Posts tagged ‘jungle warfare’

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 (April 16, 2021)

Cannon Ball!

(U.S. Army photo by Specialist Jessica B. Scott)

It’s hard to imagine how this soldier from the 25th (Tropical Lightning) Infantry Division managed to extract himself from this crowded rigid inflatable boat, encumbered by life preserver, boots and other gear, launch himself into the air — and hug his crossed legs before hitting the water! Be all that you can be, we guess.

The 25th ID’s Artillery unit (DIVARTY) held a 3-day series of rigorous, competitive tactical events for Senior Non-Commissioned Officers from April 6 to April 8, 2021. The competition was designed to build cohesive teams by elevating these key leaders’ physical and mental toughness, camaraderie and commitment to the organization and Army values, according to the information that came with this photo.

For more about the division today, click here.

April 16, 2021 at 3:48 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: Women’s History Month 2019, Part II

Women in the Marine Corps.

Here is the second installment of 4GWAR’s tribute to Women’s History Month featuring  photos illustrating the contributions of women in the four armed services. With the exception of one historic first or trailblazer for each service, these pictures focus on women doing their jobs — some difficult or dangerous — but all essential to keeping the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps ready to defend the United States of America. This week we look at women Marines.

MCRD Band conduct basic warrior training

(Photo by Warrant Officer Bobby Yarbrough)

Even members of the band stationed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina — male and female — had to undergo basic warrior training in January 2019. The military musicians  were required to refamiliarize themselves with basic military skills — including crawling through the mud — “to develop the leadership mindset of the unit’s noncommissioned officers.”

WOMEN Marine ID2

(Marine Corps photo Lance Corporal Terry Wong)

Marine Corps Sergeant Marrissa Ladwig puts into practice the rappelling techniques she learned at the Jungle Warfare Training Center at Camp Gonsalves in Okinawa, Japan on January 29, 2019.

14th Marines Participate in Exercise Dynamic Front 19

(Photo by Marine Corps Corporal Niles Lee)

Corporal April Flores serves a hot meal at the Adazi Training Area, Latvia on February 28, 2019, during Dynamic Front, an annual multinational exercise. As a rising Russia grows more aggressive with its western neighbors, the Marines have been training with partner nations in the Baltics, the Balkans and Central Europe to show American support for NATO allies and friendly nations.

November Company becomes first company to graduate in new female dress blues

(Photo by Staff Sergeant Tyler Hlavac)

Sergeant Cristal Abregomedina, a warehouse clerk with Headquarters and Service Battalion, examines the new blue dress uniforms of Marines from November Company of the  4th Recruit Training Battalion last year at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.

The female Marines of November company became the first company of recruits to graduate wearing the new female dress blues, which resembles the male uniform with a mandarin collar rather than the old style that features a neck tab over a white blouse.

Marine Corps upgrades GCSS-MC, reduces time from data to decision

(Photo by Lance Corporal A. J. Van Fredenberg)

Lance Corporal Sierra Walker, a supply specialist with 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, tests the upgrade to the Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps in October 2018 before its official launch. More than 23,000 logistics and maintenance Marines rely on Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps, or GCSS-MC, to conduct their daily supply and maintenance operations worldwide.  The upgrade, GCSS-MC Release 12,  was needed to strengthen the Corps’ cybersecurity posture, making logistics more efficient while  protecting  Marine Corps supply and maintenance information.

31st MEU ARP sharpen pistol marksmanship skills at sea

(Photo by Lance Corporal Hannah Hall)

1st Lieutenant Samantha Rosales, a logistics planner with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), fires an M1911 .45-caliber pistol during marksmanship training aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) while underway in the East China Sea on September 21, 2018.  The 31st MEU, the Marine Corps’ only continuously forward-deployed expeditionary unit, is a flexible force ready to perform a wide-range of military operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

Minds behind the flight: MAG-13 mechanics support Northern Lightning

(Photo by Sergeant David Bickel)

Lance Corporal Savannah Nickell, an airframes mechanic with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122, performs routine maintenance on an F-35 Lightning II during Exercise Northern Lightning 2018 at Volk Field Counterland Training Center, located at Camp Douglas, Wisconsin. Exercise Northern Lightning 2018 strengthens interoperability between services, particularly aviation capabilities within a joint fighting force.

Alpha and Oscar Co. Grass Week

(Photo by Sergeant Dana Beesley)

Staff Sergeant Estefania Patino corrects the rifle combat optic of a recruit’s weapon in this June 6, 2018 photo at Parris Island, South Carolina. She wears the green jacket of a Primary Marksmanship Instructor, which means her job is making riflemen out of recruits. Before she joined the Marines, Patino had never fired a weapon. Now she is a graduate of the Marines’ Combat Marksmanship Coach course and a former Drill Instructor.

WOMEN Marine ID9

(Still photo captured from a Marine Corps video by Corporal Shannon Doherty)

Trailblazer: Sergeant Tara-Lyn Baker traverses the snowy terrain at the Marines’ Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California. She is the first female Marine to graduate from the arduous Mountain Leader Course. A heavy equipment mechanic, Baker successfully completed the nearly six-week program, which sharpens Marines’ skills in cold weather survival, skiing, snow mobility and mountain warfare.


(Photo by  Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Brandon Parker)

Female Marines don’t just maintain aircraft, they also make up flight crews. Here Captain Brenda Amor helps to prepare an AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter for flight operations on the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock ship, USS Arlington, in the Mediterranean Sea on January 30, 2019.

Our next Women’s History Month 2019 posting, Part III will appear Sunday, March 24.

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West Point cadetsSHAKO 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.




March 18, 2019 at 1:51 am Leave a comment

LATIN AMERICA: Chinese Troops Seek Brazil Jungle Training

The Mighty Jungle.

Soldiers from Special Border Platoon, trained in jungle warfare, march at Ipiranga, Brazil. during a VIP ceremony fo rvisiting  U.S. officials. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Adam M. Stump )

Soldiers from a Special Border Platoon, trained in jungle warfare, march at Ipiranga, Brazil. during a VIP ceremony for visiting U.S. officials.
(Photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Adam M. Stump )

The Chinese military has requested assistance from the Brazilian Army in developing jungle warfare training for the People’s Liberation Army, according to officials in Brazil.

Colonel Alcimar Marques de Araújo Martins, commander of Brazil’s Jungle Warfare Training Center (known by the acronym CIGS in Portuguese) indicated that China had recently arranged to send a group of officers and NCOs (non-commissioned officers) to be trained at the CIGS, but they canceled that plan and are  now asking Brazil to send trainers to China, Defense News reported Sunday (August 9).

“They have now asked us to provide a number of trainers and our jungle warfare training expertise to assist them in developing their own program in China,” the colonel said. Brazilian officials did not indicate when the training program would begin or how many trainers are likely to be sent.

Defense News said it wasn’t clear why the Chinese are expanding their jungle training operations, the trade paper noted the country does have long, jungle-covered borders with several neighbors.

The Brazilians have trained almost 6,000 officers and NCOs in jungle skills. Nearly 500 students have come from foreign countries. The great majority of foreign students have come from Brazil’s Latin American neighbors. But there have been some 27 U.S. attendees and over 100 from Europe, notably from France. Only one attendee, so far, has come from Asia.

CIGS training courses which are conducted up to three times a year, are taught in classes of 100-to-120 students. The 10-week course (eight weeks for the senior officer’s course) teaches a wide variety of jungle warfare techniques ranging from survival and foraging to navigation, fire and movement disciplines, riverine assault techniques, and jungle hygiene procedures, according to Defense News.


Brazil  (CIA World Fact book)

(CIA World Fact book)

August 11, 2015 at 11:10 pm Leave a comment

LATIN AMERICA: Colombian Insurgency Heats Up — Again

Eleven Soldiers Killed.

Colombia map by CIA World Factbook

Colombia map by CIA World Factbook

Eleven Colombian soldiers were killed in fighting with Marxist guerrillas Tuesday (April 14), prompting Colombia’s president to resume a bombing campaign on rebel camps — jeopardizing peace talks seeking to end a 60-year insurgency that has cost thousands of lives.

The government blamed the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, for an attack with guns and grenades on an army platoon late Tuesday night. The rebels said government troops initiated the skirmish, which occurred in the Andean state of Cauca and injured at least 17 other soldiers, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Meanwhile,  FARC rebels blamed the Bogota government on Thursday (April 16) for the renewed violence but they declined to say whether they had broken their own ceasefire. President Juan Manuel Santos called it a deliberate attack and ordered the resumption of bombing raids on FARC targets, the Voice of America reported. Santos halted the aerial bombings after the FARC’s called a unilateral truce on December 20.

Despite the violence, VoA said the two-year-old peace talks resumed on Thursday (April 16) in Havana, where Colombian government officials and FARC commanders are trying to negotiate an end to a war that has killed 220,000 and displaced millions since 1964.

More on this later in LA AM REVIEW.

April 16, 2015 at 11:57 pm Leave a comment

LATIN AMERICA: Raids on Colombian Rebels, Dempsey’s South American Trip (UPDATE)

Updates with Dempsey visit to Brazil, adds background (in italics)

Colombia Rebels Killed

Wikipedia image

Government troops in Colombia killed 36 rebels Monday (March 26) in an airstrike on a training camp in the state of Metas south of Bogota, the capital.

It was the second such raid against Colmbia’s main guerilla force in less than a week. On March 21, the Colombian military killed 33 rebels in another air raid on Arauca state near the border with Venezuela, the British newspaper The Guardian reported. That raid followed an early March rebel attack that killed 11 Colombian soldiers.

The attacks come just as the rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by the Spanish acronym FARC, said it would release the last of its prisoners – some of them held for as long as 14 years – early next month.

FARC has been waging an insurgency against Bogota since the 1960s resulting in the deaths of thousands of soldiers, rebels and citizens. In recent years FARC has been battered by an increasingly professional and effective Colombian military with U.S. financial aid and military assistance, the Associated Press reported.

Recently FARC said it was halting kidnappings for ransom, a long-time source of income along with the illegal cocaine trade.

Veteran U.S. Officers to Assist Colombia

The United States is preparing to send Army brigade commanders with experience in Iraq and Afghanistan to Colombia to assist a joint task force aimed at defeating FARC guerillas.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff, on a tour of Colombia and Brazil, says the U.S. officers will visit commanders of Joint Task Force Vulcano for two weeks to help with leader development and share their experience fighting insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. The task force is one of several created by the Colombian government to disrupt rebel organizations engaging in drug smuggling, arms trafficking, illegal mining and bomb manufacturing. The learning experience won’t be a one way street, Demsey says, adding that he fully expects U.S. leaders to learn from the Colombian counterparts.

On a two-day visit to Colombia to meet with high ranking political and defense officials, Dempsey said Colombia had a good strategy for combating FARC. That strategy calls for cutting FARC’s forces – now numbering 8,000-to-9,000 – by 2014.

Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, listens to Colombian Armed Forces Commander Gen. Alejandro Navas (right) at Joint Task Force-Volcano near Tibu, Colombia. (Defense Dept. photo by Army Staff Sgt Sun L. Vega)

During his meetings, Dempsey said the Colombians indicated ways to accelerate their efforts on the ground including: border security, protecting critical infrastructure, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, intelligence fusion, airlift and unmanned aircraft.

The Colombians also would like the U.S. to provide additional aircraft to transport cargo and troops, Dempsey told reporters traveling with him, the Associated Press reported.

Getting Closer to Brazil

Dempsey wound up his first trip to South America as chairman of the Joint Chiefs with a visit to Brazil, where he met with Brazilian military leaders and toured the country’s jungle warfare training center near Manaus in the Amazonia region. The world class training center has seen only a few U.S. troops among its students. In fact, it has graduated more officers and non-commissioned officers from France (86) than from the U.S. (25) in its 48-year history.

Dempsey said Brazil, the largest country and largest economy in South America, has a key role to play in the region. The Pentagon, as part of its new strategic guidance, is seeking to enlist the assistance of Brazil, Colombia and other countries in the region to block the spread of terrorist groups and transnational crime – particularly narcotics trafficking.

To protect its the offshore oil deposits and the water and agricultural resources of the Amazon region, Brazil is expanding its military acquisitions under a 2010 defense strategy. It is building five submarines – one them nuclear-powered – in an agreement with French shipbuilder DCNS. France also has a deal to sell Brazil 50 EC725 Cougar military transport helicopters. And Sao Paulo is said to be close to deciding from whom it will buy 36 next generation mult-role combat jet fighters.

A staff member at Brazil's jungle warfare training center in Manaus explains to U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey the importance of natural resources. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt Sun L. Vega)

Brazil is, itself, a military manufacturer and exporter. Recently it sold the Embraer’s Super Tucan turbo-prop plane, which can serve as a trainer or light attack counter insurgency weapon, to three African nations: Angola, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. In the past, when it was ruled by a military junta, Brazil was a leading manufacturer and exporter  of armored vehicles, rocket launchers and small arms.

In addition to international drug cartels that move drug shipments by plane, boat and homemade submarines, U.S. security planners are also concerned about the activities of Iran, China and Russia in Latin America and the presence of businesses linked to international terrorist groups – particularly in the largely lawless Triple Frontier region where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay share borders.

Dempsey said he was concerned that transit routes used to smuggle  drugs today could be used by terrorists to smuggle weapons of mass destruction in the future, the AP’s Robert Burns reported.

To see a 10-minute French television report on the Brazilian jungle warfare training center click here. (In French except where it’s in Brazilian Portuguese)

March 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm 1 comment

FRIDAY FOTO (March 16, 2012)

Black Hawk Over Guyana

U.S.Army photo by Sgt. Taresha Neal Joiner

The crew chief of an Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter leans out a side door as the chopper prepares to land at Camp Stephenson, 25 miles outside Georgetown, the capital of Guyana on South America’s northern Atlantic Coast, during Exercise Fused Response 2012. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you’ll get a better look at the two GAU-17/A miniguns at either door.

The special operations forces exercise ran from March 1-9 in Guyana, the only country in South America where English is the official language. Organized by U.S. Southern Command, the bi-lateral exercise sought to improve military skills and practices for responding to challenges posed by transnational organized crime and the illicit trafficking of people, drugs and other contraband (See 4GWAR March 15). More than 200 soldiers from the Guyana Defence Force and 350 U.S. troops from all branches of the services — including Army and Navy special operations forces — participated in tactical exercises that ranged from room clearing and close-quarters battle training to air and amphibious assault.

The exercise is part of SOUTHCOM’s efforts to build and sustain partnerships in the region — a task that has grown in importance since the Obama administration’s strategy shift focusing on the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East.

For more photos of Exercise Fueled Response, click here.

March 16, 2012 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

AFRICA: The Kony Viral Video

Public Enemy No. 1?

If he isn’t there already, crazed African warlord Joseph Kony is well on his way to being the most hated man in the world thanks to a video that has gone viral on the Internet.

In a little more than three days, the video “Kony 2012” has been viewed more than 50 million times on YouTube. Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, P. Diddy and Justin Bieber have mentioned it on Twitter and Facebook. And money is rolling in to the San Diego, California-based activist group, Invisible Children, which produced the 30-minute video.

Kony is the enigmatic leader of a renegade rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army which has been terrorizing parts of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and the Central African Republic for more than two decades.

Uganda in Africa (CIA World Factbook)

In October, President Barack Obama dispatched 100 special operations forces to help Ugandan troops – mostly through training – end Kony’s 26-year reign of terror.

The 4GWAR Blog first wrote about Kony — who is under indictment by the International Criminal Court — and his killer cronies back in April 2010.

At that time Human Rights Watch said the LRA had killed 321 people in a raid on a part of northeast Congo. And 250 other people were abducted including 80 children. The United Nations and other authorities have said LRR turns kidnapped boys into child soldiers forced to kill and girls are turned into sexual slaves.

While the video has raised awareness about Kony’s depredations, and lots of money, critics in both the U.S. and Uganda question Invisible Children’s motives and strategy. They say the video campaign oversimplifies the problem, noting that Kony’s band is just one of the many militias, rebel armies and national troops ravaging Central Africa for years. They also question what Invisible Children is spending its money on since its financial reports indicate only just over a third of its $8.9 million 2011 budget  actually went to African programs. The charity addressed many of these points on its Webpages.

March 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm 4 comments

FRIDAY FOTO (July 22, 2011)

Fire Power

(Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Pete Thibodeau)

U.S. Marines with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit’s battalion landing team fire M252 81 mm mortar rounds during a live fire training operation at the Talisman Sabre 2011 joint exercise with Australian forces on Townshend Island, Australia.

Talisman Sabre, which runs through July 29 on and around the northern and eastern coasts of Australia, is a 12-day bilateral exercise to train Australian and U.S. forces in planning and conducting combined operations. More than 14,000 U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps personnel are participating along with the Australian Defence Force in the exercise to enhance readiness and interoperability in military operations ranging from conventional conflict to peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance efforts.

Click on the photo to enlarge the image for a closeup look at the the procedures and equipment of these Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.

To see a photo slideshow of this live fire exercise, click here. The Stars and Stripes newspaper has a nice slideshow with photos of amphibious, airborne, naval and training operations during the fourth iteration of this biennial exercise.

July 22, 2011 at 11:04 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (May 13, 2011)

Muddy Buddy

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Patricia D. Lockhart

Despite such high tech developments as missile-firing drones, bomb-disarming robots and cyberwarfare, U.S. military officials say there’s still a need for boots on the ground and butts in the mud — especially in small wars and counter insurgencies.

One place Marines can learn the needed skills is on the northern end of the island of Okinawa, Japan, at Camp Gonsalves, home of the U.S. Marine Corps Jungle Warfare Training Center. At the JWTC, they have helicopter landing zones, a rocky beach to land on, simulated Third World villages, densely canopied jungle to navigate and lots and lots of mud.

In this photo, a Marine wriggles through that mud beneath barbed wire as part of the six-day endurance course designed to familiarize Marines with fighting in a dense jungle environment.

The camp is named for Pfc. Harold Gonsalves, who was killed on Okinawa during World War II and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery.

For more photos of the jungle training course, click here.

May 13, 2011 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment


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