Posts filed under ‘Skills and Training’
An Air Force pilot and co-pilot return to base in an AC-130W Stinger II a multi-role aircraft capable of close air support and armed reconnaissance, after a live-fire mission to support Exercise Emerald Warrior on Hurlburt Field, Florida on April 27, 2015.
Emerald Warrior is an annual joint exercise to train special operations, as well as conventional and partner nation forces to sharpen special operations air and ground combat skills. The operation is the Defense Department’s only irregular warfare exercise allowing representative units from the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and National Guard to train together with units from partner nations and prepare for real-world contingency operations. U.S. soldiers, airmen and Marines as well as British and Dutch troops participated in this year’s exercise.
The airmen in this photo are assigned to the 73rd Special Operations Squadron, part of U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, out of Canon Air Force Base, New Mexico.
DISASTER RELIEF: U.S. Air Force, Army Special Forces, USAID and Canadian Drone Maker Aid in Nepal Earthquake Relief
Search and Rescue.
The U.S. Air Force has sent two large military cargo/transport planes, carrying tons of relief supplies and federal and state disaster response experts, to Nepal to assist in relief and recovery efforts following a massive earthquake that killed thousands and injured thousands more and left still more without food, water or shelter. Two Army Green Beret A-Teams, who were training in the mountainous country when the earthquake hit, are aiding in relief efforts.
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the country, high in the Himalayas, Saturday (April 25) killing more than 4,000 in the capital, Kathmandu, and surrounding areas. At least 7,000 people were reported injured and untold thousands more are homeless. Click here to see map of the devastation.
On Sunday (April 26) an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III left Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, bound for Nepal’s Tribhuvan International Airport, according to a Pentagon spokesman. “The aircraft is transporting nearly 70 personnel, including a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team, the Fairfax County (Virginia) Urban Search and Rescue team and several journalists, along with 45 square tons of cargo,” said the spokesman, Army Colonel Steve Warren.
A second C-17 carrying the Los Angeles County (California) Urban Search and Rescue team left a day later from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, flew to March Air Reserve Base, California, to pick up the team and is expected to land in Nepal on Wednesday (April 29), Air Force Times reported.
Twenty-six members of two Army Special Forces teams, who were training in Nepal at the time of the earthquake, are helping Nepal’s military find and help survivors of the devastating earthquake, according to Military Times. One team was in country for high altitude training, so it is helping find survivors in popular trekking trails, including Mount Everest’s base camp.
The United States is also providing an initial $10 million in emergency assistance for relief organizations in Nepal “to further address urgent humanitarian needs,” according to the White House.
The Fairfax, Virginia team — which includes firefighters, paramedics, physicians, canine handlers, communications experts and engineering and construction specialists — have established their Base of Operations in a Baseball Field in Nepal. The Los Angeles County Search and Rescue team will be based with them once they arrive in-country, according to the Fairfax team’s webpage.
Meanwhile, Canadian unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) manufacturer, Aeryon Labs — along with partners GlobalMedic and Monadrone — is deploying three of its small drones to Nepal to aid disaster relief efforts, according to AUVSI News. The drones being sent to Nepal are outfitted with thermal cameras to help locate survivors, and the Aeryon HDZoom30 camera, which has an extended zoom, to look at targets from over 1,000 feet away.
Small unmanned aircraft provide “the unmatched capability to get onsite and into the air immediately to start determining how and where to provide support to the people.” said Rahul Singh, executive director of GlobalMedic.
Click here to see aerial footage from NBC — shot by a drone — of the devastation in Kathmandu, and the Fairfax Urban Search and Rescue team’s travels to Nepal.
Double the Fun.
The flight is part of a six-day visit by the Grim Reapers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101 he bottom two aircraft to NAS Lemoore, the future basing site for the F-35C. The F-35C, the military’s newest fighter aircraft, will complement the capabilities of the Super Hornet, which is the Navy’s premier strike fighter.
No Day at the Beach.
This is not what your 4GWAR editor imagines when we think of a weekend in the Hamptons. In this photo, members of the New York Air National Guard’s 103rd Rescue Squadron, 106th Rescue Wing conduct a multi-day training course at the Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base firing range, in West Hampton Beach, on New York’s Long Island. The live-fire exercise included training in tactical movement, responding to incoming fire, retrieving and caring for wounded individuals and night-time shooting.
The guardsmen of the 103rd Rescue Squadron are Special Operations para-rescue jumpers (PJs) — meaning they jump out of airplanes and helicopters on combat search and rescue missions to find, treat — if injured — and extract downed airmen and others in trouble on the ground. Six of the 103rd’s PJs received the Bronze Star medal with “V” for valor device in 2013 for the rescue under fire of American and Afghan soldiers caught in an ambush on December 12, 2012, according to the Air Force Times.
Editor’s Note: For those unfamiliar with Army Air Force history, Colonel “Gabby” Gabreski was the top American fighter ace of the European Theater in World War II, knocking down 28 German planes. In the Air Force over Korea in the 1950s, he became a jet ace, shooting down six Russian-made MiG-16 fighter jets.
Eyes on the Bear.
After months of Russian probes, intrusions and military provocations, the countries of Scandinavia have agreed to build closer defense ties among themselves and with the neighboring Baltic States of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Writing in a joint declaration, the defense ministers of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland said Northern Europe must prepare for possible crises or incidents because of Russia, according to a dispatch from Reuters (via Army Times’ Early Bird).
“Russia’s leaders have shown that they are prepared to make practical and effective use of military means in order to reach their political goals, even when this involves violating principles of international law,” the ministers wrote in a joint statement in the daily Aftenposten.
Over the last year, there have been numerous reports of Russia probing Nordic defenses from an underwater vehicle — believed to be a Russian submarine — entering Swedish waters and Russian bomber flights violating Swedish and Finnish airspace. Estonia was hit by a massive cyber attack, believed to be Russian in origin, in 2007. Then there is Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed rebels.
“Russia’s actions are the biggest challenge to the European security,” the ministers said. “Russia’s propaganda and political maneuvering are contributing to sowing discord between nations, and inside organizations like NATO and the EU.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: We recommend clicking on the photo above to enlarge it and get the full impact of its technical achievement).
No Time to Stop.
Now this is what we call multi-tasking!
A U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion is refueled in the air by a KC-130 Hercules tanker while transporting a Humvee near Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. The KC-130 is capable of refueling two aircraft at once. You can see a second fuel line and drogue refueling pod hanging from the tanker’s other wing.
The exercise was part of a Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course hosted by Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1. MAWTS-1 provides standardized tactical training and certifies unit instructor qualifications to support.
Send in the Cavalry.
U.S. soldiers in Stryker armored vehicles arrive at Smardan Training Area in Romania last month for a multi-national exercise known as Saber Junction 15. These soldiers are assigned to 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
The first phase of Saber Junction 15, which runs for the entire month of April, will include a deployment readiness exercise and airborne operations into Romania. The exercise will then move to the Army’s Hohenfels Training Area in southeastern Germany.
Saber Junction 15, includes nearly 5,000 troops from 17 nations that are NATO allies and partners: Albania, Armenia, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Sweden and, of course, the United States.
The exercise will test offensive, defensive and stability operations while promoting interoperability among participants. The exercise is part of a wider overseas project, Operation Atlantic Resolve, which seeks reassure NATO allies and partner nations of America’s dedication to peace and stability in the region, while sending a message to Moscow, saying Russia’s aggressive behavior in Eastern Europe will not go unchallenged