Thursday, March 1, 2018

Fw: TheList 4666

The List 4666

To All
I hope that your week has started well.
This Day In Naval History – February 27, 2018
Feb. 27
1928Cmdr. Theodore G. Ellyson, the Navy's first aviator, along with Lt. Cmdr. Hugo Schmidt and Lt. Rogers Ransehounsen, crash to their deaths in a Loening Amphibian, a 2-seat amphibious biplane, on a night flight from Norfolk, Va. to Annapolis, MD.
1942Seaplane tender USS Langley (AV 3), carrying 32 U.S. Army Air Force P-40 aircraft for the defense of Java, is bombed by Japanese naval land attack planes 75 miles south of Tjilatjap, Java. Due to the damage, Langley is shelled and torpedoed by USS Whipple (DD 217). 
1942—The Battle of the Java Sea begins, where the 14-ship Allied forces (American, Dutch, British and Australian) attempt to stop the 28-ship Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies colony of Java. The Japanese, during battles over three days, decimates the Allied forces, sinking at least 11 ships, killing more than 3,370 and taking nearly 1,500 prisoners.
1944Three U.S. Navy submarines sink three Japanese cargo ships: Grayback (SS 208) sinks Ceylon Maru in the East China Sea; Cod (SS 244) sinks Taisoku Maru west of Halmahera while Trout (SS 202) sinks Aki Maru.
1945Submarine USS Scabbardfish (SS 397) sinks Japanese guardboat No. 6 Kikau Maru, 100 miles northeast of Keelung, Formosa, while USS Blenny (SS 324) attacks a Japanese convoy off French Indochina and sinks merchant tanker Amato Maru off Cape Padaran.
1945Land-based patrol aircraft from VPB 112, along with others from three British vessels, HMS Labaun and HMS Loch Fada and HMS Wild Goose, sink German submarine U 327 in the English Channel.
1973—First airborne mine sweep in a live minefield takes place in the Haiphong, Vietnam ship channel by helicopters from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Twelve on board USS New Orleans (LPH 11).
2017—The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) is decommissioned after 33 years of service during a ceremony held at Keyport Undersea Museum.
Executive Summary:
National news is dominated by continued coverage of the Broward County sheriff's office's handling of the Parkland school shooting, and the Supreme Court's decision not to hear the Trump administration's appeal that the court immediately decide whether the administration can shut down major pieces of the DACA program. USNI News reports that Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have introduced the Surface Warfare Enhancement Act in an effort to build on the conclusions from the reviews of the fatal collisions of 2017. The nearly 20 provisions of the reform bill include a complete review of the Navy's command and control structure, changes to "up-and-out" rules to keep experienced officers in the Navy, and the authority for a service chief to delay the start of a deployment if a ship or strike group cannot prove it is ready. Stars and Stripes reports that the Military Sealift Command is adding ships within the 6th Fleet theater which has seen an increase in activity due in part to Russia's more assertive actions in the area. Additionally, Washington Times reports that senior U.S. and South Korean defense officials are working out details on the latest iteration of an annual military exercise on the peninsula despite North Korea's warnings to cease such operations in the wake of the Olympic Games.
1942   U.S. aircraft carrier Langley is sunk »  in the Battle of the Java Sea
February 27
Theodosius effectively founds a university in Constantinople.
German Protestants form the League of Schmalkalden to resist the power of the emperor.
The Pacific Island of New Britain is discovered.
Napoleon's Marshal Nicholas Oudinot is pushed back at Barsur-Aube by the Emperor's allied enemies shortly before his abdication.
The first Mardi-Gras celebration is held in New Orleans.
The first Union prisoners arrive at Andersonville Prison in Georgia.
Confederate raider William Quantrill and his bushwackers attack Hickman, Kentucky, shooting women and children.
The Japanese push Russians back in Manchuria and cross the Sha River.
The forty-sixth star is added to the U.S. flag, signifying Oklahoma's admission to statehood.
The United States rejects a Soviet peace offer as propaganda.
Glacier Bay National Monument is dedicated in Alaska.
The burning down of the Reichstag building in Berlin gives the Nazis the opportunity to suspend personal liberty with increased power.
The Supreme Court outlaws sit-down strikes.
British Commandos raid a German radar station at Bruneval on the French coast.
F-84 Thunderjets raid North Korean base on Yalu River.
South Vietnamese president Ngo Dinh Diem is unharmed as two planes bomb the presidential palace in Saigon.
The Soviet Union says that 10,000 troops will remain in Cuba.
Thousands of students protest President Richard Nixon's arrival in Rome.
U.S. Supreme Court rules that a Virginia pool club can't bar residents because of color.
Debi Thomas becomes the first African American to win a medal at the Winter Olympics.
Coalition forces liberate Kuwait after seven months of occupation by the Iraqi army.
With our thanks to THE Bear at
February 27, 2018   Bear Taylor 
RIPPLE SALVO… #724… CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF GENERAL WHEELER VIETNAM TRIP REPORT: "WESTMORELAND NEEDS MORE TROOPS."… NYT: "The time has come for Americans and their leaders to recognize that the (Vietnam) policy itself is illogical; that it entraps the United States in a war without visible limits, despite all official optimism; that it will continue to make insatiable demands on American manpower, resources and energy far beyond the worth of any conceivable gains. The only sound policy is to move from the battlefield to the negotiating table with fullest speed."… but first…
Good Morning: Day SEVEN HUNDRED TWENTY-FOUR of a 1,000 day remembrance of an air war fought fifty years ago called Rolling Thunder…
27 FEBRUARY 1968… HEAD LINES from The New York Station on a pleasant Tuesday in the big city…
Page 1: "MANSFIELD URGES PEACE EMPHASIS–WANTS TRIAL HALT IN BOMBING IN PREFERENCE TO HEEDING CALL FOR MORE TROOPS"… "Senator Mike Mansfield urged the Administration today to give preference to 'escalating our peace efforts' over expected military requests for more American troops in Vietnam. In a speech to the Senate, the majority leader called for a trial suspension of American air attacks against North Vietnam 'as a step toward peace.' this is preferable', he concluded, to heeding 'the insatiable calls for more men as the war spreads and intensifies. The Montana Democrat said any limitation of the air campaign 'would not and should not weaken the air support for American forces south of the demilitarized zone between the North and South Vietnam, especially the marine positions at Khesanh.' "
GROUND WAR ("War is a killing business") Page 1: "MARINE PATROL MAULED 800 YARDS OUTSIDE KHESANH–NORTH VIETNAMESE AMBUSH U.S. PLATOON AND BLOCK RESCUE UNITS EFFORTS–Foe Digs Toward Base–3 Enemy Armored Vehicles Attacked By GIs Only 45 Miles From Saigon"… "North Vietnamese troops mauled a United States Marine patrol and blocked a rescue platoon 800 yards outside the combat base at Khesanh yesterday. American officers said that the enemy forces were moving closer by the day to positions for an all-out offensive in the northwest of South Vietnam. The ambush of the Marine patrol came before dawn. Because of new restrictions imposed by the United States command, the number of casualties suffered was not divulged but a survivor said, 'A whole bunch were killed in the beginning.' The patrol was a platoon, usually 45 men in the Marine Corps. Enemy fire held back the relief platoon, which also suffered some casualties. At daybreak the mist and fog lifted slightly for the first time in a week and United States jets swept over the area, dropping bombs and napalm on the attacking troops."… "A United States Special Forces patrol ambushed an enemy battalion spearheaded by three armored vehicles about 45 miles northwest of Saigon. It was said to be the farthest south that enemy armor had been seen. One vehicle was destroyed and 30 of the enemy killed"… "In Saigon enemy gunners shelled Tansonnhut air base before dawn today and bombarded three other areas in the city and suburbs. A number of civilians were reported wounded and 120 houses destroyed."… "At Khesanh, United states strategists believe that two divisions or more of enemy troops are in position to attack the 5000 Marines holding the barren, sand-bagged base….North Vietnamese troops, working in monsoon mist and fog were digging fortified, zigzag trenches and tunnels outside the perimeter of the base. Air spotters detected one trench 100 yards from Khesanh's barbed wire."…
Thanks to Chuck
2017 Military Strength Ranking

World's largest plane with a wingspan longer than a FOOTBALL FIELD - designed to launch rockets into space - taxis down the runway at 46mph in latest test

Senior Moment ...In case you missed it
Thanks to Carl
Defense Outlook 2018
Thanks to Mike…I remember the first one
An extended look at the similarities between the original 1957 film and the more well-known comedy-remake from 1980. Produced for education purposes only.
Thanks to Carl
Unanswered Mystery of the Century: Barack Hussein Obama
Thanks to Mike
15 Crashes (Well 1 Crazy One on a ship in heavy seas)...A few new ones for me...10 Mnutes
Interesting bit of history from Carl
Behind enemy lines: Secrets of US Special Forces who were stationed in Berlin to bring down the Soviet Union from within are finally revealed 
The Special Forces Berlin unit was created in 1956 to counter the Soviet menace
The team were trained in the art of sabotage and gathering secret intelligence
In the event of war, the team would go behind enemy lines and cause havoc 
Several times during their 40-year history they were put on full alert  
Thanks to John

Buster Keaton's Most Amazing Stunts
Considerable skill and physical agility involved.

  Buster Keaton's Most Amazing Stunts 
I wonder how they did All these
Stunts before digital editing?!
Item Number:1 Date: 02/27/2018 ARGENTINA - COAST GUARD FIRES ON CHINESE BOAT ILLEGALLY FISHING IN EEZ (FEB 27/NEWEEK)  NEWSWEEK -- The Argentinean coast guard says it fired warning shots on a Chinese boat found illegally fishing last week within the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ), reports Newsweek.   The Jing Yuan 626 was discovered sailing within the EEZ along with four other vessels, all flying the Chinese flag, said a coast guard statement on Feb. 23.   Four of the vessels attempted to ram the coast guard boat and performed maneuvers that put the crew at risk, the statement said.   The coast guardsmen continued to attempt to capture the fishing boat, firing a number of warning shots and machine gun and cannon fire intended to disrupt the ship's navigability without harming the crew.   The pursuit lasted nearly eight hours before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered the coast guard to end the chase.   In a similar incident in 2016, the coast guard sank a Chinese trawler found illegally fishing in Argentina's EEZ
Item Number:2 Date: 02/27/2018 INDIA - DHANUSH SHORT-RANGE BALLISTIC MISSILE SUCCESSFULLY TEST-FIRED FROM SHIP (FEB 27/ZEE)  ZEE NEWS -- The Indian navy has successful test-fired a short-range ballistic missile from a warship off the coast of Odisha state in the Bay of Bengal, reports Zee News (India).   The Dhanush missile trial was a "complete success" and achieved all mission objectives, officials told the Press Trust of India.   The weapon, designed for anti-ship and land attack strikes, has a range of 220 miles (350 km) and can carry a warhead of up to 1,100 pounds (500 kg). It can be fitted with a conventional or nuclear warhead.   The Dhanush was first tested in 2000 and completed its first operational test in 2004. It has completed a total of seven test-firings, with the previous trial coming in November 2015.
Item Number:3 Date: 02/27/2018 INDIA - NAVY TO HOST MAJOR REGIONAL NAVAL EXERCISE (FEB 27/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- The Indian navy is set to host naval personnel from at least 16 countries for a major exercise later this month, reports the Press Trust of India.   The biennial Milan drills are scheduled from March 6 to March 14 in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on the eastern side of the Bay of Bengal.   The drills focus on maritime security, interoperability and boosting regional cooperation, said a navy spokesman.   Participants include Australia, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, New Zealand, Oman, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 02/27/2018 INDONESIA - FORMER GENERAL SET TO FACE OFF AGAINST PRESIDENT WIDODO IN ELECTORAL REMATCH (FEB 27/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- Retired Indonesian Lt. Gen. Prabowo Subianto is expected to stand as a candidate in upcoming presidential elections, reports Bloomberg News.   Prabowo is the candidate of choice of the main opposition party, Gerindra, according to Hashim Djojohadikusumo, co-founder of the party and the retired general's brother.   Parties must finalize their choice of candidates by August. The elections are scheduled for April 2019.   If Prabowo does run, he will face incumbent Joko Widodo in a repeat of the 2014 elections.   Widodo is the first president to come from outside of Indonesia's military and political elite. Both Prabowo and Djojohadikusumo have strong ties to Indonesia's traditional power brokers.   Widodo has maintained popular support but has failed to deliver on promised 7 percent annual economic growth.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 02/27/2018 IRELAND - REFERENDUM ON UNIFIED IRELAND ON THE TABLE, SAYS SINN FEIN LEADER (FEB 27/F24)  FRANCE 24 -- The new leader of Ireland's Sinn Fein party has said that a referendum on reunification with Northern Ireland might be a possibility after Brexit, reports France 24.   "Brexit and the Good Friday Agreement are mutually incompatible. It's as simple as that," Mary Lou McDonald said last week after meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.   A referendum on a united Ireland is "an obvious option to be on the table," and would likely happen within the next 10 years, said McDonald, who assumed leadership of the party on Feb. 10.   McDonald's statement came during a press conference to discuss talks of forming a governing coalition in Northern Ireland, which has been without a ruling coalition for 14 months, reported China's Xinhua news agency.   The Good Friday Agreement ended more than four decades of fighting between the U.K. government and the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), which sought to unify the southern Republic of Ireland with the U.K.-administered North.   A key element of the agreement was the free movement of people and goods across the border between north and south. Critics believe this will be impossible if the U.K. leaves the European Union without a special agreement.   There are also concerns that a return to a closed border could lead to renewed violence.   Reunification is a longstanding goal for the Sinn Fein party.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 02/27/2018 MALI - TUAREG MILITIAS BATTLE ISIS FIGHTERS IN GAO (FEB 27/LWJ)  LONG WAR JOURNAL -- Tuareg militias in northern Mali have been fighting militants loyal to the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS), reports the Long War Journal.   The Imghad and Allies Self Defense Movement (GATIA) and the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad (MSA) fought militants under the leadership of local ISIS commander Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, according to a pair of statements from the Tuareg groups released on Feb. 23.   Six ISIS fighters were killed or captured and a former Nigerien military vehicle was recovered during the fighting in the In-Delimane area of the Gao region, said the Tuareg groups.   French special operation forces participated in the operations along with the Tuareg fighters, reported Radio France International. The operations aimed at killing or capturing Sahrawi, but were unsuccessful.   The In-Delimane region was also the site of a fatal improvised explosive device attack on French forces last week
Item Number:7 Date: 02/27/2018 MOROCCO - E.U. COURT RULES WESTERN SAHARA NOT PART OF MOROCCO (FEB 27/FORBES)  FORBES -- The top court for the European Union has ruled against Morocco in its bid to gain international recognition of its right to the disputed Western Sahara, reports Forbes.   The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that a 2006 fisheries agreement between Morocco and the E.U. could not be extended to the disputed region.   "The territory of Western Sahara does not form part of the territory of the Kingdom of Morocco," read the court's decision, echoing a similar ruling in 2016 regarding an agricultural agreement.   Ostensibly a deal involving fishing rights, the case was brought by Western Sahara Campaign, a U.K. group that advocates for independence for the vast but sparsely-populated region south of Morocco.   Morocco has ruled over the area since Spain vacated its colonial holdings in 1975. Afterwards, Morocco fought a decades-long insurgency against the Polisario Front, which sought independence.   Morocco rules over 75 percent of the area and claims the right to rule over the entire territory. These claims are not universally recognized and led to the expulsion of Morocco from the African Union in 1984. It rejoined in 2017.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 02/27/2018 NETHERLANDS - LAWMAKERS APPROVES RULES ALLOWING DUTCH SHIPS TO EMPLOY ARMED GUARDS IN DANGEROUS WATERS (FEB 27/NLT)  NL TIMES -- Lawmakers have approved a proposal that would allow security guards on Dutch ships to retain their weapons and use them while sailing through areas where piracy is prevalent, reports the NL Times.   The motion passed the lower house once the Christenunie party signed on after an amendment was introduced requiring camera surveillance on vessels, said the AD newspaper.   Security guards must wear body cameras, which must be activated when the ship enters areas known to be prone to piracy. If there is an attack or other incident, security officers must provide imagery to the public prosecutor, according to the amendment.   If guards do not have such video, they could be punished, said legislators.   The Netherlands has been slow to approve such armed guards despite an uptick in hijackings off the coast of Somalia several years ago.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 02/27/2018 RUSSIA - DEFENSE COMPANIES WORKING ON AIRBORNE LASERS TO SHOOT DOWN SATELLITES (FEB 27/D1)  DEFENSE ONE -- Russian defense firms say they have developed a plane-mounted laser capable of hitting satellites, reports Russian media cited by Defense One.   Weapons maker Almaz-Antey has "completed work on the anti-satellite complex," according to a story published by Interfax on Feb. 24.   The project has yet to be confirmed by outside observers but there have been rumors of such a project.   In April 2017, Almaz-Antey officials told Russian news outlet RIA Novosti that the company was developing weapons that could interfere with or destroy satellites in orbit.   The program builds off the Soviet-era Beriev A-60, which employed a gas laser fitted inside a modified Russian Il-76 Candid cargo plane. The new laser will be installed in a new, unspecified aircraft as part of a new anti-satellite system involving ground and radar elements, said Interfax.   A similar effort was conceived in the Kontakt 30P6 program in 1984, which used a MiG-31D to shoot down satellites with a 79M6 missile using targeting data from a space and satellite observation complex
Item Number:10 Date: 02/27/2018 SAUDI ARABIA - TOP MILITARY LEADERS REPLACED IN BID TO ENHANCE PERFORMANCE (FEB 27/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- Saudi Arabia has replaced several top military commanders, including the army chief of staff and the heads of the air defense and ground forces, reports Bloomberg News.   The shakeup was announced Monday during a gathering of Saudi leaders and executives from global defense firms in Riyadh.   No reasons were given for the changes. A source told Reuters that the moves were designed to reduce inefficiency and corruption.   Crown Prince Mohammed has publicly discussed his frustration with Saudi Arabia's defense spending, compared to its limited capabilities, as demonstrated in Yemen.   Lt. Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed al-Ruwayli will succeed Gen. Abdul Rahman bin Saleh al-Bunyan as the new chief of staff. Lt. Gen. Fahd bin Turki was appointed commander the country's joint forces, reported Al Arabiya.   Several civilian officials, including deputy ministers, were also replaced.   The announcement comes as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman seeks to consolidate power and the situation in Yemen has become more difficult.   The next generation of leaders might be looking for similarly younger military leaders, said one analyst.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 02/27/2018 TURKEY - POLICE, GENDARMERIE ENTER AFRIN FOR URBAN FIGHT AGAINST KURDS (FEB 27/DAILYSABAH)  DAILY SABAH -- Turkish police and gendarmerie special operations forces have entered the Afrin region in Syria's northern Aleppo province as part of ongoing operations against Kurdish forces in the area, reports the Daily Sabah (Istanbul).   The special operations forces will be responsible for conducting operations in urban areas and preventing the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) from infiltrating villages captured by the Turkish military, said the Turkish Interior Ministry.   The YPG has been driven out of nearly all areas bordering Turkey, the ministry said.   On Monday, the Turkish General Staff announced that 2,059 militants had been killed, injured or captured since the start of Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20, reported the Hurriyet Daily News (Istanbul). At least 32 Turkish soldiers have been killed and 183 injured.   Turkey has been fighting to clear the Afrin region along its border with Syria of YPG fighters. Ankara does not distinguish between the Syrian group and the domestic Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which it designates a terrorist group.  
Item Number:12 Date: 02/27/2018 TURKEY - STEEL CUT FOR 3RD PIRIREIS-CLASS SUB (FEB 27/DAILYSABAH)  DAILY SABAH -- Turkish shipbuilders have cut steel for a third Pirireis-class submarine at the Golcuk shipyard in the northwestern part of the country, reports the Daily Sabah (Istanbul).   The boats are based on the German Type 214 design. ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is the prime contractor for the project, with Turkish firms Aselsan, Havelsan, Ayesas, Milsoft, Koc and STM participating as subcontractors.   Prime Minister Binali Yildirim presided over the steel-cutting ceremony on Feb. 24. The Murat Reis, named after an Ottoman admiral, is the third of six subs ordered in 2009.   Construction of the first, Pirireis, began in 2015. The first three subs are expected to be built in about 61 months, officials said
Item Number:13 Date: 02/27/2018 UGANDA - SHOOTOUT BETWEEN AMISOM AND GOVERNMENT TROOPS LEAVES THREE DEAD (FEB 27/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The Ugandan army says its troops shot dead three Somali soldiers after they opened fire on a military convoy carrying Uganda's peacekeeping commander, reports Agence France-Presse.   The incident occurred while Mogadishu was on lockdown following two bomb blasts last Friday, Brig. Gen. Richard Karemire, head of the Ugandan contingent of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), said on Monday.   The Ugandan troops were heading back to their base when they received fire from Somali units. The Ugandans were forced to fire in self-defense, Karemire told Reuters.   Somali officials disputed this account.   After the bombings, Somali government troops were ordered to stop and search all trucks. The Ugandan AMISOM unit was shot at when it refused to stop, said a Somali security official.   Both AMISOM and the Somali government have said they will investigate the incident.   Friday's bombings, which targeted the National Intelligence and Security Agency headquarters, were claimed by Al-Shabaab
Item Number:14 Date: 02/27/2018 UNITED NATIONS - SECURITY COUNCIL PASSES ARMS EMBARGO ON YEMEN BUT VETOES MEASURE AGAINST IRAN (FEB 27/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- The U.N. Security Council has passed a Russian measure extending an arms embargo on Yemen but vetoed a similar effort that would punish Iran for alleged violations, reports the Wall Street Journal.   On Monday, Russia called the U.S.-backed resolution against Iran "politically charged" and vetoed it. It then submitted its own measure without any mention of Iran, Moscow's ally.   The Russian-written resolution called for a one-year extension of the sanctions against Yemen and a renewal of the work of the panel of experts, reported the Voice of America News.   The defeat follows months of lobbying by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley.   Washington has accused Tehran of supplying weaponry, including missiles and drones, to the Houthi rebels.   A recent U.N. report placed significant blame on Iran for failing to stop the flow of Iranian weaponry to the rebels, who have launched numerous rockets into Saudi territory.   The report also placed blame on the Saudi-led coalition for its blockades on civilian areas
Item Number:15 Date: 02/27/2018 USA - ARMY ORDERS 60 TOW-EQUIPPED HUMVEES FOR NATIONAL GUARD (FEB 27/DOD)  DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- The U.S. Army has awarded AM General, South Bend, Ind., a contract modification for dozens of missile-armed tactical vehicles, reports the Dept. of Defense.   The $11.8 million modification covers an additional 60 vehicles for the M1167 Humvee recapitalization program for the Army National Guard, said a Pentagon release on Feb. 23.   The M1167 is the expanded capacity TOW or armament carrier Humvee, according to AM General. It features a ring-mount for various weapon systems with a 360-degree arc of fire.   The vehicle can stow at least six TOW anti-tank missiles in the cargo area.   Work under the contract is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31, 2018
Item Number:16 Date: 02/27/2018 USA - NAVY SEEKS TOP YOUNG OFFICERS TO COMMAND MK VI PATROL BOATS (FEB 27/NTIMES)  NAVY TIMES -- High-scoring junior surface warfare officers are now able to compete for one of the Navy's new "lieutenant commands" in charge of a Mk VI patrol boat, reports the Navy Times.   "The surface warfare community values command at sea," Lt. Cmdr. Tim Yuhas, second tour department head and early command SWO detailer at Navy Personnel Command, said last week.   "It's the pinnacle of leadership -- and for a talented group of board-screened junior officers they get to command as early as year five of commissioned service," said Yuhas.   The Mk VI patrol boats are among the newest surface assets in service. There are about a dozen of the 12-man, 84-foot (26-m) boats optimized for security force assistance missions and assigned to the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC).   The Navy has also opened lieutenant commander posts to command the boat companies, equivalent command billets to coastal patrol and mine countermeasure ships.   There are 18 lieutenant (O-3) and six lieutenant commander (O-4) billets associated with the Mk VI command positions, according to a spokeswoman for the NECC.

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