Archive for January, 2011

US NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE, NWU Type III – AOR 2 Camouflage Uniform on assignment in Philippines

Posted in Camouflage Uniforms, Military Photos on January 22, 2011 by stukaph

US SEAL member in Joint/Combined MFF exercise in Philippines.

This photo was taken during the 1st day of the Military Free Fall (MFF) exercise in Air Force City, formerly Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Philippines mainly with the Philippine National Police Special Action Force. A US NAVY SEAL donning their new Naval Working Uniform (NWU) Type III camouflage uniform called Area of Responsibility (AOR) 2. As the US Navy decided to change the uniform of its sailors and adopted the NWU Type I blue digital uniform, Naval Special Warfare Group took the opportunity to also come up with their own version to upgrade their current battle dress uniforms specifically for their special operations units.

Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) formerly the SEAL Team 6 created an Integrated Process Team (IPT) to develop this new uniform. IPT consisted of combat-experienced NSW operators who had the knowledge of the required current wartime areas of operation and what work best in the filed. The team progressed and currently testing two (2), four color digital camouflage patterns. They are the NSW Type II, Area of Responsibility 1 (AOR 1) which is designed mainly for Arid, Desert and this one, NSW Type III, Area of Responsibility 2 (AOR 2) for jungle, tropical/woodland or temperate region such as the Philippines where these NSW operators rotate for joint-exercise, training and/or their various roles as part of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines (OEF-P).

There are several main manufacturers contracted by NSW to make this new uniforms and combat gear of the same camouflage patterns, e.g. London Bridge Trading (LBT), Blackhawk Industries (BHI),  Arc’teryx, Eagle Industries (EI), Crye Precision, etc..Hence, they came up with specific names for these types of camouflage, like LBT called it AOR 1 (Desert/Arid), AOR 2  (Tropical) and Crye Precision’s DIGI 1 (Tropical) and DIGI 2 (Desert/Arid). So far, these are the two names for these camouflage patterns and probably, other manufacturers may call it differently, making it more confusing.

LBT being co-located in Virginia, USA with their established long time relationship with the East Coast NSW for their tactical combat gear, where DEVGRU are based may have been first contacted to development this new camouflage pattern. Thus, the standard naming convention for this type of pattern. Whereas, for Crye Precision who developed the famous MULTICAM all terrain camouflage pattern that was also contracted to supply these new NSW Type III camo pattern named it Digi1, and the NSW Type II Digi2 for Arid/desert terrains.

By now, you may have pretty much of the idea why we usually find them described as AOR1/Digi2 (Desert) and AOR2/Digi1 (Jungle). But IPT not only came up with this new camouflage pattern but also, efficient features and configuration to address the deficiencies of the current battle dress uniforms.

 

US SEAL Team and US Army Special Forces in Philippines

2nd day: A prayer to honor the Philippine Army trooper of the Special Forces Regiment – Airborne (SFR-A) who was killed in a parachute accident a day before this was taken. The trooper was a participant of this Military Free Fall Joint/Combined Exercise Training (JCET) under the RP-US Vector Balance Piston 10-2.

Also, in this exercise was participated by US Army Special Forces, some of them already had been issued their all terrain 7-color Multi-Environment Camouflage (MultiCam) uniform. The Multicam was already announced after the trial period to supersede the current US Army wide issued Universal Camouflage Pattern, seen in the Army Combat Uniform (ACU).

As for this new NSW AOR camouflage pattern and the details of the configuration, like how many pockets and where to efficiently place them, the uniform that the NSW forces are wearing here are the final design that was decided and therefore, conformance testing is ongoing that started early 2010. One that I think stands out among the many features of these uniforms are the detachable hard shell knee pad that you can take off when not in combat. You can clearly see from the photo above the provisions for it.

 

US SEAL in AOR-2 and US Army SF in Multicam uniforms

The photos here were all taken in June 2010 and according to the NSW Team leader in this MFF event, these had been recently issued to them about less than 5~6 months ago. And according to NSW source, the goal is to issue personnel three uniforms, 2 eight-point covers and a Gortex Jacket with fleece liner, since they are still in development. Accordingly, it is not known when they will settle with the final configuration of these new types II and III uniforms but NSW is rigorously working with the Navy to pursue the full issue of these uniforms before the current timeline in year 2012.

Having said all these and to put an end of this writing, what was interested during this event and my prior knowledge of these new uniforms, I cannot help but to speculate the following:

  1. The patch that you can see in the first photo when one look at it closer during this event seems to have a small number “6” on it!  Does it mean that this NSW Team was members of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU) formerly of SEAL Team Six? Although, they were said to be NSW SEAL Team One, I would like to think so!
  2. IPT being created by NSW DEVGRU to develop these new uniforms, it is only but right to have their operators and personnel first to test it.
  3. If indeed they were DEVGRU and having known to work closely with US Army 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta  (1st SFOD-D) aka Combat Application Group (CAG) or the most hype Delta Force., the United States’ primary counter-terrorism unit, then maybe, the US SF here in MultiCam were also indeed members of Delta.

Well, of course, if not then, just treat this as putting some exaggeration in this writing to evoke strong feelings or to create strong impressions of the participants of this exercise.

More photos:

 

US SEAL on their way to board a US C130 aircraft for their Military Free Fall in Air Force City

Philippine Army SFR-A Officer in full para gear for the joint RP-US MFF.

Philippine Army Special Forces Regiment – Airborne (SFR-A) officer in his coverall Tigerstripes camouflage who participated in this Joint Military Free Fall exercise.  I am personally a big fan of tigerstripes camouflage uniforms ever since it was developed by the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) during the Vietnam War.

RP-US Special Forces boarding a US C130 aircraft for their MFF exercise.

Enjoy!

Philippine Marine Corps’ Force Reconnaisance Battalion (FRBn aka MFR)

Posted in Military Photos on January 17, 2011 by stukaph

Philippine Marine Force Recon

A member of the Philippine Marine Force Reconnaissance Battalion (FRBn aka MFR) attached to a Marine Brigade to serve as quick maneuvering force.

 

 

 

MFR specializes in Sea, Air and Land operations, like its counterpart in the Naval Special Operations Group (NAVSOG) of the Philippine Navy, ranging from reconnaissance, close combat, demolition, intelligence and underwater operations in support to the overall naval operations. What makes it different from the Special Warfare Group is that it utilizes strategies and tactics mastered by the Philippine Army’s 1st Scout Ranger Regiment and Special Forces units. Source: Wikipedia

In this photo was MFR Staff Sergeant Eliseo D. Salo (RIP) in his Philippine Marine Camouflage Uniform taken in-theater during the final phase (Test Mission) deployment of Marine Scout Sniper School Class 11 operations in support of Philippine Military’s Oplan Ultimatum in the Island of Jolo, Philippines.

SSGT Salo was a seasoned and veteran of many combat tours in Southern Philippines and the team leader of the Marine Scout Sniper Course Class NR 11 conducted from 05th December 2009 to 25th February 2010.

Graduation photo of Class NR 11 less their Sniper class’ team leader, SSGT Eliseo D. Salo. He was killed in action, four (4) days short of the graduation rites. At the time of him being fatally shot in the chest, six (6) known personalities of the adversary were already dead said to be all head-shots, including a High Value Target (HVT) leader responsible for the early January 2010 abduction of three (3) members of the International Committee of the Red Cross ( Swiss, Italian and Filipino nationals) and also, among those that seized 21 people, including Asians, European Tourists in April 2000 from Sipadan Diving Resort in Sandakan, Sabah.

Aside from the momentary introduction of the Philippine Marine Force Recon Bn and the highlights on SSGT Salo in this article, I am also covering here the superseded Philippine Marine camouflage pattern in brief:

This specific Philippine Marine camouflage pattern was introduced in year 2000 and issued on May of the same year. Hence, was fondly called “Marine 2000” by militaria enthusiasts and collectors, a four-color design of black, brown and green on light khaki backdrop. This pattern is now gradually being replaced by the current Philippine Marine digital camouflage pattern. You may check the graduation photo above whereby the four Marine officers sitting on a bench were in their new Philippine Marine Corps’ digital uniforms.

And by the way, the boonie hat that is on the top photo are fondly called “Lousy Hat”, a Philippine Military jargon, being obviously a nifty and floppy hat brim. Thus, a “lousy” nature of its style but effective in combat concealment to cut out the silhouette of a human head from a distance in a jungle environment. So whenever, you have the opportunity to visit Philippine military camps or military shops in the vicinity or for foreign military who are in, on a joint military exercises, it’s always good to understand the local slang when one dig to trade a boonie hat with their local counterparts.

US Marine Corps' Marine Force Recon with Philippine MFR Boonie hat

A USMC Force Recon in their usual jungle MARPAT digital camouflage uniform donning a Philippine Marine Corps’ Force Recon “lousy” hat in one of their joint-exercises in the Philippines with their local counterparts. I believe this photo was taken in the Marine base beach resort in Ternate, Cavite. Yes, a beach resort but not so open to the public. I think this is Katungkulan beach named after Camp Katungkulan, a Philippine Marine Corps’ training center and forest area reservation. A prior arrangement is needed to enjoy the beach obviously for security reason.

Another photo reference below of the Philippine Marines Force Recon “Lousy Hat” taken during one of their Airborne classes.

Philippine Marines Force Recon "Lousy" hat

2010 in review

Posted in News and Announcement on January 11, 2011 by stukaph

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 9,200 times in 2010. That’s about 22 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 3 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 12 posts. There were 10 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 1mb. That’s about a picture per month.

The busiest day of the year was March 1st with 98 views. The most popular post that day was Scud Hunters.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were silentpro.wordpress.com, filairsoft.com, sealteamthree.net, en.wordpress.com, and search.conduit.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for scout ranger, delta force operator, philippine navy seals, delta force, and navsog.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Scud Hunters August 2008
2 comments

2

Silent Warriors August 2008
2 comments

3

Philippine NAVSOG Tigerstripes Uniform April 2010
5 comments

4

Operation Kentucky Jumper September 2008
4 comments

5

Kinship: Sailor and FDNY April 2009
6 comments

NAVSOG Distinctive Tigerstripes 3-Day Assault Pack

Posted in Philippine Naval Special Operations Group (Navsog) on January 10, 2011 by stukaph

PH SEAL Distinctive Tigerstripes 3-Day Assault Pack

 

 

 

 

 

 

DESCRIPTION A PH SEAL 3-day assault pack in tigerstripes camouflage pattern where the color variation is distinct to the Philippine Naval Special Warfare Group. The pack was designed based from the classic Lila Outdoor backpack, a local outdoor gear manufacturer which eventually ventured into supplying the local military Special Operation Group for their combat gear needs and thus, all of their military products were classified into what is now known as GEAR MAX Series. Obviously, I would like to think that this is in accord with the initiative to provide our local armed forces especially its various Special Operations, access to commercial off the shelves (COTS) solution for a sturdy and functional military combat gear.

MATERIALS The tigerstripes version of this pack was limited due to the scarcity of this specific tigerstripe material supplies and availability, which I believe is made of Condra or Kondra Nylon. Hence, this specific camouflage variety is no longer available. Last time, I got an opportunity to visit them with a good friend back in 2nd quarter of 2010, there were only last four pieces left and already on reserved. Black color in regular supply though and also commonly used by PH SEAL Operators if one really dig this 3-day pack.

WORKMANSHIP & QUALITY The pack is well built using industry standard tools and acceptable materials with very good workmanship quality. As a matter of fact, all Gear Max Series comes with a lifetime warranty. Nonetheless, having said earlier that the TS fabric material is made of Kondra Nylon, I am not sure though if these TS variety were constructed using 500 or 750 Denier but for sure not the heavier coated 1000 denier to make it more affordable.

VARIATION DETAILS To note, in the photo above is the same batch of their 3-Day version prototypes with a subdued low profile NAVSOG insignia beautifully embroidered on the upper front, just above the black MOLLE webbings (rightmost closed-up photo) with no GearMax markings anywhere in the pack at all. However, in the subsequent productions, upon instructions from NAVSOG, the subdued embroidered NAVSOG “Wing” or insignia was taken off. Consequently, even as this had been subdued in the prototypes or in the test phase, this may well still call unnecessarily attention and somehow take away the unassuming nature of these fine operators… But noticed on my other TS pack that although they are exactly the same less the wing, a GearMax label is now on the shoulder strap and replacing where the embroidered wings was once positioned, is now a black 2” x 3” fabric hook-and-loop fastening tape (similar to VELCRO® brand) for flexibility to attached/detached a patch. Though, there was other early version whereby, instead of the embroidered wings on the same position, a large GearMax Series label was on it.

OTHER MANUFACTURER There is a local popular maker of this specific pack design early on in various sizes whereby, a larger 5-Day version were also popular among the local armed forces elite units made by Tactics; incidentally started as a hobby and became an outfitter of the Philippine Navy’s elite NAVSOG Team Uno (Team One) and the Philippine Air Force 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing.

MISLABEL COPIES On the other hand, unknown maker copied this pack model with a little modification commercially available in most military camp’s concessionary milshops. Modification in terms of adding an elastic rigging cord in the front pocket but unfortunately, what could have been a nice variation actually, of this original classic design, I think was totally ruined by a CAMELBAK label visibly sewed up in front of the pack. Personally, I don’t like the idea as this definitely passed itself as fake Camelbak product and detrimental to the representation of our professional soldiers.

PROOF OF AUTHENTICITY Photo below of the Certificate of Appreciation presented to GEAR MAX during the 50th Anniversary of the unit for their “generous support and cooperation extended forwards the advancement of the Naval Special Operations Group”.

Proof of Authenticity