Posts tagged ‘Navy’

ARCTIC NATION: Another Russia-NATO Flashpoint?

Kola Peninsula.

One of the most interesting articles in Thursday’s New York Times was an opinion piece by a German journalist about the Kola Peninsula, Russia’s northwestern-most territory in the Far North.

kola-peninsula-tundra-map

Kola Peninsula tundra ecoregion highlighted along the Barents and White Seas. (Source: WWF via the Encyclopedia of Earth).

Ice-coated barbed wire fences, surveillance cameras and settlements that look more like military installations mark this frigid region, but the coastline is warmed by the waters of the Gulf Stream, according to Jochen Bittner, a political editor for Die Zeit.

That makes the forbidding landscape of the Kola Peninsula “a gigantic marine pier, guaranteeing Russia’s naval fleet access to the Atlantic and offering a hub for operations in an area of the world that might become the next crisis zone between Russia and NATO: the North Pole,” says Bittner.

It’s no secret the Russian military has been building up its facilities in the Arctic, including several new air bases. But Bittner’s piece brings some diplomatic and political perspective to what’s at stake for Russia and the West in this increasingly important region.

To read more, click here.

ARCTIC NATION is an occasional 4GWAR posting on the High North. The U.S. “National Strategy for the Arctic Region” describes the United States as “an Arctic Nation with broad and fundamental interests in the Arctic Region, where we seek to meet our national security needs, protect the environment, responsibly manage resources, account for indigenous communities, support scientific research, and strengthen international cooperation on a wide range of issues.”

 

April 28, 2016 at 11:06 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY, April 1, 2016

I Robot, You Pitcher.

FRIFO 4-1-2016 EOD Robot baseball

U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Mickey Treigle

No, there wasn’t a bomb threat at a spring training baseball game in Phoenix, Arizona late last month. Quite the contrary, the Talon bomb disposal robot shown here is bringing out the ball for the first pitch of the March 25 game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants as part of Navy Week festivities.

We assume the sailor in white was going to throw that first pitch, not the Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator in full bomb squad gear to his right. Normally, the EOD operator would be using the Talon to examine, and if necessary, defuse a bomb, from a safe distance.

April 1, 2016 at 12:17 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO: March 18, 2016

Whose Taking the Picture?

Underwater Photography Training

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Arthurgwain L. Marquez

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Antonio Coffield prepares to dive underwater for photography training off the coast of San Diego on March 3, 2016.

Navy Combat Camera has the Department of Defense’s only underwater photography and videography capability.

 

March 18, 2016 at 1:19 am Leave a comment

SHAKO: St. Patrick’s Day

Wearin’ of the Green.

Green Camouflage Paint

(Army photo by Staff Sergeant Opal Vaughn)

There seems to be a lot of photos coming from the Defense Department website today with a green theme. Oh wait, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, a day honoring the patron saint of Ireland and a day when anyone with a little Irish blood in them wears the color green.

That’s not why U.S. Army Captain Andy Jenks is painting his face green in the above photo. But we thought it was an eyecatcher photo.

Captain Jenks is applying camouflage paint during Exercise Sky Soldier 16 at Chinchilla training area in Albacete, Spain. Jenks is assigned to the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

Aviators train with Air Guard controllers at Fort Drum

. ( U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Eric Miller)

It’s probably just a coincidence that airmen from the New York Air National Guard’s 274th Air Support Operations Squadron were using green signal smoke during Close Air Support (CAS) training at Fort Drum’s urban training site in Upstate New York on March 5. But hey, Paddy’s Day!

Rock Sokol

(U.S. Army photo by Davide Dalla Massara)

And everything looks emerald green when seen through a night vision scope.

Here an Army paratrooper notes measurements at night during Exercise Rock Sokol at Pocek Range in Postonja, Slovenia on March 10.

The training exercise between U.S. and Slovenian troops focuses on enhancing readiness between allied forces. The emerald paratrooper is assigned to 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

St. Paddy's Day-Navy on 5th Ave.

(U.S. Navy photo by Lieutenant Matthew Stroup)

The only things green in this photo are the Manhattan street signs and the green stripe painted down the middle of Fifth Avenue for New York’s massive St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Here we see the Navy Band Northeast marching up the avenue during the 255th St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Speaking of the New York Parade, we leave you with this photo and the accompanying story.

69th Infantry leads St. Patrick's Day Parade once again

(Army National Guard photo by Colonel Richard Goldenberg)

This 2013 photo shows members of the New York National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment leading two Irish Wolfhounds, their mascots, up Fifth Avenue.

The “Fighting 69th” — a nearly all Irish unit during the Civil War — traditionally leads the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade. To read more about this fabled unit (Warner Brothers made a movie about their World War I exploits in 1940) click here.

— —

SshakoHAKO 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 17, 2016 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

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

UNMANNED AIRCRAFT: First Afghan Drone; U.S. Navy Foreign Sales Plan; China Drones in Africa

Afghan Scan Eagle.

ScanEagle

The Afghan military could be flying its first unarmed surveillance drone as early as March, according to a U.S. commander in Kabul, Reuters reports.

The NATO-led military alliance will provide the remotely piloted Insitu ScanEagle aircraft, and will train Afghan soldiers to operate the system, said Major General Gordon Davis, commander of the unit that procures new equipment for the Afghans, Reuters said.

*** *** ***

Navy Plans Foreign Sales.

Insitu’s RQ-21 Blackjack drone, now being flown by the Marine Corps, is among the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) the U.S. Navy says it will offer for foreign sales.

Reporting from the Singapore Air Show, Defense News, says the Northrop Grumman MQ-8B Fire Scout, a small unmanned helicopter, and Northrop Grumman’s high flying MQ-4C Triton, a large-scale maritime surveillance aircraft, will be among the UAS available to foreign military customers.

*** *** ***

Nigerian Drones from China?

For African governments facing tight defense budgets and chronic security threats, Chinese military equipment has great appeal, particularly as it often comes as part of a broader package of trade and investment, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

Ten African nations have started buying equipment from China within the last 10 years, including Ghana, Sierra Leone, Angola and Nigeria.

And armed drones may be among the military equipment Nigeria is buying. In January 2015, photos of an armed drone that had crashed in a field in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno found their way onto the Internet. A second crash was reported in June. The drone was identified as a CH-3, an armed version of earlier drones built by China Aerospace Science and Technology, a vast state-owned enterprise employing more than 170,000 people.

February 18, 2016 at 11:51 pm 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

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