Friday, August 25, 2017

Fw: TheList 4531

The List 4531
To All,
Still catching up with some articles worth sharing.
Thanks to Micro
Only 42 seconds.

This video was made by a Vancouver, BC news anchor.
She first showed it at the closing of the news one day and it has gone viral.

Click on the link below.  
Enjoy com/embed/tHvExOg4NI0?rel=0

I felt sorry for Cooper... For about 2 seconds ......
Thanks to Richard
So true.....So Very True!!
A tribute to the good old days of flight! And to the aviators who lived through them...
​But a little bit sexist and insensitive!!  But who gives a S**T, No Political Correctness Here... great memories!

 The Age of the 707 / DC-8
/Lockheed Constellation
(Go to the overrun and suck the gear up)
Those were the good ole days.
Pilots back then were men that didn't want to be women or girly men.
Pilots all knew who Jimmy Doolittle was.
Pilots drank coffee, whiskey, smoked cigars and didn't wear digital watches.
They carried their own suitcases and brain bags, like the real men they were.
Pilots didn't bend over into the crash position multiple times each day in front of the passengers at security so that some Gov't agent could probe for tweezers or fingernail clippers or too much toothpaste.
Pilots did not go through the terminal impersonating a caddy pulling a bunch of golf clubs, computers, guitars, and feed bags full of tofu and granola on a sissy-trailer with no hat and granny glasses hanging on a pink string around their pencil neck while talking to their personal trainer on the cell phone!!!
Being an airline Captain was as good as being the King in a Mel Brooks movie. All the Stewardesses (aka. Flight Attendants) were young, attractive, single women that were proud to be combatants in the sexual revolution. They didn't have to turn sideways, grease up and suck it in to get through the cockpit door. They would blush, and say thank you, when told that they looked good, instead of filing a sexual harassment claim.
Junior Stewardesses shared a room and talked about men.... with no thoughts of substitution.
Passengers wore nice clothes and were polite; they could speak AND understand English. They didn't speak gibberish or listen to loud gangsta rap on their IPods. They bathed and didn't smell like a rotting pile of garbage in a jogging suit and flip-flops.
Children didn't travel alone, commuting between trailer parks.
There were no Biggest Losers asking for a seatbelt extension or a Scotch and grapefruit juice cocktail with a twist.
If the Captain wanted to throw some offensive, ranting jerk off the airplane, it was done without any worries of a lawsuit or getting fired.
Axial flow engines crackled with the sound of freedom and left an impressive black smoke trail like a locomotive burning soft coal.
Jet fuel was cheap and once the throttles were pushed up they were left there. After all, it was the jet age and the idea was to go fast (run like a lizard on a hardwood floor).
"Economy cruise" was something in the performance book, but no one knew why or where it was.
When the clacker went off, no one got all tight and scared because Boeing built it out of iron. Nothing was going to fall off and that sound had the same effect on real pilots then, as Viagra does now for these new age guys.
There was very little plastic and no composites on the airplanes (or the Stewardesses' pectoral regions).
Airplanes and women had eye-pleasing symmetrical curves, not a bunch of ugly vortex generators, ventral fins, winglets, flow diverters, tattoos, rings in their nose, tongues and eyebrows.
Airlines were run by men like Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, C.R. Smith and Juan Trippe,
who had built their companies virtually from scratch, knew most of their employees by name, and were lifetime airline employees themselves.. ..not pseudo financiers and bean counters who flit from one occupation to another for a few bucks, a better parachute or a fancier title, while fervently believing that they are a class of beings unto themselves. And so it was back then....and never will be again!
Damn!!! Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man.
What is first, you ask? Landing, of course.
Thanks to Mugs
This story is from Jeff "Beak" Howell, Lt Gen, USMC ®. He lives in our neck of the woods and has lots of F-4 tales from his flying career.
Have you ever experienced a "moment of truth", a cathartic event, which either changed the direction of your life or at least made you pause and reassess your purpose and priorities? I think that most people undergo such moments of truth more than once as they journey through life. Such an occurrence happened to me in 1980, an occurrence that took me on a wild emotional roller coaster over a thirty six hour period and affected my perspective and outlook on life to this very day.
The place was Misawa Air Base in northern Honshu, Japan.  It was March and still very cold at this windy base, located just south of the channel of water that separates Honshu from the northern island of Hokkaido.  I was in command of Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 212 and had led a detachment of F-4S, Phantom, aircraft to Misawa from our 'temporary' home base of MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, in southern Honshu, where we had been located during a six month deployment from the United States. The F-4S was the latest version of the venerable two seat aircraft that had been flown by all of the services during and after the Vietnam War.
The purpose of our detachment was to link-up with a Japanese fighter squadron and to introduce them to basic one versus one and two versus two air combat maneuvering [ACM, i.e., dog fighting] tactics. Our training partners were a Japanese fighter squadron flying the Mitsubishi F-1, a single seat, needle-nosed supersonic fighter that looked much like a smaller version of the American F-5, Freedom Fighter. This was to be a trial program. If successful it would supposedly lead to more similar combined US-Japanese training exercises.  The Japanese Air Defense Force [JASDF] had long been restricted in the amount of offensive combat tactics that they were allowed to teach their fighter pilots. In 1980, 35 years after WWII, the restrictions were being loosened.
Our detachment was well qualified and prepared for this mission. We were staffed with seasoned aircrews, many of whom were graduates of Top-Gun and WTI formal training. We had also been together for over two years with little turn-over of personnel. We were on our second 6 month deployment to Japan in the past two years, so we were very comfortable flying in that environment.
Our operations staff had set-up a demanding, but realistic syllabus that stressed strict rules of engagement to ensure safe flying in a very dynamic scenario. Examples of these rules included 'hard decks', i.e., base altitudes that could not be violated; strict English-only radio transmissions by all hands, including ground radar controllers; situational awareness requirements--prohibiting aircraft from entering a mature engagement without all other aircraft in sight. The rules of engagement were required briefing items before every mission and were strictly enforced in flight.
The first week of training focused on one versus one maneuvering and went by very smoothly. We found the Japanese pilots to be highly skilled. They mastered the maneuvers quickly and flew their aircraft aggressively.  The F-4S was more maneuverable than the Mitsubishi F-1 because of its better wing-loading and roll rates. [For F-4 pilots this was an unusual circumstance. Within the US Fighter community the F-4 was not known for its superior maneuverability.] This resulted in the F-4s regularly gaining an advantage during the engagements after a couple of turns, and as a result we sensed a growing frustration among our Japanese aircrews as the week progressed.
The incident leading to the 'moment of truth' occurred during the second week of training during a two versus two engagement.  The fight started with our two sections separated by 30 miles flying toward one another. My section was flying abeam in a 'combat spread' formation, separated about one mile from one another. On our radars, my wingman [Pagan with Coyote in the back] and we [Beak and Clutch] could see that our adversaries were in a trail formation, with one of the aircraft flying 5 miles in front of the other. This was something our adversaries had not tried thus far, but it was a tactic we had seen many times in the past. Their hope was that we would converge on the lead aircraft so that the trailer could slip in behind and get a shot at one of us.
We agreed to let the lead aircraft fly through our formation and to converge on the trailer. If the lead turned on one of us, that aircraft would engage him and the second aircraft would go after the trailer. As we predicted, the lead aircraft flew right by us at high speed without turning and was quickly out of sight. We, in turn, engaged the trailer, who made a hard turn at me, resulting in a close pass between our aircraft. I pulled my aircraft straight up into the vertical, sensing that he didn't have the energy to follow me up, and Pagan quickly maneuvered to get behind him for a simulated missile shot.
In just a few seconds I had reversed my direction and was now flying almost straight down with my nose pointed at the adversary aircraft. He was in a level hard left turn, trying to hold off Pagan who was following him and about to get nose on for a kill shot. There was also a lot of urgent sounding chatter in Japanese coming over the radio. Pagan was engaged and my job at that time was to protect him. With that in mind I rolled inverted so that Clutch and I could perform a 'Belly Check' to make sure the other F-1 wasn't sneaking up on us.
It was at that instant that there was a loud 'BANG!!' and everything seemed to go haywire in my airplane. It was very noisy and confusing, the nose of my aircraft was coming apart, and it seemed like the aircraft was going out of control. That moment of bedlam in the cockpit seemed like an eternity, but it only lasted a few seconds. As I adjusted my throttles and pulled back the stick to bring the aircraft to level flight, it responded as advertised.  Even though I didn't see it happen, it was obvious that something had passed in front of our F-4 and taken the tip of my radome with it. Almost simultaneously I was trying to figure out what had happened, to keep my aircraft flying and to alert the other aircraft to 'knock-off' the engagement and that I had an emergency. I also pointed the aircraft toward Misawa. We were about eighty miles from base, over the Sea of Japan. I vividly remember noting how cold the water looked and hoping that I wouldn't have to go swimming in it that day.
By this time, my wingman had joined-up and I asked him to check over my aircraft. Big sheets of wound nylon were unraveling from my nose cone and flapping violently against my canopy and the sides of the F-4. As the nylon sheets grew longer, they were reaching the intakes to my engines, creating even more concern about the damage they might do to them. Inside the cockpit, despite the noise and restricted visibility caused by the 'decomposing' nose cone, all instruments appeared normal. We might make it home after all. I also noted our two Japanese adversaries flying past in formation as they, too, headed back to Misawa.
After flying around my F-4 and inspecting it as best as he could, Pagan declared "Beak, there's something wrong with your nose." I thanked him for the astute observation. What followed was seemingly an eternity to get back to base and make a normal straight in landing at Misawa. The plane held together and Clutch did a great job reviewing all of our potential emergency procedures with me as well as assuring me that we were OK. Terra firma really felt good under our wheels as we rolled out. I will never forget the expression on the Marine plane captain's face when I pulled into the flight line and he saw the shattered nose of my F-4. The excitement was over. Now it was time to figure out what had happened and to report it to the 'world'.
Spider, our safety officer met me at the airplane and reported that he had given our Marine Air Group an initial call to report the incident. He also stated that our Japanese colleagues had already called, requesting a thorough debriefing as soon as possible. As Clutch and I, along with Pagan and Coyote,  were getting out of our winter anti-exposure 'poopy' flight suits, Spider came into the locker room and showed me a piece of metal he had pulled out of the mangled nose of my aircraft. It was not supposed to be there.
As we walked from our hangar to the Japanese debriefing room, we passed by the parked aircraft of our two former adversaries. One of the planes was missing a sizable piece of metal from its right stabilator. It was the same kind of metal found in my nose cone. We were received by a large group of Japanese officers and safety personnel in the debriefing room. What transpired was a very tedious and lengthy re-enactment of our engagement using model aircraft as we went through each step of what had occurred. At the end of the debriefing, I was pleased to conclude that we were all in agreement of what had happened.
And what had happened? The Japanese wingman had violated one of our strict rules of engagement. He had re-entered a mature engagement without having all the other aircraft in sight. After passing through our formation at supersonic speed, it took him awhile to get turned around to assist his leader [by coincidence, his commanding officer] who was being tracked by Pagan and about to be shot. The Japanese language transmissions we heard were the earnest pleadings by his CO for him to come to his aide. Eager to help, he spotted Pagan and was maneuvering to get behind him when he flew in front of me, causing the collision between my nose and his stabilator. The wingman said that he never saw me and did not realize that we had collided until he got back to Misawa and saw the damage to his tail. 
It was a very professional debriefing, void of emotion or argument. All present gave their best account of what they had seen and done. At the end, except for a few minor details, we were in total agreement of what had occurred and why. We all agreed that we had all learned a great lesson, that we were fortunate to have survived it and that we were ready to go fly some more. However, we knew that this had to be reported to higher headquarters on both sides before we could continue the training.
For those readers born after 1980, please realize that cell phones did not exist, yet. Actually, satellite communication was in its infancy and very restricted in its use. 'Teletype' messages sent through communications centers was still the primary form of sending military reports of events, whether normal or unusual. Spider and I traveled to the Misawa base operations center and with the advice of the communications chief, decided to use a message type called an 'OPREP Blue-Blazer' to report the mid-air collision. OPREP Blue-Blazers are high priority and go directly to the JCS in Washington, DC, as well as the major commands in between. This seemed appropriate since it had involved aircraft of differing countries. Using the prescribed message format, we did our best to describe what had occurred. We were also required to issue the report within a prescribe number of hours following the occasion, so we didn't have much time for editing our description. I would later regret not doing that.
Having done our duty, it was time to go to the bar and celebrate another day of cheating death. We were joined by both squadron mates as well as our Japanese counterparts and had a grand time recounting the events of the day while consuming many beverages. I hazily recall using a survival knife to become a 'blood-brother' with the pilot who had taken off the tip of my nose. "All's well that ends well." I thought as I crawled into the sack around midnight.
Then came reality. The very early phone call the next morning was Viking, my group commander, informing me that flight operations in Misawa were suspended and that I should remain by my telephone until I received a call from our 1st Marine Air Wing Commanding General. He also warned me to be ready for bad news because the general, as well as heavies in the Pentagon, were upset with what had happened the day before. He didn't say what the bad news was going to be, but also didn't tell me not to worry. I sat in my room by the phone for the next 6 hours worrying, for what, I didn't know.
I had met our Commanding General several months previously, and had been impressed by his intellect, friendliness and charisma. He came across as being very positive and enthusiastic. The phone call began on a positive note with him telling me how happy he was that we had survived the mid-air and had lived to tell about it. However, he quickly related that the Chairman of the JCS, as well as our Marine Commandant, was upset that I had 'rammed' the Japanese aircraft with my F-4. I attempted to assure him that the collision was caused by the other aircraft flying in front of me, but to no avail. He reiterated that the message indicated that I had 'butted' the other aircraft with my nose, that I was over aggressive, and that I had embarrassed the United States with my actions. Although I argued continuously that I had not caused the mishap, he insisted that he was compelled to take appropriate action on this matter, and warned me, that pending a formal investigation; I should expect to be relieved of command. He felt that he had no other choice. I vividly recall him saying, "Jeff you've had a great career, but the higher you go up the flag pole, the easier it is to be shot down." An investigating officer was on the way to Misawa, but I was to expect the worst.
When the phone call ended, I felt dazed, confused and deeply hurt. I felt like I had a lump in my gut the size of a basketball. My Marine Corps, that I loved and trusted, that had always treated me as a 'fair-haired boy', had now betrayed me in the worst way.  I did a lot of soul searching and praying during the next hour, but it didn't relieve me of a terrible sense of despair. I really, really felt sorry for myself. A knock on the door brought me back to the here and now. It was a group of my squadron mates, wanting to know what had happened and reminding me that the bar was open. I told them to go to the club ahead of me and I would join them in minute.
I realized that I had to shake off my despair and put on a happy, confident face. A hot shower didn't help much, but it gave me time to collect my self to put on the 'bold and fearless commander' presence. At the club I had no appetite for food or drink, but went through the motions almost robotically. I told the gang that there had to be an investigation before we could resume flying and that a senior officer was on his way. No matter how brave my front, I sensed that my squadron mates realized I was in trouble. Then it happened; the club manager announced that there was a phone call for me in his office.
On the telephone was the wing Chief of Staff [COS], calling from Okinawa. The initial part of the call was him chewing me out for being so difficult to contact. "Where have you been? I've been trying to contact you for the past hour! What's your problem, Howell?" While he's reading me the riot act, I'm thinking "This has not been my day." He finally got to the subject of the call. "Every thing has changed. The CG received a call from the Commanding General of the Japanese Air Defense Force, who had received a thorough debrief from his commanders. The Japanese take full responsibility for the mid-air. They acknowledge that their pilot failed to follow the rules of engagement and caused the collision. The General went on to say that this is the best training their fighter crews have received in the past ten years and requested to continue the program. Since no one was injured and the aircraft returned safely, he wants to make this incident a 'Non-Happening'."
He asked, "What is the condition of your aircraft?" I told him that we had replaced the nose cone, that there was no other damage to the bird and that all of our aircraft were 'up' and ready to fly. "OK" he answered. "We're still sending an officer to investigate the incident, but that will be a mere formality. As of now this is a Non-Happening, and the CG wants you to resume training tomorrow." I replied "Aye, aye, Sir;' and that was that.
The training continued with out further incident. We returned to Iwakuni and, a couple of months later, to our home base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Soon after, I gave up command, attended War College, and continued a fairly successful thirty seven year career as an officer of Marines. What did I learn from the 'Non-Happening'? A lot.
I learned that life can be over in a flash, particularly when you participate in high-risk activities. For me, 'The End' had come very, very close. Appreciate and enjoy every minute of every day, because life is good!
I learned that a man whom I never met was willing to admit fault and 'lose face' [a hard pill to swallow in the Orient] in order to enhance the training and combat readiness of his airmen. I owe that gentleman a profound debt of gratitude that I can never repay. The least I could do was to try to emulate his wonderful example for the rest of my life.
I learned to never jump to conclusions when bad news is reported. Before 'shooting the messenger' or playing the blame game, it is always best to gather all the facts before deciding who the guilty parties are. I've tried my best to 'practice what I preach' in that regard to this very day.
I learned how much I loved flying jets, particularly the F-4 Phantom. I'd be a liar if I claimed an absence of fear and trepidation the next several times that I walked out to man the jet for a flight. However, after strapping-in, when the two J-79 engines started running and I could feel the hydraulics systems surging throughout the machine, the 'beast' and I would become one and there was no other place that I would rather be.
Beak sends………

Today on Fighter Sweep


Watch: Amazing Flight Demonstration by an Su-35. Must See if You Missed it!

You have to watch the whole video! Truly amazing aerial display by this Su-35! If you already viewed this watch it again! It is mind boggling what this plane does. View More ›
Item Number:1 Date: 08/24/2017 INDIA - MOD ISSUES RFI FOR MORE THAN 230 NAVAL HELICOPTERS (AUG 24/TI)  TIMES OF INDIA -- The Indian Defense Ministry has issued requests for information for more than 230 of two types of new helicopters for the navy, reports the Times of India.   The service is seeking 123 multi-role helicopters with significant anti-submarine warfare capabilities, as well as 111 armed light utility helicopters.   The US$5 billion project will occur as part of the government's new "strategic partnership" policy under the "Make in India" framework.   The RFI is one of the largest global tenders for military helicopters in recent years, said the Diplomat (Tokyo), which noted that a final contract signing is not expected for years.   The government is seeking responses by early October. This would be followed by requests for proposals, calling for technical and commercial bids from manufacturers. Contracts would be finalized around two years after that, under India's plan.   Both the multi-role and utility helicopters are "critical operational necessities" for the navy. The service currently has just 11 Ka-28 and 17 Sea King anti-submarine warfare helicopters, many of which have been stored.   The new utility helicopters would replace the navy's aging Chetak aircraft
Item Number:2 Date: 08/24/2017 IRAN - ATOMIC CHIEF SAYS TEHRAN ONLY NEEDS DAYS TO PRODUCE HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM (AUG 24/INDEP)  INDEPENDENT -- The head of Iran's nuclear program says Tehran could produce highly enriched uranium within five days of a U.S. withdrawal from a nuclear agreement, reports the Independent (U.K.).   Al Akbar Salehi, one of Iran's vice presidents, made his comments on Tuesday on state TV, apparently in response to new sanctions imposed by Washington this month.   Iran could achieve 20 percent enriched uranium in "at most" five days, he said. That is the level at which the material could start being used for a nuclear weapon.   Last week, President Hassan Rouhani warned that Tehran could abandon the agreement "within hours" of new sanctions, noted Reuters.   Tehran is currently restricted to enriching uranium to 5 percent.   Salehi emphasized that Iran does not want to see the deal collapse. "We have not achieved the deal easily to let it go easily. We are committed to the deal and we are loyal to it."  
  Item Number:3 Date: 08/24/2017 ISRAEL - AIR FORCE DECLARES HERMES 900 DRONE FULLY OPERATIONAL (AUG 24/TOI)  TIMES OF ISRAEL -- The Israeli air force has declared its Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicle to be fully operational, reports the Times of Israel.   The air force completed the UAV's necessary tests and checks, and the system was deemed fully operational, said the army on Wednesday.   The Hermes 900 saw combat during the 2014 Gaza war. After that, the drone returned to its integration process, said the army.   The air forces is transitioning from the smaller Hermes 450 to the Hermes 900.  
Item Number:4 Date: 08/24/2017 JAPAN - DEFENSE MINISTRY EYES 2.5 PERCENT BOOST, INCLUDING BETTER MISSILE DEFENSES (AUG 24/KNA)  KYODO NEWS AGENCY -- The Japanese Defense Ministry is seeking a record US$48.1 billion in funding for fiscal 2018, partly in response to the threat posed by North Korea, reports the Kyodo news agency.   Plans include allocating US$431 million to procure the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor for destroyers equipped with the Aegis missile defense system, a government source said on Tuesday.   Funding will also be sought for the land-based Aegis Ashore missile defense system.   The ministry is also seeking US$187 million to buy upgraded PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles for its existing Patriot land-based air defense systems.   Another US$98 million would go toward modernizing Japan's air defense radar network. The ministry also wants US$179 million to develop a new radar system with enhanced missile detection capabilities.   Plans also call for US$805 million for six F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters and four V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft for US$418 million.   Funding is being sought to upgrade Japan's space capabilities.   The request is a 2.5 percent increase from the initial fiscal 2017 budget.   Japan's fiscal year runs from April 1 to March 31
  Item Number:5 Date: 08/24/2017 LATVIA - U.S. ARMY AVIATION TEAMS, AIDED BY LATVIANS, TRAIN FOR EVADING, OPERATING IN ENEMY-HELD TERRITORY (AUG 24/ANS)  ARMY NEWS SERVICE -- U.S. Army aviation personnel recently completed a four-day exercise in Latvia focused on operating in enemy-held territory, reports the Army News Service.   Soldiers from the 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, took part in Exercise Falcon's Talon earlier this month.   The scenario focused on conducting operations while evading enemy forces after a base of operations was compromised, said Army officials.   The exercise included hiding a UH-60 and a CH-47 helicopter and covertly meeting with allied forces, said the Army release on Tuesday.   The U.S. troops worked with Latvian allies to stay hidden and evade their simulated opponents. Latvian forces provided a combined force to create a secure location for the aircraft and information on nearby towns and settlements
  Item Number:6 Date: 08/24/2017 MALAYSIA - SOCIAL MEDIA BEING USED BY ISIS MILITANTS IN INDONESIA TO RECRUIT MALAYSIANS (AUG 24/STIMES)  STRAITS TIMES -- Islamic State militants in Indonesia have shifted their recruiting targets and are now looking for new fighters from Malaysia, says a top Malaysian official cited by the Straits Times (Singapore).   The recent trend follows the slowing of recruiting in Malaysia following the death of top ISIS recruiter Muhammad Wanndy Mohamed Jedi. He was killed in Syria in April, according to Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay, the head of Malaysia's Special Branch Counterterrorism Division.   Two other senior Malaysian ISIS leaders were also killed about the same time, which hurt domestic recruitment, said Ayob.   Counterterrorism officials are now seeing Indonesian militants using WhatsApp and Telegram apps to target potential recruits in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, said the official.   Terrorist recruiting efforts have picked up in the wake of the fighting in the city of Marawi in the southern Philippines, the Malaysian official said. Recruiters are seeking fighters for that conflict now, because it is closer than Syria, said Ayob
  Item Number:7 Date: 08/24/2017 NETHERLANDS - TERROR WARNING CANCELS ROTTERDAM CONCERT (AUG 24/LAT)  LOS ANGELES TIMES -- A concert in the Netherlands was canceled after police uncovered a suspected terror plot, noted the Los Angeles Times.   Dutch police later arrested two people, reported the New York Times.   On Wednesday, a concert in Rotterdam by the Los Angeles rock band Allah-Las was called off after receiving a tip from Spanish police.   A Spanish citizen driving a van with Spanish license plates was taken into custody later that night. The van was found to be carrying gas canisters. Police said he was possibly drunk and not a suspect, reported the Guardian (U.K.).   Early Thursday, police made a second arrest. They said a 22-year-old man was detained in the Brabant region, southeast of Rotterdam, based on information from Spanish authorities.   An explosion on Aug. 16 at a house in Alcanar, Spain, is believed to have been linked to attacks in Barcelona days later. More than 100 gas canisters were stored there for use in a potentially deadlier attack, say investigators
  Item Number:8 Date: 08/24/2017 NIGERIA - BOKO HARAM STEPS UP USE OF NIGERIAN CHILDREN AS 'HUMAN BOMBS,' SAYS UNICEF REPORT (AUG 24/UNICEF)  UNICEF -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says the Boko Haram terrorist group in Nigeria has dramatically increased its use of children as suicide bombers.   Boko Haram has been using children to conduct suicide attacks over the last few years. So far in 2017, that number is four times higher than for all of 2016, said UNICEF on Tuesday.   Eighty-three children have been used as "human bombs" this year, noted the agency. Fifty-five were girls, most younger than 15. Twenty-seven were boys. One baby was strapped to a girl.   Such attacks have also created suspicion and fear of children who have been released, rescued or escaped from Boko Haram, said the U.N. agency.   UNICEF emphasized that the children are victims and not perpetrators of the attacks.   The figures only include attacks in Nigeria. If surrounding nations were included, the numbers would be even higher, said a UNICEF spokeswoman cited by Vice News
  Item Number:9 Date: 08/24/2017 NORWAY - NEW COOPERATION PROGRAM WITH GERMANY STRESSES NAVAL MISSILES, SUBMARINES (AUG 24/NMOD)  NORWEGIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The defense ministers of Germany and Norway have formally launched an extensive naval cooperation program, reports the Norwegian Ministry of Defense.   Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide met on Tuesday with her German counterpart, Ursula von der Leyen, at Eckernfoerde naval base on the Baltic Sea.   The bilateral meeting marked the formal start of the cooperation program, which covers new submarines and naval missiles. It will also cover naval research and technology development, said Eriksen Soreide.   The largest component will be a common submarine project, encompassing identical boats and cooperation on training, exercises, spare parts, maintenance and industrial cooperation, the ministry said.   A contract for the new submarines is anticipated in 2019.   The two sides will also work together on the Norwegian Naval Strike Missile. Germany is planning a large acquisition of the missiles, noted the defense minister
Item Number:10 Date: 08/24/2017 QATAR - GOVERNMENT DECIDES TO RESTORE DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH IRAN (AUG 24/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- Qatar says it is restoring diplomatic relations with Iran, reports CNN.   "The state of Qatar expressed its aspirations to strengthen bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all fields," the Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.   Qatar's ambassador will return to Iran for "diplomatic duties," said the statement. No timeline was given.   Qatar cut ties with Iran in 2016 after Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran were attacked. Those attacks came after Saudi Arabia executed a Shi'ite cleric.   In June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut travel and diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorists.   Those Arab countries demanded that Qatar cut ties with Tehran and terrorist groups, reduce the Turkish military presence in the country and close the Al Jazeera media network.   Iran has allowed Qatar Airways to use its airspace and sent fresh food supplies by plane and ship, reported the BBC
  Item Number:11 Date: 08/24/2017 RUSSIA - MISSION CARRIES STRATEGIC BOMBERS CLOSE TO JAPAN, S. KOREA (AUG 24/FN)  FOX NEWS -- The Kremlin says Russian nuclear-capable strategic bombers have flown near Japan and South Korea on Wednesday, prompting those nations to scramble fighter jets, reports Fox News.   The Tu-95MS bombers flew over the Pacific Ocean, Sea of Japan, Yellow Sea and East China Sea, said Russia's Defense Ministry on Thursday.   The bombers flew over neutral waters and were accompanied by Sukhoi 35s (Flanker-E) fighters and A-50 early warning and control aircraft, said a statement, as noted by Reuters.   The flight was "pre-arranged," said the ministry.   The bombers were met by South Korean and Japanese military jets, said the Defense Ministry.   The Russian aircraft briefly entered South Korea's air defense identification zone of South Korea, reported Seoul's Yonhap news agency.   The date of the flight was not mentioned. Moscow has expressed concern about tensions on the Korean peninsula and complained about Tokyo's plans to deployed a U.S. anti-missile system
  Item Number:12 Date: 08/24/2017 RUSSIA - MOSCOW EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER TOKYO'S PLAN FOR AEGIS ASHORE MISSILE DEFENSE (AUG 24/REU)  REUTERS -- Russia's Foreign Ministry has complained over Japan's plans for a new U.S. missile defense system, reports Reuters.   Japan announced last week that it is planning to deploy a land-based component of the Aegis missile defense system, Aegis Ashore, to counter North Korean missile threats. The decision was made in June.   That plan was disproportionate to the missile threat in the region, said a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Thursday
  Item Number:13 Date: 08/24/2017 SWITZERLAND - 8 MISSING IN SWISS ALPS LANDSLIDE; ARMY HELICOPTER JOINS SEARCH (AUG 24/LOCAL)  THE LOCAL -- A Swiss army helicopter is now taking part in the search for persons missing in a landslide in the Swiss alps, reports the Local (Switzerland).   Eight people were reported missing after a landslide led to the evacuation the village of Bondo in the Val Bondasca region, said police on Thursday. The missing were from Switzerland, Germany and Austria, noted AFP.   About 100 people had been evacuated, with some being airlift out by helicopters, said officials.   The search intensified overnight, with a Swiss army helicopter joining the effort, said the police.   The landslide destroyed 12 farm buildings, police said.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 08/24/2017 SYRIA - STUCK BETWEEN 2 OFFENSIVES, ISIS SEEKS TALKS, WAY OUT (AUG 24/REU)  REUTERS -- Islamic State fighters along the border between Syria and Lebanon have asked Syria and Hezbollah to allow them to withdraw, says an official from the pro-Assad military alliance cited by Reuters.   Syrian government forces and Lebanese-based Hezbollah have been trying to oust ISIS from the western Qalamoun region since Aug. 19. That offensive coincides with a Lebanese operation on the other side of the border.   ISIS has asked for negotiation and a withdrawal to Deir Ezzor province, which is almost fully under ISIS control, said the official on Thursday.   The Syrian side and Hezbollah agreed to talks, the official said
  Item Number:15 Date: 08/24/2017 SYRIA - TROOPS SURROUND ISIS IN BADIYA (AUG 24/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Syrian troops have surrounded Islamic State fighters in the Syria's central Badiya desert area, says a monitoring group, as reported by Agence France-Presse.   The soldiers advanced overnight north and south of the region and seized Jabal Dahek, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday.   This dealt a "strategic" blow to the terror group, said the observatory.   The Badiya region covers the area from Syria's center to the Iraqi and Jordanian borders. It has been held by ISIS since 2014. The region is seen as vital to the army's attempt to retake Deir Ezzor province, ISIS' last stronghold in Syria.   Fighting is still continuing at al-Sukhnah, said the monitoring group. The government said it had ousted ISIS militants from the town earlier this month
  Item Number:16 Date: 08/24/2017 TAIWAN - PERSONNEL COSTS DOMINATE DEFENSE BUDGET; PLANS CALL FOR OVERALL DEFENSE SPENDING BOOST OF 3.9 PERCENT (AUG 24/TAI)  TAIPEI TIMES -- The Taiwanese government wants to increase defense spending on personnel next year, while reducing equipment funding, reports the Taipei Times.   The overall defense budget has been divided into personnel, operational and equipment procurement, with personnel costs eating up the largest part of the total over the last few years, said a Defense Ministry source earlier this month.   Personnel costs are expected to total US$5.1 billion in 2018, or about 46 percent of the ministry budget. An additional US$82.5 million is being budgeted for pensions, due to a deficit in reserves in that sector, the official said.   Meanwhile, the fiscal 2018 budget for equipment is expected to total US$2.6 billion, down from US$2.8 billion in 2017.   The overall defense budget is expected to rise by 3.91 percent to US$10.9 billion. It represents 16.7 percent of the entire annual government budget.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 08/24/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - LONDON TO SEND MILLIONS TO LIBYA TO FIGHT TERRORISM, HEAD OFF FLOW OF ILLEGAL MIGRANTS (AUG 24/GUARDIAN)  GUARDIAN -- U.K. Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has announced a British aid package to Libya to help that nation with illegal migration and the growing threat of terrorism, reports the Guardian (U.K.).   The US$11.5 million aid package was announced Thursday after Johnson's visit to Tripoli, where the U.N.-recognized government is based.   "Libya is the front line for many challenges which left unchecked can pose problems for us in the U.K. -- particularly illegal migration and the threat from terrorism," said the minister.   The package includes US$5 million to remove improvised explosive devices from areas previously controlled by the Islamic State. Other funds will help rebuild critical infrastructure, women's participation in rebuilding and food and medicine.   The measures are aimed at improving stability in Libya, said Johnson.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 08/24/2017 USA - LITTORAL SHIP HITS TARGET WITH HARPOON MISSILE DURING TRAINING OFF GUAM (AUG 24/NNS)  NAVY NEWSSTAND -- USS Coronado, an Independence-class littoral combat ship, has demonstrated its ability to hit a surface target at long range with an anti-ship missile, reports the Navy NewsStand.   During a live-fire exercise on Tuesday off the coast of Guam, the LCS successfully launched a Harpoon Block 1C missile, hitting a surface target well beyond visual range, the service said.   An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter and MH-60S Seahawk, both operating from the Coronado, provided targeting support for the missile.   The Navy has been integrating its littoral ships with over-the-horizon anti-ship missiles to increase their combat power.  
Item Number:19 Date: 08/24/2017 USA - SAILORS, AIRMEN TAKE SAME SECURITY COURSE AT FORT BLISS, TEXAS (AUG 24/AFNS)  AIR FORCE NEWS SERVICE -- For the first time, the Air Force has conducted a joint service security course at the Desert Defender Ground Combat Readiness Training Center (DDGCRTC) at Fort Bliss, Texas, reports the Air Force News Service.   Sailors have attended Desert Defender classes in the past, but this was the first time that Air Force and Navy students completed the same course together, said Lt. Col. Bernard Sprute, the DDGCRTC commander.   Desert Defender, the Air Force's largest security forces readiness training center, focuses on fundamental base defense training prior to deployment.   The joint class covered detecting improvised explosive devices (IEDs); mounted and dismounted patrols; counterinsurgency operations; cultural awareness; entry control point operations; vehicle roll-over response; and combat lifesaving skills.   The joint training offers a consistent baseline for personnel from both services performing similar base defense tasks overseas, said Sprute.  
  Item Number:20 Date: 08/24/2017 USA - SEXUAL ASSAULT CLAIMS BY FEMALE TRAINEES LEAD TO SUSPENSION OF DRILL SERGEANTS AT FORT BENNING (AUG 24/NBC)  NBC NEWS -- Several U.S. Army drill sergeants at Fort Benning, Ga., have been suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct, reports NBC News.   The story stated with a single report, noted the Army Times.   A female trainee alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by a drill sergeant. That led to additional allegations of sexual misconduct involving trainees and drill sergeants, said a release from the base on Wednesday.   The investigation at Fort Benning is being conducted by the Army's Criminal Investigation Command in cooperation with the base's Maneuver Center of Excellence, the statement said.   The base has declined to say how many women made allegations, the number of drill sergeants or over what period of time.   The sergeants belong to the 198th Infantry Brigade, the first "gender-integrated" infantry unit in the Army, noted, which broke the story

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