Tuesday, August 26, 2014

U-2 Spy Plane - Prep & Takeoff

Modern U-2 Spy Plane Landing at Undisclosed Location

Intel Gathering Over Syria Begins-possibly with the U-2 spy plane

We have a fundamentalist state in the center of the Middle East,General Michael V. Hayden,US Air Force Retired,former director of both the CIA and NSA,said of the Islamic State-also called ISIL or ISIS.We have got to take the wood to ISIS and clearly make them less capable.It's a government and an army.We need to begin to treat ISIS territory the way we have treated Waziristan,the Islamic militant stronghold in Pakistan,making them wary about their own security.*
There was genuine grief,genuine anger in the President's statement on the beheading of the journalist James Foley by ISIS in Syria.The question I have is,what are we going to do about it?I think we have to do more to degrade them.The tide of war is not receding.We might have to do it with some of our own forces on the ground,GEN Hayden noted.*
President Obama has just ordered the beginning of reconnaissance flights over Syria,a precursor to possible airstrikes on the Islamic State heartland.The militants had seized an airfield in Northern Syria on Monday.You have no allies to speak of in Syria;zero intelligence in Eastern Syria where ISIL is concentrated,said Bob Baer,formerly with the CIA.*
A possible choice to carry out at least some of the recon is the Lockheed U-2 spyplane,which can fly at 70,000 feet,day or night and in all-weather.It has superior cameras and sensors to the RQ-4 Global Hawk drone.The House Armed Services Committee has forbidden the expenditure of funds on the retirement,planned retirement or storage of the U-2 in its 2015 budget markup.*
U-2 units that could be tasked with Syrian overflights are the US Air Force 99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron out of Al Dahfra Air Base,UAE;or the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron Detachment 3 out of RAF Akrotiri,Cyprus.*
Lockheed Martin(LMT)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kurdish Anti-terror Forces (Dizha Tiror) Fighting Against ISIS/ISIL in J...

Kurdish Forces Fight Isis in Iraq

Militants Repulse Iraqi Army-but US Navy aircraft help retake dam

Islamic State militants held their position in the Iraqi city of Tikrit against an attempt to recapature it Tuesday by the Iraqi army,Iraqi officers told the Reuters news agency.Tikrit was the hometown of the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.The Iraqi forces were checked by heavy fires from mortars and machine guns south of Tikrit,and land mines and snipers west of town.*
Despite the Iraqi effort,the militants continued to patrol the streets of Tikrit,maintaining their dominance.Over the weekend,however,US Navy F/A-18 fighter jets and Predator drones carried out 35 sorties on the militants holding the Mosul Dam area north of Mosul city,striking 90 targets ranging from military vehicles and checkpoints,to firing positions.This air support for Kurdish special operations forces and Iraqi troops resulted in the recapture of the strategically vital dam from the militants,who nonetheless continue to firmly grasp Mosul itself.The dam supplies water and hydroelectric power to a vast portion of the country,including the capital Baghdad.*
Analysts believe that US air power alone cannot defeat the militants,and some US combat troops will eventually be needed to complete the task.It's a view shared by Congressman Peter King,R-NY,member of the House Homeland Security Committee.I don't think we need large amounts,he said.I think by arming the Kurds and by working with the Iraqi army,by having leadership in there,that we can do it,and also massive use of our air power-all of that together,I believe,is sufficient without any large number of ground troops at all.*
There are roughly 1,000 US troops currently serving in Iraq,but they are in support roles such as advising,security and intelligence,rather than offensive combat operations.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

F/A-18 Super Hornets are launched from USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77)-Warning,very loud

F-18 Super Hornets, USS Nimitz, Launch/Recovery, Flight Operations

Navy Air Strikes Continue in Iraq;More Troops Arrive

US Navy fighter jets struck another Islamic State militant position today,taking out a mortar just to the north of Mt.Sinjar.The mortar position threatened the thousands of Yazidi people camped on the mountain for refuge.The militants want to get rid of them in their campaign of ethnic cleansing.*
This same humanitarian crisis has resulted in 129 more US military advisors being sent to Iraq.There were already 250 of them engaged in assessing,advising and assisting the Iraqi military.Many of these advisors are special operations troops.*
In addition to these US forces,there are an additional 450 providing security to the US Embassy and Baghdad International Airport.If the additional 75 US troops are sent to Mt.Sinjar to assess the number of Yazidi people there and how best to evacuate them,there would be 829 pairs of American boots on the ground.All the troops are authorised to defend themselves,but not to conduct offensive operations.*
In addition to the ground forces,the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George W. Bush(CVN 77) has provided the airpower in the current Iraqi campaign,with the exception of the drones that have also been in use.The Boeing F/A-18 Hornets or Super Hornets have been dropping GPS/laser guided bombs on militant positions,but can also deliver air-to-ground missiles.Both aircraft can fly at up to Mach 1.7 at a ceiling of 50,000 feet.
With three external fuel tanks and four 1,000 pound bombs,the Hornets have a range of 369 nautical miles;the Super Hornets have a range of 486 nautical miles.The Hornets have a wingspan of 40.4 feet and a length of 56.0 feet;the Super Hornets have a wingspan of 44.9 feet and a length of 60.3 feet.There are about 60 aircraft aboard the George H.W. Bush,manned and maintained by an air wing of 1500 personnel.*
Military cargo planes from the US,France and Great Britain have been dropping humanitarian aid to the Yazidi people,a religious minority in Northern Iraq.*

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen meets Gen. Joseph Dunford a...

American Two Star General Dies in Attack on NATO Troops

An Afghan man the Kabul government described as a terrorist in uniform shot a US Army major general dead and wounded up to 15 other NATO troops Tuesday,Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said.The gunman was wearing military clothing and fired on the allied troops with a light machine gun at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University in Kabul,Afghanistan,where Afghan commissioned and non-commissioned officers are trained at the British-led academy.The NATO soldiers were on a routine site visit,RADM Kirby told reporters.*
Believed to be among the wounded are a German general and at least seven Americans and five British troops.Some of them were seriously wounded;others received only minor injuries.
The general who was killed has been identified as General Harold J. Greene,deputy commanding general of the Combined Security Transition Command.A 34-year veteran,he is the highest ranking US soldier to have been killed in either the the Iraq or Afghan War,which began in 2001 following the 9-11 attacks.*
The so-called green on blue attack is the latest of a long series of similar incidents,many of them attributed to disgruntled Afghan National Security Forces personnel.*
Army Lieutenant General Timothy J. Maude died in the 9-11 attack on the Pentagon.*
General Joseph F. Dunford,Jr.,US Marine Corps,Commander of ISAF forces in Afghanistan,briefed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel on the incident this morning.The attack will be jointly investigated by ISAF and Afghan personnel.ISAF consists of NATO troops and those of partner nations.
Most US and allied forces are to be withdrawn by the end of 2014,but plans to leave a limited number of trainers and special operations troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 are on hold until the disputed Afghan presidential election is resolved.An audit of the election finally began on Sunday even as squabbling between the parties continued,with one candidate's supporters boycotting the audit.