Friday, March 9, 2018

Fw: TheList 4674

The List 4674

To All,
I hope that you all have a great weekend.
This weekend is the time change.
Time To Ditch Daylight Saving Time — It's A Killer That Doesn't Save Energy
March 9, 2018
This Day In Naval History – March 9, 2018
March 9
1847—An Army-Navy force begins the siege of Veracruz, Mexico. Approximately 12,000 U.S. troops land on the beaches, along with their horses, mules, artillery, and supplies. Veracruz surrenders Mar. 29, and the forces make their way to Mexico City.
1862—In the first battle between ironclads, USS Monitor and CSS Virginia engage in close combat in Hampton Roads, VA. Neither side could claim victory, but it eventually ends the era of wooden ships.
1919—The first flight from a battleship platform is made by Lt. Cmdr. Edward O. McDonnell in a Sopwith Camel from turret No. 2 of USS Texas (BB 35) while anchored at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
1944—USS Lapon (SS 260), while pursuing a Japanese convoy in the South China Sea, sinks two freighters and survives a counterattack by Japanese gunboat.
1952—USS Samuel N. Moore (DD 747) and HMS Morecambe Bay silence enemy shore batteries firing at USS Merganser (AMS-26) near Songjin, Korea.
1991—USS Cowpens (CG 63) is commissioned in Charleston, SC. The 17th of her 27-ship Ticonderoga-class of guided-missile cruisers, Cowpens is homeported at Naval Base San Diego.
March 10
1783The last naval action of the American Revolution takes place when the Continental frigate Alliance, commanded by Capt. John Barry, battles HMS Sybil south of Cape Canaveral, FL. Sybil is damaged in the fight and returns to the two warships that did not join in the battle.
1933The Pacific Fleet provides assistance after earthquake at Long Beach, CA..
1943USS Savannah (CL 42) and USS Eberle (DD 430) intercept German blockade runner Karin in the South Atlantic. After boarding the ship, a timed explosion goes off, killing 11 of Eberle's boarding party.
1944USS Kete (SS 369) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks one cargo and two transport ships while dodging counterattacks.
1945The Navy and civilian nurses interned at Los Banos, Philippines as prisoners of war since early January 1942 are flown back to U.S. The Navy nurses are later awarded the Bronze Star for their time in captivity.
1948The carrier suitability of the FJ-1 Fury jet fighter is tested aboard USS Boxer (CV 21) off San Diego, with a number of landings and takeoffs.
2001USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) is commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk. The 31st destroyer of the Arleigh Burke class is the fourth U.S. Navy warship to be named after a British citizen. Churchill has a Royal Naval officer assigned permanently to the ship and she flies the Royal Navy's White Ensign as well as the Stars and Stripes.
2007USS New Orleans (LPD 18) is commissioned at New Orleans, Louisiana. The second of the 12-ship San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock warships, New Orleans is homeported at Naval Base San Diego.
March 11
1778During the American Revolution, the Continental frigate Boston captures the British ship Martha in the North Atlantic.
1941President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act, which permits delivery of war materials to Allied Powers on credit or lease.
1942Lt. John Bulkeley, commander of Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 3, helps Gen. Douglas MacArthur and Rear Adm. Francis W. Rockwell, as well as their families and others, escape the Philippines in motor torpedo boats PT 32, PT 34, PT 35, and PT 41. For this action, along with other operations in the Philippines during the start of World War II, he receives the Medal of Honor.
1945The U.S. Navy begins use of LCVPs (Landing Craft, Personal Vehicles) to ferry troops across the Rhine River at Bad Neuenahr, Germany.
1845George Bancroft takes office as the 17th Secretary of the Navy. Although he serves in that position only 18 months, he establishes the Naval Academy at Annapolis and encourages the growth and importance of the Naval Observatory.
1965Operation Market Time (Coastal Patrol Force) patrols begin off the South Vietnam coast. The objective is to interdict enemy efforts moving supplies to South Vietnam by sea.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
In national news, headlines are dominated with reports that President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and that the President pressed ahead on Thursday with import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent for aluminum. Multiple outlets are reporting that President Trump has agreed to meet with Kim Jong-un for negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program. South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong told reporters that President Trump will meet with Kim Jong-un within two months. Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, head of Naval Air Systems Command Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags stated that the rate of physiological episodes in the Navy's T-45s has diminished significantly in the last six months reports Navy Times. "Since September, we have had a total seven incidents, seven physiological episodes since we resumed flying, basically one per month since then," Grosklags said. "That's the same rate we were experiencing back in 2012, 2013, 2014 when we started monitoring this issue closely." Additionally, the Korean Herald reports that US Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. Scott Swift stated that the upcoming Key resolve and Foal Eagle exercises would be on "the same size, scope and scale" with previous ones in response to remarks from the South Korean defense minister about possibly scaling down the deployment of US strategic assets.
March 9
The Treaty of Stolbovo ends the occupation of Northern Russia by Swedish troops.
The Russians take Danzig (Gdansk) in Poland.
Connecticut becomes the 5th state.
Napoleon Bonaparte marries Josephine de Beauharnais in Paris, France.
Swedish Pomerania is seized by Napoleon.
Congress passes the Land Act, paving the way for westward expansion.
The French Academy of Science announces the Daguerreotype photo process.
The rebel slaves who seized a Spanish slave ship, the Amistad, in 1839 are freed by the Supreme Court despite Spanish demands for extradition.
The first and last battle between the ironclads U.S.S. Monitor and C.S.S. Virginia ends in a draw.
General Ulysses Grant is appointed commander-in-chief of the Union forces.
The funding for five new battleships is added to the British military defense budget.
The Germans take Grodno on the Eastern Front.
Mexican bandit Pancho Villa leads 1,500 horsemen on a raid of Columbus, N.M. killing 17 U.S. soldiers and citizens.
Eamon De Valera is elected president of the Irish Free State and pledges to abolish all loyalty to the British Crown.
The German press warns that all Jews who vote in the upcoming elections will be arrested.
Czech President Emil Hacha ousts pro-German Joseph Tiso as the Premier of Slovakia in order to preserve Czech unity.
Britain frees captured Italian coal ships on the eve of German Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop's visit to Rome.
British authorities arrest and deport Archbishop Makarios from Cyprus. He is accused of supporting terrorists.
Egyptian leader Nasser bars U.N. plans to share the tolls for the use of the Suez Canal.
The Barbie doll is unveiled at a toy fair in New York City.
The first Ford Mustang rolls off the Ford assembly line.
Svetlana Alliluyeva, Josef Stalin's daughter defects to the United States.
General William Westmoreland asks for 206,000 more troops in Vietnam.
Iraq launches an offensive against the rebellious Kurds.
Navy divers find the crew compartment of the space shuttle Challenger along with the remains of the astronauts.
With our thanks to THE Bear at
March 9, 2018   Bear Taylor 
RIPPLE SALVO… #734… In March 1968, about half-time in the Vietnam war, the Johnson Administration was engrossed in a "VIETNAM REASSESSMENT"…"The politico-strategic debate within the Administration over what to do next in Vietnam undoubtedly will lead the country deeper into disaster if it continues to focus on means rather than ends," so said the New York Times in an OpEd on 4 March 1968. The Times input is below along with the Humble Host "solution"…but first…
GOOD MORNING… DAY SEVEN HUNDRED THIRTY-FOUR of a remembrance of a war fought to a stunning conclusion 50 years ago…
HEAD LINES from The New York Times on Saturday, 9 March 1968…
GROUND WAR and KHESANH: Page 1: "164 OF FOE KILLED AT MARINE BASE–South Vietnamese Account For Most of Enemy Dead–U.S. Loses 16 Men"… "…allied troops killed 164 of the enemy in a clash two miles from the major American Marine headquarters and supply center at Dongha, in northern Quangtri Province…three miles north of Saigon's Tansonnhut air base, United States infantrymen fought an enemy battalion yesterday. in two engagements two enemy soldiers were killed and two were captured. Two Americans were killed and 18 wounded."… Page 3: "SHARP SAYS U.S. FORCE IS READY FOR ANYTHING:… "Admiral U.S. Grant Sharp, the military commander in the Pacific, said yesterday that American forces in Vietnam were well-deployed to take care of anything the enemy might try. He said enemy forces were set up so they could continue their harassment at Khesanh 'or they could have a major offensive at Hue or they could take another try at Saigon.' The Admiral …declared that the enemy would be in 'for some real surprises' if he tries anything.'… Page 3: "3 Newsmen Hurt at Khesanh"… "Three journalists were injured in the bombardment of Khesanh yesterday: Bill Branigan and Jim Deckard of ABC and Miss Jurate Kazickas of the North American Newspaper Alliance."
Page 1: "SENATE VOTES END OF RACE BARRIERS IN 80% OF HOUSING--Rights Compromise Backed By 61 to 19 With Final Action Set For Monday–Stiff Penalties Added–Negro Protection Approved Along With Antitrust Curb And Ban On Indian Bias"… Page 1: "GOLD BUYING AT NEW PEAK AS RUMORS SWEEP EUROPE--75 to 100 Tons Sold In Day–Attention Turns To Basel Parly–U.S. Gets $200 Million From International Money fund To Cut Losses"… Page 27: "27 Found Dead In Salt Mine On Island Off Coast of Louisiana"… Page 1: "Columbia University Studies Heroin On Campus"...
Page 1: "FIRST COMBAT DUTY FOR F-111s IS DUE IN NEXT FEW DAYS"… "The controversial F-111 plane is going to Vietnam, where it will engage in combat for the first time. Within the next week six F-111 fighter-bombers will takeoff from Nellis Air Force Base, outside Las Vegas, Nevada, where they have gone through intensive trials for several months. They will stop for fuel at Guam and continue to Takhli Air Base in Thailand…. the Air Force regards its model as by far the best tactical bomber in the world. The principal advantage of the F-111  in raids on North Vietnam military men say, is the highly automated navigation system, designed to permit it to hit targets in bad weather and darkness."…(it  did not work out well for the F-111)
Thanks toChuck
The First Female Pilot
A lot has changed in 55 years ….
Thanks toMugs
America's F-4 Phantom: Taking On the World's Best Fighters (At 60 Years Old)
Very interesting article on the old and upgraded F-4's.
America's F-4 Phantom: Taking On the World's Best Fighters (At 60 Years Old)
March 5, 2018
The Phantoms flown by the Turkish and Greek air forces both have modern pulse-doppler radars, which give the F-4 "look down-shoot down" capabilities. In the past, high-flying radars had trouble detecting low-flying aircraft because the radar waves bouncing off the ground created a cluttering effect. Active Doppler radars cut through the ground clutter. Modern F-4s can also fire the full range of modern ordnance such as the advanced AIM-120C AMRAAM air-to-air missile with a range of 65 miles, precision-guided munitions such as the AGM-65 Maverick, and late model Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles. As combat aircraft are essentially weapons platforms, these capabilities mean that the F-4s can handle most of the same offensive tasks a fourth-generation F-15 or Su-27 fighter can do.
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a legendary aircraft — an icon of the Vietnam War and the archetype of the third-generation jet fighter designs that entered service in the 1960s. More than 5,000 of these heavy supersonic fighters were built, and hundreds continue to serve and even see combat in several air forces today.
But the Phantom's record in air-to-air combat over Vietnam — especially when compared to its successor, the F-15 Eagle, which has never been shot down in air-to-air combat — has left it with a reputation of being a clumsy bruiser reliant on brute engine power and obsolete weapons technology.
This is unfair.
The Phantom's fundamental flaws were corrected by 1970 — while more recently, Phantoms have had their avionics and ordnance upgraded to modern standards. These modernized Phantoms flown by the Turkish and Greek air forces can do pretty much what an F-15 can do … at a much lower price.
When the F-4 came out it in 1958 it was a revolutionary design — one that went on to set several aviation records.
Weighing in at 30,000 pounds unloaded, its enormous J79 twin engines gave (and still gives) the aircraft excellent thrust, propelling the heavy airframe over twice the speed of sound at a maximum speed of 1,473 miles per hour.
The early Phantoms could carry 18,000 pounds of munitions — three times what the huge B-17 bombers of World War II typically carried. The weapons officer in the rear-seat could operate the plane's advanced radar, communication and weapons systems while the pilot focused on flying.
Furthermore, the F-4 came in both ground- and carrier-based models and served in the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines. The only other frontline fighter to serve in all three services before or since is the F-35.
But when the F-4 confronted the lighter-weight MiG-17 and MiG-21 fighters of the North Vietnamese air force in 1965, the Phantom suffered.
In the Korean War, the U.S. Air Force had shot down between six and 10 enemy fighters for every one of its aircraft lost in air-to-air combat. In Vietnam, the ratio was closer to two to one (including other aircraft types besides the Phantom).
The F-4's primary problem was that it had no built-in cannon. Instead, it relied entirely on newly-introduced air-to-air missiles — the radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow, the heat-seeking AIM-9 Sidewinder and the older AIM-4 Falcon.
The Air Force didn't realize those early missiles were terrible.
Studies showed that 45 percent of Vietnam-era AIM-7s and 37 percent of AIM-9s failed to either launch or lock on, and after evasive maneuvers, the probability of achieving a kill fell to eight percent and 15 percent for the two types, respectively. The Falcon missiles were even worse, and the Pentagon later withdrew them from service.
The North Vietnamese MiGs, equipped with both cannons and missiles (on the MiG-21), would outmaneuver the heavier F-4, which for all its speed, was not especially agile. Worse, American pilots weren't trained for close range dogfights, as the Air Force assumed air-to-air engagements would occur at long range with missiles.
Furthermore, the Phantom's J79 engines produced thick black smoke, which combined with the aircraft's larger size, made it easier to spot and target from a distance. On the other hand, the rules-of-engagement over Vietnam prohibited U.S. pilots from shooting at unidentified targets beyond visual range, further crippling the advantages of the missiles.
However, the F-4's problems began to recede. Air-to-air missile technology dramatically improved with later versions of the Sparrow and Sidewinder. The F-4E model finally came with an internal M161 Vulcan cannon.
Before, some Phantom units made do with external gun pods that vibrated excessively.
In 1972, an F-4 piloted by Maj. Phil Handley shot down a MiG-19 with his plane's gun — the only recorded aerial gun kill performed at supersonic speed.
Eventually, the Air Force upgraded all of its F-4Es with wing-slats that significantly improved maneuverability at a slight cost in speed. New J79 engines even dealt with the problem of the F-4's visible black smoke.
The Navy, in contrast, perceived the problem as being a lack of Air Combat Maneuvering training, and instituted the Top Gun training program in 1968. Navy pilots went on to score a superior kill ratio over Vietnam of 40 victories for seven planes lost in air-to-air combat.
The Air Force's Phantoms claimed 107 air-to-air kills for 33 lost to MiGs, and the Marine Corps claimed three. Ground fire shot down 474 Phantoms in all services, as the heavy-lifting Phantom fighters did double duty as ground-attack aircraft.
Two sub-variants of the Phantom also distinguished themselves — the RF-4 photo reconnaissance plane, optimized for speed, and the Wild Weasel, specialized in attacking enemy surface-to-air missiles defenses.
The last American F-4s would see action during Operation Desert Storm, before being retired in 1996. The Pentagon later converted some into QF-4 target practice drones.
(Phantoms in the Middle East:
However, the Phantoms proliferated around the world. The F-4 saw extensive use in Israeli service, scoring 116 air-to-air kills against the Egyptian and Syrian air forces, starting in 1969 during the War of Attrition.
In one engagement on the first day of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, 28 Egyptian MiGs attacked Ofir Air Base. Just two Phantoms managed to scramble in defense, but they shot down seven of the attackers.
The Israeli Phantoms' primary target — and most deadly foe — during these campaigns were Arab surface-to-air missile batteries. SAMs accounted for most of the 36 Israeli Phantoms lost in action.
The swan song of the Israeli Phantom force came during Israel's 1982 intervention in the War in Lebanon, when Phantoms — escorted by new F-15s and F-16s — wiped out all 30 of Syria's SAM batteries in the Bekaa Valley in one day without losing a single plane in Operation Mole Cricket 19.
Iran received 225 F-4s from the United States prior to the Iranian Revolution. These formed the backbone of the Iranian fighter force during the nine-year-long war with Iraq. The Phantom reportedly acquitted itself well versus Iraqi MiGs, and carried out several long-range raids on the Iraqi airfields. The actual number of air-to-air kills remains disputed.
21st century Phantoms:
The Phantom still sees service. But it's somewhat of an anomaly. Just compare it to F-15 Eagle.
The F-15, which entered service in 1975, is emblematic of fourth-generation fighter aircraft that remain the mainstay of modern air forces today. The F-15 is also deliberately unlike the F-4. It's a heavy, twin-engine, two-seat fighterand an agile dogfighter.
When the F-15 and the lighter F-16 saw their first major air action over Lebanon in 1982, they shot down more than 80 Syrian third-generation MiGs at no loss.
The supremacy of the fourth-generation was confirmed again in the Gulf War, in which Iraqi fighters shot down only one fourth-generation fighter (an F/A-18 Hornet) for the loss of 33 of their third-generation aircraft. How could the F-4 possibly keep up in this new environment?
Easy — by integrating the same modern hardware used in the fourth generation.
The Phantoms flown by the Turkish and Greek air forces both have modern pulse-doppler radars, which give the F-4 "look down-shoot down" capabilities. In the past, high-flying radars had trouble detecting low-flying aircraft because the radar waves bouncing off the ground created a cluttering effect. Active Doppler radars cut through the ground clutter.
Modern F-4s can also fire the full range of modern ordnance such as the advanced AIM-120C AMRAAM air-to-air missile with a range of 65 miles, precision-guided munitions such as the AGM-65 Maverick, and late model Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles.
As combat aircraft are essentially weapons platforms, these capabilities mean that the F-4s can handle most of the same offensive tasks a fourth-generation F-15 or Su-27 fighter can do.
But surely the electronics and instruments are out of date? Not really. For instance, modernized F-4s have improved Heads Up Displays (HUDs) so that pilots don't have to look down from the canopy to check on their instruments.
Germany flew upgraded F-4Fs until 2013, and maintains them in stock in case of future need. South Korea still has 71 F-4Es (only modestly upgraded) in its 17th Fighter Wing. Japan maintains the same number of F-4EJ Kais upgraded with pulse-Doppler radars and anti-ship missiles.
The Israelis pioneered the art of Phantom upgrades in the 1980s with the Phantom 2000 Kurnass, or "Sledgehammer." Though retired from Israeli service in 2004, Israeli firms went on to upgrade Greece's 41 Peace Icarus Phantoms, equipping them with ANPG-65 pulse-Doppler radars and the ability to fire AMRAAM missiles.
Israeli upgrades contributed to the Turkish air force's Terminator 2020, which has additional wing strakes for improved maneuverability.
The 2020s have had 20 kilometers of wiring replaced for a net loss of 1,600 pounds in weight. The Turkish versions also feature a diverse array of modern sensors and electronics. Like other modern F-4s, they can deploy advanced ordnance such as Paveway bombs, HARM anti-radar missiles and 3,000-pound Popeye missiles with a range of 48 miles.
The Terminators are primarily ground-attack planes … with some notoriety. They've bombed Kurdish PKK fighters in Turkey and Iraq in 2015 and 2016. An RF-4 reconnaissance plane was shot down over Syria in 2012, and three F-4s crashed in 2015 — earning them the appellation "Flying Coffins" in the Turkish media.
The Iranian air force in 2009 claimed to operate 76 F-4Ds and Es, and six RF-4s. Tehran has reportedly modified the planes to fire Russian or Chinese air-to-ground and anti-shipping missiles. They still rely on AIM-7 Sparrows acquired second hand.
Likewise, Iran relies on smuggled and improvised spare parts for its F-4s, just like its F-14 Tomcats.
Iranian Phantoms bombed Islamic State targets in Iraq's Diyala province in December 2014, and they continue to play cat and mouse games with U.S. patrols and drones over the Persian Gulf.
But are souped-up F-4s really equal to fourth-generation fighters? None of these 21st century Phantoms have flown in air-to-air combat — but F-4s Phantoms have engaged in non-lethal dogfights with Greek F-16s on several occasions.
They also tangled with Chinese Su-27s in a 2010 exercise — and according to some reports on the internet won zero to eight.
And if you compare videos of F-4s with wing slats making a tight, 180 degree turn (see 4:25 above) compared to F-15s doing the same maneuver, you will note that they both average seven to eight seconds to complete the turn, even though the latter is purportedly more maneuverable.
This doesn't prove upgraded F-4s are superior to later designs, of course — but it does show they capable of pulling their considerable weight when compared with fourth-generation fighters.
The Phantom has proven both versatile and adaptable over time. Few of those present for its first flight in 1958 could have imagined that it would remain in frontline service nearly 60 years later.
Rudolph Emilio Torrini contributed to this article.
This piece first appeared in WarIsBoring here
How to Eliminate the High Cost of Tree Cutting Services...Do It Yourself!
Thanks to Gailard -
good funnies.
Thanks to John
Subject: FW: You absolutely MUST SEE this floor speech!!!
That is an EXCELLENT speech! It is one that needs to be made in DC.
This guy NAILS IT!! Two tours in Iraq, former Green beret... 1st term member of the Virginia House of Delegates.  Delegate Nick Freitas Speech on Floor of House of Delegates - YouTube
Day vs Night carrier landings
Thanks to Mike
Thanks to Clyde
DC-3s into turbine-powered aircraft.
Tour the facility as Basler President Randy Myers gives a history of the company and breaks down exactly what goes into converting these rugged, tough DC-3s into even tougher Basler BT-67s.
In addition, get an inside look at the restoration of the Commemorative Air Force's C-47 That's All, Brother, the lead airplane in the D-Day invasion at Normandy.
Sound up, clik link, watch full screen to view / listen to this great story.....enjoy and pass it on!...
Item Number:1 Date: 03/09/2018 AFGHANISTAN - SUICIDE BOMBING TARGETS SHI'ITES IN KABUL, KILLING AT LEAST 9 (MAR 09/TN)  TOLONEWS -- At least nine people have been killed in a suicide attack on a Shi'ite mosque in Kabul, the Afghan capital, reports Afghanistan's Tolo News.   The attack on Friday occurred at a checkpoint near a ceremony in the city's Mosalla-e-Mazari area. One police officer was among the fatalities.   The suicide bomber appeared to target a gathering commemorating a former leader of the mainly Shi'ite Hazara community, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar).   Abdul Ali Mazari, head of the Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan, was killed by the Taliban in 1995.   At least seven other people were wounded in the attack.   The Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on an ISIS-affiliated website, reported Radio Free Afghanistan. The bombing targeted a group of Shi'ites as they were commemorating the death of a "tyrant," said the statement.   Afghanistan's minority Shi'ites, who are mostly Hazaras, have increasingly come under attack by ISIS and the Taliban.    
  Item Number:2 Date: 03/09/2018 AUSTRALIA - COLLINS-CLASS SUBS IN LINE FOR CONTROL SYSTEMS UPGRADES (MAR 09/SAABAB)  SAAB AB -- Swedish defense firm Saab says it has signed a contract with ASC, the Australian government-owned shipbuilding company, to upgrade control systems on submarines.   The Aus$24.2 million (US$18.8 million) contract covers integrated ship control and management systems for four Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarines, said a Saab release on March 7.   The system provides maneuvering and fully integrated ship management of propulsion, trim, power generation and ship services. The deal includes updated hardware and spare parts to address obsolescence issues on the boats.   The deal is a continuation of a prior contract to upgrade the hardware and software on the Collins-class submarines.   ASC has integrated the system on the HMAS Collins. Work on the HMAS Waller is scheduled to begin later this year. The remaining boats will be upgraded in 2019.   
  Item Number:3 Date: 03/09/2018 CHINA - AIR FORCE IN THE MARKET FOR MORE SU-35S (MAR 09/ASIA)  ASIA TIMES -- China and Russia may have struck a deal to supply the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) with more Russian-made Sukhoi Su-35 fighters, say military sources cited by the Asia Times.   Russia's Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Plant, which builds the Su-35, has been pushing for more orders after an initial delivery to the PLAAF was met positively, reported Kanwa Defense Review (Hong Kong).   Local production of certain components is a key demand by China.   China received its second batch of the fourth-generation fighter in February. The first four Su-35s were delivered in December 2016. Beijing order a total of 24 jets in 2015.   
  Item Number:4 Date: 03/09/2018 EGYPT - 105 SUSPECTED TERRORISTS, 19 SOLDIERS KILLED SO FAR IN SINAI OPERATIONS (MAR 09/EGYPTTODAY)  EGYPT TODAY -- Ongoing operations to push militants out of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula have killed 105 suspected terrorists since February, reports Egypt Today.   Nineteen members of the Egyptian armed forces have been killed and 16 others injured during Operation Sinai 2018, a military spokesman said on Thursday.   At least 2,829 people have been arrested, reported Asharq Al-Awsat (London).   Currently, operations are between two teams, the spokesman said.   One team is combing residential and agricultural areas to identify underground terrorist infrastructure. A second team is working with Egyptian intelligence to track terrorist movements.   Military engineers are also working to detect and destroy mines and explosives placed by militants, he said. At least 472 explosive devices have been eliminated during the operation.   The military has paid at least 900 million Egyptian pounds (US$51 million) to families and communities affected by the operations.   Operation Sinai 2018 was launched on February 9 with the goal of disrupting terrorist and criminal networks in Egypt's western desert, the Nile Delta and the Sinai Peninsula, where the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) affiliate, Sinai Province, is active.   There are about 35,000 Egyptian soldiers, special operations personnel and police taking part in the mission, noted the Egyptian Independent.     
  Item Number:5 Date: 03/09/2018 EUROPEAN UNION - EUROPOL GETS FIRST FEMALE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (MAR 09/CEU)  COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION -- The head of Belgium's federal police service has been selected as the next executive director of the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), reports the Council of the European Union.   On March 8, the Council named Catherine De Bolle to the post, which has a four-year term that can be renewed once. She will be the first woman in the job, noted Reuters.   The director oversees the administration of Europol, personnel management and is responsible for its various missions.   De Bolle succeeds Rob Wainwright, whose term ends on May 1.   De Bolle said the biggest challenge in her new position will be to balance the needs of individual member states with the broader goals of the institution.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 03/09/2018 IRAQ - ABADI FORMALLY INTEGRATES SHI'ITE MILITIAS INTO MILITARY (MAR 09/REU)  REUTERS -- Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has issued a decree formally integrating mostly Shi'ite paramilitaries into the Iraqi security forces, reports Reuters.   According to Thursday's decree, members of the militias, known collectively as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), will be granted many of the same rights as regular soldiers.   Many of the militias are funded by and maintain close relations with Iran.   PMF fighters will receive salaries equivalent to those of soldiers, be subject to the laws of military service and gain access to military institutes and colleges.   The move comes two months ahead of general elections. The PMF enjoys wide support among Iraq's majority Shi'ite population.   The PMF came together in 2014 to fight the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS), as it swept across much of Iraq. The militias supported Iraqi army operations. They have also been accused of numerous human-rights abuses.   The Iraqi Parliament passed a law in 2016 to bring the militias under government control, with the fighters reporting directly to the prime minister, who is a Shi'ite, under the Iraqi governing system.   At least 60,000 PMF fighters are still deployed across mostly Sunni areas of Iraq, where much of the fight against ISIS was concentrated.     
  Item Number:7 Date: 03/09/2018 JAPAN - DEFENSE MINISTRY SEEKS FOREIGN INPUT FOR DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED FIGHTER (MAR 09/PRESSTV)  PRESS TV -- Following reports that Japan has abandoned its effort to develop and produce its own advanced fighter, the Japanese Ministry of Defense is now looking at using an existing Western aircraft to meet the requirement, reports Iran's Press TV   The F-3 fighter program is expected to cost roughly US$40 billion, The Ministry of Defense is considering both domestic and joint development.   Earlier this month, Tokyo issued a third request for information for the fighter program, reported Reuters. The latest request went only to U.S. and European firms, with more detailed documents delivered to London and Washington, said unnamed sources.   "Japan expects specific proposals for designs based on existing aircraft," one of the sources said.   Potential options include the U.S. F-35 Lightning II, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon.   With the Air Self-Defense Force already planning to purchase at least 60 F-35's, there is ongoing debate within Japan over the value of supporting domestic defense industry versus overall cost effectiveness
  Item Number:8 Date: 03/09/2018 KAZAKHSTAN - MORE SU-30SM FIGHTERS, MI-35 HELICOPTERS SOUGHT FROM RUSSIA (MAR 09/TASS)  TASS -- Kazakhstan plans to acquire additional Sukhoi Su-30SM fighter jets and Mi-35 attack helicopters from Russia, reports Russia's Tass news agency.   A contract will be finalized in the near future, said the Kazakh Defense Ministry.   The statement did not specify the number of jets and helicopters planned for delivery from Russia.   Kazakhstan initially ordered the Su-30SM in 2015, with a total of 32 aircraft slated for delivery by 2020
  Item Number:9 Date: 03/09/2018 LEBANON - PARIS PLEDGES US$17 MILLION IN MILITARY AID TO ARMED FORCES (MAR 09/REU)  REUTERS -- France will extend 14 million euros (US$17 million) worth of aid to the Lebanese army, reports Reuters.   The project, which includes training and anti-tank missiles, is part of efforts to strengthen Lebanon's institutions and security amid growing political tensions, officials said on Thursday.   The army is considered better able to resist growing sectarian tensions than other Lebanese institutions.   The Lebanese armed forces have been seeking to modernize their hardware amid escalating security challenges along the border with Syria.   Hezbollah fighters loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad move freely in and out of the country and rival the firepower of the military. Refugees now make up as much as a quarter of the country's population, straining the government's resources.   External powers have also leaned on the country. Prime Minister Saad Hariri unexpectedly resigned in November, allegedly under Saudi pressure. Iran has similarly sought to expand its influence.   An unidentified French official said the announcement comes as Saudi Arabia's commitment to rebuilding the country seems to be flagging.   Defense Minister Yacoub Sarraf is preparing for the first of three conferences aimed at attracting international aid and attention to the country. A March conference in Rome will focus on the army, while an April event in Paris will champion Lebanon's private sector. A conference in Brussels in late April will address the refugee issue.      
 Item Number:10 Date: 03/09/2018 PHILIPPINES - 8 MILITANTS KILLED IN CLASHES IN MINDANAO (MAR 09/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- The Philippine military says it has killed at least eight Islamic militants setting up bases on the southern island of Mindanao, reports Agence France-Presse.   The military employed armored vehicles and artillery in Thursday's battle against around 50 gunmen from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).   Philippine soldiers recovered the bodies of eight militants after the battle near the town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan. The fighters may have carried off as many as 15 others, a military spokesman said on Friday.   The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters is a splinter group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The MILF signed a peace treaty with Manila in 2014.   In February, the military said that gunmen linked to the Islamic State have resumed efforts to set up a self-proclaimed caliphate in the southern Philippines, which is home to the country's Muslim minority.      
  Item Number:11 Date: 03/09/2018 QATAR - ACCORD GRANTS NATO ACCESS TO AL-UDEID AIRBASE (MAR 09/QNA)  QATAR NEWS AGENCY -- Top Qatari and NATO officials have signed a joint cooperation agreement at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, reports the state-run Qatar News Agency.   Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday. The leaders discussed bilateral relations and the situation in the Persian Gulf region, said a NATO release.   They also signed an accord that permits NATO forces to enter and transit Qatar and use the Al-Udeid Air Base.   The emir also visited the European Union headquarters for talks with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Federica Mogherini, the foreign affairs chief. A cooperation agreement was signed.  
  Item Number:12 Date: 03/09/2018 SOUTH KOREA - JOINT DRILLS WITH U.S. MAY FORGO STRATEGIC WEAPONS (MAR 09/KT)  KOREA TIMES -- South Korean Defense Minister Song Young Moo met this week with the outgoing U.S. Pacific Fleet commander in Seoul to discuss the joint drills scheduled to begin on March 31, reports the Korea Times.   During Tuesday's meeting, Song made a lighthearted comment to Admiral Scott Swift that he need not send strategic weapons for the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises, furthering speculation that the allies have agreed to modulate the drills in order to protect the recent diplomatic thaw with North Korea.   South Korea hopes to reduce military tension on the peninsula by maintaining a dialogue with Pyongyang.   The annual bilateral drills with the U.S. have been a regular source of tension. The training has been postponed until after the Olympic and Paralympic games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.   Meanwhile, on Thursday, South Korean and American officials met in Honolulu to begin negotiations on a new five-year cost-sharing agreement for the 28,500 American troops on the peninsula
Item Number:13 Date: 03/09/2018 USA - KC-46 TANKERS FACE NEW DELIVERY DELAY (MAR 09/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- The manufacturer of the Air Force's new aerial tanker is expected to miss a key delivery deadline later this year, reports Bloomberg News.   The delivery of the first 18 tankers, scheduled to be completed in October 2018, is now expected to be completed in the late spring of 2019, an Air Force spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. The Air Force plans to eventually purchase 179 KC-46 tankers.   The main problems slowing progress include Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness certifications and completing the flight-test program, the spokeswoman said.   Trials have revealed a significant issue with the refueling probe scraping other aircraft during refueling operations. The Air Force is concerned such scraping could damage stealth coatings on its advanced fighters and bombers.   Because of the fixed-price incentive fee contract, Boeing is responsible for all cost overruns.     
  Item Number:14 Date: 03/09/2018 USA - MDA CHIEF CALLS FOR INCREASED CAPABILITIES TO MEET FUTURE THREATS (MAR 09/DODNEWS)  DOD NEWS -- The head of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) says the U.S. needs to boost its capabilities to deal with future threats, reports DoD News.   The first priority is increasing system reliability and warfighting confidence, Air Force Lt. Gen Samuel Greaves said on Tuesday at a conference in Washington, DC.   "We absolutely believe that the ballistic missile defense system meets today's threat, but we need additional capability to stay ahead of the evolving threat," the general said.   Greaves emphasized the need to look beyond the classic set of capabilities, noting that advances in hypersonics and missiles flying non-ballistic trajectories present new challenges.   The MDA chief said that space-based sensors will be a requirement to effectively detect, track and respond to missile attacks, reported  
  Item Number:15 Date: 03/09/2018 USA - PRESIDENT TRUMP IMPLEMENTS STEEL, ALUMINUM TARIFFS, ALLUDES TO EXEMPTIONS FOR MILITARY ALLIES (MAR 09/USA)  USA TODAY -- Citing the degraded U.S. steel and aluminum manufacturing industries as a national security concern, President Trump announced via Twitter on Thursday that he had signed tariff declarations for steel and aluminum imports, reports USA Today.   President Trump indicated that the 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum would be flexible on a country-by-country basis based on factors such as balance of trade, whether the country was a military ally and its level of defense spending.   The plan exempts Canada and Mexico, pending ongoing trade talks, and permits other countries to apply for relief from the measures.   The European Union and other allies have threatened to retaliate with their own tariffs.   "The actions we are taking today are not a matter of choice, they are a matter of necessity for our security," Trump said, as quoted by the New York Times.   The U.S. is the largest steel importer in the world and the move could hit Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey the hardest, the Times said.   The new tariffs will take effect in 15 days.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 03/09/2018 USA - TRUMP ACCEPTS INVITATION TO MEET WITH KIM JONG UN (MAR 09/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- U.S. President Donald Trump has accepted an offer to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, reports CNN.   "He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined," a White House spokeswoman said late Thursday.   If it takes place, the meeting would be the first between leaders of the two nations. Talks could be arranged as soon as May.   The offer was relayed to Trump by South Korea's national security adviser, Chung Eui Yong. Chung was in Washington to brief U.S. officials on his recent trip to Pyongyang.   Kim was "committed to denuclearization" -- a previous sticking point -- and to suspending nuclear and missile tests, Chung said, as cited by Reuters.   The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs lauded Trump's decision, but stressed that China would maintain sanctions on North Korea until a political settlement was reached.   Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Trump to stress the importance of maintaining pressure on the Kim regime.   Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop praised the decision but emphasized that North Korea had a history of entering into duplicitous agreements.   By securing a meeting with Trump, Kim could achieve a longstanding goal of being granted legitimacy and equal treatment alongside a U.S. president, analysts said. 

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