Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Fw: TheList 4780

The List 4780     TGB

To All,
A bit of history and some tidbits.
This day in Naval History
Aug. 1
1801—The schooner, USS Enterprise, commanded by Lt. Andrew Sterett, encounters the Barbary corsair, Tripoli, west of Malta. After a three-hour USS Enterprise broadsides the vessel, forcing Tripoli's surrender.
1921—A high-altitude bombsight, mounted on a gyroscopically stabilized base was successfully tested at Torpedo Station, Yorktown, VA. This test was the first phase of Carl L. Norden's development of an effective high-altitude bombsight, which became known as the Norden Bombsight.
1944—PBY aircraft attacked Japanese convoy, sink ammunition ship, Seia Maru, in Taliaboe Bay, Soela Island. Also on this date, USS Puffer (SS 268) damages Japanese oiler, Sunosaki, northeast of Borneo.
1946—President Harry S. Truman approves legislation establishing the Office of Naval Research (ONR), charging ONR to "...plan, foster and encourage scientific research in recognition of its paramount importance as related to the maintenance of future naval power, and the preservation of national security..."
1952—During the Korean War, USS Carmick (DMS 33) is fired on by enemy shore guns in the vicinity of Songjin lighthouse. Returning fire, Carmick's battery fire silences the guns.
1961—Adm. George W. Anderson, Jr., takes office as the 16th Chief of Naval Operations, serving until Aug. 1, 1963. During Adm. Anderson's tenure as CNO, he oversaw the U.S. Navy's quarantine of Cuba, thus enabling the Kennedy administration to compel the Soviet Union to remove its nuclear weapons from the island. 
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national news includes a coalition of gun rights advocates challenging a federal judge's order temporarily barring a company from publishing blueprints on the web to make untraceable 3D-printed guns by publishing similar blueprints itself; and reports that Facebook says it has removed 32 accounts and pages believed to have been set up to influence the mid-term US elections in November. Admiral John Richardson conducted a Hub call as part of a tour of different Latin American countries and following his participation in the 28th Inter-American Naval Conference, reports Argentinian news website Infobae. Richardson highlighted the fact that relations between the U.S. Navy and some countries in the region are stronger, and warned that drug trafficking remains one of the greatest challenges. The Kitsap Sun reports that the USS John C. Stennis will shift its homeport from Bremerton to Norfolk ahead of its planned mid-life maintenance overhaul. Navy Times reports that the return of the USS Harry S. Truman marks a successful execution of dynamic force employment and that the strike group remains fully mission capable and ready to deploy.

This day in History
Piero de Medici succeeds his father, Cosimo, as ruler of Florence.
The Turkish army is defeated by French and German troops at St. Gotthard, Hungary.
James II's siege of Londonderry, Ireland, ends in failure. James' force had suffered some 8,000 casualties to the defenders' 3,600.
Thomas Arne's song "Rule Britannia" is performed for the first time.
British and Hanoverian armies defeat the French at the Battle of Minden, Germany.
Robert Carter III, a Virginia plantation owner, frees all 500 of his slaves in the largest private emancipation in U.S. history. An 1839 mutiny aboard a Spanish ship in Cuban waters raised basic questions about freedom and slavery in the United States.
Admiral Horatio Nelson routs the French fleet in the Battle of the Nile at Aboukir Bay, Egypt.
The American schooner Enterprise captures the Barbary cruiser Tripoli. Often venturing into harm's way, America's most famous sailing ship, the Constitution, twice came close to oblivion.
Slavery is abolished throughout the British Empire.
Union General Ulysses S. Grant gives general Philip H. Sheridan the mission of clearing the Shenandoah Valley of Confederate forces. After nearly 10 months of trench warfare, Confederate resistance at Petersburg, Virginia, suddenly collapsed.
The first long-distance gas pipeline in the U.S. is completed. Designed for natural gas, the two-inch pipe ran five miles from Newton Wells to Titusville, Pennsylvania.
San Francisco's first cable cars begin running, operated by Hallidie's Clay Street Hill Railroad Company.
Sir Frederick Roberts frees the British Afghanistan garrison of Kandahar from Afghan rebels.
A machine for making shredded wheat breakfast cereal is patented.
The Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany becomes operational.The Nuremberg Trial would later bring high-ranking Nazis to justice.
Synthetic vitamin K is produced for the first time.
The Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo plane makes its first flight.
Ensign Henry C. White, while flying a J4F Widgeon plane, sinks U-166 as it approaches the Mississippi River, the first U-boat sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Over 177 B-24 Liberator bombers attack the oil fields in Ploesti, Romania, for a second time.
The Polish underground begins an uprising against the occupying German army, as the Red Army approaches Warsaw.
President Harry S Truman establishes the Atomic Energy Commission.
Lead elements of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division arrive in Korea from the United States.
The Geneva Accords divide Vietnam into two countries at the 17th parallel.
US and Canada create North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).
Singer Chubby Checker releases "The Twist," creating a new dance craze. The song had been released by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters the previous year but got little attention.
Arthur Ashe becomes the first African-American to play on the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team.
Charles Whitman, shooting from the Texas Tower at the University of Texas, kills 16 people and wounds 31 before being killed himself.
Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh begins his national radio show.
In Asuncion, Paraguay, a fire in the Ycua Bolanos V supermarket complex kills nearly 400 people and injures 500.
The I-35W bridge at Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapses into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145.
From the Coast Guard's Birthday to a U-2 First by  W. Thomas Smith Jr.
This Week in American Military History:
Aug. 1, 1943:  Operation Tidal Wave -- also known as the Raid on Ploesti --
commences: 177 U.S. Army Air Forces B-24 Liberators flying 1,000-plus miles from their bases in Libya, attack the heavily defended Ploesti oil fields in Rumania.
The raid is flown against waves of counterattacking enemy planes, heavy antiaircraft fire, and at treetop level above the target area. Many of the
B-24 crews are forced to fly through thick black smoke over targets just-attacked by their comrades ahead of them, and they are caught in the bursts and shock waves of delayed-action bombs.
Damage will be heavy on the oilfields said "to be supplying 60 percent of Germany's crude oil requirements," according to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. But USAAF casualties will also be high: "Of 177 planes and
1,726 men who took off on the mission, 54 planes and 532 men failed to return."
Five Medals of Honor will be awarded for the daring raid. Recipients
include: Col. Leon W. Johnson, Col. John R. Kane, Lt. Col. Addison E. Baker (posthumous), Maj. John L. Jerstad (posthumous), and 2nd Lt. Lloyd H.
Hughes (posthumous).
Aug. 1, 1955: The famous U-2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft (yes, the same type of aircraft piloted by CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers when he was shot down over the Soviet Union by a surface-to-air missile in 1960) makes its first-ever flight above Groom Lake (Area 51), Nevada.
Aug. 3, 1958:  USS Nautilus -- the world's first nuclear-powered submarine and the U.S. Navy's sixth so-named vessel -- becomes the first "ship" to cross the North Pole. The submarine's simple transmission is, "Nautilus 90 North."
Aug. 4, 1790:  Congress approves Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton's proposal to "build ten cutters to protect the new nation's revenue,"
establishing the Revenue Cutter Service – first of the predecessor services of the modern Coast Guard. Thus today will become the officially recognized birthday of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Aug. 5, 1864:  One of the great makers of Naval tradition, Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, commanding a strike force of 14 wooden warships and a handful of ironclads, attacks and decisively defeats Confederate Naval forces under Adm. Franklin Buchanan and the Confederate forts defending Mobile Bay, Alabama. It is during this action that Farragut purportedly utters the command, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!," or the more likely command, "Damn the torpedoes! Four bells. Captain [Percival] Drayton, go ahead! [Lt. Commander James] Jouett, full speed!"
Aug. 6, 1945:  A single American B-29 bomber, Enola Gay, flying from the island of Tinian drops the first-ever atomic bomb used in war on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
At 8:15 a.m., the bomb, codenamed Little Boy, detonates nearly 2,000 feet above the city center instantly killing between 80,000 and 140,000 people, and seriously wounding another 100,000. According to Hiroshima & Nagasaki Remembered, "The blast wave shattered windows for a distance of ten miles and was felt as far away as 37 miles. Hiroshima had disappeared under a thick, churning foam of flames and smoke. The co-pilot, Captain Robert Lewis, commented, 'My God, what have we done?'"
In three days, Nagasaki will suffer the same fate.
Japan's ability to wage war is finished.
In time, the bombings will be decried as cruel and excessive in terms of the lives lost; as if to suggest all war is not both cruel and excessive to the vanquished. Indeed, nuclear weapons are horrible. What is incalculable, however, is the number of American lives saved by decisively ending the war with the bombs before having to invade the Japanese mainland.
Aug. 7, 1942:  Exactly eight months to the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, elements of the soon-to-be-famous 1st Marine Division – under the command of Maj. Gen. Alexander Archer "Sunny Jim" Vandegrift (a future Marine Corps commandant) – begin landing on Guadalcanal in the southern Solomon islands, launching America's first large-scale ground offensive of World War II.
Simultaneous landings take place on the nearby islets of Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo, and Florida Island. The landings are the first decisive ground actions aimed at eating away at the Japanese who have extended their lines deep into the Western Pacific and threaten Australia.
Vandegrift is destined to receive the Medal of Honor, and he will become the first Marine officer on active duty to attain four-star rank.
Aug. 7, 1964:  Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which "approves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression."
The Vietnam War is officially on.
Aug. 7, 1782:  Gen. George Washington creates two badges of distinction for enlisted soldiers and noncommissioned officers: The first is a chevron signifying three years of service (two chevrons for six years) "with bravery, fidelity, and good conduct." The second is a medal – the Badge of Military Merit – for "any singularly meritorious action."
According to The U.S. Army Center of Military History, the badge was the "'figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk edged with narrow lace or binding.' This device was affixed to the uniform coat above the left breast and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge and to have his name and regiment inscribed in a Book of Merit. The badge specifically honored the lower ranks, where decorations were unknown in contemporary European Armies."
Though the standards for recipients have changed, the medal exists today as the Purple Heart, and is awarded to "any member of an Armed Force who, while serving with the U.S. Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may hereafter die after being wounded."
Some history, beginning with the 1936 Olympics in Berlin
Thanks to Hal -
This Olympics of 1936 were held in Germany through Adolph Hitler's managing and it was to be his chance to demonstrate his Super Race to the world.  He would prove this by his athletes winning the gold medals, and it would be a colossal propaganda victory.  He looked around and put his very best man in charge of these Olympics, and that was Schutzstaffel Gruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich.  He was the General in charge of the dreaded SS as well as the Gestapo.  Second only to Himmler, third after Hitler.
As you know, it didn't all work out that way and US athlete Jesse Owens dominated the track and field events.  Black as coal. Hitler was apoplectic and stormed out of the stands.
The years passed on by and Hitler had launched his purge of the Jews, Christians, gypsies and all other undesirable people, but the sheer numbers were daunting.  He wanted them all dead to purge Germany and any other country they invaded, so a conference was set up in January, 1942 in
Wannsee. a suburb of Berlin.   Attending were the captains of industry, the
heads of Ministries, and many of the German General Staff.  Heydrich chaired the meeting.  { If you want to see how this went, find the BBC movie "Conspiracy" made in 2001 starring Kenneth Branagh as Heydrich.  Five Star performance, Emmy awards}  Their job would be to exterminate millions of innocent people.
The British were watching all of this closely and decided that it was time to terminate the career of Reinhard Heydrich.  So OPERATION ANTHROPOID was launched. British SOE, Special Operations Executive, recruited, trained and parachuted a team of seven Czechs with the mission to observe, plan, and kill Heydrich.  They found him to be a regular as clockwork.  He took the same route daily to work, at the very same time, and usually had the top down on his convertible staff car.
So on 27 May 1942, a woman agent Rela Fafek in position on his route tipped her hat to signal that he was coming.  As he came along, Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik stepped off the curb to begin firing and the gun jammed.  As the driver stopped, Heydrich unholstered his pistol.  At that moment they tossed a modified British Number 73 Anti-Tank grenade under the car.  It exploded and seriously wounded Heydrich as the team fled.
Heydrich died on 4 June of what his doctors termed "septicemia", or blood poisoning from the seat springs and horsehair stuffing blown into his body.
But what he actually died of was the botulinum toxin that Dr. Paul Fildes of England's Porton Down (their chemical and biological weapons lab) had put in the grenade.
thanks to Doctor Rich 
August 1, 2018Bear Taylor
On this day HUMBLE HOST SALUTES: BGEN KENNETH WALTER NORTH, USAF (1930-2010) and the dynamic duo of F-8 Crusader gladiators who put a MiG-21 in the dirt this week–50 years ago: LT GEORGE HEISE got the first shot and possible damage, with LT NORMAN McCOY getting the kill shot and the credit… oohrah…
1 AUGUST 1968… OPERATION ROLLING THUNDER… New York Times (2 Aug reporting 1 Aug ops)… Page 5: "2 U.S. PILOTS DOWN A MIG"… "Two United States Navy pilots teamed up today to blast a MiG-21 from the sky over North Vietnam, American military spokesmen reported. They said the pilots of two F-8 Crusaders from the carrier Bon Homme Richard had run into the MiG interceptor about 25 miles northwest of Vinh and six miles south of the 19th parallel, which has recently been the northernmost limit of Untied States bombers. One flier, Lieutenant GEORGE HEISE, fired a missile that exploded just short of the MiG and damaged it. The MiG-21 headed north attempting to escape, the spokesman said, and the second Navy pilot, Lieutenant NORMAN McCOY, bored in and scored a direct hit that destroyed the plane. The MiG was the 110th downed by American pilots in the war. There have been 48 U.S. planes lost in dogfights with MiGs."…Page 5: "In the north, jet fighter-bomber flew 109 missions against targets in North Vietnam south of the 19th parallel."…
Item Number:1 Date: 08/01/2018 AFGHANISTAN - 8 KILLED WHEN ROADSIDE BOMB HITS BUS IN FARAH PROVINCE (AUG 01/PAKTODAY)  PAKISTAN TODAY -- At least 8 people have been killed and more than 30 injured in a roadside bombing in southwestern Afghanistan, reports Pakistan Today.   Some sources indicated that 11 people were killed in the attack.   A passenger bus was traveling from Herat toward Kabul when it hit the bomb, said a police spokesman cited by Agence France-Presse.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.   The Taliban is known to be active in the region and frequently employs improvised explosive devices. The bomb may have been intended for Afghan security forces, said police.   Improvised explosives have been responsible for 877 civilian causalities in the first six months of 2018, including 232 fatalities, according to U.N. figures. A total of 1,692 civilians have been killed in the Afghan conflict over the same period.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 08/01/2018 AFGHANISTAN - TOP ISIS COMMANDER, SCORES OF FIGHTERS SURRENDER IN NORTH (AUG 01/TN)  TOLONEWS -- Scores of fighters from the Afghan branch of the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) and their commander have surrendered to Afghan security forces in the northern Jawzjan province, reports the Tolo News (Afghanistan).   ISIS-Khorasan Province (ISIS-KP) leader Mawlawi Habiburrahman and his deputy were among 150 fighters who surrendered in the Darzab district, a provincial spokesman said Wednesday.   A provincial police chief told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that the number might be as high as 200. The main ISIS stronghold in Jawzjan had been captured by the Taliban, he said.   At least 10 of the fighters were foreign, primarily from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, said the spokesman.   The surrender came after the terror group suffered heavy losses while fighting the Taliban over the last two days.   Clashes between the two parties, at odds across the country, continue in Jawzjan province, a police official told Pajhwok news agency. Eight Taliban and six ISIS fighters have been killed so far, he said.   Fighting between the Taliban, present across Afghanistan, and ISIS, concentrated in the eastern Nangarhar province, has been particularly protracted in the north.   In mid-July, fighters from ISIS-KP killed a Taliban commander in his home in the northern Sar-e Pul province. Fifteen Taliban fighters were killed in subsequent fighting.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 08/01/2018 ALGERIA - 11 KILLED IN CLASH WITH MILITANTS IN NORTHEAST (AUG 01/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Four militants have been killed and one captured in ongoing counterterrorism operations in Algeria's northeastern Skikda province, reports Turkey's state Anadolu Agency.   The army launched the wide-scale operation on Monday in the Azzaba district. Seven soldiers were killed in fighting with more than 15 militants, reported Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Reinforcements, including military helicopters, were deployed to the scene of the clash.   Three Kalashnikov assault rifles, a semi-automatic weapon and ammunition was seized during the operation, said an unnamed security source.   The northeastern part of Algeria continues to be a hideout for terrorist elements, including fighters linked to Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. 
  Item Number:4 Date: 08/01/2018 CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - 3 RUSSIAN REPORTERS KILLED WHILE INVESTIGATING SECURITY CONTRACTOR (AUG 01/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- Three Russian journalists have been killed in an ambush in the Central African Republic, reports the New York Times.   On Monday, unknown gunmen ambushed and killed the journalists near the town of Sibut, north of the capital, Bangui, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.   Their driver survived the ambush, noted Agence France-Presse.   The reporters were headed to meet a local contact in Bambari, which is about 235 miles (378 km) northeast of Bangui. The road to Bambari runs through Sibut.   There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Numerous militias are active in the country.   The journalists were investigating the Wagner Group, a private military contractor that has allegedly received contracts from the Kremlin for military operations in Syria and Ukraine.   Wagner may have as many as 2,500 personnel in Syria, noted BBC News. The company has been sanctioned by the U.S. for its alleged role in the Ukraine conflict.   The three men were on assignment for the Investigation Control Center, a Russian news organization backed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.   Russia received U.N. approval to train and arm the Central African Republic army in December.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 08/01/2018 CHINA - BEIJING SHOWS OFF WARES DURING ARMY GAMES (AUG 01/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- China hopes an ongoing international military competition will strengthen its role as a top exporter of weapons and military goods, reports CNN.   The Chinese portion of the International Army Games began Sunday in the western Xinjiang province and will run until Aug. 11.   Participating countries will use either Chinese- or Russian- made weapons, reported state media.   The games present a "marketing and advertising show for military industrial products," according to an article on the People's Liberation Army news site.   China is currently the world's fifth-largest arms exporter, behind the U.S., Russia, France and Germany, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.   Participants in this year's games include Bangladesh, Burma, Iran and Pakistan, all customers for Chinese weapons.   Sales to Pakistan account for a third of Chinese weapons exports.   Beijing also uses arms sales to create strategic dependencies and gain support for its foreign policy, experts said
Item Number:6 Date: 08/01/2018 EGYPT - POLICE KILL 5 MILITANTS IN RAID NORTH OF CAIRO (AUG 01/AHRAM)  AHRAM ONLINE -- Egyptian security forces have killed five suspected militants near Cairo, reports the Ahram Online (Egypt).   On Tuesday, Egyptian police raided a hideout in Al Obour city, which is in the Qalyubia governorate, the interior ministry said in a statement.   The suspects attempted to flee and were killed in the fighting, the ministry said.   Police said they had identified four of the five slain suspects.   The suspects were believed to be members of the Hasm group, which was listed as a terrorist group by the U.S. government in January 2018.   Hasm is an Islamist group that has primarily targeted Egyptian officials and soldiers since its emergence in 2016. Authorities say the group is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which is outlawed in Egypt.   Separately, police said they had arrested five Hasm members in Cairo's El-Salam district, reported Egypt Today. Arms and ammunition were recovered at the scene.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 08/01/2018 INDIA - DEFENSE MINISTRY EYES NASAMS-II SYSTEM TO DEFEND STRATEGIC SITES (AUG 01/DN)  DEFENSE NEWS -- The Indian Defense Acquisition Council has approved plans to buy the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System-II from the U.S., reports Defense News.   Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman cleared the procurement of an unspecified number of NASAMS-II batteries earlier this month, according to defense sources cited by IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. The system will be acquired via the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.   The new NASAMS-II would replace the Russian Pechora air defense systems, said an unnamed Indian air force official.   The system, jointly developed by U.S. firm Raytheon and Norwegian company Kongsberg, is intended to supplement the planned indigenous ballistic missile defense system being developed by the Defense Research and Development Organization.   The NASAMS-II is expected to protect New Delhi from a variety of aerial threats, said officials cited by the Hindu. The project is currently in the acceptance of necessity phase, the officials said. The procurement is estimated to be worth about US$1 billion.   A NASAMS battery consists of up to 12 multi-missile launchers that can carry six AIM-120 AMRAAM or other surface-to-air missiles; up to eight AN/MPQ-64 Sentinel radars; up to four fire-distribution centers; and up to four MPS-500 electro-optical/infrared sensor system vehicles.   The Indian systems would be modified and integrated with the air force's integrated command-and-control system.   India is expected to issue a letter of request by the end of 2018.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 08/01/2018 MALI - 8 MILITANTS DIE IN ATTACK ON ELECTION CONVOY (AUG 01/AAP)  AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS -- Four Malian soldiers and eight militants have been killed in an attack on a convoy carrying election materials, reports the Australian Associated Press.   On Tuesday, gunmen attacked the convoy on the road between Nampala and Coura, which is in the south-central part of Mali's Segou region, a defense ministry spokesman said.   The spokesman did not provide further details. It was unclear if the convoy was carrying ballots.   Two of the vehicles that were attacked have not been found, a military source told Agence France-Presse. The source called the attack "complex."   There were no immediate claims of responsibility.   Mali has battled instability since an alliance of secessionist and jihadist rebels rolled across much of the country in 2012.   On Sunday, Mali held presidential elections, which produced no clear winner. A runoff is scheduled for Aug. 12, reported Reuters
  Item Number:9 Date: 08/01/2018 NEW ZEALAND - IN A FIRST, NAVY TAKES LEAD OF MINE COUNTERMEASURES FORCES AT RIMPAC (AUG 01/NNS)  NAVY NEWSSTAND -- For the first time, a New Zealand navy officer has commanded undersea mine countermeasures operations during the Rim of the Pacific exercises off the coast of Southern California, reports the Navy NewsStand.   Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin Martin, the commander of HMNZS Matataua in Auckland, oversaw all clearance diving and unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) exercises within complex water spaces at Naval Base Point Loma.   The commander led a task force, part of the larger Combined Task Force 177, made up of units including the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal team; U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Mobile Unit 1; Royal Canadian Navy vessel HMCS Whitehorse; and a Royal Netherlands Navy UUV team.   The training focused on coordinating and navigating through military and civilian maritime traffic in order to ensure safe diving operations.   Clearance diving and UUV operations are inherently dangerous and require significant logistics support, deliberate planning and risk-reduction by phase across each mission, said a Navy release.   Separately, the U.S. Navy's Marine Mammal Program deployed eight bottlenose dolphins to join RIMPAC's Combined Task Force 177 in the training exercises, reported The dolphins used their biological sonar to hunt for simulated underwater mines off the coast of San Diego
  Item Number:10 Date: 08/01/2018 NIGER - WASHINGTON CONFIRMS DEPLOYMENT OF ARMED DRONES TO NIAMEY (AUG 01/REU)  REUTERS -- The U.S. government has confirmed the deployment of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to Niger, reports Reuters.   "In coordination with the government of Niger, U.S. Africa Command has armed intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft already in Niger," a spokesperson for United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) said on Tuesday.   The Nigerien government approved the deployment of armed UAVs in November but neither side had previously confirmed their presence.   The MQ-9 Reapers are operated out of a base in the capital, Niamey, reported the Stars and Stripes last month. Work on a US$100 million drone base in the central city of Agadez is slated to be finished by the end of the year. The U.S. drone mission will then move there, officials said.   Deployments to Niger have reached 800 troops in recent years amid fears of growing instability in the West Africa and the Sahel.   In October, four U.S. Army Rangers were killed in an ambush by a local affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS). A local affiliate of Al-Qaida, Jama'at Nusra al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), is also active in the region
Item Number:11 Date: 08/01/2018 QATAR - STEEL CUT FOR INITIAL DOHA-CLASS CORVETTE (AUG 01/FINCA)  FINCANTIERI -- Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has announced the start of construction for the first of four Doha-class corvettes ordered by Qatar.   A steel-cutting ceremony was held at Fincantieri's Muggiano shipyard in northern Italy on Monday, the shipyard said in a release.   Senior officials, including Qatari Minister of Defense Mohamed Al-Attiyah and his Italian counterpart, Elisabetta Trenta, attended the ceremony.   The Doha-class corvette, measuring 351 feet (107 m) long and 48 feet (14.7 m) in beam with a maximum speed of 28 knots, is designed for surveillance, rescue and combat missions and can accommodate a crew of 98.   The corvette will be equipped with a combined diesel-and-diesel turbine plant, as well as a flight deck and hangar for hosting one NH90-size helicopter.   The class will be capable of operating high-speed boats, such as rigid hull inflatable boats through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the stern.   The Doha-class corvettes are being procured as part of a US$4 billion program that also includes a landing platform dock and two offshore patrol vessels
Item Number:12 Date: 08/01/2018 RUSSIA - ARMATA TANK BECOMES LATEST CASUALTY OF BUDGET CUTS (AUG 01/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- The Russian military may not be able to buy as many of its advanced main battle tank due to economic troubles, reports Bloomberg News.   The T-14 Armata is "rather expensive" and there's no need to "flood the army" with them when the older T-72 tank remains effective, said Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov.   The military plans to modernize existing tanks, including acquiring more upgraded T-72B3, T-80BVM and T-90M vehicles, reported Defence Blog.   The advanced T-14 battle tank was unveiled in 2015 as part of a decade-long effort to modernize the armed forces.   The manufacturer, Uralvagonzavod, said it would supply as many as 2,300 Armatas before 2020, reported the Tass news agency in 2015. However, Borisov said last year that the ministry had ordered only 100 tanks for delivery by 2020.   The government cut military spending from US$48 billion in 2017 to US$43 billion in 2018 amid an economic recession.   The Armata is still undergoing trials, while the current geopolitical environment requires faster modernization to address the potential threats from NATO, said Russian analysts.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 08/01/2018 SYRIA - IRANIAN FORCES MUST COMPLETELY WITHDRAW FROM SYRIA, SAY ISRAELI OFFICIALS (AUG 01/REU)  REUTERS -- The Israeli government says that the reported withdrawal of Iranian forces to 52 miles (85 km) from the Golan Heights is inadequate, reports Reuters.   "The Iranians withdrew and the Shi'ite formations are not there," Russian special envoy to Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said on Wednesday, referring to Iranian-backed militias that recruit primarily from Shi'ites in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, as well the Lebanese group Hezbollah.   Some individuals may remain, but heavy equipment and weapons have been pulled back from the border, he said.   Speaking to Israel Radio, Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi called the reported withdrawal insufficient.   Israel insists on a total withdrawal of Iranian forces from Syria.   "What we have laid down as a red line is military intervention and entrenchment by Iran in Syria, and not necessarily on our border," he said.   Israeli officials last week rebuffed a Russian offer to keep Iranian forces at least 60 miles (100 km) from the border area, an Israeli official told Reuters.   Russia says that it cannot force Iranian troops to leave Syria, but has indicated it will do nothing to stop Israeli airstrikes on Iranian and Hezbollah sites in Syria.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 08/01/2018 USA - LAWMAKERS SEEK REPORT ON MILITARY'S READINESS FOR COLD WEATHER OPS (AUG 01/MIL)  MILITARY.COM -- Lawmakers want the Pentagon to produce a report on how prepared the military services are for cold weather missions, reports   The proposal is part of the latest defense bill for fiscal 2019 from the House Armed Services Committee.   The document identifies the Arctic, Northeast Asia as well as Northern and Eastern Europe as potential theaters for operations, reflecting concerns about threats from Russia, North Korea and China.   The report should cover existing cold weather capabilities and training; readiness; the ability to increase cold weather training; and any equipment, infrastructure, personnel or resource limitations.   An analysis should be provided for potential opportunities to expand cold weather training and any possible resource requirements, as well as for potential partnerships with state, local, tribal and private entities to maximize training and take advantage of local expertise, says the report.  
 Item Number:15 Date: 08/01/2018 USA - PENTAGON TAKES 1ST STEPS TOWARD NEW SPACE FORCE (AUG 01/D1)  DEFENSE ONE -- The U.S. Dept. of Defense plans to establish a new combatant command to oversee space operations by the end of the year, reports Defense One.   The Pentagon expects to set up three of four components needed for the new Space Force within months, according to a draft report that was scheduled to go to lawmakers on Wednesday.   These components include a new combatant command for space, a new joint agency to buy military satellites and a new warfighting community that will bring together space personnel from all of the military branches.   Creating an entirely new service, with the necessary support functions, would require congressional action. Defense officials plan to send the proposal to Congress next year as part of the fiscal 2020 budget process.   Initially, the Pentagon will recommend that the head of Air Force Space Command also lead the U.S. Space Command.   In June, President Donald Trump ordered the creation of an independent space force. Congress has not fully supported the idea so far.  
  Item Number:16 Date: 08/01/2018 YEMEN - HOUTHIS PROPOSE 2-WEEK CEASE-FIRE IN BAB EL-MANDEB (AUG 01/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Houthi rebels in Yemen say they will halt naval operations in the Red Sea for two weeks, reports Turkey's Anadolu Agency.   The unilateral cease-fire will last from Aug. 1 to Aug. 15, the head of the group's Supreme Revolutionary Commission, Mohammed al-Houthi, said on Wednesday.   The truce could be extended if the "move is reciprocated by the leadership of the coalition," Houthi said, as reported by Reuters.   The statement did not provide specific requirements.   The Yemeni government has not officially responded to the offer.   On July 26, Saudi Arabia said it would suspend oil shipments through the Bab el-Mandeb strait following Houthi attacks on two Saudi tankers.

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