Friday, March 17, 2017

Fw: TheList 4411

The List 4411

To All,
I hope your week has been going well.
This Day In Naval History - February 17
1864 - Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley  sinks USS Housatonic
1898: John Hollands submarine, Holland IV, performs the first successful diving and surfacing tests off Staten Island, N.Y.
1942 - First Construction Battalion (Seabees) arrive Bora Bora
1944 - Carrier aircraft strike Japanese fleet at Truk, sinking ships and destroying aircraft
 461     Saint Patrick dies
This Day In Naval History - March 18
1945 - Carriers begin 3 month Okinawa Campaign by destroying aircraft on Kyushu, Japan
1974 - Navy sent to sweep mines from Suez Canal
This Day In Naval History - March 19
1898 - USS Oregon departs San Francisco for 14,000 mile trip around South America to join U.S. Squadron off Cuba
1917 - Navy Department authorizes enrollment of women in Naval Reserve with ratings of yeoman, radio electrician, or other essential ratings.
1942 - SecNav gave Civil Engineering Corps command of Seabees
2003 - Operation Iraqi Freedom begins with Tomahawk strikes from Navy ships and submarines.
Today in History March 17
Britain repeals the Stamp Act.
British forces evacuate from Boston to Nova Scotia.
Napoleon Bonaparte and his army reach Mediterranean seaport of St. Jean d'Acra, only to find British warships ready to break his siege of the town.
The first postage stamp canceling machine patent is issued.
John Joseph Montgomery makes the first glider flight in Otay, Calif.
Twenty African Americans are killed in the Carrollton Massacre in Mississippi.
The British steamer Utopia sinks off the coast of Gibraltar.
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, marries Franklin D. Roosevelt in New York.
The Camp Fire Girls are founded in Lake Sebago, Maine.
Russia increases the number of active duty military from 460,000 to 1,700,000.
Four Douglas army aircraft leave Los Angeles for an around the world flight.
Mob boss Al Capone is released from jail.
The Nazis begin deporting Jews to the Belsen camp.
The U.S. Eighth Air Force bombs Vienna.
The 14th Dalai Lama flees Tibet and goes to India.
The United States increases military aid and technicians to Laos.
The Soviet Union asks the United States to pull out of South Vietnam.
A U.S. submarine locates a missing H-bomb in the Mediterranean.
The Army charges 14 officers with suppression of facts in the My Lai massacre case.
Nixon asks Congress to halt busing in order to achieve desegregation.
Twenty are killed in Cambodia when a bomb goes off that was meant for the Cambodian President Lon Nol.
First POWs are released from the "Hanoi Hilton" in Hanoi, North Vietnam.
President Ronald Reagan agrees to a joint study with Canada on acid rain.
White South Africans approve constitutional reforms giving legal equality to blacks.
Thanks to Bill
1.  "Kiss me I'm Irish"  How many U.S. Citizens actually are?
38 million that more than 7 times the population of Ireland itself which is 4.6 million.  (The Irish are second only to German ancestry in the U.S.)
2.  Why does the U.S. have so many Irish American citizens?
The potato famine of 1845-49 played a large role whereby 1 million died of starvation and 1 million migrated to the U.S. 
3.  How can you spot an Irish last name?
In the mid-late 1800s many of the Irish were discriminated against for their poor living conditions and their willingness to work for low wages.  Many chose to drop the tell-tale Irish prefix to sound less Irish.  "Mac" which means son of and "O" which means grandson of were the main ones that were dropped.
4.  "Luck of the Irish"  Where did that saying come from? 
During the gold and silver rush years in the second half of the 19th century, a number of the most famous and successful miners were of Irish and Irish American birth.  Over time the asociation of the Irish with mining fortunes led to the expression.
5.  Who was Saint Patrick and what is the origin of St. Patrick's Day?  St. Patrick is on of the world's most popular saints.  Born in England in 387 A.D. to a wealthy Catholic family he was kidnapped by priates at the age of 15 and sold into slavery by way of a ship going to Ireland.  After six years in captivity, he escaped and studied to become a priest and went on to become a bishop.  His years were spent as a missionary converting many Irish people from pagan worship to Catholism.  He died on March 17, 461 when villages all over Ireland mourned his death.
6.  How did St. Patrick's Day become such a boozy/drinking day?
March 17 falls during the Catholic fasting season of Lent, but on St. Patrick's Day the prohibitions against eating meat were lifted so that the Irish could celebrate their patron saint with dancing, drinking and feasting.  That's how it became a day to indulge.
7.  How did the shamrock become an Irish symbol?  The shamrock or the clover leaf was used as an example by St. Patrick as a missionary to teach the holy trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
8.  What are the odds of finding a four leaf clover?
one in 10,000
9.  What is the blarney stone and why do people kiss it?
The blarney stone, actually a limestone,  can be found at the site of a particially demolished castle.  People travel to kiss the stone because its supposed to give a person the gift of eloquence and persuasiveness through speech.  Winston Churchill is one notable figure who kissed the Blarney stone in 1912.
10.  What's the true color of St. Patrick's Day?
A particular blue hue (which we would describe today as royal blue) was known as St. Patrick blue and for hundreds of years it was this blue that was associated with the holiday.  However, green became the dominant color of St. Patrick's Day over time as the holiday was used to highlight Irish nationalism against British rule in the 1790s. 
Thanks to Micro. He has a much better memory than I do but we both thought Grace Hopper was quite a lady.
I went to a luncheon in DC at which Grace Hopper spoke.  Characteristically, she pulled out a wire that represented the distance light traveled in one nanosecond.  She used that prop hundreds, if not thousands, of times over the years.  Her point was that even at the speed of light, and there's nothing faster, each signal within a computer must go a finite distance before the receiving point knows whatever that signal knows.  She knew that, as computers got faster, the size of the circuit would eventually become the limiting factor, so those large computers in the beginning would never be able to do the jobs of the future because of their size.  Thus, miniaturization became a goal of the computing industry, and efficient coding, which has now gone by the wayside unfortunately, was essential to minimize the number of "trips" each signal had to take.  For example, if something had to travel from RAM memory to the CPU to have one calculation done, then back to RAM memory, then back to the CPU, and the distance between the CPU and the RAM averaged, say, only two inches, as it does in many PC's even today, then the speed of the computer slowed dramatically below what it could be operating at.  Eventually, long after she died, more and more fast memory was moved onto the CPU so that anything that may be needed frequently could reside a fraction of a millimeter away from where it was needed for calculations.
At the time I heard her talk, she was enamored with what we now call software engineering.  Much like her subroutines in COBOL, she felt that all coding should be build in modules so that changes could be made without affecting the entire system—just that module.  She wanted "Ada" to become a DoD Standard for all coding in all languages.  Frankly, I think the proliferation of languages and the speed of computer development probably overcame the rigid discipline of the system she was trying to develop.
Here's an interesting page on her:
She was quite a lady, Naval Officer, and legend.
Thanks to Fred. A bit of Humor for Friday
65 Years Ago
A little old lady from Wisconsin had worked in and around
her family dairy farms since she was old enough to walk,
with hours of hard work and little
When canned Carnation Milk became
available in grocery stores in the 1940s, she read an
advertisement offering $5,000 for the best slogan.
The producers wanted a rhyme beginning with
'Carnation Milk is best of all.'
She thought to herself, I know everything there is to know
about milk and dairy farms. I can do this! She sent in her
entry, and several weeks later a black car pulled up in
front of her house.
A large man got out, knocked on her door, and said,
"Ma'am, the president of Carnation milk absolutely
LOVED your entry. So much, in fact, that we are
here to award you $1,000, even though we will not be
able to use it for our advertisements!"
He did, however, have one printed up to hang on his office
Here it is:
True story!

Thanks to Wigs
An Irish Friendship Wish
     May there always be work for your hands to do;
     May your purse always hold a coin or two;
    May the sun always shine on your window pane;
     May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
     May the hand of a friend always be near you;
     May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.!
Item Number:1 Date: 03/17/2017 AFGHANISTAN - TALIBAN BOMBER STRIKES ARMY BASE IN KHOST PROVINCE (MAR 17/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- A suicide car bomber has hit an army base in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least one soldier and wounding several others early Friday, says a local official, as reported by the Anadolu Agency (Turkey).   The blast took place about 50 yards from the base in the Sabari district of Khost province, and could be heard several miles away, said Akbar Zadran, the chief of the district, as reported by Reuters.   Four gunmen attempted to storm the base, but were killed after an hour-long gunbattle, he said.   A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that "scores" of soldiers were killed.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 03/17/2017 AUSTRALIA - NEW FUND AIMS AT ENHANCING DEFENSE TECHNOLOGY (MAR 17/ADOD)  AUSTRALIAN DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The Australian Defense Dept. has announced a fund to be used to back defense capability enhancements and innovation.   The Aus$730 million (US$554 million) Next-Generation Technologies Fund is a 10-year research-and-development program that will produce advanced capabilities for the Australian military, said Christopher Pyne, the minister for defense industry.   To begin, the government will invest Aus$16.8 million (US$12.8 million) by June 2017, said Pyne in a statement on Thursday.   "The first program as part of the fund will be Grand Challenges, where Defense puts forward a problem with no easy solutions and asks Australians to come up with an answer," the minister said. These will require joint multi-disciplinary research across organizations.   The initial challenge will be to counter improvised threats, which are constantly evolving, said Pyne.   The fund will also set up defense cooperative research centers; university research networks; a defense research accelerator scheme; an innovation research initiative for small business; and expanded technology forecasting activities, said a departmental release.   The department's science and technology group will also lead a forward-looking research program in nine areas: cyber security; space capabilities; quantum technologies; trusted autonomous systems; enhanced human performance; medical countermeasures; multi-disciplinary material sciences; integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and advanced sensors, hypersonics and directed-energy capabilities.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 03/17/2017 BANGLADESH - SUICIDE ATTACKER TARGETS ELITE SECURITY UNIT; PRISONS ON HIGH ALERT (MAR 17/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- A suicide bomber has blown himself up attempting to enter a makeshift camp of Bangladesh's elite anti-terrorism police unit, reports the Press Trust of India.   The apparent botched suicide attack took place Friday at a temporary camp of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Dhaka's Ashkona area, reported AFP.   The RAB camp is the proposed site of a new headquarters; it is presently an empty space fenced by brick walls, reported ANI.   The attacker detonated his explosives close to several personnel, injuring two RAB personnel, though it was not clear if the detonation was deliberate.   Also, on Friday, authorities placed jails across Bangladesh on high alert. Guards were advised to carry weapons and boost security.   On March 6, an attempt was made to break out Mufti Abdul Hanan, the chief of Harakut ul Jihad al-Islami Bangladesh, from a prison convoy
Item Number:4 Date: 03/17/2017 CHINA - TOP KYRGYZ GENERAL EXPRESSES WILLINGNESS TO DEVELOP MILITARY-TO-MILITARY RELATIONS (MAR 17/XIN)  XINHUA -- Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanguan has been meeting in Beijing with the head of the Kyrgyz armed forces, Gen. Raimberdi Duishenbiyev, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   During their talks on Thursday, Chang said his government is prepared to deepen cooperation with the Kyrgyz military and strengthen coordination within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.   For his part, Duishenbiyev expressed appreciation of China's assistance to his nation and said the Kyrgyz government was ready to boost cooperation in all fields, including military-to-military relations
  Item Number:5 Date: 03/17/2017 ESTONIA - VOLUNTEERS READY, WILLING TO DEFEND NATION'S MAJOR ISLANDS (MAR 17/EPR)  ESTONIAN PUBLIC RADIO -- The Estonian government will rely on its volunteer defense league (Kaitseliit) to protect its major islands, says a top defense official, as reported by Estonian Public Radio.   "The defense of the islands is of crucial importance to Estonian defense, but a peacetime training center does not need to be located on Saaremaa or Hiiumaa for this," said Col. Vahur Karus, the deputy director of the Defense Ministry's defense planning dept.   The major islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa are defended first by the paramilitary Kaitseliit. Volunteer units have been training to defend Saaremaa, he said.   Young males who are natives of the islands complete their mandatory military service and are available as reservists if needed.   The islands are "as well protected military as any other region in Estonia," said Karus.   Space on the islands is already tight for local Kaitseliit units, making it impractical to station active-duty forces there, the colonel said. Putting regular troops there would not be the best use of defense funds.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 03/17/2017 FRANCE - LETTER BOMB EXPLODES IN PARIS IMF OFFICE; LINKS TO GREEK GROUP SEEN LIKELY (MAR 17/FN)  FOX NEWS -- French authorities say they are working with Greek officials to see if there is a link to a Greek anarchist group and a bomb attack in Paris on Thursday, reports Fox News.   The mail bomb that injured an employee of the International Monetary Fund in Paris was sent from Greece, say officials cited by France 24.   The IMF employee suffered injuries to her hand and face when she opened the letter. Staff were evacuated from the IMF office.   The letter was intended for the IMF's European representative, Jeffrey Franks, said police.   "French authorities just informed us that it was mailed from Greece," said Greece's Public Order Minister Nikos Toskas late Thursday.   French President Francois Hollande referred to the explosion as an "attack."   Earlier Thursday, a Greek anarchist group known as the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei claimed responsibility for a similar letter bomb addressed to Germany's finance minister in Berlin.   A Greek police source cited by the Daily Mail (U.K.) said the same group was likely behind the IMF bomb
  Item Number:7 Date: 03/17/2017 INDIA - PILOTS SAFE FOLLOWING CRASHES OF AIR FORCE SU-30 FIGHTER, CHETAK HELICOPTER (MAR 17/HT)  HINDUSTAN TIMES -- In a single day, the Indian air force lost two aircraft to separate crashes, reports the Hindustan Times.   On Wednesday, an Su-30 fighter went down in the Barmer district of India's northwestern Rajasthan state.   The aircraft was in the midst of a training flight when it developed an unspecified technical issue, said a Defense Ministry spokesman. Both pilots ejected safely.   The fighter crashed in a residential area. Three civilians were injured on the ground, the spokesman said.   This was the seventh Su-30 crash since 2009. The fighter has experienced a number of engine problems and serviceability issues, the newspaper noted.   Several hours before, a Chetak helicopter toppled over while making an emergency forced landing in a field in the northern Uttar Pradesh state.   The chopper developed a problem about a kilometer from the Basic Flying Training School at Bamrauli Airbase. Both pilots escaped uninjured, officials said
Item Number:8 Date: 03/17/2017 INDIA - VIETNAMESE SOLDIERS PICK UP SKILLS AT JUNGLE WARFARE SCHOOL; SAILORS TRAIN AT SUB FACILITY (MAR 17/NDTV)  NDTV -- The Indian army is training Vietnamese military personnel at its Counterinsurgency and Jungle Warfare School in the northeastern Mizoram state, reports NDTV (New Delhi).   Three Vietnamese army officers are currently undergoing the training. They are expected to bring the skills learned in India back to their home service, officials said.   The cooperation also reflects India's concerns about China's ambitions along the mutual border and in the Indian Ocean. Beijing has been stepping up its own military cooperation with Bangladesh, Burma and Pakistan, among others.   India is also training Vietnamese sailors to operate Russian-built Kilo-class submarines at the navy's sub training school in Visakhapatnam on the east coast, say officials.   In addition, New Delhi has offered to sell the Vietnamese government supersonic BrahMos cruise missiles and Akash air defense systems
  Item Number:9 Date: 03/17/2017 IRAN - PAKISTANI FLOTILLA JOINS EXERCISE NEAR HORMUZ STRAIT (MAR 17/TASNIM)  TASNIM NEWS AGENCY -- The Iranian and Pakistani navies are in the midst of a bilateral exercise near the Hormuz Strait, reports the Tasnim news agency (Iran).   On Wednesday, the Pakistani destroyer Tippu Sultan, missile craft Jurat and a helicopter departed Bandar Abbas in southern Iran for the exercise.   The Iranian destroyer Jamaran as well as a missile frigate and an Iranian helicopter will also join the drills, said Iranian naval officials.   Around 800 personnel from both navies are taking part in the training
  Item Number:10 Date: 03/17/2017 IRAQ - S. KOREAN T-50 AIRCRAFT START ARRIVING; 6 IN 1ST BATCH, SAY SOURCES (MAR 17/IQN)  IRAQI NEWS -- The first batch of South Korean-built T-50 light attack/trainer aircraft has arrived in Iraq, reports Iraqi News.   The number of aircraft in the batch was not disclosed. Local sources in Iraq said there were six planes in the shipment, reported BasNews (Iraqi Kurdistan).   Baghdad ordered 24 of the jets in 2013. The deal was worth US$1.1 billion, according to reports at the time.   The initial delivery also included all necessary supplementary equipment. Iraqi pilots and maintainers who trained on the aircraft in South Korea also returned, officials said.   The aircraft will soon join combat operations against Islamic State militants, said the officials
Item Number:11 Date: 03/17/2017 ISRAEL - MISSILES FIRED FROM SYRIA INTO ISRAELI TERRITORY; AIR FORCE STRIKES TARGET IN SYRIA (MAR 17/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- Differing accounts have been offered over an early Friday Israeli airstrike in Syria, reports CNN.   The Syrian army said four Israeli fighter jets entered Syrian airspace and hit military positions near the city of Palmyra in Homs province.   Syrian air defenses shot down one Israeli warplane, which went down in Israeli territory, said the army. Another warplane was also hit, said Syria.   For its part, the Israeli military confirmed that its aircraft targeted several sites in Syria, but denied that any of Syria's missiles hit its fighter jets. The fighter jets were already back in Israeli airspace when the missiles were launched, said the IDF.   At least one of the Syrian missiles was intercepted by Israel's Arrow missile defense system north of Jersualem, according to Israeli media. There were also reports that one of the missile came down in Jordan and two others in Israel.   This was the first operational use of the Arrow system, which is designed to intercept ballistic missiles.   Israel is believed to have made airstrikes in Syria in the past directed at weapons shipments for Lebanon's Hezbollah. However, Israel rarely confirms such strikes
Item Number:12 Date: 03/17/2017 JAPAN - CIVILIANS TAKE PART IN MISSILE EVACUATION DRILL; EXERCISE FOLLOWS RECENT NORTH KOREAN TEST-FIRINGS (MAR 17/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- The Japanese government has held its first drill intended to protect civilians from a ballistic missile attack, reports NBC News.   The evacuation exercise took place Friday in the northwestern fishing town of Oga. Around 120 civilians took part.   The scenario involves ballistic missiles being launched by "Nation X" landing 12 miles off the coast of Akita prefecture, said the Oga city government.   Residents and schoolchildren in the drill were moved to a designated evacuation center equipped with protective gear and emergency kits.   This is the first time since the end of World War II that the government has conducted an emergency drill simulating a response to an armed attack from abroad, reported Japan's Asahi Shimbun.   Earlier in March, North Korea launched four ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan, with one landing about 124 miles from Oga.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 03/17/2017 LIBYA - CEASE-FIRE ANNOUNCEMENT DOESN'T END ALL CLASHES IN TRIPOLI (MAR 17/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- New clashes broke out Thursday in Libya's capital following a cease-fire, say locals.   Heavily armed militias in Tripoli agreed to a cease-fire hours before after four days of fighting, reports Agence France-Presse.   The United Nations-backed Government of National Accord and rival factions started the fighting on Monday after the killing of a bank guard.   An agreement signed overnight on Wednesday called for an "immediate cease-fire" and the expulsion of armed groups that do not recognize the GNA within 30 days. People arrested since Monday were to be released.   Pro-GNA forces were able to seize control of several districts from rival militia's including the self-declared Prime Minister Khalifa Ghweil of the National Salvation Government.   Clashes were heard in Tripoli's southern neighbourhood of Hadba al-Khadra hours after the cease-fire announcement, reports the Daily Mail (U.K.).   Two groups, Thowar Tarabulus and the Abu Slim Brigade, denounced the truce and denied agreeing to the cease-fire.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 03/17/2017 PAKISTAN - MILITANTS ATTACK FRONTIER CONSTABULARY CHECKPOINT FROM AFGHANISTAN; 8 DIE IN SHOOTOUT (MAR 17/DAWN)  DAWN -- At least eight people have been killed in a clash between Pakistani border guards and militants along the border of Afghanistan, reports Dawn (Pakistan).   Attackers from across the border hit a checkpoint in Khyber agency early Friday, according to the Pakistani military's Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).   Pakistani troops "effectively responded," killing six militants, said the military. Two paramilitaries with the Frontier Constabulary were also killed.   Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.   Islamabad has blamed Afghanistan for harboring militants responsible for a spate of recent attacks
Item Number:15 Date: 03/17/2017 PHILIPPINES - MILITARY HALTS LAWMAKERS' S. CHINA SEA ISLAND TRIP; REASONS GIVEN FOR CANCELLATION DIFFER (MAR 17/REU)  REUTERS -- The Philippine military says it stopped a group of lawmakers and security officials from visiting one of the Philippine-controlled islands in the South China Sea because of concerns over safety, reports Reuters.   Five members of the House of Representatives were scheduled to fly Thursday to Thitu Island, which is close to Subi Reef, a man-made island controlled by China. Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana and military chief Gen. Eduardo Ano were also slated to visit on Friday.   The lawmakers intended to assess upgrades and new facilities for the fishing community of about 100 people who live on the island.   On Friday, defense officials said the trip was canceled because landing on the island's runway was too dangerous after heavy rains. "We will need at least five days of dry weather to harden and make it safe again for landing planes," said a military spokesman.   The commander of Philippine's Western Command, Lt. Gen. Raul del Rosario, didn't see it that way. He said the decision was made over worries about how China might view the trip.   Beijing has been accused of militarizing the Subi Reef, equipping it with surface-to-air missiles, among other arms
Item Number:16 Date: 03/17/2017 SAUDI ARABIA - US$3.3 BILLION CONTRACT MODIFICATION COVERS APACHE WORK BY BOEING (MAR 17/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Army has awarded Boeing, Mesa, Ariz., a contract modification for attack helicopters for Saudi Arabia, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The US$3.3 billion deal covers full-rate production Lots 7-11 for AH-64E Apache aircraft, including remanufactured and new-build helicopters; remanufacture and new-build crew trainers; ground support equipment; and spare parts, according to a Pentagon release on March 15.   The number of aircraft involved was not disclosed.   Work under the contract is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2022.   It is not clear which branch of the Saudi armed forces will receive the helicopters, noted IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. The army has already begun receiving 36 AH-64E helicopters and the Saudi Arabian National Guard has taken delivery of 12.  
 Item Number:17 Date: 03/17/2017 SOMALIA - NEGOTIATIONS LEAD TO RELEASE OF HIJACKED TANKER; NO RANSOM PAID (MAR 17/DAILYTEL)  DAILY TELEGRAPH -- The Somali pirates who seized an oil tanker on Monday have released the ship and its crew without a ransom payment, say officials cited by the Daily Telegraph (U.K).   The pirates had demanded a ransom after hijacking the Aris-13, with eight Sri Lankan crew aboard. They anchored the tanker near the town of Alula.   There was a clash Thursday between the pirates and the marine force of Puntland semi-autonomous state. Intensive negotiations that included clan elders led to the release of the vessel later in the day, reported Al Jazeera.   According to some accounts, the pirates said their actions were directed not for ransom but as a protest against illegal fishing in the area that they said threatened their livelihoods.   The Aris-13 then headed for the port of Bossaso, the region's commercial hub, reported the New York Times.   The pirates were not arrested and were allowed to leave, said a security official.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 03/17/2017 SYRIA - CENTCOM CONFIRMS HITTING AL-QAIDA, DENIES TARGETING MOSQUE (MAR 17/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- The U.S. military has denied local reports of American airstrikes killing civilians at a Syrian mosque, reports NBC News.   Rather, said the U.S., the airstrikes were directed at and killed Al-Qaida terrorists, reported CNN.   The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that unidentified warplanes hit a mosque in rebel-held al-Jinnah in western Aleppo province on Thursday, killing at least 42 people and injuring more than 100.   U.S. Central Command confirmed an airstrike was made close by, but said it hit an Al-Qaida meeting in neighboring Idlib province. CENTCOM said it would investigate any allegations of civilian casualties in the area.   The Al-Qaida meeting place was not a mosque and was not being used as a mosque, said a U.S. official cited by CNN.   There was a mosque about 50 feet from the target and the U.S. has photographic evidence that the structure was still standing, another official told NBC News.   American, Syrian and Russian warplanes have conducted airstrikes in Idlib and western parts of Aleppo province, noted Reuters
Item Number:19 Date: 03/17/2017 USA - CONCEPT PAPER FOCUSES ON CHALLENGES FOR COASTAL OPERATIONS (MAR 17/NAVY)  U.S. NAVY -- The Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) and Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) have produced a new concept paper focusing on naval operation in coastal and offshore waterways, reports the U.S. Navy.   The Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE) concept paper was approved by the chief of naval operations and Marine commandant on Feb. 27.   The key component of the document is its action plan, which directs the Navy and Marine Corps to train, perform tests and plan experiments to validate or modify the concept.   One objective is to examine Marine integration into Navy composite warfare commander doctrine and consider other ways to incorporate Marine capabilities into the sea-control mission, said a Navy release on March 15.   The plan also recommends changes to doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities and policy (DOTMLPF-P), says the service.   The concept aims to eventually drive the introduction of innovative technologies and tactics to close combat gaps and provide operation advantages, said the release
Item Number:20 Date: 03/17/2017 USA - USAF 306TH INTELLIGENCE SQUADRON RELOCATES TO OKLA. (MAR 17/AFNS)  AIR FORCE NEWS SERVICE -- The U.S. Air Force's 306th Intelligence Squadron has moved from California to Oklahoma, reports the Air Force News Service.   The relocation to Will Rogers Air National Guard Base from Beale Air Force Base -- which was officially made on March 6 -- is part of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) efforts to co-locate the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) active-duty training mission with Air National Guard operational aircraft, said Col. Michael Stevenson, the commander of the 363rd ISR Wing.   The relocation "positions active-duty training for SOF airborne ISR analysts with our 137 SOW [Special Operations Wing] Guard partners who fly SOF ISR platforms and also conduct Joint Terminal Attack Controller training for ACC [Air Combat Command]," said Col. Alexander Merz, the director of ISR for AFSOC, as noted in a service release earlier this month.   The change is intended to improve training and tactics development, said Merz.   Personnel with the 306 IS served as back-end cryptologic operators for MC-12W Liberty aircraft when they were stationed at Beale. Those aircraft were later transferred to AFSOC and stationed at Will Rogers ANG Base, said Col. Matthew Atkins, the 361st ISR Group commander.   This move reunites the analysts with the aircraft, he said.


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