Archive for August 5, 2011
Staff Sgt. Christopher Adolf, a cavalry scout platoon sergeant with the 82nd Airborne Division twirls a chemical light to mark a landing zone for a medevac helicopter during a field exercise July 28, 2011, at Fort Bragg, N.C. Click on the photo to enlarge.
For a photo slideshow of the exercise, click here.
Nelson Jobim Clashed with President
Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim has resigned – reportedly after clashing with new President Dilma Rouseff over her handling of the military. Jobim is the third cabinet member to leave in the first seven months of Rouseff’s presidency, according to the Chistian Science Monitor’s Latin America blog.
Last Fall (Oct. 21), 4GWAR reported on Jobim’s speech at George Washington University outlining Brazil’s new strategic defense plan to safeguard its natural resources in the Amazon region and along its coastline, and create jobs through technology transfer from other countries.
Technology transfer was a key element of Brazil’s plan to acquire more than 30 jet fighters to upgrade the Air Force. Brazil was close to buying the Rafale made by France’s Dassault for an estimated $6 billion. The deal was more expensive than ones offered for America’s Boeing F-18 Super Hornet or Sweden’s Grippen fighter, made by Saab AB. But the French deal included the rights to the high tech avionics and sensors as well as the finished aircraft. That would enable Brazil to manufacture and upgrade its own aircraft rather than relying on foreign companies.
But Rouseff reportedly thought the price tag was too big and decided to restart the bidding process, says Aljazeera.
Jobin will be replaced at the Defense Ministry by former Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.
Defense Ministry Buying Two C295s
The defense ministry of the West African nation of Ghana is buying two C295 medium-sized transport planes from Airbus Military, a unit of EADS.
According to EADS North America, Ghana’s Air Force plans to use the twin-engine turboprop cargo planes to move troops “and other security agencies” across the country “and within the West African” sub-region.
The short take off and landing aircraft can also be used for medical evacuation, transporting paratroops, training and humanitarian operations – including assisting organizations such as United Nations peace missions. Ghana has sent troops on peacekeeping missions to Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The rear-loading aircraft can transport 71 troops or five standard cargo pallets or air drop 50 paratroopers.
Under a contract signed with Airbus Military, the Ghanian Defense Ministry is to take delivery starting in 2012. Financial details were not disclosed but according to the website GhanaWeb, the contract announcement comes just a week after Ghana’s parliament approved $105.4 million to purchase “a number of aircraft.”
While there’s no indication Ghana intends to use the C295s for maritime patrols, the the South African website Defence Web notes there has been a dramatic increase in pirates attacks in the Gulf of Guinea. That could increase as more and more oil is shipped from the region. Ghana, expected to be a major oil producer soon, began production in December 2010.