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11 mars 2015 3 11 /03 /mars /2015 23:20
An undated photo of a UH-60 Blackhawk assigned to the 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Hammond, La.

An undated photo of a UH-60 Blackhawk assigned to the 1-244th Assault Helicopter Battalion in Hammond, La.


11 mars 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)


Washington - Onze militaires américains sont présumés morts après l'accident d'un hélicoptère sur le littoral de Floride (sud-est), lors d'un exercice militaire mardi soir, a-t-on appris de sources militaires mercredi.


Nos pensées et nos prières vont à ces militaires et à leurs familles, a indiqué le ministre de la Défense Ashton Carter au début d'une conférence de presse mercredi avec le ministre de la Défense britannique, Michael Fallon.


Le président Barack Obama a appelé les généraux commandant les deux unités auxquelles appartenaient les militaires, les forces spéciales des Marines, et la Garde nationale de Louisiane, pour faire part de son soutien aux militaires et à leurs familles, a indiqué de son côté le porte-parole de la Maison Blanche, Josh Earnest.


Le président a exprimé sa confiance qu'il y aurait une enquête détaillée et exhaustive sur l'accident et ses causes, a précisé le porte-parole.


Sept Marines et quatre membres d'équipage se trouvaient à bord de l'UH-60 Black Hawk de la Guarde nationale de Louisiane, dont l'armée a perdu la trace mardi vers 20H30 (00H30 GMT) près de la base militaire d'Eglin (Floride, sud-est), plongée dans un épais brouillard.


Un second hélicoptère, qui était en exercice avec le premier, est rentré à la base militaire.


Les recherches se sont concentrées sur la lagune de Santa Rosa, sur la côte de Floride bordant le golfe du Mexique.


Les équipes de recherche ont découvert des débris de l'aéronef vers 02H00 mercredi matin (06H00 GMT).


Les gardes-côtes américains ont mené les opérations de recherche, qui étaient toujours en cours vers 19H30 GMT mercredi.


Les deux hélicoptères participaient à un exercice de routine avec des forces spéciales des Marines du camp Lejeune, de Caroline du Nord, selon la base aérienne d'Eglin.

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9 avril 2014 3 09 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
The active US Army will receive National Guard Apache attack helicopters under a new plan. (US Army)

The active US Army will receive National Guard Apache attack helicopters under a new plan. (US Army)


Apr. 8, 2014 - By PAUL McLEARY – Defense News


WASHINGTON — In a surprising move, the head of the US National Guard Bureau has given his blessing to the US Army’s plan to move all of the Guard’s Apache attack helicopters into the active force while receiving several hundred Black Hawk and Lakota multi-use helicopters in return.


“As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we have fought, and we have discussed many, many times, these topics,” the National Guard Bureau chief, Army Gen. Frank Grass, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday “And I provided my best military advice. I’ve assessed the risk. I’ve given the cost.


“But the decision’s been made, Mr. Chairman,” he said. “And my job now is to begin to look at the effects across the states, and figure out how we’re going to execute this plan.”


The general’s acquiescence came as a surprise in what many anticipated to be a contentious hearing, especially after Grass told the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee on April 3, “I do not agree with the proposal to take all Apaches out of the guard.”


Grass testified before the committee with Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, who has been campaigning for the aviation restructuring for months, but has encountered stiff resistance from the Guard leadership and sharp questions from Congress.


The chief emphasized that the aviation plan is a necessity given the tightening fiscal picture for the Army, and the expense of upgrading its helicopter fleets.


“No one is fully satisfied with the final outcome, including myself,” he offered. “However, the reality is the funding in the future will not allow us to have everything we may want. These cuts will still occur, even if we delay our decisions or fail to address the issue as the total Army. The results will be hollowing out of our Army.”


The plan calls for the Army to retire its fleet of Kiowa Warrior scout helicopters and replace them with the Guard’s Apaches, which will team with Army drones to perform the scout mission. Overall, the Army will lose 687 aircraft, including 600 Kiowas.


The active component will also eliminate three of its 13 Combat Aviation Brigades while the Guard will retain all of its 10 aviation brigades.


The Army expects to save about $12 billion over the next several years by taking this approach, beginning with $2 billion in fiscal 2015 alone.


The strategy “salvages our plans to modernize our aviation fleet,” said Col. Frank Tate, the Army’s chief of aviation force development, at an event across town at the same time the chiefs were testifying on Capitol Hill.


“We were lowering our rates of procurement on our biggest systems” due to the cost of maintaining seven different helicopter platforms, Tate told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.


The Army’s proposal to get rid of two models of the Kiowa and the TH-67 trainer helicopter would eliminate three aircraft models of the Army’s seven, as it continues to modernize the Chinook, Apache and Black Hawk until replacement helicopters begin to enter the fleet some time in the 2030s.


While the Army might be losing helicopters, it is increasingly eyeing shipboard operations for the 690 Apaches that it is keeping.


Operating from ships at sea “seems to be a growth capability, and we do sense that there is increasing demand out there” in South Korea and the Central Command area of operations, said the Army’s director of aviation, Col. John Lindsay.


“We’ve gotta make sure that we have the appropriate demand signal coming in from the combatant commanders,” however, in order to determine “how much maritime capability does the Army need to invest in,” he added.


Lindsay acknowledged that over the long term, “we still have some work to do” to determine how much the Army wants — or needs — to invest in operating Apache helicopters from naval vessels.


In a nod to Marine Corps sensitivities over the issue, Tate was quick to point out that flying Army helicopters from the decks of ships isn’t necessarily anything new. He was involved in operations in Haiti in the early 1990s where the Army flew Apaches off the back of short-deck Navy frigates.


“The Army is not new to this idea of maritime operations and ship operations,” he insisted

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:40
BTR-4 Armored Personnel Carrier

BTR-4 Armored Personnel Carrier


April 3, 2014 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: Ukroboronprom; issued April 2, 2014)


The enterprises of Ukroboronprom State Concern are ready to supply in the nearest future 74 armored personnel carriers in order to equip 10 military units of National Guard of Ukraine. In total 100 vehicles are to be supplied. It was reported by Yuriy Tereshenko, Temporary Acting Director.


According to the executive, Kharkiv Morozov Machne-Building Design Bureau State Enterprise is able to supply a batch of APCs of BTR-4 family in the quantity of 58 units, including 41 vehicles of BTR-4E, 7 commander vehicles BTR-4K, 2 command and staff vehicles BTR-4KSh and 8 recovery vehicles BMM-4S. Among them fully equipped and mission capable vehicles are following: 29 BTR-4E, 5 BTR-4K, 6 BMM-4S and 2 BTR-4KSh. These are the newest vehicles of Ukrainian developments, which have a high level of mobility, powerful weaponry, perfect fire control system and modern level of armored protection.



BTR-4K Command Vehicle

BTR-4K Command Vehicle

BTR-4KSh Command and Staff Vehicle

BTR-4KSh Command and Staff Vehicle

Besides, Concern enterprises are ready to transfer the National Guard other 16 APCs of different types. Thus, Kyiv Armored Plant can supply 5 new BTR-3E and 5 BTR-80, which are on the balance of SC Ukroboronservice and will be repaired by it. Zhytomyr Armoured Fighting Vehicle Plant is ready to supply 5 repaired BTR-80 and Mykolayiv Armoured Plant- one BTR-70DI accordingly.


“These vehicles will significantly enhance combat capabilities of the units of National Guard of Ukraine,” Y. Tereshenko underlined. He also added that Ukroboronprom will do its best for the qualitative increase of national defense capability and fight readiness of Armed Forces of Ukraine and other state military formations.


Y.Tereshenko also noted that after the supplying of those vehicles by Concern, the decision concerning the adaption of it will be made by National Guard commanders in accordance with the Law ‘On National Guard of Ukraine’ #876-VII dated on March 13, 2014.

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4 avril 2014 5 04 /04 /avril /2014 07:20
New York Army National Guard soldiers train at Camp Smith, N.Y. (Army)

New York Army National Guard soldiers train at Camp Smith, N.Y. (Army)



Apr. 3, 2014 - By PAUL McLEARY – Defense News


WASHINGTON — The US Army National Guard is asking Congress to find an extra $1.5 billion to meet its unfunded requirements in fiscal year 2015, primarily to fund training and operations, according to a copy of the list obtained by Defense News.


Due to budget cuts and the winding down of troop requirements in Afghanistan, the Guard was not funded for any brigade-sized Combat Training Center (CTC) rotations in 2015. The Guard, therefore, is requesting $45 million to send two brigades through to intensive operational training.


The active Army is being funded for 19 brigade CTC rotations in 2015, Army Secretary John McHugh told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday morning. Until Congress offered some sequester relief in January, the Army was only planning on seven CTC rotations this year.


The biggest line in the Guard’s request also involves training. The service is requesting $480 million to “allow 3 BCTs [brigade combat teams] to achieve company level of readiness; 3 BCTs to achieve platoon levels of readiness … and all Functional/Multi-Functional units to achieve company level of readiness.”


The Guard has said that under the current budget cuts, its units would be able to train only to squad and company levels of readiness, while not being able to afford to train for complex operations, such as brigade-sized maneuvers with air and ground elements working in tandem.


The Guard is also asking for $137 million for depot maintenance, which is funded only to 33.6 percent of its requirement. “The increase improves funding to 48.83% for maintenance of aviation end items and spares HEMTTs, PLS, M915A3 Tractors, and M917 Dump Trucks to improve readiness and support an Operational Force,” the Guard wrote

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