Strike - Hold!

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HMS Sutherland crew hone pirate take-down skills

Royal Marines aboard HMS Sutherland have been practising their pirate vessel boarding techniques using ‘rapid roping’ from the frigate’s helicopter in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Despite punishing daytime temperatures in the mid-30s degrees Celsius, ‘The Fighting Clan’, as HMS Sutherland is known, continues her mission against international terrorism and the drugs trade in the Indian Ocean.

Pirate and smuggler dhows aren’t renowned for sweeping expanses of unobstructed deck, let alone a flight deck to set down a ten-tonne naval helicopter, so these exercises are useful preparation for the commandos, who may have to board such vessels from the air during the course of their deployment.

Royal Marines rapid roping from a Merlin onto HMS Sutherland. (Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2012)

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Saturday Snapshot

A SEA LYNX MK 88 helicopter deposits Estonian soldiers on the helicopter deck of the frigate HAMBURG. The German frigate “HAMBURG”  has been part of the European operation Atalanta since November 21, 2010.  More recently, she has been working with forces of the Estonian Navy. Estonia provides a unit for the protection of merchant ships – a so-called Vessel Protection Detachment (VPD) – to support the ships of the World Food Programme (WFP), as well as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Germany and Estonia have been working together for the first time within the framework of the EU-led anti-piracy mission (EU NAVFOR).
© Bundeswehr/PIZ Navy 18.02.2011

KITANICA Mountain Shorts

I’ve been wearing a prototype pair of these in Hyde Definition’s PenCott-Sandstorm camouflage for a couple of months, and I’m very impressed!  These shorts are great – and no, they are not “ladies Capri shorts”!  The number, type, and layout of the pockets is fantastic and makes them ideal for wear at the shooting range, or any other kind of activity where you need the combination of practicality with ventilation.  Mine accompanied me on a round-trip to the Far East in the heat of the summer, and kept me cool and well-organized during my day covering the action at Leapfest 2012 too.  I highly recommend them.  – Lawrence

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Friday Foto

Western Accord 2012

A Gambian soldier fires a hammered-pair, or two shots fired in rapid succession, at a distance of 15-yards for a combat marksmanship training range during Exercise Western Accord 2012.

Basic combat marksmanship focuses on techniques and maneuvers effective in urban environments and close-quarters battle. Exercise Western Accord 2012 is a multilateral training exercise with West African nations to increase understanding and interoperability, prevent conflict by enabling Africans to provide for their security and stability, strengthen relationships with partner nations, and promote and support U.S. national security priorities.

Participating nations include the U.S., Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso and France.

Copyright USAFRICOM 2012

 

Leapfest 30

Ice Cube might have taken “XXX” to the next level, but Leapfest XXX took things even higher – and was much more interesting and exciting to watch.

In what you could call “The Olympics of Military Parachuting”, Leapfest 30 brought together over 60 teams from more than 20 US states and 9 foreign countries.  The schedule included a day of familiarization and pre-jump training, to acquaint the foreign participants with US jump procedures, 2 days of actual competition jumping, an awards dinner, and a day of Friendship jumps and the awarding of US jump wings to the foreign participants.

Members of the RI National Guard familiarize foreign paratroopers with U.S. Army jump procedures for the CH-47 Chinook helicopters from which they will jump. (Photo by: SFC W Michael Houk)

Leapfest was launched in 1982 by the Rhode Island Army National Guard’s detachment of the 19th Special Forces Group, and has been held by the Rhode Island Army National Guard every year since – except 1985, when extreme weather caused the event to be cancelled.  As a result, Leapfest is the largest, longest running, and most international military static-line parachuting event and competition.

Leapfest participants rehearse jump procedures prior to the day's events. (Photo by: SFC W Michael Houk)

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