Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fw: TheList 4511

The List 4511
To All,
I hope you all have a great weekend.
This Day In Naval History - July 28
1915 - Sailors and Marines land in Haiti to restore order
1916 - Navy establishes a Code and Signal Section which initially worked against German ciphers and tested the security of communications during U.S. naval training maneuvers.
1926 - Team of scientists from Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and Carnegie Institution determine height of the Ionosphere through use of radio pulse transmitter developed by NRL
1945 - USS Callaghan (DD-792) is last ship sunk by a Japanese kamikaze attack, off Okinawa.
1973 - Launch of Skylab 3, the second manned mission to the first U.S.
manned space station, was piloted by MAJ Jack R. Lousma, USMC with CAPT Alan L. Bean, USN as the Commander of the mission and former Navy electronics officer, Owen K. Garriott as Science Pilot. The mission lasted
59 days, 11 hours and included 858 Earth orbits. Recovery by USS New Orleans (LPH-11).
This Day In Naval History - July 29
1846 - Sailors and Marines from U.S. sloop Cyane capture San Diego, CA
1918 - Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt visits Queenstown, Ireland
1945 - U.S. warships bombard Hamamatsu, Japan.
This Day In Naval History - July 30
1918 - Units of First Marine Aviation Force arrive at Brest, France
1941 - Japanese aircraft bomb USS Tutuila (PR-4) at Chungking, China; First Navy ship damaged by Axis during World War II.
1942 - FDR signs act establishing WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). During World War II, over 80,000 officer and enlisted women served in the WAVES.
1944 - Naval Task Force lands Army troops near Cape Opmarai, New Guinea.
1945 - Japanese submarine, I-58, sinks USS Indianapolis (CA-35) in Philippine Sea; 316 out of 1199 crew survived.
            Note: this is the ship that took the A-bomb out to be dropped by the Enola Gay. The men  went into the water and were eaten by sharks. Remember the story as was told in Jaws the movie by the old Shark hunter.
Today in History July 28
Henry VIII of England marries Catherine Howard; Thomas Cromwell is beheaded on Tower Hill in England.
French explorer Samuel de Champlain discovers Lake Huron on his seventh voyage to the New World.
Robespierre is beheaded in France.
Sultan Mustafa of the Ottoman Empire is deposed and his cousin Mahmud II gains the throne.
King Louis-Philippe of France survives an assassination attempt.
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees citizenship to all those born or naturalized in the United States, is adopted.
Spain, through the offices of the French embassy in Washington, D.C., requests peace terms in its war with the United States.
Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia, beginning World War I.
Pancho Villa surrenders to the Mexican government.
The Bonus Army of impoverished World War I veterans is violently pushed out of Washington, D.C.
A Japanese army lands on the coast of Cochin, China (modern day Vietnam).
A B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building in New York City, killing 13 people.
President Lyndon Johnson sends an additional 50,000 troops to South Vietnam.
Israeli diplomats arrive in Moscow for the first time in 21 years.
A fire at an electrical substation causes a blackout in Chicago. Some 40,000 people were without power for up to three days.
Discovery of remains of a prehistoric man near Kennewick, Washington, casts doubts on accepted beliefs of when, how and where the Americas were populated.
The Irish Republican Army (IRA) announces an end to its 30-year armed campaign in Northern Ireland.
Britain experiences its most costly tornado to date, causing 40 million Sterling Pounds of damage to Birmingham in just four minutes. There were no fatalities
Thanks to Brown Bear
Subject: "Must Pump" Replacement Pilots on Yankee Station

Replacement pilots were at a premium when we left Yankee and limped back to CONUS in November '66, with a disabled fire-blackened Oriskany and a "pilot-manning level" (read: survivors) of less than 40 percent!  We certainly were not the only Air Wing getting the heck shot out of us, and we had to wait our turn in line for the "must pump" replacements tumbling out of short-handed Replacement Air Wings that had to compete with the fleet for assets.  During our 7-month turn around, with training-access to the "under repair" Oriskany for only the last 4 weeks, we (VF-111) received six Nuggets; all graduated from a shortened RAG syllabus with 50 hours less flight time in the Crusader than what had previously been considered the "safe" minimum.  Three of those six were shot down during our next deployment (Charlie Zuhoski POW, Dave Matheny POW, Craig Taylor Recovered).  I was fortunate to have ENS John Laughter assigned as my wingman.

By 4 August '67, we'd only been back on Yankee for three weeks, and he'd already flown maybe 20 combat missions with less than 200 hours in the Crusader, when he showed us what he was made of . . . and it was really good stuff!  North Vietnam's Van Nhue headquarters area (read: Pentagon) was located in the suburbs six miles southeast of downtown Hanoi.  We tried for it on 31 July by going "straight up the gut" from feet wet near Thanh Hoa to Hanoi.  Theory was it would be less exposure time . . . but, as we found out over 40 years later, our SecState was notifying the NVN "civilians" exactly where and when we would attack . . . so they would run and hide?  We lost the first of our nuggets, Charlie Zuhoski, on that strike; while he was protecting a Shrike shooting A4-E from VA-164.  Thank God, he came home in '73, but then the poor rascal ended up relieving me from a tedious Pentagon assignment in '77, with the remnants of McNamara's Whiz Kids . . . from the frying pan to the fire?

About a week later, we were sent back to Van Nhue again.  This time they were really ready!  John Laughter joined on my wing shortly after the cat shot and we rendezvoused with the strike group (led by "Bummie Spediveckie" aka VA-164's Ops Officer Bob Arnold).  As the only two MIGCAP aircraft assigned for the mission, John and I were a few miles "out front" of about a dozen A4 bombers.  We could expect to be hit by MiG-21's from either side during our run in.  The Gomers had established a tactic where Fishbeds would be positioned in a high orbit along our run-in line and would push over for a supersonic pass to salvo their Atolls.  Ideally, that would happen simultaneously with MiG-17's hitting the strike head on.  However, if the Frescos were not airborne, the -21's would likely attack before we entered the SAM envelope.

After going feet dry, John and I began a weave across the front of the strike group; keeping eyes on both sides and with enough altitude to accelerate and counter the -21's.  We were about half-way to the target, when my radio failed – completely!  I signaled my problem by rocking my wings violently and John immediately reacted by joining on my wing so we could communicate with hand-signals.  Now, the ROE for NORDO (no radio) over the beach were clear.  Proceed immediately feet wet and get back to the ship so they wouldn't think you were missing.  If you were a flight of two, join-up and go feet wet was the order of the day!  John acknowledged my passing him the lead of our section, but when he indicated we were turning back, I gave him a violent negative headshake.  Didn't have to tell that Tiger twice!  He immediately signaled the sliced hand forward towards the windscreen.  We were in the fight to stay!  I slid out into fighter-wing, about 1,500 feet aft at a 45 degree angle; and, for the next 30 minutes, was treated to one of the most spectacular events a combat pilot could ever witness . . . and pray to survive!

We had approached the target from the ridge line northeast of Hanoi, and they waited until we turned south for the city before all hell broke loose. The skies filled with Soviet SA-2 SAM trails.  Orange balls of fire on the ground where they were lifting off, then the higher contrails . . . if they missed.  The word during the intelligence briefing for the strike was that a load of missiles had arrived at Haiphong a few days earlier, and they were expected to be in position.  They were!  Ethan Allen (RB-66's later reported monitoring 108 electronic transmissions for SAM's being "guided" during the time of our attack.  Visual reports confirmed at least 44 missiles fired at our 22 aircraft.
It was like a silent movie in my NORDO cockpit!  White missile trails, orange fireballs of exploding SAM warheads, then a tremendous amount of black and grey explosions as the Hanoi-complex sites joined the battle; hundreds of cannons and thousands of small arms.  Through it all, Nugget John Laughter kept us in a perfect protective position, first in front the strike group, then a wide circle around the "mouth of hell," then again the protective weave above the last of those incredibly brave Skyhawk drivers as they fought their way back down the Red River, and finally monitoring "tail-end Charlie" Skyhawk Pilot Marv Reynolds.  Marv had been hit by a SAM, but he made it back to Oriskany.  His A4 was in such bad shape it was beyond Oriskany's repair capabilities.

The MiG's didn't show up for the fight.  Probably too smart to go anywhere near that chaos!  Maybe they saw the radar blips of John and me in a position that could give them problems if they tried to dive in, or maybe our real contribution was simply adding two more targets for the Gomers to choose from.  Whatever . . . we didn't lose any Yankee Station Assets on that mission, and "Bummie" and his wingy put their bombs into the headquarters building.

Bummie again showed initiative and decisiveness under pressure a couple weeks later, when Oriskany was back in Subic Bay, RP, for a few days of R&R.  One dark and steaming night most of the Air Wing decided to "live it up" at the Subic Club and give the bartenders at the Cubi Club a well-deserved rest.  When the Subic Club closed that night, a 40-passenger bus was waiting to take some of us back to Oriskany.  Unfortunately, the driver was not to be found!  We (including CAG Shepherd and some squadron CO's) sat in that hot bus for what seemed too long; then Bummie rose from his seat, staggered down the aisle, and settled into the driver's seat.  The engine roared to life, and we were underway for the 20-minute ride over the rough road that circled the marshy area of the bay as it wound its way to the pier.  Bummie was offered all sorts of navigation assistance, but kept us on an even keel . . . until the red lights of the angry base police closed in from behind.  Not to be outsmarted, Bummie pulled over, stopped abruptly, and hurried back to his seat.  When the police entered the "reportedly stolen" bus, they immediately inquired as to the whereabouts of the driver.  CAG volunteered that he was last seen running into the bushes alongside the road.  Although his statement did not require confirmation, it was affirmed by cheers from fore to aft!

I don't have access to John Laughter's log book, but I'd bet one-half of his first 500 hours in the Crusader are in green ink.  The color of courage under fire!  I was the Sundowner's Ops Officer and John was my Flight Officer.  He always wrote the next day's flight schedule and I presented it to Skipper Bob Rasmussen for signature.  I don't recall Old Nick ONE ever making a change.  It would have been normal for John Laughter to wonder why our Brown Bear section necessarily appeared on the "going down town" Alpha Strike schedule so often . . . Years later, he shared with me the thought "it was just what Brown Bear's did!"  God bless you, Brown Bear Two, and thanks for "taking the lead" that crazy 4 August '67 day over North Vietnam, and for keeping me in the fight and alive through many of my "231 over the North."

Very Respectfully Submitted,
Dr. Dick Schaffert, Captain US Navy (retired) aka Brown Bear One
Thanks to Carl……have no words for this that are printable.
Jonn Lilyea | July 27, 2017 11 Comments
Anthony Ventura, a Vietnam War Navy pilot and Treasurer of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society pleaded guilty in a San Diego courtroom yesterday to embezzling $140,000, according to the San Diego Tribune;
Anthony Ventura, a naval aviator in Vietnam who himself has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, began taking funds after filing for personal bankruptcy in 2014, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He opened a secret credit union account and put $124,000 in society assets there to spend at his leisure. He spent more than $30,000 to operate his horses, Sovran Star Stables; $67,000 to buy stocks and bonds; and $25,600 in other personal living expenses.
According to Fox5, the IRS and FBI cooperated on the investigation since Ventura filed false reports to the IRS.
"It is unfortunate that Naval Veteran Anthony Ventura's service to this country will now be tarnished by his decision to embezzle funds from the Distinguished Flying Cross Society, which also led him to file a fraudulent tax return on its behalf," said Damon Rowe, the special agent in charge of the IRS criminal investigation. "Mr. Ventura ignored his duty to file an accurate tax return and will now be labeled a convicted felon, in addition to a decorated naval aviator."
The defendant was previously awarded the Vietnam Service Medal, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Bronze Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross, said Robinson. After his military career, he worked as a Senior Vice President of Wachova Securities.
Navy vet pleads guilty to embezzling from Distinguished Flying Cross Society
July 25, 2017 
The former treasurer of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society, a San Diego-based nonprofit that honors recipients of the elite aviation medal, pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday to embezzling $124,000 in charity funds for fund his personal lifestyle, including keeping a private stable of horses.
Anthony Ventura, a naval aviator in Vietnam who himself has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, began taking funds after filing for personal bankruptcy in 2014, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. He opened a secret credit union account and put $124,000 in society assets there to spend at his leisure. He spent more than $30,000 to operate his horses, Sovran Star Stables; $67,000 to buy stocks and bonds; and $25,600 in other personal living expenses.
Ventura, 71, of Lincoln, a town north of Sacramento, has a background in finance, including serving as a senior vice president at Wachovia Securities after his military career.
The Distinguished Flying Cross is awarded to pilots and aircrew across all five military branches "for heroism or outstanding achievement" in aviation, in times of war and peace.
The first medal was awarded to Charles A. Lindbergh for his solo transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis in 1927. Other recipients include Amelia Earhart and the Wright brothers.
The society aims to preserve the medal's history and helps educate youngsters about aviation lore. It also awards higher education scholarships to family members of medal recipients.
As part of his plea agreement, Ventura has agreed to forfeit the money and pay restitution.
Thanks to Curt
Subject: We are looking for some U.S. pilots who flew against NVN MiGs in the Vietnam War!
We are looking for some U.S. pilots who flew against NVN MiGs in the Vietnam War!
   In April of 2016 eleven U.S. pilots met in Hanoi with a group of former NVN pilots.  The purpose of the meeting was to have pilots from both sides meet the pilot/pilots they engaged in combat over 44 years ago.  Four of the U.S. pilots were able to meet VN pilots from their engagement (or the family of the pilot from their engagement).
  This September 20-23, 2017, eight Vietnamese pilots (listed below) are traveling to San Diego to meet again with U.S. pilots.  We are attempting to locate and invite the 66 US pilots who had air engagements with these eight MiG pilots. We have found 34 of these pilots. We need your help to find contact information for the remaining 32 pilots – please check the following list.
Need contact info for these pilots:
USN: Leonard Eastman, Randy Foltz, Jim Fox, George Goryanec, Gerry Hill, Allen Junker, Jim Laing, Dan Macintyre, Ron Pearson, and Charles Stackhouse.
USAF: Wilfred Abbott, Lynn Aikman, Ralph Beardsley, Eldon Binkley, Brooks (F-4D 523 TFS), Cecil Brunson, Hubert Buchanan, A. G. Eggert, Jeromew Heeren, Latella (F-105G 307 TFS), John Markel, R.C. Miller, Ralph Picket, Brian Ratzlaff, Garry Rubus, Gary Sholders, Fred Tracy, Vaughan (F-4D), J.P. White, W.R. Whyatt, Myron Young.
    If you are on this list, or feel you should be, or have contact information for any of these pilots, please contact Curt Dose at or (858) 663-7271. Forward this email to all the U.S. Vietnam pilots and groups that you know. Please put forwarding email addresses in the "bcc" line so as not to generate spam for receivers.
   We are also seeking U.S. pilots who had other MiG engagements, all pilots who flew combat in Vietnam, and anyone else who wants to attend. Everyone is welcome. The USS Midway Museum is hosting a flight deck reception and panel discussion between some of the VN and U.S. pilots on September 21st. If you are interested in attending this or other events where the VN pilots will be present please contact Charlie Tutt at or (404) 405-0084 for details on the events. 
   Once we know you are interested, we'll put you on an event email list, and notify you with the group-rate hotel, the events schedule, details and updates. There will be opportunities to meet and speak, through translators, with the MiG pilots, and with your fellow U.S. pilots.
Come Witness Former U.S. and North Vietnam Aviators Reconcile
in an Emotional Night of Discussion, Memories and Friendship
 Visiting Vietnamese MiG Pilots:
1. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Duc Soat              MiG-21
2. Sen. Col Nguyen Van Bay               MiG-17                       
3. Sen. Col. Tu De                                 MiG-17
4. Sen. Col. Le Thanh Dao                   MiG-21
5. Sen. Col. Nguyen Van Nghia           MiG-21
6. Col. Nguyen Sy Hung                       MiG-21
7. Sen. Col. Nguyen Thanh Quy          MiG-21
8. Sen. Col. Ha Quang Hung                MiG-21
Thanks, Curt "Dozo" Dose' - MiG-21 kill 5/10/72
(858) 663-7271
Thanks to the Old bandit
Op-ed from the Washington Times by Admiral James A. "Ace" Lyons, USN (Ret.)

Restoring the Military's Moral Underpinnings
Obama's social engineering mandates did nothing to improve military readiness
By James A. Lyons - - Sunday, July 23, 2017
The Trump administration came to power with a clear mandate to restore U.S. military credibility, effectiveness, and capabilities. Such a mandate involves reversing not only the debilitating impact of sequestration on our declining military force structure, but also the Obama administration social engineering mandates forced on our military.
These mandates did nothing to improve readiness or capabilities.  They destroyed unit integrity, cohesiveness, and the "will to win."  Clearly, under President Obama's plan to fundamentally change America, the degradation of our military forces was a key element.  The capitulation of our military leadership to accept these mandates was more than shocking, as it was a manifestation of the corrupt "political correctness" mentality run amok.  
Civilian laws and different lifestyles which may be acceptable in a civil society should not be forced on the institution of the military. The military as an institution is not an equal opportunity employer. The military's mandate is to protect and defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  Therefore, the military as an institution must have laws, regulations, and procedures to ensure the maintenance of good order and discipline in order to successfully complete its mission. 
In June 2015, as part of the social engineering transformation of our military, the Department of Defenseadded "sexual orientation" to Military Equal Opportunity" categories; thereby, making the military institution just another equal opportunity employer. As a follow on, in June 2016, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter issued the initial directive ordering the military services to accept transgender personnel. How then did homosexuality and transgenders get accepted into the military culture?
In an excellent article by Mark A. Hewitt on July 17, 2017 in the American Thinker, he outlines how the American left and LGBT activists hijacked the American Psychological Association and, in effect, "normalized" personality disorders.
They successfully lobbied the APA to eliminate some of the sexual identity disorders from their "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (DSM). In the U.S., the DSM not only serves as a universal authority for psychiatric diagnoses but more importantly, the Department of Defense relies on the DSM as its source reference for psychiatric diagnoses and mental disorders.
In 1968, homosexuality was listed in the DSM as a mental disorder. With constant pressure from the left and LGBT activists, the APA compromised itself by removing homosexuality from the DSM and replaced it with a nondescript "sexual orientation disturbance" for people "in conflict with" their sexual orientation.
Under constant pressure, the APA members removed homosexuality from the DSM in 1987 by a "majority vote." With the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repeal Act of 2010, another LGBT agenda goal was achieved to the detriment of the military services.
With the success the left and LGBT activists had on "normalizing" homosexuality, they used the same formula on the acceptability of transgenderism. In 2012, transvestitism was eliminated from the DSM and replaced with a "gender identity disorder." It was further redefined as a "gender dysphoria." What this did, in effect, was to remove all implication that transgenderism is a mental illness.
Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former head psychiatrist for Johns Hopkins Hospital, has stated many times that transgenderism is a "mental disorder" that requires treatment and understanding. He further states that a sex change is "biologically" impossible. Further, it should never be forced on the military.
With the change in the latest fifth edition of DSM, the APA voted against Dr. McHugh and his group of like-minded psychiatrists. Regrettably, with the APA and the DSM, if you get enough votes, you can redefine, normalize, and ultimately legitimize any mental disorder. Common sense be damned. Mr. Obama and Mr. Carter had their justification.
In June 2015, with transgenderism voted out of the DSM, LGBT activists had one more urgent objective and that was to end the ban on transgender people serving in the military. Mr. Carter's June 2016 directive took care of that. Even though a transgender person is mentally unstable and should never qualify for military service, unbelievably, there was no outcry from either congressional or military leadership.
These administration directives, in effect, made the military institution accept the LGBT agenda as law.
On July 13, 2017, the House of Representatives voted on an amendment to the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act offered by Rep. Vicky Harztler, Missouri Republican. The amendment would have prohibited the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for expensive "gender-reassignment" surgery as well as life-long hormone therapy for military personnel suffering from gender dysphoria.
Unbelievably, it failed to pass by just five votes, 209-214 with 24 Republicans joining with all Democrats who voted. Regrettably, this is another indication of failed Republican leadership — actually, we have none. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who missed the vote, apparently provided no leadership at all.
The other main social engineering mandate was to open all combat roles to women, including our Special Forces and U.S. Navy SEAL Teams. There have been many studies conducted including a special 9-month study by the Marine Corps, which clearly point out the physical limitations of women in direct ground (infantry) combat.
Clearly, all of the Obama administration's social engineering mandates must be canceled. The moral underpinnings of our military must be restored. Further, since the DSM has been fully compromised by the left and the LGBT activists, it should no longer be used by the DOD for guidance and should be decertified. There is only one criteria that should apply and that is mission success. Anything that detracts from that objective must be discarded.
• James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.
Item Number:1 Date: 07/28/2017 AFGHANISTAN - DISTRICT IN GHOR PROVINCE TAKEN BACK FROM TALIBAN (JUL 28/TN)  TOLONEWS -- The Defense Ministry in Afghanistan says Afghan commandos have regained control of a district in the nation's western Ghor province from the Taliban, reports Tolo News (Afghanistan).   Backed by Afghan air force airstrikes, the troops drove the Taliban from the center of Taywara district on early Thursday after two days of fighting, said the ministry on Thursday, as cited by China's Xinhua.   The Taliban gained control of the district on July 23, noted Reuters.   Provincial officials said 13 insurgents were killed; there were no known Afghan casualties.
 Item Number:2 Date: 07/28/2017 AFGHANISTAN - DOMESTIC FORCES LAUNCH MULTIPLE OPERATIONS; AT LEAST 149 MILITANTS PERISH (JUL 28/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Afghan Defense Ministry says that domestic security forces killed up to 149 insurgents, including nine commanders, during operations earlier this week, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The ministry said on Thursday that, over the previous 24 hours, government security forces "launched several military operations across the country, killing at least 149 insurgents including nine Taliban's commanders, three Al-Qaida members and eight Islamic State fighters," said a ministry statement.   As many as 116 militants were reportedly injured in the operations.   Over the previous day, there were operations in parts of the Nangarhar, Kunar, Nuristan, Kapisa, Wordak, Paktia, Paktika, Urozgan, Herat, Ghor, Kunduz, Faryab, Baghlan, Badakhshan and Helmand provinces, the statement said.   These missions included 17 clean-up, 25 special and two night operations, the ministry said.   The ministry did not mention any casualties suffered by the security forces
Item Number:3 Date: 07/28/2017 CANADA - DEFENSE DEPT. ORDERS 1,148 7.62-MM GENERAL-PURPOSE MACHINE GUNS (JUL 28/CDND)  CANADA DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE -- The Canadian Dept. of National Defense says it is ordering new general-purpose machine guns from Colt Canada to replace aging weapons.   Plans call for buying 1,148 of the 7.62-mm machine guns, noted IHS Jane's Defence Weekly on Thursday.   The new C6A1 FLEX general-purpose machine guns will replace existing C6 weapons, which were purchased more than 30 years ago. Some of those weapons have already been removed from service, while others are reaching the end of their service lives, the department said in July 26 release.   The C6A1 FLEX is designed to be carried by soldiers or mounted on vehicles, such as the army's new Tactical Armored Patrol Vehicle (TAPV).   The weapon features a durable polymer butt stock instead of the existing wooden one. Pointing devices and optical sighting systems can be mounted as required.   Deliveries under the Can$32.1 million (US$25.4 million) deal will start in September 2018 and conclude in June 2019
Item Number:4 Date: 07/28/2017 ESTONIA - E.U. DEFENSE MINISTERS SET FOR TALLINN TABLETOP CYBER EXERCISE IN SEPTEMBER (JUL 28/EMOD)  ESTONIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- As part of its term holding the rotating presidency of the European Union, the government of Estonia is going to hold a strategic-level tabletop cyber defense exercise for E.U. defense ministers in September, reports the Estonian Ministry of Defense.   The goal is to identify the limits of E.U. and NATO responsibility in such attacks as well as those situations where cooperation between the two organizations is necessary, said Estonian Defense Minister Juri Luik.   "There are no borders between countries or organizations on the Internet, and when it comes to countering threats on the internet, barriers between European Union and NATO cooperation must be reduced," the minister said, as quoted in a release on Thursday.   The EU CYBRID exercise, the first event of its kind, is scheduled for Sept. 7 in Tallinn.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 07/28/2017 INDIA - AL-QAIDA SETS UP WING IN KASHMIR; NEW LEADER BROKE WITH HIZBUL MUJAHIDEEN IN MAY (JUL 28/BEN)  BENAR -- Al-Qaida has announced the establishment of a new wing in Indian-run Kashmir, reports Benar News.   Police in India are investigating reports about the action, reports the Voice of America News.   On Thursday, Al-Qaida announced the formation of Ansar Ghawzat-Ul-Hind. The group is to be led by local commander Zakir Musa, according to Al-Qaida's Global Islamic Media Front.   He previously was a leader of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), which reportedly disapproved Musa's urging of the beheading of "separatist leaders, especially those who describe Kashmir as a mere political issue" and not a religious war for an Islamic state, reported the Hindu.   The 24-year-old Musa was forced out of HM in May, noted Benar News.   Musa may have been joined by about a dozen of other militants.   Kashmir's police chief said that they would monitor the impact of the announcement. Anyone who picks up a gun to fight the state is a terrorist, regardless of which group, he said.   Both Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba said that there was no room for international terror groups such as the Islamic State or Al-Qaida in the separatist insurgency in Indian Kashmir. Those groups "are being brought up to label the legitimate freedom struggle as terrorism
Item Number:6 Date: 07/28/2017 IRAN - U.S. SEES TEHRAN'S SPACE ROCKET LAUNCH TO BE BREACH OF U.N. RESOLUTION, VIOLATION OF SPIRIT OF NUCLEAR DEAL (JUL 28/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Iran's test on Thursday of a satellite-carrying rocket is part of Tehran's continued ballistic missile development, say U.S. officials, as reported by Agence France-Presse.   Iranian state media reported that a Simorgh (Phoenix) launch vehicle was launched from the Imam Khomeini space center in the eastern Semnan province. The exact timing of the launch was unclear, reported the Washington Post.   The State Dept. called the launch a "provocative action" that violated a U.N. resolution against activities involving ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.   State also said the action was "a violation of the spirit" of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six world powers.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 07/28/2017 ITALY - ROME CONSIDERS NAVAL DEPLOYMENT OFF LIBYA TO STOP FLOOD OF MIGRANTS (JUL 28/REU)  REUTERS -- Italy may deploy ships to Libyan waters by the end of August to help combat human-trafficking, says a government source cited by Reuters.   A plan for such a mission is expected to be brought to the Cabinet on Friday. A parliamentary vote on the proposal may be held next week, said the source on Thursday.   In 2017 alone, nearly 100,000 migrants have arrived in Italy – from Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. More than 2,000 migrants have died at sea this year, noted the New York Times.   The exact number of ships and personnel is still being worked out, the source noted. Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that the mission could involve a command ship with five smaller vessels. Up to 1,000 sailors could be deployed along with planes, helicopters and drones.   Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Serraj, the head of the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli, made a request for Italian naval help during a visit to Rome on Wednesday.   Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni then met with military chiefs and ministers to discuss the situation in Libya. Details of the plan will be presented to Parliament on Tuesday, he said
  Item Number:8 Date: 07/28/2017 NIGERIA - NAVY DECIDES TO PUT WAR COLLEGE IN CROSS RIVER STATE (JUL 28/THIS)  THIS DAY -- A top Nigerian naval official says his service will establish a naval war college in Cross River State in the southern part of Nigeria, reports This Day (Lagos).   Rear Adm. Victor Olugbemi Adedipe, the head of the Eastern Naval Command, announced the plan during Wednesday's visit to the governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade.   Adedipe recently assumed command of the Eastern Naval Command.   The admiral urged the governor to follow the Land Use Act for the project.   The navy will cooperate with the state government in combating criminal activities, said the officer.   Ayade, for his part, called for the navy to help secure the construction of the Bakassi deep sea port, which is scheduled to begin in August.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 07/28/2017 PHILIPPINES - MILITARY WILL USE NEW DONATED U.S. CESSNAS FOR PATROLS, RECON (JUL 28/PHILNA)  PHILIPPINES NEWS AGENCY -- The Philippine military has taken delivery of two donated Cessna 208B Caravan intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft from the United States, reports the Philippines News Agency.   The turnover ceremony was on Thursday at the Villamoor Air Base, noted the Philippine Daily Inquirer.   The aircraft will be used to patrol the island nation's extensive maritime territory and borders as well as on photo-reconnaissance missions of coastal areas, said a military spokesman on Wednesday.   The brand new Cessna 208Bs are equipped with electro-optical sensors and other surveillance equipment to detect ships in the South China Sea and Sulu Sea, said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.   The aircraft are each worth US$2 million. The entire package, including surveillance equipment, totaled about US$30 million, officials said.   Two ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles are also slated to be handed over by September to support Philippine forces fighting Islamist militants
Item Number:10 Date: 07/28/2017 RUSSIA - FSB ARRESTS 7 CENTRAL ASIANS FOR PLOTTING ATTACKS IN ST. PETERSBURG (JUL 28/TASS)  TASS -- Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has announced the arrests of seven suspects from Central Asia plotting terrorist attacks in St. Petersburg, reported Tass.   The suspects were picked up Friday for planning terror attacks against St. Petersburg's railway transport and public places, said the FSB.   The location of the arrests was not specified.   Russian officials said Thursday that security forces have prevented 12 terrorist attacks over the previous six months. An attack on April 3 on the St. Petersburg metro killed 14 people and injured more than 50.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 07/28/2017 RUSSIA - FOLLOWING SANCTIONS MOVE IN WASHINGTON, MOSCOW SEIZES PROPERTIES, ORDERS DIPLOMATS TO LEAVE (JUL 28/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- The Russian government has just announced it is seizing two American diplomatic properties in Russia and ordered the U.S. to cut the number of its diplomatic staff, reports CNN.   The Foreign Ministry on Friday ordered the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok to reduce their diplomatic and technical staff to 455 by Sept. 1. That is the same number Russia has in the U.S.   The government also suspended the use of a U.S. storage facility in Moscow and country house outside of the Russian capital by Aug. 1.   Moscow had been threatening to retaliate against U.S. actions. In December, former President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and seized two estates, accusing Moscow of interference in the 2016 presidential election.   On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed legislation enacting new sanctions on Russia, as well as Iran and North Korea. It requires the signature of President Donald Trump
Item Number:12 Date: 07/28/2017 SAUDI ARABIA - HOUTHI MISSILE AIMED AT MECCA KNOCKED DOWN BY PATRIOT (JUL 28/SAUDIPA)  SAUDI PRESS AGENCY -- Officials from the Saudi-led coalition and Saudi officials say air defense forces in Saudi Arabia have intercepted a missile fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen toward the holy city of Mecca, reports the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).   The missile was downed late Thursday over the Wasaliyah area of Taif province, about 42 miles from Mecca, said a statement from the coalition command. No damage was reported.   The missile was intercepted with a Patriot missile, reported Al Arabiya. A coalition aircraft reportedly destroyed the launch pad.   The attack was called "a desperate attempt to spoil the Hajj pilgrimage" set to begin next month, the statement said
Item Number:13 Date: 07/28/2017 SOUTH KOREA - MILITARY FINDS LAND MINE, APPARENTLY CARRIED FROM N. KOREA BY HEAVY RAINS (JUL 28/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean military says it has found a North Korean wooden-box land mine, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   A navy unit found the mine Thrursday on an islet near the western maritime border. The unit was searching for such weapons, said the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff.   The mine was likely swept away from North Korea by recent heavy rains, said the military. It was destroyed by a bomb defusal team.   The military believes the North deliberately sets mines to be carried by the rains.   The military warned locals to be on the lookout for such mines.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 07/28/2017 SYRIA - WASHINGTON ENDS SUPPORT TO REBEL GROUP FOR OPPOSING ASSAD, NOT ISIS (JUL 28/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- The United States says it has cut its ties with a rebel group in Syria for not fighting the Islamic State, but focusing on toppling the Assad regime, reports the Voice of America News.   American forces are "in the process of ceasing our support and receiving the equipment" that was given to the Shohada al-Qartyan (ShQ) group in southern Syria, said a coalition spokesman on Thursday.   The group is "engaged in activities not focused on fighting ISIS," the spokesman said. "We have made it very clear time and again that our goal in Syria and in Iraq is to fight ISIS and to fight ISIS only," he added.   The group attacked pro-government forces outside a so-called deconfliction zone around a military base in al-Tanf, where coalition forces have been training rebels for action against ISIS, said U.S. officials.   ShQ has left the base, reported the BBC. Other local allies are still cooperating with advisers, said officials.   The U.S. intends to get back the weapons and equipment supplied to the group, American officials told Military Times
Item Number:15 Date: 07/28/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - BRITISH GOVERNMENT REVISITS DEFENSE CAPABILITIES 'IN LIGHT OF BREXIT,' SAYS FALLON (JUL 28/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The British government is re-evaluating its 2015 Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR), reports Defense News.   The Defense Minister, Treasury and other key departments are participating in the review of national security capabilities, with a report anticipated by the end of the year.   The work supports the implementation of the 2015 review and national security strategy, said a statement from the Cabinet Office, which is leading the latest evaluation.   "The national security capability review will include examination of the policy and plans which support implementation of the national security strategy, and help to ensure that the U.K.'s investment in national security capabilities is as joined-up, effective and efficient as possible, to address current national security challenges," said the statement.   The Defense Ministry component of the review has been underway for around a month and is expected to last 60 days, said unnamed industry officials.   During a recent visit to Washington, D.C., Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told reporters that it was "reasonable" to review the SDSR "in the light of Brexit from 2019 onwards," as quoted in Newsweek
Item Number:16 Date: 07/28/2017 USA - GAO RECOMMENDS THAT COAST GUARD DEVELOP LONG-TERM MODERNIZATION PLAN THAT REFLECTS BUDGET REALITIES (JUL 28/USNIN)  USNI NEWS -- The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a new report urging the Coast Guard to present a 20-year fleet modernization plan that identifies what the service intends to buy and the projected costs, reports USNI News.   Such changes are needed because of current plans to buy heavy icebreakers and offshore patrol cutters during the same timeframe, said the report, which was published on July 25.   The GAO study did not provide new recommendations on how to proceed. The agency noted that it was repeating the findings of a 2014 report that called for the same approach.   That study focused on the projected costs of modernization the command, control, computers, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities on Coast Guard aircraft and ships.   This year's GAO report covers the potential risk of moving forward with a replacement for the Polar Star heavy icebreaker and the procurement of the offshore patrol cutter. The latter is anticipated to cost $12.1 billion through 2032.   The GAO noted that the Coast Guard has been submitting a five-year capital investment plan annually to Congress, but these submissions "do not match budget realities in that tradeoffs are not included."   In the 20-year plan, "all acquisitions needed to maintain current service levels and the fiscal resources to build the identified assets as well as tradeoffs in light of funding restraints" should be identified
Item Number:17 Date: 07/28/2017 USA - HEAD OF STRATCOM DETAILS HIS SWEEPING CHANGES (JUL 28/BREAKDEF)  BREAKING DEFENSE -- The head of the U.S. Strategic Command has confirmed that he ordered a number of significant changes at the command, reports Breaking Defense.   Word about the reforms emerged more than two months ago.   Gen. John Hyten said on July 26 that he has eliminated the Joint Functional Component Commands for space, global strike, cyber, integrated missile defense, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.   In their place, the general said he established one command for space, one for air, one for maritime and one for missile defense. The cyber component command has been integrated with the independent Cyber Command, as ordered by Congress.   The new commands have also been renamed Joint Force Component Commands.   Hyten also acknowledged that he abolished the six nuclear task forces that were responsible for airborne tankers, Atlantic and Pacific nuclear missile submarines, strategic communications, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). They are now grouped within the four commanders now responsible to the STRATCOM chief
Item Number:18 Date: 07/28/2017 USA - TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON SENIOR VENEZUELAN OFFICIALS (JUL 28/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- The U.S. government has imposed new sanctions on 13 top Venezuelan government officials, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   The measures, unveiled on Wednesday by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, target current and former government officials, high-ranking military officers and managers of the PDVSA state oil company for alleged human-rights abuses, undermining democracy and corruption.   The move was part of an international effort to pressure Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to cancel an election on July 30 to choose members for a new body able to rewrite the country's constitution, dissolve Congress and change the nation's laws, noted the Financial Times (U.K.).   Opposition activists have launched a 48-hour strike to protest the vote, which they say will mark end democratic processes and could lead to a dictatorship.   "Anyone elected to the national constituent assembly should know that their role in undermining democratic processes and institutions in Venezuela could expose them to potential U.S. sanctions," said Mnuchin.   The sanctioned include Nestor Reverol, the interior minister for security; army chief Jesus Suarez; and national police director Carlos Perez
Item Number:19 Date: 07/28/2017 USA - USMC RESERVES HALTS FLIGHTS OF KC-130T TANKERS; INVESTIGATION CONTINUES OF DEADLY CRASH (JUL 28/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve has grounded its fleet of KC-130T tanker aircraft after a deadly crash in Mississippi earlier this month, reports the Stars and Stripes, citing a Reserve spokeswoman.   The KC-130T went down on July 10 in LeFlore County, about 85 miles north of Jackson, killing 15 Marines and a sailor.   The spokeswoman said on Thursday that the fleet had been grounded indefinitely "out of an abundance of caution" pending an investigation.   The service's 12 KC-130Ts belong to Marine Aerial Refueling and Transport Squadron 452, Marine Air Group 49, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing. They are all based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y.   Marine officials previously said that problems began in mid-air at cruise altitude.   The four-engine turboprop is used for aerial refueling. This variant of the C-130 is used by the Marines, Navy and Coast Guard
  Item Number:20 Date: 07/28/2017 USA - USN, USAF AWARD INITIAL PRODUCTION CONTRACT TO LOCKHEED FOR LONG-RANGE ANTI-SHIP MISSILES (JUL 28/LM)  LOCKHEED MARTIN -- The U.S. Air Force and Navy have awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to begin production of the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), reports the defense firm.   Announced on July 25, the $86.5 million deal, the first production award for the air-launched version of the LRASM, covers 23 missiles and engineering support.   The LRASM is a precision-guided anti-ship standoff missile based on the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER). It is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships, note company officials.   The program calls for the missile to be integrated with Air Force B-1B bombers in 2018 and Navy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters in 2019.   Meanwhile, on July 26, Lockheed conducted the first launch of the surface-launched variant of the LRASM from a topside canister at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., the company said.

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