Category Archives: Special Operations

Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima

Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima


Australian Army soldiers conducted urban operations training alongside soldiers from Singapore, Malaysia, United Kingdom and New Zealand on Exercise Bersama Lima 2018. The soldiers formed part of the land warfare component of Bersama Lima 2018 which contributed to the Five Power Defence Arrangements combined joint exercise. Bersama Lima 2018 was staged in Malaysia and Singapore from 1 – 19 October 2018 and included air, land and maritime training activities which aimed at enhancing interoperability of member nations.

Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima

Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima


The multilateral exercise directly contributes to the security and stability of the region and included approximately 800 ADF personnel from Navy, Army and Air Force. The Australian Army soldiers were from Charlie Company, 8th/9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, located in Brisbane, Queensland, who are the current Rifle Company Butterworth rotation 123, based at Royal Malaysian Air Force Base Butterworth in Penang, Malaysia.
Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima

Urban Clearance training during Exercise Bersama Lima

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Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS

Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS


In May 2015, the Pentagon initiated a secret program dubbed Combat Dragon II. $20 million was allocated to activate an experimental unit of two OV-10s, acquired from NASA and the State Department. Its purpose: to test the viability of the low-cost, Vietnam-era OV-10 Bronco in combat scenarios against ISIS. The primary weapon during the aircraft’s deployment to Iraq was 7- and 19-tube rocket pods loaded with the highly accurate laser-guided 70mm Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II rocket, or APKWS II. Two OV-10Gs were assigned for light attack operations in Iraq under the “Combat Dragon II” program and completed 120 missions.

Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS

Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS


The OV-10 Bronco is the Swiss Army Knife of military aviation, faster than a helicopter, more maneuverable than a jet, and able to provide optimal support for troops on the ground in the most difficult of environments. The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is an American twin-turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s as a special aircraft for counter-insurgency (COIN) combat, and one of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft. It could carry up to three tons of external munitions, internal loads such as paratroopers or stretchers, and could loiter for three or more hours.
Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS

Why the OV-10 Bronco May Be the Ideal Plane to Combat ISIS

NZSAS Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)

New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)


New Zealand Special Air Service (NZSAS) operators are a highly-trained component of New Zealand’s Special Operations Forces, who are ready to deploy at short notice on a variety of operations at the request of Government. The selection process for the NZSAS is rigorous; those selected will be self-starters, able to follow instructions and think for themselves, and it goes without saying that they’ll be able to meet the physical and mental demands of the job. In this video we take a behind-the-scenes look at the training environment, including at the purpose-built Battle Training Facility, where our NZSAS operators train and excel.

New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)

New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)


The New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) new Battle Training Facility (BTF) was officially opened today by the Prime Minister, Rt Honourable John Key at a ceremony in Auckland. The $46 million modern purpose-built facility in Ardmore took two years to build and replaces outdated and obsolete training facilities for Special Air Service (SAS) personnel in Papakura. It includes facilities for all-weather training, live firing, use of helicopters, and scenario training based on specific environments and structures such as, aircraft fuselages, ship’s bridges, and public transport.
New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)

New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)


In the previous facilities SAS personnel could not fire their primary operational weapons, however the new BTF allows for live firing and up to advanced full-mission rehearsals. The BTF will primarily be used by the SAS; however it is an important resource for the whole of NZDF. Security threats have become more complex, so it’s vital the NZDF have modern facilities to train SAS personnel who are required to operate in high risk and complex environments. The BTF will also be used by other government agencies with a security role, including the NZ Police Special Tactics Group. This is a capability that is of significant benefit to the whole of the NZDF and it is futureproofed in its design and built to a world class standard. The Papakura Base will still remain in use by the SAS.
New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)

New Zealand Special Air Service Battle Training Facility (NZSAS BTF)

Royal Marines Commandos Recruitment Campaign

Royal Marines Commandos Recruitment Campaign


The Royal Navy has launched a new recruitment campaign for the UK’s world-renowned amphibious force, the Royal Marines Commandos. The campaign gives new meaning to the Royal Marines’ long-running line “It’s a state of mind” by showing that to become a Royal Marine, you have to change what you think is possible. The launch film, ‘The Mist’, was created by Engine’s creative agency, WCRS, and shot by multi award-winning director Nicolai Fuglsig along with a team that included Oscar-winning director of photography, Matyas Erdly.

Royal Marines Commandos Recruitment Campaign

Royal Marines Commandos Recruitment Campaign


‘The Mist’ shows a team of Marines quietly paddling forward into a foreboding mist, surrounded by the ruins of a recent battle. The ad demonstrates how to become a Royal Marine, you must overcome mankind’s primal fear of the unknown. “The Mist” shows a team of Marines quietly paddling forward into a foreboding mist, surrounded by the ruins of a recent battle. The ad demonstrates how to become a Royal Marine, you must overcome mankind’s primal fear of the unknown.
Royal Marines Commandos Recruitment Campaign

Royal Marines Commandos Recruitment Campaign


To keep each film as authentic to Royal Marines operations as possible, they were shot with the Royal Marines on deployment, and each features real, combat-ready Royal Marines Commandos. The new campaign went live on 20th August, video on demand and social media platforms such as Instagram, Youtube and Facebook. These films really highlight the essence of ‘It’s a State of Mind’ but critically that if you become a Royal Marine you can change what you think is possible.The next film in the campaign, “Spider”.
Royal Marines Commandos Recruitment Campaign

Royal Marines Commandos Recruitment Campaign


Russian BMD-3 loaded on Il-76MD

Russian BMD-3 loaded on Il-76MD


Russian BMD-3 airborne vehicle loaded on Il-76MD on the eve of Vostok 2018 active phase. Russia has the largest paratrooper force in the world. Well-trained and equipped with air-droppable armored vehicles for mobility and firepower on the ground, the Vozdushno-Desantnye Voyska (“airborne forces,” or VDV) are the Kremlin’s expeditionary assault troops, leading the invasions of Afghanistan in 1979 and Crimea in 2014. Vostok 2018 which means East 2018 in English involves a total of 300,000 troops, 36,000 vehicles and 1,000 aircraft and is taking place from September 11 until September 17 in eastern Siberia. Significantly, Russian soldiers are being joined by their counterparts from China and Mongolia for large parts of the exercises.

Russian BMD-3 loaded on Il-76MD

Russian BMD-3 loaded on Il-76MD


Russian Air Force currently has about 120 Il-76 transport aircraft, Russia’s equivalent of the U.S. Air Force’s C-17 transport. The entire available fleet of Il-76 military transport aircraft is enough to paradrop two regiments with a standard set of weapons and military equipment using one sortie. The Ilyushin Il-76 (NATO reporting name: Candid) is a multi-purpose four-engine turbofan strategic airlifter designed by the Soviet Union’s Ilyushin design bureau. The Il-76 has seen extensive service as a commercial freighter for ramp-delivered cargo, especially for outsized or heavy items unable to be otherwise carried. Because of its ability to operate from unpaved runways, it has been useful in undeveloped areas.
Russian BMD-3 loaded on Il-76MD

Russian BMD-3 loaded on Il-76MD


The Russian Airborne Troops or VDV (Vozdushno-desantnye voyska Rossii) is a military branch of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. First formed before World War II, the force undertook two significant airborne operations and a number of smaller jumps during the war and for many years after 1945 was the largest airborne force in the world. Unlike the rest of the mechanized units, which use variety of APCs and IFVs such as the BMP series, BTR series and MT-LB, the VDV uses exclusively BMD family vehicles. There are over 1,800 armored fighting vehicles, mostly BMD-1 (since 1969) and BMD-2 (since 1985). There were also over 100 BMD-3 (1990) that were partially upgraded to BMD-4 level. The BMD-3 (Boyevaya Mashina Desanta) is an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) originating from the former Soviet Union. This armored fighting vehicle is one of the lightest in its class and is intended to be a fire support platform for use by airborne and air assault units.
Russian BMD-3 loaded on Il-76MD

Russian BMD-3 loaded on Il-76MD

Pontifical Swiss Guard

Pontifical Swiss Guard


The Pontifical Swiss Guard (Papal Swiss Guard, Swiss Guard; Pontificia Cohors Helvetica, Cohors Pedestris Helvetiorum a Sacra Custodia Pontificis; Italian:Guardia Svizzera Pontificia; Päpstliche Schweizergarde; Garde suisse pontificale) is a small force maintained by the Holy See that is responsible for the safety of the Pope, including the security of the Apostolic Palace. The Swiss Guard serves as the de facto military of Vatican City. Established in 1506 under Pope Julius II, the Pontifical Swiss Guard is among the oldest military units in continuous operation.

Pontifical Swiss Guard

Pontifical Swiss Guard


The dress uniform is of blue, red, orange and yellow with a distinctly Renaissance appearance. The modern guard has the role of bodyguard of the Pope. The Swiss Guard is equipped with traditional weapons, such as the halberd, as well as with modern firearms. Since the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981, a much stronger emphasis has been placed on the guard’s non-ceremonial roles, and has seen enhanced training in unarmed combat and small arms.
Pontifical Swiss Guard

Pontifical Swiss Guard


Recruits to the guards must be Catholic, single males with Swiss citizenship who have completed basic training with the Swiss Armed Forces and can obtain certificates of good conduct. Recruits must have a professional degree or high school diploma and must be between 19 and 30 years of age and at least 174 cm (5 ft 8.5 in) tall. In 2009, the Pontifical Swiss Guard commandant, Daniel Anrig, suggested that the Guard might someday be open to recruiting women, but he added that the admission of female recruits remained far in the future. Qualified candidates must apply to serve. If accepted, new guards are sworn on 6 May every year in the San Damaso Courtyard (Cortile di San Damaso) in the Vatican (6 May is the anniversary of the Sack of Rome). The chaplain of the guard reads aloud the oath in the languages of the guard (German, Italian, and French).
Pontifical Swiss Guard

Pontifical Swiss Guard

JFD Torpedo SEAL Swimmer Delivery Vehicle

JFD Torpedo SEAL Swimmer Delivery Vehicle

Torpedo SEAL is swimmer delivery vehicle (SDV, SEAL Pod) designed and developed by British company James Fisher Defence (JFD). The Torpedo SEAL is a result of JFD’s partnership with Swedish company DCE AB, a leading consultancy and manufacturer of specialist marine crafts. Torpedo SEAL may also be easily stowed within the multi-purpose tubes being designed into future submarine designs, or beneath the outer casing of the submarine. Torpedo SEAL is controlled by a single pilot and is able to accommodate an additional passenger, plus equipment.

JFD Torpedo SEAL Swimmer Delivery Vehicle

JFD Torpedo SEAL Swimmer Delivery Vehicle


Torpedo SEAL transits within a 533 mm NATO-standard torpedo tube. Once removed from the tube, Torpedo SEAL is fully extended and ready for use. It is then able to transport two divers and equipment, fully submerged, over a range of 7.5 nm. Torpedo SEAL is controlled by a single pilot and can also accommodate one passenger and equipment. Torpedo SEAL can be used for mission profiles including; extending the operating range of a combat team; underwater survey and reconnaissance; delivery of explosive ordnance; counter narcotics and harbour patrol; and mine countermeasure operations.
JFD Torpedo SEAL Swimmer Delivery Vehicle

JFD Torpedo SEAL Swimmer Delivery Vehicle


Torpedo SEAL carries an advanced Lithium Polymer battery coupled with one or two thrusters, depending on customer requirements. The Steering Information Navigation Control (SINC) system is common to all vehicles in The SEAL Pod. In Torpedo SEAL, the system provides operators with real time location, sensor and communications data. This swimmer delivery vehicle (SDV) has a sprint speed of 4 knots, can dive to a maximum depth of 50 meters and has a range of 10 nautical miles.