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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 11:50
Important Bundeswehr order


Aug 8, 2014 ASDNews Source : Rheinmetall AG


Rheinmetall Defence to operate the German Army Combat Training Centre for a further four years


Rheinmetall AG of Düsseldorf has won a major service contract from the German Bundeswehr worth around €70 million. Through to 2018, the Group will be responsible for providing contractor support for the complete exercise and training operations of one of the world’s most advanced military training facilities, the German Army Training Centre (GÜZ) in the Altmark region of Saxony-Anhalt.


As the current service contract with Rheinmetall expires on 31 August 2014, the request for tenders for contractor support covered the four-year period starting 1 September 2014. Building on the Group’s successful track record in providing contractor support for the GÜZ, Rheinmetall’s proposal convinced the Bundeswehr to renew the contract, which has now been signed with Germany’s Federal Agency for Procurement, Information Technology and In-Service Support of the Bundeswehr.


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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 11:50
German General Takes Key Post in US Army Europe

Gen. Markus Laubenthal is the first German officer to be assigned to US Army Europe. He is the command's new chief of staff. (US Army Europe)


Jul. 31, 2014 – Defense News (AFP)


BERLIN — A German army general has for the first time been appointed chief of staff to work with the commander of US ground forces in Europe, both countries’ militaries said Thursday.


Brig. Gen. Markus Laubenthal will serve as “the right-hand man” to Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell Jr., who commands more than 37,000 US Army Europe (USAREUR) personnel from headquarters in the central city of Wiesbaden, said Germany’s defense ministry.


“This is a bold and major step forward in USAREUR’s commitment to operating in a multinational environment with our German allies,” said Campbell in a statement on Laubenthal’s appointment starting next week.


After both countries had for years served together in Afghanistan, “sustaining the shared capability from this experience will benefit both US and German armies,” Campbell said in a statement.


Laubenthal, previously the commander of Germany’s 12th Armored Brigade, has also served as chief of staff for ISAF Regional Command North in Afghanistan and as a Kosovo Force assistant chief of staff.


The appointment comes at a time when Berlin-Washington relations have been tarnished by allegations of US spying on its ally, which led Germany to expel the CIA station chief earlier this month.

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 11:45
Nigerian Air Force receives King Airs


08 August 2014 by defenceWeb


The Nigerian Air Force has taken delivery of three King Air light transport aircraft and has reportedly ordered 40 new helicopters as it continues its expansion.


The three King Air 350is were seen transiting the Canary Islands during their delivery flight on July 30. The aircraft were acquired “in line with the transformation agenda of the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the Armed Forces [of the] Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,” the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said in a statement.


The aircraft were handed over to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, by Scott Plumb, the Vice President Sales, Middle East, Textron Aviation Austria, at the 209 Executive Airlift Group’s Hangar at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja.


Amosu stated that the acquisition of the King Airs will go a long way in boosting the airlift capacity of the NAF. “It will also go down memory lane that the entire aircraft in the NAF inventory were all reactivated under the present administration.” Amosu said that additional platforms were expected in the future.


“We are happy with the operations branch of the Service, our training is going on well and it will continue so. We need to be ready for training and retraining with a desire to appropriately sustain the system,” he added.


Regarding training, the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology (NAFIT) has apparently developed a light trainer aircraft called Farawa 2. NAFIT chief Air Vice Marshal Toni Adokwu this week made the revelation during a graduation ceremony at the institute, reports the Daily Trust.


“Currently, the NAF is faced with the challenge of high unserviceablility status of its primary trainer aircraft, the Air Beetle aircraft, which is equally a light trainer aircraft. Some of the problems associated with the aircraft include the high engine temperature and uncomfortable seats for instructors and student pilots. We believe the design and construction of this new trainer aircraft would address some of the challenges and ultimately address the issue of aircraft unserviceability,” Adokwu said.


Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has apparently ordered 40 helicopters for attack and transport duties from the United States and Russia. This Day said the helicopters could start arriving as early as this month and the remainder could arrive by the end of the year.


"The arrival of the weaponry before the end of the year will be a game changer as it will help to ensure successful execution of the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, especially against the Boko Haram terrorists,” This Day quoted a source in the Presidency as saying.


It was earlier reported that Nigeria is receiving two helicopter gunships, most likely Mi-35s. The Nigerian Budget Office this year allocated funds for six Mi-35M helicopters.

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 11:40
Ukraine: Kiev équipe son armée de gilets défectueux (Parquet)


KIEV, 9 août - RIA Novosti


Le Parquet général d'Ukraine a accusé des anciens fonctionnaires du ministère de la Défense d'avoir acheté pour l'armée des gilets pare-balle défectueux pour la somme de 71 millions de hryvnias (5,6 millions de dollars), entraînant ainsi des dizaines de blessés et de morts chez les militaires, annonce le site du Parquet.


"Du 21.03.2014 au 30.05.2014, les anciens fonctionnaires haut placés du ministère de la Défense ont organisé l'achat de 17.080 gilets pare-balle de modification légère pour la somme de plus de 71 millions de hryvnias", indique le Parquet.


"Suite à la non-conformité des gilets aux normes de sécurité, au moins 67 militaires des forces armées de l'Ukraine ont reçu des blessures au cou et à l'aine, dont certaines mortelles", souligne le Parquet.


Auparavant, le Parquet a annoncé une enquête criminelle contre des fonctionnaires du ministère de la Défense et de l'état-major général qui avaient retardé la livraison de casques et de gilets pare-balle pour  les militaires participant à l'opération spéciale dans l'est de l'Ukraine. Près de 200 militaires ukrainiens ont été blessés à la tête suite à ce retard de 2,5 mois.

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 11:35
India, US to Boost Ties


Aug. 8, 2014 - By VIVEK RAGHUVANSHI – Defense News


NEW DELHI — The top Indian and US defense acquisition officials will work together to foster joint defense projects, the governments said Friday.


No such project has been announced since the two governments created the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) in 2012, which aimed to boost cooperation and reduce red tape.


The announcement came after a meeting here between Indian Defense Minister Arun Jaitely and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, whose visit has also included meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.


In a press release, Defence Ministry officials said, “With co-development and co-production of defense products in mind, India and the United States today agreed to take the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) forward. The contact person from the Indian side will be the Secretary, Department of Defense Production and the United States will be represented by, the Under Secretary for Acquisition, Technology and Licensing at the Pentagon.”


Frank Kendall is the current US defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.


A defense analyst said India’s efforts to co-produce arms and defense gear with the US have been notably slower than that with Israel and Russia.


“The eagerness to transfer of technology by United States to India has been the stumbling block in boosting these ties,” said Nitin Mehta

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 11:30
Une combattante kurde de Ras Al-Ayn. Photo Hamid Mesud

Une combattante kurde de Ras Al-Ayn. Photo Hamid Mesud


07/08/2014 par Hamid Mesud - observers.france24.com


L’armée kurde de Syrie, appelée Unités de défense du peuple (YPG), combat aujourd’hui les djihadistes de l’État islamique en Irak et au Levant (EIIL) aussi bien en Irak qu’en Syrie. Cette milice s’appuie notamment sur de nombreuses femmes combattantes, avec lesquelles notre Observateur a passé plusieurs jour sur la ligne de front au Kurdistan syrien.


Le régime de Bachar al-Assad a depuis longtemps perdu tout contrôle sur le Kurdistan syrien, dans le nord du pays. Cette région est le théâtre de combats violents, depuis fin 2012, entre les djihadistes de l’EIIL et le YPG. Des femmes kurdes participent en grand nombre aux combats contre les djihadistes. Elles constitueraient près de 40 % de cette force estimée à 40 000 combattants.


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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 11:20
Submarine North Dakota Completes 1st Voyage


Aug 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : General Dynamics Corporation


The nation's newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, North Dakota (SSN-784), returned to the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard Tuesday following the successful completion of its first voyage in open seas, called alpha sea trials. North Dakota is the 11th ship of the Virginia Class, the most capable class of attack submarines ever built. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).


North Dakota's alpha sea trials included a range of submarine and propulsion-plant operations, submerging for the first time, and high-speed runs on and below the surface to demonstrate that the ship's propulsion plant is fully mission-capable.


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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 11:20
Austal Launches Montgomery - LCS 8 Second of Austal's Ten-Ship Littoral Combat Ship contract


Aug 7, 2014 ASDNews Source : Austal Ltd.


On August 6, 2014, Austal USA successfully completed the launch of the future USS Montgomery (LCS 8). The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a fast, agile, focused-mission platform designed for operation in near-shore environments yet capable of open-ocean operation. This vessel is the second of ten 127-meter Independence-variant LCS class ships Austal has been contracted to build for the U.S. Navy as prime contractor subsequent to a $3.5 billion block buy in 2010.


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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 10:55
photo Marine Nationale

photo Marine Nationale


08.08.2014 par Philippe Chapleau - Lignes de Défense


Le cotre Mutin de la marine nationale fait escale à Paimpol (Bassin 1), de ce vendredi 8 août au lundi 11 août . Il sera ouvert aux visites de la population vendredi, samedi 9 août et dimanche 10 août, de 10h à 12h et de 14h à 17h.


Affecté à l’école de pilotage de Saint-Servan, près de Saint-Malo, le cotre Mutin participe jusqu’en 1964 à la formation des pilotes de la flotte à l’exception d’une période d’activité en Méditerranée, de 1939 à 1946, due aux évènements de la seconde guerre mondiale.


Depuis 1964, il est affecté à l’école navale et c’est en 1976 qu’un grand carénage a permis à ce vieux gréement de retrouver une nouvelle jeunesse.

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 09:20
Obama : « Nous ne laisserons pas les djihadistes créer un califat en Syrie et en Irak »


09.08.2014  Le Monde.fr (Reuters)


Barack Obama déclare ne pas exclure un usage élargi des frappes militaires en Irak pour aider à combattre les djihadistes de l'Etat islamique (EI) mais demande d'abord aux dirigeants politiques irakiens de trouver une manière de travailler ensemble, dans une interview au New York Times publiée vendredi 8 août.

Le président américain a autorisé jeudi l'armée américaine à procéder à des frappes « ciblées » contre les combattants de l'EI dans le nord de l'Irak, une opération limitée conçue pour prévenir, selon ses termes, un éventuel « génocide » de minorités religieuses et protéger les Américains qui travaillent dans le pays.


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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 08:45
Des Black Hawks pour la Tunisie, un choix judicieux?


09.08.2014 secretdifa3.com


Bien qu’étant un pays connu (même par le passé) par une gestion rigoureuse de ses importations stratégiques, la Tunisie n’a jamais eu de véritable expérience dans les acquisitions complexes en armement. Mis à part le C130J et la flotte de C130 à l’époque, la Tunisie n’a enregistrée que peu de transactions majeures ces 30 dernières années.

Client habitué, et bien avisé d’ailleurs, des EDA (Excess Defense Articles) qui sont les surplus Américains, l’armée tunisienne s’attaque à une grosse commande qui est celle d’un escadron d’hélicoptères de transport et semble cette fois sur le point de commettre une belle erreur en privilégiant l’achat de 12 hélicoptères Américains UH-60 Black Hawks.


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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 08:30
Nouveau largage de vivres dans le nord de l'Irak par les Etats-Unis


09.08.2014 Romandie.com (ats)


L'aviation américaine a procédé à un nouveau parachutage d'aide humanitaire à destination d'Irakiens sous la menace des djihadistes dans le nord de l'Irak, a annoncé le Pentagone. Comme la nuit précédente, de l'eau et des rations militaires ont été larguées dans les montagnes de Sinjar.


L'opération a impliqué trois avions de transport C-17 et C-130 ayant décollé de différentes bases. Ils ont été escortés par deux chasseurs F-18 du porte-avions USS George H.W. Bush qui croise dans le Golfe.


"A ce jour, en coordination avec le gouvernement irakien, l'aviation américaine a fourni 36'224 rations alimentaires et 6822 gallons d'eau potable (25'000 litres environ)", précise le Pentagone.


Des dizaines de milliers de yazidis se sont réfugiés dans les montagnes de Sinjar pour échapper aux islamistes. Cette région est le berceau ancestral des Yazidis, un culte monothéiste vieux de plusieurs millénaires dont les adeptes sont considérés comme des "adorateurs du diable" par les extrémistes sunnites de l'Etat islamique.


Un autre type de matériel a été livré aux peshmergas, les forces kurdes, à Erbil, capitale de la région autonome du Kurdistan irakien. Un avion de transport C-130 du gouvernement irakien y a acheminé des munitions pour des petits calibres. D'autres livraisons pourraient suivre pour répondre aux demandes des Kurdes, qui réclament notamment des mortiers et des fusils d'assaut AK-47.


Les Etats-Unis s'efforcent de faciliter de futures livraisons, a déclaré un responsable américain. L'administration Obama travaille en coopération avec le gouvernement irakien pour que ces équipements militaires soient livrés "aussi vite que possible", a ajouté ce responsable.

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 08:30
As Strikes Begin in Iraq, Many Options for Pentagon

Although considered less pinpoint than its fast-jet cousins, the A-10 could also play a role in what may be its last military campaign before the Air Force retires the plane. Proponents of the plane say its ability to get low to the ground could help prevent civilian casualties in a situation where the insurgent population may be mixing with non-combatants. (US Air Force)


Aug. 8, 2014 - By AARON MEHTA – Defense News


WASHINGTON — The US campaign against a militant group that has taken control of huge chunks of Iraq has begun. Despite the near-total withdrawal of US ground troops from the country in the past five years, the Pentagon has many options for more airstrikes — and many options on deployment, given the air dominance US forces will have.


On Friday morning, Pentagon officials said a pair of F/A-18 Super Hornets had bombed artillery belonging to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISL). This was the first US strike against the group, and few expect it to be the last.


“We’re talking a very, very permissive operating environment, at least in the air,” said Mark Gunzinger, a former DoD official and now an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington. “We have to be concerned about low-altitude MANPADs, but it’s pretty permissive, so that does open up how they might posture forces in an actual concept of operations.”


The US Air Force has a variety of assets in the region, Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, a spokesman for US Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT), said in a statement provided by the Air Force Press Desk. That statement reflects standing information about AFCENT forces and was not newly drafted.


AFCENT has a wide area of responsibility, and can draw on any of its fighters (A-10, F-15E, F-16, F-22), bombers (B-1), surveillance craft (E-3, E-8, RC-135), support vehicles (C-17, C-130, KC-10, KC-135) and unmanned systems (MQ-1, MQ-9, RQ-4.)


“That steady-state force includes approximately 90 US Air Force fighters, bombers or other strike aircraft based in the AOR, including MQ-9 Reaper UAVs that can be more heavily armed,” Sholtis said in a statement. “There are approximately 190 other aircraft in that steady-state force supporting ISR (including MQ-1 Predator UAVs), command-and-control, tanker or airlift missions throughout the AOR.”


It is entirely possible that a sustained campaign would be launched from outside Iraq, relying on long-distance capabilities, Gunzinger noted.


“Since we don’t have a large footprint in country and we don’t have a lot of combat aircraft in country I think anything more than small strikes and raids, if it’s a more concerted effort, will rely heavily on longer-range capabilities,” he said. “This could be a very different kind of an air campaign than we’ve done in the past, depending on the size and duration.”


The mission in Iraq is now threefold. The first is gathering intelligence on the situation, which the US has been doing for some weeks now.


Speaking July 29, Gen. Mike Hostage, the head of Air Combat Command, said he has been using a mix of manned and unmanned systems for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions in Iraq.


“It’s what we call nontraditional ISR,” Gen. Mike Hostage, the head of US Air Force Air Combat Command, said. “We’re using fighter aircraft that have ISR capacities, like targeting pods, and things that give us a lot of awareness on what’s going on, on the ground.”


Hostage did not elaborate on what fighters were doing what, but the F_15, F-16, F-22 and A-10 all have ISR capabilities in one form or another.


The second part of the mission is delivering supplies to Iraqi and Kurdish forces trying to fight back against the Islamic States.


A senior defense official told reporters that the first humanitarian drop came Thursday evening over Kurdish territory in northern Iraq. That included two C-130 and one C-17 cargo planes, which were escorted by two F/A-18 Super Hornets, the official said.



The third arm of the operation, and the one most likely to gather the headlines, is the air strike component.


The F-15E, F-16, F-22 and F/A-18 all have precision weaponry that can be targeted to take out enemy equipment, while still traveling at high altitude and fast speeds to stay clear of enemy fire. Another option is the B-1 bomber, which has also been used for precision strike over the last 13 years in Iraq.


Although considered less pinpoint than its fast-jet cousins, the A-10 could also play a role in what may be its last military campaign before the Air Force retires the plane. Proponents of the plane say its ability to get low to the ground could help prevent civilian casualties in a situation where the insurgent population may be mixing with non-combatants.


The unmanned MQ-9 Reaper is also a likely contributor. Its cousin, the MQ-1 Predator, is another system that may see its last combat operations, as it is slowly being phased out of the service.


Unmanned systems have the added benefit of keeping US airmen out of danger.


“Should we lose one or two of those unmanned systems, you don’t have a need of [combat search and rescue] forces to go in and extract pilots,” Gunzinger noted.


During the Libyan campaign in March 2011, both B-1Bs and B-2 Spirit stealth bombers were sent on long-distance sorties to attack targets instead of being forward deployed.


Three B-2s from the 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., flew 25 hours nonstop from their home base to drop 45 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions to destroy military aircraft and facilities at Ghardabiya, Libya.


Also, two B-1B Lancers from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., left their home base to assist in enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya, returning three days later after hitting almost 100 targets in North Africa.

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 07:55
L'âge des équipements français et le coût du maintien en condition opérationnelle


06.08.2014 Par Olivier Berger, grand reporter à La Voix du Nord.


On ne peut pas reprocher au député UMP de Haute-Marne, François Cornut-Gentille, de manquer de constance et de goût pour l'approfondissement. Il cherche à évaluer le coût du vieillissement des équipements militaires et à ce titre, a demandé au ministère de la Défense qu'on lui fournisse le coût du maintien en condition opérationnelle (MCO), le taux de disponibilité et l'âge moyen des véhicules et équipements de l'armée française.

Le député avait posé ces questions le 7 janvier 2014, le ministère distille patiemment ses réponses, y compris en ce mois de juillet. Plutôt instructif...


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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 07:50
NATO To Set Eastern European Measures at Summit


Aug. 7, 2014 - By MARCUS WEISGERBER – Defense News


WASHINGTON — NATO members will set their 2015 slate of reassurance measures — actions meant to bolster Eastern European defenses — and debate the alliance’s post-Afghanistan path at next month’s summit in Wales, a senior Pentagon official said.


All 28 member countries have pledged to participate in the measures, including air policing and surveillance flights, in the wake of Russia's February invasion of Crimea and continued massing of troops near Ukraine's eastern border.


Because NATO’s current agreement on reassurance measures expires at the end of the year, alliance members will look to firm up new measures for 2015 at the summit, said Derek Chollet, assistant defense secretary for international security affairs.


"What we're trying to do is use this summit beyond the just symbolic effort to show unity, but to try to get NATO to sign up to some concrete initiatives that will position it for the future," Chollet said.


A key enabler of the reassurance plans next year is the $1 billion European Reassurance Initiative, which the Obama administration has proposed as part of the Pentagon's 2015 budget.


The US intends to use the $1 billion – which Congress must still approve – to fund exercises, more rotations of US forces throughout Europe, infrastructure projects for partners and possibly the pre-positioning of equipment.


The Initiative "shows the United States' enduring commitment to the security of Europe," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a July 7 speech at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington. "Now other allies need to strengthen their commitment."


The US also plans to use the upcoming summit "as a way to galvanize some of our European partners to ensure that they're spending the right kind of resources on defense," Chollet said.


After more than a decade of fighting in Afghanistan, many NATO countries have been cutting defense spending. US leaders have been encouraging alliance members to invest more strategically as budgets tighten.


A number of Eastern European nations, including Poland, Romania and Latvia, have pledged to increase defense spending in the wake of Russia's recent military actions in and around Ukraine.


Last month, the British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged to spend £1.1 billion (US $1.8 billion) on defense equipment.


London is "very actively leading the charge, along with us, to get more countries to sign up for more," Chollet said.


Another focus of the summit will be looking for ways that NATO can improve coordination among its members during capacity-building efforts with key partners, Chollet said.


There have been challenges when conducting defense capacity-building missions in countries, such as Libya, where a number of countries are working on individual efforts in this area.


"We're coordinating as best we can, but it's not as well-coordinated as it would be if we were part of an organization doing it," Chollet said. "It's all sort of ad hoc."


NATO's organizing capacity could make these partner-building efforts more effective, he said.

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 07:45
Afrique-Etats-Unis: le «New Deal» de Barack Obama


08-08-2014 par Tirthankar Chanda - RFI


Du 4 au 6 août, Barack Obama a accueilli à Washington un sommet des chefs d’Etat africains. Une démarche inédite qui a toutefois permis aux Américains et Africains de relancer leurs relations sur la base d’un partenariat « d’égal à égal » et sur le long terme.*


« Un sommet historique ! », « un tournant ! », « une belle réussite ! », telles sont quelques-unes des formules qu’on pouvait entendre résonner dans les couloirs du grand auditorium du département d’Etat américain à Washington lors de la cérémonie de clôture du premier sommet entre l’Afrique et les Etats-Unis, le 6 août dernier. La majorité des 51 chefs d’Etat africains invités avaient fait le déplacement pour assister à cette grand-messe américaine de trois jours qui leur a permis de rencontrer le gotha des conseillers africanistes du président Obama, mais aussi quelques-uns des grands patrons américains (Coca-Cola, IBM, General Electric, pour ne citer que ceux-là) conviés pour l’occasion.

C’était une grande première, pour Washington également, car pour la première fois dans l’histoire des Etats-Unis, un président américain réunissait sur le sol de son pays autant de dirigeants africains. Comme l’a écrit le New York Times, ce sommet avec ses ateliers thématiques organisés dans un grand hôtel de luxe dans le centre-ville et ses réunions à huis clos entre les chefs d’Etat était à mi-chemin entre le Forum économique de Davos rassemblant experts et hommes politiques et les rendez-vous diplomatiques du G20. Mais le véritable modèle pour ce sommet était sans doute les rendez-vous réguliers qui ont lieu, depuis 1973, entre la France et l’Afrique et, depuis plus récemment, entre l’Afrique et ses autres grands partenaires économiques que sont l’Europe, la Chine et le Japon.


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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 07:35
Exercise Hamel: Kiwis in the Outback

7 août 2014 NZDefenceForce


More than 200 New Zealand troops participated in a large scale army exercise in Townsville, northern Queensland, Australia. They trained beside over 4000 Australian and American soldiers to test their collective warfighting skills in a coalition environment. 1 Brigade's infantry, artillery, signals and logisticians were integrated into the wider exercise that lasted over a month.

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 07:30
Super Hornets launch and return to USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)

8 août 2014 US Navy


ARABIAN Gulf (Aug. 8, 2014) F/A-18 Super Hornets are launched and recovered aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) while underway in the Arabian Gulf. Bush is operating in the Arabian Gulf on a scheduled deployment to U.S. 5th Fleet. The president has authorized U.S. Central Command to conduct military operations in support of humanitarian aid deliveries and targeted airstrikes in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel and interests, in response to activities conducted by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists. U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman David Lee. (RELEASED)

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9 août 2014 6 09 /08 /août /2014 07:30
U.S. launches second wave of airstrikes in Iraq

Sailors make final inspections on an F/A-18C Hornet that participated in airstrikes on militants in Iraq. (MC2 Joshua Horton/Navy)


Aug. 8, 2014 - By Jim Michaels, Tom Vanden Brook and David Jackson USA TODAY


WASHINGTON — U.S. warplanes made a second wave of airstrikes Friday in northern Iraq against the militants who have besieged a religious group and threatened the city of Irbil, a Pentagon official said.


Rear Adm. John Kirby, spokesman for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, said the second wave of strikes used a drone to attack a mortar position while four FA-18 fighter-attack planes hit a seven-vehicle convoy outside Irbil.


In a statement, Kirby said "shortly after 10 a.m. EDT, remotely piloted aircraft struck a terrorist mortar position." When the military returned to the site, they were attacked again "and successfully eliminated."


At 11:20 a.m. EDT, the second wave struck the convoy and the mortar position, Kirby said. "The aircraft executed two planned passes. On both runs, each aircraft dropped one laser-guided bomb, making a total of eight bombs dropped on target, neutralizing the mortar and convoy."


The drones involved in the strike were Predators, armed with Hellfire missiles, according to a Pentagon official who spoke about the operation on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly on those details.


Assessment of the effects of the bombs was clear cut, the official said, because pilots can see the specific targets and the effect of 500-pound bombs and Hellfire missiles is "immediate."


The aircraft from the first strikes came from the USS George H.W. Bush, an aircraft carrier operating in the Persian Gulf, according to a second Defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive military details.


President Obama said Thursday night that airstrikes would be used if the militants threatened Irbil, home to a U.S. consulate and a joint U.S.-Iraqi operations center.


"As the president made clear, the United States military will continue to take direct action against ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) when they threaten our personnel and facilities," Kirby said in a statement Friday morning.


Strikes could continue through the weekend. Humanitarian-aid drops will continue as well.


White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday afternoon he had "no operational update" on airstrikes in Iraq, but said Obama's plan is "very limited in scope."


Obama's objectives are "protection of American personnel in Iraq," Earnest said, and answering the "urgent humanitarian situation at Sinjar Mountain," where members of an Iraqi religious minority, the Yazidis, are seeking refuge.


Hundreds of Yazidi women have been taken captive by ISIL members, the spokesman for Iraq's human rights ministry said Friday. Kamil Amin said the women are below the age of 35 and some are being held in schools in Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul. He said the ministry learned of the captives from their families.


Earnest said the U.S. mission against the Islamic State will not involve combat troops and will focus on helping improve Iraq forces so that they can take the lead in the fight against the militants.


The administration had developed the Iraq plan for some time, Earnest said, and Obama discussed Iraq and the Islamic State with House and Senate leaders in a mid-June meeting


Obama, congressional leaders and members of key committees also discussed Iraq at a meeting eight days ago, Earnest said. "We certainly welcome the partnership and support" of lawmakers, he said, adding that the White House contacted key leaders Thursday before the announcement of the strikes.


The administration has no plans to seek additional appropriations for the Iraq operation, Earnest said. The administration will maintain congressional consultations, and make notifications as required under the War Powers Resolution, he said.


Earnest said the plan will be evaluated regularly and assessed based on conditions on the ground.


"The president has not laid out a specific end date," Earnest said.


Obama has been briefed by national security aides throughout the day, Earnest said. In the morning, he spoke on the telephone with Jordan's King Abdullah, a longtime U.S. ally.


There are about 650 U.S. troops in Iraq — 470 of them to protect American personnel and property at the embassy and Baghdad International Airport. The remainder are there to assess the security situation in Iraq and assist Iraqi forces in dealing with the threat from Islamic extremists who have captured key cities.


The Pentagon also has dispatched Apache attack helicopters and surveillance aircraft to the airport. The drones and other manned spy planes have been flying dozens of missions daily.


Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday that it is banning U.S. airlines and commercial carriers from flying in Iraqi airspace.

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8 août 2014 5 08 /08 /août /2014 23:30
Irak: Les frappes américaines apporteront d'énormes changements


08 août 2014 Romandie.com (AFP)


Kirkouk (Irak) - Le chef de l'armée irakienne Babaker Zebari a estimé que les forces fédérales et les forces kurdes allaient pouvoir reprendre rapidement de vastes pans de territoire aux jihadistes grâce aux frappes américaines entamées vendredi.


Il va y avoir d'énormes changements sur le terrain dans les prochaines heures, a déclaré le général Zebari à l'AFP, peu après la confirmation par le Pentagone des premières frappes contre l'Etat islamique (EI) dans le nord du pays.


L'aviation américaine vise des bases de l'EI à Makhmour et dans la région du Sinjar, a-t-il affirmé, ajoutant que l'opération doit se poursuivre dans les villes irakiennes contrôlées par l'EI, sans préciser quelles villes.


Makhmour se trouve au sud-est d'Erbil, la capitale du Kurdistan irakien, et Sinjar à l'ouest de Mossoul.


Les officiers de l'armée irakienne, les peshmergas (kurdes) et des experts américains travaillent ensemble pour déterminer les cibles, a affirmé le général irakien.


Le Pentagone a annoncé que deux chasseurs bombardiers américains avaient largué vers 13H45 (10H45 GMT) des bombes de 250 kg sur une pièce d'artillerie mobile de l'EI qui avait visé des forces kurdes à Erbil, en expliquant que cela menaçait les personnels américains basés dans la capitale du Kurdistan.


Le Pentagone n'a pas évoqué d'autres frappes dans l'immédiat.


L'armée américaine n'était plus intervenue directement en Irak depuis le départ de ses derniers soldats en décembre 2011.

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8 août 2014 5 08 /08 /août /2014 22:45
Sécurité renforcée au Cameroun


8 août, 2014 – BBC Afrique


Certaines villes camerounaises sont désormais sous vidéo surveillance, notamment l’extrême nord du Cameroun où la secte islamiste Boko Haram sévit et l’est du pays qui connait un afflux massif de réfugiés.


Le délégué général à la Sûreté nationale (Dgsn), Martin Mbarga Nguelé, a expliqué que dans "dans un environnement sécuritaire qui se caractérise par la montée en puissance des nouvelles formes de criminalité, l’afflux des réfugiés à nos frontières, la guerre ouverte contre la secte islamiste Boko Haram, il s’est avéré impérieux pour notre pays, de s’arrimer aux méthodes de prévention".


Le projet a été inauguré jeudi par Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, le secrétaire général de la présidence de la République du Cameroun, dans quelques points névralgiques du pays, à savoir de grandes villes telles que Yaoundé (Centre), Douala (Littoral), Kye-Ossi (Sud) mais aussi dans des localités jugées sensibles, telles que Kousseri et Waza (extrême nord), inquiètes depuis plusieurs mois par des attaques de la secte islamiste Boko Haram.


Mais également à Garoua Boulai (est) qui connaît un afflux de réfugiés en provenance, pour la plupart, de Centrafrique.


Ces caméras de type solaire, portatif et sans fils ont pour objectif, selon le chef de la police, de renforcer la protection et la sécurité des Camerounais et non pas de les surveiller.

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8 août 2014 5 08 /08 /août /2014 21:31
US Naval Forces on Station in Gulf Region

An F/A-18C Hornet strike fighter from Strike Fighter Squadron 15 lands aboard the aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush in the Persian Gulf on July 29. The carrier is carrying 44 strike fighters. (MC3 Joshua Card / US Navy)


Aug. 8, 2014 - by CHRISTOPHER P. CAVAS – Defense News


WASHINGTON — US Navy and Marine forces already are on station in the Middle East, part of the US policy of keeping a carrier strike group and an amphibious ready group in the region.


The two F/A-18 Super Hornets that struck an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) mobile artillery piece early on Aug. 8 were flying from the aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush operating in the Persian Gulf, the Navy confirmed. The carrier has been operating in the Central Command area since March 22.


The Bush left its home port of Norfolk, Va., on Feb. 15 for a planned nine- to ten-month deployment. The carrier, the newest flattop in the fleet, is on its second strike group deployment. The carrier is carrying 44 strike fighters and five electronic attack aircraft.


The Bush is escorted by the cruiser Philippine Sea, and the destroyers O’Kane, Roosevelt and Arleigh Burke are in the area. All cruisers and destroyers can carry dozens of missiles, including Tomahawk cruise missiles. The range of the missile varies depending on the version, but is at least 800 statute miles — enough to reach ISIL operating areas in northern Iraq from the Persian Gulf.


The Navy would not comment on whether submarines were in the operating area. All US Navy attack submarines can launch Tomahawks, as can cruise-missile submarines.


Also available are Marine forces from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), deployed aboard the amphibious ships Bataan and Gunston Hall. With the amphibious ship Mesa Verde, the group departed Norfolk in early February for a scheduled eight-month deployment. The MEU, composed of about 2,500 Marines, includes a Marine medium tiltrotor squadron flying MV-22 Ospreys, a battalion landing team, and a combat logistics squadron. The ships also carry Marine attack and transport helicopters.


Another amphibious ready group centered on the assault ship Makin Island deployed with the 22nd MEU from San Diego on July 25, and is scheduled to relieve the Bataan ARG.


No other carrier strike groups are deployed at the moment, although the Carl Vinson is set to leave San Diego on a regularly scheduled deployment around the third week of August.


Here’s a list of naval forces deployed in Central Command:


■ Aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush (CVN 77), carrying Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW-8), with:


■ Strike Fighter Squadron 15 (VFA-15) Valions, with ten F/A-18C Hornets


■ Strike Fighter Squadron 31 (VFA-31) Tomcatters with 12 F/A-18E Super Hornets


■ Strike Fighter Squadron 87 (VFA-87) Golden Warriors, with 10 F/A-18C Hornets


■ Strike Fighter Squadron 213 (VFA-213) Black Lions, with 12 F/A-18F Super Hornets


■ Electronic Attack Squadron 134 (VAQ-134) Garudas, with five EA-6B Prowlers


■ Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 124 (VAW-124) Bear Aces, with four E-2C Hawkeyes


■ Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 9 (HSC-9) Tridents, with eight MH-60S Seahawk helicopters


■ Helicopter Marine Strike Squadron 70 (HSM-70) Spartans, with four MH-60R Seahawk helicopters


An additional six MH-60Rs are operating from destroyers and cruisers in the region.


■ Cruiser Philippine Sea (CG 58)


■ Destroyers Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), O’Kane (DDG 77) and Roosevelt (DDG 80).


■ Amphibious assault ship Bataan (LHD 5), amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde (LPD 19) and amphibious landing dock Gunston Hall (LSD 44)

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8 août 2014 5 08 /08 /août /2014 21:30
USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77)

USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77)


08.08.2014 par Isabelle Lasserre - LeFigaro.fr

Trois ans après le retrait américain, Barack Obama a ordonné des frappes ciblées contre les djihadistes de l'État islamique au Kurdistan irakien, invoquant un risque de « génocide » des chrétiens et des yazidis.


Après avoir assisté avec une relative passivité à l'instauration d'un califat sunnite en Irak et en Syrie, puis à la progression des djihadistes de l'État islamique, la communauté internationale s'est brusquement réveillée. Élu en 2008 sur la promesse de retirer les troupes américaines d'Irak, Barack Obama, qui avait renoncé au dernier moment l'année dernière à frapper le régime de Bachar el-Assad malgré le franchissement de la ligne rouge sur les armes chimiques, a autorisé son armée à effectuer des frappes aériennes. L'aviation américaine a bombardé vendredi des pièces d'artillerie utilisées par l'État islamique contre les forces kurdes qui défendent Erbil, la capitale du Kurdistan irakien.


Suite de l'article

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8 août 2014 5 08 /08 /août /2014 21:30
FA-18 Super Hornets are recovered aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)

FA-18 Super Hornets are recovered aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)


Aug. 8, 2014 - By JEFF SCHOGOL – Defense News


The US has a massive force of ships and aircraft in the Persian Gulf for the air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq.


The first airstrikes against the Islamic State were carried out by two aircraft from the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush, which is in the Persian Gulf along with the amphibious assault ship Bataan; the amphibious dock landing ship Gunston Hall; the cruiser Philippine Sea; and the destroyers Arleigh Burke, O’Kane and Roosevelt, according to the Defense Department.


The amphibious transport dock Mesa Verde is elsewhere in the region, according to 5th Fleet.


The Bush is coming to the end of what would be a normal six-month deployment. The carrier Carl Vinson is preparing to deploy to 5th Fleet at the end of August, but is on ready standby as the surge carrier, according to Naval Air Forces spokeswoman Cmdr. Jeannie Groeneveld.


The George H.W. Bush could be extended if US Central Command requires it. Carriers have been deployed as long as 10 months in recent years despite efforts by fleet leaders to reduce the strain on the Navy’s capital assets.


The aircraft taking part in the air campaign come from Carrier Wing 8, embarked about the carrier Bush, said Navy Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a 5th Fleet spokesman. The wing has 24 F/A-18E and F Super Hornets; 20 F/A-18C Hornets; five EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft; four E2-C Hawkeye all-weather airborne early-warning aircraft; two C-2A Greyhound logistics aircraft, which operate from shore and go to and from the ship; and eight MH-60S and four MH-60R Seahawk helicopters. A total of six other MH-60R Seahawk helicopters are on three other ships.


Marines from the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group are prepared to recover aircraft and personnel on short notice in a hostile environment should that become necessary, Stephens said in an email.


More than 2,000 Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit are aboard the ships in the Bataan’s group along with 12 MV-22B Ospreys; eight AV-8B Harriers; four CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters; three UH-1Y Venom helicopters and four AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters.


While President Obama has vowed that U.S. troops are not returning to Iraq, about 10,000 U.S. troops — mostly Army — are in Kuwait, a defense official said.


Airstrikes alone probably cannot weaken the Islamic State to the point where it no longer poses a threat to the Iraqi government, but the U.S. air campaign can help Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain lost ground, said retired Air Force Gen. Charles Horner, who led allied air efforts during Operation Desert Storm.


“Air power can enable weaker ground forces to prevail,” Horner told Military Times on Friday. “In the late stages of Vietnam, we saw what happened when we refused to put our air power in support of South Vietnam.”


The biggest challenge of any air campaign is having enough intelligence to pick the right targets, Horner said. Targets such as tanks and artillery are easily identifiable, while enemy leaders are harder to target because “they look like everyone else from the air,” he said

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8 août 2014 5 08 /08 /août /2014 20:40
La guerre commerciale russo-occidentale s'étend


08.08.2014 Romandie.com (ats)


Des combats à l'arme lourde ont fait rage vendredi à Donetsk, principal fief des séparatistes prorusses. Pendant ce temps, la guerre des embargos se poursuit entre la Russie et les Occidentaux. Et les craintes d'une intervention russe en Ukraine se renforcent.

Les forces ukrainiennes ont déploré 15 tués en 24 heures - sept militaires et huit gardes-frontière. Ces pertes ont eu lieu essentiellement lors de combats à la frontière de la Russie.

De fortes explosions et des salves d'armes lourdes ont été entendues dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi matin à Donetsk.


Deux localités reprises


Kiev a par ailleurs perdu deux appareils. "Les armes avec lesquelles sont abattus nos appareils sont fournies par la Russie", a accusé le porte-parole militaire ukrainien Andriï Lyssenko.

Il a par ailleurs annoncé la reprise par l'armée de deux localités dans l'Est: Panteleïmonivka (7000 habitants) à 30 km au nord de Donetsk, et Mioussinsk (5000 habitants) à 74 km au sud-ouest de Lougansk, autre place forte des rebelles.


Victimes identifiées


Sur le site du crash de l'avion malaisien en zone rebelle, les recherches ont été suspendues en raison de l'insécurité. Deux avions de transport militaire - un néerlandais et un australien - ont rapatrié vendredi aux Pays-Bas 142 experts de la police des Pays-Bas, d'Australie et de Malaisie.

Les légistes ont identifié 21 nouvelles victimes, soit 23 au total, a annoncé vendredi le gouvernement néerlandais. Parmi les 21 victimes identifiées figurent 16 Néerlandais, deux Malaisiens, un Allemand, un Canadien, un Britannique, a précisé le ministère de la Justice dans un communiqué. Toutes les familles ont été informées.

Au moment où les combats redoublent d'intensité, les tensions internationales autour de la crise ukrainienne prennent une allure de guerre commerciale. Après les Occidentaux, Kiev a mis au point des sanctions qui pourront viser plus de 170 particuliers et plus de 60 entreprises, essentiellement russes.

La Russie frappée de sanctions sans précédent a riposté jeudi en décrétant un embargo d'un an sur un grand nombre de produits alimentaires, notamment européens et américains.


Soldats ukrainiens arrêtés en Russie


Les Occidentaux s'alarment de la présence militaire croissante de la Russie à la frontière ukrainienne, prélude, selon eux, à une intervention sous des prétextes humanitaires. Selon l'OTAN, le nombre des soldats russes à la frontière est passé de 12'000 hommes mi-juillet à 20'000 hommes actuellement.

Enfin, les enquêteurs russes ont annoncé vendredi avoir arrêté cinq soldats ukrainiens soupçonnés de crimes de guerre dans l'est de l'Ukraine. Les soldats avaient traversé la frontière avec la Russie avec plus de 400 de leurs frères d'armes lundi. Ces accusations peuvent aboutir à des condamnations allant jusqu'à 20 ans de prison.

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