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19 juillet 2012 4 19 /07 /juillet /2012 17:50

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/120719-afghanistan-transfert-du-dernier-poste-de-combat-avance-du-district-de-surobi/120719-transfert-du-dernier-poste-de-combat-avance-du-district-de-surobi-a-l-armee-nationale-afghane-13/1875018-16-fre-FR/120719-transfert-du-dernier-poste-de-combat-avance-du-district-de-surobi-a-l-armee-nationale-afghane-1.jpg

 

19/07/2012 Sources : EMA

 

Le 16 juillet 2012, l’armée nationale afghane (ANA) a officiellement pris en compte le poste de combat avancé (COP) Anjiran, situé dans le sud de la vallée de Tagab, dont elle assure désormais seule la responsabilité avec des éléments du kandak (bataillon) 36 de la 3e brigade afghane.

La cérémonie de transfert d’autorité du COP Anjiran a eu lieu en présence du colonel Gilles Haberey, commandant le Battle Group (BG) Wild Geese, et du lieutenant-colonel Sekandar, chef du kandak 36 de l’armée nationale afghane (ANA).

En liaison étroite avec le bataillon logistique (BatLog) Voie Sacrée, le BG Wild Geese a conduit l’opération Green Stork 20, qui comprenait le rapatriement sur la FOB (base opérationnelle avancée) Surobi et sur le camp Warehouse à Kaboul du matériel français présent sur le COP Anjiran. Le convoi logistique a sillonné l’axe Vermont et la Highway 7 entre Anjiran, Surobi et Kaboul, avec une dizaine de containers.

 

Les éléments français déployés jusqu’alors sur le COP Anjiran ont donc rejoint la FOB Surobi. Le BG Wild Geese réarticule ainsi son dispositif tout en poursuivant la concrétisation du transfert de responsabilité aux forces de sécurités afghanes.

 

Le transfert d’autorité du COP Anjiran s’inscrit dans le cadre du processus de transition du district de Surobi lancé en novembre 2011 et intervient à la suite de la cérémonie officielle de transition du district, le 12 avril 2012 . Le COP Anjiran est le dernier poste de combat avancé de la Task Force La Fayette à passer sous la responsabilité de l’ANA, après le départ du GTIA Surobi du COP Uzbeen, le 30 juin 2012 et de la FOB de Gwan en janvier 2012. Le départ des militaires français du COP Anjiran marque ainsi l’avancée du processus de transfert de responsabilité aux autorités afghanes, et l’autonomie croissante de la 3ème brigade de l’ANA.

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19 juillet 2012 4 19 /07 /juillet /2012 16:01

afghanistan-ceremonie-de-transition-de-la-province-de-kapis.jpg

 

19 July 2012 by TOLOnews.com

 

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Afghan President Hamid Karzai signed a deal on Thursday to build a British-style officers' academy in Afghanistan.

 

Cameron said in a press conference on Thursday that the deal was part of Britain's continuing commitment to development aid beyond 2014, when UK combat troops will leave as international operations end.

 

"We brought up the idea of opening a military academy to train Afghan officers which will be governed by the UK officials. I am happy to sign an agreement with President Karzai and hope that this could be a long term assistance to Afghanistan," Cameron said.

 

"I had an effective conversation with President Karzai about bringing stability to Afghanistan because a stable, secure and democratic Afghanistan is for the benefit all of us. We will try hard to prevent the country from turning to a terrorism haven and we will work together to achieve this goal," he added.

 

Karzai welcomed the agreement and said that such an Academy will be very important for training of the Afghan military officers.

 

"British Prime Minister promised this two years ago and he fulfilled it today by signing the agreement. The establishment of the Academy has a positive role for the capacity building of the Afghan forces," Karzai said at the press briefing.

 

Cameron and Karzai will also meet with Pakistan's new Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf who travelled to Kabul Thursday.

 

It will be Karzai's first meeting with Ashraf, and it is expected to focus on discussions over securing a peace deal with the Taliban and an end to cross-border support for insurgents.

 

At the press conference, Cameron urged Karzai and Ashraf to "work together to achieve a secure and stable Afghanistan."

 

It comes as Nato begins the troop drawdown from Afghanistan, set to end in 2014.

 

Cameron arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday, landing in the southern city of Lashkar Gar, capital of Helmand province, where British forces are based.

 

He met with provincial officials including the police chief and acting governor to discuss the transition of security responsibilities to Afghan forces.

 

Britain has around 9,500 troops in Afghanistan, making it the second-largest contributor to the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force after the United States.

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18 juillet 2012 3 18 /07 /juillet /2012 16:50

Afghanistan.svg

 

17 July 2012 by TOLOnews.com

 

Afghanistan and Iran are in the process of drafting a strategic agreement to boost cooperation between the two countries, Iranian Foreign Secretary Ali Akbar Salehi told TOLOnews in Japan.

 

The agreement will focus on different aspects of their relationship, particularly on the training of Afghan national security forces, Salehi said, marking the first time an Iranian high-ranking official has stated the country's interest in training Afghan soldiers.

 

He confirmed that there were people already working on a draft of a long-term agreement.

 

"We hope to sign a strategic agreement soon, which was proposed by President [Hamid] Karzai, in order to boost cooperation between the two countries. The two countries' experts are working to write a draft of the agreement which will be signed in the near future," he said.

 

Salehi pointed out that Iran has a demonstrable interest in Afghanistan's future.

 

"We have attended many conferences in the past several months including Istanbul, Bonne, Kabul, and now the Tokyo conference which shows the strong commitment of Iran to our Afghan brothers and sisters," Salehi said in the interview.

 

He added that the Iranian government is already making steps in this regard, trying to connect Afghanistan to international waters through Iran's Chabahar port.

 

"One of the projects we've announced was to connect Afghanistan to Chabahar port in order to connect the country with waters which will ease the transit issues," Salehi added.

 

He said that Iran wants Afghanistan to stand on its own feet after withdrawal of the foreign troops from the country.

 

Iran will be the second regional country to sign a strategic agreement with Afghanistan after India.

 

Afghanistan has signed similar agreements with countries such as Italy, Britain, Australia, and the US, in recent months to secure their cooperation during the "transformation decade" of 2015 to 2024 and possibly beyond.

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18 juillet 2012 3 18 /07 /juillet /2012 13:41

ISAF-Logo

 

 2012-07-18 xinhua

 

Deux soldats de l'Otan ont été blessés mercredi matin lorsqu'un hélicoptère s'est écrasé dans l'ouest de l'Afghanistan, a confirmé l'alliance militaire dans un communiqué publié à Kaboul.

 

"Deux membres de la Force internationale d'assistance à la sécurité (ISAF) ont été blessés lorsque leur hélicoptère s'est écrasé, aujourd'hui dans l'ouest de l'Afghanistan", a annoncé l'ISAF.

 

Le communiqué n'a cependant donné aucun détail sur l'incident, faisant seulement savoir qu'une enquête était en cours pour déterminer la cause du crash.

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18 juillet 2012 3 18 /07 /juillet /2012 12:36

IED bomb source aviationweek.com

 

July 18, 2012 Ministry of Defence of Hungary  - defpro.com

 

Last weekend, Hungarian and Afghan EOD technicians saved the lives of hundreds by removing a magnetic bomb from a tanker truck filled up with 16,000 liters of kerosene in downtown Pol-e Khomri. The commander of the HDF Provincial Reconstruction Team (HUN PRT) and the chief of the EOD cell told us the story.

 

„On Saturday at 18:30 local time, we received a telephone call from the deputy provincial police chief. He told us that an IED emplaced on a tanker truck had been found less than three kilometers from Camp Pannonia in downtown Pol-e Khomri at a busy hub near a mosque, on the main road leading to Kunduz. The police officer informed us that unfortunately there weren’t any deployable local bomb disposal units around, so he requested our help”, Lt.-Col. János Somogyi, the commander of the HUN PRT-12 told us.

 

He added that he immediately alerted the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) and the EOD team of the Hungarian contingent, and then they deployed to the scene under police escort. According to the lieutenant-colonel, it is fortunate that cases like this are relatively rare, but recently there have been more and more of them at the seat of Baghlan Province.

Last time, on June 28 a tanker truck filled up with gasoline was blown up in the inner city traffic circle. On that occasion, one Afghan was killed, several people were injured and more than a dozen shops were gutted.

 

„Arriving on the scene, we continued to gather information and found the truck driver who told us that there were 16,000 liters of kerosene inside the tank. He also told us that an Afghan motorcyclist had emplaced an IED on the tank. The driver tried to remove it, but he did not succeed, and then he notified the local police”, the commander of the HUN PRT related the events.

 

SSG K., the chief the HUN PRT EOD cell told us that in line with the usual protocols first they sent an EOD robot to the tanker truck to reconnoiter the scene.

 

They tried to remove the IED from the tank using the manipulator arm of the robot, but the magnet was so strong that they failed, although the robot is capable of lifting weights up to 35 kgs with its “hand”, or to tow a car if its handbrakes are released.

 

„At that point, the Afghan EOD technicians arrived on the scene. After watching the video footages shot by the robot, we decided to use the Hook and Line kit from the EOD equipment to remove the IED. One of the Afghan bomb technicians attached the hook to the IED and then we removed the bomb remotely”, the EOD chief said, adding that they had already met the local EOD technicians several times before, as they regularly organize trainings and refresher courses for them.

 

By that time it was 10:00 pm., which means the action took over three hours. The local policemen transported the IED to the Afghan National Directorate of Security, where it is currently under investigation.

 

Through their successful action, the Hungarian and Afghan EOD technicians have saved the lives of several hundred people, because the explosion of such a large amount of kerosene would have caused a huge disaster, Lt.-Col. János Somogyi told us.

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18 juillet 2012 3 18 /07 /juillet /2012 12:34

1128-Afpakravitaillement source Courrier international

source Courrier international

 

July 18, 2012 Jim Garamone / American Forces Press Service – defpro.com

 

WASHINGTON | The man who oversaw the logistics of the military withdrawal from Iraq sees a greater challenge coming in the Afghan drawdown, describing it as ‘huge”.

 

Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told reporters logistics is a much bigger part of his job than he thought it would be.

 

“The aphorism that amateurs worry about tactics and professionals worry about logistics is very true,” Kendall said.

 

“We have a huge logistics challenge getting out of Afghanistan.” That challenge, he said is different than the one involved in the withdrawal from Iraq.

 

Kendall oversaw the Iraq effort as the principle deputy undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics. “That was a piece of cake compared to what we have to do in Afghanistan. This is a much more difficult job.”

 

Afghanistan is a land-locked country and the United States, NATO countries and coalition partners have sent mountains of equipment and supplies there since operations began in 2001. Now the coalition effort is drawing down as Afghan forces increasingly take over security. By the end of the summer, 23,000 additional American service members will leave, as well as those from many coalition nations. Combat operations are to wind down next year, and all coalition combat operations are set to conclude at the end of 2014.

 

The recent reopening of supply lines through Pakistan has helped, Kendall said. “Hopefully they will stay open and we will be able to use them,” he said. “We’ve gone a long way towards negotiating agreements to help in the Northern Distribution Network. There’s still some work to be done there. But that also will help.”

 

The U.S. military has been planning the maneuver for months, and an exercise is underway.

 

There are things that make the Afghan operation more difficult than the effort in Iraq and some that make it easier, Kendall said. “One of the things that made the Iraq situation easier was, of course, you could just drive in to Kuwait, park things in Kuwait and then ship them wherever you had to,” he said.

 

“It’s not quite as easy to get out of Afghanistan, but on the other hand, we expect to have a more enduring presence in Afghanistan,” he said. “So we will be able to move material out at a pace, which is perhaps more reasonable.”

 

Materiel may be shipped out past the December 2014 deadline, Kendall said. “I think because of the physical constraints we will probably do that,” he said.

 

“One of the reasons we are going to need overseas contingency funds beyond 2014 is that we’re going to have to do the logistics job – not just in getting the equipment we want out – but in refurbishing it when we get it back,” he added.

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 18:28

A-Merlin-HC3-helicopter-photo-MOD-2012.jpg

A Merlin HC3 helicopter at Camp Bastion

 

17 Jul 12 UK MoD - A Military Operations news article

 

As daytime temperatures soar towards 50 degrees Celsius in the shade in Afghanistan the heat is on for the engineers who keep the fleet of helicopters in the air.

 

The tri-Service Joint Aviation Group provides rotary wing support to British and coalition forces. At Camp Bastion in Helmand province RAF Chinook and Merlin crews operate alongside colleagues from the Army Air Corps and the Fleet Air Arm flying Apache, Lynx and Sea King helicopters.

 

For the ground crew who keep the aircraft serviceable the extreme heat of the summer months brings with it a unique set of engineering challenges.

 

The Merlin HC3 helicopters of 1419 Flight are being operated by 78 Squadron's A Flight from RAF Benson:

 

    "When we first came here last July and got off the aircraft at midnight it was like walking into an oven," said Senior Aircraftman Chris Bird. "I didn't expect it to be that hot in the middle of the night."

    "The aircraft isn't specifically designed to operate in these extreme temperatures, which brings with it a whole host of engineering challenges which we don't see in the UK," said Flight Lieutenant Suzie Gray.

    "For example the engines require cleaning regularly, which requires more manpower, and our other equipment can also overheat very quickly in the height of summer," continued the junior Engineering Officer.

    "These helos were primarily designed for the North Sea environment and the vast amount of avionics equipment fitted does get to a phenomenal temperature out here," explained Corporal Stuart Robertson, an Avionics Technician.

    "The Merlin is equipped with a complex avionics suite which generates a lot of heat when in use. Couple that with the extreme temperatures and dusty environment here and the kit gets very hot."

 

Sensible precautions are drilled into the RAF personnel who work through the day and night, whatever the conditions:

 

    "When an aircraft returns we have to wait for it to cool down" said Corporal Robertson.

    "You take on plenty of water and keep an eye out for each other. If anyone looks like they're struggling you take them off the job immediately and take them to cool down."

    "Most of our work is up around the gearbox and engines which run at temperatures of 150 degrees C plus," explained Corporal Tristan Gill.

    "Even if you leave the engines for three hours they are still very warm. We therefore have to wear our sleeves down as a precaution, which in the temperatures out here can make you a tad warm.

    "I normally have two guys working for me and I am therefore responsible for ensuring they take on water and do not stay in the sun too long," he added.

    "Even in the hangar we have a break at least every 30 minutes which results in jobs taking twice as long to complete."

 

Whilst working out on the pan in the blazing sun wearing personal protective equipment is very uncomfortable, working in the cockpit where the heat is unable to escape is far worse:

 

    "It's surreal that you have to put on more layers because of the heat," said Senior Aircraftman Bird. "The cockpit is like a greenhouse and it's not uncommon to see the pilots' temperature gauge off the 50 degrees C scale.

    "When you kneel on top of the aircraft you can feel the heat through your overalls and so the trick I've learned is to tip a bottle of water over the airframe I'm working on. It evaporates instantly but it does make it slightly easier," he added.

 

Merlin-HC3-helicopter-photo-MOD-2012.jpg

RAF helicopter engineers work on a Merlin HC3 helicopter at Camp Bastion

 

For Flight Lieutenant Gray, who is experiencing her first HERRICK tour, the ground crew had exceeded expectations:

 

    "The team have done absolutely brilliantly. We have some very senior guys here and have been able to deal with everything the environment has thrown at us.

    "Because we've got a mixture of experience, the younger guys are mentored from day one, and as we work 12 hours on, 12 hours off, it only takes a matter of days to settle into a routine," she added.

 

But despite the harsh environment the RAF personnel do consider themselves to be in a fortunate position:

 

    "The work's hard and just when you think things are going all right something else will happen," said Corporal Robertson.

    "But it's satisfying to know we're making a difference and helping the troops on the front line, and we all appreciate that we're privileged to be here where we're not in any great danger."

    "We're very linked in to our aircrew who tell us what they've been doing and so the engineers do get a sense of satisfaction from knowing their work is extremely valued," said Flight Lieutenant Gray.

 

Despite the workload 78 Squadron are finding time to raise money for charity. They have set themselves the target of travelling around the world in 60 days without the aid of transport. With an hour in the gym equating to one minute in each of 24 time zones, to accomplish their task the RAF team will need to spend a total of 1,440 hours working out.

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 17:21

http://lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr/media/02/00/3324871745.jpg

 

17.07.2012 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Jean-Yves Le Drian a fait un crochet (logique) par Kaboul avant de rentrer en France. Après le Kazakhstan et l'Ouzbékistan, le ministre de la Défense, est arrivée pour sa 3e visite en afghanistan. Au programme: des rencontres avec les autorités afghanes et le commandement français.

 

Une option actuellement retenue pour le retrait du matériel implique une première étape aérienne: le matériel serait chargé à Kaboul, sur l’aéroport dont la France va prendre la responsabilité le 1er octobre, et transféré vers la ville de Shymkent, au Kazakhstan. L’équipement serait ensuite convoyé par train, via la Russie, vers les ports de la Baltique où il serait chargé sur des rouliers et acheminé vers un port français. Une autre option envisageable inclut un transit ferroviaire par l’Ouzbékistan puis le Kazakhstan et la Russie.

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 16:42

Afghanistan.svg

 

July 17, 2012 Ansar Abbasi - thenews.com.pk

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan military has charged the US-led ISAF and Afghan security forces for providing sanctuaries to anti-Pakistan Taliban and terrorists across the border in Afghanistan.

 

Formally the Foreign Office, the GHQ and even the top civilian leadership in Pakistan is cautious to speak against what the US and other foreign states are doing within Afghanistan to hurt the interest of Pakistan, the Pakistan military through its official publication “Hilal” has, however, spoken out its mind in clear terms.

 

In its editorial note titled “Terrorist Havens in Afghanistan”, the publication whose patron-in-chief is the DG ISPR, said that the terrorists’ groups are using sanctuaries in Afghanistan for many purposes from training recruits to holding planning meetings.

 

Training camps at which such skills as hand to hand combat and the handling of firearms are taught, require a large area which has been made available to them in Kunar.” It raises the fundamental questions: “Why these activities have not yet caught the attention of ISAF or the Afghan security forces? The question arises as to why the ‘safe havens’ are tolerated (or at least not attacked) on the Afghan side of the border?”

 

The editorial note said that somewhere in Kunar Afghanistan, a space was quietly being generated to accommodate the runaway terrorists of Swat who had fled the area due to fear of Pakistan Army.

 

Conveying the anger of the Pakistan military, the editorial note said: “Re-energized and strong enough, these terrorists have been able to unite themselves in Afghanistan and are attacking Pakistan Army in groups from across the border. The latest attack in Dir on 25th June 2012 is case in point where soldiers of Pakistan Army were attacked, kidnapped and brutally be-headed.”

 

“The attackers more than 100 in number, were reported to be under the command of Maulana Fazlullah (a wanted terrorist of Swat), and the attack was originated from Kunar province. This type of cross border incursions are regularly featuring for the past two years and are gradually getting an organized shape,” reads the editorial note.

 

It ruled out the possibility that a group of hundreds, assemble at some place in Afghanistan, carries out a cross border attack and goes back without being noticed by Afghan and allied security forces. “The Americans’ claim and complain that there are ‘safe havens’ for terrorist groups here in Pakistan, but the same can also be claimed about those who attack Pakistani territory from Afghanistan and then return to their sanctuaries.”

 

The Pakistan military publication urged upon the world to look into this issue seriously and address the concerns of Pakistan. “By providing safe havens, Afghans and international security forces are making that area unsafe and insecure. It will ultimately damage Afghanistan in the longer run and will turn it weak.”

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 16:22

Gwan source LdD

 

17.07.2012 Nathalie Guibert - LeMonde.fr

Les routes de sortie d'Afghanistan sont prêtes pour l'armée française. Le ministre de la défense Jean-Yves Le Drian, qui effectue depuis dimanche 15 juillet une visite au Kazakhstan et en Ouzbékistan, en a arrêté les modalités avec les autorités politiques de ces pays. Les logisticiens des états-majors vont pouvoir dérouler leurs plans.

Les voies de passage du Nord sont privilégiées par la France. Paris juge la route du sud jusqu'au port de Karachi, au Pakistan, trop incertaine, bien que trois fois moins chère. Ne pas se précipiter pour éviter les risques financiers et sécuritaires, tel est le mot d'ordre. Il signifie que tout ne sera pas évacué au 31 décembre, pour épouser le calendrier du retrait de tous les combattants fin 2012, fixé par le président de la République.

 

L'objectif est de diversifier les chemins : outre l'Ouzbékistan et le Kazakhstan, une alternative en cas de besoin pourrait être de passer par le Tadjikistan (où la France dispose d'un point d'appui sur la base de Douchanbé) et le Kirghizistan. Il s'agit d'évacuer quelque 1 500 containers de 20 pieds (à titre de comparaison, l'armée américaine en a 175 000). Les voies aériennes par lesquelles on a déjà commencé à emporter certains matériels, directement en France ou via la base d'Abou Dhabi aux Emirats arabes unis, serviront aux matériels sensibles.

 

 

La négociation bilatérale, parallèle à celle que conduit l'OTAN au nom de la coalition, est une affaire délicate, que Paris a préparée en nommant en juin un ambassadeur spécial, Stanislas de Laboulaye. Des missions techniques de l'état-major ont également préparé le terrain en Ouzbékistan et au Kazakhstan. Les deux voisins de l'Afghanistan ont posé la même condition : les convois qui transiteront sur leur sol ne devront pas contenir d'armement et ils devront être discrets.

 

 COOPÉRATION MILITAIRE PLUS LARGE


Ces pays s'inquiètent pour l'après-2014, date fixée par l'OTAN pour l'arrêt des opérations de combat, craignant des incursions islamistes ou talibanes déstabilisantes. La France s'est engagée avec les pays de la région dans une coopération militaire plus large. Au Kazakhstan, où M. Le Drian a rencontré le premier ministre Karim Massimov, un accord de principe est acquis, qui doit cependant être validé à la fin de l'année. Les matériels arriveront d'Afghanistan par avion, sur la base de Chymkent. Le passage des Antonov ukrainiens que va louer l'armée française a été rendu possible par le vote, en juin, d'une loi autorisant le transit des avions affrétés sur le sol kazakh.

 

Avec ce pays, considéré comme un partenaire stratégique, Paris entend approfondir sa coopération militaire scellée par un traité en 2009. Le Kazakhstan, puissance minière et spatiale, est un allié et un client. Eurocopter a inauguré en juin une usine en joint-venture. Astrium a vendu deux satellites d'observation qui vont être lancés à partir de 2013. Thalès est positionné sur les radars.

 

En Ouzbékistan, le ministre a obtenu l'accord formel du président Islam Karimov pour débuter le transit des containers, arrivant par la route depuis Kaboul jusqu'à la base allemande de Termez, de l'autre côté de la frontière, avant d'emprunter surtout le rail en Russie. Paris a installé un attaché de défense à Tachkent et signé un plan de coopération en 2012, mais affiche une relation plus prudente avec ce pays. L'armée française va y former des troupes de montagne ; des experts sont envoyés dans l'académie militaire du pays ; du petit matériel sera fourni.

 

 CRAINTE D'ATTENTATS-SUICIDES


Le désengagement français d'Afghanistan est déjà effectué à hauteur de 20 %. Depuis le 1er janvier, 650 soldats sont rentrés, dont le détachement de l'armée de l'air présent à Kandahar avec ses trois Mirage 2000 (partis début juillet), le détachement des drones, les unités présentes sur les postes de Surobi et Kapisa cédés aux forces afghanes (dont l'emprise d'Uzbin) et des formateurs de la mission d'entraînement de l'OTAN à Kaboul. Les plus gros transits ont eu lieu par avion en mars et en mai. Restent 2 900 soldats sur place. Pour l'heure, les matériels s'accumulent sur la base de Warehouse à Kaboul. L'été marquera une pause, en raison des risques de combat, mais aussi des capacités techniques des avions, qui ne peuvent pas emporter des charges aussi lourdes qu'en hiver. La manœuvre reprendra donc à l'automne.

 

Les craintes d'attentats-suicides ou d'attaques importantes sont vives. "Le retrait constitue un défi, sur le plan technique comme sur le plan tactique, car on est toujours plus vulnérable quand on se désengage, explique le général Bertrand Ract-Madoux, chef d'état-major de l'armée de terre. Nous serons très attentifs à le faire dans les meilleures conditions de sécurité." Le général admet : "Oui, je crains des mauvaises nouvelles." La ratification du traité d'amitié signé par la France avec l'Afghanistan devait être soumise au Sénat le 18 juillet.

 

 


 

Les forces françaises déployées sur le sol d'Afghanistan


2001 En décembre, déploiement d'une première compagnie de combat (220 hommes) à Mazar-e-Sharif. En janvier 2002, le bataillon français compte 530 militaires à Kaboul. Des forces spéciales sont déployées dans le sud-est du pays en 2003.

 

2008 La France prend la responsabilité de la province de Kapisa. 3 400 militaires sont alors engagés. Ils seront près de 4 000 à la fin 2010.

 

2011 Octobre : début du retrait (200 soldats). De janvier à juin 2012, départ de 650 militaires (2 950 restent déployés). Décembre 2012 : départ des dernières forces de combat. Resteront, en mai 2013, 700 instructeurs et leur protection. Ils ne seront plus que 400 en 2014.

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 15:31

afghanistan-australia-flag32

 

17 July 2012 Pacific Sentinel

 

The Australian Government today welcomed the formal start of transition to Afghan-led security responsibility in Uruzgan province, where the majority of Australian military personnel in Afghanistan are based. 

Australia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan attended a ceremony held by the Afghan Government today in the provincial capital of Tarin Kot to mark the beginning of transition.

The start of transition in Uruzgan reflects the progress made by Afghan, Australian and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) military and civilian teams in training and mentoring the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and strengthening security and development. 

It is a welcome sign transition in Uruzgan is on track for completion over the next 12 to 18 month period.

Australia has played a key role in readying Uruzgan for transition.   

Australia’s Mentoring Task Force and Special Operations Task Group have worked closely with their Afghan and ISAF counterparts to improve security and build the capacity and confidence of the ANSF.

Australia’s civilian efforts in Uruzgan have also played an important role through the funding of infrastructure upgrades, improving local governance and helping provide better access to education and health care as part of the Provincial Reconstruction Team.

Australia will continue to work closely with our Afghan and ISAF partners in Uruzgan during the transition period so the ANSF can assume full security responsibility at the end of transition. 

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 14:46

IED bomb source aviationweek.com

 

July 16, 2012 by Think Defence

 

In a previous post on the Talisman route clearance system I made the point that ‘defeating the device’ was a single part of a more complex strategy including ‘defeating the network’.

 

The IED makers in Iraq had plenty of military explosives, artillery shells and mortar bombs to use so resorted to homemade explosives less often. n Afghanistan it is reported that homemade explosives are the norm, over 80%.

 

The most common form of homemade explosive is ammonium nitrate fuel (ANFO) that mixes ammonium nitrate fertilser with diesel to form a powerful explosive. Although illegal in Afghanistan it is still produced in quantity in Pakistan and smuggled across the border.

 

A recently published US GAO report highlights the scale of the problem.

This testimony discusses the collaborative efforts of U.S. agencies to detect and prevent the smuggling into Afghanistan of calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) fertilizer produced in Pakistan. Approximately 80 percent of the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan contain homemade explosives, primarily CAN smuggled from Pakistan. These IEDs have been a major source of fatalities among U.S. troops in Afghanistan and have been used by various insurgent groups in Pakistan to kill thousands of Pakistani civilians and members of Pakistani security forces. U.S. officials recognize the threat posed by the smuggling of CAN and other IED precursors from Pakistan into Afghanistan, and various U.S. departments, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), are assisting Pakistan’s government in countering this threat. This testimony is based on our May 2012 report on this issue.

 

According to the Department of Defense (DOD), CAN is produced in Pakistan at two factories. DOD estimates that about 240 tons of CAN—representing less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the two factories’ total annual production capacity—is used by insurgents to make IEDs for use in Afghanistan. When processed and mixed with fuel oil, CAN fertilizer becomes a powerful homemade explosive. DOD officials noted that only a small amount of CAN is required to make powerful IEDs. According to DOD, a 110-pound bag of CAN yields about 82 pounds of bomb-ready explosive material. This small quantity has the capacity to destroy an armored vehicle or detonate 10 small blasts aimed at U.S. forces conducting foot patrols.

 

Afghanistan outlawed CAN in 2010, but because of demand for CAN as fertilizer and for IEDs, smugglers bring it into the country, for example, on trucks hidden under other goods. Afghanistan and Pakistan face challenges similar to those that the United States and Mexico face in trying to prevent smuggling across sections of our shared border. U.S. officials note that Pakistan maintains two primary border crossings along the approximately 1,500-mile border with Afghanistan, and only a small percentage of the trucks crossing the border are inspected. Our May 2012 report contains a video of activity at border crossings along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

Click here to read the full report.

 

It should be obvious that cutting off the supply of ammonium nitrate fertiliser would have a significant effect on IED availability.

 

The report notes that only two factories in Pakistan produce the fertiliser and yet efforts to interdict the supply across the border are self evidently not working. Although Iran and China produce it and there are alternatives that the Taleban could easily switch to, the simple fact remains that two factories in Pakistan produce the majority of the precursor materials that produce the majority of coalition casualties.

 

Dropping a cruise missile onto these factories is not an option so there have been many initiatives to stop or reduce the flow.

 

Just because there are alternatives such as urea or potassium chlorate should not mean we give up on ammonium nitrate reduction.

 

This is a complex issue with no easy answers but in 2009 I wrote about Sulf-N-26, a non explosive fertiliser and again in 2011, it is an issue that has always puzzled me.

 

The reason I have been continually puzzled by this is because the west spend billions of pounds on aid to Pakistan and Afghanistan, would  it not be cost effective to simply buy the licence to these non explosive fertilisers, set up a number of factories and subsidise production?

 

How much do we spend on development aid, counter IED equipment and medical care?

 

Am I being a little simple minded?

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 14:00

Stryker-Double-V-Hull-Mortar-Carrier-Vehicle-photo-US-Army.jpg

photo US Army

 

July 17, 2012 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: US Army; issued July 16, 2012)

 

Stryker BCTs in Afghanistan Now Equipped with Precision Mortars

 

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. --- The first-ever Accelerated Precision Mortar Initiative, or APMI, round fired from a Stryker vehicle in Afghanistan accomplished what few conventional 120mm high-explosive mortars can achieve: a direct hit on a target with the first round fired.

 

But when firing the Army's new precision-guided cartridges, this is the standard.

 

First fielded to dismounted troops in Afghanistan last April, Picatinny's Program Executive Office for Ammunition is now fielding the 120 mm precision rounds to Stryker Brigade Combat Teams.

 

While APMI will not replace standard 120 mm mortars, its accuracy will allow a commander the ability to defeat a target with precision if there is danger of collateral damage.

 

APMI will be fired from the Army's new Stryker Double-V Hull Mortar Carrier Vehicle, or MCVV. The Stryker MCVV is used to provide high-angle mortar fire to support operations in complex terrain and urban environments. It now can fire APMI precision-guided mortars as well as conventional 120mm rounds.

 

"Integration of APMI into the Stryker platform gives the troops greater flexibility and increased maneuverability," explained Ted Hom, APMI Product Director.

 

The dismounted120mm mortar systems in Afghanistan are often kept at mortar positions in Forward Operation Bases and Combat Outposts throughout the country. Now that APMI has been integrated with a mobile platform, the battle space where the APMI round can be used has increased.

 

Hom said that when fired from Stryker, APMI will "have the same precision, but on a platform that can easily go wherever needed."

 

With APMI's pinpoint accuracy and the Stryker MCVV's survivability against improvised explosive devices, maneuver commanders now have a very accurate weapon against insurgents.

 

The APMI cartridge has a requirement of 10 meters CEP, or Circular Error Probable. APMI combat rounds fired in Afghanistan are exceeding the requirement, Hom said.

 

Ten meters CEP means that if you drew a circle around a target at 10 meters radius, the rounds have to fall inside the circle 50 percent of the time.

 

TRAINING THE SOLDIERS

 

PEO Ammunition's Product Manager for Guided Precision Munitions and Mortar Systems, or PdM GPM2S, conducted the first Stryker MCVV combined training and live-fire exercise this June with an infantry division of the 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, higher headquarters 5-20 Infantry and B Troop 1-14 Cavalry, who are currently supporting an Airborne Brigade Combat Team in Afghanistan.

 

"The biggest thing for us is that this is the first time maneuver commanders will have an incredibly accurate munition that is perfect for the targets we see in our area of operation, such as IED emplacers, historic Taliban fighting positions, and enemies close to troops in the open," stated Lt. Eric Birdsley.

 

"Our responsiveness to threats is greatly increased because commanders can approve the use of this capability," Birdsley added. "Also, due to the small battle space in our AO, or Area of Operation, the ability to shoot APMI at closer ranges than the Excalibur gives us a close-range precision capability we did not previously have."

 

Many Soldiers who attended the initial training said they were impressed by the performance of the round, especially since many of them had never seen a direct hit on a target.

 

"After today's successful live fire, we are really impressed with the APMI system," said Platoon Leader Lt. Brian McGillivray.

 

"The first round effect it brings alleviates any concerns with accuracy of mortars," McGillivary said. "As long as we follow proper procedures, we can pretty much hit anything. Now that this live fire has demonstrated APMI's ability to get a first-round effects of the target, our brigade can start relying on the round."

 

The research, development and integration of APMI onto Stryker is a collaboration of PEO Ammunition, the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Joint Munitions Command and Project Manager Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 12:27

nato-supply-pak-afghan-border-afp-670

 

17.07.2012 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Les discussions entre la France et le Kazakhstan sont "très avancées", selon un proche de Jean-Yves Le Drian, qui vient d'effectuer un bref séjour à Astana au Kazakhstan.

 

Dans l'optique du retrait d'Afghanistan, ce dernier pays est incontournable, quelle que soit la voie terrestre (routière ou ferroviaire) choisie pour évacuer le matériel français d'Afghanistan (encore 1 200 conteneurs et 600 véhicules, selon l'entourage du ministre). C'est ce dont témoigne la carte ci-dessous qui montre les voies principales du Northern Distribution Network.

 

Un accord de transit avec le Kazakhstan permettrait ainsi d'ouvrir une voie mixte, aérienne depuis Kaboul jusqu'au Kazakhstan, puis ferroviaire jusqu'aux Etats baltes. Selon quelles modalités? Ces modalités ne "sont pas financières" et ces facilitées "ne sont accordées qu'à la France", précise-t-on encore dans l'entourage de Jean-Yves Le Drian. Si contre-partie il doit y avoir, elle résidera dans un partenariat stratégique auquel seront associés des industriels français, dont ceux déjà présents sur place (Total, EADS etc).

 

ndn.jpg

Jean-Yves Le Drian s'est aussi rendu en Ouzbékistan où, après une période de tensions, les relations avec la France se normalisent. Un attaché militaire français est d'ailleurs arrivé sur place le 4 juillet. Avec ce pays, les "discussions sont au moins aussi avancées". L'objectif est de disposer des voies de passage "les moins coûteuses et les plus sécurisées".

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 12:23

Heron Afghanistan

 

July 17th, 2012 By RheinmetallAG - defencetalk.com

 

Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH, a joint venture by Cassidian and Rheinmetall, will continue to support the German Armed Forces in Afghanistan by providing unmanned airborne reconnaissance services.

 

The Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) prolonged an existing order to the company to provide the German Armed Forces with Heron 1 ultramodern unmanned reconnaissance aircraft for two more years. The volume of the order prolongation amounts to about 75 million euros for the period from October 2012 to October 2014.

 

The order includes the continuation of flight operations as well as the training of additional operational personnel of the German Air Force and the installation of new, more powerful sensor payloads.

 

As part of the SAATEG interim solution, the German Air Force is using two UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) at the Mazar-e-Sharif base in Afghanistan, with a total of three Heron 1 aircraft and two ground control stations that will be provided by Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH as part of an operator solution.

 

This system for imaging reconnaissance in the depths of the theatre of operations (System zur abbildenden Aufklarung in der Tiefe des Einsatzgebietes, SAATEG) is used for real-time airborne monitoring and reconnaissance in the entire theatre of operations of the German ISAF forces. It was put into operation on 17 March 2010.

 

Heron, the first UAS operated by the German Air Force, has proved its value in operations and has become an essential component of the regional reconnaissance architecture. To date, the Heron 1 has already flown over 9,300 hours of reconnaissance missions in the theatre of operations of the German Armed Forces. It is expected to have flown for 10,000 hours by the middle of August 2012.

 

During flights that sometimes last more than 24 hours, the sensors deliver important information and make a valuable contribution to providing the highest possible protection from threats to soldiers and civil personnel.

 

In autumn 2009 the German Armed Forces opted for an operator solution — and therefore initially against a procurement solution — in order to fill an existing capability gap in the short-term and at a cost which was transparent.

 

The sub-contractor in cooperation with Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH is the Israeli company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) as the manufacturer of the Heron aerial system. Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH is responsible for the complete package of service, maintenance and repairs in this partnership. In contrast, the operation of the systems in the reconnaissance mission is handled by the military personnel of the German Armed Forces.

 

The MALE UAS (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) Heron 1, can be deployed for target and effect clarification at any time of the day or night, and is largely independent of the weather. With a wingspan of 16.6 metres and a takeoff weight of 1.2 tonnes, the Heron 1 can operate at altitudes of up to 30,000 feet. Thanks to its satellite data link, the UAS can carry out reconnaissance over great distances.

 

By January 2012 Cassidian and Rheinmetall had already agreed to operate the former activities of Rheinmetall in the field of UAS in future as a joint GmbH with Cassidian (51% shareholder stake of the company) bearing responsibility for industrial leadership. Rheinmetall is still involved with a 49% stake in the joint company, which started operations on 1 July.

 

Thomas Reinartz has been appointed CEO of Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH. Reinartz fomerly headed the Sales Operations & Operational Marketing department at Cassidian.

 

Cassidian, an EADS company, is a worldwide leader in global security solutions and systems, providing Lead Systems Integration and value-added products and services to civil and military customers around the globe. In 2011, Cassidian – with around 28,000 employees – achieved revenues of €5.8 billion.

 

Headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany, Rheinmetall Defence is part of Rheinmetall AG, an internationally operating technology group serving the global automotive industry and the armed forces of numerous nations. One of the most trusted names in the international defence and security sector, the Rheinmetall Group’s Defence arm has some 10,000 employees, with annual sales of over €2 billion.

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 12:18

IED bomb source aviationweek.com

 

July 16th, 2012 By Government Accountability Office- defencetalk.com

 

Testimony by Charles Michael Johnson, Jr., director, international affairs and trade, before the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, House Committee on Homeland Security, July 12, 2012

 

We identified four categories of assistance U.S. agencies have provided: (1) counter-IED training and equipment, (2) a counter-IED public awareness campaign, (3) training of border officials, and (4) legal assistance for laws and regulations to counter IEDs and IED precursors.

 

We found that each agency providing counter-IED assistance to Pakistan performs a unique role based on its specialized knowledge and expertise. DHS, for example, takes primary responsibility for border management and customs investigation training. DHS conducts joint regional training and operational exercises for both Pakistani and Afghan border officials, including international border interdiction training and cross-border financial investigation training. DHS also plays a lead role in Program Global Shield to foster cross-border cooperation and initiate complementary border management and customs operations.

 

According to DHS, the main goals of Program Global Shield are (1) to identify and interdict falsely declared explosive precursor chemicals, (2) to initiate investigations of smuggled or illegally diverted IED materials, and (3) to uncover smuggling and procurement networks that foster illicit trade.

 

According to agency officials, U.S. agencies work through various organizations to coordinate and share information related to assisting Pakistan with counter-IED efforts. These include the following:

 

    The U.S. Embassy-Pakistan Counter-IED Working Group helps to keep counter-IED efforts a priority. Coordinated by State, the group also includes participants from DHS, DOD, and the Departments of Justice and Agriculture as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development, the British High Commission, and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime.

    The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) leads DOD’s counter-IED efforts by providing intelligence and expertise on IEDs. For example, JIEDDO hosted a global conference on homemade explosives in fall 2011 that was attended by fertilizer producers and representatives from several agencies. JIEDDO conducted several studies and provided technical assistance to fertilizer producers on how they could mark the product to help inhibit smuggling.

    The Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan participates in regular discussions on counter-IED issues with Central Command (CENTCOM), Special Operations Command (SOCOM), JIEDDO, and the Counter-IED Working Group at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, which includes DHS.

 

Our May 2012 report also found that U.S. agencies have developed a new performance indicator and three targets to track some U.S. assisted Pakistani counter-IED efforts. Specifically, State’s fiscal year 2013 Mission Strategic and Resource Plan—which is designed to reflect U.S. priorities in Pakistan—included a performance indicator to monitor Pakistan’s implementation of effective measures to prevent illicit commerce in sensitive materials, including chemical precursors used to make IEDs in Afghanistan.

 

State committed to improve assessment of its programs by looking for ways to broaden the scope of existing metrics in order to better reflect and evaluate interagency participation in counter-IED efforts. In its comments on a draft of our report, DHS noted that it is committed to working with interagency partners to improve capacity for tracking counter-IED efforts in Pakistan.

 

Download Link:COUNTERTERRORISM: U.S. Agencies Face Challenges Countering the Use of Improvised Explosive Devices in the Afghanistan/Pakistan Region

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 07:55

1128-Afpakravitaillement source Courrier international

 

15/07/2012 lexpress.fr (AFP)

 

PARIS - Le ministre de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, est arrivé dimanche au Kazakhstan, pour une visite au cours de laquelle il doit notamment s'entretenir, avec les autorités kazakhes, du retrait des forces françaises d'Afghanistan, a-t-on appris auprès d'un conseiller du ministre.

 

A son arrivée dimanche en début d'après-midi à Pavlodar, au nord-est du pays, M. Le Drian a eu un premier entretien avec le Premier ministre kazakh, Karim Massimov, a-t-on précisé de même source. Il doit rencontrer lundi le ministre kazakh de la Défense, Adilbek Djaksibekov, dans la capitale à Astana.

 

Les entretiens doivent notamment porter sur le passage par le Kazakhstan des troupes françaises qui se retirent d'Afghanistan et de leur matériel, a-t-on souligné. La coopération civilo-militaire entre Paris et Astana est également au programme de cette visite, dont la durée n'a pas été précisée.

 

Des discussions sont actuellement en cours, en bilatéral et au niveau de l'Otan, avec les pays limitrophes de l'Afghanistan pour permettre le passage des convois de la force multinationale (Isaf) qui se désengagent de ce pays.

 

Le 4 juin, l'Alliance atlantique a notamment annoncé la signature d'un accord avec trois pays d'Asie centrale - le Kazakhstan, le Kirghizstan et l'Ouzbékistan - pour rapatrier le matériel au cours des opérations de retrait.

 

Deux mille militaires français, sur un total d'environ 3.500 encore en Afghanistan, doivent être partis du pays d'ici la fin de l'année. Un millier d'autres partiront courant 2013 et le matériel suivra.

 

Le retrait français se fait actuellement essentiellement par voie mixte, par avion jusqu'à Abu Dhabi (Emirats arabes unis), puis par bateau jusqu'en France.

 

Les deux autres voies possibles sont la voie terrestre par le nord, à travers les républiques d'Asie centrale puis la Russie, moins coûteuse, et la voie sud, par le Pakistan, également en discussion.

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17 juillet 2012 2 17 /07 /juillet /2012 07:40

Gwan source LdD

 

16 juillet 2012 letelegramme.com

 

D'ici la fin de l'année, la France aura retiré 2.000 des 3.500 militaires présnets en Afghanistan. L'essentiel des troupes est rapatriée par la voie des airs. Mais le matériel doit rentrer par voie terrestre ou maritime. Plusieurs scénarios sont à l'étude, dont celui sur lequel travaille aujourd'hui et ce mardi Jean-Yves Le Drian, ministre de la Défense, en déplacement en Ouzbékistan. Ce dimanche, Jean-Yves Le Drian a déjà posé des jalons au Kazakhstan. [

 

Le désengagement du matériel doit se faire en empruntant une voie mixte, aérienne jusqu'à Abou Dhabi (Emirats arabes unis), puis maritime jusqu'en France. Au total, environ 800 véhicules - blindés lourds, VAB... -, et plus de 1.000 conteneurs, doivent encore être rapatriés, les troupes françaises déployées en Afghanistan étant dotées du matériel souvent le plus perfectionné des armées.

 

Mais le passage par le nord réduirait notamment les coûts. Deux scénarios sont à l'étude.

.Un accord de transit avec le Kazakhstan permettrait ainsi d'ouvrir l'une des deux voies nord possibles, aérienne depuis Kaboul jusqu'au Kazakhstan (Astana), puis ferroviaire jusqu'aux Etats baltes. Le dialogue serait bien avancé dans cette voie, le gouvernement kazakh étant plutôt clairement d'accord.

.Autre itinéraire possible, le passage par l'Ouzbékistan (Tachkent) devrait être au centre des discussions de M. Le Drian avec les autorités de ce pays. Les discussions sont en cours.

 

L'Otan a déjà négocié une sortie par le nord

D'autres pays de la force multinationale (Isaf), notamment les Etats-Unis, ayant entrepris de retirer leurs troupes, les voies de sortie d'Afghanistan risquent d'être particulièrement encombrées. Des discussions, souvent financières, sont donc également en cours au niveau de l'Otan avec les pays limitrophes. Début juin, l'Otan a d'ailleurs annoncé un accord avec le Kazakhstan, le Kirghizstan et l'Ouzbékistan, pour rapatrier le matériel.

 

Des jalons pour une coopération bilatérale

Il est aussi question de poser des jalons pour assurer une présence de la France dans ces pays. Civile forcèment. Dans cette tournée en Asie centrale, Jean-yves Le Drian abord en effet "l'après militaire", enclenchant d'ores et déjà le principe d'une coopération bilatérale, notamment pour l'industrie. d'où sa visite, à Astana, d'une usine Eurocopter d'assemblage d'hélicoptères. Le ministre de la Défense y a également rencontré des représentants de total et EADS.

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16 juillet 2012 1 16 /07 /juillet /2012 17:20

Heron-1-UAV.jpg

 

July 16, 2012. David Pugliese - Defence Watch

 

Press release from Rheinmetall:

 

Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH, a joint venture by Cassidian and Rheinmetall, will continue to support the German Armed Forces in Afghanistan by providing unmanned airborne reconnaissance services. The Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) prolonged an existing order to the company to provide the German Armed Forces with Heron 1 ultramodern unmanned reconnaissance aircraft for two more years. The volume of the order prolongation amounts to about 75 million euros for the period from October 2012 to October 2014.

 

The order includes the continuation of flight operations as well as the training of additional operational personnel of the German Air Force and the installation of new, more powerful sensor payloads.

 

As part of the SAATEG interim solution, the German Air Force is using two UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) at the Mazar-e-Sharif base in Afghanistan, with a total of three Heron 1 aircraft and two ground control stations that will be provided by Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH as part of an operator solution. This System for imaging reconnaissance in the depths of the theatre of operations (System zur abbildenden Aufklärung in der Tiefe des Einsatzgebietes – SAATEG) is used for real-time airborne monitoring and reconnaissance in the entire theatre of operations of the German ISAF forces. It was put into operation on 17 March 2010.

 

Heron, the first UAS operated by the German Air Force, has proved its value in operations and has become an essential component of the regional reconnaissance architecture. To date, the Heron 1 has already flown over 9,300 hours of reconnaissance missions in the theatre of operations of the German Armed Forces. It is expected to have flown for 10,000 hours by the middle of August 2012.

 

During flights that sometimes last more than 24 hours, the sensors deliver important information and make a valuable contribution to providing the highest possible protection from threats to soldiers and civil personnel.

 

In autumn 2009 the German Armed Forces opted for an operator solution – and therefore initially against a procurement solution – in order to fill an existing capability gap in the short-term and at a cost which was transparent.

 

The sub-contractor in cooperation with Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH is the Israeli company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) as the manufacturer of the Heron aerial system. Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH is responsible for the complete package of service, maintenance and repairs in this partnership. In contrast, the operation of the systems in the reconnaissance mission is handled by the military personnel of the German Armed Forces.

 

The MALE UAS (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) Heron 1, can be deployed for target and effect clarification at any time of the day or night, and is largely independent of the weather. With a wingspan of 16.6 metres and a takeoff weight of 1.2 tonnes, the Heron 1 can operate at altitudes of up to 30,000 feet. Thanks to its satellite data link, the UAS can carry out reconnaissance over great distances.

 

By January 2012 Cassidian and Rheinmetall had already agreed to operate the former activities of Rheinmetall in the field of UAS in future as a joint GmbH with Cassidian (51% shareholder stake of the company) bearing responsibility for industrial leadership. Rheinmetall is still involved with a 49% stake in the joint company, which started operations on 1 July. Thomas Reinartz has been appointed CEO of Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH. Reinartz fomerly headed the Sales Operations & Operational Marketing department at Cassidian.

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16 juillet 2012 1 16 /07 /juillet /2012 12:40

http://lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr/media/01/02/1153118725.jpg

 

15.07.2012 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

La "reverse Kazakhstan-Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan (R-KKT) trucking route" fait partie du Northern Distribution Network, ce réseau multimodal de voies terrestres routières et ferroviaires qui va permettre l'exfiltration des équipements de l'Otan.

La R-KTT passe, comme son nom l'indique, par le Tadjikistan, le Kirghizistan et le Kazakhstan, avant d'entrer en Russie. Mais elle évite l'Ouzbékistan, dont les autorités se montrent très gourmandes en matière de droits de passage.

 

Cette voie routière coûte plus cher que la voie Sud par le Pakistan (pour un conteneur de 20 pieds, le surcoût serait de 10 000$, soit 18 000$. En revanche, la voie aérienne coûte 40 000$ par conteneur selon l'US Transportation Command). C'est aussi la plus longue: les transitaires estiment que le temps de passage entre l'Afghanistan et les ports de la Baltique tourne autour de 120 jours, contre 80 par le Pakistan.

 

Aubaine pour le privé. Une firme US est déjà bien implantée sur le R-KKT; il s'agit de FMN Logistics qui a commencé à rapatrier du matériel US il y a 4 mois, avec un premier convoi de 20 camions de 25t. D'autres vont suivre, comme Move One (Dubaï), déjà présente en Asie centrale.

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16 juillet 2012 1 16 /07 /juillet /2012 11:50

MQ-9-Reaper

 

July 16th, 2012. By Kamran Yousaf The Express Tribune

 

ISLAMABAD: With fissures in their bilateral ties quickly being healed, Pakistan has offered the US a new mechanism encompassing ‘surveillance’ of targeted operations against wanted militants as an alternative to drone strikes in the country’s tribal regions.


The plan, as crafted by Islamabad, involves both the identification of targets by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the tribal areas and swapping of information with the Pakistani security agencies. The latter will then deal with the situation accordingly, said officials familiar with the development.

 

“To ensure that Pakistan acts on the information provided by the CIA, the US can use any mechanism to monitor our operation on the ground,” revealed a senior figure of the country’s security establishment.

 

“They (US) can even use drones for this purpose,” the official explained. However, he clarified that no foreign boots on the ground would be allowed for surveillance.

 

The mechanism is currently figuring in behind-the-scene discussions between Pakistan and the US, he said.

The idea also seeks to dispel the growing perception in Washington that Islamabad is playing a ‘double game’ in the ‘war on terror’.

 

He disclosed that both sides had coordinated initial drone attacks when the CIA first launched its campaign back in 2004. Another official remarked that “the CIA later took a solo flight under the assumption that Pakistan is playing a double game”.

 

The official said Pakistan expects a breakthrough in its ongoing negotiations with the US on finding a ‘mutually acceptable’ alternative to the CIA-piloted drone campaign.

 

The optimism stems from the fact that until now, Pakistan had never offered the US any serious alternative to predator strikes.

 

The reason, the official cited, was a tacit understanding between Pakistan and the US to use pilotless drones in the rugged terrain along the Pak-Afghan border where key al Qaeda figures are believed to have found refuge.

 

Perhaps for the first time, officials also acknowledged that drone attacks eliminated several key militants who posed an equal threat to both Pakistan and the US.

 

In a candid admission, one official went to the extent of saying that collateral damage figures compiled by independent human rights organisations in the drone attacks were somewhat exaggerated.

 

However, the official said the government ‘had’ to oppose the drones campaign due to the widely-held public opinion that drones violate Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty and integrity.

 

“That is why we have offered this alternative to the US – because we (Pakistan) want to become part of the system rather than being isolated,” he maintained.

 

However, officials did not give any timeframe for a breakthrough on the stalemate over drones, which the US believes are critical to eliminating high-value targets associated with al Qaeda and the Taliban.

 

Given that it’s election year in the US, many experts are sceptical that the administration of US President Barack Obama would agree on any drastic changes in their drones’ campaign.

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13 juillet 2012 5 13 /07 /juillet /2012 16:49

Heron-Afghanistan.jpg

 

July 13, 2012 defpro.com

 

Order worth 75 million euros for unmanned reconnaissance in the theatres of operation in Afghanistan

 

Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH, a joint venture by Cassidian and Rheinmetall, will continue to support the German Armed Forces in Afghanistan by providing unmanned airborne reconnaissance services. The Federal Office for Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) prolonged an existing order to the company to provide the German Armed Forces with Heron 1 ultramodern unmanned reconnaissance aircraft for two more years. The volume of the order prolongation amounts to about 75 million euros for the period from October 2012 to October 2014.

 

The order includes the continuation of flight operations as well as the training of additional operational personnel of the German Air Force and the installation of new, more powerful sensor payloads.

 

As part of the SAATEG interim solution, the German Air Force is using two UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) at the Mazar-e-Sharif base in Afghanistan, with a total of three Heron 1 aircraft and two ground control stations that will be provided by Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH as part of an operator solution. This System for imaging reconnaissance in the depths of the theatre of operations (System zur abbildenden Aufklärung in der Tiefe des Einsatzgebietes – SAATEG) is used for real-time airborne monitoring and reconnaissance in the entire theatre of operations of the German ISAF forces. It was put into operation on 17 March 2010.

 

Heron, the first UAS operated by the German Air Force, has proved its value in operations and has become an essential component of the regional reconnaissance architecture. To date, the Heron 1 has already flown over 9,300 hours of reconnaissance missions in the theatre of operations of the German Armed Forces. It is expected to have flown for 10,000 hours by the middle of August 2012.

 

During flights that sometimes last more than 24 hours, the sensors deliver important information and make a valuable contribution to providing the highest possible protection from threats to soldiers and civil personnel.

 

In autumn 2009 the German Armed Forces opted for an operator solution – and therefore initially against a procurement solution – in order to fill an existing capability gap in the short-term and at a cost which was transparent.

 

The sub-contractor in cooperation with Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH is the Israeli company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) as the manufacturer of the Heron aerial system. Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH is responsible for the complete package of service, maintenance and repairs in this partnership. In contrast, the operation of the systems in the reconnaissance mission is handled by the military personnel of the German Armed Forces.

 

The MALE UAS (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) Heron 1, can be deployed for target and effect clarification at any time of the day or night, and is largely independent of the weather. With a wingspan of 16.6 metres and a takeoff weight of 1.2 tonnes, the Heron 1 can operate at altitudes of up to 30,000 feet. Thanks to its satellite data link, the UAS can carry out reconnaissance over great distances.

 

By January 2012 Cassidian and Rheinmetall had already agreed to operate the former activities of Rheinmetall in the field of UAS in future as a joint GmbH with Cassidian (51% shareholder stake of the company) bearing responsibility for industrial leadership. Rheinmetall is still involved with a 49% stake in the joint company, which started operations on 1 July. Thomas Reinartz has been appointed CEO of Rheinmetall Airborne Systems GmbH. Reinartz fomerly headed the Sales Operations & Operational Marketing department at Cassidian.

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13 juillet 2012 5 13 /07 /juillet /2012 12:05

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July 12, 2012 Spacewar.com (AFP)

 

Chaman, Pakistan - Trucks carrying supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan crossed the Pakistani border on Thursday for only the second time since Islamabad agreed to lift a seven-month blockade, officials said.

 

Pakistan closed overland routes for NATO convoys going to its war-torn neighbour after botched US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November, plunging ties between the "war on terror" allies to a new low.

 

Islamabad agreed to reopen the routes after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 3 apologised for the deaths, but very few vehicles have crossed the border.

 

Thousands of truck owners are awaiting compensation before going back to work, and drivers say the trips into Afghanistan are too dangerous and too poorly paid.

 

The Pakistani Taliban have threatened to attack NATO supply trucks and kill drivers if they resume trips to Afghanistan.

 

On Thursday, the umbrella militant organisation threatened a further wave of attacks, and claimed responsibility for shooting nine police prison officers being trained in the eastern city of Lahore.

 

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf ordered authorities to allow the more than 1,500 vehicles stuck in Pakistan to cross into Afghanistan following talks with US ambassador Cameron Munter, his spokesman Akram Shaheedi told AFP.

 

But on Thursday customs officials told AFP that only another four NATO trucks carrying food supplies had gone into Afghanistan at the Chaman border post in Pakistan's remote southwest.

 

In the northwestern tribal district of Khyber, officials said seven to 10 trucks loaded with NATO supplies were due to cross the Torkham post for the first time since Pakistan agreed to resume supplies.

 

Later in the day Mohammad Fayyaz, an administrative official at Torkham, told AFP that four trucks loaded with food had crossed the frontier into Afghanistan.

 

But in Karachi, where NATO containers begin their long journey to Pakistan's two Afghan border crossings from the Arabian Sea port, many are waiting for compensation from subcontractors for being out of work for seven months.

 

"We are too wary, too anxious and too cautious about the situation. It was dangerous to go overland before the government ban, but now the dangers have increased," Akram Khan Durrani, president of the All Pakistan Oil Tankers Owners Association, told AFP.

 

"No one from the authorities have contacted us properly and assured us of foolproof security," he said.

 

Rana Mohammad Aslam, vice president of the All Pakistan Goods Carrier Association, said NATO subcontractors were supposed to pay $6,000 compensation per vehicle to truck owners.

 

"Except for some trucks which were stuck elsewhere and have settled their payment issues with the contractors, none have started moving," he told AFP from Karachi.

 

"Subcontractors have started installing satellite trackers on trucks as a means of security, but still there is no nod from the government, which has to arrange foolproof security for the operation."

 

Officials in customs and at the ports and shipping ministry, who wished not to be named, said it would still "take a few days" to finalise compensation and were unable to give a specific date for trucks to leave Karachi.

 

The interior ministry in southern Sindh province, of which Karachi is capital, said it was finalising a security plan, but declined to go into details.

 

Tensions have been high among right-wing and extremist organisations since Pakistan last week decided to reopen its Afghan border to NATO supply convoys, ending a seven-month blockade following negotiations with US officials.

 

The Defence Council of Pakistan, a coalition of right-wing and hardline Islamist groups opposed to the country's alliance with Washington, has led protests against the resumption of supplies for NATO troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

 

"You see how many people are opposing it? Earlier, we only feared the Taliban, but now we're afraid of many people and groups," said truck owner Mohammad Asghar.

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12 juillet 2012 4 12 /07 /juillet /2012 18:14

Gwan-source-LdD.jpg

 

12.07.2012 Le Monde.fr avec AFP

 

Le nombre de militaires français déployés en Afghanistan aura été ramené à 2 950 fin août, pour atteindre le seuil fixé de 1 400 fin décembre 2012, a indiqué jeudi l'état-major des armées. "Du 1er janvier au 31 août 2012, 650 militaires auront été désengagés", a précisé le porte-parole de l'état-major, le colonel Thierry Burkhard.

 

Les forces françaises en Afghanistan comptaient environ 4 000 soldats et gendarmes mi-2011, avant le retrait des premiers éléments. Le calendrier arrêté par le président François Hollande prévoit le désengagement d'environ 2 000 hommes des "forces combattantes" d'ici fin 2012, soit deux ans avant le retrait prévu du reste de la force de l'OTAN. Au-delà, 1 400 soldats français resteront dans le pays pour assurer, courant 2013, le retrait du matériel et poursuivre la formation de l'armée et de la police afghanes.

 

RETRAIT DU MATÉRIEL

 

Le désengagement du matériel se poursuit parallèlement au retrait des troupes et a donné lieu à 78 vols d'avions gros porteurs depuis début 2012. deux cent cinquante véhicules et autres matériels roulants et 200 conteneurs ont déjà été retirés d'Afghanistan, selon les chiffres de l'état-major. Le retrait du matériel se fait essentiellement par voie mixte, aérienne jusqu'à Abou Dhabi (Emirats arabes unis), puis maritime jusqu'en France. Deux autres voies sont possibles, par le nord, à travers la Russie, et par le sud, jusqu'au port de Karachi, au Pakistan, mais font toujours l'objet de discussions.

 

L'essentiel du matériel est dans un premier temps regroupé sur la base de la force multinationale de Warehouse à Kaboul, la capacité d'emport des gros porteurs étant nettement réduite en été en raison des températures élevées. Les trois avions de combat Mirage 2000 stationnés à Kandahar (sud) dont disposait encore l'armée française en Afghanistan sont également rentrés en France au cours de la semaine écoulée.

 

Plusieurs autres pays de la force multinationale (ISAF), qui compte environ 130 000 hommes, ont également entamé leur retrait, notamment les Etats-Unis qui doivent désengager 23 000 militaires d'Afghanistan durant l'été.

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12 juillet 2012 4 12 /07 /juillet /2012 18:00

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/120712-afghanistan-operation-ana-led-dans-la-vallee-de-la-koh-e-safi/120712-operation-ana-led-dans-la-vallee-de-la-koh-e-safi-15/1865669-12-fre-FR/120712-operation-ana-led-dans-la-vallee-de-la-koh-e-safi-1.jpg

 

12/07/2012 Sources : EMA

 

Le 8 juillet 2012 s’est déroulée l’opération «Black Stork  dans le sud de la vallée de la Koh e Safi, entre le district de Surobi et Kaboul. Cette opération conduite par l’armée nationale afghane (ANA), appuyée par les soldats du Battle Group (BG) Wild Geese, avait pour but de poursuivre la désorganisation des réseaux d’insurgés locaux et de renforcer la présence du kandak(bataillon) 31 chargé d’assurer la sécurité de l’Highway 7, axe logistique majeur emprunté notamment par les convois des forces françaises.

 

Pendant 24 heures,  Black Stork  s’est déroulée le long de l’axe « Loiret » et a consisté à fouiller les villages de Senjalay, Kotagay et Dahane Kuh, trois localités situées dans le sud de la vallée de la Koh e Safi. Cette opération complexe, entièrement planifiée et conduite par le kandak 31 et appuyée par un détachement génie du kandak34 de la 3ème brigade de l’ANA, a été l’occasion de mettre en exergue la coopération interarmes entre les deux kandaks.

 

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/120712-afghanistan-operation-ana-led-dans-la-vallee-de-la-koh-e-safi/120712-operation-ana-led-dans-la-vallee-de-la-koh-e-safi-5/1865669-13-fre-FR/120712-operation-ana-led-dans-la-vallee-de-la-koh-e-safi-5.jpg

 

Fidèle à sa mission, le BG Wild Geese a appuyé l’ANA lors de la fouille des différents villages et durant la Shura. Un détachement de liaison, d’appui et de soutien (DLAS) a été mis en place sur les crêtes dominant l’ensemble de la vallée afin de renseigner le kandak sur les éventuelles activités des insurgés tout en conservant en permanence, de jour comme de nuit, une capacité d’appui feu. Grâce à l’efficacité du dispositif tactique, les insurgés n’ont pas été en mesure de porter de coups à l’ANA. Les forces de sécurité afghanes ont une nouvelle fois démontré leurs capacités à mener des opérations dans des zones refuge de l’insurrection.

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