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Arctic Emphasis

tomahawk6

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We seem to be trying to reinvent the wheel. The Pentagon wants to train and idenitfy soldiers for arctic duty. When I started my career people earned certain designations through schools such as jungle expert and arctic expert.Just like completing Ranger School designated you as 11Bravo 2 V and being airborne saw your designation 11 Bravo 2 P.The number after Bravo is your rank.

 

tomahawk6

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We used to have 2 brigades one in Fairbanks at Ft Wainwright, the other in Anchorage at Ft Richardson. Now we have an AIrborne Brigade and an infantry brigade. Then the Army based a light division which was similar to the 10th Mountain. If we are really serious we would base at least a division in Alaska and add one to Ft Lewis.
 

medicineman

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I'm guessing folks would pull pin if they got posted there if they were from places that were (a) generally warm, (b) not isolated?
 

MarkOttawa

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More on US Army and Alaska/Arctic,
note Nordics (USMC giving up basing in Norway as part of Pacific pivot https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/2020/08/washington-pulls-700-us-marines-out-norway) and, gasp, Himalayas!


Army’s new Arctic strategy aims to build expeditionary capability

The Army’s newly released Arctic strategy will primarily impact troops stationed in Alaska, but the document has global ambitions that go beyond the northernmost U.S. state.

The strategy document released Tuesday, “Regaining Arctic Dominance [when did US Army ever have it?],” lays out the Army’s plans to establish a two-star headquarters in Alaska to manage Arctic-focused combat brigades outfitted with tracked vehicles, tents, sleds and other equipment to help soldiers navigate deep snow and rugged terrain.

The strategy also discusses plans to put a multi-domain task force in Alaska that combines intelligence, cyber, space and electronic warfare to deny access to enemy forces — important for a region where sea lanes and flight routes are needed to traverse great distances.

Maj. Gen. Peter Andrysiak, the Army’s top officer in Alaska, said soldiers up north have already started shifting their summer-focused training cycle into the winter months to get used to jumping and living in the cold…

The strategy is also intended to develop an expeditionary, cold-weather force able to deploy outside the United States.

The strategy’s forward, cosigned by Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville and former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, mentioned plans to train alongside Indian military forces in the Himalayas.


“We are trying to build an Arctic capability that is effective, and not only in the Arctic region, but other areas of extreme cold weather, high altitude and mountainous environments, of which the Himalayas do qualify
[emphasis added],” said Elizabeth Felling, a strategic planner for the Army who joined the call with reporters.

European partners, like Norway, Sweden and Finland, are also beginning to coordinate with Andrysiak’s command to find cold weather training opportunities [emphasis added], Andrysiak told Army Times previously. But the Arctic strategy goes beyond simply training with foreign forces.

“With the forces in Alaska, when they’re properly trained and equipped, we can ensure an Arctic-capable formation to meet the demands of our geographic combatant commanders around the globe, whatever those may be,” Felling added.

Army Alaska command is planning future exercises with Indian troops in the Himalayas, where India has a contentious border with neighboring China.

The command also recently took over responsibility for Yudh Abhyas, a bi-annual exercise with the Indian military. The exercise was previously held at Joint Base Lewis McChord, in Washington state, and focused on desert climates, but that’s now changing to an Arctic mission
[emphasis added]…’
https://www.armytimes.com/news/your...ategy-aims-to-build-expeditionary-capability/


Mark
Ottawa
 

daftandbarmy

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More on US Army and Alaska/Arctic,
note Nordics (USMC giving up basing in Norway as part of Pacific pivot https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/2020/08/washington-pulls-700-us-marines-out-norway) and, gasp, Himalayas!





Mark
Ottawa

Because, you know, North American mountain ranges aren't big enough...

Regardless, my experience with 'elite' US troops in arctic mountainous conditions in the wintertime suggests that they:
a) seldom leave the roads and
b) when they do, it's usually not on foot/ski/snowshoe :)

So they could probably just stay in California.


The Alaska and Aleutian ranges—together with the Talkeetna, Chugach, and Wrangell mountains, the interior part of the St. Elias Mountains, and the Boundary Ranges of southeastern Alaska and flanking interior sectors of northwestern British Columbia (Canada)—constitute the most massive and spectacular mountain system in North America.

The Alaska Range merges on its western end with the Aleutian Range between Iliamna Lake and Mount Spurr and extends in a great arc some 600 miles (1,000 km) to the Canadian border at the southeastern end. That great mountain wall is about 120 miles (200 km) wide near Mount Spurr and about 60 miles wide in the vicinity of Denali (Mount McKinley), gradually narrowing to about 30 miles (48 km) near the Canadian border. The range is extremely rugged and glaciated. The crest of most of the range averages between 7,000 and 9,000 feet (2,100 to 2,700 metres) in elevation, with a number of peaks exceeding 10,000 feet (1,600 km). The heavily glaciated massif of Denali—this Native American name means “The High One” or “The Great One”—at 20,310 feet (6,190 metres) the highest point in North America; a spectacular companion peak is Mount Foraker (17,400 feet [5,304 metres]), just to the southwest.

 

reveng

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You can follow the Canadian lead on Arctic Warfare, hah, hah, no please don't......

Hmm...immediate response (domestic/arctic, NEO etc), security force assistance...

You'd almost think we have certain Inf Bns kicking around that might be a good fit...
 
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MarkOttawa

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Russia mad about Norway letting USAF, US Navy uses bases in its high north:

Russia’s FM spokesperson calls Norway’s military deal with U.S. “provocative”​

Oslo follows a deliberate and destructive line towards aggravating tensions in the Euro-Arctic region, and destroying Russian-Norwegian relations, the spokeswomen for Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a press briefing last week
Maria Zakharova is known for her undiplomatic comments and few raise eyebrows as she lashes out against neighboring countries. The spokeswomen’s wordings at this week’s briefing, however, were especially strong.

Zakharova said Oslo’s enthusiasm over US steps to strengthen its military presence in Norway is provocative.

Pointing to the recently signed agreement which opens for the United States to use four dedicated locations in Norway for joint military purposes, Zakharova said “this is yet another proof that Oslo is gradually abandoning the policy of self-imposed restraints.”

She continued: “This is fully in line with the policy of military build-up and active involvement of NATO in the Arctic.”

Two of the locations where the United States could build infrastructure are Evenes airport and the nearby Ramsund naval station.

Zakharova said this activity happens “in direct proximity to the Russian border.”

Evenes airport is more than 500 kilometers from Norway’s border to Russia if taking a straight line through Finland. In comparison, all of the powerful Northern Fleet’s nuclear submarine bases are within a distance of 60 to 100 kilometers from the border to Norway.

Norway denies accusation​


Norway’s Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told the Barents Observer two weeks ago that “this agreement is not escalating tensions with Russia.”

“The agreement says the United States fully respects Norway’s base politics, not allowing for foreign military bases,” Bakke-Jensen underlined.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman disagrees.

She said Russia regards such activities as “Oslo’s deliberate and destructive line towards aggravating tensions in the Euro-Arctic region and destroying Russian-Norwegian relations.”

“This is not our choice. Russia remains open to an equal and constructive dialogue on building confidence and security in the region, as we pointed out to the Norwegian authorities on numerous occasions,” she ended.

Mark
Ottawa
 

lenaitch

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A policy of "self imposed restraint" is something Russia should perhaps consider.
 

daftandbarmy

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A policy of "self imposed restraint" is something Russia should perhaps consider.

Pot and kettle....


Russia's Military Presence in the Arctic

The increased operational tempo, scale, and testing of nuclear weapons have been distinct characteristics of Russian military exercises in the Arctic over the past four years. Emphasis is placed on short warning time and strategic and tactical mobility. Russia most recently exercised its bastion defense capabilities during its August 2019 Ocean Shield Exercise. While exercising in the Baltic Sea, the Northern Fleet entered the Northern Sea and engaged in live-fire demonstrations in the Norwegian Sea. These efforts demonstrate a clear forward line of defense to secure the GIUK-N gap and block the English Channel. The purpose of these exercises is to display Russia’s ability to project power beyond its Arctic waters and assert maritime control.

It is important to note that a similar pattern of Russian tactics occurred nearly 10 months prior when Russia seized the Kerch Strait, a narrow artery linking the Black Sea and Sea of Azov, which has effectively closed the Sea of Azov.

 

CBH99

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A policy of "self imposed restraint" is something Russia should perhaps consider.
That line caught me too! Stood out as a very "Ummmmmmm, did I just read that correctly?" line I had to re-read.

Russia, meet your pain in the ass neighbour....Russia. :sneaky:


But in all seriousness, Norway was one of the founding members of NATO along with the USA, and they have always maintained good relations and strong defense ties. The idea of US ships stopping at, or getting support from, Norway naval bases when they are deployed to the region seems like an obvious no-brainer. Nor is it anything new.

Am I missing something about why Russia's FM spokesperson is upset about this?
 

reveng

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Am I missing something about why Russia's FM spokesperson is upset about this?
They were probably hoping to turn that "Occupied" show into a reality series. You know... IOT generate some revenue. Bulgarian umbrellas don't come cheap!
 

MarkOttawa

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Big US Alaska ex. Northern Edge:

Joint exercise of US forces in Alaska mimics ‘what future conflict could feel like’​

The massive Northern Edge joint exercise kicked off Monday [May 3] in Alaska, bringing together about 15,000 U.S. airmen, sailors, Marines and soldiers and 240 ships and aircraft, including the Air Force’s newly upgraded fighter, the F-15EX Eagle ll.

The two-week field training spans the vast state and the ocean waters near it, with troops concentrated in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex and the Gulf of Alaska.

Other sites playing a role include Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Eielson Air Force Base, Allen Army Airfield, King Salmon, Cold Bay, Fairbanks International Airport, Juneau International Airport and Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, the Air Force said in an April 23 news release. Training scenarios will also make use of Fairchild Air Force Base and Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

The 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will be conducting operational tests of the F-15EX fighter jet, which features upgraded computing, sensors and weapons. Northern Edge will be the “first look at large force integration” for the new jet, including with fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighters, the Air Force said in a news release Thursday.

The exercise comes on the heels of the public release in March of the Army’s Arctic strategy, the end goal of which is to train and equip soldiers to operate and fight in extreme cold for extended periods with minimal outside support...

It is an opportunity to experiment with joint-force concepts now being implemented by the various services, Boyer said.

Among the concepts being refined are the Air Force’s agile combat employment, which uses a hub-and-spoke network that allows airmen to deploy and maneuver more rapidly; the Defense Department’s joint all-domain command and control, the goal of which is to connect all sensors within the armed forces into a single network; and the all-domain operation centers, which the Army is developing to support the DOD command-and-control concept [emphasis added]...

Major Navy units participating in the exercise are the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and Carrier Air Wing 11 and also the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Participating from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska are the 25th Infantry Division’s 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) and 3rd Expeditionary Air and Space Task Force.

Soldiers from the 17th Field Artillery Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are also joining the drills.

Mark
Ottawa
 

daftandbarmy

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Big US Alaska ex. Northern Edge:



Mark
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Based on what I've seen, the US military (in general) is the least prepared to operate in an arctic environment without massive infrastructure support.

For example, if you take out the 'Pizza BV' their morale goes right into the tank :)
 

Blackadder1916

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Based on what I've seen, the US military (in general) is the least prepared to operate in an arctic environment without massive infrastructure support.

For example, if you take out the 'Pizza BV' their morale goes right into the tank :)

But then, they don't go anywhere without massive infrastructure support. We think of one or two staff officers as a commitment to a multinational operation and a company as a major deployment. They use the terminology "combat team" to describe what would be their basic doctrinal concept. Their combat team is our brigade. Still, you are correct. They don't handle cold very well. Things may have changed with global warming but I remember one exercise many years ago in Wainwright when some of the you'alls from Alaska were down. One inspired piece of kit was a stainless steel portable toilet seat. Good for strength and ease of cleaning but guess what happens when bare flesh meets steel at -40 (C or F doesn't matter).
 
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