Posts filed under ‘Counter Terrorism’

FRIDAY FOTO (July 29, 2016)

Flying Blind.18th SFS members undergo OC spray training

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey M. Pettis.

Airman Joshua Lenaire, whose job is providing security at U.S. Air Force facilities, uses a training baton to subdue a simulated attacker in a red-man suit. Look closely and you’ll see Lenaire is working at a disadvantage. He’s been sprayed in the face with  pepper spray. Military security training: It ain’t beanbag.

This session was photographed July 13 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Lenaire is a response force member assigned to the 18th Security Forces Squadron.

Why is it called a RedMan suit? Three guesses. Actually, in addition to its bright color, this protective training suit is marketed by Redman Training Gear.

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July 29, 2016 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (July 8, 2016)

Danger Zone.Engine is go

U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Zachary Wolf.

The spinning propeller of this U.S. Air Force Super Tucano forms a perfect pair of circles but the sign painted on the tarmac in front of its shelter indicates the risk of getting to close.

The A-29 Super Tucano , manufactured by Brazil’s Embraer, is a single engine turboprop aircraft designed for light attack, counter insurgency, close air support and aerial reconnaissance missions.The aircraft is also used for training pilots.

This A-29 is with the 81st Fighter Squadron based at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. The squadron conducts combat training for Afghan air force pilots and maintainers in the aircraft.

Under a U.S.-funded $427 million contract, a total of 20 A-29s are going to the Afghan Air Force with the last to be delivered to Afghanistan by 2018, according to the Military.com website.

The Pentagon said A-29s manned by Afghan pilots trained in the U.S. conducted the first close air support missions by  the fledgling Afghan Air Force on April 14 , according to Military.com.

To see a video of the Super Tucano in action, click here.

July 8, 2016 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (July 1, 2016)

Don’t Blink.

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anderson W. Branch

This is what a U.S. Navy Super Hornet looks like a split second before it launches off the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. This F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86 — known as the Sidewinders — was captured by the camera just before departing the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the Mediterranean Sea.

Just behid and to the left of the Super Hornet, you can see the steam cloud rising from the steam-powered catapult that essentially hurls aircraft off the carrier deck which is too short for a normal takeoff. Click here to see a video of a catapult assisted carrier launch.

The Eisenhower is deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led campaign against the violent extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State. The U.S. government calls the Islamist terror group the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Air crews from the “Ike” launched strikes against the Islamic State/ISIL forces in Iraq starting Tuesday (June 28), according to Navy Times. The Eisenhower relieved the homeward-bound USS Harry S. Truman, which has been on station in the Eastern Mediterranean since December, supporting the 6th Fleet’s campaign against the terrorist group.

 

July 1, 2016 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (June 24, 2016)

Rope Trick.

FRIDAY FOTO 6-24-2016 JUNGLE SCHOOL

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Candace Mundt

A soldier with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division pulls himself out of a hanging barrel during Jungle Warfare School near Yemen, Gabon.
These soldiers from Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, of the 7th Regiment were attending the French Jungle Warfare School as part of U.S. Army Africa’s exercise Central Accord 2016. CA16 is an annual, joint military exercise to practice and demonstrate proficiency in conducting peacekeeping operations.

To see more photos from this exercise, click here.

 

 

June 24, 2016 at 2:48 am Leave a comment

SPECIAL OPERATIONS: New Commanders at SOCOM, CENTCOM

Ranger In, Ranger Out.

Votel relinquishes command of USSOCOM

Army General Joseph Votel, former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter during the change-of-command ceremony March 30 at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. Newly promoted Army General Raymond “Tony” Thomas assumes command of SOCOM and Votel becomes commander of U.S. Central Command. (Photo by Technical Sergeant Angelita M. Lawrence)

Four star Army General Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), has taken over as commander of U.S. Central Command (CENCOM), which oversees U.S. operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

At the same time Votel moved over to CENTCOM, Army General Raymond “Tony” Thomas replaced him at Special Operations Command.

Both men are Army Rangers and both are former commanders of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) — a SOCOM component which oversees the hunt for terrorists among other tasks. Thomas has also served in the 1st Special Operations Forcers Operational Deteachment — Delta, the highly secretive Army commando unit known as Delta Force.

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Army General Raymond “Tony” Thomas at the change of command ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base at Tampa, Florida.

Both Thomas and Votel are also 1980 graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point New York.

At a brief press conference before the change of command ceremonies in Tampa, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said “accelerating the defeat” of the terrorist group that calls itself Islamic State is President Obama’s top priority. Carter added that the United States and its allies would be successful in Iraq and Syria in defeating Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL), but the group has spread around the world and the United States may be fighting the terror group on U.S. soil. “It’s going to require effort around the world, and yes, it’s going to require protection against the homeland,” Carter added.

mapMidEast

U.S. Central Command’s area of operations (in color). (CENCOM  map)

 

 

 

March 31, 2016 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

TERRORISM: Add Brussels to the Growing List

The Global War on Terror continues …

New York office towers, four airliners, the Pentagon (2001), Madrid commuter trains (2004), London bus and subway (2005), Mumbai hotels and train station (2008), Moscow airport (2011),  Nairobi shopping mall (2013), Boston Marathon finish line (2015), Paris concert hall, cafes, football stadium, grocery store and magazine office (2015, twice) … and now Brussels. The list of major world cities wracked by terrorist attacks seems to grow ever longer.

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Security photo of Brussels airport bombing suspects from Belgian Police.

Thirty-one people were killed and 300 wounded in suicide bomber attacks on the airport and a busy metro station in Belgium’s capital on Tuesday (March 22).

On Thursday (March 24) top Belgian officials acknowledged miscommunications and other errors in the prelude to the attacks, the New York Times reported. Growing evidence of links to last November’s attacks in Paris by the Islamic State suggest that a wide network of trained attackers leading back to Syria is now rooted in Europe, according to the Times  report, co-written by our friend and former AP colleague, Rick Gladstone.

Here is a list of some of the most recent attacks …

Paris, November 2015

As many as eight terrorists launched a series of shootings and bombings across Paris Friday (November 13) — from an international soccer match that the French president was attending to restaurants and neighborhood cafes, killing more than 100 people and wounding hundreds more, French officials said.

Bangkok, August 2015

Twenty people died and more than 120 were injured in the horrific bombing on 17 August in central Bangkok at the Erawan shrine.

Tunis, March 2015

Gunmen tried to storm the country’s national assembly Wednesday (March 18) while lawmakers were debating an anti-terrorism bill. When that attack was thwarted, the gunmen — some wearing military-style uniforms — attacked tourist buses outside the National Bardo Museum across from the government building.

Paris, January 2015

More than 10,000 troops are guarding “sensitive sites” around France including synagogues, railway stations, airports and tourist attractions in the wake of last week’s terrorism incidents in Paris that left 17 people dead — including three alleged attackers.

March 24, 2016 at 11:21 pm Leave a comment

AFRICA: Ivory Coast Attack Fallout

Beach Bloodshed.

MAP-Ivory Coast BigOfficials in the West African nation of Ivory Coast say the death toll from Sunday’s terror attack at a beach resort has risen to 19. Twenty-four people injured in the attack remain hospitalized.

The victims reportedly came from six different countries. Eleven Ivorians were killed, and four French citizens were among the dead, as well as one German, one Nigerian, one Macedonian and one Lebanese, according to the Voice of America website.

Armed with grenades and assault rifles, the attackers stormed three hotels on Sunday and sprayed the beach with bullets in the resort of Grand Bassam, located 40 kilometers from the commercial capital Abidjan.

Al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), claimed responsibility for the attck, saying it was revenge for a French offensive against fighters in the Sahel region and called for France to withdraw them.

President Alassane Ouattara has pledged that Ivory Coast would not be “intimidated by terrorists,” Al Jazeera reported. In a statement broadcast on radio and television, Ouattara said “Ivory Coast is standing up, standing up to fight the cowards and protect its people.”

French helicopters in Africa

French helicopters in Africa (Ministry of Defense photo)

Meanwhile, France has announced plans to send paramilitary forces to the capital of Burkina Faso to counter the threat posed by Islamist militants in West Africa. A team from the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) will be deployed in Ouagadougou to respond in the event of a “terrorist crisis,” said French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve according to the BBC. The announcement comes 48 hours after the attack that left four French nationals among the dead.

For the first time, Ghana’s government has put the nation on high alert in the wake of Sunday’s deadly terror attack in neighboring Ivory Coast, the VoA website reported.

Since November, al-Qaeda militants have attacked hotels in two other regional capitals, Bamako (Mali) and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso).

March 17, 2016 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

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