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Daily News
By Gail Helmer

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Monday October 08, 2001

PC News
Silent Hunter II Going Gold
Silent Hunter II will go gold this week and is expected to hit retail stores Mid-November. Click here for our preview.

Combat Command 2 Patches Released
Shrapnel Games has released the Combat Command 2: Danger Forward! Patch 1.03 and Combat Command 2: Desert Rats Patch 1.01. Patches fix some bugs, as well as bringing both games up to the same code level.

  • Bug Fix: Units have trouble withdrawing along the edges of the field.
  • Bug Fix: Disruption 4 units were not automatically withdrawing.
  • Posters with swastikas were removed from the propaganda images.
  • Bug Fix: Fixes Direct Fire crash on Win2K machines.

Military News
Saab Gets Gripen Laser-Guided Weapons Contract
The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has placed an order with Saab for an integration system Saab for new precision engagement weapons for Sweden's JAS 39 Gripen valued at SEK500 million. The system will provide JAS 39 Gripen with the capability to deliver precision laser- guided weapons. The new weapons will be procured by FMV.

The order also includes acquisition of NATO type weapon pylons for deployment on the JAS 39 Gripen. This enhances Gripen's overall capability for interoperability for participation in international peace- keeping missions.

The weapon pylons, which have been developed by Saab and BAE SYSTEMS, are to be manufactured by Denel in South Africa. This forms part of the industrial participation package from the sale of 28 Gripen aircraft to South Africa.

The order is being placed with Industry Group JAS (IG JAS), and Saab Aerospace's share of the order amounts to SEK 477 million, Saab Avionics' amounts to SEK 19 million and AerotecTelub's to SEK 5 million.

America Strikes Back
Airmen Describe Experiences Over Afghanistan
WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2001 -- "Like being a football player at the Super Bowl" is how one Air Force bombardier described being part of the initial wave of offensive strikes in America's war on terrorism.

"I was honored to act in the service of my country for defending freedom for all people," said "Vinnie," the B-1 bomber offensive systems officer who participated in Oct. 7 strikes on Afghanistan.

Late Oct. 7, the Air Force arranged for reporters to speak to five Air Force officers who took part in the bombing. Security concerns dictated that the officers only be identified by their call signs and that their location not be disclosed.

Vinnie described troops at the base he took off from lining the tarmac waving flags as the jets took off. "I think everybody, no matter what job they had, came out to support the launch of the jets," he said. "It was very patriotic. We felt very proud."

Pride in America and in a job well done was the overriding theme in the officers' remarks. "The president counted on us to do a job, and the (American) people counted on us to do a job tonight," said "Doc", a radar officer aboard a B- 52 bomber.

"Whether you're from Manhattan or the Washington, D.C. area, it doesn't really matter," he said. "We're all Americans, and we're all in this together."

By these airmen's accounts, the evening's events went as they'd hoped -- their training and experience pulled them safely through.

"It all came together because we train for this," said "Woodstock", a B-52 pilot. "This is what the American citizens expect us to be able to do, and in peacetime we prepare for these eventualities." He said all the moving parts, from their intelligence information to their ground crews, came together like a "finely oiled machine."

Vinnie said he believes successful training also kept nerves from detracting from their missions. "Everybody (feels nervous), but the purpose overrides that, and the mission overrides that," he said. "That's what you're taught every day."

As tanker pilot "Chummer" said: "In peacetime, practice makes perfect."

Just because they returned to base safely doesn't mean the flights were risk-free. The planes did come under anti- aircraft fire over Afghanistan. "My crews didn't encounter any threat that we weren't prepared to deal with," Woodstock said.

Vinnie said the mission wasn't as difficult as the training scenarios they work through.

Doc agreed. "You never want to be unprepared," he said. "That's why you train to the most rigorous standards as possible."

The men said the weather wasn't a factor because it was a clear night and that the mission was devoid of the cockpit and cabin chit-chat and outbursts often portrayed in the movies.

"We keep the cockpit professional and quiet. That's the way we do business," Vinnie said. "We have a lot more other things to worry about than making emotional comments."

Something different about the evening stood out in each man's mind. Woodstock noted that someone had recently painted "NYPD -- We Remember" on the nose of one of the B- 52s used in the bombing run.

"Stinky", a tanker pilot, remembered hearing part of President Bush's address to the nation while out on his mission. "It kind of made chills go up my back," he said. "(It) made me real proud to be an American, proud to be in the military," and very proud to be part of this team.

Taliban Proclaim Holy War; Americans Fear Reprisals
WASHINGTON/KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's Taliban movement declared a jihad, or holy war, on Monday after the United States and Britain hammered targets across their country and Washington warned it may have to launch attacks on other countries as part of its war on terrorism. In the United States thousands of additional armed police and National Guards patrolled airports, train stations, subways and other possible targets of retaliation for Sunday's bombing raids, themselves a response to last month's attacks by hijacked airliners on New York and Washington that killed more than 5,500 people. [More...]

Rumsfeld: Attacks on Afghanistan 'Very Successful'
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and British attacks on Taliban military targets and training bases in Afghanistan were "very successful," but more strikes will be delivered, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Monday. As the U.S. military assessed damage from Sunday's attacks and military planes returned to bases after dropping food to thousands of refugees in Afghanistan, Rumsfeld declined to say when more "overt and covert military attacks" would occur. But he said again that Washington's declared war on terrorism would be long and difficult.[More...]

Washington Warns U.N. It May Strike Other Countries
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States told the U.N. Security Council Monday it may have to launch military strikes on other countries and groups beyond Afghanistan and the al Qaeda network of Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden. "We may find that our self-defense requires further actions with respect to other organizations and other states," U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said in a [More...]

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