Posts tagged ‘winter warfare’

FRIDAY FOTO (December 30, 2016)

Wintry Mix.

Now that winter is underway in the Northern Hemisphere, we thought we’d run a series of photos illustrating U.S. forces dealing with cold and snowy weather around the world.

frifo-12-30-2016-no-1-sun-and-snow

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sergeant Kirstin Merrimarahajara.)

The first photo (above) comes from Lithuania, where a Marine works his way through sun beams and snow in a field training exercise November 29, 2016 during Iron Sword 16, at the Rukla Training Area.

 

frifo-12-30-2016-no-2-snow-propeller

(U.S. Navy photo.)

As snow streams down, sailors change a propeller on an EP-3E Aries II aircraft during a night check at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, Washington. The sailors are assigned to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1.

 

frifo-12-30-2016-no-3-ice-drilling

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman.)

Senior Airman Carlos Aleman and Technical Sergeant Craig Slaten drill a hole in the frozen Tanana River in Fairbanks, Alaska on December 5, 2016. The airmen, both assigned to the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron, drilled in the area to build up the ice and create a stable bridge for transporting equipment and supplies.

 

frifo-12-30-2016-no-4-pickax-arm

(U.S. Air Force photo by Justin Connaher.)

Army Specialist Joseph Feola loosens the frozen ground so his fellow soldiers can drive tent stakes while conducting cold weather training in single-digit temperatures at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska on November 29, 2016. Feola is assigned to the 95th Chemical Company, 17th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion.

 

3rd ID teaches suppressive fire to Ukrainian Soldiers

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Elizabeth Tarr.)

Ukrainian and U.S. soldiers exit an armored vehicle during suppressive fire training in Yavoriv, Ukraine, November 18, 2016.

 

U.S. Marine live-fire exercise in Norway

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sergeant Michelle Reif.)

Marines and Norwegian soldiers operated a variety of armored vehicles including this tank in Setermoen, Norway, during a live-fire exercise to acclimate troops to mountainous regions and extreme cold weather conditions, November 17, 2016.

 

106th Rescue Wing Honor Guard Trains in the Snow

(Air National Guard photo by Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Muncy.)

Airman 1st Class Avery Friedman performs taps during training at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach, New York, Dec. 15, 2016. Friedman is a member of the 106th Rescue Wing Honor Guard.

 

 

December 30, 2016 at 12:53 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (December 16, 2016)

Purple Smoke for Iron Sword.

frifo-12-16-2016-purple-smoke

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Corrina Baltos.

Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade work their way through purple signal smoke during Exercise Iron Sword in Pabrade, Lithuania last month. Iron Sword is an international training exercise featuring 11 NATO countries and about 4,000 troops.

The participating NATO countries included Estonia, Latvia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia and Germany.

Military observers from Belarus and Kazakhstan visited the two-week exercise, which ended December 2. NATO partners Sweden and Ukraine also sent military observers.

The 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, is the Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, and is capable of projecting forces to conduct a full range of military operations across the United States European, Central and Africa Command areas of responsibility within 18 hours, according to the U.S. Army.

December 16, 2016 at 12:05 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (December 25, 2015)

The Force Is Still Strong.

U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergean. Robert Cloys

U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergean. Robert Cloys

In a war zone far, far away, U.S. service members cheer and clap before they get to see the first showing of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan on December 22.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service partnered with Walt Disney Studios to give troops a chance to see the movie at a deployed location.

Lately, the news from Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa, Paris, San Bernardino and elsewhere around the world has been just awful during what is supposed to be a season of joy and peace. We thought this light moment in a dangerous place –notice the M-16s– might bring you some Christmas cheer.

Here at 4GWAR, we wish you a happy and safe holiday season … and may the force be with you.

December 25, 2015 at 12:25 am Leave a comment

ARCTIC: U.S. Army Strykers in Arctic; Russian Arctic Power Plants; Arctic Coast Guard Forum

Live from Deadhorse.

U.S. Army Alaska Stryker vehicles from Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, unload from an Air Force C-17 Globe master III above the Arctic Circle as part of Operation Arctic Pegasus. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Joel Gibson)

U.S. Army Alaska Stryker vehicles from Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, unload from an Air Force C-17 Globe master III above the Arctic Circle as part of Operation Arctic Pegasus.
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Joel Gibson)

For the first time ever, the U.S. Army has deployed Stryker vehicles north of the Arctic Circle — with the help of the Air Force.

According to U.S. Army Alaska, elements of the Army’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team were deployed via an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft. Four Stryker vehicles and approximately 40 soldiers were delivered to Deadhorse, Alaska as part of Operation Arctic Pegasus, a joint, multi-agency exercise.  tested the rapid deployment capability

The 1st BCT regularly trains for rapid deployment across U.S. Army Alaska’s area of operation — which stretches from the Arctic Circle to the southern reaches of the Asia-Pacific region.

The average winter temperatures in the area where the Stryker platoon was deployed November 3-45, range from 23 degrees below zero to minus 11.

Click here to see an Army video of the Strykers operating in the Far North.

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Russia Seeks Mobile Nuke Power Plants for  Arctic.

Russia’s Defense Ministry plans to develop mobile nuclear power plants designated for military installations in the Arctic, according to the RT website. Introduction of the first mobile nuclear power plant (NPP) could take place by 2020, RT reported.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has ordered a pilot project of a mobile low-power nuclear station to be mounted on a tracked vehicle or a sledged platform to be delivered where needed in the Arctic region.

“The project has already begun and is going through a research stage now,” Yury Konyushko, CEO of the engineering company chosen to work on the project, told TASS.

Preliminary data is to be presented to the military by the end of this year, Konyushko said.

Once the ministry approves the project, full-scale development, estimated to take up to two years, will begin. After that engineering and construction of an operable prototype will be launched, RT reported.

*** *** ***

Arctic Coast Guard Forum.

Eight countries in the High North have organized a Coast Guard cooperative group to leverage collective resources to secure maritime safety in the Arctic.

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft joins leaders from all eight coast guard agencies of the Arctic nations in to sign a Joint officially establishing the Arctic Coast Guard Forum at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn. ., Oct. 30, 2015. The Arctic Coast Guard Forum is an operationally-focused, consensus-based organization with the purpose of leveraging collective resources to foster safe, secure and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the Arctic. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft joins leaders from all eight coast guard agencies of the Arctic nations in establishing the Arctic Coast Guard Forum at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.
(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley)

The new Arctic Coast Guard Forum was formally set up at a ceremony in New London, Connecticut last week ( October 30).

According to Coast Guard Compass, the official U.S. Coast Guard blog, “the Arctic Coast Guard Forum is an operationally-focused, consensus-based organization with the purpose of leveraging collective resources to foster safe, secure and environmentally responsible maritime activity in the Arctic”.

The signatories to the new cooperation agreement are Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

The increasing number of passenger cruise ships in the Arctic and the risk of pollution are considered to be the biggest threats currently facing the Arctic region.

“Iceland’s contribution could be valuable, given the work currently being put into setting up an international Arctic rescue station, to be located in Iceland,” the Head of the Icelandic Coast Guard, Georg Kr. Lárusson, told Iceland Monitor.

“Iceland boasts good facilities for conducting rescue operations and well-trained staff in the rescue services, the Icelandic Red Cross, the police, the Icelandic Coast Guard and various other institutions,” the Icelandic Coast Guard chief added.”

November 5, 2015 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (October 30, 2015)

Purple Eagle.

California National Guard photo by Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Chris Drudge

California National Guard photo by Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Chris Drudge

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle jet fighter prepares to taxi out for takeoff at 5 Wing Goose Bay, a Canadian air force base, in Newfoundland, Canada. Approximately 700 service members from the Canadian Armed Forces and the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Air National Guard participated in the 12-day exercise Vigilant Shield 16 that ended Monday, October 26.

To see more photos from Vigilant Shield, click here.

October 30, 2015 at 12:13 am Leave a comment

ARCTIC NATION: Obama Visit; Melting Ice Signposts; Walrus Woes; Russia Stakes a Claim

North to Alaska.

(White House photo by Pete Souza)

(White House photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama announced today (August 13) that he will journey to the Alaskan Arctic at the end of the month. In a video released by the White House, Obama — who is vacationing in New England — said he’s going to Alaska because it is on the “front lines of one of the greatest challenges we face this century,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“You see, climate change once seemed like a problem for future generations, but for most Americans, it’s already a reality,” Obama added. The Times noted that Obama’s August 31 to September 3 trip to see melting glaciers and speak with hunters and fisherman in Alaska would be the first Arctic visit by a sitting president.

Later in September, Obama plans to talk with Pope Francis about climate change when the pontiff visits the White House during a tour of the northeastern U.S., as both prepare for an international climate summit in Paris in December, he Times said.

The White House described Obama’s trip as part of an “all-out push” on climate-change issues during the final 18 months of his second term, the Wall Street Journal reported. The trip comes just weeks after his administration’s release of standards to limit carbon emissions from power plants — a move widely criticized by Republicans as hurful to the economy and costly for consumer, the Journal noted.

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Ice Melts, Maps Change.

The Arctic Circle and surrounding territory.

The Arctic Circle and surrounding territory.

So much sea ice has melted in the Arctic recently that the National Geographic’s annual Atlas of the World has had to revise its map of the Arctic Ocean.

The 10th edition of the annually published atlas — released in September — includes a map of the Arctic Ocean that looks dramatically different from 15 years ago, according to the website Quartz.

The melting ice hasn’t stopped since last fall, and it’s likely to have shrunk even further than the newly published maps now reflect, said Juan Jose Valdes, a geographer with the magazine.

To see the maps, including an animated one showing how Arctic sea ice has melted  between 1999 and 2014, click here.

*** *** ***

They am the Walrus.

For the second year in a row, walruses in the Arctic are running out of sea ice and may begin crowding onto a small beaches in northern Alaska.

Walruses prefer to spend their time out on the Arctic sea ice, which allows them a resting place in the open ocean where food is abundant. In the summer, when sea ice begins to melt, walruses typically follow the retreating ice north and migrate back south again when the ice refreezes in the fall, according to the Washington Post.

But last year, sea ice in the Chukchi sea between Alaska and Russia dropped to such low levels — an increasingly common occurrence as climate change dramatically reshapes the Arctic — that tens of thousands of walruses in the area were forced to drag themselves onto the Alaskan shore in search of res. And this year, ice is already low enough again that it’s looking like it could happen again soon, the Post said.

*** *** ***

Claim Jumper?

Like gold miners in the Yukon at the turn of the 20th Century,  Russia has formally staked a claim with the United Nations to a vast area of the Arctic Ocean, including the North Pole — and all the riches that may lie beneath the ice.

The foreign ministry said in a statement August 4 that Russia is claiming 1.2 million square kilometers (over 463,000 square miles) of Arctic sea shelf extending more than 350 nautical miles (about 650 kilometers) from the shore, the Associated Press reported.

Russia, the U.S., Canada, Denmark and Norway have all been trying to assert jurisdiction over parts of the Arctic, which is believed to hold up to a quarter of the planet’s undiscovered oil and gas. Rivalry for Arctic resources has intensified as shrinking polar ice is opening new opportunities for exploration, according to the AP.

 Russia was the first to submit its claim in 2002, but the U.N. sent it back for lack of evidence. It submitted a partial revision regarding the Okhotsk Sea in 2013 and the commission issued a recommendation the following year, U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.
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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. “Those interests include national security needs, protecting the environment, responsibly managing resources, considering the needs of indigenous communities, support for scientific research, and strengthening “international cooperation on a wide range of issues.”

Polar bears explore a surfaced U.S. submarine in the Arctic. U.S. Navy photo. (Click on the image to enlarge)

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August 14, 2015 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (May 29. 2015)

Keep it Simple … etc.

 (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Paul S. Martinez)

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal. Paul S. Martinez)

Sometimes, even in this digital world we live in, it’s easier to use some old fashioned tools like this rope line.

This week’s FRIFO shows Marine Corps Lance Corporal Maximilian Roth crossing a gorge on a rope during his final Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity assessment at the Marines’ Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California. Roth is a rifleman assigned to Alpha Company, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force.

May 29, 2015 at 3:02 am Leave a comment

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