KUBINKA /Moscow region/, August 12. /TASS/. Women will be admitted to the Krasnodar aviation school for pilot training this year for the first time in Russia’s modern history, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu told reporters on Saturday.
“There are quite a few girls who would like to become military pilots. We’ve received hundreds of letters, hence the decision to enroll the first group of girls in the Krasnodar military aviation school this year”, the minister said.
“They will be few in number, 15 all in all. However, considering the number of applications received by the Russian Aerospace Forces we cannot ignore these requests, so on October 1, the first group of girls will start training to become military pilots”, he added.
Shoigu who visited the celebrations to mark Aerospace Forces Day earlier in the day expressed the hope that the school’s female graduates will make such holidays more spectacular thanks to their skills five years later.
In 2009, the Krasnodar aviation school enrolled female cadets but not for pilot training.
The Royal Marines describe themselves as ‘the world’s most elite amphibious fighting force’.
Part of the Royal Navy, the force is trained to respond rapidly to international crisis situations.
They’re also trained to be deadly.
So what sort of person actually has what it takes to become one of these super-soldiers?
To start with, every individual hoping to become a Royal Marines Commando has to undertake a gruelling 32 week ‘basic training’ course.
As the longest infantry training in NATO, it’s fair to say that the Commando course is anything but basic.
The course ends with the infamous 30-mile ‘yomp’ across Dartmoor carrying full kit weighing 32lbs.
The yomp is known for being one of the most physically challenging tests to exist in any military.
Sadly, the physical demands of the exercise caused the death of one young recruit back in 2015, which led to calls for the training to be softened.
But the force maintained that this was what was required to turn a civilian into a Royal Marines Commando.
Before they reach that point, they have to learn to live, breathe, eat and clean like a Royal Marine.
The philosophy of ‘husbandry’ is that if you can’t make your bed or polish your boots properly, then how can you be relied upon in combat?
During training, the Commando values of excellence, integrity, self-discipline and humility are drilled into recruits.
Along with this, trainees are taught to embody the Commando qualities of, determination, courage, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity, and the all-important ‘commando mindset’: ‘be the first to understand; the first to adapt and respond, and the first to overcome’.
The average Royal Marine recruit can expect to receive around 4-6 hours of sleep per night; there’s a reason that they’re known as ‘nods’- due to a combination of huge physical exertion and sleep deprivation, recruits will frequently ‘nod off’.
It’s no wonder that 40% ofRoyal Marine recruits drop out before the end of the 32-week training due to homesickness or “professional issues”.
Many also suffer serious injuries that prevent them from finishing the course.
So why does anyone want to apply?
Forces TV’s Cassidy Little decided to join the Royal Marines after being told by a friend:
“Everybody respects a failure; nobody respects a quitter. At least as a failure, you gave it your best.”
He said: “It’s the Longest and hardest basic training in the world…their current slogan was 99.9% need not apply.
“Everybody including myself had no expectation of me succeeding.
“They literally teach you from the very basics – how to iron something, how to wash, how to make your bed, how to use a knife and fork, how to brush your teeth. If you can’t be trusted to maintain your own teeth, how can you be trusted to manage a weapons system?”
“For the first four weeks, you’re not allowed to quit. They’ve spent so much money getting you to that point, they want you to have a good go at it before they send you home”.
“Our final graduation group had 13 of the original 54 guys”.
“It was tough, but it should be tough”.
There’s no doubt that it takes a special sort of person to become a Royal Marines Commando; as the force tells potential recruits on its website:
“There’s one thing that all our people share. That special state of mind. It’s the foundation of life in the Royal Marines. To prove you have it you’ll need to demonstrate certain qualities, every day.”
International co-operation improves Finland’s defence capability and is part of the daily activities of the Air Force. The United States is an important partner for Finland, and training with the U.S. National Guard gives us an opportunity to draw best practices and share experiences.
Autumn 2015 marked the first time when Hawk jet trainers of the Finnish Air Force undertook training missions with A-10s from the United States.
The Finnish Air Force will carry out training missions with A-10 attack aircraft of the U.S. National Guard, focusing on air combat training and air-to-ground operations training. The flight operations will take place in Finnish and international airspace.
The participating A-10 attack aircraft belong to the 104th Fighter Squadron, part of the 175th Wing of the Maryland Air National Guard. They will be visiting Estonia for exercise purposes in August. The Finnish Air Force will be represented by F/A-18 Hornet multirole fighters and Hawk jet trainers, a total of six aircraft. Additionally, Army troops will take part in joint air-to-ground operations training.
The flight operations will be conducted on weekdays between 8 am and 6 pm, mostly in designated exercise areas located in Southern Finland. Although the A-10s will mainly be using Estonian air bases during the exercise, individual aircraft will also visit FiAF bases.
The Finnish Air Force has flown training missions with Baltic-based detachments since 2015. In addition to the U.S. Armed Forces, the training missions have been participated by aircraft representing the Royal Air Force and the French and German Air Forces as well as detachments of the Swedish Air Force operating from their domestic bases. Autumn 2015 marked the first time when Hawk jet trainers of the Finnish Air Force undertook training missions with A-10s from the United States.
Further information: Tomi Böhm, LtCol, Commander of Fighter Squadron 31, Karelia Air Command, tel. +358 299 800 (operator)
Major General Petri Hulkko assumed the post of Commander of the Finnish Army on 1 August 2017. The Army Commander Change of Command Ceremony was held on 31 July 2017 in Mikkeli.
Major General Hulkko transfered to his new position from the post of Chief of Staff of Army Command Finland. Lieutenant General Seppo Toivonen, who has led the army since July 2014, has transfered to the reserve.
Lieutenant General Seppo Toivonen has developed the army and its readiness in accordance with the demands brought about by rapid change in the security environment. In his speech at the ceremony, Major General Hulkko thanked his predecessor, saying that the Defence Forces Reform planned under his leadership has created a good foundation for the operations and further development of the Finnish Army.
Under Lieutenant General Toivonen, the army has changed from a trainer of conscripts into a true readiness and training organisation. The use and training of personnel as well as the exercise system has been refined in order to respond to even more rapid and unexpected situational development.
Lately, the army has implemented both functioning and cost-effective solutions for materiel development. This decade has been one of development for the Finnish Army, while the strategic projects of the Navy and Air Force are to begin in earnest at the turn to the 2020s.
“From the army’s point of view, we must also look towards the future beyond strategic projects. The next time that army capabilities become outdated will be in the 2030s. Building capabilities takes on average ten years. Already at the beginning of the 2020s, we should be able to see the alternative solutions towards which we will have to begin to move”. Major General Hulkko said.
“Also in the future, national defence will be built upon general conscription. Personally, I see no other alternatives. Together, we must continue to do our utmost, so that as many Finnish men and female volunteers as possible enter military service and honourably complete it. This is not a demand stemming only from military need, it is also of great benefit to our entire society”. Major General Hulkko emphasised.
The change in the international security environment has placed significant expectations also on the army. As part of the Defence Forces, and in cooperation with other authorities, the army must continuously be prepared, and have the capability to react to traditional military threats as well as to more complex threats than earlier.
The army’s participation in military crisis management and the significantly increased amount of international cooperation are part of displaying and developing the credibility of national defence. Lieutenant General Toivonen emphasised the exceptional dedication to their tasks of the army’s personnel.
“I would like to thank everyone serving in the army for their efforts in furthering our readiness capability. The army’s salaried personnel and conscripts are an important resource both in disturbances in normal conditions and in case of unexpected changes in the security environment. The army’s extended capability rests naturally on our reservists”. Lieutenant General Toivonen said in his speech.
“With great gratitude I would like to commemorate the sacrifices made by our veteran generation. Without their struggle and post-war rebuilding, Finland would be very different from what it is today. I am certain that the chain of defenders of our independent fatherland will carry on strong also in the future”, he continued.
The change of command ceremony included the unveiling of the portrait of the retiring commander Lieutenant General Toivonen, a luncheon for invited guests and the handover ceremony in the courtyard of the Mikaeli concert and congress centre. All of the army’s brigade-level units were represented at the ceremony. After the ceremony the Conscript Band of the Defence Forces performed for invited guests in the Mikaeli concert hall.
Danish troops will get training in how to deal with Russian misinformation before being sent to join a NATO military build-up in Estonia in January, Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said on Monday.
“It is a whole new world. The Danish soldiers need to be extremely aware of that. Therefore I have arranged with the armed forces that the soldiers being sent out in January are informed and educated in how to protect themselves,” Frederiksen told Danish broadcaster DR.
“It is easy to imagine they will become exposed to intimidation and fake rumors,” he said of the 200 Danish soldiers being deployed.
In February, Lithuanian prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into a false report of a 15-year-old girl being raped by German NATO soldiers which spread quickly on social media.
NATO accused Russia of being behind the false report and said it expected more propaganda of this sort in the future.
Both NATO and the European Union are concerned by Russia’s ability to use television and the internet to project what they say is deliberate misinformation. Russia has denied being involved in any cyber warfare targeting Western governments or institutions.
The Canadian military’s Joint Task Force-Ukraine has trained more than 4780 Ukrainian soldiers as of the beginning of this month, according to the Canadian Forces. There have been more than 111 course serials that covered various training, including explosive ordnance disposal, small team training, military police training on military service of law and order, flight safety, medical, and logistics systems modernization, the Canadian Forces added.
Canada currently has approximately 200 military personnel deployed to Ukraine, the majority of which are from the 3rd Canadian Division. The Canadian mission to Ukraine will continue until the end of March 2019.
Canadian Army commander Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk recently travelled to Ukraine to meet with soldiers at both the engineer training school in Kamyanets-Podilsky, and the Peace Support Training Centre near Lviv.
During the visit, Wynnyk, joined by the Ukraine Land Force Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Naev Sergii, also participated in a roundtable meeting with senior Ukrainian Land Forces staff, according to the Canadian Army.
The press service of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense reported that 28 military units from its Armed Forces were trained according to NATO standards by instructors from Canada, Great Britain, the USA, Lithuania and Poland.
The report said that, “in 2017, 297 instructors were trained to Alliance standards. Overall, since the beginning of the military reform, about 1,200 military instructors have been trained, 600 of which had the benefit of foreign coaches’ participation.”
The Ministry also revealed that since the start of the year, “150 standards of collective and individual training were forged in the Armed Forces, putting into effect “the only electronic database of training standards and teaching-training materials for troops.”
In higher education establishments that train ground troops, the military “deployed and commissioned 22 complex dynamic simulators for the crews of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers.”
“The fundamental changes in the system of training troops, measures in building up the educational training database led to a certain increase in the quality of training,” the report explained.
It was also noted in the department that in 2017, according to the new standards, 166 operational training activities and 184 basic combat training activities were conducted. In addition, 20 joint operational and combat training activities took place at the Armed Forces firing ranges.
The groundwork for training advances was laid out on June 8 when the Verkhovna Rada voted for deeper cooperation between Ukraine and NATO in order to gain membership in this organization as the basis of foreign policy. The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko signed the bill into law.
The Russian Airspace Force is hard up for pilots, while the fresh shift is expected only in 2018, insiders told Mil.Today.
“Air units hope for graduation of 2018”, explained Mikhail [name changed], an active military pilot. He added that due to the lack of young pilots, the elderly ones had to serve longer.
Another source interviewed by Mil.Today, an ex-pilot Sergey Yekimov, confirmed that information. According to him, over 400 pilot cadets are expected to graduate in 2018. The expert added that one of the major challenges for the Russian Airspace Force was the lack of the governmental approach to pilot training, including pre-college one.
Father of a pilot cadet, also former pilot, commented that flight training started from the third year, not from the second one, like it had been in the past. “Thus, flight experience amounts only to 80 hours instead of 300 or 400”, he said. According to the interviewee, this is due to the lost resources for high-grade airmanship.
“After graduation, the young officers have to continue training up to the high level, which takes about 5 years more. Speaking of shortage in the air staff, with current pace of training that problem will be resolved in a while”, said active pilot Dmitry [name changed].
All experts concurred that the rundown among young pilots was related to reduced number of air force colleges.
“The lack of military pilots and pilot cadets became more sensitive when the number of air force colleges was cut down by the ex-defense minister Anatoly Serdiukov. The situation improved last year, thanks to the graduation of pilot cadets”, said Col. Dmitry Zenin, spokesman of the Russian Airspace Force.
“The Serdiukov’s reformation of training system was aimed at their reduction with no regard to consequences. The situation changed for the better when the defense minister’s post was taken by Sergey Shoygu, and some training facilities were restored in order to replenish the deficient staff”, summarized Nikolai Dergachyov, vice president of the Sasovo Air College.
The Air Forces of Finland, Norway and Sweden will host multinational Arctic Challenge Exercise 2017 from 22 May to 2 June 2017. More than one hundred aircraft from eleven nations will participate in the air exercise carried out in the airspace over the northern areas of the host countries.
This year’s Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE 17) is the third of its kind that Finland, Norway and Sweden have organised together. The exercise conducted every second year since 2013 is this time led by the Finnish Air Force that is responsible for planning and direction of the training event.
ACE 17 provides opportunity to train the large-scale planning and conducting of air operations in a real-like operating environment that involves a wide range of aircraft and forces of modern air warfare.
Arctic Challenge exercises are part of Cross Border Training (CBT) started in 2009 between Finland, Norway and Sweden. The Air Forces of these nations conduct on almost a weekly basis combined air combat training missions that are flown from their northern home bases. The cost-effective implementation pattern of combined exercises can also be applied to large-force air exercises.
Arctic Challenge Exercise 2017 is one of Europe’s largest live air exercises. It will gather more than over one hundred aircraft. In addition to multi-role fighters, transport and liaison aircraft, aerial refuelling tankers, airborne warning and control system aircraft, and transport and search and rescue helicopters can be seen in the exercise. Participating nations are Finland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States.These will be supported by electronic warfare training aircraft and also by ground crew and ground-based air defence units.
The ACE17 host bases are located in Bodø in Norway, Luleå in Sweden, and Rovaniemi in Finland. Flying is conducted from Monday to Friday in two to three daily waves from 9 till 18 Finland time (from 8 till 17 Norway and Sweden time). Flight missions are carried out mainly in the areas extending over the three nations’ northern regions (see Map of Area of Operation).
ACE 17 main area of operations.
Also the training areas of Rovajärvi in Finland, Vidsel in Sweden and Setermoen in Norway are available. Simultaneously with ACE17, the Finnish Defence Forces Army North 17 exercise is being conducted at Rovajärvi which will enable the exercise units to have the benefit of ACE17 flight missions directed into this area to their training. In addition, aircraft will operate in Lohtaja training area in Finland where, at the same time, the Finnish Defence Forces Air Defence Exercise 1/17 is going on.
Around ninety aircraft at most may participate simultaneously in individual waves in ACE17. Exercise sorties will involve flying at low altitudes and they may also include supersonic flying. Aircraft will deploy flare countermeasures that can be seen as bright spots of light in the sky.
For further information:
Finnish Air Force Public Affairs Section
Joni Malkamäki, Chief Public Affairs Officer, tel. +358 (0)299 29 1130 Ville Tuokko, Public Affairs Officer tel. +358 (0)299 29 1135
Royal Norwegian Air Force
Sigurd Tonning-Olsen, Press and Information Officer, tel. +47 488 65 018, stonningolsen(at)mil.no
Swedish Air Force
Louise Levin, Head of Public Affairs Office, Norrbotten wing, tel. +46 70 656 26 07, louise.levin(at)mil.se
During ACE 17, three media days will be organized. The preliminary date for the events taking place simultaneously in in Bodø in Norway, Luleå in Sweden, and Rovaniemi in Finland is May 23rd. For details regarding the events please contact the Public Affairs point of contact in the nation the media day takes place in.
The ACE17 website is available on the Finnish Air Force website at http://ilmavoimat.fi/en/ace17-en. You can also follow the exercise on social media: https://www.facebook.com/ilmavoimat and https://twitter.com/finnishairforce with #ACE17.
Royal Marines have been conducting their annual training in Norway, training their counterparts from the US Marine Corps. Follow Royal Marines training US Marines in the Arctic. The US Marines are put through their paces to prepare them for survival in sub-zero conditions. The training takes place in Norway, close to the Russian border. It comes as tensions between Russia and the West run high, with the UK Defence Secretary warning countries must “defend against Russian aggression.”