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29 décembre 2011 4 29 /12 /décembre /2011 13:55

ISAF-Logo

 

29 décembre 2011 Guysen International News

 

"La base aérienne américaine au sein de l'aéroport international de Manas, situé dans la capitale kirghize Bichkek, représente un danger pour le Kirghizstan et doit être fermée", a déclaré jeudi le président du pays Almazbek Atambaïev. Le président kirghiz a réfuté les affirmations selon lesquelles il aurait pris cette décision sous la pression de la Russie. La base aérienne américaine  elle permet d'assurer près de 30% des ravitaillements en vol des avions participant à l'opération militaire de l'Otan en Afghanistan. Selon les informations officielles, près de 1.500 militaires et civils américains travaillent dans cette base.

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29 décembre 2011 4 29 /12 /décembre /2011 13:09

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/111124-afghanistan-operation-de-controle-dans-les-vallees-nord-de-kapisa/operation-de-controle-dans-les-vallees-nord-de-kapisa-2/1459346-5-fre-FR/operation-de-controle-dans-les-vallees-nord-de-kapisa-2.jpg

photo MinDef

 

29/12/2011 Sources : EMA

 

Le 29 décembre 2011 en début de matinée, alors que la Task Force  La Fayette  (TFLF) et la 3e  brigade afghane étaient engagées dans l’opération Hunting Spear  2 en vallée de Tagab (Kapisa), deux militaires français ont été mortellement touchés par le tir délibéré d’un soldat de l’armée nationale afghane (ANA).

 

Les deux sous-officiers de la légion étrangère étaient déployés au sein du groupe de commandos montagne du Battle Group  Tiger . Ils étaient engagés au sein d’un détachement de liaison d’appui et de soutien (DLAS), armé conjointement par des forces françaises et afghanes, dont le rôle est d’appuyer les unités de l’ANA. Héliporté pendant la nuit, le DLAS a pris position sur les reliefs surplombant le poste de Jangali, tenu par l’ANA.

 

Les deux militaires français terminaient l’aménagement de leur poste de combat quand un soldat de l’ANA a ouvert le feu sur eux. Le tireur a immédiatement été neutralisé.

 

L’opération Hunting Spear  2 conduite par la 3e  brigade afghane vise à neutraliser la menace insurgée dans la vallée de Tagab en Kapisa. Hunting Spear  2 s’inscrit dans le cadre d’une opération d’envergure dont la première phase avait été menée avec succès du 16 au 20 décembre 2011.

 

L’action de ce soldat de l’ANA, aussi lâche et choquante soit-elle, ne remet pas en cause le lien de confiance profond et durable qui s’est forgé entre soldats français et afghans qui tous les jours risquent leurs vies côte à côte dans l’accomplissement de leur mission.

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29 décembre 2011 4 29 /12 /décembre /2011 13:05

ISAF-Logo

 

December 29th, 2011 By Waqar Satti - The Express Tribune

 

ISLAMABAD: Barely a month after Pakistan’s retaliatory decision to block Nato supplies for the coalition forces stationed in Afghanistan, the United States has decided to export all its cargo, including military hardware and arms, out of Pakistan.

 

Sources told Express News that the break in supplies has frustrated US authorities to the point where they are now weighing various options to move around the cargo stranded at various locations in Pakistan.

 

“It has been a month since the Nato attack which resulted in the port and border closures with no resolution in sight, the US government intends to have all import unit cargo that is currently staged at different Container Holding Yards (CHYs) moved back to Karachi port or the nearest CHY to the port. Once we receive approval, all unit cargo will be exported out of Pakistan,” wrote Anita Rice, Chief of the OCCA SWA (595th Trans Brigade, NSA Bahrain) in an email to all ‘concerned’ persons.

 

“To ensure smooth transition from import to export cargo in the Pakistan Customs Clearance System (PaCCS) and Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) computer systems, documents are required to be submitted to the US consulate in Karachi,” Anita added in the email.

 

“We require all USC-6 (universal contract 2006) carriers to submit the required documents to the US consulate, Karachi (karachidodcustoms@state.gov) for cargo/supplies currently staged outside the port for export,” the email read.

 

According to sources, US cargo, stranded in Pakistan, is worth millions of dollars and US authorities have serious concerns over the safety of the cargo as it includes hammer vehicles, dumpers, anti-aircraft guns, special carriers of anti-aircraft guns, vehicles specially built to jam communications, cranes and sophisticated weapons.

 

“We will compile information for submission to Pakistan customs for amendment for cargo export,” Rice said in her email, providing US Lieutenant Colonel Jerome Heath’s contact number for further assistance.

 

Furthermore, it was learnt that the US was using Pakistani routes to supply cargo to its military forces fighting in Afghanistan since 2006 under USC-6 (universal contract 2006).  Under this arrangement, US military personnel were engaged in loading and unloading of cargo while no physical checking was being carried out by Pakistani authorities.

 

When approached by ExpressNews, Rice refused to comment. Heath was also not available to share his version on this report.

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28 décembre 2011 3 28 /12 /décembre /2011 18:45

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/111228-afghanistan-la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab/la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab-2/1493953-4-fre-FR/la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab-2.jpg

 

28/12/2011 Sources : EMA

 

Du 16 au 20 décembre 2011, les unités de la 3e  brigade du 201e  corps de l’armée nationale afghane (ANA), commandées par le général Nazar, ont conduit une opération de grande envergure dans le sud de la vallée de Tagab, en Kapisa. L’objectif de cette opération était de neutraliser la menace insurgée dans cette zone.

 

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/111228-afghanistan-la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab/la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab-5/1493968-5-fre-FR/la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab-5.jpg

L’opération Hunting Spear 1 , décidée et conduite par l’armée nationale afghane, était appuyée par les forces françaises avec un élément de réaction rapide, cinq DLAS (détachements de liaison, d’appui et de soutien), un DOIP (détachement d’ouverture d’itinéraires piégés) et les hélicoptères du BatHélico.

 

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/111228-afghanistan-la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab/la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab-3/1493918-4-fre-FR/la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab-3.jpg

La Task Force  La Fayette  (TFLF) assurait également un appui direct aux états-majors afghans, notamment dans la coordination des appuis feux et le soutien santé.

 

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/111228-afghanistan-la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab/la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab-6/1493973-5-fre-FR/la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab-6.jpg

 

A plusieurs reprises au cours de l’opération, les états-majors français et afghans ont engagé les chasseurs de la coalition et les hélicoptères Tigre  en appui des troupes au sol.

 

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/111228-afghanistan-la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab/la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab-13/1493918-3-fre-FR/la-3eme-brigade-de-l-ana-controle-la-vallee-de-tagab-1.jpg

 

Les kandaks  32 et 36 (bataillons afghans) ont progressé pendant quatre jours du sud vers le nord de la vallée de Tagab, dans une zone à la végétation dense et fortement urbanisée. Ils ont maintenu leur rythme de progression et ont systématiquement pris l’ascendant lors des accrochages avec les insurgés. Durant toute l’opération, la 3ème  brigade de l’ANA a fait preuve d’une grande autonomie et à montré son aptitude à faire manœuvrer ses unités et coordonner ses appuis internes (mitrailleuses lourdes et canons).

 

Les kandaks  ont systématiquement mis à profit cette opération pour organiser des shuras  (assemblée traditionnelle) avec la population des villages.

 

Au cours de cette opération, un soldat de l’ANA a été tué et un groupe d’insurgés a été neutralisé.

 

L’opération Hunting Spear 1  illustre les progrès réalisés par la 3ème  brigade de l’ANA qui, désormais, conçoit et conduit ses actions avec l’appui de la TFLF

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27 décembre 2011 2 27 /12 /décembre /2011 18:35

http://defensetech.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/A160.jpg

 

27.12.2011 DEFENSETECH

 

The drone war in Pakistan may be on a temporary hiatus, that hasn’t stopped the Army from moving to send three of its newest drones to neighboring Afghanistan this Spring. The service is sending three of Boeing’s A160 Hummingbird drone choppers downrange for up to one year to feed the military’s insatiable hunger for more airborne ISR.

 

The helos will be equipped with the ARGUS wide area surveillance cameras, allowing the birds to hover and watch over massive swaths of land. Think of the typical UAV camera as looking at a region through a soda straw; operators and intel analysts only see the immediate area where the camera is focused. WAS systems like ARGUS are being developed to provide up to 65 video streams via one sensor package. This obviously gives a much broader picture of a region.

 

This deployment is meant to field test the concept of unmanned ISR choppers capable of performing serious recon missions from bases with no runways. If all goes well, the Army will launch a competition for this type of bird to enter large-scale production. We first reported on this effort last May. The service eventually wants a drone helo that can carry a variety of sensors at 6,000 feet in 95-degree temperatures and a flying duration of 12 to 24-hours.

 

Read more on the deployment here.

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26 décembre 2011 1 26 /12 /décembre /2011 08:05

K-MAX_main-full.jpg

 

22 Dec 2011By Zach Rosenberg – Flight Global

 

Washington DC - The Lockheed Martin/Kaman unmanned K-Max has made its first operational flights in Afghanistan, resupplying US Marine Corps troops with cargo.

 

"We have successfully flown an unmanned mission with cargo, resupplying Marines," said Lockheed. "The aircraft is operational, resupplying troops. We're flying missions with loads." Neither Lockheed nor the Navy would specify operating locations beyond the Central Command area of operations, but southern and central Afghanistan host the only large-scale Marine ground deployments in the region.

 

The aircraft are deployed on an evaluation basis. Afghanistan has served as an advanced testing ground for a substantial number of developmental systems, including a Navy deployment of the unmanned Northrop Grumman MQ-8B for reconnaissance missions. A similar system, the Boeing A160 will deploy to the area in 2012.

 

Unlike the Northrop and Boeing offerings, Lockheed/Kaman's aircraft will be used exclusively for resupply missions to remote forward operating bases (FOB) and combat outposts (COP). Resupply is among the most hazardous and expensive of the routine missions performed by US forces and private contractors, and demand for aerial resupply is high.

 

"It's going to provide a tremendous utility to MC and ultimately save lives," said Lockheed. Most missions will be flown at night and over mountainous terrain. "The aircraft have infrared lighting that allows operators to see them, but do not need any unique equipment to facilitate night missions." Test missions were reportedly flown on 15 and 16 December without cargo. Both contractor and military personnel are operating the aircraft. "The deploying team consists of active duty mission commanders, air vehicle operators, and a team from Lockheed Martin. So the Marines oversee mission planning, flight conduct, air and space deconfliction. They’re also at the FOBs as surrogate air vehicle operators." The aircraft was selected for deployment after a September quick reaction assessment.

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24 décembre 2011 6 24 /12 /décembre /2011 08:45

http://lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr/media/00/01/357689923.jpg

 

23.12.2011 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Le FELIN est donc en Afghanistan, testé au sein du GTIA Picardie qui est désormais déployé en Surobi, district au sud de la vallée de Tagab. Petit rappel: articulé autour du 1er RI, le GTIA Picardie mobilise aussi des éléments du 1er régiment de Spahis (peloton AMX10 RC), du 1er régiment d'artillerie de marine (RAMA), le 3e régiment du génie et le 1er régiment de tirailleurs.

 

A défaut d'informations initiales sur les aspects opérationnels, on peut rappeler deux ou trois choses:

 

- le fabricant, Sagem Industries (groupe Safran) a mis en place dans le cadre normal du programme FELIN des stocks de soutien. "Ceux-ci sont donc à disposition des services étatiques dans leurs organismes de soutien. Sur place en zone opérationnelle, une partie des rechanges a été déployée, et il y a une une équipe de personnels militaires qualifiés qui ont été formés par Sagem", selon un porte-parole de l'équipementier.


- l'équipe de "personnels qualifiés" ne provient pas du 2e RMAT de Bruz chargé de la maintenance de certains équipements du FELIN; ce sont donc des personnels techniques provenant des unités du GTIA Picardie qui se chargeront de la maintenance des équipements.


- le déploiement des sections FELIN a nécessité une adaptation des VAB (voir ci-dessus photo d'archives) qui ont été équipés de kits KIV (kits d'intégration véhicules) pour permettre  le rechargement des gourmandes batteries du système (dont les batteries SS des lunettes d'armes) à partir du réseau électrique du véhicule. Selon mes collègues du blog FOB, 80 VAB KIV sont actuellement déployés en Afghanistan au profit de Picardie.

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22 décembre 2011 4 22 /12 /décembre /2011 18:00

Foxhound Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV)

photo UK MoD

 

Dec 22, 2011 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued Dec. 22, 2011)

 

The Defence Secretary today announced a £400m package of protected vehicles and Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) technology to further improve the protection of British Forces in Afghanistan.

 

IEDs are the single greatest threat to our forces in Afghanistan. Improving the protection of our forces on the front line is the military’s number one priority, and these investments mark another major step forward in the battle against the Taliban.

 

The package includes around 100 additional Foxhound protected patrol vehicles. Foxhound is at the cutting edge of protected patrol vehicle technology and will provide unprecedented levels of blast protection for its size and weight.

 

Today’s announcement will take the total number of Foxhound vehicles available to our Armed Forces to around 300.

 

The first of the 200 Foxhounds already ordered by the MoD are due to be delivered for military training over the next month, and will be available for deployment to Afghanistan during 2012.

 

This announcement also includes over £200m of advanced C-IED technology, giving British Forces a major boost in the battle against the insurgency.

 

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

 

“Success in Afghanistan is our number one priority and protecting our forces from IEDs is our most urgent challenge.

 

“Foxhound is designed, developed and built in the UK and this announcement demonstrates the Government’s commitment to providing our troops with world-class protective equipment.

 

“The vehicle will provide our Armed Forces with a highly protected and agile vehicle, and its manufacture in this country will create and sustain jobs across the UK.

 

“The C-IED package is another major step forward in the battle against the bombers, using cutting edge technology to defeat their evil campaign and protect our troops.”

 

 

BACKGROUND NOTES:

 

1. The original £180 million contract to build 200 of the new Foxhound vehicles was signed with FPE in November last year. The second tranche, announced today, is subject to final contractual negotiation with FPE.

 

2. Originally procured as an Urgent Operational Requirement, Foxhound was designed specifically to protect against the threats faced by troops in Afghanistan – for example, its V-shaped hull helps it withstand explosions caused by an improvised explosive device.

 

3. Its size and agility allows troops to carry out a wide range of tasks in environments that may restrict larger, heavier vehicles. Foxhound is ideal for the Partnering and Mentoring role required for Transition, being able to access urban areas with increased protection.

 

4. The vehicle incorporates state of the art technology from a range of areas, including from non-traditional Defence sources such as the UK’s world-leading motorsport industry, drawing a significant number of SMEs from across the country into the supply chain.

 

5. Its engine can be removed and replaced in just 30 minutes and it can drive away on only three wheels.

 

6. The second tranche of around 100 Foxhound will be subject to final contractual negotiations with Force Protection Europe (FPE).

 

7. The vehicle was designed, developed, and built in the UK by FPE and Ricardo plc, together with Team Ocelot partners Thales, QinetiQ, Formaplex, DSG and Sula. Construction of the vehicles will take place throughout the UK.

 

8. Since May 2010 more than £500M has been approved for the purchase of protected vehicles in Afghanistan, including the new Foxhound patrol vehicle.

 

9. Owing to the nature of the C-IED procurement, there are no other details that are releasable on this procurement that would not be in breach of its security classificatio

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22 décembre 2011 4 22 /12 /décembre /2011 08:00

http://en.rian.ru/images/16730/20/167302046.jpg

 

TBILISI, December 20 (RIA Novosti)

 

Georgia’s parliament voted on Tuesday in favor of President Mikheil Saakashvili’s plan to send more troops to Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

 

The initiative was backed by 103 votes out of 150 seats in the Georgian parliament.

 

Georgia, which actively seeks NATO membership, joined the international U.S.-led coalition fighting the Afghan insurgency in August of 2009.

 

More than 900 Georgian troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan, including some 750 in the Helmand Province and 175 in the capital, Kabul.

 

Ten Georgian soldiers have been killed since joining ISAF operations in Afghanistan.

 

All international combat troops are expected to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, with security to be passed to the Afghan police and army.

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21 décembre 2011 3 21 /12 /décembre /2011 21:54

Afghanistan.svg

 

21-12-2011 nouvelobs.com

 

KABOUL (AP) — L'armée afghane compte désormais 180.000 soldats, selon des chiffres rendus publics mercredi par un porte-parole du ministère de la Défense.

 

Plus de 40.000 personnes ont été recrutées en 2011, a ajouté Mohammad Zahir Azimi. L'objectif est d'avoir 195.000 soldats sur le terrain d'ici octobre 2012.

 

Les forces de la coalition, qui ont entamé leur retrait cette année, souhaitent que l'armée et la police afghanes prennent la responsabilité de la sécurité du pays d'ici fin 2014.

 

Mais Azimi a constaté que des soldats quittent régulièrement l'armée, l'obligeant à recruter et former de nombreuses recrues pour maintenir les effectifs et les augmenter. AP

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21 décembre 2011 3 21 /12 /décembre /2011 21:26

http://www.lalsace.fr/fr/images/A0364E03-1361-47B7-AF8B-D6115A1C5CDF/ALS_03/le-colonel-jeand-heur-%28au-centre%29-chef-de-corps-du-152-e-regiment-d-infanterie-au-milieu-de-ses-ho.jpg

 

Le colonel Jeand’heur (au centre), chef de corps du 152 e régiment d’infanterie,

au milieu de ses hommes, lors de la campagne d’Afghanistan. DR

 

21/12/2011 par Isabelle Glorifet - lalsace.fr

 

Les hommes du 152 e RI de Colmar sont de retour d’Afghanistan depuis quelques semaines. Leur chef de corps, le colonel Jeand’heur, dresse le bilan de ces six mois d’opération.

 

« Je voudrais remercier les parrains alsaciens. Ça a touché les soldats de se sentir soutenus », assure le colonel Jeand’heur, chef de corps du 152 e régiment d’infanterie, de retour avec ses 500 hommes de six mois sur le front afghan, dans le district de Surobi. Les soldats ont également « mesuré la considération que la France leur porte », grâce aux trois jours de décompression en hôtel 5 étoiles à Chypre avant leur retour en France. « Pendant six mois, il n’y a pas de break. Le sas mis en place il y a deux ans est extrêmement bénéfique. »

 

« La perte d’un être cher »

 

Car leur mission délicate en Afghanistan aura laissé des traces : un mort au sein du régiment (le lieutenant Camille Levrel, décédé le 14 août dernier), et une dizaine de blessés au sein du bataillon. « C’est évidemment la perte d’un être cher que je connaissais bien. Ça nous a mis un coup. Mais sur place, on pense qu’il y a 800 soldats à commander. C’est un risque inhérent à notre métier », confie le colonel Jeand’heur.

 

Toutefois, après le décès du lieutenant Levrel, il confie : « Nous avons changé de mode d’action, et mené des opérations différentes dans la vallée d’Uzbin ».

 

Une mission menée en appui avec les forces armées afghanes, et la police : « En six mois, l’armée afghane a beaucoup évolué. Elle peut se prendre en main toute seule : nous lui avons donné les moyens qu’elle n’avait pas. »

 

Le bataillon a multiplié ce que les militaires nomment des opérations « civilo-militaires » : « Nous avons un rôle de soutien qui continue. Les Afghans sont très reconnaissants de ce qu’on fait là-bas. Il y a des progrès, notamment dans l’accès aux soins, la construction de routes. Il reste des projets de développement dans l’électrification, la maîtrise de l’eau », précise encore le colonel Jeand’heur.

 

« Sur le qui-vive sans arrêt »

 

Pour autant, la mission militaire n’avait rien d’une partie de plaisir : un adversaire plus mobile, et invisible, aux actions totalement imprévisibles : « On est obligé d’être sur le qui-vive sans arrêt. On n’est jamais à l’abri. Il existe une part de risque réel », même si les troupes ont essuyé peu d’attaques dans la zone de Surobi. À Tagab en revanche, « à chaque opération on accrochait. Là, c’est un peu Stalingrad à Guadalcanal : une guérilla urbaine en pleine jungle ».

 

Pour le chef de corps, « c’est la mission la plus dure, mais la plus intéressante » qu’il ait eue à commander : « Outre l’aspect militaire, c’est le transfert du district vers le gouvernement afghan qui compte. C’est le cœur du métier de soldat et du métier de chef. »

 

Les prochaines missions du 152 e RI ne sont pas encore totalement définies, mais l’arrivée de nouveaux véhicules (VBCI) sera leur grosse actualité d’ici le mois de mai, ainsi que la mutualisation des moyens avec le régiment de marche du Tchad basé à Meyenheim. Cette trentaine de blindés remplacera leur équipement vieillissant, des AMX. « C’est une révolution. Nous abandonnons les engins à chenilles. »

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20 décembre 2011 2 20 /12 /décembre /2011 08:45

http://www.aviationweek.com/media/images/defense_images/UAVs/K-MAX_uav_LOCKHEED_MARTIN-KAMAN.jpg

 

Photo: Lockheed Martin

 

Dec 19, 2011 By Paul McLeary - aerospace daily and defense report

 

The U.S. Marine Corps has taken a huge step toward attaining an unmanned cargo lift capability in Afghanistan.

 

On Dec. 15 and 16, the Corps flew two unmanned K-MAX helicopter test flights “out to one of the forward operating bases without a load,” Lockheed Martin’s Jeffrey Brown tells Aviation Week. “These flights were test flights in preparation for sustained operations.”

 

Built as a joint venture between Kaman Aerospace and Lockheed Martin, the K-MAX passed a five-day Quick Reaction Assessment for the U.S. Navy’s Cargo Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program earlier this year, followed by the deployment of two K-MAXs to Afghanistan for operational testing in October.

 

Lockheed Martin and Kaman teamed up in 2007 to meet a Marine Corps request for an unmanned lift capability in-theater, transforming the manned K-MAX into an optionally piloted aircraft. In testing earlier this year, the Corps confirmed that the K-MAX was capable of exceeding the Navy and Marines’ requirement to deliver 6,000 lb. of cargo per day over a five-day period.

 

In a statement released in early October, U.S. Naval Air Systems Command said the team that would deploy to Afghanistan “consists of active-duty mission commanders and air vehicle operators of the Cargo Resupply Unmanned Aircraft System Detachment of Marine Corps VMU-1 stationed at Yuma, Ariz.,” as well as company employees.

 

The Navy added that “most of the missions will be conducted at night and at higher altitudes, avoiding threat of small arms fire.” There has been no word on whether the missions occurred in daylight or at night, and the length of the flights and the location remain classified.

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20 décembre 2011 2 20 /12 /décembre /2011 08:20

http://www.shephardmedia.com/static/images/article/AAI_Shadow_200.jpg

 

19 December 2011 - by the Shephard News Team

 

The Australian Army has selected the Sentient Kestrel Land Moving Target Indicator (MTI) for the Shadow 200 Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (TUAV) systems being acquired under the Defence Capability Plan Joint Project (JP) 129 Phase 2. Under the contract Sentient will provide the automated target detection solution to support the Shadow systems in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

 

To be operated by the 20 Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Regiment, Kestrel Land MTI will assist Australian forces in analysing ISR imagery from the AAI Shadow 200. The software processes the imagery in real time, automatically detecting small, moving targets such as dismounts and vehicles within the TUAV sensors’ field of view.

 

Equipped with cutting-edge payload technology including advanced electro-optical and infrared sensors the Shadow TUAV will transmit real-time, full motion video (FMV) to the Ground Control Station (GCS) and remote video viewing devices. The Kestrel system analyses the video footage and provide a real-time cue to operators on moving objects within the field of view. This capability will enable the Army to effectively detect and respond to enemy targets, and thus protect Australian forces.

 

According to the company, the Army has purchased three Kestrel Land MTI licenses for 20 STA Regiment, which will be deployed with the Shadow in Afghanistan early next year. Sentient has been working closely with 20 STA Regiment and AAI over the past years and has successfully demonstrated Kestrel’s automated target detection capability with the Shadow.

 

Kestrel is currently supporting the Australian Army on board the ScanEagle which will remain in service in Afghanistan during the transition-in of the Shadow.

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20 décembre 2011 2 20 /12 /décembre /2011 07:40

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/dangerroom/2011/12/102011_kmax_800-660x472.jpg

 

December 19, 2011 By David Axe - wired.com/dangerroom

 

Pakistan is still blockading NATO war supplies passing through the port of Karachi in response to last month’s killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers by an alliance air strike. But inside Afghanistan, supply lines are about to get a lot safer for NATO’s logisticians. On Saturday, the Marine Corps flew history’s very first combat resupply mission using a robot helicopter. The unmanned Kaman K-MAX successfully hauled a sling-load of cargo out to an unspecified base, presumably somewhere in southern Afghanistan.

 

The successful first flight, plus a couple test runs earlier last week, “were in preparation for sustained operations,” Jeffrey Brown from Lockheed Martin told Paul McLeary of Aviation Week. Lockheed has partnered with Kaman and the Marine Corps to demonstrate two of the unmanned supply choppers in combat.

 

The Marines’ K-MAX is a pilotless version of a popular twin-rotor helicopter. The GPS-guided robo-K-MAX weighs in at just 2.5 tons, but can carry 3.5 tons of cargo some 250 miles. The K-MAX beat out Boeing’s smaller A160 Hummingbird unmanned helicopter for the Marine Corps demonstration contract. And the Marines, Army, Navy and Air Force are all considering buying robot supply aircraft in large quantities.

 

The need is clear. The war in Afghanistan is highly dependent on flexible, reliable and secure logistics — even more than the just-ended Iraq war was. NATO troops are widely spread across rough terrain, interrupted by steep mountains, with few paved roads. Helicopters have to handle most of the final delivery for front-line supplies.

 

But the choppers and their crews are at risk of crashing or being shot down. Robot choppers remove the risk to the crews, and could potentially fly more frequently than manned rotorcraft, considering there is no requirement for crew rest. That’s why the Department of the Navy brought the K-MAX to Afghanistan in October.

 

 

Shameless plug: Afghanistan war logistics, cargo robots and K-MAX are all subjects of my new book From A to B, published this month by Potomac.

 

K-MAX is just getting started in Afghanistan, but robotic logistics goes back years. In 2003, Special Operations Command began using the SnowGoose robotic glider for small-scale deliveries. Responding to escalating casualties among U.S. Army truck drivers, the Army started experimenting in 2007 with driverless cargo trucks. Expect many of the most dangerous logistics jobs of the coming years to be performed by robots.

 

But that doesn’t mean the Marines aren’t worried about the ‘bots’ safety, too. “Most of the [K-MAX] missions will be conducted at night and at higher altitudes,” said Marine Capt. Caleb Joiner, a K-MAX operator. “This will allow us to keep out of small-arms range.”

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19 décembre 2011 1 19 /12 /décembre /2011 22:35

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/111219-afghanistan-desengagement-d-une-partie-du-detachement-air-de-kandahar/desengagement-d-une-partie-du-detachement-air-de-kandahar-1/1488391-1-fre-FR/desengagement-d-une-partie-du-detachement-air-de-kandahar-1.jpg

 

19/12/2011 Sources : EMA

 

Le 27 novembre 2011, 3 avions de chasse Rafale ont quitté la base de Kandahar avec leur pilote, suivis par environ 60 militaires du détachement. Ce départ s’inscrit dans le cadre du début du désengagement du dispositif militaire français d’Afghanistan.

 

Il s’agissait du 4e mandat du détachement air avec des avions Rafale depuis 2007. Ils avaient été déployés une première fois à Douchanbé puis à Kandahar. Par ailleurs, depuis 2002, des avions Rafale sont régulièrement engagés en Afghanistan depuis le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle.

 

Pour ce mandat à Kandahar, les avions Rafale auront réalisé plus 1 000 heures de vol, nécessitant quelques 500 ravitaillements en vol, conduisant 65 missions d’appui des troupes au sol avec une quarantaine d’interventions.

 

Après le désengagement d’une partie du détachement chasse, le détachement de Kandahar reste engagé avec plus d’une centaine de militaires et 3 avions de combat, actuellement 3 Mirage 2000D pour assurer des missions de surveillance et d’appui au profit des troupes au sol.

 

Au total, 23 aéronefs français sont engagés en permanence en Afghanistan avec 3 Mirage 2000D qui opèrent depuis Kandahar, 14 hélicoptères de manœuvre et d’attaque qui opèrent depuis Kaboul, 2 drones SIDM qui opèrent depuis Bagram, deux C160 qui opèrent depuis Douchanbé au Tadjikistan et un C135 ravitailleur qui opère depuis un pays du golfe arabo-persique.

 

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/111219-afghanistan-desengagement-d-une-partie-du-detachement-air-de-kandahar/desengagement-d-une-partie-du-detachement-air-de-kandahar-2/1488396-2-fre-FR/desengagement-d-une-partie-du-detachement-air-de-kandahar-2.jpg

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19 décembre 2011 1 19 /12 /décembre /2011 08:55

tigre-afghanistan-source-Paris-Match-photo-Thomas-Goisque.jpg

source Paris Match photo Thomas Goisque

 

Ajoutée par le 11 déc. 2011

 


 

Kym Bergmann Editor of APDR and Defence Review Asia in Afghanistan with the French Army in Kabul November 2011

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16 décembre 2011 5 16 /12 /décembre /2011 13:30

http://www.meretmarine.com/objets/500/39435.jpg

 

Un EH-101 italien embarqué sur un C17 de l'US Air Force

crédits : MARINA MILITARE

 

16/12/2011 MER et MARINE

 

Un avion de transport américain C17 a embarqué le 10 décembre, à Herat, le premier des trois hélicoptères EH-101 que la marine italienne avait déployé en Afghanistan. Ces machines ont été mises en oeuvre par un détachement de 70 militaires appartenant aux 1er, 3ème et 4ème groupes d'hélicoptères de la Marina militare. Regroupés au sein du Task Group Shark (TGS), les trois EH-101 ont été engagé pendant plus d'un an au profit du commandement régional ouest (RC-W) de l'OTAN. Configurés en version « Eliassalto », avec un armement constitué de mitrailleuses MG 42/59, un dispositif d'autoprotection actif et passif, un système de détection électro-optique FLIR et des jumelles de vision nocturne, les EH-101 de l'aéronavale italienne sont intervenus de jour comme de nuit au profit des troupes du RC-W et les forces spéciales de la TF45. Evacuations médicales, transport opérationnel, soutien logistique, patrouilles... Les trois hélicoptères ont réalisé en Afghanistan 900 heures de vol pour un total de 224 missions de combat et de transport, au cours desquelles ils ont notamment transporté 3700 personnes et 95 tonnes de matériel. Le premier vol du TGS est intervenu le 30 octobre 2010, le dernier ayant été effectué le 6 décembre dernier.


Pour mémoire, la marine italienne compte 24 EH-101, dont les missions principales sont la lutte anti-sous-marine, la lutte antinavire et le transport.


Les EH-101 italiens en Afghanistan (© : MARINA MILITARE)


EH-101 italien en Afghanistan (© : MARINA MILITARE)


EH-101 italien en Afghanistan (© : MARINA MILITARE)


EH-101 italien en Afghanistan (© : MARINA MILITARE)


EH-101 italien en Afghanistan (© : MARINA MILITARE)


Embarquement d'un EH-101 sur un C17 (© : MARINA MILITARE)


Embarquement d'un EH-101 sur un C17 (© : MARINA MILITARE)


Embarquement d'un EH-101 sur un C17 (© : MARINA MILITARE)

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15 décembre 2011 4 15 /12 /décembre /2011 19:00

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15 December 2011 - by Beth Stevenson - Shepard Group

 

The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) has successfully achieved a fully virtualised information services infrastructure for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

 

In a statement released on 10 December, NC3A said the ‘significant three-year engineering and programmatic effort’ comprised ‘a major step forward, one that is still to be equalled in the NATO static command structure’.

 

The organisation’s Capability Area Team has ‘evolved’ the ISAF server and storage infrastructure into a ‘modern, resilient and energy efficient capability’, the statement outlined.

 

‘The first virtualised solution was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 under the Centrix-ISAF project, which installed the initial resilient Network Interconnection Points connecting the US Centrix-ISAF capability and NATO, thus creating the single information domain now known as the Afghanistan Mission Network,’ it continued.

 

‘From there, with the creation of the ISAF Joint Command HQ (IJC) at the Kabul International Airport in 2010 the concept advanced, again with a redundant server room approach.

 

In March fully virtualised server rooms were installed at Kandahar Airfield. Since then all server rooms at the Regional Commands, HQ Kabul and IJC have been virtualised, and all Functional Area Services have migrated into this infrastructure, ahead of schedule.

 

This move towards virtualisation is believed to have saved ISAF a total of some $1.2 million, broken down into $65,000 in non-recurring costs, and $234,000 per year in operating costs over a five-year life cycle, according to NC3A.

 

It allows commanders to quickly recover information from equipment failures without loss of data through this new method, and hardware deployment into theatre becomes less of an issue because NC3A provides it also.

 

Meanwhile, the agency also announced on 15 December that the air command and control information services (AirC2IS) project has successfully passed its critical design review.

 

AirC2IS, an effort between NATO and Siemens IT Solutions & Services Turkey to develop a modern, efficient and comprehensive air C2 capability for NATO’s operational and strategic commands, began in January this year.

 

AirC2IS will be NATO’s first network enabled capability, and it will be a system that will equip the operational users to face the changing NATO environment and security challenges, used as the air functional service of the Bi-Strategic Command Automated Information System (Bi-SC AIS).

 

‘This modern implementation will set a bench mark for future NATO Bi-SC AIS Functional Services,’ according to NC3A, and the service oriented architecture (SOA) based system will allow for varied information exchange and capability extensions. The initial baseline is set to be piloted at the end of next year.

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15 décembre 2011 4 15 /12 /décembre /2011 13:55

http://lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr/media/00/02/1875465936.jpg

 

15.12.2011 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Yousuf Raza Gilani, le Premier ministre pakistanais, a laissé entendre à la BBC que le blocage des convois routiers de ravitaillement de l'ISAF pourrait durer des semaines. Ce blocage a commencé après le raid aérien de l'ISAF qui a coûté la vie à 24 soldats pakistanais sur la frontière afghano-pakistanaise, le 26 novembre.

 

route appro.jpgLa mesure de rétorsion pakistanaise affecte la route d'approvisionnement Est qui va de Peshawar à Kaboul, via Khyber Pass et Jalalabad, ainsi que la Sud qui va de Quetta à Kandahar. Tout au sud, point de départ, le grand port de Karachi (voir la carte ci-contre. Cliquer dessus pour l'agrandir). C'est par là que transiterait la moitié des approvisionnements non opérationnels de l'ISAF (soit, selon le Pentagone, 30% des besoins totaux). Pour la petit histoire, 4 000 camions pakistanais, selon le Christian Science Monitor, seraient à l'arrêt à Karachi et les chauffeurs commencent à sérieusement râler à cause du manque à gagner.

 

Pour l'heure, l'ISAF reste serein: "Il y a de la marge" a précisé un porte-parole américain. Tout comme l'EMA qui explique que les réserves permettent de tenir encore un moment, qu'une partie des approvisionnements (en particulier la nourriture) est acheminée par avion et que la route du Nord est ouverte.

 

Le problème qui pourrait s'ajouter au blocage pakistanais est susceptible de venir de Russie. Moscou, toujours irrité par la question du système anti-missiles américano-européen, pourrait choisir de faire pression en entravant l'arrivée du ravitaillement par cette route Nord. 

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15 décembre 2011 4 15 /12 /décembre /2011 07:40

Germany.svg

 

14 Dec 2011 By ALBRECHT MÜLLER DefenseNews

 

BONN - The German Cabinet decided Dec. 14 to extend the Bundeswehr's mission in Afghanistan by one more year, until Jan. 31, 2013, but also reduced the maximum number of troops to be deployed from 5,350 to 4,900 soldiers. The decision still has to pass the parliament.

 

The reduction is partly achieved by scrapping the flexible force reserve. However, the remaining 4,900 will also include German personnel of the Airborne Warning and Control System reconnaissance aircraft operated by NATO over Afghanistan. Before the end of this mandate's period, the government wants to further cut troop numbers to 4,400.

 

One day earlier, the control of the first of two German Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) in the northern part of Afghanistan was handed over to a civil official. The Defense Ministry is no longer responsible for the PRT Feyzabad; instead, a diplomat of the country's foreign office in Berlin is in charge.

 

"This forms part of the changing nature of international commitments in Afghanistan," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a press statement. "They are increasingly taking on a civilian face, as is the case with the incremental transfer of responsibility for security to Afghan authorities and the reduction in international troop numbers."

 

However, German combat troops might stay in Afghanistan after the planned drawback in 2014. Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière confirmed this in a joint interview together with the foreign minister about two weeks ago. In the newspaper Bild am Sonntag, he mentioned the possibility that German troops would remain in the country to help train local forces.

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13 décembre 2011 2 13 /12 /décembre /2011 13:15

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13 December 2011 - by Beth Stevenson - Shepard Group

 

The USAF has released a special notice outlining its intention to deploy the Predator C Avenger UAS to Afghanistan.

 

Released by Air Force Materiel Command on 9 December, the notice justified why the system is needed in theatre and revealed that the original intent to acquire the platform had been decided on 5 July.

 

The platform will be used as a test vehicle to develop ‘next generation’ UAS sensors, weapons, and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) to ensure ‘a quick, smooth and efficient fielding of these advanced capabilities to the area of operations’, the notice read.  Because General Atomics-Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) is the only manufacturer of the aircraft, it will remain the only tender for the contract.

 

‘Currently, the combatant commanders, with the SECDEF’s [Secretary of Defense’s] concurrence, have determined there are insufficient assets in-theatre today to gather the necessary information and to fully engage the present threat,’ a USAF coordination and approval document said.

 

‘By procuring this aircraft and rapidly fielding the capabilities developed on it, the DoD and other agencies will be able to close this gap now in addition to preparing for the next generation threat.’

 

The Avenger is described by its manufacturer as a high-speed, multi-mission, medium-to-high altitude UAS, that is designed for wide-area surveillance and strike missions.

 

Notably, while it can carry a host of sensors, the platform’s internal weapons bay can carry some 1,360kg in precision munitions, leading to speculation over the purpose of this deployment in aid of Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

It has a 20 hour endurance and is said to have much higher operational and transit speeds than the other two Predator platforms. The approval document said that it will be able to fly to targets ‘much more rapidly than the MQ-9’.

 

The notice said that it is an ‘exceptional circumstance’ by which the Avenger is being deployed, because it is to fulfil a multi-agency role by providing a test platform for both Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD), and customers under an ongoing, classified SECDEF-directed programme.

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13 décembre 2011 2 13 /12 /décembre /2011 12:50

Australia DoD

 

December 13, 2011 defpro.com


Australian Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced further measures to better protect troops in Afghanistan against improvised explosive devices (IEDs).


The Government has approved under Project NINGAUI the purchase of four route clearance systems to more safely clear roads of IEDs before troops travel on them.


As well, Bushmaster vehicles will be upgraded to give troops an even higher level of protection against IED explosions in Afghanistan.


PROJECT NINGAUI (JOINT PROJECT 154)

The route clearance systems will be used by Australian Army engineers to detect and clear explosive hazards, creating a safer pathway for troops as they patrol Uruzgan province in Afghanistan.


The four systems will cost about $70 million. Each system includes:

• Two HUSKY Mark 3 protected route clearance vehicles with ground penetrating radars (GPR) to detect explosive hazards;

• One HUSKY Mark 3 protected route clearance vehicle with interrogator arm to confirm that an explosive hazard has been found from a safer distance;

• Two protected High Mobility Engineer Excavators (HMEEs) to repair damaged routes and create bypass routes; and

• Two Bushmaster protected mobility vehicles fitted with SPARK mine rollers to provide a greater level of protection against explosive hazards.


The HUSKY mounted ground penetrating radars provide the ability to detect explosive hazard threats from within an armoured vehicle.


It will protect our troops by allowing them to detect IEDs that other detection equipment might not be able to find, especially devices with low or no metal content.


The interrogation arm is a safer way of confirming that an IED has been found. It allows our troops to make this confirmation remotely from a safe distance.


In September, Mr Smith and Mr Clare announced that the Government would loan two similar systems from Canada.


The Canadian vehicles will be on loan for around 12 months effective from early 2012.


The Government will purchase the new systems to provide Australian troops with a permanent route clearance system after the loan of the Canadian systems.


Three systems will be deployed to Afghanistan with one remaining in Australia for training.


The Husky vehicles will be purchased from the United States Government under their Foreign Military Sales system with the other elements of the system to be sourced commercially.


UPGRADES TO BUSHMASTER VEHICLES

The Government has also approved the upgrade of around 200 Bushmaster vehicles.


The Bushmasters to be upgraded include those currently operating in Afghanistan and the additional 101 Bushmasters announced for production in May this year.


As part of that announcement in May, the Government said that Defence would evaluate a range of enhancements to the Bushmaster vehicle to increase the level of protection it provides to ADF personnel.


A series of tests and blast trials on the enhancements have since been successfully conducted and as a result the Government has now approved the upgrades to proceed.


The upgrades will further increase protection of the Bushmaster vehicle against IEDs.


The upgrades include energy absorbing seats and stronger welding to further reduce the probability of lower limb and spinal injury occurring from an explosion.


The vehicle upgrades will occur throughout 2012 and are likely to be undertaken in both in the Middle East Area of Operations and at Thales’ Bendigo factory.

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12 décembre 2011 1 12 /12 /décembre /2011 17:45

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/12EAE99C-F182-45A7-8131-4889B7DBA416/0/20Bde2011H15017366A.jpg

 

Troops protect their eyes from the debris kicked up by a descending helicopter

Picture: Sergeant Wes Calder RLC, MOD 2011

 

12 Dec 11 UK MoD - A Military Operations news article

 

British troops and Afghan commandos have conducted a daring dawn raid under fire to target a suspected improvised explosive device (IED) factory in Helmand province.

 

Operation EAGLE'S SHADOW saw more than 90 soldiers from the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) fly in three helicopters to the suspected factory in northern Nahr-e Saraj district.

 

The area had earlier been cordoned off by Scimitar Mk2 armoured vehicles equipped with 30mm cannons, and Warthog all-terrain troop carriers armed with .50-calibre heavy machine guns and 40mm grenade machine guns.

 

The vehicles, crewed by the Formation Reconnaissance Squadron, the BRF and the Warthog Group, helped to protect the landing sites as the helicopters swooped in.

 

Once on the ground, the soldiers came under harassing fire from insurgents as they moved in towards the compounds.

 

But the insurgents withdrew after two short fire fights, and, with a protective Apache attack helicopter now overhead, the soldiers moved on to the compound where local Afghans said insurgents had been manufacturing IEDs.

 

Troops found the building had been recently abandoned but discovered a captive patrolman from the Afghan Uniform Police (AUP) who told them the insurgents planned to execute him later that day.

 

As the soldiers moved out, they spotted suspicious activity at another compound close by, and when they searched the buildings they discovered 30kg of opium, an AK-47 sub-machine gun and large sums of money in different denominations.

 

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/1D76858B-6E61-4224-BF4F-3552930957DD/0/20Bde2011H15017172A.jpg 

Troops from the Brigade Reconnaissance Force patrol cautiously through the northern Nahr-e Saraj district during Operation EAGLE'S SHADOW  -Picture: Sergeant Wes Calder RLC, MOD 2011

 

The BRF consists of soldiers from 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards and 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, while the Warthog Group is manned by soldiers from the Queen's Royal Hussars.

 

2nd Lieutenant Barnaby Smith, an intelligence officer from 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, said:

 

    "This Afghan-led operation not only recovered a member of the AUP but disrupted the insurgents in their backyard, denying them the freedom of movement they have recently enjoyed in the area where they thought they were safe."

 

Lieutenant Colonel Jasper de Quincey Adams, the Commanding Officer of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards and in overall command of the operation, said:

 

    "This was another classic example of the Afghan National Security Forces and the International Security Assistance Force working together to relentlessly pursue the insurgent throughout Helmand.

 

    "All of the soldiers and airmen involved in the operation worked together to deliver a high-impact effect that demonstrates the reach of the Afghan Government. This will send out a clear message to our Afghan partners that we will continue to offer our support however dangerous or complex the mission."

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12 décembre 2011 1 12 /12 /décembre /2011 12:30

http://lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr/media/00/02/1260964904.2.jpg

 

12.12.2011 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Hamid Karzaï a repoussé jusqu'en septembre 2013 la date de fermeture des sociétés de sécurité qu'il avait dans le collimateur depuis août 2010.

 

On se souvient que le président afghan avait alors annoncé qu'il allait faire fermer d'ici au mois de décembre de la même année, les sociétés de sécurité. Sauf celles sous contrats avec des pays étrangers pour faire protéger leurs ambassades, avec des ONG et des entreprises internationales popur faire protéger leur personnel (ce que de nombreux commentateurs avaient alors oublié de dire).

 

Qui visait-il donc? En fait la myriade de sociétés locales ou binationales qui pompaient les effectifs de la police et de l'armée nationales afghanes, ainsi que les milices privées qui avaient déguisé leurs membres en uniforme de vigiles armés et qui faisaient de très bonnes affaires en assurant la sécurité des sites privés et des convois routiers. Corruption et racket à grande échelle étaient évidents; Karzaï avait donc raison de taper du poing...

 

Les SMP anglo-saxonnes avait crié au scandale par ignorance, par peur ou par calcul (elles craignaient que leur tour ne vienne) mais s'étaient vite rassurées (les sociétés locales aussi) puisque Karzaï dont la constance n'est pas le fort, avait repoussé la deadline à mars 2012. Et voilà qu'elle est de nouveau repoussée à septembre 2013!

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12 décembre 2011 1 12 /12 /décembre /2011 08:35

Germany.svg

 

11 Dec 2011DefenseNews AFP

 

BERLIN - Germany, which has over 5,000 troops in Afghanistan, will withdraw 200 soldiers at the start of February, a German weekly reported Dec. 11.

 

Germany plans to whittle its forces in Afghanistan to 4,900 next year against 5,350 at present. The NATO-led forces are due to be pulled out in 2014.

 

Berlin is drawing up its withdrawal plans, which will start on Feb. 1 and involve 200 troops, Bild am Sonntag said, without naming any sources.

 

Germany, which has the third-biggest force in Afghanistan behind the United States and Britain, said at the start of the year that it aimed to begin pulling its military forces out, eyeing 2014 for complete withdrawal.

 

Polls have shown the mission, the first major Bundeswehr deployment outside of Europe since World War II, has been consistently unpopular in the country.

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