07 Apr 22. Training firms Top Aces, Blue Air join forces. Canada’s Top Aces, which provides adversary aircraft to train fighter jet pilots in air-to-air combat, has expanded its portfolio by acquiring US-based Blue Air Training Corporation, which conducts close air support (CAS) training for ground troops.
Blue Air will become part of Top Aces Corporation (TAC), a US subsidiary of Top Aces, the buyer said on 6 April. Blue Air and TAC will remain based in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Mesa, Arizona, respectively, and will continue to operate independently under the same names.
“Through this partnership, we look forward to deepening our relationship with our customers and demonstrating the value of a one-stop solution,” TAC president Russ Quinn said.
Blue Air was previously owned by its founders, Gretchen Barlow and James “Chef” Barlow. They will continue in their roles as chief administrative officer and chief executive officer, respectively.
Following the acquisition, Top Aces will have a total of 350 to 400 employees. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. (Source: Janes)
07 Apr 22. Royal Marines and USMC conduct jungle exercises in Guam. Participants practiced jungle patrolling, contact drills, land-to-sea defensive techniques. British Royal Marines of 40 Commando Bravo Company, 47 Commando and 29 Commando detachments and US Marine Corps (USMC) have conducted jungle exercises. The intensive experimental exercise took place on the Pacific Island of Guam, where temperatures were recorded to be above 40°C and 79% humidity. Participants were provided with an opportunity to hone their jungle skills and test new tactics. The exercise involved commandos taking part in jungle ambushes, reconnaissance patrols, break contact drills and amphibious beach raids. These activities were carried out together with Cherokee Company, Battalion Landing Team 1/5 of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
40 Commando marine McDonnell said: “This was all carried out using techniques from both sides of the pond and we learned valuable lessons throughout.
“It was mainly an experimental exercise involving jungle patrolling, contact drills, land-to-sea defensive techniques and working at reach with limited support.”
In addition, marines also practised and trialled USMC’s Expeditionary Advanced Based Operations tactics, which are used to gather intelligence and track and confine enemy forces’ movements.
This is usually carried out by deploying small teams with restricted support to islands or chokepoints in strategic critical areas.
Marine Ridgeway said: “We spent a few days in the jungles and hills of Guam practising USMC Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations tactics for locating and targeting enemy ships from ashore.
“We also carried out break contact, casualty evacuation drills alongside patrolling in small teams.”
Furthermore, participants from 47 Commando shared skills and experience related to close-quarters battle and day and night ship boarding and capturing using a replicate.
The experimental exercise involved jungle ambushes, reconnaissance patrols, break contact drills and more. (Source: naval-technology.com)
06 Apr 22. US Navy’s USS Dewey destroyer participates in SWATT. The training increases lethality and tactical proficiency of the participating naval fleet. Sailors assigned to the USS Dewey (DDG 105) participate in a damage control training drill during SWATT. Credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Benjamin/USINDOPACOM. The US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, USS Dewey (DDG 105), has completed the Surface Warfare Advanced Tactical Training (SWATT). Led by the US Naval Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center (SMWDC), the training was conducted to allow naval fleet to increase lethality and tactical proficiency by performing advanced tactical exercises. SWATT involves two training phases including a week-long in-port academic phase and a two-week at-sea phase. Training includes a series of events including air defence, amphibious warfare, anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and surface warfare. It also comprised of various live-fire exercises, which ended with a live-fire with purpose missile launch. As part of the SWATT, Dewey sailors performed several naval drills including damage control training. SMWDC Forward Deployed Naval Forces Japan (FDNF-J) SWATT 2022 senior mentor aboard captain Jim Kenny said: “Initially, we are looking for strong indicators the ship retained the tactical foundations provided during the basic phase.
“The Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTIs) aboard the ships conduct over-the-shoulder focused training to fill any knowledge gaps before they get into the application of warfighting tactics.”
Assigned to US Navy’s forward-deployed Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 in Yokosuka, Japan, USS Dewey is supporting a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Commander Task Force-71 (CTF-71)/DESRON 15 is the principal surface force of the US 7th Fleet.
CTF-71/DESRON 15 deputy commodore captain Walter Mainor said: “SWATT is meant to challenge our warfighting readiness in order to ensure that we are ready for the high-end tactical fight, and if need be, execute our number one mission, which is to win in conflict.
“Just like anything we do, you get out of it what you put into it, so we take this opportunity to sharpen our tactics, review our readiness, and make sure we are prepared.”
Towards the end of the exercise, the ship underwent a capstone event encompassing several warfare areas for a 24-hour duration. (Source: naval-technology.com)
04 Apr 22. Israeli Air Force conducts joint training with UK and Cyprus. The Israeli Air Force (IAF), the British Royal Air Force and Cyprus Air Command have conducted a joint training exercise last week.
The training took place at the Palmachim air base in Israel and over the Mediterranean, reported the Times of Israel.
During the drill, the participating countries learnt from each other, as well as undertook maritime search and rescue missions in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, according to IAF’s tweet.
IAF’s 124th Squadron commander was quoted by the Times of Israel as saying: “This is unparalleled mutual enrichment, and a great source of pride. It is an exercise that requires great skill and professionalism.”
Meanwhile, the IAF is currently taking part in an international aerial exercise held by Greece, reported the Greek Reporter.
This exercise, which began on 28 March and will last until April 8, is intended at simulating operations against large airstrikes, air defence systems, and rescue operations.
Other than Israel and Greece, seven countries taking part in the Iniochos exercise are Canada, France, the US, Slovenia, Italy, Cyprus, and Austria.
Albania, Egypt, North Macedonia, Austria, the UK, India, Croatia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco have sent observers to the exercise.
In January this year, Israel’s Ministry of Defence (MOD) Mission had signed an agreement with the US Government to buy 12 Lockheed Martin-Sikorsky helicopters.
According to the agreement, the country will also acquire two Boeing KC-46 refuelling planes.
The total value of the deal, which also includes an option to buy another six helicopters, is around $3.1bn. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
04 Apr 22. British troops participate in Exercise Hunter 22 in Lithuania. The troops used Jackal and Coyote vehicles, as well as NLAW and Javelin anti-tank weapons, during the training. The British Army has announced that approximately 40 of its troops participated in Exercise Hunter 22, in Lithuania. During the exercise, the British personnel and Lithuanian Army counterparts took part in the live fire drill that focused on honing anti-tank capabilities. The soldiers trained with Jackal and Coyote vehicles, as well as Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapons (NLAW), and Javelin anti-tank weapons.
“These two anti-tank systems have been employed by the British Army for several years and are a significant force-multiplier for lightly armoured troops,” a British Army statement said.
According to the statement, the British contingent included the Black Horse Troops from the Royal Dragoon Guards.
The Black Horse Troop represents the British contribution to the Nato enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Poland.
As part of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), the UK share a long-standing partnership with Lithuania and eight other nations.
The JEF was established in 2014 as a security coalition that will use a pool of high-readiness forces from the UK and like-minded partner nations to offer military options during crises.
As a framework nation, the UK can activate a JEF deployment unilaterally, or as part of the coalition.
The partner nations include Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden. Last month, the British Army tested new equipment on the Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) during a training exercise. This includes testing of Dismounted Situational Awareness (DSA) devices, SPEXER 360 radars, and Saab Barracuda camouflage nets. (Source: army-technology.com)
04 Apr 22. US and Nato allied nations participate in Exercise Northern Viking 2022. The US and several NATO Allied Nations have commenced the US Sixth Fleet’s Exercise Northern Viking 2022 (NV22) in Keflavik, Iceland.
Among the countries participating in this exercise, which began on 2 April, include France, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, the UK and the US. Their combined forces bring several capabilities to the exercise across the air, land and at-sea domains.
US Navy and Marine Corps forces participating in the exercise include P-8A Maritime Patrol Aircraft from Keflavik Air Base, the Henry J Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler USNS Patuxent (T-AO-201), the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) Amphibious Ready Group / 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, the Virginia-class attack submarine USS John Warner (SSN 785), and sailors from Task Force 68.
US Sixth Fleet commander Vice Admiral Gene Black said: “The strong relationship between the U.S. and Iceland, especially in the maritime, dates back more than 70 years.
“We look forward to operating side-by-side with our Icelandic Allies while enhancing professional relationships and improving overall coordination with Allied Nations.”
Exercise Northern Viking 2022 is being held to bolster interoperability and force readiness between the US, Iceland and Allied Nations.
NV22 also enables implementation of command and control of joint and coalition forces in Iceland’s defense, and the Sea Lines of Communication in the Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom Gap.
The exercise covers expeditionary and construction capability, amphibious landings, search and rescue, and humanitarian assistance.
The forces of the participating nations will be demonstrating skills across multiple domains, climates, and vignettes to improve interchangeability and interoperability.
Iceland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir said: “We are ready to host once again the Northern Viking exercise with our American counterparts here in Iceland.
“We enjoy a strong and enduring relationship with the United States and we look forward to a highly successful event.”
Based in Naples, Italy, the US Sixth Fleet carries out the complete spectrum of joint and naval operations, mostly in concert with Allied and interagency partners, to boost US national interest and security in Europe and Africa. (Source: naval-technology.com)
01 Apr 22. India and France hold naval exercise Varuna 22 in Arabian Sea. The annual, bilateral, five-day exercise will be conducted until 3 April. The French and Indian navies have commenced the 20th edition of bilateral naval exercise, Varuna 2022, in the Arabian Sea. The five-day naval exercise began on 30 March, off the coast of Goa, and will run until 3 April 2022. The exercise is witnessing the participation of French and Indian Navy’s various units, including submarines, helicopters, maritime patrol aircrafts, fighter aircrafts and ships. During the exercise, the units of both the navies will work to sharpen their operational skills in the maritime theatre, bolster their inter-operability to carry out maritime security operations and show their commitment as an integrated force to promote peace, security and stability in the region. This annual naval exercise between the two navies began in 1993. It was named as ‘Varuna’ in 2001. The Varuna series of exercises have expanded in scope and complexity over the years, and offer opportunities to the two navies to learn from each other’s best practices. The Indian Ministry of Defence stated: “The exercise has been a principal driver for operational level interactions between the two navies and has underscored the shared commitment of both nations to security, safety and freedom of the global maritime commons.” The maritime exercise plays an important role in establishing strategic relationship between India and France. Varuna has also driven various operational level discussions between both the navies. This exercise comes close on the heels of the first edition of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) Maritime Exercise 2022 (IMEX-22) that concluded on 30 March. The five-day IMEX-22 was conducted off Goa’s coast and had seen participation from 15 countries including France, out of the total 25 IONS members. (Source: naval-technology.com)
04 Apr 22. US Army National Guard, RSLF conduct training exercises. The exercises included tactical situation training, mountain casualty evacuation, and rappelling, among others. The US Army National Guard and the Royal Saudi Land Forces (RSLF) have conducted training exercises at the Royal Saudi Land Forces Mountain Warfare School, in Saudi Arabia. Approximately 70 Task Force Avalanche Soldiers from Vermont Army National Guard’s 3rd Battalion 172 Infantry (Mountain) unit participated in a series of exercises designed to hone their mountain warfare skills. The Saudi Arabian contingent included nearly 30 RSLF soldiers. According to an US Army statement, the training included tactical situation training, mountain casualty evacuation, and fixed rope and cliff traversing, as well as rappelling. The soldiers of the two countries fully integrated during the exercises.
Task Force Avalanche operation officer Major Garion Ford said: “The training was fantastic on both sides, and we stationed three linguists at the RSLF Mountain Warfare School to build rapport with our hosts. Our linguists did amazing work, and even participated in the training.
“This training event showcased our people as soldier diplomats, building and strengthening the ties between the US and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was a great training cycle to refresh our mountain skills.”
The US Army Special Operations Command troops are testing RA-1 Ram Air parachute automatic activation devices. The new Enhanced Electronic Automatic Activation Device (EEAAD) is expected to replace the ageing reserve automatic activation device currently used by military free-fall (MFF) units. Last month, the US Army deployed the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) remote launch capability, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). (Source: army-technology.com)
31 Mar 22. Member nations of IONS conduct first edition of IMEX 22. Member nations of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) have successfully conducted the first edition of IONS Maritime Exercise 2022 (IMEX-22). The IMEX 22 maiden edition was held at Goa and in Arabian Sea between 26 and 30 March. A total of 15 out of 25 IONS members participated in the exercise. The participating member nations were France, Australia, the UAE, the UK, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Oman, Mauritius, Mozambique, Qatar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Singapore. Maritime reconnaissance aircraft, helicopters and warships from Bangladesh, France, India, and Iran were also a part of IMEX 22. The exercise aimed to enhance interoperability among the participating navies, focusing on the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions. Participants practiced together to develop a response mechanism for aiding the ships in distress. The five-day maritime drill witnessed two phases including the harbour phase and the sea phase. The harbour phase was held at Marmugao port in Goa on 26 and 27 March, while the second phase was conducted in the Arabian Sea from 28 to 30 March. (Source: naval-technology.com)
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