Friday, January 18, 2013

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT: China’s First Defense - Bodyguards Train to Protect Chinese Interests Abroad

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT:  China’s First Defense - Bodyguards Train to Protect Chinese Interests Abroad
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Time
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 18, 2013: In sub-zero winter temperatures, these trainees at a derelict army base outside Beijing wake before dawn to practice martial arts and evasive driving. 

It’s all part of preparations to provide security for the growing number of Chinese businesses investing in turbulent regions of Africa and the Middle East. 

Under the instruction of former Portuguese special forces bodyguard Marco Borges, the 40-strong group, most of whom have military backgrounds themselves, take part in a grueling regimen.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Time 
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT: The Afghanistan Massacre On The Roof of The World

DTN News - SPECIAL REPORT: The Afghanistan Massacre On The Roof of The World
*The first British invasion of Afghanistan in 1839 ended three years later in disaster. In an exclusive extract from his new book, William Dalrymple draws parallels with the current campaign
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By William Dalrymple - Telegraph UK
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 18, 2013: At the end of Kim, Kipling has his eponymous hero say, “When everyone is dead, the Great Game is finished. Not before.” In the 1980s, it was the Russians’ withdrawal from their failed occupation of Afghanistan that triggered the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. Less than 20 years later, in 2001, British and American troops arrived in Afghanistan, where they proceeded to begin losing what was, in Britain’s case, its fourth war in that country. As before, in the end, despite all the billions of dollars handed out, the training of an entire army of Afghan troops and the infinitely superior weaponry of the occupiers, the Afghan resistance succeeded again in first surrounding then propelling the hated Kafirs into a humiliating exit.

On my extended visits to Afghanistan to research my new book, in 2009 and 2010, I was keen to see as many of the places and landscapes associated with the First Afghan War as was possible. I particularly wanted to retrace the route of the British forces’ retreat of January 1842 and get to Gandamak, the site of the British last stand.

The route of the retreat backs on to the mountain range that leads to Tora Bora and the Pakistan border, the Ghilzai heartlands that have always been – along with Quetta – the Taliban’s main recruiting ground. I had been advised not to attempt to visit the area without local protection, so eventually set off in the company of a regional tribal leader who was also a minister in Karzai’s government: a mountain of a man named Anwar Khan Jagdalak, a former village wrestling champion and later captain of the Afghan Olympic wrestling team, who had made his name as a Jamiat-e-Islami Mujahideen commander in the jihad against the Soviets in the 1980s.

It was Jagdalak’s Ghilzai ancestors who inflicted some of the worst casualties on the British army of 1842, something he proudly repeated several times as we drove through the same passes. “They forced us to pick up guns to defend our honour,” he said. “So we killed every last one of those bastards.” None of this, incidentally, has stopped Jagdalak from sending his family away from Kabul to the greater safety of Northolt in north London.

On the day we were to drive to Gandamak, I had been told to report at 7am to Jagdalak. Threading my way through a slalom of checkpoints and razor wire surrounding his ministry, I arrived to find Jagdalak being hustled into a convoy of heavily armoured SUVs by his ever-present phalanx of bodyguards, walkie-talkies crackling and assault rifles primed.

Jagdalak drove himself, while pick-ups full of heavily armed Afghan bodyguards followed behind. As we headed through the capital, evidence of the failure of the current occupation lay all around us. Kabul remains one of the poorest and scrappiest capital cities in the world, despite the US pouring around $80 billion into Afghanistan.

We bumped along potholed roads, past the blast walls of the US Embassy and the Nato barracks that has been built on the very site of the British cantonment of 170 years ago, then headed down the zigzagging road into the line of bleak mountain passes that link Kabul with the Khyber Pass.

It is a suitably dramatic and violent landscape: faultlines of crushed and tortured strata groaned and twisted in the gunpowder-coloured rockwalls rising on either side of us. Above, the jagged mountain tops were veiled in an ominous cloud of mist. As we drove, Jagdalak complained bitterly of the western treatment of his government. “In the 1980s when we were killing Russians for them, the Americans called us freedom fighters,” he muttered as we descended the first pass. “Now they just dismiss us as warlords.”

We left the main road at Sarobi, where the mountains debouch into a high-altitude ochre desert dotted with encampments of Ghilzai nomads, and headed into Taliban territory; a further five pick-up trucks full of Jagdalak’s old Mujahideen fighters, all brandishing rocket-propelled grenades and with faces wrapped in their turbans, appeared from a side road to escort us.

At the village of Jagdalak, on January 12 1842, the last 200 frostbitten British soldiers found themselves surrounded by several thousand Ghilzai tribesmen; only a handful made it beyond the holly-oak hedge erected to block their way and on which many British soldiers impaled themselves. Our own welcome was, thankfully, somewhat warmer. The proud villagers took their old commander, now a government minister, on a trip through hills smelling of wild thyme and wormwood, and up through mountainsides carpeted with hollyhocks and mulberries and shaded by white poplars. Here, at the top of the surrounding peaks, near the watchtower where the stripped, naked and freezing sepoys had attempted to find shelter, lay the remains of Jagdalak’s old Mujahideen bunkers and entrenchments from which he had defied the Soviet army. Once the tour was completed, the villagers feasted us, Timurid style, in an apricot orchard at the bottom of the valley: we sat on carpets under a trellis of vine and pomegranate blossom, as course after course of kebabs and raisin pullao were laid in front of us.

During lunch, as my hosts casually pointed out the site of the holly-oak barrier and other places in the village where the British had been massacred in 1842, we compared our respective family memories of that war. I talked about my great-great-uncle, Colin Mackenzie, who had been taken hostage nearby, and I asked if they saw any parallels with the current situation. “It is exactly the same,” said Jagdalak. “Both times the foreigners have come for their own interests, not for ours. They say, 'We are your friends, we want to help.’ But they are lying.”

“Whoever comes to Afghanistan, even now, they will face the fate of Burnes, Macnaghten and Dr Brydon,” agreed Mohammad Khan, our host in the village and the owner of the orchard where we were sitting. Everyone nodded sagely into their rice: the names of the fallen of 1842, long forgotten in their home country, were still common currency here.
“Since the British went, we’ve had the Russians,” said one old man to my right. “We saw them off, too, but not before they bombed many of the houses in the village.” He pointed at a ridge full of ruined mudbrick houses on the hills behind us.

“We are the roof of the world,” said Khan. “From here, you can control and watch everywhere.”

“Afghanistan is like the crossroads for every nation that comes to power,” agreed Jagdalak. “But we do not have the strength to control our own destiny. Our fate is determined by our neighbours.”

It was nearly 5pm before the final flaps of naan bread were cleared away, by which time it became clear that it was now too late to head on to Gandamak. Instead we went that evening by the main highway direct to the relative safety of Jalalabad, where we discovered we’d had a narrow escape. It turned out that there had been a battle at Gandamak that very morning between government forces and a group of villagers supported by the Taliban. Nine policemen had been killed and 10 taken hostage over a dispute about compensation for opium poppies which the government forces had come to destroy. The sheer size and length of the feast and our own gluttony had saved us from walking straight into an ambush. The battle had taken place on exactly the site of the British last stand of 1842.

The following morning in Jalalabad, we went to a jirga, or assembly, of Ghilzai tribal elders, to which the greybeards of Gandamak had come, under a flag of truce, to discuss what had happened the day before. As Predator drones took off and landed incessantly at the nearby airfield, we chatted over a pot of green tea.

“Last month,” said one tribal elder from Gandamak, “some American officers called us to a hotel in Jalalabad for a meeting. One of them asked me, 'Why do you hate us?’ I replied, 'Because you blow down our doors, enter our houses, pull our women by the hair and kick our children. We cannot accept this. We will fight back, and we will break your teeth, and when your teeth are broken you will leave, just as the British left before you. It is just a matter of time.”’

“What did he say to that?”

“He turned to his friend and said, 'If the old men are like this, what will the younger ones be like?’ In truth, all the Americans here know their game is over. It is just their politicians who deny this.”

“These are the last days of the Americans,” said the other elder. “Next it will be China.”

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By William Dalrymple - Telegraph UK
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. DoD Awarded Contract $22.6 Million To Hawker Beehcraft Defense Company L.L.C., for Iraq T-6A

DTN News - DEFENSE NEWS: U.S. DoD Awarded Contract $22.6 Million To Hawker Beehcraft  Defense Company L.L.C., for Iraq T-6A 
Source: DTN News & DoD 030-13 January, 2013
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 18, 2013: Hawker Beehcraft Defense Company L.L.C., Wichita, Kan., (FA8617-12-C-6194, P00006) is being awarded a $22,658,670 firm-fixed-price contract modification for Government of Iraq T-6A sustainment program.  

The location of the performance is Tikrit Air Base, Iraq.  Work is expected to be completed by July 3, 2013.  

The contracting activity is AFLCMC/WLZI, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.  Contract involves Foreign Military Sales. 

The first 4 of 15 T-6A aircraft are delivered to Iraq under a $210 million contract on  16 December 2009. No AT-6 aircraft were included as was previously reported. This equates to an average of $14 million per aircraft with support and training included. The first 8 aircraft, purchased by the Government of Iraq, will arrive at Tikrit by the end of January 2010. The last 7, purchased by the United States, are expected by the end of December 2010.

The T-6A Texan II is a single-engine, two-seat primary trainer designed to train Joint Primary Pilot Training, or JPPT, students in basic flying skills common to U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots. 

Produced by Raytheon Aircraft, the T-6A Texan II is a military trainer version of Raytheon's Beech/Pilatus PC-9 Mk II. 

Stepped-tandem seating in the single cockpit places one crewmember in front of the other, with the student and instructor positions being interchangeable. A pilot may also fly the aircraft alone from the front seat. Pilots enter the T-6A cockpit through a side-opening, one-piece canopy that has demonstrated resistance to bird strikes at speeds up to 270 knots. 

The T-6A has a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68 turbo-prop engine that delivers 1,100 horsepower. Because of its excellent thrust-to-weight ratio, the aircraft can perform an initial climb of 3,100 feet (944.8 meters) per minute and can reach 18,000 feet (5,486.4 meters) in less than six minutes. 

The aircraft is fully aerobatic and features a pressurized cockpit with an anti-G system, ejection seat and an advanced avionics package with sunlight-readable liquid crystal displays. 

Before being formally named in 1997, the T-6A was identified in a 1989 Department of Defense Trainer Aircraft Master Plan as the aircraft portion of the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System, or JPATS. The system includes a suite of simulators, training devices and a training integration management system. 

On Feb. 5, 1996, Raytheon was awarded the JPATS acquisition and support contracts. The first operational T-6A arrived at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, in May 2000. The full rate production contract was awarded in December 2001. Air Force production of the aircraft was completed in 2010.

The T-6A is used to train JPPT students, providing the basic skills necessary to progress to one of four training tracks: the Air Force bomber-fighter or the Navy strike track, the Air Force airlift-tanker or Navy maritime track, the Air Force or Navy turboprop track and the Air Force-Navy helicopter track. 

Instructor pilot training in the T-6A began at Randolph AFB in 2000. JPPT began in October 2001 at Moody AFB, Ga., and is currently at Columbus AFB, Miss., Vance AFB, Okla, and Laughlin AFB and Sheppard AFB in Texas.  

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*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources &  DoD 030-13 January, 2013
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News