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Posted 09 June 2019 - 0348 AM
VJTF 2019 deploying to Zagan, Poland across the German border in the annual Noble Jump exercise (the Norwegian contingent is taking a separate route). Interestingly, the Bundeswehr is training logistical support of its deployed force, by its own forces, for the first time in separate national exercise Brave Departure; previously, deployment exercises had years of advance planning with logistics in place in the host country. AFVs also moved on their own tracks from a railhead at exercise area Oberlausitz on the German side.
Posted 26 June 2019 - 1243 PM
Edited by carrierlost, 26 June 2019 - 1244 PM.
Posted 03 July 2019 - 0817 AM
I guess the SOXMIS budget must have gone up.
looks like they use their own phones instead of a proper camera. So budget got cut.
Posted 04 July 2019 - 1732 PM
Imagine what a threat that huge landing force must pose to Russia. I expect they're quaking in their collective boots now.
Posted 06 July 2019 - 0336 AM
VJTF 2019 deploying to Zagan, Poland across the German border in the annual Noble Jump exercise (the Norwegian contingent is taking a separate route).
Well, the Norwegians made it.
Posted 30 July 2019 - 0158 AM
Not "meanwhile" - Photo from previous episode of Cold War: Polish paratroopers as "aggressors" on Warsaw Pact exercises
Posted 30 July 2019 - 0203 AM
They could have done better. Not one of them is smoking a cigar or chewing gum.
Posted 31 July 2019 - 0134 AM
They could have done better. Not one of them is smoking a cigar or chewing gum.
Posted 31 July 2019 - 0204 AM
No, its the Socialist remake of the DIrty Dozen, 'The lightly scrubbed 7'.
Posted 11 September 2019 - 1422 PM
It was predicted.....
Interior minister Mart Helme (EKRE) says he has ordered an inquiry into the lifting of visa-free entry into Estonia for Ukrainian citizens. Since 2017, a visa waiver agreement between Ukraine and the European Union has allowed freer movement, which Helme said is putting pressure on Estonia's eastern border.
In Estonia, because of its location and history, migration from the east has become a bigger and bigger issue, especially from Ukraine," Helme stated on the Conservative People's Party of Estonia's (EKRE) own portal Uued Uudised, ERR reported on Wednesday.
"We have to take a serious look at the situation, and we have taken legal advice," he continued.
Helme said that his party had already predicted the uptick in the number of people from Ukraine entering Estonia ahead of the agreement with the EU coming into effect, and notes that the development constitutes a "trojan horse", primarily for Russian influence in Estonia.
"This trojan horse works, among other things, on Russia's behalf, since those who have been coming here are not Ukrainians so much as Russians from eastern Ukraine, or Russians from Russia*, or simply 'homo sovieticus'," Helme said, referring to a disparaging term for an average, conformist and largely Russian-speaking person from the former Soviet Union as a whole.
Helme added that he is also working on removing immigration exemptions and redesigning the current rules on temporary agency work. Many workers from Ukraine are reportedly employed in the construction sector in Estonia in particular.
"Underlying this migratory pressure is a whole bunch of our businessmen who use Ukrainians for cheap labor: Our real estate agents and developers who are building blocks of flats in Tallinn, who see immigrants from the east [as a source of labor]," Helme continued.
Helme was echoing comments he had already made on ERR's Russian-language TV channel, ETV+.
"Visitors from Ukraine are not our people. They are economic migrants who want to get better conditions in Estonia and higher earnings than is possible in Ukraine. For Estonia, these people are a problem; they take jobs from local residents and are willing to work for less. Thus, they create pressure on local earnings in general," Helme said, speaking on ETV+ current affairs show Svoya pravda on Tuesday.
* Interesting in Russian text it is not "Russians from Russia" but "Russified Ukrainians" https://rus.err.ee/9...zda-v-jestoniju
Posted 24 September 2019 - 0322 AM
Monday, 23 September 2019
Joint Declaration on Advancing Defense Cooperation
The Republic of Poland (Poland) and the United States of America (the United States) continue to strengthen our strategic and defense relationship, which enhances our mutual security and that of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Building on the Joint Declaration on Defense Cooperation Regarding United States Force Posture in the Republic of Poland signed June 12, 2019, we continue to develop the plan to bolster Polish-United States military ties and United States defense and deterrence capabilities in Poland. These capabilities presently include approximately 4,500 rotational United States military personnel. As noted, this enduring presence is expected to grow by approximately 1,000 additional United States military personnel in the near term.
Poland and the United States have determined locations for this planned enhanced United States military presence.
- Poznań is to host the Division Headquarters (Forward) and the United States Army area support group.
- Drawsko Pomorskie is to host the primary Combat Training Center for joint use by the Polish and United States Armed Forces.
- Wrocław-Strachowice is to host the United States Air Force aerial port of debarkation.
- Łask is to host the United States Air Force remotely piloted aircraft squadron.
- Powidz is to host a combat aviation brigade, a combat sustainment support battalion, and a special operations forces facility.
- Lubliniec is to host a further special operations forces facility.
Additionally, Poland and the United States have engaged in extensive dialogue about the most suitable location in Poland for an armored brigade combat team. These discussions are ongoing and reflect the close operational and strategic cooperation of Poland and the United States. Poland and the United States remain optimistic about identifying the location for the armored brigade combat team.
Poland and the United States reaffirm their mutual commitment to seek to conclude the international agreements and arrangements necessary to enable enhanced infrastructure and defense cooperation, including by streamlining the functioning of the United States forces in Poland. These agreements will further strengthen our partnership and the security of the North Atlantic Treaty area.
Edited by BansheeOne, 24 September 2019 - 0325 AM.
Posted 07 October 2019 - 0822 AM
Poland Deal Lays Groundwork For Division-Strength Deployment
A division-scale exercise next year in Europe, Defender 2020, will be the largest in a quarter-century.
By SYDNEY J. FREEDBERG JR. on June 13, 2019 at 5:33 PM
WASHINGTON: The new defense pact with Poland does more than add 1,000 US troops to the 4,500 already in the frontline NATO ally. It also lays the logistical groundwork for quickly deploying a heavy armored division, some 12,000 to 20,000 troops, for a crisis or a major exercise.
That would include the Defender 2020 wargames scheduled for next year, which the Army says will be the largest in 25 years. Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy said Defender would serve as a smaller version of the massive Cold War REFORGER exercises - Return of Forces to Germany - that rehearsed rapid deployment to Europe in event of a Soviet invasion.
While the Trump Administration and its Polish partners, the right-wing government of Andrzej Duda, have been signaling the troop increase for months, the detailed announcement this morning means the two countries will also create an entire logistical and administrative infrastructure. In a conflict, crisis, or major exercise, its much easier to pour in reinforcements if theres this kind of support system in place to receive them.
Is Defender 2020 a modern incarnation of the Cold War REFORGER exercises, which at their peak moved multiple heavy divisions across the Atlantic? "It's REFORGER-like", McCarthy told reporters at a recent roundtable. "REFORGER would be larger in scale... but its similar in concept."
Logistically, "it's a muscle that we have not trained on, because of 18 years of conflict in the Middle East", McCarthy continued. As the wars ground on in Afghanistan and Iraq, deployments could be planned so far ahead, so much equipment was in place in-country, and the infrastructure there was so well established, that the Army developed a meticulous scheduled and predictable cycle known as Army Force Generation, which rotated units in and out of the war zone.
"In an ARFORGEN model, you get on an airplane, you show up, and all your equipment's there", McCarthy said. Now, he explained, units need to pack up all their equipment and vehicles, "put them on a rail head, get it to the shipyard, move it to Gdansk, Poland and then unload it and ride through the Polish countryside to your position. We hadnt done that in a very long time."
The Poles havent been on the receiving end of large foreign forces for a long time either, not since the Soviet Union routinely deployed massive forces across its Warsaw Pact satellites. The roads, bridges, and bases built back then are aging. Even when they were at peak condition, they were designed to support Soviet logistics, which were austere compared to US standards of supply, especially Russian tanks, which are much lighter than the massive American M1.
"If you look at Eastern Europe in particular, a lot of the infrastructure was built by the Russians", said McCarthy, who visited Poland early in his time in office. We started buying different HETTS [tank transporters] to load tanks because they were too heavy for a lot of the road infrastructure."
Theres a great deal of work to do, on both the American and the Polish sides, before Poland is as well-prepared for US reinforcements to rush in as West Germany was in the Cold War.
Edited by BansheeOne, 07 October 2019 - 0832 AM.
Posted 12 October 2019 - 1111 AM
The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem has written to Latvia's ambassador in Israel to express its "shock and indignation" at comments made by Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks.
The letter was sent October 7 to Latvian Ambassador Ms. Elita Gavele, and drew attention to what it said was "the praise heaped by Minister Pabriks upon his countrymen who joined forces with those of the Third Reich, describing those men as 'the pride of the Latvian people and state'."
On September 27, Pabriks took part in a commemoration ceremony at a military cemetery to mark the 75th anniversary of the battle of More in which members of the Latvian Legion - combat units of the Waffen SS - held up the Red Army's advance to Rīga, and prevented the encirclement of German forces.
At the event, Pabriks was quoted in a press release issued by his ministry as saying: "It is our duty to honor these Latvian patriots from the depths of our soul. Let us remember that, unfortunately, with each passing year, there are fewer and fewer legionnaires in our ranks, at present there are just over 30 in the ranks of the Latvian National Soldiers' Association. Latvian legionnaires are the pride of the Latvian people and the state.”
"Our memory of our legionnaires, heroes, is vivid and eternal," said Pabriks.
The comments caused outrage in Israel.
"Given the fact that the Legion fought for a victory of the Third Reich, the most genocidal regime in history, and that among those serving in it were active participants in the mass murder of Latvian Jewry, as well as of German and Austrian Jews deported by the Nazis to Riga, such comments are incomprehensible, let alone deeply offensive, coming from a senior minister of a country with full membership in the European Union and NATO," said the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Efraim Zuroff in response.
Zuroff has also been a consistent critic of an unofficial event each March 16 in Rīga to honor the Latvian Legion, as previously reported by LSM.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared explanatory material about the complex history of the Latvian Legion. Around 115,000 Latvians fought in the Latvian Legion, with around 100,000 on the opposing side in the Red Army after Latvian independence was crushed in 1940 and the country was subjected to both Soviet and Nazi occupation.
Edited by Roman Alymov, 12 October 2019 - 1118 AM.
Posted 12 October 2019 - 1756 PM
Posted 13 October 2019 - 0137 AM
Yea SWC is always outraged at how Baltics treat their SS veterans. In Finland flag of the SS battalion is part of the flag formation in FDF day parade, along with other historical flags.
To be correct, Simon Wiesenthal Center is outraged not only at how Baltics treat their SS veterans, but on much wider issue of Baltic countries local version of WWII history, i.e. the very foundation stones of their current political system. Interesting to note at least some of this views are also often expressed on This Great Forum
"Estonia’s severe case of Holocaust amnesia"
"...Estonian leader, who heads a country that is suffering from a severe Baltic variant of post-Communist Eastern European Holocaust amnesia. This is an intellectual disease whose four main characteristics are a systematic minimization of crimes by local Nazi collaborators, a distinct lack of political will to prosecute and punish such individuals, a tendency to glorify locals who fought alongside the Nazis – in Estonia’s case in Waffen-SS units – and a determination to promote the historical canard of supposed equivalency between Nazi and Communist crimes."
Also worth noting this amnesia is not limited to SS units members and other types of "forest brothers", but also covers Gestapo, Political Police etc. - not surprising since society in general take their actions as normal
Another illustration of the attitude to the events of World War II in Estonia was an event held in Viljandi in June 2011 to commemorate the German invasion in June 1941, which marked the beginning of the systematic implementation of the Final Solution. In the words of Jaanika Kressa, one of the local organizers, “The arrival of the Germans is considered the liberation of Estonia…The situation of the Estonians became normal again.” If the mass murder of their Jewish fellow Estonian citizens is their view of “normal,” obviously something is very wrong in Estonia.