Thursday, February 22, 2018

Fw: TheList 4661

The List 4661

To All
A bit of History and some tidbits.
This Day In Naval History – February 21, 2018
Feb. 21
1942USS Triton (SS 201) sinks Japanese merchant cargo vessel Shokyu Maru in the East China Sea, 60 miles south of Quelpart Island.
1944SBDs and TBFs bomb anti-aircraft positions at Lakunai airfield and shore installations at Rabaul and sink Japanese guard boat No.2 Yawata Maru.
1944 - Marines with support of naval bombardment and carrier aircraft secure Eniwetok atoll
1945Japanese kamikazes sink escort carrier USS Bismarck Sea (CVE 95) while off Iwo Jima with 318 men killed or wounded. USS Saratoga (CV 3) is struck by five kamikazes but survives, although 123 men are killed.
1991During Operation Desert Storm, AV-8B aircraft from Marine Attack Squadron 331 conduct the first of 243 sorties off the deck of USS Nassau (LHA 4).
1952During the Korean War, USS Symbol (AM 123), is conducting a routine check sweep in the vicinity of Mayang-do in company with USS Murrelet (AM 372), when she observes four splashes from an estimated 75mm shore battery. The ships return fire, which silences the enemy guns. 
Son of Quote of the Day
On this day in history (February 21):
1878: The first telephone directories issued in the U.S. were distributed
to residents in New Haven, CT.
1947: Edwin H. Land first demonstrated his Polaroid Land camera, which used
self-developing film that produced a black-and-white photograph in 60
seconds. Wildman Fischer sang about taking a picture of you with his
camera. It became an "instant" success.
1950: The first International Pancake Race was held in Liberal, Kansas.
In the annual event, contestants wearing dresses, aprons and head scarves
must run a 415-yard, "S" shaped course while flipping a pancake in a
skillet three times.
National Sticky Bun Day
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
National news is dominated by multiple student walk-outs across the country to protest gun violence; and President Trump ordering the Justice Department on Tuesday to issue regulations banning so-called bump stocks, which convert semiautomatic guns into automatic weapons. USNI News reports that Navy and Marine leadership have recently improved their training to prepare for conflict against a peer or near-peer adversary. The Navy has increased submarine-on-submarine training, conducted exercises with two and even three carrier strike groups, and pursued acquisition programs that seek to deal with potential adversaries such as Russia and China. Additionally, USNI News reports that North American Air Defense commander Gen. Lori Robison told the Senate Armed Services Committee that she had "100 percent confidence" that Northern command could defeat a ballistic missile attack from North Korea. Also, the Washington Post reports that militias aligned with President Bashar al-Assad have entered the Kurdish enclave of Afrin. The move could potentially stall a Turkish-led offensive and bring Syria and Turkey into direct confrontation.
February 21
The Jesuit poet Robert Southwell is hanged for "treason," being a Catholic.
Michael Romanov, son of the Patriarch of Moscow, is elected Russian Tsar.
The British blockade of Toulon is broken by 27 French and Spanish warships attacking 29 British ships.
As troubles with Great Britain increase, colonists in Massachusetts vote to buy military equipment for 15,000 men.
Trinidad, West Indies surrenders to the British.
The first issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is printed, both in English and in the newly invented Cherokee alphabet.
In the Second Sikh War, Sir Hugh Gough's well placed guns win a victory over a Sikh force twice the size of his at Gujerat on the Chenab River, assuring British control of the Punjab for years to come.
The Texas Rangers win a Confederate victory in the Battle of Val Verde, New Mexico.
The world's first telephone book is issued by the New Haven Connecticut Telephone Company containing the names of its 50 subscribers.
The Washington Monument is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
The Mukden campaign of the Russo-Japanese War, begins.
The Battle of Verdun begins with an unprecedented German artillery barrage of the French lines.
The Germans begin construction of a concentration camp at Auschwitz.
Hideki Tojo becomes chief of staff of the Japanese army.
Nicaragua and Costa Rica sign a friendship treaty ending hostilities over their borders.
The U. S. Eighth Army launches Operation Killer, a counterattack to push Chinese forces north of the Han River in Korea.
A grand jury in Montgomery, Alabama indicts 115 in a Negro bus boycott.
Havana places all Cuban industry under direct control of the government.
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcom X) is assassinated in front of 400 people.
Richard Nixon arrives in Beijing, China, becoming the first U.S. president to visit a country not diplomatically recognized by the U.S.
A report claims that the use of defoliants by the U.S. has scarred Vietnam for a century.
Interesting tidbit from a fellow reader...
Saw the timeline piece that mentioned Tsar Alexander II and it made me think about a recent interesting article.  I knew that the Imperial Russian Fleet had visited Norfolk in the 1870s, however I did not know this until the local paper had this article in late January about six Russians Sailors from the Imperial Navy had been buried at Portsmouth Naval Cemetery after they had died of typhus during the visit.
With our thanks to THE Bear at
February 20, 2018   Bear Taylor   
RIPPLE SALVO… #718… Three weeks into the countrywide Tet Offensive the JCS and all the President's men were toying with the throttles and valves controlling forces and actions to take in response to the enemy's initiatives and new momentum. Troop levels were a significant headache for the group since the availability of ready reserves was nowhere near the 100 to 200 thousand that Westmoreland wanted. The President came up with 10,500 to send off from Ft. Bragg and El Toro on the weekend of 17-18 February. Another valve that the heavies were adjusting was the limits on Rolling Thunder operations. Back-off or open it up? The guys in uniforms were adamant about tighter circles around Hanoi and Haiphong, and let it rip. Secretary McNamara's advice to back-off was overridden by the President, who authorized 14 targets closer to the center of the two target cities than ever before, at a Tuesday luncheon on 6 February. The bombing issue was raised again a week later to the consternation of the President, and would remain unsettled well into March. Meanwhile, there was no shortage of advice from other sources, like the New York Times… but first…
Good Morning: Day SEVEN HUNDRED EIGHTEEN of a return to the 40-month air war called Rolling Thunder…
21 FEBRUARY 1968…HEAD LINES from The New York Times on a cold, clear Wednesday in New York…
ENEMY OFFENSIVE/KHESANH: Page 1: "ENEMY ATTEMPTS TO PUT ARTILLERY ON EDGE OF SAIGON–ANTIAIRCRAFT GUNS OBSERVED BY PILOTS NEAR AIRPORT–BOMBS THWART MOVE–Heavy Clash In Suburb–U.S. Troops Report Killing 123 Vietcong–Allies Step-up Patrols In Capital"… "Enemy forces tried to slip several antiaircraft guns into the outskirts of Saigon but were foiled by alert air observers…A spokesman for the command said that the guns were spotted from the air two miles south of the runways of Tansonnhut Airport, and that allied bombers responded immediately by striking the area. South Vietnamese ground troops also moved into the area, covered largely by rice paddies, and brisk fighting lasted much of the afternoon…. At the same time, heavy fighting broke out in a suburb six miles northeast of Saigon between troops of the United States First Infantry Division and about 500 Vietcong maneuvering near the main highway leading from Saigon to Bien Hoa and cities to the north….123 Vietcong were killed in the clash…15 American soldiers were killed and 11 wounded…. there is concern about the possibility of a 'second wave' of assaults by the enemy in the Saigon area…. Fighting at Hue in the 21st day, continued to drag on. Little progress was reported by the Marine units trying to drive an enemy force from the city's ancient Citadel walls….United States and enemy troops also clashed again yesterday in the Mekong Delta city of Sonbe, where allied troops said they had killed 241 of the enemy over a three-day period…. In the Khesanh area in the northwest corner of South Vietnam where two to three North Vietnamese divisions are  massed, American Marines were harassed again with mortar fire… United States aircraft struck back again with heavy bombing and strafing raids in the area."… Page 2: "Pentagon Identifies Men Killed in Vietnam Combat"… "reported that 19 servicemen preciously listed as missing in action in Vietnam are now listed as killed in action."… Page 1: "HUE CHIEF ISSUES EXECUTION ORDER–Mayor Says Some Enemy Agents Face Death–U.S. Unable to Verify Report"... "The South Vietnamese military leader of war-devastated Hue today ordered that looters will be shot on sight and announced that there would be public executions within two days of some Communist agents arrested recently….One United States official was quoted s saying 'There will be summary executions, public executions of VC and hopefully some of the infrastructure of the Communist party."…
Thanks to Larry and John……Big deck, good visibility underneath, no driving rain, deck not pitching much, Ok nice video
Case II and Pitching Deck
Tue, 20 Feb 2018 01:32:43 +0000 (UTC)
Relive the thrill again.
But it's not a funny one.

Wonder why Trump is trying to build the wall. Of course. Guess how they vote?
 You may find this hard to believe... This is the Obama administration. This is why Trump's platform about illegal immigration is resonating with so many Americans. Watch this and pass it on, only 3½ minutes. It's dated 4/28/2016 This is staggering. Absolutely unbelievable. And it gets NO press. Chairman Chaffetz Opener - Criminal Aliens Released by the Department of Homeland Security 4/28/2016
From the F-8 Net
Thanks to Dick…A few thoughts on what it was like to fly F-8 Crusader.
In September '65, VF-13 was wrapping up a 7-month Mediterranean deployment aboard USS Shangri La in F8-E Crusaders. Our last launch would be off the East Coast with destination NAS Cecil Field. Our Skipper Jim Foster was spotted on the port catapult and Air Wing Commander Tom Heyward was on the starboard. I was number two behind the skipper and my wingy Larry Durbin would be next after me.  "Shang" rolled steady into the wind, CAG went to full power, saluted, and was airborne. Seconds later, Skipper Foster attempted to follow suit. Unfortunately, something went really wrong! He fell off the front of the flight deck with far less than the required airspeed. His Crusader hit the water, wings level, in front of the huge steel bow of the Shangri La, barreling down upon him at 30 knots. What followed was an unforgettable demonstration of incredible will to live on the part of the Skipper, and, very clearly, intervention in the form of a God-ordained Miracle!

In the final analysis, Skipper Foster made that "fly-off"; but it was in the ship's C1-A, which was the last aircraft launched, and he was in a dripping wet flight suit after escaping the cockpit of the sinking Crusader, the carrier's huge "screws" passing nearby, and being picked up by the ship's plane-guard helicopter, appropriate call sign Angel. Several of us in the Air Wing fly-off did not know he had survived. We deplaned, greeted our families, and were nervously considering what to say to the Skipper's wife, when the C1-A rolled up and he jumped out. God is good!

Ten months later, in another world known as Yankee Station, I was spotted on the port side of the flight deck of the USS Oriskany, in a VF-111 Sundowner F8-E Crusader, but this time with MK-83 thousand pound bridge-buster bombs on each wing. My wingman, nugget Bill McWilliams was number two behind me. We had a prime target assignment of a bridge southwest of Thanh Hoa, and we were ready! The last of the A4 Skyhawks were fired off and it was our turn. The taxi director lined me up on the port catapult. I rolled smoothly and carefully over the large catapult shuttle, from which a strong cable bridle would be attached to a hook on the belly of my Crusader. I moved gently forward as a brave young sailor positioned under the hot tailpipe of that Crusader inserted a "T" hold-back fitting that attached my Crusader to the flight deck and would hold my aircraft firmly as power was applied, but break free when the catapult fired. Ever hear of "Rube Goldberg?" But that was carrier aviation life in those days. I double-checked ordnance switches safe and put my hands on my helmet so the red-shirted ordnance boys could pull the safety pins from my Mk-82's. The job was done and the Catapult Officer gave me the signal for full power. I checked the engine gauges at normal, and looked up to see the Catapult Officer giving me the signal for afterburner, which would be required for takeoff with that bomb load on a hot July day on Yankee. I positioned my head firmly against the headrest, saluted, saw the Catapult Officer lean forward to touch the flight deck, and felt a very unusual minimal jolt. I looked up to see the catapult bridle flying through the air several hundred feet in front of me. I was in afterburner, accelerating slowly down the deck. Following "cold cat" emergency procedures I'd thought through hundreds of times, during long hours sitting in the cockpit manning the Alert Five aircraft, I immediately came out of afterburner, chopped the throttle to idle, and stepped on the brakes. The ever-alert Air Boss simultaneously broadcast: "Power back, hit the brakes." Later investigation revealed the "T" holdback fitting had broken, and the bridle had fallen free, a nanosecond before the catapult fired. I was sliding down a slick catapult track, in a heavily loaded aircraft, with less than 120 feet in which to stop, and it was a little unnerving to hear the Air Boss call for the rescue helicopter. I suppose I was applying the brakes like I'd learned on icy Nebraska roads as a pre-teen driver, trying not to let those narrow high-speed jet tires skid. However, when I reached the position where I couldn't see the edge of the flight deck over the Crusader's nose, my hands went instinctively to the face curtain to prepare for ejection. Our Crusaders did not have the new Martin-Baker zero-airspeed, zero-altitude capability for safe seat ejection, but I resolved to shoot myself out of that apparently doomed Crusader if its nose wheel dropped over the edge of the flight deck.

I had a firm grip on the face curtain handles, and was looking to the right to watch the edge of the flight deck approaching. The cockpit seat is directly above the Crusader's nose wheel, I was almost looking straight across the front edge, and my adrenalin was absolutely over-dosing, when I saw, and felt, that magnificent aircraft stop. It turned out, I still had three feet of deck space left, which was enough to get the Crusader's nose turned and pointed back down the flight deck. The mission launch was continuing off the starboard catapult as the taxi director and brave young blue-shirt plane pushers got me headed back to safety. The Air Boss was on the radio. His first call was to the Angel helicopter to return to station; then he asked me if I wanted to try it again. Why not? My wingy was lining up on the starboard cat and I didn't want him going "feet dry" over North Vietnam without me. I taxied back down the deck and turned to get in line for the starboard cat. A green-shirted maintenance "final-checker" was banging on the side of the cockpit and the Boss was giving me the news: The outer barrel of the "unbreakable" nose wheel strut on the Crusader had split vertically and it was in danger of exploding. Hydraulic fluid was spraying everywhere. When the unloaded shuttle had been fired under the nose wheel, the tremendous upward impact had almost exploded the strut. As I found out years later, it also "exploded" three of the discs in my lower vertebrae. I'm writing this today because there was absolutely Divine Intervention involved. There was just enough friction on that slippery wet catapult track to allow me to stop. Maybe it wasn't a miracle, but I'm damned sure it wasn't me that stopped that Crusader and full load of bombs! Would I have survived if I had ejected?

Fifteen months later, my roommate Lieutenant Edwin Van Orden of Arlington, Texas, had a similar event on the starboard catapult. Unfortunately, when Ed's F8-C was sliding and skidding down that slippery catapult track, his nose wheel did drop over the front deck edge. I was watching from Pri-Fly as the squadron's observer for that launch, when an erroneous, over-boosted, catapult setting tore the hook out of his Crusader. I saw Ed's hands go up to the face curtain just as mine had earlier. When the Crusader's nose dropped over the deck edge, he shot himself out. Ironically, the nose wheel and strut caught in the safety net strung across the front of the Oriskany's flight deck. The Crusader did not crash into the water and was later hoisted back aboard. Ed's early-model Martin-Baker got him up a couple hundred feet, and his drogue chute actually pulled the main chute out far enough to deploy, before it took one wild swing and slammed him into the side of the forward gun-tub on the Oriskany's port side. That Officer, Gentleman, and courageous Warrior did not survive. I kept him in the fight through my 276th and last mission over North Vietnam. Every time I'd taxi onto the catapult and feel the nose wheel drop over the shuttle, I'd mutter into my oxygen mask: "This one's for you, Ed."

Why did I get at least three "God-ordained Miracles" during that war, when Ed needed one so badly? He was twice the Officer and Gentleman that I was, and probably a better pilot! It's been a burden on my conscious for 50 years. I can only rationalize that our dear Lord had a more important job for him, somewhere, in those high heavens, way above the rest of us.

Very Respectfully, Dick (Brown Bear) Schaffert
20 February 2017
There are a couple of great books on what these PBY crews did at the start of the war and all the way through. This is just one example….skip
A couple of days late but for this.... no problem!
15 FEBRUARY 1944
The two engines of the PBY Catalina seaplane nicknamed "Arkansas Traveler" coughed and sputtered to a start.  Launching from VP-34's base at Samarai Island at the eastern tip of New Guinea, pilot LTJG Nathan Green Gordon and seven crewmen were to accompany US Army Air Corps A-20 "Havoc" and B-25 "Mitchell" bombers on a raid on Kavieng Bay, New Ireland.  Their task to rescue downed Army flyers would be complicated this day by seas running 15-18 foot swells!
Their first call sent them towards a downed A-20 piloted by Pearson G. Schussman from the 3rd Bomber Group.  Gordon lined up on the floating wreckage to land directly into the swell.  The PBY crashed violently through successive waves, disappearing in the trough and popping rivets in her hull.  Water shipped aboard, and nothing was found here but floating oil, a dye marker, and a partially inflated rubber raft.
The next call was for the downed B-25D "Gremlins Holiday."  Six men flailed in the water.  Again Gordon banged to a hard landing.  When the heavy waves raised the swimmers dangerously close to the PBY's spinning prop, Gordon shut down the port engine (a risky maneuver).  They had made only 20 miles toward home when the third call came in, the B-25D "Pissonit" was down.  Gordon turned back, landed, and cut his engine yet again.  Now with ten rescued airmen aboard the PBY struggled to get airborne, banging heavily through the large swells.  Gallons of water sloshed in the PBY's bilges, but the "Cat" made it airborne.  The ten rescued flyers huddled in their blankets content that they would not spend the rest of the war as POWs.  But now a fourth call came in.  This time a B-25D of the 345th Bomber Group was down just 600 yards off the beach at Kavieng--well within the range of enemy rifles!  Gordon turned the plane back without a second thought.
His approach passed low over the enemy shore.  Bullets from small arms "tinked" against the wings and again the heavy swell battered the limping PBY.  More water shipped aboard as Gordon skillfully positioned the plane between the six struggling flyers and the shore.  B-25s overhead strafed the shore, but the PBY was now grossly overloaded with 24 total souls.  Gordon spun up his engines yet again, the Catalina struggled, her hull pounding heavily against each wave.  More seams split, water poured in, and crewmen bailed frantically.  And almost imperceptibly the laden PBY crept upward, straining her way into the sky.  Fifteen of the 16 Army flyers Gordon rescued this day survived their wounds.  He received the Medal of Honor for his persistence, skill, and bravery, and his seven crewmen were each awarded the Silver Star.
Watch for more "Today in Naval History"
CAPT James Bloom, Ret.
Rehabilitation Medicine

Hayes, Robert W.  Bless 'em All:  The Adventures of a Navy Black Cat Squadron in World War II.  Eden Prairie, MN: Willow Creek Pub.,1986, pp. 30-33.
 Pacific  "Nathan Gordon - PBY Pilot & Medal of Honor."  AT:, retrieved 2 November 2010.
United States Congress.  United States of America's Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients and their Official Citations.  Columbia Heights, MN: Highland House II, 1994, p. 324.
A repeat but worth the time to watch
From: Al Williams
Date: Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 6:34 PM
Subject: God Bless America

THIS is the one I think both of us accidentally deleted several years ago.  Like Frank Sinatra, I wipe away a tear each time I listen to this beautiful patriotic song by Kate Smith with her lyrics.  Do you know any of the people that were in the movie beside Ronald Regan? I am especially interested in knowing the general's name sitting with his wife. I had forgotten the Boy Scouts got all royalties. Enjoy.
I left my friends comments. He lives here in Anderson and I have known him forever.
I remember eating breakfast to this song when I was pre-teen. A local radio host always
played it to open and close his show on WAIM Anderson, S.C. I too shed a tear every time
 I hear it. Perhaps, in the wake of the times that we are going through, this is a good time to send this around the country. WE ARE STILL "THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA".....the greatest country on the face of this earth..............................................Alan
You may have read and heard this before but it never hurts to be reminded of how blessed we are to live in the country of USA. I remember hearing Kate sing this on the radio  but I don't know if I heard it when she introduced it for the first time.( You know "I am older than dirt"!
An Interesting bit of History
 Did you know there are lyrics before the words "God bless America , land that I love."?
Frank  Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said that when he and a million other guys first heard her sing "God Bless  America" on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes as they wiped away a  tear or two. 
Here are the facts; The link at the bottom will take you to a video showing the very first public singing of "God Bless America ". But before you watch it you should know the story behind the first public showing of the  song. 
The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we'd have to go to war. It was a  time of hardship and worry for most Americans. 
This  was the era just before TV when radio shows were HUGE and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers and no entertainer of that era was bigger than  Kate Smith. 
 Kate was also large; plus size as we now say and the popular phrase still used  today is in deference to her; "It ain't over till the fat lady sings."
Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time. 
Kate was also patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America , and faith in her fellow Americans. She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song-writer Irving Berlin (who also wrote White Christmas) and asked him to write a song that would make Americans  feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her. He went to his files and found a song that he had written but never published, 22 years before - in 1917. He gave it to her and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from God Bless America . Any  profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America . Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song. 
This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first  time and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the  background, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, You're In The  Army Now. At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper; it's Ronald Reagan. 
To this day, God Bless America stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country.  Back in 1940, when Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of  her fellow Americans, I doubt whether she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry...and for many generations of Americans to follow.
Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you'll enjoy it.  
 Many  people don't know there's a lead in to the song since it usually starts with God Bless America ... So here's the entire song as originally sung.  Enjoy it! Click below:
Item Number:1 Date: 02/21/2018 AFGHANISTAN - TROOPS FREE 30 CIVILIANS FROM TALIBAN DETENTION CENTER (FEB 21/XIN)  XINHUA -- Afghan security forces have freed more than two dozen civilians from a Taliban detention center in the eastern Laghman province, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Late Monday night, the troops hit the detention center in the Dara-e-Sangar region of the Alinegar district, killing eight militants and releasing 30 civilians held there, said a statement from the Afghan Defense Ministry on Tuesday.   Afghan troops also destroyed a number of arms, munitions and four motorbikes during the attack, the ministry said.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 02/21/2018 EGYPT - 3 TROOPS KILLED IN ONGOING SINAI OPERATION (FEB 21/ASHARQ)  ASHARQ AL-AWSAT -- Three Egyptian soldiers have been killed during a counterterrorism operation in the Sinai Peninsula, reports Asharq Al-Awsat (London).   An army officer and two soldiers were killed while fighting Islamic State (ISIS)-linked militants in the region, a military spokesman said on Monday. Three other soldiers were injured. Four terrorists were killed in the operations, the spokesman said.   The announcement was first regarding casualties since the operation was launched on Feb. 9.   Around 70 terrorists have been killed in the operation so far, according to statements on the spokesman's Twitter page. More than 1,500 people have been arrested.   The Comprehensive Military Operation "Sinai 2018" is a joint military and police mission to fight terrorist groups around the country, especially the ISIS-affiliated Sinai Province
Item Number:3 Date: 02/21/2018 FRANCE - POLICE ARREST 3 IN CONNECTION TO BARCELONA TERROR ATTACKS (FEB 21/XIN)  XINHUA -- French police have arrested three suspects in connection to last year's terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The Spanish Interior Ministry announced the arrests on Tuesday, reported Reuters.   With help from Spanish police, French authorities arrested the trio in the southern French regions of Tarn and Gard.   The arrests follow a decision in January by a French judge to open a full inquiry into the attacks in Spain, reported Radio France International.   The men are suspected of links with Driss Oukabir, who is currently in Spanish custody.   Oukabir is accused of membership in a terror cell and murder for his part in the August 2017 attacks, which killed 14 and injured more than 100, noted Reuters.  
Item Number:7 Date: 02/21/2018 KUWAIT - 15 FAST PATROL BOATS SOUGHT FROM U.S. FOR MARITIME SECURITY MISSIONS (FEB 21/DSCA)  U.S. DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION AGENCY -- The U.S. State Dept. has approved the potential sale of 15 fast patrol boats to Kuwait, reports the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA).   The potential US$100 million deal includes 36 .50-caliber machine guns, two per boat plus six spares, as well as support, training and equipment, according to a DSCA release dated Feb. 20.   The prime contractor would be Kvichak, based in Kent, Wash.   Kuwait plans to use the boats for patrol, interdiction and maritime protection, noted the release.  
Item Number:13 Date: 02/21/2018 SYRIA - GOVERNMENT-LINKED FORCES COME TO AID OF KURDS AGAINST TURKS (FEB 21/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- Pro-government fighters in Syria have arrived in Afrin in the northern Aleppo province to support Kurdish fighters battling the Turkish military, reports Bloomberg News.   The pro-government forces left Aleppo as part of an initiative to help "defend our people against the Turkish aggression," reported state-run Syrian television.   Turkish forces entered Syria on Jan. 20 to expel Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) forces from the border region. Ankara considers the YPG an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated a terrorist group.   Turkey has warned Syria against sending forces to support the Kurds, noted BBC News.   "The Syrian government responded to the call of duty and sent military units on Tuesday and they will be positioned along the border and take part in defending the unity and border of the Syrian territory," said a YPG spokesman.   On Tuesday, Turkey dispatched an additional 1,200 commandos to the Syrian border to reinforce troops near Afrin, reported Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency.  
Item Number:15 Date: 02/21/2018 USA - PLANNED MEETING WITH N. KOREA CANCELLED OVER TOUGH TALK, SANCTIONS, SAYS V.P.'S OFFICE (FEB 21/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- Pyongyang cancelled a planned meeting between North Korean officials and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during his trip to South Korea, reports the Washington Post.   North Korean authorities unexpectedly cancelled the meeting, which was scheduled for Feb. 10, Pence's office said on Tuesday.   North Korea was reportedly dissatisfied with Pence's announcement of new sanctions and meetings with North Korean defectors.   The cancellation also coincided with an invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae In for bilateral talks. Moon said he would try to fulfill the request.   President Donald Trump reportedly approved the meeting, though no negotiations were supposed to take place.   The vice president's office promoted his trip as an effort to combat what it called North Korea's plan to use the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for propaganda purposes. The office portrayed the cancellation of the meeting as evidence of success.   The White House viewed the meeting as a continuation of its high-pressure campaign against North Korea and an opportunity to affirm public statements in private
  Item Number:16 Date: 02/21/2018 USA - SIKORSKY BEGINS FINAL ASSEMBLY FOR COMBAT RESCUE HELO; 1ST FLIGHT ANTICIPATED AHEAD OF SCHEDULE (FEB 21/LM)  LOCKHEED MARTIN -- Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin subsidiary, has launched final assembly for the first HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter for the U.S. Air Force, reports Lockheed.   The move meets the program's accelerated schedule, with first flight expected at the end of 2018, two months earlier than initially planned.   The final assembly process includes installation of the new tactical mission kit (TMK), including sensors, radar and self-defense systems, said Lockheed on Feb. 20.   The engineering manufacturing development aircraft is the first of nine to be built under this phase of the program, which includes five system demonstration test articles.   The Air Force plans to buy 112 HH-60Ws to replace its aging HH-60G aircraft in the search-and-rescue and personnel recovery role.

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