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August 11, 2014

News Briefs August 11, 2014

New life for song dubbed ‘viral hit of World War I’

A century ago, British soldiers marched off to fight in World War I to a cheerful, bittersweet tune urging them to Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile!

Now veterans, military families and serving soldiers have taken to the choir stands to give the hit song a new life and to mark 100 years since the start of the Great War.

A choir organized by a British military charity braved torrential rains to perform the song Sunday in central London, launching a new recording of what Aubrey Powell, the grandson of the original’s co-composer George Powell, described as the viral hit of World War I.

Pack Up Your Troubles was a widely-known music-hall style tune used to boost morale and a sense of unity among troops and on the home front.

There couldn’t have been a person alive then who didn’t know someone fighting. It affected everybody, and having that song united people, said Rachel Smith, one of the musical directors involved in the project.

She added that the song’s simple melody and lyrics gave it its enduring appeal, and is still relevant today because it makes us think a little more about what people were going through. AP

Base’s last deactivated missile silos destroyed

Crews finished eliminating the last of the deactivated intercontinental ballistic missile silos operated by Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont.

Under a nuclear arms-reduction treaty with Russia, the U.S. was required to eliminate 103 deactivated missile silos, including the 50 at Malmstrom, by February 2018. The demolition of the 50 fulfills almost half of the treaty’s requirements, and 50 launch facilities already were eliminated at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.

The final 10 Malmstrom silos were closed up this past week, The Great Falls Tribune reported. A 60-day observation period will allow Russia to verify that they were destroyed.
The silos, located in Choteau, Pondera, Teton and Toole counties, had been under the 564th Missile Squadron, which was deactivated in 2008.

The last silo to be eliminated was Launch Facility T-49, about 25 miles west of Conrad, the base said. Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, was among those on hand to watch the process.

To make the launch site unusable, heavy machines buried the 110-ton launcher closure door and filled the launch tube with dirt and gravel, the base said.

The move closed a yearlong effort to bring the U.S. a step closer to complying with the treaty with Russia, Wilcox said in a statement.

All that remains is for concrete caps to be poured over the silos, said Rick Bialczak, 341st treaty compliance office chief.

Malmstrom still oversees 150 missiles as part of the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile force. The treaty limits deployed launchers to 700 across ballistic missile fields, submarines and bomber aircraft. AP

Russia: Apparent U.S. sub driven from Barents Sea

Russian state news agencies say the country’s navy claims to have driven away a submarine believed to be American that entered Russia’s northern waters.

The reports Saturday cited an unnamed representative of the navy’s general staff as saying the incident occurred Aug. 7 in the Barents Sea. The Barents Sea lies off northwest Russia and the Russian navy’s Northern Fleet is based on its shores.

The reports said the fleet sent several vessels and an anti-submarine Il-38 aircraft to drive the submarine away. AP




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