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Thursday, 20 September 2012

Croatian Forces Take Part of "Exercise Jackal Stone" In Udbina, Croatia

I'm ex-military so I like throwing this stuff in once in a while. It's kind of interesting to me, seeing what's going on regarding the Croatian military and their preparedness for any scenario. The weapons used, inside info on jet planes, tanks, anti-terrorism. (Back in the day I initially requested to become an M.P., but was encouraged by "The Hive" people in Fort Drum N.Y. to continue in the field of communications. The M.P. keg parties I heard were better than the "Coms" keg parties. That's where I learned to master the deathly heart punch and the 2 finger grip of death, among many other death moves and fatal martial arts moves, instant blindness moves, instant praying for death moves because of the excruciating pain, instant broken neck paralysis moves etc. Actually, back in the day, I was on the verge of going AWOL when the attack on Croatia was escalating and buying a 1 way ticket to Germany and then head over. Long story short, by the time I was ready to go, UNPROFOR was involved and the early worst battles had already taken place. Then I put a formal request through chain of command to volunteer to be sent because I knew there would be more battles coming, especially since I had been there previously, know the area, language, the geo-political history etc...but that got turned down because...something about it being too much "like sending a Jew to the Golan Heights " or something like that, which was strange because I'm not Jewish, I've never been to Israel and didn't request to be sent to Israel, I didn't understand, read or write Hebrew and actually I didn't even know much about the keg parties situation in the Golan Heights. I then said fine, send Jim or Billy-Bob from Flin Flon or whatever, he'll be a big asset to the mission I'm sure. (whether there really was a Jim or Jimbo or Billy-Bob from Flin Flon being sent I didn't know, I was figuratively speaking to make a point, heck they could send Jewish and Muslim soldiers there or wherever, I couldn't care less anymore). My contract with the Hive expired soon after and I started letting my hair touch my ears again back in Hamilton, stopped de-linting myself every morning, didn't give a fuck whether I could see my face in my polished toes and didn't give a fuck anymore if my pillow and sheets where folded perpendicular or at 90 degree angles and evenly spaced in the middle, I completely stopped getting the ruler out and measuring if the pillow was properly lined up with the bla bla bla and I gave absolutely no fuck at all if my socks were rolled up perfectly and spaced in the proper drawer. That's all in the past and I'm not at liberty to discuss further on the topic among various other topics that would put your life in danger)....I posted not long ago a piece about "Croatian Commando" training with some good pics HERE.

I updated that post with a link to more pics, then decided to add some of them here at the bottom.  If you click on the related links, one can see Croatian soldiers are doing a lot these days in Afghanistan, taking part in numerous military exercises in and outside of Croatia, fighting smuggling of contraband, illegal immigrants, keeping up guard against the "New Seselj" (Not the "Old Seselj" and the Serbian-Taliban etc, as well as working with the European Union Naval Force, NATO, Russian and other international forces in protecting international ships from pirates, and joint engagement in the stabilization of Southeast Europe.

These military exercises are not based on the objectives, ideas, or politics of the "Cold War" days, (Remember, Putin rides a Harley these days, Stalin, Jaruzelski, Ceaușescu and Tito are long gone and smoking expensive cigars and drinking 300 year old cognac from crystal sifters in dictator heaven),...but rather are modern military approaches and reaction exercises in regards to today's common modern enemy/enemies and their goals, politics and strategies. (You can read the news so I don't have to tell you who they are, and no I don't mean televangelists, because the IRS, Time Magazine and 60 minutes have them covered and are on them constantly)  I've gone back to do some post-secondary studies a couple of times in the last few years, fuck, I personally think these guys should be allowed to go into some of the colleges and malls and start cleaning house. BAM! "good-bye fucko! Don't worry Principal, We'll be sure to give his cell phone, hat and sneakers back to his mammy & pappy, perhaps some Stain Away or Shout will get the blood out. Sir, you can glue the cellphone to his ear in the casket, no one will know the better, or you can glue it to his sneakers or hat, it's all the same to us. Have a great day."

......Croatia has been a member of NATO since 2009 and will be an official European Union member on July 1st of next year (2013).  I decided to throw in some videos at the bottom because I like seeing things blown up, watching shrapnel fly in a purple-orange flame and haze of freedom and related stuff.

(I'm also following the story of the Croatian Air Force possibly purchasing Saab Gripen fighters in the near future among other options. I will update that story as well when a final decision is made. More on that HERE, HERE and HERE)

(A short piece of interesting side note info,.. I have an authentic Croatian M-65 woodland camouflage version army field jacket (pictured above) which I bought years ago from one of the many military surplus stores found on the internet, complete with the official patch. A great cool looking, edgy and hip jacket I wear once in a while, with lots of pockets, hide away hood,  etc, it's  practically indestructible. Goes great with jeans, to wear to concerts, school, pubs and bars, to the local steakhouse or restaurant, walk to the store, oh, and of course camping ..etc....You can also add other flags or patches to personalize and make your jacket unique as I did....Anyway, for the 2005 edition of the Croatian Army battle field uniforms,(BDU) they introduced into the fatigues  pixelated map images of Croatia that were actually pixel embedded into the camouflage design, which actually makes it look pretty fk'n cool and unique. (See HERE, HERE and HERE) ....That would probably be a cool jacket to get too, especially if they come with the Nato patch also. (Nato is an acronym for North Atlantic Treaty Organization btw, not North American Treaty Organization)


President Ivo Josipovic of Croatia conducts a pass and review of Croatian soldiers at Josip Jovic Air Base in Udbina, Croatia, Sept. 17, 2012. Josipovic visited the air base during Jackal Stone 2012‚ Media Day to observe special forces representing 11 nations participating in this year's training event. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kyle Wagoner, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)




Croatian President visits Exercise Jackal Stone 2012 for Media Day


UDBINA, Croatia – President Ivo Josipovic of Croatia visited the Josip Jovic Air Base in Udbina, Croatia during the Jackal Stone 2012 Media Day to observe demonstrations from Special Operations units from 11 nations participating in this year’s training event.

Special forces from the U.S., Croatia, and Romania about to assault a building during a demonstration of their tactical capabilities for Ivo Josipovic, the president of Croatia, at the Josip Jovic Air Base in Udbina, Croatia, Sept. 17, 2012. Josipovic visited the air base during Jackal Stone 2012's Media Day to observe special forces representing 11 nations participating in this year's training event. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kyle Wagoner, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)

After visiting the Little Bear Kindergarten in Udbina, the president traveled to the Air Base to watch tactical demonstrations by U.S., Romanian and Croatian special forces.

Croatian Special Operation Battalion (BSD) fast rope at military exercise Jackal Stone 2012.

Josipovic was given the opportunity to meet with the Special Forces operators and experienced a hands-on display of weapons and equipment the various nations employ. This helped the president understand the importance of Jackal Stone and what the NATO Forces are accomplishing through the training.

President Ivo Josipovic of Croatia conducts a pass and review of Croatian soldiers at Josip Jovic Air Base in Udbina, Croatia, Sept. 17, 2012. Josipovic visited the air base during Jackal Stone 2012 Media Day to observe Special Forces representing 11 nations participating in this year's training event. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kyle Wagoner, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)

The purpose of the training exercises this month in Croatia is to strengthen tactical proficiency through the annual event and demonstrate the United States’ and its allies' commitment to peaceful military-to-military relationships and improve regional stability.

A Croatian Special Forces soldier attends the "Jackal Stone 12" military exercise in Udbina September 17, 2012. (credit: msnbc)

Also in attendance were Croatian Defense Minister Ante Kotromanovic, Counselor and Charge d’Affaires to Croatia Hoyte B. Yee of the U.S. Embassy, and U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Michael S. Repass, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command Europe.

 Special forces from the U.S., Croatia, and Romania about to assault a building during a demonstration of their tactical capabilities for Ivo Josipovic, the president of Croatia, at the Josip Jovic Air Base in Udbina, Croatia, Sept. 17, 2012. Josipovic visited the air base during Jackal Stone 2012's Media Day to observe special forces representing 11 nations participating in this year's training event. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Kyle Wagoner, 43rd Public Affairs Detachment)

“I want to say thanks to the Croatian people and the Croatian government for hosting the exercise,” said Repass. “We benefit from the brotherhood we have among the special operators.”

JS-12 is a multinational exercise that will involve approximately 1,700 military personnel from the U.S., Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania and Slovakia from Sept. 13 to Sept. 27.



Jackal Stone Host Nations and participants


Host Countries
– Hungary, Romania, Ukraine
Participants – Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Sweden, the United States and Ukraine 

Host Country
– Croatia
Participants – Albania, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, the United States, Sweden and Ukraine

Host Countries
– Poland and Lithuania
Participants – Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, the United States and Ukraine

Host Countries
– Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine
Participants – Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and the United States

Host Country
– Croatia
Participants – Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the United States. (Observers from Finland and France)

Croatian Special Forces Training

Source and full gallery:

Jackal Stone Promotes Special Operations Partnerships


WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2012 – The scenario for the Jackal Stone 2012 special operations exercise taking place in Croatia reads like a Hollywood thriller.

A criminal gang infiltrated an industrial plant in the fictional nation of Freedonia, stealing nuclear, biological and chemical material to pass to a terrorist organization. Commandos from U.S. Special Operations Command Europe teamed up with special police from Croatia’s Interior Ministry to track down the perpetrators and recover the material.

Croatian Ground Army M-84A4 Tanks 


M-95 Degman Main Battle Tank

The recovery – following an action-packed mission – wasn’t the end of the story. An analysis revealed that the insurgents behind the plot had tentacles extending deep into Freedonia. They had to be stopped.

Freedonia turned for help to the United Nations, which in turn, called on NATO to intervene with military forces. NATO declined, citing force commitments in Afghanistan and elsewhere, but urged individual member nations to form a coalition.

 Croatian ground army sniper

Eleven nations stepped forward, with the United States taking the lead. U.S. and Romanian company commanders command two ground task forces, and a Norwegian is leading the maritime component.

“We formed this coalition, and now we are going to take on the Freedonian insurgency problem,” Army Maj. Gen. Michael S. Repass, commander of Special Operations Command Europe, told American Forces Press Service by phone from Croatia.

That sets the stage for Jackal Stone, an annual multinational exercise designed to build special operations capabilities and improve interoperability among European partner nations.

 CWAF Mi-171Sh

The two-part exercise began earlier this month with a bilateral U.S.-Croatian counterterrorism exercise and expanded into a multinational, multi-echelon counterinsurgency scenario that continues into next week.

About 700 U.S. participants are on the ground, working alongside special operators and enabling forces from 10 partner nations as they apply capabilities many have honed together in Afghanistan.

“To the extent possible, Afghanistan has informed everything that we are doing during this exercise,” said Repass, who serves as Jackal Stone’s coalition commander.

About 60 role-players, many portraying insurgents, add realism to the scenario.

“This is a live exercise, full up,” Repass said. “We have role players, people who have taken on the personas of insurgents and are living those personas. And we have multiple sources of intelligence collecting on these personas in the operating environment.”

That includes many of the intelligence sources in use in Afghanistan, including human intelligence and imagery from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flying overhead, he said. Participants also conduct post-mission analyses, applying biometrics from a database created especially for the exercise, and exploiting intelligence from seized cell phones and computers.

“So we have a very sophisticated operation at the tactical level that will feed intelligence upward, creating a much more robust intelligence picture,” Repass said. “At the same time, we are getting national-level Freedonian and international intelligence feeding into us, and we are pushing that down to the tactical units.”

While exercising as they would operate in a real-world scenario, the participants are improving their ability to work together as they apply what NATO calls “smart defense,” Repass said.

The basic premise is to leverage each other’s capabilities to build stronger teams to serve in a coalition or NATO operation, he explained. “You provide tactical units up to your level of ability and your nation’s willingness to do so, and you team up with another capable partner,” he said.

Repass pointed to the International Security Assistance Force special operations structure in Afghanistan as a tangible demonstration of that concept. Stood up about four years ago, it has grown to an estimated 2,000 operators from about 18 countries.

Jackal Stone is building on this capability, Repass said, strengthening participants’ collective ability to plan and execute combined and joint multinational operations with host-nation support from civil and governmental agencies.

That’s fundamental to realizing the vision of Navy Adm. William H. McRaven, the Special Operations Command commander, of a special operations force network, postured for global challenges.

While ensuring special operations have the equipment and technical ability to operate together, Repass said the exercise helps strengthen the relationships that underpin their operations.

“One of the fundamental truths of this whole endeavor is that you can’t build trust in a crisis. You have to have long relationships, and this is strictly done in the human domain,” he said.

“The more we develop these relationships, the better we will work together in the future,” Repass said. “The more capable and interoperable our militaries are, the better we will be as a community to achieve common goals of security, stability and peace.”

An interesting collage themed around the Croatian Military and Special Forces.

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