Thursday, May 25, 2017

TheList 4464

The List 4464

To All,
I hope your week has been going well.
This Day In Naval History - May 25
1952 - USS Iowa bombards Chongjin, Korea.
1973 - Launch of Skylab 2 mission, which was first U.S. manned orbiting space station. It had an all Navy crew of CAPT Charles Conrad, Jr., USN. (commanding), CDR Joseph P. Kerwin, USN and CDR Paul J. Weitz, USN. During the 28 day mission of 404 orbits, the craft rendezvoused with Skylab to make repairs and conduct science experiments. Recovery by USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14)
Today in History
May 25
585 BC
Thales of Greece makes the first known prediction of a solar eclipse.
Alfonso VI takes Toledo, Spain from the Muslims.
The Constitutional convention opens at Philadelphia with George Washington presiding.
Argentina declares independence from Napoleonic Spain.
Jose Justo de Urquiza of Argentina leads a rebellion against Juan Manuel de Rosas, his former ally.
Porfirio Diaz, President of Mexico, resigns his office.
The British House of Commons passes Irish Home Rule.
John Scopes is indicted for teaching Darwinian theory in school.
Jesse Owens sets six world records in less than an hour in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Jordan gains independence from Britain.
The first atomic cannon is fired in Nevada.
1977   Star Wars opens
Thanks to Carl…This is exceptional.  Remember that the total number of military personnel in this country is less than 1%
Memorial Day Mayhem – Americans Just Don't Get It
Memorial Day Weekend is fast approaching and with it the usual consumer chaos that surrounds the holiday more than its true meaning; to honor those who have died in our nation's wars.
Last Memorial Day, I was inside the grocery store here in sunny Southern California. I stood in an aisle watching the mayhem all around me. Shoppers were over-running the place as they threw cases of beer, steaks and bags of chips into their carts. As I looked on, I saw an older gentleman standing next to me. He was a tall figure who wore a WWII Veteran ball cap. He seemed to notice my 7th Cavalry ball cap as well.
"They just don't get it." I said to him.
"They never will." The WWII vet said to me. We talked for a while as we looked on at the madness around us. He told me he had been a B-17 pilot and had flown missions over Nazi Germany. I told him about my service with the 7th Cavalry in the Gulf War.
Even though he was at least 40 years older than me, I had more in common with him at that moment than I would have had with any of the maniacal shoppers racing through the aisles.
Today, I was back in the same grocery store. When I was checking out, the cashier told me excitedly that she had Memorial Day off and couldn't wait to party.
What did Jesus say on the cross? Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.
The attitude of the people in the store last year, the callous and quite clueless attitude of the young girl checking me out today is symptomatic of how the whole nation now looks upon Memorial Day in 2016.
With the majority of Americans never having served in the military in peacetime or war, we now have a whole nation oblivious about the true meaning of the holiday.
It is not now, nor has it ever been just a day for barbecues, boating, beer drinking and softball games.
It seems that veterans are the only ones who understand and treasure the true meaning of Memorial Day. Many vets have not only seen the horrors of war, but have lost friends in war. To a vet, Memorial Day can never just be a day at the beach with hot dogs and Frisbees.
The number of Americans killed in action in US wars since and including the American Revolution equals 664,000 combat deaths and including non-combat deaths, 1.3 million, plus 1.5 million US service personnel wounded in battle.
Even vets from other countries seem to understand more about Memorial Day than our own citizens. Twenty-five years ago, I was riding in a taxi at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany. The driver, a German, had a red poppy attached to the steering wheel. When I enquired why he was displaying the poppy on an American holiday, he remarked, "We are all Kamaraden. We are all comrades."
He went on to tell me that he had served in U Boats in WWII.  Considering that three fourths of the U Boat crews went to their deaths, he was not only a respectful man, but a lucky one as well. Yep, even the guys trying to blow our heads off 70 years back, have more reverence for the holiday than many Americans.
"We are all comrades."
We are indeed.
The true sadness of Memorial Day is remembering the hundreds of thousands of young men and women who died in the prime of their lives. They never had the chance to stand in the booze aisle and decide whether to buy a case of Budweiser or Corona. They never had a chance to return home and have a cheeseburger. They never had a chance to fulfill their individual dreams. They never had another chance to "party."
It seems hard or nearly impossible for the narcissistic, shallow, callous, America of 2016 to contemplate supreme sacrifice and true patriotism.  Americans are too caught up in taking another selfie or liking some banal video on Facebook, to focus on the battlefield deaths of WWII, or even the most recent casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is up to veterans to continue the Memorial Day traditions of wreath laying and parades and to try and impart the real meaning of the day to especially young Americans.
Perhaps General MacArthur said it the most eloquently in his speech at West Point in 1962, when he described the eternal sacrifices of American service personnel:
My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world's noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.
His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. 
But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. 
From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory's eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march, from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads; to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.
I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood, and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light.
And twenty years after, on the other side of the globe, against the filth of dirty foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts, those boiling suns of the relentless heat, those torrential rains of devastating storms, the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails, the bitterness of long separation of those they loved and cherished, the deadly pestilence of tropic disease, the horror of stricken areas of war.
Their resolute and determined defense, their swift and sure attack, their indomitable purpose, their complete and decisive victory - always victory, always through the bloody haze of their last reverberating shot, the vision of gaunt, ghastly men, reverently following your password of Duty, Honor, Country.
Somehow, in the last decades, Duty, Honor and Country has metastasized into This Bud's For You.
Those who gave their lives for this nation deserve the respect of this nation.
Read about TR Swartz in this edition of Rolling Thunder
With our thanks to THE Bear at
May 25, 2017 Bear Taylor
Good Morning: Day FOUR HUNDRED FORTY-SIX of a day-by-day look back of fifty years to an air war that is history…
25 MAY 1967… HEADLINES from The New York Times on a clear, cool Thursday in NYC"'
Page 1: "U.S Backs A Big-4 Effort to Keep Mideast Peace; Thant Cuts Cairo Visit"... "The United States offered today to work directly with Britain, France and the Soviet Union inside or outside the United Nations, to keep the peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors. Thant returns a day early–no word on what had happened on his visit to Cairo."… Page 1: "Washington Views Mining as A Blow to Easing of Crisis"… "After a day of attempting to ease the Middle Eastern crisis through face-saving diplomatic gestures, the Administration received evidence this evening that the UAR had apparently mined the Strait of Tiran. This added serious new tensions and greatly complicated diplomatic efforts to find a resolution to the Arab-Israeli confrontation."…
Page 1: "War Cost To Top Johnson Figure, House Unit Finds estimates accepted by the HAC show that the cost of the war in Vietnam in the fiscal year 1968 will be $6-billion higher than the $22-billion in President Johnson's budget in January. This could be so, the estimates show, even without a decision to increase the planned level of troops…add to the urgency of a 6% tax raise requested by the President."… Page 4: "Pope Makes A Specific Call For Reduction Of War"... "Pope Paul IV appealed specifically today for the cessation of Bombing of North Vietnam together with an end to acts of terrorism and 'infiltration of arms and material into the South.' In a word, a cessation of all forms of violence."… Page 4: "Foes of War Block Bus With Draftees"… "A bus carrying men bound for induction into the antiwar demonstrators in Ames, Iowa. the demonstrators locked chains around its wheels and sprawled in its path. One of the four passengers headed for induction in Des Moines was Richard Siano, an Iowa State University graduate student who had announced he would refuse to be inducted. Mr. Siano, 24, is on the executive committee of the Students for a Democratic Society."… Page 6: "Drive to Modernize Politics in Afghanistan is Making Progress"… "Progress…as well as her economy reached a significant stage this week when the Political Parties Bill neared approval by both houses of the national legislature… The process began three years ago when King Mohammed Zabis Shah decided to separate the crown from the government."…
25 May 1967…The President's TS Daily CIA Briefing (sanitized): 2. VIETNAM: Evidence of large scale infiltration by regular North Vietnam infantry units into South Vietnam continues to accumulate. This activity, reminiscent of the heavy infiltration during the first half of 1966, extends from the DMZ south to the Central Highlands...ANNEX: Impact of Nasir's Actions on the Moderate Arab States: Naisr's stock has soared among the street Arabs of the Middle East–and he has forced the more moderate Arab regimes into a Hobson's choice. Jordan, for example, can either support Nasir or fave the charges of collaboration with imperialism that could topple King Husayn. Unless Jordan's gives full support to Egypt–and at present Jordan's response is lukewarm–Nasir will make life unpleasant indeed. And Husayn knows it. Like Jordan, Saudi Arabia is vulnerable to the charge of not going all out for Nasir in this crisis…
25 MAY 1967…OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER…New York Times (26 May reporting 25 May ops) Page 3: "In the air war over North Vietnam United States pilots from the carrier Bon Homme Richard attacked the Kien An MIG airfield about 5 miles southeast of Haiphong. A spokesman said 'all ordnance was on target,' there was no further damage evaluation. It was the second time the Kien An base had been attacked by the Navy jets this month and the 10th attack against MIG bases in the Hanoi-Haiphong area."
On 25 May 1967 LCDR TED SWARTZ attached to and serving with Attack Squadron SEVENTY-SIX embarked in USS BON HOMME RICHARD was strike leader of a major air wing strike against the Kien An airfield and support area, North Vietnam. The strike group was composed of the following aircraft: ten A-4 strike aircraft, five F-8 flak suppressor, six F-8 target combat air patrol and six A-4 missile suppression aircraft (Iron Hand). Sixteen additional air wing aircraft supported this 27 aircraft strike group. LCDR SWARTZ assumed the lead of this strike at the last minute due to a sudden illness of the assigned strike leader. Though pressed for time LCDR SWARTZ utilized his comprehensive knowledge of combat tactics and ability as a leader to grasp the entire concept of the operation and complete the planning and thorough briefing of the large air wing strike on a well defended target in close proximity to North Vietnam's second largest concentration of civilians. Airborne, he expeditiously gathered his 27 plane strike group and led them on the attack.
LCDR SWARTZ had carefully planned and briefed his approach and retirement routes and he executed that plan that avoided enemy defenses to the extent possible. The target was well defended by 48 active antiaircraft artillery positions siting an estimated 315 light, medium, and heavy guns, 19 known active surface-to-air missile sites and was within eight minutes flight time of three major MIG airfields supporting more than 75 MIGs. LCDR SWARTZ expertly led the strike group to the target at low-level and high-speed. At his planned pull-up point he commenced a climb through light to medium antiaircraft fire and at roll-in the intensity of enemy ground fire intensified and three surface-to-air missiles were fired at elements of his strike group. As each element in the group locked on and attacked their respective targets in the Kien An complex, LCDR SWARTZ led his six A-4s in an aggressive and deadly attack on the MIG aircraft revetments south of the runway delivering thirty CBU-24 weapons on target. All aircraft reported hits on target and all aircraft successfully evaded intense enemy opposition on retirement without damage, to return to Bon Homme Richard."
"The President of the United States pleasure in presenting the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to LIEUTENANT COMMANDER THEODORE ROBERT SWARTZ, United States Navy for heroism and EXTRAORDINARY ACHIEVEMENT while participating in aerial flight as a pilot of  jet attack aircraft while attached to and serving with Attack Squadron SEVENTY-SIX embarked in USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA-31), in action against hostile enemy forces in North Vietnam on 25 May 1967. LIEUTENANT COMMANDER SWARTZ was designated to lead a 43 plane coordinated strike against  the important Kien An airfield and support area in North Vietnam. Although a last minute replacement as strike leader, he expertly completed the planning, thoroughly briefed the pilots in all aspects of the mission, led the strike group in the execution of a highly successful raid. His outstanding leadership, knowledge of combat tactics, thorough planning, and flawless execution under difficult and hazardous conditions, ensured the success of this mission. His actions in the face of grave personal danger were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."…     oohrah!!!…
"Vietnam: Air Losses"(Chris Hobson) There were two fixed wing aircraft lost in Southeast Asia on 25 May 1967…
(1) ENSIGN RICHARD CAMPBELL GRAVES was flying an A-1H of the VA-215 Barn Owls embarked in USS Bon Homme Richard on an armed coastal reconnaissance mission and was downed by antiaircraft fire recovering from a rocket attack on a small cargo boat. He was unable to exit his aircraft and went into the sea about 10 miles north of Vinh. ENSIGN GRAVES was Killed in Action, "body not recovered" fifty years ago on this date… remembered with sorrow as he rest in  peace… so young…
(2) MAJOR C.C. RHYMES and 1LT R.E. RANDOLPH were flying an F-4C of the 557th TFS and 12th TFW out of Cam Ranh Bay on an armed reconnaissance mission a few miles north of the DMZ and were hit by antiaircraft fire. They turned seaward and ejected about ten miles at sea. MAJOR RHYMES was rescued by Air Force helicopter and 1LT RANDOLPH was picked up by a Navy ship….
RIPPLE SALVO… #447… On 25 May 1967 the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at a luncheon in Chicago. The New York Times wrote this:
"DR. KING DECLARES HE PLANS 'TROUBLE' IN FORM OF PROTESTS"... "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said today that he intended to stir up trouble in some of the major cities this summer. 'I do plan to stir up trouble in some of the big cities this summer,' he said in answer to a question at a luncheon. But he said any demonstrations would be in behalf of 'righteous' causes and 'as peaceful protests would prove an alternative to violence that would serve as a moderating influence in a long hot summer that might develop.' "
Ho Chi Minh loved what he was hearing and would enjoy observing the long hot 1967 summer of trouble and violence that did develop in America's major cities. Ho Chi Minh had no reason to talk peace–the United States was about to come apart. Ruptured. Divided against itself… Time was now on the side of North Vietnam.
CAG"s QUOTES for 25 May: SUN TZU: "He whose ranks are united in purpose will be victorious."… MacARTHUR: "It is fatal to enter a war without the will to win it."…
Lest we forget….          Bear
Today on Fighter Sweep
Armed Forces Day 2017 – Did You Remember?
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What is Twice the Speed and has Twice the Range of a Helicopter? The Bell V-280 Valor!
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Item Number:1 Date: 05/25/2017 ANGOLA - GREAT LAKES MILITARY CHIEFS DELIBERATE SECURITY ISSUES (MAY 25/APA)  ANGOLA PRESS AGENCY -- The chiefs of staff of the armed forces of the 12 members of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in Africa have been discussing regional security, reports the Angola Press Agency.   The military chiefs met on Tuesday in Luanda, the capital of Angola. The two-year presidency of the ICGLR is now held by Angola.   The talks were scheduled to cover the implementation of the recommendations of the regional monitoring mechanism on regional political and security developments, as well as the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where M23 and local militias have returned.   Political and military frameworks in Burundi, Central African Republic and South Sudan were also to be assessed.   The findings were to be provided to the ICGLR defense minister's meeting in Luanda on Wednesday.   The following nations are ICGLR members: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 05/25/2017 BANGLADESH - ANTI-TERRORISM PERSONNEL ARREST 4 MILITANTS, CONFISCATE 'EXPLOSIVES, BOMB-MAKING MATERIALS' (MAY 25/XIN)  XINHUA -- Security forces in Bangladesh say they have arrested four members of banned Islamist group and seized firearms and explosives, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the nation's elite anti-terrorism force, said on Thursday that the four militants were picked up in raids in the capital Dhaka and two adjoining districts.   The suspects are members of Neo-JMB, an offshoot of Jamatul Mujahedin Bangladesh, said the RAB.   Security personnel said they recovered "explosives and bomb-making materials."   Those arrested were said to be part of a faction led by Tamim Chowdhury and Sarwar Jahan, who are believed to be behind the masterminds of an attack on a cafe in Dhaka in July 2016, the RAB said. Jahan was killed in a police raid in October
Item Number:3 Date: 05/25/2017 BRAZIL - ARMY, AIR FORCE RECEIVE 2 NEW H225M HELICOPTERS, 2 MORE COMING LATER THIS YEAR (MAY 25/AIRBUSHEL)  AIRBUS HELICOPTERS -- Airbus subsidiary Helibras has delivered two H225M helicopters to the Brazilian military, reports Airbus Helicopters.   The deliveries took place over the last several weeks, Airbus said on May 23.   The first aircraft was delivered to the army in the full operational configuration, including special mission systems. The helicopter brings the army's H225M fleet to nine units, Airbus officials said.   The second helicopter was delivered to the air force in the full operational configuration for combat search-and-rescue missions. It will be based in Rio de Janeiro and brings the air force H225M fleet to 12, said Airbus.   Two more H225Ms are scheduled to be delivered to the Brazilian military this year, according to Helibras officials.   A total of 50 H225Ms have been ordered, with deliveries to be completed by 2022.  
Item Number:4 Date: 05/25/2017 BRAZIL - PROTESTERS BREAK INTO GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS; TROOPS DEPLOYED IN BRASILIA (MAY 25/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- President Michel Temer has deployed troops in Brazil's capital after violent protesters smashed their way into government buildings, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Tens of thousands marched to Congress in Brasilia on Wednesday, demanding that Temer resign and protesting against his economic reforms.   Led by labor unions and leftist groups, the protesters oppose the president's economic reforms and demand a new election, noted France 24.   Troops were dispatched after protesters broke into some ministries and fought with riot police. Some agencies were evacuated. A fire was set in the Agriculture Ministry, reported AFP.   Forty-nine people were injured in the protests, said the city government.   Defense Ministry Raul Jungmann said troops were being deployed to guard federal buildings, including the presidential palace.   Meanwhile, leftist deputies temporarily took over the lower house of Parliament, causing the session to be suspended, reported AFP.  
CORD DRILLS IN ACCRA FOCUS ON PEACEKEEPING, INTEROPERABILITY (MAY 25/ANS)  ARMY NEWS SERVICE -- U.S. Army Africa and more than 20 African and European countries are taking part in the United Accord exercise at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Accra, the capital of Ghana, reports the Army News Service.   The drills, which began on May 19, include a sector headquarters command-post exercise; a bilateral field training exercise between U.S. and Ghanaian forces; and U.S. Army Africa's regionally aligned force attending the Ghanaian jungle warfare school.   The training is focused on the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali, particularly in the eastern sector, said an Army release on May 24.   The drills are designed to improve interoperability for peacekeeping operations in West Africa
  Item Number:6 Date: 05/25/2017 INDONESIA - ISIS SUSPECTED IN TWIN BOMBING IN JAKARTA (MAY 25/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- Twin suicide bombings Wednesday night at a bus station in Jakarta have killed three police officers and wounded at least 10 others, say local Indonesian officials, as cited by the New York Times.   The blasts took place about five minutes apart at the Kampung Melayu transit hub in the nation's capital.   Pressure cookers were reportedly used for the blasts, noted Reuters.   A large police presence had been deployed at the station for a parade as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins on Saturday.   The bombers were believed to be linked to the Islamic State, said police on Thursday.   A law enforcement source cited by Reuters said the bombers might be linked to Jemaah Ansharut Daulah, which has been described as the U.S. State Dept. as an umbrella terrorist organization with ISIS sympathizers.   Also Thursday, an anti-terrorism unit raided the home of a suspected suicide bomber in Bandung, West Java. Police said they found a receipt for a pressure cooker at the blast site that was purchased on Monday in Bandung
  Item Number:7 Date: 05/25/2017 IRAQ - FOLLOWING MAGAZINE EXPOSE, INTERIOR MINISTRY TO PROBE ALLEGED HUMAN-RIGHTS ABUSES IN MOSUL (MAY 25/IANS)  INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE -- Iraq's Interior Ministry says it has begun an investigation into alleged abuses by security forces fighting against the Islamic State in Mosul, reports the Indo-Asian News Service.   Security forces have been trying to regain the northern city from ISIS since November 2016. Mosul was seized by the terrorist group in 2014.   German magazine De Spiegel alleged last week that the Interior Ministry's Emergency Response troops had committed abuses such as rape, torture and targeted killings, based on photographs and reports from an Iraqi freelance photographer embedded with the force.   The Emergency Response force denied the allegations and said the report was based on "fabricated and unreal images."   On Wednesday, the ministry said it had formed a committee to investigate. "The Interior Minister ordered investigators to conduct a clear and fair inquiry...[and] to take legal measures against those who are negligent if the investigation proves so," the statement said
  Item Number:8 Date: 05/25/2017 IRAQ - RANGERS PICKING UP TRAINING TIPS FROM AUSTRALIAN INSTRUCTORS (MAY 25/ADOD)  AUSTRALIAN DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The Australian-led Task Group Taji 4 has been helping the Iraqi army build a ranger capability for its special operations forces, reports the Australian Dept. of Defense.   The most recent training is the culmination of a five-month program between the ANZAC Task Group, with Australian and New Zealand military personnel, as well as the Iraqi army.   The Australians have been providing "train-the-trainer" courses as well as instruction in in weapons-handling and infantry tactics.   The goal is to give members of the Iraqi army's Ranger Battalion the ability to train themselves and maintain high levels of professional going forward, said Australian officials in a release on May 23.   The training has built individual and collective skills up to company-level operations.   The Iraqi Ministry of Defense wants to raise a brigade of rangers to help combat the Islamic State and maintain security in the country.   Task Group Taji has trained more than 22,000 members of the Iraqi security forces since May 2015, noted the Australian Defense Dept. release.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 05/25/2017 MALI - 2 CHADIAN PEACEKEEPERS KILLED IN AMBUSH IN KIDAL REGION (MAY 25/UNNS)  UNITED NATIONS NEWS SERVICE -- U.N. peacekeepers were ambushed earlier this week in Mali's northern Kidal region, reports the U.N. News Service.   A foot patrol by peacekeepers from the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) were attacked on Tuesday morning, about 3 miles (5 km) from Aguelhok, the mission said in a release.   Other sources later reported that the soldiers killed were from Chad.   Two peacekeepers were killed and another injured in the ambush, said the U.N. A rapid-response force was deployed to the scene to evacuate the casualties, said Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the head of MINUSMA and special representative of the U.N. secretary-general for Mali.   This is part of a wave of violence that has targeted civilians, the Malian military and international forces "without distinction," said Annadif.   The peacekeepers need armored vehicles and helicopters to do their job better, he said.  
 Item Number:10 Date: 05/25/2017 NIGERIA - RIFLES EN ROUTE FROM TURKEY UNCOVERED AT LAGOS PORT (MAY 25/PREM)  PREMIUM TIMES -- The Nigeria Customs Service has found a container full of weapons at the Tin Can Island port in Lagos, reports the Premium Times (Abuja).   The container was shipped from Turkey and routed through the Lagos port, customs officials told the paper on Tuesday.   The shipping manifest said the container was carrying plaster of Paris. The customs service had received intelligence indicating the container was carrying contraband and investigated, said the officials.   About 440 pieces of pump-action rifles manufactured in the United States and Italy were captured, they said.   One person was arrested and an investigation is continuing into the shipper.   Four months ago, customs in Lagos intercepted a shipment of pump-action rifle components from China.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 05/25/2017 PHILIPPINES - MORE TROOPS, HELICOPTERS TRY TO QUELL ISLAMISTS IN BATTLE FOR MARAWI CITY (MAY 25/INDEP)  INDEPENDENT -- Fighting between Philippine troops and Islamists on the island of Mindanao have continued for a third day, reports the Independent (U.K.).   The incident began on Tuesday when the army raided a hideout in Marawi City, in the country's south, in search of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon. Militants called in reinforcements from the allied Maute Group, who took hostages and torched buildings. Martial law was declared.   The Maute Group has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. On Wednesday, ISIS claimed responsibility for the group's actions on its Amar news agency.   At least 21 people have been killed since the start of the fighting, say authorities.   On Thursday, troops supported by attack helicopters sought to secure volatile areas, reported Reuters.   There were 30-40 militants remaining, said a military spokesman. About 100 soldiers, including U.S.-trained special operations troops, were deployed to retake buildings and streets in Marawi City.   "The military is conducting precise, surgical operations to flush them out ... The situation is very fluid and movements are dynamic because we wanted to out-step and out-maneuver them," the spokesman said
  Item Number:12 Date: 05/25/2017 POLAND - HELOS, SUBS SEEN AS KEY ELEMENTS IN DEFENSE OF BALTIC SEA (MAY 25/RPOL)  RADIO POLAND -- Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz says Poland must update its approach to defending the Baltic Sea, reports Radio Poland.   The government in Warsaw needs to place a "greater emphasis on submarines, which must be equipped not only with defensive elements but also aircraft and deterrence instruments," the minister told Warsaw's Nasz Dziennik daily newspaper on Tuesday.   These forces will be integrated with mine warfare, coastal defense systems and air forces, said Macierewicz, as quoted by Russia's Sputnik news agency.   The ministry has been reviewing tenders for the procurement of at least three new subs.   A recent review of Polish defenses concluded that the nation's defense infrastructure needs to be developed to deter potential aggression, noted the minister.   The military needs "assault helicopters with large firepower," said Macierewicz. His ministry is also looking at procuring unmanned aircraft to bolster its defenses, he said.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 05/25/2017 RUSSIA - FSB PICKS UP 4 SUSPECTED TERRORISTS PLOTTING ATTACKS ON MOSCOW TRANSPORT (MAY 25/SPUTNIK)  SPUTNIK -- Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) says it has arrested four suspected terrorists believed to be plotting attacks on public transportation in Moscow, reports Russia's Sputnik news agency.   The suspects, both Russians and Central Asians, were picked up in the Russian capital on Thursday, said the FSB in a statement.   Also found were a bomb-making laboratory, explosive devices, automatic weapons, ammunition, grenades and terrorist propaganda, said the FSB.   The intelligence agency said the group was led by Islamic State terrorists. They had been "preparing terrorist attacks using improvised explosive devices at Moscow's transport infrastructure," the agency said.   Those arrested also planned to travel to Syria after the attack and join ISIS, the statement said
Item Number:14 Date: 05/25/2017 SYRIA - RUSSIANS, AMERICANS EMPLOY MILITARY HOTLINE REPEATEDLY IN SYRIA (MAY 25/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- Both Russian and U.S. forces in Syria have increased the use of a military hotline to avoid miscommunication and aircraft collisions, reported the Military Times.   Washington and Moscow established the communication hotline several months ago.   "We have had to increase the amount of deconfliction work we are doing with the Russians, given the tighter airspace that we are now working ourselves through," Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian said on Wednesday, as cited by the Voice of America News.   The U.S. has established "deconfliction zones" around American military personnel in Syria. Russian forces in those zones are only allowed to move to protect American and U.S.-backed forces, said Harrigan.   The U.S. used the hotline last week when pro-Syrian government forces violated a coalition deconfliction zone near the al-Tanf army base, were U.S.-led coalition forces are training Syrian rebels, said U.S. officials.   The U.S. tried to see if the Russians could get those forces to leave before resorting to airstrikes. Eventually, the Americans made an airstrike, noted the New York Times
  Item Number:15 Date: 05/25/2017 SYRIA - SDF GIVES ISIS FIGHTERS IN RAQQA NEW DEADLINE TO SURRENDER (MAY 25/REU)  REUTERS -- A U.S.-backed Syrian rebel alliance planning to assault the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa now says the terrorists have to the end of May to surrender, reports Reuters.   The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is made up of Kurdish and Arab fighting groups, launched an offensive to capture Raqqa, the de facto capital of ISIS, late last year. The rebel force has advanced to within a few miles of the city on the Euphrates River in northern Syria.   The SDF announced on May 15 that militants had until May 25 to give up, saying that no harm would come to those who did.   On Thursday, the rebel alliance said that the initial appeal had achieved "positive results" and that the deadline had been pushed back to May 31.   The SDF added that it would guarantee the lives of militants who turned themselves in as well as the safety of their families.   The extension was aimed at allowing "the greatest number possible of those who were deceived or forced to join to benefit from this opportunity," said an SDF spokeswoman
Item Number:16 Date: 05/25/2017 TAIWAN - LEGISLATORS HOPE TO INCREASE NUMBER OF JUNIOR OFFICERS BY CHANGING LAW (MAY 25/TAI)  TAIPEI TIMES -- Lawmakers from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in Taiwan have proposed amendments to the Act of Military Service for Officers and Noncommissioned Officers of the Armed Forces in an effort to improve benefits for junior officers, reports the Taipei Times.   The DPP is the current ruling party.   The Taiwanese military is facing a shortage of junior officers in all three services, reducing its effectiveness, officials said.   If approved, the amendments would increase pay and extend the service terms to 20 years.   The military has only filled 14,756 of its 21,174 junior officer positions, a 30 percent shortage, according to Defense Ministry figures.   The perceived limitations of existing legislation are a main cause of the shortfall, said the DPP lawmakers.   The current law limits service terms to 10 years for first and second lieutenants, while captains can serve for a maximum of 10 years without being promoted. The law also limits pensions to officers who have served a minimum of 20 years, said the lawmakers.   Many junior officers are forced to leave the military after failing to be promoted after serving 15 years, making them ineligible for a full pension despite being in their 30s or 40s, said lawmakers seeking changes.   To address the shortfall, the amendments call for a maximum term for lieutenants of 15 years and 20 years for captains.   Under the proposed subsidies for field duty and other combat roles would also be increased from US$266 to US$333, the lawmakers said.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 05/25/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - ANOTHER BOMB RENDERED SAFE IN MANCHESTER; MEDIA LEAKS HALT INTEL-SHARING WITH U.S. (MAY 25/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- British army bomb-disposal experts have declared a suspicious package found Thursday in Manchester safe, reports the BBC.   A bomb unit was called in after a suspicious package was found on a street in Hulme, near the city center. Several roads were closed during the incident.   The device was blown up in a controlled explosion, noted the Independent (U.K.).   The incident comes after a suicide bombing Monday night at a concert in Manchester that killed 22 people and injured dozens. ISIS claimed responsibility.   On Thursday, counter-terrorism police arrested two more men in connection to the bombing, bringing the total in custody related to the Monday incident to eight, reported the Guardian (U.K.). Police said the arrests were "significant."   Also on Thursday, British police said that they would no longer share information with the U.S. after leaks were published in U.S. media, including the name of the suspected bomber and crime scene photos.   The Greater Manchester Police gives its information to the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office, which then passes it on to the U.S., Australia, Canada and New Zealand as part of the Five Eyes intelligence agreement.   The police are currently "furious," but hope to resume normal intelligence relationships soon, noted the BBC.   The security services in the U.K. have foiled five attacks in the past two months, a Whitehall source told the Daily Telegraph
Item Number:18 Date: 05/25/2017 USA - ARMY PUTS OUT SOLICITATION FOR GROUND VEHICLE ABLE TO HANDLE ELECTRONIC WARFARE MISSIONS (MAY 25/C4ISRN)  C4ISR & NETWORKS -- The U.S. Army is looking for an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) equipped for signals intelligence and electronic warfare missions, reports C4ISRNET.   The service envisions a small vehicle weighing 15-20 pounds (7-9 kg) with sufficient battery power to provide intelligence to ground units for up to four hours, according to a recent Army solicitation.   A software-defined radio or similar equipment would scan the radio frequency environment and provide the operator with information about other transmissions, including the waveform type and whether they are friendly, coalition or hostile, the Army said.   The UGV would be fitted with a radio frequency direction-finder to locate the signals, allowing users to locate enemies and determine the position of friendly forces, according to the solicitation.   The software-defined radio would also be modified to disrupt targeted communications, the solicitation said
  Item Number:19 Date: 05/25/2017 USA - DISPLAYING FIRMNESS TO CHINA, U.S. WARSHIPS CONDUCT OPERATION NEAR DISPUTED MISCHIEF REEF (MAY 25/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- Challenging China's claims in the area, a U.S. Navy warship has sailed close to a disputed reef in the South China Sea, reports CNN.   On Wednesday, the USS Dewey destroyer came within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands "in a freedom of navigation operation," said a U.S. official.   A Pentagon spokesman did not confirm details of the operation, but said: "We operate in the Asia-Pacific region on a daily basis, including in the South China Sea. We operate in accordance with international law. We fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows."   Subsequently, a DoD official said the Dewey did a "man overboard" rescue drill while passing the island -- to show Beijing that the U.S. would operate anywhere in the high sea in accordance to international law, reported the New York Times.   This is the first such operation under President Donald Trump. One held in October took place during the Obama administration, noted Reuters.   The Pentagon said earlier this month that future operations would not be widely advertised and would only be made public in an annual report.   China's Defense Ministry said on Thursday that two Chinese frigates had "warned and dispelled" the Dewey, which had entered the waters "without permission
Item Number:20 Date: 05/25/2017 USA - HAMMR RADAR PROVIDED PROTECTION FOR GROUND VEHICLE DURING TESTING (MAY 25/NG)  NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP. -- Northrop Grumman says it demonstrated its Highly Adaptable Multi-Mission Radar (HAMMR) during the U.S. Army's counter-rocket, artillery and mortar (C-RAM) trials at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz.   The HAMMR features an active electronically scanned array (AESA) fighter jet radar mounted on a ground vehicle or towable trailer to provide continuous 360-degree coverage against a variety of ground and airborne targets, said a company release on May 23.   The company only said the trials were held "earlier this year."   The radar can operate on-the-move, so that soldiers on the ground can continue to move without sacrificing protection, said Northrop Grumman officials.   The system provides troops with situational awareness; counter-fire operations; air defense; early warning; and airspace management capabilities.   During those trials, the HAMMR successfully detected and identified different types of unmanned aircraft and validated its ability to connect to the Army's Forward Area Air Defense command-and-control system, said company officials.

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