Tag: British

Noble Partner 2017 – Georgia Army National Guard works with British 2 Para for Airborne Insertion [VIDEO]

Soldiers of the Georgia National Guard Company H, 121st Infantry (Airborne) Long Range Surveillance Unit conducted an airborne insertion with British ‘C’ Coy, 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment as part of Exercise Noble Partner 2017. Noble Partner 2017 is a U.S. Army Europe-led exercise designed to support the training, progression, and eventual certification of Georgia’s 2nd Light Infantry Company’s contribution to the NATO Response Force.

By SGT. Josh Joyner.


German minehunter Sulzbach-Rosenberg joining NATO mine countermeasures group

German Navy’s Frankenthal-class minehunter FGS Sulzbach-Rosenberg will be joining NATO’ Standing Mine Counter Measure Group 1 (SNMCMG1) operating in the Baltic and North Seas, the German Navy has announced.

The minehunter is set to depart its home port of Kiel, Germany, on July 28 to spend the following five months with the NATO maritime group.

Sulzbach-Rosenberg is expected to formally join the SNMCMG1 in a ceremony scheduled to take place in the Latvian city of Liepaja on July 30. The ship will be joining its Latvian, English and Dutch counterparts to form the backbone of the group.

SNMCMG1 Flagship, Latvian MCM command and support ship LVNS Virsaitis.

Led by Corvette Captain Pierre Limburg, the minehunter’s 45 strong crew will be taking part in a number of international exercises including Open Spirit, Joint Warrior and Northern Coasts

Throughout its deployment, the ship will be home to a five-man diving team from Lithuania.

SNMCMG1 is currendly led by Latvian Commander Gvido Laudups from aboard the support ship Virsaitis.


The Canadian Elite: A ‘different level’ of military sniper

MACLEAN’S, By Adnan R. Khan, 22 June 2017

The distances are mind-boggling: in 2002, Master Cpl. Arron Perry from the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry took aim at an Afghan insurgent from a distance of 2,300 meters and hit his target, setting the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot in military history. Not long after, Corporal Rob Furlong, in the same operation, bested his brother in arms with a confirmed kill at 2,430 meters. His record would stand longer, until 2009, when a British sniper, Craig Harrison, made a shot from 2.475 meters.

On June 21, his record was shattered by another Canadian, an elite special forces sniper, who, according to the Canadian military, killed an ISIS fighter in Mosul from an incredible 3,540 meters.

Let’s put that in perspective: if you stacked six CN Towers end to end, you would still be more than 200 meters short. The bullet, according military experts, would have traveled for nearly 10 seconds before hitting its target. The shooter not only would have had to take into consideration wind conditions, but at that distance, also the curvature of the earth.

More astonishing, perhaps, is the fact that over the last 15 years, the active-combat sniping record has been broken four times, and three of those have been by Canadians.

That’s no coincidence, says Furlong, who now runs a marksmanship academy in Edmonton.

“I’ve been saying this forever,” he tells Maclean’s by telephone. “Canadian snipers are the best in the world. The sniper training program has been around for a long time. It’s the foundation, and it’s been retooled from lessons learned in Afghanistan. We’ve built it to be the best.”

This latest record, Furlong adds, has taken sniping “to a different level.” Canadian snipers, who train at CFB Gagetown in Halifax, are considered some of the best in the world in part because they are not simply taught to hit their targets. Like much of the Canadian military, many are trained with skills above their existing rank, in the sniper’s case as Unit Master Snipers, meaning they have the skills to design and run complex training operations if the need ever arises. That in itself may not make them better snipers but the gestalt of sniper-training and command-thinking combined could explain their skill.

The practice of equipping soldiers with more than the skills they will need on the battlefield has served the Canadian military well. In Afghanistan, the results were clear. Maclean’s witnessed firsthand how soldiers out on patrol, sometimes for days in enemy territory, operated as closely knit teams. Command decisions were made with input from different ranks, offering multiple perspectives to patrol commanders.

The level of training Canada provides its soldiers, particularly its elite JTF2 commandos, is the driving force behind Canada’s reputation for fielding a highly skilled and intellectually capable military.

“This is a very important point,” says Chris Kilford, a retired Canadian artillery officer and now a fellow at the Queen’s University Centre for International and Defence Policy. “I have been very impressed with the young people in our special forces that I have interacted with overseas. Corporals and Master Corporals: bright and articulate. I also think that in general our people are often capable of working at a higher level than the rank on their shoulder.”

Furlong agrees, adding that Canadian soldiers are more “cross-trained” than many other soldiers in the world, and Canada’s snipers specifically are given every opportunity to pursue leadership training that refines their mental capabilities, a key component to the psychologically demanding job they do.

Macmillan Tac 50 sniper rifle.

Still, there are the naysayers. Some online message boards have questioned the validity of the new record, in one case a contributor suggesting the sniper likely fired into a crowd of ISIS fighters and happened to hit one.

But Furlong points out that these types of distances, 3,000 meters and more, are regularly achieved on the shooting range.

“It’s not an impossible distance,” he says. “The difference is between a shooting range and a battlefield.  They are two completely different environments. The pressure these guys are under is huge. So to the naysayers I would just say, this can be done.”

As for the men who accomplished it—snipers work in pairs, including a spotter—Furlong says they probably didn’t realize what they had done until later. “When we broke the record, we didn’t know until we got back to base,” he says. “To be honest, I didn’t really care, neither when I broke it or when mine was broken. Records are made to be broken.”

Still, unless there are major advances in equipment, Furlong adds, this one should stand for a long time.


Soldiers killed in tank live fire explosion named

British army Challenger 2 tank, similar to the vehicle where the ammunition explosion took place.

The Telegraph, , 18 June 2017

Two soldiers who died after ammunition is believed to have exploded inside their tank have been described as “exceptionally talented”.

Cpl Matthew Hatfield and Cpl Darren Neilson, of the Royal Tank Regiment, died after an explosion inside their vehicle during a live firing exercise earlier this week.

Two other soldiers remain in a serious condition in hospital.

Matthew Hatfield, 27, known as Hattie to his friends, was one of two killed in the training incident at Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire. Credit: Wales News Service.

Lt Col Simon Ridgway, commanding officer of regiment, said the soldiers “loved what they did” and the unit had “lost two real characters and feels truly honoured to have served with them”.

“They will both be sorely missed,” he added.

Cpl Darren Neilson. Credit: Wales news service.

Both men were fathers. Cpl Hatfield, aged 27, was engaged with a young daughter and lived in Everleigh, Wiltshire.

Cpl Neilson, aged 30, was from Blackburn, Lancs, and was married with a young daughter.

Tank firing exercises have been temporarily banned after the incident during training at Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire.

The four-man crew of the Challenger 2 main battle tank was firing 120mm practice shells at targets on the Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire when the explosion occurred.

Army sources said the blast was believed to be “ammunition related”.

Each practice shell has a dummy warhead, but the same propelling charge as a combat shell.

 A spokesman for the MoD said: “A ban on tank live firing training has been put in place until the findings of the investigation are known. Further action will follow as appropriate.”