Friday, 4 December 2015

One big step for women

Great news, all combat roles will be open to women.

This will have positive multiplier effects beyond gender equality, both in terms of combat performance and overall outlook of the US armed forces

Thursday, 8 October 2015

The Role of the Military in Future Conflict" by Dr Thomas X. Hammes

A swarm of drones attacking Kuwait International Airport. Or terrorists setting off an explosion at a chemical plant in Oklahoma, which then releases deadly gases and causes massive poisoning.

These were just 2 of many grim scenarios that Dr Thomas X. Hammes painted, at his talk at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS).

Always refreshing to hear from a former "practitioner", especially one who is candid, pulling no punches.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Black OPFOR uniform

Photo courtesy
Came across this on Facebook today.

Didn't know about this all black uniform earlier. 1st Battalion 4th Infantry Regiment are currently based in Hohenfels, Germany, in an OPFOR role.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

NATO’s Readiness Action Plan

Measures implemented to bolster the eastern flank of NATO. Hopefully, the political process is also reviewed to improve reaction times.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Renewed focus

Reading the details of the job ads in the above page, crystallises what I hope opswarfare to become, and also the workflow that needs to be worked out, to enable regular articles to be produced.

Just that all those roles are rolled into one person. :)

Monday, 20 July 2015

Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team

Nope, haven't posted in the wrong blog.

This is not your usual Gundam series; really refreshing, with usage of real military tactics and scenarios. Even issues of military command & control, and discipline.

And the Gundams here are not omnipotent; they need to work together with other assets, functioning like just another military platform, and break down sometimes. And instead of flying all over the place, they fight in jungle warfare. Very down-to-earth, literally.  

Really worth a watch. Just finished episode 6...

Recording our thoughts

The latest edition of #CCLKOW struck a chord with me.

Prompted a rare tweet

Re: latest #CCLKOW article, find info overload a problem; tonnes of draft blog posts; maybe better to try writing in a physical notebook [link]

I have so many draft posts in the opswarfare blog; all in various stages. It's not easy to write a proper article with a coherent hypothesis, or a full analysis of an interesting development that I come across. And definitely not in one sitting.

With the busy lives we lead, with multiple interests, it is tough, but as with all projects, it requires determination and planning. Hope to write more regularly.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

NBC system for ships

Cool photos spotted on Facebook.

SNMG1 unit HNLMS Tromp testing the pre-wetting system. This system protect the ship against Nuclear, Chemical and Biological adverse environment. [source:]

Haven't seen such a NBC system before. Did a quick search; seems it's a water sprinkler system to be activated in the event of a imminent NBC attack.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Treasure trove of goodies from the SAFTI Library

Signed up for the SAFTI Library membership recently, and discovered a treasure trove of magazine & journal titles.

Some of the publications available [need to login to SAFTI Library account first]

In the midst of checking the above list, opswarfare also found that many publications are already open access

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

US Deployments in the the Western Pacific

via IISS: US Deployments in the the Western Pacific [click on image to enlarge]

From their Asia-Pacific Regional Security Assessment 2015 strategic dossier

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Stanford 'International Security in a Changing World' course goes online

“But unlike our Stanford students – you won’t have to take a final exam.”

New free online course, woohoo!

"Homework" for this weekend. Or maybe even from this evening onwards.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Battle for Singapore - NHB heritage tours - Sime Road - The Hellfire Tour

This was Hellfire corner
Attended 4 of the tours organised by the National Heritage Board (NHB).

Struggled to find time to write proper full blog posts about each tour, so will highlight good blog posts by others, then add comments and photos below.

Stretching from Sime Road to Bukit Brown cemetery, the Hellfire Tour takes you to the scene of General Yamashita’s strategy for the Japanese Imperial Army to crush the defending British forces in the Battle for Singapore. The site also marks the former combined Operational Headquarters of the British Army and Royal Air Force during World War II and later became the internment camp for Allied Forces POWs after the fall of Singapore. Take a walk with Jon Cooper as he relates the stories of the soldiers who fought amongst the gravestones and the civilian internees who spent their years of captivity in the Sime Road camp. 
Jonathan Cooper
Project Manager, Researcher and Battlefield Archaeologist at The Changi Museum
Postgraduate student, Centre for Battlefield Archaeology, Glasgow University
Read this blog post for a good account of this tour

Additional points
Jon is a great guide, painting a vivid picture of the landscape, and engaging the attendees. It wasn't a "spoon-feeding" session; as we walked down Sime Road, he started asking "what is old?", to encourage us to see and evaluate our surroundings. Some items were pre-war, some were post-war.

Jon is the one wearing the jungle hat
There was a short discussion on the Syonan Jinja, at the 2 NHB commemorative boards at the "Hellfire" junction. Several of us were keen to know exactly how to reach the location. Google around and you will find a few blog posts on this.

We were told about a civilian internee, who as a young girl, stayed at the Green House [the building with the rotunda]; she later revisited Singapore a few years ago.

Maps from the WW2 period were distributed to help us orientate ourselves and also discuss on features; Jon highlighted markings on the map, indicating tunnel entrances dug by the Japanese forces; the link was quickly made to the intricate tunnel network at Iwo Jima; Jon also highlighted that the tunnel network was not completed.

I asked if the British also had underground facilities for its Combined Operations Headquarters. Jon said yes, but their locations were unknown [would be great to find these facilities].

We also walked to the boundary between the SICC golf course and the MacRitchie Reservoir [a.k.a. where the 4.8km cross country route turns from the forest onto the road]; there we were shown some depressions, which may have been slit trenches dug by the Suffolk regiment, and also the possible final resting place of one of the KIA soldiers. [some British POWs (David Nelson and the Bureau of Record and Enquiry) kept a detailed record of soldiers killed, and their burial locations, so that their remains could be recovered after the war]

Just before we did a little "bashing" to see the supposed slit trenches
We ended the heritage tour near the entrance of Bukit Brown, looking at Hill 130, and "reliving" perhaps the one & only tank on tank engagement during the campaign.

Jon concluded by showing us the artifacts found at the Adam Park Project, and asking us to consider participating in preserving our heritage.
Will post on the other 3 heritage tours soon.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Continuity and Change: The Nature of Future Armed Conflict

IISS-US Policy Makers Series
Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster
Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, US Army Training and Doctrine Command
Chair: Dr. Eliot A. Cohen
Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Council Member, International Institute for Strategic Studies
IISS-US, Washington DC
Thursday February 19 2015, 10:30am-12pm EDT/3:30-5pm GMT


Watched the live stream yesterday. Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster spoke well, taking on questions with aplomb.

Took down notes while the session was ongoing; hope to distill the talking points in a future post.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Think strategic, fight tactical

A quick response to the 3 questions asked in the link above.
  1. What are the terms of a strategic narrative to defeat the extremist movements who trade in barbarity?
  2. Do we need to reconsider how we use military forces? Is force their most effective capability?
  3. Are American and Western political audiences willing to sacrifice life and treasure to defend others?
First posted on Twitter.

  • re: Televised Salvation; [1] don't forget the tactical; we can also use these broadcasts to trace useful intel on ISIS #CCLKOW
  • re: Televised Salvation; [2] we should be mindful that many soldiers "didn't sign up" to conduct these "soothe & cuddle operations" #CCLKOW
  • re: Televised Salvation; [3] as long as there are soldiers willing to sacrifice life and treasure to defend others, that is enough #CCLKOW