FRENCH TANKER POWER!!!

November 1, 2012 Leave a comment

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The 02/091 Air refueling Group (ARG) “Bretagne” just celebrated its 70th birthday on June the 29th. Created the 1rst January 1942 at Fort Lamy (Known today as N’Djamena, Chad) from different French overseas units determined to keep fighting the German invader, the “Bretagne” took immediately part in combats alongside the other allied forces, under the command of MAJ Noel, its first commander. Initially designed as a composite wing equipped with Blenheim, Lysander, and Glenn Martin aircraft, the “Bretagne “quickly switched to a medium bomber, the B-26 MARAUDER.  The Bombing Group “Bretagne” was born. During the campaigns of Italy, France and the final assault over Germany, the personnel of the squadron fought relentlessly, embodying the phrase “SUB UMBRA ALARUM TUARUM SPERABO”: “Protected by the shadow of your wings, I will keep hope”. This citation was eventually chosen as the Squadron’s motto. 

After the Second World War, the “Bretagne” was involved in many modern theaters of operation, providing air refueling along other NATO forces in joint operations like Unified protector. Nowadays, the “Bretagne” remains deployed in the Sahel belt and in support of operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, where French C-135FR fly air refueling and medevac missions.  The 02/091 ARG “BRETAGNE” remains also one of the strongest links of the French Strategic Air Command, maintaining a high level of proficiency and readiness through numerous exercises related to nuclear deterrence. On top of that, the 02/091 ARG performs daily A/R missions to the benefit of various European air forces, through the ATARES program.

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France will purchase 14 refueling aircraft to Airbus Military, a company of EADS, starting from 2013, said on Friday the 19th October the French ministry of defense, Jean-Yves Le Drian, during a visit to the Madrid aircraft plant.

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AAR in Expeditionary Operations – JAPCC (2006)

June 8, 2012 Leave a comment

“The first requirement of the AAR force is a high level of interoperability to avoid, or at least minimise, the impact of employing different assets with different specifications. Expeditionary Forces should be joint and combined. This implies operating under the same rules and following the same procedures.”

ImageFrench Air Force ground crew marshall in a C-135FR tanker at Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan.

Here is a link to the JAPPC article from 2006.

It also hits on the need for the tanker-centric exercises that we spoke of at the ETS… clearly these ideas are not new. No one has seemed to be able to get any real traction on them though. Now its our turn!

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‘Smart Defense’: Should Europe’s Militaries Specialize? – The Atlantic

June 8, 2012 2 comments

The NATO defense collective wants to do less with more by having member states develop military specialties, like workers on an assembly line.

NATO may17 p.jpgU.S. Secretary of State Clinton and NATO Secretary General Rasmussen unveil the logo of the Chicago summit meeting in Brussels. (Reuters)

An inescapable fact of modern defense planning is budget austerity. Smaller budgets are prompting some tough thinking across Europe and in the U.S. about how these countries can maintain their global security posture with less money. Under normal circumstances, less money would mean less equipment, fewer people, fewer activities, and fewer operations.

NATO, however, seems to think it can get around the limitations of a smaller budget. “Smart Defense,” as they call it, is based around a simple idea: specialization and cooperation, in accordance with the principles first established at the 2010 Lisbon Summit. Read more…

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June 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Mastermind Century Group

by Joe Urice and J. William DeMarco

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One of the greatest honors in commanding the 100th Operations Group was the building the ties with the WWII veterans of the 100th Bomb Group.  This is a brotherhood of warriors in its purest sense….warriors from very different times, very different wars, very different aircraft…but brothers in arms to be sure…ages 18 to 90+.  Through this brotherhood, our present day warriors have all learned of the sacrifices, the service, the bravery, and the leadership of this incredible group of Americans–the Greatest Generation.  We have also been blessed with new friendships–be it with the veterans themselves or their families:  I am a stronger Airman, leader, and a better man for the relationships we have with these incredible people.

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ETS group photo

May 22, 2012 1 comment

ETS group photo

To all of the attendees of the first annual European Tanker Symposium… Thank You! We have only begun to scratch the surface of optimizing the business of AAR in Europe together. The challenge we now face is making sure that our efforts are not left to “die on the vine.”

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