Tag: Training

Japanese military ships heading for visit to Russia

DDG-169 JMSDS Asakaze, Guided Missile Destroyer

TOKYO, October 13. /TASS/.

The Japanese Navy’s training group comprising a guided missile destroyer and a training ship is set to arrive in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok from the US port of Anchorage in Alaska on Saturday, a spokesman for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Staff Office, Atsushi Umehara, said.

“Earlier, the group was scheduled to arrive in Vladivostok on October 15, but now this will happen a day earlier,” he said. The destroyer Harusame and the training ship Kashima will take part in the voyage. “They will form a training group, which crews will mainly include cadets and young sailors, who will be candidates for command positions in future,” Umehara said.

Nearly 190 people will take part in the voyage. Earlier, the group visited many ports in the countries of Latin America, the United States and Canada.

Upon the ships’ arrival in Vladivostok, a welcoming ceremony and a briefing will take place. The ships will stay there until October 18. The Japanese vessels will be open for the general public.

Last autumn, the Japanese Navy resumed contacts with Russian colleagues, after a pause due to Tokyo’s joining the anti-Russian sanctions amid the Ukrainian crisis.

In October 2016, the Japanese destroyer Hamagiri and Russian Pacific Fleet ships held a joint exercise in the Peter the Great Gulf near Vladivostok. The ships’ crews practiced cohesion during search and rescue operations and improved their skills in fighting pirate activities.

Exercises of the type have taken place since 1998 alternately in Russia and Japan.





16 Lithuanian instructors leave for military training operation in Ukraine

Lithuanian Instructors Start Training Ukrainian Troops

VILNIUS, Oct 03, BNS – A group of Lithuania’s military instructors is leaving for a military training operation in Ukraine on Tuesday.

The 16-member group is already the second team consisting of troops of the dragoons battalion, the Defense Ministry said.

“This year we will shift our focus to improvement of performance of Ukrainian instructors by observing and analyzing their actions and mistakes rather than training the instructors,” said Captain Viktoras Buiva, the head of the group.

The Lithuanian team will spend two months in the Yavoriv grounds in western Ukraine, training Ukrainian troops operational planning, organizing and evaluating exercises and holding firing exercises, etc.

The Lithuanian army’s instructors have been helping to train Ukraine’s troops since August of 2015. They are not directly involved in combat actions or anti-terrorist operations in Ukraine.


Estonia: Kaitseliit to hold exercise with allies over weekend

NATO battle group led by the British in Estonia

TALLINN, Sep 29, BNS – A training event of the South national defense district of Estonia’s Kaitseliit (Defense League) volunteer corps that began on Monday will on Saturday transform into a large scale exercise titled Sibul (Onion) that will be joined by personnel from the NATO battle group stationed in Estonia.

On the first day of the exercise the staff and company and platoon commanders assembled at the defense forces’ central training ground. The next to arrive were squad commanders and specialists, whereas on Thursday the rest of the personnel arrived at the central training ground, spokespeople for Kaitseliit said.

The assembly part ends on Friday, and on Saturday the training exercise will start in the course of which Kaitseliit volunteers from South Estonia will hone their skills in conventional warfare with the NATO battle group stationed in Estonia.

According to the scenario of the exercise, Kaitseliit’s battle and logistics companies will conduct defensive activities and will be attacked by light infantry companies supported by the NATO battle group.

Lt. Col. Kalle Kohler, head of the Tartu region of Kaitseliit and commanding officer of the exercise, said that the exercise summarizes the three-year training cycle of the Kaitseliit regions of South Estonia and will prepare staffs and units for the Siil (Hedgehog) large-scale exercise of the defense forces to take place next spring.

In addition it offers an excellent opportunity to rehearse cooperation with the NATO combat units stationed in Estonia.


Aurora 17 – Joint training is a necessity

The aim of the Finnish troops participating the Exercise Aurora 17 held in Sweden has been to enhance defensive readiness, capability and interoperability of the troops.

The main body of the Finnish troops participating the exercise in Gotland will return to Finland during the weekend.

The exercises like Aurora 17, which are increasing international interoperability and cooperation, are suitable for fulfilling the obligates of the Finnish Defence Force’s (FDF) new third statutory task.

For the Finnish Army, the increasing bilateral defence cooperation with Sweden aims to enhance combined training activities in order to arrange combined exercises more often in the near future, even carrying out the exercise drill at the battalion level.

Lieutenant Colonel Tapio Huhtamella from Pori Brigade, who has been in charge of the Finnish troops in the Gotland part of the Exercise Aurora 17, assesses that Finnish troops have reached their training objectives.

– Our conscripts have shown excellent field proficiency and capability in the exercise, he states.

The exercise has accumulated experience for example manoeuvring troops, combined command and different procedures. Especially the demanding conditions and terrain challenged the troops.

– This exercise has shown that the training and capability of the Swedish and Finnish troops are on good level. We applied the basic battle procedures in the challenging conditions.

– Only in couple of days we were able to train a combined battle group that was capable of conducting combined operations, Huhtamella points.

Huhtamella sees that international exercises have an important role in enhancing the interoperability.

– Provision and reception of international assistance is nowadays one of Finnish Defence Forces’ statutory tasks. Training with international troops both abroad and in Finland is an effecting way to develop and maintain this ability.

The Finnish contribution is appreciated

The Aurora 17 is an international exercise led by Swedish Armed Forces. In addition to Finns, there have been several other nations participating the exercise.

– From our national perspective, this is extremely large military exercise. The Finnish contribution has been important and we will do our best to ensure that cooperation will increase in the future, the Swedish Deputy Commander of the Gotland part of the Exercise Aurora 17, Colonel Thomas Karlsson said.

Colonel Thomas Karlsson being interviewed by Swedish television



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Baltic Post.


Latvian Defense Ministry considers using former Soviet army facilities for drills

Skrunda-1, is a ghost town and former Soviet radar station located 5 km (3 mi) to the north of Skrunda, in Raņķi parish, Latvia. It was the site of two Dnepr radar (NATO “Hen House”) radar installations constructed in the 1960s.

RIGA, Sept 19 (LETA) – In view of rapid growth of the Latvian Home Guard and enhanced allied presence in Latvia, the Latvian Defense Ministry plans to develop the existing military training grounds and is also considering using former Soviet military facilities in Latvia for training purposes, Viesturs Silenieks (Greens/Farmers), the ministry’s parliamentary secretary, told the press after the meeting of the parliamentary committee.

The committee on defense, interior affairs and corruption prevention today met behind closed doors and discussed with the Defense Ministry officials development of the military training grounds.

Silenieks said that there were no plans for construction of new military training grounds in the next few years but some of the existing training areas would be upgraded and the ministry was thinking also about using the former Soviet military facilities or other abandoned sites such as quarries in isolated locations for training purposes.

“We are looking for the sites that would require minimal investment,” the Defense Ministry’s parliamentary secretary said.


Lincoln Tests F-35C Lightning II at Sea

USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) — The Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) became one of the few ships in the fleet to trap and launch the F-35C Lightning II, Sept. 3.

The “Grim Reapers” of Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA 101), from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, are the training squadron for the F-35C.

“The F-35C is still in a testing phase, so it is not fully operational yet,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chris Karapostoles, a pilot assigned to VFA 101. “We are the training squadron for the F-35C, so we are onboard this ship conducting our carrier qualification training, qualifying pilots, landing signal officers and maintenance crews.”

The launching and recovering of the F-35Cs presented an opportunity for the crew of Abraham Lincoln to work with a new aircraft and play a role in the development of this new fighter jet.

F-35C testing aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, October 2 2016

“Being part of the primary flight control team for the landing and launching of the F-35Cs was such a unique experience,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Mariana Monima. “The F-35Cs are so amazing and powerful. I feel privileged to have been a part of this historic event.”

According to the F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force, the F-35C should reach its initial operational capacity in 2018.

“I love the F-35C,” said Karapostoles. “Compared to other jets it’s more powerful and really just a beast. Some of the controls are different, which can take a little bit of getting used to, but that’s what we have training like this for.”

According to the Joint Strike Fighter Fleet Integration Office, the F-35C will introduce next generation strike-fighter aircraft capabilities to the Navy Carrier Air Wings, enabling the Carrier Strike Groups and numbered fleets to effectively engage and survive a wide range of rapidly evolving threats.

Abraham Lincoln is underway conducting training after successful completion of carrier incremental availability.


UK agrees new military training programme with France


Over the next few months over 2,500 British troops will train with their French counterparts, participating in exercises spanning Eastern Europe to Kenya.

The Defence Secretary will agree the new programme of UK-French training during his first bilateral meeting with Florence Parly, the newly appointed French Minister for the Armed Forces in Paris later today.

In September, over 1,500 British soldiers from 16 Air Assault Brigade will be joined by troops from 11eme Brigade Parachitiste on NATO exercise Swift Response in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. Meanwhile, French troops also plan to join 1,000 UK personnel from 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment on Exercise Askari Storm in Kenya in November, training on the prevention of instability and the spread of violent extremism.

During the visit, the Defence Secretary will also praise the French troops who have been deployed to Estonia as part of the UK-led enhanced Forward Presence battalion in the country since April this year.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

The UK and France have a long enduring relationship and that will continue as the UK leaves the European Union.

We are deployed together in NATO, fighting against Daesh in Iraq and Syria and training together across the globe.

This announcement is the latest in a string of partnerships that highlight the enduring strength of the UK-French defence relationship.

Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon and French counterpart visit to Exercise Griffin Strike. Salisbury Plain. It is the biggest French/UK military exercise.
Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence talks to French soldiers after the exercise.

Earlier this year, the UK and France signed a €100million agreement to develop future long range weapons and are working together on an unmanned combat air system. And as the UK prepares for HMS Queen Elizabeth to reach operational capability in 2020, France is expected to play her part in supporting the Carrier Strike Group, as the UK did with the French carrier Charles De Gualle in the Gulf during 2015 when HMS Kent was integrated into her task group.

The UK and France also run a personnel exchange programme. Improving how we work together, there are currently over 40 personnel working in reciprocal roles across the three services.

The Defence Secretary has also announced that the RAF Red Arrows will start their European and Gulf tour in France on 15th September, Battle of Britain Day, with a flypast in Cannes.


Russian Helicopters produces first Mi-28UB

Mi-28N Night Hunter

Russian Helicopters has produced the first Mi-28UB ‘Havoc’ and is testing the combat helicopters, the company announced on 22 August.

Eight Mi-28UBs will be delivered to the Russian Ministry of Defence by the end of the year, the company said.

The holding company’s CEO, Andrey Boginsky said that deliveries of the helicopters, which are undergoing user-acceptance trials at Russian Helicopters, would begin soon.

The Mi-28UB differs from the Mi-28N/NE ‘Night Hunter’ in that it is dual control, allowing the helicopter to be flown from both the front and rear cockpit. The avionics and communications systems have also been upgraded and the cockpit has been made more shock proof.

With improved armour protection, the Mi-28UB can be used for fire support, in the anti-tank role and for training.

Russian Helicopters plans to deliver eight Mi-28UBs to the Russian Ministry of Defence by the end of the year. (Russian Helicopters/Roman Tregubov)


Russia to start training female military pilots

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.



What Does It Take To Be A Royal Marines Commando?

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% of Royal 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.”

Royal Marines King’s Squad Pass Out Parade




Finnish training missions to be flown with the United States National Guard in August

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)