Sunday, August 9, 2015

Afghan War News Snippets

Video - "Resolute Support Update Edition 2".  RS headquarters has started to disseminate a video update of its news. The second video is now available for viewing and covers the topics of what Gen Campbell sees for the future of the ANDSF, how NATO medical supplies help the ANP, how the ANP and ANA are working side-by-side (not shoulder-to-shoulder?) in Herat province, how slow CSM Biggs can run (it reminds me why I always hated to run in formation), and how TAAC Air is helping the Afghan forces see better. Interestingly, Gen Campbell expounds upon how much equipment and technology that the ANA has - thus in the comparison between the ANA and the Taliban the ANA will 'overmatch' the Taliban. But I thought this was an insurgency where the guerrilla fighter doesn't hold terrain and thus doesn't need the airplanes, tanks, communications that a counterinsurgency force needs? Sounds like more of the same - get the ANA to look like a western army and it should be victorious on the battlefield. Uhhh, not so much.  (DVIDS, Aug 7, 2015, 8 minutes). I was the second "web view". Maybe you can be the third?

President Ghani and Foot Surgery. Ghani recently underwent foot surgery in Germany. Presidential palace statements (issued Aug 2nd) say it went well.

Navy Guys Can Get Fatter. The Navy is adopting a new set of easier body fat standards. It is not yet known if the Navy will adopt the "Tape Under the Fold" technique that the U.S. Air Force recently has instituted. Read more in "New body fat rules, big changes to Navy BCA", Navy Times, August 3, 2015.

DoDIG Audit Report on Drawdown of Equipment. The DoD Office of the Inspector General has issued an audit report entitled "Drawdown of Equipment in Afghanistan: Summary of Weaknesses Identified in Reports Issued from August 19, 2011, through May 18, 2015", August 5, 2015.

10th Mountain Division Troops to Afghanistan. It appears that the 10th Mtn will deploy more troops to Afghanistan (as well as Iraq) over the coming months. About 300 troops from the division hqs at Fort Drum will head to Afghanistan along with about 1,000 troops from the divisions 3rd BCT based at Fort Polk. Read more in a news report by Army Times, August 5, 2015.

Russian Soldier Convicted in U.S. A Russian Taliban soldier was convicted of terrorism in a U.S. court. He will face a sentence that could be life in prison for planning and leading a 2009 Taliban attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan. (Radio Free Europe, August 8, 2015).

MG James Rainey. A new general is in charge of the U.S. National Support Element (NSE) in Afghanistan as well as serving as the deputy commanding general of U.S. Forces Afghanistan. He will be working at Bagram Airfield. Read more in "Rainey takes command of 3rd ID", Savannah Now, August 3, 2015.

TAAC-Air Maintainers. The Afghan Air Force has four C-130s and they require not only pilots, navigators, and load masters but maintainers as well. Train Advise Assist Command - Air provides training to the AAF maintainers at Bagram Airfield (as well as other locations). Read more in "TAAC-Air maintainers instruct Afghan Air Force on C-130H maintainance", DVIDS, August 8, 2015.

Dan Feldman (SRAP) Reports. The outgoing Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan or SRAJP provided comments at a conference held by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on August 5, 2015 where he reflected ". . . on the successes that have been achieved while also acknowledging the many challenges that remain." (U.S. Department of State, Aug 5, 2015).

Lack of Diversity in SOF Units. Many of the Pentagon's elite units lack diversity in its personnel ranks. Read more in "Pentagon's elite forces lack diversity", USA Today, August 6, 2015.

Mongol's Visit Afghanistan - Again. The Mogols have been to Afghanistan a few times (1206, etc.) - visiting places like Bamyan, Herat, Balkh, and Ghazni. In the past several years they have provided troops for the ISAF and now the RS mission. The Mongolian military will deploy a second shift of military servicemen for the Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan. Read more in (Aug 7, 2015).

North Korea Joins Afghanistan in 30 Minute Time Zone Difference. For a long time, Afghanistan was one of the few countries in the world that had a 30 minute difference in the time; following what is know as Afghanistan Time (AFT). For instance, if it is 0700 (or 7:00 am) in the morning in eastern United States then it is 1530 (or 3:30 pm) in Kabul. Go figure. Now North Korea wants to be different as well. Read "North Korea to Move 30 Minutes Backward to Create Its Own Time Zone", The New York Times, August 7, 2015.

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