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    NATO service experience

    Airbornewolf
    Airbornewolf


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    Post  Airbornewolf Sun Jan 09, 2022 11:17 am

    hey everyone,

    i kind of heard from multiple sources now that suggested me to start an own thread about my service in NATO.

    i just can not comprise my 10 years of experience in NATO down to one post. or multiple for that matter.
    Events in afghanistan happen in moments, but it takes ages to tell the story.

    I started out as an airborne recruit, and grown through the ranks up to be part of an Airborne NATO C&C Squad.
    its too much to write in one post.

    So i feel an Q&A format is propably best.
    Alongside me going into details when i feel comfortable with it.
    Afghanistan is an closed chapter.

    And to be clear, i can not change the past. or the role i played in events.
    Russians where vital in our logistics chain in Afghanistan, and i just want to create a bit more understanding and dialogue on what happened out there.

    So, here it goes:
    Me from the start of my carreer as an lowly soldier, and another one from the top of my carreer in an C&C role:
    https://i.servimg.com/u/f87/20/39/80/76/imagee10.jpg
    https://i.servimg.com/u/f87/20/39/80/76/aa2_jf10.jpg
    As a bonus, when i was "borrowed out" to other units that needed someone with C&C experience and maintaining order under fire:

    https://i.servimg.com/u/f15/20/15/43/22/48491619.jpg


    i guess by posting this, i take away any doubts some may have if i am really was an NATO operator.
    And perhaps for any eastern european/russian audiences. that NATO troops are not all enemies.

    I went from the ground up trough the ranks of NATO. starting as an infantry soldier and working up to Logistic control and C&C.

    I wrote a bit of an intro story, i can not press my experiences in a few posts.
    but i have written an small intro how i started my service:

    ---

    I always wanted to be in the millitary, ever since i was a young boy i wore my grandfather's service uniform.

    In my teens i went to millitary surplus stores to buy gear, and spend my weekends trekking trough the forests.
    I had everything, even an ops-vest at some point.
    guns are illegal, but i had an laser sight crossbow tough.

    Mind you, i was very pro-United states in this stage in my life.
    i grew up without internet, and only exposed to movies, T.V and western media.
    in restrospect, an perfect propaganda bubble.

    I wanted to join up in the millitary because i wanted to do something that mattered in the world.

    During these army demo events, i was always with my nose in front to talk to soldiers and discuss weapons.

    ---

    After finishing high-school, i signed up.

    In Western europe where i live, millitary service is voluntary and based on work-contract for an set ammount of years.
    You go to this millitary test centre, where you examined for everything.
    How are your joints?, dental work, weight, physical endurance tests, etcetera.

    Then come the psychological tests and you get asked all kinds of questions about your pasts and how you view things.

    At the end of all this, you are rated into 4 category's. where 1 is the lowest, and 4 is the highest, Airborne being among them.
    i was so proud i got trough the tests.

    in 2005, i joined airborne bootcamp as a fresh recruit.
    We have nothing like the U.S has like in the movies. where you have to get shaved and shit.
    Our millitary only demands that tattoo's can be covered up, and that you appear "representable".

    First 4 weeks was basic millitary training what every serviceman gets in my country.
    Then comes the advanced airborne training.

    You get the weapon optics, how they work and how to use them.
    Classes about Airborne doctrine, and how to go behave around helicopters.
    How to fill in flashcards to give to the loadmaster, etcetera.

    Also the training missions change dramatically.
    Say goodbye to steady sleep, food and water supply's
    You march with heavy gear for 25 kilometers a day, rationing water,food and pushed to exhaustion.
    Every recruit experiences what we call "battle fatigue". It is where you are so tired, your brain starts shutting down partially while you are awake.
    You are marching on, and suddenly you start hallucinating things your subconsious is thinking about.

    For example, i was walking trough an forest. and suddenly i imagined there was this kitchen table with an big salami pizza in the middle of the woods.
    To get called out by my buddy that i was falling out of formation. My team members said they suffered trough simmilar things as well.

    some training assignments where amazing.

    during basic training, more and more recruits are discharged.
    Either by own choice as they can no longer bear the physical and mental demand.
    Others are turned away by the airborne instructors themselves.

    During one, we where marched off to the middle of nowhere in germany.
    telling us one by one to head into the fog, telling us to rely on our training.

    you encounter an drill sargeant that knows you personally trough your training.
    he puts it simple "you are alone, in enemy territory. an firefight took place just up ahead.
    Salvage what you can, and kill any practice targets that appear. we will flash an strobe to signal end of scenario".

    It was epic, slowly you walk in the dead of night. an dead soldier lies in front of you, carrying night vision.
    You take it, mounting it on your helmet and configuring the sharpness. you search his body, you find an magazine with sharp rounds.
    And an rifle Night vision scope.

    then a bit ahead. you find spend rounds, another dead soldier with an rifle.
    You pick it up, its empty.

    You go trough your training, checking if the rifle is still functional.
    the sound of the firing pin and hammer hitting it was music to the ears.
    Then run to the nearest bush, mount the NVG scope. load an fresh Magazine and chamber the round.

    every time not moving an mucle for a few seconds to listen what is going on.

    going off the road, jump into the stream next to the road.
    So dogs can not catch your scent, and no tracks to follow.

    as you move on these practice dummy's pop up, and you drop down and shoot them. first engagement was a bit off.
    You calibrate your NVG scope to compensate and move on.

    It was one of the best nights in airborne boot camp i ever had really.

    At the end of the road, 32 percent of my recruitment pool was left as we passed basic training.
    Witch ended in an red berret ceremony where you throw your "regular" berret to the floor and put up your red one.

    I wanted to become an sniper,...but the army decides ultimatly what you really become.
    And for me...it was the role of AT/Heavy weapons guy.

    --

    then came 2006....
    I was barely out of airborne boot camp, i still had an recruitment rank as my company was assigned to deploy to Afghanistan.

    Our intelligence briefings where absolutely awfull.

    We got told it never rains in Afghanistan, and all kinds of info we already knew from watching liveleak.
    Taliban where not an real threat and we would just go "winning hearts and minds" of the population.

    Our training schedule in advance for Afghanistan was not measured for the reality either.
    Americans just lied their asses off to our government and us.

    Afghanistan was an open-warfare conflict and they needed boots on the ground to fight it...fast.

    I deployed in Q3 2006, and learned the hard way like the rest of my fellow airborne and mechaniced infantry what was Reality.
    And how absolutely corrupt NATO and our western governments truly are.

    We went there with about 6 mags per infantry soldier each.
    then came the first firefights, and we ran dry. followed by questions who we should put in front of an firing squad for fucking up the enemy assesment so bad?.

    You see, we had an american SF base camped right next to us.
    We went over there, seeing they threw their steel magazines away when reloading...
    We needed magazines to boost each soldier's capacity to 14. and fast.

    Americans first gave them to us for free.
    Untill...they figured why give them for free......if they could trade them for those plastic ones we used?. and fit also in their rifles?.

    So we ended up trading, one of our plastics for 6 of their steel ones Wink.
    They payed us back in triplefold.

    We had brand-new 50. calls for example, but they kept jamming up during testfire because the parts expand because of the heat.
    Afghanistan is freaking warm, combine that with the dust and a new weapon and you encounter shit.

    An american SF explained to me an another gunner we needed to vile down the receiver's guiding rail.
    The weapon was good, but it was too new.
    its parts had too little room to manouvre.
    Explaining it was mechanical in operation, not gas operated.
    us viling it down would not affect its operation.

    Ever had an talk with your requisition officer?. mentioning you need sand paper to wear down an brand new weapon?.
    I was reported to my luitenant, who told my sargeant.
    My sargeant tough, came to me and was open to the Idea. telling me to do it, and not mentioning it to the luitenant.

    In our time in Afghanistan, there where people that paid an price.

    in one example. An mechanised convoy of ours got in an ambush that turned out bad.

    During an regular patrol one of the IFV's got entangled with it's tracks in an concertina-wire in the middle of this afghan town.
    Taliban en-masse assaulted the platoon, And there was nowhere to manouvre or go. They had an IFV stuck in concertina wiring blocking everyone.

    "contact!" on the radio marks the opening of an engagement. And everyone goes into their training experience.
    But this time, It just escalated out of control.

    First range of hostiles, 400 meters...
    Then 300....
    "children and women running with munitions, incomming fire becomming more accurate".
    "hostiles within 200 meters, Munitions down to 60 percent".
    then a few minutes later. "they are comming from the cornfields within 100 meters from us!"

    This IFV took an direct RPG hit in its engine compartment, This vehicle has its engine to the right side of the driver.
    The RPG penetrated the outside hull, and detonated into the engine compartment.
    The engine's walls buckled, fuel and oil lines ruptured.
    Crushing the driver's legs, trapping him.
    And he was engulfed by searing-hot oil and burning diesel.
    The driver screamed on Battalion net over the radio as he was set on fire.

    A few seconds the transmission was ceased, as we learned later the infantry sargeant in the rear killed the master power switch in an attempt to kill the fire.
    QRF was already on route to assist. they came in guns blazing but it was just not enough to counter the Taliban onslaught.

    Frantic radio traffic going back and fourth, platoon leader in an moment of emotion is still stransmitting on battalion net as he sees guys exiting the burning IFV.
    Then ...the medics transmitting for an 9 liner request.
    Fire extinguished, but driver is in critical condition. They need to amputate the legs.

    The order is given to execute as current engagement is untenable.
    AH-64's of our nation are called from their original mission. We need firepower and fast.
    The order is cancelled, Instead we get two A-10's contacting us on the fire support HF channel.

    The QRF and patrol platoon manages to free the driver and withdraw. A-10's destroy the IFV with an bomb. and empty their guns on the swarming taliban. breaking off their assault on our units.

    I was at base, listening to radio.
    They returned, hauling the moaning driver from the medic APC. As he was prepared for Medevac.
    Smelling of oil, fuel, burnt meat. spent ammo casings.

    And i, being the newbie was handed and bucket and told to bring the APC back in order.
    i opened up the heavy armoured door. bloodied bandages everywhere, spent gun casings everywhere, I.V bags.
    meanwhile the sun was falling onto the floor from an semi-open hatch. illuminating the fine afghan dust and casting light shadows.

    ...Welcome to War...

    we of course where there to do "peacekeeping".
    Well scrap peacekeeping, because we where busy doing open warfare.

    you have to imagine an picture of an army base in Afghanistan, and the ammount of territory we control, is about as large as we agressively can fight for.

    At some point, we convinced the local town leaders to pick our side.
    Because we distinguised ourselves from the americans, and we kept our words.

    Of course, this was not meanth to last.
    As we won over the local town, we took every spare gun from our base. went into the local towns police station and turned it into an fortress.
    We channeled our german-genes into building it.
    Gun nests, entrenced sandbag walls, you name it. we build it in an afternoon.
    Even the lokal shura/leaders and police where convinced.

    We where going to do Night patrols around the clock.
    Carrying heat-sensitive optics and night vision. that was assisted with IR illumination from our main base with an 81MM Mortar unit.

    Then, our politicians got wind of what we where doing.
    You see, our politicians in power....sold it to our ruling kabinet as we where doing only "peacekeeping duty's".
    Airborne troops dying in midnight CQB warfare with Taliban really did not match that narrative.

    So...Politicans ordered us to withdraw, immidiatly.
    Airborne command at first resisted. argueing of the repercussions when we would indeed fall back.
    Our spineless gummy bears in politics did not care, even our own officers tried to manouvre around the command untill Airborne command interrupted and said they did not like it either, but that it was an legitimate order.

    we broke our fortifications down, Afghan police and leaders looking at us...betrayed.
    We felth so ashamed, it was against everything we stood for. They where lambs to the slaughter.

    And indeed, the night came. we returned to base that was just two miles from the town.
    Then the screaming started, fire broke out in the school we build. sporadic gunfire..

    We went in with an patrol the next day, school teacher executed and hung from an tree.
    Kids ears cut off for listening to NATO propaganda. Leaders shot dead for betraying the Taliban.

    If anyone wonders how i ended up on his forum, it is shit like this.
    you grow disillusioned, for an lack of better word.
    your own side only uses these catch-frases for propaganda purposes.

    Media that is embedded with you, refuse to interview western soldiers that critisise their own government.
    Because they are under contract, to film what the government wants.
    The government decides what can be aired or not.

    We had this journalist with us in afghanistan.
    It was an "rogue" news channel. so they really did not conform to anyone.

    Their news crew went trough shit, the journalist had an injured soldier on his lap at a time while he was holding the I.V bag, and kept talking to him.
    He send his footage back to  my home nation, it was scensored.
    the journalist refused to change his story, and he was the next day in an rage, kicking this full trash can near the cafeteria.
    Yelling "i tried!, they just rubber stamp me and scencor all of it!"

    we told him it was okay, that we knew it was all one big puppet show.
    the journalist did not really calm down, he took it pretty hard after having an heavily injured soldier on his lap.
    He learned the hard way, about nobody gives a shit what truly happens in Afghhanistan..

    And while questioning your own purpose in being in Afghanistan and NATO while your politicians sell you out for their own political games, you get to meet the U.S foreign policy in action.
    You want to see complete disregard for human life?. get the U.S millitary involved.

    We had this town on the outskirts of our Operational area.
    it was an pain in the ass, sure. they really did not like us and Taliban used it often as an staging area.
    We where not exaclty the beacon of international dependency either after leaving Dher rawud to be slaughtered.

    Our 155MM self propelled howitzer was not yet in the area, so we depended a bit on the U.S for heavy fire support.
    We took artillery fire from this town one night to our base, and we really got hammered. We did not have the range to strike back.
    We wanted the launcher taken out, we said it like that. surgical strike against the launcher.

    The americans tasked an B-1 bomber to the town. It carpet-bombed the entire village.
    You see what 2000 pounder JDAM's do?. they create craters in the earth, so deep and wide you can build an house in it. and it still does not reach the surface.

    we saw the flashes, looking out we saw these gigantic mushroom clouds of fire rising up.
    After that everything was dead silent.

    it was becomming daylight, we decided we just had to go to the town.
    ...if there where still people left.

    We rolled in, the dust was still in the air.
    Shell-shocked Afghans, caked into the dust making them apppear like white ghosts.
    Shuffling trough the rubble looking for their fammily members.

    there was just death everywhere you looked.
    donkey's dead, sheep dead, afghans dead.

    We had up to two days after that afghans showing up to our base with their dead children, asking us if we could do something.
    Some father opening up an canvas bag, with his dead infant inside it.

    i think this was about as low i could feel in my millitary carreer.
    We told the U.S this was unnaceptable, and they better fix it.

    You know what they did?. they went into that town. and paid of their guilt in dollars.....
    25 dollars for children, 100 dollars for adults.
    lives mean nothing to the U.S or western governments.
    We tried telling the media about this, they just waved it away.

    The U.S SF force?. they where waiting on our base for us to return, they said: "you know now why we do not fly the U.S flag anymore on our base and vehicles".
    They where in the same position where we found ourselves in. trying to just get home, alive..

    Our airborne reputation died as soon we left the town to face the Taliban repercussions alone after our government ordered us directly to retreat, and the final blow was the americans blowing the town and all its inhabitants into low orbit around the earth.

    We still of course executed our missions.

    But we did our job towards eachother. to get home back in one piece.
    we really looked after eachother, discussing topics, lending out gear or weapons, or even going voluntarily with fellow units to bolster their expertise and firepower.

    it created a tight bond of comradery. i have really fond memories of that period.
    Modifying weapons, cleaning weapons, going trough tips and lessons learned with fellow heavy weapon operators.
    Having banter back and forth over the radio. It really felth as fammily.

    And this was carried over to their fellow troops.
    They had to match their more "zealous" members to keep up with their own group mentality.

    As airborne, you do not have tanks...but when an IFV with an ERA armor package storms in next to your light airborne armed vehicle and refuses to leave your side while it is taking fire itself.
    It is magic happening.


    Last edited by Airbornewolf on Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:58 pm; edited 2 times in total

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    patcarty2


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    Post  patcarty2 Sun Jan 09, 2022 9:16 pm

    Airbornewolf,

    As this is a Russian forum, why waffle on about another subject?

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    Airbornewolf
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    Post  Airbornewolf Sun Jan 09, 2022 9:25 pm

    Something from my archives..

    This is an Medevac demonstration, guy got bit by an dog if i recall correctly. And we never know if they have rabies or not.
    So S.O.P is to medevac anyone to an role 2 hospital for treatment.

    Troops wanted to do it by the book for training purposes.

    You see the medics walking up to the combat medics, handing over an flash-card with medical data that details the type of injury, heart-rate value, blood pressure, blood type. etc.
    If an tourniqet is applied, also the time when it was placed.

    fun fact: usually we take a permanent marker and go doodle on an soldiers forehead when we applied the tourniquet Wink.
    Also, its also unnoficial tradition with every soldier to fill out your medical chart and tuck it in your armour. And sport an patch with your blood-type.

    Usually when you are hauled in an medevac helicopter, you are not in an talking mood to go over your medical details.

    you can see clearly the procedures here, and how Medevac flights work in NATO.
    With an AH-64 escort overhead.

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    Airbornewolf
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    Post  Airbornewolf Sun Jan 09, 2022 9:35 pm

    patcarty2 wrote:Airbornewolf,

    As this is a Russian forum, why waffle on about another subject?

    I see you have one post.
    You must be new here!, welcome!.
    i mean....its 5 years too late. But better late than never i guess.

    I see you did not introduce yourself to our little community here.
    Like monopoly, i suggest you go back to Start and try again.

    Also, you clearly have not read our backgrounds on here or interacted with the regular members on here.

    There are people here from all over the world, some with millitary experience.
    Some people have suggested i start an thread about my experiences to learn a bit how i experienced things.
    some trough posts, others trough PM's.

    And this forum supports all kinds of topics, not just Russian ones Wink.

    So yes, i waffle on about Nato-things here i can openly talk about.

    I am terribly sorry my behaviour does not conform to your viewpoint.
    If you want an arguement about it, i am all game.
    Otherwise, i suggest you go focus on the dozens of other threads and topics on here.


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    Post  patcarty2 Sun Jan 09, 2022 9:39 pm

    Sticks and stones etc, etc.
    However, like I said; "As this is a Russian forum, why waffle on about another subject"?

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    franco
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    Post  franco Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:48 pm

    patcarty2 wrote:Sticks and stones etc, etc.
    However, like I said; "As this is a Russian forum, why waffle on about another subject"?

    Because some of the other members asked him to and rule #2 here is that if you don't want to see something... don't look thumbsup

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    Post  franco Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:58 pm

    I too served in a NATO military back in the 70's before you were born Embarassed probably. Got injured in a training accident and while recovering was assigned to Brigade HQ, where the General had decided that he wanted an unit trained and equipped as per the Red Army (FSU). That research exercise led to a life long interest (over 40 years) and a hobby especially since around the time Putin arrived.

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    Airbornewolf
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    Post  Airbornewolf Sun Jan 09, 2022 11:56 pm

    franco wrote:I too served in a NATO military back in the 70's before you were born Embarassed probably. Got injured in a training accident and while recovering was assigned to Brigade HQ, where the General had decided that he wanted an unit trained and equipped as per the Red Army (FSU). That research exercise led to a life long interest (over 40 years) and a hobby especially since around the time Putin arrived.

    nice!, good to know i am not the only NATO guy around here.
    And yes, i was born in the 80's, so i was indeed not around yet.

    sorry to hear about you getting injured, i hope it was nothing permanent?.
    It sounds like an good idea to gear an unit in complete soviet gear at the time.
    Then you really learn how it works and what it is capable off.

    I rolled a bit in simmilar fashion into russian gear and equipment.
    I dont know if NATO also did this in the 70's, but they learned us to recognise soviet vehicles.

    But they never told me/us what these vehicles where capable off.
    some might see this as rather critical information to have Smile.

    I really got into contact with Russian equipment in Afghanistan.
    Again, here in Europe they like to demonise Russia at every turn.

    So it was suprising to step off the passenger plane and see logistics being busy loading up helicopters carrying an russian flag on their hull.
    NATO service experience Max12010


    and it was not one aircraft, there where many, inlcluding heavy Antonov aircraft.

    we/i where told how the russian millitary was just old rust buckets that barely could run.
    well, ....not so much in Afghanistan. And i got curious and started asking around.

    NATO relied massively on these contractors, almost everything needs to be moved by air in Afghanistan for obvious reasons.
    NATO did not have the logistical aircraft numbers to do this themselves.
    Also, NATO helicopters struggled in Afghanistan, As it sits 2 KM above sea level with an lesser air density than when they normally are.
    So....NATO aircraft where limited in performance.

    The russian helicopters had different engines that where made to perform in this atmosphere, they had no performance loss.
    We put everything into those MI-26's. Armoured IFV's, full of munitions, post for soldiers, whole loads of bottled water, full of stacked pallets.

    I only saw a few ANA MI-35's. one flew one time over during my fist tour.
    Afghans really fear them, especially the older guys at the time.
    I got an deep love for the "Hind".

    It was an amazing learning experience in all.

    These machines can take a beating, these guys land. spend a couple of hours tooling at it, repair the aircraft and take back off again.
    one time, the MI-26 "we" had under control had an rotor component that needed to be replaced.
    The Base that was still under construction could not get their building supplies for three weeks.
    Troops spend sleeping outside next to their APC's. Had to ration water, so no more shaving.
    No spare parts for vehicles, so at one point their patrol area was scaled back to walking distance.

    To illustrate how dependent we where on these russian cargo helicopters.

    The heavy antonov cargo aircraft are amazing as well, they have this entire crew quarters in their top decks.
    i never knew that, it was like an gigantic RV.
    An guy flying on one of these an-124s with an tour of the inside:

    https://youtu.be/5FSyTuY1rGg

    NATO service experience Meng_p10

    Just....do not get in the way of an Antonov that is dead-set on flying home. they do not care if a few mortars or rockets land on the airfield.
    They are leaving....and that is it.
    In one such incident the Pilot wanted to quickly turn onto the runway for take-off. and opened up his left wing's engines to full power to make the turn.
    This aircraft is a beast ,so are its engines.

    NATO's airforce learned that day.....its better not to park anywhere near Russian aircraft that are busy to GTFO,
    They blown over a few helicopters on the parking...
    NATO service experience Nether11


    So yes, i was also brought by my service into contact with russian equipment.
    It has ever since been an hobby of me as well.

    its a shame really NATO army's do not have working soviet vehicles anymore. i never seen them anyway.
    The only ones in working order i saw was in the czech republic and poland.

    Only old hulls that where stripped and not looked after.

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    Post  kvs Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:06 am

    patcarty2 wrote:Airbornewolf,

    As this is a Russian forum, why waffle on about another subject?

    Thought police much.

    This forum covers many topics and this thread was requested by other members.

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    Post  GarryB Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:22 am

    As this is a Russian forum, why waffle on about another subject?

    Probably because he feels safe from attack and censorship on this Russian forum than he would on a forum controlled by a western zealot.

    This is the General Chat section, so he can talk about anything he likes here... and you are free to ignore it if you wish, or ask questions.

    BTW my Nephew was in Afghanistan for a tour and he liked the Americans. My Nephew was in the NZ Peacekeeper forces but they were actually doing good things like supporting the locals. They also gained the trust of the locals but he was there so long ago they didn't have time to feel betrayed.

    He actually liked the American forces and said that they liked the Kiwis in return and gave the Kiwis US codes, so if there were a few fire fights going on and several groups needed help at one time, the US forces obviously got priority, but that New Zealand troops were treated like US forces and got the same priority.

    There was not much fighting where they were stationed and one of the locals told him one time that some Taliban had come to the village and wanted to help the villagers to kick these infidels out of their country, and the village elder told them to go away. The mission for the Kiwi troops was building wells and fixing things and building schools.

    They found a local boy with a cleft palate so they put their hands in their own pockets and raised money to fly him to Kabul... a US doctor had offered to do the surgery for free... they just had to get him there and back...

    Like I said on another thread... when I heard the west was going in to Afghanistan I hoped they would have a positive effect on the country and the region.

    Sadly though they seem to have left it the way they found it.

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    Post  lancelot Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:08 pm

    To be honest I had little hope of it happening with Massoud being dead. I think he was probably the only guy who could galvanize Afghan sentiment to make a truly national movement. The other alternative would be putting the Monarchy back but the US was clearly against it. The country needs some kind of focus point. Either a figure everyone there would respect or someone who could seem impartial.

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    Post  Airbornewolf Mon Jan 10, 2022 3:43 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    As this is a Russian forum, why waffle on about another subject?

    Probably because he feels safe from attack and censorship on this Russian forum than he would on a forum controlled by a western zealot.


    yup, i got yeeted from western social media actually.
    They do not like if you take an nato-critical tone.

    Speaking about reconstruction activities and Afghanistan.
    We encountered "challenges" with that with some point.

    Like described above, we started off good but got rather dark fast.

    We indeed brought at some point this large mobile drilling rig for water wells in the early period of our nations afghanistan mission.
    We got the town together to have an raffle who got one first. You end up with an meeting with all the tribal leaders.

    They are an multitude of tribes in Afghanistan, and they really do not like eachother in general.
    Often the most powerfull ones, feel entitled they should get things first.

    So that is why we decided to do an raffle to be as honest as possible.
    After we tought everything was settled and agreed. we went back to base.

    And in the evening, an firefight broke out.
    They where having a go at eachother for who gets the well first.
    ...even after we made clear everyone would get one.

    We tried dealing with this animosity between the tribes, and our interpreter who was once an afghan refugee.
    grew up in my country and went back to work for us trying to smooth some things over.

    He had an long talk at a meeting. About how my nation was at war with another nation, and that it cost a lot of life and money.
    That it does not solved anything, and only created more problems.

    How the war ended, and we learned to leave eachother alone. We rebuild and became an very prosperous nation, together with the nation we where are war with.
    That we now have very close ties with them and been friends for a long time now.

    The tribes, just flat-out rejected. thumping with an AK on the ground this only could be settled in blood.
    Appearantly, something happened a few generations ago involving an daughter from one tribe and they where still going on about it.

    Our interpreter took it a bit personally that he could not talk them out of it.
    We felth a bit bad for him, saying to just come home with us. That clearly he has outgrown this place.

    NATO seriously screwed themselves with getting any respect from the afghan people.
    But yes, the afghans themselves where propably after that their own worst enemy to actually get some sort of fuctional society.
    They just keep busy undermining eachother's tribe, creating more distrust and friction.

    This was present in the ANA as well.

    this town we had secured for an while, and going into the last few years of the mission we deemed the town was stable enough to be handed over to the ANA.
    there was an period there where no Taliban for an while, also no more IEDS.
    So we handed over control to the ANA. And we heard for an while nothing bad from that town.
    Then slowly, shit began happening again.

    The random IED here, Taliban somehow got past that town and began operations again against us.
    But...it was just off. they where not focused on us, not really. We just came across them by accident so they had to engage us.

    We went back to that town, to see what the hell was going on.
    Well,...the townspeople where angry. very angry.

    They gave the ANA riding with us into town this death-stare.
    So we asked what was happening, and it was just if a gas-fueled fire was being lit.

    They accused the ANA of stealing everything they had, and terrorised them.
    That accusation did not go well with the ANA. So we tried our best to de-escalate and get them to seperate.

    The townspeople where right tough, all the stuff they had. was indeed gone.
    Shops empty, bikes gone, all the colloured blankets they had hanging and generators. gone.

    So we forced ourselves on the ANA base to take a look.
    And behold, their tents where filled to the brim with the stuff they took from the town.
    We contacted the Americans, who on an province-level controlled the ANA.
    We told them they had to leave, with only what they came with. no discussions.
    That we first would take over patrol in the area, and a new, other ANA needed to come here .

    This ANA unit was made up of an tribe that had in the past an fight with the town.
    So that little cultural detail did not help either...

    Americans acknowledged the corruption isssues. they explained is comes from "money-flow" problems in the afghan government themselves.
    That most just never get their money. It just gets "lost" somewhere down the chain, that they tried to keep an eye on it but ...well the american officer said it was pretty much imposible to get some sort of fail-safe structure in here.
    And i at least agree with him, that it is the afghan's government responsibility these guys get paid.
    There went rediculous ammounts of money going into the ANA, that just dissapeared as snow before the hot desert sun.

    Its certainly not the only "incident" we had with the ANA.

    I heard some area's where relatively "quieter" than the one we had responsilbility for.
    We started in the default ISAF-stance. low projection of force, so not to disturb the afghans. reconstruction activities. etc.
    But it was just not doable, so we escalated to what is akin to open warfare.
    Patrol units all got armoured up, also combining several units into one patrol.
    Electronic warfare,combat engineers, forward air controllers, medics, at least one full infantry combat platoon.

    On base support was gradually escalated as well. up to deploying multiple Panzerhouwitzer 2000's per base.
    We had to, as sometimes we threaded the needle with engagements that could have gone way worse.

    There was this FOB located in the middle between our main base of operations, and Kandahar airfield to secure the ground route.
    Our bases where in this early fase (year 2006) still under construction, inlcuding the runway so not all things could be flown in.

    The FOB's base on this route position, sucks. Its surrounded by mountains in almost an 360 fashion.
    So during an night, completely caught off gaurd this FOB got attacked by about 200 fighters.
    guys where in shorts, playing cards and the like when the bullets started whistling by in their tents.

    It was chaos, no organised defense. Only an frantic message over the radio they where under assault.
    Some troops took it upon themselves to run and crawl to their IFV's. Two gunners got their IFV's and turned their turrets towards the muzzle flashes and opened fire.
    Unknown to them, they fired right trough the gaurd towers scaffolding at times.
    The gunner's could not power up electronics, so no night vision.

    By some sort of miracle, nobody got hurt.
    Taliban where hanging dead in the base's concertina wiring tough the next morning.
    To illustrate how close they got.

    It was decided to abandon the base, it was just an deathtrap really.
    Of course, Media never made any report on us that we where not busy with an reconstruction mission. but more akin to OEF and fighting an open war with the taliban.
    That they should write about the battle for the FOB.
    But nope, everything got scensored away by the government.
    Cant have inconvenient talks in the government about this can we?.

    And i agree garry, ultimatly it was all for nothing.
    Of course everyone that had gotten some experience in Afghanistan and got to hear what was going on knew this.
    But, we where there to just keep the war going and trying to make the best of it.

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    Post  Airbornewolf Mon Jan 10, 2022 7:12 pm

    To illustrate how our security situation was not as calm in some area's.
    This was the best english subtitles one i could find of one of the first engagements ny nation had in 2006.

    The Taliban uses cornfields to hide in and close the distance to us.
    While troops and the Patria's defend their positions together with ANA.
    Other units disengage, move trough the buildings to execute an flanking manouvre.

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    Post  GarryB Tue Jan 11, 2022 8:28 am

    But yes, the afghans themselves where propably after that their own worst enemy to actually get some sort of fuctional society.
    They just keep busy undermining eachother's tribe, creating more distrust and friction.

    But don't you love the delicious irony... they act like the west... keeping other rivals down and punishing them militarily and economically every chance they get...

    Very unchristian really.

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    Post  Airbornewolf Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:21 pm

    GarryB wrote:
    But yes, the afghans themselves where propably after that their own worst enemy to actually get some sort of fuctional society.
    They just keep busy undermining eachother's tribe, creating more distrust and friction.

    But don't you love the delicious irony... they act like the west... keeping other rivals down and punishing them militarily and economically every chance they get...

    Very unchristian really.


    Yeah, no shit.
    You heard one of the worst examples of NATO nation screwing an NATO nation?.

    While i was present in Afghanistan during deployment in 2008/2009, the French did not had an good time.

    To explain, The French took over an Area the Italians controlled before them august 2008.
    The situation here was always very calm under italian control, NATO/we did not have had any indications or reports this area was unstable or the like.
    It just was quiet, even drone/survaillance flights did not found anything.

    Then the French came, took it over...and the Italians left.
    So the French went out on an patrol, and just got massively engaged by Taliban with nowhere to go.
    Completely unprepared and outgunned.
    You remember i said after the first battles we realised we needed way more munitions?.
    Well the french encountered the same trap, except they had no time to learn and it cost them.

    Details of the battle here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzbin_Valley_ambush
    Of course being Wikipedia, it does leave out the main cause for this major incident with the french.



    You know why the Italian's had such and quiet time?.
    At the start of the Italian deployment, they have paid off the Taliban to leave them alone, and stay clear of the area.
    The italians did not came forward with this, even when the french got massacred.
    It was told by Taliban themselves to us, They knew dates, names of italian officials and what was discussed.

    Thing is, yes. they told us willingly to sow internal strife.
    But what they told us/NATO was true. They could only have told us these things in such detail if they really did had a deal.
    We checked, these people mentioned indeed where exactly in these dates inside afghanistan on bases nearby. Confidential flights of NATO.

    They got paid,...a lot. They paid even mercenaries with it to have an go at the French.
    in the opening attack they shot the commander and radio operator and interpreter to liason with ANA forces with an sniper team first. go take a guess.

    This was,..of course. shoved under the carpet again.
    Things go up in the chain of command, to dissapear forever.

    It pissed us off at the time. We expected that France would go at Italians throat for this.
    Then again, reality was here. NATO troops are just registration numbers. pawns to be sacrificed.

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    Post  GarryB Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:36 am


    Thing is, yes. they told us willingly to sow internal strife.

    If the Taliban were Americans I would agree, but being Afghan... I suspect they were pissed off at getting the pay cut... if you pay someone to cross their property every day to get to work but then you stop and disappear but some other guy doing your job starts walking across the property and doing it for free... well of course you remind him why the previous guy was paying for the privilege.

    It has nothing to do with creating animosity between the new guy and the old guy... it is about asserting that peaceful use of this land costs money and if you don't pay then expect to pay in blood.

    They are not idiots... of course they would prefer to get paid to not fight, but they clearly thought you guys were stiffing them... assuming the money stopped and people kept operating in the area... they would likely notice the different uniforms and the different weapons.... but the rent needs to be paid or they might never agree to pay rent again...
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    Post  SeigSoloyvov Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:18 pm

    GarryB wrote:

    Thing is, yes. they told us willingly to sow internal strife.

    If the Taliban were Americans I would agree, but being Afghan... I suspect they were pissed off at getting the pay cut... if you pay someone to cross their property every day to get to work but then you stop and disappear but some other guy doing your job starts walking across the property and doing it for free... well of course you remind him why the previous guy was paying for the privilege.

    It has nothing to do with creating animosity between the new guy and the old guy... it is about asserting that peaceful use of this land costs money and if you don't pay then expect to pay in blood.

    They are not idiots... of course they would prefer to get paid to not fight, but they clearly thought you guys were stiffing them... assuming the money stopped and people kept operating in the area... they would likely notice the different uniforms and the different weapons.... but the rent needs to be paid or they might never agree to pay rent again...

    You clearly have never been to Afghanistan nor dealt with or worked alongside them.

    The Taliban were all about mind games, some could be brought off and others couldn't. For example, there were areas we (the US) Never went and the Taliban would never go. In lots of cases, there were mutual understandings.

    If they came into our areas, we would kill them, if we went into theirs, they would try to kill us.

    But they always looked for the opportunity to try and create strife, we are enemies.

    What you need to remember about the Taliban double so a few years back it was not a unified force but separate tribes whose leaders had a council etc, sometimes the leader of one tribe would go against their council's wishes and make backroom deals etc. In most cases, this was let go because the Taliban could not simply kill off that leader without causing a huge commotion.

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    Post  SeigSoloyvov Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:33 pm

    patcarty2 wrote:Sticks and stones etc, etc.
    However, like I said; "As this is a Russian forum, why waffle on about another subject"?

    Kind of childish ain't you? the thread has different areas for different topics....are you a member who just made a new account to say this?.

    Maybe I should make a thread about my first experiences with Afghanistan.
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    Post  Airbornewolf Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:20 pm

    Taliban is sometimes misunderstood in their structure.

    regular people think they are just a bunch of peasants with an bunch of old AK's and RPG's.
    This is largely untrue.
    There are large groups of islamists idiots drugged up that attack you.
    Its their numbers that are the threat.
    And of course...the bullets from their AK and RPG's are not any less lethal.
    Just their accuracy at range is bad.

    Taliban is more of an collection of mercenary's, islamists and anyone that has a grudge against NATO.
    They do not operate solely inside Afghanistan Either.

    Their command and training facility's are located in Pakistan and India.
    Witch...certainly will go to bite India and pakistan in the ass now Afghanistan is in Taliban Control.
    It also explains why this open border leakage sustained perpetual war in Afghanistan.
    Among other reasons of course....
    Taliban never act exactly the same way either every year.

    They always start the "spring offense" and melt away again when winter approaches.
    Leaving a few small units behind for harrasment purposes.

    You might have for example one year an taliban commander in your area that favours mass ambushes.
    The next year, you encounter less ambushes. but very advanced I.E.D's that sport anti-tampering boobytraps. Are made of Plastic or Chemical loads like White phosporous.
    At one point we had this big primary I.E.D, and the bomb maker would make an secondary Trigger underneath that was activated by an light-sensitive sensor.
    Or an plastic AP mine with an anti-lift mechanism under neath.
    Or our favourite, the EFP IED. where they made an shaped charge attack themselves.

    This is because Taliban Commanders, high-skill operators, bomb makers etcetera do "tours" just like we do in NATO.
    They go for a few months to Area 1, and at the end of combat season. witch often means before the NATO army figured out who he is and how to find him. Goes back to Pakistan to discuss lessons learned with fellow specialists.
    Then next season, he goes to Area 2. Where he meets an new nation's army that does not know his M.O. And starts again implementing his practices.
    As i said, they did not operate in Afghanistan alone. We learned they also for example apeared in iraq and the other way around.

    Their specialist combatants that often went under the designation Foreign Fighters are mostly mercenary's come usually from the former soviet states where was conflict.
    Their level of equipment and skill is exceptional proffesional most of the time.
    They can set up an mortar, fire the first shot that is afwully close to an base. To just fire in rapid succession all over inside the NATO base.
    They do this under two minutes mostly, And just dissapear just as quick.

    We killed two early on in our engagement operation. They sported AK's with silencers and optics, GPS/Glonass systems, maps and foreign passports.

    These mercenaries also went about it professionally.
    One of our convoy's would pass trough an valley without issue, With an U.S Convoy shortly behind us.
    We never saw these mercenaries in ambush positions, Or ground deformation by IED's.

    Then came the U.S Convoy up at the same position.
    First they where struck by an Daisy-chain. Witch is multiple explosives linked in an row to take out a few targets all at once.
    Then the merc's opened fire, killing with sniper teams several american soldiers that disembarked and gunners.
    It was getting dark, and it rained, hardly good conditions for an sniper to go pick off moving targets.

    They also do observation missions. They sit in the mountains and at times when its night, without clear sky and moonlight/starlight. They used these old L-2 Luna IR lights to quickly illuminate an area where they think movement happened.
    Then after a few seconds it switches off again. IR is visible as light in night vision optics.
    First, we tought it was our own SF guys. We radio'd the observations in. But the tought of being Taliban Mercs does not immidiatly comes to mind.
    Of course SF operations and positions are highly secret. They never tell us either if they where...or not.
    Only when we are about to fire on those positions we radio in to RC South for engagement clearance they tell you you can..or can not if its our guys.
    Our night optics where not powerfull enough either for large magnification. It was antiquated 70's/80's NVG so resolution sucked.
    So, we left it at that. but kept an eye on it.

    Then some Mortar battery opened fire and strikes landed at an hill where NATO troops where parked for the duration of the night.
    of course being it accurate fire, that is impossible without spotting we figured out these where not our guys. and called RC South for air support to pound the position of IR illumination and the mortar site.
    the AH-64 could not find anything as it arrived, not the mortar team. and not the spotter team.
    We assumed they went into an cave. but they dissapeared without an trace.

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    Post  GarryB Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:38 am

    You clearly have never been to Afghanistan nor dealt with or worked alongside them.

    The Soviets were there about half as long as your guys, and they got a pretty good understanding... but I would not suggest I understood them all.

    Just like I don't really understand Americans.


    The Taliban were all about mind games, some could be brought off and others couldn't. For example, there were areas we (the US) Never went and the Taliban would never go. In lots of cases, there were mutual understandings.

    The Taliban are like Democrats or Republicans.... they are a "side" in a civil war... that is us and them... sometimes they will compromise but normally if they can get their own way they will do it.

    People is people.

    And they do hold a grudge.

    Maybe I should make a thread about my first experiences with Afghanistan.

    You are welcome to.
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    Post  Airbornewolf Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:19 am

    On a lighter post...

    Want to hear about the U.S Airforce most incompetent action ever?.
    Or how i got screwed by an amateur porn actor inside my own army?.

    Operation: Leaflet drop:

    So, we had this huge operation planned ahead where we would hermetically seal this large town and filter it of Taliban.
    Psyops, made this awesome double-sided instruction leaflet.

    giving instructions in Afghanistan what to expect from us, and common frases to use with us.
    Some poor bastards spend nights at the full collour printer, printing double sided leaflets to drop from the sky.
    Changing Cartridges, filling boxes. etcetera.

    We, had no aircraft capable to drop leaflets ourselves. But we knew the U.S done it before.

    So we asked, "can you drop leaflets for us!?!".
    Americans where like: "of course!, give us the details".

    So we gave them all the information. Drop zone, date of time, etcetera.
    Handed the pallet full of leaflets over to them......

    Then came zero hour for the operation.
    infantry went forward into the city....

    Mission debrief: "so...how did the population react to the leaflet drop?".
    Luitenant: "i dont know, we never seen one of them".
    Commander: "how do you mean "you never seen one of them?".
    Luitenant: "as i say it, none. i seen nothing".

    Day 2:
    We inquire to the U.S airforce if they dropped the pallet.
    They said yes, dropped over target.
    We ask: we did not find any leaflets.
    Americans: I dont know what to tell you, the leaflets went out.

    Day 2 patrol:
    Commander: still no leaflets?.
    Luitenant: nope, we should at least have found paper mache by now...
    Commander: how on earth is this possible?.
    We: Americans confirmed they dropped it, they did not return with the pallet.

    Day 3: Front gate of our main base.
    An very, very angry Afghan stands at the gate.
    Waving in his hand,....a handfull of our flyers.
    Turns out,....some europallet out of nowhere came crashing trough his roof.....

    Turned out...Americans indeed dropped the flyers afterall....
    Just...all in the boxes, neatly strapped to an Europallet.
    They litterally went over the drop zone, and shoved the entire stacked pallet out their rear of their aircraft.
    "I guess this is the dropzone, push it out!".

    We encompanied the afghan to his home, And indeed. in the middle of his living room. there was our pallet, with all boxes still on it.
    It crashed straight trough his roof in the middle of his living room.
    Even if you spell it out for Americans. They just take things....very literally.

    ----

    Screwed by an amateur porn actress in the army:

    Too crazy to be real right?....
    how could i be screwed by an porn acrtess?.
    ...did we even have one to begin with?. i hear you ask...
    NSFW Warning: stripping servicewoman.
    https://i.servimg.com/u/f87/20/39/80/76/imagee11.jpg

    i wont post the whole thing here because of NSFW rules.

    To begin,.....
    I was not even aware of it at the time, but a certain flash-drive went around base.
    Containing an striptease-slide of an soldier of our nation...
    Doing the striptease...online..in her official uniform.
    And she was deployed with us, in another infantry unit.
    The damn pictures spread faster than the common cold, i swear.

    There was no escaping it.
    I set next to some Aussies in the dining room, grinning at us.
    When we asked. They said:
    "that girl stripping in uniform?"
    " yes?..."
    "we got those pictures!".

    But of course they had... lol1

    My superior officer:
    "you always are up to date with things going on at base, arent you?".
    Me"i am not sure what you are talking about sir".
    "do not play coy with me, ...you got the pictures of the chick in uniform?!".
    me: "they might be on this flash drive?...."
    *grasp!*
    Me: "i do expect that thing back in working order sir".

    She managed to file complaints with the millitary police for sexual harrasment.
    The millitary police was not sure how to respond, except with "what did you expect?".
    Whenever she entrered the dining hall, all heads turned towards her...

    She was send out on an multi-day patrol, lets just say guys with no privacy tend to work up a few pent up feelings.
    especially infantry....
    So she got pulled out prematurely (hahaaa!, a Pun! lol1 ) from her tour.

    Her luitenant required someone "good" as he needed to spearhead an convoy the next day.
    I, first cursed her out. as i just got back from an deployment and i was enjoying some warm food, hot shower and my barracks in three weeks.
    But...duty called, and i was put on the chopper to reinforce.

    I got out of the chopper, met up with the luitenant who introduced me to the platoon.
    "we got an replacement, Male, 37 degrees body temperature, NOT to jerk off to or to ****. He's infantry with combat experience. he is going to do his job.
    He will take her Sleeping quarters too ".

    It was an uneventfull mission back, i had a talk with her luitenant tough.

    So, Airbornewolf here had to go out on an mission. because some women had to striptease in her combat fatigues online  Shocked
    And she could not deal with all the men where making fun of her....
    Guess...you should have not joined infantry and done that!?. Cool


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    Post  GarryB Fri Jan 14, 2022 12:33 am

    Want to hear about the U.S Airforce most incompetent action ever?.

    To be fair they did drop your leaflets... but I guess needing to be that specific is asking too much... was the coordinates given for the drop a single location or was it a specific area...

    And she could not deal with all the men where making fun of her....

    Everybody has high quality nude photos of themselves in their work uniforms on the internet don't they?

    Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

    Once your stomach gets big enough it can hide small genitals, so they can be quite tasteful on Christmas cards for the Family and Friends...  angel

    Just a reminder of the rules... no porn...

    A warning and links that tell you what is at the end of the link means anything is OK, but no porn posted on this site please.

    (posts so far are fine... just putting in warning if other members want to post anything similar... please to it with links and suitable warnings/descriptions too.)

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    Post  11E Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:04 pm

    nice!, good to know i am not the only NATO guy around here.
    And yes, i was born in the 80's, so i was indeed not around yet.

    No you are not the only one Very Happy


    I rolled a bit in simmilar fashion into russian gear and equipment.
    I dont know if NATO also did this in the 70's, but they learned us to recognise soviet vehicles.

    The seventies I don't know. But in the eighties you had to learn to recognise the combat vehicles like, the BMP, BTR, the T-model tanks etc. In a dark room the instructor used a flashlight on a wooden model and then from the back of the room we had to recognise it Laughing
    I was in air dedense so they used slides (most of them very grainy and black and white) to recognise the various types. The showed it for just a second or so and then you had to recognise the aircraft type.


    But they never told me/us what these vehicles where capable off.
    some might see this as rather critical information to have Smile.

    I really got into contact with Russian equipment in Afghanistan.

    we/i where told how the russian millitary was just old rust buckets that barely could run.
    well, ....not so much in Afghanistan. And i got curious and started asking around.

    When the Russian pulled back from east germany I was in the opportunity to be there and visit army bases and air forces bases over there. I have never seen such good maintained vehicles. Lots of BMP and tanks inside old shads, but heated, dry, on a trickle charger and combat loaded. No rust, no sand or dirt. Our vehicles were in an open shed, not on a trickle charger, covered in bird droppings and sometimes the spare parts were a problem too, especially after the wall fell. Also on flying days of the air force regiments. The whole regiment was pulled on the flight line, the weather flight went out and when the go was given the whole regiment of about 30 planes was  flying sorties. I doubt that in that time a F-16 wing could get the same amount in the air with peacetime rules.

    Since that time I'am very fascinated by Soviet/Russian equipment and way of working.

    [/quote]

    regards

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    Airbornewolf
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    Post  Airbornewolf Sun Jan 16, 2022 3:20 am

    11E wrote:

    No you are not the only one Very Happy


    The seventies I don't know. But in the eighties you had to learn to recognise the combat vehicles like, the BMP, BTR, the T-model tanks etc. In a dark room the instructor used a flashlight on a wooden model and then from the back of the room we had to recognise it Laughing
    I was in air dedense so they used slides (most of them very grainy and black and white) to recognise the various types. The showed it for just a second or so and then you had to recognise the aircraft type.



    When the Russian pulled back from east germany I was in the opportunity to be there and visit army bases and air forces bases over there. I have never seen such good maintained vehicles. Lots of BMP and tanks inside old shads, but heated, dry, on a trickle charger and combat loaded. No rust, no sand or dirt. Our vehicles were in an open shed, not on a trickle charger, covered in bird droppings and sometimes the spare parts were a problem too, especially after the wall fell. Also on flying days of the air force regiments. The whole regiment was pulled on the flight line, the weather flight went out and when the go was given the whole regiment of about 30 planes was  flying sorties. I doubt that in that time a F-16 wing could get the same amount in the air with peacetime rules.

    Since that time I'am very fascinated by Soviet/Russian equipment and way of working.



    haha good!, its nice to know i am not alone in the experience.

    i wish they have done that. I really just looked at an computer monitor with close up pictures of soviet vehicles and answering 3 multiple choice questions.
    For example of the BMP-1.
    They never explained anything about it, i had to learn trough books it was in fact amphibious, its armanents and that it had gun-ports.

    At some point shortly after my basic training my army bought the Panzerfaust-3. it is this short-range anti tank weapon.
    I was send with ...give or take i guess...the first class to learn the weapon.

    https://modernfirearms.net/en/grenade-launchers/germany-grenade-launchers/panzerfaust-3-eng/

    There was this ballistics fire computer involved, called the Dynarange.
    It calculated pretty much the rocket trajectory and told you where to aim.

    We felth it was Magic, then the Anti-tank instructor said we would never use it.
    suprised, we asked why.
    The sargeant explained T-90's where already equipped with about the same laser warning system we had on our Leo-2's.
    That in case of getting lased, the turret would turn on its own towards the target and fire. Rendering our laser targeting unit useless.

    His advice?, to use the standard sighting system. And stick to it.
    During training, we had the basic rundown with both the standard sight and the Dynarange computerised ballistics.
    But the sarge was right, the standard sight was just fine. It behaved like an AT-84 on steroids. bigger kick, a slightly bigger range and a tiny bit slower.
    Buti it is an really good weapon.
    Could be lighter tough, not an fun experience to march for kilometers with....

    Air defense?. guessing you had to optically identify it where MANPADS?.
    If you do not want to tell, no worries Wink.

    NATO still has the same shit, most vehicles stand outside, under an very basic roof in the open air and elements.
    Never geared for war, they are emtpy. their gear stored in an warehouse, weapons in an armoury and munitions are ...well ...nowhere Wink.

    Personally, i found it such an waste we did not keep soviet weaponry in pristine condition. like an warehouse or museum.
    From an training perspective, actual, working soviet weapons would be invaluable for training perposes.

    It uh...tended to lend itself for frustrations in exercises.
    Where some tank unit got destroyed by "Redfor" that looked like NATO tanks Razz.
    Only difference they had this flag in the antenna's....and there was basically no wind.
    "how the hell am i to tell the difference?. they are own fucking tanks!?".

    great exercises...

    I would really loved to see that ammount of aircraft in the sky as you described.
    Sadly, i already enlisted in the budget cut era's....

    "yeah guys!, a helicopter is comming!".
    after 20 minutes:
    "hey guys....yup its another 25 kilometers of marching".

    I was Airborne, but seeing an freaking airplane or helicopter became this Relic Item from warhammer 40K you could call on.
    Or translated, it was akin to an miracle if you saw ever one of them.....
    I was more walking from A to B than flying  lol1

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