Saturday, 21 December 2013

R.I.P.: Close Combat Vehicle

Joint statement on the decision not to proceed with the procurement process for the Close Combat Vehicle
The Close Combat Vehicle (CCV) programme was meant for the Canadian Army to procure/develop a heavy armoured personnel carrier (APC) / infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) to accompany their Leopard 2 main-battle tanks.

It is now dead.

The German equivalent, the Puma IFV, also seems to be undergoing teething problems...
http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/ruestung122.html [in German]

Monday, 16 December 2013

French troops in Central African Republic

"50. Authorizes the French forces in the CAR, within the limits of their capacities and areas of deployment, and for a temporary period, to take all necessary measures to support MISCA in the discharge of its mandate as provided by paragraph 28 above; requests France to report to the Council on the implementation of this mandate in the CAR and to coordinate its reporting with the reporting by the African Union referred to in paragraph 32 above and decides to review this mandate within six months after its commencement and calls upon the Transitional Authorities to cooperate fully with the deployment and operations of French forces, in particular by ensuring its safety, security and freedom of movement with unhindered and immediate access throughout the territory of CAR and further calls upon neighbouring countries of CAR to take appropriate measures to support the action of French forces;"
An extract from Resolution 2127, adopted by the United Nations Security Council, allowing French troops to enter the Central African Republic to protect civilians and restore security and public order.

Friday, 18 October 2013

The War in October: The Crossing



Great footage of river crossing operations. The Egyptians had the "foresight" to film it for posterity. This is the 1st in a 3-part video series, featuring events of the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

A new domain in military operations

http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/2/4686848/syrian-electronic-army-hacks-marines-recruiting-site

Have been meaning to write about the work of the "Syrian Electronic Army".

As mentioned in the article above, they have been very active. The latest target is a "military" one, compared to the previous attacks on news websites.

Marines.com is not the main USMC website. It's more of a promotional website for the Marines. So it is likely that no serious infiltration or loss of information has occurred.

The "attack" is more likely a hack on the DNS, to direct users who type www.marines.com to another website, instead of the real Marines.com website. 

It is more an asymmetric attack. But it also brings to reality the many articles written about cyber warfare. Some have been dismissive, but it seems we no longer can ignore this threat.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Gilad Schalit and his capture - useful operational lessons

Gilad Schalit's capture: In his own words
Gilad Schalit's capture, in his own words, part II

2-part Jerusalem Post report on Gilad Schalit, the Israeli soldier who was captured, and kept in captivity for 5 years.

The reporter was a little condescending at certain junctures, but look beyond it, to read the details of the incident, which provides very useful learning points, to serving servicemen.

In Singapore, we often find ourselves limited in the real life case studies that are used. Many are from the way back in the past, either during World War 2, or the Konfrontasi.

opswarfare thinks there is real utility in using foreign case studies, especially when they are more recent, and involve conscripts. Our NSFs may switch off when they hear case studies from US, UK, etc, because they don't see the direct relevance, as those soldiers are fully professional.

But case studies like Gilad Schalit are hopefully more relevant. His candidness also helps here, e.g. he mentioned that he didn't pay attention to the security briefing, as he thought “The commander was listening, and that was enough. I trusted him.”.

This is a great example to show our NSFs, to tell them that one cannot always rely on your commanders. Every soldier needs to be armed, not just with their weapon, but with information.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Saudi Arabia & China missiles?

Strange to see China missiles being used by Saudi Arabia.
IHS Defense and Security: After recent IHS #satellite imagery analysis revealed a ballistic #missile facility near Al-Watah (http://bit.ly/14dQiZc), this IHS infographic shows potential strike ranges of #SaudiArabia's DF-21 and DF-3 #nuclear-capable intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) capabilities - with #Israel and #Iran well within range.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Close Quarters Marksmanship - British Army



Weird camera effect (quadrotor steadicam?) + the commentary that's rhythmic (almost like rapping) by the trainer = cool video :)

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Make NS meaningful for every recruit

Also see the milnuts discussion on this article.
Make NS meaningful for every recruit
After completing basic military training (BMT) back in 2004, two platoon mates and I found to our dismay that we were being dispatched to be trained as logistics supervisors.

We were medically fit and while not exactly top performers, we had passed all the physical, marksmanship and field craft tests reasonably well. So we were mystified that the army had found us unsuitable for combat roles.

I went where I was sent, and it was not a "slack" non-combat role. That stint providing logistical support to about 100 men proved mentally draining at times, but I soon grew frustrated with a job I simply had no interest in.

After months of fighting administrative battles, I managed to get redeployed as a radio signaller. Relaying coded messages and bridging communications may not sound like much, but it was a world of excitement after dealing with inventory logs and ration schedules.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Navy Open House 2013 - Key things to note



Some key essentials if you are attending the Navy Open House this weekend

  1. 18-19 May 2013 (Saturday & Sunday), 9am - 7pm
  2. Entry is by shuttle bus only
  3. Free shuttle services between Singapore EXPO Hall 3 & Changi Naval Base (CNB) 
  4. 1st bus - 8am (18 May)
  5. 1st bus - 8.30am (19 May)
  6. be mentally prepared for long queues and jams on the way to CNB
  7. Dynamic Display showtimes
    1. 18 May (Sat) - 9.30am and 2.30pm
    2. 19 May (Sun) - 10.30am and 2.30pm
  8. Sea cruise (by balloting)
    1. both days - 11.30am, 1pm, 3.30pm and 5pm

Suitable attire (text from Navy Open House website)
Ladies, strong winds and metallic edges will be your adversaries at the Naval Base. As such, we do not recommend skirts, dresses, heels, sandals and slippers. We suggest wearing sturdy shoes, shorts, trousers or jeans – for our gentlemen too.
What to bring
  1. water
  2. sun-block; cap/hat
Link to photos taken during preview of Navy Open House

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Feedback on National Service

Talking NS without fear or favour | Breakfast Network | An Eye on the News Singapore
Quite a few valid points in this article. Hope to find time to pen down my thoughts and send to the Committee to Strengthen National Service.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

New fitness test for Canadian Armed Forces



New fitness test for all 3 branches (Air Force, Army, Navy) of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Test Component Description Standard
Sandbag Lift 30 consecutive lifts of a 20 kg sandbag to a height above 91.5 cm, alternating between left and right sandbags separated by 1.25 m. 3 minutes 30 seconds​
​Intermittent Loaded Shuttles ​Using the 20 m lines, complete ten shuttles (1 shuttle = 20 m there, 20 m back), alternating between a loaded shuttle with a 20 kg sandbag and an unloaded shuttle, for a total of 400 m.​ 5 minutes 21 seconds​
20 metre Rushes​ ​Starting from prone, complete two shuttle sprints (1 shuttle = 20 m there, 20 m back) dropping to a prone position every 10m, for a total of 80 m.​ ​51 seconds​
Sandbag Drag​ Carry one 20 kg sandbag and pull four on the floor over 20 m without stopping.​ Completed without stopping​

General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, seemed to deliberately do the test slower than Peter MacKay, the Defence Minister.

But anyway, it seems like a useful combat-oriented fitness test, unlike our IPPT, which is modified from the NAPFA test that we first did in school.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

How much is enough?

I've always wondered; how do we have a meaningful debate on how much to spend on defence?

For example, if I were to say, can we stop buying additional F-15SGs, some would naturally say something like "You can't put a price tag on peace".

But we all know that this is not sustainable in the long run.

We have to be able to say, based on our projections, X amount of weaponry will be more than sufficient.

It doesn't help that much of what we need to know, to decide on that X amount, is off-limits due to Operations Security (OPSEC).

Sunday, 27 January 2013

DOD to allow women to serve in direct combat roles

The DEW Line
Great news from the US regarding gender equality. While women have recently been involved at the front-line, it was always done with a subtle side-stepping of rules.

This has finally been resolved, with the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, and the Joint Chiefs chairman, Martin Dempsey, signing a memo that officially ends the direct ground combat exclusion rule for females.

Link to the actual memo below.
http://www.defense.gov/news/WISRJointMemo.pdf

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Bomb Hunters: Afghanistan

A National Geographic documentary on the work of the 23rd Engineer Company. Hurt Locker has nothing on this.

http://pollystreaming.com/National-Geographic-Bomb-Hunters-Afghanistan_v8729

Postscript [3rd Jan 2013]
Looks like the 23rd Engineer Company is quite popular. Another documentary, this time by Discovery Channel.
Heroes of Hell's Highway