Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog
28 juillet 2011 4 28 /07 /juillet /2011 06:00



July 27, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE


Recently, the U.S. Marine Corps deployed another UAV detachment in southwest Afghanistan. The detachment, part of Marine UAV Squadron 3, uses the U.S. Army RQ-7B Shadow 200 UAV. What the army calls a Shadow platoon, the marines call a UAV detachment. The Shadow 200 is most widely used by the U.S. Army, where each Shadow 200 UAV platoon has 22 troops and operates four UAVs, plus the ground control equipment. Typically, each combat brigade has one Shadow platoon. Each marine UAV squadron has 8-12 Shadow 200s, and some smaller (40 pound) ScanEagle UAVs. Three years ago, the marines replaced their two decade old Pioneer UAVs with the Shadow 200. Last year, the marines bought another Shadow detachment.


Each 159 kg (350 pound) Shadow 200 UAV costs $500,000, and can stay in the air 5.5 hours per sortie. A day camera and night vision camera is carried on each aircraft. Able to fly as high as 5 kilometers (15,000 feet), the Shadow can thus go into hostile territory and stay high enough (over three kilometers) to be safe from hostile rifle and machine-gun fire. The Shadow UAVs can carry 25.5 kg (56 pounds) of equipment, is 3.6 meters (11 feet) long and has a wingspan of 4.1 meters (12.75 feet). The Shadow has a range of about 50 kilometers. The army has had great success with the Shadow 200, which is what caught the attention of the marines (who found that the UAV worked as advertised)


In the army, the RQ-7 is going to be replaced in the next few years. But there is still an enormous demand for UAVs just now. So the 124 RQ-7s already delivered are being worked hard (they have already flown over 500,000 hours), and will probably be heavily used until worn out or lost in action. Last year, the army will begin receiving a Predator class replacement for the Shadow 200, the 1.4 ton MQ-1C.

Partager cet article
25 juillet 2011 1 25 /07 /juillet /2011 16:30



British Army bomb disposal specialists Captain Nick Welby-Everard Torbet (right)

and Corporal Ed Williams (left) at the IED factory, found by British soldiers in Nahr-e Saraj

[Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]


25 Jul 11 UK MoD A Military Operations news article


Two members of the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force (C-IED TF) have spent two full days making safe an IED factory found by British soldiers in the Nahr-e Saraj area of Helmand province.


The compound, uncovered by members of 1st Battalion The Rifles (1 RIFLES), contained enough components and equipment to make over 80 devices.


Captain Nick Welby-Everard Torbet, from 521 Squadron, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), and Corporal Ed Williams, from 22 Headquarters and Support Squadron, 101 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), Corps of Royal Engineers (RE), were part of a four-man team called to search the compound, make safe any devices, and help the soldiers of 1 RIFLES collect any evidence the bomb makers may have left.


The weapons cache included:


• 5 x 5kg main charges

• 2 x 10kg main charges

• 56 detonators

• 36 ready-made pressure plates

• 51 partially-constructed pressure plates

• 24 batteries

• unexploded ordnance for use in IEDS.


Capt Welby-Everard Torbet, aged 28 from Guildford, is the team commander, and works hand-in-hand with his Number 2, Cpl Williams. Since arriving in Helmand, almost three months ago, the two men have deployed to various parts of the UK's area of operations to support ground companies requiring assistance from the bomb disposal experts.


Often the pair can be out on patrol for up to 36 hours, carrying out their high pressure jobs in temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius. Capt Welby-Everard Torbet decides on the best course of action, depending on the situation, and 23-year-old Cpl Williams, from Chelmsford, is responsible for operating the specialist equipment used to disarm the devices, such as Dragon Runner bomb disposal robot.




A Dragon Runner bomb disposal robot

[Picture: Andy Cargill, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]


Original article

Partager cet article
22 juillet 2011 5 22 /07 /juillet /2011 17:25


A Royal Air Force Chinook helicopter lifts off during pre-deployment training

for operations in Afghanistan

[Picture: Senior Aircraftman Neil Chapman, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]


22 Jul 11 UK MoD - A Training and Adventure news article


RAF Chinook helicopter crews recently travelled to the United States to train for Afghanistan in the heat and high-altitude terrain of southern California.


A large proportion of the RAF Odiham-based force have rotated through US Naval Air Facility El Centro (NAFEC) in southern California in preparation for ongoing operations in Afghanistan.


This deployment was a first for the RAF's 18 and 27 Squadrons. It follows on from earlier detachments to the same location by the Army Air Corps Apaches and Lynx aircraft and the RAF's Merlin Force.


RAF Odiham Station Commander, Group Captain Steve Shell, said:


    "It is clear that El Centro replicates Afghanistan better than previous Environmental Training locations and offers greater potential for other combat ready workup training sorties."


Situated some two hours east of San Diego, NAFEC is a small base that serves as a forward operating base for a number of units.


    "The facilities are incredible," said Flight Sergeant Dan Baxter from 27 Squadron. "El Centro has everything you possibly need to deliver realistic training.

    "The Colorado River has its own 'Green Zone', just like the River Helmand. We were therefore able to overlay what exists in Afghanistan and conduct framework tasking, deliberate operations and simulated Immediate Response Team (IRT) tasks. To all intents and purposes, we were in Afghanistan."



A Royal Air Force Chinook inserts Royal Marines of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force

during an operation in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan in May 2011

[Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Hamish Burke, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]


During the exercise, codenamed Ventus Magnus, both squadrons deployed their intelligence officers, who, along with the individual aircrew and training staff, were able to produce up-to-date, realistic tasking for the crews.



Soldiers from A Company, 4 SCOTS, rush a wounded soldier to a Chinook helicopter

in Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province -[Picture: Lance Corporal Bryan Nygaard, ISAF 2011]


In addition to their normal under-slung load prep task, personnel from the RAF Odiham Joint Helicopter Support Squadron (JHSS) acted as 'white force' during tactical exercises, playing the roles of passenger handlers, Army Commanders, and even simulated casualties for evacuation tasks, "... although using strawberry syrup for the blood might have been a mistake," said JHSS Detachment Commander, Flight Lieutenant Paul Mason, with a grin.


    "I think the guys were excited about deploying to the USA as most of them had only previously undertaken mission rehearsal training on places like Salisbury Plain," said 27 Squadron's Second-in-Command, Squadron Leader Rich Harris.

    "The realism really inspired people and means that they are far better prepared for combat operations than they have ever been."


This was echoed by crewman Sergeant Chris Longbottom RAF, who recently completed the Chinook Operational Conversion Flight:

    "It has been fantastic to emerge from the training system and be able to throw myself in with the guys with whom I will deploy in a few short weeks. It really opens your eyes and makes you step up a gear."


El Centro has been described as offering the best pre-deployment training the Chinook Force has ever seen, and Ventus Magnus ensures that UK helicopter crews are better prepared for action in Afghanistan than they have ever been.

Partager cet article
22 juillet 2011 5 22 /07 /juillet /2011 11:45



July 22, 2011 Jim Garamone / American Forces Press Service – defpro.com


WASHINGTON | The United States must study ways to resupply troops in Afghanistan if Pakistan closes the supply corridor through that country, President Barack Obama’s choice to lead U.S. Transportation Command told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday.


Air Force Gen. William M. Fraser III testified before the committee as part of his confirmation process. He currently leads the Air Force’s Air Combat Command, and would succeed Air Force Gen. Duncan McNabb at Transcom.


“If confirmed, I look forward to joining the United States Transportation Command family, the more than 145,000 men and women who are dedicated to delivering, sustaining and then returning our forces,” Fraser said in his opening statement before the committee.


The senators pressed Fraser about resupply of American forces in Afghanistan. He said that some 35 percent of the cargo for American forces travels through Pakistan. The rest moves along the northern supply routes and via airlift. If Pakistan were to cut off that avenue, there would be a disruption in supply, the general told the senators. The professionals at Transportation Command, in conjunction with their compatriots at U.S. Central Command, are working to lessen any effects if the Pakistanis close that route, he added.


“I know ongoing planning is happening,” Fraser said. “I know there would be a disruption. But if confirmed, I would delve deeply into that plan to ensure that any disruption that we have is minimal, to ensure that we continue to provide that effective yet efficient support to the warfighter.”


The command is working, for instance, to develop intratheater airlift. He said Transcom is working with countries in the Persian Gulf for access to ports. Ships would deliver material to the region, and intratheater lift aircraft would take it to Afghanistan.


Transportation Command is responsible not only for supplying warfighters in direct combat with the enemy, but also for moving military families around the world. The command – based at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. -- coordinates the Air Mobility Command, the Navy’s Military Sealift Command and the Army’s Surface Deployment and Distribution Command.


“I know the critical importance of rapid, efficient and timely global logistics,” he said. “I also understand at the heart of that capability is the innovation and creativity of thousands of men and women who really make it happen.”


Fraser credited McNabb with charting a vision for the command based “on making our forces more effective and more efficient through rapid and responsive global logistical solutions and interagency, nongovernment, commercial and international partnerships,” he said. “We will always deliver.”

Partager cet article
21 juillet 2011 4 21 /07 /juillet /2011 17:10



July 21, 2011 defpro.com


Carl Zeiss Optronics is now protecting forward operating bases


Panoramic reconnaissance and surveillance systems by Carl Zeiss Optronics GmbH protect the German forward operating bases (FOBs) in northern Afghanistan. The German army has ordered them to meet immediate deployment requirements. Comparable systems by Carl Zeiss Optronics have monitored the surroundings of the three existing German army outposts for years.


Forward operating bases are temporary bases with a considerably more basic structure than bivouacs, and soldiers carry out their duty under the most difficult conditions. They cannot rely on the comprehensive protection as at an army outpost. It is therefore important to monitor what’s going on outside the base at all times, so that possible movement of suspect people and vehicles can be detected. The panoramic reconnaissance and surveillance systems by Carl Zeiss are available to facilitate this not only in the immediate surroundings but over a distance of several kilometers as well.


Because their construction is identical to other reconnaissance and surveillance systems in the field, logistics during deployment becomes considerably easier. The panoramic reconnaissance and surveillance systems consist of high-resolution daylight target observation and thermal imaging cameras as well as a system for situation reports. Comparable systems are already used worldwide on thousands of kilometers of borders.

Partager cet article
21 juillet 2011 4 21 /07 /juillet /2011 16:50



A Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control Mk7 helicopter takes off from Camp Bastion, Afghanistan

[Picture: LA(Phot)Alex Cave, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]


21 Jul 11 UK MoD - A Military Operations news article


The Royal Navy's Sea King Mk7 Force completed their 1,000th operational mission in Afghanistan yesterday.


Sea King helicopter squadrons from Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose have been operating from Camp Bastion since 2009 and have contributed to the confiscation of significant amounts of IED-making equipment, arms and drugs, and the detainment of suspected insurgents.


Following their help, on a recent vehicle interdiction, ground forces seized over 1,200kg of unprocessed wet opium with a street value of around £1.9m.


Royal Navy Airborne Surveillance and Control helicopters operate like 'flying radar stations', detecting enemy aircraft, ships and even vehicle movements over land.


Their job is primarily to provide Royal Navy ships with protection against low-flying enemy aircraft and missiles, using radar to detect enemy aircraft, feeding the information back to the ship for investigation, and, if necessary, directing the aircraft sent to intercept them.


However, the helicopters are currently proving equally effective operating over land, providing wide area surveillance in Afghanistan. Being based on-scene at Camp Bastion, aircrews are able to react swiftly to events on the ground, directing coalition aircraft and ground forces to investigate, and in some cases destroy, suspected enemy targets.


Two RNAS Culdrose-based squadrons take rotating one-year tenures in theatre. During their time in theatre, 854 and 857 Naval Air Squadrons have enabled the discovery of significant amounts of IED-making equipment, arms, drugs and suspected insurgents.




Ground crew prepare a Royal Navy Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control Mk7 helicopter for its next flight at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan

[Picture: LA(Phot)Alex Cave, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]


They have regularly directed ground forces to vehicles laden with fertiliser, electric wiring and batteries, all of which are used to make explosives. Their actions have directly helped to save the lives of Afghan citizens and coalition troops.


Operating in desert conditions in temperatures ranging from minus 10 to 45 degrees Celsius, and, with the ever-present threat of enemy action, the helicopters have had a number of enhancements fitted. They have improved engines and different rotor blades, are night-vision-capable, and carry a sophisticated defensive aids suite.


To maintain the core maritime skills of our Sea King crews, the 'off watch' squadron embarks upon various Royal Navy warships to hone their maritime skills, ensuring that they remain fully capable of protecting UK forces at sea.


The Sea King Force Commander, Commander Pat Douglas, is very proud of the achievements of the Sea King Force, who are fulfilling a role quite different from their usual maritime one. He said:


    "Since May 2009, Sea King helicopters from RNAS Culdrose have been operating continuously in Afghanistan. Using the aircraft's powerful radar by day and night, our aircrew are able to watch the movements of vehicles and suspect targets over a wide area.

     "Able to search huge areas very swiftly, they are proving to be essential in the ongoing fight against the insurgents.

     "Following information gained from our Sea Kings, UK and coalition forces have stopped many vehicles and, on investigation, found large quantities of ammunition and weapons in addition to literally tonnes of material used to make IEDs.

     "Each of these successful interceptions means that less IEDs will be planted in Afghanistan, making it a safer place for both our troops and the Afghan people."

Partager cet article
18 juillet 2011 1 18 /07 /juillet /2011 21:50



17/07/2011 LeFigaro.fr


Le corps expéditionnaire britannique envoyé en 2006 dans la province de Helmand, dans le sud de l'Afghanistan, était sous-équipé, pas assez nombreux et pas assez puissant pour vaincre les talibans, conclut un rapport gouvernemental publié aujourd'hui. Dans son rapport sur les opérations en Afghanistan, la commmission de la Défense accuse des officiers supérieurs et des responsables gouvernementaux d'avoir manqué de prévoyance lorsque les soldats britanniques ont pris la relève des militaires américains dans le Helmand il y a cinq ans.


La commission met particulièrement l'accent sur la faiblesse des moyens aériens et sur l'absence d'une réaction rapide à la menace grandissante des mines artisanales (IED) qui ont constitué le principal facteur du bilan, d'une lourdeur imprévue, des morts au sein des troupes britanniques. "La Commission est troublée par le fait qu'en 2006 on disait au ministre (de la Défense) que les commandants sur le terrain étaient satisfaits du soutien qu'ils recevaient dans le Helmand, alors qu'ils ne l'étaient manifestement pas", indique le communiqué. "Le rapport estime inacceptable que des forces engagées dans une opération aussi difficile n'aient pas reçu dès le début le soutien nécessaire pour mener à bien leur mission", poursuit le document.


Le corps expéditionnaire avait pour mission de sécuriser la zone, d'aider à reconstruire les villes ravagées par la guerre et à mettre en place un système politique viable, mais il s'est en fait trouvé entraîné dans un conflit meurtrier.

Au nombre des points faibles figurent la fourniture de cinq hélicoptères Chinook seulement, alors qu'il en aurait fallu deux fois plus, et l'absence de déploiement de véhicules capables de résister à l'explosion des IED.


"Nos forces ont obtenu les meilleurs résultats possibles sur le plan tactique dans des circonstances très difficiles, grâce au professionnalisme et à l'entraînement de notre personnel", estime James Arbuthnot, le président de la commission de la Défense. "Toutefois", déclare-t-il, "les niveaux d'effectifs déployés en 2006, 2007 et 2008 ne pouvaient en aucun cas permettre de réaliser ce qui était demandé aux forces armées par le Royaume-Uni, l'Otan et le gouvernement afghan".

Partager cet article
17 juillet 2011 7 17 /07 /juillet /2011 11:25



17.07.2011 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense


Après la mort de six soldats français en deux jours, Nicolas Sarkozy a décidé de repenser la sécurité des troupes tricolores face « au nouveau contexte » en Afghanistan puisque le contingent français aurait désormais à faire face à des actions davantage « de type terroriste » que militaire. Première mesure : le chef d'état-major de l'armée de terre, le général Elrick Irastorza, a été envoyé sur place pour étudier une adaptation des conditions d'intervention du contingent français, en particulier de la brigade La Fayette dont les deux BG sont déployés dans la remuante vallée de Tagab.

Ces développements m'inspirent quelques réflexions.


Des actions de type terroriste ?

Il faut croire que l'Élysée n'a pas suivi le déroulement des opérations depuis deux ans pour oser parler de « nouveau contexte »... Comment qualifier les attaques à l'IED qui se sont multipliées dans la vallée de Tagab depuis six mois ? Actions militaires classiques ? Terrorisme, plus certainement ? L'attentat suicide qui a tué cinq Français constituait peut-être une première pour la brigade La Fayette mais c'est une tactique courante des insurgés afghans... Si « nouveau contexte » il y a, c'est au niveau des pertes françaises : elles augmentent comme le démontrent les chiffres suivants.









2011 (au 17 juillet)










Le « terrorisme » a bon dos. En fait, il faut admettre deux choses : 1°) que les talibans sont de plus en plus vindicatifs (6 443 « incidents » entre le 1er janvier et le 30 avril de cette année, contre 3 862 pour la même période en 2010) : 2°) que les troupes françaises sont aussi plus agressives (je me souviens du commentaire du général Townsend, de la 101e division aéroportée US, me disant, en mai, que le contingent français alors sur place était « extrêmement efficace et agressif ».


Effet d'annonce ?


Pour Jean-Pierre Maulny, directeur adjoint de l'Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques, l'objectif du pouvoir français est de « rassurer l'opinion publique et notamment les familles des soldats. » Une idée partagée par Richard Labévière, interrogé par l'AFP : « Dire qu'on va prendre des mesures pour sécuriser davantage, c'est de la communication, sur le plan opérationnel ça ne veut pas dire grand-chose ».


Bunkerisation ?


L'option à éviter est d'évacuer les COP trop vulnérables, de bunkeriser les Battle Group dans les FOB et d'éviter de sortir des enceintes bien défendues. Ce serait en effet doublement risqué. D'abord, les talibans reprendraient le contrôle de la vallée de Tagab et des vallées latérales ; ils menaceraient la Main Supply Road, ainsi que le Higway 7 qui va de Peshawar à Kaboul et traverse le district de Surobi. Ensuite, ce serait leur permettre de s'installer non seulement dans la vallée mais aussi sur les hauteurs et de harceler les FOB qui deviendraient des camps retranchés (en écrivant ces deux derniers mots, je pense soudainement à Dien Bien Phu). Belles cibles que ces FOB ramassées sur elles-mêmes et où croupiraient des soldats en attente de ce fameux retrait promis par le pouvoir !


Prendre moins de risques ?


Comment ? En mettant l'ANA devant et nous derrière pour compter les points ? En évitant les coins les plus dangereux ? En réduisant les contacts avec cette population qu'il faut conquérir : tout Afghan deviendrait un suspect et serait tenu en respect, voire neutralisé, dans le doute. Le timoré perd vite l'initiative et prend des coups. La brute perd son âme et doit un jour rendre des comptes.


Force protection ?


Autre option, celle des Américains : immobiliser le moins de monde possible pour des missions statiques et confier la protection des emprises à des sociétés privées. Je me souviens des remarques du colonel Heluin (patron de Richelieu) qui regrettait que ses hommes doivent tenir des points d'observation et des COP, et monter la garde entre deux opérations plutôt que d'être dans la vallée à créer de l'insécurité permanente pour les talibans. L'option de la « force protection » et d'une externalisation de la sécurité statique est culturellement et financièrement hors de propos. Il faut donc trouver autre chose.


tora1 570.jpgMieux s'équiper ?


Depuis 2008 (et plus particulièrement après Uzbeen), l'équipement individuel et collectif s'est considérablement amélioré. Qu'espérer de plus ? Des MRAP bien costauds pour remplacer les VAB ? Ce serait une bonne idée mais qui viendrait un peu tard. De plus, le VAB a prouvé qu'il savait encaisser. Des tenues FELIN ? On attend de voir si ces tenues tiendront leurs promesses sur le théâtre afghan. Si oui, tant mieux mais la nature du terrain et du combat risque de ne pas permettre de tirer profit de toutes les capacités de ce système d'arme.




Admettre que des soldats puissent périr.


Quand les militaires s'offusquent que les médias parlent de « victimes », ils n'ont pas tout à fait tort. Pour eux, être une victime, c'est être « passif ». Pour eux, parler de « victime », c'est méconnaître l'essence même de l'engagement militaire qui est un affrontement armé où le concept de « zéro mort » relève du grand Guignol. La mort d'un soldat est toujours scandaleuse : pour ses proches, pour ses camarades et aussi pour ses chefs. Pour le politique, qui a pris la décision d'envoyer des hommes à la guerre, le temps des doutes et des tergiversations n'est plus de mise une fois que ses soldats sont « en guerre ». Il faut assumer. Campagne présidentielle ou pas, il y a des réalités qu'un pays qui envoie ses soldats se battre doit accepter de vivre et de dire : l'ennemi est meurtrier et la guerre meurtrière.

Partager cet article
16 juillet 2011 6 16 /07 /juillet /2011 16:40


source karachitelegraph.com


July 15, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE


The United States has finally overcome obstacles (mainly diplomatic) to moving its Afghanistan supply lines from the Pakistani port of Karachi, to rail lines running through Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. NATO and the U.S. have negotiated with Russia to allow supplies to move to Afghanistan via Russian rail lines and those of Central Asian nations. These only go as far as the Afghan border. There are no railroads in Afghanistan. Thus from the Uzbek border, the freight containers are trucked south to where most of the U.S. and NATO troops are stationed. This has been going on for several years, but now about 40 percent of supplies are arriving via the "Northern Distribution Network". The U.S. is rushing to move 75 percent of cargo via the northern route by the end of this year, and all of it within a year. It took five years to negotiate unfettered transit rights for NATO military cargo via Russian and Central Asian railroads. Belarus also became part of the deal.


Currently the U.S. uses a Russian contractor to arrange for the movement of over 50,000 freight containers a year via the trans-Siberian railroad, and thence through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to the Afghan border. Afghans trucking companies then move the containers south, along with civilian cargo that can also move in and out of a rebuilt rail yard on the Uzbek border.


This shift amounts to a large loss of business for Pakistani transportation firms. For a long time, Pakistan used that income as an incentive to protect the traffic going through the Khyber pass. But the Pakistanis always had a hard time controlling bandits and tribal gangs who frequently plundered the truck traffic from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Tribal leaders received gifts and promises of more if things remained peaceful, and threats if their men were found to be attacking trucks.


The Taliban have long threatened (and failed) to cut the U.S./NATO supply line from Pakistan to Afghanistan. To do this they had to halt the truck traffic going through the Khyber pass, which is the main road from Pakistan to landlocked Afghanistan. At one time, some 90 percent of the supplies for foreign troops come via this road. The rest were flown in.


Normally, about 700 large trucks a day make the Khyber run, but several times a year, trucks are attacked by gunmen, and destroyed, stolen or looted. This attacks can halt traffic for as long as a week. This has not hurt U.S. or NATO troops, who, as is the military custom, maintain reserves of all supplies. The Taliban took responsibility for some of the attacks.


Moving goods across the border is a major business for Pakistan, and vital to the economy of Afghanistan. So both countries have responded to the threat by moving more troops and police in to guard the road. Local tribes have also sent more armed men along the route, as they have long done, to go after anyone who threatens the vital trade, and the money they get out of it. It's believed that many of the recent interruptions to Khyber Pass traffic were more about money, than about the Taliban. NATO and the U.S. are seen as rich foreigners, who can pay more than the Afghan and Pakistani merchants who own most of the goods going up the road into Afghanistan. Squeezing some extra cash out of rich foreigners is an ancient and honored custom in this part of the world. But the Pakistani government was rightly worried that the U.S. and NATO would take their trucking business elsewhere if the interruptions persisted. With the NATO supply line moving to Central Asia, the Port of Karachi and the trucking companies will lose over $100 million worth of business a year.

Partager cet article
16 juillet 2011 6 16 /07 /juillet /2011 11:05


MRAP with improved suspension designed to better tackle some of the harsh terrain

found in Afghanistan [image: US Army]


07/13/2011 by Richard de Silva -defenceiq.com


Live from the International Armoured vehicles event, Scott Blaney, keynote speaker and counter-IED Chief of the U.S. Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), catches up with Defence IQ for an update on the Mine-resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP).


The new rule book


Defence IQ: Scott, welcome. The last time we spoke we were just leading up to the release of Handbook 11/13, which covers the MRAP vehicle for the benefit of NATO, GCTF, ISAF, ABCA, and possibly other allies. Can you tell us how that's been received so far; the feedback you've had?


Blaney: Yes, the feedback's positive. It's been long-awaited - the process to supersede the original MRAP handbook, which was 08/30 developed in August 08 has been a year and half to two years in the making. The original handbook was good for what it was, the family that it covered was the introduction of the MRAP all terrain vehicle by Oshkosh and some of the challenges in Afghanistan indicated we go ahead and collaborate with the Manoeuvre Centre of Excellence and write a new handbook that completely supersedes the previous one. It includes all the latest updates from all the family of MRAP vehicles - their dimensions, their weights, the enhancements such as the EFP protection armour, as well as the newer mission equipment packages such as the CROWS II remote weapon system.


So the topics that are covered in the handbook itself are a programme overview of all the family of MRAPs - the capabilities, limitations and general descriptions of each, the mission equipment packages for each, the MRAP operations in a combat theatre or in a high-threat environment such as Afghanistan. Employment considerations, as far as what environment you're going to work in, what vehicle is best suited for that particular environment - mountains, plains and that type of thing - and then we have the force protection survivability safety section, where we're talking about the various aspects of each MRAPs force protection capability, such as the armour protection, the way the doors go up and down, the way the doors open, survivability aspects, how you actually ride in the MRAPTOR, survive an IED blast and safety considerations…low planning guidance… it actually gives low plans so the soldier doesn't have to guess where to store his things in the MRAP, but it actually gives you pictures of the various MRAPs and low planning guidance, and then it gives you the actual components. If you're going to use your MRAP ATV as a casualty evacuation platform - the complete areas covered are recovery telling, body damage, assessment, repair and damage reporting.


There are two appendixes dealing with tactics, techniques and  procedures and appendix B the TTP for battlefield tell and recovery, using the Striker system. The Stryker vehicle comes into it a lot - we have Strykers and often MRAPs are involved in those units as well, so using a very capable Stryker recovery system is a very good way to go, but you've got to have the handbook because the hook-ups are extremely complex, and they're time-consuming, so you want to do it correctly the first time because tying a 40,000 pound vehicle with a 50,000 pound vehicle - if you don't know what you're doing it's a recipe for disaster.


Defence IQ: I understand you were at the Counter-IED focus day yesterday, is that right?


Blaney: Yes, sir, I covered the topic of attacking the network.


Defence IQ: Was there anything that came out of that, that was either news to you, or something that's been crucial in this domain, and very recent in the aim of countering the IED threat?


Blaney: The Centre for Army Excellence is where I'm the counter-IED chief, and I'm the guy that actually oversees of all the IED enemy threats, tactics, techniques and procedures as well as right products, informing the army and the Marine Corps about emerging enemy TTP. Now having said all that, the focus off attack the network - there are three lines of effort in IED defeat and counter IED operations. The first line of defeat is to attack the network, the second is to defeat the device, the third is to train and adapt the force. Now I'm involved in the train and adapt the force, but to do that with the right products, to assist soldiers, marines, and allied partners in attacking a network and defeating the device, that's where we do the analysis.


So my talk was dealing with the attack the network, it was not just the IED network, and people have to get beyond that today, because the IED network isn't just the only network that can kill you, and it's not the only network out there - take the Hikani network for example in Afghanistan. Their business is not just killing US troops; theirs is running the country of Afghanistan the way he wants to run it, and the way his friends want to run it. So you have to expand your view of the network to include the criminal networks that are also in the IED business, they're also in the smuggling business, they're also in the murder business, in the extortion business. All of those things that the typical prime networks, which you may have encountered elsewhere in the world, with the addition of conducting counter-insurgency warfare. And one of the elements in counter-insurgency warfare is the IED - the Improvised Explosive Device - which is their weapon of choice, it's very cost-effective for them, and it causes casualties on both sides; on the civilian side and the government side and the coalition side, which furthers their aim.


Seeing the whole network


So if you want to talk about networks you've got to see that whole elephant - the network itself, and then recognise as you look at the elephant what's the best way to bring that elephant down. Is it a shot to the brain, to cut off the head of the network? Maybe not, because he may not be what really makes that network run because someone could step in, and assume control of the network with all the intermediate functionaries in place, it'll work just as well, maybe even better than it did before you decapitated the head. And if you go after just the in-placers, the tier 3 guys, you're just continually "whack-a-mole", "whack-a-mole", the guy pops up, you kill one, another pops up...you're only killing someone who's only being paid to put the IED in the ground, not the guy who made it, not the guy who funded it, not the guy who's key to the process - Those are the ones that you want to target, because you take out a good bomb-maker, and you set their efforts back in that area for quite a while, because they can develop nothing without a bomb-maker. Same with the electronic production of the circuitry, if you're doing RC triggers and things like that. So those are the folks that you want to attack.


And also, when you see the whole elephant network, you'll find that where does the money come from being used to finance the IED network and you might find it's more effective to go ahead and target the drug network, or the money distribution network which provides the funds to buy the materials to produce the IEDs. So that's what we were talking about yesterday and that's the goal of anybody who's heading any network anywhere in the world and to do a re-assessment of that network and identify those critical tier two elements, and those are the ones that you want to target.


Defence IQ: One of the other things that's come up quite recently – obviously there's a COIN strategy that General Petraeus put in place - from some sectors we're hearing that the local population in Afghanistan are working a bit more closely with allied nations out there. They're reporting instances of IEDs being planted, but there are also reports I see from experiences that the Marine Corps have had where locals won't know where the IEDs are, they're planted under the cover of night, because the insurgents are becoming a bit more savvy to the fact that there is this relationship emerging, and in some ways the only way allied nations can really counter that problem is by using force and going in and clearing these towns which seems in some way negate any idea General Petraeus' initial theory of win over the local population. It seems to be going one way - is that fair to say? Is that your experience?


Backing COIN strategy


Blaney: Well, General Petraeus' COIN strategy is sound. The issue remains that our sentry, as large as Afghanistan is, as many troops as we have there, trust me it's not enough troops to go ahead and cover all those villages where the Taliban may be. Especially in the traditional Taliban strongholds. Now, as our troops and our coalition troops go into the villages and they are totally aware that the villagers and the people are the centre of gravity in any kind of insurgency. You've got to protect the people and keep the people on the side of the legitimate government.


That being said, the enemy then becomes the Taliban, who may have been related to people in the village, they go in and convince the village that if they cast their lot with the coalition government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, they'll better off in the long term by supporting the Taliban. That's where the commitment by the coalition forces is extremely important, and the message that they put to people is extremely important that they understand that. And to really understand that we are committed to doing what we said. Did we say that we would support them and help them secure their village and keep the Taliban at bay. If we don't, we've just broken our promise, lost face, and created more enemies.


So it's extremely important that we take it as a long process, people they don't want to hear it. They want to see quick, 30 minute or one hour episodes and come to conclusions. This war is not like that and politicians will have to realise it and we're going to have to accept that in Afghanistan and in Iraq the commitment to the legitimate government, to the people is a long-standing requirement and how we do that remains to be seen, but we're making good progress in a lot of areas, the problem areas that you're talking about, those are larger challenges to figure and those larger challenges may take a more intense, concentrated effort with some lethal targeting means as well as the non-lethal means to re-enforce the positives in that particular village structure or district structure and help them understand that, again, their lot is better today and in the future with the government of Afghanistan or the government of Iraq rather than Al-Qaida, the extremist groups in Southern Iraq, or the Taliban in Afghanistan.


Defence IQ: And just one final note. You mention progress, you mention that it's not an issue that can be sorted out quickly, but can you offer us anything in way of a forecast?


Blaney: Forecasting the progress in Afghanistan will be like forecasting the weather in Kansas six months out. You can get a general sense of it but what really happens on a day-to-day basis remains to be seen. Regardless, history will tell you that Afghanistan has been a very complex and deadly environment to conduct warfare, just ask the Russians just ask the British before them and you can ask us now. The national commitment to make that a legitimate government that can exist and can provide the security and the economy that the people of Afghanistan crave and need and deserve, is going to take a national will and effort that may require politicians and military to re-evaluate their outlook and re-evaluate their commitment and not only that but the American people and the British people and other coalition partners must understand the same thing if we're going to succeed in the long term.


Defence IQ: Fantastic. Scott Blaney, thank you very much for your time.

Partager cet article
16 juillet 2011 6 16 /07 /juillet /2011 05:55



July 13, 2011 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: US Marine Corps; issued July 13, 2011)


CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --- Marine Corps unmanned aerial vehicles have a new home at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.


Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 formed a new detachment located here to help 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support in south-western Afghanistan.


The new detachment became fully operational when it launched its first unmanned aerial vehicle from Camp Leatherneck, an RQ-7B Shadow in support of 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, June 30.


The unmanned aerial vehicle squadron began planning for a detachment at Camp Leatherneck prior to its deployment from Twentynine Palms, Calif., explained Maj. Matt L. Walker, the officer in charge of VMU-3 Marines at Camp Leatherneck.


Deployed Marine unmanned aerial vehicle squadrons have traditionally maintained multiple operating points for UAVs, including Camp Dwyer, Combat Outpost Payne, and Forward Operating Bases Edinburgh and Delaram II.


“The squadron took a look at where our UAVs were going to be positioned, and the area we were capable of flying missions over before we deployed to Afghanistan, and saw that we had some uncovered areas,” said Walker.“We thought about how we could better position ourselves to support ground troops. When the advance party of VMU-3 Marines deployed to Afghanistan the idea of having a second detachment located at Leatherneck was presented to 2nd MAW (Fwd.)”


The proposal to 2nd MAW (Fwd.) was approved, and within a month the squadron was set up and fully operational on Camp Leatherneck, Walker said.


“A portion of the decision to set up a detachment at Camp Leatherneck was preparation for the summer fighting season,” he said. “We can better support dismounted patrols and we can help protect the troops on the ground.


“We will do everything we can to give those Marines on the ground the coverage and eye in the sky they need,” Walker added.


Marine Corps UAV squadrons use small, lightweight vehicles that are able to stay in the air for several hours to supply Marines and their coalition partners with aerial information throughout combat missions.


“We are in the best position to support Marines on the deck across Regional Command Southwest, which is what this is all about,” said Walker. “This move just gives us greater flexibility with the area we can fly over.”


“I think this move was a great idea,” said Cpl. Ryan P. Pavin, an unmanned aerial vehicle operator with VMU-3, and a native of Chicago. “I knew at first it would be a lot of work to get set up but I think we can do a lot to help the Marines on the ground and get the information they need.”


In preparation for the UAV squadron’s move, engineers and heavy equipment operators with Marine Wing Support Squadron 272 leveled and flattened the ground for the new VMU-3 runway, and MWSS-272 expeditionary airfield Marines followed behind, laying down aluminum matting used as the UAV landing strip.


“It took the engineers approximately 10 days to do the ground work,” said Staff Sgt. Cory D. Sikes the expeditionary airfields chief for MWSS-272, and a native of Holdrege, Neb. “It took us seven days to lay the matting, and we completed it all well under our estimated completion date.”


MWSS-272, deployed out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., supports 2nd MAW (Fwd.) through ground refueling, aircraft recovery, firefighting, expeditionary airfield services and more.


“MWSS-272 had a huge part in helping us get set up here in the new location,” said Walker. “Without them none of this would have happened.”


Not only did MWSS-272 prepare the VMU-3 runway and operations area, the support squadron also convoyed to Camp Dwyer to pick up the new detachment’s equipment and transport it to Camp Leatherneck.


“The convoy was completed on a very short timeline,” said Gunnery Sgt. Donald Rogers, the MWSS-272 operations chief, and native of Mauston, Wis. “We loaded all of their gear they would need for operations and delivered it to the new compound on Camp Leatherneck.”


“Within three days, we had UAVs in the air, doing test flights and our working areas constructed,” said Walker. “The speed the MWSS had in completing its mission made our mission easier.”


For the UAVs themselves, the squadron convoyed some of the aircraft, and flew others from Camp Dwyer to their new home at Camp Leatherneck.


“VMU-3 has proven that the Shadow is expeditionary,” said Walker. “We’ve proven that we can move about the battlespace if we need to, quickly and efficiently.”

Partager cet article
16 juillet 2011 6 16 /07 /juillet /2011 05:30


Nicolas Sarkozy lors de sa visite-surprise en Afghanistan, mardi dernier. © Philippe Wojazer / Reuters


14/07/2011 Par Jean Guisnel  Le Point.fr


Le président de la République souhaite améliorer la sécurité des soldats, mais se dispense des consignes lors de ses visites sur le front afghan.


Le président de la République réunit un conseil de sécurité à l'Élysée jeudi pour revoir la sécurité des soldats français en Afghanistan. Le chef de l'État en avait fait l'annonce dès sa sortie de l'hôpital militaire Percy, où il rendait visite à des soldats blessés jeudi matin. Cette annonce survient au lendemain de l'attaque-suicide qui a fait cinq morts à Joybar, dans la province de Kapisa. Comment la sécurité des soldats français peut-elle être améliorée ? Sauf à ce qu'ils ne sortent plus jamais de leur casernement, on voit mal comment des consignes plus strictes pourraient être appliquées. Revue de détail.


La sécurité d'abord sur un ensemble de moyens "stratégiques" visant à déterminer dans les meilleures conditions possible l'environnement large des combattants. C'est la mission des services comme la DRM (Direction du renseignement militaire) ou la DGSE (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure), voire la DCRI (Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur), qui piste les connexions entre la France et la galaxie terroriste internationale. Si le kamikaze qui s'est fait exploser hier est bien un "non-Afghan", comme le chef d'état-major des armées Édouard Guillaud l'a dit sur Europe 1 ce matin, l'information vient sans doute de l'un de ces services, éventuellement en relation avec d'autres services de renseignements de l'Otan.


Ne pas se couper de la population


Les autres mesures de sécurité sont plus locales et tiennent compte de tous les enseignements acquis progressivement depuis dix ans de présence en Afghanistan. Ce sont d'abord les bases avancées, comme celles de Tagab ou Nijrab, véritables villes organisées derrière leurs remparts (bastion walls). Les militaires n'en sortent jamais seuls, toujours en convoi, et surtout toujours lourdement protégés par des moyens individuels : casques lourds, lunettes pare-éclats, gilets de protection avec pièces complémentaires pour le cou et les parties génitales.


À ces mesures s'ajoutent des brouilleurs couvrant toute la gamme des émissions pouvant concerner le déclenchement de bombes à distance et des quantités d'autres mesures de sécurité dynamique et de procédures. Il ne faudrait surtout pas conclure des propos du président de la République que la sécurité est négligée par les troupes françaises déployées en Afghanistan : c'est même tout le contraire qui se produit ! Pour autant, jamais une sécurité ne pourra être totale. Si les militaires veulent conserver une relation avec la population, ils doivent absolument aller à son contact, avec tous les risques que cela implique.


Un président imprudent


En fait, la sécurité est une attitude. C'est très exactement celle que n'a pas observée le président de la République lorsqu'il s'est rendu en Afghanistan mardi. Dans les photos d'agence de presse qui le montrent en transit dans un hélicoptère des forces spéciales volant au-dessus de l'Afghanistan, les militaires qui le sécurisent sont tous équipés de leurs moyens de protection. Mais pas lui. La seule chose qu'il protège, ce sont ses oreilles avec un casque antibruit. Mais aucun casque lourd, pourtant absolument obligatoire en vol opérationnel. Quant au gilet pare-balles, il n'est pas impossible que le président en porte un modèle léger sous sa veste, mais les photos ne sont pas explicites.


De toute façon, il s'est affranchi du port du gilet lourd bien plus protecteur. En prenant de ce fait un risque considérable pour sa sécurité personnelle. Et en faisant aussi courir aux soldats, dans la mesure où, en cas d'incident - toujours possible en Afghanistan -, sa sécurité aurait été rendue plus difficile par l'absence d'un équipement de protection adapté. Cet épisode rappelle à l'auteur une conversation afghane. Alors qu'une très haute autorité montait à bord d'un véhicule de l'avant blindé, elle s'était enquise auprès de l'équipage de l'effet de sa présence, qu'elle pensait flatteuse. Un caporal-chef avait alors répondu : " Ben, si ça frite, ça fera une pax (passager) à protéger, et une arme en moins pour riposter !"

Partager cet article
16 juillet 2011 6 16 /07 /juillet /2011 04:35



Jul 15, 2011 ASDNews Source : MoD NL


The dog school of the Royal Netherlands Air Force has acquired a new technique for detecting explosives. With a camera attached to its head, a search dog can search for explosives by itself.


The dog handler watches the dog's progress from a distance, on a portable video screen. The training coordinator is enthusiastic about the results: "The interaction between man, animal and technology results in the professional detection of explosives which pose a threat to the lives of human beings anywhere in the world. The development of this training, based on our knowledge and expertise gained during operations, has yielded good results.




During the Dutch mission in Afghanistan, Dutch instructors accompanied the explosives detection dog teams and developed the training programme in the Netherlands. The so-called Route Overwatch Search Dog (ROSD) training is accommodated with 130 Squadron of the Royal Netherlands Air Force Military School at Woensdrecht Air Base.


Explosives Detection Dogs (EDDs) were deployed for 2 years to search for improvised explosive devices during the Dutch mission in Afghanistan. The dogs provided support to the troops in detecting explosives in buildings, in vehicles and on persons.

Partager cet article
15 juillet 2011 5 15 /07 /juillet /2011 06:00



14/07/2011 AEROCONTACT Reuters


PARIS, 14 juillet (Reuters) - Le gouvernement français a chargé jeudi le chef d'état-major de l'armée de terre d'une mission rapide d'évaluation du dispositif français en Afghanistan après la perte de six soldats en deux jours.


Elrick Irastorza devra définir avant la fin de la semaine prochaine les objectifs que les troupes françaises pourront atteindre dans les deux ans à venir dans un contexte de réduction progressive des effectifs avant un retrait total en 2014, a dit le ministre français de la Défense, Gérard Longuet.


"L'objectif, c'est de consolider les forces de sécurité afghanes et ce sont les modalités de cette consolidation que le général Irastorza a vocation à définir", a-t-il expliqué lors de la conférence de presse qui a suivi la réunion d'un conseil de défense convoqué jeudi matin par Nicolas Sarkozy.


Gérard Longuet a toutefois semblé exclure que les 4.000 soldats français actuellement basés en Afghanistan se replient dans leurs fortins, comme le font les troupes américaines.


"Historiquement, je ne connais pas de solution qui repose sur le repli. En revanche, il faut définir des objectifs qui soient à la portée des forces afghanes réellement disponibles et c'est cette évaluation qu'il convient de faire", a-t-il ajouté.


Cinq soldats français ont été tués mercredi matin et quatre autres grièvement blessés dans un attentat à la bombe dans la province de Kapisa, dans l'est de Afghanistan. Un nouveau soldat, un commando marine, a été tué jeudi lors d'un accrochage avec les insurgés dans la même région, portant à 70 le nombre de soldats tués dans le pays depuis fin 2001.




Le président français et l'état-major estiment que les insurgés, qui ne parviendraient plus à mener des attaques directes, se rabattent sur des attentats suicide contre lesquels le dispositif français peut difficilement se défendre.


"Il y a donc un nouveau contexte et, face à ce nouveau contexte, il faut de nouvelles mesures de sécurité", a dit Nicolas Sarkozy après une visite aux soldats blessés en Afghanistan à l'hôpital des armées à Clamart (Hauts-de-Seine).


Gérard Longuet a estimé que la situation évoluait pour la coalition de manière "favorable en dépit des moments tragiques que vivent nos soldats dans la région de Kapisa", où seront concentrés les soldats français quittant le secteur de Surobi, qui doit être géré fin 2011 par la seule armée afghane.


Nicolas Sarkozy avait confirmé mardi, lors d'une visite dans le secteur de Surobi, à l'est de Kaboul, le retrait d'un millier de soldats français d'Afghanistan d'ici fin 2012 et le départ de toutes les unités de combat d'ici fin 2014.


Les célébrations de la fête nationale française ont été endeuillées par la mort des soldats français.


"C'est un jour de deuil pour l'armée française, pour la nation française", a dit Nicolas Sarkozy avant d'assister au traditionnel défilé militaire du 14-Juillet.


Pour Martine Aubry, candidate aux primaires socialistes, cette nouvelle tragédie "montre l'urgence d'un plan précis et concerté de retrait de nos troupes d'Afghanistan".


Certains, comme l'ancien ministre socialiste de la Défense Paul Quilès, demandent même un retrait immédiat. "Alors que Nicolas Sarkozy vient de dire qu'il faut 'savoir finir une guerre', il serait temps qu'on arrête de nous raconter n'importe quoi sur les raisons de la prolongation de la présence française dans ce conflit", a-t-il dit dans un communiqué.


Les pertes de mercredi sont parmi les plus graves que les troupes françaises aient subi en une fois en Afghanistan.


L'attaque est aussi la plus meurtrière subie par les forces étrangères en Afghanistan depuis août 2008, lorsque dix soldats français sous commandement de l'Otan avaient été tués dans une embuscade tendue par les taliban dans la vallée d'Uzbin. Depuis le début du conflit, fin 2001, plus de 2.500 soldats étrangers ont péri sur le théâtre afghan. (Yves Clarisse, édité par Henri-Pierre André)

Partager cet article
15 juillet 2011 5 15 /07 /juillet /2011 05:55



14.07.2011 INFO-AVIATION


Les F-15 et les F-16 du corps expéditionnaire de l’US Air Force en Afghanistan ont fournit un soutien aérien risqué mais réussi aux troupes terrestres de la coalition lors d’une vaste opération à la frontière pakistanaise. Voici le récit complet de son déroulement par un sous-officier américain.

La base américaine de Bagram, en Afghanistan, a joué un rôle crucial dans l’Opération Hammer Down II le long de la frontière afghano-pakistanaise du 25 au 30 juin.


Les F-15E Strike Eagle du 389e escadron et les F-16 Fighting Falcon du 555e escadron de la base aérienne de Bagram, en Afghanistan, ont effectué 176 heures consécutives d’appui aérien et largué plus de 100 bombes durant l’opération.


L’opération Hammer Down II a été menée par la coalition pour attaquer les insurgés tout au long de la zone de Pech Valley. L’objectif était aussi de poursuivre le déploiement des forces de sécurité nationale de l’Afghanistan.


Les soldats de la coalition de la 25e Division d’infanterie, la Task Force Bronco, en partenariat avec les troupes de l’armée nationale afghane ont tiré un feu nourri sur les insurgés pendant quatre jours.


Le combat faisant rage, il est devenu évident qu’un soutien aérien rapproché de l’US Air Force était impératif pour la réussite de la mission, mais aussi pour sauver des vies.

« Il y a eu beaucoup d’occasions où, si nous n’avions pas eu un appui aérien rapproché, de nombreuses vies auraient été perdues », a déclaré le Major Dan Gibson, de la 25e division d’infanterie. « Nos commandants des forces terrestres ont travaillé main dans la main avec les contrôleurs aériens de la Joint Terminal Attack Force (JTAC) pour obtenir des bombes là où nous en avions besoin. »


Le lieutenant-colonel Daren Sorenson, du 455e Groupe expéditionnaire, travaillait en étroite collaboration avec l’armée pour que les pilotes de F-15E puissent larguer des bombes sur la cible .


« Nous avons fourni un soutien aérien majeur », a déclaré le lieutenant Sorenson. « L’ennemi sait comment adapter ses tactiques terrestres et utiliser le terrain à son avantage, mais nous avons opposé quelque chose qu’ils ne pouvaient pas contrer. », ajoute t-il.


Le bruit des moteurs génère la peur

Selon le colonel, le seul bruit des moteurs à réaction crée la panique chez les insurgés.


« Entendre le bruit d’un jet n’est pas mesurable », explique le colonel Sorenson. « Les insurgés se cachaient et cessaient le combat. Nous avons intercepté des échanges entre eux disant : « Je ne me bats pas aujourd’hui avec des avions dans le ciel. »


Bien que le rugissement des avions de combat impose une présence dissuasive, elle ne suffit pas à arrêter l’ennemi qui tente d’envahir les positions de la coalition. De nombreuses « menaces de proximité » sont signalées aux avions de chasse.


« Les communications avec nos JTAC furent très intenses », déclare le lieutenant-colonel Mark O’Neal, directeur adjoint des opérations du 389e escadron de F-15E. « Nous entendions des tirs de nos hommes au sol comme pour dire : »Nous avons besoin de bombes maintenant ! »


Les pilotes ont dû trouver le bon équilibre pour larguer les munitions tout en s’assurant qu’elles ne frapperaient pas les troupes amies.


« A un moment, nous avons largué sept bombes dans un intervalle de 26 minutes, ce qui est un rythme très rapide, dont certaines à moins de 250 mètres de nos forces, » avoue le colonel O’Neal. « C’est stressant, mais le JTAC nous transmet à la radio : « Excellent travail, pas une égratignure sur nos hommes », cela en vaut la peine. »


Le capitaine Shuan Hoeltje, du 555e escadron de F-16, a déclaré que larguer des bombes sur des combats de proximité, dans des conditions météorologiques extrêmes, et avec succès a été une expérience surréaliste.


« Nous volions à proximité d’un orage, et nous n’avions pas une bonne visibilité », se souvient le capitaine Hoeltje. « Nous savions que nous devions jouer serrer avec des insurgés si proches de nos gars. Au final, nous avons pu fournir une frappe aérienne réactive et précise. »


Bien que le soutien aérien rapproché soit le fer de lance de la composante Air Force, le colonel Sorenson a souligné qu’il avait fallu l’effectif total du 455e escadron pour soutenir les forces de la coalition et accomplir la mission.


« L’opération Hammer Down est un bon exemple de la façon dont chaque escadron a joué son rôle pour appuyer les gars sur le terrain, 24h/24″, a t-il confirmé.


Au total, l’opération Hammer Down II a éliminé plus d’une centaine d’insurgés, dont quatre cibles de grande valeur. Les responsables du renseignement de la coalition estiment que l’opération est parvenue  à interrompre les capacités de combat de l’ennemi et à perturber leurs attaques coordonnées pour le reste de la saison (jusqu’en septembre).


Auteur : Sergent. John Wright, 455e escadron, US Air Force

En relation :
Partager cet article
13 juillet 2011 3 13 /07 /juillet /2011 17:35

USAF logo


July 13, 2011 Staff Sgt. John Wright - 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs / AFNS – defpro.com


BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan | U.S. Air Force close air support assets played a critical role in the success of Operation Hammer Down II along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border June 25-30.


F-15E Strike Eagles from the 389th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 555th EFS at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, provided 176 consecutive hours of air support and dropped more than 100 bombs in support of the operation.


Operation Hammer Down II was a coalition effort to disrupt insurgents operating and training throughout the Pech Valley area and also continued the expansion of Afghan National Security Forces capabilities through partnered operations.


Coalition Soldiers from the Army's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Task Force Bronco, partnered with Afghan National Army troops and air-assaulted into high ground surrounding the valley. Heavy insurgent fire began the next morning and continued for four days.


As the fight began to develop, it became clear that close air support from the Air Force was going to be critical, not only to the success of the mission, but to saving lives as well.


"There were numbers of occasions where if we hadn't had (close air support), lives would have been lost or strong points overrun," said Army Maj. Dan Gibson, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division brigade fire support officer. "Our ground commanders worked hand-in-hand with Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Controllers to get bombs where we needed them."


One pilot working closely with the Army to put bombs on target was Lt. Col. Daren Sorenson, the 455th Expeditionary Operations Group deputy commander and F-15E pilot.


"We brought a major advantage through the air," Sorenson said. "The enemy knows how to adapt their tactics to ground forces and to use the terrain to their advantage, but we brought something they could not counter."


According to the colonel, the mere sound of jet engines was enough to send insurgents running from the fight.


"Hearing jet noise, you can't quantify that," Sorenson said. "Insurgents will run, hide and quit fighting. We've received feedback of them saying things like, 'I'm not fighting today with the planes in the sky.'"


Although the roar of fighters over the battlefield was a powerful presence, it didn't completely stop enemy efforts to overrun coalition positions. Numerous "danger-close" fire support requests came in frequently to the fighters overhead.


"Communications with our JTACS was very intense," said Lt. Col. Mark O'Neal, the 389th EFS assistant director of operations and F-15E weapons system officer. "We'd hear shooting in the background as they shouted, 'We need bombs now!'"


The fighters had to walk a delicate balance of quickly dropping munitions while making sure all the necessary calculations and coordination occurred to ensure bombs did not hit friendly forces.


"There was a period where we dropped seven bombs in a span of 26 minutes, which is a very fast rate ... some within 250 meters of our forces," O'Neal said. "It's nerve wracking, but when that JTAC comes on the radio and says, 'Excellent job, not a scratch on friendlies,' it makes it all worthwhile."


Capt. Shuan Hoeltje, a 555th EFS F-16 pilot, said overcoming extreme weather and successfully dropping bombs in danger-close scenarios was a surreal experience.


"We were flying near a thunderstorm part of the time and didn't have good visibility," Hoeltje said. "We knew we had to take it up a notch with the bad guys so close to our guys. In the end, we were able to effectively deliver responsive and precise airpower."


While close air support was the tip of the spear in the Air Force component of the fight, Sorenson emphasized that it took a total force effort from the 455th AEW to help coalition forces accomplish the mission.


"Hammer Down is a good example of how almost every squadron in the wing played a part, integrating together to provide a complete support package to the guys on the ground, 24/7," he said.


From pre-positioned combat search and rescue assets, to maintainers, to intelligence assets, the 455th AEW brought a full spectrum of air support to the battlefield.


In addition to the total force coming together to deliver responsive and precise airpower to ground commanders, Sorenson said Operation Hammer Down II was one of the best examples of the joint force working seamlessly together that he has ever seen.


"Every single time I go on deployment, I see the progress we've made as a joint warfighting capability, and it just continues to get better over time," said the six-time combat veteran. "Hammer Down is such a good example of what we do. We have gotten to the point where it is so joint and so integrated -- it's astounding."


Sorenson and Hoeltje each talked about the sense of fulfillment they gained from participating in Hammer Down.


"It's a great feeling," Hoeltje said. "That's why we're out here, to bring that kinetic energy ... giving our Army brothers exactly what they want, when they need it."


Sorenson echoed the junior pilot's sentiment.


"The job satisfaction is second to none," Sorenson said. "No matter what I've done up to this point, no matter how hard the training was, no matter how long it took, knowing I contributed to someone getting home safely to their family makes it all worthwhile."


In all, Operation Hammer Down II killed more than 100 insurgents, including four high-value targets. Coalition intelligence officials estimated the achievements of the operation interrupted the enemy's training capabilities and disrupted them from making coordinated attacks for the remainder of the fighting season.

Partager cet article
13 juillet 2011 3 13 /07 /juillet /2011 14:09

Le drapeau français en berne (Crédits photos : SIRPA Terre)


13/07/2011 Emmanuel Jarry, édité par Elizabeth Pineau Reuters - Le Point.fr


PARIS (Reuters) - Cinq soldats français ont été tués mercredi matin et quatre autres grièvement blessés dans un attentat à la bombe dans la province de Kapisa, dans l'est de Afghanistan, a annoncé la présidence française.


Cela porte à 69 le nombre de soldats français tués en Afghanistan depuis fin 2001.


Selon le communiqué de l'Elysée, un civil afghan a également été tué et trois autres ont été blessés dans le même attentat, qui intervient au lendemain d'une visite du président français, Nicolas Sarkozy, en Afghanistan.


Les soldats protégeaient une assemblée de notables ("shura") à Joybar, dans la vallée de Tagab, et "un terroriste a déclenché sa bombe à proximité" des militaires, précise la présidence.


La Force internationale d'assistance et de sécurité (Isaf) sous commandement de l'Otan avait auparavant fait état d'un attentat suicide mais sans préciser la nationalité des victimes.


"Le chef de l'Etat exprime la détermination de la France à continuer d'oeuvrer au sein de la Force internationale d'assistance et de sécurité pour rétablir paix et stabilité dans ce pays", ajoute le communiqué présidentiel.


L'Assemblée nationale devait rendre hommage aux militaires défunts mercredi après-midi en observant une minute de silence. Le Premier ministre, François Fillon, devait prendre la parole.


Nicolas Sarkozy avait confirmé mardi, lors d'une visite de la base avancée de Tora, dans le secteur de Surobi, à une cinquantaine de km à l'est de Kaboul, le retrait d'un millier de soldats français d'Afghanistan d'ici fin 2012, soit le quart des effectifs militaires déployés par la France dans ce pays.




Il avait indiqué que les effectifs restant seraient concentrés en Kapisa en attendant le départ de toutes les unités combattantes françaises d'Afghanistan d'ici fin 2014.


Il avait cependant précisé que ce retrait progressif, calqué sur celui des forces américaines, était "lié à l'évolution de la situation sur le terrain" et ferait l'objet d'une concertation avec les autorités afghanes et les alliés de la France.


"Il faut savoir finir une guerre", avait-il fait valoir.


Il s'était auparavant fait expliquer la situation par le général Emmanuel Maurin, commandant de la brigade La Fayette qui opère dans le district de Surobi et en Kapisa.


Le général Maurin avait expliqué que la population locale, lassée de la guerre, n'avait pas basculé dans l'insurrection mais que celle-ci se radicalisait, signe selon lui de son usure.


"L'insurrection est mobile, agressive, intelligente, elle recherche le coup d'opportunité contre les forces françaises", avait-il dit à Nicolas Sarkozy, selon le pool de journalistes qui accompagnait le président français.


"Il y a un accroissement de la menace par IED (NDLR: engins explosifs artisanaux), une radicalisation, comme le montre l'emploi de plus en plus fréquent de femmes et d'enfants", avait ajouté le général Maurin.


Les pertes de mercredi sont parmi les plus graves que les troupes françaises ait subi en une fois en Afghanistan.


Nicolas Sarkozy, qui a ramené mardi dans son avion deux soldats français blessés, doit se rendre jeudi à l'hôpital des armées de Percy, près de Paris, avant le traditionnel défilé militaire du 14 juillet sur les Champs-Elysées, à Paris.


A l'issue du défilé, il doit déjeuner à l'Elysée avec des militaires représentant les forces françaises engagées sur des théâtres extérieurs et leurs conjoints.

Partager cet article
13 juillet 2011 3 13 /07 /juillet /2011 07:10


photo defenseindustrydaily.com


July 12, 2011 defpro.com


In an unusual and impromptu operation, one of the NZLAV vehicles in Bamyan province has provided assistance to a disabled US Army Apache helicopter.


The Apache experienced an engine problem on take off and had to land again. Inspection of the engine showed extensive damage caused by ingested debris.


The helicopter was in an exposed position on Bamyan airfield and the decision was made to tow it into the safety of Kiwi Base, home of the NZ Provincial Reconstruction Team (NZPRT).


Despite being on the wrong side of the perimeter wire and the ditch, the NZPRT workshop team manufactured a towbar and led the helicopter recovery team comprising US Army air and maintenance crews, NZPRT and US personnel.


The Apache had a very limited threshold for sideways tilt, requiring a lot of ground preparation and load spreading using sheets of plywood. SGT George Alexander from the NZPRT guided the NZLAV as it slowly pulled the eight tonne helicopter around a corner, across the ditch and up the hill into Kiwi base.


US maintenance Crew Chief, SGT Judy Beltowski, 10th Mountain Division, US Army, praised the ingenuity and quick action of the NZPRT personnel.


“I’ve never seen that level of craftsmanship from a maintenance team anywhere. Whatever we needed the NZPRT provided, and if they didn’t have it, they made it.”


It took two days to make the repairs and the Apache, from 101st Airborne Division, returned to its home base on 22 June.

Partager cet article
12 juillet 2011 2 12 /07 /juillet /2011 19:30



12.07.2011 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense


"Il faut savoir finir une guerre", a déclaré ce matin le président de la République sur la FOB Tora (photo ci-dessus). "Il n'a jamais été question de garder des troupes indéfiniment en Afghanistan."


Nicolas Sarkozy, en visite surprise en Afghanistan, auprès des soldats français, a confirmé le retrait d'un millier d'entre eux d'ici fin 2012. La France avait annoncé un retrait progressif de ces militaires, dans le sillage des Etats-Unis, qui ont décidé de rapatrier un tiers de leurs 100 000 hommes d'ici la fin de l'été 2012.


tora1 131.jpgLe président français, dont c'est la troisième visite en Afghanistan depuis le début de son quinquennat, est arrivé vers 3h30 GMT à Kaboul pour une visite de cinq heures. Après une visite sur la FO Tora, dans le district de Surobi, il devait déjeuner à Kaboul avec son homologue Hamid Karzaï et rencontrer le général américain David Petraeus, commandant des forces internationales dans ce pays.


"Ici nous retirerons un quart de nos effectifs, c'est-à-dire 1 000 soldats, d'ici fin 2012", a-t-il déclaré aux militaires français du BG 15.2, sur la base de Tora, à 30 minutes d'hélicoptère de Kaboul. "En 2014, tous les soldats français seront partis d'Afghanistan", a ajouté le président français qui n'a pas précisé le sort de la mission Epidote de formation des troupes afghanes.


Nicolas Sarkozy a précisé qu'après le retrait d'un premier millier d'hommes d'ici fin 2012, les effectifs français restant seraient concentrés dans la province de Kapisa, avant leur retrait définitif en 2014. C'est donc le glas du BG stationné en Surobi qu'a commencé à faire sonner le chef de l'Etat, annonçant implicitement un retrait unilatéral français de Surobi.

Partager cet article
12 juillet 2011 2 12 /07 /juillet /2011 12:15



11 July 2011 by defenceWeb


Pretoria-based Land Mobility Technologies (LMT) will next week start delivering armoured cabs to Mercedes Benz Special Trucks in Germany for fitting to a undisclosed number of Actros heavy recovery vehicles ordered for immediate use by German troops in Afghanistan.


The cabs are being manufactured by LMT at its Waltloo factory. The company says it received the contract in March 2011. Mercedes Benz, announcing the order in May, said the supply of the vehicles “will substantially enlarge the capabilities of the Bundeswehr.”


The companies say the vehicles will be of the same configuration and with the same high level of protection as the 120 successfully operated by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan since March 2008.


“The vehicles will ensure the best available protection in wheeled logistics vehicles for the German soldiers in operation, Mercedes Benz said in its may statement. “With the heavily-armoured Actros 4151 AK 8x8, Mercedes-Benz is setting new standards in special-purpose logistics vehicles. The Actros provides Level 4 ballistic protection and Level 4b mine protection according to STANAG 4569. Thanks to its extremely effective armour against blasts and shrapnel, the Actros is also setting standards when it comes to protection against IED's and car bombs.


“The systems of the heavily-armoured Actros 4151 AK 8x8 have been further optimised on the basis of many years of experience. Thanks to their excellent cab protection, high-performance chassis and tried-and-tested bodies, the vehicles are able to offer a deployment availability of over 95%.”


Mercedes Benz adds the armoured cab can be tilted forward so as to guarantee access to the engine compartment, which is also armoured. A new seating system with 5-point seat belts provides the optimum basis for protecting the occupants against attack, including from the side. At the same time the seats offer both secure support when driving off-road as well as good freedom of movement. A high-performance air conditioning system helps to ensure optimum temperatures are maintained, even in extreme climatic conditions.


A particular challenge faced by heavy recovery vehicles is the distribution of axle loads in all deployment situations - from heavy-duty recovery applications through to driving when empty. While the weight of the armoured cab lies across the front axles only, in recovery situations the weight of the raised, towed vehicle places a load on the rear axles which can act like a huge lever. The Actros 4151 AK 8x8 Recovery vehicle, however, has been designed in such a way as to ensure a substantially uniform axle load distribution and also enable safe handling in both heavy-duty recovery situations and also when driving unladen, the company says.


The protected Special Vehicle has a weight of 33.500 kg, a length of 10.530 mm, a width of 2.800 mm and a height of 3.400 mm. The wheelbase of the Mercedes-Benz Actros 8x8 is 5.580 mm. The BlueTec 5-V8-engine of the type OM 502 LA has a power of 375 kW/ 510 hp.


The recovery technology consists of the wreckerbody made bei Empl, three Rotzler-winches and a Hiab-front-crane. The Rotzler-winches have a max. tractive power of 25 to with a cable-length of 100 m. The Hiab-crane has a lifting capacity of 7.500 kg with 2,60 m. The arm of the Empl-wrecker has a lifting height of 5m and a lifting capacity of 16 metric tons. The wrecker capacity while driving is more than 12mt.

Partager cet article
11 juillet 2011 1 11 /07 /juillet /2011 18:00


Heron- long endurance UAV (photo : ADF)

Source defense-studies.blogspot.com


Jul 11 2011 David Pugliese’s Defence Watch


From MDA:


RICHMOND, BC, July 11, 2011 /CNW/ - MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX: MDA), a provider of essential information solutions, announced today that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is extending its contract for MDA's unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities. Under this extension, MDA will provide a third year of UAV surveillance operations for the ADF's deployed forces in Afghanistan. The timeframe for this extension is January through to December 2012.

Partager cet article
11 juillet 2011 1 11 /07 /juillet /2011 11:25



11.07.2011 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense


Un intéressant document de l'Institute for the Study of War (cliquer ici pour le consulter): il s'agit de l'ordre de bataille des troupes US/ISAF en Afghanistan à compter de ce mois de juillet. Cet ordre de bataille va jusqu'au niveau bataillon.

On retrouvera par exemple les deux bataillons français Raptor et 15.2:

TF La Fayette / 11th Parachute Brigade (Brig. Gen. Emmanuel Maurin, France)-FOB Nijrab, Kapisa; responsible for Kapisa Province and Surobi District:
- TF Mousquetaire (France)-Kabul International Airport; aviation support in Kabul and Kapisa Provinces
- TF Quinze-Deux / 152nd Infantry Regiment (Col. Lionel Jean d'Heur, France)-FOB Tora; operating in Surobi District
- TF Raptor / 1st Parachute Infantry Regiment (Col. Renaud Senetaire, France)-FOB Kutschbach; operating in Kapisa Province

Il prend en compte les unités d'infanterie, de cavalerie, d'artillerie, les forces aériennes, les unités de la police militaire, les unités du génie. En clair, comme le précise le rédacteur de cet OB, toutes les unités "blanches". En revanche, il ne liste pas les formations "noires" des forces spéciales, ainsi que des formations comme les unités de la logistique, du soutien médical et du renseignement. C'est toutefois un document de référence pour ceux qui suivent l'affaire afghane.

Partager cet article
7 juillet 2011 4 07 /07 /juillet /2011 18:00



July 07, 2011 SHEPARD GROUP Source: CHC


CHC Helicopter has cleared a substantial hurdle that could lead to new contracts with the US Department of Defense (DOD).


Helicopters are one of the main sources of transportation for US and coalition forces in Afghanistan because of the lack of road infrastructure and security issues.


That need has prompted another problem: a critical lack of helicopters, particularly medium and heavy ones to transport cargo and personnel.


CHC is one step closer to helping solve that problem after passing a DOD audit, officially known as a Commercial Airlift Review Board (CARB) approval. The CARB audit, conducted by the DOD Commercial Airlift Division, extensively examined all areas of CHC Helicopters.


Specifically, the audit concentrated on the standards of management, safety, flight operations, crew hiring, training, and scheduling.


The audit approval is needed for any company bidding on DOD contracts. The US military has hired commercial helicopter carriers to transport cargo and DOD personnel in the war-torn country and CHC bid on that work.


“We passed with flying colours,” said Santiago Crespo, CHC’s commercial director for the Americas. “The audit opens the door for any DOD work.”


Santiago explained how a great deal of preparation went into ensuring the audit was a success.


“We were well positioned because of our commitment to safety and quality and the only difference in the audit was scope. CARB is specifically for military missions in Afghanistan,” he explained. “We set up a team four months prior to the audit and had representatives from Safety & Quality, Operations, Commercial and Technical Services and we conducted a pre-audit with an external firm that saw us do a dry run in order to identify any gaps that needed filling.”


After receiving news of the CARB approval, the commercial team cleared another DOD barrier.


In a separate process, CHC was awarded an IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity) contract, allowing the company to bid on specific task orders.


If successful, CHC could begin providing airlift services as early as Oct. 15.


By passing the DOD audit, CHC now plans to put into service a number of existing Eurocopter Super Pumas in Afghanistan.


“This is a terrific opportunity for CHC because these aircraft have been sitting idle after servicing offshore oil rigs,” said Santiago. “It’s a perfect venue to place these helicopters so they can continue their life. It’s kind of a secondary market,” he explained.


CHC has bid on a number of DOD task orders and will likely start to hear the results of the bids as early as July.

Partager cet article
7 juillet 2011 4 07 /07 /juillet /2011 17:45



July 7th, 2011 By USArmy DEFENCE TALK


The Soldier checks the indicator lights on the vehicle before turning the ignition key. The engine rumbles to life and he switches into drive. He moves forward as sleet pelts the windshield. He needs to find the wipers to see in the muddy terrain, and fumbles in the dark.


The Soldier veers slightly off the road. The vehicle tilts. The over-correction rolls the vehicle.


Light floods the room and the instructor resets the course. It’s time to try again. Grafenwoehr’s Combat Drivers Training program is the only program in Europe to train drivers for driving conditions and vehicle familiarization in Afghanistan.


The program is meant to help increase safety and decrease deadly accidents caused by unfamiliarity with the vehicle and terrain.


“It will decrease the number of accidents,” said Staff Sgt. Corey A. Burse, who works at the 7th Army Combined Arms Training Center, or CATC, in Vilseck, Germany. “You get in a vehicle you don’t know, drive down narrow roads and roll the vehicle over. That’s the number one cause of Soldiers’ deaths.”


Burse said that it is better to use the mine-resistant, ambush-protected, or MRAP, vehicle simulator to acclimate to the rough terrain downrange than to put Soldiers on the roads there with no idea of of what to expect. This way, Soldiers see how the vehicle handles and how the indicators work and feel, without putting their lives in danger or ruining equipment.


The MRAP simulator and driving practice helps Soldiers identify problems and how to adapt to different environments and situations.


Many multinational Soldiers will not have the opportunity to see an MRAP vehicle before heading downrange unless they attend the course the JMTC is offering.


The JMTC is helping to improve the Soldier’s reactions to unfamiliar situations.


“JMTC provides world-class training for Europe,” said Burse. “It is the premier training center in Europe for troops deploying.”


Pvt. Rolands Lakucs, a translator for the Latvian Army, is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan as the United States starts to reduce the number of troops that are stationed there. Lakucs said the simulation driving was useful.


“You need to know what the truck can and can’t do,” he said.


Second Lt. Argo Sibul, a platoon leader in the Estonian Army, who is deploying this fall, said that having this experience with the MRAP prior to deploying is beneficial.


“If the first time a Soldier sees this vehicle is in Afghanistan, that is where we will face problems,” said Sibul.


All of the drivers in his deploying unit are attending this training.


Sibul said that it is better to have the experience now, before leaving for Afghanistan because they are allowed a trial and error period here. What they can’t figure out during their training here, they will have to figure out in Afghanistan, where there is no room for error.


“I hope it will be saving lives. That’s why we want to use that MRAP,” said Sibul. “That is what it was designed for. It is a great resource and it was designed for the Afghan experience.”


The Soldiers pause for a few moments, some snap a photograph as they head into the MRAP for the hands-on portion of the course. For the next few hours, they will be taking turns driving the vehicle to build familiarity with the vehicle.


The hands-on portion will be different from the simulator, but JMTC has learned that the method they are using for the class does work and it is decreasing accidental MRAP deaths.


At Grafenwoehr, any unit can sign up for one of the MRAP classes. European units preparing to deploy take advantage of this resource. With the experience they receive here, the JMTC is hoping to reduce the accidental and needless deaths of Soldiers.

Partager cet article
7 juillet 2011 4 07 /07 /juillet /2011 17:15



Le Félin permet de voir sans s'exposer et de discuter pour ainsi dire sans parler, grâce à l'ostéophonie : le simple mouvement de la mâchoire permet de se faire entendre du reste de la troupe relié au même réseau. « Casque doublement intelligent », système GPS, puce électronique… Le gilet, à lui seul, pèse 16 kg. Avec le reste de l'équipement (casque, arme...), le tout pèse 40 kg.


07 juillet 2011 par Nathalie DIOT - lunion.presse.fr


CHARLEVILLE-MEZIERES (Ardennes). Près de 350 soldats du 3e Génie partiront dès octobre en opérations extérieures, notamment en Afghanistan avec un fusil... « à tirer dans les coins ».


EMBUSQUÉ à l'angle d'un immeuble, casque sur la tête et gilet renforcé sur le dos, un soldat observe si le terrain est dégagé à l'aide… de son fusil. D'après l'écran installé sur son arme, tout va bien. Sans avoir à jeter un œil, il peut s'engager dans la ruelle.


Cet équipement haute technologie, ce « fusil à tirer dans les coins », on ne le croyait possible que dans un jeu vidéo ou un film américain… Mais quand dans notre champ de vision, apparaissent soudain la maire carolo Claudine Ledoux et le préfet des Ardennes Pierre N'Gahane, c'est une réalité bien locale que ce… Félin, comme fantassin à équipements et liaisons intégrés.


Cette arme de défense « made in France », dont on parle depuis une dizaine d'années, était présentée mardi à la caserne Dumerbion lors d'une conférence de presse consacrée aux opérations extérieures (Opex). Destinée à améliorer les capacités du fantassin en même temps qu'elle sécurise son environnement, elle a été livrée pour la première fois à l'armée de terre en mai 2010 et au 3e Génie en septembre dernier.


Chaque information peut servir l'ennemi


« Les hommes du 3 sont les premiers d'un régiment de génie à être équipé du système Félin », explique le colonel Mériau.


Un événement sur lequel le chef de corps ne tient néanmoins pas à s'étendre. L'arme sera utilisée dès octobre par ses hommes en Afghanistan et il préfère rester discret sur son potentiel. Car chaque information relayée publiquement sur les forces en présence peut servir à l'ennemi. « Nous faisons un métier dangereux. Mais il l'est d'autant moins que nous sommes bien préparés. » Et c'est ce que font les 150 soldats qui partiront en octobre en Afghanistan pour une période de six mois - ainsi que les 174 autres qui iront au Liban, en Polynésie française et au Sénégal (lire par ailleurs).


Une partie des entraînements est consacrée au déminage et à la recherche d'engins explosifs « afin d'ouvrir des itinéraires sur les axes logistiques ». Une autre a une « vocation judiciaire, façon NCIS dans la partie prélèvement », commente le chef de corps. Ces hommes de la FOS (fouille opérationnelle spécialisée) ont pour mission de « fouiller tout type d'endroit où peuvent être cachées des ressources : argent, armes, explosifs, détonateurs, drogues… Tout ce qui peut permettre d'identifier un réseau et d'aider la justice afghane », explique le capitaine Cheval lors d'une démonstration. Là, les appareils photo sont proscrits. Il ne s'agit pas de cacher quoi que ce soit mais simplement d'éviter une fois encore que l'ennemi n'en apprenne trop, explique le colonel Meriau. Et on ne lui reprochera pas car loin d'être dans un jeu vidéo ou un film américain, les hommes du 3 en Afghanistan seront dans un pays en guerre.


La video

Partager cet article


  • : RP Defense
  • : Web review defence industry - Revue du web industrie de défense - company information - news in France, Europe and elsewhere ...
  • Contact


Articles Récents