Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fw: TheList 3832

The List 3832
To All,
I hope you all have a great weekend.
This Day In Naval History - February 27
1942 - Battle of the Java Sea, Allied Naval Force attacks Japanese invasion convoy
1973 - First airborne mine sweep in a live minefield took place in the Haiphong, Vietnam ship channel by helicopters from Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Twelve on board USS New Orleans.
This Day In Naval History - February 28
1844 - Explosion of Peacemaker, experimental 14 inch gun, on board USS Princeton.
1893 - Launching of USS Indiana (BB-1), first true battleship in U.S. Navy.
1959 - USS Strong rescues 13 Arab fishermen from Bahrain when their fishing boats floundered in a storm.
1980 - Blue crew of USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN-657) launches 4 Trident I
(C-4) missiles in first C-4 Operational Test.
On this day in history (February 28, 2006):
1953: In a Cambridge University laboratory, scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.
1973: Bamboo Harvester, better known as "Mister Ed" the talking horse, dies at the age of 33. A corpse is a corpse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a deceased horse!
And today is:
National Chocolate Souffle Day
This day in Naval History February 29 ( don't want to miss this one even though we don't have one this year)
1944 - PB4Y-1s from squadrons VB-108, VB-109, and VD-3, conduct a low-level bombing raid on Japanese positions on Wake Island.
1968 - Four North Vietnamese trawlers attempting to simultaneously infiltrate supplies into South Vietnam were detected. Three of the trawlers were sunk in battle on the following day and one survived by turning back.
This Day In Naval History - March 1
1942 - U-656 becomes the first German submarine of World War II to be sunk by Naval air (VP-82).
1954 - 1st of 6 detonations, Operation Castle nuclear test.

This day in History
Thanks to Dutch
this is great!
Thanks to Someone – can't remember who – who shared this with the broadcast
Thank to CS
We would have used 2 backhoes, 2 excavators, a bulldozer, a forklift and 10 snowmobiles-not to mention a case of beer and 10 pounds of hotdogs and hamburgers. Leave it to the Russians! No matter.. very elegant and simple solution.
Click>>>>  VIDEO
Thanks to Burr for a very entertaining book
His novel "High Seas Darkness." Info and reviews available on Amazon. Information about (author) on his website
Burr B Anderson
USS Sea Owl SS405 and USS Bang SS 385 1968 - 1970
Thanks to Laurel
Saw this last night on CSpan 3.  Thought your List members might be interested.  It's the story of the ditching and rescue of P-3 flight Alpha Foxtrot 586 near Shimiya, AK.
Thanks to Carl
(Watch this and wonder about the impact on the next generation of Chinese leadership.)
Poor Chinese children!!!!!
'Chinafornia Dreamin'
Thanks to Chuck
MUST SEE:  Living in Hell: Oscar Celebs Preach Hollywood Hypocrisy
Thanks to Dutch and Shadow
Suicide by a thousand cuts
Thanks to Shadow -
A couple of comments…
First, is the Navy finally acknowledging what Eagle and Shadow have been saying all along about "Stealth"? We've been sold a bill of goods under a false premise. It was never the panacea it was made out to be and the costs have never been offset by the benefits.
Second, I don't think there's ever been enough appreciation for what the "Jammers" are capable of. And it isn't new. Back when the EA-6A was first introduced, Dave Foss had the VMCJ-1 Det at Cubi when the Enterprise was in the area. Someone suggested (from the Navy) they run an exercise to see if the EA-6A was worth all the money the Corps had invested in pushing the program. Now Dave was a pretty smart cookie and suggested a mock attack on the "Big E", using RF-4's and A-4's as aggressors with the EA-6A providing cover. This would give them a fair idea of what the plane was capable of. Dave was also smart enough to not use all his systems available, so as to not damage the Enterprise's systems.
Well, it didn't turn out the way Dave intended… By limiting his resources, the Enterprise was able to work through the clutter and intercepted the Bogey's before they reached the ship… Prompting a terse message from the ship if that was all they were capable of… They were not impressed. Dave was pissed and replied if they really wanted to know what they were capable of; How about another go? Enterprise accepted the challenge and set up another exercise. To cut to the chase… The EA-6A virtually shut down all the Enterprise's (and escorts) radar and electronic emissions. The first clue they had that they were under attack was when the RF-4's and A-4's were crossing the decks in a mock strike! I think Dave told me he got one short message from the ship after that… "Impressive"!
Jammers are certainly more effective than "Stealth" in the long run and doesn't require a penalty in performance of a new design. More than one way to skin a cat.
On Feb 26, 2015, at 7:50 AM, Dutch <> wrote:
Naval Aviation is being surrendered, bit by bit - 
Navy Mulls Expanding Growler's Future After Blanking EA-18G's Budget
EA-18G Growler
<image002.png>Feb 25, 2015 | by Kris Osborn
The Navy continues to evaluate whether it will need more EA-18G Growler electronic jamming aircraft on the deck of a carrier even though service officials chose to include no new Growlers in its 2016 defense budget request.
The current configuration for an aircraft carrier's air wing includes five Growler aircraft per squadron; however, an ongoing evaluation of the jamming aircraft is leading the service to consider increasing this number to seven or eight per squadron.
The Navy's 2016 budget request adds no new Growler aircraft to the current acquisition plan, which specifies that the service is funded to procure 153 Growlers --- with final delivery taking place in 2017. As of Feb. 1, 114 Growlers have been delivered, said Navy Lt. Robert Myers, a service spokesman.
"As shown, the EA-18 Growler line completes in '15, as the Growler progresses to full operational capability with stand up of the fifteenth and final squadron in 2017," Rear Adm. William Lescher, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for budget, said following the release of the 2016 Navy budget request.
Last year, Congress added 15 Growlers to the budget to keep the production line open an additional year following significant lobbying efforts by Boeing. Many expect congressional supporters of the EA-18G to again add more Growlers to the 2016 budget despite the Navy's decision not to include them in their budget request.
Defense analysts have pointed to the need for more electronic attack aircraft like the Growler as air defenses advance and stealth aircraft become less effective. Faster computers processors, sensors and radar are allowing air defense systems to locate stealth aircraft and other platforms at increasingly longer distances.
As a result, while some stealth aircraft can jam X-band radar signals, an EA-18G Growler can jam a wider range of frequencies and protect strike and surveillance aircraft operating in a given area, analysts said.
Last summer, the Navy conducted a special assessment of Growler aircraft on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson in which three additional aircraft were added to an EA-18G Growler squadron. This move brought the number of Growlers on the deck of the carrier from five to eight.
"The purpose of the experiment was to empirically measure the operational benefit over a several day period of increased electronic attack support capacity across multiple mission areas, including strike warfare packages and the ability to defend the carrier in an increasingly complex electronic warfare environment," Myers said.
Called the Airborne Electronic Attack Fleet Battle Experiment, the event took place from late May to early June of last year. Part of the experiment was designed to assess the value of having more Growlers in an anticipated future threat environment, Myers explained.
"Indicators suggest that the addition of EA-18G Growler capacity to our embarked carrier air wings greatly enhances the Navy's ability to support both the Joint Force commander and the Maritime Component commander in their missions set," Myers said.
Officials with the Boeing Company, which manufactures the EA-18G Growler aircraft at a facility in St. Louis, Mo., said they will likely need to make a decision mid-year on whether to continue the production line for Growlers, given the need to make plans and preparations, company officials said.
"One look at the deck of any forward Navy aircraft carrier and you see a host of combat proven strike and electronic attack capability. The role of the Growler is unmatched. We will continue to work with the Navy to assess those needs," said Caroline Hutcheson, Boeing military aircraft spokeswoman.
Thanks to Jim
First Images of Worlds Largest Airplane
If this ever gets off the ground, it could be a big game changer on how we launch satellites.
Just in case you have not read these witticisms before! I especially like the comparison of helicopters to bulldozers!

          VR/  dave page
Wisdom of those who fly
1. There is no problem so complex that it cannot simply be blamed on the pilot. ~ Dr Earl Weiner

2. To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. To fly is everything. ~ Otto Lilienthal

3. Safety second is my motto. ~ Locklear

4. Speed is life, altitude is life insurance.

5. The man who flies an airplane ... must believe in the unseen. ~ Richard Bach

6. There is no excuse for an airplane unless it will fly fast! ~ Roscoe Turner

7. The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't. ~ Douglas Adams

8. Aviation is proof, that given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible. ~ Rickenbacker

9. Flying is like sex —I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I could stand. ~ Stephen Coonts

10. The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise. ~ Cornelius Tactitus (circa AD 56)

11. Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.

12. Lady, you want me to answer you if this old airplane is safe to fly? Just how in the world do you think it got to be this old? ~ Jim Tavenner

13. If you are looking for perfect safety, you will do well to sit on a fence and watch the birds; but if you really wish to learn, you must mount a machine and become acquainted with its tricks by actual trial. ~ Wilbur Wright, 1901.

14. The highest art form of all is a human being in control of himself and his airplane in flight, urging the spirit of a machine to match his own. ~Richard Bach, 'A Gift Of Wings'

15. The greatest danger in flying is starving to death. ~ Earl C. Reed of the T-L-R Flying Circus

16. When the weight of the paper equals the weight of the airplane, only then you can go flying. ~ Donald Douglas

17. In flying I have learned that carelessness and overconfidence are usually far more dangerous than deliberately accepted risks. ~ Wilbur Wright, September 1900.

18. I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things. ~ Antoine de St-Exupéry

19. Any damned fool can criticize, but it takes a genius to design it in the first place. ~ Edgar Schmued

20. When asked by someone how much money flying takes: Why, all of it! ~ Gordon Baxter

21. The important thing in aeroplanes is that they shall be speedy. ~ Baron Manfred Von Richthofen

22.. The aeroplane will never fly. ~ Lord haldane, Minister of War, Britain, 1907

23. What freedom lies in flying, what Godlike power it gives to men… I lose all consciousness in this strong unmortal space crowded with beauty, pierced with danger. ~ Charles A. Lindbergh

24. It is hard enough for anyone to map out a course of action and stick to it, particularly in the face of the desires of one's friends; but it is doubly hard for an aviator to stay on the ground waiting for just the right moment to go into the air. ~ Glenn Curtiss, 1909.

25. To put your life in danger from time to time... breeds a saneness in dealing with day-to-day trivialities. ~ Nevil Shute

26. Aviation records don't fall until someone is willing to mortgage the present for the future. ~ Amelia Earhart

27. Real planes use only a single stick to fly. This is why bulldozers & helicopters—in that order —need two. ~ Paul Slattery

28. Airplanes are near perfect, all they lack is the ability to forgive ~ Richard Collins

29. The exhilaration of flying is too keen, the pleasure too great, for it to be neglected as a sport ~ Orville Wright

30. The Cub is the safest airplane in the world; it can just barely kill you. ~ Max Stanley, Northrop test pilot
31. The bulk of mankind is as well equipped for flying as thinking. ~ Jonathon Swift     
Item Number:1 Date: 02/27/2015 AUSTRALIA - CANBERRA TO PARTICIPATE IN NORWEGIAN JOINT STRIKE MISSILE PROGRAM (FEB 27/ADOD)  AUSTRALIAN DEPT. OF DEFENSE -- Defense Minister Kevin Andrews has announced that the Australian government will cooperate with the Norwegian Defense Ministry to develop an advanced maritime strike missile for the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.   Cooperation on the Joint Strike Missile, which is being developed by Norwegian firm Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace, will ensure that the weapon will be available for Australia's F-35A aircraft, according to a release from the Australian Dept. of Defense on Thursday.   Australian industry will provide expertise in missile guidance and control technology, Andrews said.   Domestic firms, including BAE Systems Australia and QinetiQ Australia will develop new technology for the JSM, including a second independent sensor within the missile to identify hostile radar targets, according to a Kongsberg release.   Development of the JSM is expected to be completed in 2017
Item Number:2 Date: 02/27/2015 CANADA - DEFENSE MINISTER LOOKING AT MILITARY TRAINING MISSION FOR UKRAINE (FEB 27/CP)  CANADIAN PRESS -- Canada's defense minister says Ottawa is actively considering whether to send a military training mission to Ukraine, reports the Canadian Press.   A training mission focused on combat medical evacuation and trauma care is a possibility, Defense Minister Jason Kenney said on Wednesday.   The U.K. announced on Wednesday that it would send 75 military trainers to Ukraine in March to provide training in military intelligence, logistics, battlefield medicine and infantry tactics.   The U.S. is sending 800 troops to train three battalions of Ukrainian national guard troops later this spring, reported Macleans.   Kenney also said that he would not rule out combat training, although he declined to be more specific.   The Canadian Defense Dept. has already delivered non-lethal equipment to Ukraine, including armored vests, helmets and cold-weather clothing. The government has also signed an agreement to supply Ukraine with radar satellite imagery.  
  Item Number:3 Date: 02/27/2015 CHINA - AIR FORCE BEGINS PROGRAM TO RECRUIT TEENS FOR FLIGHT TRAINING (FEB 27/XIN)  XINHUA -- The Chinese air force is launching a flight-training program for high school students, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   The service is already selecting the schools to take part in the program and will start training later this year after selecting applicants. A joint announcement about the program was made Thursday from the ministries of education and public security and the People's Liberation Army general political department.   The program is expected to involve around 1,000 students aged 14 to 16, said the air force.   Those selected will receive a subsidy and are expected to board at the schools. They will also sign contracts committing to apply for military aviation universities and participate in pilot recruitment tests after graduating, said air force recruiting officials
Item Number:4 Date: 02/27/2015 EGYPT - HEEDING WARNING FROM CAIRO, MANY EGYPTIAN WORKERS RETURN FROM LIBYA (FEB 27/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Egyptians have been pouring back home from neighboring Libya since Islamic State terrorists released a video earlier this month showing the execution of 21 Coptic Christians, reports Agence France-Press.   More than 25,000 Egyptians have returned, said the Foreign Ministry on Friday.   The ministry said about 21,400 returned overland from the Sallum border crossing; while about 4,100 entered Tunisia and then flew home on government-chartered flights.   Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians are believed to be working in Libya.   An ISIS-affiliated group in Libya released a video on Feb. 15 showing the apparent beheadings of the Copts. Egypt launched airstrikes against militant camps in Libya a day later and urged those Egyptians working in Libya to leave.  
  Item Number:5 Date: 02/27/2015 INDIA - STICKING POINTS IN RAFALE DEAL NOT SEEN AS DEAL BREAKERS (FEB 27/NDTV)  NDTV -- Talks between India and French aircraft maker Dassault have reportedly made some progress toward sealing a deal for the purchase of Rafale fighters for the Indian air force, according to NDTV (India).   While major outstanding issues need to be resolved, they are not likely to kill the deal, said sources involved in the talks.   A contract probably will not be signed before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's planned trip to Paris in April, the sources said. However, a statement of intent might emerge on the long-delayed contract.   Under the stalled deal, France is to deliver 18 complete Rafale fighters to India, with another 108 to be license-produced by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) in Bangalore. There is an option for another 63 jets.   Dassault has expressed concern about the carbon-fiber composite material that would be used by HAL to form the skin of the fighter. The Indian company employs a manual technique rather than the automated process utilized by Dassault.   Using the manual technique could lead to delays in the delivery of the fighters. Dassault is also said to be seeking assurances that the Indian engineers it trains will remain on the Rafale project.   The French also reportedly see a need to update HAL's avionics lab standards for production of the RBE-2 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for the jets
Item Number:6 Date: 02/27/2015 INDONESIA - FISHING BOATS CAUGHT IN CELEBES SEA FACE SINKING (FEB 27/JAK)  JAKARTA POST -- The Indonesian navy says it will sink four Philippine fishing boats caught illegally fishing in its waters after a final determination, reports the Jakarta Post.   A court is still investigating the boats' documents, said a navy spokesman on Thursday.   The fishing boats were seized by the naval ship Slamet Riyadi on Sunday off the North Kimantan province. Eight crew members were arrested, according to the navy.   The navy said the boats and crew are being held at Tarakan Naval Base in North Kalimantan. Those arrested will be sent to the immigration office following the investigation.   The sinkings are a common practice in Indonesia. Critics maintain that the navy targets only smaller boats.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 02/27/2015 IRAN - 3 DIE IN HELICOPTER CRASH NORTH OF TEHRAN (FEB 27/FARS)  FARS NEWS AGENCY -- An Iranian helicopter has been involved in a fatal crash in the Darband region near Tehran, reports Iran's semi-official Fars news agency.   All three people onboard the aircraft were killed in the crash, said local officials on Thursday.   The type of helicopter involved was not made public. While initial reports indicated it was an air force helicopter, a subsequent account identified the aircraft as belonging to the Iranian Red Crescent Society taking part in a disaster-management drill.   An investigation into the incident has been started.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 02/27/2015 ITALY - STEEL CUT FOR NAVY'S 8TH FREMM FRIGATE (FEB 27/FINCA)  FINCANTIERI -- Fincantieri's shipyard in Riva Trigoso, Italy, has launched production of a new frigate for the Italian navy, reports the Italian shipbuilder.   First steel was cut for the ship on Wednesday. The warship will be the eighth in the Carlo Bergamini class, which is being built as part of the European Multi-Mission Frigate (FREMM) program.   The multi-role frigate will be 472 feet (144 m) long with a full load displacement of about 6,500 tons. It has a top speed of 27 knots, according to the shipbuilder.   The ship will be capable of operating in a range of operational scenarios, particularly in patrolling the Mediterranean Sea, according to a Fincantieri release on Wednesday
Item Number:9 Date: 02/27/2015 NIGERIA - BOKO HARAM SUSPECTED IN SPATE OF BOMBINGS (FEB 27/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- At least 35 people in central and northeastern Nigerian towns have been killed in a wave of bomb attacks, reports CNN.   Witnesses said a suicide bomber blew himself up on Thursday at a bus station near the northeastern town of Biu, killing 18 people and injuring six others.   A second bomber was said to have been caught by the crowd and beaten to death before he could detonate his explosives, reported the BBC.   In another incident on Thursday, there were explosions in the central town of Jos near a bus station and a university, reported the Voice of America News.   Reports of casualties varied. Some said 17 people were killed. Many others were injured.   No group has claims responsibility for the attacks, but the Boko Haram militant group is suspected, apparently fighting back against a military offensive begun by Nigeria and several neighbors, reported Reuters
Item Number:10 Date: 02/27/2015 PHILIPPINES - MILITANTS TEMPORARILY SHUT DOWN HIGHWAY IN MAGUINDANAO (FEB 27/PHILSTAR)  PHILIPPINE STAR -- Government troops have reopened a highway briefly seized by militants, reports the Philippine Star.   The Cotabato-Gen. Santos Highway in Maguindanao province was cleared for traffic Friday after a three-hour operation, said an army spokesman.   Six militants were killed and two marines were wounded, said the service.   Earlier in the day, fighters from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) reportedly opened fire on military patrols. The patrols were attempting to verify reports that militants were gathering for an attack.   The militants then blocked stretches of the highway, stranding vehicles and dislocating hundreds of families.   The fighters withdrew after army and marine personnel, backed by Simba and V-300 vehicles approached, said the army.   BIFF is a radical Muslim group that says it seeks independence for the southern Philippines
Item Number:11 Date: 02/27/2015 PHILIPPINES - U.S. NAVY POSEIDON BEING FLOWN ON SURVEILLANCE MISSIONS FROM PHILIPPINES (FEB 27/PDI)  PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER -- The U.S. Navy has acknowledged it is flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft from the Philippines over the South China Sea, reports the Philippine Daily Inquirer.   The P-8A was deployed in the Philippines for three weeks until Feb. 21, making more than 180 flights, said the Navy on Thursday, as cited by Reuters. It was the first time such flights have been publically acknowledged.   This included a demonstration of the P-8A Poseidon for the Philippine armed forces on Feb. 17, said a statement from the Navy.   The patrol mission took place off Luzon island and showed off the plane's littoral and open ocean capabilities, said the statement.   Luzon is close to islands disputed by the Philippines and China. A Philippine armed forces spokesman said on Friday the patrols were not directed at China. The flights were "all intended for watching over South China Sea to ensure the freedom of navigation and sea lanes of communication."   The P-8A began rotations last year in the Philippines last year, said the spokesman, as reported by the Voice of America News
Item Number:12 Date: 02/27/2015 RUSSIA - MAJOR AIR EXERCISE OVER BARENTS SEA SIMULATES MISSILE, AIRCRAFT INTERCEPTIONS (FEB 27/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Russian air force units assigned to the Central Military District are taking part in a major air exercise over the Barents Sea, reports Interfax-AVN.   Military officials said MiG-31 interceptors will intercept simulated enemy missiles and aircraft during the exercise.   Air-to-air missiles will be fired during the drill, which conclude on March 6, according to a release from the Central Military District.   The sea is off the cost of Russia and NATO member Norway
Item Number:13 Date: 02/27/2015 RUSSIA - NEW MOUNTAIN BRIGADE TO BE FORMED THIS YEAR IN CENTRAL MILITARY DISTRICT (FEB 27/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- The Russian army is going to set up a new mountain brigade in the Central Military District, reports Interfax-AVN.   The 55th Separate Motorized Infantry (Mountain) Brigade will be fully manned by Nov. 1, 2015, Col. Gen. Oleg Salyukov, the army chief, told reporters on Thursday.   A field camp will be built near Kyzyl for the unit in the near future. Personnel from the new brigade are expected to deploy there in the early summer, Salyukov said during a visit to Kyzyl, the capital of the Tuva Republic.   The battalions will begin intensive unit cohesion training in June and are to move to the permanent base by early November, the general said.   The Russian army has two other mountain brigades, stationed in Karachayevo-Cherkessia and Dagestan, respectively.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 02/27/2015 SOUTH KOREA - AS NEW CHIEF TAKES HELM, HE CALLS FOR REFORMS, SEEKS TO REGAIN TRUST (FEB 27/YON)  YONHAP -- The new head of South Korea's navy has vowed to restore confidence in the service after a series of scandals, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   During his inauguration ceremony on Friday, Adm. Chung Ho-seop pledged reforms and said he would lead an anti-corruption campaign.   The navy, he said, has lost "trust due to corruption allegations in the defense industry and sex crimes by the officers."   His predecessor, Adm. Hwang Ki-chul, resigned after an audit found a series of problems with the salvage ship Tongyeong, based in part on alleged bribery by a firm supplying faulty parts.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 02/27/2015 SOUTH SUDAN - CHINESE INFANTRY PEACEKEEPERS START ARRIVING IN JUBA (FEB 27/XIN)  XINHUA -- The initial detachment of peacekeepers from China have arrived in South Sudan's capital, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   On Friday, 144 members of the Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion for the U.N. Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) landed in Juba.   A 36-member advance team has been there since January, noted China Military Online.   Another 520 personnel are expected in late March or April when the camp is set up.   The battalion is assigned to protect civilians and U.N. personnel and facilities, as well as conduct rescue and supervisory missions.   This is the first time China has sent a complete infantry battalion to an international peacekeeping mission. Other forces have included engineering, transportation, medical and guard units
  Item Number:16 Date: 02/27/2015 SRI LANKA - NAVY SEIZES BOATS FROM ALLEGED INDIAN POACHERS (FEB 27/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- The Sri Lankan navy says it has arrested scores of Indian fishermen for poaching in the country's waters, reports the Press Trust of India.   As many as 86 fishermen and 10 fishing boats were detained Thursday night off the eastern coast of Mullaithivu, said Sri Lanka navy officials.   About half were reportedly taken to the harbor of Kankesanthurai; the other half were transported to the city of Trincomalee to be handed over to civilian authorities.   Fishermen from Sri Lanka have been complaining about an increase in poaching by Indians since Sri Lanka's new government took over in January.   Talks between Sri Lanka and India on illegal fishing that were scheduled for March 5 have been postponed, said Sri Lankan officials.  
  Item Number:17 Date: 02/27/2015 SWEDEN - CB90 FAST CRAFT CONDUCT 1ST ANTI-PIRACY MISSION NEAR SOMALIA (FEB 27/EUNAVFOR)  E.U. NAVAL FORCE -- Swedish fast attack craft recently assigned to the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) have just conducted a surveillance mission, reports EUNAVFOR.   This was the first time the Swedish CB-90s have been used as part of Operation Atalanta, the E.U.'s contribution to counter-piracy efforts in the region, the naval force said on Wednesday.   Two CB-90s have been embarked on the Dutch amphibious ship Johan de Witt for anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia.   The fast craft can be used for coastal surveillance operations, friendly approaches to local fisherman and boarding operations on suspected pirate vessels
Item Number:18 Date: 02/27/2015 UKRAINE - KIEV STARTS PULLING HEAVY WEAPONS FROM BLAST (FEB 27/NYT)  NEW YORK TIMES -- Ukrainian government forces say they have started to withdraw heavy weapons from areas held by pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country, reports the New York Times.   Thursday's announcement reaffirmed the government's support of a cease-fire negotiated earlier this month. The military previously said it would delay the withdrawal of heavy artillery if attacked.   The government in Kiev said its pullout will be monitored by international observers, reported the BBC.   Artillery withdrawals were originally scheduled to begin last week. Fighting continued in the key rail-hub of Debatlseve, and the separatists said they started to pull their artillery on Tuesday after taking over the town.   Those actions have not been verified by monitors.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 02/27/2015 UNITED NATIONS - SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN ABYEI INTO JULY (FEB 27/UNNC)  U.N. NEWS CENTER -- The Security Council has extended the U.N. peacekeeping force in Abyei, an area under dispute by Sudan and South Sudan, reports the U.N. News Service.   On Thursday, a Security Council resolution extended the mandate of the U.N. Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) until July 15, 2015.   The council urged South Sudan and Sudan to resume dialogue and to commence building a local government and police service in Abyei.   UNISFA was set up in 2011 after Sudanese troops seized the area prior to South Sudan's independence. The force oversees the demilitarization of the area and maintains security.  
  Item Number:20 Date: 02/27/2015 USA - AIR FORCE CHIEF SAYS SPENDING CUTS ARE HURTING COMBAT READINESS (FEB 27/AFT)  AIR FORCE TIMES -- Less than half of the U.S. Air Force's combat squadrons are fully combat-capable, says the chief of the service as cited by the Air Force Times.   "While the specific numbers are classified, I'll tell you the overall combat capability of our combat coded squadrons in the Air Force is still below 50 percent, so fewer than 50 percent of them are fully combat-capable," Gen. Mark Welsh told the Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee on Wednesday.   If the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration in the Budget Control Act go forward as planned in fiscal 2016, there will be a further reduction of combat readiness, he said.   "It will not be a precipitous dropoff because we will prioritize funding for readiness, but we will not be able to continue the recovery of individual and unit readiness that we had started over the last two years," said Welsh.   The Air Force chief said the service has had a lack of investment in training ranges and other infrastructure over the last 15 years. It will likely take another eight or 10 years to rebuild, he said.  
  Item Number:21 Date: 02/27/2015 USA - AMERICAN FORCES FROM 101ST AIRBORNE END EBOLA MISSION IN LIBERIA (FEB 27/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- The 101st Airborne Division in the U.S. Army has formally ended its mission against Ebola in West Africa, reports the Wall Street Journal.   The division cased its colors on Thursday, concluding its deployment in Liberia.   The mission ended several months earlier than originally expected.   The troops were sent to build Ebola treatment units and to train Liberian soldiers.   About 100 U.S. troops will remain to monitor the progress of the fight against the disease, reported Reuters.   The mission was launched in October. At its peak, the force had about 2,800 U.S. military personnel.  
  Item Number:22 Date: 02/27/2015 USA - NAVY SCOPES OUT POSSIBILITY OF PRODUCING SUB PAYLOAD MODULE AHEAD OF SCHEDULE (FEB 27/USNIN)  USNI NEWS -- The U.S. Navy is considering the possibility of speeding up the design and development work on a new payload module for Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarines, reports USNI News, citing testimony before a House Committee.   The Virginia Payload Module (VPM) will add 28 missile tubes to the Block 5 submarines as part of a program to replace Ohio-class guided-missile subs (SSGNs) that are due to leave service in the mid-2020s.   Construction of the modules was expected to begin in 2019 with the next Virginia-class sub multi-year contract.   However, the SSGNs represent a 600-missile capacity and rebuilding that strike capability must take place sooner, Sean Stackley, the Navy's acquisition chief, told lawmakers during a Wednesday House Armed Services Committee hearing.   He said the Navy would like to complete design and development a year ahead of schedule and increase the rate of production of the modules to more than one per year, he said.   In November 2013, the Navy decided to add a 70-foot (21-m) section to its newest Virginia-class subs, with the section containing four Virginia payload tubes. Each tube contains seven Tomahawk cruise missiles, increasing the boat's missile load to 40.   The options should be known in March or April, he said
Item Number:23 Date: 02/27/2015 USA - NEW ANALYSIS POINTS TO INCREASED NEEDS FOR ICEBREAKERS (FEB 27/USNIN)  USNI NEWS -- An independent analysis has determined that the U.S. Coast Guard requires three heavy and three medium icebreakers to meet anticipated requirements in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, reports USNI News.   Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Adm. Paul Zukunft, the Coast Guard commandant, said the analysis doesn't show how to pay for such ships.   The Coast Guard is expected to learn in the next year if the laid-up heavy icebreaker Polar Sea is worth returning to service, said the commandant.   The service is also considering whether to begin design work for a new class of icebreakers or if leasing foreign vessels will be the best way forward, said Zukunft.   The need for such ships is increasing as more open waters make the region more attractive for resource exploration and tourism.   The Coast Guard currently operates a single heavy icebreaker, Polar Star, and the medium icebreaker, Healy.


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