News of the Force: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - Page 2

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                                           NEWS OF THE FORCE: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - Page 2


U.S. Navy and Marine Corps
    
U.S. Navy surface warfare experts are taking another step toward deploying powerful laser weapons aboard front-line Navy warships with a $150 million contract to the Lockheed Martin Laser and Sensor Systems segment in Bothell, Wash.
     U.S. Navy shipboard weapons experts needed embedded computing for upgrading the Aegis weapon system for Navy cruisers and destroyers; they found their solution from Artesyn Embedded Technologies in Tempe, Ariz.
    
Military electro-optics experts at L-3 KEO in Northampton, Mass., will provide shipboard sights to enable U.S. Navy and Coast Guard warships to hit enemy ships and aircraft with naval gun fire under the terms of a $30.8 million order.
     In central New Jersey, t
he members of the Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) at Colts Neck High School have been recognized for their accomplishments by Rear Adm. Michael Bernacchi, commander of the Naval Services and Training Command.
     U.S. Marine Corps
Staff Sgt. Joshua Stone, an imagery analysis specialist assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), was posthumously awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in intelligence.
     One of the most enduring memories of Mr. Rogers - besides that video of him flipping off the camera in 1967 (this did happen) or wearing a creepy clown mask (we wish it didn't) - is his deadly work as a United States Marine Corps scout.
     Marine Corps Recruiter Staff Sgt. Brian D. Raney and Raven Campbell ate dinner at The Alley restaurant in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Jan. 20th. The restaurant donated the pre-dance dinner when they heard Raney had volunteered to take Campbell to a Girl Scout father-daughter dance.
     New Jersey-raised Tyler Skolnik lives in West Haven, Conn., and is completing a degree at the University of New Haven in fire science. He said that during his time there, which includes being in the Marine Corps Reserve, he has fallen in love with New Haven and ultimately wants to serve as a firefighter there.
     Two coalition naval vessels arrived at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., in recent days to conduct training and operations as part of the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group. The Royal Norwegian Navy frigate HNoMS Roald Amundsen and the Sachsen-class German frigate Hessen arrived to participate in the strike group's upcoming composite training unit exercise. "Any time we can operate with another one of our allies anywhere in the world, we gain from it and they gain from it," said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Gene Black, the commander of USS Harry S. Truman. "I've always had great success working with coalition partners, and this is just a similar task with a more complex mission set. I'm very confident of our success and look forward to sailing with these two great ships." According to Truman's foreign cooperation officers, partnerships like this are designed to strengthen cooperation and interoperability between the nations' armed forces. Integrating with foreign navies can prove challenging, they said, but months of planning and coordination took place to ensure a seamless integration, with the German and Norwegian warships prepared to demonstrate their capabilities. "We are looking forward to a challenging and exciting training with the U.S. Navy," said Hessen's commanding officer, German Navy Cmdr. Oliver Pfennig. "The integration of the German warship Hessen in the carrier strike group requires a lot of trust in our capabilities and we will perform professionally and competently in all upcoming CSG operations." After the exercise, Hessen will remain with the strike group to participate in its upcoming deployment. This is not Hessen's first time operating with USS Truman. The ships deployed together in 2010.

NOAA news
     The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating the increase in minke whale deaths and strandings along the east coast in 2017. NOAA calls the past year's spike in whale deaths an "unusual mortality event."
     The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, has outlined plans to create a sanctuary that would cover about 1,075 square miles of Lake Michigan and protect 37 shipwrecks and 80 unexplored potential shipwrecks and other cultural resources.
     Hurricanes
Harvey, Irma and Maria are now in the top 5 most expensive hurricanes in the U.S., according to a new report by NOAA.
     And shortfin mako sharks are in trouble, and NOAA is asking anglers who catch them - accidentally or on purpose - to voluntarily comply with new emergency rules that haven't been enacted yet, but probably will be  later this year.

The parting shots
    
A Pakistani woman who was reportedly shot dead for refusing a marriage proposal was filmed identifying her killer shortly before she died on Sunday evening. Asma Rani, a third-year medical student at Abbotabad Ayub Medical College, was shot by two men on Jan. 27th outside of her home in Kohat, northern Pakistan, after she stepped out of a rickshaw with her sister-in-law. As she lay dying, Rani was reportedly filmed naming Mujahid Afridi as her killer. The young woman's family claims that Afridi, along with his brother, Sadiqullah Afridi, killed Rani after she refused to marry him. One day after her death, the graphic video of Rani naming her attacker was posted to social media.
     A killer whale in France has become the first of its kind to mimic human speech. Wikie, a 16-year-old female orca at a marine park in Antibes, has learned how to say "hello," "bye bye," and "Amy," count to three, shriek, and blow raspberries.
     Last night, President Donald J. Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address, and he did a remarkable job. While touting the economy, advances against terrorism, and his immigration plans, he did what some thought was impossible. He looked the part; he was presidential. Trump deserves credit, not for delivering a speech written by someone else, but for delivering on his promises. He deserves credit for his tax cuts, plunging unemployment, and more. But the speech last night will be forgotten by tonight. What will be remembered - and what really matters - is what he does next.
     The Trump tax bill - passed without a single Democratic vote - has created a great quagmire for the minority party. Even after the Democrats shut down the government out of deference to illegal immigrants, companies continued to dole out bonuses. Over 250 companies have given out $1,000 to $3,000 per worker. Democrats call these payments "crumbs."
     Glee actor Mark Salling, who pleaded guilty to child porn charges, is dead at the age of 33.
     And Buzzfeed reporter Anthony Cormier has obtained a statement where adult film star Stormy Daniels says she is not denying an affair with Donald Trump not because she was paid, but because it never happened.


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