Jump to content


Photo

Reforger 83


  • Please log in to reply
87 replies to this topic

#21 Stuart Galbraith

Stuart Galbraith

    Just Another Salisbury Tourist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 55,703 posts

Posted 24 February 2018 - 1206 PM

They actually modified Boeing 747's to carry cargo, I believe it was called the CRAF mod. There was a big cargo door fitted in the side of the aircraft, which could be utilized when all the panelling was removed. Pan Am Flight 103 was one such 747 that had been modified to do it.

 

 It would be interesting to know what the civilian airlift capacity was at this time.


  • 0

#22 RETAC21

RETAC21

    A la lealtad y al valor

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13,678 posts

Posted 24 February 2018 - 1438 PM

CRAF stood for Civil Reserve Air Fleet in which commercial airliners were designed as military transports in time of emergency and IIRC the airlines received some kind of subsidy. Aircraft involved were of all kinds, though preferably, widebodies.

 

A quick seach turns up this: https://www.transpor...eet-allocations

 

https://en.wikipedia...serve_Air_Fleet


Edited by RETAC21, 24 February 2018 - 1450 PM.

  • 0

#23 Stuart Galbraith

Stuart Galbraith

    Just Another Salisbury Tourist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 55,703 posts

Posted 24 February 2018 - 1453 PM

Im glad to see its still being used. I thought they pulled the plug on it at the end of the cold war. Cheers for that.
  • 0

#24 RETAC21

RETAC21

    A la lealtad y al valor

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13,678 posts

Posted 24 February 2018 - 1458 PM

An interesting paper: http://www.dtic.mil/.../u2/a280547.pdf


  • 0

#25 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,787 posts

Posted 26 February 2018 - 1151 AM

The only time I flew Trump Air was in 1991, a nice 737 with luxurious leather seats. Two were in use by AMC circulating all US bases daily, clockwise and counterclockwise to ferry crews.


  • 0

#26 Rick

Rick

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,255 posts

Posted 26 February 2018 - 1736 PM

The only time I flew Trump Air was in 1991, a nice 737 with luxurious leather seats. Two were in use by AMC circulating all US bases daily, clockwise and counterclockwise to ferry crews.

Ken, was there a mission for the U.S.M.C during these Reforger times? Served with 2/6 and 3/6 in the early '80's. IIRC the Marines were practicing against the Soviet Army.

Thanks. 


  • 0

#27 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,787 posts

Posted 26 February 2018 - 1857 PM

The USMC was never a Reforger participant, as it was cued to the army and USAF wartime mission requirement of transporting ten divisions in ten days to Europe. We did our own series of NATO exercises in the fall, however, focusing on a I MEF mission to [on order] reinforce Commander Baltic Approaches. There were also command post exercises in the early part of each year. There were alternating exercises to reinforce Turkey near the straits in the same time frame [mid 70s to mid-80s]. These have largely been superseded by exercises cued to airlifts to our own prepositioned stores in Norway and on MPS squadrons in North Norway and the Middle East.

 

As an example, I went with 2d Tk Bn on Bold Guard 78, a 4th Marine Brigade reinforcement of ComLandJut in Sept78, that terminated about the same time Reforger 78 was beginning. In 1981, I was 4th Brigade liaison officer to ComLandJut while the brigade did a CPX with ComBaltAp at his Karup HQ to take up positions in Denmark.


  • 0

#28 Rick

Rick

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,255 posts

Posted 26 February 2018 - 2006 PM

Looking at a globe now, interesting choice of Denmark. Wouldn't the Warsaw Pact capture Denmark via Germany before that many Marines could land and organize a threat? Warsaw Pact air assets in Poland an issue vs Denmark? Any air assistance from Sweden and/or Norway included? If the Marines could organize and sustain an MEF in Denmark, what could they do? They wouldn't be, imo, capable of offensive action against an armored heavy, similar sized Warsaw Pact formation or two.

But, I defer to those who know much more than I about these subjects. 


  • 0

#29 Tim Sielbeck

Tim Sielbeck

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 245 posts

Posted 26 February 2018 - 2143 PM

It would depend on how much forewarning NATO was given.


  • 0

#30 Stuart Galbraith

Stuart Galbraith

    Just Another Salisbury Tourist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 55,703 posts

Posted 27 February 2018 - 0301 AM

Looking at a globe now, interesting choice of Denmark. Wouldn't the Warsaw Pact capture Denmark via Germany before that many Marines could land and organize a threat? Warsaw Pact air assets in Poland an issue vs Denmark? Any air assistance from Sweden and/or Norway included? If the Marines could organize and sustain an MEF in Denmark, what could they do? They wouldn't be, imo, capable of offensive action against an armored heavy, similar sized Warsaw Pact formation or two.

But, I defer to those who know much more than I about these subjects. 

 

I looked into this some time ago for scenario work for a computer game, and it looked to me as if one of the Polish formations was given the job of reducing Denmark. Bear in mind they had their own Amphibious Brigade anyway, and their airborne brigade (which they retain). With one of the Soviet Airborne Divisions, and possibly one of their marine Infantry brigades attached, they would probably have had all they needed to make some serious inroads into Denmark, if not take it outright.

 

Of course that was all fairly light stuff. The real presence would have been from the Polish Army assigned, which was capable, but mostly old kit assigned like the T55. It  had to fight up via lubeck, so forward defence might have had implications for its early arrival. I guess what im saying is, a lot depends on the nature of warning (which I dont think would have been as good as claimed) and the enthusiasm of the Polish army for the task (which again, is taking a lot for granted, with the political situation in Poland at the time).


  • 0

#31 BansheeOne

BansheeOne

    Bullshit filter overload, venting into civility charger

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,506 posts

Posted 27 February 2018 - 0535 AM

We did our own series of NATO exercises in the fall, however, focusing on a I MEF mission to [on order] reinforce Commander Baltic Approaches. There were also command post exercises in the early part of each year. There were alternating exercises to reinforce Turkey near the straits in the same time frame [mid 70s to mid-80s]. These have largely been superseded by exercises cued to airlifts to our own prepositioned stores in Norway and on MPS squadrons in North Norway and the Middle East.

 

I knew of the USMC wartime missions to Norway and Denmark, but not to Turkey - though it's logical. There was a German commitment to provide IIRC 50,000 troops each for the defense of Northern Norway and the Turkish approaches in case of a flank attack on NATO (which was obviously considered a more unlikely case than the WP rolling through Germany itself, and it would probably have been pretty much moot if both happened at once). Do you know of any other planned contributions to flank defense? I believe the British would have reinforced Norway, and take it that southern members like Italy and Spain would have had a mission to Turkey, but don't know anything solid.


  • 0

#32 Stuart Galbraith

Stuart Galbraith

    Just Another Salisbury Tourist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 55,703 posts

Posted 27 February 2018 - 0552 AM

The Royal Marines I know did a number of deployments to Turkey as apart of the AMF IIRC. HMS Hermes deployed there on exercise in 1983 according to one book I have.

 

I certainly recall a big exercise in the Med involving the USMC in 1973, I cant for the life of me remember the name. They found themselves in the middle of the alarming standoff between the 5th Eskadra and the 6th Fleet. IIRC the Iwo Jima was present, along with another LPH and a few landing ships.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 27 February 2018 - 0553 AM.

  • 0

#33 Rick

Rick

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,255 posts

Posted 27 February 2018 - 0638 AM

 

We did our own series of NATO exercises in the fall, however, focusing on a I MEF mission to [on order] reinforce Commander Baltic Approaches. There were also command post exercises in the early part of each year. There were alternating exercises to reinforce Turkey near the straits in the same time frame [mid 70s to mid-80s]. These have largely been superseded by exercises cued to airlifts to our own prepositioned stores in Norway and on MPS squadrons in North Norway and the Middle East.

 

I knew of the USMC wartime missions to Norway and Denmark, but not to Turkey - though it's logical. There was a German commitment to provide IIRC 50,000 troops each for the defense of Northern Norway and the Turkish approaches in case of a flank attack on NATO (which was obviously considered a more unlikely case than the WP rolling through Germany itself, and it would probably have been pretty much moot if both happened at once). Do you know of any other planned contributions to flank defense? I believe the British would have reinforced Norway, and take it that southern members like Italy and Spain would have had a mission to Turkey, but don't know anything solid.

 

Sounds like a moral and political move by the U.S. for Turkey. If the Warsaw Pact occupied Germany and France while defeating U.S. and British forces in doing so, what could Turkey, or for that matter, Italy and Greece due? Be a Soviet semi-puppet would be my guess.


  • 0

#34 Stuart Galbraith

Stuart Galbraith

    Just Another Salisbury Tourist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 55,703 posts

Posted 27 February 2018 - 0652 AM

It wasnt so much what Turkey, or Greece, could contribute to the Central Front. Its what they could stop happening to the Mediterranean. Turkey could block the Bospherous. Greece held a pretty advantagous piece of real estate that stopped Soviet Naval Aviation bombing in the med, and bear in mind there was always a carrier on hand in the med to carry out nuclear strikes on the USSR's southern areas. It was probably included as part of siop. In Polaris days, there was probably always a few Polaris boats on the prowl there.

 

Bear in mind also, up till about 1975, we still had Vulcan bombers based on Cyprus as part of  CENTO. Not the most important problem facing the Soviets, but not insignificant either.

https://en.wikipedia...ty_Organization

 

I wargamed this in CMANO, and it suddenly struck me how important Greece and Turkey were for keeping the Soviets bottled up. And consequently, how important it was for the Soviets to destroy them, if they wanted to push NATO forces away from the USSR that could seriously threaten them. A similar problem they had in the North cape really.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 27 February 2018 - 0652 AM.

  • 0

#35 Rick

Rick

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,255 posts

Posted 27 February 2018 - 0757 AM

It wasnt so much what Turkey, or Greece, could contribute to the Central Front. Its what they could stop happening to the Mediterranean. Turkey could block the Bospherous. Greece held a pretty advantagous piece of real estate that stopped Soviet Naval Aviation bombing in the med, and bear in mind there was always a carrier on hand in the med to carry out nuclear strikes on the USSR's southern areas. It was probably included as part of siop. In Polaris days, there was probably always a few Polaris boats on the prowl there.

 

Bear in mind also, up till about 1975, we still had Vulcan bombers based on Cyprus as part of  CENTO. Not the most important problem facing the Soviets, but not insignificant either.

https://en.wikipedia...ty_Organization

 

I wargamed this in CMANO, and it suddenly struck me how important Greece and Turkey were for keeping the Soviets bottled up. And consequently, how important it was for the Soviets to destroy them, if they wanted to push NATO forces away from the USSR that could seriously threaten them. A similar problem they had in the North cape really.

Thanks for the information. Just my opinion, but I still believe that with Germany and France occupied, U.K. nullified, and U.S forces defeated, Southern Europe and Scandinavia would be of secondary importance. 


  • 0

#36 Stuart Galbraith

Stuart Galbraith

    Just Another Salisbury Tourist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 55,703 posts

Posted 27 February 2018 - 0820 AM

Its more a case of, with Southern Europe and Scandinavia not occupied or at least, dominated, the USSR was still strategically vulnerable to nuclear attack from theatre forces, such as Polaris or Carrier air. Which presumably (and im just reading this from their perspective) any victory that allowed any theatre nuclear weapons in play in Europe, would threaten any peace that could be negotiated. Thats just my view in any rate.

 

The US Naval War College did some political/strategic level wargames on this kind of thing, the basic results were published in a couple of post cold war books. I forget the name, but they often threw up completely surprising results based on apparently tiny issues. Well worth reading, if sometimes with a certain degree with incredulity. :)


  • 0

#37 bojan

bojan

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 11,838 posts

Posted 27 February 2018 - 0931 AM

 

...I wargamed this in CMANO, and it suddenly struck me how important Greece and Turkey were for keeping the Soviets bottled up. And consequently, how important it was for the Soviets to destroy them, if they wanted to push NATO forces away from the USSR that could seriously threaten them...

 

Soviets attacking Greece = most probably Yugoslavia allowing NATO to transfer material to a Greece.


  • 0

#38 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,787 posts

Posted 27 February 2018 - 1013 AM

Frankly, the US Sixth Fleet has been reduced to such insignificance that southern flank options remain a mere shadow of what was contemplated in the Cold War. The Bright Star series of prepo/aerial reinforcements could be a replacement, and I don't know the scenarios, but they have not been held since the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and ensuing imbroglios.  The USMC has returned to its interest in the NoNorway contingency, adding a tank company to the exercises, likely signifying a battalion contingency for a MEB/MEF effort. With the drawdown of USAF and army forces in Germany, Spain and Italy, I have to confess I've been out of the loop far too long to have many insights as to what a reduced US defense establishment now considers viable.

 

One of the most important missions for the USMC MEF in Turkey was to occupy the space between Greek and Turkish forces. I am not making this up. In a mobilization, three of the four MEFs would have been available for NATO reinforcement. Again, what changes have been wrought in this century remain unknown to me.


  • 0

#39 Stuart Galbraith

Stuart Galbraith

    Just Another Salisbury Tourist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 55,703 posts

Posted 27 February 2018 - 1026 AM

It was something of a shock to realize the USN command ship for the 6th Fleet ( I think even THAT title has been dropped) is still the same one they had during the 1973 naval standoff. I mean granted they spend most of their time in port, but....

 

https://en.wikipedia...hitney_(LCC-20)

 

Possibly still one of the key areas for NATO, and today there is pretty much jack shit to intervene if it ever proved necessary. Even our RM's seem to have entered a never-ending debate over their future. I suppose if it comes to it it will be down to the Italians and the French.


  • 0

#40 RETAC21

RETAC21

    A la lealtad y al valor

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 13,678 posts

Posted 27 February 2018 - 1423 PM

Some interesting stuff re. BALTAP:

 

http://picssr.com/tags/baltap

 

http://coldwarsites....country/denmark

 

http://www.php.isn.e...l?navinfo=16446

 

By the 80s it made sense to assign the Poles to taking Denmark as a semi-independent operation, as that entailed taking on a weaker NATO ally after breaking through Germany, therefore easing reliability concerns.


  • 0