Sunday, January 29, 2017

New Details,Updated Special Report:Navy SEAL Killed in Combat with Al-Qaida - Trump's first ground combat operation

More than 15 years after al-Qaida pulled off the bloody 9-11 attacks on the US mainland,a US Navy SEAL was killed in firefight action in Yemen during a pre-dawn raid against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula,an actively anti-Western organisation,over the weekend,and four others were wounded,the Pentagon said,as President Donald Trump ordered his first ground combat operation.AH-64 Apache helicopters and fighter jets provided close air support during the raid,which was aimed at gathering intelligence on future plans by al-Qaida directed against the US,and indeed did so successfully.Foreign troops assisted the US,as UAE commandos participated in the raid.*
About 14 al-Qaida in the Arabian Penninsula militants were killed in the raid,plus up to several dozen civilian relatives of the Islamist extremists,who had gathered at a headquarters facility in either the Shawba or Bayda governate next door to chew the narcotic plant called "qat,"in accordance with Yemeni tradition.Several civilian homes were possibly destroyed in the pitched battle that raged from nighttime till dawn,beginning with an air assault by the SEALs of Team Six-meaning they arrived by helicopter or possibly tilt-rotor MV-22 Ospreys.One MV-22 indeed crash-landed at a staging area when it undertook a rescue mission for injured troops,resulting in another injury.The plane was destroyed on the ground by friendly aircraft in order to protect sensitive information. *
Both al-Qaida and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant have been active in Yemen in recent years,taking advantage of the civil war in the country between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Houthi rebel tribesmen in order to expand their influence.*
The SEAL killed has been identified as Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens,36,of Peoria,Illinois.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said of CSWO Owens in a statement of condolence:
Ryan gave his full measure for our nation,and in performing his duty,he upheld the noblest standard of military service.The US would not long exist,were it not for the selfless commitment of such warriors.*
In the course of his career,CSWO Owens had been decorated with:
two Bronze Star Medals;Afghanistan Campaign Medal;Joint Service Commendation Medal;Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal;Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal;and the National Defense Service Medal.*
Planning for the raid had begun under former President Barack Obama;but was authorised by President Donald Trump,an anonymous defence official revealed.It was intended to be a clandestine operation,and would not have been disclosed,were it not for the death of CSWO Owens.

Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Call with German Minister of Defense Ursu

Readout of Secretary Mattis’ Call with German Minister of Defense Ursu: Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis provided the following readout: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke today by telephone with German Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen to introduce himself

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

LHD Adelaide embarks US Marines, part II

LHD Adelaide embarks US Marines, part I

Australian Army Training alongside U.S. Marines at Talisman Sabre 2015 -...

US Marines Add More Combat Aircraft to Their Rotation in Australia

Having brought their personnel numbers in Australia up from an initial 200 in 2012 to 1250 in 2016,and planning to double this to 2500 by 2020,the US Marines are now more than tripling the number of combat aircraft accompanying their troops from four in 2016 up to 13 in 2017.This year,the complement of aircraft will include:
four MV-22 Ospreys,whose long range and speed make them ideal for Asia-Pacific island-hopping;
five AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters;
and four UH-1Y Venom helicopters.
This Aviation Combat Element will be hosted at RAAF Darwin.It is being described by the Marines as being more diverse and capable than previous deployments.All of the aircraft will be drawn from units in Hawaii.The next six-month rotation begins in April 2017,with most of the Marines coming from 3rd Battalion,4th Marine Regiment,out of Camp Pendleton,California. *
The US has used Australia as a base for many decades and in many different respects,explains Australian Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne,whether it's cyber security information gathering,the Marines in Darwin and the Air Force.Australia has real capability in maintaining and sustaining our aircraft and American aircraft.The Americans know that if they send their aircraft to Australia and they need to be maintained or sustained in some particular way,it can be done here.*
In October,the US and Australia reached a cost-sharing agreement for the 25-year long pact that will improve the Northern Territory infrastructure and pay for ongoing costs,settling a squabble over just how the Marine Corps rotations will be funded.The rotational programme furthers the US aim of rebalancing its forces to the Asia-Pacific,while bolstering Australia's defence against a growing menace from China and North Korea.*
When the Marines reach 2500 troops,they will have a full Marine Air-Ground Task Force with all of its aircraft,vehicles and other equipment in Australia's remote Northern Territory.The pact for this rotational force was signed in 2011 by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard and former President Barack Obama.*
Overall,the Marines are in the process of redistributing their forces to four major Forward Areas of Operation:Japan;Guam;Hawaii;and Australia.This is their part of the new US strategy of rebalancing the military to the Asia-Pacific region.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Trump Participates in First Pass in Review as Commander in Chief

Message to the Department of Defense from Secretary of Defense James M

Message to the Department of Defense from Secretary of Defense James M: ***It’s good to be back and I’m grateful to serve alongside you as Secretary of Defense.Together with the Intelligence Community we are the sentinels and guardians of our nation. We need only look to

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

US Army Airborne Paratroopers Jump Into Latvia

Poland welcomes thousands of American troops with open arms - US Army Europe

Iron Brigade Fires Rounds in Poland - US Army Europe

US Army Ratchets Up Combat Power in Europe

The 1st Battalion,68th Armor Regiment,3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team,4th Infantry Division has arrived in Poland for Live Fire Accuracy Screening Tests.The tests,following extensive training at US bases,began on 16 January 2017.The arrival of 3rd ABCT marks the commencement of back to back rotations of an additional armoured brigade for Operation Atlantic Resolve,the US effort to bolster NATO's firepower and confidence.*
More than 2700 pieces of equipment were shipped to Poland for certification before dispersal across the continent for training missions.The equipment includes M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M1A2 Main Battle Tanks.*
The rotations of ABCTs will enhance deterrence capabilities;improve the US ability to respond to potential crises;and defend allies and partners in the European community.The focus will be on strengthening capabilities and sustaining readiness through bilateral and multinational training exercises.*
These armour certification tests are taking place at the Presidential Range in Swietozow,Poland.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Midshipman Awarded Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Heroism

Midshipman Awarded Navy and Marine Corps Medal for Heroism: A USNA midshipmen received the highest non-combat decoration awarded for heroism by the Department of the Navy Jan. 10.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


F-16 and Flares Over Afghanistan - Dec 2016 - Operation Freedom's Sentinel

KC-135 Stratotanker Air Refuels a RC-135 Rivet Joint - Operation Freedom...

Military Intelligence:USAF RC-135 Still Active in Afghanistan - classic ISR plane

A longtime US Air Force reconnaissance asset,the RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft,a reconfigured Boeing C-135,continues its intelligence collecting legacy in Afghanistan.A new photo of the aircraft being refueled in Afghan skies was tweeted by the Department of Defense on 10 January 2016 and a video has been released as well.A KC-135 Stratotanker of the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron is shown refueling the Rivet Joint on 3 January 2016.The squadron is actively engaged in tactical air refueling operations which extend kinetic and non-kinetic capabilities,the Air Force said.*
According to Air Force magazine,the RC-135 is perhaps the most potent airborne intelligence-gathering platform in history.It conducts ELINT and COMINT intercept operations out to 150 miles.Later models of the plane are characterised by the variety and complexity of electronic suites,sporting additional antennae,radar platforms,bulges,stings and other less-than-aerodynamic shapes to accommodate the exotic electronics.*
From Vietnam to Operations Urgent Fury in Grenada and Desert Storm in Iraq,on to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan,and now Operation Freedom's Sentinel,the US roles in NATO'S Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan,the plane's onboard sensor suite has detected,identified and geolocated signals throughout the electromagnetic spectrum,fowarding them to a wide range of consumers via Rivet Joint's extensive communications suite,the Air Force continues,supporting both theatre and national level consumers with near real time in country intelligence collection,analysis and dissemination capabilities.*
The 17 Rivet Joint aircraft,operated by 55th Wing,are based at Offut Air Force Base,Nebraska by crewed by up to 32 Airmen,including the flight crew of up to 3 pilots and 2 navigators;the mission flight crew of a minimum of 3 electronic warfare officers;14 intelligence operators and 4 inflight/airborne maintenance technicians.
Great Britain's Royal Air Force also flies the RC-135 Rivet Joint.*
Boeing (BA)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

French F-2 Rafale Fighters refuel in support of Operation Inherent Resolve

Operation Inherent Resolve: U.S. F-16s Fighting Falcons & AWACS Refuel O...

Battle of Mosul 2016 - US Army Artillery & M142 HIMARS Heavy Fire Suppor...

Mosul Liberation Strategy is Three-Pronged Offensive,CENTCOM Says

According to the latest US Central Command news release dated 29 December 2016,the Iraqi Security Forces have launched a simultaneous three-pronged attack on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant's northern stronghold of Mosul,Iraq's second largest city,with a population of 664,221 as of 2015.The offensive is backed by the anti-ISIL Operation Inherent Resolve coalition air and artillery strikes.*
On the North Axis,units of the Iraqi Army 16th Division advanced south to claim more neighbourhoods.
On the East Axis,Counter Terrorism Service units pushed west and south along two fronts.
On the South Axis,federal police units began clearing neighbourhoods to the north.
The advance opens up two new fronts within the city,Iraqi officials said,hindering ISIL's ability to generate forces;move fighters;or resupply.*
Since the Mosul campaign began on 17 October 2016,the OIR coalition has struck the Islamist extremists with more than 7650 munitions.It restruck two Mosul bridges on 27 December and disabled the last bridge crossing the Tigris River in Mosul on 26 December.Such strikes crimp enemy freedom of movement and further disrupt ISIL's ability to reinforce,resupply and use VBIEDs in Eastern Mosul.
Besides air and artillery strikes,OIR provides Iraqi units with operational advice and assistance,as well as intelligence and logistics support at the request of the ISF.US Army Lieutenant General Sean McFarland is commander of OIR.