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29 décembre 2015 2 29 /12 /décembre /2015 08:20
Special Operations: SOCOM Ordered To Use Female Commandos


December 14, 2015: Strategy page


In early December, after years of trying to justify allowing women into the infantry, artillery and armor and special operations forces, the U.S. government simply ordered the military to make it happen and do so without degrading the capabilities of these units. While the army was inclined the just say yes, find out what quotas the politicians wanted and go through the motions, some others refused to play along. SOCOM (Special Operations Command) and the marines pointed out that the research does not support the political demands and that actually implementing the quotas could get people killed while degrading the effectiveness of the units with women. This is yet another reason why many politicians do not like the marines and are uneasy about SOCOM. The commander of SOCOM promptly said the order would be implemented (otherwise he can kiss his upcoming promotion goodbye) but the Marine Corps has, as in the past, not voiced any enthusiasm at all. This decision involves about 220,000 jobs. About ten percent of these are special operations personnel, commonly known as commandos.


The special operations troops are not happy with this decision. In a recent survey most (85 percent) of the operators (commandos, SEALs, Rangers) in SOCOM opposed allowing women in. Most (88 percent) feared that standards would be lowered in order to make it possible for some women to quality. Most (82 percent) believed that women did not have the physical strength to do what was required. About half (53 percent) would not trust women placed in their unit. For these men the decision is a matter of life and death and SOCOM commanders fear that the decision, if implemented, would cause many of the most experienced operators to leave and dissuade many potential recruits from joining. Keeping experienced personnel and finding suitable new recruits has always been a major problem for SOCOM and this will make it worse.


That said there are some jobs SOCOM operators do that women can handle. One is espionage, an area that SOCOM has been increasingly active in since the 1990s because of their familiarity with foreign cultures and operator skills and discipline. Another task women excel at is teaching. Israel has long recognized this and some of their best combat skills instructors are women. But what the male operators are complaining about is women performing the jobs that still depend on exceptional physical as well as mental skills. These include direct action (raids, ambushes and such) and recon (going deep into hostile territory to patrol or just observe.) These are the most dangerous jobs and many operators are not willing to make the job even more dangerous just to please some grandstanding politicians.


This order has been “under consideration” for three years. The various services had already opened up some infantry training programs to women and discovered two things. First (over 90 percent) of women did not want to serve in any combat unit, especially the infantry. Those women (almost all of them officers) who did apply discovered what female athletes and epidemiologists (doctors who study medical statistics) have long known; women are ten times more likely (than men) to suffer bone injuries and nearly as likely to suffer muscular injuries while engaged in stressful sports (like basketball) or infantry operations. Mental stress is another issue and most women who volunteered to try infantry training dropped out within days because of the combination of mental and physical stress. Proponents of women in combat (none of them combat veterans) dismiss these issues as minor and easily fixed but offer no tangible or proven solutions.


Back in 2012 the U.S. Army and Marine Corps were ordered to come up with procedures to select women capable of handling infantry and special operations assignments and then recruit some women for these jobs. This had become an obsession with many politicians. None of these proponents of women in the infantry have ever served in the infantry, but some understood that if they proceeded without proof that women could handle the job, that decision could mean getting a lot of American soldiers and marines killed. The politicians also knew that if it came to that, the military could be blamed for not implementing the new policy correctly. That’s how politics works and why politicians are not popular with the troops.


So far the tests overseen by monitors reporting back to civilian officials in Congress and the White House have failed to find the needed proof that women can handle infantry combat. The main problem the military has is their inability to make these politicians understand how combat operations actually work and what role sheer muscle plays in success, or simply survival. But many politicians have become infatuated with the idea that women should serve in the infantry and are ignoring the evidence.


All this comes after decades of allowing women to take jobs that were more and more likely to result in women having to deal with combat. Not infantry combat, but definitely dangerous situations where you were under attack and had to fight back or die. The last such prohibition is the U.S. Department of Defense policy that forbids the use of female troops in direct (infantry type) combat. Despite the ban many women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan found themselves in firefights and exposed to roadside bombs, something that's normal for a combat zone. Because women were earlier allowed to serve in MP (military police) units and then regularly do convoy security they got some combat experience. Those convoys often included other female troops who were trained to fight back, if necessary. It was usually the MPs who did the fighting and the female MPs performed well. Several of them received medals for exceptional performance in combat. Hundreds of these female MPs were regularly in combat since September 11, 2001. This was the largest and longest exposure of American female troops to direct combat. Yet women have often been exposed to a lot of indirect combat. As far back as World War II, 25 percent of all troops in the army found themselves under fire at one time or another, although only about 15 percent of soldiers had a "direct combat" job. In Iraq women made up about 14 percent of the military personnel but only two percent of the casualties (dead and wounded). Most women do not want to be in combat but those who did get the job proved that they could handle it and knew that being in combat as an MP was not the same as doing it in an infantry unit. This experience, however, did provide proof to some that women could perform in infantry or special operations type combat.


All this is actually an ancient problem. The issue of women in combat has long been contentious. Throughout history women have performed well in combat but mainly in situations where pure physical strength was not a major factor. For example, women often played a large, and often decisive, role as part of the defending force in sieges. Many women learned to use the light bow (for hunting). While not as lethal as the heavy bows (like the English longbow), when the situation got desperate the female archers made a difference, especially if it was shooting a guys coming up and over the wall with rape and general mayhem in mind.


Once lightweight firearms appeared in the 18th and 19th centuries women were even deadlier in combat. Again, this only occurred in combat situations where the superior physical strength and sturdiness of men was not a factor. Much of infantry operations are all about the grunts (as infantry are often called) just moving themselves and their heavy loads into position for a fight. Here the sturdiness angle was all about the fact that men have more muscle and thicker bones. This makes men much less likely to suffer stress fractures or musculoskeletal injuries than women. Modern infantry combat is intensely physical, and most women remain at a disadvantage here. There are some exception for specialist tasks that do not involve sturdiness or strength, like sniping. Then there is the hormonal angle. Men generate a lot more testosterone, a hormone that makes men more decisive and faster to act in combat. Moreover testosterone does not, as the popular myth goes, make you more aggressive, it does make you more aware and decisive. That makes a difference in combat.


The main problem today is that the average load for a combat infantryman is over 40 kg (88 pounds) and men (in general) have always had more strength to handle heavy loads better than women. But in situations like convoy escort, base security, or support jobs in the combat zone the combat load is lower and more manageable for women it’s another matter. At that point there’s plenty of recent evidence that women can handle themselves in some types of combat. That said, women, more than men, prefer to avoid serving in combat units. Since 2001 American recruiters found it easier to find young men for combat units than for support jobs. It’s mainly female officers who demand the right to try out for combat jobs. That’s because the most of the senior jobs in the military go only to those who have some experience in a combat unit. But when the marines allowed 14 female marines to take the infantry officer course, none could pass and all agreed that they were treated just like the male trainees. This was not a unique situation.


Because of the strenuous nature of combat jobs (armor, artillery, and engineers, as well as infantry) there are physical standards for these occupations. The U.S. military calls it a profile and if you do not have the physical profile for a job, you can’t have it. Thus while many men are not physically fit for the infantry, nearly all women are. For example, 55 percent of women cannot do the three pull-ups required in the physical fitness test, compared to only one percent of men. Some women could meet the physical standards and be eager to have the job. But Western nations (including Canada) that have sought to recruit physically qualified female candidates for the infantry found few volunteers and even fewer who could meet the profile and pass the training. So while it is theoretically possible that there are some women out there who could handle the physical requirements, none have so far come forward to volunteer for infantry duty. A recent survey of female soldiers in the U.S. Army found that over 92 percent would not be interested in having an infantry job. Over two years of American research into the matter concluded that about three percent of women could be trained to the point where they were at the low end of the physically “qualified” people (male or female) for infantry combat. What that bit of data ignores is how many of those physically strong women would want a career in the infantry or special operations. There would be a few, but for the politicians who want women represented in infantry units this would smack of tokenism. Moreover this comes at a time when physical standards for American infantry and special operations troops have been increasing, because this was found to produce more effective troops and lower American casualties.


When the U.S. used conscription the infantry ended up with a lot of less-muscular and enthusiastic men in the infantry. Allowances were made for this, but for elite units (paratroopers, commandos) there were no corners cut and everyone had to volunteer and meet high physical standards. That made a very noticeable difference in the combat abilities of the elite unit. Now all infantry are recruited to those old elite standards and it would wreck morale and decrease the number of male volunteers if it was mandated that some less physically qualified women be able to join infantry units. This doesn’t bother a lot of politicians but it does bother the guys out there getting shot at.


Meanwhile over the last century women have been increasingly a part of the military. In most Western nations over ten percent of military personnel are female. In the U.S. military it’s now 15 percent. A century ago it was under one percent (and most of those were nurses and other medical personnel). More women are in uniform now because there aren't enough qualified men, especially for many of the technical jobs armed forces now have to deal with. In the United States women became more of a presence in the armed forces after the military went all-volunteer in the 1970s. That led to more and more combat-support jobs being opened to women. This became popular within the military because the women were often better at these support jobs. This led to women being allowed to serve on American combat ships in 1994. In most NATO countries between 5-10 percent of sailors are women, while in Britain it is 10 percent, and in the United States 16 percent.


Once women were allowed to fly combat aircraft, it was only a matter of time before some of them rose to command positions. Currently, about ten percent of navy officers are female, as are nine percent of enlisted personnel. Only 4.2 percent of navy aviators (pilots) are women, as are 6.9 percent of flight officers (non-pilot aircrew). In the air force five percent of pilots are women. Women now command warships and air combat units (including fighter squadrons). Some women, and their political supporters, want to do the same thing in the infantry and special operations. If only the physical problems could be taken care of.


Advocates for women in combat also have to worry about combat casualties and the very well documented history of women in combat. During World War II over five million women served in the military worldwide. Although they suffered fewer losses than the men, several hundred thousand did die. These women were often exposed to combat, especially when fighting as guerillas or operating anti-aircraft guns and early warning systems in Russia, Germany, and Britain. Russia also used women as traffic cops near the front line, as snipers, and as combat pilots. They (especially the Russians) tried using them as tank crews and regular infantry, but that didn’t work out, a historical lesson lost on current proponents. Women were most frequently employed in medical and other support jobs. The few who served as snipers or pilots were very good at it.


Most of the women who served in combat did so in guerilla units, especially in the Balkans and Russia. The women could not haul as heavy a load as the men but this was often not crucial, as many guerillas were only part-time fighters, living as civilians most of the time. Full time guerilla units often imposed the death penalty for pregnancy, although the women sometimes would not name the father. That said, guerilla organizations often imposed the death penalty for a number of offenses. The guerillas had few places to keep prisoners and sloppiness could get a lot of guerillas killed. The women tended to be more disciplined than the men and just as resolute in combat.


In the last century there have been several attempts to use women in ground combat units, and all have failed. When given a choice, far fewer women will choose combat jobs (infantry, armor, artillery). But duty as MPs does attract a lot of women, as do jobs like fighter, bomber, helicopter pilots and crews, and aboard warships. That works.


Meanwhile the casualty rate for women in Iraq was over ten times what it was in World War II, Vietnam, and the 1991 Gulf War (where 30,000 women served). A lot of the combat operations experienced by women in Iraq involved base security or guard duty. Female troops performed well in that. These were jobs that required alertness, attention to detail, and ability to quickly use your weapons when needed. Carrying a heavy load was not required. In convoy operations women have also done well, especially when it comes to spotting, and dealing with, IEDs (roadside bombs and ambushes). Going into the 21st century, warfare is becoming more automated and less dependent on muscle and testosterone. That gives women an edge, and they exploit it, just as they have done in so many other fields.


Now the military has been ordered to just make it happen. No need to find a way to justify allowing females in the infantry and special operations troops. An order has been given. After that comes the difficulty in finding women who are willing to volunteer and pass whatever standards survive.

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14 octobre 2015 3 14 /10 /octobre /2015 07:55
photo Ministère de la Défense

photo Ministère de la Défense


13.10.2015 Ministère de la Défense


Sur le terrain, il faut se camoufler pour ne pas être distingué des éléments naturels. Le mécanisme de reconnaissance humain détecte tout ce qui tranche avec l’environnement, dans la forme et le mouvement. Fixé par l’œil, l’élément perçu est analysé par le cerveau. Ses contours, essentiellement, sont comparés aux différentes formes connues stockées dans la mémoire de l’observateur. La silhouette humaine est identifiée par les contours de la tête, des épaules, du tronc avec ou sans les membres supérieurs, et du « V » inversé des jambes.
Pour se dissimuler, le fantassin doit casser les formes de son corps, à l’aide de tenues de camouflage et de branchages par exemple. Le cerveau trompé de l’adversaire ne disposera plus d'une forme perceptible à comparer avec ses modèles de référence, et il sera en défaut de solution d'identification.


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14 octobre 2015 3 14 /10 /octobre /2015 07:20
U.S. soldiers train with the shoulder-fired Carl-Gustaf weapon system. Photo by Spc. William Hatton, U.S. Army.

U.S. soldiers train with the shoulder-fired Carl-Gustaf weapon system. Photo by Spc. William Hatton, U.S. Army.


WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 By Richard Tomkins  (UPI)


U.S. Special Operations Command has ordered ammunition for its Swedish-made 84mm recoilless weapon system.


Ammunition for 84mm Swedish recoilless rifles used by U.S. forces is to be supplied by Saab, the company said. The order for ammunition for the Carl-Gustaf M4 system was issued by U.S. Special Operations Command. No information on the monetary value of the order was disclosed. "This order demonstrates the continued confidence of our customer in the capabilities and versatility of the Carl-Gustaf," said Torbjorn Saxmo, head of Saab's Ground Combat business unit. "The system gives soldiers a battle-winning edge through its high accuracy, supreme effectiveness and great versatility."

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14 octobre 2015 3 14 /10 /octobre /2015 07:20
Marines: USMC More Vulnerable To Extinction

Los Angeles, Calif - Marine Raiders with 1st Marine Raider Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, transition out of the water during a simulated underwater assault force night-raid in Los Angeles, California, Sept. 3, 2015. - photo USMC


October 13, 2015: Strategy Page


The U.S. Marine Corps is at war with itself over how to handle the future. Many marines have noticed that their traditional (for over a century) role as the overseas emergency force has been quietly taken over since the 1980s by SOCOM (Special Operations Command). It wasn’t until 2005 that the marines officially assigned its 2,600 strong Marine Special Operations Command, to SOCOM. This was in belated recognition that SOCOM, when it was formed in 1986 was indeed the most effective way to manage and use all the special operations units in the American military. Back then there was resistance from all the services, except the army (which had the most special operations troops mainly in its Special Forces.) But the Secretary of Defense overruled the services, and, by 1990, the navy (SEALS) and air force (special aircraft and pararescue troops) had assigned their special operations units to SOCOM control. The marines resisted and got away with it by insisting they didn't have any "special operations" troops or that "all marines are special operations troops," (depending on what day you asked them.)


By late 2001, it was obvious even to the marines that SOCOM was where the action was, and the marines wanted in. After four years of haggling and negotiation, the marines were in with a combination of traditional commandoes, long range recon, and "ranger" type forces. There are also support troops (dog handlers, interrogators and interpreters, intelligence analysts, supply and transportation) as well as a training unit (to instruct foreign troops, a job the marines have been helping the army Special Forces with already.) The marines also agreed to provide, as needed, other marine units that are trained to perform jobs SOCOM needs done. The marines have long had their infantry battalions train some of their troops to perform commando type operations (raids, hostage rescue and the like.) This was done so those battalions, when serving on amphibious ships at sea, had some capability to handle a wider range of emergencies (like getting Americans out of some foreign hot spot.)


At the time some observers (including a few marines) thought that the marines might contribute more forces to SOCOM in the future, or perhaps the entire Marine Corps would join SOCOM and take it over. That last jest was based in reality as before World War II the Marine Corps was the “special operations” force you called in for emergencies overseas. That changed during World War II but many American marines noted the different path taken by the British Royal Marines after the war. After 2001 many American marines thought it might be a good idea to copy their brethren, the British Royal Marines, and convert themselves to a commando force.


During World War II the Royal Marines had turned themselves into the Royal Marine Commandos. After 1945, when Britain disbanded all of its commando units, the Royal Marines retained three of their infantry battalions as Royal Marines Commandos (commando battalions). These three battalions have remained in service to the present, mainly because they always performed as advertised and were always in great demand.


The marines did change after World War II but in different ways. They gradually dropped their army-like divisional organization, using their three "division" headquarters as an administrative units for managing the battalion and brigade (2-4 battalions) size task forces for whatever assignments come their way. This worked quite well during the last two decades of the 20th century. After 2001 there was a new proposal to completely do away with the marine division. Note that the first one of these was organized in 1942 and six were active by 1945. The 2002 proposal had most marines trained more for commando operations rather than traditional infantry combat. This was a trend that was already present in marine training, although marines were still considered, first and foremost, elite ground combat troops. At the time there was a lot of resistance from marine veterans groups (over a hundred thousand marine veterans of World War II were still around then and they could be a feisty lot.) But the marines did have a tradition of constantly transforming themselves, something even old marines recognize and respect. Any such transformation had to wait because after 2003 (the Iraq invasion) the marines became a supplementary force for the army in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over the next decade the marines noted that they could not go back to what they were in 2002 because the army had become more like marines (highly trained and effective infantry) and the marines had become more like these new soldiers.


Many marines are concerned that more people will notice that SOCOM is now the marines of old and that the marines are not nearly as special and specialized as they used to be. To make matters worse in 2006 the U.S. Navy decided to create a new naval infantry force to do some of the jobs the marines had originally done but were now too busy being soldiers to take care of. By 2008 the navy had built a new ground combat force staffed by 40,000 sailors. This was NECC (Navy Expeditionary Combat Command), which was capable of operating along the coast and up rivers, as well as further inland. NECC units were already in Iraq by then and ready to deploy anywhere else they are needed. The 1,200 sailors in the EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) teams are particularly sought after, because of increased use of roadside bombs and booby traps by the enemy. NECC has also organized three Riverine Squadrons which all served in Iraq. NECC basically consists of most of the combat support units the navy has traditionally put ashore, plus some coastal and river patrol units that have usually only been organized in wartime.


In light of all this many marines fear that any new effort by the politicians to eliminate the Marine Corps will succeed. The marines have been avoiding these extinction efforts for over a century mainly because they could demonstrate some unique abilities. Without that advantage the marines are vulnerable.

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12 octobre 2015 1 12 /10 /octobre /2015 10:55
photo Ministère de la Défense

photo Ministère de la Défense


12.10.2015 par Ministère de la Défense


Dans toute forme de combat, surprendre son ennemi est un avantage considérable. Pour réussir cette phase délicate, il est impératif de s’approcher au plus près de son adversaire et de l’observer sans se faire repérer. Sur le terrain, le fantassin doit se fondre dans l’environnement ambiant. Il va devenir indécelable grâce au camouflage, l’art de la dissimulation.


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16 septembre 2015 3 16 /09 /septembre /2015 11:50
LRV 400 Mk2 Recon Vehicle - photo Supacat

LRV 400 Mk2 Recon Vehicle - photo Supacat


September 11, 2015 By Andrew Chuter – Defense News


LONDON — The DSEi show is not scheduled to open its doors at London’s Excel Centre until Sept. 15. But British specialist military vehicle maker Supacat has decided not to wait to take the wraps off the latest version of its LRV 400 Special Forces light reconnaissance vehicle it will debut when the lights go up on what promises to be the world’s biggest defense show of the year.

Supacat has improved on the first version of the vehicle it launched in 2012 with a number of upgrades incorporated in the Mk2 being displayed for the first time at the show.


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2 juillet 2015 4 02 /07 /juillet /2015 16:30
Des contractors américains pour former les forces spéciales de Jordanie


01..07..2015 par Philippe Chapleau - Lignes de Défense


La société américaine GSI (GovSource Inc) recherche des formateurs pour un contrat de 13 mois en Jordanie.

Les formateurs, tous anciens membres des FS américaines (au moins 3 ans d'expérience), devront avoir une expérience du mentoring au profit de soldats de nations partenaires.

Ils seront sur place pour le 1er août prochain et ils seront déployés au KASOTC (King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center, KASOTC.) pour y entrainer des recrues jordaniennes.


GSI recrute aussi des formateurs pour un autre contrat de 13 mois. Il s'agit de transformer un bataillon d'artillerie jordanien en un bataillon équipé de lance-roquettes multiples de type High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). La Jordanie dispose de 12 systèmes de ce type.

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5 juin 2015 5 05 /06 /juin /2015 12:45
photo Netherlands MoD

photo Netherlands MoD


18.05.2015 by Dagboek van Onze Helden

From Mali, one Dutch Special Operations force commando tells his story. His perspective. His mission.

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We introduce our commando in Mali. He scouts the area for the United Nations and comes into contact with rebels. The atmosphere is tense, yet he manages to obtain new information about the location of the rebels. Everything points to the Tilemsi valley. It is a kind of a no-man’s land, in the proximity of Kidal.

Who or what is a Special Forces commando? For once, the mystery surrounding the elite unit of the Dutch army is replaced by the real story. For the first time we experience what a real commando sees, does and thinks. During the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA in Mali, one commando kept a video diary. This commando, who filmed everything from his point of view, gives the viewer a unique glimpse into the life of a commando on mission in the eight-part series “Dagboek van Onze Helden – Commando in Mali”.

Since April 2014, the Dutch Special Operations Forces are operating in the dessert of the African country Mali. Mali is likely to be a breeding ground for terrorist organizations. For this reason, UN peacekeeping mission MINSUMA was conceived.

The Dutch Special Operations forces form the 'eyes and ears' of this mission. The commandos gather intelligence and investigate where battling parties are located. That is not without danger. Attacks with homemade bombs, ambushes and raids are part of the daily threat. With the Dutch findings and intelligence further operations are considered. This makes the Dutch contribution very important and unique.

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3 avril 2015 5 03 /04 /avril /2015 12:55
SOFINS 2015 L’événement des forces spéciales françaises du 14 au 16 avril 2015


3 avril, 2015 source FOB


Le général de brigade aérienne Pierre-Jean Dupont, adjoint du général commandant les opérations spé-ciales (GCOS) a présenté, lors du point presse, la 2nde édition du «Special Operations Forces Innovation Net-work Seminar » (SOFINS) qui se tiendra au camp de Souge, près de Bordeaux, du 14 au 16 avril.


Le SOFINS a pour vocation de favoriser la collaboration entre la communauté des forces spé-ciales, les centres de recherches, les pôles universitaires et les industriels des grands groupes, des ETI, des PME et des TPE im-plantés en France.


L’objectif de cette collaboration, en liaison étroite avec la DGA, est de permettre aux forces spé-ciales, avec l’aide des industriels, de repousser les limites de leur équipement en termes d’ergonomie (utilisation de nuit de leur équipement) ou de légèreté (emporter, à poids égal, un nombre croissant de matériel permettant plus de polyvalence dans les actions).


Le SOFINS s’adresse également à l’ensemble des forces « spécifiques » (GIGN, RAID, DGSI, DGSE) et aux grands décideurs des états-majors centraux (EMA, EMAT, EMM, EMAA, DGGN). Il accueille également de nom-breuses délégations officielles françaises et étrangères, ainsi que des élus locaux et nationaux.


Le SOFINS propose pour ses participants :

– un espace d’exposition dédié à la présentation des savoir-faire et produits ;

– des tests de produits et des démonstrations par des opérateurs des forces spéciales ;

– des ateliers sur les futurs enjeux en matière d’équipe-ments des forces spéciales, afin d’engager des pro-grammes de R&D répondant à leurs besoins.

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25 mars 2015 3 25 /03 /mars /2015 17:56
2ème Édition pour SOFINS, le salon des forces spéciales


23 mars, 2015 par Pierre Brassart (FOB)


Après une première édition couronnée de succès en 2013, le camp de Souge, à deux pas de Bordeaux, nouvelle implantation du 13e Régiment de Dragons Parachutiste (un des trois régiments composant la Brigade des Forces Spéciales Terre), accueille à nouveaux le SOFINS, le Special Operations Forces Innovation Network Seminar. Ce salon, unique en Europe, est un lieu privilégié de rencontre entre les membres de la communauté des Forces Spéciales, les industriels (autant les grandes entreprises que les PME) et le monde de la recherche. Durant 3 jours, du 14 au 16 avril, conférences, démonstrations live, workshops se succèderont.


Le but de ce séminaire est de permettre à ces différents mondes de se rencontrer, d’échanger, de collaborer afin que chacun bénéficie de ce que l’autre à apporter, tant comme besoin que comme solution.


35 délégations étrangères (européennes et internationales) homologues des forces spéciales, étaient présentes lors de la 1ère édition du SOFINS. Il y a fort à parier qu’elles seront encore nombreuses cette année. Ce rayonnement permet de tirer des enseignements des expériences étrangères et d’élargir les champs d’application des technologies.

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17 mars 2015 2 17 /03 /mars /2015 18:30
Turkey Begins Training Groups to Fight ISIS


March 17, 2015 By Burak Ege Bekdil – Defense News


ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish special forces have started training local Iraqi and Syrian groups to fight the Islamic State group, officials here said.


"The training mission has taken off with a view to reinforce Iraqi groups that volunteer to fight ISIS," a senior Turkish diplomat said. "But Turkey's contribution to the [western] coalition's fight against ISIS will not be limited to training. Logistical support will be given [as well]."


A military official said that the special forcmaes, also known as the "Maroon Berets," were training Kurdish peshmerga in the Iraqi cities of Arbil. He said the training program also involves ethnic Turkmen forces in Mosul, Iraq's second biggest city, as well as in a discreet location inside Syria.


Recently, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq announced that at least 16,000 Iraqi troops had been trained over the past four months to retake Mosul from ISIS. Islamic State fighters have captured large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq since last summer.


The military official said the training program was designed to enhance asymmetrical warfare capabilities of the anti-ISIS forces. It involves asymmetrical fighting, sabotage, communications and intelligence gathering.


The training program aims to augment a looming military offensive against ISIS to retake Mosul.


Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in early March that Turkey was willing to support a possible operation to reclaim Mosul from ISIS, but it will avoid any direct combat unless it is attacked on its own soil.


Neither the Turkish diplomat nor the military official could confirm whether the Turkish support would also include sending arms and other military equipment to the anti-ISIS coalition.

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16 mars 2015 1 16 /03 /mars /2015 12:55
Special Forces : doing it differently with the 3rd dimension (JDEF)

13 mars 2015 by JDEF


Regarding this unpublished issue, “Special forces : doing it differently with the 3rd dimension”, “Le journal de la Défense” (#JDef) followed the French Special Forces commandos’ training during 6 months.
We know neither their faces nor their names, and their missions are even kept secret. Nevertheless, they intervene at any time throughout the world.
Release of hostages, counter-piracy missions, war criminals’ arrest… The 3.300 members of the SOC, the French Special Operations Command, are part of all commitments, time to time in the most demanding conditions.
Whether they belong to the Army, the Air Force or the Navy, all Special Forces units have to master the 3rd dimension, which stands for a conducive environment to their interventions

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10 mars 2015 2 10 /03 /mars /2015 19:55
photo Ministère de la Défense

photo Ministère de la Défense


March 8, 2015 By Pierre Tran – Defense News


PARIS — Industry is expecting France to soon launch a tender worth an estimated total €250 million for two types of vehicles for its special operations forces, sources close to the deal said.


The procurement reflects a need for a speedy equipping of the special forces, which have been widely engaged in foreign missions and have worn out the Panhard Véhicule de Patrouille Spéciale.


"The special forces can't wait," said a source who declined to be identified.


The tender comprises two orders, one worth €100 million and the other €150 million, a second source said.


Two sources said such a deal would be expensive for a relatively small order. But a company that wins the bid could promote itself in the market as supplier to the elite French special forces.


The Defense Ministry will hold a tender to choose a vehicle and develop it to meet special forces requirements, procurement chief Laurent Collet-Billon told journalists on Feb. 9.


No off-the-shelf vehicle meets the specifications, which calls for two years of development, he said. The development will adapt the vehicle, which will then undergo a certification to show the weapons and radio will be fit for use, he said.


Special forces command, the chief of the armed forces and the Direction Générale de l'Armement procurement office will conduct the acquisition.


"I hope a solution can be found that meets the urgent needs of the operational forces and the realities of the procurement procedure," French senator Jacques Gautier said.


Gautier, Daniel Reiner and Gérard Larcher co-wrote a Senate report on the special forces published in May. An off-the-shelf acquisition of heavy and light vehicles was planned under the multiyear budget law, the report said.


The special forces command has highly specific requirements, which makes it hard to find a vehicle already on the market, the sources said. Sources said the vehicle likely will be of French, not foreign, manufacture.


One of the specifications is that two of the vehicles can be loaded on the C-130 Hercules transport.


Renault Trucks Defense (RTD), part of the Volvo group, has filed papers to qualify for the tender, which is expected to be launched soon, an industry executive said.


RTD is pitching its four-wheel drive Sherpa Light, which was on display last year at the Eurosatory trade show and at the special operations forces innovation network seminar (SOFINS) the year before.


RTD declined comment.


The SOFINS website refers to "the must-go biennial event for collaboration between the Special Forces community and French industrialists."


RTD had fitted a naval version of a pintle-mounted Nexter 20mm gun on the Sherpa Light displayed at SOFINS two years ago. A second special forces show is due to be held April 14-16 at the Souge army base, near Bordeaux, southwest France.


The special forces drew on lessons learned in the Mali campaign, when insurgents drove pick-ups armed with a Russian 14.5mm gun, which has a range of 1.2 kilometers, greater than that of the 12.7mm, or .50-inch, NATO standard weapon.


Under the public markets law, the Defense Ministry must hold a tender for off-the-shelf acquisition, yet a certification is not always needed. For example, the AWACS and Hawkeye did not need French certification as the spy planes had already been certified by the US authorities.


The special forces also have a requirement for a heavy vehicle in the 10-ton category to replace a current fleet of 212 units.


A second major equipment project for the special forces is an upgrade of avionics and further tactical capabilities on the C-130. The avionics must conform with rules that go into effect from 2020 and set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

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7 mars 2015 6 07 /03 /mars /2015 22:50
Bon Voyage Army Style

source Strategy Page

A U.S. Soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) salutes his fellow Soldiers while jumping out of a C-130 Hercules aircraft over a drop zone in Germany, Feb. 24, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Jason Johnston)

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3 mars 2015 2 03 /03 /mars /2015 08:30
Australia 'to send more troops to train Iraqi forces'


2 March 2015 BBC


Australia is poised to significantly increase its contingent of troops training local forces in Iraq, Australian media say.


They say 300 troops will join the 200 special forces soldiers already in the country training the Iraqi army. The new deployment will form part of a joint mission with New Zealand. Fighter jets from the Royal Australian Air Force joined the US-led coalition bombing Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq in October. The cabinet approved the plan on Monday, Australia's ABC News reported. Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to make a formal announcement later on Tuesday. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key pre-empted the announcement last week when he revealed that New Zealand was sending 143 troops to Iraq in a joint operation with Australia.


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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 17:50
Polish Special Forces MRAP Vehicles Photo ppłk Artur Goławski

Polish Special Forces MRAP Vehicles Photo ppłk Artur Goławski


26 February by Jakub Palowski - defence24.pl


45 mine-resistant MRAP M-ATV vehicles, supplied by the US, were handed-off for the Polish Special Forces in Cracow.


The Polish Special Forces received 45 M-ATV vehicles. The hand-off ceremony took place in Cracow and the US Ambassador in Poland Stephen D. Mull participated in that event. Delivery of the MRAP vehicles is being carried out within the framework of the Excess Defense Articles programme, the standard way that the U.S. military gives leftover equipment to allies. Earlier Poland had received Oliver Hazard Perry vessels or C-130 Hercules transport planes in that way.


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3 février 2015 2 03 /02 /février /2015 16:55
SOFINS - Du 14 au 16 avril 2015


source SOFINS

Imaginé par le Commandement des Opérations Spéciales et placé sous le haut patronage du ministre de la Défense, le Special Operations Forces Innovation Network Seminar (SOFINS) est un concept inédit visant à développer une synergie en matière d’équipements entre les forces spéciales françaises et le tissu national des industriels, des PME et du monde de la recherche.


Un événement unique en Europe qui combine une offre à plusieurs niveaux :



Un espace d’exposition et des rendez-vous d’affaires pour présenter vos savoir-faire et produits


Des tests de produits par les opérateurs des forces spéciales sur des zones adaptées

Des démonstrations live des forces spéciales


Des présentations produits pour promouvoir votre activité

Des ateliers pour initier des programmes de R&D répondant aux besoins des FS

Les secteurs d'activité concernés


Aéronautique «voilure fixe» :

- Capacités C3ISTAR

- Infiltration et mobilité 3D

- Frappe de précision et appui-feu

- C4I

- Largage

- Livraison par air

- Réalité augmentée


Aéronautique « voilure tournante » :

- Simulation / entraînement

- Capteurs embarqués

- Avionique

- Équipement actif de défense

- Équipement de défense passive

- Mobilité et infiltration 3D

- Appui feu


Action à la mer :

- Systèmes submersibles

- Systèmes de surface

- C4I


- Équipements individuels


Reconnaissance Spéciale, Surveillance et Exploitation :

- Observation

- Détection / Reconnaissance, Identification

- Prises de vues Jour / nuit

- Géolocalisation, marquage- Surveillance de zone

- Biométrie

- Transmissions sécurisées

- Systèmes d’exploitation


Command and Control, Communications, computers :

- Systèmes de transmissions

- Système de commandement et d’organisation des PC

- Guerre électronique

- Localisation


Environnement du combattant FS

- Mobilité terrestre

- Armement individuel / collectif - Vision nocturne

- Protection individuelle

- Médicalisation au combat

- Désignation de cible

- Démolition / bréchage

- Survie

- Équipements individuels


Plus d'informations : SOFINS 2015

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19 décembre 2014 5 19 /12 /décembre /2014 17:35
The departure of 30 Albanian commandos on “Resolute Support” mission in Kabul, Afghanistan


19 December 2014 mod.gov.al


Minister Kodheli:You, Albanian commandos should commit yourself in the framework of the “Resolute Support”, alongside our allies and partners for a safer world for us and our children.


It was held today at the Air Force Command in Rinas the departure ceremony of contingent of Land Forces, to Kabul, Afghanistan, Commando Battalion who will act in the framework of the “Resolute Support”.


Defence Minister Mrs. Mimi Kodheli, Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces, Major General Jeronim Bazo, Land Force Commander, Major General Zyber Dushku, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Tirana, Mr. Hidayet Bayraktar, senior militaries of the Ministry of Defence, General Staff of the Armed Forces, family members and relatives of soldiers attended at the departure ceremony of 30 commando troops in this mission were.

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17 décembre 2014 3 17 /12 /décembre /2014 17:45
Virginian-32 va assurer le soutien de l'exercice Flintlock 15 qui aura lieu au Tchad


15.12.2014 par Philippe Chapleau - Lignes de Défense

Le Tchad a annoncé qu'il va accueillir l'exercice Flintlock 2015, une exercice multinational supervisé par l'AFRICOM et qui met en scène des forces spéciales. Flintlock débutera le 16 février à N’Djamena et se prolongera jusqu'au 9 mars. Lire ici un article sur ce sujet.

1 200 soldats venant du Tchad, du Niger, du Nigeria et du Cameroun évolueront ensemble. D'autres soldats et des observateurs viendront des pays suivants: Burkina Faso, Danemark, Canada, France, Allemagne, Italie, Mauritanie, Pays-Bas, Belgique, Suède, Norvège, Sénégal, Espagne, GB, Mali et USA.

Voir la page Facebook de Flintlock ici.


Soutien US. Un avis du 11 décembre (Solicitation Number: W56PFY14D00070003), à lire ici, précise que le soutien logistique de l'exercice a été confié à une entreprise américaine: Virginian-32.

Cette petite firme de Floride va assurer le soutien logistique et assurer des prestations dans les domaines de l'énergie, de l'hébergement, de l'assainissement... Montant du contrat: 1,298 million de dollars. Il s'agit du plus contrat que cette PME a obtenu avec le Pentagone.

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5 novembre 2014 3 05 /11 /novembre /2014 08:45
photos D. Geffroy - FFDj

photos D. Geffroy - FFDj


04/11/2014 Sources : État-major des armées


Du 11 au 23 octobre 2014, Djibouti a été le théâtre de la campagne internationale de tireurs d’élites longue distance (International Concentration for Advanced Sniping in Djibouti ou ICASD). Organisé par le Groupement de Forces Spéciales (GFS) avec le soutien des forces françaises stationnées à Djibouti (FFDj), cet événement, créé par les commandos marine il y a douze ans, est l’occasion pour des tireurs d’élite de tous horizons de confronter leurs performances.


Le 1er Régiment parachutiste d’infanterie de marine (1erRPIMa), le commando parachutiste de l’air n°10 (CPA 10), les commandos marine, ainsi que le Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (GIGN) ont participé à ce challenge de tir longue distance. Les Navy Seals américains ainsi que deux unités des forces spéciales italiennes ont également été invitées.


C’est après 15 jours de compétition intense que le verdict est rendu. Deux classements ont été réalisés : une catégorie par binôme, et une catégorie individuelle. Le classement par équipe a vu se distinguer le commando de Montfort, les Navy Seals américains et un binôme du commando Hubert. Pour le classement individuel un marin des Navy Seals américain un soldat des forces spéciales italiennes et un gendarme du GIGN occupent le podium. 


L’ICASD permet aux unités présentes de partager leurs connaissances et de s’entrainer dans des conditions proches des théâtres où ils sont engagés. Constitués en 12 binômes (un tireur et un spotter, assurant l’observation du tir et déterminant les éventuelles corrections), les participants se confrontent sur treize épreuves (tirs de nuit, parcours dynamique, tir à distances inconnues, etc.). Chaque épreuve rapporte un certain nombre de points. Ces derniers ont ensuite été additionnés afin d’avoir le classement général.


En conformité avec le traité de coopération de défense signé en 2011 avec la république de Djibouti, les FFDj constituent une base opérationnelle avancée en Afrique de l’Est. Elles participent ainsi au dispositif militaire français prépositionné permettant de disposer d’un réservoir de forces pouvant être projetées rapidement en cas de crise. Par ailleurs, les FFDj bénéficient d'une capacité d’entraînement permanente, avec comme principal « outil » le centre d’entraînement au combat et d’aguerrissement au désert de Djibouti (CECAD) qui accueille des unités permanentes ou en mission de courte durée des FFDj, des unités ou écoles de métropole, ainsi que les forces armées djiboutiennes et étrangères.

FFDj : La campagne de tireur d’élite ICASD dévoile son classement
FFDj : La campagne de tireur d’élite ICASD dévoile son classement
FFDj : La campagne de tireur d’élite ICASD dévoile son classement
FFDj : La campagne de tireur d’élite ICASD dévoile son classement
FFDj : La campagne de tireur d’élite ICASD dévoile son classement
FFDj : La campagne de tireur d’élite ICASD dévoile son classement
FFDj : La campagne de tireur d’élite ICASD dévoile son classement
FFDj : La campagne de tireur d’élite ICASD dévoile son classement
FFDj : La campagne de tireur d’élite ICASD dévoile son classement
FFDj : La campagne de tireur d’élite ICASD dévoile son classement
FFDj : La campagne de tireur d’élite ICASD dévoile son classement
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23 octobre 2014 4 23 /10 /octobre /2014 16:50
Die Ausbildung der Kampfschwimmer

23 oct. 2014 Quelle: Redaktion der Bundeswehr 14E21502 10/2014


Lautlos kommen sie aus dem Meer um am Land zu operieren: die Kampfschwimmer. Ihre Aufträge dienen als Inspiration für viele Drehbücher, doch hinter den Geschichten stehen Männer, die die Öffentlichkeit meiden müssen. Es ist kein Job für Männer mit Geltungsdrang, denn Auszeichnungen bekommen die Elitesoldaten nur hinter verschlossenen Türen.
T. Mittendorp ist Kampfschwimmer. Zu seinen Aufgaben gehört das Trainieren ausgebildeter Kampfschwimmer zu Land, im Wasser und in der Luft - kein Job für schwache Nerven.


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16 octobre 2014 4 16 /10 /octobre /2014 12:20
 24 Hours in Air Force Special Operations Command


15 oct. 2014 AFBlueTube


Over the past decade, there has been an unprecedented increase in special operations around the world. This video showcases Air Force Special Operations Command's dynamic mission.

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12 septembre 2014 5 12 /09 /septembre /2014 13:45
Serval : Le CPA 20 reçoit une citation


12/09/2014 Armée de l'air


Le 2 septembre 2014, le général Serge Soulet, commandant les forces aériennes et le soutien des forces aériennes a remis une citation, signée de Monsieur Jean-Yves Le Drian, ministre de la Défense, au commando parachutiste n°20 (CPA 20). Cette citation comporte la Croix de la valeur militaire avec étoile de Vermeil.


Cette récompense a été remise lors de la prise de commandement par le colonel Pierre Réal de la base aérienne 102 de Dijon, base d'appartenance du CPA 20. C’est la troisième citation reçue par l'unité. Après l’Afghanistan, celle-ci revient sur l’engagement des commandos au Mali en 2013, lors de l’opération Serval, où cette unité d’élite s’est particulièrement distinguée. En appui des sous-groupements tactiques interarmes, le CPA 20 a « largement contribué à la libération de la ville de Tombouctou » (extrait de la citation). Les commandos se sont également illustrés à proximité de l’aéroport de Tombouctou, dans la ville de Gao, dans les montagnes du Nord-Est ou encore dans la vallée de Tahort lors de missions d’appui aérien rapproché (Close Air Support - CAS).


Signe des qualités opérationnelles du CPA 20, cette unité verra l’un de ses membres se faire  remettre une citation avec Croix de la valeur militaire, au 2e régiment étranger de parachutistes à Calvi,  en clôture de l’exercice « Orage d’Acier » organisé en Corse du 13 au 29 septembre 2014.

Serval : Le CPA 20 reçoit une citation
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8 septembre 2014 1 08 /09 /septembre /2014 16:50
MSPO : KMW présente son véhicule forces spéciales


5 septembre, 2014 Guillaume Belan


Peu de véritables nouveautés sur la salon polonais MSPO qui ferme ses portes aujourd’hui. Un nouveau véhicule cependant était dévoilé pour la première fois et il est allemand. Attendu pour le dernier salon Eurosatory, le véhicule de KMW dédié aux forces spéciales, baptisé SOV (Special Operations Vehicle), fait sa première apparition cette semaine. D’un poids en ordre de marche de 7500 kg pour une charge utile de 2500 kg, le SOV est propulsé par un moteur diesel 3.0 litre d’Iveco, affichant une autonomie de 900 km. Le châssis protégé balistique et mine est présenté comme offrant une excellente mobilité. Le véhicule peut embarquer entre 3 et 6 personnes et, modulaire, recevoir plusieurs types d’armements (12.7 mm ou lance grenade 40 mm, 5.56 ; 7.62 mm) ou supporter une cabine fermée et protégée. Configuré pour les forces spéciales allemandes, il est aérotransportable, sans préparation et peut rentrer dans un hélicoptère CH47/53

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 13:20
Special Operations: Preparing For A Pacific War

MSV Maritime Support Vessel project


August 14, 2014: Strategy Page


The U.S. Navy SEAL commandoes used to have a near-monopoly on launching raids and other special operations missions from the sea. But now MARSOC (Marine Corps Special Operations Command) and U.S. Army Special Forces (which includes Delta Force) operators are also training to launch operations “from the sea”. The SEALs will probably retain their monopoly on scuba type operations because the SEALs already have a lot of training and regular practice in this specialized area. But given the shift of U.S. attention to the Pacific and the greater probability that more commando missions will be launched from the sea, more of the existing American commando force needs this kind of training.


To support this increase need for seaborne commando operations the navy is building special commando support ships and having more surface combat ships prepare to support commando operations. These preparations increasingly involve bringing in SEALs, MARSOC or Special Forces operators for training exercises. The commandos can be delivered via small transports to carriers and thence by helicopter to smaller ships (destroyers, amphibious carriers or the new LCS) for the actual mission (via a smaller boat that goes to a nearby beach.) The commandos also practice going in via low-flying helicopter or, if they are SEALs, via the specialized mini-subs that most American SSN (attack subs) can carry on their deck.


The navy and SOCOM (Special Operations Command) have been planning this shift for several years now and it includes creating some special commando support ships. In late 2013 the U.S. Navy began converting a 30,000 ton container ship to serve as a seagoing base (MSV or Maritime Support Vessel) for SOCOM commandos and support troops. Over $100 million is being spent to do the conversion. What’s interesting about this is that it’s an old idea.


Back in 2004 the U.S. Navy was asked by SOCOM to look into the idea of modifying a container ship for use as seagoing base for Special Operations troops (Special Forces and commandos). This idea was apparently inspired by incidents in the past decade where SOCOM forces had been based temporarily on navy ships. Off Haiti in 1996 and Afghanistan in 2001 the Navy provided an aircraft carrier with most of its air wing withdrawn and replaced with Army or Special Operations helicopters and personnel. While this tactic demonstrated tremendous flexibility on the part of the navy it could not be done on a regular basis because it tied up one of the most valuable navy assets (carriers and their crews.) Then in 2001 the navy began converting four SSBNs (ballistic missile firing nuclear subs) to carry 154 cruise missiles as well as SOCOM (so far mainly SEALs) commandos.  This includes commando equipment and special boats to get them ashore.


The conversion concept had several major advantages over the traditional approach of building a new type of military ship. Commercial vessels, even ones the size of aircraft carriers (large tankers and container carriers), typically require crews of less than fifty rather than thousands for military ships of the same size. A large container ship used for military purposes could be operated by fewer than a hundred sailors compared to 1,100 on an LHD or 3,200 on a Nimitz-class carrier. It would also be easier to upgrade, as the modules could be removed and replaced independently.


The Military Sealift Command (MSC) would own and operate these ships using civilian crews. The navy would keep one or two of these ships ready at all times plus a reserve of special containers ashore for use on additional MSC-owned ships or those leased from commercial users.


The current MSV project uses a smaller (30,000 ton) container ship and will handle a few hundred SOCOM operators and support troops and less than a dozen helicopters plus some small commando boats.

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