American Champion Citabria
The Citabria is a light single-engine, two-seat, fixed conventional gear airplane which entered production in the United States in 1964. Designed for flight training and personal use, it is capable of sustaining aerobatic stresses from +5g to -2g, its name spelled backwards, "airbatic", reflects this. The Citabria was designed and produced by Champion Aircraft Corporation, was a derivative of designs the company had been building since acquiring the 7-series Champ from Aeronca in 1954; the model 7ECA Citabria entered production at Champion in 1964. The 7GCAA and 7GCBC variants, added in 1965, were joined by the 7KCAB in 1968. In 1970, Champion was acquired by Bellanca Aircraft Corporation, which continued production of all of the Champion-designed variants. Bellanca introduced two designs with close connections to the Citabria: The 8KCAB Decathlon and the 8GCBC Scout. Production at Bellanca ended in 1980 and the company's assets were liquidated in 1982; the Citabria designs passed through the hands of a number of companies through the 1980s, including a Champion Aircraft Company, no relation to the Champion Aircraft of the 1960s.
In that period, only one Citabria model was built—a 7GCBC marketed as "Citabria 150S." American Champion Aircraft Corporation acquired the Citabria and Scout designs in 1989 and returned the 7ECA, 7GCAA, 7GCBC models to production over a period of years. The Citabria traces its lineage back to the Champ; the most noticeable external changes to the design are the Citabria's squared-off rudder surface and rear windows. Like the Champ, the Citabria features tandem seating; the fuselage and tail surfaces are constructed of welded metal tubing. The outer shape of the fuselage is created by a combination of wooden formers and longerons, covered with fabric; the cross-section of the metal fuselage truss is triangular, a design feature which can be traced all the way back to the earliest Aeronca C-2 design of the late 1920s. The strut-braced wings of the Citabria are, like the fuselage and tail surfaces, fabric covered, utilizing aluminum ribs. Most Citabrias were built with wooden spars. American Champion has been using aluminum spars in the aircraft it has produced and has, as well, made the aluminum-spar wings available for retrofit installation on older aircraft.
The landing gear of the Citabria is in a conventional arrangement. The main gear legs of most Citabrias are made of spring steel, though American Champion began to use aluminum gear legs in 2004. Early Citabrias were fitted with a steel tube main gear which uses an oleo strut for shock absorption. All of the variants are discussed in more detail below; when the Citabria was introduced, it was the only airplane being commercially produced in the United States, certified for aerobatics. Citabrias were popular as trainers—because of their conventional gear and their aerobatic capabilities—and as personal aircraft, they were found in utility roles as bush planes—thanks to their short take off and landing ability, pipeline patrol, as glider towplanes. Though variants of the design, other better-suited designs have taken over the Citabria's utility roles, Citabrias remain popular as trainers, glider towplanes, for personal use. Introduced in 1964, the 7ECA was the first version of the design and utilized the Continental O-200-A engine of 100 horsepower.
When introduced, it featured oleo-shock main gear. Within the first year of production, Champion began offering the Lycoming O-235-C1 engine of 115 horsepower as an alternative to the Continental. In 1967, Champion switched to spring steel main gear legs. On acquiring the design, Bellanca gave this model the name Citabria "Standard" and began using the 115 horsepower Lycoming O-235-K2C engine; when American Champion reintroduced the 7ECA in 1995 as the Citabria "Aurora, " the biggest change was the use of metal-spar wings. Introduced in 1965, the Champion 7GCAA, like the 7ECA, featured wood-spar wings and oleo-shock main gear; the major difference was in the engine, which in the 7GCAA was a Lycoming O-320-A2B of 150 horsepower. Champion switched to spring steel main gear legs in 1967. Bellanca continued production of the 7GCAA as the Citabria "A" Package, but with no significant design changes. American Champion's 7GCAA, reintroduced in 1997 as the Citabria "Adventure," is similar to earlier versions, with the exception of the metal-spar wings and the use of the Lycoming O-320-B2B engine of 160 horsepower.
An "Ultimate Adventure" version, with a Superior Vantage O-360-A3A2 engine of 180 horsepower and a composite propeller, is produced by American Champion. Champion introduced the 7GCBC in 1965, it was similar to the 7GCAA of the same year, with a Lycoming O-320-A2B engine of 150 horsepower, wood-spar wings, spring steel main gear legs. The major differences between these two models are that the 7GCBC has a wingspan of 34.5 feet, 1-foot longer than the 7ECA and 7GCAA, carries wing flaps. Bellanca continued production of the 7GCBC. American Champion's 7GCBC, reintroduced in 1994 as the Citabria "Explorer," is similar to earlier versions, with the exception of the metal-spar wings and the use of the Lycoming O-320-B2B of 160 horsepower.
Tongatapu is the main island of the Kingdom of Tonga and the location of its capital Nukuʻalofa. It is located in Tonga's southern island group, to which it gives its name, is the country's most populous island, with 71,260 residents, 70.5% of the national population, on 260 square kilometres. Its maximum height is 65 metres. Tongatapu is the seat of its monarchy. Tongatapu, as a commercial and transport hub, has experienced more rapid economic development than, as well as attracting many internal migrants from, the other islands of the Kingdom; the island is 257.03 rather flat, as it is built of coral limestone. The island is covered with thick fertile soil consisting of volcanic ash from neighboring volcanoes. At the steep coast of the south, heights reach an average of 35 metres decreasing towards the north is'Atata Island, about a 30-minute boat ride from Tongatapu.]] North of the island are many small isolated islands and coral reefs which extend up to 7 kilometres from Tongatapu's shores.
The completely closed Fanga'uta and Fangakakau Lagoons are important breeding grounds for birds and fish as they live within the mangroves growing around the lagoon's shores. The lagoons were declared a Natural Reserve in 1974 by the government; the island has only but a few sandy beaches because of its raised coastlines apart from the many small islands in the north boasting some of the best beaches in Tongatapu. Tongatapu has a rather cooler climate than the rest of Tonga as it is the southernmost group of islands in the country; because of this, fruit production is lower in Tongatapu than it is in the warmer islands in the north. Tongatapu is known as having one of the highest concentration of archaeological remains in the Pacific; the earliest traces of Lapita pottery found in Tonga was from around 900–850 BCE, 300 years after the first settlements in Tonga were established. Archaeologist David Burley discovered the pottery around the Fanga'uta Lagoon, 2,000 kilometres away from the Lapita pottery found at Santa Cruz in the Solomon Islands.
Although Tonga was always the seat of the Tongan Empire, but in an area of distances up to 1,000 kilometres, it was only a symbolic rule. From the first capital at Toloa, around 1000 years ago, to the second capital at Heketā, at the site of the Ha'amonga'a Maui Trilithon, none boasts more traditional attractions than the third capital at Mu'a with more than 20 royal grave mounds. Tongatapu was first sighted by Europeans on 20 January 1643 by Abel Janszoon Tasman commanding two ships, the Heemskerck and the Zeehaen commissioned by the Dutch East India Company of Batavia; the expedition's goals were to chart the unknown southern and eastern seas and to find a possible passage through the South Pacific and Indian Ocean providing a faster route to Chile. The expedition set sail from Batavia on 14 August 1642. Tasman named the island "t’ Eijlandt Amsterdam", because of its abundance of supplies; this name is no longer used except by historians. Captain James Cook, sailing the British vessel Resolution visited the island on October 2, 1773 by some accounts and by other accounts October 1774, returning again in 1777, with Omai, whereupon they left some cattle for breeding.
These were still flourishing in 1789. The earliest mention of the name Tongatapu was by Captain Cook in 1777, as he wrote his memoirs for the Three Voyages Around the World, Volume 1. Nukuʻalofa – Capital of Tonga Muʻa – Second largest town in Tongatapu. Site of the ancient burial mounds and the Papae'o Tele'a Tombs. Langi – Tombs of Tongan kings Hule fortress – Located in Nukunuku - Kolotau Ko Hule - Western District of Hihifo Mapu ʻa Vaea – Blowholes in the coral reef on the south-western side Hūfangalupe – Natural landbridge on the south eastern side of Tongatapu Pangaimotu – Small resort island close to Nukuʻalofa Landing site of Captain Cook Flying Fox Preserve – Located in Kolovai in the western side Taungapeka Haʻamonga ʻa Maui – Trilithon Nukuleka – the site of first Lapita settlement in Tonga Tupou College – first educational establishment in the kingdom located in the eastern district of Tongatapu near Malapo List of islands and villages in Tonga Tonga Quick Facts photographs from Tongatapu, Tonga The European discovery of the Tonga Islands by Brian Hooker
Search and rescue
Search and rescue is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger. The general field of search and rescue includes many specialty sub-fields determined by the type of terrain the search is conducted over; these include mountain rescue. International Search and Rescue Advisory Group is a UN organization that promotes the exchange of information between national urban search and rescue organizations; the duty to render assistance is covered by Article 98 of the UNCLOS. There are many different definitions of search and rescue, depending on the agency involved and country in question. Canadian Forces: "Search and Rescue comprises the search for, provision of aid to, ships or other craft which are, or are feared to be, in distress or imminent danger." United States Coast Guard: "The use of available resources to assist persons or property in potential or actual distress." United States Defense Department: A search is "an operation coordinated by a Rescue Coordination Center or rescue sub-center, using available personnel and facilities to locate persons in distress" and rescue is "an operation to retrieve persons in distress, provide for their initial medical or other needs, deliver them to a place of safety".
One of the world's earliest well-documented SAR efforts ensued following the 1656 wreck of the Dutch merchant ship Vergulde Draeck off the west coast of Australia. Survivors sought help, in response three separate SAR missions were conducted, without success. On 29 November 1945, a Sikorsky R-5 performed the first civilian helicopter rescue operation in history, with Sikorsky's chief pilot Dmitry "Jimmy" Viner in the cockpit, using an experimental hoist developed jointly by Sikorsky and Breeze. All 5 crew members of an oil barge, which had run aground on Penfield Reef, were saved before the barge sank. In 1983, Korean Air Lines Flight 007 with 269 occupants was shot down by a Soviet aircraft near Sakhalin; the Soviets sent SAR helicopters and boats to Soviet waters, while a search and rescue operation was initiated by U. S. South Korean, Japanese ships and aircraft in international waters, but no survivors were found. In July 2009, Air France Flight 447 was lost in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
An international SAR effort was launched, to no avail. A third effort nearly two years discovered the crash site and recovered the flight recorders. In early 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed under mysterious circumstances. Many nations contributed to the initial SAR effort, fruitless. In June 2014, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau commissioned the MV Fugro Equator to lead a three-month survey of the ocean bed, for which it had budgeted $60mn; the search for Flight 370 has become the largest SAR so far with the largest budget. Ground search and rescue is the search for persons who are lost or in distress on land or inland waterways. People may go missing for a variety of reasons; some may disappear voluntarily, due to issues like domestic abuse. Others disappear for involuntary reasons such as mental illness, getting lost, an accident, death in a location where they cannot be found or, less due to abduction. Ground search and rescue missions that occur in urban areas should not be confused with "urban search and rescue", which in many jurisdictions refers to the location and extraction of people from collapsed buildings or other entrapments.
In most countries, the police are the primary agency for carrying out searches for a missing person on land. Some places have voluntary search and rescue teams that can be called out to assist these searches. Mountain rescue relates to search and rescue operations in rugged and mountainous terrain. Cave rescue is a specialized form of rescue for rescuing injured, trapped or lost cave explorers. Urban search and rescue referred to as Heavy Urban Search and Rescue, is the location and rescue of persons from collapsed buildings or other urban and industrial entrapments. Due to the specialized nature of the work, most teams are multi-disciplinary and include personnel from police and emergency medical services. Unlike traditional ground search and rescue workers, most US&R responders have basic training in structural collapse and the dangers associated with live electrical wires, broken natural gas lines and other hazards. While earthquakes have traditionally been the cause of US&R operations, terrorist attacks and extreme weather such as tornadoes and hurricanes have resulted in the deployment of these resources.
Combat search and rescue is search and rescue operations that are carried out during war that are within or near combat zones. Maritime search and rescue is carried out at sea to save sailors and passengers in distress, or the survivors of downed aircraft; the type of agency which carries out maritime search and rescue varies by country. When a distressed or missing vessel is located, these organizations deploy lifeboats to return them to land. In some cases, the agencies may carry out an air-sea rescue; this refers to the combined use of aircraft and surface vessels. NationalThe Australian search and rescue service is provided by AusSAR, part of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. AusSAR operates a 24-hour Rescue Coordination Centre in Canbe
ʻAhoʻeitu Tupou VI is the King of Tonga. He is the younger brother and successor of the late King George Tupou V, he was confirmed by his brother on 27 September 2006 as the heir presumptive to the Throne of Tonga, as his brother had no legitimate children. He served as Tonga's High Commissioner to Australia, resided in Canberra until the death of King George Tupou V on 18 March 2012, when ʻAhoʻeitu ʻUnuakiʻotonga Tukuʻaho became King of Tonga, with the regnal name ʻAhoʻeitu Tupou VI, he was born in Nukuʻalofa, the third son and youngest child of King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV. He was educated at The Leys School, from 1973–77, he attended the University of East Anglia, where he read Development Studies, from 1977 to 1980. He started his career in the military, joining the naval arm of the Tonga Defence Services in 1982 and becoming a Lieutenant-Commander in 1987, he graduated from the US Naval War College as part of Class 33 in 1988. From 1990 to 1995 he commanded the Pacific-class patrol boat VOEA Pangai and his time in charge included peacekeeping operations in Bougainville.
He graduated with a masters in Defence Studies from the University of New South Wales in 1997 and with an MA in International Relations from Bond University in 1999. In 1998 he ended his military career to become part of the government, first as the defence minister and the foreign minister at the same time, from October 1998 until August 2004, he took over these posts from his elder brother Tupoutoʻa, at that time still the crown prince to become King Siaosi Tupou V. Soon he was appointed as Prime Minister on 3 January 2000, a function he kept until his sudden resignation on 11 February 2006, its reason has never been made clear, but was due to the unrest from a series of pro-democracy protests calling since mid-2005 for a lesser role for the royal family in government. His appointed successor, Feleti Sevele, was Tonga's first prime minister, not a hereditary estate holder or a member of the 33 noble families that make up the Tongan aristocracy. In 2008 ʻAhoʻeitu was appointed Tonga's first High Commissioner to Australia, a post he held until his succession to the Tongan throne in 2012.
In addition, he was Ambassador to Japan from January 15, 2010 to his coronation in 2012. In 2013 he was appointed as Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific. ʻAhoʻeitu is married to a daughter of the high chief Vaea, Nanasipauʻu Tukuʻaho and the couple have three children and two grandchildren: Princess Lātūfuipeka Tukuʻaho – ʻAngelika Lātūfuipeka Halaʻevalu Mataʻaho Napuaʻokalani Tukuʻaho She followed her father's steps to be the current High Commissioner to Australia since 22 August 2012. Crown Prince Tupoutoʻa ʻUlukalala – Siaosi Manumataongo ʻAlaivahamamaʻo ʻAhoʻeitu Konstantin Tukuʻaho, he married on 12 July 2012 the Hon. Sinaitakala Fakafanua, daughter of late High Chief Kinikinilau Fakafanua and HRH Princess Ofeina, Lady Fakafanua, both King Tupou VI's first cousins, they have two children: Prince Taufaʻahau Manumataongo – Taufaʻahau Manumataongo Tukuʻaho. Princess Halaevalu Mata'aho. Prince Ata – Viliami ʻUnuaki-ʻo-Tonga Mumui Lalaka-Mo-e-ʻEiki Tukuʻaho. Since his confirmation as heir presumptive, he got the traditional title of Tupoutoʻa, reserved for crown princes, which his older brother had to give up because he married a commoner, while two of his previous titles went to his sons.
As such he was until his accession to the throne known as Tupoutoʻa Lavaka. His elder son, Siaosi, is to be addressed by the prestigious title of ʻUlukālala of Fangatongo, while his second son, was bestowed with ʻAta of Hihifo. King Tupou VI and Queen Nanasipau’u were crowned in a ceremony conducted at Centenary Church in Nuku'alofa on 4 July 2015 by Reverend D'Arcy Wood, a retired Uniting Church in Australia minister, born in Tonga, he was assisted by Reverend Dr. ‘Ahio and Reverend Dr. Tevita Havea, the president and the secretary general of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga; the celebrations included many international invited guests, an estimated 15,000 people expatriate Tongans, flew in to join the celebrations. During the ceremony, Tupou VI was anointed with holy oil, adorned with a ring, presented with a scepter; the crown was placed on his head by Wood, who performed the anointing and crowning as a matter of circumventing the taboo on native Tongans touching the King's head. The celebrations ran for a total of eleven days.
It is customary in Tongan culture that princes get a traditional chiefly title, by which they are known. As such for many years, until his confirmation as Heir Presumptive, ʻAhoʻeitu was known by either one or all three of the titles which were bestowed on him over the time: Lavaka from Pea, ʻAta from Kolovai and ʻAtatā, ʻUlukālala from Fangatongo; these titles may be used in any order. The sequences Lavaka Ata ʻUlukālala and ʻUlukālala Lavaka Ata were most common. Tonga: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Pouono Tonga: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Order of George Tupou I Tonga: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the Crown Tonga: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Sālote Tupou III Tonga: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Saint George Tonga: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix Tonga: Sovereign Knight Grand Cross of the Order of
Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k
The Minerva Reefs are a group of two submerged atolls located in the Pacific Ocean south of Fiji and Tonga. The reefs were named after the whaleship Minerva, wrecked on what became known as South Minerva after setting out from Sydney in 1829. Many other ships would follow, for example Strathcona, sailing north soon after completion in Auckland in 1914. In both cases most of the crew saved themselves in whaleboats or rafts and reached the Lau Islands in Fiji; the reefs were first discovered by Captain John Nicholson of LMS Haweis in December 1818 as reported in the Sydney Gazette 30 January 1819. Captain H. M. Denham of HMS Herald surveyed the reefs in 1854 and renamed them after the Australian whaler Minerva which ran aground on South Minerva Reef on 9 September 1829. In 1972, real-estate millionaire Michael Oliver, of the Phoenix Foundation, sought to establish a libertarian country on the reefs. Oliver formed a syndicate, the Ocean Life Research Foundation, which had considerable finances for the project and had offices in New York City and London.
In 1971, the organization constructed a steel tower on the reef. The Republic of Minerva issued a declaration of independence on 19 January 1972. Morris Davis was elected as the President of Minerva. Tonga’s claim to the reef was recognized by the South Pacific Forum in September 1972. A Tongan expedition was sent to enforce the claim, arriving on 18 June 1972; the Flag of the Tonga was raised on 19 June 1972 on North Minerva and on South Minerva on 21 June 1972. In 1982, a group of Americans led again by Morris Davis tried to occupy the reefs, but were forced off by Tongan troops after three weeks. According to Reason, Minerva has been "more or less reclaimed by the sea". In 2005, Fiji declared that it did not recognize any maritime water claims by Tonga to the Minerva Reefs under the UNCLOS agreements. In November 2005, Fiji lodged a complaint with the International Seabed Authority concerning Tonga's maritime waters claims surrounding Minerva. Tonga lodged a counter claim. In 2010 the Fijian Navy destroyed navigation lights at the entrance to the lagoon.
In late May 2011, they again destroyed navigational equipment installed by Tongans. In early June 2011, two Royal Tongan Navy ships were sent to the reef to replace the equipment, to reassert Tonga's claim to the territory. Fijian Navy ships in the vicinity withdrew as the Tongans approached. In an effort to settle the dispute, the government of Tonga revealed a proposal in early July 2014 to give the Minerva Reefs to Fiji in exchange for the Lau Group of islands. In a statement to the Tonga Daily News, Lands Minister Lord Maʻafu Tukuiʻaulahi announced that he would make the proposal to Fiji's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ratu Inoke Kubuabola; some Tongans have Lauan ancestors and many Lauans have Tongan ancestors. Area: North Reef diameter about 5.6 kilometres, South Reef diameter of about 4.8 kilometres. Terrain: two on dormant volcanic seamounts. Both Minerva Reefs are about 435 kilometres southwest of the Tongatapu Group; the atolls are on a common submarine platform from 549 to 1,097 metres below the surface of the sea.
North Minerva has a diameter of about 5.6 kilometres. There is a small sand bar around the atoll, awash at high tide, with a small entrance into the flat lagoon with a somewhat deep harbor. South Minerva is parted into The East Reef and the West Reef, both circular with a diameter of about 4.8 kilometres. Remnants of shipwrecks and platforms remain on the atolls, plus functioning navigation beacons. Geologically, Minerva Reef is of a limestone base formed from uplifted coral formations elevated by now-dormant volcanic activity; the climate is subtropical with a distinct warm period, during which the temperatures rise above 32 °C, a cooler period, with temperatures rising above 27 °C. The temperature increases from 23 °C to 27 °C, the annual rainfall is from 170 to 297 centimeters as one moves from Cardea in the south to the more northerly islands closer to the Equator; the mean daily humidity is 80 percent. Both North and South Minerva Reefs are used as anchorages by private yachts traveling between New Zealand and Tonga or Fiji.
North Minerva offers the more protected anchorage, with a single negotiated, west-facing pass that offers access to the large, calm lagoon with extensive sandy areas. South Minerva is in shape similar to an infinity symbol, with its eastern lobe open to the ocean on the northern side; the reefs have been the site of several shipwrecks. On September 9, 1829 a whaling ship from Australia called. On July 7 1962 the Tuaikaepau, a Tongan vessel on its way to New Zealand, struck the reefs; this 15-metre wooden vessel was built in 1902 at the same yard as the Strathcona. The crew and passengers survived by living in the remains of a Japanese freighter. There they remained for several died. Without tools, Captain Tēvita Fifita built a small boat using wood recovered from the ship. With this raft, named Malolelei, he and several others sailed to Fiji in one week. List of reefs Micronation Interview with Oliver at Stay Free Magazine Cruising Yachties Experience at Minerva Photo Album of Minerva Photo Album and underwater images of North Minerva Reef Fiji, Tonga War over Minerva Reef by Michael Field Website of the "Principality of Minerva" micronation, which claims the Minerva Reefs "The Danger and Bounty of t
September 2012 raid on Camp Bastion
The September 2012 raid on Camp Bastion was a Taliban raid on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan's Helmand province on the night of 14 September 2012. The base hosted British and Tongan military personnel at the time of the attack; the Taliban fighters killed two U. S. Marines and destroyed or damaged eight U. S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harriers before the entire raiding force was captured; the Taliban claimed that the raid was in response to the film, Innocence of Muslims, have stated that Prince Harry, stationed at the base at the time, was the target of the attack. To replace the aircraft lost in the attack, the USMC deployed 14 Harriers to Afghanistan 36 hours after the raid; the raid was a complex and coordinated assault by 15 Taliban fighters, wearing ACU pattern camouflage and using several types of weapons, which took place on the eastern side of Camp Bastion near the US Marine's aircraft hangars at 22:00 local time. The assault team penetrated the perimeter of the camp, guarded by troops from the United Kingdom and Tonga, separated into three teams to carry out the attack.
One team engaged a group of USMC mechanics from VMM-161. Another group attacked the aircraft, the last group was engaged at the base cryogenics compound; the group that attacked the aircraft attached explosive charges to several jets fired rocket-propelled grenades at others. The attackers were killed or captured during a four-hour firefight by US Marines and the No. 51 Squadron RAF Regiment, along with helicopter support supplied by a British Apache AH1, a USMC AH-1W SuperCobra and machine-gun equipped UH-1Y Venoms from the USMC unit HMLA-469, which took off while under fire from the insurgents. The RAF troops, who were located on the opposite side of the huge base, arrived at the scene 12 minutes after the attack began; some of the pilots and maintainers from Marine Attack Squadron 211 fought as infantrymen, killing one attacker and injuring another, trying to fire an RPG at a group defending the flight line. This was the first time the squadron had fought since the Battle of Wake Island, when most of their planes had been destroyed in a surprise Japanese attack.
Marines from VMM-161 killed one group of five Taliban with small arms fire as they tried to advance down the flight line area. A second group of five insurgents was flushed out of hiding hours and shot by No. 51 Squadron RAF Regiment and USMC forces in a compound near their entry point. The final group of five insurgents was detected near the flight line hours and four were killed by gunfire from the RAF quick reaction force and orbiting helicopters; the fifth insurgent was captured. During the early portion of the fighting, the VMA-211 squadron commander, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Raible, 40, was killed when an anti-personnel rocket propelled grenade struck the side of the building that houses the squadrons work spaces; the rocket struck the side of the building containing the medical section. Lt. Col. Raible, after hearing several explosions outside the building, left his office to investigate when the rocket struck. A piece of shrapnel from the rocket struck him in the neck, causing him to bleed to the point of incapacity before organizing a defense.
Killed nearby was USMC mechanic Sergeant Bradley Atwell, 27, while taking cover behind ground support equipment on the flight line. Atwell and Raible were killed by a single RPG round. Seventeen US and UK personnel were injured. Six AV-8B Harrier IIs and a United States Air Force C-130 were destroyed and another two Harriers damaged. Three refuelling stations were destroyed and six soft-skin aircraft hangars damaged; the attack was described as "the worst loss of U. S. airpower in a single incident since the Vietnam War." The eight destroyed or damaged aircraft constituted six percent of the USMC's inventory of Harrier attack jets. Normal attrition of the USMC's Harrier jets is around two airframes a year. To replace the aircraft lost in the attack, the USMC deployed 14 Harriers to Afghanistan within 36 hours of the raid; the Taliban claimed that the raid was in response to the film Innocence of Muslims, have stated that Prince Harry, stationed at the base at the time, was the target of the attack.
The BBC claimed that the attack "bore all the hallmarks of the Haqqani network". The ISAF claimed a week that it had captured one of the raid's planners. Marine Major General Charles M. Gurganus was in charge of the base defenses and had reduced the number of Marines patrolling the base perimeter from 325 to 100 one month before the attack. After pressure from the families of those killed or injured in the battle, the US Senate put Gurganus' promotion to Lieutenant General on hold. On 30 September 2013, USMC Commandant James F. Amos announced that he had found Gurganus and USMC Major General Gregg A. Sturdevant to be accountable for failures of the base defenses during the raid. Sturdevant was in charge of USMC aviation assets in that region of Afghanistan. Both were directed to retire from the USMC at their current ranks of Major General; the Marine Corps stated Gurganus "bore final accountability for the lives and equipment under his charge," and he "made an error in judgment when conducting his risk assessment of the enemy's capabilities and intentions."
Sturdevant, the USMC said, "did not adequately assess the force protection situation". Both men retired honorably and with full benefits. According to NBC News, a senior U. S. defense official remarked that if Gurganus was not a general he would have faced a court martial, which would have prevented retirement with full benefits. "Marines are dead a