13 Oct 21. RAF Typhoons fly with Egyptian Air Force in first exercise in 20 years. Dubbed Bright Star 21, the exercise is hosted by the Egyptian Air Force. British Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoons that are currently deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean as part of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) have taken part in the Bright Star 21 exercise. For the first time in 20 years, RAF Typhoons flew over Egypt, alongside the Egyptian Air Force. The exercise is hosted by the Egyptian Air Force.
Greek Air Force’s F-16s and US Air Force’s (USAF) F-15s, F-16s, C-130 Hercules and B-52s also joined the Typhoons during the exercise.
RAF 903 Expeditionary Air Wing commanding officer wing commander ‘Dutch’ Holland said: “Exercises such as Ex BRIGHT STAR 21 are vital as we develop and maintain interoperability with our coalition partners if the RAF is to be truly effective on operations throughout the Middle East.
“Flying with other airforces requires extensive planning and the contributions of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing personnel have ensured that the exercise was safely and successfully completed.”
According to RAF, most of the participating jets flew from Cairo West Air Base in Egypt, while RAF Typhoons flew from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
RAF Typhoons were supported by an RAF Voyager, which provided air-to-air refuelling (AAR). RAF Voyager also flew from RAF Akrotiri.
RAF 83 Expeditionary Air Group commanding officer air commodore Simon Strasdin said: “I was delighted to be hosted by the Egyptians during this important exercise with regional partners.
“Aside from the great experience of training and flying with other nations, it is essential that we continue to play an active role in the stability of the region and demonstrate our commitment to the Middle East.”
BRIGHT STAR exercise is hosted in Egypt every two years. It is run in cooperation with the USAF. The latest iteration of the exercise took place in the north-west of Egypt. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
13 Oct 21. Slovenia begins testing Pipistrel aircraft and simulator. The Slovenian Armed Forces (SV) will test the suitability of aircraft and simulators for pilot training, Defence Minister Matej Tonin said during a 1 October ceremony marking the launch of testing agreed between the country’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) and domestic light aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel Aircraft. Valid until 31 December 2023, the agreement provides the SV with access to Virus SW 121 and Velis Electro two-seat, single-engine light aircraft and the simulators for them, as well as Panthera four-seat composite aircraft, plus training of SV instructors and mechanics for the aircraft. A Virus SW 121 and a simulator for it arrived at the SV Aviation School on 1 October. Plans call for Velis Electro, the world’s first type certified electric aircraft, and a Panthera to be tested at a later stage as part of Slovenian MoD efforts to prove that locally-developed and produced Pipistrel aircraft could reduce fuel consumption for pilot training by 30-50%, which could be further reduced by using simulators. (Source: Jane’s)
13 Oct 21. SEA, the UK’s defence and security electronic system specialist, in partnership with DSAT Consultancy Ltd and Peak Pacific UK Ltd, has delivered an innovative training system, enabling the Royal Navy to carry out its own common submarine External Communications System (cECS) training for the first time. SEA has delivered interim cECS training for the Royal Navy for over ten years and has used its extensive cECS knowledge to develop a blended training solution for delivery at the Submarine School at HMS Raleigh. The training system significantly reduces reliance on expensive hardware. It combines high-quality training media with interactive system emulation using real system software in a virtual environment, along with a hardware-based training rig to provide the Royal Navy with a self-sufficient and robust cECS training capability. The cECS training is delivered over two five-day courses for both system operators and maintainers. The operator course covers system infrastructure and the external interface, while the maintainer course focuses on predictive and corrective maintenance and functional checks and system admin. SEA’s virtual environment offers realistic system behaviour while enabling trainers to simulate faults and better track student performance than when using physical equipment. Following the award of the £1m contract in January 2020, SEA partnered with DSAT Consultancy to support the course design, generate training documentation, and deliver the pilot and ‘Train the Trainer’ courses. Peak Pacific UK generated the electronic classroom training media and set up the learning management system.
Richard Flitton, Managing Director at SEA, said: “In collaboration with our partners we have delivered a flexible and reconfigurable training system. cECS is less reliant on expensive hardware, which reduces demands on space for the Royal Navy and directly responds to its evolving training requirements. Our detailed knowledge of cECS enables us to provide state-of-the-art training media delivered more cost-effectively and practically. We prioritise the development of the virtual and simulated training environments to expose trainees to vital operational scenarios that are challenging or costly to replicate in other ways.”
12 Oct 21. The Royal Navy say that UK minehunters continue to push tech boundaries with US in the Gulf. According to a news release, the two navies hold regular joint exercises to ensure there’s no ‘skills fade’ in the delicate art of finding and neutralising mines – “especially as crews and ships regularly rotate through the region, so there’s a high degree of churn”. For the latest ‘interop’” exercise, HMS Chiddingfold, Middleton and Penzance plus RFA Lyme Bay, their command ship and home to the RN’s Mine Warfare Battle Staff, joined American minehunter USS Gladiator and giant MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters – which drag minesweeping kit through the Gulf waters – for eight days of trials and test. The RN vessels were joined by members of the US Navy’s Expeditionary Mine Countermeasures Company. That resulted in HMS Penzance becoming the first Sandown-class vessel to put a REMUS 600 vehicle through its paces.
“REMUS has been used by the Navy for several years – but traditionally it’s launched from smaller craft. The device, which looks like a torpedo, moves through the water at speeds of up to five knots, scanning the seabed with sonar on ‘patrols’ up to three days long. In doing so, it surveys a huge area and, crucially, ensures the ship itself doesn’t have to venture anywhere near the suspected minefield.” (https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/)
11 Oct 21. US Army reshapes Defender Pacific to bolster joint focus. The U.S. military exercise Defender Pacific is getting a makeover in hopes the event will improve joint targeting capabilities and concepts over the next few years. The exercise will now be known as Operation Pathways, building on an Army-led drill known as Pacific Pathways, according to the head of U.S. Army Pacific Command.
“One of the things we’re trying to work on here is create opportunities to do joint targeting across all the services in all the domains because the future operating environment is going to require us to have a better understanding of the joint force, the adversary and then integration of those joint targeting elements,” Gen. Charles Flynn told Defense News in an interview ahead of the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.
Figuring out how joint targeting for fires will work across all branches — especially as new long-range fires are expected to come online as early as fiscal 2023 — will benefit the armed services as they continue to refine war-fighting concepts, Flynn said. Those concepts include the Army’s Multidomain Operations, the Navy’s Distributed Maritime Operations, the Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment and the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations.
Modifying Defender Pacific will “create opportunities to pull together the future operating concepts of all the services in the region,” Flynn said. “This region is … a war-fighting laboratory for us to learn, discover, grow, succeed and create a number of new opportunities for the joint force by implementing some new approaches.”
Pacific Pathways — which focuses on fostering relationship-building efforts between the U.S. Army and regional nations — was considered separate from Defender Pacific, which was meant to be a larger exercise in 2020 and 2021.
But both years Defender Pacific’s original division-sized exercise was scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic, Flynn said. Defender Europe, which was supposed to have its inaugural launch in 2020 as well, was also scaled back.
Defender Pacific is becoming Operation Pathways because “we’re trying to draw a distinction that Defender is in Europe and Pathways is in the Pacific,” Flynn said, arguing the word “defender” conjures up former European exercises like Reforger.
“We’re going to use the Pathways label out here because what we’re trying to do is absolutely that: create pathways and openings between us, our allies and partners in the region,” Flynn said.
Flynn’s experience with Pacific Pathways began in 2014, during the inaugural exercise, when he was commander of the 25th Infantry Division. When Pacific Pathways first began, he said, it usually consisted of three small exercises, tied together for about three or four months.
Pathways in 2021 was extended to roughly five months and combined major exercises in Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, Japan and the Philippines as well as other exercises in a series of smaller countries, Flynn said. While the plan was to have roughly 20,000 soldiers in theater, the pandemic caused the Army to scale down to about 8,000 to 10,000, he noted.
The service also held a series of experiments called Forager, which was planned with Army Futures Command and brought into the Pathways exercise. Forager featured more than 100 experiments, primarily executed from the second island chain into the first island chain as well as into Asia, Flynn said.
The first island chain runs parallel to the mainland of the Asian continent, starting in the Kuril Islands, through the Japanese Archipelago; includes Taiwan and the northwestern portion of the Philippines; and finishes in Borneo. The second island chain runs parallel to the first farther out to sea and includes Japan’s Bonin Islands and Volcano Islands; the Mariana Islands, including Guam; the Western Caroline Islands; and extends to Western New Guinea.
Other services simultaneously conducted their own experiments, he added.
“The joint integration part of it,” he explained, is “an expression of what the [defense] secretary calls integrated deterrence; by having that capability forward and operating in the environment and in the conditions that we’re most likely to have to respond to [a] crisis in, most likely to have to respond to [a] conflict in, we have to be competing every day out there.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
12 Oct 21. Problems reported at new SANG aviation training base. The Saudi Arabian National Guard’s (SANG’s) new helicopter training facility in Dirab, southwest of Riyadh, needs remedial work to bring it up to standard, according to a notice published by the US government’s System for Award Management website. The facility’s air traffic control tower needs its windows modified so they slope out at an angle of 15˚ as the current angle of 6.5˚ produces “multiple simultaneous reflections and visual illusions”, according to a 6 October notice seeking contractors to carry out the work. The windows’ mullions also need to be modified so they are not directly in the line of sight of critical aircraft movements. The contractor will also have to install a new access hatch to the tower’s roof with a retractable ladder that is not over a workstation. Most of the markings and signs on the base’s runway, three helicopter landing lanes, helipads, and taxiways need to be removed and repainted. The contractor will also need to check the magnetic runway heading to ensure the current markings are correct. (Source: Jane’s)
11 Oct 21. Second phase of Exercise Malabar 2021 set to commence. The second phase will include anti-surface, and ASW drills and weapon firings. Naval forces from India, Japan, the US and Australia will commence the second phase of the annual maritime exercise Malabar 2021 from 12-15 October. Hosted by the US Navy and conducted in the Bay of Bengal, the 25th edition of Malabar 2021 is being carried out in two phases. The exercise is designed to improve the planning, training, and employment of advanced warfare tactics between the participating nations. The Indian Navy will be represented by INS Ranvijay, INS Satpura, P8I long range maritime patrol aircraft and a submarine. The US Navy’s aircraft carrier USS Carl, as well as destroyers USS Lake Champlain and USS Stockdale, are taking part in the exercise. HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Sirius will represent the Royal Australian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force by JS Kaga and JS Murasame in the exercise. In a statement, the Indian Ministry of Defence said that the second phase of the exercise will build upon the coordination and inter-operability developed during the first Phase of the exercise, which took place in August this year. It would focus on advanced surface and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercises and weapon firings, among others. During the first phase, the four navies operated in the Philippines Sea to hone their skills in joint maritime operations, ASW operations, air warfare operations as well as live-fire gunnery events. The first phase also included replenishments-at-sea, cross-deck flight operations, and maritime interdiction operations. In 1992, the Malabar series of exercises began as an annual bilateral naval exercise between India and the US. (Source: naval-technology.com)
08 Oct 21. USAF deploys F-15Es in support operation Castle Forge in Greece. The multi-national training event is led by US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa. The US European Command (EUCOM) has announced the deployment of the F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft to Greece for operation Castle Forge. The F-15Es from the US Air Force’s (USAF) 336th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina arrived at 110th Combat Wing in Larissa airbase in Greece. Castle Forge is a US Air Forces Europe-Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA)-led joint, multi-national training event. The exercise is designed to provide a ‘partnership-focused environment’ that increases the US commitment to joint defence in the Black Sea region. It is also aimed at increasing interoperability with Nato allies. Furthermore, Castle Forge demonstrates the joint force’s combined ability to respond in times of crisis with a flexible, reassuring presence. The deployment is part of the bilateral military cooperation between Greece and the US. USAFE-AFAFRICA and Nato Allied Air Command commander-general Jeff Harrigian said: “This is an exciting time across the theatre as we host the Strike Eagles for some vital training. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
07 Oct 21. RAF personnel deploy to Ukraine for Exercise Warrior Watcher 21. The training exercise is the third deployment in a row for RAF in Ukraine over the last two years. The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Regiment personnel and RAF Police have deployed to Ukraine for the training, named Exercise Warrior Watcher 21. The forces will conduct a ‘bespoke training package’ of air focused Force Protection measures with the military of Ukraine. It is the third deployment for RAF to conduct such training over the last two years. According to RAF, the latest training is a key part of Operation ORBITAL, the UK military operation aimed at supporting and training the Ukrainian military. No 8 Force Protection Wing Personnel drawn from RAF Marham, RAF Waddington, RAF Leeming and RAF Northolt bases have deployed. RAF Short Term Training Team commanding officer squadron leader Trev Slark-Hollis said: “We are very proud to be here for the third consecutive year and continue to deepen our already strong defence relationship.
“The students have been very keen, and the course has got off to an excellent start.”
The exercise is being conducted in a phased manner for a period of two weeks. The week one series, which is the first phase, will include theoretical sessions led by both RAF Police and RAF Regiment trainers. In week two, students will receive ‘conduct practical airforce protection planning process’ based sessions. This will test the theoretical knowledge of the students. International training commander and senior staff officer lieutenant colonel Serhii Maksyme said: “During the two weeks of the exercise, Ukrainian Armed Forces personnel will have had an opportunity to learn the skills needed for airfield Force Protection.
“We will learn about the ways in which the RAF defend their airfields for us to utilise.
“We are very grateful to our British partners for the opportunity to receive this training for the third year in a row in Ukraine.”
In September last year, the RAF noted that more than 200 British paratroopers entered Ukraine to carry out joint exercises. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
08 Oct 21. Indian and British Armies commence joint training exercise Ajeya Warrior. The exercise is the sixth edition of the India – UK Joint Company Level Military Training. India-UK military troops during a joint military training exercise. Credit: British High Commission, New Delhi / Flickr. The Indian and British Armies have commenced a joint exercise, Ajeya Warrior, at Chaubatia, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand.
The exercise is aimed at developing inter-operability and mutual sharing of expertise with friendly countries. The latest exercise is the sixth edition of the India – UK Joint Company Level Military Training and will run until 20 October. During this exercise, the Indian Army’s Infantry Company and an equivalent counterpart from the UK Army will share their expertise gained individually during several overseas military operations. The exercise will witness the mutual sharing of experiences of both armies.
Under the training, armies of the two countries would acquaint themselves with each other’s weapons and equipment.
Both the UK and India would also familiarise their techniques and procedures to execute joint military drills.
According to a press statement released by the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD), the exercise involves a set of ‘Expert Academic Discussions’ on different subjects of mutual interest.
These subjects include combined arms concept, operation logistics, sharing of experiences in joint force and many others.
The military drill would come to an end with a two-day exercise to evaluate the armies’ performance in conducting joint operations in a semi-urban condition.
MoD stated: “This joint military training will go a long way in improving bilateral relations and also will be a major step towards further strengthening the traditional bond of friendship between the two nations.”
In August 2011, the Indian and the UK armies completed Ajeya Warrior exercise in the middle of the Salisbury Plain training area in the UK.
According to work by global HR consulting firm Robert Half, cloud migration and project management experience are top of the tech list for hiring managers in 2021, with DevOps engineers, programme leads and network architects all in high demand. (Source: army-technology.com)
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