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The RFC, is a statutory body under the Defence Act, comprises members of the Reserve Units, individuals and associations. It acts as the representative of the Reserves (ResF), Volunteer or  Part-Time forces, component of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), and serves as an advisory body on all matters concerning the Reserves in the SANDF.  The RFC assists in promoting and maintaining the Reserves as an integral part of the SANDF.


This RFC website is the primary communication channel for all information relevant to Reserves in South Africa. Please register, top right corner, so that we can keep you updated at all times. We would appreciate your comments, suggestions and articles so that we can fullfill our role of communicating with our stakeholders - send an email to communication@rfcsa.org

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News February 2015
Written by Reuters, Friday, 27 February 2015

Egyptian police.Two Egyptian policemen accused of killing a lawyer in custody were detained on Thursday on the orders of an Egyptian prosecutor, judicial sources said, a rare action against members of the security forces.

The officers, a lieutenant colonel and a major, will be held for four days pending investigations in to the death of Karim Hamdy on Tuesday, sources at the prosecutor's office said, and could be charged with murder.

Hamdy, 27, died from torture two days after his arrest and the initial forensic report showed he had sustained fractures in the ribs, bruises and bleeding in the chest and head, they said.

Dozens of lawyers staged a protest outside a Cairo court to protest about Hamdy's death. They carried pictures of him and chanted "the Interior Ministry are thugs".

Hamdy was arrested at his home on charges of taking part in anti-government protests organised by the Muslim Brotherhood, the movement that the army removed from power in mid-2013.
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Written by Reuters, Friday, 27 February 2015

The US military has ended Ebola relief efforts in Liberia.The United States military officially ended a mission to build treatment facilities to combat an Ebola outbreak in Liberia on Thursday, months earlier than expected, in the latest indication that a year-long epidemic in West Africa is waning.

Washington launched the mission five months ago and the force peaked at over 2,800 troops at a time when Liberia was at the epicentre of the worst Ebola epidemic on record.

Nearly 10,000 people have died in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea over the past year. More than 4,000 of those deaths were in Liberia, but the number of new cases has plummeted in recent months, leaving many treatment centres empty and the mission has already begun winding down.

"While our large scale military mission is ending...the fight to get to zero cases will continue and the (Joint Force Command) has ensured capabilities were brought that will be sustained in the future," said U.S. Army Major General Gary Volesky.

The troops were deployed to support the international Ebola response mission led by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The operation was initially expected to last between nine and 12 months, said Volesky, the mission's commander.
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Written by Oscar Nkala, Friday, 27 February 2015

Canadian soldiers with other African and European soldiers.The Canadian Armed Forces have ordered the withdrawal and relocation of Canadian special forces from the town of Diffa in Niger after it came under sustained mortar and ground attacks by Boko Haram militants.

Last week, Boko Haram launched a full-scale assault on Diffa leading to the government declaration of a regional state of emergency and the launch of an army counter-offensive which prompted the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) to relocate its special forces instructors to an unspecified safe place in the interior of the country.

The troops from the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) are in Niger to train local army special forces in anti-terrorism operations and advanced skills which include weapons handling, shooting, communication system and mission planning as part of Exercise Flintlock, an annual U.S.-sponsored military exercise which runs with African forces until March 9.

“This was seen as a prudent measure given the current security situation [and] in order to allow participants from every nation to concentrate on getting as much out of Exercise Flintlock 15 training as possible.

"The government of Canada takes the situation with Boko Haram very seriously, the safety of our personnel is a top priority. All members are safe and well-situated in a secure environment,” Canadian military spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier told the Globe and Mail.
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Written by Reuters, Thursday, 26 February 2015

Islamic State militants.Governments are failing to protect millions of civilians from violence by states and armed groups, Amnesty International said on Wednesday, describing the global response to widespread conflict from Nigeria to Syria as "shameful and ineffective".

A year of catastrophic violence had led to one of the worst refugee crises in history, as the number of displaced people worldwide topped 50 million for the first time since the end of the World War Two, the rights group said in its annual report.

Almost 4 million refugees have fled a four-year civil war in Syria, and about 95 percent are being hosted by Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, according to the U.N. refugee agency, which has repeatedly urged rich nations to take more refugees.

"As people suffered an escalation in barbarous attacks and repression, the international community has been found wanting," Amnesty secretary general Salil Shetty said in a statement.

"It is abhorrent to see how wealthy countries' efforts to keep people out take precedence over their efforts to keep people alive."
  Read More...

Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A Congolese tank.Congolese government forces launched strikes against Rwandan Hutu rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo on Tuesday, military officials said, in the first combat since last month's announcement of a campaign to stamp out the group.

The Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), whose ranks include former soldiers and Hutu militiamen responsible for Rwanda's 1994 genocide, have been at the centre of nearly two decades of violence in eastern Congo.

Tuesday's fighting took place in South Kivu province in the hills inland from the lakeside town of Uvira, some 10 kilometres (6 miles) from the border with Burundi, Espérant Masudi, the provincial commander of operations, told Reuters.

Another officer with the Congolese army, known as the FARDC, said the assault, launched early in the morning, had captured all the FDLR's strongholds in the area.

"The FARDC launched a large attack in the Moyen Plateau of Mulenge ... It was a well-planned operation," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
  Read More...

Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Aftermath of a Boko Haram attack.Suicide bombers struck two bus stations in different parts of northern Nigeria on Tuesday, killing at least 26 people in attacks President Goodluck Jonathan blamed on Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group he said would soon be defeated.

In the first, a suicide bomber rushed onto a bus in the northeastern town of Potiskum before setting off a blast that destroyed the bus and killed 16 people, according to security and hospital sources.

A police spokesman said the bomber was a man, but that some witnesses had mistakenly blamed a teenage girl who was in fact one of the victims. On Sunday, a girl with explosives strapped to her killed five people outside a market in the same town.

In Tuesday's second attack, two suicide bombers in a car struck a major bus station in the north's main city of Kano, killing at least 10 people, police spokesman Ibrahim Idris said.

A Reuters witness saw the twisted, burnt wreckage of four vehicles and the charred remains of at least two bodies.
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Written by Kim Helfrich, Thursday, 26 February 2015

Spy satellite saga continuesAnother apparent revelation by the Al Jazeera/Guardian Spy Cables has led long-time spy satellite seeker after the truth, David Maynier, to ask whether the State Security Agency (SSA) was collecting intelligence on a Defence Intelligence satellite surveillance programme.

Maynier, who heads up the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party’s defence portfolio in Parliament and is also deputy shadow minister in intelligence matters, said the most recent release of information by the Al Jazeera investigative unit showed alleged “extensive co-operation” between Russia and South Africa on a secret satellite surveillance programme.

“A South African Secret Service, now State Security Agency (Foreign Branch), ‘Intelligence Information Report’ dated August 28, 2012, and classified ‘Top Secret’ reveals significant new information on strategic co-operation between Russia and South Africa.
  Read More...

Written by Kim Helfrich, Thursday, 26 February 2015

Defence treated poorly in National BudgetFinance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was all smiles and bonhomie toward Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, his Cabinet colleague tasked with the defence portfolio, during his national budget address but this did not mask the fact that the country’s military has, at best, marked time in the queue for more money.

Defence was allocated R44.579 billion by Nene to meet its requirements in the 2015/16 financial year. This is a just about R1.7 billion increase over the previous financial year’s allocation but when inflation and the exchange rate, particularly as regards the American dollar, are taken into account it becomes an effective decrease in operating budgets for arms of services and the units comprising them.

The Defence Review also earns a mention in the Defence vote section of the Finance Minister’s presentation. He points out the Department of Defence (DoD) will develop an implementation plan working toward milestone one of the Review in the 2015/16 financial year. The milestone is immediate and directed interventions to arrest the critical decline in defence capabilities. It affects all four arms of service – the air force, army, navy and military health service.
  

Written by defenceWeb, Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Klhaifa-1 122 mm howitzer.The Military Industry Corporation (MIC) Khalifa-1 122 mm self-propelled howitzer has made its international show debut at IDEX 2015 in Abu Dhabi, along with several other products.

The weapon is already in service with Sudan’s army. It comprises a 6x6 Kamaz 43118 truck with a protected four-door cab for the five crew and a 122 mm D-30 howitzer on the back of the vehicle. The normally towed howitzer is transplanted onto the vehicle, and as such is manually traversed (40 degrees left and right). Elevation is minus five to plus 70 degrees, or 15 to 70 degrees above the cabin.

Hydraulically lowered stabilisers are used to anchor the vehicle when firing and the steel sides are hydraulically folded down in order to give access to artillery shells – 45 projectiles and charges are carried. Range is around 17 km and maximum firing rate is eight rounds per minute. The 20 500 kg vehicle can be readied for firing within 90 seconds. The vehicle’s top speed is around 90 km/h.

The vehicle can be fitted with the Karary IGZ01 fire control system, which includes a laser range finder, GPS, telecommunications device etc.
  

Written by Oscar Nkala, Thursday, 26 February 2015

Somali troops.The outgoing commander of the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) in Somalia, Brigadier General Massimo Mingiardi, says the mission will fail to achieve its objectives of setting up, training and equiping a professional Somali National Army (SNA) unless the US and European Union make the long term funding commitment needed to achieve the mission's objectives.

Addressing reporters at EU headquarters in Brussels last week, Mingiardi said he notes that a lot of work that has been done in training the Somali army over the past few years but there remains a possibility of failure due to a lack of long term commitments from the principal programme funders:

"I have been satisfied with the results so far but they are not enough..It would be very naïve to say we could have solved the problems of Somalia in the last year - not after 22 years of civil war.

"We are on a good track but the West needs a long-term commitment. Otherwise, or else we will commit the same mistakes made in other parts of Africa or the Middle East," he said.
  

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News January 2015
Written by Guy Martin, Friday, 30 January 2015

Fabian Msimang conferring officer ranks.The South African Air Force (SAAF) this morning held a joint Air Force Day and candidate officers commission parade at Air Force Base Waterkloof as the SAAF celebrates 95 years of existence.

31 candidate officers took part in the commissioning parade and were conferred officer’s ranks by the Chief of the Air Force (CAF), Lieutenant General Fabian Z Msimang, who also handed over the floating Sword of Honour to the candidate officer who excelled the most during her training. The Chief of the Air Force also announced that Air Force Bloemspruit was the Prestige Unit of the year for 2014.

“Apart from bearing witness to this commissioning parade of these new officers…we are commemorating the 95th anniversary of the South African Air Force...the second oldest in air force in the world. Through its 95 years of existence, it is evident that the South African Air Force has, and must continue to guarantee air power excellence in everything that it does. How else can it therefore be of consequence and a beacon of hope, if it does not appropriate its role in the African Agenda? This is one of the fundamental reasons compelling the South African Air Force in the coming financial year…to give special attention to capacity building and the enhancement of its capabilities.
  Read More...

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 30 January 2015

Ghanaian sailors.The Canadian government has donated two speedboats and diving equipment to the Ghana Navy in an effort to improve security on its waters.

The equipment, valued at one million dollars, was handed over to Ghana at Tema Harbour this week by Christopher Thornley, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana. The boats will be used for search and rescue, combating smuggling and other illegal activities at sea.

Ghana’s Deputy National Security Co-ordinator, Alhaji Salifu Osman, who received the equipment, thanked the Canadian government for the gesture, and promised that the boats would be utilised for their intended purposes, reports The Chronicle.

Osman said the donation was part of a training and equipment package from the Canadian government aimed at improving security in the Gulf of Guinea.
  Read More...

Written by Reuters, Friday, 30 January 2015

Egypt sees Sisi leave AU summit earlyEgyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi cut short a visit to the Ethiopian capital for an African Union summit, following a wave of deadly attacks on Thursday night in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula claimed by Islamic State's Egypt wing.

Sisi's office said in a statement emailed on Friday morning he was heading back to Cairo to follow the situation. At least 26 security personnel were killed late on Thursday in four separate attacks in North Sinai, in some of the worst anti-government violence in months.

Sisi had been scheduled to address the AU summit that began in Addis Ababa on Friday morning.

Egypt is fighting an Islamist insurgency based in the Sinai. Hundreds of security force members have been killed since the army ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013 after mass protests against his rule.
  Read More...

Written by Reuters, Friday, 30 January 2015

A Nigerian army vehicle.The African Union has endorsed a West African plan to set up a regional task force of 7,500 to fight Islamist Boko Haram militants, a senior official said on Thursday, a vital step towards securing U.N. Security Council backing.

Neighbours Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin agreed earlier this month to call on the African Union (AU) to seek U.N. Security Council support for their plan to take on insurgents who are fighting to create an Islamic state in northern Nigeria.

Boko Haram has made incursions into neighbouring Cameroon and threatens the stability of a region that includes Niger and Chad. Benin lies on Nigeria's western border.

"We are thinking of a force of 7,500 women and men. The next step is to submit (approval) to the U.N. Security Council," Smail Chergui, the commissioner of the AU's Peace and Security Council, told reporters on the sidelines of an African summit in Addis Ababa. Tackling Boko Haram was top of the agenda at the meeting of African leaders and officials.
  Read More...

Written by Reuters, Friday, 30 January 2015

Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh.A Minnesota man pleaded guilty on Thursday to federal charges in connection with a deadly coup attempt in the tiny African nation of Gambia in late December.

Papa Faal, 46, a former U.S. Army sergeant with ties to Gambia, was charged with conspiring to carry out a coup and a weapons violation. He pleaded guilty to both counts and was remanded into custody, according to court records.

Faal, from the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Park, was accused in federal court in Minnesota of conspiring with Texas businessman Cherno Njie and others of trying to carry out a coup to make Njie interim leader of Gambia, a nation of about 1.8 million people surrounded on three sides by Senegal.
  Read More...

Written by Guy Martin, Friday, 30 January 2015

Ugandan Nyoka.The Uganda People’s Defence Force is focusing on implementing its Defence Strategic Infrastructural Investment Plan (DSIIP), which is professionalising the military and building its capacity, with the help of recent oil money. In spite of acquisitions like six Su-30 fighters, much of the defence budget goes towards operational and personnel requirements, especially due to involvement in Somalia and combatting various rebel groups. Click here to learn more about Uganda’s military.
  

Written by Reuters, Friday, 30 January 2015

Abdel Fattah al Sisi.Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi cut short a visit to Ethiopia for an African Union summit on Friday, after Islamic State's Egyptian wing claimed the killing of at least 30 security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula.

Sisi's office said in a statement that Sisi would return to Cairo after Friday morning's opening session.

The four separate attacks on security forces in North Sinai on Thursday night were among the bloodiest in years. Most of the casualties occurred in the bombing of a military hotel and base in the heavily guarded provincial capital, al-Arish.

Security sources in Sinai said three military planes left al-Arish for Cairo on Friday morning carrying 30 body bags, some of them containing corpses in pieces from the bomb attacks. They said at least five men were in critical condition and the death toll was likely to rise.
  Read More...

Written by ISS Africa, Friday, 30 January 2015

The African Union.Is Africa slowly turning the rhetoric of democracy into action? The Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), which introduced to the continental body the values of democracy, rule of law and constitutionalism, is 13 years old. And its prohibition of seizing power unconstitutionally goes back even earlier to 2000, preceding the AU.

But the AU created a two-tier ranking of values, as Solomon Ayele Dersso, Head of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) programme at the Institute of Security Studies (ISS), pointed out at a seminar in Addis Ababa this week.

The AU implicitly ranked the prohibition against unconstitutional changes of government as a higher value by enforcing it with the sanction of suspension from membership of the AU.
  Read More...

Written by Reuters, Friday, 30 January 2015

Bulgarians detained by Sudanese rebelsSix Bulgarians working with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) were detained by Sudanese rebels after their helicopter made an emergency landing in Sudan's war-torn South Kordofan province, the Bulgarian foreign ministry said.

The three-member crew of the helicopter and three officers of Sofia-based Heli Air, the carrier that operated it, were being detained, a ministry spokeswoman told Reuters. The flight was scheduled from South Sudan to Khartoum.

Fighting between the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), which the ministry said was holding the Bulgarians, has increased in South Kordofan and Blue Nile provinces since peace talks collapsed in December.

"This helicopter flew into an active combat zone in South Kordofan that has been subject to bombings by the government," Mubarak Ardol, a spokesman for the rebels, told Reuters. "The SPLM-N thought it was an army helicopter, but after it landed they said they are with the UN.
  Read More...

Written by Reuters, Friday, 30 January 2015

UN will investighate Mali protest deathsUN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he would launch an inquiry into the deaths of three protesters in northern Mali, who witnesses said were killed when peacekeepers opened fired to disperse the demonstration.

The violence erupted on Tuesday in Gao as peacekeepers were meeting local leaders angry over a plan to create a buffer zone in the north that would force pro-government militia in the area to disarm while Tuareg separatist rebels would be less affected.

A spokesman for the UN mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said peacekeepers only fired warning shots after protesters threw rocks and petrol bombs at the base.

"The Secretary-General has decided to launch an inquiry to determine the facts surrounding this tragic incident. The United Nations will collaborate with the Government of Mali and all parties on the ground in this effort," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in New York on Thursday.
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News December 2014
December 08, 2014 8:30 pm • KIRBY KAUFMAN AND GREG FORBES Journal reporters
SIOUX CITY | The Sioux City school district will offer aerospace education next year through a new Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program.
The district was one of two selected nationwide by the Air Force to incorporate the program into its curriculum for the 2015-16 school year, Superintendent Paul Gausman said Monday during a press conference.
The district has not decided where classes will be held, but is currently looking into an empty space at the Sioux City Public Museum or East High School. Sioux City is the third city to receive the program in Iowa. The others are Council Bluffs and Waterloo, said Alison Benson, a spokeswoman for the school district.
More than 150 students have expressed interest in the program. Registration will be available in the fall. More than 100 high schools compete for the program each year, Gausman said.
  Read More...

Kayley Allen, Reporter December 10, 2014 Filed under News, School News
The annual Air Force Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (AFROTC) competition in Daytona Beach, Florida has been cancelled.
“The trip was cancelled because of lack of participation from other schools,” said Sargent Dave Cugier.
Members of AFROTC were set to leave on Dec. 3 and arrive back in St. Louis on Dec. 8. The competition was scheduled to take place at Lake Worth High School.
“At the competition we compete against other high schools with drill and ceremony routines,” said Cugier.
Lots of training and preparing for the competition has been taking place for the past months.
“The biggest word I can use to describe how the kids feel is disappointment. They all worked really hard. They’ve been working on their routines from late August until just a few weeks ago. It’s a major disappointment that it’s been cancelled,” said Cugier.
  

Posted 12/10/2014

Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs

12/10/2014 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Air Force Materiel Command is embracing the total force concept as it relies on Reserve assets to fill key leadership roles at the headquarters.

The command selected Maj. Gen. Catherine A. Chilton to serve as director of its Air, Space and Information Operations directorate. She will be in place indefinitely, replacing Brig. Gen. William Thornton, who retired in November.

Meanwhile, as Maj. Gen. H. Brent Baker transitions into his new position as AFMC vice commander, Maj. Gen. Patricia A. Rose will serve as Logistics director until Brig. Gen. Donald E. 'Gene' Kirkland arrives next year.

Both Chilton and Rose are individual mobilization augmentees who have previous AFMC connections. Chilton previously served as the mobilization assistant to the commanders of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson and the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, as well as to the director of capabilities integration at the AFMC headquarters. Rose served as the mobilization assistant to AFMC's director of logistics and sustainment as well as to the AFMC commander.
  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Regular Reserve of the British Armed Forces largely consists of ex-Regular personnel who retain a statutory liability for service and are liable to be recalled for active military duty in a time of need. It also consists of a smaller number of ex-Regulars who serve under a fixed-term reserve contract (similar in nature to the Volunteer Reserve) and are liable for reporting, training and deploying on operations.

Since April 2013, Ministry of Defence publications no longer report the entire strength of the Regular Reserve, instead, only Regular Reserves serving under the fixed-term reserve contract are counted. As of 2014, they had a strength of 45,110 personnel.
  Read More...

Stars and Stripes | Dec 08, 2014 | by Jennifer H. Svan
DAENNER KASERNE, Germany — The U.S. Army Reserve needs to grow in order to then shrink the right way, says the organization's top enlisted leader.

The Reserve's current authorized end strength is 205,000 soldiers. With the reserve topping off at just over 196,000, that means there's room to expand, Command Sgt. Maj. Luther Thomas Jr., the command sergeant major of the Army Reserve, said Saturday. He was speaking at a town hall in Kaiserslautern for reservists from the 7th Civil Support Command, the Army's only Reserve command stationed entirely overseas.

By 2019, however, the Army Reserve is slated to drop to 195,000 soldiers, Thomas said.

Despite the future downward trajectory, he said the Reserve is still trying to fill its ranks. It is particularly keen on retaining and bringing in soldiers with jobs for which there's a current need. These include fuel handlers, foreign language speakers, and those working in military intelligence and psychological operations, to name some.

"The reason you want to go up is so that you come down with quality" and retain the right mix of soldiers, Thomas said in an interview after the town hall.
  Read More...

Written by Dean Wingrin, Monday, 15 December 2014


AFB Langebaanweg.The South African Air Force (SAAF) has won a bid to train pilots for the Royal Airforce of Oman (RAFO) at its Central Flying School in the Western Cape.

Nine students and an instructor from the RAFO arrived at AFB Langebaanweg, home to the SAAF’s Central Flying School, in September to commence a 16 month pilot’s course. The RAFO signed the agreement with the SAAF after evaluating numerous bids from airforces around the world.

The Royal Air Force of Oman operates 12 Pilatus PC-9M turboprop training aircraft delivered from 1999 to March 2000. However, due to corrosion and other problems, the aircraft are undergoing major overhaul and refurbishment by the Pilatus factory in Stans, Switzerland.

As they will take about a year to fix, the RAFO could not afford to lose out on training during this time and therefore outsourced the training to other countries that operated similar types. The PC-9M trainer is a more powerful variant of the PC-7 MK II trainer used by the SAAF.
  Read More...

Press release issued by AIRBUS Defence & Space

Finland continues to invest in Tetra technology to guarantee users uninterrupted network performance and quality of service.

Timo LehtimAirbus Defence and Space has been awarded a major contract for the modernisation of the Finnish nationwide Tetra network VIRVE, operated by State Security Networks. The purpose of the 30 million euro frame contract is to renew about one-third of the Tetra network's elements and to update software over the next five years. It aims to ensure the high functionality and performance of the radio network far into the future and supports the customer's long-term strategy.

VIRVE currently serves around 34 000 subscribers from all public safety and security services (police, fire, social, health and ambulance services) and armed forces in Finland, and is an important element for the country's security-related situations, guaranteeing its users uninterrupted network performance and quality of service. Thus, the functioning of the technical systems of the network has to be assured during the whole renewal process.
  Read More...

Written by defenceWeb/MARCOM, Friday, 12 December 2014
The future Task Force Commander for the EU’s counter-piracy Operation Atalanta, Rear Admiral Jonas Haggren (Swedish Navy), visited the NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) this week to meet with MARCOM Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio for discussions concerning counter-piracy operations and other maritime security issues.

“I enjoyed our visit with Rear Admiral Haggren and we look forward to working together in the ongoing counter-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa,” said Rear Admiral Lazio. “Close co-ordination between the various counter-piracy forces has proved invaluable in helping to eradicate piracy from the waters off Somalia.”

Rear Admiral Haggren was commissioned by the Swedish Naval Academy in 1987. He previously commanded the First Submarine Flotilla and most recently served as the Head of the Navy Training and Procurement Directorate, Swedish Armed Forces HQ. He will take command of TF-465 in early 2015.
  Read More...

Written by Reuters, Friday, 12 December 2014
Syrian rebels using improvised mortar bombs made of cooking gas canisters killed 311 civilians between July and December this year, a monitoring group said on Friday, condemning the use of the wildly inaccurate weapons.

Two-thirds of the deaths, or 203 people, were in the northern city of Aleppo where the so-called "hell cannons" have been fired on government-held districts of Syria's second city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the violence using sources on both sides, said that 42 children and 25 women were among the dead in Aleppo. It said more than 700 people had also been wounded during that time.

Syria's official news agency SANA said on Thursday that "terrorists" fired 11 of the improvised bombs in the southern city of Deraa, wounding several civilians.

The canisters are packed with explosives, fitted with a guide fin and fired by large cannons.
Syria's war started with a pro-democracy movement that grew into an armed uprising and has inflamed regional confrontations. Some 200,000 people have died, the United Nations says.

Chemical weapons have been used, the international chemical weapon watchdog says, and the United Nations says that President Bashar al-Assad's forces have dropped improvised and indiscriminate barrel bombs on Aleppo.
  

First Algerian Meko frigate floated
Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 12 December 2014
The first of two Algerian Navy Meko A200 frigates has been undocked and floated at a dockyard in Kiel, Germany.

The vessel was floated during a ceremony on December 5, reports IHS Jane's Navy International.

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) received the 2.17 billion euro ($2.7 billion) contract for the two frigates, plus an option for two more, in March 2012. Because TKMS does not have large docks of its own, the vessels are being built in Kiel as part of a consortium.

Algeria has also ordered six AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 (Mk 140) helicopters, plus a support and training package for the frigates. One of the Super Lynx was spotted in October carrying eight Denel Dynamics Mokopa air-to-surface missiles ahead of delivery. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) noted that in 2012 Algeria selected Denel Dynamics’ Umkhonto-IR surface-to-air missile for its frigates, which also arm the South African Navy’s Meko vessels.

According to Russia’s Periscope magazine, the Algerian frigates will be armed with RBS 15 Mk III anti-ship missiles, Umkhonto IR surface-to-air missiles, Oto Melara and Rheinmetall guns and MU 90 torpedoes
  

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