Tuesday, December 12, 2017

TheList 4609

To All
I hope that you all had a great weekend
This Day In Naval History - December 11
Dec. 11
1863—During the Civil War, the iron-clad river gunboat Carondelet fires upon Confederate troops that are firing upon iron-clad river gunboat Indianola, which had been stuck on a bar in the Mississippi River since earlier that year and had not yet been freed. The effective counter-fire by Carondelet drives off the Confederates.
1865—Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles writes to Secretary of State William H. Seward, complaining of the action of the British government in releasing the officers and crew of CSS Shenandoah.
1941—The Wake Island Garrison under Cmdr. Winfield Cunningham repulses the Japanese invasion force with shore battery fire that sink Japanese destroyer Hayate while Marine F4Fs sink destroyer Kisaragi.
1943—The U.S. Navy dispatches vessels to help the U.S. collier Suffolk, which is foundering and eventually sinks in a storm.
1944—USS Gar (SS 206) lands 35 tons of supplies at Darigayos Inlet on the west coast of Luzon and picks up secret intelligence documents. Also on this date, USS Sea Owl (SS 405) sinks Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser Cha 76 in the East China Sea.
1954—The first "supercarrier" USS Forrestal (CVA 59) is launched.
Today in History December 11
James II abdicates the throne because of William of Orange landing in England.
Indiana is admitted to the Union as the 19th state.
A raging fire sweeps the business district of Charleston, South Carolina, adding to an already depressed economic state.
Union General Ambrose Burnside occupies Fredericksburg and prepares to attack the Confederates under Robert E. Lee.
Union gunboats Restless, Bloomer and Caroline enter St. Andrew's Bay, Fla., and begin bombardment of both Confederate quarters and saltworks.
A production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe at Boston's Bijou Theatre becomes the first performance in a theatre lit by incandescent electric lights.
Nearly 400 world leaders sign a letter to President Calvin Coolidge asking the United States to join the World Court.
As the economic crisis grows, the Bank of the United States closes its doors.
Reports say Paraguay has captured 11,000 Bolivians in the war over Chaco.
Britain's King Edward VIII abdicates the throne to marry American Wallis Warfield Simpson.
The United States declares war on Italy and Germany.
U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull demands that Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria withdraw from the war.
A Boeing B-29 Superfortress shatters all records by crossing the United States in five hours and 27 minutes.
Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement from baseball.
Israel raids Syrian positions on the Sea of Galilee.
Frank Sinatra, Jr., is returned home to his parents after being kidnapped for the ransom amount of $240,000.
The Concorde, a joint British-French venture and the world's first supersonic airliner, is unveiled in Toulouse, France.
Challenger, the lunar lander for Apollo 17, touches down on the moon's surface, the last time that men visit the moon.
Massive demonstrations take place in Tehran against the shah.
Military forces in El Salvador kill over 800 civilians in what is known as the El Mozote massacre during the Salvadoran Civil War.
The Kyoto Protocol international treaty intended to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses, opens for signature.
People's Republic of China joins the World Trade Organization.
Cronulla riots begin in Cronulla, a suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
President of Mexico Felipe Calderon launches a military-led offensive against drug cartel violence in the state of Michoacan.
Bernard "Bernie" Madoff arrested and charged with securities fraud in what was called a $50-billion Ponzi scheme.
Army-Navy Game's Stunning National Anthem Rendition Puts Every Kneeling NFL Player To Shame .
Thanks to Doctor Rich
Thanks to Bill
Russia Searches Frozen Seas For Wreckage of Submarines Mysteriously Lost During WW2 (Russia)
By Damien Sharkov, Newsweek,  7 December 
Russian military ships are scanning the seabed in the far north of the Sea of Japan for the wreckage of two submarines that mysteriously disappeared during World War Two.
The small Soviet submarines, M-63 and M-49, vanished in the southwestern waters of the Peter the Great Gulf in 1941, at least four years before Stalin's USSR declared war on Japan in 1945.
Decades on, the military hopes that the wrecks of the submarines could reveal why they dropped off radar and were never seen again.
Pacific Fleet spokesman Nikolay Voskresenskiy told state news agency  Itar-Tass that the first effort to find the wrecks began on December 5 but had to be called off due to bad weather.
"But next year the remainder of the region will be investigated as planned," he said.
Voskresenskiy said that if any trace if the vessels were found, they would deploy a remote controlled underwater vehicle, Pantera Plus, to investigate further.
Although missing in action during wartime, the Soviet Union was not fighting Japan at the time. It declared war on the island nation's military regime in August 1945, launching a counter-offensive in Manchuria.
The submarines also disappeared less than two months from Germany's declaration of war on the Soviets-a clash fought hundreds of miles away, on Europe's eastern front. The Soviet Union spent almost the first two years of thewar, evading confrontation with Nazi Germany thanks to  a deal between Moscow and Berlin signed on the eve of the conflict.
The M-class submarine was a small series of vessels, intended to be transported in parts by rail, from one theater of war to another and then welded together. They were mostly intended for coastal deployments to defend naval bases and dozens were lost in sea combat, according to  uboat.net, an online database for naval warfare during the Second World War.
Russian military researchers have only prodded the shallow waters for the submarines, dragging a sonar and a magnetometer across depths no bigger than a kilometer (0.6 miles), Voskresenskiy said. The search further out into sea and with more comprehensive equipment will continue next year.
There certainly be a logical connection.
Senior Logic...............................
I went to the liquor store Tuesday afternoon on my bicycle, bought a bottle of Jack Daniels and put it in the bicycle basket.
As I was about to leave, I thought to myself that if I fell off the bicycle, the bottle would break. So I drank all the Jack Daniels before I cycled home.
It turned out to be a very good decision, because I fell off my bicycle seven times on the way home.
Monday Morning Humor thanks to Al
​     This year Hanukkah begins on the evening of December 12 and ends on the evening of December 20.
     Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. It starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late November - late December on the secular calendar.
     In Hebrew, the word "hanukkah" means "dedication." The name reminds us that this holiday commemorates the rededication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 BC.

Now for some Hanukkah humor:

     Last year, just before Hanukkah, Miriam, a grandmother was giving directions to her grown up grandson who was coming to visit with his wife. 'You come to the front door of the condominium complex.  I am in apartment 2B.'
     Miriam continued, 'There is a big panel at the door.  With your elbow push button 2B. I will buzz you in. Come inside, the elevator is on the right.  Get in, and with your elbow hit 2.  When you get out I am on the left.  With your elbow, hit my doorbell.'
     'Grandma, that sounds easy,' replied Jonathan, the grandson, 'but why am I hitting all these buttons with my elbow.'
     To which she answered, 'You're coming to visit empty handed?'

     Mary goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Hanukkah cards and she says to the cashier, 'May I have 50 Hanukkah stamps?'
     The cashier says, 'What denomination?'
     Miriam says, 'Oy vey, has it come to this? OK, give me 6 Orthodox, 12 Conservative, and 32 Reform.'

     My mother once gave me two sweaters for Hanukkah. The next time we visited, I made sure to wear one.
     As we entered her home, instead of the expected smile, she said, 'Aaron, what's the matter? You didn't like the other one?'

     It was Hanukkah and the tiny village was in fear of not having any latkes because they had run out of flour.  Rudi, the rabbi, was called upon to help solve the problem.  He said, "don't worry, you can substitute matzo meal for the flour and the latkes will be just as delicious!"
     Sheila looks to her husband and says, "Mortey...you think it'll work?"
     And Mortey says, "Of course! Everybody knows...Rudolph, the Rab, knows grain dear!"

     Admiring the Christmas trees displayed in his neighbour's windows, Nathan asks his father, 'Daddy, can we have a Hanukkah Tree?'
     'What? No, of course not.' says his father.
     'Why not?' asks Nathan again.
     Bewildered, his father replies, 'Well, Nathan, because the last time we had dealings with a lighted bush we spent 40 years in the wilderness.'

     Stan and John are walking to school one day and Stan is describing his new Playstation 2 to John. "Where did you get that?" John asked "I got it last night for Hanukkah," said Stan. "What's Hanukkah?" John asked.
     "It's the Jewish holiday where we get presents every night for eight nights to celebrate the festival of lights."
     "Wow, I wish we got that!" John exclaimed. The next day on the way to school John runs up to Stan, curious to see what he got. He sees that Stan is upset, "What's wrong? Where's your present from last night?" asks John.
     Stan holds up a ball of crumpled wrapping paper, "It was leftovers night."

Top Reasons to Like Hanukkah…
No roof damage from reindeer 
More elephants in the Hanukkah story
Never a silent night when you're among your Jewish loved ones 
If someone screws up on their gift, there are seven more days to correct it
Dance of the Sugar-Plum Rebbe
Betting Hanukkah gelt (the chocholate coins) on candle races 
Dance of the Sugar-Plum Rebbe
You can use your fireplace
Naked spin-the-dreidel games 
Fun waxy buildup on the menorah
Cheer optional 
No Irving Berlin songs

Funny Quotes…
Most Texans think Hanukkah is some sort of duck call. - Richard Lewis
I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up...they have no holidays. - Henny Youngman
My father never lived to see his dream come true of an all-Yiddish-speaking Canada. - David Steinberg
God, I know we are your chosen people, but couldn't you choose somebody else for a change? - Shalom Aleichem
The remarkable thing about my mother is that for 30 years she served us nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found. - Calvin Trillin
Let me tell you the one thing I have against Moses.  He took us 40 years into the desert in order to bring us to the one place in the Middle East that has no oil. - Golda Meir
Even a secret agent can't lie to a Jewish mother. - Peter Malkin
Don't be humble; you are not that great. - Golda Meir

Chag Urim Sameach
​(i.e., ​
Happy Holiday of Lights) and have a great week,
Interesting article thanks to Carl
Peter Strzok's sacking points to Trump Dossier and exposes the true scandal of the 2016 election
By Alexander Mercouris
The Duran
December 11, 2017
Item Number:1 Date: 12/11/2017 CHINA - NAVY TESTS AIR DEFENSE CAPABILITIES, SIMULATES 'REAL WARFARE' IN E. CHINA SEA (DEC 11/CMO)  CHINA MILITARY ONLINE -- Warships from three fleets for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) have just completed a missile assessment in the East China Sea, reports China Military Online.   More than 40 ships conducted live-fire anti-missile and air defense training exercises, military officials said. The drills began on Dec. 7.   The competitive assessment was designed to evaluate the air defense and anti-missile defense performance of the ships and their crews.   The drill, said the navy was conducted as "an assessment competition" simulating "real warfare" and designed to test the performance and interception capabilities of its guided-missile frigates, as quoted by the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong).   The navy said the ships participating were selected at random from the service's three fleets. During the drills, the vessels had to continuously fight off multiple targets at very low altitudes; judge the air defense effects; and organize interceptions, said PLAN officials.   The results will be used to identify areas where sailors can improve their performance, said the navy.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 12/11/2017 DEM REP OF CONGO - MILITANT ATTACK KILLS 15 TANZANIAN PEACEKEEPERS IN DRC'S N. KIVU PROVINCE (DEC 11/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- The United Nations said on Friday that at least 15 peacekeepers had been killed dead and more than 50 wounded by militants after an attack in the Democratic Republic of Congo's restive North Kivu province, reports the Washington Post.   The rebels launched their attack the night before on a forward operating base in a remote part of North Kivu province, said U.N. officials. Five Congolese soldiers were also killed.   The attackers were armed with rocket-propelled grenades. At least one armored personnel carrier was destroyed in the three-hour firefight, said officials.   All of the killed peacekeepers were from Tanzania, reported the New York Times. The attack should be considered a war crime, said U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres.   The U.N. mission in Congo (MONUSCO) is the international body's largest, with roughly 19,000 peacekeepers. The assault was the deadliest against U.N. peacekeepers in nearly a quarter-century, said the U.N.   The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) were believed to be behind the attack, according to statements from U.N. officials. The ADF is composed mostly of Muslims and is opposed Uganda's president of 31 years, Yoweri Museveni, noted AFP. Its members tend to concentrate its activities on extorting the local mining industry reported the New York Times.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 12/11/2017 FRANCE - FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS 500 FRENCH JIHADISTS STILL IN IRAQ, SYRIA WILL BE IMPRISONED (DEC 11/BFM TV)  BFM TV -- About 500 French militants who were fighting with the Islamic State remain in Syria and Iraq, says French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.   The foreign minister said "about 500 jihadists" would soon be in prison,in comments on the air of the BFM TV channel.   He suggested that most would not be returned by their own accord.   About 240 fighters have returned from Syria and Iraq since 2012, roughly 50 of them children.   Of these fighters, roughly 130 are currently in prison, according to figures from France's Interior Ministry. The others are reportedly under the observation of French law enforcement agencies
  Item Number:4 Date: 12/11/2017 INDIA - ARMY TESTS AKASH SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILE, HITS TARGET DRONE (DEC 11/INDIAMOD)  INDIAN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The Indian army recently conducted a successful test of its new short-range surface-to-air missile system, reports the Indian Ministry of Defense.   The Akash system, equipped with an indigenous radio-frequency seeker, was successfully launched on Dec. 5 at the Chandipur test range, said officials.   This was the first test of the missile with the new RF seeker, according to the ministry.   The ministry said the missile performed as expected, intercepting a Banshee target drone
  Item Number:5 Date: 12/11/2017 IRAQ - WITH IRAQI FORCES CONTROLLING BORDER WITH SYRIA, PRIME MINISTER SAYS WAR AGAINST ISIS IS OVER (DEC 11/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- Iraq has achieved victory over the Islamic State terrorist group, says Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.   The prime minister declaration on Saturday was "carefully calibrated," noted the New York Times. He said: "Our forces fully control the Iraqi-Syrian border, and thus we can announced the end of the war with Daesh," using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.   A celebration was held Sunday at a closed military parade in downtown Baghdad, reported Voice of America News. Sunday was an official holiday in Iraq.   Abadi thanked Iraqi forces "for their service" and remembered "those who gave the ultimate sacrifice."  
Item Number:6 Date: 12/11/2017 NORTH KOREA - GROUND TREMORS NOTED, LIKELY FROM SEPTEMBER'S NUCLEAR TEST (DEC 11/REU)  REUTERS -- Aftershocks caused by a North Korean nuclear test on Sept. 3 have continued, with at least two more tremors detected on Dec. 9, according to U.S. Geological Survey officials cited by Reuters.   The tremors were "relaxation events," said the official, measuring a magnitude of 2.9 and 2.4.   The aftershocks occurred in the vicinity of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, where the most recent nuclear tests have been held.   The tests and earthquakes have likely destroyed at least some of the tunnels used by Pyongyang to hide its nuclear tests, according to a geophysicist and disaster researcher cited by the BBC.   North Korea called its September tests in the northwestern mountains its most powerful nuclear bomb to date. The weapon tested was a hydrogen bomb, said North Korean officials.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 12/11/2017 PHILIPPINES - SAYING MILITANTS HAVE BEEN REGROUPING, PRESIDENT SEEKS TO EXTEND MARTIAL LAW IN MINDANAO (DEC 11/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- President Rodrigo Duterte has asked the Philippine Congress to extend for one year a state of martial law in the southern island of Mindanao, reports the Wall Street Journal.   In his request dated Dec. 8 but released on Monday, Duterte mentioned that the extension is necessary to fight Islamic terrorist groups and criminal gangs.   The imposition of martial law allows the military to search and arrest suspects without a warrant.   Martial law was first declared in Mindanao in May. The military declared the city liberated of fighters loyal to the Islamic State in October.   Duterte said Islamic militants have been regrouping since that urban conflict ended, noted Reuters
Item Number:8 Date: 12/11/2017 QATAR - PURCHASE FINALIZED FOR 24 EUROFIGHTER TYPHOONS; DEAL WORTH US$8 BILLION (DEC 11/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- Qatar has signed an agreement with the U.K. to purchase 24 Eurofighter Typhoons from British aerospace company BAE Systems, reports the BBC.   The deal was announced in Doha on Sunday by British Defense Secretary, Gavin Williamson, and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah.   A letter of intent was signed by the parties in September.   The deal is worth 5 billion pounds (US$8 billion), according to BAE Systems.   Deliveries are expected to begin in 2022.   Qatar is the ninth country to buy the Typhoon
Item Number:9 Date: 12/11/2017 RUSSIA - PUTIN ANNOUNCES BEGINNING OF WITHDRAWAL FOR RUSSIAN FORCES IN SYRIA (DEC 11/DAILYTEL)  DAILY TELEGRAPH -- During his first visit to Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian troops in Syria to begin with withdrawing following what is seen as a successful intervention there, reported the Daily Telegraph (U.K.).   The announcement came during Putin's surprise visit Monday to the Hmeimim air base in the coastal province of Latakia.   "I order the defense minister and chief of the General Staff to start the withdrawal of Russian troops to the site of their permanent deployment," Putin stated, as reported by the Kremlin-backed RT. Putin was welcomed by Syrian President Bashar Assad.   Russia also announced a pullout in March 2016, but most Russian forces remained in the country, noted Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   On Monday, the Russian president said he decided "a significant part of the Russian military contingent" in Syria would return home.   Moscow will continue to operate that air base and its naval base in Tartus, according to Putin. They will crush any further terrorist activity in Syria, he said.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 12/11/2017 RUSSIA - UPDATE COMING FOR ETHIOPIAN-RUSSIAN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT (DEC 11/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the Russian Defense Ministry to sign a new military cooperation agreement with Ethiopia, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   The new cooperation document will replace the existing accord, which dates from 1998.   The two sides will exchange their views and information on military issues, including fighting terrorism, noted Medvedev's order, which was published on Dec. 8.   Plans call for more cooperation in the fields of military education, joint training and exchanging experiences in peacekeeping.   Under its terms, the latest agreement will run for five years, with an automatic extension for another five years, unless one of the parties decides to terminate it
Item Number:11 Date: 12/11/2017 SOUTH KOREA - JCS ANNOUNCES START OF ANTI-MISSILE DRILL WITH U.S., JAPAN (DEC 11/AAP)  AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS -- The U.S., Japan and South Korea have started a joint drill to track submarine-launched missiles, reports the Australian Associated Press (AAP).   The two-day drill is taking place in the waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Monday. This is the first trilateral operation since North Korea fired a Husson-15 ICBM in late November. The Joint Chiefs of Staff said.   The parties will test their abilities to detect and track a ballistic missile and share the information with allies, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.   Included in the drills are South Korea's Sejong Daewang Aegis destroyer, the U.S. Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyers Stethem and Decatur and Japan's Chokai Kongo-class Aegis destroyer.   The drills were announced amid fears that North Korea is developing sub-launched missiles (SLBMs). U.S. monitoring website 38 North suggested that satellite images revealed efforts to create a new submarine, noted the New York Times
Item Number:12 Date: 12/11/2017 SWEDEN - 3 IN CUSTODY AFTER FIREBOMBING OF SYNAGOGUE (DEC 11/LOCAL)  THE LOCAL -- Local Swedish police have arrested three people in connection to an attack over the weekend against a synagogue in Gothenburg, reports the Local (Sweden).   Witnesses say perhaps a dozen masked attackers threw Molotov cocktails at the building on Saturday night. The building was hosting a youth event with 20 to 30 attendees at the time of the incident, said police in Gothenburg, the nation's second-largest city.   The incident is being investigated as an attempted arson, said police cited by Time.   There were no reports of injuries. The building was not damaged in the attack, said police.   The night before, there was a large protest in Malmo in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital; some attendees called for violence against Jews. Both incidents were criticized by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, noted Time.  
 Item Number:13 Date: 12/11/2017 SWEDEN - RECORD YEAR SEEN FOR ARMS SALES, SAYS MONITORING GROUP (DEC 11/SIPRI)  STOCKHOLM INTERNATIONAL PEACE RESEARCH INSTITUTE -- Arms sales have risen worldwide for the first time since 2010, according to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).   Sales of arms and military services by an index of large arms-producing and military services companies reached US$374.8 billion in 2016, according to a SIPRI report issued Monday.   That figure represents a 1.9 percent increase from 2015 and a 38 percent increase from when the watchdog group began gathering information in 2002.   American companies accounted for US$217.2 billion in 2016, an increase of 4 percent. Lockheed Martin, up 10.7 percent, accounted for much of the increase in the U.S.   In Europe, overall sales remained steady. Italian and multinational companies saw a decrease in sales, while German and British firms experienced an increase of 6.6 percent and 2 percent, respectively, said SIPRI.   Sales by Russian companies increased by 3.8 percent, reaching US$26.6 billion, said the institute.   In East Asia, South Korea witnessed major growth, selling weapons worth US$8.4 billion in 2016, while Japan's arms and military services sales decreased by 6.4 percent.   Analysts attributed the rise of global arm sales to growing instability across the globe, noted CNN.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 12/11/2017 UKRAINE - LATEST BUDGET FEATURES 34 PERCENT INCREASE FOR WEAPONS PROCUREMENT (DEC 11/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Ukrainian Parliament has adopted its budget for 2018, including significant increases for defense, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   The army is set to receive US$3.1 billion, a 25 percent increase over 2017, according to a statement last week by President Petro Poroshenko.   About one-fifth of the budget is to be allocated for weapons and military hardware, a 34 percent boost from the current year, the president said.   Total defense spending was expected to reach US$6 billion, reported Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council approved the defense spending earlier this year. The Kyiv Post noted in September that the coming increase would ensure that defense spending remained well above 5 percent of the country's gross domestic product – more than double of the 2 percent GDP benchmark set for NATO nations.   The Parliament on Dec. 7 approved in general a bill on the government budget for 2018
Item Number:15 Date: 12/11/2017 UNITED KINGDOM - BRITISH MILITARY NEEDS MORE FUNDING, SAYS MOD EQUIPMENT CHIEF (DEC 11/DAILYTEL)  DAILY TELEGRAPH -- The head of procurement for the U.K.'s Ministry of Defense is looking for more money for the military, reports London's Daily Telegraph.   Tony Douglas, the outgoing chief of Defense Equipment and Support, told the Public Accounts Committee last week that the armed forces needs additional funding.   Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has asked the Treasury for up to another 2 billion pounds (US$2.7 billion) annually to avoid sharp cuts as the military tries to meet savings targets.   The MoD has a goal of saving around 20 billion pounds (US$26.8 billion) over the next decade, but service leaders say growing equipment costs and the loss of value of the pound mean such savings cannot be reached without significant cuts to the forces.   The reduced value of the pound versus the U.S. dollar has increased the cost to the U.K. of major equipment, to include F-35 fighters
Item Number:16 Date: 12/11/2017 UNITED NATIONS - PEACEKEEPER TRAINING COURSE FOR U.N. STAFF WRAPS UP IN CHINA (DEC 11/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Chinese Ministry of Defense have completed a two-week training course for United Nations peacekeeping staff officers, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Forty instructors and students from 23 international organizations and countries, including Bangladesh, China and Switzerland, participated in the training, which ended on Dec. 8.   This was the second such course held in China.   The training covered theory, expertise and exercises on protecting civilians, cross-cultural communication, command-and-control and crisis response, said officials.   U.N. staff officers are primarily responsible for intelligence, combat, communications and training for peacekeeping missions and hold organizing, planning, coordinating and command posts.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 12/11/2017 USA - ARMY TAKES AIM AT LENGTHY ACQUISITION PROCESS (DEC 11/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The U.S. Army is trying to find ways to make significant cuts in the time it takes to develop and deliver new capabilities, reports Defense News.   "The process now to acquire something is maybe 10 to 15 years. It used to be five to seven. So, our aim would be to get it back to where it used to be as a starting point," Army Secretary Mark Esper told reporters on Dec. 7. He made his comments following a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on acquisition reform.   Esper said the service is focusing on reducing the time it takes to development requirements for a typical acquisition program from five years to 12 months.   The new strategy involves early prototyping, testing and learning, the secretary said.   He indicated that the Army will soldiers more often in testing prototypes to obtain useful feedback during the period when it is easier to change requirements or the design.   Esper also said the service is trying to improve collaboration with industry, with the assurance that there will be contracts at the end of a development process.   The secretary said the Army has identified six priority areas where it expects to spend much of its resources: long-range precision fires; next-generation combat vehicle; future vertical lift; the network; air and missile defense; and soldier lethality.   This provides industry with a good idea of where the Army is headed, said the secretary
  Item Number:18 Date: 12/11/2017 USA - DOD NAMES NEW CHIEF FOR U.S. NAVAL FORCES IN S. KOREA (DEC 11/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- The Pentagon has chosen a new commander for its naval forces in South Korea, reports the Stars and Stripes.   Capt. Michael Boyle, who was selected for promotion to rear admiral in October, will assume command of Navy Region Korea, Naval Forces Korea and the naval component of the United Nations Command, according to a Defense Dept. statement last week.   Boyle currently serves as director for international engagement for the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. He previously commanded Carrier Air Wing 5 in Japan, the aviation wing of the Navy's 7th Fleet.   Tension has been on the rise in the region following North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear tests.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 12/11/2017 USA - NAVY INACTIVATES DALLAS SUB; 36 YEARS OF SERVICE INCLUDED STARRING MOVIE ROLE (DEC 11/NNS)  NAVY NEWSSTAND -- The U.S. Navy has inactivated the nuclear-powered attack submarine Dallas (SSN 700) after 36 years of service, reports the Navy NewsStand.   An inactivation ceremony was held on Dec. 5 at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Wash.   The sub will be officially decommissioned in April 2018 in the controlled industrial area at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, Wash., said the service.   As pointed out in the "War Zone" blog, "The Big D" was known for its starring role in the 1990 movie "The Hunt for Red October." That movie and the 1984 Tom Clancy novel from which it was adapted led the adoption of the boat's unofficial motto, "The Hunt Is On."   The hunt is now over.   The Navy is decommissioning its aging Los Angeles-class attack subs as new Virginia-class boats come into service
  Item Number:20 Date: 12/11/2017 USA - TROOPS FROM 25TH ID IN HAWAII TO EVALUATE NEW BOOTS, UNIFORMS (DEC 11/ARMY)  ARMY TIMES -- The U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii will receive new jungle boots and an improved hot weather uniform for testing in January, say officials, as reported by the Army Times.   Those troops are expected to wear the new equipment in different settings, including deployments to the Philippines and Thailand in February.   Program Executive Office Soldier, the organization responsible for rapid prototyping, procurement and fielding of equipment for troops, will collect feedback in March to determine if any improvements need to be made.   Around 100 soldiers have already worn the Improved Hot Weather Combat Uniform. January will mark the first time that troops test the latest version of the jungle boots.   An initial version of the footwear was evaluated by soldiers earlier in 2017.   The boots feature large drainage vents on each side to prevent them from becoming waterlogged and heavy, say program officials. The new version is said to dry about an hour faster than the previous model.

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