Posts filed under ‘Skills and Training’

ARMY: Big AUSA Conference Opens

AUSA.

ausa logo

The Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) holds its annual meeting and trade show this week in Washington starting Monday.

Thousands of visitors in and out of uniform are expected to visit the Washington Convention Center Monday through Wednesday to hear Army leaders and experts talk about where the Army is going and where it should be going in the future.

Speakers include Army Secretary John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno.

The exhibit halls will be filled with all manner of armored vehicle, unmanned aircraft systems, combat gear, communications and sensor technology and smalls arms and protective clothing.

New this year in the exhibit hall: a Homeland Security Pavilion where the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will have a display and companies and organizations offering products and services to support the homeland security mission will be showing their wares.

Since 4GWAR views itself as a counter terrorism blog focusing on the intersection of homeland security and asymmetric warfare, we’ll be taking special interest in this new feature at AUSA.

October 13, 2014 at 12:26 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (October 10, 2014)

Fear Fighters.

U.S. Army photo by Spc.Tyler Kingsbury

U.S. Army photo by Specialist Tyler Kingsbury

It’s been said that the only living creature that runs towards fire is a firefighter. No offense to ‘America’s Heroes,’ but this image seems to indicate there are some other equally brave people out there.

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 40th Cavalry Regiment conduct fire phobia training during at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center  (JMRC) in Hohenfels, Germany. The soldiers in this training exercise are part of a rotation designed to prepare the unit for peace support, stability, and contingency operations.

According to the Facebook page of the 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry: “this training not only prepares the soldiers to deal with fire during a riot, but it builds confidence in their assigned equipment and uniforms.”

October 10, 2014 at 12:55 am Leave a comment

SPECIAL OPERATIONS: Green Berets Cross Florida sound the stealthy way

Infiltration Operation.

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bryan Henson

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bryan Henson

U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers, towing their equipment, swim across Santa Rosa Sound in Northern Florida.

We rarely get to see photos of Green Berets or other Special Operations Forces (SOF) in action – whether in training, as they are here, or in the field.

These troops are from the 7th Special Forces Group, which is based at nearby Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, and focuses on Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. In this exercise they were honing their waterborne infiltration skills before conducting additional missions that included hostage rescue and sensitive site exploitation.

As one can see in the photo below, these swimmers aren’t wearing wet suits or even swim suits. They make their way through the water in their combat uniforms – boots and all.

To see more photos of this exercise, click here.

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bryan Henson

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bryan Henson

Meanwhile, the Italian Army has reconstituted its Special Forces units into a single command, Comando Forze Speciali dell’Esercito (COMFOSEs), according the IHS Jane’s website.

The new command, officially activated September 19 at the Gamerra barracks in Pisa, has been in development for the last 18 months under Brigadier General Nicola Zanelli, who was appointed September 1, 2013, IHS Jane’s said.

September 22, 2014 at 5:30 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 19, 2014)

We Mean Business.

U.S. Army photo by Spc. Joshua Leonard

U.S. Army photo by Specialist Joshua Leonard

Paratroopers from U.S. Army Europe’s 173rd Airborne Brigade show Ukrainian Marines and National Guard Soldiers the proper procedures for clearing a room during Exercise Rapid Trident 2014 in Yavoriv, Ukraine, near the Polish border. Rapid Trident is an annual multinational exercise conducted by U.S. Army Europe and led by Ukraine. The exercise is designed to enhance interoperability with allied and partner nations while promoting regional stability and security.

Below is another view of this particular training session, which shows Bulgarian troops (at the bottom of the frame) as well as the Ukrainians and Americans. . For more photos of Rapid Trident, click here.

U.S. Army photo by Specialist Joshua Leonard

U.S. Army photo by Specialist Joshua Leonard

 

 

September 19, 2014 at 1:33 am Leave a comment

AROUND AFRICA: U.S. Ebola Response, Nigeria College Attacked, U.N. Peacekeepers Killed in Mali UPDATE

Ebola Roundup.

UPDATES Ebola Roundup with aid pledge from Canada, Sierra Leone shutting down for three days and report of health workers and journalists found dead in Guinea.

Disinfecting personal protective garb and equipment at the J. F Kennedy Treatment Center in the capital of Liberia. (WHO photo by Christina Bamluta)

Disinfecting personal protective garb and equipment at the J. F Kennedy Treatment Center in the capital of Liberia. (WHO photo by Christina Bamluta)

The death toll from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has gone over 2,600, according to the World Health Organization.

At least 2,630 people have died and at least 5,357 people have been infected, the WHO said Thursday (September 18), according to Reuters.

In an update on the epidemic, which is raging through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – and has spread to Senegal and Nigeria, the U.N. health agency said there were no signs of the outbreak slowing, said Reuters.

Several Western governments – criticized for not doing enough — have stepped up their assistance in fighting the fast-moving virus, for which there is no known cure.

President Barack Obama says the United States will send 3,000 military personnel to West Africa where they will erect new treatment and isolation facilities, train health care workers and increase communications and transportation support, according to The Associated Press.

President Barack Obama convenes briefing on the Ebola virus at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.  (White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama convenes briefing on the Ebola virus at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.
(White House Photo by Pete Souza)

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the 3,000 troops would not provide direct care to Ebola patients, the AP reported. A substantial number will be stationed at an intermediate base in Senegal, Earnest said, with others at locations in Liberia where they will provide logistical, training, engineering and other support.

Obama said the Ebola outbreak is now an epidemic “of the likes that we have not seen before. It is spiraling out of control … The reality is that this epidemic is going to get worse before it gets better,” Obama said during a visit to the National Centers for Disease Control (CDC) where he consulted with health officials about the U.S. response to Ebola. “Right now, the world has the responsibility to act – to step up, and to do more. The United States of America intends to do more,” Obama added.

France says it will set up a military hospital in West Africa as part of its contribution to the fight against Ebola. President Francois Hollande said Thursday (September 18) that the facility will be set up “in the forests of Guinea, in the heart of the outbreak,” according to Reuters.

UPDATE:

Earlier this week, Canada said it will donate $2.5 million worth of the specialized medical gear used to protect health-care workers who are treating Ebola patients, The Canadian Press reported.

In a bid to reduce its Ebola infection rate, Sierra Leone will “close down” the country for three days beginning Friday (September 19), according to information minister Alpha Kanu.

Current figures show there are 1,400 cases of the Ebola disease in Sierra Leone, according to Kanu, the Voice of America reported. Sierra Leone is one of three hard-hit Western African nations being overwhelmed by the rapidly spreading deadly virus.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports officials in Guinea searching for a team of health workers and journalists who went missing while trying to raise awareness of Ebola have found several bodies.

A spokesman for Guinea’s government said the bodies included those of three journalists in the team. The group was reported missing after being attacked Tuesday (September 16) in a village near the southern city of Nzerekore.

Guinea and its neighbors (CIA World Factbook)

Guinea and its neighbors
(CIA World Factbook)

On Thursday night, a Guinea government spokesman, Albert Damantang Camara, said eight bodies had been found, including those of three journalists.

He said they had been recovered from the septic tank of a primary school in the village, adding that the victims had been “killed in cold blood by the villagers”.

The reason for the killings is unclear, but correspondents say many people in the region distrust health officials and have refused to co-operate with authorities, fearing that a diagnosis means certain death, the BBC said. Last month, riots erupted on rumors that medics who were disinfecting a market were contaminating people.

*** *** ***

Nigeria College Attack

Gunmen have attacked a teacher training college in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, and officials say at least 15 people have been killed, the BBC reports. Another 34 people were injured in the Wednesday (September 17) attack.

The gunmen exchanged fire with police outside the college before running inside. While it is not clear who was responsible for the attack, the BBC said, suspicion will fall on the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009. The group which wants to set up a separate Islamic state in Africa’s most populous country has already killed 2,000 people this year and kidnapped hundreds of high school-age schoolgirls.

*** *** ***

Peacekeepers Killed

A French AMX-10RCR armored reconnaissance vehicle in convoy near Gao, Mali in the drive against Islamist fighters in 2013. (Copyright French Ministry of Defense)

A French AMX-10RCR armored reconnaissance vehicle in convoy near Gao, Mali in the drive against Islamist fighters in 2013.
(Copyright French Ministry of Defense)

The United Nations mission in Mali says five of its peacekeepers from Chad were killed and another three wounded when their vehicle was hit by an explosive device in the north of the country on Thursday (September 18).

The attack brings the number of U.N. peacekeepers killed in the country this month to 10, according to Reuters. The U.N. mission, known as MINUSMA, said the blast happened between the desert towns of Aguelhok and Tessalit, in the Kidal region of the Wester African nation.

MINUSMA was deployed last year to help stabilize Mali following a three-pronged crisis which began with a Tuareg separatist uprising, followed by a military coup in the southern capital and a nine-month occupation in the north by al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants.

The militants were chased out by a French-led intervention, but pockets of insurgents remain in Mali’s vast desert north from where they have launched attacks on the U.N. peacekeepers.

September 18, 2014 at 11:57 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 12, 2014)

Horizontal While Vertical

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos

U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Julio Miranda Jr. rappels down a cliff during Mountain Exercise 2014 at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center  (MCMWTC)  in Bridgeport, California.

Miranda is a rifleman with the 3rd Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. Marines with the 3rd Battalion will become the ground combat element of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in October.

“This isn’t easy for someone doing it their first time,” said Sergeant. Andrew Rector, a unit training instructor with MCMWTC. “Everything in your body is telling you no, don’t walk off that ledge, but you have trust in your equipment and follow the technique.”

The training started with classes on tying basic knots and rappel harnesses, as well as getting a feel for what it’s like to rappel with no gear, according to Sergeant Emmanuel Ramos, who took this photo. After learning the basics, the Marines made their way through the mountainous terrain to a location two kilometers from their camp to begin their rappel assault with day packs and rifles.

The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center teaches a variety of high altitude survival skills as well as mountain and cold weather operations. The center last year started an advanced horsemanship course to teach Special Operations Forces including Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command the necessary skills to enable them to ride horses and move through terrain that can’t be navigated by motor vehicles — as was the case in the early days of the Afghanistan war.

September 12, 2014 at 1:11 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (August 28, 2014)

Dismount!

U.S. Army Photo by Sergeant Christina Dion

U.S. Army Photo by Sergeant Christina Dion

Estonian soldiers leave their armored vehicle and take a defensive position during a simulated training exercise at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany during Saber Junction 14. Saber Junction is an annual large-scale, multinational military exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft and vehicles and thousands of personnel from 16 different nations.

The exercise prepares brigade-level units for worldwide contingency operations. With continuing budget constraints for the foreseeable future, current Pentagon strategy calls for the U.S. military to rely on partner nations — like Estonia – to carry out operations with minimal U.S. presence in their country.  The United States has also been sending U.S. troops to train in Eastern Europe, including Lativia, Lithuania and Estonian as a sign of solidarity with Baltic states and to discourage Russia from further military adventures in Eastern Europe — like the Russian annexation of Ukraine.

The exercise also focuses U.S., NATO, and partner forces on concepts such as decisive land operations through the simultaneous combination of offensive, defensive and stability operations and on interoperability with partnered nations.

August 29, 2014 at 12:20 am Leave a comment

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