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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 08:35
USS Lassen - photo US Navy

USS Lassen - photo US Navy


29 octobre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)


Washington - Le chef de la marine chinoise et son homologue américain se sont entretenus par vidéoconférence jeudi, deux jours après une patrouille d'un navire de guerre des Etats-Unis dans une zone de la mer de Chine revendiquée par Pékin, selon le Pentagone.


Le chef des forces américaines dans le Pacifique, l'amiral Harry Harris, va par ailleurs se rendre la semaine prochaine à Pékin, pour une visite planifiée de longue date, a indiqué un responsable américain sous couvert de l'anonymat.


La visite aura lieu du 2 au 5 novembre, a précisé un autre responsable américain.


Les Etats-Unis ont envoyé mardi le destroyer lance-missiles USS Lassen croiser à moins de 12 milles d'îlots artificiels que Pékin a construit sur des récifs de l'archipel des Spratleys, en mer de Chine méridionale.


La marine américaine a aussi affirmé qu'elle comptait renvoyer d'autres navires dans la même zone.


La patrouille du Lassen a provoqué la colère de Pékin, qui a convoqué l'ambassadeur américain et prévenu que le gouvernement chinois défendrait résolument sa souveraineté territoriale et ses intérêts maritimes.


Jeudi, l'amiral américain John Richardson, chef d'état-major de la marine américaine, et son homologue chinois Wu Shengli se sont entretenus par vidéoconférence pendant près d'une heure, a indiqué le Pentagone.


La vidéo-conférence, décidée après la patrouille du USS Lassen, a duré à peu près une heure, et a été professionnelle et productive, a indiqué le capitaine de vaisseau Jeff Davis, porte-parole du Pentagone.


Le porte-parole n'a donné aucun détail sur la teneur des discussions, se bornant à confirmer que la question de la liberté de navigation dans les Spratleys avait bien été abordée.


Les deux amiraux ont convenu de l'importance de maintenir le dialogue actuel entre les deux marines et de se reparler par vidéoconférence d'ici la fin de l'année, a-t-il précisé.


L'archipel des Spratleys fait l'objet de revendications de la Chine mais aussi d'autres pays voisins, dont les Philippines, alliées de Washington, le Vietnam, la Malaisie et Brunei.


Les Etats-Unis affirment qu'ils ne veulent pas prendre parti sur le fond des querelles de souveraineté entre ces pays. Washington dit vouloir simplement assurer la liberté de navigation internationale à travers ces eaux situées à un point de passage stratégique pour le commerce mondial.


Mardi, le USS Lassen a d'ailleurs également patrouillé près des îles revendiquées par les Philippines ou le Vietnam, souligne les responsables américains.


La situation en mer de Chine méridionale sera dans tous les esprits la semaine prochaine, lors d'une réunion des ministres de la Défense de l'Association des Nations d'Asie du Sud-Est (Asean) à Kuala Lumpur, à laquelle participera le secrétaire américain à la Défense Ashton Carter.


La zone des 12 milles marins (22 km) est celle reconnue internationalement sur laquelle un Etat côtier peut appliquer sa souveraineté, dans les airs et sur mer.

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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 08:30
photo Rafael

photo Rafael


October 26, 2015: Strategy Page


Israel has recently made available a lightweight (200 kg/440 pound) version of its Trophy APS (Active Protection System) called Trophy LV. This is intended for MRAPs (heavily armored trucks), IFVs (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) and other heavy vehicles that are lighter than tanks. The regular Trophy weighs about a ton and is one of several APS models on the market but it is also the one with the most impressive combat record.


By 2012 Israel was convinced sufficiently to equip all the Merkava tanks in an armor brigade with the Trophy APS. In 2010 the first battalion of Merkavas was so equipped. Then in 2011 Trophy defeated incoming missiles and rockets in combat for the first time. This included ATGMs (Anti-Tank Guided Missile), possibly a modern Russian system like the Kornet E. This is a laser guided missile with a range of 5,000 meters. The launcher has a thermal sight for use at night or in fog. The missile's warhead can penetrate enough modern tank armor to render the side armor of the Israeli Merkava tank vulnerable. The Kornet E missile weighs 8.2 kg (18 pounds) and the launcher 19 kg (42 pounds). The system was introduced in 1994, and has been sold to Syria (who apparently passed them on to Hezbollah and Hamas). A few weeks before the ATGM intercept Trophy defeated an RPG warhead (an unguided rocket propelled grenade fired from a metal tube balanced on the shoulder). All this came a year after first equipping Merkava tanks with APS. As it was designed to do, Trophy operated automatically and the crew didn't realize the incoming RPG warhead or missile had been stopped until after it was over. That is how APS is supposed to work and Trophy has proved to be the most reliable and effective APS out there.


This first combat use is a big deal because APS has been around for nearly three decades but demand and sales have been slow. The main purpose of APS is to stop ATGMs but on less heavily armored vehicles, stopping RPG type warheads is important as well. This is the main reason for developing Trophy LV.


The Israeli Trophy APS uses better, more reliable, and more expensive technology than the original Russian Drozd (or its successors, like Arena) APS. This includes an electronic jammer that will defeat some types of ATGMs. For about $300,000 per system, Trophy will protect a vehicle from ATGMs as well as RPGs (which are much more common in combat zones). Israel is the first Western nation to have a lot of their tanks shot up by modern ATGMs and apparently fears the situation will only get worse. Trophy protected several Israeli tanks from ATGM and RPG attacks during the 50 Day War with Hamas in mid-2014. The Israeli manufacturer of Trophy also partners with American firms to manufacture Trophy and Trophy LV for the U.S. market.


Israel first encountered ATGMs, on a large scale, in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. But these were the clumsy, first generation missiles that turned out to be more smoke than fire. More recent ATGM designs have proved more reliable and effective but no nation, except Israel, has yet made a major commitment to APS. That may now change, simply because effective APS like Trophy are available and RPG and ATGM losses are growing.


Most APS consist of a radar to detect incoming missiles and small rockets to rush out and disable the incoming threat. A complete system weighs about a ton. There is also a Trophy Light (weighing half a ton) for lighter, often unarmored, vehicles and now the even lighter Trophy LV for vehicles as small as a hummer.


Russia pioneered the development of these anti-missile systems. The first one, the Drozd, entered active service in 1983, mainly for defense against American ATGMs. These the Russians feared a great deal, as American troops had a lot of them, and the Russians knew these missiles (like TOW) worked. Russia went on to improve their anti-missile systems but was never able to export many of them. This was largely because these systems were expensive (over $100,000 per vehicle), no one trusted Russian hi-tech that much and new tanks, like the American M-1, were seen as a bigger threat than ATGMs.

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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 08:30
Syria: Russian Backed Advance Stalled

Russian Airstrikes in Syria - Sept 30 - Oct 26, 2015 – Credits Genevieve Casagrande ISW


October 27, 2015: Strategy Page


The Russian supported government forces went on the offensive in October and for a week or so seemed to make some progress. The Russian air strikes, guided by Syrian ground controllers, were accurate and allowed the Syrian/Lebanese/Iranian forces to advance. But by mid-October the advance had stalled. There were several reasons for this. First, the rebels were suddenly getting a lot more recruits as many Syrians who were not keen on fighting other Syrians were very eager to “fight the Russians.” Even though there were no (or very few) Russian troops on the ground involved in these operations there were a lot of foreign fighters (mostly recruited, trained, armed and managed by Iran). These included Lebanese from Hezbollah plus Iraqi, Iranian, Afghan and other Shia persuaded (by Iranian cash and other favors) to volunteer for dangerous duty in Shia militias. There were Russians fighting FOR the rebels, but these were mostly Chechens working for ISIL.


The rebels quickly adapted to the Russian tactics by retreating from areas to be bombed and falling back when the Syrian ground forces advanced. Then the rebels came back at night to often regain what had been lost the previous day. This tactic was helped by the sudden arrival of additional TOW anti-tank missiles. These first showed up in early 2014 used by some of the more moderate rebels. Such American arms aid has long been limited because of fears that high-tech weapons would fall into the hands of Islamic terrorist groups and later be used for terror attacks against Westerners. With the arrival of the Russians the U.S. shipped lots (more than a hundred) TOW missiles and this led to the advancing Syrian forces losing up to ten armored vehicles a day. Some of these TOW missiles were delivered by air drop to rebel units in the way of the Syrian advance. Other types of ammunition were also air dropped. Because of a prior arrangement Russian aircraft or anti-aircraft systems did not fire on the U.S. transports.


Russia is also learning the hard way how difficult it is to maintain modern warplanes in the sand and dust of the Middle East. Russia knew about this problem because for decades it had sold military aircraft to countries (including Syria) in the region. But it turned out that there were a lot of (often minor) modifications Syrian maintainers made to their Russian aircraft to keep them operational in this environment. Russian maintainers are working overtime to adapt to all this. Despite that Russia is still getting several sorties a day out of many of the fifty or so warplanes it has in Syria. On some days there are nearly a hundred air strikes. The 50 or so Russian aircraft in Syria consist of Su-34 and Su-30 fighter-bombers, Su-24M bombers and Su-25 ground attack aircraft as well as about a dozen armed helicopters. There are also many transport helicopters.


The Russians have brought in UAVs and electronic monitoring equipment and have a lot better sense of where the best targets are. This has caused a lot of damage to the rebels who find their supply facilities and other support operations being bombed.  Russian air strikes in Syria are believed to have left nearly 500 dead so far most (about 70 percent) of them Syrian rebels. Russia officially says it is there to fight ISIL but most of the targets are non-ISIL rebels who have been taking a lot of territory from the Assad government this year. The Russian air strikes have killed at least one senior al Qaeda leader and a senior commander of the FSA (the largest secular rebel group). Both FSA and al Qaeda are hostile to ISIL but for Russia these two groups are a major threat to the Syrian government, which has long been a Russian ally. Russian warplanes are carrying out 50-60 air strikes a day. That is far more than the U.S. led air coalition.


Russia has also made a major effort to help rebuild what is left of the Syrian Air Force, which has suffered enormous (over 70 percent) losses since 2011. Russia has always provided tech and material (spare parts) support for this largely Russian fleet of warplanes and helicopters but not enough for the Syrians to keep more than 30 percent of the 370 aircraft and helicopters operational. The surge of Russian support will mean the Syrian Air Force can be rebuilt and be even more active.


So far the American led air coalition has carried out nearly 7,800 air strikes (64 percent in Iraq and the rest in Syria). The growing number of Syrian and Russian air strikes do not follow the restrictive American ROE (Rules of Engagement) and have been more effective. There are accusations from within the American intelligence community that political leaders are hiding the truth about how the restrictive ROE are crippling the air offensive against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. Another reason for the greater success of Syrian and Russian air strikes is that they have air controllers on the ground to make sure the right target is hit. The American political leadership forbids putting American air controllers on the ground despite the fact that American military commanders believe that the chances of these U.S. troops getting killed or captured is an acceptable risk because it would mean more effective air strikes. Currently the American ROE is obsessed with avoiding any civilian losses from air strikes and ISIL exploits this by regularly using human shields. The locals realize this is counterproductive because the longer ISIL remains operational the more death and misery they bring to the millions of civilians they control.


The Russian supported offensive was concentrating on non-ISIL rebels around Aleppo and in nearby Idlib province. The UN reports that this fighting has driven over 120,000 additional refugees to UN facilities and that has included a growing number of Islamic terrorists who cause all manner of problems in the refugee camps. Some areas around Aleppo were captured by the advancing Syrian forces and held. In addition some key roads in Idlib province were cleared of rebels. Around Aleppo some Russian air strikes are hitting ISIL targets because ISIL is cooperating (and often competing) with other Islamic terrorist rebel groups to take the city. This would have great symbolic value. Otherwise Aleppo is mainly a burden because most of the city center is damaged or destroyed by years of fighting. ISIL is now heavily involved in Aleppo because these areas are close to the Turkish border and that is how smugglers get ISIL supplies across the border and into the hands of ISIL.


The newly captured areas require constant patrolling to keep the rebels out and this is where the newly arrived Russians UAVs have come in handy. To help move the ground offensive forward Russia has sent some of its commandos to Syria. Some of these Russians are coming from months of recent service in eastern Ukraine. Exactly how these will be used is unclear but Iran already has some special operations troops in Syria and they appear to serve mainly for collecting intelligence and attacking key rebel leaders (not always successfully). Iran is providing a lot of trainers, combat advisors and, judging from the number of dead Iranian officers (whose families back in Iran do not hide their grief or keep it out of the media) the Iranians are deeply involved in supervising these offensive operations.


Cuban troops have been reported in Syria, brought in to help train and assist Syrian troops. Some of the Cubans are believed to be special operations (commando) forces. Cuba, Russia and Syria deny the presence of Cuban troops in Syria.


The Russian air strikes had already played a key role in halting rebel advances into the twenty percent of Syria that the Assad forces control. Thus most of the recent Russian air strikes are against targets on the border of Latakia province (where the Syrian ports are) and inside adjacent Hama and Idlib provinces.


This 20 percent of the country is where the pro-Assad population lives and must be held for the Assad clan to retain any legitimacy as the government of Syria. The coastal areas are particularly important because Russia is pouring in military and other supplies via the Assad controlled ports. The roads from there to Damascus and south to the Israeli and Jordan borders must be kept open and the military supplies on these ships helps make that happen.


Russia also approached some rebel groups to propose joint operations against ISIL. These offers all appear to have been rejected. Russia is being depicted as a “foreign invader.” This is a popular attitude in the Middle East. It was used to great effect when Russia invaded Afghanistan in the 1980s and then the U.S. and Britain invaded Iraq in 2003. The Russian aerial and electronic intelligence capabilities plus the informant networks of the Assads has provided the Russians with more information on rebel operations than even the West and neighboring Moslem states have been able to obtain. This enables Russia to make offers like this with some prospects of success. Russia is now able to quickly find out about key rebel casualties (especially the deaths of senior leaders) that the rebels would rather keep quiet (to soften the effect on morale). Russia would like Iran to be more secretive about Iranian generals getting killed in Syria. Six have died there since 2013 and several of those deaths were recent. Syria is a much more dangerous place for Iranian military advisors as only one Iranian general has been killed in Iraq so far.


Despite previously negotiated “deconfliction” agreements with Russia over use of Syrian air space by Israeli and Russian aircraft the agreement proved incapable of dealing with the growing number of Iranian and Russian UAVs operating over Syria. When any of these UAVs get too close to the Israeli (or Turkish) border there is the risk of it getting shot down. This has caused some tension with the Russians as UAVs were apparently not covered in the existing agreements. This is a problem because Russia is working with Iran, which has regularly vowed to destroy Israel and has no agreements with Israel at all. Russia does not want to get dragged into a fight with Israel because of Iranian misbehavior but the Iranians are apparently pressuring the Russians to help “defend” Iranian UAVs operating along the Israeli border. Despite this issue Israel has basically agreed to tolerate Russia (and their Iranian ally) defeating the Syrian rebels and keeping the Assads in power. Israel never liked the Assads but they were able to work with them. At the moment ISIL appears to be the likely winner of a civil war if there is no outside interference. Everyone agrees ISIL control of Syria is the worst outcome and behaves accordingly.


October 25, 2015: Local witnesses said that ISIL destroyed three columns of an ancient temple in central Syria (near Palmyra) with explosives. But first ISIL tied condemned men to each of the columns to execute them (for reasons unknown) along with destroying the ancient “un-Islamic” structure. ISIL took this Syrian site (in Homs province) back in May and since August has been destroying ancient ruins. This was an ancient oasis city that was largely abandoned a century ago and now people live in nearby villages. Palmyra is a major tourist site and it was long feared that ISIL would destroy ruins. But ISIL is also using the ruins as the backdrop of exotic executions that are very effective Internet based recruiting videos. One current video featured a man being executed by running him over with a tank.

Syrian Kurds accuse Turkey of firing on some of their positions in Syria near the Turkish border. Turkey is currently at war with the PKK (Turkish Kurdish separatists) and believes the PYD (the Syrian Kurdish separatists, currently fighting the Assad government) is often working in cooperation with the PKK. The PYD insists it is concentrating on the war in Syria and merely stays in touch with the PKK. Turkey later confirmed the PYD attack claims. Turkey has made it clear that it does not want the Syrian Kurds taking control of large parts of northern Syria.


October 22, 2015: The U.S. has sent a dozen A-10 ground attack aircraft to Turkey to join the force of F-16s that has been used for air strikes on ISIL in Syria. The A-10C can handle smart bombs and thus stay high enough to avoid ground fire but the A-10s are also designed and equipped for low altitude operations. The decision to send the A-10s was made in response to the arrival of Russian warplanes in Syria.


October 21, 2015: Back in Russia the Russian intervention in Syria is portrayed as part of an effort to curb Islamic terrorism inside Russia and appears to have helped. Some 2,000 radicalized Russian Moslems have gone to Syria to join ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) but local officials in areas where most of these Russian recruits come from (the Caucasus, especially Chechnya) point out that Islamic terrorist activity in the Caucasus has declined this year and reports they have received from local informants indicates that most of those who went off to join ISIL have been killed.


October 19, 2015: Turkey said its warplanes had shot down a Russian UAV that had crossed the border into Turkish air space. Russia denied it had lost a UAV. The Turks reminded Russia that piloted Russian aircraft would be shot down as well.

In Syria Russian warplanes bombed a group of FSA rebels, apparently because this group was equipped with American TOW anti-tank missiles, which had been causing a lot of damage to Syrian armored vehicles. The air strikes also killed a senior FSA leader.

Artillery fire against the Russian base at Latakia left three Russians dead and several other wounded. It is unclear if the fire was mortars, artillery or rockets. Russia later denied that any Russians had been killed in Syria.

Many observers were surprised when Russia moved several dozen warplanes to Syria in August and began bombing Syrian rebels with lots of unguided bombs. Since the 1990s the United States has increasingly used smart (laser or GPS) guided bombs and now over 99 percent of American air strikes use such weapons. Other Western nations also adopted smart bombs. Russia is known to have had such weapons since the 1970s, many of them based on American smart bombs (or fragments) captured in Vietnam. The problem was that Russia never built or used a lot of these weapons. For a long time Russia considered these special weapons for rare special occasions.


October 16, 2015: Russia revealed that it had established a “hotline” agreement with Israel so the two nations could quickly resolve any problems between their respective armed forces over Syria.


October 11, 2015: ISIL released, to the Syrian government, fifty Syrian Christians ISIL had kidnapped last August. It is unclear what this was all about. It may have been ransom since ransom has always been a source of income for ISIL, which has very high expenses (supplies, pay and benefits for key people, bribes, fees and rewards for many services).

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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 08:30
Intelligence: What Really Makes Armed UAVs Special


October 22, 2015: Strategy Page


In Syria the U.S. Air Force came face-to-face with differences between targeting (selecting what to hit) from the air (using aerial and satellite surveillance) and using that supplemented with information gathered on the ground. The air force depended on aerial surveillance to find and approve targets to hit in Syria. The CIA, meanwhile, had its own “air force” of armed UAVs that concentrated on key Islamic terrorist personnel. Air force analysts with high enough security clearances could not help but note that the CIA effort was more successful. The key CIA advantage was the network of spies, informants and other specialists they had on the ground. Many of these “assets” were not even Americans and the CIA was able to make deals with foreign nations for valuable target information.


Much of these CIA advantages were relatively new. The post September 11, 2001 world dramatically altered the way that U.S. national intelligence services did business. After the 1970s, U.S. intelligence operatives became rare and competent ones even more so. Until 2001 this did not bother the CIA or the U.S. government all that much. But it is a problem when there is an emergency. So, since September 11, 2001, the U.S. has been forced to rely more on contractors for the more personal and tradition forms of espionage.


The decline of American spy craft is an aftereffect of the Church Committee. This was an investigative operation sponsored by Congress in the late 1970s that sought to reform and punish the CIA. The reforms were mainly about eliminating CIA spying inside the United States, or doing stuff for the president that Congress did not approve of. There was also a desire to avoid any CIA connection with foreign unpleasantness (like using unsavory people as spies or informants, paying foreign politicians for information, or using contractors to run informant networks). This led to a growing list of restrictions on what the CIA could do overseas and at home. Congress was out to make sure no future president (the CIA works for the president) could use the CIA, as had been done during the Vietnam War and before.


The CIA interpreted all this as "no more James Bond stuff." After the 1970s, the CIA relied more on spy satellites and other electronic monitoring for their reports on what was going on in the world. The Church Committee insured that the CIA became a much less interesting place to work for practitioners of traditional (on the ground, up close and personal) espionage. A lot of the most capable people got out over the next two decades. Recruiting competent replacements became difficult. But after September 11, 2001, the CIA was tossed a huge pile of money and told to staff up and get going and save us all from the Islamic terrorists. The Church Committee restrictions were largely, if not completely, ignored. But long lists of things-you-couldn't-do were still on the books. After a decade of doing whatever it took, the rules are being enforced again.


One of the more successful operations hurt by this temporary retro thinking was the use of contractors to run Pakistan intel operation. Things were not done by the book, but results were demanded, especially efforts to find Osama bin Laden. Everyone looked the other way while the deed was done. Now Congress is again calling for investigations and “rogue operators” to punish. This sort of thing makes it very difficult to recruit and keep competent spies, even as contractors.


But it's not just paper bullets intelligence operatives have to worry about these days. The post-9/11 world dramatically altered the way that national intelligence services do business. For one, the craft of espionage and military intelligence has become inherently more dangerous for case officers and agents in an age of terrorism and insurgency than it was during the Cold War.


This is a complete turnaround from the way business was done during the Cold War in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. Many case officers on all sides, whether CIA or KGB, served out their entire 20 or 30 year careers as professional spies without ever having touched a firearm after their initial tradecraft courses. After all, getting into gun battles was not their job. Collecting information was. Furthermore, the case officers themselves, often operating under official diplomatic cover, didn't really have anything to fear if they were caught or their covers blown, except a tarnished career and expulsion from whatever country they operated in. The ones in real danger were always the informants, or "assets", that the case officers recruited, who were liable to face execution if they were found out. Simply put, spying really wasn't that dangerous for the case officers during and immediately after the Cold War.


After the War on Terrorism began, the Cold War rules began to rapidly disappear. For one thing, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq, along with most places that CIA officers operate today, are actual war zones with nothing "cold" about them. During traditional peacetime case officers don't really have to worry about their own safety, just that of their informants. Once you get involved with terrorists or an actual shooting war starts, all of that changes, and intelligence officers (whether CIA, or Army Intelligence) become major high-value targets for terrorist and insurgents. Since 2001, over a dozen (the exact number is classified) CIA officers have been killed in the line of duty. In short, the espionage business has gotten far more dangerous in a very short period of time.


This has necessitated a number of dramatic changes in the way the Americans, British, and other professional intelligence services do business where they are needed most (in war zones). For one, the spooks are getting strapped. Case officers working in places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and even Egypt routinely carry handguns everywhere they go to defend themselves should the need arise. During the Cold War this was unnecessary and generally considered a stupid liability since being caught with a weapon would probably get you booted out of the country you operated in. Not anymore.


Besides carrying guns, agencies and case officers are paying extra attention to things like counter-surveillance, disguises, and evasive driving. Carrying a sidearm is necessary for a case officer working in a city like Baghdad, Karachi or Kabul, the truth remains that getting into a gunfight is still the last resort and should be avoided at all costs. Case officers know that the most effective way to avoided being a terrorist target is to avoid following the same routines every day, varying routes to and from work/meetings, never sleeping in the same safe house for too long, and generally making one's life as varied and unpredictable as possible. Experienced spies know that if you can't be found, you can't be a target. The best game plan is to be as invisible as possible. Using contractors to run your informant networks is the best cover of all, unless Congress is looking for someone to prosecute.


Russia is different, as the Russians always had the best spies. This was because of superior recruiting, training, and management. A lot of those spies were cut loose after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, and some of them offered to talk (if the price was right). What these guys revealed was chilling for Western intel agencies, a decades long tale of successful old-school espionage operations. The KGB was so good that most of these ops were not even suspected. But the new information enabled the U.S. to roll up a number of well-placed Russian agents and moles and provide evidence supporting calls for a return to traditional espionage. Congress was still hostile to that and the September 11, 2001 attacks were one result. The current comedy of errors in Russia is another. There will be more.

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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 08:30
Procurement: Iraq Prefers The More Expensive American Stuff


October 29, 2015: Strategy Page


Iraq is buying a lot more armored vehicles. While Russia offers cheaper prices and faster delivery the Iraqis prefer to buy American. Since mid-2014 Iraq has ordered 1,000 armored M1151A1 HMMWVs (hummers) from the United States. Even before ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) captured Mosul in June 2014 Iraq had ordered 200 M1151A1s at a cost of $505,000 each. This included a ring mounted 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine-gun, maintenance equipment, training and warranties. The M1151 is a hummer built to handle the additional weight of armor protection. Thus one of the key changes in the M1151 is a stronger suspension and a larger engine (a 6.5 liter turbo-diesel). This allows the vehicle to easily handle an additional 680 kg (1,500 pounds) of armor. More importantly, the armor is easily installed, or taken off. This allows the hummers to operate more efficiently without the armor when the threat of attack is much reduced. The M1151 also has some armor underneath. This is not a lot of protection against mines and roadside bombs, but it is better than none. The M1151 is basically an armored car, with a crew of four and a payload of one ton (plus two tons that can be towed.) Top speed is 80 kilometers an hour and a max range (on one tank, on roads) of 480 kilometers. All the armored protection is good against 7.62mm machine-guns and rifles, bombs, landmines and nearby bursting shells of up to 155mm. The M1151 hummer also comes with Vehicle Emergency Escape (VEE) Windows. These are bulletproof windows with a latch system. It takes about five seconds to turn the latches and push the window forward. This enables troops to get out of vehicles that have rolled over, or gone into the water, and jammed the doors. If the vehicle catches fire, either from an accident or roadside bomb, the VEE has already proved to be a lifesaver since it was introduced in 2007. The M1151 was developed in 2005 based on experience in Iraq. The M1151A1 has become the preferred HMMWV model in areas where there is a lot of violence.


Iraq has also ordered 175 M1A1 tanks, 15 M88A2 tank recovery vehicles (that can tow disabled M1 tanks off the battlefield) and numerous accessories and support equipment and spare parts. When ISIL made its unexpected advance in 2014 the Iraqi Army had already equipped one of its armored divisions with M-1 tanks. In 2008 Iraq ordered 140 M1A1-SA tanks, along with over a hundred support vehicles (for maintenance and transportation, like 35 tank transporters). The request includes training and technical support, for a total contract cost of over $2 billion. The tanks were delivered by 2011. Since mid-2014 Iraq has lost about a third of their 140 M1s. Some were captured but most were abandoned when damaged or because they broke down and the Iraqis could not get them going again.


The M1A1-SA (Situational Awareness") is equipped with features that the U.S. Army developed in 2006. The M1A1-SA includes the latest thermal (FLIR, or heat sensing) sights, a special engine air filter system developed to deal the abundant sand and dust in Iraq, the telephone on the rear fender, which allows accompanying infantry to communicate with the crew, and numerous small improvements.


There are several items the Iraqi SA tanks will not get, that those used by American troops do have. These include no depleted uranium armor, no ERA (Explosive Reactive Armor) on the absence of some other features meant to protect against anti-tank missiles. Also missing is Blue Force Tracker (a U.S. satellite tracking system that shows the location of all American vehicles and aircraft in the vicinity.)


Iraq is not the first Arab country to operate the M1 tank. Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia already operate over 1,600 of them, and Egypt has built hundreds of them (mainly using components imported from the U.S., but with some locally made parts). All the other Arab users have at least some of the latest model (M1A2 SEP).  The Arab users of the M1 have been very happy with their American tanks. This satisfaction increased when they saw how the M-1 performed in Iraq. While most Arabs deplored U.S. operations there, Arab tank officers and M-1 crewmen were quietly pleased that their tanks appeared invulnerable, and able to assist the infantry in any kind of fight. Iraqi army officers have spoken to fellow Arab officers who have used the M-1, and were told this was the way to go.


Despite the removal of some features, the Iraqis are glad to have their M-1s. Since 2003 Iraqis have been very impressed by the U.S. military. Although the U.S. initially advised the Iraqis to expand upon their use of Russian equipment (which they had been using for over three decades) the Iraqis insisted on adopting U.S. gear and tactics. Thus Iraqi troops wear similar uniforms, and use many identical weapons and items of equipment. Iraqi soldiers, especially the younger ones, imitate American moves to the point that, in the field, U.S. troops sometimes have to look closely to determine if the G.I. down the street is American or Iraqi.

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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 08:20
MC-12 Liberty taking off from Beale AFB, 25 January 2013 photo USAF

MC-12 Liberty taking off from Beale AFB, 25 January 2013 photo USAF


October 25, 2015: Strategy Page


The U.S. Air Force is giving away its 41 RC-12W electronic reconnaissance aircraft. These were acquired by the air force starting in 2008 to deal with the shortage of Predator UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now eleven RC-12Ws are going to the army, 26 to SOCOM and four to another (not named) agency. The air force does not usually give fixed wing aircraft to the army, which is one reason most of the RC-12Ws went to SOCOM. But there was still demand for the RC-12W and the air force is trying to cut expenses.


The MC-12s were quite useful and could stay in the air for up to eight hours per sortie. Not quite what the Predator can do (over 20 hours per sortie) but good enough to help meet the demand. The MC-12 has advantages over UAVs. It can carry over a ton of sensors, several times what a Predator can haul. The MC-12 can fly higher (11 kilometers/35,000 feet) and is faster (over 500 kilometers an hour, versus 215 for the Predator). The MC-12s cost about $20 million each, more than twice what a Predator goes for. The MC-12's crew consists of two pilots and two equipment operators. Since 2009 the air force MC-12Ws flew 79,000 combat sorties averaging about five hours each. The sensors and operators enabled ground troops to kill or capture over 8,000 Islamic terrorists along with hundreds of terrorist hideouts, bomb workshops or storage sites. 


The MC-12 was based on one of the most widely used, but largely unknown, military transport aircraft; the King Air twin-turboprop. There are nearly 300 in military service and it’s not surprising that most people think of the King Air as a civilian aircraft because most of the 6,000 built since the 1960s have been for commercial not military use. Yet over the decades more than a thousand King Airs have been bought, often second-hand by the military because the price was right and the King Air could get the job done.


The U.S. military has often used the King Air for ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance) work as the MC-12 or as transports (the C-12 Huron) and electronic warfare (RC-12) aircraft. There are so many King Airs out there that the military often buys used ones because they are so much cheaper and still get the job done.


The RC-12W electronic warfare version is crammed with vidcams, electronic sensors, jammers, and radios. This aircraft (Ceasar, for Communications Electronic Attack with Surveillance And Reconnaissance) can spend hours circling an Afghan battleground, keeping troops on the ground aware of enemy walkie-talkie and cell phone use, including location of these devices and translations of what is being discussed. The enemy is vaguely aware of what this militarized King Air can do but have no better way to communicate. Thus the few Caesar equipped aircraft sent to Afghanistan have proved very useful for the American and British troops that use them.


Military use of the King Air arose in the United States (where manufacturer Beechcraft is located) in the early 1970s, when the U.S. Army adopted the King Air as the RC-12 and then used it for a wide variety of intelligence missions ever since.


The current King Air 350 is a 5.6 ton, twin engine aircraft that evolved from the first King Airs that showed up in the 1960s as a 5.3 ton aircraft that could carry 13 passengers. In the 1960s a much improved 5.6 ton version called, until the 1990s, the Super King Air was introduced. The Super King Air is simply a slightly larger and more capable version of the original King Air.


The military and civilian users both admired the simplicity and sturdiness of the design. The only other civilian aircraft on the top ten list of military transports is the single engine Cessna 208. Beechcraft and Cessna are now combined into the same light aircraft division of Textron and individual models like the King Air and Cessna 208 will continue to be built and sold under the same names.

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30 octobre 2015 5 30 /10 /octobre /2015 08:20
photo NORAD

photo NORAD


Oct 29, 2015 by NORAD


PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – This morning, recovery operations commenced for the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS) fire control radar system aerostat.

Wednesday, at approximately noon EDT, the aerostat detached from its mooring station at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. Around 4 p.m. EDT the aerostat grounded itself in a rugged, wooded area in northeast Pennsylvania. The aerostat landed in two separate but nearby sections; the tail and main body are separated by a quarter-mile. JLENS personnel in conjuction with Pennsylvania Army National Guard and Pennsylvania State Police secured the site, while a technical recovery team of military and civilian experts from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, deployed to the site.

After the fire control radar system aerostat detatched, the surveillance aerostat was immediately lowered and secured as a precaution.

An emergency operations center has been established in Pennsylvania and the crash sites are being assessed. Recovery efforts are underway.

The Army has initiated an investigation to determine the cause of the incident. There is no indication that it may have been cyber or terrorist-related. The investigation will look at every aspect of how this incident occurred. 

For questions regarding the recovery process contact the Continental U.S. NORAD Region (CONR) at  850-283-8080. For general questions about the incident contact North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Public Affairs.

JLENS is a supporting program of the Army and Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense, providing persistent, over-the-horizon radar surveillance and fire control quality data on Army and Joint Networks.  It enables protection from a wide variety of threats to include manned and unmanned aircraft, cruise missiles, and surface moving targets like swarming boats and tanks. 

NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that provides maritime warning, aerospace warning and aerospace control for Canada and the United States. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.

For more information about NORAD, refer to http://www.norad.mil.

Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/noradnorthcom.

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 22:45
photo EUTM Mali

photo EUTM Mali


29.10.2015 BBC Afrique


L'armée malienne affirme avoir tué sept islamistes présumés mercredi dans la région de Mopti, près de la frontière burkinabè.


Sept djihadistes ont été tués mercredi soir lors d'affrontements avec l'armée malienne dans la région de Mopti, dans le centre du Mali près de la frontière avec le Burkina Faso. Les affrontements se sont déroulés dans une zone boisée à une trentaine de kilomètres de la frontière avec le Burkina Faso, la forêt de Tiébanda, où les islamistes tentaient d'installer une base. Aucune information n'a été communiquée sur l'identité des jihadistes et le mouvement auquel ils appartiennent mais depuis quelques mois, des attaques et autres actes de violences perpétrés dans la région de Mopti ont été attribués au "Front de libération du Macina". Ce groupe, apparu en début d'année dans cette région, est dirigé par le prédicateur radical peul Amadou Koufa, recherché par le Mali. Ces affrontements sont intervenus alors que l'armée malienne a déclenché au début de cette semaine une opération d'envergure dans la région de Mopti visant à "traquer" les jihadistes et assurer la sécurité des biens et des personnes.

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 20:50
 Credit 'The European Union'

Credit 'The European Union'

28-29/10/2015 Brussels - Council of the EU

Main results

The European Union Military Committee met on 28-29 October in chiefs of defence (CHODs) format. Chiefs of defence discussed the EU global strategy, naval operations, training and advisory missions, Ukraine and cooperation with NATO.


"We had an important two day meeting. EU chiefs of defence are committed, engaged, and aware of the challenging international situation"

General de Rousiers, Chairman of the European Union  Military Committee


EU global strategy

Chiefs of defence were briefed by the EEAS Secretary General, Alain Le Roy, on EU Security and Defence matters. He touched upon the EU global strategy on foreign and security policy, the EEAS review. During the discussion some of the CHODs highlighted their activities within the coalition against Da'esh.


CSDP naval operations

The chiefs of defence discussed CSDP military operations and missions with a specific view to their planning and conduct, including force generation, capabilities, support by EDA, crisis cell. CHODs had then an overview of EU actions in the field of migration and an update on ongoing EU naval operations, most importantly EUNAVFOR Med - Operation Sophia and EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta. They had a discussion on the evolution of both missions. The issue of force generation was addressed as well, as a force generation conference for all of our operations including operation Sophia and Atalanta.


CSDP training and advisory missions

In a joint session with chiefs of defence from partner nations contributing to EU CSDP missions, namely Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, and Serbia, CHODs had an in depth discussion on the evolution of the EU training missions and EU military advisory missions in Mali, Central African Republic and Somalia. The Commission highlighted the progress achieved with regard to capacity building for security and development. The CHODs discussed the next steps for all of those missions.



The 28 EU CHODs had also an exchange of views with General Viktor Muzhenko, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on the current situation in the country, with a specific eye on hybrid warfare. General Muzhenko notably highlighted the reorganisation of the Ukrainian armed forces, the needs, and provided his assessment of the situation on the ground.


Hybrid Warfare

Chiefs of defence had an in-depth discussion on hybrid warfare. The director of the intelligence centre (INTCEN) highlighted the board range of hybrid threats focusing mainly on Da'esh, Al-Shabab, Boko-Haram and other terrorist organisations. The CHODs recognised the need for collaboration, noting that intensive work is ongoing.


EU/NATO cooperation

The Chiefs of defence turned then to EU/NATO cooperation, including hybrid warfare, battlegroups certification, capabilities and the Single European Sky. In this context CHODs were briefed by US AFRICOM Commander, General David M. Rodriguez and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) General Sir Adrian Bradshaw. 

As General de Rousiers is due to leave office on 5 November 2015, he introduced and symbolically transferred authority as Chairman of the EUMC to the incoming Chairman General Michail Kostarakos.



Photos and videos of the event

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 18:45
Sangaris : Point de situation au 29 octobre 2015


29/10/2015 Sources : Etat-major des armées


En République Centrafricaine, la situation sécuritaire reste globalement calme mais fragile, avec deux tendances opposées. D’une côté une évolution positive du processus devant mener aux élections – plus de 90% des électeurs ont ainsi été recensés. De l’autre côté, les agissements de ceux dont la perspective d’un règlement de la crise menace leurs intérêts.


À Bangui, des pics de violence localisés continuent de se produire. Pour autant, le dispositif déployé par la Mission multidimensionnelle intégrée de stabilisation des Nations Unies en Centrafrique (MINUSCA) permet de contenir toute escalade de la violence.


Dans ce contexte, tout en poursuivant ses opérations de relève Sangaris maintient ses patrouilles en appui de la MINUSCA.


En province, les regards sont tournés vers le couloir central et sa périphérie où la situation tend vers un retour progressif au calme. Le climat sécuritaire nécessite cependant la vigilance de la MINUSCA appuyée par Sangaris.


En savoir + : lien vers dossier

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 17:56
Les hommes du commando Ponchardier aux commandes de l’Ecume photo M. Denniel – Marine Nationale

Les hommes du commando Ponchardier aux commandes de l’Ecume photo M. Denniel – Marine Nationale


29 Octobre 2015 Source: Marine nationale


À 51 ans, le capitaine de vaisseau Rebour, ancien pacha du commando Hubert et du bâtiment support de nageurs de combat Poséïdon, a quitté son poste d’adjoint pour la défense et la sécurité auprès du major général de la Marine, pour prendre le commandement de la Force maritime des fusiliers marins et commandos le 25 août dernier. Rencontre avec le commandant d’une force en pleine transformation.


COLS BLEUS : Commandant, vous venez de prendre le commandement de la Forfusco. Quel est votre état des lieux ?


CV FRANÇOIS REBOUR : J’ai le bonheur de trouver une force en pleine forme, dans ses deux composantes, ses unités de fusiliers – nos forces spécialisées de la protection-défense de la Marine – et ses unités commandos – nos forces spéciales de la Marine. Les besoins en termes d’action de protection et d’action commandos sont importants. L’activité est dense et les rythmes exigeants. Mais le retour de tous les employeurs opérationnels de la force, Marine ou interarmées, est unanime sur la qualité et l’excellence des marins. J’arrive par ailleurs à un moment clé d’une dynamique générale de consolidation des fondamentaux métiers des fusiliers et des commandos ­ : réforme des fusiliers marins, création du commando Ponchardier, arrivée des nouveaux systèmes tels que l’embarcation commando à usage multiple embarcable (Ecume), le propulseur sous-marins de troisième génération (PSM 3G), l’embarcation de drome opérationnelle de protection nouvelle génération (EDOP NG). Là aussi, l’état-major de la Force, en partenariat avec les autres autorités organiques, les commandants d’arrondissements maritimes et nos employeurs opérationnels, est résolument à la tâche pour relever tous les défis.


C. B. : Quelles sont vos priorités, vos perspectives ?


CV F. R. : Ma priorité la plus immédiate est le renforcement des effectifs de nos unités de fusiliers. C’est fondamental pour réussir la réforme et diminuer la pression sur la ressource. Pour l’heure, l’effort de recrutement et de formation supplémentaire se passe bien. C’est déjà une centaine de fusiliers marins de très bon niveau qui vont, avant la fin de l’année, venir renforcer nos unités. Mais il ne faudra pas baisser la garde. Cet effort général de recrutement, de formation et de fidélisation est nécessaire sur plusieurs années.

Ma perspective générale est l’ambition d’une force qui est fidèle à ses valeurs et à son excellence opérationnelle alors que le monde change, la Marine change, les armées et la Défense changent. Cette ambition est celle d’une Forfusco 3.0 : une force maritime combattante, agile, prête à répondre aux exigences de la décennie à venir comme elle a su le faire par le passé. Au sortir de la guerre froide dans le cadre de la professionnalisation et de la mise en place du commandement des opérations spéciales (COS), du plan Optimar – c’était le temps de la Forfusco 1.0. Dans l’après 11 Septembre 2001, face à une menace terroriste d’un autre ordre, l’engagement en Afghanistan, la piraterie maritime, les narcotrafi­quants transnationaux, l’essor de la mondialisation et avec le plan fusilier et commando 2001, c’était le temps de la Forfusco 2.0.

Les événements terroristes de janvier dernier ont annoncé le début de l’ère de la Forfusco 3.0. Il s’agit dès lors de répondre à un danger terroriste qui a encore muté, à la territorialisation des océans, à la montée des nouvelles formes de confrontations, à la malveillance tout milieu – terre, air, mer, cyber, et utilisant toute la gamme des technologies d’aujourd’hui. Les drones en sont un exemple. Cette force doit, en matière d’action commando et d’action de protection, apporter des réponses militaires renouvelées au large, de la mer vers la terre, sur le littoral et à terre, alors même que la Marine (Horizon 2025) et l’interarmées se transforment aussi : arrivée des FREMM, du Caïman Marine, du Barracuda, projet forces spéciales 2017…


C. B. : La protection des forces (PROFOR) est sous les projecteurs ces derniers mois, quel impact sur les unités de fusiliers marins ?


CV F. R. : Je viens de l’évoquer, les unités de fusiliers marins sont en rodage d’une réforme très profonde en termes d’organisation et d’activités. Désormais, elles béné­ficient d’un cycle opérationnel mieux équilibré d’entraînements et d’engagements opérationnels sur et à l’extérieur du territoire national. Nos unités de fusiliers marins sont engagées dans un éventail plus large d’actions de protection et les conditions de préparation au stage commando ou à d’autres stages qualifi­ant y sont favorisées. Avec la réforme, le métier de fusilier marin a changé de nature et de perspective. Dans une même affectation en groupement de fusiliers marins (GFM), nos jeunes marins pourront tour à tour être engagés pour la protection d’une base navale, participer aux équipes de protection embarquée contre les pirates sur les thoniers en océan Indien et partir en opérations extérieures en appui protection des unités marine déployées en Afrique ou dans le golfe de Guinée…


C. B. : Un nouveau commando marine vient d’être créé, pourquoi ?


CV F. R. : Le commando Ponchardier est l’un des points saillants de l’effort de la Marine en réponse au renforcement des forces spéciales demandé dans le Livre blanc et la loi de programmation militaire réactualisée. Dans la ligne de la création du commando Kieffer en 2008 liée à des besoins de commandement et de renseignement, la Marine, avec Ponchardier, professionnalise totalement l’engagement opérationnel de systèmes d’appui maritime, terrestre, 3D ou d’armes spéciales – aujourd’hui indissociables de l’engagement des autres commandos. Le commando, clairement centré « système d’armes » met en place les conditions de préparation et d’intégration multi-organique, en partenariat avec la Force d’action navale, la Force océanique stratégique et la Force de l’aéronautique navale.


C. B. : Au final, fusiliers marins et commandos marine, deux mondes différents ?


CV F. R. : Évidemment non ! On oublie toujours que fusiliers marins et commandos marine sont les deux faces d’une même médaille et, qu’au-delà d’être un vivier interdépendant, ils partagent un héritage historique, un ADN commun, une « maritimité », une aptitude au combat. Ils sont issus de la même matrice : l’École des fusiliers marins, notre académie des combattants marine pour les forces spéciales et forces spécialisées protection défense. Ils sont tous le fruit de cet exceptionnel écosystème lorientais qui associe capacités de formation, avec l’école, et d’entraînement avec les commandos et le complexe de tir du Linès, l’accès à l’océan, la proximité de l’aéronavale… C’est leur interaction au sein d’une même force qui donne toute la cohérence à l’outil marine de l’action commando et de l’action de protection, une association rare qui nous est souvent enviée, une association précieuse dans un temps historique où intérieur et extérieur, offensif et défensif, maritime et terrestre sont plus que jamais liés. J’entends résolument la renforcer. L’unité est au cœur de la Forfusco 3.0 !

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 17:55
Marche régimentaire de rentrée au 1e RE


08-10-2015 Infos 1er RE Réf : 550 | 426


La traditionnelle marche régimentaire de rentrée s’est déroulée le 22 et 23 septembre entre St-Zacharie et Puyloubier.

Après plus de 25 kilomètres, après des montées interminables, après des panoramas sublimes, des passages à travers champs et à travers vignes, les marchants étaient bien heureux d’apercevoir l’Institution des Invalides de la Légion Etrangère, de s’y arrêter pour la nuit et de bivouaquer autour d’un repas chaud, de quelques rafraichissements et de quelques chants.

La journée du 23 septembre a, quant à elle, été placée au travail au profit des anciens avec quelques travaux réalisés par les légionnaires du 1er Etranger.

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 17:50
Soldats français du SEA et américains 515th Transportation Company côte à côte durant TJ15

Soldats français du SEA et américains 515th Transportation Company côte à côte durant TJ15


28 octobre, 2015 Nathan Gain (FOB)


Depuis une semaine, plus de 36 000 soldats issus de 28 nations membres de l’OTAN et 9 pays partenaires sont engagés dans le plus grand exercice militaire allié de la décennie. Mobilisant plus de 140 avions, 7 sous-marins et 60 navires, Trident Juncture 2015 (TJ15) aura lieu jusqu’au 6 novembre prochain en Espagne, Italie et au Portugal. À ce titre, il s’agit du plus vaste exercice militaire allié depuis « Strong Resolve », mené en 2002 en Pologne et en Norvège.


Trident Juncture répond à quatre objectifs majeurs pour les forces de l’OTAN, à commencet par tester et certifier le « Joint Force Command Force Brunssum », état-major situé aux Pays-Bas et appelé à prendre les commandes de la force de réaction de l’OTAN (NRF) en 2016. TJ15 servira également à tester la nouvelle « Very High Readiness Joint Task Force » (ou VJTF). Fer de lance de la NRF, la VJTF doit assurer le déploiement d’une brigade de combat de 5000 hommes en l’espace de quelques jours. Enfin, cet exercice d’envergure permettra aux forces engagées de s’exercer aux missions ISR conjointes en utilisant les technologies de pointe en usage dans les armées alliées ; ainsi que d’améliorer l’interopérabilité des forces spéciales et la réalisation d’opérations maritimes complexes.


Les forces armées françaises participent à cet exercice considéré comme « indispensable à l’entretien et au perfectionnement de notre capacité d’engagement en interalliés », rappelle le ministère de la Défense. Ainsi, les composantes aériennes, navales et terrestres seront présentes, grâce au déploiement de 3 Mirage 2000-5, un détachement de défense aérienne [oeuvrant sur Crotale NG et SAMP/T], un détachement TOC APOD, la frégate légère furtive Surcouf, le bâtiment de commandement et de ravitaillement Somme et le chasseur de mines tripartite Sagittaire, » précise le ministère de la Défense. L’armée de Terre est particulièrement attendue pour son expertise en matière de soutien logistique opérationnel, et prendra à ce titre le commandement d’une unité multinationale de soutien pétrolier composée d’unités lituaniennes, américaines, britanniques, espagnoles et italiennes et armée par le SEA. Une section de soldats français spécialisés en matière de guerre électronique opérera également au sein du « Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff », basé en Grande-Bretagne.


Rappelons que la France, par l’intermédiaire du Général Denis Mercier, est en charge de l’un des deux commandements majeurs de l’OTAN, à savoir le Commandement allié Transformation (SACT). En charge de l’amélioration des missions d’entraînement et des capacités, et de la mise en place des doctrines communes aux pays membres, le Général Mercier et le SACT sont donc à la fois au cœur et à la base d’un exercice tel que TJ15.


Certes, l’engagement de la France au sein de ces manœuvres reste modeste, mais il reste symboliquement fort pour un pays dont l’engagement opérationnel soutenu sur les théâtres d’OPEX et national nécessité la mobilisation de l’ensemble de ses forces vives.

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 17:50
Increasing awareness of European Armament Cooperation


Brussels - 27 October, 2015 European Defense Agency


From 27 to 29 October 2015, an Awareness Level Module of the European Armament Cooperation Course (EAC) is taking place at the European Defence Agency’s premises. Organised by the European Defence Agency (EDA), the European Security and Defence College (ESDC) and the Austrian Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Sports, the course has attracted the highest number of attendees in its four-year history. Forty-six enrolled students represent thirteen EDA Member States, the European Commission, European External Action Service (EEAS) and Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR). 


The aim of the EAC course is to enhance mutual understanding of the armaments cooperation issues and to serve as a useful networking platform to foster and harmonise armaments cooperation among the Member States. Most of all, it addresses junior personnel who need to gain knowledge and experience in international acquisition and project management. The course also complements the curriculums of available national courses. “We believe that the practitioners who work in national and international armament cooperation can highly profit from the course. We are able to provide them with practical knowledge and understanding of the armament sector along with its frameworks, the stakeholders’ tools and processes as well as challenges and benefits available at the EU level,” says Massimo Guasoni, the EDA Head of Unit Education, Training & Exercise.


Towards Europe’s strategic autonomy 

Rini Goos, the EDA Deputy Chief Executive, welcomed the course participants and, in his speech, he pointed out the key elements for European strategic autonomy and freedom of action: “Apart from working on capabilities, first of all, we must strive to enhance investment in traditional defence research, particularly in collaborative Research & Technology. Secondly, we need a sound European industrial policy. Thirdly, I would like to mention standardisation: a pan-European standardisation approach is the key to increase European competiveness on a global scale and to strengthen the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base Strategy; it is also the main driver for interoperability. And last but not least, civil-military ‘dual-use’ synergies need to be better exploited. It is only if we move ahead along these four strands of work that Europe will be able to attain strategic autonomy and become a security provider rather than a security consumer”.  


Dr Wolfgang Sagmeister from the Austrian MOD being the Course Director will make sure that all the course objectives will have been met. The topics on the agenda are much varied and include the presentations of the EDA and the ESDC; military dimension of the Common Security and Defence Policy; EU military capability development along with the EDA Capability Development Plan, current trends in military defence capability development; intercultural aspects in international cooperation; EU Defence policies in a wider context, and other.  

The EAC course traditionally comprises two parts: an Awareness Level Module taking place in Brussels, and an Expert Level Course, which will be held from 23 to 27 November 2015 in Warsaw, Poland. However, in order to attend the course, it is mandatory to complete an Internet-based Distant Learning (IDL) module offered by the ESDC. 


Shaping an educational platform

Since 2006, the EDA had been working towards establishing a proper training frame in response to the growing needs for harmonised education in the armament acquisition field. In 2009, the Czech Republic’s EU Presidency supported the creation of a new European armaments cooperation course, providing an EU-wide training platform where a common understanding of a European approach to armaments cooperation could be promoted. The EDA Member States welcomed the initiative and later that year the EDA Steering Board, in the National Armaments Directors configuration, approved the top-level European Armaments Cooperation (EAC) Framework, under which the current course was established.

In 2013, thanks to the initiative of Austria and other like-minded countries, including the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, the course took its current form. It followed the success of the pilot European Armaments Cooperation Course organised in Brussels and Stadtschlaining in 2012.


More information:

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 12:55
Journée nationale du réserviste 2016


09/10/2015 Actualités réserves


La Journée nationale du réserviste 2016 aura pour thème : "Une nouvelle réserve militaire pour de nouvelles menaces". Elle se déroulera sur la période allant du 7 mars au 2 avril 2016.


Plus d'informations sur la JNR 2016 dans les prochaines semaines.

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 12:55
photo DCSSA

photo DCSSA


16/10/2015  Service de santé des armées


Le 8 octobre, la deuxième journée d’information initiale des réservistes citoyens du SSA, couplée cette année avec la journée de formation des nouveaux coordonnateurs régionaux et nationaux de la réserve, a rassemblé cinquante et un réservistes de toute la France.


Composée de collaborateurs bénévoles, agréés en raison de leurs compétences, de leur expérience, mais aussi de leur intérêt pour les questions relevant de la défense nationale, la réserve citoyenne a pour mission principale de contribuer à la diffusion de l'esprit de défense et au renforcement du lien armées-Nation. Employés notamment dans le cadre d'actions de communication et de relations publiques favorisant l'esprit de défense, la contribution au devoir de mémoire et l'aide au recrutement, les réservistes citoyens sont devenus au fil des années les acteurs incontournables du rayonnement des armées.

Suite de l’artilcle

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 12:55
La bourse des emplois de la réserve sur SIREM


09/10/2015 16:02 Monde de la réserve


En service depuis la journée nationale du réserviste du 27 mars 2015, la bourse des emplois de la réserve (BdER) propose plusieurs centaines d'offres d'emploi, mises en ligne par les armées et services interarmées à l'intention des réservistes opérationnels.


Pour y accéder, rendez-vous sur le Site Interarmées des Réserves Militaires (SIREM)


Puis cliquez sur le pictogramme BdER qui apparait en haut à droite de votre écran.


La recherche s'effectue soit en sélectionnant un ou plusieurs des critères proposés, soit simplement en cliquant sur un département ou une collectivité d'outre-mer de la carte affichée.

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 12:45
photo 2e REI - Légion Etrangère

photo 2e REI - Légion Etrangère


23-10-2015 par 2e REI Réf : 383 | 402


Du 24 au 26 septembres 2015, les militaires des Forces Françaises en Côte d’Ivoire (FFCI) ont reçu la visite de Jean-Paul Fournier, sénateur maire de la ville de Nîmes et membre à la Haute Assemblé de la commission des Affaires étrangères et de la Défense.


Mr Fournier a profité de sa visite officielle à Abidjan au sein des FFCI, afin d’aller à la rencontre du groupement tactique interarmes (GTIA) précisément armé par le 2ème Régiment étranger d’infanterie.


Mr Fournier a, le temps de quelques heures, laissé de côté sa casquette de membre à la Haute Assemblé de la commission des Affaires étrangères et de la Défense pour revêtir celle de maire de la ville de Nîmes où le régiment est basé.


Ces chaleureuses retrouvailles qui sont l’illustration des étroites relations nouées au fil des ans entre le 2ème REI et la mairie de Nîmes, se sont déroulées sur le camp de Lomo Nord, une emprise des FFCI située à environ 200km au Nord-Ouest d’Abidjan. Le maire de la capitale gardoise a ainsi pu, se retrouver au contact des légionnaires qui étaient alors en pleine campagne de tirs.


Mr Fournier s’est dit très impressionné par la « motivation et le professionnalisme » dont font preuve les militaires français en Côte d’Ivoire. Enfin, il s’est montré particulièrement fier de retrouver dans un cadre opérationnel les légionnaires de sa garnison.

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 12:30
photo IAF

photo IAF


27.10.2015 Tal Giladi, Zohar Boneh, Nadav Shaham & Eliyah Levitan - IAF


The threat of UAV’s became substantial in Operation “Protective Edge". The Air Control Division, responsible for discovering the threat and the “Patriot” Division responsible for its interception are preparing for the new threat

The "Patriot" SAM Division, a part of the Air Defense Division, responsible for protecting Israel's airspace from hostile aircraft. During Operation "Protective Edge", the "Patriot" batteries successfully intercepted two hostile UAVs that penetrated Israeli airspace.

"Following the operation, the division's focus was turned to the UAV threat", said Lieutenant Roy Dgani, "Patriot" Division Officer. "The "Patriot" system is very efficient when dealing with UAV penetration".

Following the Operation in the passing summer, the division's yearly training program was remodeled, as were the qualifications. "Specific UAV discovery training was added to the division's combat soldiers qualification", mentioned Lieutenant Dgani, "The cadets will learn how to differentiate between a friendly UAV and a hostile one, with the help of a specific system and other criteria".

When it comes to training exercises, in the past year since the division's interceptions they have doubled in number. Moreover, the cooperation with various squadrons, mostly combat squadrons has strengthened significantly and is considered an integral part of the soldiers training exercises.

"The batteries routine has changed, we have changed the procedures in order to suit the current situation and to cope with the modern threats", shared Lieutenant Dgani about the perceptual change in the division.


photo IAF

photo IAF

Discovery Abilities will also Improve

The Air Control Division, which is responsible for the supervision of all air traffic and specifically the supervision of aerial forces in operational activity, the management of the aerial space and assistance in its protection, is improving its readiness to cope with the changing arena.

The division has began the examination of the procurement of a new radar for the regional control units, that will be suited to face the future challenges that the Air Force will face in the next few years, with the most relevant being the UAV threat.

"The new radar will be a strategic asset to the state of Israel", declared Major Ronen, The Head of the Radar Department.

The radar will contain improved and more precise recognition and classification abilities than its predecessor (it can better differentiate civil aircraft and hostile UAVs). The ability to correct malfunctions will improve and by utilizing modern networks the efficiency of data transfer between the radars and the regional control units will improve.

"When designing the new radar, we are considering the next 20 years" said Major Ronen.

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 08:55
Mission humanitaire en zone dangereuse : L’École du génie prépare des étudiants de l'UCO


26.10.2016 Armée de Terre


Mission humanitaire en zone dangereuse : L’École du génie prépare des étudiants de l'UCO les 28 et 29 octobre 2015


Deux journées de sensibilisation intitulées : « mission en zone post-conflictuelle : mode d’emploi » au profit des étudiants du master I et II «conflictualités et médiation» de l’Université Catholique de l'Ouest (UCO/IALH) seront organisées par le Centre National de Déminage Humanitaire (CNDH) de l’École du génie.


Objectif de la formation : permettre à des étudiants qui partiront avec une ONG en Afrique d'être sensibilisé sur les zones conflictuelles grâce au savoir-faire du génie.


Au programme : maîtriser ses déplacements en zone à risque, réagir face à une situation présentant un danger, acquérir les réflexes qui sauvent…


Encadrés par les spécialistes militaires de l’École du génie, les étudiants seront évalués sur leurs capacités à observer, identifier, rendre compte et décider en situation de crise.

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 08:55
Dossier Conférence internationale Climat et défense (14 oct. 2015)

 27/10/2015 par DGRIS


En amont de la COP21 qui se déroulera à Paris à compter du 30 novembre prochain, le ministère de la défense a organisé, avec le soutien du Sénat, une conférence internationale sur les enjeux des changements climatiques en matière de sécurité internationale et leurs impacts sur les politiques de défense des États.

Elle s'est tenu le 14 octobre 2015 à Paris, à l’École Militaire.

Pour la première fois au niveau international, cette conférence a permis aux plus hautes autorités de défense de nombreux pays de s’exprimer sur les risques et les menaces que peuvent exacerber les changements climatiques ainsi que sur les mesures prises par la Défense pour contribuer aux politiques publiques de développement durable.

Elle a réuni de nombreux ministres de la défense issus de l’ensemble des régions du monde, de hauts responsables des organisations internationales et régionales ainsi que des parlementaires et des experts académiques.


En savoir plus

> Interview

3 questions à M. Nicolas Regaud, conseiller auprès du directeur des relations internationales et de la stratégie du ministère de la Défense, organisateur de la conférence


> Le dossier du participant (pdf)

  • Éditorial du ministre de la Défense
  • Enjeux par table-ronde
  • Programme
  • Ressources bibliographiques


> Les discours en ligne (vidéos)

  • Discours d’ouverture de M. Laurent Fabius, ministre des affaires étrangères et du développement international
  • Intervention de M. Nicolas Hulot, envoyé spécial du président de la République pour la protection de la planète
  • Intervention de Mme Ségolène Royal, ministre de l’écologie, du développement durable et de l’énergie
  • Intervention de S.E. Smaïl CHERGUI, commissaire à la paix et à la sécurité de l’Union africaine
  • Discours de clôture de M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, ministre de la Défense


> L'intégralité des tables rondes (vidéos)

  • Table ronde n°1 : Pression sur les ressources naturelles et sécurité alimentaire
  • Table ronde n°2 : Événements climatiques extrêmes et sécurité humaine
  • Table ronde n°3 : Quelles implications pour la politique de défense
  • Table ronde n°4 : La défense verte, la voie à suivre ?
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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 08:55
photo 4e RE

photo 4e RE


15-10-2015 4e RE Réf : 528 | 599




Mardi 13 octobre, a eu lieu la remise de képis aux légionnaires de la 3e compagnie d’engagés volontaires du 4e régiment étranger de Castelnaudary.


Suite à une marche de 50 km avec charge, qui s’est déroulée du camp de Souge au Cap Ferret en 48 heures, les légionnaires se sont vu remettre le symbolique képi blanc. C’est une soixantaine de légionnaires de 35 nationalités différentes qui entrent ainsi dans la prestigieuse famille de la Légion étrangère et embrassent les valeurs de la France.


La cérémonie a été précédée d’une aubade de la Musique de la Légion étrangère et s’est déroulée en présence de l’association des Anciens de la Légion étrangère de Bordeaux, soulignant l’importance du lien intergénérationnel.


Un grand merci à la mairie de Bordeaux pour son accueil de très haute qualité.

photo 4e REphoto 4e REphoto 4e RE
photo 4e RE

photo 4e RE

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 08:55
Baptême de promotion à l’École de santé des armées

05/10/2015 par DCSSA


Le samedi 3 octobre 2015, la promotion 2014 des étudiants en médecine de l’École de santé des armées (ESA) de Lyon-Bron a été baptisée du nom « Médecins de la Grande guerre » au cours d’une cérémonie présidée par le médecin général inspecteur Patrick Godart, directeur central adjoint du Service de santé des armées (SSA).

Ce baptême de promotion est l'un des événements les plus importants de la scolarité des santards (élèves de l’ESA). Traditionnellement, il a lieu aux alentours de la Saint Luc, patron du Service de santé des armées, qui a lieu le 18 octobre

Lauréats du concours de première année, les 93 élèves de la promotion 2014 ont choisi comme nom « Médecins de la Grande guerre», rendant ainsi hommage à des figures emblématiques du Service de santé des armées. Il s’agit désormais pour les jeunes élèves d’inscrire leurs pas dans ceux de leurs illustres parrains qui, il y a 100 ans, ont été engagés sur le front.


Baptême de promotion à l’École de santé des armées Baptême de promotion à l’École de santé des armées

L’Ecole de santé des armées (ESA)

Unique centre de formation initiale des médecins et des pharmaciens des armées depuis le 2 juillet 2011, l’École de santé des armées  accueille près de 650 élèves. La durée de formation pour les médecins est de 9 à 11 ans dont 6 ans passés à la fois à l’ESA et à la faculté de médecine de Lyon. Pour les pharmaciens, vétérinaires et dentistes, 6 ans de formation sont nécessaires.

En 2016, l’ESA accueillera les élèves de l’École du personnel paramédical des armées (EPPA) de Toulon.

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 08:45
photo EUTM Mali

photo EUTM Mali


23 October 2015 by EUTM Mali


Les principaux acteurs de l’EUTM Mali sont les instructeurs et les conseillers. Les membres du Quartier Général sont  aussi essentiels. Mais tous ces hommes et ces femmes ne pourraient rien faire s’ils devaient s’occuper eux-mêmes de leur sécurité. Cette mission est dévolue à des unités de Force Protection, et ils font parfaitement leur travail.


La Mission Européenne d’Entraînement au Mali (EUTM Mali) a deux piliers fondamentaux :  le conseil et l’instruction. Tous les membres de la mission participent à leur succès. La sécurité est un enjeu fondamental pour ces soldats. En effet, on ne peut travailler de la meilleure façon que  quand on sait que quelqu’un protège ses arrières.


La sécurité est la mission permanente des deux unités de Force Protection de l’EUTM Mali. Ces unités sont différentes dans leur constitution et dans leur mission. Ainsi, l’unité de Force Protection tchèque sert à Bamako tandis que la Compagnie de Force Protection belgo-espagnole veille sur Koulikoro. L’Unité de Force Protection tchèque à Bamako a en charge la sécurité dans le Quartier Général de la mission. Ils contrôlent l’accès et les alentours de l’hôtel. Ils sont notamment formés à stopper tout type d’attaque. Tous les membres sont des soldats tchèques ; la plupart d’entre eux viennent du 41ème bataillon mécanisé (41. Mechanizovaný Prapor), situé à Žatec. Pour maintenir leurs capacités au meilleur niveau, ils réalisent régulièrement des exercices de tir, et pratiquent différents sports. Ils sont  ainsi en forme et prêts à toute éventualité.


La Compagnie de Force Protection (FP) belgo-espagnole est plus nombreuse, car ses missions sont plus diversifiées. Les soldats belges viennent du Bataillon ISTAR (Bataillon de Chasseurs à Cheval), situé dans le Haverlee. Les Espagnols viennent de la Brigade d’Infanterie des îles Canaries. Tous doivent assurer la sécurité des instructeurs où qu’ils soient. C’est pourquoi leur quantité de travail est parfois très élevée. Ils ont en charge une partie de la sécurité du Centre de formation de Koulikoro (en anglais Koulikoro Training Centre, KTC), bien que les Forces Armées Maliennes (FAMa) soient les principaux acteurs dans cette tâche. De plus, lorsque la formation est effectuée en dehors des installations de KTC, la compagnie FP assure la protection des formateurs.  Ainsi, les instructeurs peuvent se concentrer sur la formation avec la certitude qu’ils sont bien protégés.


Suite de l'article

photo EUTM Maliphoto EUTM Mali
photo EUTM Maliphoto EUTM Mali

photo EUTM Mali

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29 octobre 2015 4 29 /10 /octobre /2015 08:45
Landward force makes up over half of SANDF strength


27 October 2015 by defenceWeb


The SA Army is by far the largest arm of service in the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), providing more than forty thousand of the force’s total strength of 78,011. This was at the end of the 2014/15 financial year with the two other combat arms of service – the SA Air Force (10,443) and SA Navy (7,575) – between them contributing less than half the landward force’s 40,215.


Other large contributors to the March 31, 2015 actual strength of 78,011 are the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) with 8,145, the Logistics Division with 3,094, Joint Operations Division with 1,966 and the Military Police Division with 1,609.


The Department of Defence and the SANDF had 1,455 people employed in its Human Resources Division at the end of the 2014/15 financial year.


The Financial Management Division had 832 people keeping a weather eye on defence spend while the Defence Inspectorate Division, charged with ensuring rules and regulations are strictly adhered to, could call on the services of 125 people. Internal Audit had the services of 32 people for its work.


The personnel strength at Defence Intelligence was 884.


The Defence Policy, Strategy and Planning Division could call on the specialist knowledge of 91 people complemented by the 29 people in Military Policy, Strategy and Planning.


Three hundred and ninety people were on the strength of Defence Legal Services and its satellite offices at March 31 this year while 460 people worked in the Corporate Staff Division.


Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, had a staff complement of 73 and Secretary for Defence, Dr Sam Gulube, had 43 people working in his secretariat.


The remainder of posts in the DoD/SANDF structure fall into categories including the Chaplain General, (18) Corporate Communication (53), Defence Reserves (27), Defence Foreign Relations (148), The Office of the SANDF Chief (19), Defence International Affairs (17), Command and Management Information Systems Division (140), Defence Materiel Division (83) and the Military Ombudsman (45).

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