Europe Whole And…Militarized: U.S. Paratroop Convoy Travels From Italy To Estonia

173rd Airborne Brigade
June 11, 2015

173rd paratroopers conduct ‘Unified Passage’ from Italy to Estonia

KRAKOW, Poland: Paratroopers from Gamble Company, 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade conducted a ground convoy across Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Lithuania Latvia, and Estonia, June 1-9, 2015, to transport equipment and vehicles required for their deployment to Atlantic Resolve.

The convoy demonstrated freedom of maneuver capabilities along NATO interior lines. Gamble Company successfully moved supplies and essential equipment that for upcoming multinational exercises.

“The importance of this exercise is to affirm NATO’s ability to quickly and efficiently move personnel and equipment across international boundaries in Eastern Europe,” said Capt. Thaddeus Wilson, Gamble Company commander. “We are demonstrating NATO’s readiness to defend the alliance.”

A total of 32 military vehicles containing supplies, fuel and equipment traveled a total of 1,949 miles during the convoy.

In order to secure the routes ahead and coordinate movement with host nation counterparts, the 173rd Airborne joined with the 554th Military Police Company based in Stuttgart, Germany, to escort the convoy to their final destination in Estonia.

“After securing and coordinating countless border crossings throughout NATO, we have realized one thing; in the face of every imaginable barrier, be it language, time or bureaucracy, NATO puts its allies before its differences,” said 1st Lt. Steven Dowell of the 554th MP.

Border crossing required planning and close partnership with NATO allies, another benefit to paratroopers and Soldiers in the planning and execution of the convoy.

“We were able to cross every border without issue, and that is a testament to the excellent cooperation between our allies,” said Dowell.

While resting in Krakow, Poland, as guests of the 6th Polish Airborne Brigade, the paratroopers received a cultural day to explore the city. Several paratroopers also conducted a staff ride to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

“Having this opportunity for our younger paratroopers really broadens their knowledge of logistics and culture, and allows them to understand the level of coordination that goes into planning and executing a convoy across Europe,” said company 1st Sgt. Shelby Reed. “We need our future leaders to see the interaction with our host-nation allies. In order for them to carry this alliance into the future, they need to understand how crucial these relationships are towards mission success.”

The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, capable of deploying ready forces across the U.S. European, Africa and Central Commands areas of responsibility in 18 hours or less.

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U.S. Wants Sweden To Join NATO

Daily Sabah
July 11, 2015

US wants Sweden to join NATO
Emre Basaran

ISTANBUL: The ambassador of the U.S. to NATO, Douglas Lute said on Tuesday that Sweden will ensure itself with the support of the U.S. and NATO if it joins the pact, in an interview broadcasted by the Swedish state radio.

The ambassador added that Sweden’s NATO membership will be beneficial for both parts.

Swedish state radio EKOT said that the ambassador pointed to the necessity of Sweden’s NATO membership by mentioning the ongoing military exercises held conjointly by 13 NATO member countries with 6 thousand soldiers in Baltic states.

“Sweden may not expect any help from the U.S. and NATO should there be any attack against it. If Sweden becomes a NATO member, it will protect itself from any attacks,” stated ambassador Lute, in the news piece broadcasted by the Swedish state radio.

Stating that the Swedish army is equipped with modern weaponry, the envoy expressed that Sweden will contribute much to NATO.

He also said that he is conscious of the fact that the Swedish parliament is required to pass a bill to decide to join NATO, and added that the parliament should reach a decision, keeping in mind the benefits to be reaped by both parts.

The military exercises held to increase the defense capacity of NATO started on 1 June in the Baltic states and will continue until 20 June.

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International NATO Conference Held In Armenian Capital

Public Radio of Armenia
June 11, 2015

Yerevan hosts conference on Armenia-NATO relations
Siranush Ghazanchyan

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An international conference on “NATO-Armenia relations in the context of new challenges” initiated by the Analytical Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC) was held in Yerevan today.

According to ACGRC Head Stepan Grigoryan, Armenia’s cooperation with NATO is rather constructive, but it cannot go too deep because we are part of a different security system.

“There is no doubt that the cooperation with NATO comes to supplement our security. I think NATO has chosen the right way of cooperation with Armenia to the extent the latter wants, without any noise and ambitions,” Grigoryan said.

The cooperation with NATO has risen to a certain level in the field of peacekeeping operations, which has led to the improvement of Armenia’s international standing, Stepan Grigoryan said. He added that the “humanitarian and scientific programs are also on a high level.”

Gerlinde Niehus, Head of Communications at NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, said Armenia is a very important country for NATO. She hailed the cooperation in international peacekeeping and voiced hope that the collaboration would further succeed.

German Ambassador to Armenia Rayner Morel voiced his appreciation for the level of Armenia’s relations with NATO.

Amb. Morel noted that Armenia is a good member of the CSTO and added that there are other opportunities the country should use.

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Alexander Kuprin: The human race has had its childhood – a time of incessant and bloody war

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Russian writers on war

Alexander Kuprin: Deciphering the military metaphysic

Alexander Kuprin: Mounds and mountains of corpses under which moan the dying

Alexander Kuprin: What is war after all? Perhaps it is nothing more than a mistake made by all, a universal error, a madness.

Alexander Kuprin: The whole science of war exists only because humanity will not, or cannot, or dare not, say, ‘I won’t.’

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Alexander Kuprin
From The Duel (1905)
Translator unknown

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“Yes, they are all alike, even the best and most tender-hearted among them. At home they are splendid fathers of families and excellent husbands; but as soon as they approach the barracks they become low-minded, cowardly, and idiotic barbarians. You ask me why this is, and I answer: Because nobody can find a grain of sense in what is called military service. You know how all children like to play at war. Well, the human race has had its childhood – a time of incessant and bloody war; but war was not then one of the scourges of mankind, but a continued, savage, exultant national feast to which daring bands of youths marched forth, meeting victory or death with joy and pleasure. The bravest, strongest, and most cunning was chosen as leader, and so long as success attended his banner, he was almost accorded divine worship, until at last he was killed by his subjects, in order to make room for a luckier and more powerful rival. Mankind, however, grew in age and wisdom; people got weary of the former rowdy, bloody games, and became more serious, thoughtful, and cautious. The old Vikings of song and saga were designated and treated as pirates. The soldier no longer regarded war as a bloody but enjoyable occupation, and he had often to be dragged to the enemy with a noose round his neck.

***

“But other times are coming, indeed have come. Yes, tremendous surprises and changes are about to take place. You remember my saying on one occasion that for a thousand years there has existed a genius of humanity that seldom reveals itself, but whose laws are as inexorable as they are ruthless; but the wiser men become, so much more deeply do they penetrate the spirit of those laws. And I am convinced that, sooner or later, everything in this world must be brought into equilibrium in accordance with these immutable laws. Justice will then be dispensed. The longer and more cruel the slavery has been, so much more terrible will be the day of reckoning for tyrants. The greater the violence, injustice, and brutality, so much more bloody will be the retribution. Oh, I am firmly convinced that the day will dawn when we ‘superior officers,’ we ‘almighty swells,’ darlings of the women, drones and brainless swaggerers, will have our ears boxed with impunity in streets and lanes, in vestibules and corridors, when women will turn their backs on us in contempt, and when our own affectionate soldiers will cease to obey us. And all this will happen, not because we have brutally ill-treated men deprived of every possibility of self-defence; not because we have, for the ‘honour’ of the uniform, insulted women; not because we have committed, when in a state of intoxication, scandalous acts in public-houses and public places; and not even because we, the privileged lick-spittles of the State, have, in innumerable battlefields and in pretty nearly every country, covered our standards with shame, and been driven by our own soldiers out of the maize-fields in which we had taken shelter…”

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“Strongest Alliance In The World”: U.S. Leads More War Games In Poland

U.S. Army Europe
June 9, 2015

Exercise Saber Strike 15 begins in Poland
By Spc. Marcus Floyd

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DRAWSKO POMORSKIE TRAINING AREA, Poland: Standing in an open field, a sea of Soldiers salute four different flags flying side-by-side. Despite being from different countries, the raising of the flags represents the beginning of a historic training exercise amongst allies.

U.S., Polish, German and Danish Soldiers gathered for the opening ceremony of Saber Strike 15, a multinational training exercise at the Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area in Poland, June 8.

Part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, an ongoing multinational partnership focused on joint training and security cooperation between NATO allies, Saber Strike 15 is a long-standing U.S. Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise.

The exercise’s objectives facilitate cooperation amongst the United States, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland to improve joint-operational capability in a range of missions as well as preparing the participating nations and units to support multinational contingency operations. There are more than 6,000 participants from 13 different nations.

“By joining together for this vital multinational exercise, [these soldiers] have demonstrated [their] commitment and strength as a member of the strongest alliance in the world,” said Polish Army Col. Piotr Bieniek, deputy brigade commander of Poland’s 15th Mechanized Brigade. “It is important to remember that this training exercise, here in Poland, represents one part of an even larger exercise.”

In addition to the training, held in Poland, Exercise Saber Strike involves several significant training events conducted across several other countries in Europe.

“It is truly amazing to think that this type of teamwork is being conducted across four countries with the same type of cooperative training being executed in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland,” said Tony Bonarti, deputy exercise director. “This is a testament to the strong ties that we have built with our NATO allies and regional partners and truly demonstrates the ideals of a strong Europe.”

For Poland, however, this is the first time the country has hosted this multinational training exercise.

Having recently participated in another multinational exercise in Poland, Exercise Puma 15, U.S. Soldiers eagerly await the opportunity to learn more from their NATO allies.

“We just finished with Puma 15 with the French and Polish,” said Spc. Anthony Nicastro, an M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank gunner with Company D, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division. “Now we get to do it again with two more countries, Germany and Denmark. You can always learn something from different countries.”

Over the course of Saber Strike 15, U.S. Soldiers will conduct several situational training exercises and combined arms live-fire exercises, involving not only infantry and armor units, but also artillery, air support, engineers, and other assets from all four nations.

Working at the company-and-platoon level, Soldiers, like Nicastro, are taking part in a historic exercise, whose mission reinforces the importance of joint assets.

“I am confident we will achieve our training objectives and accomplish our mission, because of your skill and dedication,” Bieniek said. “Together we are one team, with one mission.”

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Ukraine To Block Transit Of Russian Peacekeepers To Transdniester Tomorrow

June 10, 2015 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
June 10, 2015

Ukrainian laws on termination of several deals on military cooperation with Russia to take effect Thursday

The Ukrainian laws on the termination of a number of military cooperation agreements with Russia will take effect on Thursday, June 11.

The Wednesday issue of the Voice of Ukraine parliamentary newspaper published the laws on the termination of Ukrainian-Russian intergovernmental agreements on the transit passage of Russian military units temporarily stationed in Moldova via Ukrainian territory, on the organization of military inter-state transportation and related payments, on military intelligence cooperation, on cooperation in the military sector and on mutual protection of classified information.

The laws were adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on May 21.

The laws stipulate that they take effect the day after their official publication.

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Brazil Latest Partner Across The Globe: Three-Day NATO Conference In Georgia

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

June 10, 2015

Partnership – A Critical Enabler in a World of Change

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NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT), led by Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros, held a three-day Strategic Military Partner Conference (SMPC) in Tbilisi, Georgia June 8-10, 2015.

SMPC is a core event within SACT’s Strategic Engagement Campaign and gives ACT a chance to exchange ideas regarding transformation with the Chiefs of Defence and subject matter experts from NATO and partner nations from around the globe.

First held in 2005, this year’s conference attracted more than 250 military representatives from 48 countries from NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP), Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), and Partners across the Globe (PatG) programmes.

In addition to Alliance members and Partners, the North Atlantic Council approved representatives from Brazil to participate in the discussions as well as representatives from the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

During his keynote address, SACT thanked Georgia’s cooperation for hosting this year’s SMPC and spoke highly of their partnership with NATO.

“They are achieving new levels of success every day and that’s how it should be,” said SACT. “Partnership is not sequential, it’s a continuous effort.”

General Paloméros went on to talk about strengthening partnerships throughout NATO.

“I know that solidarity is at the core of your nation and is engrained in Georgia’s motto ‘Dzala Ertobashia’ which means ‘Strength in Unity’. I find it very inspiring and it represents perfectly the purpose of our gathering today,” he said. “Reaching out to NATO’s numerous and diverse partners who’ve shown up here, fully committed, to cooperate together in order to build and maintain security and stability throughout the world.”

Mrs. Tinatin Khidasheli, the Georgian Minister of Defence, gave a speech at the plenary session of the conference and remarked on the importance of Georgia’s future with NATO.

“It is of the utmost importance for Georgia to host events like this and to feel partnership like this and to feel like a part of the unity of nations who are working together for peace and security in the world,” said the Minister.

Mrs. Khidasheli continued to speak about her pride in Georgia’s resolve.

“When faced with security challenges, I’m proud that Georgia represents one of the most interoperable, reliable and devoted partners of NATO,” she said. “I’m proud that difficulties have only made us stronger and more determined to advance the transformation process, develop capabilities, focus on education and training and further enhance NATO interoperability.”

The conference contained panel and separate syndicate discussions on Innovation as an Enabler for Partnerships, The Connected Forces Initiative and Partnership Interoperability Initiative: Guiding Training and Education, Using Defence and Related Security Capacity Building to Bolster Regional Security and Partnership Toward the Warsaw Summit and Beyond.

After the conference, perspectives will be organised into the SMPC Analysis Report, and feed the ACT transformational development process. The report will be forwarded to all relevant NATO authorities, including the Secretary General and the NATO International and Military Staffs, as well as all conference participants.

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NATO Breaks In Spearhead Force In Polish War Games

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

June 10, 2015

NATO Spearhead Force deploys for first time, Exercise Noble Jump underway

"Czech Soldiers from the 43rd Airborne Battalion, 2nd Company prepare their vehicles in a staging area enroute to the Pardubice Airfield in Chrudim, Czech Republic, April 9, 2015. Exercise Noble Jump marks the first time that high-readiness units have physically tested their response to rapid ‘orders to move’ under the new VJTF framework.  The training event marks a learning process that will allow NATO military staff to identify both successes and shortfalls as the Alliance continues to refine its high readiness capabilities. (NATO Photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Davis, USAF)"

MONS, Belgium: NATO’s new high readiness ‘spearhead’ force is being deployed for the first time, as Exercise NOBLE JUMP gets underway in Zagan, Poland. Units assigned to the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) were given orders to deploy on Tuesday afternoon (9 June 2015), and will exercise until 19 June. Over 2,100 troops from nine NATO nations are participating in the exercise, which continues the process of testing and refining the force.

Among the units rapidly deploying to the manoeuvres in Western Poland are Czech and Dutch air mobile troops, German and Norwegian mechanized infantry, Polish and Lithuanian special forces, Belgian artillery, U.S. helicopters and a Hungarian civil military cooperation unit.

“Enhancing our response forces is a key part of NATO’s overall effort to adapt to emerging security challenges,” said General Phillip M. Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). “Exercise NOBLE JUMP has been designed to test NATO’s high readiness troops under battlefield conditions and to ensure that our concepts and procedures will work in the event of a real crisis. I hope that day never comes, but our job is to always be prepared to defend the people, territory, and values of this Alliance,” he said.

The Very High Readiness Joint Task Force is being established as a part of an overall enhancement to the NATO Response Force in order to address new security challenges on NATO’s southern and eastern peripheries. Exercise NOBLE JUMP represents the first time that high-readiness units will deploy and conduct tactical manoeuvers under the new VJTF framework. As such, this event represents a learning process that will allow NATO military staff to identify both successes and shortfalls during the early stages of the development process. Increasingly complex exercises, trials, and evaluations will be conducted throughout 2015 and 2016 in order to develop, refine and implement the VJTF concept.

“High-readiness units from across the Alliance are now recalling military personnel to bases, conducting rapid movement planning, and verifying personnel, equipment, and vehicles,” said Lieutenant-General Volker Halbauer, Commander of 1 German-Netherlands Corps and the Interim VJTF. “I expect that lead elements will begin moving in approximately 24 hours, with the bulk of the force deploying to Poland by the weekend,” he added.

Allied military staff are also testing the concepts behind the six NATO Force Integration Units which are currently being established in the Baltic countries, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. These command and control units are not yet operational, but an exercise element is role-playing their functions in order to further develop procedures and refine the conceptual work that has been done to date.

The training taking place in Poland is one of a wider series of training events occurring in June 2015 referred to as the Allied Shield series of exercises. The Allied Shield series includes Exercise NOBLE JUMP, the first training deployment of Allied high-readiness units under the new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) framework. It also includes BALTOPS, a major Allied naval exercise in Poland; SABER STRIKE, a significant land exercise in the Baltic States; and TRIDENT JOUST, a NRF command and control exercise in Romania. In total, approximately 15,000 troops from 19 different Allies and 3 partner nations will participate in this series of training events taking place across the Alliance in June 2015. All of these exercises are defensive and are a part of NATO’s assurance measures in response to challenges on NATO’s southern and eastern periphery. The activity will focus on enhancing interoperability, readiness and responsiveness among Allied and partner nations. Allied Shield demonstrates that NATO members are united in their commitment to collective defence.

Story by: SHAPE Public Affairs Office.

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NATO-EU-UN Triad: World’s First Strategic Airlift Capability

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Force Africa

June 10, 2015

Pápa, Ramstein join to save lives
By Senior Airman Jonathan Stefanko
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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Ramstein Air Base, Germany: Strategic Airlift Capability Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) multi-national aircrew members from Pápa Air Base, Hungary, partnered with a critical care aeromedical transportation team (CCATT) stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to receive two wounded patients June 8, 2015, in Bulgaria.

Two units came together for this first CCATT mission to transport patients, with one in critical condition, traveling approximately 2,000 miles from Bulgaria to Ramstein where they would receive additional medical support.

Adapting the best practices in the U.S. Air Force, Royal Canadian air force, Australian air force and the United Kingdom’s Royal air force, the Strategic Airlift Capability Heavy Airlift Wing ensures they are operationally ready for any mission, securing their role as the world’s first and only multinational C-17 wing. The wing’s structure is designed to operate in support of the Strategic Airlift Capability’s mission of providing combat and humanitarian airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation wherever and whenever required.

Though members include the U.S. and eleven European countries, the SAC program operates independently of any command by the European Union, United Nations, or NATO.

“Apart from the U.S. pilots, none of the other nation’s personnel in this squadron have previous experience flying a C-17,” Blackstone said. “We have fighter, helicopter, even propeller pilots operating this massive cargo airframe so our training needs to be the best of the best to respond to these real world missions.”

In 2014, the Heavy Airlift Wing accomplished 251 mission requests from 12 nations and transported more than 20 million pounds of cargo.

The Strategic Airlift Capability gives its member nations cost effective access to jointly owned and operated strategic airlift.

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U.S., Polish Air Forces Participate In Anti-Russian War Games

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Force Africa

June 9, 2015

U.S. Air Force takes to the skies for BALTOPS 2015
By Senior Airman Michael Battles
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

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POWIDZ, Poland: The U.S. Air Force, along with its Polish counterparts officially kicked-off Powidz Air Base’s portion of Baltic Operations 2015 with the first KC-135 Stratotanker flight from the 507th Air Refueling Wing June 8, here.

In its 43rd iteration, BALTOPS is a multinational maritime exercise in Poland, Sweden, Germany, and throughout the Baltic Sea, including participation from 14 NATO and three partner nations June 5-20.

“This is the 43rd year of BALTOPS, and is one of the largest ever,” said Vice Adm. James Foggo III, commander U.S. 6th Fleet. “During BALTOPS, we will focus on enhancing flexibility and interoperability, while demonstrating resolve of our allied and partner forces to maintain the security of the Baltic region.”

The U.S., NATO and partner nations sent 49 ships, 61 aircraft, one submarine, and approximately 5,600 Sailors, Marines, airmen, and soldiers to employ land, air, sea and undersea capabilities.

As part of BALTOPS 2015, the U.S. Air Force deployed four KC-135s to Poland from the 100th, 916th and 507th air refueling wings, as well as 14 F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 480th and 157th fighter squadrons, and three B-52 Stratofortress’ from the 5th Bomb Wing.

“Exercises such as BALTOPS really allow us to test and practice all of our capabilities,” said Master Sgt. Larry Nahalea, Powidz deployed operations superintendent. “It also allows us to work with our NATO allies while gaining an understanding on how our multinational partners conduct exercises.”

While supporting BALTOPS, participating forces will conduct training across a broad spectrum of areas including air defense, maritime interdiction, anti-submarine warfare and amphibious operations.

Participating nations include Norway, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Canada, France, Denmark, Georgia, Estonia, Finland, Turkey, Belgium, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and the United States.

BALTOPS is about maintaining NATO’s and its partner’s common interests.

Along with BALTOPS 2015, the U.S. Air Force is also participating in U.S Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise Saber Strike 2015 and Polish-led combined exercise EAGLE TALON in the Baltic Region, all of which are supported by the Aviation Detachment located at Lask and Powidz air bases in Poland.

“Our 17-nation force is a testament to our collective commitment to regional stability,” Foggo said. “For those nations not participating, we have, will, and continue to respect their sovereignty, their fleets, and their commanders. We will conduct our operations in a respectful and professional manner throughout this exercise. We expect the same from them.”

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Alfred Noyes: Slaughter! Slaughter! Slaughter!

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Alfred Noyes: Selections on war

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Alfred Noyes
From The Wine Press: A Tale of War (1913)

portrait-of-alfred-noyes-english-poet

They had broken their hearts on the cold machines;
And – they had not seen their foe;
And the reason of this butcher’s work
It was not theirs to know;
For these tall young men were children
Five short years ago.

Headlong, headlong, down the hill,
They leapt across their dead.
Like madmen, wrapt in sheets of flame,
Yelling out of their hell they came,
And, in among their plunging hordes,
The shrapnel burst and spread.

The shrapnel severed the leaping limbs
And shrieked above their flight.
They rolled and plunged and writhed like snakes
In the red hill-brooks and the black thorn brakes.
Their mangled bodies tumbled like elves
In a wild Walpurgis night.

Slaughter! Slaughter! Slaughter!
The cold machines whirred on.
And strange things crawled amongst the wheat
With entrails dragging round their feet,
And over the foul red shambles
A fearful sunlight shone.

***

Down, into the valley of wheat,
And the warm dead that lay at their feet,
The men they had slaughtered, slaughtered, slaughtered,
Grinned up at their flight.

***

The black earth yawned like a crimson mouth,
And slaughter, slaughter, slaughter, slaughter,
The trenches belched their flame.
The maxims cracked like cattle-whips
Above the struggling hordes.
They rolled and plunged and writhed like snakes
In the trampled wheat and the black thorn brakes,
And the lightnings leapt among them
Like clashing crimson swords.

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NATO`s Strategic Military Partner Conference 2015 Opens In Georgia

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
July 9, 2015

NATO`s Strategic Military Partner Conference 2015 (SMPC 15)

NATO`s Strategic Military Partner Conference 2015 (SMPC) has opened at the Expo Georgia today. High-ranking officials of NATO member and partner nations` armed forces and experts are taking part in the annual military forum and discussing the transformation issues and future challenges.

Minister of Defence opened the plenary session of the Conference. When delivering the speech, Tinatin Khidasehli focused on the existing security challenges, significance of partnership with NATO and Georgia`s membership perspectives. “Though faced with serious security challenges, I am proud that Georgia, today, represents one of the most interoperable, reliable and devoted Partners of NATO; I am proud that difficulties have only made us stronger, more determined to advance defence transformation process, develop capabilities, focus on education and training, and further enhance NATO interoperability; And I am confident, that this will naturally lead to fulfillment of our primary objective – NATO membership. I can only remain hopeful that Warsaw Summit will be rewarding in this regard, which would also serve as a confirmation of Allies’ commitment to deliver on their promises”, said Minister.

Deputy Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Alexander Vershbow welcomed the forum participants in a video address. NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) French Air Forces General Jean-Paul Palomeros and Deputy Commander of NATO’s Allied Land Command Lieutenant General Edward Davis made speeches at the conference as well.

After an official opening of the conference, the plenary session went on with panels on different topics. On the second day of the conference, the participants will work in syndicates.

The annual conference is an important forum that enables Chiefs of Defence of NATO and Partner nations to share their perspectives on strategic issues of common interest. The intent of the SMPC is to facilitate the exchange of ideas regarding transformation throughout the Trans-Atlantic Community by creating a common understanding. The conference is co-hosted By NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and the Georgian Armed Forces.

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Ministry of Defence of Georgia
July 9, 2015

Joint Press-Conference of Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze and General Jean-Paul Paloméros

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Joint press-conference was held in the exhibition center “Expo Georgia” within the NATO Strategic Military Partners Conference. Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed forces, Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Jean-Paul Paloméros outlined the importance of holding the forum in Georgia and emphasized NATO-Georgia cooperation.

“Thank Georgian authorities, President, Minister of Defence Tinatin Khidasheli and Chief of Defence, Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze for their outstanding hospitality for the Strategic Military Partnership Conference which gathered many NATO and partner countries. We are more than 50 nations representing here. That’s already a great success.

Our presence here for this major annual Strategic Military Partnership Conference is a great demonstration of our will to give a real will as enhance and privilege of partners of NATO. Georgia is continuously demonstrated this commitment to NATO operations in Kosovo, it is true in Afghanistan. I take this opportunity to pay tribute to all the soldiers who have been killed in action in Afghanistan and overall who have been wounded and pay tribute to the families, pay tribute to your country – Georgia for its huge commitment, huge sacrifices for peace and security. And this is why – this partnership is close to our heart, because Georgia shows permanent commitment to be engaged in operations for the benefits of peace and security.

During the Wales Summit last September a lot of important initiatives have been decided by the head of states of NATO and it partners. And Georgia was present. All these initiatives aim at improving interoperability between our forces, enhancing the partnership with some nations. Georgia is part of the five nations we have been selected for that. To move further and Georgia was selected to be a member of defence capability and security related capacity building initiative which is so important, because we fully understand that Georgia needs our full support to improve, to modernize its capabilities, to train its wonderful men and women and to get closer and closer to NATO standards, to NATO doctrines, to NATO training, education programs. That we can make sure that Georgia forces are able to integrate as the best since the first moment of a new approach, new commitment. So with an outstanding, very promising road map in follow us with Georgia, with many of the partners we have so much to share, because we live in a very demanding world, because not a single organization, not a single country can take care of this complexity of this world. Partnership is the option for the future.

And I wish like to conclude and to stress that we have very pragmatic way forward, we have many pragmatic projects together – common exercise next year, joint training and evaluation center, the building of capabilities, as I stressed already. So I am really certain to support this very demanding road map that we have together – one for friendship that we share with your forces for the benefit of NATO, for the benefit of Georgia”, stated General Jean-Paul Paloméros.

“I’d like to underline such important occasion that takes place in Georgia. General Staff and Defence Ministry is hosting NATO Strategic Military Partners Conference for the first time. I’d like express gratitude to Mr. General and all who planned this Conference to be held in Georgia. This is an annual forum under the aegis of NATO Supreme Allied Transformation Command with the participation of high-ranking officials of NATO member and partner nations’ armed forces and experts. The conference is a very important military forum where the attendees discuss transformation issues and future challenges, how to face them and plan our future prospects effectively. Each organization needs to transform and modernize. Therefore, the conference promotes transatlantic nations to share opinions on transformation and set up common views on strategic issues.

The Conference helps Georgia to define our ambition towards NATO – what capabilities and limits we have and what NATO can do for Georgia. This Conference aims to deepen cooperation with non-NATO countries. To hold such Conference in Georgia is a great demonstration of close relation with NATO. The Alliance appreciates Georgia as a reliable military partner and future member”, outlined Chief of General Staff Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze.

After the Generals speeches the press-conference continued in an interactive format. The journalists were mainly interested in Georgia’s NATO aspiration prospects and opening of NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center.

As General Jean-Paul Paloméros said, the decision of Georgia’s NATO membership is made on political level: “This is not for us to make political decisions you understand but this is very important that us – military chiefs push the boundaries of the partnership as much as we can and then at the political level it was demonstrated in Wales and even before and I am sure it will be demonstrated in Warsaw that the Heads of State will make their decision about the future. But we are here to make sure that we enable the future in terms of military capabilities. When we see the ability of the Georgian Forces to integrate within NATO operations this is a great sign of Georgia getting closer and closer to military standards and military capabilities. If one day at the political level it is decided that Georgia is on the course of the Membership Action Plan that will make things much easier. This is exactly what happened in the past with many countries. We are here to enable the participation of Georgia in military operations of NATO which is the aim of any partnership with NATO”.

NATO General highlighted Georgia’s commitments towards NATO: “Georgia has never failed. Georgia is true to its commitments. So as I said here are the military chiefs who are doing our best to make sure that the Substantial Package, the Enhanced Partnership, the Interoperability Platform – all of that works as much as possible. Our presence here is a great demonstration and I am very pleased that I made this decision almost two years ago that Georgia will be the hosting nation thanks to the great offer of your country to host the Strategic Military Partnership Conference. This is a great mark of our demonstration to work together”.

Chief of General Staff talked about the opening of NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre. As he outlined, Georgia is following all plans of NATO-Georgia Substantial Package. General Jean-Paul Paloméros focused on that Georgia will become a special partner in the region after the opening of JTEC.

The journalists’ questions also referred to the regional challenges. Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze outlined that Georgia is an independent country which has independent armed forces and views to enhance defence capabilities. General Jean-Paul Paloméros resonated NATO Secretary General’s position: “This question was answered by the Secretary General of NATO recently and I will not come back on this political, clear statement about where NATO stands regarding the national sovereignty and this is true for any nation. National sovereignty is the basis of international law and NATO is committed to fulfill its role in supporting the international rules of laws. Secretary General has made it clear that it is not acceptable that one single country does not respect the sovereignty of another country”.

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Bulgaria: U.S. Contractors Killed, Injured Testing Weapons For Syrian Rebels

Sofia News Agency
June 9, 2015

US Contractors Hurt in Anevo Incident Were Testing Arms for Syrian Opposition Army

The three US citizens injured near Bulgaria’s Anevo were in fact sent on a mission to test weapons that would then be sold to the Syrian opposition, Reuters reported.

The arms allegedly were going to be used for anti-IS efforts in the region accoridng to an anonymous US military source.

One of the US contractors was killed and two more were injured during the incident Saturday after a rocket-propelled grenade malfunctioned.

“These guys were out there prepping (arms) for eventual transfer … for the Syria T&E (train and equip) effort,” the military official informed Reuters.

Bulgarian government’s press office was unavailable for a comment on the case. According to information released by the Bulgarian Economy Ministry, private company Angus hired military officers to test the grenade. The company, however, did not have an official permit to export arms.

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Georgia Loses 30th Soldier In NATO’s First Asian War

Civil Georgia
June 8, 2015

Georgian Soldier Succumbs to Injuries Suffered in Afghanistan

Tbilisi: Corporal Ramaz Davitaia died on June 8 in a military hospital in Gori from injuries sustained almost three years ago while serving in Afghanistan.

The latest death brings to 30 the total number of Georgia’s Afghanistan death toll.

Corporal Davitaia was badly injured on June 20, 2012 in the southern Afghan province of Helmand.

All 30 fatalities among the Georgian military in Afghanistan are related to the Helmand province.

In NATO’s previous, ISAF, mission in Afghanistan Georgia was the largest non-NATO troop contribute with about 1,600 soldiers.

In NATO’s new, Resolute Support, mission in Afghanistan there are about 885 Georgian soldiers, making the country the second largest troop contributor.

The Georgian troops, whose duties focus on security and rapid reaction force, are currently deployed in Kabul; Bagram Airfield, and at the German army’s Camp Marmal in Mazar-i-Sharif.

U.S. ambassador to Georgia, Richard Norland, said he was “deeply saddened” to learn of the passing of Corporal Davitaia.

“Corporal Davitaia was the exemplar of bravery, strength, and heroism. Since his return from medical treatment at a U.S. facility in Germany, Mary [ambassador’s wife] and I were honored to have the opportunity to spend time with him and his family. We saw him last Thursday in Gori but did not know this would be our last goodbye,” the U.S. ambassador said in a statement.

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Pentagon Chief: Funds Needed For Anti-Russian Military Build-Up

Stars and Stripes
June 8, 2015

Carter: Steady funding needed for Europe reassurance
By John Vandiver

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STUTTGART, Germany: The U.S. should continue to set aside special funds to maintain a beefed-up military presence in Europe, where more rotational forces, an expanded series of war games and increased fighter jet patrols have helped reassure allies rattled by Russian aggression in Ukraine, according to Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

Following a meeting Friday with military commanders and diplomats from across Europe at the U.S. European Command headquarters of Gen. Philip Breedlove in Stuttgart, Carter said it is clear the U.S. must find a way to ensure the so-called European Reassurance Initiative, begun last year, receives continuing support.

“We’re going to need to make that a part of our planning, programming, budgeting system going forward. There’s just no question about it,” Carter told reporters traveling with him, according to a transcript. “This is going to be an enduring challenge.”

The nearly $1 billion European Reassurance Initiative, approved by Congress in December, already has enabled the Pentagon to bolster its activities across the Continent, with a special focus on eastern Europe, where allies in close proximity to Russia and Ukraine are wary about Moscow’s intentions. However, the program, which is funded through overseas contingency funds, must be approved by Congress on an annual basis. While it remains unclear whether Congress will continue to support such funding, the ERI is shielded from the mandatory defense budget cap known as sequestration, which is imposed on the regular military budget. That could make it easier for the Pentagon to maintain funding support in the future should Congress fail to reach a deal that eliminates the mandated slowdown of spending in the base budget.

…U.S. officials have refocused their attention on security challenges in Europe, which had previously been on the strategic backburner.

“(It’s) sort of ironic if you reflect on the fact that a couple of years ago … it was much discussed in NATO — what was NATO going to do next after Afghanistan and was there a mission for NATO?,” Carter said.

Now, he said, it’s clear that NATO has two priorities: Russia and “the Putin challenge to Europe and to the post-Soviet structure and order,” and the Islamic State “phenomenon, foreign fighters in North Africa in proximity to NATO shores.”

In recent years, the U.S. military has steadily drawn down its forces in Europe, which now stand at about 68,000 in total. However, the European Reassurance Initiative funds have helped augment the U.S. presence in the region with temporarily assigned forces from the States, enabling the steady rotation of additional armor through eastern Europe.

Among the high-profile missions that the ERI has helped support include U.S. Army Europe’s Dragoon Ride Stryker convoy, which sent troops on a more than 1,000-mile show of force road trip from the Baltics to southwestern Germany. The money also is paying for the rotation of a U.S.-based heavy armored brigade and increased fighter jet patrols over the Baltic states, as well as increased Navy deployments to the Black Sea.

Carter’s brain-storming session in Stuttgart was an opportunity for the secretary to hear assessments of the effectiveness of U.S. efforts to deter Russian aggression from U.S. military leaders from the combatant commands as well as diplomats from across Europe, said EUCOM spokesman Navy Capt. Greg Hicks.

“He (Carter) was particularly interested in hearing our feedback on how our European Allies are being impacted by Russian actions, and what additional Department of Defense training and exercises could assist,” Hicks said in a statement.

Following his meeting with military leaders in Europe, Carter is expected to offer advice to the White House on a way ahead in Europe.

Areas where the U.S. and allies could do more include increasing the number of joint military exercises as well as making improvements in intelligence sharing among NATO partners, Carter said.

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U.S. Leads 17-Nation NATO War Games “Throughout The Baltic Sea”

U.S. Department of Defense
June 8, 2015

Multinational Baltic Defense Exercise Showcases Interoperability
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

WASHINGTON: The U.S. has joined 16 other NATO and partner nations in a Baltic regional maritime exercise demonstrating various integrated military capabilities, Defense Department spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said here today.

“Seventeen NATO and partner nations are participating in the 43rd iteration of the multinational, maritime exercise [Baltic Operations] 2015,” Warren told Pentagon reporters.

BALTOPS is an annual multinational exercise, Warren said, “designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability as well as demonstrate the resolve of allied and partner forces to defend the Baltic region.”

Multinational Participation

The training event, which began June 5, includes forces from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the United States and the United Kingdom, Warren said.

“These exercises are taking place in Poland, Sweden, Germany and throughout the Baltic Sea through June 20,” he said.

Warren said 5,600 ground, maritime and air force personnel — 2,000 of which are American — and about 49 ships, 61 aircraft and one submarine, are participating in the operation.

“It will demonstrate air defense, maritime interdiction, anti-submarine warfare and amphibious operations in a joint environment,” he said. “This is all to ensure regional security.”

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Yatsenyuk: Ukraine Waging “Real War” Against Russian Army, “Defending International Order”

Ukrinform
June 9, 2015

Yatsenyuk: Ukraine is the only country waging war with Russia’s regular army

Joint press point with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk

KYIV: The Ukrainian people are now waging a real war against the regular troops of the Russian Federation, defending not only their territory, but also the international order that was established after World War II.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said this speaking at the Global Forum of the American Jewish Committee in Washington on Monday, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“We are facing a real war against Russia. Ukraine is the only country in the world that is waging war with the Russian regular army,” Yatsenyuk said.

He recalled that Russia had illegally annexed Crimea, introduced a severe pressure on the freedoms and rights of the Crimean Tatars, and after that “Russian-backed terrorists and Russian troops invaded Donetsk and Luhansk,” and began to intimidate the whole world.

“Ukraine protects not only itself, we are defending Europe, we are defending the international law and international order,” the head of the Ukrainian government said.

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Capable, Cunning And Dangerous: After Yugoslavia, Iraq And Afghanistan, Estonia Ready For War With Russia

June 9, 2015 1 comment

U.S. Army Europe
June 8, 2015

US, Estonia inspector generals share lessons learned, conduct joint session
By U.S. Army Europe Office of the Inspector General

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WIESBADEN, Germany: There is a common saying in Estonia that the hedgehog should be adopted as that Baltic Nation’s national animal.

Like the proud Estonians and their country of only 1.3 million people, the hedgehog may be small, but it is also capable, cunning, and dangerous when cornered.

Small but extremely capable, cunning and lethal is how one might also describe the Estonian Defense Force.

…Estonia shares a border with Russia and remains ever weary of their much larger neighbor’s actions in the Ukraine.

Although its active military is dwarfed by other NATO militaries, one would not guess this by their commitment to the alliance.

After becoming a member of NATO in March 2004, Estonia quickly shouldered more than its share of military responsibilities.

They have had military policemen serving in Kosovo as part of KFOR since 1999.

Estonia committed forces to Multinational Force Iraq from 2003-2008, in the Sabah-al-Bori area of Baghdad. They deployed a company plus to Mazar-e-Sharif and then to the hotly-contested Helmand Province Afghanistan from 2003-2014.

The EDF has also been an active participant in multiple United Nations missions ranging from Mali to Lebanon.

Add to this NATO exercise support (such as Steadfast Javelin earlier this year), and it is easy to say that “small but capable” is an understatement when referring to the EDF.

The U.S. Army Europe Office of the Inspector General recently returned from a three-day engagement visit with the EDF’s inspector general, an organization that mirrors their U.S. counterpart in both mission and function.

The visit was part of an ongoing strategy by the USAREUR IG to engage with other NATO IGs, share experiences, find a common understanding of missions and functions, and then enable one another through the conduct of combined training and IG operations such as inspections and assistance.

The highlight of the visit was a combined IG visit to Tapa Training Area in north east Estonia where U.S. and EDF Soldiers are serving and training shoulder-to-shoulder to deter Russian aggression.

Estonian Col. Viljar Schiff, the EDF’s command IG and Col. David Carstens, USAREUR command IG, toured the training area, observed ongoing support operations and training preparations, and spoke with both U.S. and EDF Soldiers concerning living conditions, resources available, and other issues.

During an IG sensing session involving dozens of Soldiers, noncommissioned officers, and officers from the 173rd ABN, 16th Engineers, and 2-7 Infantry, the EDF IG ombudsman (or chief of assistance), Estonian Maj. Ilmar Kikkas, listened to Soldiers’ concerns and answered questions alongside his USAREUR counterpart, Lt. Col. Romeo Qureishi, USAREUR IG office.

“This was an excellent opportunity to listen first hand to concerns of the U.S. Soldiers serving in our country,” said Kikkas, who routinely conducts similar sensing sessions for EDF conscripts.

This was the first time that a combined sensing session was conducted by IGs from two different nations within the USAREUR theater of operation.

What became quickly apparent is that both the EDF and USAREUR IGs can gain much from combined training and even inspections.

The EDF IG is the eyes and ears for Estonia’s Chief of Defense, routinely inspecting training and readiness to determine capabilities and shortfalls.

“Our mission and functions are near identical,” Carstens said. “My intent is to capitalize on these similarities by finding specific IG opportunities where we can combine our resources and gain from each other’s perspectives … (such as) in the area of inspections.”

After the visit to Tapa Training Area, it was evident that U.S. Soldiers are more than happy with the support they are receiving from Estonia and the EDF.

“This is my third (Operation Atlantic Resolve) deployment and the support here is as good as it gets,” said one Soldier from the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

So too was the cooperation and support received by the USAREUR IG from their new friends and partners in the EDF IG office.

Both organizations are now committed to future opportunities to train and serve as IGs shoulder to shoulder.

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U.S., German Armor Crosses Elbe In Warm-Up To Barbarossa II

U.S. Army Europe
June 8, 2015

Heidesturm Shock brings US, German armies together for bridging operation
By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

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STORKAU, Germany: The U.S. Army conducted combined assault river crossing operations with the Bundeswehr’s, or German army’s, M3 amphibious bridging vehicles on the Elbe River, during Exercise Heidesturm Shock, near here, June 6.

Exercise Heidestrum Shock is a part of Army Europe’s larger Freedom Shock program, designed to train, validate and sustain readiness.

The vehicles involved with the bridging operation included M1A2 SEP V2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, M2A3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles as well as various trucks and vehicles from Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 3rd U.S. Infantry Division. Elements from the 3rd Inf. Div., based out of Fort Stewart, Georgia, are the Army’s current regionally aligned force for Europe.

The exercise began with an unannounced deployment readiness exercise, which can include telephonic phone alerts and musters in order to enable commanders to train, mobilize and deploy their units at a moment’s notice anywhere in the European are of operation in support of the Army Europe commanding general’s Strong Europe construct.

This training also improves unit interoperability and ensures NATO forces can work together quickly with little or no notice.

About Us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51-country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships built during the more that 1,000 theater security cooperation events, held in more than 40 countries each year, lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.

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Mediterranean, Black Seas: NATO Naval Forces Ready For Article 5 Wars

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

June 9, 2015

Portugal Takes Command of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1

08Jun2015 Lisbon, Portugal - Panoramic view with the oficial entities, guests and crews of SNMG1 ships at the helipad of the Group flagship, NRP D. FRANCISCO DE ALMEIDA

LISBON, Portugal: Rear Admiral (PRT Navy) Alberto Manuel Silvestre Correia took command of Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1) yesterday afternoon, during a ceremony on board the new SNMG1 flagship NRP D. FRANCISCO de ALMEIDA, which was presided by Vice Admiral Peter Hudson (UK Navy), Commander of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command.

While berthed in Lisbon, SNMG1 Staff and crews of the frigates NRP D. FRANCISCO de ALMEIDA and HNLMS TROMP witnessed the event with Portuguese military and civilian authorities.

“NATO Maritime Forces are a clear sign of capability and readiness,” said Rear Admiral Silvestre Correia…

During Rear Admiral Silvestre Correia’s tenure, SNMG1 is schedule to participate in Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR, NATO’s counter-terrorism [sic] operation in the Mediterranean. The Group will also perform intensive training in the Black Sea, and will participate in several NATO Exercises including TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15, to train and test the NATO Response Force. The Group is schedule to visit 14 different ports during its deployment.

“I believe we will maintain a high state of readiness and capability to conduct Maritime full range of missions,” said Rear Admiral Correia. “In accordance with the Assurance Measures established by NATO, we will strengthen the Standing Naval Maritime Forces in order to support maritime situational awareness, to conduct the full spectrum of conventional maritime operations and to show NATO commitment, thus ensuring that the Alliance remains strong, ready, robust, and responsive, capable of meeting current and future challenges from wherever they may arise.”

In addition to NRP D FRANCISCO DE ALMEIDA and HNLMS TROMP, additional units will join SNMG1 in the near future.

“In a diffuse period with several security challenges threatening the integrity and security of the Alliance – the immediate response forces are the first point of call,” said Vice Admiral Hudson, addressing the new SNMG1 Commander. “They need to be trained and ready to respond in a timely manner and that includes this Standing Maritime Group…”

SNMG1 is one of the NATO’s four Standing Naval Maritime Groups, multinational integrated forces that project a constant and visible reminder of the Alliance’s solidarity and cohesion on the world’s seaways. This Force provides NATO a continuous maritime capability for operations and other activities in peacetime and periods of crisis and conflicts. An immediate maritime response to an emerging crisis or maritime operational requirement may be provided by the Standing Naval Force (SNF) under the command of the Allied Maritime Command, based in Northwood, UK.

Story by: Allied Maritime Command Public Affairs Office.

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Turkey: U.S., NATO Allies, Partners Launch Air War Exercise

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Force Africa

June 9, 2015

U.S., NATO partners train at Anatolian Eagle 15
By Tech. Sgt. Eric Burks
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

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KONYA, Turkey: Anatolian Eagle 15, a flying training exercise involving U.S. Air Forces in Europe units and multiple NATO partners, kicked off at the 3rd Main Jet Base, June 8, here.

During the two-week exercise, approximately 250 personnel and12 F-15 aircraft from the 48th Fighter Wing, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, are participating in training focused on exercising operational and logistical processes for U.S. air forces to deploy to, operate in and around, and to continue regular combined training to increase tactical interoperability between U.S. and Turkish air forces.

Lt. Col. John Stratton, 493rd Fighter Squadron commander, said, “Anatolian Eagle is a great opportunity for our aircrews to hone their operational skills from a forward operating location.”

He also highlighted how the exercise allows U.S. forces to bolster relationships and interoperability with our international partners.

“Through strengthened relationships and engagements with our allies, the U.S. and NATO demonstrate our shared commitment to a peaceful, stable and secure Europe,” he said. “We represent America’s forward presence, postured alongside our proven, indispensable allies.”

Anatolian Eagle is a bi-annual event with U.S. participation since 2001. This year, other participants along with the U.S. include units from Turkey, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, and Pakistan.

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Latvia: U.S. Provides Air Power For Anti-Russian War Games

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Force Africa

June 8, 2015

US delivers airpower in Baltic exercise
By Capt Chase P. McFarland

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ADAZI TRAINING AREA, Latvia: About 6,000 personnel from 13 countries, including the United States, are participating in the Saber Strike 15 exercise taking place in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, June 8 through 19.

Saber Strike is a long-standing U.S Army Europe-led cooperative training exercise conducted annually since 2010. The aim of the exercise is to improve the cooperation and capabilities of the participating nations for future contingency operations. This year’s exercise objectives facilitate cooperation among Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The U.S. Air Force plays a critical role by providing aerial refueling, aerial port support capabilities, joint tactical air control, personnel and equipment airlift, and close air support to U.S. and partner nation ground forces while demonstrating air deployment of forces and equipment.

“Saber Strike is a great opportunity to showcase and foster our interoperability between ally and partner nations,” said Gen. Frank Gorenc, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “Combined training and theater security cooperation engagements with our allies and partners demonstrate that we share a commitment to promoting a Europe that is whole, free and at peace.”

U.S. Air Force capabilities in the exercise include KC-135 Stratotankers from the Michigan Air National Guard, the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force Reserves out of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina; F-16 Fighting Falcons from the South Carolina Air National Guard; A-10 Thunderbolt IIs from the Maryland Air National Guard; B-52 Stratofortresses from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota; and C-130J Super Hercules from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Additional support is provided by the 435th Contingency Response Group and the 435th Air-Ground Operations Wing from Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

“Maintaining a forward, ready presence in Europe is critical to assuring our allies and to deter real and potential adversaries,” said Gorenc. “We are only able to maintain this global presence through total force cooperation with our National Guard and Air Force Reserve partners.”

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Strategic Partnership: NATO, EU Military Staffs Coordinate War Plans For East, South

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 9, 2015

Directors of the NATO International Military Staff and European Union Military Staff meet to discuss strengthening their strategic partnership
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Air Marshal Sir Christopher Harper, Director General of the NATO International Military Staff (DGIMS) and Lieutenant General Wolfgang Wosolsobe, Director General of the European Union Military Staff (DGEUMS) co-chaired on 5 June the first informal IMS-EUMS staff to staff talks Conference of 2015. The conference is part of the current NATO – EU strategic military dialogue established in 2003.

The conference’s purpose was to discuss the ongoing staff to staff activities on areas of mutual interest and to look at ways to further practical cooperation to enhance IMS-EUMS complementarity. The main topics of discussion were Hybrid Warfare, Cyber Defence, NATO’s Readiness Action Plan and the current security challenges to the East and South of the organizations.

During the day’s discussions, Air Marshal Harper stressed the need for continued dialogue and cooperation between NATO and the EU. He identified the many common values and shared interests between the two organizations. “There is a need to better coordinate our efforts in the fields where both organizations are engaged, not only because the EU is an important and essential partner, but also to avoid duplication of effort”, said the Director General of the IMS.

Concluding the conference, Lieutenant General Wosolsobe emphasized that cooperation at the military level should be further developed in tandem with progress registered at the political level. Given the challenges from the East and from the South, time would be ripe to further meet Member States expectations for enhanced EU-NATO engagement, also in the light of the strategy reviews both organizations will start to address respectively.

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John Dos Passos: Selections on war

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Canadian Armed Forces To Arrive In Ukraine

Ukrinform
June 8, 2015

Canadian armed forces to come to Western Ukraine

KYIV: The Canadian armed forces will soon start training Ukrainian soldiers.

Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper said this during a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“The Canadian forces will soon come to the Western Ukraine to start training the Ukrainian military forces,” he said.

According to Harper, such measures are financial support from Canada.

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Ukrinform
June 8, 2015

Canada ready to impose new sanctions against Russia

KYIV: Canada stands for extension of economic sanctions against the Russian Federation, which carries out aggression in Ukraine, and even is ready to introduce additional restrictive measures.

Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper said this during a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“There must be consequences for Putin, economic sanctions should remain. And we are ready to work with our allies to impose additional sanctions if the situation requires this,” Harper said.

He reminded that Canada had already introduced sanctions against 270 Russians and separatists.

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Romania: U.S., NATO Allies Complete Live-Fire Exercises

U.S. Army Europe
June 5, 2015

Sarmis 15 concludes with a bang, yet bonds strengthened will endure
By Spc. Jacqueline Dowland

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CINCU TRAINING AREA, Romania: As new friends forge a lasting partnership through shared experiences and common goals, the alliance formed during joint training exercises amongst counterparts endures despite the culmination of the event.

Soldiers of 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, joined NATO allies from Canada, the United Kingdom, and Romania to conduct a Troop Combined Arms Live Fire at Cincu Training Area, Romania, June 3, as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. The purpose of the last exercise of Sarmis 15, was to challenge leaders to synchronize joined allies through combined assets, both on land and air.

As soldiers dismounted Strykers and bullets flew through the air, soldiers leaned on knowledge gained from their European counterparts to help them remain calm and competent in their soldiering skills despite the chaos around them.

“Working with our Romanian allies was easier than I anticipated because at the end of the day, military graphics and doctrine mean the same thing amongst all of the NATO countries,” said Cpt. Michael Farinelli, Fox Troop Commander, 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, and a native of Scott Depot, West Virginia.

As mortars exploded and A-10 fixed wing aircraft flew overhead, soldiers confidently rushed up hills, sprawling on their stomachs to fire at targets while Strykers fired nearby. The exercise allowed all counterparts involved to lend their expertise in the shared effort of developing tomorrow’s leaders.

“It’s an outstanding opportunity for us to improve our readiness and develop leaders while strengthening the alliance,” said Col. John V. Meyer III, 2nd Cavalry Regiment Commander. “Everything that we’ve done, from Operation Cavalry March at the beginning of Sarmis 15, to operations throughout the country, and closing with this live fire exercise have all improved the capability of the United States Army and her allies.”

After the termination of the exercise, the soldiers from the four nations gathered together as one united front to celebrate in a closing ceremony. The soldiers saluted flags representing the United States, Canada, Romania, and the United Kingdom as the national anthems of each ally was sounded.

“There’s no where in the world that we’re not going to go without our allies,” said Farinelli. “These are some very competent and professional armies from around the world that we will continue to work with, and that’s a wonderful feeling to know that we have these capabilities,” said Farinelli.

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U.S. Troops Arrive In Lithuania For War Games

28th Infantry Division
June 6, 2015

28th Infantry Division soldiers arrive in Lithuania
Staff Sgt. Doug Roles

More than 60 soldiers of the 28th Infantry Division are in Lithuania to continue to partner with the Baltic nation and other regional allies. The Pennsylvania Army National Guard soldiers are spending their annual training period participating in Exercise Saber Knight 2015, a preplanned, reoccurring exercise involving approximately 6,000 personnel from 12 countries.

The command post exercise is driven by a computer-based scenario run from the Nemencine training area. The scenario is played out in various related training events at locations throughout Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.

“The goal of this overseas training is for our Soldiers to learn to interoperate with their counterparts from allied nations. It builds on our two decade’s long relationship with Lithuania and improves our skills working as a part of a multinational force,” said Brig. Gen. George Schwartz, exercise deputy director and deputy commander of the Danish division leading the event.

“This year’s exercise adds to the success and lessons learned from previous trainings here,” Schwartz said. “Pennsylvania has been a partner in the Saber Strike exercises since their beginning.”

The 28th’s soldiers arrived in Lithuania May 31-June 1 for the two–week exercise. One of the first tasks for the soldiers is familiarization training with the computer systems to be used in the event. They will then use that communication system to direct forces engaged in the fictitious scenario.

The partnership between Pennsylvania and Lithuania was established in 1993. Since then, more than 500 exchanges and trainings have been conducted covering topics such as noncommissioned officer professional development, defense support to civil authorities and recruitment.

Saber Knight is part of the ongoing U.S. Army Europe’s Saber Strike exercise program. Nations participating in this year’s training include: Lithuania, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Portugal, United Kingdom, France, Poland and Norway.

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NATO Holds Large-Scale Naval, Air Exercises In The Baltic

North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationAllied Maritime Command
June 8, 2015

NATO Naval Forces participate in Baltic Operations

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USS Jason Dunham alongside Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 flagship USS Vicksburg in Gdynia

BALTIC SEA: Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 ships have begun their participation in the multinational integrated exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS 15).

Under the command of Rear Admiral Brad Williamson (USA Navy), SNMG2 is currently comprised of the flagship USS VICKSBURG (USA), HMCS FREDERICTON (CAN), and TCG GOKSU (TUR).

SNMCMG1 led by Commander Peter Bergen Henegouwen (NLD Navy) is composed of the flagship FGS DONAU (DEU), FGS AUERBACH (DEU), HMS QUORN (GBR), ORP MEWA (POL), HNLMS WILLEMSTAD (NLD), HNOMS RAUMA (NOR), FS ERIDAN (FRA) and LNS SKALVIS (LIT).

BALTOPS is a joint, multinational maritime-focused exercise designed to enhance flexibility and interoperability, as well as demonstrate resolve among Allied and partner forces to defend the Baltic region. BALTOPS is a U.S. sponsored exercise and is being executed by Commander, Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) this year. BALTOPS has been held since 1971 and will take place in Poland, Sweden, Germany, and throughout the Baltic Sea.

“BALTOPS is an exercise that the U.S. participates in every year,” said Lt. James Hostetler. “But this will be the first time for many of our Sailors to participate in this exercise in such close alignment with our partner nations. Not only will we be working together with other nations in the exercise, we will be doing it as a singular maritime group.”

The purpose of BALTOPS is to strengthen interoperability among Allied units through a series of tactical maneuvers and scenarios. Ground, maritime and air forces from participating nations will work to complete training in a number of warfare areas: air defense, maritime interdiction, anti-subsurface warfare, mine countermeasures, and amphibious operations.

“Under U.S. lead, Allied nations and its partners have generated and deployed a joint multinational force of 49 ships, more than 60 aircraft, submarine and landing forces in the Baltic to exercise, improving flexibility and interoperability at same time demonstrating resolve among Allied,” said Commander Henegouwen. “NATO with SNMG2 and SNMCMG1 are part of this collective effort and striving to maintain the high levels of readiness.”

NATO is also increasing the number of exercises it organizes. Military exercises provide important opportunities to improve the ability of Allies and partners to work together and are a valuable demonstration of NATO’s readiness to respond to potential threats. These exercises take place on land, at sea and in the air with scenarios based on collective defence and crisis management.

Participating nations this year include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Nations have provided more than 5,600 ground, maritime, and air forces to include 49 ships, 61 aircraft, one submarine, and a combined landing force of 700 Swedish, Finnish, and U.S. troops.

Story by HQ MARCOM Public Affairs Office

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Sidney Lanier: Selections on war

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NATO Interoperability: Germanization Of U.S. Army Europe

Stars and Stripes
June 5, 2015

German 1st foreign instructor at US Europe NCO academy
By Michael S. Darnell

GRAFENWÖHR, Germany: When Brig. Gen. Markus Laubenthal was appointed U.S. Army Europe’s chief of staff last year, it signaled commitment to strengthening operational partnerships with key allies, Germany in particular.

As a further sign of that commitment, a German is currently training Americans at the 7th Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy in Grafenwöhr.

German 1st Sgt. Andreas Gross has become the first foreign instructor at the academy, which is responsible for training almost 2,000 NCOs every year.

An airborne soldier who has worked with several other national armies, Gross is currently a platoon sergeant at the German NCO academy in Delitzsch, Germany.

While attached to the American school in Grafenwöhr, Gross is partly responsible for the direct mentorship of American NCOs, something that has never happened at this academy prior to his arrival.

“I have experience in the past with some different armies,” Gross said, including French and Belgian.

“It was an honor for me to be with the French troops, it was an honor to be with the Belgium troops, so it is an honor to be here,” he said in an interview.

According to the school’s deputy commandant, the academy trains more than 100 foreign NCOs every year, but they have never had a foreign NCO directly serving as an instructor until now.

“These students, most of them, have never worked or partnered with international before. Everything that we do now is international,” said 1st Sgt. Joseph Rothgeb. “When we deploy, we have international partners to our right helping us go toward the greater cause of what we’re deploying for.”

Gross said part of his job while at the academy is to shore up those gaps in knowledge of those troops who have yet to work with other nationalities.

“I give a German overview of all the things; I give a French overview of all the things; I give a Belgium overview about the military things,” he said. “It’s important that the guys get a 360 overview as a future leader about what’s up in another nation.”

For now, Gross’ tenure at the academy will be a short one. After his company graduates on Thursday, he’ll go back to Delitzsch to resume teaching German NCOs. Both he and Rothgeb say they hope this program will continue and maybe expand in the future to include American soldiers teaching at the German academy.

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Ukraine, Transdniester: Top NATO Committee In Moldova

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 3, 2015

Historic visit to Moldova by the NATO Partnership Committee aims to deepen partnership

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The NATO Partnership and Cooperative Security Committee (PCSC) concluded on Wednesday (3 June 2015) today a 2-day visit to Moldova. Representatives from five partner countries – Austria, Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland – joined the committee, which was led by James Appathurai, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs.

Speaking about the decision to have the NATO Partnership and Cooperative Security Committee visiting Moldova instead of having usual meetings at NATO Headquarters, James Appathurai said: “We are here to demonstrate our commitment to Moldova and to our partnership. This is a historic and unique visit. We came here because circumstances are unique”. And he added: “We also want to show the nature of our partnership, as it is important for us that Moldovan people have a good understanding of what NATO is and what NATO does. At the same time, it is a great opportunity for NATO to better understand Moldova’s current challenges”.

The primary item on the agenda was how to deepen cooperation between NATO and Moldova. Members of the committee met with Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici, Defence Minister Viorel Cibotaru, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Galbur, as well as with parlamentarians and leaders of political parties. “NATO and Moldova are considering together decisions to upgrade and deepen NATO-Moldova cooperation”, said James Appathurai. “We have been already doing a lot during the last 20 years; we can and want to do more with Moldova”, he underlined. “Our focus is now on the next steps for deepening our cooperation, namely the Defence Capacity Building package offered to Moldova at the Wales Summit. We will go home and finalize the discussions with the June defence ministerial meeting in sight. However, it has to be a two-way street: Moldova worked fast but it will need to implement extensive reforms – as for instance continue fighting corruption, reforming the security system and investing more in defence,” he concluded.

On 3 June the NATO Partnership and Cooperative Security Committee and partners met with civil society, academics, media and students, during a public diplomacy conference organized together with the NATO Information and Documentation Centre. Cooperation between NATO and Moldova and good practices in NATO operations were amongst the topics addressed. “We want to thank Moldovan people for the contribution Moldova does to NATO’s operation in Kosovo and potentially elsewhere. It shows Moldova’s commitment to be a security provider in the region”, James Appathurai told participants and media present.

This was the first visit of the NATO Partnership and Cooperative Security Committee to Moldova.

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Émile Zola: The military, necessary apprenticeship for devastation and massacre

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Émile Zola: Selections on war

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Émile Zola
From Truth (1902)
Translated by Ernest A. Vizetelly

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The army became merely the emblem of brute force upholding the thefts of ages, an impregnable wall of bayonets within whose shelter property and capital, duly gorged, might digest in security. The nation, the country, was the ensemble of abuses and iniquities which it was criminal to touch, the monstrous social edifice, not one beam of which must be changed for dread lest all should fall…

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“The eight years I spent in the university penitentiary, where a man who believes in truth is allowed neither freedom of speech nor freedom of action, were not enough for them! They insist on robbing me of two more years, on shutting me up in their gaol of blood and iron, and reducing me to that life of passive obedience which is the necessary apprenticeship for devastation and massacre, the mere thought of which exasperates me!”

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As a first step, he again got rid of all…books in which the supernatural was shown triumphant, and in which war, massacre, and rapine appeared as ideals of power and beauty. He considered that it was a crime to poison a lad’s brain with a belief in miracles, and to set brute force, assassination, and theft in the front rank as manly and patriotic duties. Such teaching could only produce imbecile inertia, sudden criminal frenzy, iniquity, and wretchedness. Marc’s dream, on the contrary, was to set pictures of work and peace before his pupils, to show sovereign reason ruling the world, justice establishing brotherliness among men, the ancient violence of warlike ages being condemned, and giving place to agreement among all nations, in order that they might arrive at the greatest possible happiness. And having rid his class of the poisonous ferments of the past, Marc particularly instructed his pupils in civic morality, striving to make each a citizen well informed about his country, and able to serve and love it, without setting it apart from the rest of mankind. Marc held that France ought no longer to dream of conquering the world by arms, but rather by the irresistible force of ideas, and by setting an example of so much freedom, truth, and equity, that she would deliver all other countries and enjoy the glory of founding with them the great confederation of free and brotherly nations.

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Canada Trains Ukrainian National Guard For Second Year Of War

Interfax-Ukraine
June 6, 2015

Canada allocates $5 mln to train police officers, prepare military instructors for Ukraine’s National Guard

Canada will allocate $5 million to train new police officers and military instructors for the National Guard of Ukraine, Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk said.

“Canadian government decided to allocate $5 million for training policemen of new Ukrainian patrol mission,” Yatseniuk said at the Institute for Training Public Security Officers of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry in Kyiv on Saturday that he attended together with Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper.

According to the premier, this is “a real aid for Ukraine when becoming independent and strong country.”

Besides, Canadian military instructors will arrive to Ukraine to train the National Guard, the premier said.

Yatseniuk also emphasized a powerful political support of Canada adding that Harper was going to G7 meeting to discuss Ukrainian issue as well.

“Canada is one of the strongest allies of Ukraine and, on behalf of the government, I would like to express gratitude to the Canadian government, Canadian people and personally prime minister for clear and strong position on supporting Ukraine,” the premier said.

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Women writers on peace and war

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Women writers on peace and war

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Exalt the name of Peace and leave those rusty wars that eat the soul

Emily Dickinson: I many times thought Peace had come

Marguerite Duras: The civilizing mission

Eleanor Farjeon: Peace Poem

Margaret Fuller: America, with no prouder emblem than the Dove

Ellen Glasgow: Selections on war

Ellen Glasgow: The Altar of the War God

Ellen Glasgow: His vision of the future only an endless warfare and a wasted land

Ellen Glasgow: The Reign of the Brute

Ellen Glasgow: “That killed how many? how many?”

Ellen Glasgow: Then the rows of dead men stared at him through the falling rain in the deserted field

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Do Not Cheer, Men Are Dying

Julia Ward Howe: Mother’s Day Proclamation 1870

Jean Ingelow: And the dove said, “Give us peace!”

Ellen Key: Overcoming the madness of a world at war

Selma Lagerlöf: The Fifth Commandment. The Great Beast is War.

Selma Lagerlöf: The mark of death was on them all

Marie Lenéru: War is not human fate

Amy Lowell: A pattern called a war. Christ! What are patterns for?

Marianne Moore: I must fight till I have conquered in myself what causes war

Lilika Nakos: Selections on war

Lilika Nakos: The dead man, the living, the house; all were smashed to bits

Lilika Nakos: Do I know what makes men kill each other?

Lilika Nakos: Do you think the war will ever end?

Lilika Nakos: The grandmother’s sin

Lilika Nakos: “Surely God didn’t intend this butchery”

Lilika Nakos: “What’s the war got to do with God?”

Zoé Oldenbourg: War provides a feast for the vultures

Gabrielle Roy: This was the hope that was uplifting mankind once again: to do away with war

George Sand: Trader in uniformed flesh and the religion of self

Gustave Flaubert and George Sand: Monstrous conflicts of which we have no idea; warfare suppressed or civilization perishes

Olive Schreiner: Give me back my dead!

Olive Schreiner: The bestiality and insanity of war

Anna Seghers: War enthusiasm, brewed from equal parts of age-old memories and total oblivion

Mary Shelley: The fate of the world bound up with the death of a single man

Edith Sitwell: Dirge for the New Sunrise

Lesya Ukrainka: Do you understand that word called war?

Rebecca West: The dreams of Englishwomen during war

Ella Wheeler Wilcox: A Plea To Peace

Marguerite Yourcenar: Fruits of war are food for new wars

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Georgia: NATO Continues To Develop Proxy Force

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
June 5, 2015

GAF Communication Day

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Today the Georgian Armed Forces celebrates Communication Day. Georgian military servicemen marked their professional day with the exercise “Communication 2015” on Vaziani firing range. The representatives of the General Staff of the GAF and Regional Manager in NATO and Central Europe Countries of “Harris” Company attended the training.

Military personnel of communication units of East and West Commands of the Land Forces participated in the five-day long exercise.

Within “Communication 2015”, the military set up management points on tactical and strategic operative level. The training aimed to improve management and control by using communication and informative systems.

At the end of the event, Head of J-3 Operative Planning Department, Brigadier General Giorgi Surmava awarded the communication officers with the service medals accrding to Defence Minister’s order.

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U.S. Senate: Rally NATO Against Russia

Ukrinform
June 5, 2015

US Senate offers to provide Ukraine with intelligence, weapons

KYIV: On June 4, US Republican Senator from the state of Ohio Rob Portman submitted an amendment to the military budget of the United States for 2016, which implies providing Ukraine with arms and intelligence in the amount of 60 million dollars.

This has been reported by RIA Novosti.

“The amendment provides for important and necessary for self-defense means that Ukraine requested, including intelligence, defensive lethal weapons, unmanned aerial vehicles, secure communications and training, aimed at developing key capabilities in military operations, planning and support [of troops],” the press service of the senator informed.

In addition, Portman made another amendment to the US military budget, requiring the Pentagon and NATO to understand the tactics of “Russian troops and militants” and how the military conflict in Ukraine could affect the production of Abrams American tanks.

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Wartime Ukrainian Military Being Further NATOized

Interfax-Ukraine
June 5, 2015

Ukrainian Defense Ministry approves two NATO military standards in armed forces

A working meeting chaired by Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Yuriy Husev on the introduction of NATO standards in the Defense Ministry has been held in Kyiv.

The meeting participants approved two military standards of the Defense Ministry based on the NATO standards STANAG 2920 and STANAG 4926.

“The approval of said standards will make it possible to procure for the Ukrainian troops high-quality protective devices and uniform, specifically, glasses, bullet-proof vests, helmets, etc.,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said in a report issued on Friday.

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Barbarossa II: 15,000 NATO Troops Train For War On “Eastern Periphery”

June 5, 2015 2 comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

June 5, 2015

NATO Allies begin naval exercise BALTOPS in the Baltic Sea

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Scores of ships and aircraft from 17 countries are taking part in Baltic Sea naval drills as part of exercise BALTOPS which started on Friday, 5 June 2015 and runs until 20 June. Allied participation demonstrates NATO’s resolve to…hone the ability of Allies and partners to work together.

The exercise will feature anti-submarine warfare, air defence, intercepting suspect vessels and amphibious landings. A total of 49 ships, 61 aircraft, one submarine, and a combined amphibious landing force of 700 U.S. Finnish and Swedish troops will participate in the drills. Fourteen NATO Allies are joined this year by NATO partners Finland, Georgia and Sweden. Overall, 5,600 troops will be involved.

“This exercise represents an important opportunity for our forces, as allies and partners, to enhance our ability to work together and strengthen capabilities required to maintain regional security,” said Vice Admiral James Foggo III, the Commander of Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO. He added: “this exercise will be conducted in a truly joint environment, and I look forward to working with and learning from so many different nations and services”.

While BALTOPS is a United States-led exercise, Vice Admiral Foggo and his NATO staff are responsible for executing this year’s exercise. Participants include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

This month, NATO and Allies will conduct a series of training events. The ALLIED SHIELD series includes not only BALTOPS but also Exercise NOBLE JUMP, the first training deployment of Allied high-readiness units under the new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) framework. SABER STRIKE, a significant land exercise in the Baltic States; and TRIDENT JOUST, a NRF command and control exercise in Romania.

In total, approximately 15,000 troops from 19 different Allies and 3 partner nations will participate in this series of training events taking place across the Alliance. All of these exercises are…a part of NATO’s assurance measures in response to challenges on NATO’s southern and eastern periphery.

The activities will focus on enhancing interoperability, readiness and responsiveness among Allied and partner nations. ALLIED SHIELD demonstrates that NATO members are united in their commitment to collective defence.

Story by NATO HQ and SHAPE Public Affairs Offices

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Hungary: NATO Demands Result In 22% Military Spending Boost

Hungarian Telegraphic Office
June 4, 2015

Defence Minister: Ukraine crisis and NATO undertakings are main tasks

The main defence tasks of the past year and a half include Hungary’s responses to the Ukraine crisis and NATO undertakings, Defence Minister Csaba Hende said in briefings to two parliamentary committees. Next year’s budget bill allocates defence spending of 298.6 billion forints (EUR 960m), a 22% increase on this year’s allocation. Hungary is making preparations for its military involvement in the international fight against Islamic State in Kurdistan, with ongoing consultations concerning the transfer of Hungarian soldiers to the site.

Hende noted the 50 billion forint development at the Pápa airbase, 30 billion of which is financed by NATO, adding that a hangar for NATO heavy-transport planes and a new complex was in the process of being built, as well as a supplementary control tower. Among procurements, Hende mentioned “bomb armaments” for ensuring implementation of air-ground operational tasks, as well as maintaining and developing an air defence missile system. He also said that as part of military equipment and defence and development cooperation programmes run alongside the United States, the US had provided 5 million dollars’ worth of equipment, a large portion of which has already been delivered.

In response to a question concerning the accident involving a Hungarian Gripen aircraft, Hende said the causes were still unknown and negotiations were ongoing concerning possibilities for replacing the fighter.

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Alfred Neumann: Debunking the glory of twenty murderous years, the greatest mass-murderer in history

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Alfred Neumann: Selections on war

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Alfred Neumann
From Empire (1936)
Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul

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Critical historiographers of a new school are appearing on the scene, thrusting aside eagles, battles, Grand’ Armée and gloire, limning the portrait of the political dictator. Since this portraiture is effected in the name of political liberty, it is a most disagreeable picture, surrounded by all the victims the hungry idol demanded, by the hecatombs of twenty murderous years – for the Consulate and the First Empire, taken together, last well-nigh twenty years. In the wake of this illuminating new science came popular pamphlets, not talking this time of murderous years, but of the greatest mass-murderer in history. Since, however, the web of which legend is woven is at once as tough as bunting and as tenuous as a fairy-tale, and so abundant that it waves wide and high above the realm of history, extending into the realm of fable and unreason, into the land of dreams – it is appropriate that poets of the new liberty should now appear upon the stage. They do not elucidate, do not criticise, do not revile, but paint a new picture of the legend, showing the reverse of the shield. No longer do they describe the War God and his archangels, but speak of the sacrificed masses, of the sorrows and the greatness of the common man, of the spurious enthusiasm and the real despair of the conscripts, of bivouacs, the horrors of the battlefield, burning sunshine, dist-storms, and ice cold. Closely associated with these, caressing them, come idylls, tales of the sweetness of life; of husband, wife, and children in their homes; of wheat waving in the wind before the little cottage – the joys of a quiet, untroubled, free and inconspicuous life, the joys of peace. –

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110 Ships, Warplanes, Submarine In Two-Week NATO War Games In Baltic

Xinhua News Agency
June 5, 2015

NATO to hold naval exercise in Baltic Sea

BRUSSELS: Scores of ships and aircraft from 17 countries are taking part in Baltic Sea naval drills as part of NATO exercise BALTOPS which starts on Friday and runs until June 20, NATO said in a press release Thursday.

The exercise, which is led by the United States, will feature anti-submarine warfare, air defense, intercepting suspect vessels and amphibious landings.

A total of 49 ships, 61 aircraft, one submarine, and a combined amphibious landing force of 700 U.S. , Finnish and Swedish troops will participate in the drills.

Fourteen NATO Allies are joining this year as well as NATO partners Finland, Georgia and Sweden. Overall, 5,600 troops will be involved.

“This exercise represents an important opportunity for our forces, as allies and partners, to enhance our ability to work together and strengthen capabilities required to maintain regional security,” said Vice Admiral James Foggo III, the commander of naval striking and support forces for NATO.

The annual BALTOPS exercise, which has been held since 1971, is not in response to any specific threat, according to the press release.

However, NATO has increased its military presence in the eastern part of its alliance in response to the Ukraine crisis since last year.

BALTOPS is one of NATO’s several major multinational exercises this month.

Exercise Steadfast Cobalt will be held on Sunday in Walcz, Poland with a view to testing communications systems, in which nearly 1,000 personnel will participate over two weeks. Exercise Noble Jump, the first deployment test for NATO’s new quick reaction force will take place in Poland from June 9 to 19.

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Sweden: U.S., NATO Rehearse Air War With Russia

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Force Africa

June 4, 2015

3rd AF commander visits Sweden, speaks with Airmen
By Staff Sgt. Evelyn Chavez
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

KALLAX AIR BASE, Sweden: Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, 3rd Air Force and 17th Expeditionary Air Force commander visited Airmen from the 31st Fighter Wing participating in Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015 here, June 1.

“We have a hugely valuable range space here,” said Roberson. “We are able to bring nine countries together, operate from three different locations and put an air war [exercise] together with over 100 aircraft.”

During the visit, Roberson was briefed on operations by Col. Klute Erdstrom, Norbotten wing commander, observed mission takeoffs, recognized Airmen for their superior performance and spoke about the importance of ACE 15.

“The importance of these partners coming together is to ensure we can operate jointly down the road,” said Roberson. “The efforts of these countries during these two weeks are significant because it shows everyone what our combined capabilities are.”

Roberson also discussed how the uniqueness of this type of exercise, in which more than 115 combat aircraft from different nations are flying together in 180,000 square kilometers of airspace, enhances the interoperability amongst Partners for Peace and NATO allies.

“One of the biggest advantages with ACE 15 is the airspace,” added Roberson. “We have the largest training space for us to operate in the European theater. Here we have been able to set up our communication systems and network to share data amongst all the aircraft in the three countries the exercise is operating from: Norway, Finland and Sweden.”

Participation in an exercise of this magnitude requires teamwork not only amongst U.S. Airmen but also between the other nations. Roberson highlighted and recognized the Airmen whose efforts contribute to interoperability, readiness enhancement and the building of U.S., allied and partner’s collective defense through this training.

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Ukrainian Prime Minister, U.S. Ambassador Inspect U.S. Military Training

June 4, 2015 1 comment

173rd Airborne Brigade
June 4, 2015

Ukrainian prime minister visits Fearless Guardian
Story by Sgt. Alex Skripnichuk

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U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (right), discusses the capacity building taking place during Fearless Guardian with Lt. Col. Kyle Reed (center), commander of the U.S. Army’s 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and 1st Sgt. Bryan Morrow (left), the senior noncommissioned officer of Troop B, 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, June 3, 2015, in Yavoriv, Ukraine. Paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade are in Ukraine for the first of several planned rotations to train Ukraine’s newly-formed national guard as part of Fearless Guardian, which is scheduled to last six months. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Alexander Skripnichuk, 13th Public Affairs Detachment)

YAVORIV, Ukraine: Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Waschuk and several other distinguished guests visited the International Peacekeeping and Security Center June 3, 2015, in Yavoriv, Ukraine, to observe the progression of Fearless Guardian training.

Fearless Guardian is the name for the Congress-approved, Departments of State and Defense initiative under the Global Security Contingency Fund-Ukraine. The U.S. military and the training they provide are at the request of the Ukrainian government. Paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade are in Ukraine for the first of several planned rotations to train Ukraine’s newly-reformed national guard as part of Fearless Guardian, which is scheduled to last six months.

The visitors were escorted through an urban-operations training area and witnessed soldiers from the Ukrainian national guard’s 3029th Regiment and paratroopers conduct house-clearing procedures.

“We started with individual soldiers skills such as basic marksmanship,” said Capt. Matthew Carpenter, commander of Troop B, 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade. “Now we are mastering group tactics on the squad, platoon and company level.”

The dignitaries held a press conference explaining the importance of Fearless Guardian, the significance of the U.S.-Ukrainian partnership and its support for maintaining the sovereignty of Ukraine.

“We are not only defending Ukraine, we are defending the borders of Europe,” Yatsenyuk stated. “Diplomatic solutions are meaningless without a strong army to back them up.”

Pyatt expressed his pride in the work the paratroopers and the guardsmen have accomplished since the beginning of Fearless Guardian.

“I am proud to see the progress of the partnership and progress that has been achieved between the Americans in the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the Ukrainian national guard.”

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Potsdam Agreement Notwithstanding, NATO Celebrates 60 Years Of German Membership

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 4, 2015

NATO celebrates 60 years of German membership

Signing of the Protocol of accession (the Paris Agreements): the Federal Republic of Germany is invited to join NATO.

NATO is celebrating Germany’s 60th anniversary as a member of the Alliance. Ambassador Martin Erdmann, Germany’s Permanent Representative to NATO, and Wayne Bush, Assistant Secretary General for Executive Management, opened an exhibition of archival photos and documents marking the occasion at NATO headquarters on Wednesday (3 June 2015). Calling Germany’s accession “an unparalleled historic event,” Ambassador Erdmann said the move “completed the irreversible anchoring of Germany in the Western community of values”. He added, “we chart a common course, one that is guided by the compasses of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.”

Germany became NATO’s fifteenth member on 6 May 1955, when the German instrument of accession to the Washington Treaty was officially deposited with the Government of the United States. Three days later, Germany participated in its first session of the North Atlantic Council at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris.

The NATO Archives have compiled a series of historic documents and photographs marking Germany’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic family. Photos taken during the invitation and accession ceremonies in October 1954 and May 1955, respectively, show how Allies came together to welcome Germany as a new member.

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George Sand: Trader in uniformed flesh and the religion of self

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Gustave Flaubert and George Sand: Monstrous conflicts of which we have no idea; warfare suppressed or civilization perishes

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George Sand
From Monsieur Sylvestre (1866)
Translated by Francis George Shaw

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“Sir,” said I, indignant, “did you buy these blacks on the coast of Guinea? ”

“You think, perhaps,” he replied, “that I have been in the trade? Well, why not? I have done everything, as I told you; and there is nothing wrong in it when you buy of people who sell their children, their servants, and their wives. If you pay, they are well satisfied; and I always did pay. There were some shabby fellows who traded with the blacks, and killed the sellers while they carried off the merchandize. But that was in old times; in my time the trade was fair…”

I reminded my uncle that he had not blamed me much for refusing as father-in-law a man who had traded in blacks, and that, consistently, he must excuse me for declining as mother-in-law a woman who had made such an extended traffic with whites. In reply to this judicious observation, my uncle wanted to kill me…

But this is quite another part of speech! My uncle, also, had traded in human flesh! Did you know it? I never knew anything about it, and I believe that, as he put nothing but his money into that kind of business, he may never have spoken of it to any one. How do you suppose I found it out here, after living with him twenty years, and never imagining anything of the kind? I brought with me some boxes, into which I had thrown my papers and letters when I left the house. In overhauling them I found an open letter which I suppose must have been lost by my uncle, picked up by a servant, and put among mine, on my table; I don’t know how else it could have got there. I looked it over without remarking the address, and was quite astonished at reading that there was a balance to my credit with the house of M. & Co. I was asking myself how this good luck could have befallen me, when I saw that the letter had reference to conscripts and substitutes, and that my uncle’s profits from the partnership had been so large as to constitute a great portion of the fortune he intended to leave to me…The source of my uncle’s fortune is, therefore, in some degree, subject to the same odium as M. Aubry’s and Mlle Irene’s…

Yes, my dear boy, I did know it, and thought that you knew it too; therefore I never mentioned it. Your uncle gained some hundreds of thousands of francs by becoming bondsman for a dealer in men. He did it without scruple, because he does not reflect, and is therefore liable unwittingly to commit a social crime, while intrenching himself behind his individual uprightness. He has been educated in the religion of self, and, provided he does honor to his signature and his word, he cares little whether his money goes to injure or to help humanity. This was why I was sorry when you deserted the wholesome ways of spiritual philosophy, which we were so pleasantly following together, to enter upon those of materialism, which is so closely allied nowadays, in many young minds, with absolute individualism. I was rather afraid, I confess, lest, even while protesting against the gross application which M. Pierinont openly makes of the principle of each for himself, you might allow yourself to become accustomed to look upon general evils with indifference. Assuredly, I am happy at finding my fears groundless, and, if my anxiety be not wholly dissipated, it is because I would like to see in you, in every respect, that intellectual antithesis which your protest ought to represent. You need to be this complete contrast to your uncle, in order not only to preserve your self-respect, but to produce something young and living. What can proceed from the negation of collective life? An apology for self? This does not interest others, and yet you must invite the public to become interested in your thought.

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NATO Launches 20-Nation Military Exercise In Hungary

Xinhua News Agency
June 4, 2015

NATO military exercise gets underway in Hungary

BUDAPEST: The Capable Logistician 2015 (CL15) military exercise has got underway and will be running from June 1 to 26 at the Bakony Training Center in the hills of Western Hungary, the Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday.

Over 1700 foreign and domestic troops are involved in what promises to be the year’s biggest test of logistics abilities for the NATO forces and their partner countries.

Over the course of this week alone over 300 troops will be coming from about 20 countries, and will be operating nearly 250 pieces of military logistics equipment, which have not been specified.

The exercise is designed to offer uniform logistics support based on NATO principles while tightening up cooperation among the partner countries. As the host country Hungary is providing full security and the national support required of a host while taking the lead in some functional areas such as logistics information system operations.

The exercise will promote effective joint operations and cooperation among the NATO forces and partner countries, the ministry briefing read.

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Pentagon Creates Serbian Military Proxy Force For NATO

U.S. Army Europe
June 1, 2015

Serbian NCO takes charge during Combined Resolve IV
By Capt. Dave Cocchiarella
7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command

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HOHENFELS, Germany: Sergeant 1st Class Dalibor Navacikic is no stranger to training and leading soldiers. During Navacikic’s 13 years as an infantryman in the Serbian Army, he has attended the U.S. Army’s Warrior Leader Course (WLC) as well as the Serbian Special Forces course.

He is currently leading an infantry squad in a multinational exercise Combined Resolve IV at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, May 12-June 6.

Navacikic joined the Serbian Army in 2002 as a non-commissioned officer and spent his first three years as an instructor at the basic infantry school. In 2006, Navacikic spent three months at the special forces selection course and was assigned to the 63rd Parachute Battalion (Special Forces).

In 2009, his commanding officer approached Navacikic about attending WLC at the U.S. Army’s NCO Academy in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

Leaders from the Grizzly Observer/Coach/Trainer (OCT) team at Hohenfels immediately took notice. After an impressive display of infantry tactics by 1st Company, 31st Infantry Battalion, OCTs asked where those tactics were learned, the soldiers pointed at Navacikic.

Navacikic is one of approximately 100 Serbian soldiers taking part in multinational training during Combined Resolve IV.

Combined Resolve IV consists of more than 4,700 participants from 13 NATO and European partner nations and focuses on maneuver training and force-on-force exercises. It is an Army Europe directed exercise training a multinational brigade and enhancing interoperability with allies and partner nations. Combined Resolve trains on unified land operations against a complex threat while improving the combat readiness of all participants. The Combined Resolve series of exercises incorporates the U.S. Army’s Regionally Aligned Force with the European Activity Set to train with European Allies and partners.

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Poland: U.S., France In Unprecedented Battalion-Level Exercises

U.S. Army Europe
June 1, 2015

Exercise Puma 15 marks first for U.S., Polish, French armies
By Sgt. Brandon Anderson

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CAMP KONOTOP, Poland:- Soldiers, from the U.S., Polish, and French armies, completed a multi-battalion-sized training exercise at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area in Poland, May 29. Although between NATO allies, Exercise Puma 15 marks the first time the partners have conducted with battalions from each respective nation.

The annual Polish-led exercise simulated an operation, where armored assets from the partner nations secure the battlefield by advancing, engaging and securing their assigned objectives.

Polish Army Col. Piotr Bieniek, deputy commander of Poland’s 15th Mechanized Brigade, said the exercise was designed to test the abilities and skills of the partner nations in working together.

“We’ve been working from the squad all the way down to the platoon level in preparation for this,” Bieniek said. “This is designed to show our capabilities and skills to work together as a team.”

Emphasizing the teamwork required for the event, French Army Lt. Col. Henri le Losq, commander of the 12th Cuirassiers Regiment, said it was a great opportunity for him and his unit to work with the other nations.

“It was a good opportunity for us to discover and develop tactics and fire,” le Losq said.

le Losq said the exercise was about more than just firing tanks – there was also cross training going on with the medical teams.

U.S. Army Maj. John Womack, executive officer of 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, said his unit has been training in Drawsko Pomorskie for several months, but participating in Exercise Puma 15 has been unique for his unit.

“I think what makes this exciting for us is … doing this kind of training at the battalion level with Polish, French, and American Soldiers working together to make a battalion certification exercise a success as allies,” Womack said.

The U.S. units are part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, an ongoing multinational partnership focused on joint training and security cooperation between NATO allies, whose mission is the continued peace and stability of Europe.

“We’re here because of the NATO alliance,” Womack said. “The NATO alliance is the strongest alliance in the world, and we’ve proven that.”

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The final stage of the exercise was conducted with an attack scenario, where an attacking unit passes forward through a friendly line of defense and attacks to seize an objective.

The live-fire exercise saw Polish attack helicopters synchronized with U.S. and Polish mortar fire, all while Polish, French and U.S. tank crews engaged and defeated the enemy.

After the exercise, Soldiers, of the U.S., Polish, and French armies, participated in a closing ceremony, where individual Soldiers from the participating countries received awards for their work during Puma 15.

Multinational exercises are set to continue in NATO countries across Europe throughout the coming months.

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Poland: NATO Holds Response Force Communications Exercise

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

June 3, 2015

Exercise Steadfast Cobalt tests NATO’s communications systems

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WALCZ, Poland: Nearly 1000 NATO personnel are in Walcz, Poland to test the deployable communications and information systems used by elements of the NATO Response Force (NRF) during Exercise Steadfast Cobalt 15.

Troops from over 20 Allied nations are taking part in the two-week exercise, which wraps up on Sunday, 7 June. The exercise is aimed at certifying NATO signals capabilities that will deploy in support of high readiness troops.

With increased readiness times and rapid deployment the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) has required the NATO Communication and Information Group (NCISG) to adapt in order to support such an agile fighting force.

For the first time this exercise introduces advanced communication assets down to the tactical level and in addition to supporting the VJTF, other capabilities such as cyber defence have also been included.

Highlighting the requirement for agile and capable communication systems, Major General Thomas Franz, Commander NCISG said. ‘’with the rapid deployment of the VJTF, all communication systems must be instantly responsive, indeed in some instances operational before any Task Force arrives in location. Commanders at all levels must have a robust and operationally effective system that fully supports Command and Control’’.

Although NCISG has provided deployable communications to support the NRF since 2012, an effective mobile spearhead force demands a new approach.

‘’Although speed of insertion and operation of tailored communication assets has been a major priority of mine on SC15, we have also introduced on Steadfast Cobalt effective procedures to train, test and evaluate new communication structures,’’ said Franz.

‘’The introduction of the Signals Support Group concept and the Deployed Network Operating Centre has added tremendous operational benefit. I have been extremely pleased with our results so far where once again the quality of my personnel and their ability to operate together continues to be a key strength. We are all looking forward to the next opportunity to put our lessons learned and results into effect,’’ he added.

Exercise Steadfast Cobalt 15’s achievements in providing an effective tactical command, control, communication and control structure for NRF16 will be a significant force multiplier. During the upcoming exercise Trident Juncture 2015, to be held in October in Italy, Portugal and Spain, all force components will be tested prior to NRF16 certification.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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Georgia To Push For Membership Action Plan at 2016 NATO Summit

Civil Georgia
June 2, 2015

MoD: Georgia to Push for MAP at NATO 2016 Summit

Tbilisi: Granting to Georgia NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the next summit in Warsaw in 2016 will be a priority in Georgia’s talks with the Alliance and its members, the Georgian Ministry of Defense said.

Tina Khidasheli, the Georgian Defense Minister, met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on June 1.

The Georgian MoD said in a press release that “the main topic of discussion” was NATO summit in Warsaw, which will be held on July 8-9, 2016.

“Georgia requests Membership Action Plan [to be granted] at the Warsaw summit – the Defense Minister is starting her meetings with Alliance leadership and partners with this agenda,” the MoD said.

Khidasheli told Georgian journalists in Brussels on June 1, that “main topic of my meetings onwards till July 9 will be the summit.”

“Our position is known; we want Georgia to move substantially on a new level of relations with NATO,” she said. “We have already started these talks; I will be visiting Paris in a week and then some other European capitals as well and by the time of [NATO] ministerial in October we will have initial outline.”

At the NATO summit in Wales in September, 2014 Georgia was again left without long-sought MAP; instead the Alliance offered Georgia “substantial package” of cooperation, which, among other components, includes establishing the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC); the center is expected to be opened before the end of this year.

Khidasheli said that implementation of the substantial package of cooperation was also discussed at the meeting with the NATO Secretary General. She said that a location for the center has already been selected by the Georgian side and submitted for final approval to NATO.

“We are waiting for their final decision. From the Georgian side decision [on location] is already made and at the meeting we once again reminded that we are waiting for their response,” Khidasheli said.

She said that the NATO Secretary General is expected to visit Georgia this year and the opening of the center may coincide with this visit.

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