULLETIN -- The next target for Turkish-backed rebels in northern Syria is Manbij, says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as cited by the World Bulletin (Turkey). That city is held by a U.S.-backed rebel alliance   Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels announced last week they had seized the Islamic State-held city of al-Bab. Erdogan told reporters in Ankara on Tuesday that Manbij will be captured next.   Manbij is held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). Ankara considers the Kurdish group as a terrorist organization.   Turkey has insisted that all Kurdish groups leave Manbij and withdraw east of the Euphrates.   Erdogan insists that Ankara wants to work with allies to take the Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqa. However, he ruled out cooperating with Syrian Kurdish fighters, reported AFP.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 02/28/2017 UKRAINE - NEW LIGHT COMBAT HELICOPTER BOASTS TOP SPEED OF 120 MPH (FEB 28/UKROB)  UKROBORONPROM -- The Ukrinmash subsidiary of Ukraine's Ukroboronprom defense holding firm unveiled a new light combat helicopter at last week's IDEX show in the United Arab Emirates.   The KT112 "Combat," developed by DB Vertical, is equipped with a Rotax 914 engine providing a top speed of up to 120 mph (200 kmh), according to Ukroboronprom.   Combat equipment includes Barrier-V or other anti-tank missiles; Strela-2 or Igla anti-aircraft missiles; a PKT machine gun; and an observation suite with thermal imaging cameras, said a release from the state-owned company.  
Item Number:19 Date: 02/28/2017 USA - DESPITE MAINTAINERS' BEST EFFORTS, ONLY 25 OF 62 B-1 BOMBERS GENERALLY AVAILABLE AT ANY TIME (FEB 28/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- The complicated maintenance requirements of the B-1B bomber are limiting its availability for operations, reports the Stars and Stripes, citing officials from the fleet.   Each of the aircraft needs about 150 hours of maintenance after each flight, three to four times more than any other platform in the Air Force, according to Col. Michael Lawrence, the head of the service's maintenance division.   The Air Force has 62 B-1Bs in service. They are about 30 years old and have been in constant action over the last 15 years -- which has taken a toll.   Of the 62 bombers, only about 25 are ready to fly on any given day, said Lawrence. This also makes it difficult to generate enough flights to keep aircrews proficient, he said.   The Air Force has begun to measure short-term and long-term needs in terms of whether repairs can be made within 12 hours of landing. If the work cannot be done then, the bomber is unlikely to be available for its next scheduled flight.   About 17 percent of the time, a B-1 lands reporting a system malfunction that renders it non-mission-capable until a fix is implemented. This is in addition to the standard 150 hours of maintenance needed, officials said.   The B-1 was withdrawn from operations in the Middle East in January 2016 to undergo a cockpit upgrade, which is expected to increase availability and reduce stress on the fleet. That modernization is to be completed by 2021
Item Number:20 Date: 02/28/2017 USA - DURING CEREMONY AT FORT BRAGG, ARMY DEACTIVATES FINAL PATHFINDER UNIT (FEB 28/FAYOBSV)  FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER -- The U.S. Army has deactivated its last pathfinder company, reports the Fayetteville Observer (N.C.).   During a ceremony last week at Fort Bragg, N.C., F Company, 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, cased its colors.   The unit's deactivation is part of a larger Army change that has closed numerous small, specialized units, including the pathfinder and long-range surveillance companies.   Pathfinder companies have included paratroopers, rangers, jumpmasters and experts in fast-rope insertions and extractions, officials said.


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