Archive for the ‘NATO’ Category

German Submarine Technology – World’s Most Advanced?

January 19, 2011

The German shipbuilding industry remains a global technology leader in conventional submarine development. Modern day “U-Boats” are sought after by NATO allies, by Israel, and by other nations around the world. In fact they are a leading export item for Germany’s military industry. And the German Navy’s U-Boat flotilla is a welcome partner in ongoing NATO and EU security operations. 

Some experts believe that German conventional submarines have actually assumed the technological lead over nuclear submarines.

Advances in Air Independent Propulsion and Fuel Cell Technology; state-of-the-art Command and Control systems such as the ISUS90 system currently deployed on Class 212A U-Boats; improved sonar, communication suites, and IFF systems; acoustic and electric signature reduction technology; and current as well as developmental weapon systems against underwater, surface, land and aerial targets are all discussed here

Advertisements

US Navy, Partners Deter Pirate Attacks

January 31, 2009

Find  exciting military and patriotic images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing for adults and kids, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, decorative keepsake boxes, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

The presence of partner nations and the newly formed task force to reduce the number of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden seem to be working, according to the commander of Combined Task Force 151.

“I think the combination of the coalition working together [with] the maritime community has decreased the pirate activity over the last couple of months,” Navy Rear Adm. Terry McKnight, also the commander of Expeditionary Strike Group 2, told bloggers and online journalists during a Defense Department bloggers’ roundtable Jan. 29.

The task force was formed earlier this month and comprises three ships — USS San Antonio (LPD 17), USS Mahan (DDG 72) and HMS Portland (F 79) — that are collaborating with other nations to deter future pirate attacks.

While a number of factors — even the weather — can impact the number of attacks, McKnight gave credit to the European Union and the nations involved in anti-piracy operations, as well as the task force, with helping to decrease attacks since early December.

“Some things have changed that have helped us in this case to combat piracy,” McKnight said. “The United Nations has come out with several resolutions … that give us more authority to combat piracy.”

U.N. Resolution 1846, approved by the United Nations Security Council on Dec. 2, authorizes states and regional organizations cooperating with the Somali transitional government to enter Somalia’s territorial waters and use “all necessary means” to combat piracy. Two weeks later, U.N. Resolution 1851 was approved, and calls for those states and organizations to “actively participate in defeating piracy and armed robbery off Somalia’s coast by deploying naval vessels and military aircraft, and through seizure and disposition of boats and arms used in the commission of those crimes.”

The other recent change that has assisted in combating piracy is the maritime community itself, McKnight said.

“We have tried very hard to say to the maritime community, there are just not enough Navy ships out there to cover 1.1 million square miles,” he said.

McKnight added that creating a safe corridor allows the nations involved in combating piracy to offer protection to the maritime vessels transiting through the Gulf of Aden.

In standing up Combined Task Force 151, McKnight said, he hopes to “make it unpleasant to be in the pirate business.”

“Right now, we have about 14 nations out here with about 20 ships,” he said. “We’ve had some encouraging signs from other ships and other nations to join the task force. I expect that by the spring we will have quite a few ships joining.”

McKnight said these and other nations involved and those interested in participating in the future all share the same goal of “free commerce.”

“We have to make sure that we have free commerce throughout the open seas and throughout the world,” said McKnight.

Jennifer Cragg (NNS)

Gen. Craddock Says: Leave Troops, Nukes in Europe

January 21, 2009

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

NATO Supreme Allied Commander – Europe (SACEUR) General Bantz Craddock has endorsed recommendations by a special Pentagon commission which confirmed the need to retain US nuclear weapons in Europe.

General Craddock, who previously served as Commander, US Army Europe, also said the U.S. command needs to retain four Army brigades, instead of cutting to two as has been proposed, and needs to retain current Air Force and Navy force levels.

Read more on Gen. Craddock’s remarks at Government Executive

Technology prepares NATO Soldiers in Northern Europe

January 16, 2009

Find  exciting military and patriotic images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing for adults and kids, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, decorative keepsake boxes, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

 U.S. Army Garrison Benelux may not have the armor power of Fort Hood, Texas, or the infantry forces of Fort Bragg, N.C., but when it comes to technology, its installations are equipped with some of the Army’s best automation equipment: The Engagement Skills Trainer 2000 and Northern Europe’s only Digital Training Facility.

The Army deployed the EST 2000, a digital marksmanship training tool, to installations around the world at the turn of the century. Chièvres Air Base, in Belgium, and USAG Schinnen, in the Netherlands, were among the recipients of the platform. Both garrisons provide training support to NATO servicemembers stationed in their regions.

The EST 2000 allows troops to practice firing the small arms in their unit’s inventory, using scenarios appropriate to the unit’s mission.

Luiz Velez, a training support specialist at the Chièvres EST, recently taught Soldiers from the USAG Benelux Military Police, 650th Military Intelligence Group and the U.S. Army NATO SHAPE Battalion how to operate the system.

“The training allows Soldiers more flexibility, he said, “so now they can train anytime they want.” They don’t have to draw ammo or have a safety officer present, he added.

The diversity of the EST 2000 allowed the noncommissioned officers to adjust the downrange scenarios to a situation appropriate for their line of work.

“I’ve used this [weapon] in a deployed environment, and this is a great way to train,” said Staff Sgt. John Phillips, a training NCO with 650th MI Group.

Phillips had only been at SHAPE for two months when he received the operator training, but he could already see how it was going to benefit his unit. The 650th MI Group is made up of Soldiers and civilians who deploy downrange, and while the Soldiers attend basic training and learn the ins-and-outs of certain weapons, civilians don’t have those same requirements.

Phillips said the EST 2000 is a great way to keep civilians prepared for their missions. “It ensures you don’t lose familiarity,” he said.

In addition to training scenarios like encountering an enemy or friendly helicopter or facing a desert ambush, the computer-based platform allows Velez and the new operators to control other elements.

“You can design your own type of scenarios,” he said. “You can change the weather and the daylight experience.”

Another benefit of the EST 2000 is the immediate feedback. Following a one- to two-minute exercise, the monitor displays shots fired, hits, misses, percentages and more, allowing the training NCOIC to adjust accordingly for individual Soldier’s needs.

“It’s good for Soldiers in the unit who haven’t fired in a while,” said Sgt. Joe Daley, USAG Benelux MP, adding that it helps them perfect their skills and prepare for weapons qualification.

In addition to maintaining marksmanship skills, as Soldiers’ careers progress and as Army systems evolve to support ever-changing missions, the Army requires additional schooling like the Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course and Medical Protection System.

Living on the other side of the planet can make traveling to military schools in the States challenging and expensive for those working with NATO, which is one of the reasons the Army launched the Distributed Learning System.

“Distributed Learning leverages technology to bring training to Soldiers anytime, anywhere,” said Brett Anderson, the Digital Training Facility manager at Chièvres Air Base.

“Army-wide there are 200 DTFs around the world. All of the DTFs can link with one another to facilitate training that takes place at a single location,” he added.

The recently-upgraded DTF at Chièvres Air Base, operated by the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command, is the only one in Northern Europe, and therefore services every unit within the USAG Benelux’s seven-nation footprint.

At the DTF, Servicemembers, civilians, military and DoD Family members and some foreign military personnel can take part in Web-based training, Video Teletraining and more.

“Some of the courses delivered via VTT are BNCOC Phase I, Battle Staff Non-commissioned Officer Course, and MEDPROS,” said Anderson.

“The DTF is also set-up like any traditional classroom, and resident training can be conducted using technology such as PowerPoint presentations, CD-ROM, DVD in tandem with multi-media projectors available at the facility,” he added.

Aside from professional development, the DTF is available for Army e-Learning courses. Army e-Learning offers thousands of free course hours in a variety of languages like Dutch and French, using Rosetta Stone. It also provides training in business skills, system administration, office systems and more.

“Soldiers may access these resources using any computer,” said Anderson. “The DTF, however, provides a clean, quiet place free of distractions where soldiers can complete their online training requirements.”

Anderson encouraged units and individuals in the region to use the free resource. “In doing so, money is saved, readiness is increased through training standardization and morale is improved as families no longer have to endure long separations when possible,” he said.

Christie Vanover

Multinational recovery exercise kicks off at Davis-Monthan

December 14, 2008

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

OR

Find this and other exciting images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

More than 850 ground recovery forces and 51 aircraft from the Department of Defense and numerous other countries kicked off a personnel recovery and combat search and rescue exercise Dec. 8 at Davis-Monthan AFB (Arizona).

The two week-long Angel Thunder 2008 exercise allows U.S. and international military forces and numerous national, multinational and interagency personnel recovery assets to train through the full spectrum of personnel recovery capabilities — preparation, planning, execution and adaptation.

“Angel Thunder is a very unique program, built by the combat search and rescue community from the grass roots level, that incorporates the lessons we’ve collectively learned from our experiences,” said Maj. Brett Hartnett, the Angel Thunder Project Officer assigned to the 563rd Operational Support Squadron here. “This exercise helps to eliminate the idea that personnel recovery can be done independent of other agencies, because from experience, we know that each service and government agency must work together to make successful recoveries at home and abroad.”

Personnel recovery is the sum of military, civil, and political operations needed to gain the release or rescue of military personnel from uncertain or hostile environments, and civilians during combat, disaster and relief operations.

The exercise takes rescue personnel through a number of scenarios that emulate real-world rescue operations that have happened or have the possibility of happening. The mountainous regions of Southern Arizona and New Mexico are being used because they mirror the landscapes found throughout Iraq and Afghanistan and other locations around the world.

The recovery forces see the benefit of learning and making mistakes during exercises like Angel Thunder, versus on the battlefield where lives are on the line. 

“It’s better to exercise this now than it would be when bullets are flying in a real combat situation,” said Master Sgt. Chad Watts, the superintendent of combat survival training at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. 

More than 30 volunteers from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Air Force ROTC cadets from the University of Arizona served as survivors to add another level of realism to this exercise, Sergeant Watts said. “We need something tangible to look for, something to bring home. Ultimately, without a survivor you don’t have an exercise.” 

Other key players participating in Angel Thunder included rescue forces from Chile, Colombia and Germany who are working alongside American forces throughout each phase of the exercise.

Personnel recovery operations require a precise mix of ground air forces to aid in successful rescues. Angel Thunder 2008 integrates combat aircrew forces, guardian angel and intelligence personnel, battle managers, and joint search and rescue center personnel. Because ground recovery forces routinely operate with forces from sister services, and other national, international and interagencies that may communicate, and respond in slightly different ways, Angel Thunder 2008 was designed to facilitate interoperability, cross-culture sharing of tactics and procedures.

“Everybody has their own tactics, techniques and procedures and having everybody come together allows us to work through some of the communication differences, and allows us to share lessons learned with each other,” Sergeant Watts said.

Aircraft participating in Angel Thunder 2008 include the HH-60G Pave Hawk, the MC-130P Combat Shadow, C-130 Hercules, the AH-64D Longbow, the UH-1N Huey, C-17 Globemaster III, the KC-135 Stratotanker, the HC-130P/N, EC-130H Compass Call, the E-3 Sentry, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, and the German air force Tornado.

Angel Thunder 2008, hosted by Air Combat Command officials, is the third joint personnel recovery and combat rescue exercise conducted at Davis-Monthan AFB. American participation in this exercise include members from the Air Force, Army, the Department of Justice, the National Reconnaissance Office, the State Department, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Joint Forces Command with multinational observers from Mexico, Canada and Pakistan.

Kerry Jackson (AFNS)

Nations Gather to Prep for Black Sea Interoperability Exercise

December 14, 2008

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

OR

Find this and other exciting images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

Commander, Carrier Strike Group 12, hosted representatives of 11 nations Dec. 2-4 for the initial planning conference for the 37th annual Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) exercise at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel.

BALTOPS 2009 will take place in the Baltic Sea June 8-19, 2009 and is the largest international exercise organized in the Baltic.

The purpose of BALTOPS is to promote mutual understanding and maritime interoperability between U.S. Navy, NATO and Partnership for Peace (PFP) participants through a series of multilateral training exercises. Carrier Strike Group 12 is assigned as the primary planning, coordination and execution command for the exercise.

For the 2009 BALTOPS exercise, 12 countries are scheduled to participate: Estonia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“The purpose of BALTOPS is to bring all of the nations together in one exercise,” said Cmdr. J.G. Olaf Albrecht, the head of the delegation from the German Navy Fleet Headquarters. “We learn how other navies work and how to live together in the Baltic Sea, especially the nations which are former Soviet nations such as Lithuania and Latvia. It’s a very educational experience.”

The initial planning conference is only one step in the preparation for a successful BALTOPS.

“We have more planning conferences left; the main planning conference will be hosted in Germany,” said Lt. Sam Bethune, Carrier Strike Group 12 exercise lead planner for BALTOPS. “And the final planning conference will be hosted by Poland. Not only are these nations helping to plan the exercise, but they’re hosting our conferences so we can learn a little bit about their country and culture as we do the planning.”

BALTOPS is an important experience because it improves interoperability among the participating nations and creates forces that are able to easily integrate into multinational, multiwarfare operations.

“It’s a great exercise and a great experience for everybody who will take part because it’s unique,” said Albrecht. “Normally, we don’t train with the United States, so this is the only time we have training with Americans inside the Baltic. It’s a very important thing.”

Through the dedication and the hard work of everyone involved, Bethune hopes this upcoming BALTOPS will be as successful as the previous 36 BALTOPS.

“We had great participation at this conference,” said Bethune. “We hope for even better participation at our next conference in Germany. We accomplished all of our goals, so we’re moving ahead in pretty good shape. It was a very successful event, and having it here in downtown Norfolk was a treat.”

Clark Meredith (NNS)

F-35 Lightning II Avionics Tested

December 13, 2008

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

OR

Find this and other exciting images on tee-shirts, caps, and other casual clothing, as well as on beer steins, mousepads, clocks, and dozens of other office and gift items. Visit The Military Chest today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

Lockheed Martin’s Cooperative Avionics Test Bed, or “CATBird,” has begun in-flight integration and verification of the F-35 Lightning II mission systems suite, launching another stage of risk reduction for the world’s newest fighter.

The CATBird, a highly modified 737 airliner, will test the avionics suite thoroughly for several months before the complete system begins flying in an F-35 aircraft. The entire F-35 avionics system is slated for airborne testing in the CATBird in 2009.

“The F-35 mission systems suite is the most sophisticated and powerful avionics package of any fighter in the world,” said Dan Crowley, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and F-35 program general manager. “The CATBird is a shared industry and government investment that continues our risk-reduction work as we prove that the F-35’s advanced avionics work as advertised, three years before the first F-35 goes operational. This is the start of what will no doubt be an exciting period of validation and confidence building regarding the capabilities of this 5th generation, multi-role, multi-service aircraft.”

The F-35’s avionics include on-board sensors that will enable pilots to strike fixed or moving ground targets in high-threat environments, day or night, in any weather, while simultaneously targeting and eliminating advanced airborne threats.

The CATBird’s 40th flight, on Tuesday, Nov. 25, was its first configured as a complete classified mission systems laboratory. All test objectives were met in the 2.4 hour sortie.

“We were able to transmit using the radar for 23 minutes and selected six different TACAN (tactical control and navigation) stations, with data displayed on the F-35 cockpit that resides in the CATBird,” said Eric Branyan, Lockheed Martin vice president of F-35 Air System Development. “The results matched our predictions.”

The first Lightning II aircraft to fly with the full avionics package will be a short takeoff/vertical landing F-35B, called BF-4. All previous F-35 test aircraft are “flight sciences” aircraft, designed to validate the fighter’s aerodynamic performance. BF-4 is the first F-35 “mission systems” aircraft and is scheduled to make its first flight in mid-2009.

The F-35 is a supersonic, multi-role, 5th generation stealth fighter. Three F-35 variants derived from a common design, developed together and using the same sustainment infrastructure worldwide will replace at least 13 types of aircraft for 11 nations initially, making the Lightning II the most cost-effective fighter program in history.

Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Two separate, interchangeable F-35 engines are under development: the Pratt & Whitney F135 and the GE Rolls-Royce Fighter Engine Team F136.

Gates Pledges “Active” Role as Obama Defense Secretary

December 13, 2008

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Tuesday that he had no intention of being a “caretaker” at the Pentagon and that he agreed with what he termed President-elect Barack Obama’s “responsible drawdown” plan for American combat troops from Iraq.

The defense secretary did not explicitly endorse Mr. Obama’s campaign pledge to withdraw all combat troops within 16 months.

Instead, Mr. Gates said he supported the broad outlines of Mr. Obama’s Iraq strategy and gave indications that he and the president-elect could reach common ground on troop withdrawals over the next year.

Read the full article at NYT

Korean War: Anglo-American Rescue Operation

December 8, 2008

British pilots shot down over North Korea scramble to meet a US Air Force helicopter while Royal Air Force fighter planes provide air cover during this 1953 Korean War scene.


Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

US & Partners Initiate NATO Training Federation

December 5, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

NATO and U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) officials recently completed the first use of a new jointly-developed Alliance modeling and simulation (M&S) training capability in Suffolk, Virginia.

Exercise Steadfast Joiner was a computer-assisted command post exercise to train and evaluate NATO’s Response Force (NRF) 12 and showcased the first use of the Joint Multi-Resolution Model (JMRM) Federation, NATO’s constructive simulation training capability and a central component in the NATO Training Federation (NTF).

Army Lt. Col. John Janiszewski, chief, USJFCOM Joint Warfighting Center (JWFC) Technical Development and Innovation Branch, said USJFCOM assisted NATO with the development of the critical M&S capability. 

“Project Snow Leopard is NATO’s initiative to develop a distributed network linking NATO organizations, nations, and partners in order to enhance distributed training, education, and experimentation,” said Janiszewski.  “Over a two year period our team worked closely with NATO’s Allied Command Transformation and the Joint Warfare Centr to develop, test and field this training capability. 

“The Steadfast Joiner exercise is a major milestone for NATO and its 26 member nations that validated the NATO Training Federation as a viable training tool for NATO,” said Janiszewski.

He explained that the JMRM is a modeling and simulation federation consisting of two models, the Joint Theater Level Simulation (JTLS) and the Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation (JCATS).  This federation allows an organization to train from the operational level of war down to the tactical level of war.

USJFCOM’s Joint Warfighting Center manages both models and used them in the past to train U.S. forces.

“NATO was exercising a unit using fictional scenario. The units develop plans that were then input into the simulation,” Janiszewski said. “The simulation replicated the interaction or conflict between NATO forces, civilians and opposing forces.  The simulation then provided the results of the interaction to the training audience.”

He said using the NTF enables NATO to train their forces more effectively before deploying to a theater of operations like Afghanistan.

“This gives them a means into which they can certify forces as being ready to execute their warfighting mission,” he said.

According to Janiszewski, USJFCOM will continue working with NATO to enhance and refine the NTF.