Friday, July 27, 2018

TheList 4777

The List 4777     TGB

To All,
I hope that you all have a great weekend.
This day in Naval History
1776—During the American Revolution, the Continental brig, Reprisal, commanded by Capt. Lambert Wickes, transports the newly appointed commercial and naval agent, William Bingham, to Martinique. While enroute, the British sloop-of-war, HMS Shark, approaches the brig at the entrance to St. Pierre Harbor. After a sharp encounter and inconclusive action, HMS Shark withdraws and Reprisal enters port.
1862—During the Civil War, the side-wheel steamer, USS Yankee, commanded by William Gibson, and the side-wheel tug, USS Satellite, commanded by Master Amos Foster, capture schooner J.W. Sturges in Chippoak Creek, VA.
1917—Construction of the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia is ordered to produce enough aircraft for America's entry into World War I. The factory also introduces women into occupations that were previously only open to men. Following the war, the factory tests and manufactures aircraft to review costs and effectiveness. During the later stages of World War II, the aircraft factory is disestablished.
1943—USS Scamp (SS 277) torpedoes and sinks the Japanese sub (I 168), which had sunk USS Yorktown (CV 5) and USS Hammann (DD 412) at the Battle of Midway, south-south-west of Truk. USS Scamp also damages the Japanese oiler, Kazahaya.
1953—The Korean War armistice is signed at Panmunjon, Korea. The Korean cease-fire goes into effect at 22:00.
1985—USS Providence (SSN 719) is commissioned at Groton, CT, the fifth ship in the Navy to be named after the Rhode Island city. 
July 28
1861—During the Civil War, the frigate, USS St. Lawrence, spots a schooner flying English colors and gave chase. Some four hours later, as she is overhauling the schooner, the fleeing vessel runs up the Confederate flag and fires three shots. Firing with her forecastle battery, St. Lawrence hits the vessel twice, once in her bow. Survivors from the sunken vessel reveal it had been the Confederate privateer, Petrel.
1926—USS S-1 surfaces and launches a Cox-Klemin (XS 2) seaplane flown by Lt. D.C. Allen. The submarine recovers the aircraft and submerges, successfully completing an airplane transport on board a submarine.
1943—PBM aircraft (VP 32) sinks German submarine (U 359) south-southwest of Puerto Rico. During her service, (U 359) deploys on three war patrols.
1944—USS Wyman (DE 38) and USS Reynolds (DE 42) sink Japanese submarine (I 55), 400 miles east of Tinian.
1945—USS Callaghan (DD 792) is the last ship sunk by a Japanese kamikaze attack when she hits a radar picket station approximately 50 miles southwest of Okinawa, 25° 43'N, 126° 55'E. USS Pritchett (DD 561) is also damaged by a near hit from a kamikaze as she assists the destroyer. The kamikaze that hits USS Callaghan is carrying Willow (a primary training biplane), revealing the desperation level of the Japanese.
1973—Skylab 3 is launched. The mission is the second to the first U.S. manned space station. The commander of the mission is Capt. Alan L. Bean, USN, the pilot is Maj. Jack R. Lousma, USMC, and the Science Pilot is Owen K. Garriott, a former Navy electronics officer. The mission lasts 59 days, 11 hours and includes 858 Earth orbits. USS New Orleans (LPH 11) recovers the crew.
1984—USNS Salvor (T-ARS-52) is launched at Sturgeon Bay, WI. The rescue and salvage ship conducts salvage, diving, towing, off-shore firefighting, heavy lift operations and theater security cooperation missions through the Military Sealift Command.
2000—USNS Watkins (T-ARK 315) is launched at National Steel and Shipbuilding, San Diego, CA. The large, medium-speed roll-on/roll-off ship is part of the prepositioning program with Military Sealift Command. The ships serve as dry cargo surge sealift carriers. Watkins is named after Army Master Sgt. Travis E. Watkins, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions and leadership during the second Battle of Naktong Bulge during the Korean War. 
July 29
1846—During the Mexican-American War, a detachment of Marines and Sailors, led by Army Col. John C. Fremont from the sloop USS Cyane, commanded by Cmdr. Samuel F. DuPont, lands and takes possession of San Diego and raises the U.S. flag.
1898—During the Spanish-American War, the gunboat, USS Helena, commanded by Cmdr. William T. Swinburne, captures the Spanish steamer Manati at Cienfuegos, Cuba.
1920—USS St. Louis (CA 20) is ordered to Turkish waters to protect American nationals and citizens during the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922).
1944—USS Balao (SS 285) shells and sinks Japanese sampan (No.7) Nissho Maru about 100 miles off Palau. USS Drum (SS 228) sinks Asahi Maru with gunfire in the same general area, and takes survivors prisoner. Also on this date, USS Perch (SS 313) sinks Japanese guardboat Kannon Maru I-Go in the Philippine Sea, east of Dinagat Island.
1967—On the flight deck of USS Forrestal (CVA 59), a Zuni 5" rocket accidentally fires from a (F 4B) Phantom II aircraft into a parked and armed (A 4E) Skyhawk, setting off a series of explosions that kill 134 of her crew and injure 161 crewmembers.
1995—USS Maine (SSBN 741) is commissioned at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, ME. 
2017—The guided-missile destroyer USS Rafael Peralta (DDG 115) is commissioned in a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego. The ship honors Marine Corps Sgt. Rafael Peralta, who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for actions during combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Today in History July 27

At the Battle of Bouvines in France, Philip Augustus of France defeats John of England.

Frederick II is deposed by a council at Lyons, which found him guilty of sacrilege.

Sir Walter Raleigh returns to England from Virginia.

The British Parliament passes a second Navigation Act, requiring all goods bound for the colonies be sent in British ships from British ports.

The Scottish Jacobites experience a victory over government-supporting clans at the Battle of Killiecrankie.

The Marquis of Lafayette arrives in New England to help fight the British.

British and French fleets fight to a standoff in the first Battle of Ushant.

Robespierre becomes a member of the Committee of Public Safety.

President Abraham Lincoln replaces General Irwin McDowell with General George B. McClellen as head of the Army of the Potomac.

The International Workers of the World found their labor organization in Chicago.

Orville Wright sets a world record for staying aloft in an airplane--one hour, 12 minutes and 40 seconds.

British troops invade the streets of Dublin, Ireland, and begin to disarm Irish rebels.

Canadians Sir Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolate insulin at the University of Toronto.

U.S. troops complete the liberation of Guam.

Representatives of the United Nations, Korea and China sign an armistice at Panmunjom, Korea.

President Lyndon Johnson sends an additional 5,000 advisers to South Vietnam.

Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran dies in Cairo, Egypt.

William Wyler, director of Ben Hur, dies.

Israeli guns and aircraft pound southern Lebanon in reprisal for rocket attacks by Hezbollah guerrillas.

The largest air show disaster in history occurs when a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes during an air show at Lviv, Ukraine, killing 85 and injuring more than 100 others.
Thanks to Carl
he got 28 out of 35!   I got 32 out of 35 and glad they were mostly multiple choice..skip
How well do you know the ships of the U.S. Navy?
Thanks to Clint
Subject: Selfless Irish
     You've got to love those Irish, they've got their priorities in order.
The Irish never hesitate to come to the aid of their fellow man...air passengers, in this case!
Shortly after take-off on an outbound, evening Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to Boston, the lead flight attendant nervously made the following painful announcement in her lovely Irish brogue:
"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm so very sorry, but it appears that there has been a terrible mix-up by our catering service. I don't know how this has happened, but we have 103 passengers on board, and unfortunately, we received only 40 dinner meals. I truly apologize for this mistake and inconvenience.
"When the muttering of the passengers had died down, she continued, "Anyone who is kind enough to give up their meal so that someone else can eat, will receive free and unlimited drinks for the duration of our 10 hour flight."
Her next announcement came about 2 hours later: "If anyone is hungry, we still have 40 dinners available."
Thanks to Barrett
Skip, CAG-5 in the 1954 shootout was George Duncan, best known for his spectacular CV41 ramp strike.  He carved 13 notches in WW II (No. 2 in Dave McCampbell's crew) and raced his AD to the scene just in time to see the Chinese hit the water!
MANILA, Sun.—The United States aircraft carriers Philippine Sea and Hornet, whose pilots shot down two Communist planes off Hainan Island last Monday, will return to Manila Bay to-day. ...
Thanks to Carl
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
A few months ago, our friend Robert "Barney" Rubel put out an article in The National Interest questioning the focus on "deep strike."
I encourage you to read it all, but I would like to break with him a bit; the real argument for extended range for our carrier strike aircraft isn't so much so they can reach deep, but so that the carrier can stand off further and as a result, complicate enemy targeting.

That being said, here's a money-quote for you;
If the Navy wants increased range, the first place to look is longer-range air-to-air missiles. Russian-made variants outrange our best right now. If a new tactical aircraft is needed, it should be a modern air-superiority machine a bit like the old F-14 Tomcat, which was long range and carried many missiles, or perhaps an unmanned version. Such a fighter would not require the intense and expensive level of all-aspect stealth that a penetrating bomber would need, and thus would likely cost far less.

The advent of artificial intelligence and long-range missiles has altered the logic of strike warfare. There is a very simple logical syllogism that should govern Navy investments in aviation and strike warfare going forward: do not do with aircraft what missiles can do; do not do with manned aircraft what unmanned aircraft can do; only use manned aircraft when the first two options are not suitable. The application of this logic will save lives and money, and actually serve to enhance the lethality and staying power of the fleet.

April 10, 2018  by Robert Rubel
Deep Strike Is Not the Future of U.S. Naval Power
More missile ships appears to be the cost-effective answer to A2/AD systems developed by China and others.
Item Number:1 Date: 07/27/2018 BANGLADESH - KHULNA SHIPYARD TO RECEIVE INDIAN ASSISTANCE FOR WARSHIP CONSTRUCTION (JUL 27/HINDU)  THE HINDU -- An Indian state-owned shipyard has agreed to help Bangladesh design and build warships, reports the Hindu.   Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) in Calcutta has signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh's state Khulna Shipyard to develop skills and know-how for the design and construction of warships.   The agreement was disclosed to the Indian Parliament on Wednesday. The MoU was signed on May 8.   The move is in line with India's recent military-to-military diplomacy endeavors in the region, which has included supplying military hardware and capacity-building initiatives.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 07/27/2018 CHINA - MILITARY ACCEPTS DELIVERY OF INITIAL S-400 AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS (JUL 27/TASS)  TASS -- The Chinese military formally taken delivery of its first S-400 air defense systems from Russia, reports Russia's Tass news agency.   An acceptance certificate was signed last week for the S-400 systems that arrived in May, said an unnamed source.   The initial batch of S-400 equipment, including launchers and mobile radar systems was delivered in two shipments in April and May.   China ordered two S-400 regiments from Russia for an estimated US$3 billion. The second regiment is expected to be delivered later this year.   One regiment is divided into two battalions, which are split into two batteries. A battery can consist of up to 12 transporter erector launchers (TELs), although four to eight per unit are more likely, reported the Diplomat (Tokyo).   China has not officially disclosed what missiles have been ordered, but the first regiment is reportedly armed with the 48N6E2 missile. The second regiment is expected to be equipped with the 40N6E missile, the export variant of the 40N6
Item Number:3 Date: 07/27/2018 EGYPT - FROZEN U.S. MILITARY AID SET TO BE MADE AVAILABLE (JUL 27/MIDEEYE)  MIDDLE EAST EYE -- The U.S. government has decided to release US$195 million in suspended defense aid to Egypt, reports the Middle East Eye (London).   The funding from the U.S. fiscal 2016 budget, intended to be used to buy American military equipment, was frozen last year due to concerns over Egypt's human-rights shortcomings.   President Donald Trump withheld the funds in August 2017, citing Egypt's failure to make progress on respecting human rights and democratic norms.   The decision aims to recognize "steps Egypt has taken over the last year in response to specific U.S. concerns" and in the spirit of strengthening the partnership with Egypt, an unnamed State Dept. official said on Tuesday.   Preserving U.S. security cooperation with Egypt, which includes countering militant groups, was also part of the rationale for releasing the funds, said the official.   The State Dept. official did not identify any specific steps Egypt had taken to address U.S. concerns.   The announcement comes after a high-level Egyptian military delegation met with senior U.S. officials in Washington earlier this week, reported Ahram Online (Egypt).   In April, the State Dept. released a human rights report that outlined a variety of issues in Egypt, including torture, limits on freedom of expression, government control over NGOs and the use of military courts to try civilians.   Egypt has received around US$1.3 billion in U.S. military assistance annually since Cairo reached a peace deal with Israel in 1979.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 07/27/2018 INDIA - NEW DELHI LOOKS ABROAD TO JEEP JAGUAR JETS FLYING (JUL 27/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The Indian air force has launched a new effort to refurbish its fleet of Jaguar ground attack fighters, reports Defense News.   The program would accelerate the replacement of engines, airframes, avionics, weapons systems and radar with systems from retired aircraft with the goal of extending the service life of the jets for another 20 years, said a senior defense official.   The plan envisions spending up to US$3 billion over five years to speed up the overhaul.   The Indian Jaguars will receive parts taken from retired aircraft from France, Oman and the U.K. Additional spare parts are being stockpiled from various countries in an effort to build up supplies for the Jaguar. Production of the aircraft ceased in the 1980s.   The Defense Ministry is also working to directly purchase 200 F-125IN engines for the Jaguars from U.S. manufacturer Honeywell at a price of US$5 million each. About 40 of these would be kept in reserve, said a defense official.   The current Jaguar fleet uses Adour M k811 engines.   The move is part of efforts to retain the air force's strength amid delays and issues in buying new aircraft and the planned retirement of 10 squadrons of aging jets by 2024, reported the Times of India
  Item Number:5 Date: 07/27/2018 ISRAEL - PALESTINIAN MAN STABS 3 IN W. BANK ATTACK (JUL 27/JP)  JERUSALEM POST -- A Palestinian man has been shot and killed after stabbing three Israelis in the West Bank, reports the Jerusalem Post.   On Thursday, Mohammed Yusuf, 17, jumped over the fence around the Adam settlement in the West Bank, which is located between Jerusalem and Ramallah.   Yusuf stabbed three men, before he was shot and killed by one of his victims. The man was lightly injured in the confrontation before shooting Yusuf, reported Haaretz (Israel).   The victims were transported to a nearby hospital. One victim died after arrival, while another was in critical condition, health officials said.   Hamas praised the attack in a statement
Item Number:6 Date: 07/27/2018 NIGERIA - SECURITY FORCES FIGHT OFF BOKO HARAM ATTACK IN BORNO (JUL 27/NANIGERIA)  NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA -- Nigerian security personnel have successfully repelled an attack by Boko Haram in the northeastern state of Borno, reports the News Agency of Nigeria.   On Thursday, dozens of attackers attempted to storm the town of Jakana in western Borno, officials said.   The attackers arrived with at least 15 vehicles equipped with sophisticated weapons, said one resident.   The militants first attacked the military camp to the west of Jakana before advancing toward the town, a police source told the Premium Times (Abuja). The fighting lasted for more than an hour, the source said.   Thursday is the town's market day, leading residents to speculate that the insurgents were looking for food and supplies
Item Number:7 Date: 07/27/2018 POLAND - DEFENSE MINISTRY TARGETS COMMERCIAL HIMARS BUY TO SPEED DELIVERY, LOWER COSTS (JUL 27/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- Poland is planning on purchasing the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) directly from the U.S. government in a bid to hasten the acquisition process, reports Defense News.   The decision, reported in local media last week, comes after protracted, multi-year negotiations over the purchase of the Patriot missile system.   The final deal for the Patriot, which included work-share and offset agreements, ended up raising the price beyond what Poland had anticipated.   Poland originally sought to share production of the HIMARS with state defense firm PGZ, but has now opted for the direct-buy route to save time and money.   Warsaw is now negotiating a direct buy of up to 56 HIMARS under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.   Polish reports cast doubt of PGZ's ability to manufacture the rockets, even after technology transfers.   The Polish decision follows a similar move by Romania in February
  Item Number:8 Date: 07/27/2018 SOUTH KOREA - SEOUL LODGES FORMAL COMPLAINT AFTER ANOTHER AIRSPACE VIOLATION BY CHINESE AIRCRAFT (JUL 27/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean government has summoned the top Chinese defense representative in the country after a Chinese military aircraft violated the country's air defense zone, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   On Friday, a Chinese Y-9 transport aircraft entered the South Korean air defense identification zone.   The plane remained in South Korean air space for about four hours, circling a submerged rock claimed by both Seoul and Beijing, reported Reuters.   Seoul said it had received no prior notification of the encroachment and scrambled F-15K fighter jets in response.   The Ministry of National Defense summoned the defense attache and criticized China's repeated violation of the South Korean air identification zone.   The South Korean Foreign Ministry also summoned a senior Chinese embassy official to discuss the matter.   Similar incidents occurred in February and April.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 07/27/2018 SYRIA - KURDISH LEADERS VISIT DAMASCUS FOR INITIAL TALKS WITH GOVERNMENT (JUL 27/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Senior members of a major Kurdish organization in Syria have begun direct talks with the government in Damascus, reports Agence France-Presse.   On Thursday, the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) said her organization had its first official visit with the Syrian government.   The talks were expected to focus on the provision of services in Kurdish-held areas, reported Reuters. There was no set agenda, so political and security matters could also be discussed, Kurdish officials said.   The Kurds are hoping to reach a political deal that will protect their autonomy.   The SDC is considered to be the political body of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a predominately Kurdish group of fighters that is supported by the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.   The news follows reports that Kurdish-held cities in eastern Syria have replaced the Kurdish flag with the Syrian flag.   Last week, the SDF announced that it would return Syria's largest dam, Tabqa, to government control.   After months of military operations, Damascus has regained control of much of Syria. The SDF currently controls much of northeastern Syria.   Kurdish forces are wary of what they see as wavering U.S. support after the defeat of ISIS
  Item Number:10 Date: 07/27/2018 TUNISIA - MORE DEFENSE, TRAINING COOPERATION AGREED WITH ITALY (JUL 27/MEM)  MIDDLE EAST MONITOR -- The governments of Tunisia and Italy have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation and military training efforts, reports the Middle East Monitor (London).   Tunisian Defense Minister Abdulkerim ez-Zubeydi hosted his Italian counterpart, Elisabetta Trenta, in Tunis on Monday.   Tunisia plans to hold 60 joint defense exercises with Italy in 2019, said the minister. A center for vocational training in diving and underwater activities will be established by the end of the year, he said.   The ministers also discussed the security situation in Libya. Ez-Zubeydi urged further cooperation in the development of southern Tunisia to create jobs and reduce migration to Europe.   Prior to the meeting, Trenta met with President Beji Caid Essebi to discuss bilateral relations.  
Item Number:11 Date: 07/27/2018 TURKEY - LEGISLATION WOULD ALLOW COLLEGE GRADS TO PAY TO REDUCE MANDATORY MILITARY SERVICE TERM (JUL 27/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- The Turkish Parliament has passed legislation that gives conscripts the ability to reduce the length of their service by paying a fee, reports Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency.   The law permits males born on or before Jan. 1, 1994, to completed only 21 days of military service if they are university graduates and pay the government US$3,141. Otherwise, draftees must serve 5.5 or 12 months.   Turks living abroad would have to pay 2,000 euros (US$2,340) to obtain the exemption.   Proponents of the move say mandatory military service hinders careers and that college graduates would boost the economy if they didn't have to serve as long.   The Turkish government sees the move as a step toward a fully professional army.   The bill has been sent to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for final approval
Item Number:12 Date: 07/27/2018 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - HOUTHIS CLAIM DRONE ATTACK ON ABU DHABI AIRPORT (JUL 27/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- The Houthi rebel group in Yemen says it has attacked the Abu Dhabi International Airport with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   On Thursday, the Houthi-run Al Masirah television channel reported that a Sammad-3 drone launched three attacks on the airport.   An Emirati official denied the attack, saying that business at the airport continued as usual, reported Reuters.   The airport reported a minor incident involving a supply vehicle. It was unclear if the incident was connected to an attack.   Some social media users complained of unusual delays at the airport, noted Al Jazeera.   The Houthi report claimed that the new generation of drone had a range of 621 miles (1,000 km).   Analysts noted that the Houthis have made many claims about new drones, but there has been no indication that the claims are true.   The attack came one day after the Houthis launched missiles at Saudi oil tankers near the Bab al-Mandeb strait on the Red Sea. The attack caused Saudi officials to temporarily halt oil shipments through the narrow sea pass
Item Number:13 Date: 07/27/2018 USA - CONGRESS SET TO REVAMP PROMOTION CRITERIA FOR MILITARY OFFICERS (JUL 27/MILTIMES)  MILITARY TIMES -- U.S. lawmakers are expected to pass a bill that would allow military officer promotion boards to place more emphasis on merit and job performance than seniority, reports the Military Times.   The bill will rewrite many key aspects of the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act that was enacted in 1980.   The changes include: ending some of the up-or-out rules that force officers to leave the military if they fail to be promoted according to a rigid timeline; allowing mid-career civilians with high-demand skills to enter the military up to the rank of O-6 (colonel or Navy captain); allowing promotion boards to move high-performing officers up the promotion list regardless of time in service; and allowing service secretaries to create "an alternative promotion process" for specific career fields.   The new regulations will also permit officers to develop more technical expertise in increasingly complex career fields that are seen as vital to future operations.   Exemptions from tradition promotion schedules could enable officers to pursue different career paths, which might include fellowships, external graduate degree programs or other opportunities.   Officers in career fields with little private-sector competition will likely see few changes, while those in fields such as logistics, cyber and other technical specialties could see their options increase.   The bill aims to create more flexibility in the recruitment and promotion process, as well as boost retention.   The new measures were included in the final annual defense authorization bill draft released by conference committee officials this week.   The changes will not be mandatory for the services, but officials are encouraging military leaders to use the new authorities to modernize their personnel policies.   Congress is set to finalize the bill and send it to President Donald Trump next month
  Item Number:14 Date: 07/27/2018 USA - MILITARY SERVICES TO COMBINE EFFORTS TO DEVELOP HYPERSONIC MISSILE (JUL 27/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- The U.S. Air Force, Army and Navy have agreed to work together to develop hypersonic missiles, reports the Stars and Stripes.   The service secretaries signed an agreement recently to combine their efforts for a prototype hypersonic missile.   By collaborating, trials for a prototype weapon could begin in 2020 or 2021, significantly faster than previous Pentagon estimates, said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson.   Hypersonic weapons are capable of traveling at speeds of more than Mach 5 and would be extremely difficult to defend against, the Air Force secretary said.   The plan is to "take an Army warhead, put it on an Air Force booster, launch it off of a B-52, while the Army is developing on the ground and the Navy wants to put it on the deck of a ship," said Wilson.   Wilson noted that each service was ahead of their peers in some aspect of hypersonics development, and that the new effort sought to combine the best of the existing efforts.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 07/27/2018 USA - STATE DEPT. OFFICIAL MEETS WITH TALIBAN IN SEARCH FOR PEACE DEAL (JUL 27/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- A senior U.S. official has met with representatives of the Taliban to discuss possible peace talks, reports the Wall Street Journal.   Earlier this week, Amb. Alice Wells led a U.S. delegation that met with a Taliban political body in Doha, Qatar, the newspaper reported on Wednesday.   Neither Wells, the deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asia, nor the Taliban commented on the meeting.   The State Dept. said Wells discussed advances in the Afghan-led process with Qatari officials.   Unnamed U.S. officials said that the Taliban was more serious about pursuing peace talks than in the past.   U.S. officials maintain that any peace effort will require the full involvement of the Afghan government.   The U.S. seems increasingly open to the idea of negotiating with the Taliban, noted analysts.   The move comes after a successful Ramadan cease-fire that analysts say might have created an opening for long-sought negotiations with the militant movement.  
 Item Number:16 Date: 07/27/2018 VIETNAM - SU-22 STRIKE JET GOES DOWN DURING TRAINING FLIGHT, KILLING PILOTS (JUL 27/XIN)  XINHUA -- A Vietnamese air force attack jet has crashed killing both crew members, reports Xinhua, China's state-owned news agency.   On Thursday, the Su-22 went down during a routine training flight in the Nghia Dan district in the north-central Nghe An province.   The aircraft, which was operated by the air force's Regiment 921, crashed shortly after taking off from Sao Vang military airport in neighboring Thanh Hoa province, reported Reuters.   The Ministry of National Defense has launched an investigation into the cause of the crash. 

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