Friday, April 28, 2017

Pentagon Identifies Two Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan Raid - Ranger Regiment members

The Department of Defense has released the identities of the two Special Operations Forces Soldiers killed while conducting a dismounted operation with Afghan National Defence and Security Forces on 26 April 2017.The raid was in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel in Nangarhar Province,Eastern Afghanistan,where they fell to small arms fire from ISIL-K militants.Another Soldier sustained minor injuries in the battle near Achin district.
The engagement began on Wednesday at about 2230 hours local time and lasted over three hours,according to Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis,USN.About 50 US Army Rangers and 40 Afghan commandos participated.Supported by close air support from fighter aircraft,attack helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles,in the event,they killed several ISIL-K leaders and militants,about 35 in total.An investigation into the battle is ongoing,to include a possibility that the Rangers were killed by friendly fire,the Pentagon said.
Both men were assigned to 3rd Battalion,75th Ranger Regiment out of Fort Benning,Georgia.Killed in action were:
Sgt.Joshua P. Rodgers,22,of Bloomington,Illinois and
Sgt.Cameron H. Thomas,23,of Kettering,Ohio.
Both Soldiers enlisted in the Army after High School graduation and were selected for Ranger training.They were on their third tours in Afghanistan.
SGT Rodgers had been decorated with the Army Achievement Medal,Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star,and the NATO Medal.
SGT Thomas had been decorated with the Joint Service Achievement Medal,Joint Meritorious Unit Award,and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star,as well as the NATO Medal.*
The 75th Ranger Regiment describes itself as a unique Special Operations Force,the Army's Premier Raid Force.Its specially selected and well-trained Soldiers are constantly tested for the privilege of serving in the Regiment.The 75th provides a range of capabilities not found in any other SOF or conventional force,conducting large-scale joint forcible entry operations while simultaneously executing surgical special operations raids across the globe.General Creighton Abrams created the Ranger Battalions in 1974 as an elite force setting the standards for the Army.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bulletin:Two More US Soldiers Die in Afghanistan Combat - joint US/Afghan raid

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis,USN,announced that two US Special Operations Forces members were killed in action overnight in Nangarhar Province of Eastern Afghanistan.A third US Soldier was wounded but is expected to survive.They were on a raid with Afghan National Defence and Security Forces members in a village near Achin district.The area has been a hotbed of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan militants,who have been posing a threat to US and ANDSF Soldiers operating in the area.*
ISIL refers to Nangarhar as Khorasan Province.*
The battleground was in the same area where US Army Staff Sergeant Mark R DeAlencar was killed in action on a similar raid on 8 April,just over two weeks ago.In response,the US dropped a Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb,or MOAB,formally designated the GBU-43.The 11-tonne weapon was targeted at a complex of ISIL-K tunnels in Achin district,and killed between 36-100 of the Islamist extremists,by Afghan estimates.The US has yet to disclose any bomb damage assessment.*
The American deaths came after a long day of fighting,according to an Afghan military official.US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had recently made a secret visit to the Afghan capital Kabul to discuss the deteriorating security situation in the country with President Ashraf Ghani and other Afghan leaders.Commander of all US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General John Nicholson,US Army,has told Congress that,in fact,a few thousand more troops are needed for train,advise and assist,as well as counterterrorism operations,in the beleaguered nation,in addition to the 8400 US service members currently serving there and about 5,000 from other NATO and partner nations.GEN Nicholson wants to drive ISIL-K out of Afghanistan by the end of 2017 because it is important for the world,which would leave the Taliban and remnant al-Qaida forces to deal with.
Mr.Mattis has yet to make a recommendation on Afghanistan to President Donald Trump.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Donbass War: Every Day (So Far) - Eastern Ukraine,Russian-backed rebels vs. Ukrainian Army

Holding Ground: battalion defensive training in Ukraine

published 23 April 2017:Soldiers Exchange Fire With Enemy – US Army in Ukraine Extremely Realistic Training...

NATO's Combined Resolve VIII:Building a Rapid and Lethal Combat Force for Central and Eastern Europe

A major NATO exercise is underway at the US Army's Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels Training Areas in Southeast Germany.The extensive drills are running from 19 April to 16 June 2017,with over 3400 troops from 10 NATO Allies and partners.Those participating include:
Albania;Finland;Hungary;Kosovo;Lithuania;Macedonia;Romania;Slovenia;Ukraine;and the US Army's European Rotational Force,as represented by the Mission Command Element and 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team,4th Infantry Division,out of Fort Carson,Colorado;and the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade out of Fort Drum,New York.
CRVIII has three phases:
1.Combined arms live-fire exercises on Grafenwoehr;
2.Command post exercise;
3.Force-on-force manoeuvre training at the US Army Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels.*
About 1400 4th ID troops were relocated from Zagan,Poland to support the drills.According to 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team,4th ID operations officer Major Jon Alexander:
Participation in this multinational exercise not only demonstrates our ability to freely move an armoured brigade around Europe;it provides the best opportunities to train with as many Allies as possible,so that we are collectively stronger as a fighting force.*
The movement of the 3/4 ABCT from Poland to Germany took about two weeks.The ABCT's Tactical Command Post (TAC) was set up by 29 March.Relocating this HQ was to further support the NATO Allies in the combined environment of the Training Areas.Its mission is to support multiple field exercises such as CR VIII and Saber Guardian 17,which are multinational joint operations.
3/4 ABCT is the current heavy brigade in rotation for Operation Atlantic Resolve,the effort to strengthen NATO's battle force in Europe.*
The TAC was set up to control the fight and battle track while the larger Tactical Operations Center (TOC) is being moved.There was 100% accountability of all personnel,equipment and sensitive items in 48 hours.The 3/4 ABCT will repeatedly mass and move around Central and Eastern Europe to demonstrate the ability to freely and rapidly manoeuvre an armoured force across Alliance member-states.The equipment being moved includes the TOCs;M1A2 Abrams tanks;and M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles.Exercising the rapid mobility of a brigade and its more than 2600 pieces of equipment has become muscle memory to the Soldiers involved,noted Captain Alex Carreon,TAC officer in charge with HHC Brigade.

Missile Defense Agency OK’s Next Design Phase For Long-Range Radar - Defense Daily Network

Missile Defense Agency OK’s Next Design Phase For Long-Range Radar - Defense Daily Network: The U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA’s) Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) program completed its preliminary design review in March, clearing the way

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

F-35: The Centerpiece of 21st Century Global Security

Awesome USAF Lockheed F-35As at RAF Lakenheath

U.S. Air Force Deploys F-35A Strike Fighters To England

Strengthening NATO:US Air Force Sends F-35s to Europe

On 15 April 2017,US Air Force F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters deployed to Europe for the first time,landing at RAF Lakenheath,England,US European Command announced.According to General Curtis M. Scaparrotti,US Army,EUCOM commander and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe:
These aircraft,plus more importantly,the men and women who operate them,fortifies the capacity and capability of our NATO Alliance.*
The warplanes are from the 358th and 419th Fighter Wings out of Hill Air Force Base,Utah.They will train with America's European Allies over a period of several weeks,including forward deployment to maximise training opportunities;strengthen the NATO Alliance;and gain a broad familiarity of Europe's defence operating conditions,EUCOM said.Air Force General Tod D. Wolters,commander,US Air Forces Europe and US Air Forces Africa,added:
As we and our joint F-35 partners bring this aircraft into our inventories,it's important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of Allied nations.
EUCOM cited the F-35's state-of-the-art sensors;interoperability;and vast array of advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions as assets that will help maintain the fundamental territorial and air sovereignty rights of all nations.The Lightning II has unprecedented precision attack capability versus current and emerging threats with unmatched lethality,survivability and interoperability,EUCOM pointed out.*
This F-35A mission is part of the Pentagon's European Reassurance Initiative,which was enacted following Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for rebels in Eastern Ukraine.The Initiative is meant to increase the confidence of the NATO Allies in America's commitment to help defend them and deter Russian aggression.*
The number of F-35As involved in the deployment has not been disclosed.Hill AFB has a total of 20 F-35s,which is planned to climb to 78 by 2019.Colonel David Smith,419th Fighter Wing commander,noted that:
This aircraft can collect all kinds of information;give it to the pilot;and we can share that information with our partners.*
Lockheed Martin is prime contractor for the F-35 Lightning II.*
Lockheed Martin (LMT)

Sunday, April 16, 2017

British Army Iraq Tribute - Castle of Glass by Linkin Park - austere environment theme

Ballad of the Green Berets - 2013 - Afghanistan Tribute - in memory of Staff Sergeant Mark R. DeAlencar

US Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Firefight Identified

The Pentagon announced that Staff Sergeant Mark R DeAlencar,37,of Edgewood,Maryland,died on 8 April 2017 in Nangarhar Province,Afghanistan,when his unit took small arms fire from ISIL militants during combat operations with Afghan National Defence and Security Forces.SSGT DeAlencar was assigned to 1st Battalion,7th Special Forces Group (Airborne),based at Eglin Air Force Base,Florida.
The Green Beret was a graduate of Joppatowne High School in Harford County,Maryland.He was the husband of Natasha DeAlencar and the father of five.His body was flown to Dover AFB,Delaware,where it was received in a dignified manner.He is to be interred in Arlington National Cemetery.
SSGT DeAlencar was serving in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel,the US role in NATO's Resolute Support Mission,which consists of train,advise and assist activities,as well as counterterrorism operations.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Colin Cookman on Shifting ISIS Tactics in Afghanistan - BBC

France Air force Jet Bombs ISIS Command Center

F-22 Raptor Refueling Operations over Iraq and Syria: Night Vision

Britain's secretive and lethal force in Syria - BBC News

OIR Coalition Forces Engage ISIL in Ground Combat in Syria,Afghanistan - American combat death

Two battles between the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition and militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant on Saturday point up the danger faced by US and British Special Operations Forces in country as well as their indigenous colleagues as they engage the ISIL menace directly or indirectly.A US SOF member was killed in action against ISIL-Khorasan in Afghanistan,according to US Navy Captain Bill Salvin,Spokesman for US Forces-Afghanistan and NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Kabul.In a press release on 8 April 2017,CAPT Salvin said the US service member was killed while conducting operations against ISIL-Khorasan in Nangarhar Province of Eastern Afghanistan.The American was a member of the SOF team fighting ISIL along with Afghan National Defence and Security Forces in Achin District of Nangarhar.No further information was released pending notification of next of kin.
The Afghan War is now,at more than 15 years in length,the longest war in US history.In the course of the war,at least 2249 US troops have died,as well as hundreds of other NATO and coalition troops.Some 20,210 American soldiers have been wounded in the conflict.
ISIL refers to Nangarhar as being its "Khorasan Province."*
Meanwhile in Syria,about 30 ISIL militants staged a raid on an OIR coalition Special Operations Forces base used by both US and British SOFs,as well as OIR-affiliated Syrian rebels.The al-Tanf base,near the Jordanian border,came under attack after US forces had withdrawn into the desert following the launch of 59 cruise missiles against a Syrian government air base,in retaliation for an Assad regime use of chemical weapons against civilians.The Islamist extremists,dressed in Syrian rebel uniforms,stormed the base with suicide bombers who blew the gate up.The surviving militants surged onto the base and opened fire on the inhabitants.A fierce,three-hour firefight erupted when US SOFs and their Syrian colleagues rushed back from the desert to drive ISIL out.Two of the Syrian allies were killed in the battle,despite intensive OIR coalition close air support.No US casualties were reported;nor was information released regarding British SOF participation in the battle,as is customary in the very close-mouthed British special operations approach.
The ISIL assault on the al-Tanf base was described by a US official as having been serious,complex and coordinated.The facility is used for train,advise and assist by OIR coalition SOFs and their Syrian rebel allies.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Navair Progresses Toward Mid-Year VH-92 presidential helicopter Maiden Flight - Rotor & Wing

Navair Progresses Toward Mid-Year VH-92 Maiden Flight - Rotor & Wing: Sikorsky’s U.S. presidential helicopter replacement, the VH-92, is scheduled to make its maiden flight this summer under a plan to replace two legacy fleets of “white top” VIP rotorcraft. Three years into the Naval Air Systems Command program, Sikorsky has delivered two engineering development model aircraft and is ahead of its contractual schedule, according to …

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

British supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth

Australian F-18s & British Eurofighters Get Gas Over Iraq

RAF Typhoons Take Off To Head To Cyprus For IS Airstrikes

UK Defence Minister Sets Forth British Posture in Europe,the Middle East and Southwest Asia - extremely watchful

On 31 March,British Minister of Defence Sir Michael Fallon enumerated British military activities in Europe,the Middle East and Southwest Asia at a joint press conference with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis following their London talks:
From Afghanistan to South Sudan,our men and women are working together with our friends and allies to defend the international rules-based system,and we have no closer friend than the United States.We began today by reviewing our efforts to combat international terrorism and global extremism.In Iraq and Syria,we stand shoulder to shoulder as leading members of the counter-Daesh coalition.Today,Daesh - aka ISIL - is failing.In Iraq,Daesh is clinging to its last stronghold,though 40% of West Mosul has been liberated and hundreds of thousands are returning to their homes.*
Meanwhile,our two nations are providing reassurance to our European allies in the wake of Russian aggression.We are leading NATO's enhanced forward presence.By next week,Britain will have 800 troops in Estonia,and 150 personnel in a reconnaissance squadron serving alongside US forces in Poland.In May,we will send four RAF Typhoons to Romania as part of NATO's mission to protect the Black Sea skies.This I part of the biggest deployment in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War.*
The second item on our agenda was about making the NATO Alliance fitter and faster.Fairer burden-sharing is the key here.Only five members have met the two percent target,the US and the UK among them.Our defence budget in Britain is growing every year and remains the biggest in Europe;but Secretary Mattis and I have agreed that others must now raise their game;and those failing to meet their two percent commitment so far should at least agree to year-on-year real term increases.
At the end of this year,we will own 14 F-35 aircraft,and I welcome the commitment by the US to deploy F-35Bs on the HMS Elizabeth on its first operational deployment in 2021.*
On the issue of Russia having perhaps violated the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty with the United States,that is something that we think needs to be taken forward,not just by the US,but by NATO generally,once we have those violations confirmed.
There's a pattern now of interference by Russia in different parts of the globe that needs us to be,when we engage with Russia,wary of what Russia is up to,and that is why there cannot be,at the moment,any return to business as usual with Russia.We need to be extremely watchful now of this persistent pattern of Russian interference.*
We're not sending combat troops back to Afghanistan.We last year increased our troops in Afghanistan and we continue to wait for advice on the continuance of Resolute Support for 2018.As you know,we are helping staff the Officer's Academy;we assist on counterterrorism;and we are engaged in supplying the bulk of the Kabul Protection Force;but we're not planning to return back to combat in Afghanistan,UK Minister of Defence Sir Michael Fallon told journalists gathered in London for his meeting with US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.*
In the Middle East,the UK participates in the air campaign of Operation Inherent Resolve both in Iraq and Syria,as well as train,advise and assist efforts in Iraq and also Afghanistan in Southwest Asia.
Britain is as well moving to modernise its nuclear deterrent with the plan to build four new Trident II D5 ballistic missile submarines,and is building a large aircraft carrier,HMS Queen Elizabeth.