Berlin OK’s delivery of Infantry Fighting Vehicles to Iraq

Berlin, 39. Jahrestag DDR-Gründung, Parade

Germany has approved the delivery of 280 Russian-designed Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) BMP-1 to Iraq. The IFV’s had been obtained by the Bundeswehr, the German Armed Forces, after  German unification in 1990. The armaments director in the German defense ministry, LtGen Benedikt Zimmer, signed a letter to a Czech company authorising the sale to Iraq. The letter has been obtained by Augen geradeaus!.

After taking over the Nationale Volksarmee, the armed forces of East Germany, the Bundeswehr overhauled the fighting vehicles. A number of those was given to Sweden und subsequently sold to a Czech company. As usual, Germany as the country of origin always had a say in proliferation of the BMP’s.

After the company in Prague had requested approval of a sale of 280 BMP-1 to Iraq in 2013 and again in 2014, the German government decided in March to approve the delivery. According to the German letter of acceptance, the Iraqi government as the sole recipient is obliged to use the IFVs only for national defense, crisis management or UN peace missions. Any further proliferation needs renewed approval by Germany.

(Header picture:  BMP-1 of the East German army on parade in 1988 – Bundesarchiv/CC-BY-SA license)

 

News about ISIS? Skip the social media stuff, please call.

It seems the U.S. (and the U.S. led coalition) against the self-proclaimed Islamic State (or ISIS, ISIL or, more recently, Daesh) is scaling down its actions on a front where it matters most: information. This Friday, U.S. Central Command announced via Twitter that news releases for Operation Inherent resolve will no longer be published by CENTCOM (see tweet above). The same announcement came in CENTCOM’s, well, last release on this issue:

Editor’s note: From this press release going forward, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve will replace USCENTCOM as the public affairs release authority.

The pun? Well, this Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve does not have a Twitter account, or a web site. At least, that’s what CENTCOM makes you think. And don’t even ask:

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This blog is blocked in #Afghanistan.

Etisalat_AG_20140428

Thanks to a reader who sent me a screenshot this morning, I’ve learned that Afghan mobile phone/internet provider Etisalat blocked Augen geradeaus! – especially yesterday’s story on the abducted military observers in Ukraine. The reason  – Etisalat calls it category – given is profanity. Whatever that means in this context. Of course reports on abduction and war can be considered profane anyway…

If other readers in Afghanistan could please check whether this blog is banned by other providers (Roshan?) as well – that would be interesting.

Update: seems the website is no longer blocked by Etisalat:

 

German Navy releases video of Somali pirates hijacking German vessel in 2010

Taipan_highjack_screenshot

Almost to the day four years ago, on April 5, 2010, Somali pirates hijacked the German MV Taipan in the Indian Ocean. A few hours later, Dutch marines boarded the container vessel, arresting ten pirates who in the end faced trial in a German court.

While the role of the Dutch boarding team had been higlighted in news reports (undoubtedly because the Dutch released video footage of the boarding rather soon; see below), the role of a German Maritime Reconnaissance and Patrol Aircraft (MRPA) Orion P-3C, call sign Jester, was rarely acknowledged. Four years after the hijacking, the German Navy has released video footage taken from the aircraft: weiterlesen

For pros: Ukraine NOTAM

ukraine_east_airspace_20140314

Apologies to my readers: This entry serves to make available the current NOTAM (notices to airmen) for Ukrainian airspace, as the server where I found it (http://ibs.rlp.cz/notam.do?id=notam_UKXX&anode=notam_UKXX) seems not easily available. Hopefully, flight & air traffic pros can draw some conclusions from this latest information about regions in Ukraine (besides Crimea) where regular air traffic is restricted…

As my Dutch colleague Hans de Vreij noted, the airspace over Eastern Ukraine seemed pretty empty today. So maybe someone can correlate this to the NOTAMs?

Update: According to Swedish milblogger Wiseman’s Wisdoms there’s a buffer zone in place.

So here’s the copy of above mentioned website as of 18:15 UTC today:

Valid: 2014-03-14 18:15:22 UTC – 2014-03-15 18:15:22 UTC weiterlesen

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