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Archive for the ‘Maritime’ Category

SPARTANAT: First Time in Action for the TILO-6MA at the Outer-Limits Experience Week in Austria

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019

The TILO is still the smallest thermal imaging goggle in the world with a 640 pixel sensor. It has been used since one year in various special units worldwide. Also with the US authorities it enjoys increasing popularity and was procured. The new metal version of the TILO-6M is now equipped with an aluminium housing and is waterproof up to 20m and therefore also suitable for divers. During the Experience Week at the Grundlsee in Austria, enthusiastic interested parties were able to convince themselves of the possibilities of these smallest thermal imaging goggles to date. A German SEK (SWAT team) took the opportunity and tested the TILO.

The TILO can be fastened as shown with a very light helmet holder. For use with a diving mask a special spacer is used, so that the distance is sufficiently large. Alternatively an attachment to the Opscore Shroud is possible for this there is also an adapter available.

The Aluverion of the TILO-6M is also much more suitable than the plastic version for use as an thermal clip on. With its bayonet connection it can be mounted in front of a rifle scope within seconds.

In combination with the afocal attachment lens it can reach a detection range (standing man) of 2,5km.

Here, you can find the SPARTANAT report from outer-limits Experience Week 2019.

ANDRES INDUSTRIES on the Internet: www.andres-industries-shop.de

SPARTANAT: www.spartanat.com

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Viking Funerals

Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Like most military people, I believe in Valhalla. I have seen the 13th warrior and have always hoped to be in Valhalla when I die. The Vikings believed in an afterlife, and these were based on the religious beliefs they held. We have been learned about their practices by both archaeological and textual sources. The Vikings believed that it was possible to take their worldly possessions into the afterlife with them. So, an essential feature of Viking funerals was the grave goods. The Vikings believed that warriors who fell in battle would earn the right to enter Valhalla, an enormous hall located in Asgard, the domain of Odin. There, the fallen warriors would feast and fight until the arrival of Ragnarok. The dead needed to have their equipped so they could fight in the afterlife. There was more than one realm for the dead include Folkvangr (also for warriors), Helgafjell (for those who have led good lives), and Helheim (for those who died dishonorable deaths). This could be from laziness, old age, for example, to die in your bed with never doing anything good for your people. In Viking times, dying bravely was definitely the most honorable.  

One of the most essential objects required by a dead Norse was a warship. The Vikings were great seafarers, and they believed that ships would help provide them with safe passage into the afterlife. Although the warship played a prominent role in Viking funerals, there was no standard funeral., it was based on your status. The grave could also include slaves or thralls, and, in some cases, the widow would choose to be sacrificed to join her husband on the journey to Valhalla. It the Middle Ages a traveler named Ahmad ibn Fadlan gave the account of a funeral like no other. At the funeral for a Viking chieftain, he said it included a sacrificial female slave who was forced to drink copious amounts of alcohol, then she was raped by every man in the village as a tribute to the deceased. From there, she was strangled with a rope, stabbed by a matriarch of the village (known as the Angel of Death), then placed in the boat with her master and set on fire. The more polite Viking would bury people with stuff they had in life like a craftsman might be buried with his tools. A Viking woman might find her cloth-making equipment or cooking tools would follow her in the afterlife.  

Vikings Traveled to the Afterlife by Ship but Not by Sea

Thru out Scandinavia, Archaeology has discovered some Viking burial mounds that were meant to resemble ships. They used stones to outline the shape of what looks like small ships. Higher ranking Vikings, such as chiefs and kings, were even able to have actual ships accompany them into the afterlife. In some cases, the boats would be buried with its contents, while in others, they would be burnt before the burial. There is a widespread belief today that the Viking set the ships on fire before pushed out to sea, but I am sorry to say this, but there is no real proof that this has ever happened. So, no flaming arrows. Sorry

Apart from their ships, warriors entering Valhalla would be required to bring their weapons and armor, these objects were part of a Viking’s grave goods. Archaeologists have found blades as part of a Viking’s grave goods would usually be broken or bent. This was meant to symbolically signify the final death of the individual, as the Vikings believed that a warrior’s soul was linked to his weapon. Additionally, the destruction of the blade served as a deterrent to grave robbers. 

Grave goods also served to ensure that the deceased was satisfied in the afterlife. The Vikings believed that if the dead were not appeased, they could return as a Draugr (unfriendly ghost) to haunt the living. The undead could be blamed for everything that was going bad, from losing a battle or the crops not growing. If they thought a Draugr was up to no good, they would dig up the last people buried and look for signs of undead activity. When a Draugr was identified, the Vikings would rebury the body with more grave goods, assuming at the person had been a highly respected person in life. Sometimes they would go as far as to stake the body down to make sure it couldn’t get up again and lastly, they would chop off their head so as to kill it, very much like Dracula or the walking dead.  

When you died, there were two typical ways of dispose of the body, cremation or inhumation (cover you with a rock mound basically) (the ground was frozen most of the time, so the inhumation was the best way for them to bury someone)

There are typically two common ways to bury the dead, and the Vikings did practice both. The first method, cremation, is to burn the body, the ashes, could then be scattered, buried, or sailed out to sea. The second, inhumation was to bury the body in its current state under the ground, and then either place earth, dirt or stones on top of the body.

It was normal in Norse times to cremate the deceased body before a land or sea burial, a practice that had a significant reach to their afterlife. By cremating their dead, the Vikings believed the smoke would carry them to their rightful destination in the afterlife. Successful cremation required a scorching fire, hot enough to burn flesh and bone to ash and to achieve this a pyre was needed. The Vikings used pyres (basically a big pile of very dry wood that would burn at very high heat) (you know like the fire Luke used to cremate Darth Vader” his father”) to cremate their dead. Without the intense heat caused by a pyre, a typical fire would likely not burn the body completely. This could leave parts of the body remaining and is of course, not desirable.

A Viking sea burial.

Another kind of burial was for the Vikings to sail their dead out to sea. This practice often involves the burning of the ship before the dead are cast out. Many believe that the body was cremated before the ship was sailed. Either way, it was common for the dead’s goods to travel with them out into the water. This type of burial was not common however and was likely reserved for sea captains, noble Vikings and the very wealthy. In old Norse times, boats would have taken months to construct and would not have been wasted without valid cause or a suitable amount of status. Some woman held high statues also. One of the most extravagant boat burials honored two women, who likely died around 834 A.D. Known as the “Oseberg ship,” it’s one of the most well persevered Viking artifacts ever found. While the Vikings were known for the craftsmanship that went into their vessels in general, the size and detail of the Oseberg were above and beyond. Seventy feet long and nearly 17 feet wide, the ship had 15 oars on each side, a pine mast more than 30 feet high, and was spacious enough to fit 30 people. You go girls.

Typically, the Vikings would wait for seven days before the celebration. This day would be marked with the drinking of ale, which signified the passing of any property from the deceased. After this celebration, the heir would truly claim their inheritance. The exact rituals of Viking funerals are challenging to say, (so maybe flaming arrows) as they kept minimal written accounts of their lives and deaths. Regardless of how the body was disposed of, a few rituals remained almost constant. The body was draped in new clothes explicitly prepared for the funeral, and a ceremony was held featuring songs, chants, food, and alcohol. Death rituals are designed to help those left behind come to terms with the loss. Many have survived but slightly modified over the centuries. Looking at what we do today when someone dies today. It is very close to the Viking funnerals. We put them in their uniform, sometimes we give them things for the afterlife, swords, tomahawks, alcohol and we drape them in cloth, but it is our flag, the symbol of our tribe and nation. I would never compare us to the Vikings, as they had no rules and did what they wanted to do. But a lot of the warrior spirit of them is in every person that goes to fight and defend their brothers.

MDM 19 – Arbor Arms x Aqualung Buoyancy Compensator Shooter Kit Combination

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

Arbor Arms is working with Aqualung to offer a low cost retrofit kit for armor carriers so that they can be used in conjunction with Aqualung Buoyancy Compensators. In this case, we see the Calypso.

The cummerbund is elastic so it will allow a buoyancy compensator or horse collar to still inflate yet keep your gear nice and snug.

Additionally, the Aqualung weight belt is worn with ditchable weights fore and aft to keep them out of the way of holsters and magazine carriers.

arborarmsusa.com

SCUBAPRO Sunday – The SeaBees

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

On September 1, 1942, the first Seabee unit to serve in a combat area, the Sixth Naval Construction Battalion (SeaBees), arrives on Guadalcanal.

I am not going to tell the story as there is a movie (with John Wayne one of the seven he dies in) and I posting a link at the bottom of an excellent article about them. What I am going to say is SeaBees are some of the hardest working people you will ever find. I would rather have 1 SeaBee that 5 other people. They have made almost all the camps I have been in since the first gulf war in 91 thru Iraq in the 2000s and they never stop working on them to making them better. They build they fight; (they can’t read or write) (that was a joke) you tell them you need something, and they will find it or make it. Indeed some of the unsung heroes of the military.

www.seabeesmuseum.com/seabee-history

archive.org/details/FightingSeabees44

 

SERE: Learning to Survive at Sea

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho (AFNS) —

From initial training to undergoing missions, aircrew have a dangerous and rigorous job. They must know what to do while flying and how to respond in some of the scenarios they might encounter.

One of these scenarios is the risk of having to bail out over the ocean.

“From the moment they eject up until they’ve been hoisted into a recovery vehicle, their lives are at risk in the ocean,” said Staff Sgt. David Chorpenning, 366th Fighter Wing survival, evasion, resistance and escape specialist.

To develop these skills necessary to stay alive, aircrew from the 389th and 391st Fighter Squadrons attended water survival training taught by SERE specialists Chorpenning and Tech. Sgt. Timothy Emkey.

During this course, aircrew attend an hour-long classroom session where they are instructed on what to do, what gear to use and how to survive in case they may have to eject over the ocean. The course covers what to do from the initial landing in the water until they’re extracted by either another ship or an aircraft.

“F-15E Strike Eagle crew members don’t have much equipment once they eject,” Chorpenning said. “They have no food and very little water. The ability to utilize the gear they do have to get rescued quickly is a crucial skill.”

After the classroom session, the aircrew are then taken out to C.J. Strike Reservoir where they disconnect their safety harness from the parachute while being dragged by a boat. This simulates the wind drag they might experience when bailing out over water.

During the last part of the course, aircrew must inflate their life raft correctly and demonstrate how to prepare for extraction.

“The worst dangers they face are the lack of resources, both from the environment and in their kit. The only thing the ocean provides is the potential to catch food,” Chorpenning said. “There’s no shelter, water or the ability to build a fire. Without the proper equipment, a human will quickly die on the open seas.”

From classroom sessions to field training, this course ensures aircrew have the ability and skills to survive life at sea.

“Knowledge of their equipment and water survival training significantly increases a crew member’s chance of survival,” Chorpenning said. “By familiarizing them with their gear and how to make the most of their environment, SERE improves their survivability and empowers them to return with honor.”

By Airman Antwain Hanks, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

DSEI 19 – Osprey Drop Dry Bag from Typhoon

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

Typhoon manufacturers drysuits, dry bags and accessories.

One of their latest products is the Osprey Dry Bag which has been built specifically for para ops. It incorporates a single pull release and this can be covered when not in use. The bag itself is made of durable trilaminate texturized polyester with stitched and double taped seams and waterproof zippers.

It also features integrated shoulder straps which can be stored behind a zippered flap.

The Osprey has a 120 liter capacity and is available in Black or Drab Green.

www.typhhon-int.co.uk

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Head and Chest Protection

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

As we are starting to get into fall and the water begins to get colder. You will have to start looking at, adding more to what you wear when you dive. One of the best ways to add warmth without adding a lot more rubber is to add a hood and a vest. The vest helps keep your chest warm, from the tie you enter the water. I like a vest because it helps with that first blast of cold water that always hits your chest. Since you lose about 75 percent of your body heat through your head even if the water is warm, you will lose heat thru it. Hoods and vest are usually made from neoprene and are designed for wearing in either warm or cold water.  Again, as with wetsuits, the thicker the hood/vest, the better it is for colder water. One of the most significant drawbacks to diving, in general, is the thinker anything is, gloves, suit, or hood the more mobility you lose. There are two types of hoods, warm and cold water.  Warm water hoods are less cumbersome and typically cover your head and neck. They can be used for warmth and to help protect your head.

Warm vs. Coldwater Hoods

When diving in cold water, a thick neoprene hood that covers your head and neck will be the most practical. The thicker the neoprene, the warmer you head will be. Coldwater dive hoods typically have a sizable bib, which can be tucked into your wetsuit at the neck opening. The bib reduces the transfer of water and keeps the diver that much warmer. The bib comes down to cover the neck and some of the chest, like a bib for kids. There is also hooded vest, and those cover the head and the chest. Cold-water hoods cover some or all of the diver’s forehead and jaw/chin areas, and it also includes a good part of the diver’s cheeks. It tries to leave as little of the diver’s face exposed to the cold water as possible — ordinary just room for the mask and the regulator.    

Warm-water dive hoods are much thinner and typically do not have large bib like cold-water hoods. Warm water hoods and vests are suitable for long-duration diving in warm water. It isn’t so thick that you overheat from the start, but with a long dive, you will start to get cold. If you are warm, you can also vent the hood/ vest, and as the dive goes on, you will be warmer. You can even sometimes start the dive without the hood, and then if you are cold, you can put it on. Hooded vests are good for that as you can just pull the hood up as you are diving.

The right fitting dive hood should not be too loose; if you’re going for a cold-water hood, it should feel snug around your cheeks and jaw and should cover most of your forehead.  Still, it should not feel too tight – if it is uncomfortable around the throat or facial area, then you’ll need to go up a size. Basically, if the hood creates discomfort along the face or neck/throat, it is too small. If water freely flows in and out of the hood, it is too big. Too loose a hood will not protect you from the elements at all, as water will be able to flow in and out freely. Layering is the key to warmth when diving.

SCUBAPRO’s line of Hoods, Vest and Hooded Vest can provide that extra layer to help keep you warmer longer when diving. The SCUBAPRO 2.5/0.5mm Unisex Hooded Vest is just what you need for a little extra warmth on colder water dives. When you are in warm water locations, add a hooded vest over a spring suit or under a Shorty or Fullsuit, you add warmth and will be able to stay in longer. The vest is easy to don and doff and is fast drying for days that have multiple dives. The vest is 2.5mm thick in the hood chest and back and 0.5mm thick on the ultra-stretch side panels.

SCUBAPRO has also updated its popular Hybrid line, which includes a thermal long sleeve top, cargo shorts, and a sleeveless hooded vest. The line also consists of a full suit that is great for long-duration warm water dives or under cammies to help keep you warm. The Hybrid Hooded Vest’s ultra-comfortable neoprene/nylon blend does a great job of protecting your torso and head, two critical areas for minimizing heat loss, providing comfort, warmth, and protection where you need it most. On the underside of the nylon panels, a micro-plush interior makes the vest warm and cozy.

This fleece fabric absorbs less water, which keeps heat against the body, increasing overall warmth. It also dries quickly. This hooded vest can be worn by itself or layered over a long-sleeve thermal rash guard to increase warmth and protection and built with a mix of quality 1.5mm X-Foam neoprene for warmth and durable nylon for stretch and comfort. Highly versatile ideal for divers, snorkelers, paddle boarders, swimmers, and anyone that needs more protection from the elements to include long boat rides. I have used pieces in this line for an Alcatraz swim(1.5mile), and it worked great.  Unique styling keeps you warm, protected, and looking good — form-fitting for that sleek, hydrodynamic look and feel.

SCUBAPRO Sunday – Landing on Mainland Japan

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

Amphibious Landings Tokyo Bay, 28 August – 2 September 1945

 

 

 

 On 20 August 1945 UDT 21 ( now SEAL Team Four) embarked onto the USS Begor from Guam. They were going to be part of the occupation force heading for Japan. On 28 Aug 1945 UDT 21 became the first U.S military unit to set foot on Japanese home soil. They were going to recon the landing beaches and ensure that that all fortifications were neutralized. When they landed, LCDR Edward P. Clayton, (back to camera) Commanding Officer UDT 21, was presented with the first sword surrendered to an American force on mainland Japanese. It was given to him by an Army Coastal Artillery Major (opposite Clayton), at Futtsu-Misaki Point, across from Yokosuka Naval Base. When word got back to macarthur that LCDR Clayton, had received what could be considered the official surrender of all troop on mainland Japan, he ordered that the sword is giving back, so the general could expect it. ( yes I am not a fan of the general)

 

The next day UDT 21 landed at Yokosuka Naval Base. They cleared the docks for the first U.S. warship to dock in Japan. The team remained in Tokyo Bay until 8 Sept.  Then it was tasked with locating the remaining Kamikaze, two-person submarines. With the end of the war, the navy draw-down from about 31 UDT teams to just two, one on each coast: UDT Baker and UDT Easy.