The Camouflaged Military Bunkers of Switzerland

Switzerland is a politically neutral country, yet it has a strong military. All across the Swiss alps are military installation and bunkers carefully hidden so as to blend into the surrounding landscape. Some of them are camouflaged as huge rocks, others as quiet villas or barns that could open up in the event of an emergency to reveal cannons and heavy machine guns that could blow any approaching army to smithereens. Enormous caverns are dugout on the mountain side to function as ad-hoc airbases with hangars. Every major bridge, tunnel, road and railway has been rigged so they could be deliberately collapsed, whenever required, to keep enemy armies out. Highways can be converted into runways by quickly removing the grade separations in between the lanes.

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Is that a rock?

The country has nuclear fallout shelters in every home, institutions and hospitals, as well as nearly 300,000 bunkers and 5,100 public shelters that could accommodate the entire Swiss population if required. Switzerland also has one of the largest armies on a per capita basis, with 200,000 active personnel and 3.6 million available for service. Every male citizen under 34 years old (under 50 in some cases) is a reserve soldier. Soldiers are even allowed to take all personally assigned weapons to home. If anyone were to invade Switzerland, they would find a nation armed to the teeth.

In his 1984 book, La Place de la Concorde Suisse, acclaimed New Yorker author John McPhee quoted a Swiss officer as saying: “Switzerland doesn’t have an army, Switzerland is an army.” Indeed, Switzerland’s powerful citizen army has helped preserve the country’s neutrality and keep neighboring countries from invading Swiss territory. The country hasn’t been involved in any military conflict for 200 years.

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A bunker disguised as a house.

Fortification of the Swiss alpine region began in the 1880s. They were intensified and modernized during the World War and again during the Cold War period. But today, as a neutral country with no immediate threats to its borders, most of the bunkers lie empty and many are falling into disrepair. Some have been converted into shelters for homeless people, others house things like museums and hotels.

The Swiss government considered closing them down but the cost of decommissioning — an estimated $1 billion — far surpasses what it takes annually to maintain them. While the matter is still debated, the bunkers are likely to stay because they still provide use as fallout shelters. “Neutrality is no guarantee against radioactivity,” they say. In 1978, a law was passed requiring all new buildings to incorporate a shelter. If a family decides against building a shelter, they must pay for a place in the public shelter. Switzerland is the only country in the world that could provide protection to its entire population of 8 million, and more.

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Another bunker disguised as a barn.

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Major Gunboat Diplomacy

A show of force aimed directly at that lunatic dictator in North Korea.

Three U.S. Navy carrier strike groups are operated alongside one another in the Western Pacific through November 14th, 2017. The USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76), USS Nimitz (CVN-68), and the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), along with the Japanese helicopter carrier Ise and its destroyer escorts, are training to work cooperatively as a single punishing force.

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Nearly 200,000 US troops are currently deployed around the world — here’s where

With Trump on his extended Asian tour the geopolitics of the region is at the forefront. Especially the Korean military dilemma. Below is a report on US overseas military deployments.

U.S. and South Korean forces during joint exercises

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There was no shortage of cuts proposed in Trump’s budget for 2018, which was released earlier this week.

However, one of the few departments that did not receive a haircut was the Department of Defense.

If the proposed budget ultimately passes in Congress, the DoD would be allocated an extra $54 billion in federal funding – a 10% increase that would be one of the largest one-year defense budget increases in American History.

To put the proposed increase in context, the United States already spends more on defense than the next seven countries combined.

Meanwhile, the additional $54 billion is about the size of the United Kingdom’s entire defense budget.

Military Spending (2015) by country

With over half of all U.S. discretionary spending being put towards the military each year, the U.S. is able to have extensive operations both at home and abroad. Our chart for this week breaks down military personnel based on the latest numbers released by the DoD on February 27, 2017.

In total, excluding civilian support staff, there are about 2.1 million troops. Of those, 1.3 million are on active duty, while about 800,000 are in reserve or part of the National Guard.

On a domestic basis, there are about 1.1 million active troops stationed in the United States, and here’s how they are grouped based on branch of service:

Active Domestic Personnel by military branch

Internationally, there are just under 200,000 troops that are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world.

Here are the top 20 countries they are stationed in, as well as an “Other” category that represents the rest:

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In 2015, Politico estimated that there are 800 U.S. bases abroad, and that it costs up to $100 billion annually to maintain this international presence.

Source: Businessinsider.com

US firm develops drone with gun and grenades

As if the world needs more killing machines.

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Duke Robotics has come up with a weaponized drone capable of aiming and shooting while in mid-air.

The TIKAD drone, which won an award for security innovation from the US Department of Defense, has been hailed as an important new tool in the war against terror.

Capable of being fitted with either a gun or a grenade launcher, the drone can be remotely controlled from a safe distance so that it can enter dangerous combat scenarios without risk to its operators.

But just how safe is a drone like this and what would happen if it fell in to the wrong hands ?

“Big military drones traditionally have to fly thousands of feet overhead to get to targets, but these smaller drones could easily fly down the street to apply violent force,” said Professor Noel Sharkey, a robotics expert from the University of Sheffield.

“This is my biggest worry since there have been many legal cases of human-rights violations using the large fixed-wing drones, and these could potentially result in many more.”

There are also fears that ISIS could copy this technology and create their own killer drones.

“We already know that Islamic State is using drones laden with explosives to kill people,” said Prof Sharkey. “What’s to stop them from getting their hands on this ?”

North Korea launches ballistic missile at North America

After doing some bad methamphetamine, Kim Jong Un and his brown nosing generals decide to hit the U.S. with their new long-range missile the KN-08. The intended target was either Los Angeles or San Francisco according to RAND Corporation analysts.

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The missile guidance system fails, as predicted by Stephen Colbert, and lands a thousand miles to the north. The missile and its nuclear warhead land in southern Alberta, Canada. Barley missing blowing up a herd of 10,000 black Angus cattle.

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It is time Canada gets on board with the U.S. anti-ballistic missile defense system.

 

Tight Squeeze: Aircraft Carriers pass under the Golden Gate Bridge

The modern American super carriers are big ships. They are 1,100 feet long and 250 feet high.  When the giant ships dock in San Francisco Bay they have to go under the Golden Gate Bridge and sometimes the Bay Bridge.  Clearance on both bridges at high tide is 220 feet. To clear the bridges the ships have to wait for extreme low tide. This allows just enough room for the mega ships to pass under. But just enough room, the top of the radar mast usually has 18 inches of clearance from the bottom of the bridges.

 

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Suez Transit

 

Aircraft Carrier Passing Under Golden Gate Bridge

 

Passing under the Bay Bridge

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How the North Korean military likes to see itself

The Korean People’s Army constitutes the military force of North Korea and, under the Songun policy, the central institution of North Korean society. Kim Jong-un is the Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. The KPA defence force consists of five branches: Ground Force, the Navy, the Air Force, the Strategic Rocket Forces, and the Special Operation Force. The Worker-Peasant Red Guards also come under control of the KPA.

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Manpower
Conscription 17 years of age
Available for
military service
6,515,279 males, age 15-29 (2010),
6,418,693 females, age 15-29 (2010)
Fit for
military service
4,836,567 males, age 15-29 (2010),
5,230,137 females, age 15-29 (2010)
Reaching military
age annually
207,737 males (2010),
204,553 females (2010)
Active personnel 1,190,000 (2012) (ranked 4th)
Reserve personnel 600,000 reserves (2012)
5,889,000 paramilitary (2012) (ranked 1st)

Little Kimmy likes his military toys

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The submarine fleet is for the most part made up of rust buckets. Looks like Kimmy going for a boat ride in the clunker below.

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During testing a lot of the missiles go way off target.

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A high percentage of the force is made up of women.

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Poor brainwashed saps. Although they would fight hard I reckon.

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Looks like Dennis Rodman helped design these camo uniforms.

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Way too bright. A Canadian sniper could take one of these guys out at over 3,000 meters

Canada Regains Longest Sniper Kill Title

I’m not attempting to glorify war here. But in my humble opinion, the more ISIS barbarians exterminated, the better.

Canadian sniper ‘kills IS militant two miles away’

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A Canadian sniper team working in Afghanistan

A sniper in the Canadian special forces shot and killed an Islamic State (IS) fighter from a distance of 2.1 miles (3,540m) in Iraq last month.

Military sources told Toronto’s Globe and Mail newspaper the soldier was a member of Joint Task Force 2, and made the shot from a high-rise building.

It took the bullet almost 10 seconds to hit its target, it reports.

The Canadian Special Operations Command confirmed to the BBC the sniper “hit a target” from that distance.

The shot, which sources tell the paper was filmed, is thought to be a record for the longest confirmed kill.

The sniper worked in tandem with an observer, who helps to spot targets, and used a standard Canadian military issued McMillan TAC-50 rifle.

“The shot in question actually disrupted a Daesh [so-called Islamic State] attack on Iraqi security forces,” a military source told the paper.

“Instead of dropping a bomb that could potentially kill civilians in the area, it is a very precise application of force and because it was so far away, the bad guys didn’t have a clue what was happening.”

The source described the difficultly of the shot, which required the shooter to account for wind, ballistics, and even the Earth’s curvature.

Military experts believe the successful shot may have set a record.

The previous record was held by British sniper, Craig Harrison, who shot and killed a Taliban attacker from 2,475 metres in 2009 using an L115A3 long range rifle.

The government of Canada’s Liberal Party Prime Minister Justin Trudeau halted air strikes against the so-called Islamic State in2016.

But at the same time, Mr Trudeau announced plans to treble the number of special forces on the ground, as well as increase the number of Canadian Armed Forces members who are tasked with training and assisting local forces.

McMillan TAC-50 rifle

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The science of long-range sniping came to fruition in the Vietnam War. Carlos Hathcock held the record from 1967 to 2002 at 2,286 m (2,500 yd). He recorded 93 official kills. After returning to the U.S., Hathcock helped to establish the Marine Corps Scout Sniper School at Quantico, Virginia. The science of long-range sniping came to fruition in the Vietnam War. Carlos Hathcock held the record from 1967 to 2002 at 2,286 m (2,500 yd). He recorded 93 official kills. After returning to the U.S., Hathcock helped to establish the Marine Corps Scout Sniper School at Quantico, Virginia.

In addition to his success as a USMC Scout-Sniper during multiple deployments to Vietnam, Gunnery Sergeant Hathcock competed in multiple USMC shooting teams. Hathcock also won the 1966 Wimbledon Cup, which is earned by the winner of the U.S. 1000-yard high-powered rifle National Championship. Even after being severely burned during an attack on an Amtrac on which he was riding and his efforts to rescue other soldiers, and after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Hathcock continued to serve, shoot and instruct. In Vietnam, Hathcock also completed missions involving a “through the scope” shot which killed an enemy sniper specifically hunting him, and a multiple-day solo stalk and kill of an enemy general.

Hathcock’s record stood until Canadian Master Corporal Arron Perry of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry beat it with a shot of 2,310 metres. Perry held the title for only a few days, as another man in his unit (Corporal Rob Furlong) beat Perry’s distance with a 2,430 m (2,657 yd) shot in March 2002. Perry and Furlong were part of a six-man sniper team during 2002’s Operation Anaconda, part of the War in Afghanistan.

Corporal Furlong’s record was bested by a British soldier, Corporal of Horse Craig Harrison, of the Blues and Royals, Household Cavalry, who recorded two 2,475 m (2,707 yd) shots (confirmed by GPS) in November 2009, also during the War in Afghanistan, in which he hit two Taliban insurgents consecutively.  Harrison killed the two Taliban machine gunners with shots that took the 8.59 mm rounds almost five seconds to hit their targets, which were 900 metres (1000 yd) beyond the L115A3 sniper rifle’s recommended range. A third shot took out the insurgents’ machine gun. The rifle used was made by Accuracy International.

In June 2017, an unnamed Canadian sniper increased the record by over a kilometer with a 3,540 m (3,871 yd) shot in Iraq. Similar to the previous two Canadian records, a McMillan Tac-50 with Hornady A-MAX .50 (.50 BMG) ammunition was used.

 

The Doomsday Jet

The Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post, with the project name “Nightwatch”, is a strategic command and control military aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF). The E-4 series was specially modified from the Boeing 747-200B. The E-4 serves as a survivable mobile command post for the National Command Authority, namely the President of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, and successors. The four E-4Bs are operated by the 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron of the 55th Wing located at Offutt Air Force Base, near Omaha, Nebraska. An E-4B is denoted a “National Airborne Operations Center” when in action, it is to be a command platform in the event of nuclear war.

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 The E-4B is designed to survive an EMP with systems intact and has state-of-the-art direct fire countermeasures. Although many older aircraft have been upgraded with glass cockpits, the E-4B still uses traditional analog flight instruments, as they are less susceptible to damage from an EMP blast.[

The E-4B is capable of operating with a crew up to 112 people including flight and mission personnel, the largest crew of any aircraft in US Air Force history. With in-flight aerial refueling it is capable of remaining airborne for a considerable period (limited only by consumption of the engines’ lubricants and food supplies). In a test flight for endurance, the aircraft remained airborne and fully operational for 35.4 hours, however it was designed to remain airborne for a full week in the event of an emergency. It takes two fully loaded KC-135 tankers to fully refuel an E-4B. The E-4B has three operational decks: upper, middle, and lower.

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E-4b

In January 2006, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced a plan to retire the entire E-4B fleet starting in 2009. This was reduced to retiring one of the aircraft in February 2007. The next Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates reversed this decision in May 2007. This is due to the unique capabilities of the E-4B, which cannot be duplicated by any other single aircraft in Air Force service, and the cancellation in 2007 of the E-10 MC2A, which was considered as a successor to the EC-135 and E-8 aircraft, and could also perform many of the same tasks of the E-4B. As of the 2015 federal budget there were no plans for retiring the E-4B. The E-4B airframe has a usable life of 115K hours and 30K cycles, which would be reached in 2039; the maintenance limiting point would occur some time in the 2020s.

All four produced are operated by the U.S. Air Force, and are assigned to the 1st Airborne Command Control Squadron (1ACCS) of the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. Maintenance and crews are provided by Air Combat Command. Operations are coordinated by the United States Strategic Command.

When the President travels outside of North America using a VC-25A as Air Force One, an E-4B will deploy to a second airport in the vicinity of the President’s destination, to be readily available in the event of a world crisis or an emergency that renders the VC-25A unusable. When the President visits Honolulu, Hawaii, an E-4B has often been stationed 200 miles away at Hilo International Airport on Hawaii Island.

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Battle Staff Cabin

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A right front view of an E-4 advanced airborne command post (AABNCP) on the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) simulator for testing.

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An electromagnetic pulse (EMP), also sometimes called a transient electromagnetic disturbance, is a short burst of electromagnetic energy. Such a pulse’s origination may be a natural occurrence or man-made and can occur as a radiated, electric or magnetic field or a conducted electric current, depending on the source.

EMP interference is generally disruptive or damaging to electronic equipment, and at higher energy levels a powerful EMP event such as a lightning strike can damage physical objects such as buildings and aircraft structures. The management of EMP effects is an important branch of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) engineering.

Weapons have been developed to create the damaging effects of high-energy EMP. These are typically divided into nuclear and non-nuclear devices. Such weapons, both real and fictional, have become known to the public by means of popular culture.