Thursday, February 28, 2013

This Day In Naval History - February 26 2013

From: Skip Leonard
Subject: THE LIST 3306
Date: Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 10:27 AM

To All,
I hope your week has started well.

This Day In Naval History - February 26
1811 - Congress authorizes first naval hospital
1913 - Approval of experimental wind tunnel for Navy
1944 - Sue Sophia Dauser, Superintendent of the Navy's Nurse Corps is first woman in Navy to receive rank of Captain.
This is wrong on so many levels. You may have to type in the web address below
Subject: FW: Navy Chief Petty Officer Initiation Eliminated


Subject: FW: Fort Greene Park
I didnt know this!

Too many among today's intellectual elite see themselves as our shepherds and us as their sheep. Tragically, too many of us are apparently willing to be sheep, in exchange for being taken care of, being relieved of the burdens of adult responsibility and being supplied with "free" stuff paid for by others.
John Stuart Mill's classic essay "On Liberty" gives reasons why some people should not be taking over other people's decisions about their own lives. But Professor Cass Sunstein of Harvard has given reasons to the contrary. He cites research showing "that people make a lot of mistakes, and that those mistakes can prove extremely damaging."
Professor Sunstein is undoubtedly correct that "people make a lot of mistakes." Most of us can look back over our own lives and see many mistakes, including some that were very damaging.
What Cass Sunstein does not tell us is what sort of creatures, other than people, are going to override our mistaken decisions for us. That is the key flaw in the theory and agenda of the left.
Implicit in the wide range of efforts on the left to get government to take over more of our decisions for us is the assumption that there is some superior class of people who are either wiser or nobler than the rest of us.
Yes, we all make mistakes. But do governments not make bigger and more catastrophic mistakes?
Think about the First World War, from which nations on both sides ended up worse off than before, after an unprecedented carnage that killed substantial fractions of whole younger generations and left millions starving amid the rubble of war.
Think about the Holocaust, and about other government slaughters of even more millions of innocent men, women and children under Communist governments in the Soviet Union and China.
Even in the United States, government policies in the 1930s led to crops being plowed under, thousands of little pigs being slaughtered and buried, and milk being poured down sewers, at a time when many Americans were suffering from hunger and diseases caused by malnutrition.
The Great Depression of the 1930s, in which millions of people were plunged into poverty in even the most prosperous nations, was needlessly prolonged by government policies now recognized in retrospect as foolish and irresponsible.
One of the key differences between mistakes that we make in our own lives and mistakes made by governments is that bad consequences force us to correct our own mistakes. But government officials cannot admit to making a mistake without jeopardizing their whole careers.
Can you imagine a President of the United States saying to the mothers of America, "I am sorry your sons were killed in a war I never should have gotten us into"?
What is even more relevant to Professor Sunstein's desire to have our betters tell us how to live our lives, is that so many oppressive and even catastrophic government policies were cheered on by the intelligentsia.
Back in the 1930s, for example, totalitarianism was considered to be "the wave of the future" by much of the intelligentsia, not only in the totalitarian countries themselves but in democratic nations as well.
The Soviet Union was being praised to the skies by such literary luminaries as George Bernard Shaw in Britain and Edmund Wilson in America, while literally millions of people were being systematically starved to death by Stalin and masses of others were being shipped off to slave labor camps.
Even Hitler and Mussolini had their supporters or apologists among intellectuals in the Western democracies, including at one time Lincoln Steffens and W.E.B. Du Bois.
An even larger array of the intellectual elite in the 1930s opposed the efforts of Western democracies to respond to Hitler's massive military buildup with offsetting military defense buildups to deter Hitler or to defend themselves if deterrence failed.
"Disarmament" was the mantra of the day among the intelligentsia, often garnished with the suggestion that the Western democracies should "set an example" for other nations -- as if Nazi Germany or imperial Japan was likely to follow their example.
Too many among today's intellectual elite see themselves as our shepherds and us as their sheep. Tragically, too many of us are apparently willing to be sheep, in exchange for being taken care of, being relieved of the burdens of adult responsibility and being supplied with "free" stuff paid for by others.

(2:22 video on link or here: - Wind power in Falmouth, MA is proving to be NOT so popular and VERY expen$ive!!)
The first turbine went up in 2010 and by the time both were in place on the industrial site of the town's water treatment facility, the price was $10 million. Town officials say taking them down will cost an estimated $5 million to $15 million, but that is just what Falmouth's five selectmen have decided to move toward doing.
By Molly Line, February 26, 2013
Two wind turbines towering above the Cape Cod community of Falmouth, Mass., were intended to produce green energy and savings -- but they've created angst and division, and may now be removed at a high cost as neighbors complain of noise and illness.
"It gets to be jet-engine loud," said Falmouth resident Neil Andersen. He and his wife Betsy live just a quarter mile from one of the turbines. They say the impact on their health has been devastating. They're suffering headaches, dizziness and sleep deprivation and often seek to escape the property where they've lived for more than 20 years.
"Every time the blade has a downward motion it gives off a tremendous energy, gives off a pulse," said Andersen. "And that pulse, it gets into your tubular organs, chest cavity, mimics a heartbeat, gives you headaches. It's extremely disturbing and it gets to the point where you have to leave."
The first turbine went up in 2010 and by the time both were in place on the industrial site of the town's water treatment facility, the price was $10 million. Town officials say taking them down will cost an estimated $5 million to $15 million, but that is just what Falmouth's five selectmen have decided to move toward doing.
"The selectmen unanimously voted to remove them. We think it's the right thing to do, absolutely," Selectman David Braga said. "You can't put a monetary value on people's health and that's what's happened here. A lot of people are sick because of these."
Now the matter will go to a town meeting vote in April and could ultimately end up on the ballot during the municipal elections in May.
"It's highly likely that what the voters will be determining is are they willing to tax themselves at an appropriate amount to cover the cost and dismantle and shut down the turbines?" Falmouth Town Manager Julian Suso said.
In the meantime, the turbines are being run on a limited schedule as the selectmen respond to the concerns of nearby neighbors. The turbines only run during the day -- from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. -- which means they're operating at a loss.
The dispute has been a bitter three-year battle in the seaside town where officials argue the project was thoroughly vetted, researched and put to public vote multiple times.
"To say 'let's let the voters decide' -- it sort of flies in the face of what we went through all these years," said Megan Amsler of the Falmouth Energy Committee.
"We never tell somebody 'hey, you're going to have to take that coal plant down or you're going to have to stop mining the mountain tops.' These are very visible and a lot of other ways that we get our energy are invisible to the average American," Amsler argued. "People don't even know how much energy they consume on a yearly basis so I think it's good for people to be able to see where their energy comes from and know that it's coming from a clean source."
"I think if we end up taking these turbines down it will be a shame. It will be an embarrassment for the Town of Falmouth," said Amsler.
Town leaders say the state bears some monetary responsibility for the situation because Falmouth was granted renewable energy credits and received advice from state level energy officials through an ongoing partnership.
"They certainly have been involved and have a tremendous stake in this process," said Assistant Town Manager Heather Harper. Harper said the Mass Clean Energy Center "provided the technical assistance to conduct all of the feasibility studies."
"I feel the state is responsible because they were really pushing for more wind power which, believe me, the whole board of selectmen are supportive of renewable energy. I am. Maybe wind, but not in this location," said Braga.
Ultimately, town leaders are hoping the controversy will be resolved and the community will find a way to move forward together.
"It's imperative to the community that we do have a coming together and a healing and find a resolution one way or the other," said Suso. His advice to communities considering a similar project to the one causing strife in Falmouth is "move cautiously, communicate well, have extreme public dialogue and listen well."
The Falmouth Experience: Life Under The Blades
CAPE COD TIMES - February 04, 2013
Demolition of Falmouth wind turbines?


Air Force to Stealth Fighter Pilots: Get Used to Coughing Fits
fighters: Your planes are going to make you feel crappy and there's not much anyone can do about it. And the message to the maintainers of the radar-evading jet is even more depressing. Any illness they feel from working around the Raptor is apparently all in their heads, according to the Air Force.

Those admissions, buried in newly released Congressional records, represent the latest twist in the years-long saga of the F-22s faulty oxygen system, which since at least 2008 has been choking pilots, leading to confusion, memory loss and blackouts - combined known as hypoxia - that may have contributed to at least one fatal crash. Ground crews have also reported growing sick while working around F-22s whose engines are running.

The Air Force claims its has a handle on the in-flight blackouts. All 180 or so F-22s are having faulty filters removed and new backup oxygen generators installed. There have also been changes to the G-suits pilots wear. But the Air Force says the alterations won't do anything to fix the so-called "Raptor cough," a chronic condition afflicting almost all F-22 pilots.

The coughing - which, to be clear, is a totally separate issue from hypoxia - is due to a condition known as "acceleration atelectasis," Maj. Gen. Charles Lyon, who headed the Air Force's Raptor investigation, wrote in response to questions submitted following a September testimony before a House subcommittee. "Acceleration atelectasis results from pilots breathing high concentrations of oxygen (above 60 percent) while wearing anti-G trousers, and exposure to G-forces," Lyon explained.

Maj. Jeremy Gordon, a Virginia Raptor flier who blew the whistle on the Air Force last year, described a typical room full of F-22 pilots where "the vast majority will be coughing a lot of the time." One Air Force widow claimed her F-22 pilot husband's coughing contributed to his suicide.

The coughing, Lyon continued, results from the closure of the lungs' alveoli as oxygen-rich air is absorbed, leaving insufficient gas such as nitrogen behind to keep the alveoli open. "The normal physiologic response to re-open the alveoli is to cough," Lyon wrote adding that an F-22 feeds its pilot higher concentrations of oxygen compared to other jets. Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis told ABC News that the Raptor's extreme performance - flying higher and faster than most planes - could also exacerbate the cough.

"The Air Force will continue to explore further potential causes through long term breathing air analysis and human systems integration efforts," Lyon wrote. But he offered no solution to the condition. Apparently, from the Air Force's point of view, coughing is the cost of sitting the world's most high-tech fighter cockpit.

With regard to the maintainers who reported symptoms alongside the oxygen-deprived F-22 pilots, Lyon wrote that the Air Force conducted extensive testing and found no evidence that the ground crews were actually sick. "None of the ground incident aircraft cockpit testing revealed anything approaching a remarkable health guidance value," Lyon explained. "None of the maintainer blood, breath or urine samples indicated anything remarkable."

Lyon wrote that the Air Force has ruled out any adverse health effects from toxic fluid leaks, hazardous particles from the Raptor's stealth coating and the possible impact of breathing the F-22s engine exhaust. If the maintainers really were sick, as they claimed, the Air Force is "confident that factors other than the life support system or the aircraft caused the ground incidents," Lyon wrote.

The F-22, arguably the most capable jet fighting in the world, is the mainstay of the Air Force's frontline fleet and has even gotten more money, even while the rest of the military braces for impending budget cuts. Raptor pilots and ground crews shoulder a large part of the burden of deploying American power in the sky. The flying branch's brass seem to believe coughing, and possibly imaginary illness on the ground, are just part of the job.

Today's Thought.........
"A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again."
Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community. The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from being repeatedly poked in the belly. He was 71.
Doughboy was buried in a lightly greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.
Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Born and bread in Minnesota, Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times, he lived to be a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.
Doughboy is survived by his wife Play Dough, three children: John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, plus they had one in the oven. He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart.
The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes.
P.S.: If this made you smile for even a brief second, please rise to the occasion and take time to pass it on and share that smile with someone else that may be having a crumby day and kneads a lift.
Item Number:1 Date: 02/26/2013 CANADA - ARMORED VEHICLES WITH LASERS SEEN AS POSSIBLE COUNTERS TO IEDS (FEB 26/CP)  CANADIAN PRESS -- The Canadian military may equip its armored vehicles with high-powered lasers to protect against improvised explosive devices (IEDs), reports the Canadian Press.   The military is looking at fitting lasers on its Cougar armored vehicles as a method of destroying IEDs from a safe distance.   Laser technology has advanced significantly recently and operational systems are close to operational readiness, according to a contract notice posted on Friday
Item Number:2 Date: 02/26/2013 CANADA - LONG-TERM PLANS ANNOUNCED FOR REFITTING 18 COAST GUARD VESSELS (FEB 26/CHER)  CHRONICLE HERALD -- The Canadian Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans has just announced it will repair and upgrade 18 vessels over the next decade, reports the Halifax Chronicle-Herald.   Sixteen large ships and two hovercraft are expected to be refit at a cost of around US$352 million. All the work will be divided among Canadian shipyards.   Irving Shipbuilding in Halifax and Seaspan Marine in British Columbia will not be excluded from bidding for work on the ships, said a government spokeswoman.   The two shipyards were previously selected for US$25 billion and US$8 billion in shipbuilding work respectively under the national shipbuilding strategy and banned from competing for US$2 billion in smaller contracts.   The new work includes upgrades for the Martha L. Black-class icebreakers Edward Cornwallis and Sir William Alexander, as well as the icebreaker Earl Grey.   CCGS Amundsen is already undergoing a refit at the Seaway Marine and Industrial yard in St. Catharines, Ontario
Item Number:3 Date: 02/26/2013 CANADA - RESERVISTS CONCLUDE ARCTIC DRILLS IN SASKATCHEWAN (FEB 26/CARMY)  CANADIAN ARMY -- Around 150 Canadian reservists have just completed an Arctic exercise in central Saskatchewan, reports the Canadian army.   The fifth annual Arctic Bison drills took place in Prince Albert and Candle Lake. It focused on winter survival, search-and-rescue, surveillance and patrolling operations in cooperation with the Canadian Rangers, said the officer in charge of the exercise.   The Rangers are a mostly aboriginal reserve unit that helps provide security in Canada's Arctic regions.   The Arctic Response Company Group consists of personnel from community-based reserve units of the 38 Canadian Brigade Group, which covers northwestern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.   The training, which concluded on Saturday, also involved mobility operations using snowmobiles, snowshoes and air force CH-146 Griffon helicopters
Item Number:4 Date: 02/26/2013 FRANCE - DEFENSE MINISTER RULES OUT NEGOTIATIONS WITH MILITANT KIDNAPPERS (FEB 26/BLOOMBERG)  BLOOMBERG NEWS -- French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says there will be no negotiating by the government with the kidnappers of a seven-member French family in Africa, reports Bloomberg News.   The family, including four children, was seized last week in Cameroon and taken into Nigeria, said security officials.   A video posted Monday on YouTube showed what appeared to be the hostages and two of their captors, who said they belonged to the Islamist group Boko Haram.   The captors demanded that Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan free detained women linked to the group and called on Cameroon President Paul Biya to release their imprisoned "brothers."   Boko Haram denied involvement in the kidnapping on Saturday, reported the Voice of America News. The captors in the video spoke Arabic instead of Hausa that would be expected for Boko Haram, noted the New York Times.   Several experts have cast doubts on the alleged Boko Haram role, reported France24.  A Boko Haram offshoot called Ansaru that has been known to kidnap foreigners is also suspected.
Item Number:5 Date: 02/26/2013 INDONESIA - 2 DISASSEMBLED SUKHOI FIGHTERS DELIVERED TO AIR FORCE (FEB 26/JAK)  JAKARTA POST -- The Indonesian air force has taken delivery of the first two of six Su-30MK2 fighters ordered from Russia, reports the Jakarta Post.   The aircraft were handed over at the Sultan Hasanuddin Air Force Base in Makassar. The fighters arrived on Friday in a disassembled condition and without engines.   Engines for all six aircraft are scheduled for delivery this week.   The balance of the aircraft order is scheduled to be delivered in June and July, said an air force spokesman.   The delivery stems from a contract signed in December 2011, reported RIA Novosti
Item Number:6 Date: 02/26/2013 IRAN - CRUISE MISSILES TESTED ON IRGC SPEEDBOATS (FEB 26/FARS)  FARS NEWS AGENCY -- The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has been testing the ability of speedboats to launch anti-ship cruise missiles, reports the semi-official Fars News Agency.   The indigenously produced Zafar missiles were mounted on light speedboats for Sunday's trials in the Corps' third naval zone in the Persian Gulf.   The missiles successfully detected and destroyed designated targets, according to the Guards Corps.   The Zafar is a short-range guided missile that is designed to destroy small-and medium-sized targets. It reportedly has strong anti-jamming countermeasures.
Item Number:7 Date: 02/26/2013 ISRAEL - CEASE-FIRE BROKEN WITH ROCKET FROM GAZA (FEB 26/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- A Grad rocket fired from Gaza has hit southern Israel for the first time since a November cease-fire, reports CNN.   There were no reported injuries or damage in Tuesday's attack, said police.   The rocket landed outside Ashkelon, about nine miles from Gaza, they said.   In November, Israel launched what it called Operation Pillar of Defense to stop repeated rocket attacks from Gaza. The eight-day operation concluded with a truce.   The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military wing, claimed responsibility for Tuesday's rocket, calling it a response to the death of a Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli prison on Saturday, reported Ynet News (Israel
Item Number:8 Date: 02/26/2013 MALI - U.N. PROVIDES TRAINING TO SECURITY FORCES ON MINES, OTHER UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE (FEB 26/UNNS)  UNITED NATIONS NEWS SERVICE -- The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is providing mine-clearance training to Malian military and police personnel, reports the U.N. News Service.   The agency began a five-week training program earlier this month for 30 members of Mali's military, police, gendarmerie, national guard and national civilian protection office. The goal is to remove munitions left over from the ongoing conflict with Islamist militants, as well as older mines near the border with Algeria.   UNMAS, established in 1997, collaborates with 13 U.N. agencies.   The U.N. training is designed to provide technical assistance, equipment and mentoring to the teams.   Land mines have killed at least four Malian soldiers and two civilians in northern Mali in recent weeks, U.N. officials said
Item Number:9 Date: 02/26/2013 PAKISTAN - POLICEMAN KILLED GUARDING POLIO VACCINATION TEAM IN KHYBER (FEB 26/UPI)  UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL -- A police officer escorting a polio vaccination team has been shot and killed in northwestern Pakistan, UPI reports.   Motorcycle gunmen shot the police officer Tuesday in Mardan in Khyber province as he stood guard outside a house where vaccinations were being administered, said officials.   No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although the Pakistani Taliban banned polio vaccination programs last year.   This was the 20th reported death in Pakistan since December linked to vaccinators.
Item Number:10 Date: 02/26/2013 PAKISTAN - U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS GETS NOD FOR TACTICAL CENTER IN KARACHI (FEB 26/DAWN)  DAWN -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is going to build a tactical command and operations center in Karachi, reports Pakistan's Dawn.   Permission to begin the project has just been given by the Pakistani government.   The compound at Jinnah International Airport will be used to exchange information with the Pakistan Customs Drug Enforcement Cell, according to project documents.   The corps expects to submit a formal request for proposals (RfP) in April to construction firms that are licensed to build in Pakistan, the documents say.   The compound will support the officers and staff in coordinating quick-response to narcotics- and contraband-smuggling in and around Karachi, say the documents.   The project is valued at up to US$2 million
Item Number:11 Date: 02/26/2013 RUSSIA - AIRBORNE COMMANDER PREFERS RUSSIAN VEHICLES (FEB 26/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The head of Russia's airborne forces is leaning against the use of Rys vehicles, which are built in Russia under license from Italian manufacturer Iveco, reports Interfax-AVN.   The Rys, also known as the light multirole vehicle, does not meet the airborne force's tactical and technical parameters, said Col. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov. There is also no understanding on supporting the vehicles, he said.   The service prefers the Russian Tigr-M vehicle and the biaxial modification of the Kamaz truck, the general said.   The airborne forces expect to take delivery of new Tigr-M vehicles in the near future and Kamaz trucks within two years, he said.   Late last month, the head of the Russian ground forces indicated that the purchases of the Rys will end when the current contract expires, reported Defense Industry Daily
Item Number:12 Date: 02/26/2013 RUSSIA - NAVY WANTS TASK FORCE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN (FEB 26/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Russian navy is considering deploying a permanent task force in the Mediterranean Sea beginning in 2015, reports Interfax-AVN.   Vessels from the Black Sea Fleet would form the proposed group, which would be similar to the Mediterranean Squadron in the former Soviet navy, according to an unnamed military source.   The task force would seek to deter threats to Russian security in the region, said the source.   The Black Sea Fleet will need significant modernization over the next few years for the navy to move forward with the plan, acknowledged the source.
Item Number:13 Date: 02/26/2013 SOMALIA - 2 AL-SHABAAB TOWNS FALL (FEB 26/GOE)  GOVERNMENT OF ETHIOPIA -- Somali troops and African Union forces have captured two towns from the Al-Shabaab insurgent group in Somalia's Bay region, reports the government of Ethiopia.   The towns of Dardan and Jirada-Kullow were liberated Tuesday in simultaneous dawn operations, said AMISOM officials.   Last week, the allies seized the towns of Aw-dheegle, Jannale and Barrire in Lower Shabelle, as well as the Jowhar airfield in Middle Shabelle, said officials.   The ongoing offensive has been making considerable progress in the Lower Shabelle and in Bay regions along the Afgooye-Baidoa corridor, said officials
Item Number:14 Date: 02/26/2013 SYRIA - 'MODERATE' REBELS BEING SUPPLIED WITH ARMS BY SAUDI ARABIA (FEB 26/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- Western officials say Saudi Arabia has been supplying Syrian rebels with infantry weapons bought from Croatia, reports the New York Times.   Deliveries of the weapons to nationalist and secular "moderate" rebel groups began in December via Jordan, said U.S. and Western officials.   The weapons are reportedly not being provided to jihadist fighters, according to the Washington Post.   The arms reportedly include a Yugoslav-made recoilless gun, assault rifles, grenade launchers, machine guns, mortars and shoulder-fired rockets.   The new weapons have been a factor in the recent rebel tactical gains, the officials said.   Those deliveries, however, are dwarfed by Iran's support to the Syrian government, said one U.S. official. Those shipments to Damascus are so routine he described them as a "milk run."   A Croatian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said there have been no sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia since the start of the Arab Spring, reported AFP.   Arab and rebel officials maintain that many of the weapons have been sent in recent weeks across the Jordanian border into Daraa province, reported the Washington Post
Item Number:15 Date: 02/26/2013 SYRIA - DEATH TOLL MOUNTS IN FIGHTING FOR POLICE ACADEMY IN ALEPPO PROVINCE (FEB 26/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Opposition sources say there have been dozens of deaths in a major battle to control a Syrian police academy in the northern Aleppo province, reports Agence France-Presse.   At least 30 Syrian troops and 23 opposition fighters were killed over the previous 24 hours. These deaths included a rebel battalion commander outside the town of Khan Assal, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday.   Rebels seized a building where troops were entrenched and took several of them as hostages, the opposition group said. Government warplanes reportedly launched airstrikes.  There was a different take from the pro-regime Al-Watan newspaper. The paper reported Monday that "members of the police academy rebuffed the intensive attacks of armed men for the second consecutive day, inflicting heavy losses on them with artillery."   The academy is one of the last government strongholds in western Aleppo province
Item Number:16 Date: 02/26/2013 SYRIA - NUSRA FRONT CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR BUS BOMBING NEAR FACTORY (FEB 26/LWJ)  LONG WAR JOURNAL -- The Nusra Front jihadist group in Syria has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack earlier this month against a defense factory that killed dozens, reports the Long War Journal (U.S.).   The Feb. 6 attack was executed by a suicide bomber who detonated a minibus packed with "2.5 tons of explosives" in the middle of "a gathering place" of Syrian security personnel, the group said on Twitter on Sunday.   More than 60 civilians, including 11 women, were killed in that attack, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.   The factory in Salamiya is responsible for producing 250,000 rounds of Kalashnikov and 13,000 rounds of Dushka ammunition daily, said the Nusra Front.   The Nusra Front has been designated by the U.S. State Dept. as the Syrian arm of Al-Qaida in Iraq
Item Number:17 Date: 02/26/2013 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - ARMY ORDERS LASER-GUIDED ROCKETS FROM TURKEY'S ROKETSAN (FEB 26/HUR)  HURRIYET -- The United Arab Emirates is buying the Cirit laser-guided rocket system from Turkey, reports the Hurriyet Daily News.   The Emirati army ordered the system for US$196.2 million during this month's International Defense Exhibition & Conference in Abu Dhabi, said Turkish manufacture Roketsan.   The 70-mm Cirit was launched for the Turkish army's T-129, AH-1P Cobra and AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters with low-cost precision strike capabilities, said officials. The rocket system has a maximum range of 8 km (5 miles).   This was the first foreign order of the Cirit, said company officials
Item Number:18 Date: 02/26/2013 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DEAL BEING WORKED OUT FOR PREDATOR XP UAV (FEB 26/GA)  GENERAL ATOMICS -- The United Arab Emirates is purchasing the export version of General Atomics' Predator UAV system, reports the U.S.-based defense firm.   The Emirati air force has completed contract negotiations with International Golden Group (IGG), a regional defense supplier and General Atomics' partner, to procure the Predator XP for surveillance, said a company release.   General Atomics is also negotiating with Abu Dhabi-based Tawazun Economic Council to establish a joint venture for long-term service and support.   Once those negotiations are finished, the deal will be complete, said the release.   The Predator XP is an updated version of the RQ-1 Predator that includes triple-redundant avionics; an automatic takeoff and landing system; the Lynx multi-mode radar with maritime wide area surveillance; high-definition electro-optic video; improved software; an automatic identification system; and a more efficient propulsion system, according to the San Diego-based firm
Item Number:19 Date: 02/26/2013 UNITED KINGDOM - FRENCH GUNNERS JOIN BRITISH TROOPS FOR TRAINING EXERCISE IN NORTHUMBERLAND (FEB 26/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- British regular and reserve military personnel are training with French artillerists in Otterburn, Northumberland, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   The two-week Exercise Steel Sabre involves around 1,600 soldiers from 18 British regular and reserve units and members of the French 35th Parachute Artillery Regiment.   The training is designed to prepare units for future operations, including service with contingency forces such as the Airborne Task Force or commando lead elements, said a ministry release.   The drills incorporate all of the components of an artillery group, including guns, rockets, mortars, radars and unmanned aerial vehicles, said Brig. Simon Humphrey, the commander of the Royal Artillery for the 1st (U.K.) Armored Division, who is coordinating the exercise.
Item Number:20 Date: 02/26/2013 USA - ANOTHER COMMANDO II DELIVERED TO AIR FORCE SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND (FEB 26/LM)  LOCKHEED MARTIN -- Lockheed Martin has delivered another MC-130J Commando II modified transport aircraft to Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.   Delivered on Friday, aircraft 5714 is the 15th MC-130J for the Air Force Special Operations Command, said a company release.   The command ordered 27 gunships from Lockheed in 2008.   The Commando II supports in-flight refueling, infiltration/exfiltration and aerial delivery and resupply of special operations forces, the release said
Item Number:21 Date: 02/26/2013 USA - COMPONENT CONTRACTS FOR GPS III SATELLITES AWARDED TO LOCKHEED MARTIN (FEB 26/LM)  LOCKHEED MARTIN -- The U.S. Air Force has green-lighted Lockheed Martin to begin acquiring long-lead items for the next four GPS III satellites, reports the defense firm.   Two contracts, worth $120 million, cover parts for the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth GPS III systems, said the company on Monday.   The GPS III satellites are designed to replace aging spacecraft while enhancing their capability.   The new satellites will provide better accuracy, improved anti-jamming power, longer service life and a new civil signal designed to be interoperable with international global navigation satellite systems, said a company release.   Lockheed has already received contracts to produce the first four GPS III satellites. The Air Force plans to acquire a total of 32 GPS III craft.
Item Number:22 Date: 02/26/2013 USA - INSITU WINS MORE SPECIAL OPERATIONS UAV WORK (FEB 26/INSITU)  INSITU INC. -- Bingen, Wash.-based Insitu has won a contract from the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) for mid-endurance UAVs.   The award covers for intelligence-gathering, target surveillance and reconnaissance services, said a company release.   Under the contract, which lasts through Feb. 28, 2015, Insitu will provide several technologies to "significantly increase the capability of the warfighter."   Insitu makes the ScanEagle, a runway-independent UAV with a small-operational footprint used by special operators to capture images and video.   A company official noted that his firm has provided SOCOM with ScanEagle services for 3.5 years, reported the Ottawa Citizen
Item Number:23 Date: 02/26/2013 USA - LONG-RANGE NAVAL MUNITION DOES WELL IN WHITE SANDS TESTING (FEB 26/BAE)  BAE SYSTEMS -- BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin have completed a series of guided flight tests of the 155-mm long-range land attack projectile (LRLAP), reports BAE Systems.   The recent tests were part of qualification testing at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.   Three trials evaluated the rounds long-range flight performance and accuracy with a pre-conditioned tactical rocket motor in hot, ambient and cold temperatures, said BAE Systems.   The test requirements were met or exceeded and all range, accuracy and lethality objectives were demonstrated successfully, according to a company release.  The LRLAP, with a range of 63 nm (117 km), features GPS and inertial measurement unit guidance, which provide high levels of accuracy at long ranges.   Plans call for live-fire testing of the LRLAP to be completed by the end of the year.
Item Number:24 Date: 02/26/2013 USA - USS FREEDOM ABOUT TO LEAVE FOR SINGAPORE ON 1ST INTERNATIONAL DEPLOYMENT (FEB 26/S&S)  STARS AND STRIPES -- USS Freedom, the Navy's first littoral combat ship, is about to depart to Southeast Asia on her first overseas deployment, reports the Stars and Stripes.   This will be the first international mission for any ship in the class.   During the eight-month deployment to Singapore, the Freedom will conduct maritime security operations and participate in international exhibitions and exercises, according to the Navy.   The mission will give the Navy the opportunity to evaluate the performance of the LCS in an operational environment, including areas that might need improvement, said a spokesman for the Naval Surface Force.   The Coronado (Calif.) Patch noted that Freedom left Thursday for two days of sea trials prior to deploying.   For the deployment, the Freedom will be equipped with a surface warfare mission package and maritime security module.

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