Posts filed under ‘Asia-Pacific’

FRIDAY FOTO (January 28, 2022)

Jungle Training.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Jonathan Willcox) Please click on the photo to enlarge image.

Marines participate in a squad competition at Camp Gonsalves, Okinawa, Japan on January 6, 2022.

The week-long competition tests jungle survival skills, basic infantry tactics and weapons handling.

January 27, 2022 at 11:53 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (December 31, 2021)

LUNAR MARINE.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe) Pleas Click on image to enlarge.

No, the Marines’ latest landing wasn’t on the Moon — it just looks that way.

This Marine, assigned to the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, was participating in a high altitude, low opening (HALO) parachute jump over Yokota Air Base, Japan on December 13, 2021. The Marine jumped from an Air Force C-130J Super Hercules assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron.

U.S. Marines and an Air Force Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) specialist conducted week-long jump training using Air Force and Navy aircraft. The training supports the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s dynamic force employment (DFE) concept through agile combat employment (ACE), an effort to conduct training with joint partners while maintaining global peace and security.

This is the last FRIDAY FOTO of 2021. We hope you found them entertaining and informative. Here at 4GWAR Blog, we wish you a safe, prosperous and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

See you in 2022!

 

December 31, 2021 at 6:33 pm 2 comments

SHAKO: Date of Infamy, Date of Remembrance

Dec. 7, 80 Years On

On December 7, 1941, 80 years ago, aircraft of the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the U.S. Naval Base Pearl Harbor, on the island of Oahu, in what was then the U.S. territory of Hawaii.

In the wake of the attack, three stricken U.S. battleships struggle to survive. From left to right: USS West Virginia (severely damaged), USS Tennessee (damaged), and the USS Arizona (sunk). (Photo from National Archives)

 

Also hit during the 75-minute air raid was Hickham Army Air Forces Field and what was then Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay. More than 2,400 military personnel and civilians were killed that day, 1,178 more were wounded. The attack by Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes also sank or damaged 20 Navy vessels and destroyed more than 180 Army, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.

Fortunately, three planned targets — the aircraft carriers USS Enterprise, Lexington and Saratoga — were away from Pearl Harbor that day. They played a key role at the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, as well as other operations in the Pacific Theater. Japanese airmen also failed to attack key infrastructure at Pearl Harbor, including the power station, dry dock, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building — which also housed the intelligence section.

For a detailed account of events during the attack, and developments leading up to war in the Pacific, click here.

After defeating Japan in late summer 1945, United States forces occupied the island nation and began rebuilding its shattered economy and creating a democratic form of government. The United States still maintains air and naval bases in Japanese territory and Japan is considered a staunch partner and ally in the Asia-Pacific region.

Each December, a dwindling number of Pearl Harbor survivors visit Oahu for commemorative ceremonies and remembering their lost comrades and shipmates.

In the photo below, one of those grizzled veterans, Gil Nadeau, pays his respect to fallen service members at the USS Arizona Memorial during a harbor tour as part of the 80th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Remembrance. To the left of the Arizona Memorial, one can see the battleship USS Missouri, on which the surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay took place on September 2, 1945,

The U.S. military, State of Hawaii and National Park Service hosted a series of remembrance events throughout the week to honor the courage and sacrifices of those who served throughout the Pacific Theater. Today, the U.S.-Japan Alliance is a cornerstone of peace and security in a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean La Marr)

SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

December 7, 2021 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

ROBOTS, DROIDS & DRONES: Rethinking the MQ-9 Reaper; Drone Attack on Iraqi PM

DEFENSE.

Reaper Madness

 

An MQ-9 Reaper sits on the flight line at sunset at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, November 20, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class William Rio Rosado)

An aerospace analyst at a Washington area think tank has come up with a list of missions to keep the MQ-9 Reaper, a surveillance and attack drone, flying — even though the U.S. Air Force wants to retire the venerable unmanned aircraft.

The Air Force is feeling pressure from two directions. On the one hand, it needs to fund a lot of new aircraft like the B-21 long range strike bomber and the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker, to deal with the rising threat of great power competitors Russia and China.

On the other hand, the Air Force budget is already tight and expected to get tighter. So, to come up with some money to fund expensive modernization programs, Air Force planners consider retiring legacy aircraft they believe cannot survive in a high-end fight, like the General Atomics intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and targeting drone.

But retired Air Force Major General Lawrence Stutzriem, of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, says the Reaper — sought for numerous assignments by U.S. combatant commands like AFRICOM and NORTHCOM, still has a lot it can do. Rather than send its entire 280-Reaper fleet to the boneyard by 2035, the Air Force should upgrade it for a list of new missions like air and missile defense, and communications relays, Stutzriem writes in a paper “Reimagining the MQ-9 Reaper.”

Some of those like maintaining maritime domain awareness in the Arctic, already pose a challenge for the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, your 4GWAQR editor writes in an article for the SEAPOWER website.

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Drone Attack on Iraq Leader.

The committee investigating the November 7 attempt to kill Iraq’s prime minister, has released video footage of the incident, but has yet to identify the attackers.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi escaped the attack on his Baghdad home unhurt.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Three people believed to be associated with the attack were reportedly arrested, although details of the arrests and the suspects’ identities have not been disclosed, according to al Jazeera.

National security adviser Qasim al-Araji told a November 29 news conference that the committee has not accused any specific person or entity but called for collaboration among different parties to further the investigation.

The drone attack targeted al-Kadhimi’s house inside the fortified Green Zone and came at a politically sensitive time. A government is in the process of being formed following the parliamentary elections.

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INDUSTRY.

Egyptian Drones.

Two locally produced drones made their debut at the Egypt Defence Expo last week.

The Nut drone — named for the ancient Egyptian goddess of the sky, was co-produced by the Arab Organization for Industrialization and the Military Technical College. It can perform tactical reconnaissance missions during the day and night using electro-optical technology, according to Defense News.

The Nut has a maximum mission payload of 50 kilograms and an endurance of 10 hours.

Also on display was the EJune-30 SW drone. Made by Industrial Complex Engineering Robots in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Military Production, it is 8.9 meters long with a wingspan of 12 meters. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 1,400 kilograms, a maximum speed of 260 kph, an endurance of 24 hours, and a maximum operating altitude of 7,000 meters.

EDEX 2021 ran from November 29 to December 2 with pavilions from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, France, the United States and South Korea.

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AeroVironment DoD Contract.

The Puma 3 AE and Wasp AE systems combine hand-launch capabilities with a deep-stall landing for operations in confined areas on land or water. (Image: AeroVironment, Inc.)

Multi-domain robotic systems-maker AeroVironment announced December 1 it received a $4,151,320 firm-fixed-price U.S. Defense Department Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract award to provide Puma 3 AE and Wasp AE small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to an unidentified allied nation. The contract includes initial spares packages, training and support. Delivery is anticipated by September 2022.

December 2, 2021 at 11:57 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (November 19, 2021)

Yellow Sky.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Jonathan Willcox) Click on image to enlarge.

Marines with the Light Armored Reconnaissance Company of the 4th Marine Regiment, 3d Marine Division, tend their Light Armored Vehicle (LAV-25) during Exercise Iron Sky 21.2 on Wake Island, November 6, 2021.

Iron Sky demonstrated joint integration and operational mobility with the U.S. Air Force 62nd Airlift Wing and other units. The exercise allowed the Marines to fine-tune expeditionary airfield security operations.

The Marines have been using the amphibious, eight-wheeled reconnaissance and assault vehicle since the 1980s, and now they’re in the market for a replacement – the  Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle.

In the shift from two decades of fighting in the deserts, mountains and towns of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Marines are returning to their amphibious roots as part of Navy’s plan to create a highly mobile, dispersed force to counter China’s area-denial, anti-access capabilities in the Western Pacific.

The Marine Corps has shed its Abrams battle tanks and most of its heavy artillery for mobile, long range rocket and missile systems that will create a persistent — but mobile — force of small units on key islands and choke points that could knock out enemy ships from a great distance, creating their own anti-access zone. The concept is known as expeditionary advanced base operations or EABO.

Wake Island has a long history in the defense of strategic points in the Pacific. A undermanned Marine Corps defense battalion and a handful of Marine aviators (aided by hundreds of civilian contractors) held off invading Japanese troops from December 8 to December 23, sinking two destroyers and a submarine, downing 21 Japanese planes and inflicting more than 1,000 casualties — including 900 dead — before being overwhelmed. The failed Japanese landing on December 11 marked one of the few times in World War II (on either side) that an amphibious assault was repulsed. That first victory was also the first U.S. tactical success in the war, boosting morale as seen in this movie trailer for Wake Island (1942).

November 19, 2021 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (November 12, 2021)

Making Some History.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech Sergeant Vernon Young Jr.)

When we first saw a smaller version of this photo, we thought there’s something different about these pilots. When we clicked on the image to enlarge it (which we hope you will do), we saw why it was so unique.

These female fighter pilots assigned to the 36th and 25th Fighter Squadrons were about to fly a historic all-female flight at Osan Air Base, South Korea on October 25, 2021. The benchmark flight was the first time at Osan AB that 10 female Airmen planned, led and flew in a formation together.

Eight of the pilots were A-10 Thunderbolt II pilots and two were F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots.

It’s rare for a squadron to launch a formation of pilots who all happen to be female. Not only were there women flying the A-10s and F-16s, but an all-female weather team briefed the pilots prior to stepping to the aircraft. Female Airmen planned and executed the entire process from radio communication inside the air traffic control tower to the crew chief marshaling the aircraft on the ground. The team effort showcased the ability that women have to lead in every facet from planning to mission execution, according to the Air Force.

On April 28, 1993, when former Secretary of Defense Les Aspin ordered military services to allow women to fly in combat, there was no timetable of how soon the world would see the percentages of female fighter pilots increase.

Today, almost 30 years later, there are only 103 female fighter pilots across the U.S. Air Force 11F (fighter pilot) career field. That means the pilots who flew jointly in that all-female formation sortie at the 51st Fighter Wing, constituted 10 percent of the service’s female fighter jocks. Click here to see the full story.

For more photos of this event, click here.

November 12, 2021 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO October 29, 2021

Ahoy?

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Edward Wargo)

U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant j.g. (junior grade) Robert DiRado competes in the National Commander in Chief Cup polo  tournament in Charleston, South Carolina on October 1, 2021.

Here at 4GWAR, this is not where we expect to see a member of the Coast Guard — on horseback with a polo mallet in hand. An Army officer, maybe. They’ve been playing polo since the 1890a.

The “Sport of Kings,” is believed first to have been played by Iranian and Turkic nomads in Central Asia, with the current form originating in Iran (Persia) and spreading east to India where the British encountered it in colonial days and took it back to England and the rest of western Europe.

In 1896, the U.S. Army took up the game at Fort Riley, Kansas. In addition to improving the riding skills of cavalrymen, polo taught leadership, teamwork and strategy, according to the United States Polo Association website. Polo was introduced at West Point in 1901. By 1914, 17 Army posts were playing polo. In 1928, the U.S. Army team made it to the final of the U.S. Open Polo Championship, and there were Army polo teams across the country, as well as in the Philippines, Hawaii and Panama. The other military branches, Air Force, Marines and Navy soon followed suit.

Lieutenant DiRado, who is the Executive Officer of the Southeast Regional Fisheries Training Center in Charleston, South Carolina, represents the Department of Homeland Security on the Navy team.

Army beat DiRado and his Navy teammates in the final round of the Commander in Chief Cup tournament. Just a week later, however, Di Rado was part of a joint Department of Defense team that defeated a British Armed Forces team. At the Churchill-Roosevelt Cup polo tournament October 9 and 10, in Aiken, South Carolina, the U.S. team dominated, winning 11-8.

October 29, 2021 at 2:29 am Leave a comment

SHAKO: Happy Birthday U.S. Navy

 Still Underway after 246 Years.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Megan Alexander) Click on image to enlarge photo.

On this day (October 13) in 1775, the Continental Congress voted for two vessels each to be fitted out and armed with 10 carriage guns, a proportional number of swivel guns, and a crew of 80. Lawmakers directed the pair of ships be  sent out on a cruise of three months to intercept transports carrying munitions and stores to the British army in America.

So like the U.S. Army, which the Continental Congress created on June 14, 1775 — months before the Declaration of Independence — the U.S. Navy is older than the country it serves. A point President Joe Biden noted in his birthday greetings to the Navy.

“The founding of the naval service began before our Nation’s independence, when General George Washington wrote a letter to the Continental Congress, asking for properly equipped ships to prevent enemy vessels from bringing supplies to the British Army. That moment marked a turning point in the American Revolution and paved the way for our Nation’s seafaring military might,” Biden wrote — adding “As the United States rises to face the global challenges that will shape our future, the Navy remains what it always has been-ready to meet the moment. Our active duty and Navy Reserve sailors are not only trained to fight, but equipped to provide humanitarian assistance. From disaster relief in devastated areas to assisting refugees and deploying emergency medical units, the work of our Nation’s sailors is vital to combatting the interconnected challenges of our time. Even through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States Navy delivered lifesaving vaccines across oceans to vulnerable communities around the world.”

.

 

The photo above shows an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to the Black Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4, lifting off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. The Sea Hawk was beginning a vertical resupply-at-sea with the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain and the Royal Australian Navy fleet replenishment vessel HMAS Sirius on Oct. 10, 2021 in the Indian Ocean (two of which can been seen in the background).

In the foreground of the photo are some of the Vinson’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet attack fighters.

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability through alliances and partnerships with nations in the area while serving as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, according to the Navy.

*** *** ***

SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress, or parade, uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York in the photo.

October 13, 2021 at 5:18 pm 1 comment

FRIDAY FOTO (October 8, 2021)

Loaded Up and Truckin’

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Antwain Hanks)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the U.S. Air Force 35th Fighter Wing is positioned on the flight line waiting to take off during Exercise Beverly Sunrise 21-08 at Misawa Air Base, Japan on September 22, 2021.

The exercise allowed airmen to test their Agile Combat Employment (ACE) and Multi-Capable Airmen (MCA) skills by expanding the scope of tasks pilots, ground crews, safety, security, medical and other personnel can complete to recover and relaunch aircraft rapidly from a simulated austere location.

October 8, 2021 at 1:09 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 3, 2021)

Master of His Domain.

(U.S. Navy Courtesy Photo) CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE PHOTO.

Chief Boatswain’s Mate Chris Sherman, the port operations tug master for Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan, helps the nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22) into its berth on August 4, 2021.

Connecticut, a Seawolf-class fast attack submarine, assigned to Submarine Force Pacific, is based at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, in Washington state.

Boatswain’s Mate and Gunner’s Mate are the oldest, continually serving ratings in the U.S. Navy, Considered the “backbone of the Navy,” boatswains’ mates train, direct, and supervise personnel in ship’s maintenance duties in all activities relating to the deck, boat seamanship, painting, upkeep of ship’s external structure, rigging and deck equipment. Boatswain’s mates duties cover a large spectrum and range widely depending on the capacity and mission of the vessel or shore installation to which they are assigned.

For a sense of what Boats Sherman’s tug looks like, take a look at the photo below. It was taken May 1, 2002 when the then-brand new USS Connecticut departed Submarine Base New London, Connecticut on her first, scheduled deployment.

(U.S. Navy photo by Journalist Seaman Apprentice Woody Paschall)

September 3, 2021 at 2:09 pm Leave a comment

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