Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Fw: TheList 4477


The List 4477

To All,
I hope your week has started well.
This Day In Naval History - June 13
1881 - USS Jeannette crushed in Arctic ice pack
1939: USS Saratoga (CV 3) and USS Kanawha (AO 1) complete a two-day underway refueling test off the coast of southern Calif., demonstrating the feasibility of refueling carriers at sea where bases are not available.
1944 - USS Melvin (DD 680) sinks Japanese submarine (RO 36) between 50 and 75 miles east of Saipan. Also on this date USS Barb (SS 220) sinks Japanese army transport Takashima Maru in the Sea of Okhotsk and survives counter-attacks by destroyer Hatsuharu.
1967 - Operation Great Bend in Rung Sat Zone, Vietnam
Today in History June 13
The Marquis de Lafayette arrives in the American colonies to help in their rebellion against Britain.
Confederate forces on their way to Gettysburg clash with Union troops at the Second Battle of Winchester, Virginia.
The U.S. Post Office Department rules that children may not be sent by parcel post.
The French set a trade barrier between occupied Ruhr and the rest of Germany.
Paris is evacuated as the Germans advance on the city.
German spies land on Long Island, New York, and are soon captured.
The first German V-1 buzz-bomb hits London.
Installed by the French, Bao Dai enters Saigon to rule Vietnam.
The New York Times begins publishing the Pentagon Papers.
Israelis withdraw the last of their invading forces from Lebanon.
Sioux Indians are awarded $105 million in compensation for the 1877 U.S. seizure of the Black Hills in South Dakota.
Pioneer 10, already in space for 11 years, leaves the solar system.
The story of the U2 pilot in The List 4469 was not true. Thanks to a  number of you who provided the following. I am still trying to catchup on email.
We had the Cliff Beeler story a couple of years ago, but it's not true.  Beeler created his yarns out of thin air.  Here's just one of the reports of the retraction of the story:
Micro and Dick
Pretty confident Beeler is a fake wanna be.   I did exchange tour at Edwards and was the LSO for U2G & U2R carrier carrier ops.   U2 carrier capability was considered a key asset in the days before our satellites had the maneuverability they do now.    Never heard of Beeler.  None of the pilots who conducted any carrier operations were USAF --- all were civilian contractor (many were former USAF)  for "special" government agencies.   The photo below was the initial U2R (105 foot wing span)  carrier trials on America with Bill Park, chief test pilot at Lockheed.   Bill was the only pilot to land U2R on the ship.  U2R never flew operational missions from the ship.   Although operational  U2G ( 80 ft wing span) missions were conducted from a flight deck (Ranger) --- again those who flew those missions were "civilian contract" and none of those ops were over Russia.    All those operational missions were in the S. Pacific off the Ranger.  Google" Project Whale Tail' for some amplifying details.   This same piece about Beeler surfaced about 3 or 4 years ago.  One of the retired  U-2 pilots I know did an audit on this guy and he could not establish that Beeler even flew the U-2.  Goes into the "if on the internet – it must be true" file.
I think too much of the piece on the U2 guy  "Cliff Beeler"  was a spy is fiction =
"While the events he recounted — the crash of a U-2 plane in 1962 and the landing of a U-2 on an aircraft carrier — did occur, Beeler was not the pilot involved in those instances, according to interviews with people who have knowledge of the incidents. During initial reporting, The Press-Enterprise verified that Beeler was a U-2 pilot, but not the experiences he described." After the story's publication, the Press-Enterprise heard from "multiple sources" including "former pilots in the program" who said Beeler told stories that "involved other pilots and other planes." For example, Beeler said he was in a plane crash over a swamp. But, a U-2 historian told the Press-Enterprise the pilot who crashed was actually Chuck Stratton. Stratton confirmed that he was the person who crashed in that incident. "That story (Beeler) tells of the plane crash in the swamp and someone hanging in the tree," Stratton is quoted as saying. "That was me." One of the commenters on questioned Beeler's story writing "to [sic] many inconsistencies." Another commenter, "HuggyU2," wrote in that he contacted the reporter Muckenfuss about the article and his concerns over the accuracy. "I wrote the author, primarily to let him know that the description of how we climb, how altitude affects stalls, and how the sound barrier shock wave that breaks up the jet are all incorrect. He did write me back, and ask for my input. That's a first, so I like this reporter." - See more at:
Thanks to Carl
(I know it is Obama but an interesting story about the "World's Most Interesting Man"!!
A beer commercial icon became an unlikely pal to the president of the United States. It stayed interesting.
June 02, 2017
Part 1 Thanks to Tom
Alcock and Brown . .  A Thrilling Story Of A Trans-Atlantic Flight PRIOR  To Lindbergh's Solo
    Several years prior to Lindbergh's flight, in a modified twin-engine air-
plane . . two English airmen, Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown . . MADE THE FIRST NON-STOP AERIAL ATLANTIC CROSSING . . after taking off from Lester's Air Field near St. Johns, New Foundland, on June 14, 1919. 
    Sixteen hours and twenty seven minutes later, they dropped the Vimy IV into one of Ireland's swampy bogs.
    Vickers Vimy biplane being re-assembled at Lester's near St.Johns, Newfoundland in
late May,1919.
    After three weeks of exhaustive preparation, they finally made their take-off. Some of their preparat-
ion effort was spent trying to find a smoother take-off location than problematic Lester's Air Field.  But after a week of combing the rough terrain they decided to use it anyway.

     Under an overcast sky, at 1:40 pm, the " Vimy" taxied depressingly slowly on uneven ground toward
a dark line of forest, then turned and proceeded at full take-off power.  At the last second, Alcock had gained a height measuring only a handful of  [ quote ] " inches above the tops of the trees  [ unquote.

    Ahead of them lay 1,890 nautical miles of cold, open ocean. A daunting overwater adventure, just 15 years and 6 months after the Wright brothers first flight with a couple of pusher engines..
Their adventure would become one of the most breath-taking flights in the history of aviation.
    The vessels' sirens in St. John's Harbor blew a final farewell whistle to the pilots as their ' Vimy '
passed overhead. Alcock then turned the biplane in the direction of Ireland.  Slowly, the twin-engined biplane gained altitude as the Newfoundland coast was left behind.
    For the next four hours, the ' Vimy ' flew peacefully in the clear skies and the difficult takeoff  was forgotten. For Alcock and Brown it was just one more of the 1,001 takeoffs they had made as Flying Corps pilots.
    Already anticipating a safe arrival in England, and Brown remarked excitedly :
" What a banquet we'll have in London . . roast duck . . with green peas ."

    Very few people in the World, were aware of Alcock and Brown's plans. England was enjoying its first post-war summer. And newspaper special editions were carrying stories of revolution in Hungary and Russia's milit- ary successes against the Bolsheviks. 
    Buried somewhere on its back pages, a single newspaper remarked of a potentially successful non-stop flight across the Atlantic being readied in New Foundland. 
And few paid attention to a ' buried ' 5-line item ; that would change.

    As the Vimy flew over the Atlantic, the aviators talked about the good friends who had ' given them a hand' at Lester's Air Field.  And they re- called other various attempts to fly across the ocean from the New World to the Old. 
    At 5 pm, solid fog banks threatened the horizon . . stretching across their path . . with no breaks in the fog. " WE'VE GOT NO CHOICE ! " Alcock said.
    Brown made another sextant calculation of their position just before their Vimy disappeared into fog. Fog so thick, neither man could dis-tingish their engines' whirling blades.
    The comforting roar of both Rolls-Royce ' Eagle' engines was muffled by the vapor, as Alcock and Brown continued to fly in blind, not quite soundless flight.

    Time went slowly. Brown glanced at his wristwatch. It was now 6 pm. He grumbled :  " Won't this ruddy fog ever end ?"  Instead of replying, Alcock then slowly climbed the " Vimy " higher, hoping to find good visibility above the fog bank.
    Before dark, Brown might be able to take a fix on the sun one more time. After night fall, the individual stars might be too dim to reliably guide them on their course.

    Suddenly a terrifying engine noise broke the silence. The right engine sounded like a machine gun firing away. The two men were scared stiff.
    The exhaust pipe for the cylinders facing towards them had split open. And the engine was now firing naked flames into the slip-stream. 
    Rendered metal continued melting away . . and as white-hot globules, chunks of metal began hammering the Vimy's tail feathers and its flying wires.

    On top of this nerve-shattering clatter, the wires supplying heat to their leather flying suits shut down as the Vimy's batteries died. Alcock later recalled : 
" We froze [ like helpless ] young puppies."
    It brought them no good luck to have been flying on top of the fog. Way above them - directly in their path - lay unavoidable mountains of cloud. The Vimy plunged into the cumulous . . and into turbulence.
Being ' thrown about like a leaf ' instantly produced vertigo. 
    Several times, both of them sensed the airplane stalled out - stood motionless for a moment . . before it plunged out of control.

    Compass spinning . . pressed down their seats in a deadman's spiral, they watched their altimeter reading passing through 4,000 ft. . . 2,900 . . then 1,000 ft. 
    Surprisingly, according to Alcock, their primary fear continued to be :
" However shall we get back on our course to avoid being completely lost in this endless Atlantic waste ?"

    On fear's naked edge, still spiraling down through the clouds, they both watched as the Vimy's altimeter touched . . one hundred feet.
    At 65 feet above the waves, Alcock could dimly see the ocean's surface
rapidly coming up in his face. Visually, he quickly muscled the Vimy's wings level.
    And simultaneously halted their descent as they were poised  to smack the water.
. . hard. 
When later asked how he and his captain reacted, Brown replied :
" We  just   GRINNED  AT  EACH  OTHER  ! "
    Alcock had intuitively opened the throttles to their gates, and he now made a 180 degree turn to their course heading.
    Now, as they were steadily regaining altitude, both realized they were both hungry. Brown reached behind him to seize their frugal meal of sandwiches . . and whiskey.
Also a bottle of beer - that they soon emptied then tossed into the sea.

    For a few minutes, they were feeling pretty good, as the calming routine  of their long-distance flight continued. Regular checks were made on the RPM's, cooling system temperatures, oil pressure and fuel consumption. And they carefully switched from each empty fuel tank to the next tank that had been newly-filled. 
As the fuel tanks directly feeding the engines were emptied, it was Brown's task to hand pump the replacement fuel into them. It was a vigorous and 
sincerely welcomed task. 
Because it warmed him up.
They had five hours of flying were behind them when they once again viewed a setting sun. Brown knelt on his seat, grasped his sextant, then  swiftly calculated their position. It was a small triumph for them to find out they were not far off from their flight plan.
Once again they were swallowed up by cloud.
    Chilled to the bone, deafened by the unmuffled exhaust of the right engine, they continued to fly with zero-visibility.
Now it was 9 o'clock p.m.

    In large bold, printed lettrs, Brown wrote an urgent note : " Can you get above the clouds by 9:30 ? We need stars as soon as possible" then held up the scribbled lines for Alcock to see, while focusing a pocket flashlight on the page.
    Alcock nodded his head that he'd give it a try. They were flying at 5,400 feet, and began slowly climbing even higher.
But they found no way, as the cloud tops remained above their heads.
    They were surrounded by cloud and darkness - and the illumination of their world was the instrument panel lights green glow and the stabbing flames of the broken exhaust.
At 12:05 a.m. Brown ' scribbled ' an urgent note to Alcock . . 
    At 6,400 ft. above the Atlantic, Alcock again ' fire-walled ' the throttles,
and re-entered a slow climb within zero visibility and absolute darkness.
Thanks to Bill
Eating in the fifties:
Pasta had not been invented. It was macaroni or spaghetti.
Curry was a surname.
Taco? Never saw one till I was 15.
Pizza? Sounds like a leaning tower somewhere.
Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time.
All chips were plain.
Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking .
Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green.
Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.
Chickens didn't have fingers in those days.
None of us had ever heard of yogurt.
Healthy food consisted of anything edible!
Cooking outside was called camping.
Seaweed was not a recognized food.
'Kebab' was not even a word, never mind a food.
Sugar enjoyed a good press in those days, and was regarded as being white gold.
Prunes were medicinal and stewed.
Surprisingly Muesli was readily available. It was called cattle feed.
Pineapples came in chunks or were round with a hole in the middle, in a tin; We had only ever seen a picture of a real one.
Water came out of the tap. If someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than gasoline for it, they would have become a laughing stock.
There were three things that we never ever had on/at our table in the fifties ...
Elbows, hats and cell phones!
.........and there was always two choices for each meal...
"Take it" or "Leave it"
Item Number:1 Date: 06/13/2017 AFGHANISTAN - ISLAMIC STATE, TALIBAN BATTLE IN NANGARHAR PROVINCE (JUN 13/KP)  KHAAMA PRESS -- Airstrikes and fighting between the Taliban and the rival Islamic State in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province have left at least 38 militants dead, reports Khaama Press (Afghanistan), citing local officials.   At least 27 ISIS fighters and four Taliban insurgents were killed over the past day during fighting between the two groups in the Spin Jomat, Masta Khel and Sholani areas, said local officials on Tuesday.   Eight ISIS terrorists and four Taliban militants were also reported wounded.   Separately, an airstrike in the Sparai area of Chaparhar killed seven Taliban militants and wounded four others, said the officials.  
Item Number:2 Date: 06/13/2017 BANGLADESH - TROOPS WORKING TO CLEAR ROADS GET CAUGHT IN LANDSLIDE; DEATH TOLL RISES (JUN 13/DHTRIB)  DHAKA TRIBUNE -- Monsoon rains in Bangladesh have killed dozens, including several military personnel buried under landslides, reports the Dhaka Tribune.   Heavy rainfall in the southeastern districts of Cox's Bazaar, Bandarban and Rangamati caused huge landslides on Tuesday. At least 61 people have died, reported the BBC.   A 16-strong army team was clearing mud from a road in Ranagamati's Manikchhari when another landslide occurred, said a military spokesman.   Four troops were killed and 10 others were injured. Another soldier was missing, said the spokesman.   Casualty counts vary and have been changing. An army major and six soldiers were killed, according to an official cited by Xinhua (China
Item Number:3 Date: 06/13/2017 CHINA - 17 VIE FOR NEWLY CREATED MILITARY AWARDS, HIGHEST IN NATION (JUN 13/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Central Military Commission has established China's highest military award, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The Order of August 1 will be awarded to those who have made outstanding contributions to protecting Chinese sovereignty, security and development interests and advanced military modernization, said the commission on Monday.   The People's Liberation Army, armed police force and public security force have made public 17 candidates for the honor.   August 1 is the date of the founding of the PLA
  Item Number:4 Date: 06/13/2017 COLOMBIA - GOVERNMENT STARTS PROGRAM TO TRAIN FARC REBELS AS BODYGUARDS (JUN 13/CR)  COLOMBIA REPORTS -- The Colombian government says it has started training demobilized FARC guerrillas as bodyguards, reports Colombia Reports.   More than 300 candidates for the positions arrived over the weekend at a training academy in Facatativa, near the capital Bogota, for aptitude tests. A total of 315 candidates will eventually be chosen, according to the Interior Ministry.   Selected bodyguards will receive two months of training, a gun and up to US$615 a month, which is three times the minimum wage. Those not selected will be returned to rebel demobilization camps.   Only FARC members who have not committed crimes against humanity and can handle firearms were allowed to apply, said the ministry.   The program is overseen by Colombia's National Protection Unit.   Not everyone is pleased that rebels who have just handed over their weapons to U.N. monitors are going to be paid and armed by the government, noted the BBC.  
Item Number:5 Date: 06/13/2017 CYPRUS - BLAST INJURES POLICE OFFICER NEAR BRITISH MILITARY BASE; TERRORISM NOT BELIEVED INVOLVED (JUN 13/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- A relatively small explosion close to a British military base in Cyprus has injured a policeman, say British officials cited by Agence France-Presse.   The blast occurred early Tuesday outside a police station on the Dhekelia military base near the southern coastal Cypriot town of Larnaca, said a British military spokesman.   He ruled out terrorism, saying "this is being treated as a criminal incident."   Someone on a motorcycle apparently threw a grenade over the perimeter fence of the station, said one source.   Another source speculated that the incident was related to a recent crackdown by base police on illegal bird trapping.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 06/13/2017 INDONESIA - MILITARY CHIEF WARNS OF WIDE PRESENCE OF ISIS 'SLEEPER' CELLS (JUN 13/REU)  REUTERS -- Indonesia's military chief says that the Islamic State terrorist group has established cells widely in the Muslim majority nation, reports Reuters.   There are clandestine "sleeper" cells except in a few provinces, such as the predominately Christian province of Papua, said Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo on Monday.   "These sleeper cells can easily join up with other radical cells," he said, with a reference to ISIS-linked militants who recently overran Marawi in the Philippines.   "It's easy to jump from Marawi to Indonesia, and we must all beware of sleeper cells being activated in Indonesia," Nurmantyo said
Item Number:7 Date: 06/13/2017 IRAQ - ZANJILI FALLS TO GOVERNMENT FORCES; ISIS STILL HOLD 2 DISTRICTS ON WESTERN SIDE OF MOSUL (JUN 13/IQN)  IRAQI NEWS -- Iraqi government forces announced Tuesday that they taken back the Zanjili neighborhood, north of Mosul's Old City center, from ISIS fighters, reports Iraqi News.   Government forces have continued to gain ground in the northern city of Mosul, noted Reuters.   The government began an operation to retake Mosul in October 2016. Troops regained control of the city's eastern half in January; a new offensive began in May to take the western half.   ISIS still holds the densely populated Old City center and the Medical City, both located along the western banks of the Tigris River.  
Item Number:8 Date: 06/13/2017 NIGERIA - DURING FIGHTING ON MISSION TO RESCUE CHILDREN, SOLDIERS KILL LOCAL BOKO HARAM LEADER (JUN 13/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- Nigerian troops have killed a Boko Haram leader in the country's northeast and freed nine abducted children, reports the Guardian (Nigeria), citing an army official.   Terrorist leader Abu Nazir was killed in fighting on June 11 in the village of Jarawa in Borno state after Boko Haram militants ambushed troops that were on the way to a militant camp, said an army spokesman on Monday.   The troops repelled the attack and pursued the militants into the forest, where they rescued children being trained at a secret camp, the spokesman said.   The soldiers seized several weapons, an improvised explosive device and three motorcycles, he said.   The army described Nazir as Boko Haram's emir in Jarawa
Item Number:9 Date: 06/13/2017 NORTH KOREA - KIM REGIME GETTING CLOSE TO CAPABILITY FOR ICBMS, SAYS U.S. EXPERT (JUN 13/YON)  YONHAP -- A leading U.S. expert on nuclear issues says that North Korean needs only suitable nuclear warheads and re-entry vehicles capable of withstanding the extreme heat of a missile's re-entry into the atmosphere to attain the capability of a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), reports South Korea's Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   Pyongyang's Hwasong-12 missile, which was test-fired in May, demonstrated that its warhead could survive heat loads similar to those experienced by an ICBM, said Jeffrey Lewis in an article in Foreign Affairs magazine.   Mastery of warhead miniaturization and re-entry technologies have long been considered necessary for the North to develop a nuclear ICBM that is capable of hitting the continental United States.   "North Korea almost certainly has a compact fission warhead capable of fitting on a future ICBM," writes Lewis. After five nuclear tests, Pyongyang's claims to have successfully completed warhead miniaturization are in line with the progress other nuclear powers had made at similar junctures.   Pyongyang next must ensure that the warhead is strong enough to survive the shock, vibration and extreme temperatures it would experience on an intercontinental trajectory, Lewis says in his recent article.   Lewis also warned against downplaying North Korea's capabilities.   Lewis is a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), Calif., part of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS
  Item Number:10 Date: 06/13/2017 PAKISTAN - LOCAL HAQQANI NETWORK COMMANDER DIES IN DRONE STRIKE (JUN 13/RFE/RL)  RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- Local Pakistani officials say a suspected U.S. drone strike has killed a commander of the Haqqani Network, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   An overnight strike hit the Speen Tal area of Hangu district, in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Paktunkhwa province, said a security official on Tuesday.   The commander, identified as Abubakar, was killed. Three people were injured in the strike, said a resident.   Abubakar, whose real name is said to be Omar, moved to Dewal from Pakistan's North Waziristan province after a counterterror operation there in 2014, the resident said
Item Number:11 Date: 06/13/2017 PHILIPPINES - U.S. SPECIAL OPS PROVIDING HELP TO ARMY AGAINST ISLAMISTS IN MARAWI (JUN 13/USA)  USA TODAY -- U.S. special operations personnel have been helping the Philippine army in its three-week battle with Islamic State-linked militant groups in the city of Marawi in the southern Philippines, reports USA Today.   The Americans are assisting with surveillance, but are not involved in combat operations, said a spokesman for the Philippine military.   Local media showed footage on Friday of a U.S. Navy P-3 Orion patrol aircraft flying over Marawi.   "At the request of the government of the Philippines, U.S. special operations forces are assisting the (Armed Forces of the Philippines) with ongoing operations in Marawi that help AFP commanders on the ground in their fight against Maute and ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) militants," said a release from the U.S. Embassy in Manila.   The Maute group, also known as Islamic State Lanao, launched an attack on Marawi on May 23. Since then, 58 members of the security forces, 20 civilians and around 138 militants have been killed, according to local officials.   On Friday, 13 Philippine marines were killed in an "intense" house-to-house firefight during which they encountered improvised explosive devices and were attacked by rocket-propelled grenades, reported Reuters.   Last year, ISIS named the leader of ASG to be the 'emir' of Southeast Asia, noted Reuters
  Item Number:12 Date: 06/13/2017 PORTUGAL - LISBON KICKS OFF TALKS FOR 5 BRAZILIAN KC-390 CARGO AIRCRAFT (JUN 13/FI)  FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL -- The Portuguese government has launched formal talks with Brazilian aviation firm Embraer for military tanker-transport aircraft, reports Flight International.   Lisbon is seeking to buy five KC-390 aircraft, with an option for a sixth.   The negotiations are expected to last for three months, including defining the configuration for the Portuguese air force, delivery dates and payment schedules, the magazine said.   The potential deal is anticipated to include a full flight simulator, spare parts and other support services.   Portugal is one of five countries that have tentatively agreed to buy the KC-390. The others are Argentina, Chile, Colombia and the Czech Republic.   If the deal is completed, the KC-390s would replace aging Portuguese C-130 transports, noted Defesa Aerea et Naval (Brazil
Item Number:13 Date: 06/13/2017 SOUTH KOREA - CRASHED UAV WAS SPYING ON THAAD SITE, SAYS DEFENSE OFFICIAL (JUN 13/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean military has now determined that a suspected North Korean drone found last week was surveilling the site of a recently deployed advanced U.S. missile defense system, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The unmanned aerial vehicle was discovered on a mountain in Inje, Gangwon province, near the border with the North.   An examination of the drone's 64-GB memory card confirmed that it was taking photographs of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) site in Seongju, said a South Korean military officer.   This drone was similar to North Korean UAVs found in the border region in 2014, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul.  
Item Number:14 Date: 06/13/2017 SOUTH KOREA - FORMER NAVY CHIEF TO SERVE AS DEFENSE MINISTER (JUN 13/KH)  KOREA HERALD -- Newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae In has named retired Vice Adm. Song Young Moo to serve as defense minister, reports the Korea Herald.   Song retired in 2008 as the chief of naval operations, the top post in the South Korean navy.   He served as a key security adviser for Moon when he ran for president in 2012 and continued to work with him through this year's election.   The nominee named on Sunday does not need to be approved by lawmakers, though he must be questioned by legislators, noted Channel News Asia.   Song is expected to continue efforts at military reform, which Moon made the centerpiece of his new government's defense policy.   "We are witnessing a paradigm shift in modern warfare across the army, navy and the air force," Song told journalists at the Defense Ministry on Monday. "Including warzones and weapon system, everything is changing. It is time for us to consider building a new military."   The main focus of the planned reform will be to streamline its force structure; revamp leadership; and enhance interoperability among the military services, he said.   The nominee is well suited to deal with North Korea's nuclear and missile threat, said the presidential Blue House
Item Number:15 Date: 06/13/2017 SWAZILAND - WITH RECRUITING SCANDAL GROWING, ARMY DECIDES TO PROBE CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS (JUN 13/SMC)  SWAZI MEDIA COMMENTARY -- The Swaziland army has begun an investigation into allegations of corruption in recruitment, according to the Swazi Media Commentary (Gaborone, Botswana).   Army officers have been accused of taking bribes from recruits.   More than 40 recruits have been expelled from the Mbuluzi Infantry School, reportedly because they were unable to prove that they had been legally recruited into the military.   Families sold livestock and other belongings to pay off top army officers to get their men into uniform, according to domestic media.   In April, the Swazi News alleged that the practice had been going on for several years. This was said to be the first time that recruits were kicked out.   The army has not commented on the apparent recruiting irregularities.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 06/13/2017 SYRIA - AFTER TROOPS MAKE PROGRESS IN DARAA REFUGEE CAMP, JIHADISTS SEND REINFORCEMENTS (JUN 13/AL-MASDAR)  AL-MASDAR NEWS -- Syrian troops have reportedly taken nearly half of the Daraa refugee camp from rebels, according to the online Al-Masdar News.   Government forces began an offensive against rebels in Daraa, close to the border with Jordan, earlier this month.   The soldiers were able to capture at least 50 percent of the Palestinian refugee camp in the eastern part of the city, said a military source on Monday.   This puts the army in a position to cut off Tahrir al-Sham's main supply line to the Al-Manishiyah district. That rebel group includes former Al-Qaida affiliate Nusra Front (also known as Jabhat Fatah al-Sham).   As of Tuesday, jihadists were sending reinforcements to Daraa from Quneitra province, said an army source.  
Item Number:17 Date: 06/13/2017 TURKEY - REJECTING OTOKAR'S OFFER, GOVERNMENT WILL OPEN BIDING TO OTHER FIRMS FOR NEW ALTAY TANK (JUN 13/DAILYSABAH)  DAILY SABAH -- The Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) has declined Otokar's proposal to build its Altay main battle tank, reports the Daily Sabah (Istanbul).   As a result of the decision announced Friday, the SSM will now prepare another tender process opening the door for other Turkish defense firms to compete for the right to build the tank.   Otokar designed the Altay tank, with assistance from South Korea.   The company said on Friday that the administrative, financial and technical aspects of the company's proposal were evaluated. However, an agreement on the terms of the contract, particularly regarding financial aspects, could not be reached.   Other potential competitors are FNSS, which is a joint venture between Nurol Holding in Turkey and BAE Systems, and Turkish defense firm BMC.   The Altay is scheduled to enter service in 2020
Item Number:18 Date: 06/13/2017 USA - FEMALE LT. COL. TAKES COMMAND OF BATTALION OF SPECIAL FORCES SUPPORT GROUP AT FORT BRAGG (JUN 13/ARMY)  ARMY TIMES -- A career quartermaster officer has become the first woman to command a special operations forces battalion, reports the Army Times.   On June 9, Lt. Col. Megan Brodgen took command of the 3rd Special Forces Group support battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C.   The position is one of about two dozen within U.S. Army Special Operations Command that can be held by a non-Green Beret officer.   She is the first female battalion commander in any of the Army's seven Special Forces groups. She was quoted telling the Fayetteville Observer (N.C.) that she didn't necessarily see it as much of a milestone. "I didn't go to Ranger School or selection. It's a lot about timing."   Women have been serving in support roles with USASOC units for years. Brodgen is the first to command a battalion.   Brodgen commanded the 348th Quartermaster Company in South Korea and held a number of staff jobs before completing a master's degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval College this year.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 06/13/2017 USA - GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, NEWEST LITTORAL COMBAT SHIP, JOINS NAVY IN GALVESTON, TEXAS (JUN 13/NNS)  NAVY NEWSSTAND -- The U.S. Navy has commissioned its newest littoral combat ship, reports the Navy NewsStand.   The Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) formally entered service in a ceremony on June 10 in Galveston, Texas.   The ship is the fifth in the Independence class of littoral ships designed by Austal USA and built in Mobile, Ala. The Freedom LCS class is built by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wis.   Gabrielle Giffords served a Democratic member of the House of Representatives from Arizona; she was shot and badly injured during a public gathering with constituents in January 2011.   Then-Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced the ship's name in 2012. The Gabrielle Giffords is the 16th ship to be named for a woman and the 13th to be named for a living person since 1850.  
Item Number:20 Date: 06/13/2017 USA - USAF GROUNDS F-35S AT LUKE AFB AFTER SERIES OF HYPOXIA INCIDENTS (JUN 13/LVRJ)  LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL -- The U.S. Air Force temporarily grounded its F-35A Lightning II fighters at Luke Air Force Base late last week after pilots reported a series of hypoxia incidents, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.   Training flights were scheduled to resume at the base on Monday after a day of safety briefings were held on Friday, Luke AFB officials said on June 9.   On Monday, base officials said that the F-35 flight suspension would continue until the service develops a risk mitigation strategy.   The 56th Fighter Wing canceled local flying operations due to five incidents where pilots experienced hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, symptoms, said a service spokesman.   The incidents took place from May 2 through June 8. In each case, the jet's backup oxygen system worked as designed and the aircraft landed safely, said the Air Force.   The stand-down was limited to Luke AFB, noted a USAF release.

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