Posts Tagged Military News

Military News: Soviet Soldier Missing For 33 Years, Found Alive In Afghanistan

The non-profit Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, which falls beneath the Commonwealth of Independent States, found Khakimov after following a decades-old trail. He had fallen and cracked his head, he told them, and then a local village healer had found him and nursed him back to health.
Once he regained his health, he forgot Russian, picked up the local language, and took a wife, never seeking to reunite with his family. He has no children and is now a widower, and wishes to see his family, the report says.
The nonprofit which found him is dedicated solely to finding missing Russian soldiers. When they started, they had 271 to locate. Since then, they’ve found 29 alive in Afghanistan.source

This is just incredible and I had no idea that the Russians were still finding folks in Afghanistan. I imagine that contractors and military folks have bumped into several Afghans over the years that were probably former Soviet Union soldiers. lol

If you think you have a good lead on one of those, be sure to contact Warriors-International Affairs Committee and let them know. Although you might want to Google Translate your message into Russian first. –Matt



The current photo of Bakhretdin Khakimov. Military photo of a younger Bakhretdin Khakimov.


Soviet Soldier, Missing for 33 Years, Found in Afghanistan
Bakhretdin Khakimov, the Soviet soldier who disappeared in Afghanistan for 33 years.
There is a traditional healer living in the Shindand District in Afghanistan, known as Sheikh Abdulla, an elderly-looking, impoverished widower with a wispy beard leading a semi-nomadic life with a local clan.
His real name is Bakhretdin Khakimov and he is a Soviet soldier who has been missing in action since the first months of a nine-year-long bloody war that began when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in late 1979.
Khakimov, an ethnic Uzbek, was tracked down two weeks ago by a search party of the Warriors-Internationalists Affairs Committee, a nonprofit, Moscow-based organization, operating under the aegis of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), whose activists spent a year following the missing soldier’s decades-old trail.
That’s one down and 263 soldiers to go for the committee, which presented its latest findings in the search for Soviet servicemen in Afghanistan at a press conference in Moscow on Monday.
“Looking for missing soldiers is among our top priorities. And it’s a tough job,” said committee head Ruslan Aushev, who fought in Afghanistan and was president of the republic of Ingushetia in the Russian North Caucasus from 1993 to 2001.

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Military News: Marine Corps Birthday, 2012

The Commandant and Sgt Maj of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos and Sgt. Maj. Micheal P. Barrett, present the 2012 Marine Corps Birthday Message. Footage includes historical b-roll and images from Guadalcanal as well as interviews with WWII veterans, subject matter experts, active duty Marines and Marine spouses.

Happy birthday Marines and Semper Fi! This is one of the great military traditions that I have seen carry on throughout the war zones over the years. Contractors that are Marines and current Marines would all get together to celebrate the birthday on the various FOBs  and outposts throughout Iraq or Afghanistan and eat some cake. Or folks all over the US and throughout the world, would get together and celebrate this. The message below is part of that tradition and it talks about where the Marines have been, and where they are going. –Matt


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Military News: A Soldier’s Load Or A Soldier’s Anchor?

Average Paratrooper 72hr kit is 103.69lbs. Paratroopers are carrying 55% of their body weight. The recommended fighting load for a conditioned soldier should not exceed 48lbs and the approach march load should not exceed 72lbs (FM 21T18)

A big hat tip to Tom Ricks at FP’s Best Defense blog for finding this. After reading through the load outs of today’s soldier in the document below, I was just floored. This is ‘not’ light infantry, and in our desperate attempt to take all of the risk out of war fighting, we are actually making it even more dangerous for them and making our forces less combat effective. That is my opinion at least.

I mean how can a heavily weighted down soldier like this, outmaneuver an enemy like the Taliban, who usually wears the bare minimum of what is required for their assaults? And if you read this report below, soldiers invariable are forced to use CAS as the only viable means of killing the enemy–just because they cannot maneuver effectively. Which is fine, if you are dealing with an enemy that is not wise to how CAS or artillery works. But this enemy is much wiser than that, and especially after fighting the world’s best military after 12 plus years of war. They know the windows of opportunity of when to attack, and they know how long they have until we bring the big guns onto the scene.

The other thing that you don’t hear too much about is the amount of skeletal and back injuries that our soldiers are suffering, because we are asking them to wear all of this crap? I suspect the VA will be busy long after this war is over.

I think these load outs are indicative of the damage highly bureaucratic organizations like the military can inflict upon itself. You have a military constantly fighting with itself as to it’s true goal–is it to win wars, or to render warfare ‘safe and sane’ to use a fireworks analogy.

Then of course there is the politics of the matter, which the west is a victim of as well. If the public is more concerned with their troops fighting a war safely and coming home alive, and less concerned with winning a war at all costs, then I blame the politicians for pushing such a ridiculous concept. It put’s into question why we are there in the first place, if in fact we are this concerned with the actions within that war, as opposed to actually winning it? I know our enemies could care less about such frivolous things–and they are purely focused on the win–and at all costs.

Of course you want to protect the troops as best we can, but how are we protecting them when they can’t move around? Or they become heat casualties because of all the stuff they are carrying. Are we fully focused on winning the war, and at all costs–or are we only willing to fight a war if it is done safely from an MRAP, while wearing over a hundred pounds of kit and a reflective belt. lol

I guess another way to look at this, is to see what the enemy is doing. Do you think the enemy has the same obsession with making warfare safe and sane, and loading down their troops with over a hundred pounds of kit? Likewise, do they believe carrying more kit than us, makes them more combat effective on the battlefield? Because in this contest over who has the heaviest load, we are winning hands down. lol

Finally, I am always inspired by the great thinkers of warfare, like Sun Tzu. These guys understood warfare and strategy, and they lived it. In this contest between the west and groups like Al Qaeda or the Taliban, we will always see the enemy attacking weakness with strength because there is no way they can take us on directly. The Vietnamese understood this in the Vietnam War as well. Sun Tzu understood this in his war against the Chu’s, and so on. This is some basic stuff here, and our military leaders continue to forget this.  –Matt


Rifle Platoon Basic Load, OEF XII, 1/A/2/504 PIR

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Military News: New Zealand–A Haka Farewell To The Fallen

This Haka ceremony in New Zealand will send shivers down your spine. A warrior’s farewell like this is universally inspirational and certainly a unique military tradition.

Thanks to Mike on Facebook for sending me this. Rest in peace to the fallen. –Matt


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Military News: VEERP Allows Marines To Exit Service Early

From stop-loss to VEERP. lol I would be very curious as to how many Marines are willing to actually use this option? The Marines are also trying to shed surplus officers. Here is the quote:

The Marine Corps is preparing to shed what it calls a “surplus” of senior field-grade officers with 20 or more years of service by forcing as many as 111 to retire. About 60 of those will be selected by a lieutenant colonel Selective Early Retirement Board and about 51 by a colonel SERB.

Both of these moves are part of the force reduction goals of the Marines and of the services. Here is a quote that talks about how many Marines they plan on cutting specifically.(Jan. 26, 2012)

The Marine Corps will slash 20,000 Marines as part of Defense Department-wide budget cuts, reducing its end strength to about 182,000, top Pentagon officials announced Thursday.

The thing here is how will this impact our industry? Well for one, we will see an increase in interest from unemployed veterans. The reason here is the guys will want to get out of the service to go to school or whatever, and get away from ‘all things military’. But once the reality of a lack of jobs sinks in, that they will be defaulting to work they know they will be qualified for–and that is contracting. Which is great, and this industry has a lot of areas for veterans to get into.

Also, I am seeing an increase of emails from unemployed veterans, seeking advice about how to get into the contracting world. Matter of fact, I am seeing an increase world wide from folks interested in this type of work.

The other thing that needs to be mentioned is that this sea of unemployed veterans is a battle hardened and younger group. Doom on those companies who fail to recognize this demographic, or fail to reach out and understand how to work with them. These guys are the wartime generation, where all they have known is war in the services. They have some incredible experiences, both in combat and in leadership, and companies need to recognize the value of this.

I would also guess that most are Generation Y types or millennials, mixed with a few retirees of the Generation X group. Who knows, but from my personal experience working in the industry, this is what I am starting to see.

Interesting stuff and good luck to all of them with their job search. –Matt


VEERP allows Marines to exit service early
By Lance Cpl. Derrick K. Irions
Officials from Manpower and Reserve Affairs recently released a revised Voluntary Enlisted Early Release Program that provides eligible applicants an opportunity to exit military service up to one year ahead of their scheduled separation date.
Marine Administrative Message 371/12 promotes force shaping measures in accordance with budget cutbacks and personnel reduction plans.
Marines with an end of active service date within fiscal year 2013 (Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013) are eligible to utilize VEERP from 90 to 365 days before their original EAS, said Sgt. Cassandra Espinoza, a career planner with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Some eligibility requirements include the completion of the transition readiness seminar, not being stabilized for a deployment and being eligible for honorable or general (under honorable conditions) discharge.
“I’m using VEERP because I want to relax and let the transitional impact set in,” said Cpl. Kayla M. Hermann, a combat photographer with H&S Bn., here.

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UAE: The UAE Military Is Recruiting 3,000 Colombians

The UAE has 80,000 square kilometers and have some military forces of around 50,000 troops. Because oil is one of the world’s richest nations. Although only 900,000 native citizens, has a population of 6 million people from countless nations. “What we realized the UAE, and is the reason why they are rapidly strengthening its army incorporating soldiers of different nationalities, is that they have several threats that make them very vulnerable. Our mission further includes different aspects ranging from urban defense against terrorist attacks and control civil uprisings and even be prepared against possible border conflict with Iran. “explains exoficial.
One reason why the government decided to accelerate UAE recently hiring former military around the world has to do with what has happened in countries hit by the so-called Arab spring, consisting of civil uprisings that ended with the overthrow governments in several countries in the Middle East.

Check this news out. This came through a Google Alert I set up, and I had to translate it in order to see what was up. The above quote is what grabbed my attention. The UAE is planning for a future where refugees and problems are streaming from other ‘collapsing’ countries, or even having to deal with internal rebellion or their own Arab Spring. That, and protecting oil infrastructure and pipelines requires a lot of muscle.

Not to mention that if Iran lashes back if they are attacked by Israel, then the UAE might be a potential target. Either way, they are wanting to recruit a bunch of foreign soldiers with combat experience.

Now this is a separate deal from the Reflex Responses gig, at least from what I can gather. The UAE military is directly recruiting these guys and paying them pretty good.

An active soldier in Colombia earn on average 950,000 pesos a month. Figure down to 690,000 when they are pensioners. Being part of the UAE Army soldier to that pay almost 5 million pesos. The figures are based on range. A lieutenant, who earns approximately 1,400,000 pesos in Colombia, is tempted to go for a salary of 6 and a half million pesos a month. The offer for a colonel in Colombia perceived 5,500,000, can reach $ 18,000.

Colombia is probably a little worried that the UAE will draw all of their top tier retired guys, or even motivate some folks to leave the military just to join this crew. I also imagine Colombians will be popular contract soldiers in Mexico, now that Nieto has won and his ‘security adviser’ is a retired Colombian general. lol –Matt


Former members of the homeland to the United Arab
June 30, 2012
More than 800 former military nation Colombians, many of them elite, have enlisted in the Army in the UAE. We pay up to $ 18,000 a month. One that does not stop bleeding.

For the past year, dozens of the best soldiers in the country are leaving the ranks of the Colombian Army. Most of them are seasoned experienced military who fought in elite units and special forces, among others. The reason why many have decided to hang up their uniforms after ten or 15 years of service is as exotic as controversial. Resigned from the army of his country to travel and sign up to join the Army and military in the UAE.

The matter has not been away from controversy and in some sectors of the disbanded army has caused discomfort. “They have recruited experienced soldiers in combat, men with years of valuable service and that the Army also has invested heavily in their training. It is certainly a loss for the Army. But there’s not much you can do because it is not nothing illegal, “said to Semana a general. What says the officer summarized the official position of the Armed Forces, who are powerless such recruitment. “The trouble is we can not do anything to retain and prevent the lower request because it is a matter of supply and demand. To go to UAE are paid wages that are five to ten times more than they earn here,” says the general.

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