U.S. Defence programmes: 42 percent over budget and 22 months behind schedulehttp://www.defpro.com/daily/details/279/
Deparei hoje com uma viatura blindada M1117, peretencente a uma Companhia de Policia Militar da Guarda Nacional que tem quartel cá na minha aldeia.Vou tentar tirar umas fotos pessoalmente quando puder. Fiquem com esta por agora.
Essa viatura é muito parecida com o VAB francês :shock:
Military Weighs Private Security on Front LinesFirm Could Have Broad Protection Authority in Afghanistan By Walter PincusWashington Post Staff WriterSunday, July 26, 2009The U.S. military command is considering contracting a private firm to manage security on the front lines of the war in Afghanistan, even as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says that the Pentagon intends to cut back on the use of private security contractors.On a Web site listing federal business opportunities, the Army this month published a notice soliciting information from prospective contractors who would develop a security plan for 50 or more forward operating bases and smaller command outposts across Afghanistan.Although the U.S. military has contracted out security services to protect individuals, military bases and other facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, this contract would award a commercial company unusually broad "theater-wide" authority to protect forward operating bases in a war zone."The contractor shall be responsible for providing security services, developing, implementing, adequately staffing, and managing a security program," the notice said, adding that the contractor would have to be available "24 hours a day, seven days a week."ad_iconThe U.S. military currently has 72 contracts that provide 5,600 civilian guards, mostly local Afghans, at forward bases across Afghanistan, according to Lt. Cmdr. Christine M. Sidenstricker, chief of media operations for U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. The intent of the proposed contract is to bring all "disparate and subordinate contracts" under single, theater-wide management at a time when the U.S. forces are expanding, she said.The Army has not issued a formal proposal for a contract, but the notice says that interested companies should reply by Wednesday and that a formal request for proposals should follow. The "anticipated award date" for a contract is Dec. 1, according to the notice.The request for information comes as Gates is moving to put soldiers back in charge of security roles that contractors have filled in recent years. Drawing on its experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Defense Department recently organized a task force to measure the military's dependence on contractor support in training and security, with the goal of determining an appropriate mix.Lawmakers, too, have raised concerns about the cost of contractors and about outsourcing what have traditionally been government roles.The Commission on Wartime Contracting, a bipartisan congressional panel, noted in a recent report that in previous wars, military police protected bases while other service members pursued the enemy. "Contractors are now literally in the center of the battlefield in unprecedented numbers," the commission said, creating "a need to define specific functions that are not appropriate for performance by contractors in a contingency operation."Meanwhile, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), chairman of the Senate subcommittee on contracting oversight, said her panel had "revealed major concerns about the use of private security contractors in Afghanistan." She added that a hard look needs to be taken "at where we have gone wrong in the past, to ensure that the military does not repeat history."Afghan forward operating bases are often considered dangerous posts. An American soldier was critically injured this month when insurgents attacked Forward Operating Base Salerno, near the eastern border town of Khost. Two U.S. troops died July 4 at Combat Outpost Zerok, also near the Pakistan border, in an insurgent assault.In the worst attack on an outpost, roughly 200 insurgents broke through security walls last year at an outpost in Konar province and killed nine American soldiers. Sen. James Webb (D-Va.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, recently asked the Pentagon's inspector general to investigate whether security at the post was adequate.With Afghan army and police officers totaling roughly 160,000, and the number of U.S. service members in Afghanistan set to grow to 68,000 by year's end, the U.S. military is moving to protect the facilities where personnel will be based. But many experts say commanders do not have enough forces."We don't want to waste scarce Afghan army and police, so we must be creative," said Michael E. O'Hanlon, a senior fellow and military expert at the Brookings Institution.But O'Hanlon also said he is concerned that if contractors were to take over security at forward operating bases, they would be the first to see hostile fire, and they -- not soldiers -- would have to decide whether to employ weapons against an enemy.Instead of hiring a private firm, O'Hanlon said, the Americans and Afghans could create a local version of Iraq's Facilities Protection Service, the modestly trained but government-paid guard force that was pulled together to provide protection for government ministries in Baghdad and the oil fields. "We should create a different branch of the Afghan security forces that has minimal training," he said.At a town hall meeting at Fort Drum, N.Y., on July 16, Gates said that the military had let contracting "grow without the kind of controls that we should" have had. The purpose, he said, was "to try and free up as many soldiers for actual combat duty, rather than having them do things that civilian contractors could do."Contractors, Gates noted, have done a variety of jobs, including running dining facilities and doing laundry, cleaning chores and security work. "So, we're kind of going back through all of these roles, at this point, to figure out where military ought to be doing these things and where civilian contractors can be," he said.
Report: US commanders 'incompetent' over nine soldiers killed in Afghan battle of WanatAn unpublished report into one of the US Army's darkest days, when nine soldiers were killed by the Taliban at a remote Afghan outpost, has branded their commanders incompetent.By Leonard Doyle in WashingtonPublished: 6:55PM BST 25 Jul 2009The official report into the battle of Wanat, on July 13 last year, describes the bravery of soldiers who kept fighting even after they were hit. One mortally wounded soldier continued to pass ammunition as he lay dying, and his comrades' bravery and professionalism ensured that the outpost was never overrun.But cocksure officers conducted themselves so poorly before the battle that they angered the local villagers whom they were supposed to win over, the report states. Its findings highlight serious concerns as the US is throwing an extra 23,000 battle-weary troops into a war that is being increasingly questioned in the United States.The battle showed the increasing military sophistication of the Taliban, and highlighted the vulnerability of combat forces which are now fanning out across Afghanistan in small units with orders to engage with villagers.After an initial Army investigation which was dismissed by critics in the military hierarchy as whitewash, Douglas Cubbison, a military historian was commissioned to produce a more honest assessment.His report is directed squarely at US commanders in the field. It suggests that if they do not apply the Army's counterinsurgency doctrine and protect local populations, they could meet the same fate as their fallen comrades at Wanat.Named after a remote wooded valley near the Pakistan border north east of Kabul, the battle began just before dawn when a force of guerrillas estimated at between 50 and 200 in number, threw themselves at the remote US outpost.Volleys of rocket-propelled grenades rained down as the Taliban swarmed across the steep valley.They quickly knocked out the American heavy weapons - a 120 millimeter mortar, a TOW missile system, and a .50 calibre machine gun. The 45 soldiers and three Marines at the base along with a small Afghan National Army contingent were soon in a fight for their lives.It felt like "about a thousand Rocket Propelled Grenades at once," Army Specialist Tyler Hanson later told an Army investigator. The Taliban moved in to within feet of the Americans, making it impossible to call in airstrikes.They threw rocks into the Americans' foxholes, hoping the soldiers would mistake them for grenades and jump out. "The whole time we were thinking we were going to die," said Specialist Chris McKaig.When the fighting ended, an hour later, nine US soldiers were dead and 27 were wounded, a 75 per cent casualty rate, which has not been suffered since the Vietnam War.Details of the draft army report were first revealed by Thomas Ricks on his Foreign Policy blog. Mr Ricks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer on military affairs, said it was significant that the report emerged from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas - the last command of General David Petraeus before he took over as commander for Afghanistan and Iraq.Gen. Petraeus wrote the Army's counterinsurgency doctrine which instructs US officers to work with and protect local populations, a marked change of strategy for an army which has always valued firepower and aggression above all else."This unit gave lip service to he policy of working with locals," Mr Ricks said, "and this report is a way for people like Petraeus to say, 'you think you're doing counterinsurgency, but your not. And you're getting our soldiers killed." The battalion commander in Wanat claimed after the battle that he has been conducting a classic counterinsurgency campaign while 'living with the population'.This, the report concluded, was not an accurate account."This was not the case in the Waigal Valley, where the paratroopers occupied only two combat outposts, and had almost no interaction with the population," the report stated.A statement from one machine gunner in the unit summed up the general attitude to locals: "We didn't interact with them...they didn't come near us and we didn't go near them," Another soldier added: "These people, they disgust me...everything about those people up there is disgusting. They're worthless."The brigade commander, Col. Charles Preysler, and the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Ostlund, come in for lacerating criticism. Neither responded to queries. Col. Preysler, has previously stated that the Wanat outpost was never intended to be a "full-up combat outpost," or COP. "That is absolutely false and not true," he said after the battle."So, from the get-go, that is just [expletive] and it's not right."However the report found this misleading, because there were extensive plans for construction of a "permanent outpost," with walls, housing and sewage control.The report criticised the commanders for their "highly kinetic approach", using the military jargon for aggressive military action. The report found that they shot first and asked questions later, which "inevitably degraded the relationships between the US Army and the population." In addition a US helicopter attack before the battle on some trucks passing through the valley killed doctors and other health care workers, angering villagers. Fonte
Army drops bayonets, busts abs in training revamp By SUSANNE M. SCHAFER FORT JACKSON, S.C. – New soldiers are grunting through the kind of stretches and twists found in "ab blaster" classes at suburban gyms as the Army revamps its basic training regimen for the first time in three decades.Heeding the advice of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans, commanders are dropping five-mile runs and bayonet drills in favor of zigzag sprints and exercises that hone core muscles. Battlefield sergeants say that's the kind of fitness needed to dodge across alleys, walk patrol with heavy packs and body armor or haul a buddy out of a burning vehicle.Trainers also want to toughen recruits who are often more familiar with Facebook than fistfights."Soldiers need to be able to move quickly under load, to be mobile under load, with your body armor, your weapons and your helmet, in a stressful situation," said Frank Palkoska, head of the Army's Fitness School at Fort Jackson, which has worked several years on overhauling the regime."We geared all of our calisthenics, all of our running movements, all of our warrior skills, so soldiers can become stronger, more powerful and more speed driven," Palkoska said. The exercises are part of the first major overhaul in Army basic fitness training since men and women began training together in 1980, he said.The new plan is being expanded this month at the Army's four other basic training installations — Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Fort Sill, Okla., Fort Benning, Ga., and Fort Knox, Ky.Drill sergeants with experience in the current wars are credited with urging the Army to change training, in particular to build up core muscle strength. One of them is 1st Sgt. Michael Todd, a veteran of seven deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.On a recent training day Todd was spinning recruits around to give them the feel of rolling out of a tumbled Humvee. Then he tossed on the ground pugil sticks made of plastic pipe and foam, forcing trainees to crawl for their weapons before they pounded away on each other."They have to understand hand-to-hand combat, to use something other than their weapon, a piece of wood, a knife, anything they can pick up," Todd said.The new training also uses "more calisthenics to build core body power, strength and agility," Palkoska said in an office bedecked with 60-year-old black and white photos of World War II-era mass exercise drills. Over the 10 weeks of basic, a strict schedule of exercises is done on a varied sequence of days so muscles rest, recover and strengthen.Another aim is to toughen recruits from a more obese and sedentary generation, trainers said.Many recruits didn't have physical education in elementary, middle or high school and therefore tend to lack bone and muscle strength. When they ditch diets replete with soda and fast food for healthier meals and physical training, they drop excess weight and build stronger muscles and denser bones, Palkoska said.Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, the three-star general in charge of revamping all aspects of initial training, said his overall goal is to drop outmoded drills and focus on what soldiers need today and in the future.Bayonet drills had continued for decades, even though soldiers no longer carry the blades on their automatic rifles. Hertling ordered the drills dropped."We have to make the training relevant to the conditions on the modern battlefield," Hertling said during a visit to Fort Jackson in January.The general said the current generation has computer skills and a knowledge base vital to a modern fighting force. He foresees soldiers using specially equipped cell phones to retrieve information on the battlefield to help repair a truck or carry out an emergency lifesaving medical technique.But they need to learn how to fight."Most of these soldiers have never been in a fistfight or any kind of a physical confrontation. They are stunned when they get smacked in the face," said Capt. Scott Sewell, overseeing almost 190 trainees in their third week of training. "We are trying to get them to act, to think like warriors." For hours, Sewell and his drill sergeants urge on helmeted trainees as they whale away at each other with pugil sticks, landing head and body blows until one falls flat on the ground. As a victor slams away at his flattened foe, a drill sergeant whistles the fight to a halt. "This is the funnest day I've had since I've been here!" said 21-year-old Pvt. Brendon Rhyne, of Rutherford County, N.C., after being beaten to the ground. "It makes you physically tough. Builds you up on the insides mentally, too." The Marine Corps is also applying war lessons to its physical training, adopting a new combat fitness test that replicates the rigor of combat. The test, which is required once a year, has Marines running sprints, lifting 30-pound ammunition cans over their heads for a couple of minutes and completing a 300-yard obstacle course that includes carrying a mock wounded Marine and throwing a mock grenade. Capt. Kenny Fleming, a 10-year-Army veteran looking after a group of Fort Jackson trainees, said men and women learn exercises that prepare them to do something on the battlefield such as throw a grenade, or lunge and pick a buddy off the ground. Experience in Iraq has shown that women need the same skills because they come under fire, too, even if they are formally barred from combat roles. "All their exercises are related to something they will do out in the field," Fleming said, pointing out "back bridge" exercises designed to hone abdominal muscles where soldiers lift hips and one leg off the ground and hold it steady. "This will help their core muscles, which they could use when they stabilize their body for shooting their weapon, or any kind of lifting, pulling, or something like grabbing a buddy out of a tank hatch," Fleming said. Fleming said those who had some sort of sports in high school can easily pick up on the training, while those who didn't have to be brought along. One hefty soldier in a recent company he trained dropped 45 pounds and learned to blast out 100 push-ups and 70 sit-ups, he said. "We just have to take the soldier who's used to sitting on the couch playing video games and get them out there to do it," Fleming said. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_new_basic_training
Faleceu no último dia 2 de janeiro em Palmyra, Pennsylvania, EUA, de causas naturais aos 92 anos de idade, o famoso comandante da Easy Company, Major Richard "Dick" Winters.Nascido em Ephrata, Pennsylvania, Winters trabalhou numa série de empregos para pagar sua faculdade, na qual graduou-se em junho de 1941. Na esperança de encurtar seu tempo de serviço militar, ele decidiu alistar-se no Exército em 25 de agosto daquele ano, passando pelo treinamento básico na Carolina do Sul. Com o ataque japonês a Pearl Harbor, as coisas mudaram de figura, e Winters foi selecionado para a Escola de Aspirantes a Oficial em abril de 1942, e lá conheceu seu futuro colega de guerra Lewis Nixon. Comissionado Segundo Tenente em julho, ele decidiu juntar-se à infantaria paraquedista, recebendo ordens para se apresentar ao 506º Regimento de Infantaria Paraquedista em Camp Toccoa, Georgia. Lá, Winters recebeu o comando do 2º Pelotão da Companhia E ("Easy Company"), e ganhou o respeito dos soldados devido à sua competência e espírito de liderança.Chegando à Inglaterra em setembro de 1943 - já como parte da 101ª Divisão Aerotransportada - o 506º Regimento iniciou uma dura fase de treinamento em Wiltshire, que resultou no crescimento de tensões entre Winters e o comandante da Easy Company, Capitão Herbert Sobel. Winters duvidava da capacidade de Sobel de exercer liderança em situações de combate, e sua opinião era compartilhada por muitos sargentos da unidade. Após uma troca de acusações e um manifesto oficial dos sargentos, o comandante do 506º, Coronel Robert Sink, decidiu remover Sobel e substitui-lo pelo Primeiro-Tenente Thomas Meehan III.Durante os saltos noturnos que precederam o desembarque na Normandia, o avião que levava Meehan foi derrubado pela antiaérea alemã, e Winters passou a atuar como comandante da Easy já no dia 6 de junho de 1944. Neste mesmo dia, ele liderou um ataque a uma bateria alemã de obuseiros 105 mm que atiravam sobre a praia de Utah. O exemplar assalto coordenado por Winters, conhecido como Ataque de Brécourt Manor, ainda é ensinado na academia de West Point como exemplo de ataque à posições fixas. Com apenas 13 homens, ele destruiu a posição inimiga, guardada por 50 soldados, e ainda capturou um mapa das defesas alemãs na área. Por esta ação ele foi condecorado pelo General Omar Bradley com a Distinguished Service Cross e promovido a Capitão.Em setembro, a 101ª tomou parte na Operação Market-Garden, saltando sobre a Holanda. Numa encruzilhada, os paraquedistas entraram sob fogo de metralhadora alemã. Winters fez um reconhecimento e chamou o restante de seu pelotão para auxiliar no ataque à posição defensiva alemã. Embora tenha estimado a defesa inimiga em cerca de 50 homens, na verdade Winters concluiu com sucesso um ataque a uma força de 300 soldados alemães. Pouco depois, ele foi promovido a Oficial Executivo do 2º Batalhão, e nessa posição tomou parte na defensiva da cidade de Bastogne, na Bélgica, durante a ofensiva alemã de dezembro de 1944. Segurando a cidade contra uma força alemã muito maior, a 101ª sofreu muitas baixas, mas resistiu por uma semana até a chegada das tropas do 3º Exército do General George Patton. Em março de 1945, Winters recebeu o comando do 2º Batalhão, liderando-o por um período de relativa pouca atividade, desde o Reno até a Bavária no fim de abril. No começo de maio, ele recebeu a ordem de capturar Berchtesgaden, o retiro montanhês de Hitler. No dia 5, a Easy Company chegou ao Ninho da Águia, a casa construída para o Führer no topo das montanhas bávaras.Após a guerra, Winters foi trabalhar com seu amigo Nixon até 1951, quando foi reconvocado para serviço ativo durante a Guerra da Coreia. Winters treinou oficiais por algum tempo, entrando para a reserva novamente em 1952. Casado e pai de dois filhos, ele abriu uma empresa de insumos agropecuários em Hershey, Pennsylvania, atuando como fornecedor por todo o estado. Em 1992, foi entrevistado pelo historiador Stephen Ambrose para seu livro "Band of Brothers: Easy Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest", que foi transformado pela HBO na mundialmente famosa minissérie "Band of Brothers" em 2001. Apesar da saúde frágil de seus últimos anos, bem como uma dura batalha contra o Mal de Parkinson, Dick Winters continuou o quanto pôde a participar de eventos públicos, e recentemente uma campanha foi iniciada para construir uma estátua sua na Normandia. William "Wild Bill" Guarnere, que serviu sob o comando de Winters na Easy, disse: "Quando ele dizia 'vamos', ele estava bem na frente. Nunca ficava para trás. Era um líder personificado".Desejando apenas uma cerimônia simples para a família e amigos, Dick Winters pediu que seu falecimento fosse mantido em segredo até que o enterro fosse realizado, o que aconteceu no dia 8 de janeiro de 2010. Ele deixa esposa (Ethel) e dois filhos (Tim e Jill).Fonte: Sala de guerra