Posts Tagged military

UAE: Former Colombian Soldiers Talk About Life In The UAE Military

The truth is that this country, which is under construction and is home to 5 million immigrants, which the Arabs call “expatriates”, aims to grow as a nation, but not with the human material to do so. Their ability to self-protection is insufficient.
So the sheik (King Amir) have government to government agreements with Korea, France and Thailand.
“In UAE all people are equal. There Living Allowance, education and health care are free, military service is voluntary, professional expertise is valued and we, despite being Colombian, we can access all this because our contract includes a resident visa and cedula UAE, “said Camargo…

Pretty cool article and this is a follow up from a post I did on it awhile back. Although this was translated through Google Translator, so it is a little rough. But I was able to get the gist and here are some things that perked me up. The first is how well these guys are treated. They refer to this job as the ‘Arab Dream’ and here is a quote about pay and conditions.

In Colombia earned 800,000 pesos in bonus. In Abu Dhabi has a salary of $ 3,000 free, receiving room and board and free healthcare. Also learned English. In the afternoon, he and his companions travel on buses that are willing to travel to a mall, where they can buy cleaning supplies and, if they want food.

One result when you create an ‘Arab Dream’ or excellent living wage and conditions, is that you have competition for those jobs. So here is the quote that showed how hard it is to get in.

Every three months there interviews for new staff, but filters exceed four times the standard that is the security forces.
We present an average of 1,700 people, including officers and soldiers of all arms, including the police. The first filter is a safety study, training, units where work and experience. This step leaves a number of 700 men.
“Then come knowledge tests, and the group is refined in 400, passing even more detailed study that includes a certification in human rights and judicial situation daily. The final group is 200. That means nine passes one, “says Camargo.
Many do not know that in the last stage is one of the drug tests. It is the most expensive and can determine whether the person has used drugs in the past nine months. If positive, it is immediately rejected.

Not only that, but they are an equal opportunity employer with their latest move of recruiting women. Check this out.

The next addition, which is expected to be in June, aims to bring the first two women, a list of 200 candidates.

So far, according to this interview this force has not been used for anything other than training.  Although I imagine every Colombian in this force is aware of the Arab Spring and the threat by Iran. Interesting stuff. –Matt


The Colombian army serving in UAE
Jineth Bedoya Lima
February 16, 2013
They made history with operations against FARC. Better wages led them to seek the ‘Arab dream’.
“When I say here because I’m ready for the house, I know that within 48 hours I will hug my family. In the jungle, in Colombia, when I said I enlisted, could wait up to a month and did not pass nothing … “.
Camargo is a seasoned Special Forces man who had to choose between her love for the Army and the welfare of his wife and son. So over a year ago, he packed bags and went to the heart of the Arabian Desert, to wear the uniform of a foreign country that has accepted as a war hero.
Like him, 1,400 men retain staff and military doctrine of his former institution, but now serve the UAE government. Its commander is Mohamed Bin Sayed Al Nahyan, commander of the UAE armed forces, and now his mission is to provide security to the country’s infrastructure, which has only 850,000 inhabitants and is one of the largest oil producers in the world.
Long hours of fighting, sleepless nights, patrols and mines were lurking behind. The cambuches in the open now comfortable beds in rooms apartments and recognition “is not just a medal, but a living wage.”
At least that’s what I say all military consulted TIME.

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Industry Talk: Roelf Van Heerden And Men Lead PMPF Operation To Free MV Iceberg 1 Hostages

This is all types of cool. Basically the PMPF and their South African mentors/trainers rescued the hostages of the MV Iceberg 1 after a two week siege. This is significant, because this rescue/siege was conducted by a private South African force who commanded an assault force they trained, with the blessing of the Puntland government. And they rescued 22 hostages who had been held for over 1000 days, after a 10 day siege. Ross Perot, eat your heart out.

What is interesting about the account below is the tactics involved and how they adapted to the changing situation. And how Rolf van Heerden’s crew was able to finally resolve the siege using some recoilless weapons, minus the weapon sights. lol

“I asked Mohamed Farole if we could get hold of larger weapons or even mortars. I also talked personally to President Farole about the situation and he raised a concern that we might kill or injure the hostages. We did manage to get hold of a Soviet 82 mm B-10 recoilless rifle and a number of rounds and it wasn’t long before we had deployed it on the beach. With no sights available the crew took aim by aligning the weapon and the ship through the open breach and we fired a number of rounds, striking the vessel around the bridge area.
“The pirates on board obviously took fright and contacted the Puntland ambassador in Dubai to inform him that they wished to surrender but that we should stop shooting at them first. We held our fire on two occasions in an effort to give them the opportunity to surrender but, after a number of breakdowns in communication, I had had enough and we resumed the bombardment of the vessel with all available weapons.
“An old United States 106 mm recoilless rifle, unearthed from the rear of a private home, was the next heavy weapon to arrive, together with six rounds provided by the Puntland government. The aiming process was repeated and after two misses the crew found the correct range and four rounds smashed into the ship with resounding explosions, setting the vessel on fire. This effectively changed the pirates’ minds and they indicated that they really wished to surrender and talk.”

If you want a good primer on Roelf, check out his book called Four Ball One Tracer. He was a commanding officer for Executive Outcomes back in the day, and currently he works under the employ of the PMPF.

Now I am not sure if he is still with Sterling Corporate Services, Bancroft Global Development, or hired directly as a member of the PMPF? There was a lot of back and forth about money and the survival of the PMPF, and it is hard to say what the arrangement is now. All though it is obvious that the men of Sterling Corporate Services are still with the force, and they are still operating.

If you remember, SCS lost one of their men in a PMPF operation last year, and that put them on the map. The UN has been trying to shut them down because they are viewed as the competition that is making the UN look bad. lol Funny how the UN could support and oppose such a force, all at the same time?

With that said, there have been several sources that have identified the effectiveness of the SCS trained and mentored PMPF force, and a reduction in piracy could be attributed to their actions.

Building up indigenous ground forces has also helped. What has really thwarted pirate networks is a ground force known as the Puntland Maritime Police Force, according to an expert who has worked on the ground in Somalia. The PMPF is about 400 men, recruited locally and trained to be a professional anti-piracy police force. And it’s worked, says former Green Beret Roger Carstens, who is working on a project about Somalia and the maritime force and has spent much time on the ground there in recent months. “They basically went in and chased the pirates to keep them out,” Carstens told Situation Report. “That kept the pirates out of the pirate towns, where they staged their attacks, and it screwed [their] investors,” he said. But he warns that if support and resources ebb for the ground force, it could falter. That would be a good thing for the pirates.

“If they fail, you could easily see a resurgence of piracy writ large,” Carstens said, emphasizing that the concentration of pirate activity emanates from Puntland, an area of northeastern Somalia that was declared an autonomous state in 1998.

The other thing that I was curious about is who is paying for the PMPF now? I imagine that the UAE is still funding it. or maybe the owners of the Iceberg paid Puntland to conduct this rescue? Who knows and if anyone is familiar with the funding and survival of the PMPF, I am all ears. Either way, good on Roelf and company and good on the PMPF for rescuing these guys. –Matt


PMPF forces conducting operations to free crew of MV Iceberg 1.


Exclusive: South African-led operation frees hostages from Somali pirates
Written by Andrew Hudson
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 This is
In December 2012 the Puntland Maritime Police Force rescued 22 sailors who had been held hostage on board the Panama-registered ship Iceberg 1 for nearly three years – the longest period for any hostages held by Somali pirates. Roelf van Heerden, the South African commander of the ground force, gives an exclusive first-hand account of the operation.
The Iceberg 1, a 4 500 tonne roll on/roll off cargo vessel owned by Dubai-based Azal Shipping, was hijacked just ten nautical miles off Aden, Yemen, on March 29, 2010. She was carrying generators, transformers and fuel tanks and had a crew of 24 from Yemen, India, Ghana, Sudan, Pakistan and the Philippines.
The Iceberg 1 eventually ran aground in September 2011 off Garacad, a small coastal village in the Galmudug region on Somalia’s eastern seaboard. With two hostages dead, a continuing standoff between the owners and the pirates, and an exhausted, sickly crew of hostages, the last months of 2012 held little prospect of an end to the ordeal. That was until the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF), under the command of a team of South Africans, took action.
Roelf van Heerden, who commanded the ground forces, is permanently employed by the PMPF and his main role, together with other South Africans, is to train the PMPF and deploy the police force. Van Heerden now takes up the story:
“On 28 October 2012 Mohamed Farole, son of Puntland’s President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole, called me at the headquarters of the PMPF in Bossaso and briefed me about the Iceberg. Mohamed, who is the director of the PMPF, also asked me to carefully assess whether the PMPF could undertake an operation aimed at freeing the hostages.
“All previous attempts to resolve the hijacking, including offers of a ransom, had failed due to disagreements between the parties on the ransom amount, the means and the location of the ransom transfer. The ship’s crew were also reportedly in a sorry physical and mental state. The first fatality, a Yemeni, was said to have committed suicide in October 2010 after continuous harassment by the pirates. The other fatality amongst the hostages was the first officer, Dhiraj Kumar Tiwari, who had been severely tortured by the pirates and had not been seen since September 2011.
“The vessel had also run out of fuel and the seasonal high winds had caused both the ship’s anchors to break loose allowing the vessel to drift helplessly onto the rocks. The Iceberg’s hull had ruptured and the lower hold containing eighteen very large generators in 12-metre containers had flooded.

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Funny Stuff: How To Destroy The Image Of A Nation’s Fighting Soldier– Pregnancy Simulator Training

This is funny, but is also disgusting. This is the kind of training you do not video tape, and you do not promote or write about. Because now any current or future adversaries are laughing at our soldiers because of this. This does not project an image of fierce, frightening killers that will locate, close with and destroy the enemy. lol
It is my view that an enemy and future enemies should fear our soldiers. They should fear going to battle against our military because our military is deadly and efficient, but also frightening in image. It is the psychological edge that we should seek to gain, and posting videos of our soldiers being ordered to conduct ‘pregnancy simulator training’ does immense damage to that image.
Either way, laugh your head off and pass this around, because the US military needs to learn the hard way why they should not do this kind of thing and allow it to be video taped. –Matt


Soldiers don fake belly, breasts to better understand pregnant troops’ exercise concerns
Soldiers don ‘pregnancy simulators’
February 16, 2012
The Army is ordering its hardened combat veterans to wear fake breasts and empathy bellies so they can better understand how pregnant soldiers feel during physical training.
This week, 14 non-commissioned officers at Camp Zama took turns wearing the “pregnancy simulators” as they stretched, twisted and exercised during a three-day class that teaches them to serve as fitness instructors for pregnant soldiers and new mothers.
Army enlisted leaders all over the world are being ordered to take the Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Exercise Leaders Course, or PPPT, according to U.S. Army Medical Activity Japan health promotion educator Jana York.
Developed by the Army in 2008, the course includes aerobics classes, pool sessions and classroom studies on the physiology of pregnant women. The NCOs learn special exercises for pregnant women, who shouldn’t push themselves too hard or participate in high-impact activities such as snowboarding, bungee jumping or horse riding, York said.

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Jobs: Australia Is Looking For A Few Good ‘US’ Veterans

Overseas Applicants
The Australian Defence Force looks to overseas candidates to fill gaps in our Services, which can’t currently be satisfied by standard recruitment. We recognise that these candidates can bring skills and attributes to the Navy, Army and Air Force that will strengthen their overall operation and success rate…
Who we are looking for
We are looking for serving or ex-serving foreign military personnel, who can directly transfer their job and life skills to whichever Service they join, with limited training and preparation. -From the Australian Defense Force Recruitment Center

Interesting move by the Australian government. It totally makes sense that they would go this route and I am sure they will get plenty of applicants from all over the place. If you would like to apply and you are a veteran (non-veterans are not wanted according to the site), then follow this link and check it out. I have not found any statement by our State Department or US government in regards to this matter, and I will add any new info on this if it comes up. Oh, and I am not a recruiter for the Australians, so don’t send me a resume. lol Good luck. –Matt


Australia Looking for a Few Good [US] Veterans
December 28, 2011
By Bryant Jordan
With the Iraq War officially over and the Army downsizing in the face of defense budget pressure, more troops will be making the transition back to civilian life — a potentially challenging prospect given the state of the economy.
But for those who want to stay in uniform, there may be a new option emerging — just not an American one. Australia has put out the “Help Wanted” sign for foreign national veterans.
“We are looking for serving or ex-serving foreign military personnel, who can directly transfer their job and life skills to whichever Service they join, with limited training and preparation,” the Australian Defence Force has announced on its website.
Jobs to be filled include special forces types, intelligence officers and submariners, according to the announcement, but the separate recruitment pages for each service branch show that the Aussies will consider veterans with a broad range of military experience.
As the U.S. tightens its defense belt slightly over the next year, the Army and Marine Corps will cut end strength by thousands of men and women. The Army expects to lose about 7,400 Soldiers by October, to reach an end strength of 562,000.

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Maritime Security: Italy To Use Military To Guard Merchant Ships Against Pirates

Interesting news, and this is coming right after a report of another Italian vessel being taken. The reason why it was taken is because their guard force on the boat was not armed. Funny how some folks still think that a less than lethal, unarmed guard force is still a good idea?  On the bright side, it sounds like the MV Montecristo was retaken by British and US commandos and all of the hostages have been released.

As far as using military assets on merchant vessels, I guess that will work. Although I certainly hope that these shipping companies are paying the bill for such a thing, because that is a pretty sweet deal to get a military protection force on their boats for free.  Maybe Italian banks or jewelry stores should write their lawmakers and ask if they will provide military details to protect their businesses?

The Italian navy will have to re-adjust as well to service all of these private vessels. And what is interesting with that is aren’t these vessels losing their merchant status by posting military folks on them?  Aren’t they now technically military vessels?  For example, if these vessels were attacked by an enemy of Italy, that the vessel would be considered a military target and not a civilian target. And who would be in charge on these vessels, the ship’s captain or the military force? I don’t know, and these are some interesting legal questions that I do not have an answer for. –Matt


Italy to use military to guard merchant ships against pirates
October 11, 2011
By Barry Moody
Italy is to station military forces on its merchant vessels to guard against attacks by Somali pirates, shipping sources said on Tuesday, the day after another of its ships was attacked off the anarchic east African country.
Many ships already carry private security contractors to try to prevent hijacks, but deployment of military forces on merchant vessels would mark a clear escalation in measures to combat piracy, which costs the world economy billions of dollars each year.
The sources said Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa would sign an agreement later on Tuesday with the confederation of Italian ship owners to put military guards on board vessels in the huge area of the Indian Ocean at risk from Somali pirates, who have hijacked several Italian ships.
The Montecristo, an Italian cargo ship, was attacked by five men in a small boat off the coast of Somalia on Monday, its owner the D’Alesio Group said. A pirate told Reuters by phone that it was under their control. The ship had 23 crew from Italy, India and Ukraine.

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Industry Talk: Extremists Use Iranian Weapons, Iraq Command Spokesman Says

This is not particularly new, and I have talked about IRAMs and EFPs here in the past. But it is still important to keep the information flow going out there as far as what are the ongoing threats. Military forces and contractors are still in Iraq, and they still face these threats. It is also important to point out that we have seen the highest amount of deaths in Iraq since 2009.

Both of these types of weapons are pretty specialized, and it would make sense that Iran would be behind the construction of ‘effective’ IRAM’s and EFP’s. It is also important to note that the spokesman made a very interesting point about the construction of this stuff. Here is the quote, and this kind of goes against the conventional wisdom about how ‘easy’ these weapons are to produce.

Neither weapon is something someone can produce on a lathe in a garage. The EFP requires very precise machining, and the explosive charge is cast. For the IRAM to be effective, it requires specially machined parts to attach the larger warhead to the missile.
The firing mechanisms are factory-made electronic parts that have no other use than firing off IRAMs or EFPs.
And the forensic teams can categorically state that the weapons are from Iran. In one case, an IRAM built in Iran was turned over to the Quds Force – part of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard – and then given to an Iraqi extremist in Kitab Hezbollah, a terrorist group that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Quds Force, officials said.

So there you have it, and take that for what it is worth. I would imagine that insurgents would take the path of least resistance when it comes to weapons. If Quds are handing these things out, then why go through the effort to make these weapons in a garage?  DIY weapons are nice and all, but getting them for free is better. Especially if Iran is logistically able to keep the flow of weapons consistent and sufficient. –Matt

Extremists Use Iranian Weapons, Iraq Command Spokesman Says
By Jim Garamone?American Forces Press Service
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq, July 11, 2011 – There is no doubt that deadly weapons being used against American forces in Iraq originated in Iran, a U.S. Forces Iraq spokesman said here today.
Army Maj. Gen. Jeff Buchanan led reporters traveling with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta on a tour of Joint Task Force Troy here, where they were free to talk to the men and women who examine all enemy ordnance to determine its origin and to look for ways to defeat the threat or prosecute those who launch attacks.
Part of the unit is the combined explosive exploitation cell laboratories. “When p[explosive ordnance disposal] teams go out and they respond to an explosive event, they collect whatever evidence they find and bring it back,” said a military official at the unit, speaking on background. “We take that evidence and take it apart and exploit it.”
The team looks at the weapon from a technical and chemical viewpoint. “You put all those puzzles together, and you can determine where they are from,” the official said. The team also can sweep the weapons for fingerprints and DNA evidence.

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