Posts filed under ‘Skills and Training’

FRIDAY FOTO: March 11, 2016

Prowler Posse.

FRIFO 3-11-2016 Prowlers

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal Jodson B. Graves

Four EA-6B Prowler aircraft conduct an aerial refuel and formation flight near Marine Corps Station Cherry Point, North Carolina on March. 1, 2016.

The flight was the first time in several years that all 4 EA-6B Prowler squadrons flew together. The Prowler is an electronic warfare airplane that can confuse an enemy’s radar,  disrupting their air defenses.

March 11, 2016 at 1:51 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO: March 4, 2016

Almost There.

FRIFO 3-4-2016 NatGuard Mtn Climbing

Vermont Army National Guard photo by Staff Sergeant Nathan Rivard

Army Sergeant Ryan Hawley climbs the mountain at Smugglers’ Notch in Jeffersonville, Vermont during in mountain warfare training.

Hawley is assigned to the Colorado National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 157th Infantry Regiment.

To see more photos of Hawley’s training group, click here.

March 4, 2016 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

ARCTIC: Troops From 13 Nations Train in High North

Cold Response 2016.

Norwegian tanks Cold Response 2016

Norwegian Leopard tanks get ready for a training scenario during Operation Cold Response 2016.   (Norwegian Defense Forces photo)

Elements of the U.S. 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade are in Norway until later this month as part of Exercise Cold Response 16, which has brought together 132 NATO Allied and partner nations and approximately 16,000 troops to practice joint crisis response capabilities in cold weather environments.

The multinational force comprises personnel from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Latvia, Poland, Germany, France, Britain, Canada, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands — as well as the U.S. Marine Corps..

BSRF supports exercise Cold Response 16 in Norway

Marine Corps photo by Corporal Immanuel Johnson

Marines with Black Sea Rotational Force (above) maneuvered across the Northern Trøndelag region of Norway last month to prepare for Cold Response 16.

Hosted by the the Norwegian military, Cold Response  — which runs from February 19 to March 22 — is held every two years to prepare NATO and partner nations like Sweden to coordinate operations under extreme winter conditions.

The Marines have brought mobile artillery, special operations units, Abrams tanks, amphibious assault vehicles as well as light armored and combat vehicles to Norway.

Allied Strong: Norwegian Minister of Defense visits Cold Response 16 forces

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal Dalton Precht.

Norwegian Minister of Defense Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide (above) talks with Lieutenant Colonel Justin Ansel, commanding officer of Task Force 1/8, and officers from Norway and Sweden at a training location near Steinkjer, Norway, March 2, during Cold Response 16.

We’ll have more photos and news from this exercise in coming days.


March 3, 2016 at 11:22 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO: February 26, 2016

Osprey at Sunrise.

Integrated Training Exercise 2-16

U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Efren Lopez

A Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft hovers over the desert before departing from the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, California.

The Osprey crew is assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 363.

February 26, 2016 at 1:35 am Leave a comment



Jungle Survival Training Cobra Gold 16

U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Gunnery Sergeant Ismael Pena

Adding a whole new dimension to the phrase “Stay Hungry,” U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Sam Teifke  eats a live scorpion during Exercise Cobra Gold 16, at Sattahip, Thailand.

Teifke, with Maritime Raid Force of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, was taking part in jungle survival training course led by the Royal Thai Reconnaissance Marines. If you look closely, you can see his amused fellow Marines reflected in his sunglasses.

Cobra Gold, in its 35th iteration, is a multi-national exercise designed to increase cooperation and interoperability through solving solutions for common challenges.

Troops from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand participated in this year’s Cobra Gold, which is aimed at advancing  regional security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area.

February 19, 2016 at 12:50 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (February 12, 2016)

Calm Beside the Storm.

FRIFO 2-12-2016

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyler Preston

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Sarahkate Barambangan appears unfazed by the Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier roaring past her as it takes off from the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) in the Gulf of Oman, January 26, 2016.

According to the yellow shirt and helmet she is wearing, Petty Officer Barambangan is either an aircraft handling officer or catapult and arresting gear officer. Or she could be a plane director taking a break since she’s not crouched down pointing in the other direction.

The Kearsarge is a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship that can carry 2,000 Marines and their equipment to the beach. The ship has a crew of over 1,000 sailors, plus six Harrier jets, six Sea Hawk helicopters and a number of MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.


February 12, 2016 at 12:06 am Leave a comment


European Reassurance.

The Pentagon is seeking $2.8 billion in the next budget cycle for Army training and preparedness missions in Europe, to reassure U.S. allies worried about the activities of a resurgent Russia.

Opening ceremony sets the stage for Polish, American interoperability ahead

Soldiers of the U.S. 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment take part in a live-fire exercise in Konotop, Poland last month. They were conducting squad-level training alongside Polish troops in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a multinational demonstration of continued U.S. commitment to security of NATO. (Army photo by Sergeant Paige )

If approved by Congress, that money will go to continued rotations of Army Brigade Combat Teams in and out of Europe, as well pre-positioning equipment stocks in Europe, so they don’t have to be shipped over during a crisis.

In introducing the Defense Department’s $582.7 billion budget request for the Fiscal Year starting October 1st, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Tuesday (February 9) that the United States is facing what military planners consider “the most significant shift in the future security environment — and that is a return to an era of great power competition.”

Work added: “Today, we are faced by a resurgent, revanchist* Russia and a rising China.  Both are nuclear-armed powers.  Both are fielding advanced capabilities at a rapid rate.  Both are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.”

Russia, in particular has been more aggressive on western borders abutting NATO, Work said. And that has made many of Russia’s neighbors, particularly in Scandinavia and the Baltics region, very nervous.


The Baltic Sea region via Wikipedia

To ease those worries the Obama administration has created the European Reassurance Initiative. As Russia has seized parts of Ukraine and tried for more, threatened Poland and the Baltic states and recklessly pushed its bombers and fighter jets through Scandinavian airspace the military reassurance has gone up, from $444 million in Fiscal 2015, $509 million last year to this year’s $2.8 request.


It’s all part of the part of the $523.9 billion budget request, plus an additional $58.8 billion for overseas contingency operations (OCO). That contingency request is way down from the years when U.S. troops were engaged in combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army’s part of the OCO request is $23 billion, up $2 billion from last year.

In addition to Russia and China, the United States must also deal with “a more unpredictable and dangerous North Korea,” said Work, adding that North Korea is already a nuclear-armed regional power.  North Korea is pursuing advanced ballistic missile capabilities that Work said “already threaten our Allies and the broader stability of the Asia-Pacific region.” Other challenges include Iran, which is trying to the regional super power of the Middle East and the campaign against global terrorist networks, which Work said “will be an enduring condition for much of the next 25 years.”

— — —

*  A person who seeks retaliation or revenge; spec. a person who advocates or fights for the return of a nation’s lost territory-Oxford English Dictionary.



February 11, 2016 at 11:14 pm Leave a comment

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