Monday, May 22, 2017

TheList 4461

The List 4461

To All,
I hope you all had a great weekend
Over the next few weeks are the anniversaries of The Battle of Midway and the landings at Normandy. Next Monday Is Memorial Day where we remember the heroes of those battles and all others. We will honor their individual and collective memories starting with today.
This Day In Naval History - May 22
1882 - Commodore Shufeldt signs commerce treaty opening Korea to U.S. trade
1958 - Naval aircraft F4D-1 Sky Ray sets five world speed-to-climb records,
22-23 May
1967 - New York City reaches agreement to purchase Brooklyn Navy Yard, ending 166 years of construction and repair of naval vessels.
1968: USS Scorpion (SSN-589) is lost with her crew south-west of the Azores. In late Oct. 1968, her remains are found on the sea floor more than 10,000 feet below the surface by a deep-submergence vehicle towed from USNS Mizar (T-AGOR-11).
Today in History May 22
Henry Raspe is elected anti-king by the Rhenish prelates in France.
King Henry VI is taken prisoner by the Yorkists at the Battle of St. Albans, during the War of the Roses.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition officially begins as the Corps of Discovery departs from St. Charles, Missouri.
U.S. Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina beats Senator Charles Sumner with a cane for Sumner's earlier condemnation of slavery, which included an insult to Brooks' cousin, Senator Andrew Butler.
Union General Ulysses S. Grant's second attack on Vicksburg fails and a siege begins.
The "Great Train Robbery" takes place as seven members of the Reno Gang make off with $98,000 in cash from a train's safe in Indiana.
The Amnesty Act restores civil rights to Southerners.
The United States formally recognizes Korea.
The Wright brothers register their flying machine for a U.S. patent.
Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini sign a "Pact of Steel" forming the Axis powers.
The Truman Doctrine brings aid to Turkey and Greece.
The children's program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood premiers.
Ceylon becomes the Republic of Sri Lanka as its constitution is ratified.
Baseball player Pete Rose passes Hank Aaron as National League run scoring leader with 2,108.
In the Middle East, North and South Yemen merge to become a single state.
Johnny Carson's final appearance on The Tonight Show on NBC, after 30 years as the program's host.
An EF4 tornado with a record-setting width of 2.5 miles wipes out Hallam, Nebraska, killing 1 person.
Fahrenheit 9-11, directed by Michael Moore, becomes the first documentary ever to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Following a 200-year search for the tomb of Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus his remains are reburied in Frombork Cathedral
An EF5 tornado kills at least 158 people in Joplin, Missouri, the largest death toll from a tornado since record-keeping began in 1950.
The Republic of Ireland, long known as a conservative, predominantly Catholic country, becomes the first nation in the world to legalize gay marriage in a public referendum.
Thanks to BudD

             A few weeks ago ,While on the web trying to answer a Navy uniform question, this Navy History article showed up.  The article talks about a hero of the Battle of Midway.  As I read the article, I realized I had known this gentleman when he was a schoolteacher in Berkeley Springs.  He also taught a surveying course in the adult Ed classes at Rumsey Votech near Hedgesville.  I took his surveying course in the mid 70's.  He mentioned flying in the Navy
and since I was still serving in the Naval Reserves we naturally talked about airplanes and flying.  During our conversation, he mentioned flying dive bombers in WW2 and that he was at the battle of Midway. I said we were fortunate to get him back from that battle.  He didn't dwell on the subject, but stated sadly that he had lost many friends there.
Here is his story.
Posted on April 25, 2016 by Admin
Captain Jack "Dusty" Kleiss retirement photo, 1962; Kleiss with wife Jean, 1942 (Images provided by Jack Kleiss/Hampton Roads Naval Museum/Laura Orr)
Captain Jack "Dusty" Kleiss, USN (Ret.), a VS-6 Dive Bombing pilot that served during the battle of Midway, passed away last week at the age of 100 at his residence in Texas. The Kansas native was the last surviving pilot of his kind that fought in arguably one of the greatest naval battles in human history. He is remembered for his heroism and unwavering humility in the pivotal role he played during that battle.
By Matthew T. Eng
Before I accepted my current position as the Digital Content Developer for the Naval Historical Foundation, I cut my teeth working for several years in the education department of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. As a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads, I wanted to stay close to Norfolk after graduate school and learn more about the area's strong connection to the Navy. While there, I had the opportunity to work with the finest set of museum staff I have ever met. One of those staff members who came shortly after I started as a contract educator was Laura Orr. Laura was a seasoned museum educator with loads of experience and moxy. It was the beginning of a friendship and working partnership that continues today.
Around 2011, she informed he that she would be working with her husband, Old Dominion University History Professor Dr. Timothy Orr, on a new writing project about about a Battle of Midway veteran named Jack "Dusty" Kleiss. At that point, I was still a young greenhorn in naval history whose knowledge barely extended beyond the American Civil War navies and the 19th century. From what I was told, he was certainly a household name among veteran circles and WWII aficionados.
Over the course of the next few months, Laura and her husband traveled down to San Antonio, Texas, to meet Dusty and write down his story. What an extraordinary story it was. The museum was fortunate enough to have Dusty write about his personal experiences in the Navy, specifically at the Midway. His excellent article is included in the 2012 Special Midway edition of The Daybook, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum's quarterly publication. I often dig back into my issue I keep in my library and read about his miraculous exploits. This particular section of his article details his experience scoring a direct hit on the Japanese carrier Kaga as a member of USS Enterprise's Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6):
Wade McClusky waggled his wings and, in our Scouting Six planes, we followed him into a dive on Kaga, the closest carrier. This was the perfect situation for dive bombing: no Zeros, no anti-aircraft fire. McClusky and our Scouting Six dive bombers attacked Kaga. Bombing Six planes attacked Akagi. Earl Gallaher scored the first hit on Kaga. I watched his 500-pound bomb explode on the first plane starting its takeoff. It was the only plane on Kaga's flight deck. His incendiary bombs also hit the gas tanks beside it. Immediately, the aft-part of the ship was engulfed in a huge mass of flames. I scored the next hit. My 500-pound bomb and two 100-pound incendiaries landed on the rear edge of the large red circle on the bow of Kaga. The bombs set fire to the closely-parked airplanes below deck, filled with gasoline; a huge fire started. (Note: my bombs hit the target at 240 knots, and exploded 1/100th of a second later!) I had dropped my bombs at 1,500 feet, and I pulled out at 9g, just barely skimming above the water.
A Zero came speeding for us. I gave my gunner John Snowden a good angle, and in two seconds, no more Zero! I sped past numerous ships shooting AA fire at me, so I changed course and altitude every second. I finally made a half circle, heading towards Midway. I looked back and saw three carriers in flames: many bombs from Scouting Six and Bombing Six had hit Kaga; three bombs from Bombing Six had hit Akagi; and bombs from Yorktown's dive bombers torched Soryu. Only Hiryu, twenty miles away, was unharmed.
For his actions at Midway, Kleiss received the Navy Cross. He also received a Presidential Unit Citation in 1944. He also received the Distinguished Flying Cross for action at the Marshall Islands.
Japanese aircraft carrier Hiryu burning, shortly after sunrise on 5 June 1942, a few hours before she sank. (NHHC Photo # NH 73064)

On 7 March of this year, Dusty and I celebrated the same birthday. I blew 32 candles out on my birthday cake; Dusty had 100. I got a birthday call from my parents. Dusty got phone calls from John McCain, Ash Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Each of the phone calls apparently thanked him for his service and his courage during Midway. Yet it is likely that he shrugged off the praise he had likely heard for nearly 70 years.  "I'm anything but a hero," he said to CNN reporter Richard Roth, "I was only doing what at the time was the proper thing to do." Laura and Tim Orr asked him about a sentimental photo of Kleiss with his new wife Jean taken after his return back to the states. After receiving one of the most prestigious medals in the United States military, all Dusty could say was "Who would ever look at a Navy Cross with the most beautiful girl in the world doing her stuff?" Those words are still some of the most sentimental I have ever heard, and my heart still flutters every time I read it. Romance authors could not write a better line if they tried. War is hell, but love and duty are eternal. Dusty was a master of both.
Dusty would retire from the Navy as a Captain in 1962. He went on to work for the aerospace industry. He remained active in the community and had written or posted about his experiences on several websites on the Internet. He also made several noteworthy television appearances. Sadly, Dusty passed away last week. He had told those closest among him that he wanted to make it to 100. Strong willed and determined, Dusty did just that – one last mark on the greenie board of a life well lived.
So often we write about individuals of naval history who were towering figures that made the big decisions that turned the tide of conflict. That kind of attention is usually reserved for high ranking officers, men of the WWII era with names like Nimitz, Leahy, Halsey, and King. Dusty never wore stars on his shoulders, but you can believe his character and demeanor was worthy of five stars. It is highly doubtful that monuments will be built in his honor. Dusty would want it that way. So in my own small way, this is but one of many tributes to a great American who exemplified honor, courage, and commitment.
In life or death, his story will continue to inspire generations of Sailors coming into the U.S. Navy. I never knew the man like Laura or Tim did. I can only imagine what it must have been like to sit next to someone who took part in such a harrowing event only to push it aside as merely doing one's duty. That is the true mark of a hero. But he was more than a hero to me. He was a different caliber of human being. We can only hope to all live close to the potential of Dusty. My heart goes out to the Orr family and anyone who knew him well. Your lives have been undoubtedly enriched by the experience.
Fair winds and following seas, Sir. You are our hero, and we all owe you a debt of gratitude.
Thanks to Wigs
This is what America should be about...
Medal of Honor Lessons for Graduates
'Be courageous and appreciate courage in others who take action in the face of fear.'
Daniel Ford
May 20, 2015 6:36 p.m. ET
Durham, N.H.
On Saturday I attended my first commencement program in 61 years. The speaker drew me there: Ryan Pitts, addressing the University of New Hampshire's class of 2015.
In an era when speakers are routinely disinvited from American colleges for the sin of challenging academic orthodoxy, I wanted to see how my alma mater would welcome a man who joined the U.S. Army out of high school, who twice deployed to war, and who in July 2008 was the last man alive in an observation post named Topside, above the village of Wanat in the Hindu Kush mountains of northeastern Afghanistan.
Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts Photo: Getty Images
Wounded in the forehead, one arm and both legs, Sgt. Pitts defended that outpost with grenades and a machine gun until helicopter gunships could lay down supporting fire to clear the way for his rescue.
On first seeing the extent of his injuries, he told the 2,500 graduates and 20,000 guests on Saturday, "I thought I was out of the fight until I looked around and watched everyone else fighting with everything they had. My brothers were undeterred by the enemy fire raining down on us like the violent summer thunderstorms that come out of nowhere. . . . They would never let me down and I owed them the same. It was at this point that I crawled back to my fighting position and rejoined the fight.
"Standing wasn't physically possible, but I was able to drag myself around and pull myself into a kneeling position when needed. I fought alongside my brothers like this for a while until our position sounded eerily quiet given the fight raging around us. I crawled around and it was at this point that I discovered that I was the only man left alive at the position."
Twice, U.S. reinforcements ran from the village to Topside, but all were killed or wounded in the attempt. Sgt. Pitts kept lobbing grenades into a ravine 10 yards away, where the enemy fighters lay concealed—at some points, he said, he could hear them talking—and when the gunships arrived he radioed them to concentrate their fire onto the nearby ravine.
"You gotta be kidding," a helicopter crewman replied, seeing how short the distance was between the American and his attackers. (The gunship video is on YouTube.) Despite the heroism involved that morning, the Army decided within days that Topside was no longer needed and the outpost was left to the enemy—a taste of what lay ahead for American policy in Afghanistan.
At 29, Mr. Pitts is no older than some of the graduates he addressed Saturday, 44 U.S. military veterans among them. He himself graduated two years ago with highest honors from UNH Manchester. The students, their parents and spectators gave him a standing ovation when his name was first mentioned, again when he was introduced, again when he finished his speech, and yet again when he was draped with the blue and white cape of Doctor of Humane Letters.
In July last year, President Obama draped Mr. Pitts with the Medal of Honor, America's highest award for valor. The medal, as Mr. Pitts took pains to remind us, is "an individual citation for a collective effort."
"Valor was everywhere that day," he said Saturday, before drawing a moral for young people about to embark on their careers: "Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the ability to move forward in the face of it. There is beauty in this definition, because courage can exist in the decisions we make every day. Courage exists in the individual who accepts who they are and openly lives the life they want in the face of rejection. Courage exists in those who challenge their own perceptions in the face of accepting they are not infallible. Be courageous and appreciate courage in others who take action in the face of fear."
He closed by saying: "The last thought I will leave you with is more a matter of character. Never forget those who helped you reach where you are."
Then he named the men who died that morning, eight on Topside and one in the village of Wanat: " Sergio Abad, Jonathan Ayers, Jason Bogar, Jonathan Brostrom, Israel Garcia, Jason Hovater, Matthew Phillips, Pruitt Rainey and Gunnar Zwilling. The advice here is simple: Appreciate the contributions of others and the impacts they make in your life. That's it."
Mr. Ford (UNH class of 1954) is the author of "Poland's Daughter" (Warbird Books, 2014), a story of World War II and its aftermath
These bits of humor are to wrap up Armed Forces Day weekend…

Submitted by David Rackow:

     One dark, moonless night, on a military base in the heart of Kansas, a lone sentry was approached by his commanding officer.  "Private!" the commander barked, "Are you staying alert and ready to defend this base and your fellow soldiers?"
     "Y-yessir!"  responded the startled soldier.
     "Are you sure you're ready?" the officer demanded.
     "Yes sir, I am, sir!" said the Private.
     "Really?  Well let's see," the officer drew closer.  "Suppose...over that ridge there, you saw a battleship bearing down on your position...or this very camp filled with soldiers whose lives depended on your quick action.  What would you do?"  He was right in the private's face now. 
     His mind racing, the Private thought for a split second and blurted out: "I'd take a torpedo and blow him out of the water!"
     Sneering at the response, the officer bellowed out, "Private, you're on an Army base in the middle of a prairie in the middle of the country!  Where in the world are you going to get a #@%! torpedo?!?"
     "Same place you got the battleship."   "Sir."

Submitted by Rick Hein:

     In a recent picture that was released, it showed all the Marines pictured are bowing their heads. That's because they were praying. This incident took place at a recent ceremony honoring the birthday of the corps, and it had the ACLU up in arms.
     "These are federal employees," says Lucius Traveler, a spokesman for the ACLU, "on federal property and on federal time... For them to pray is clearly an establishment of religion, and we must nip this in the bud immediately."
     When asked about the ACLU's charges, Colonel Jack Fessender, speaking for the Commandant of the Corps said , "&@#$ the ACLU, God Bless Our Warriors. Send the ACLU to Afghanistan and then watch those sons of  8!+&#*$ pray. "

Submitted by Rob Hansen:

Officer: Soldier, do you have change for a dollar?
Soldier: Sure, buddy.
Officer: That's no way to address an officer!  Now let's try it again.  Do you have change for a dollar?
Soldier: No, SIR!

Submitted by Jim Weaver:

     A soldier stationed in the South Pacific wrote to his wife in the States to please send him a harmonica to occupy his free time and keep his mind off of the local women.
     The wife complied and sent the best one she could find, along with several dozen lesson and music books.
     Rotated back home, he rushed to their home and through the front door. "Oh darling" he gushed, "Come here...let me look at you...let me hold you! Let's have a fine dinner out, then be together all night. I've missed your lovin' so much!" 
     The wife, keeping her distance, said, "All in good time lover. First, let's hear you play that harmonica."

Submitted by Mark Logan:

Misunderstanding Military Terms
     One reason the Services have trouble operating jointly is that they don't speak the same language.  For example, if you told Navy personnel to "secure a building," they would turn off the lights and lock the doors.  Army personnel would occupy the building so no one could enter.  Marines would assault the building, capture it, and defend it with suppressive fire and close combat.  The Air Force, on the other hand, would take out a three-year lease with an option to buy.

Submitted by John Hudson:

A Sailor's Thoughts--Some random and rambling thoughts accumulated from various quarters over the year—a  bit of introspection.
A sailor will walk 10 miles in a freezing rain to get a beer but complain mightily about standing a four-hour watch on a beautiful, balmy spring  day.
A sailor will lie and cheat to get off the ship early and then will have no idea where he wants to go.
Sailors are territorial. They have their assigned spaces to clean and maintain.  Woe betide the shipmate who tracks through a freshly swabbed deck.
Sailors constantly complain about the food on the mess decks while concurrently going back for second or third helpings.
After a sea cruise, I realized how much I missed being at sea. We are now considering a Med cruise visiting some of my past favorite ports. Of course I'll have to pony up better than $5,000 for the privilege. To think, Uncle Sam actually had to pay me to visit those same ports.
You can spend two years on a ship and never visit every nook and cranny or even every major space aboard. Yet, you can know all your shipmates.
E5 is the almost perfect military pay grade. Too senior to catch the crap details, too junior to be blamed if things go awry.
Never be first, never be last and never volunteer for anything.
Contrary to popular belief, Chief Petty Officers do not walk on water. They walk just above it.
Sad but true, when visiting even the most exotic ports of call, some sailors only see the inside of the nearest pub.
A sailor can, and will, sleep anywhere, anytime.
Yes, it's true, it does flow downhill.
Most sailors won't disrespect a shipmate's mother. On the other hand, it's not entirely wise to tell them you have a good looking sister.
Sailors and Marines will generally fight one another, and fight together against all comers.
The guys who seemed to get away with doing the least, always seemed to be first in the pay line and the chow line.
General Quarters drills and the need to evacuate one's bowels often seem to coincide.
Speaking of which, when the need arises, the nearest head is always the one which is secured for cleaning.
Three people you never screw with: the doc, the paymaster and the ship's barber.
There are only two good ships: the one you came from and the one you're going 
Whites, coming from the cleaners, clean, pressed and starched, last that way about 30 microseconds after donning them. The Navy dress white uniform is a natural dirt magnet.
Skill, daring and science will always win out over horseshit, superstition and luck.
We train in peace so that in time of war the greater damage will be upon our enemies and not upon ourselves.
"Pride and professionalism" trumps "Fun and zest" any day.
Three biggest lies in the Navy: We're happy to be here; this is not an inspection; we're here to help.
Rule 1: The Captain is always right. Rule 2: When in doubt refer to Rule 1.
A guy who doesn't share a care package from home is no shipmate.
When transiting the ocean, the ship's chronometer is always advanced at 0200 which makes for a short night. When going in the opposite direction, the chronometer is retarded at 1400 which extends the work day.
If I had to do it all over again, I would. Twice.
Good shipmates are friends forever

A special debt of gratitude to those men and women who are serving honorably in our Armed Forces.  Similar thanks to those who have served.

Have a great week,
Item Number:1 Date: 05/22/2017 AFGHANISTAN - 1,000 TALIBAN FIGHTERS HIT POLICE OUTPOSTS IN ZABUL PROVINCE (MAY 22/LAT)  LOS ANGELES TIMES -- Taliban insurgents have killed at least 25 police officers and wounded six others in attacks on police outposts in southern Afghanistan, say officials cited by the Los Angeles Times.   Last Saturday, militants from several provinces attacked government installations in Qalat, the capital of Zabul province, and three police outposts in Shahjoy district, said government officials.   The insurgents shelled Qalat with rockets. Meanwhile, up to 1,000 Taliban fighters stormed the outposts, said the provincial governor cited by the New York Times.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 05/22/2017 AFGHANISTAN - AID WORKERS, GUARDS KILLED IN KABUL; FINNISH WOMAN KIDNAPPED (MAY 22/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- Afghan officials say unidentified gunmen have killed two people and abducted a foreign national in Kabul, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   On Saturday, the attackers entered a compound housing employees from Operation Mercy, a Swedish-based charity, in the capital's west, said in Interior Ministry spokesman.   The attackers killed an Afghan security guard, then shot a German woman in the complex and kidnapped a Finnish woman.   At least two other foreigners escaped the attack.   It was unclear if there was a terrorist or criminal motive, the spokesman said.  
 Item Number:3 Date: 05/22/2017 CHINA - PHILIPPINE, CHINESE OFFICIALS HOLD 1ST MEETING UNDER CONSULTATION MECHANISM (MAY 22/XIN)  XINHUA -- The governments of China and the Philippines have set up a biannual bilateral consultation mechanism for issues regarding the South China Sea, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The mechanism was announced on Friday following an initial meeting in Guiyang in southwest China.   Under the dialogue mechanism, officials from the foreign ministries and maritime affairs agencies of both countries will alternate meetings in China and the Philippines every six months.   During the latest meeting, co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and Philippine Ambassador Jose Sta Romana, both sides emphasized their commitment to cooperate and strengthen mutual trust and confidence.   They also exchanged views on addressing concerns in the South China Sea and handling disputes in an appropriate manner, said officials.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 05/22/2017 IRAQ - DOZENS DIE IN ATTACKS IN BAGHDAD, BASRA (MAY 22/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- A series of suicide blasts in Iraq have killed more than 50 people, say police, as reported by Al Jazeera (Qatar).   On Friday, two separate blasts hit checkpoints on a highway close to oilfields in Basra, killing at least 33 people, police said.   Officials from Iraq's South Oil Co. said there was no disruption to operations, but acknowledging that oil security personnel had been placed on maximum alert.   Also on Friday, a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives in southern Baghdad while another attacker blew himself up at a nearby police station. At least 19 people were killed and 25 were wounded.   The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Baghdad blasts
Item Number:5 Date: 05/22/2017 MALAYSIA - SEARCH CONTINUES FOR 9 SAILORS UNACCOUNTED FOR FOLLOWING OPERATION AGAINST ILLEGAL FOREIGN FISHERMEN (MAY 22/STARON)  STAR ONLINE -- The Malaysian navy said on Monday that nine of its sailors are still missing after their boat disappeared during a routine patrol over the weekend, reports the Star Online (Malaysia).   The KD Perdana warship was on patrol off the southern coast of Jorhor Saturday evening when it lost communication with one of its boarding teams, the navy said.   The team had been chasing several foreign fishing vessels from Malaysian waters, reported Reuters.   Search operations began an hour later and was later expanded with more vessels, the navy said. At least 11 ships and two aircraft are involved in the search.  
Item Number:6 Date: 05/22/2017 NIGERIA - SEEKING MORE EFFICIENCY, NAVY NOW TO RUN NEW JOINT MARITIME TRAINING CENTER (MAY 22/VANGUARD)  VANGUARD -- The Nigerian Defense Headquarters has transferred administrative control of the Joint Maritime Security and Training Center (JMSTC) to the navy, reports the Vanguard (Lagos).   The center was set up in response to the growing sophistication of maritime crime in Nigerian territory. The idea came from the Defense HQ and the British Military Advisory Training Team in 2009 with the goal of improving the capabilities of domestic military personnel, said Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, the chief of the Nigerian Defense Staff.   Later, a decision was made to turn command of the center to the service, where expertise in maritime matters resides. This should lead to more efficient management of maritime assets and capabilities, said the general.   The training of military and paramilitary personnel will be intensified, with the object of building a powerful force capable of defeating insecurity in Nigerian waters and effectively combating militants in the Niger Delta, said Vice Adm. Ibok Ette-Ibass, the chief of Naval Staff.  
RODUCTION' AFTER ANOTHER MISSILE TEST (MAY 22/FN)  FOX NEWS -- After conducting another missile test on Sunday, North Korea says it is ready for mass production, reports Fox News.   A solid-fuel Pukguksong-2 medium-range ballistic missile was fired from Pukchang in South Pyeongan Province, said South Korea's military as reported by the Yonhap news agency.   It was the second missile test within a week, noted CNN.   The missile reached an altitude of 350 miles before landing in the East Sea (Sea of Japan), the military in the South said.   North Korea called the test a success, calling it an intermediate range missile; this would give it a range of 1,860–3,420 miles.   Seoul said on Monday that it was a medium-range missile with a range of 500-1,550 miles.   According to state media in the North, the test was supervised by Kim Jong Un, who said it should be "rapidly mass-produced."  
 Item Number:8 Date: 05/22/2017 POLAND - FACING SUBMARINE DECISION, DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER DOES DUE DILIGENCE IN GERMANY, SWEDEN (MAY 22/PMOD)  POLISH MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- Bartosz Kownacki, the secretary of state at the Polish Defense Ministry, has been consulting with officials in Germany and Sweden as Warsaw prepares to buy new submarines.   On Thursday, Kownacki discussed a potential Polish acquisition of new submarines with German and Norwegian officials, said a release from the Polish Ministry of Defense.   The Polish government will make a selection decision "within weeks," Kownacki said.   On Friday, the secretary of state visited Karlskrona, Sweden, where he familiarized himself with the Swedish A26 submarine design.   The main goal of the trip was to learn about the production capabilities and technology of the Karlskrona shipyard for submarine building, noted a ministry release.   Kownacki also met with Swedish Defense Minister Jan Salestrand to discuss offset and industrial issues if Poland decides to accept the Swedish offer
Item Number:9 Date: 05/22/2017 RUSSIA - MISSILE CORVETTE SET TO JOIN BLACK SEA FLEET IN OCTOBER (MAY 22/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Russian Black Sea Fleet will have a new missile corvette within months, reports Interfax-AVN.   The Vyshny Volochek, the sixth ship in the Grad Sviyazhsk class, will enter service with the fleet in October 2017, said Renat Mistakhov, the director-general of the Gorky Zelenodolsk Shipyard.   The Ingushetia, also considered to be in the Grad Sviyazhsk class, will be commissioned in 2018 and the Orekhovo-Zuyevo in 2019, said Mistakhov late last week.   All of the ships, armed with Kalibr cruise missiles, will join the Black Sea Fleet.   Recently, the shipyard also laid the keel for the 10th ship in the class. The Russian navy has ordered 12 Grad Sviyazhsk-class missile corvettes.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 05/22/2017 SAUDI ARABIA - 4 LOCKHEED LITTORAL COMBAT SHIPS HIGHLIGHT HUGE ARMS PACKAGE WITH U.S. (MAY 22/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- Saudi Arabia has finalized a US$6 billion deal for four Freedom-class littoral combat ships built by Lockheed Martin as part of a major arms package with the United States, reports Bloomberg News.   The U.S. and Saudi Defense Ministry have put together a package totaling about US$110 billion, Vice Adm. Joe Rixey, the head of the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, said on Friday.   Some portions of the overall deal, expected to be made public during President Trump's trip to Riyadh, were begun under the Obama administration. The final letter of agreement on the littoral ships is the highest profile element of the deal, officials said.   The contract includes heavier-armed variants of the Freedom class, support equipment, munitions and electronic warfare systems, said unnamed sources.   The State Dept. approved the sale of the warships in 2015, but the deal was not completed during the Obama administration.   Other components include 115 M1A2 Abrams tanks, munitions and heavy equipment recovery systems. A formal agreement is also anticipated for additional PAC-3 air defense interceptors.  
Item Number:11 Date: 05/22/2017 SAUDI ARABIA - KING, U.S., EGYPTIAN LEADERS OPEN GLOBAL CENTER TO COMBAT EXTREMIST IDEOLOGY (MAY 22/HILL)  THE HILL -- Saudi Arabia has opened a terrorist-monitoring center aimed at countering propaganda from the Islamic State and other Islamist militant groups, reports the Hill (Washington, D.C.).   The Global Center for Combating Extremism was inaugurated in a Sunday ceremony attended by Saudi King Salman, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and U.S. President Donald Trump, who arrived in the Saudi capital on Saturday as part of a foreign tour.   The center will monitor and analyze extremist content on social media in several languages, reported Al Arabiya (Dubai). It will also try to promote moderation and curb hate speech.  
Item Number:12 Date: 05/22/2017 SOUTH SUDAN - WE WILL WORK WITH U.N. PROTECTION FORCE, SAYS NEW TOP GENERAL (MAY 22/EA)  EAST AFRICAN -- The newly appointed chief of General Staff in South Sudan has vowed to cooperate with the U.N.-funded Regional Protection Force (RPF), reports the East African (Nairobi, Kenya).   The goal of the force -- which is being deployed to Juba, the nation's capital -- is to improve the security situation in the region and protect civilians from warring groups.   The force was originally to be in place eight months ago, but the government was reluctant to accept the 4,000 peacekeepers.   Gen. James Ajongo, the army chief, said on May 18 that the military would cooperate, saying it had already made the necessary arrangements. The general also called for army reforms.   For the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) to meet international standards "it must be transformed from a rebel-like military to a national army that will work for the protection of the country," the general said.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 05/22/2017 SYRIA - ISIS BOMBS DIRECTED AT RIVAL ISLAMISTS IN IDLIB (MAY 22/REU)  REUTERS -- The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in northern Syria on Sunday against a rival Islamist group, says a monitoring group cited by Reuters.   There were two explosions in a village east of Saraqeb in Idlib province, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   More than 20 were killed and dozens of rebels were injured, said the monitors.   Ahrar al-Sham, a coalition of Islamist factions, said that a lone attacker riding a motorcycle detonated explosives that had been attached to his body and the vehicle.   ISIS claimed responsibility on its Amaq news agency
Item Number:14 Date: 05/22/2017 SYRIA - WITH OPPOSITION EVACUATION COMPLETE, GOVERNMENT HAS FULL CONTROL OF HOMS (MAY 22/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- The Syrian government has regained full control of the central city of Homs after the evacuation of rebels from the last former opposition district over the weekend, reports the BBC.   About 3,000 people, including 700 rebels and their families, were evacuated starting on Saturday from the Waer district of Homs, said the government.   The rebels are headed to rebel-held areas in Idlib province and Jarablus.   "The city of Homs is completely clear of weapons and militants," said provincial Gov. Talal Barazi. Government security forces had entered Waer, he added.   The arrangement was part of a Russian-brokered deal. The evacuation began two months ago and took several weeks, reported AFP.   Some 60-100 Russian troops will deploy in the neighborhood to provide security to the remaining residents and any who wish to return.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 05/22/2017 THAILAND - 2 DOZEN HURT IN BOMBING AT MILITARY-OPERATED HOSPITAL; EXPLOSION TOOK PLACE ON COUP ANNIVERSARY (MAY 22/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- Twenty-four people have been injured in an explosion at a military-owned hospital in the capital of Thailand, say authorities cited by the New York Times.   A police commander told Sky News (U.K.) that the blast was caused by a bomb. "We found the pieces that were used to make the bomb," he said.   Monday's blast took place at the Phramongkutkao Hospiital "in a room full of people who were waiting for their medications," said a government spokesman.   The hospital is open to civilians but is popular with soldiers, their families and retired military officers, noted Reuters.   Monday marks the third anniversary of the army coup in 2014.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility.   The military held an emergency meeting later on Monday and increased security at various government buildings, said the spokesman
  Item Number:16 Date: 05/22/2017 USA - ARMY SETS UP INITIAL SECURITY FORCE ASSISTANCE BRIGADE; MORE THAN 500 TROOPS WILL EVENTUALLY HOLD ROLE (MAY 22/ANS)  ARMY NEWS SERVICE -- The U.S. Army has established the first of six planned security force assistance brigades (SFABs), reports the Army News Service.   The new SFAB, assigned to Fort Benning, Ga., has identified about 70 percent of the personnel who will ultimately be assigned to the unit.   Plans call for five SFABs in the active-duty force and one in the National Guard, each with 529 personnel, said Lt. Col. Johnathan Thomas, who serves with the G-3/5/7 force management directorate at the Pentagon.   The units are designed to be able to rapidly deploy anywhere in support of a combatant commanders and, once on the ground, begin to work with, train, advise and assist partner nation security forces with anything they need help with, Thomas said, as noted by the Army on Thursday.   The advise-and-assist mission has been performed by the Army for years, largely on an ad hoc basis. In some cases, brigade combat teams have sent some of their forces abroad as part of security transition teams or security force assistance teams to conduct similar training missions.   The SFABs will be exclusively designated to conduct the advise-and-assist missions, freeing BCTs to focus on their core missions, Thomas said.   The 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade was established in mid-May, but will not officially activate until October, noted the Army release.  
 Item Number:17 Date: 05/22/2017 USA - DELAYED MODERNIZATION NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED IN COMING DEFENSE BUDGETS, SAYS JCS CHIEF (MAY 22/D1)  DEFENSE ONE -- The top military officer in the United States argues that the next three defense budget will be key for laying the foundation for tomorrow's armed forces, reports Defense One.   The fiscal 2018 through fiscal 2021 budgets will target readiness and modernization to prepare for the future, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Defense One last week.   Areas in need of investment include electronic warfare, cyber, space, nuclear modernization and maritime requirements, the general said.   Defense Secretary James Mattis has outlined a three-step approach to improving readiness: first, fill equipment and training gaps; increase military capacity; and finally, improve its lethality, noted Dunford.   "Readiness is not only getting the equipment that you have ready, not only providing training to the troops, getting the right number of people there, but it's also recapitalizing and modernizing," said the general.   Filling equipment gaps does not necessarily mean refurbishing worn equipment. Older gear can be replaced with newer, he said.  
 Item Number:18 Date: 05/22/2017 USA - F-22 FIGHTER JETS ESCORT PASSENGER PLANE TO HAWAII AFTER COCKPIT INCIDENT (MAY 22/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- The U.S. military scrambled two fighter jets after a passenger allegedly tried to break into the cockpit last week on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   A Turkish national, identified as Anil Uskanil, reportedly attempted to force his way into the cockpit of American Airlines Flight 31 on Friday, according to CNBC.   Officials say the passenger was subdued by an off-duty law enforcement officer and others and the aircraft landed safely. He spent the rest of the flight restrained in duct tape.   U.S. Pacific Command sent two F-22 fighters from the Hawaii Air National Guard to escort the passenger plane.   "The F-22s escorted the airliner to the airport in accordance with homeland defense procedures. Local law enforcement responded once the civilian airliner was on the ground," said a spokesman for the command.   The passenger had been involved in another incident earlier Friday in the airport at Los Angeles but was allowed to board the flight to Hawaii, reported CNBC
Item Number:19 Date: 05/22/2017 USA - NAVY'S LATEST JAMMER PASSES CRITICAL DESIGN REVIEW AT NAS PATUXENT RIVER (MAY 22/NAVAIR)  NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND -- The U.S. Navy's Airborne Electronic Attack Systems and EA-6B program office has completed a critical design review for the next-generation jammer (NGJ) program, reports the Naval Air Systems Command.   The review for the AN/ALQ-249 NGJ Increment 1 mid-band program concluded in late April at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.   The evaluation determined that design and development were on track to meet operational requirements and that fabrication, demonstration and test work could proceed, said a NAVAIR release on May 18.   The system, built by Raytheon Space and Air Systems, is now in the engineering and manufacturing development phase.   The NGJ is designed to meet emerging, advanced threats and increased threat density using the latest active electronically scanned array, digital and software-based technologies.  
  Item Number:20 Date: 05/22/2017 VIETNAM - DA NANG HOSTS EMERGENCY RESPONSE DRILLS; 5 NATIONS PARTICIPATE IN PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP DRILLS (MAY 22/ADOD)  AUSTRALIAN DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- Personnel from Australia, Japan, the U.K., U.S. and Vietnam have been working on their disaster-response skills in Vietnam.   Training was held last week on the Han River in Da Nang as part of Exercise Pacific Partnership, reports the Australian Dept. of Defense.   The scenario involved a cruise ship and tanker that had collided and caught fire, spilling fuel and oil into the river, said a departmental release on Thursday. Five people were thrown into the water and one of the vessels was starting to sink, during the simulation.   First responders from all five participating nations then responded to the scene.   An Australian navy nursing officer worked with Vietnamese doctors and nurses to triage role-playing patients who were retrieved from the water by Vietnamese border guard and U.S. Marine Corps personnel.   Da Nang is the second to last stop for this year's Pacific Partnership drills, noted the release. Similar training has also taken place in Burma, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.   The exercise is scheduled to conclude in the Vietnamese city of Nha Trang at the end of May.   Pacific Partnership is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The goal is to enhance regional coordination in medical readiness and preparedness for man-made and natural disasters.   Australia has been participating since the drills began after the 2004 tsunami in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.

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