1. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru No Rest For The Wicked Banned!

    Jun 11, 2011
    U.S. aircraft carrier strike group patrols in South China Sea
    Routine operations come amid renewed tension over disputed waterway
    A U.S. aircraft carrier strike group has begun patrols in the South China Sea, the U.S. navy said on Saturday, amid renewed tension over the disputed waterway.

    China's Foreign Ministry on Wednesday warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty, responding to reports the U.S. was planning fresh naval patrols in the South China Sea.

    The navy said the force, including Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, began routine operations in the South China Sea on Saturday. The announcement was posted on the Vinson's Facebook page.

    China lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea and recently conducted war games there.

    The sea is rich in potential oil and gas reserves, and about $5 trillion US worth of trade passes through every year.

    This is expanded from a facebook post in that article ...

  2. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru No Rest For The Wicked Banned!

    Jun 11, 2011

    Canada will continue to have a military mission in Iraq through 2017, but the size and scope of it have yet to be determined, the country's defence minister said in advance of an international meeting with allies battling ISIS.

    Defence planners have been spinning various scenarios for months, but the Liberal government committed — when it overhauled the mission against ISIS last February — to reviewing the deployment of special forces, helicopters, surveillance planes, an air-to-air refueling jet and a military field hospital.

    The assessment is due by March, but the last budget numbers put before Parliament have set aside only $41 million for the operation, less than one-third of what's being spent in the current budget year.

    'We need to make sure that troops we have trained are up to the level where they can hold the gains they have [made].'
    - Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan

    Earlier in the fall, the country's operations commander, Lt.-Gen. Steve Bowes, said the military had been given orders, but its "posture is not oriented towards" an extended mission.

    Asked on Wednesday whether the military commitment would continue, Sajjan told CBC News: "Absolutely."

    Iraqi security forces are still involved in the battle to retake Mosul, the country's second-largest city, from deeply entrenched ISIS fighters. Iraqi forces are being aided by Canadian and allied special forces soldiers, who are providing not only advice, but covering fire.

    "We need to make sure that troops we have trained are up to the level where they can hold the gains they have [made]," Sajjan told CBC News.

    Whether the Kurds and the Iraqis can effectively provide security is a fundamental question and consideration, he said.

    "We entered when Iraqi security forces couldn't hold the ground and do what they are supposed to do. So, the last thing you want to do is just leave without making sure you've answered that question."

    Teaching new lessons
    If you listen to the Kurds, whom Canadians have been training since the fall of 2014, the answer is they need a different kind of support once Mosul has been cleared of extremists.

    One of the Kurdish Peshmerga commanders taking part in the battle, Brig. Adel Rash, recently made a pitch to Canada's deputy commander of special forces for specialized training in counter-insurgency warfare.

    The training Canadian special forces have provided to the Kurds thus far involves traditional combat skills, not the intelligence-driven shadow warfare that characterized the decade-long combat commitment in Afghanistan.

    Most military planners, including many at the Pentagon, expect ISIS to revert to a guerrilla war once it has been driven out of Mosul.

    "We are in need of training courses," Rash said in an interview with CBC News. "ISIS activity is changing towards an insurgency and we need to be prepared. We expect Canadians to play a good role."

    A CH-146 Griffon lands in a field northwest of Erbil. The helicopter detachment is a recent addition to Canada's mission in Iraq. (Murray Brewster/CBC)

    Government ministers from countries taking part in the campaign to defeat ISIS will get an update on where the fight could be headed at a meeting in London on Thursday.

    Sajjan was asked whether he is laying groundwork within the Liberal government for an extended mission that would involve preparing the Kurds for a guerrilla war, in much the same fashion that Canada trained Afghan forces to take on the Taliban.

    He left the door open to that possibility.

    "The goal is always to eliminate the threat," Sajjan said. "That is the goal, but we will have to assess, at the time, what is needed."

    A liberated Mosul will need police forces, reconstruction and development to get back on its feet, and those will be major considerations in the upcoming assessment, he added.

    If it is any indication, military engineers recently put the finishing touches on a semi-permanent military camp in Erbil, which houses different elements of the mission.

    Major construction only started in June and some barracks just opened last month at the $3.75-million centre.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  3. Undeniable

    Undeniable Porn Star

    Jun 14, 2016
    Godspeed and rest in peace 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group member WO Shawn Thomas. Your work fighting Boko Haram will not go unnoticed .

  4. naughtyguy4u

    naughtyguy4u Porn Star

    Mar 13, 2016
    True American Hero!
    God Bless him and condolences to his family and friends.
    Undeniable likes this.
  5. Undeniable

    Undeniable Porn Star

    Jun 14, 2016
    Here is something of interest that might not sit well with some .

    justpassingthru likes this.
    1. naughtyguy4u
      So just accept what is wrong??
      Really tired of PC and cultural bullshit!
      So instead of us making them change, we have to change?
      FUCK THAT!!!
      naughtyguy4u, Feb 20, 2017
      justpassingthru likes this.
    2. Mr Smith 36
      If Ronald Reagan was still commander in chief the two soldiers would have received a commendation. What else can you expect from Obama, the Muslim sympathizer in chief.
      Mr Smith 36, Mar 4, 2017
  6. freethinker

    freethinker Pervy Bear

    Aug 17, 2009
    Damn...first they have everyone wear the black berets, now they want to change the motto...
    justpassingthru likes this.
  7. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru No Rest For The Wicked Banned!

    Jun 11, 2011
    May he RIP ...

    That is fucked up that PC has crawled into tradition.

    On another note this is the best place for this post.

    New prey for trained eagles: Drones

    MONT-DE-MARSAN, France • Faced with the risk of drones being used to snoop or carry out attacks on French soil, the air force is showing its claws.

    At Mont-de-Marsan airbase in south-western France, fearsome golden eagles are being trained to take out unmanned aircraft in mid-flight. As a buzzing drone lifts into the air from a runway, a loud squawk fills the air and a beady-eyed eagle bears down at breakneck speed from a control tower. In about 20 seconds, the raptor has the drone between its talons, then pins it to the ground.

    The drone is destroyed: Mission accomplished for D'Artagnan.

    The valiant bird is one of four - along with Athos, Porthos and Aramis, all characters in French novelist Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers - put through their paces since mid-2016. Mont-de- Marsan, some 130km south of Bordeaux, is one of five airbases in France to boast a falconry. Usually, the birds of prey - generally falcons or northern goshawks - scare birds away from the runway to reduce the risk of aircraft accidents.

    But with France on high alert after several terrorist attacks, their claws are into national security.

    Police in the Netherlands were the first to come up with the idea of training raptors to intercept drones in 2015. Police spokesman Dennis Janus said none of the eagles were hurt in the tests: "But as for the drones, none of them survived."

    The eagles are used whenever drones are believed to be a danger to the public, such as during state visits or if remote-controlled craft are flying too close to airports.

    The French army followed suit last year, choosing the golden eagle - a natural-born killer with a hooked beak and a wingspan of up to 2.2m . It weighs about the same as most drones and is devastatingly fast, clocking 80kmh when swooping in for the kill.

    To prevent the birds from harming themselves on the job, the military is designing mittens of leather and Kevlar, an anti-blast material, to protect their talons.
  8. freethinker

    freethinker Pervy Bear

    Aug 17, 2009
    2 Army bases blame Trump hiring freeze for child care cuts, despite DoD exemption
    By: Karen Jowers, February 22, 2017

    Despite Defense Department guidance that exempts child care workers from President Trump's federal civilian hiring freeze, at least two Army installations have notified parents they’re being forced to make cuts in their child care programs.

    Defense officials are working with Army officials to ensure the Army bases are aware they have the ability to request authority to hire child care workers, a spokesman said. Officials at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Army Garrison Weisbaden, Germany, did not immediately respond to Military Times questions regarding whether they were aware of, or had pursued, the hiring exemptions.

    No new children are being enrolled in the child development center at Fort Knox, Col. Stephen K. Aiton wrote in a memo to parents, and the center will discontinue hourly care and part-day care effective Feb. 27. Aiton attributed the cuts to the hiring freeze enacted by Trump’s executive order on Jan. 22.

    “We are prevented from bringing new caregivers on board but are still having our usual staff turnover and illnesses which create challenges to maintaining ratios and providing quality childcare,” Aiton wrote.

    Officials at Weisbaden have notified parents that the part-day child care programs will close effective March 1.

    “This closure is a result of staff shortage due to the Federal Hiring Freeze,” wrote Col. Todd J. Fish, commanding general of the garrison. “This Hiring Freeze prevents [Child and Youth Services] from replacing staff who depart for any reason to include normal rotation,” he wrote.

    These staff departures have reduced the number of workers to such a level that the child and youth services can only operate mandatory core programs, Fish wrote, adding that "Part-Day programs are being closed to sustain Full-Day programs that are essential for military readiness.”


    Defense Department guidance issued Feb. 1 specifically exempts “Positions providing child care to the children of military personnel.” However, the service branches still must seek approval to hire workers to fill those positions when they become vacant, said DoD spokesman Johnny Michael.

    DoD is aware that bases including Fort Knox and Wiesbaden have announced child care cuts, Michael said, and officials "are working through the chain of command with these installations to ensure that they are taking advantage of the ability to seek exemptions."

    New processes for obtaining such exemptions may create hiring delays, Michael said, which could lead to staffing shortages even in exempted areas.

    Information was not available from Army Installation Management Command officials regarding how many bases have been affected. Navy Installations Command spokesman Fred Henney said officials have a process in place for requesting the authority through the chain of command to fill each vacant position. He said information is not yet available on whether any Navy child development programs have been affected by the hiring freeze.

    Air Force officials are not aware of any child-related services negatively affected by the civilian hiring freeze, said spokesman Maj. Bryan Lewis.

    "While the Air Force is aggressively working to stay out front of hiring freeze challenges and avoid issues, especially wholesale ones across our child/youth programs, there may be isolated base issues that surface given the hiring freeze," he said. "If negative impacts on Air Force child care operations arise, the Air Force is prepared to respond and request relief to the hiring process as needed."

    To simplify and expedite the hiring process for vacant child care positions, he said, “sample position justification templates were provided to installation Human Resources Offices and child and youth professionals."

    Marine Corps officials have been monitoring the adverse effects of the civilian hiring freeze on operational and family readiness, according to Maj. Garron J. Garn, spokesman for Marine Corps manpower and reserve affairs. "To date we've been able to mitigate these effects by carefully prioritizing critical vacancies and requesting selective exemptions via the Secretary of the Navy."


    DoD, through the military services, operates more than 700 child development centers and school age care facilities.

    Even without the new requirements resulting from the federal hiring freeze, many military child development centers have had staffing difficulties, a problem that contributes to the backlog of requests for child care.

    “The process of hiring CDC personnel is lengthy and arduous," wrote Joyce Raezer, executive director of the National Military Family Association, in testimony submitted Feb. 14 to the Senate Armed Services Committee's personnel panel. "It can be difficult for CDC directors to find, hire, and put into place qualified staff.”

    Raezer asked that DoD analyze whether the hiring process can be streamlined while still ensuring necessary background checks and training take place to ensure children’s safety.

    In testimony before the subcommittee Feb. 14, Sergeant Major of the Army Dan Dailey said one of the reasons the Army has a backlog of child care requests by soldiers and their families is the “backlog of employment.” That process is complicated by the fact that people don’t want to wait for the background checks and they need to seek employment elsewhere.

    Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald Green said the Marine Corps has hired more adjudicators to shorten the length of time for the background checks. But he cited difficulty in getting child care providers to work on base because of the salary the government pays child care workers.

    Karen Jowers covers military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times. She can be reached at kjowers@militarytimes.com.
  9. freethinker

    freethinker Pervy Bear

    Aug 17, 2009
    Military families could face new risk for deportation under Trump rules

    A special immigration exemption made for the undocumented family members of US servicemen and women may have been cancelled this week by the Trump administration. Across the US, immigration lawyers and military members are expressing alarm and outrage.

    Denise Leon met her husband William when they were children - (ages clipped due to dumbass XNXX policy). Although their families attended the same church in the Twin Cities-area of Minnesota, Denise and William came from very different worlds.

    William was a citizen, while Denise had just been brought across the border from Mexico City, Mexico, by her parents, who were searching for work. The family was living in the US illegally.

    None of that mattered when Denise and William ran into each other a few years ago when she was 17. They started dating and have been together ever since.

    In 2015, William told Denise he felt a duty to serve his country and was joining the military.

    "I told him I would be there for him if he needed me, and I would support him in whatever he wanted to do," says Denise.

    Not long after that, they decided to get married.

    It wasn't until William found out he was deploying abroad this January OKthat the couple started worrying about Denise's immigration status.

    Denise, who is 20, received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (Daca) status while still in high school, but with the Trump administration coming into office, the Daca programme's future was uncertain.

    "He was worried - he didn't want to come back and me not being here," she says.

    They decided to apply for a programme called Parole in Place (Pip), which began under the George W Bush administration.

    Its origins trace back to the disappearance of a US soldier named Alex Jimenez, who went missing after a roadside bomb attack in Iraq in 2007.

    At the same time, his bereaved wife was in the middle of deportation proceedings. The Bush administration spared Jimenez' wife and began allowing undocumented spouses of military members to remain in the country on a case-by-case basis. Jimenez was later confirmed dead.

    President Barack Obama clarified and expanded who was eligible for the policy in 2013, opening it up to all veterans, current members of the US military and National Guardsmen.

    The programme allows undocumented, immediate family members like spouses, parents or children of US service members to remain in the country without fear of deportation while they apply for permanent legal status.

    Without Pip, spouses like Denise would need to leave the country for 10 years before becoming eligible to re-enter and apply for a visa again.

    In order to qualify for Pip, Denise had to pass a background check and she handed over her biometric information. The couple collected letters of recommendation and proof of William's service record.
    Denise was approved in November and William left in January.

    This week, just two days after a series of memos were released by US Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly detailing how the Trump administration will be carrying out immigration enforcement over the next four years, Denise got a call from her immigration lawyer: under the guidance in the new memos, it appeared that the Parole in Place programme had been cancelled.

    "I'm even more scared now because I can't communicate with my husband right now, he's so far away," Denise says through tears.

    "It's so frustrating and it's so sad - I have a job, I have a house, I do everything legal, I don't have any felonies. You're just hanging by a thread saying, 'What am I going to do?'"

    David Kubat is an immigration lawyer and a military veteran, and noticed the possible demise of Pip as soon as he read the new DHS memo titled, "Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest".

    The memo does not specifically mention Parole in Place, but it does say that with the exception of the Daca and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans executive orders, "all existing conflicting directives, memoranda, or field guidance regarding the enforcement of our immigration laws and priorities for removal are hereby immediately rescinded".

    It further clarifies that "except as specifically provided in this memorandum, prosecutorial discretion shall not be exercised in a manner that exempts or excludes a specified class or category of aliens from enforcement of the immigration laws".

    In Kubat's reading that means that Parole in Place is over. He consulted with two other experts to make sure he wasn't "off his rocker", and they agreed.

    "I don't know if this is an accident," he says.

    "I'm pretty sure this is something no one agrees with - I don't think Secretary Kelly intended to rescind this programme."

    Messages left for DHS and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers the programme, were not answered.

    "I think it's a big question mark right now," says Mary Giovagnoli, the former deputy assistant secretary for immigration policy for Obama's Department of Homeland Security. She is now a senior fellow with the American Immigration Council.

    "My guess would be that the administration is making broad statements right now and then will test the waters to see which programmes people get most upset about.

    "It's a good example of why throwing the baby out with the bath water is not a good idea."

    Without clarification from the government, it isn't clear what will happen to current Pip holders, ones whose green card applications are still under review, or those whose Pip applications are still pending, like Stephanie Izaguirre's husband.

    Izaguirre is an immigration lawyer and a former military officer who has helped several clients with Pip.

    "I didn't deploy myself, but I would say 80% of the other people I did Pip for have deployed," she says. "I think most of the people who've served in our military - they've made a lot of sacrifices that they can never be compensated for, so this is a nice token from the government - it's really nice to put that thank you into action rather than just words."

    Many former military personnel who took advantage of Pip also went on to careers in law enforcement, like one client of Richard Hujber's who became a police officer in Florida. Hujber was able to get the officer's Honduran wife Pip status.

    He thinks that President Trump risks alienating both the police and military communities he strove so hard to impress during the campaign.

    "It would be a huge contradiction and frankly a slap in the face," says Hujber.

    Denise Leon's husband William still has many months left on his deployment.

    She works full time as a receptionist and says that they were only one paycheck each away from being able to afford the application fees for her green card. She had hoped that once that is paid for she can start putting money away for nursing school.

    Now nothing is certain. Her parole was dated to expire in one year and her Daca status will expire in a few months.

    "I got this paper - it might be insignificant to other people, but it's my life. It's giving me hope," she says tearfully.

    "My husband and I have been building up our lives little by little ... for them to one day take it all away from us, it's so unfair. It hurts."

    BBC World
  10. Ficxa 479

    Ficxa 479 Porn Star

    Feb 2, 2016
    Deniable U seem to have plenty of time. Can you tell me in what formation a recon patrol must move through a dense forest. I just want to compare with Russian Army regulations
    1. Undeniable
      I do not infact have a lot of free time although I do have the periodic day or so of r&r in which I come here to get away from the rigors of daily life during our active engagements . Dense forest is not something that is currently a concern as sand is our concern here where not much grows to be dense .
      Your question does not go unnoticed though and I will be glad to discuss this matter once our objective has been met and my rotation concludes and I no longer need to keep my head in the game here as the question is broad based but blending in never hurts while on recon !
      Undeniable, Mar 3, 2017
  11. Undeniable

    Undeniable Porn Star

    Jun 14, 2016
    Trump puts power back where it belongs by allowing the Pentagon more authority without his approval in Yemen and beyond

    This in no way circumvents our CIC but allows the decision making process to fall back on those that can and do make the most of the intel we gather and the buck stops here . Know that there will be casualties upcoming but god willing they will be minimal and those that put their lives on the line daily will know that they were part of a greater plan that they were pivotal in carrying out . Go no go needs to start and end with the Pentagon .

    shootersa likes this.
  12. shootersa

    shootersa Frisky Feline

    Dec 28, 2010
    Trump is showing some smarts.
    The biggest military fuck ups seem to have happened when political leaders fancied themselves to be awesome military strategists.

    Hitler was famous for ignoring his military leaders advice and putting them in unwinnable situations.
    President Johnson managed the war from his white house luncheons, deciding which targets would be bombed, generally a week after the targets were first identified in the field. Of course, by the time the bombers got there the target had moved. A lot of monkeys died that way.

    If Trump learned from his first foray into military operations that it's better to let the experts call the shots he's showing real intelligence.
    Undeniable likes this.
    1. Undeniable
      Trump allowed political pressure to cause him to green light an operation with the hope that it would go flawlessly which is a pipe dream at the best of times . He was not wrong but simply premature . I agree with you that he is now a little wiser as to how far downhill shit flows and will let it pass him by next time !
      He is still ultimately responsible for all that goes right and wrong so he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't .
      Undeniable, Mar 3, 2017
      naughtyguy4u likes this.
    2. shootersa
      Well, but Trump has a choice;
      Let an amateur plan
      Let the professionals plan

      Its kind of like a parent deciding how to deal with their kid's bad tooth.
      In the end, it's on the parent.
      but, will they pull the tooth themselves, or take the kid to the dentist?
      shootersa, Mar 4, 2017
  13. Undeniable

    Undeniable Porn Star

    Jun 14, 2016
    If you have ever heard the expression it looked good on paper you will appreciate what the armed forces do for a living and in a perfect world it will be carried out that way but a perfect world does not yet exist although we are working on it .;)
    naughtyguy4u and RandyKnight like this.
    1. Ficxa 479
      Undy so many words and still no decnt answer. OK i ll answer my quest myself. Rus recon patr moves through dense forest in a line of two, cause it is denge to move in a single line/
      Ficxa 479, Mar 4, 2017
    2. justpassingthru
      Maybe that's his way of saying thanks but no thanks to discussing American military strategy with a Russian LOL. :p:D
      justpassingthru, Mar 4, 2017
      naughtyguy4u likes this.
    3. Ficxa 479
      I guess he is fake
      Ficxa 479, Mar 5, 2017
    4. justpassingthru
      Donald is that you LOL ???

      I was in the Canadian military many years ago and I don't know a tenth of what he does so I would use that fake tag carefully. He seems more intelligent than me and you put together as far as war shit goes. Anyone can google stuff but there is more to it with this dude I'm sure of it plus what is the upside to being nice about military members if you aren't one ??? I slam them at times but have never read a negative post from this guy unless I'm missing something.

      Have some fucking respect for a guy and I have seen him give you respect before.
      Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
      justpassingthru, Mar 17, 2017
  14. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru No Rest For The Wicked Banned!

    Jun 11, 2011
    Military watchdog limits investigation of complaint into Afghan prisoner abuse
    Canada's treatment of detainees is being probed once again after an anonymous tip
    Mar 02, 2017 6:56 PM ET

    The scope of an investigation into the treatment of suspected Taliban prisoners during the Afghan war will not be as broad as originally expected, the civilian agency overseeing complaints against military police said Thursday.

    The Military Police Complaints Commission says it can only review why the investigative arm of the Canadian Forces chose not to lay charges in an alleged incident that took place in Kandahar during the closing phase of the army's combat mission.

    An anonymous complaint was filed with the watchdog, which alleged prisoners were abused during Canadian military police raids on their cells at Kandahar Airfield in 2010 and 2011.

    The commission has hired two investigators and interviewed a number of individuals who were aware of the raids and who said that several detainees were so scared they defecated and urinated.

    The watchdog had been examining whether the raids were an "inappropriate or illegal" exercise, whether the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) conducted an adequate follow-up investigation, and whether the military police officer failed to properly address the matter.

    On Thursday, the commission said it has concluded it only has the jurisdiction to investigate whether the CFNIS failed in its responsibility.

    Prisoner transfers
    That decision may disappoint the "complainant and others who may have similar concerns," said the ruling. "This is the result of legislation and regulations, as interpreted by the courts, and as applicable in this case."

    The watchdog pledged to "conduct a thorough and complete investigation of all matters within its jurisdiction."

    It is the second time in the last decade that the commission has grappled with the issue of how suspected Taliban prisoners were treated by the Canadian military.

    The commission conducted what was originally a sweeping review of the federal government and the army's policy of transferring prisoners to Afghan custody during the war. Human rights groups tried to halt the practice, claiming the detainees faced the likelihood of torture.

    Clashes with former prime minister Stephen Harper's government about its refusal to turn over documents led to a political crisis in 2009 that almost toppled the minority Conservatives.

    The watchdog faced court challenges by the federal government which narrowed the scope of its investigation and clearly defined its jurisdiction.

    It was limited, at the time, to looking at whether military police knew — or ought to have known — that prisoners faced the possibility of torture.

    The commission's fight concluded in June 2012 when its final report found no wrongdoing by military cops, but "identified serious problems regarding reporting, accountability and information sharing."

    Lingering questions
    The latest complaint was filed and the latest investigation launched in 2015.

    Last year, Postmedia reported on internal defence documents that suggested the cell raids were training exercises that had become "out of control" and that military police conducting them "lacked guidance and oversight."

    The issue of how Afghan prisoners were treated has lingered even though Canadian troops withdrew from the country in 2014.

    Last spring, the Liberal government declined to hold a public inquiry after a former New Democrat MP received hundreds of signatures on a petition.

    Craig Scott, who represented the NDP in the riding of Toronto-Danforth until 2015, has also filed a complaint with the federal conflict of interest commissioner over the matter.

    It was Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan who decided not to hold the inquiry, and Scott argues that was inappropriate.

    Sajjan served as an army intelligence and liaison officer during the war, something Scott says should have disqualified him from making such a decision.
  15. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru No Rest For The Wicked Banned!

    Jun 11, 2011
    Do these look like "motivated" soldiers to you ???

    Ukraine looks to Canada to help modernize military's 'Soviet mentality'
    As 3-year conflict continues, Russian forces have extensively modernized — but Ukraine's troops have not
    Mar 04, 2017 5:00 AM ET

    [​IMG] Ukrainian servicemen hold position on the front line near the government-held industrial town of Avdiivka, just north of Donetsk

    As the war in Eastern Ukraine grinds on, away from the international headlines, the country's Soviet-era military is struggling to suppress separatist forces backed by a modern, well-resourced Russian machine.

    And it is looking to Canada for help.

    Both sides in the three-year-old conflict blithely ignore commitments made under the Minsk agreement — the ceasefire plan signed in early 2015 — to keep heavy weapons out of the conflict zone.

    The Ukrainians, worried by U.S. President Donald Trump's closeness to Russia and his talk of accepting the annexation of Crimea, have been manoeuvring to win back some areas where they had agreed to remain out.

    The combined Russian-separatist side has also upped the tempo of its rocketing and shelling, and still tends to be more effective in using those weapons, thanks to superior command, control and communications.

    The Ukrainian side, meanwhile, continues to closely resemble its Soviet predecessor with outmoded uniforms, equipment, organization and training.

    Russia's armed forces have been through years of rapid modernization. The effects can be seen among the separatist forces of Luhansk and Donetsk, which include thousands of Russian soldiers nominally fighting as "volunteers" of Novorossiya or "New Russia."

    A member of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic forces inspects a building, damaged during battles with Ukrainian armed forces in Donetsk.

    The result is a conflict that sometimes resembles the Russian Army of today fighting the Russian Army of 25 years ago — the one that suffered defeat in Afghanistan and the first Chechen War.

    But Ukraine and its Western allies, including Canada, are determined to change that dynamic.

    'DRAB' to the rescue
    Jill Sinclair, a former assistant deputy minister of defence who once led the Canadian government's efforts to ban landmines, now holds Canada's seat on a panel designed to bring the Ukrainian armed forces into the 21st century.

    Ukraine's Defence Reform Advisory Board (DRAB) is charged with steering the Ukrainian military through a crash transformation even as it fights a low-level war against a far-stronger neighbour.

    She likens the task to "changing the wheels on a bicycle while the bicycle is moving."

    Pro-Russian separatist commander Mikhail Tolstykh, known by the nom de guerre 'Givi,' salutes atop of a tank in Donetsk, Ukraine. For Ukraine, the war in the east began in 2014 with crushing defeats and battles that showcased new Russian tactics honed from the country's modernized military.

    Her co-chairs are a trio of retired generals: former U.S. Centcom commander John Abizaid; the U.K.'s Sir Nick Parker; and Jonas Andriskevicius, former commander of Lithuania's armed forces.

    Sinclair says there's currently "a Soviet mentality" in the Ukrainian armed forces and Defence Ministry. "The Ukrainians would be the first to say that."

    While the Russian military underwent dramatic upgrades under Vladimir Putin, Ukraine's military stagnated from independence in the early 1990s, through to the outbreak of hostilities in 2014.

    Outclassed on the battlefield
    For Ukraine, the war in the east began with crushing defeats. First at Ilovaisk in summer of 2014, then again at Debaltseve six months later, Ukrainian units were first encircled, then decimated by Russian artillery.

    The battles showcased new Russian tactics that combined drone and satellite reconnaissance with modern communications and targeting, to produce devastatingly accurate and concentrated barrages.

    Survivors who straggled back to Ukrainian lines brought tales of incompetent commanders, confused orders, chaotic supply lines and abandonment by Kyiv.

    It all led to a commission of inquiry, where those recriminations were aired publicly. The inquiry estimated that 1,000 soldiers died at Ilovaisk alone.

    Ukrainian forces have never recovered the territory lost in those battles. But the debacle brought home the need for reform. "They really hit the reset button three years ago," says Sinclair.

    She says the Ukrainians turned to their allies in the West to ask: "How are they going to position themselves so they're not constantly being bested by the other side?

    "They want to move, by the end of 2018, to a civilian Ministry of Defence, and by 2020 to full civilian control of the armed forces," she says. "They also want to get to full interoperability with NATO by 2020."

    That last goal is a monumental challenge for a military that still depends almost entirely on Warsaw Pact equipment.

    But Ukraine's state defence conglomerate, Ukroboronprom, has already begun production of a licensed version of the American M16 assault rifle, which will ultimately replace the Russian-made Kalashnikov designs currently used, allowing Ukrainian forces to use NATO small arms ammunition.

    Canadian companies are also finding plenty of opportunity as Ukraine retools its defence industry. Pratt & Whitney Canada, Esterline/CMC Electronics, IMP Aerospace, and L-3 Wescam all have joint projects with Ukroboronprom.

    Training mission wrapping up?
    Ukraine's foreign advisers are looking beyond the current conflict, Sinclair says.

    "Canada's starting point is Ukraine's stated goal of joining the Euro-Atlantic family," she says, adding that Canada's training mission at Yavoriv, in western Ukraine, is focused on overall modernization and professionalization.

    "We're never sitting down with the Ukrainians and saying, 'How do we help you to defeat the Russians?'," she says. "We are looking at the long haul, but of course in the meantime, people are being deployed [to the front lines]."

    The effects of that training can be seen in those eastern battlegrounds, Sinclair says. "The last 24 months or so, they've been holding their own a lot better."

    Canadian military instructors and Ukrainian servicemen take part in a military exercise at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv, Ukraine in this July 2016 file photo. (Gleb Garanich/Reuters)

    As of this month, more than 3,000 Ukrainians had completed courses given by Canadian Armed Forces trainers, mostly either small-team infantry training or explosive ordnance training.

    Canada's training countering improvised explosive devices, Sinclair says, has been a lifesaver for Ukrainian troops.

    But Canada's training mission is set to end on March 31, and the Trudeau government has yet to say whether it will be renewed. Donations of free equipment to Ukraine have essentially dried up since the Harper government delivered several shipments of non-lethal assistance in the winter of 2014-15.

    Profiteers and freebooters
    Meantime, the internal battles in the Ukrainian Defence Ministry are focused on corruption and militias — two perennial issues that the country is finally determined to tackle, Sinclair says.

    "You can't look at defence reform without looking at the militias," she says of the powerful paramilitary brigades that operate — at least nominally — under the control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

    Some of the militias, including the Azov Regiment and Right Sector, are given to displaying far-right and even neo-Nazi symbols that have embarrassed the government and provided ammunition for Russian propaganda. But the Ukrainian government is also painfully aware that their rush to the front lines may have saved the Ukrainian military from total collapse in the war's disastrous early days.

    Some of the brigades answer to individual Ukrainian oligarchs who recruited them and paid to equip them as patriotic gestures; their obedience to central command is questionable.

    "They have been playing fast and loose. Does the Ukrainian government have its arms around all of that?" asks Sinclair. "Donor countries want to see more order and more cohesion."

    As for corruption, the bane of Ukraine's recent governments, profiteers who sought to get rich from the war, are finally being driven out, Sinclair says.

    "Previously, somebody's brother was getting the contract to feed the troops. Now it's a German company with full transparency."
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
    1. justpassingthru
      I wonder when the was the last time those two at the top had a decent home cooked meal ??? They look spent.
      justpassingthru, Mar 4, 2017
  16. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru No Rest For The Wicked Banned!

    Jun 11, 2011
    I pulled this post from the article above because I got a good laugh and thought military dude might too LOL. That is one fuck of a weapon though and looks like it could do some long range damage ???

    Ukraine's foreign advisers are looking beyond the current conflict in the east, hoping for a modernized military that will be under civilian control by 2020.
    1. shootersa
      Huh. Looks like a potato launcher.
      shootersa, Mar 4, 2017
    2. RandyKnight
      sniper rifle with a suppressor....
      probably 50-cal

      my guess...
      RandyKnight, Mar 4, 2017
      Mr Smith 36 likes this.
    3. shootersa
      Could be.
      Shooter looks again.
      No, no it still looks like a potato gun.
      A bad ass potato gun, but a potato gun.
      shootersa, Mar 4, 2017
      RandyKnight and justpassingthru like this.
    4. justpassingthru
      It is ancient whatever it is ... looks like an old NATO castoff.

      I'm surprised he doesn't have a Ukrainian made Z-008

      Here is your "potato gun" shooter. lol
      The Hopak rifle is a modification of the AK-47 rifle
      justpassingthru, Mar 4, 2017
  17. Undeniable

    Undeniable Porn Star

    Jun 14, 2016
    The scope looks like an older POSP which is Eastern Block and I would say Warsaw Pact issue over NATO issue and probably from old stockpiles from before Russia fucked them in the ass . Looks can be deceiving though but it is likely not a Dragunov and looks similar to a rifle I have fired and will picture below . That barrel could easily fit a 12.7x108 but could as easily be a pumped up 7.62x54mm Rimmed and depending on the shell , grain and casing can still be formidable at lesser distances of course with less knockdown thrust than a 50 cal . I could look it up but am not that interested in Russian rifles to bother .
    Anti-materiel sniper rifles look similar in size but are mainly for punching through light armored targets more than soft tissue and their bark can be as bad as their bite and that rifle doesn't look new enough to be recoilless even with the suppressor over a muzzle brake and would be a hell of a workout for one man after a few rounds . Like I said , looks can be deceiving .
    The sniper or marksmen more likely in that picture doesn't look particularly interested in shooting anything .

    The top photo is the damage caused at 600 meters on 30mm armor from a Russian anti-tank rifle PTRS-41 , a 14.5x114mm gas operated 5 shot semi automatic shown in the second picture and the precision bore is impressive and shows no sign of any yaw upon impact but I won't rule out that it may be more of a claim than reality not having seen the shot taken but do know that a single person would only try firing that alone once before learning that it has some serious kick and buddy up . I have seen as many as 2 men stand behind the shooter to keep him from landing on his ass .

    rifle1.jpg rifle2 ptrs-41.jpg
  18. Ficxa 479

    Ficxa 479 Porn Star

    Feb 2, 2016
    I dont know what business Canadians have in Ukraine but we send them back like heros with a flag all over their coffin. It is our businees and none of yours. What would you do if we change Mexican gov to a hostile to you one, and then send there our instructors and lethal weaponry.Wish you bad luck, it just have to happen soon or later better soon.We are good widow makers remember it.
  19. justpassingthru

    justpassingthru No Rest For The Wicked Banned!

    Jun 11, 2011
    What fucking business do you have in Ukraine ???

    Someone needs to teach those poor bastards how to stand up to you fuckers, that's what we are doing there with the blessing of a lot of other countries that will have our backs if you get any more stupid. But we both know that the Ukraine is not worth starting WW3 over ...

    Wouldn't that be one for the history books ... "Canada starts World War 3 in the Ukraine for trying to teach them how to fight" LOL.
    1. Ficxa 479
      In Sirya Russia in two years achieved more than allies in a decade. Our business in Ukraine is that half of t population are ethnic Russians and we wont let them alone with nacyst/ We will tear Ukr to three or five different nations/And then we shall see, Amers pissed off with Crimea wanting to station there their base. So lets wait what future has for us
      Ficxa 479, Mar 6, 2017
  20. RandyKnight

    RandyKnight Have Gun, Will Travel

    Sep 24, 2008

    No shit...ww3 over that fucking place.....

    Russia is so big and their people need so much Putin is an ego maniac to try and take more
    rather than deal with what he has on his plate....

    Putin is a waste of a brilliant mind and has some kind of Alexander the Great complex....
    I am at the point of thinking someone needs to put a bullet in him---but then, who shows up next..............