Friday, August 28, 2015

Fw: TheList 3974

The List 3974
To All,
A bit of history and some tidbits,
This Day In Naval History - August 26
1775 - Rhode Island Resolve: Rhode Island delegates to Continental Congress press for creation of Continental Navy to protect the colonies
1839: The brig USS Washington seizes the Spanish slaver Amistad, near Montauk Point, N.Y. The Africans are held on murder charges due to their prior seizure of the ship in July. The case goes to the Supreme Court in Jan. 1841, and former President John Quincy Adams successfully argues the defendants' case.
1861 - Union amphibious force lands near Hatteras, NC
1865 - Civil War ends with Naval strength over 58,500 men and 600 ships
On this date in history.....
Thanks to Hal -

1305 William Wallace, c. 33, Scottish patriot, half-hanged, castrated, eviscerated, and his bowels burnt before him, beheaded, & then cut into four parts

I don't think Hollywood showed that part in 'Braveheart' with Mel Gibson.

This Week in American Military History:
From the flag's first action to the Japanese surrender by  W. Thomas Smith Jr.
Aug. 28, 1862:  The Second battle of Bull Run (known to many Southerners as Second Manassas) opens between Union Army forces under the command of Maj.
Gen. John Pope and Confederate forces under Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall"
Jackson (Gen. Robert E. Lee in overall command).
Within days, Confederate forces will drive Union forces from the field, not unlike what happened at First Bull Run /Manassas on July 21, 1861.
Aug. 28, 1972:  U.S. Air Force Capt. Richard Stephen Richie, flying an F-4 Phantom, shoots down his fifth MiG over North Vietnam, becoming the Air Force's first ace of the war.
But to hear Richie tell it, it was just a ride. "My fifth MiG kill was an exact duplicate of a syllabus mission, so I had not only flown that as a student, but had taught it probably a dozen times prior to actually doing it in combat," he says.
Sept. 2, 1901:  Medal of Honor recipient and U.S. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt delivers a speech at the Minnesota State Fair in which he says, "A good many of you are probably acquainted with the old proverb, 'Speak softly and carry a big stick – you will go far.' If a man continually blusters, if he lacks civility, a big stick will not save him from trouble, and neither will speaking softly avail, if back of the softness there does not lie strength, power."
In four days, Pres. William McKinley will be mortally wounded by an assassin's
Sept. 2, 1945:  A delegation from the defeated Japanese Empire sign the documents of surrender about the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur , a Medal of Honor recipient and Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific, says, "Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always. These proceedings are closed."
World War II is over.
Sept. 3, 1777:  The Battle of Cooch's Bridge (a.k.a. the Battle of Iron
Hill) – the only pitched battle of the American Revolution to be fought in Delaware – opens between Continental Army and militia forces under the command of Brig. Gen. William Maxwell and a combined force of British, Hessian, and Ansbach soldiers under the overall command of British Gen. Sir Charles Cornwallis (and under the immediate tactical command of Hessian Lt.
Col. Ludwig von Wurmb).
Though a British victory, which devolved into a savage close-quarters engagement, the Battle of Cooch's Bridge is significant as the first time the Stars-and-Stripes is flown in action.
Thanks to Carl
(Now this is a good story!!)
How a sportswear billionaire lent his private jet to the mothers of the American heroes so they could get to Paris in time to see their sons honored
Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle lent his private jet to the three mothers of the American heroes
At least one mother didn't have a passport and his pilot worked with the State Department to resolve the issue
Boyle and his wife, Mary, greeted the women before taking off
Women arrived in Paris in enough time to see their sons honored
Interesting piece of work
A quick lesson in History!
This is worth the two minutes (A quick lesson in History!)
Seventeen year old Joe Bush got a high school assignment to make a video
He chose history as a theme and tucked it all into two minutes.
Joe took pictures from the Internet; added the sound track "Mind Heist"
by Zack Hemsey (from the movie Interception) and came up with this.
Incredible work for a 17-year old. Just finding the pictures was a
formidable task.
Hold on to your seat.  This moves  fast.
Don't blink --         not even for a second & sound on!
Thanks to Carl
 I Can Almost Smell the Exhaust!
Pratt & Whitney R-4360-20 first start
Below, you will find a great test stand video of the Pratt & Whitney 4360 Wasp engine introduced in 1944.
Basically, the engine was 28-cylinder four-row air cooled radial engine. Each row of pistons was slightly offset from the previous, forming a semi-helical arrangement to facilitate efficient airflow cooling of the successive rows of cylinders, with the spiraled cylinder setup inspiring the engine's "corncob" nickname. A mechanical superchargergeared at 6.374:1 ratio to engine speed provided forced induction, while the propellerwas geared at 0.375:1 so that the tips did not reach inefficient supersonic speeds. Initially, it developed 3,000 horsepower, later models gave 3,500 horsepower.
The 4360 powered the B-50, successor to the B-29 and later the B-36, to name a few. And although reliable in flight, the Wasp Major was maintenance-intensive.Improper starting technique could foul all 56 spark plugs, which would require hours to clean or replace. As with most piston aircraft engines of the era, the time between overhauls of the Wasp Major was about 600 hours when used in commercial service.
Why am I sending this to you? Because it looks and sounds neat. That's all. Just a test stand video of a newly restored engine. But turn the speakers all the way up. Bask in the roar of twenty-eight cylinders belching the sound of freedom. Also, the sound will most likely clear out the cat, your wife and any other extemporaneous people not accustomed to military sounds and the glorious roar of a Pratt & Whitney "round" engine. As the Warbird people say, "Jets are for kids."  Also catch the comments below the video screen.
Thanks to Marathon
Military kit through the ages: from the Battle of Hastings to Helmand
From the crude weaponry and armour of the Battle of Hastings, to the high-tech kit of modern conflict, a new photographic survey explores the personal equipment carried by the common British soldier through the past 1,000 years
Thanks to Marathon -
This set of 100 quick movie clips in under 11 minutes they are sooo cool you will know them immediately. . 
Some of the "best and most memorable lines ever."
Nobody cared if some ignorant rich businessman was appointed ambassador to some third world hell hole. But Norway, Hungary, Argentina, and now Japan are first world countries, important to our economic growth and national security. To appoint an air head celebrity to represent our interests in the 4th largest economy in the world and a vital strategic lynchpin in an unsettled part of the world borders on lunacy.
August 26, 2015
Inspector General excoriates Caroline Kennedy for mismanaging Tokyo embassy
Celebrity ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the former president, but someone with zero experience and knowledge of Japan, has been taken to the woodshed by the State Department's Office of Inspector General.
The OIC issued a blistering report that highlighted the mismanagement and ignorance of the ambassador and her staff, including the use of private emails for official business:
The State Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) report said it received reports concerning the use of private email accounts for official business, and identified instances where emails labeled "sensitive but unclassified" were sent from or received by personal email accounts. 
"On the basis of these reports, OIG's Office of Evaluations and Special Projects conducted a review and confirmed that senior embassy staff, including the Ambassador, used personal email accounts to send and receive messages containing official business. In addition, OIG identified instances where emails labeled Sensitive but Unclassified were sent from, or received by, personal email accounts," the report said.
Claudia Rosette ticks off the IG's fact finding at the Tokyo embassy. It's not pretty:
To be fair, the report gives Kennedy good scores for ethics, noting that the Ambassador has "made clear" that "she wants all her activities to be conducted in accordance with U.S. government regulations." Though it's far from clear that this message has translated into practice. The report lists numerous problems of waste and mismanagement, including one that sounds especially intriguing in view of the controversy surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email practices. (Boldface is mine):
 OIG's Office of Evaluations and Special Projects conducted a review and confirmed that senior embassy staff, including the Ambassador, used personal email accounts to send and receive messages containing official business. In addition, OIG identified instances where emails labeled Sensitive but Unclassified were sent from, or received by, personal email accounts.
There's a lot more, including:
 "Living Quarters Allowance Not in Compliance with the Foreign Affairs Manual"
"Actual lodging cost not properly justified"
"Premium Class Train Tavel Policy Does Not Comply With Department Regulation"
"Extra Travel Costs Inappropriately Approved for Using Indirect Routes"
"Employee Evaluation Reports do not Reflect Demonstrated Weakness"
Then there are the overarching problems that speak directly to the Embassy's impaired effectiveness in matters not just of compliance with regulations, but having to do with the formulation of U.S. foreign policy.
Buried on page 12 is the note:
Embassy Tokyo's reporting on foreign policy, regional security and bilateral issues is not meeting the needs of senior officials for in-depth, multi-sourced analysis.
The OIG report states bluntly:
The Ambassador does not have extensive experience leading and managing an institution the size of the U.S. Mission to Japan.
It's the practice of presidents going all the way back to the early 20th century to award ambassadorships to friends, cronies, and, more recently, big financial supporters. But most presidents have at least tried to pick nominees with a rudimentary understanding of the country they were being assigned.
The nominee for ambassador to Norway, for example, prompted outrage in Oslo by characterizing one of the nation's ruling parties as extremist. A soap- opera producer slated for Hungary appeared to have little knowledge of the country she would be living in. A prominent Obama bundler nominated to be ambassador to Argentina acknowledged that he had never set foot in the country and isn't fluent in Spanish.
Even former senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the new U.S. ambassador in Beijing, managed to raise eyebrows during his confirmation hearing by acknowledging, "I'm no real expert on China."
Nobody cared if some ignorant rich businessman was appointed ambassador to some third world hell hole. But Norway, Hungary, Argentina, and now Japan are first world countries, important to our economic growth and national security. To appoint an air head celebrity to represent our interests in the 4th largest economy in the world and a vital strategic lynchpin in an unsettled part of the world borders on lunacy. 
If war were to break out in the region and Japan attacked, our embassy would be the first line of communication with Washington. Given the IG report, the president and his advisors would be better off watching CNN to keep informed.
Item Number:1 Date: 08/26/2015 AFGHANISTAN - COALITION AIR SUPPORT REMAINS KEY FACTOR, SAYS DEFENSE MINISTRY (AUG 26/TN)  TOLONEWS -- The Afghan government has acknowledged the need for foreign air support, reports Tolo News (Kabul).   "We will push foreign forces for air support if needed. But the support will be provided in harmony with our own forces," a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Monday.   Domestic forces are currently conducting 17 operations against Taliban insurgents in 16 provinces, according to the ministry.   The air support requested from the international coalition for operations in Kunduz, Badakhshan and Helmand provinces proved useful, he said.   Such air support assists in targeting militants and reduces casualties among local security forces, say analysts.  
  Item Number:2 Date: 08/26/2015 AFGHANISTAN - GUNMEN WEARING AFGHAN UNIFORMS KILL 2 NATO TROOPS IN HELMAND (AUG 26/CNN)  CABLE NEWS NETWORK -- Gunmen wearing Afghan army uniforms have killed two NATO military personnel in southern Afghanistan, reports CNN.   Coalition troops returned fire early Wednesday in Helmand province, killing the attackers, according to a statement from the alliance's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.   NATO does not reveal the nationalities of those killed, leaving it to individual countries. Details of the attack were not available in early reports.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility.   This was the first such "insider attack" killing since April. At that time, a U.S. soldier escorting U.S. diplomatic officials was killed in the eastern province of Nangarhar by a man in an Afghan uniform.  
Item Number:3 Date: 08/26/2015 BANGLADESH - SEPARATISTS FROM BURMA ATTACK BORDER POST (AUG 26/XIN)  XINHUA -- More Bangladesh troops have been sent to a section of the border with Burma following an attack by Burmese separatists, reports Xinhua, China's state news agency.   Military sources said that the Arakan Army group attacked a Bangladeshi border post Wednesday morning in the southeastern district of Bandarban, about 200 miles southeast of the capital Dhaka.   The Bangladeshi forces repelled the attack, said the head of the border guard. One paramilitary soldier was reported injured.   The incident was apparently precipitated by the guards' seizing 13 horses used by the group to transport goods, said unnamed sources.   Reinforcements from the army and the border guard were then reportedly flown to the area.  
  Item Number:4 Date: 08/26/2015 BELARUS - MINSK BUILDS UP AIR DEFENSES WITH TOR-M2K SAM LAUNCHERS (AUG 26/SPUTNIK)  SPUTNIK -- Belarus has ordered five missile launchers for the Tor-M2K air defense system, says Russia's state arms exporter, as cited by the Sputnik news agency (Russia).   The deal was signed Tuesday, said Rosoboronexport's general director Anatoly Isaykin at the MAKS-2015 air show in the Moscow region.   Delivery is scheduled for 2016, Isaykin told reporters.   The launchers will significantly boost the air defense capability of Belarus and the Russia-Belarus Union State, he said.   The Tor-M2K includes an armored fighting vehicle, an anti-aircraft missile module and four anti-aircraft guided missiles. It can simultaneously track 40 targets while attacking four of them.  
Item Number:5 Date: 08/26/2015 BULGARIA - MARINES, ARMOR, ARTILLERY ARRIVE FOR ROTATIONAL TRAINING (AUG 26/RFE/RL)  RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY -- U.S. Marines along with their heavy equipment have rotated to Bulgaria as part of training program, reports Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.   About 160 Marines arrived Tuesday after landing in Bremerhaven, Germany, and traveling about 1,100 miles by rail to their destination, reported the Marine Corps Times.   The Marines are at the Novo Selo Training Range in the eastern part of the country as part of the Black Sea Rotational Force for three six-month rotations.   They brought four M1A1 Abrams tanks, three howitzer artillery cannons and six light armored reconnaissance vehicles, reported the Marine Corps Times.   "Using this equipment, U.S. Marines will train alongside allies' and partners' mechanized units collectively improving combined arms skills and anti-armor tactics," said a statement from the Marine Corps.   The deployment is part of the U.S. and NATO reassurance efforts in response to Russian actions in eastern Ukraine.   The Black Sea Rotational Force, based at Mihail Kohalniceanu in Romania, is a semi-annual rotation of U.S. Marines and sailors under U.S. European Command.  
Item Number:6 Date: 08/26/2015 GERMANY - SOMALI MIGRANT GIVES BIRTH ON GERMAN FRIGATE (AUG 26/MALTA)  TIMES OF MALTA -- A Somali woman who was rescued from a migrant ship has given birth to a baby girl on a German navy ship, reports the Times of Malta.   Navy staff helped deliver the baby after the mother was picked up trying to cross the Mediterranean, reported Reuters.   The 33-year-old woman from Mogadishu gave birth on board the Schleswig-Holstein frigate as it headed for the Italian coast, said the Bundeswehr on Tuesday.   The girl, named Sophia, weighed about seven pounds at birth and is doing well, said officers. She is believed to be the first child born on a German naval vessel.   The then-expectant mother was one of 4,000 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean over the weekend as the group she was with was on a five-month journey to reach Europe.   The woman was picked up by a British navy ship before being transferred to the Schleswig-Holstein. The frigate docked in Taranto in southern Italy.  
Item Number:7 Date: 08/26/2015 GHANA - SON TEXTS FAMILY, INFORMING THEM HE HAS JOINED ISLAMIC STATE (AUG 26/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- The father of a 25-year-old from Ghana says his son has apparently joined the Islamic State, reports the BBC.   Mohammad Nazir Nortei Alema, a university graduate, left the country and sent a text on Aug. 16 saying he was joining the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), said his father on Tuesday.   Alema initially told his family he was travelling to Prestea, a western mining town, reported Reuters.   The message said he was at a training ground in an unknown country, his brother told Reuters. The message also reportedly indicated that he was obeying a call from Allah to abandon the "corrupt system," said Kabiru Alema.   This is the first known case of a Ghanaian joining the terrorist group.  
Item Number:8 Date: 08/26/2015 HUNGARY - TROOPS MAY BE USED TO HELP SECURE BORDER FROM MIGRANT FLOOD (AUG 26/REU)  REUTERS -- Hungary is considering using its army to secure its southern border against migrants, reports Reuters.   Hungary's government and national security Cabinet have "discussed the question of how the army could be used to help protect Hungary's border and the E.U.'s border," said a government spokesman on Wednesday.   On Tuesday, police said a record number of 2,533 migrants, mostly from Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, were caught entering the country from Serbia. By Wednesday, another 1,300 were detained. More than 140,000 migrants have entered Hungary this year.   Many of the migrants are trying to quickly leave Hungary for wealthier nations such as Germany or Sweden, noted Fox News.   Police officials said six special border patrol units, including 2,106 officers equipped with helicopters, horses and dogs, are reportedly being prepared for deployment along the Serbian border.   Hungary is also building a fence along its 110-mile border with Serbia.  
  Item Number:9 Date: 08/26/2015 INDIA - PROCEEDING SUSPENDED IN TRIAL OF ITALIAN MARINES (AUG 26/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- The Supreme Court in India has adjourned the hearing concerning two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012, reports the BBC.   The adjournment on Wednesday came after a U.N. tribunal asked India to suspend the proceedings. The case has been adjourned until Jan. 13, 2016, reported the Economic Times.   The Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, have been charged with killing two men off the Kerala cost in southern India while guarding an Italian oil tanker. The marines said they mistook the fishermen for pirates.   The Italian government say they should be tried in Italy because the incident took place in international waters.   The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea has ruled that a tribunal must be held to decide whether India or Italy will hold the trial of the marines. All proceedings will be stayed until then, reported NDTV.   The U.N. Tribunal ordered both countries to report to it on the case by Sept. 24.   The tribunal rejected an Italian request for the marines to be freed until that ruling
  Item Number:10 Date: 08/26/2015 IRAQ - KURDISH FORCES GO ON OFFENSIVE AGAINST ISLAMIC STATE IN KIRKUK PROVINCE (AUG 26/REU)  REUTERS -- Kurdish fighters have launched an offensive against the Islamic State terrorist group in northern Iraq, reports Reuters.   The attack began overnight on Wednesday south of the town of Daquq in Kirkuk province, according to Kurdish fighters.   ISIS was pushed from the village of Albu Najm, while fighting continued in another nearby village, said a source with the peshmerga fighters.   A Kurdish captain was killed by an improvised explosive device, according to medical sources.   Kurdish forces control most of their claimed territory and have previously refrained from pushing further into predominately Sunni Muslim towns and villages.  
  Item Number:11 Date: 08/26/2015 ITALY - NEURON UCAV WRAPS UP ANOTHER TEST PHASE (AUG 26/ALEAERM)  ALENIA AERMACCHI -- The multinational Neuron unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) has successfully completed a second phase of flight tests in Italy, reports Alenia Aermacchi, the Italian aerospace firm involved in the project.   The Neuron is a full-scale technology demonstrator for a UCAV that has been developed by Dassault Aviation in France, along with Alenia Aermacchi, Saab in Sweden, Airbus Defense and Space, RUAG of Switzerland and Hellenic Aerospace Industry in Greece.   The first phase, covering aerodynamics and flight testing, was held in France in February, reported IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.   The second phase of operational tests were held at the Decimomannu air base in Sardinia, Italy. These included 12 sorties to verify the Neuron's combat capability, low radar cross-section and infrared signature during missions at different altitudes and flight profiles against simulated ground and air radar threats.   The next phase is expected to be held at Vidsel Air Base in Sweden, focusing on low observability and weapons delivery
  Item Number:12 Date: 08/26/2015 JAPAN - OBAMA OFFERS REGRETS FOR TROUBLE CAUSED BY SPYING ALLEGATIONS (AUG 26/JT)  JAPAN TIMES -- U.S. President Barack Obama is said to have apologized to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over spying allegations, according to Japanese officials cited by the Japan Times.   Obama held a 40-minute teleconference on Wednesday with Abe.   Documents leaked by WikiLeaks indicated that the U.S. National Security Agency had spied on Japanese officials and companies.   Obama apologized for the trouble caused by the documents, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. Suga did not say whether the president confirmed or denied the allegations.   "Prime Minister Abe told [Obama] that, if the Japanese people concerned were subject to these activities, it would risk jeopardizing trusting relations between allies," Suga said.   Abe asked for a U.S. investigation into the matter and for the results to be reported to Tokyo, reported UPI.  
  Item Number:13 Date: 08/26/2015 NEPAL - PROTESTS TURN DEADLY IN CLASHES OVER DRAFT CONSTITUTION (AUG 26/HT)  HINDUSTAN TIMES -- Protests against the draft constitution in Nepal have turned violent, reports the Hindustan Times (India).   On Monday, six police officers and three civilians were killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in Tikapur in western Nepal.   The death toll was expected to rise, noted the New York Times.   Several civilians were injured when the police opened fire. According to officials, a policeman was doused with kerosene and set on fire.   Home Minister Bamdev Gautam told the Parliament that the fighting was planned.   Thousands of protesters reportedly attacked a police picket, forcing officers to shoot to disperse the crowd. Some officers were assaulted with axes, spears and scythes, according to one top police official cited by CNN.   Additional security forces were deployed in Tikapur following the clashes, reported Agence France-Presse.   More violence took place in Gaur in southern Nepal on Tuesday, when police fired into a crowd of about 150 demonstrators who were throwing stones at security personnel. At least one protester was killed.   The new constitution would divide Nepal into seven provinces. Historically marginalized groups say that would limit their political representation.  
Item Number:14 Date: 08/26/2015 NIGERIA - 2 SUICIDE BLASTS RIP THROUGH DAMATURU IN YOBE STATE (AUG 26/PREM)  PREMIUM TIMES -- At least eight people have been killed in separate suicide attacks in Damaturu, the capital of Nigeria's northeastern Yobe state, reports the Premium Times.   In one incident, a male suicide bomber was accosted by a man who suspected he might be carrying an explosive device, reported This Day (Lagos). The device detonated while the man was trying to take the suspect to security forces, according to officials.   Separately, a teenage girl set off explosives strapped to her body at the entrance to the Damaturu bus station, said witnesses. A bus leaving the station was struck by the blast, killing four people.   At least 22 people were injured in both attacks, said officials.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 08/26/2015 NIGERIA - POOR MAINTENANCE GROUNDS HALF OF FLEET, SAYS NAVY CHIEF (AUG 26/THIS)  THIS DAY -- More than half of Nigeria's warships that are needed to protect its territorial waters are out of service due to a lack of maintenance, says the navy chief, as cited by This Day (Lagos).   Vice Adm. Ibok-Ette Ibas made his comments on Monday during a visit to Lagos as part of his maiden familiarization tour.   The admiral urged naval personnel to improve the maintenance of government property and combat oil theft on Nigerian waters, reported the Daily Trust (Abuja).   The newly appointed chief vowed to develop naval power to enhance Nigeria's security.  
Item Number:16 Date: 08/26/2015 RUSSIA - 10 MISSILE REGIMENTS SIMULATE COMBAT PATROLS (AUG 26/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- Units of the Russian strategic missile forces are conducting simulated combat patrols in the Central and Western Military Districts, reports Interfax-AVN.   Ten regiments armed with Topol, Topol-M and Yars mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles have been deployed on combat patrol routes, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.   Static missile units are also taking part in the month-long exercises, which will include mock missile launches, the ministry said.   Mobile units are simulating the deployment of missile systems to field positions; camouflaging them; and providing battlefield security, said a ministry spokesman. They are expected to be deployed for up to 32 days under simulated combat conditions.   Military security personnel will also track and eliminate mock saboteurs, including the use of Taifun-M vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles, reported Tass
Item Number:17 Date: 08/26/2015 SINGAPORE - INDONESIA, SINGAPORE HOST MULTINATIONAL MINE COUNTERMEASURE DRILLS (AUG 26/SIMOD)  SINGAPORE MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- The Singaporean and Indonesian navies are co-hosting a multinational mine countermeasures exercise this week, reports the Singapore Ministry of Defense.   The Western Pacific Mine Countermeasure Exercise, which runs from Aug. 25 to Aug. 31, is taking place in the Singapore Strait and the waters off the Indonesian island of Pulau Bintan.   More than 800 personnel, 13 ships and five underwater vehicle teams from 16 countries are taking part.   The event involves professional exchanges culminating in a mine-hunting and mine-sweeping exercise in the Singapore Strait, reported Channel News Asia.  
  Item Number:18 Date: 08/26/2015 SOUTH KOREA - SPECIAL TEAM OF INVESTIGATORS RAIDS DEFENSE AGENCY, COMPANY (AUG 26/YON)  YONHAP -- Authorities in South Korea say they have raided the offices of a defense company and government defense agency suspected of making illegal deals, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   On Tuesday, the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office said LIG Nex1 provided defective equipment used to assess the performance of anti-tank guided missiles to Korea's Agency for Defense Development (ADD) between 2012 and 2014. The systems cost more than US$6.7 million.   The agency is suspected of overlooking faulty parts.   The ADD officially indicated it had received 11 systems that permit tanks to be remotely controlled, but the agency was found to only have seven, the prosecutors said.   The special team has been investigating corruption in the defense industry
  Item Number:19 Date: 08/26/2015 THAILAND - AIR FORCE TAKES DELIVERY OF 4 EC 725 HELICOPTERS; 2 MORE DUE NEXT YEAR (AUG 26/AIRBUSHEL)  AIRBUS HELICOPTERS -- Airbus Helicopters says it has delivered an initial batch of four EC 725 helicopters to the Royal Thai Air Force.   The helicopters were ordered in 2012 to enhance the air force's combat search-and-rescue and troop transport capabilities, according to a company release on Tuesday.   The recently delivered aircraft are expected to begin operations by the end of the month.   Two other EC 725s were ordered in 2014 for delivery in 2016
Item Number:20 Date: 08/26/2015 TUNISIA - PATROL BOAT BECOMES 1ST LOCALLY BUILT WARSHIP IN NAVY (AUG 26/DEFWEB)  DEFENCE WEB -- The Tunisian navy has commissioned its first domestically built patrol boat, reports Defence Web (South Africa).   The Al Istiklal was inducted Friday at a ceremony led by Defense Minister Farhat Horchani in the Gulf of Tunis.   The vessel was built by a partnership between the Tunisian government and local firm Societe de Construction Industrielle et Navale (SCIN) in Sfax.   Construction began in March 2013, and the ship was delivered in July 2015.   SCIN and the government hope to build and export additional boats to various African and Middle Eastern countries, said the defense minister.   The Al Istiklal displaces 80 tons and is 87 feet (26.5 m) long with a beam of 19 feet (5.8 m). It is powered by two 3,200-hp Rolls-Royce engines, providing a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 600 nm.   The boat is armed with a 20-mm cannon and machine guns and can accommodate a crew of 12.  
  Item Number:21 Date: 08/26/2015 USA - ARMY GOES WITH OSHKOSH FOR MAJOR TACTICAL VEHICLE CONTRACT; 55,000 JLTVS MAY BE BUILT (AUG 26/WSJ)  WALL STREET JOURNAL -- The U.S. Army has awarded a US$6.75 billion contract to Oshkosh Defense to replace the Army and Marine Corps' aging Humvees, reports the Wall Street Journal.   Announced on Tuesday, the deal with the Wisconsin-based company covers 17,000 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTVs).   Production is expected to begin in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. The Army wants to have its first unit equipped in 2018, reported the Washington Post.   The contract may eventually be worth US$30 billion or more, and could include 55,000 vehicles over the next 25 years. Of those, nearly 50,000 would be for the Army and about 5,500 for the Marine Corps.   Oshkosh was chosen over competitors Lockheed Martin and AM General, which manufactures the Humvee.   The new trucks will replace many of the 120,000 Humvees that have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan. They will provide greater protection against mines and improvised explosives, a large cargo capacity and good mobility, according to the Army.  
  Item Number:22 Date: 08/26/2015 USA - NAVY TESTS UAV OPERATIONS FROM HIGH-SPEED VESSEL (AUG 26/USNIN)  USNI NEWS -- In an experiment, the U.S. Navy recently used a Spearhead-class joint high-speed vessel as a platform for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations, reports USNI News.   Earlier this summer, ScanEagle and Puma drones were operated from the USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) during two separate two-week periods this summer, according to Navy officials.   The evaluation sought to see how two different UAVs "could fit into potential adaptive force packages in the future and how to use the JHSV in a more diverse way," said Lt. Mark Bote, the experiment lead for the JHSV 2014 Fleet Experimentation (FLEX).   The JHSV can perform more operations than its original intra-theater lift mission. Accordingly, the Navy is experimenting with adaptive force packages that take advantage of the capabilities of the ship as well as commander's requirements.   The experiment also covered expeditionary mine countermeasures; afloat forward staging base; maritime command-and-control; and counter-drug-trafficking missions, said Bote.   Drone operations were used for both the afloat forward staging base and counter-trafficking experiments, said the lieutenant.  
Item Number:23 Date: 08/26/2015 USA - STATE DEPT. ADDS HAQQANI BROTHER TO TERROR LIST (AUG 26/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- The U.S. State Dept. has blacklisted a brother of the leader of the Haqqani network, reports the Press Trust of India.   On Tuesday, Abdul Aziz Haqqani, a top leader of the group and the brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, was added to State's list of specially designated global terrorists.   "For several years, Aziz Haqqani has been involved in planning and carrying out improvised explosive device attacks against Afghan government targets," said the State Dept. announcement.   Under the sanctions, any of Aziz's assets in the U.S. or under U.S. control can be seized and U.S. citizens are banned from doing business with him.   An ally of Al-Qaida and the Taliban, the Haqqani network was designated a terrorist organization in September 2012. State placed a US$5 million bounty on Aziz in August 2014, reported the Long War Journal.  
  Item Number:24 Date: 08/26/2015 USA - SUCCESS OF MARINE LEADERSHIP PROGRAM PROMPTS EXPANSION (AUG 26/MCT)  MARINE CORPS TIMES -- The Marine Corps is going to expand its Squad Leader Development Program beyond the infantry, reports the Marine Corps Times.   The program was designed to improve career paths for infantrymen and to increase retention of young, experienced non-commissioned officers. The leadership program also offers an opportunity for faster promotion and sizeable re-enlistment bonuses.   After a successful first year, planners are working on new variants for every military occupation specialty.   Gen. Joseph Dunford, the former commandant, ordered the pilot program.   A similar program for engineers or aviators is at least a year away, say Marine officials.   Enlisted leaders have been exploring the potential for implementing the concept in other fields. Cyber operations, which have struggled to retain their personnel, is a prime candidate, according to the Corps' top sergeant major, Ronald Green.


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