Story of the US Army 10th Mountain Division

9 12 2013

Gear worn by a member of the 10th Mountain Division Soldier in World War II. Photo taken at the Veterans’ Museum in Branson.

In November 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Finland. In response, Finnish soldiers on skis destroyed two tank divisions and humiliated the Russians.

The president of the National Ski Patrol, Charles Minot (Minnie) Dole, saw this as a perfect example of why the U.S. Army needed mountain troops. Dole spent months lobbying the War Department to train troops in mountain and winter warfare. He was able to convince the Army to create ski units.

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Russia reactivates military airfield in the Arctic after 20 years

9 12 2013

Earlier in October, Putin stated strongly that Russia would never “surrender” its Arctic area. Indeed, Temp airfield located on Kotelny Island, the largest of Russian islands in Novosiberian region, is being reactivated.

The airfield has been operational beginning in 1949 then, 20 years ago, its activity was suspended, and the infrastructures preserved for future use. Since then, Russian policy towards Arctic has become more aggressive and one of the elements of that policy is to reinstate the aforementioned airfield for Russian Air Force planes.

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Antonov Muddy Takeoff

14 11 2012

Another superb example of Russian/Soviet engineering conquering the wild and rough environment of northern Russia.

Development of Russia’s Arctic Brigade

7 10 2011

According to Russian media – ITAR-TASS:

MOSCOW, Oct. 7. / SPB-TASS /. Russian Arctic team will be formed on the basis of existing connections, they will be placed in places of permanent deployment and launch from there to perform the tasks specified in the Arctic. Itar-Tass reported today Deputy Defense Minister Army General Dmitry Bulgakov.

“On the basis of existing connections will be established precisely established team, which will be designed to perform tasks in the Arctic zone. Their combat training will be focused precisely on this,” – said the official.

“You can not seriously think that some team will be planted between the Arctic icebergs in the far north and it will sit there and wait for problems – Bulgakov said. – Of course not, the team will have their places of permanent deployment, as well as other compounds of our army where it will kick about or leave their own power to perform the tasks in those areas that it will be shown. ”

Noting that the place of permanent deployment of the Arctic teams in November will determine the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Deputy Defense Minister said, “Where would this team nor was stationed, their tasks to ensure Russia’s security, it will perform in the Far North in the Arctic zone. That is why this team should be properly equipped and equipped. ”

Bulgakov explained that it was a new military and special equipment, uniforms and nutrition personnel. “It is clear that the form of clothes and food of Arctic Brigade soldiers are not the same as that of ordinary combined arms brigades. In particular, in severe frosts personnel need a special dress and a completely different food for calories, energy and nutritional value,” – said Bulgakov. He did not elaborate on what specific products in question, but recalled that already in-arms rations introduced bacon and bread baking instead of special biscuits. “Tu calorie content, which is necessary, we will provide,” – he said.

Speaking of technology, which will be equipped with Arctic Brigade, Deputy Minister noted that “it’s not just the current technology, there are many new things.” “If the old equipment has characteristics that allow its use in the Far North, we will pick up, but the technique in the transfer will be different teams for cross-country, power, resistance to frost,” – he explained.

September 12 Bulgakov, ITAR-TASS reported that the military equipment, which will be equipped with Arctic Brigade, “will be able to pass through the deep snow and operate at temperatures of minus 50 degrees and below.” In November, on the basis of all decisions taken by the leadership of the Ministry of Defense on manning and securing the Arctic teams to the Russian public will be communicated and carried out detailed information display of advanced technology and equipment, including weapons and equipment of these teams.

As previously reported, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, the Arctic is one of the teams will be formed on the basis of a separate motorized rifle brigade of the Western Military District, headquartered stationed in Pechenga / Murmansk region, the northern part of the Kola Peninsula.

Video of exploding methane gas below ice in Siberia

23 11 2010

This video from Russia Today shows how easy it is to access methane gas locked under Siberian ice.

According to RT methane gas locked inside Siberia’s frozen soil and under its lakes is currently being released at a dangerous rate. Russian scientists believe it can pose threat to the world’s climate, however the lack of data over a long period of time casts uncertainty over the extent of the threat.

More than 50 billion tons of methane could be unleashed from Siberian lakes according to RT.

Russia Conducts Emergency Rescue Drills on Franz Josef Land

17 11 2010

Emergency rescue drills are essential in the Arctic, as the training prepares the Russian border guard and Emergencies Ministry to protect and provide safety for people at its northwestern border.

But some see these rescue exercises as a sign to show who really has control over the region.

Something goes wrong with the plane flying over the Arctic and it makes an emergency landing on Franz Josef Land, in the middle of the ocean. There are dead and injured. Pilots call for help.

Rescuers from the mainland are coming. But border guards from Russia’s northernmost frontier post on the archipelago are first to the scene.

These drills are very life-like – it not only can happen, but it already has. The wreckage used in the training is the actual ruins of a plane that crashed here in the 1990s. Then no one was hurt, but as usual, the training exercises suppose the worst.

The event is unique, as for the first time ever, Russia’s border forces and Emergencies Ministry are training together in the country’s extreme regions. And they are immensely important regarding security in the Arctic.

“The tourism here is booming,” said border guard Aleksey Volsky. “Almost 2 million flow into this land every year. With the Arctic’s further development there will be even more people here, tourists or explorers. We have to provide safety for all.”

Meanwhile skeptics say that the drills’ purpose is nothing but to demonstrate who is ruling the Arctic, amid a harsh battle for this resource-rich region between the states that border it – an accusation Russia does not agree with.

“The drills show that we have the forces and means to be able and ready to react to emergencies in the region,” said Deputy Emergencies Minister Aleksandr Chupriyan. “Nationality doesn’t matter  – it can help Russians and foreigners equally. This is international security here that we test.”

Experts say the Arctic can divide countries in a chase for this land’s immense natural resources, but it could just as well unite them.

“Russia is of course responsible for ecology there, for exploitation of the region and rescue operations and so on and so on,” stated Professor Lev Voronkov from the Moscow State University of International Relations. “No one country in the world is able to accumulate the financial resources and other means to resolve alone the problems existing in the Arctic. So we are voting for cooperation in the Arctic, for sure.”

If so, these first drills will not be the last … and may soon change these operations from being national to international in nature.

Source: Russia Today

Svenska Dagbladet Embeded with HMS Södermanland – Baltic Sea Operations

9 11 2010


The HMS Södermanland (Wikipedia)


Not since the Cold War has the Russian military presence been so high in the Baltic Sea as now.

SvD, Svenska Dagbladet (“the Swedish daily paper”) followed Sweden’s first female submarine chief Paula Wallburg and HMS Södermanland into the depths of the Baltic Sea.

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– Ljud i tilltagande styrka! – Sound of increasing strength!

The time has passed one night in the control room aboard the submarine HMS Södermanland when the sonar operator Johan Kling calls out his report. The noise that he hears in his headphones, 44 meters below the sea surface sounds like a glass of mineral water. The clean sound without rattling leaves no doubt: It is a warship.

Djup 50 meter! Framåt 60 varv! –Depth-50 feet! Forward 60 yards! Instructs Captain Paula Wallburg.

It is småkyligt in the room so that the crew should not be sweating in their naval uniforms. The only source of light in the darkness comes from the instruments and screens. What follows the crew of the  HMS Södermanland by all accounts is a corvette. Lieutenant Commander Paul Wallburg, Sweden’s first female submarine boss, needs a quick answer:

Ge mig kursen. Nu. – Give me the course.  Now.

Using the sound in the headphones, a stopwatch and trigonometry the sonar operators locate the vessel. It is difficult. Somewhere above the the offending corvette first steers away and then suddenly stops. Paula Wallburg swears. Now we need to get in position so they don’t lose touch.

–Gira så fort du kan! Gira as soon as you can!

The Baltic Sea is in many ways an ideal submarine environment: hilly sea floors with plenty of places to hide and a good view ahead of the sensors. But even in the quietest time of peace is the geopolitical peace in peaceful area. Not least, Russia has in recent years significantly increased its presence. It is far from Cold War tension is mounting – but also to the 1990’s detente with the Russian Baltic Fleet rusted away.

Last year, Russian troops were practicing landing outside Kaliningrad in the largest such exercise since 1981. And in September this year the U.S. Navy Commander Admiral Gary Roughead told Svenska Dagbladet that the U.S. should practice more often in the Baltic Sea, as NATO Baltic countries demanded it.

On board the HMS Södermanland the pursuit of the corvette’s roaring propeller continues. Should the submarine surface and hoist up the periscope it would be easy to identify the ship in darkness. But the submarine and its 27 crew members stops silent.

Johan Kling compares corvette’s searching through the pinging signal down into the depths as shining a flashlight in a dark forest: “It looks like its lit to within a few meters, but it shows itself in kilometers”.

The hunt continues. The corvette is close enough.

Skott kommer! Fyr! Shots are coming! Lighthouse!

Was it an enemy corvette instead of the Swedish Navy’s own HMS Malmö – armed with depth charges and torpedoes  –  the battle would have been over. The submarine’s training torpedo will be salvaged in the morning. The duel is part of the Swedish naval exercise Swenex.

But only a small part of the Navy submariners spend time on training – and most are absent in the Baltic Sea due to the resources available.  The latest generation of Swedish submarines have been ordered for delivery in eight years. Meanwhile, two submarines to be upgraded.

Foreign naval forces will regularly probe Sweden’s ability to defend its waters by sniffing around Swedish territorial waters, “says Jonas Haggren, head of the First Submarine Flotilla based in Karlskrona.

The submarine’s main characteristic must be truly hidden. She serves as a platform for intelligence gathering or other special missions: It can drop divers for missions or patiently lie and check with their sensors.

-“The fascination with submarines for me is that we are hidden. Nobody sees us, but we see”says Paula Wallburg, who now spends nearly 100 days per year under the surface.

Russia not only runs his own submarines in the Baltic Sea but also testing new vessels for export. Commander Jonathan Haggren smile:

– “When they run their tests, we are there and listening.”

The darkness in the control room because the night vision must be on top when the periscope is raised up. The surfaced submarine is operated and navigated by a single officer from the tower. The tools are the simplest possible: chart, log, compass.

The hours go on board and Södermanland glides through the cold water. The exercise is not over.

Suddenly the silence is broken when the alarm is sounded on the speakers:

Stridsledningen, ställning till drabbning! – Battle Management, a position on the battle!

Translated by Editor using Google Translate

Source: SvD

Hat Tip to Mr. Lars Gyllenhaal


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