Dismount

Marines dismount from a Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle to raid a compound during the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Combined Arms Exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., June 12, 2016. Well-planned and aggressive training like this prepares the individual Marine to fulfill their role on the team, which in turn builds unit cohesion and increases the speed of mission accomplishment. MEUCAX is conducted to maintain a high level of combat readiness prior to the MEU’s Western Pacific 16-2 deployment later this year. The Marines are with LAR Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 4th Marines, 11th MEU. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Zachery Laning/Released)
Marines dismount from a Light Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle to raid a compound during the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Combined Arms Exercise at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., June 12, 2016. Well-planned and aggressive training like this prepares the individual Marine to fulfill their role on the team, which in turn builds unit cohesion and increases the speed of mission accomplishment. MEUCAX is conducted to maintain a high level of combat readiness prior to the MEU’s Western Pacific 16-2 deployment later this year. The Marines are with LAR Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 4th Marines, 11th MEU. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Zachery Laning/Released)

Warning Shots

Minor incident near the Strait of Hormuz:

Four Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attack craft vessels were “traveling right at” the USS Mahan in the Strait of Hormuz at a “very high rate of speed,” a defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told VOA earlier Monday.

When the Iranian boats did not respond to radio requests to slow down, the USS Mahan fired shots with a .50 caliber machine gun.

The USS Mahan (DDG-72) was escorting the USS Makin Island (LHD-8) and an oiler when the boats approached.

The reports are a little confusing at the moment. Murdoc wonders if claims of “fired three warning shots” actually refer to warning flares launched by the ship. Was it really three rounds from a machine gun? Does that even count?

Marine M777A2 Howitzer

MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, California - Marines with Battery K, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, fire an M777A2 Howitzer in the Acorn Training Area aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 2, 2016, during preparation for the regiment’s “Top Gun” competition.
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, California – Marines with Battery K, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, fire an M777A2 Howitzer in the Acorn Training Area aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Dec. 2, 2016, during preparation for the regiment’s “Top Gun” competition. Photo By: Cpl. Levi Schultz

Alligator Dagger Ospreys

U.S. Marine MV-22 Ospreys, assigned to the Ridge Runners of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163, prepare to takeoff from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island in support of a helo-borne raid during Exercise Alligator Dagger, in the Gulf of Aden, Dec. 21, 2016. The unilateral exercise provides an opportunity for the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit to train in amphibious operations within the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. The 11th MEU is currently supporting U.S. 5th Fleet’s mission to promote and maintain stability and security in the region.
U.S. Marine MV-22 Ospreys, assigned to the Ridge Runners of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 (VMM-163)(Reinforced), prepare to takeoff from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) in support of a helo-borne raid during Exercise Alligator Dagger, in the Gulf of Aden, Dec. 21, 2016. The unilateral exercise provides an opportunity for the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit to train in amphibious operations within the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. The 11th MEU is currently supporting U.S. 5th Fleet’s mission to promote and maintain stability and security in the region. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brandon Maldonado)

Also see: Marine M1A1 in Alligator Dagger.

SeaRAM Maintenance

Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Spencer Bagwell conducts maintenance work on a close-in weapon system aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Porter in the Mediterranean Sea, Jan. 4, 2017. The Porter is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility to support U.S. national security interests in Europe. Bagwell is a fire controlman. Navy photo by Seaman Ford Williams
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Spencer Bagwell conducts maintenance work on a close-in weapon system aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Porter in the Mediterranean Sea, Jan. 4, 2017. The Porter is conducting naval operations in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility to support U.S. national security interests in Europe. Bagwell is a fire controlman. Navy photo by Seaman Ford Williams

SeaRAM is basically a Phalanx Block 1B CIWS with an 11-cell RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile launcher for extended range and increased effectiveness over the CIWS’s standard M61 Vulcan 20mm 6-barrel cannon.

Snow Strykers

Dragoon troopers assigned to Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Cavalry Regiment along with Soldiers assigned to the Dutch 42nd Battle Group perform Preventive Maintenance and Services to their equipment while constructing a Regimental Tactical Operations Center during Allied Spirit I at Hohenfels Training Area located in Hohenfels, Germany, Jan. 20, 2015. The purpose of the exercise is to conduct multinational training as well as improving allied interoperability between U.S. and NATO forces.
Dragoon troopers assigned to Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Cavalry Regiment along with Soldiers assigned to the Dutch 42nd Battle Group perform Preventive Maintenance and Services to their equipment while constructing a Regimental Tactical Operations Center during Allied Spirit I at Hohenfels Training Area located in Hohenfels, Germany, Jan. 20, 2015. The purpose of the exercise is to conduct multinational training as well as improving allied interoperability between U.S. and NATO forces.

The Green Berets only $1.99

For very limited time only: The Green Berets: The Amazing Story of the U.S. Army’s Elite Special Forces Unit (Kindle Edition) by Robin Moore

In Vietnam Robin Moore became on the of the first true “embedded” journalists, training and fighting alongside America’s most elite fighters. Though fictionalized, The Green Berets exposed the American public to the horrors of the ground war in Vietnam, and gave the men of the Green Berets the recognition they deserved.

Normal Kindle edition price of $14.99

Mule-Mounted Mk 47

A #USArmy Green Beret, assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), provides security for a mule carrying the Mk 47 grenade launcher during MULE Packing Training on Fort Bragg, N.C., Jan. 27, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Edward F French IV/Released)
A #USArmy Green Beret, assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne),
provides security for a mule carrying the Mk 47 grenade launcher during MULE
Packing Training on Fort Bragg, N.C., Jan. 27, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Edward F French IV/Released)

Winter Paratroopers

A team of paratroopers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, practice a tactical halt with the brigade’s new Light Tactical All Terrain Vehicle on Fort Pickett, Va., Feb. 26, 2015. The 1st Battalion, 325th AIR developed tactics, techniques and procedures for tactical movement with the new LTATVs. The battalion is currently assessing the LTATV as a platform to provide a rifle company with rapid mobility in support of airfield seizure operations.
A team of paratroopers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, practice a tactical halt with the brigade’s new Light Tactical All Terrain Vehicle on Fort Pickett, Va., Feb. 26, 2015. The 1st Battalion, 325th AIR developed tactics, techniques and procedures for tactical movement with the new LTATVs. The battalion is currently assessing the LTATV as a platform to provide a rifle company with rapid mobility in support of airfield seizure operations.

Chinese Carrier Skirting Taiwan

Taiwan warns of increasing threat as Chinese warships conduct drill

Taiwan warned on Tuesday that “the threat of our enemies is growing day by day”, as Chinese warships led by the country’s sole aircraft carrier sailed towards the island province of Hainan through the South China Sea on a routine drill.

China has given few details of what the Soviet-built Liaoning aircraft carrier is up to, save that it is on a routine exercise. Taiwan has said the aircraft carrier skirted waters outside of its eastern air defence identification zone.

The carrier is expected to arrive at a Chinese military base on the southern Chinese island of Hainan late on Tuesday, Taiwan’s defence ministry said.

The Liaoning was laid down by Russia as a Admiral Kuznetsov-class carrier then sold–supposedly for use as a floating hotel and casino–to China. The carrier has been in commission in the Chinese navy since 2012. It was recently declared “combat ready.”

Its main combat aircraft are 24 Shenyang J-15 fighters operating from a ski-jump flight deck. The Liaoning is to serve as a training and development ship while the Chinese figure out how to build and operate carriers.