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George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/11/2020 8:57:07 AM
On April 25, the Russian military demonstrated its desire to dominate the high Arctic. They have already re-activated previously mothballed Arctic military bases. Their nuclear sub fleet operates out of bases on that northern coast.

But they also decided to demonstrate that they have the capability to operate in miserable conditions in the Arctic.

And so, they put on quite a show featuring a parachute drop from 30,000 feet, using specialized equipment. And then they carried out a three day exercise on the ground and in difficult conditions.

If the reports, including the Russian reports are accurate, it seems that the Russians are flexing their power in the Arctic. Norway, Canada and the US should be concerned.

Here is a report from the CBC. If it is inaccurate, perhaps someone will let me know.

[Read More]

Cheers,

George
Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 608
Joined: 2005
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/11/2020 5:10:40 PM
George, whats the tactical significance of Russia having a presence there?
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/11/2020 6:00:51 PM
Hello Wazza,

Kaii would be the best one to answer that, I'm sure. Norway always has an eye on the Russians.

The Russians have been beefing up their assets for quite a while in the high Arctic. They have revived military land bases. The navy and the nuclear subs have bases there.

They have a fleet of nuclear powered ice breakers as well.

I think that this exercise was designed to show the rest of us that the Russian military is still a force to be reckoned with and that they can master logistics to deliver troops anywhere in the Arctic and keep them there. I do not know whether the Russians have the capability to deliver goods and services to those troops.

Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6206
Joined: 2006
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/11/2020 8:49:05 PM
George,
& Wazza,

Perhaps the Russians are planning to surrender, their Northern bases, Army, & Arctic Fleet!?

But I wouldn't count on it!?
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3577
Joined: 2004
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/11/2020 9:31:51 PM
Wazza, slightly different perspective. I don't know at present if there is any tactical significance as such. Nevertheless there are certain military, commercial and geo-political issues. And if truth be told, national and historical issues as well. In toto, I would say we're looking at strategic issues. Stating a claim, which Canada has done, is simply not the same as demonstrating a presence, which the USN has done in the past and the Russians are doing increasingly at present.

Historically, attempts were made to find and transit both the Northwest and Northeast passages, from late Elizabethan times. The passage to the south was controlled by Catholic doctrine. For many Canucks, this "forced" search for an alternative has been woven into our cultural heritage, for good or for ill. Just look at how excited Canada is about the discovery of Franklin's ships, and how ready they are to claim a British voyage of discovery as a national Canadian treasure! An RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) vessel named St Roch traversed the Northwest Passage from W to E in 1950, the first to do so. But Roald Amundsen passed from E to W in something like 1918. So we can't claim historic mastery of the various channels of transit.

I wonder if folks have forgotten that "great circle routes" apply as much to ships as to aircraft? Show me the best shipping route between China and Norway, or between Edinburg and Tokyo. Open waters north of Canada. Period. So if you can demonstrate some time of control or activity of such a reason, I can't help but see that as a strategic positive.

Canada has laid claim to a massive archipelago north of our land mass. And while nobody I can remember has challenged that claim, both the US and the then-USSR/now Russian Federation have simply ignored Canada's claims. And Canada has not even a hint of power – domestic, geopolitical, military or economic – to support her claims.

As northern passages becomes easier and broader (for those of you who haven't done so, check an atlas and see the confusion of islands and passages that are opening), I see Russia as best placed to control (and protect) Arctic passage. The US can attempt control of the Bering Strait, bu has no similar hold on the east.

IMHO – and I'm probably gonna get some static for saying this – Canada has only a weak claim on the arctic territory it wishes to wave the flag over. Additionally, it has not a single means of supporting or enforcing its claims. Idi Amin Dada proclaimed he was King of Scotland. I haven't yet seen royal trees demonstrating that.

So, Wazza. If a nation can demonstrate capability in a territory, is that diplomatic, geo-political, economic, strategic or tactical?

I'm not expecting a Russian invasion of Canada from the north. And to be honest, Russians know too much about empty space to bother with such a thing. But I do see the Arctic Passage as akin to WW2's convoy routes in some future war scenarios. And I don't see Canada playing any major role in that scenario. According to my understanding of the term, I don't see any tactical benefit to Russia as they make their presence known. But I can't believe anyone misses the strategic significance of what their recent exercises might mean.

Be safe,
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/11/2020 10:11:54 PM
Hello Brian,

Here comes a little static.

I would say that our claim to the waters in our archipelago is strong. The fact that Canadians live and work, albeit in small numbers, in that area is one factor.

The world does acknowledge that the land masses, the islands, that make up the archipelago are Canada's. The dispute is whether the waterways among the islands are international waters or inland waterways of Canada. As I understand the science behind it, our claim to those waterways is also clear.

However, I do agree that we do not currently have the military assets to defend our high Arctic. But how could we possibly ever have sufficient assets to defeat the Russians even if we spent 50% of our GDP on the military.

Cheers,

George

kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/12/2020 2:03:49 PM
Quote:
Wazza, slightly different perspective. I don't know at present if there is any tactical significance as such. Nevertheless there are certain military, commercial and geo-political issues. And if truth be told, national and historical issues as well. In toto, I would say we're looking at strategic issues. Stating a claim, which Canada has done, is simply not the same as demonstrating a presence, which the USN has done in the past and the Russians are doing increasingly at present.

Historically, attempts were made to find and transit both the Northwest and Northeast passages, from late Elizabethan times. The passage to the south was controlled by Catholic doctrine. For many Canucks, this "forced" search for an alternative has been woven into our cultural heritage, for good or for ill. Just look at how excited Canada is about the discovery of Franklin's ships, and how ready they are to claim a British voyage of discovery as a national Canadian treasure! An RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) vessel named St Roch traversed the Northwest Passage from W to E in 1950, the first to do so. But Roald Amundsen passed from E to W in something like 1918. So we can't claim historic mastery of the various channels of transit.

I wonder if folks have forgotten that "great circle routes" apply as much to ships as to aircraft? Show me the best shipping route between China and Norway, or between Edinburg and Tokyo. Open waters north of Canada. Period. So if you can demonstrate some time of control or activity of such a reason, I can't help but see that as a strategic positive.

Canada has laid claim to a massive archipelago north of our land mass. And while nobody I can remember has challenged that claim, both the US and the then-USSR/now Russian Federation have simply ignored Canada's claims. And Canada has not even a hint of power – domestic, geopolitical, military or economic – to support her claims.

As northern passages becomes easier and broader (for those of you who haven't done so, check an atlas and see the confusion of islands and passages that are opening), I see Russia as best placed to control (and protect) Arctic passage. The US can attempt control of the Bering Strait, bu has no similar hold on the east.

IMHO – and I'm probably gonna get some static for saying this – Canada has only a weak claim on the arctic territory it wishes to wave the flag over. Additionally, it has not a single means of supporting or enforcing its claims. Idi Amin Dada proclaimed he was King of Scotland. I haven't yet seen royal trees demonstrating that.

So, Wazza. If a nation can demonstrate capability in a territory, is that diplomatic, geo-political, economic, strategic or tactical?

I'm not expecting a Russian invasion of Canada from the north. And to be honest, Russians know too much about empty space to bother with such a thing. But I do see the Arctic Passage as akin to WW2's convoy routes in some future war scenarios. And I don't see Canada playing any major role in that scenario. According to my understanding of the term, I don't see any tactical benefit to Russia as they make their presence known. But I can't believe anyone misses the strategic significance of what their recent exercises might mean.

Be safe,
Brian G


Brian, a very good summary of the strategic implications in the Arctic. It is all about controlling the new transport routes, as well as any natural resources that may be uncovered when the ice melts.

From a tactical point of view, the Russians use these bases as part of their "Bastion-defence concept", where they seek to prevent any NATO assets from entering the Barents Sea (to protect their Northern Fleet, including the submarine assets). This, is also why these movements are of great interest to Norway (and NATO), as most of Northern Norway is located on the wrong side of the "bastion line" that the Russians would need to establish, and would therefore be vulnerable to a Russian attack very early in a conflict, perhaps even before an open conflict between Russian and NATO would break out.

Having said that, a large part of the current events is also for Russian internal consumption. Putin is under heavy pressure with falling oil prices, cancelled military upgrading plans and the covid 19 situation which is certainly not under control. Russia has lost someof their role in Syria to Turkey, and has not been willing to engage the Turks militarily to defend the Syrian army.

Paratroopers in white, landing in remote Arctic islands, reclaimed by Mother Russia, look good on Russian tv, and grand reopenings of bases that were abandoned in Soviet times fulfill Putins promise of returning Russia to former glory.
In reality, the Russian military assets on these bases are quite limited and they would face a real issue to resupply them in a hot conflict.

Still, a few S300 batteries to form an umbrella would pose a significant obstacle to NATO air assets operating in the region.

Of more immediate concern for Norway, at least, is the latest Russian propaganda regarding Svalbard, and how Norwegian authorities are discriminating against Russian citizens and companies there. Svalbard is the keystone in the bastion defence concept, and would hav to be captured on day one by the Russians to render their defence plan viable. There is some concern that the Rusians will demand the right to station their own police¶military forces on Svalbard to "protect the Russian settlements there", although this would, of course be denied by the Norwegian government, based on the Svalbard Treaty.

Mix into this the Chinese, that have been very active in the region, and are now pushing to become members of the Arctic Council. The Chinese would, of course, benefit massively from an opening of theNorth/East passage - at least they would before Covid 19. Personally I don't expect trade patters to change dramatically, i.e. we will still buy a lot of cheap crap from China, but perhaps we will at least do it in ways that leave China with lesspolitical influence as a result of trade.

K
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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/12/2020 3:11:17 PM
Thank you for that assessment, Kaii. A calming voice.

Cheers,

George
Wazza
Sydney  Australia
Posts: 608
Joined: 2005
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/13/2020 4:12:56 AM
Thanks for all the information everyone. Lots to mull over.

kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/19/2020 5:11:39 PM
regarding the North East passage; the first convoy is already on its way through the NE passage on the way to China, a good month earlier than most years. As the ice melts and the sailing season widens, we will see a much greater share of world shipping choose this route, as it is considerably shorter than the traditional routes. This gives Russia considerable power in the region, but also opens up a potential hotspot of future conflict between Russia and China.

[Read More]
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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
GaryNJ
Cumberland NJ USA
Posts: 91
Joined: 2010
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/19/2020 10:26:29 PM
George,

I found this interesting article on Russian plans for the Arctic.
“The overhaul of Russian strategic planning for the Arctic Zone to 2035”
[Read More]

Gary
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/20/2020 8:42:31 AM
Thank you for that article, Gary I haven't decided whether the conclusions of the author bring me comfort or worry.
Russia has grandiose plans, both in the economic and security spheres as they pertain to the Arctic. But the article said that they may not have the capability to deliver.

The final conclusion was that it is in Russia's best interest to maintain good relations with the other Arctic nations as "conflict is bad for business". I suppose that that is comforting.

I will say that to date, Russia's behaviour with respect to the Arctic Council has been very good. The AC only deals with scientific matters however such as determining which nation controls which specific sections of the waters of the Arctic. For Canada, the prime example is for the AC to agree that the Northwest Passage is within Canadian territorial waters. The US in particular is fighting that contention quite aggressively. I don't know where the Russians stand on that issue.

But Russia's good behaviour in its relationship with the AC may be quite different than its future behaviour in matters military.

Cheers,

George
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/21/2020 5:24:03 PM
NATO showing some muscles in the high north
[Read More]
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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3577
Joined: 2004
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/21/2020 9:37:54 PM
Kai, some great pix there.

I sense that Norway's PM (Erna Solberg?), or whoever is in charge of military procurement (or finding the budget for such) should talk to our PM. I think we have been debating replacement of our CF-18s since about 1996, and still haven't made up our minds. I'm not a big fan of the F-35, for a host of reasons, and for some time hoped Canada might opt for the Eurofighter Typhoon instead.

Can I also just say that the B1-B never looks to me to be a US a/c? It's design seems just too "organic". Even in the pix you offer, it looks like an alien craft surrounded by a/c from a different culture.

One last point. For anyone with a polar projection map, Nordkapp is a point about as far from the US as you can get in Europe. Given current US military attitudes, if not realities as I understand them from the public news, those B1-B's aren't up there to wave the NATO banner.

George, I don't believe there are too many nations who are primarily concerned with military control over the Arctic waters, but are some nations who see military presence as an indication of having access to said waters.

Mind if I clarify what I mean when I talk about northern waters? Increasingly, there is open water up there, but some still talk about frozen waste. There are two "passages" which have been sought since the early 17th century, largely by northern European Protestant nations who wished to reach the Orient without facing Spanish or Portuguese challenges at various choke points (Cape Horn; Cape of Good Hope). The North West Passage, if found, would skirt or weave through the northern islands of North America; the North East Passage would skirt or weave through the northern islands of Eurasia, currently under unchallenged Russian sovereignty. Look at a map with a polar focus, and you see there is a lot of potential water up there, and that the two "Passages" are quite separate. The real issues are the choke points. I see two, but some see three.

The two chokepoints I see are Norway's Nordkapp and the Bering Strait. A third might be the Davis Strait, but I'm not convinced.

Sorry. Just a lot of thinking with my fingers.

Stay safe
Brian G

Edit: I hope it was lapse rather than lunacy that led me to fail to mention the Denmark Strait as yet another choke-point. That was always seen as the route to and from Northern Russia and the NA Atlantic coast.
B
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
G David Bock
Lynden WA USA
Posts: 480
Joined: 2020
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/29/2020 7:47:33 PM
The Incredible Story of the US Army's Earth-Shaking, Off-Road Land Trains
Oh, your pickup has a lift? That's cute.
...
You need to get 500 tons of supplies from Fairbanks, Alaska to the Arctic Ocean—a journey of about 400 miles through pure wilderness. There are no roads, very few airstrips, and endless ice. You're going to have to withstand minus 68 degree temperatures. Also, nuclear armageddon is on the menu if you're not quick about it.

You, my friend, need a LeTourneau land train.

By 1954, with the Cold War well underway, the U.S. government realized the quickest way to get a nuclear bomber from Russia to America was to go right over the Arctic Circle. If we wanted any chance of preventing a nuclear apocalypse, we needed to know if Soviet bombers were crossing the North Pole as soon as possible. The Army planned to build 63 manned radar stations in the high Arctic around the 69th parallel (200 miles north of the Arctic circle) as a result. And to transport all the necessary material that far north, it would have to get creative.

Working together, Canadian and American governments determined they would need about 500 tons of materials to construct all of these outposts. With no suitable runways or ports and heavy lift helicopters still in their infancy, it would all have to be hauled in over land. The task of figuring out how exactly to get that done fell to the same company that had been chosen to build the stations themselves—The Western Electric Company, a subsidiary of AT&T.

Solving unsolvable logistics issues wasn't exactly its forte. But with the help of TRADCOM (U.S. Army Transportation Research and Development Command), it found the one company—more accurately, the one man—that might be able to help.
...
https://www.thedrive.com/news/33645/the-incredible-story-of-the-us-armys-earth-shaking-off-road-land-trains?utm_source=pocket-newtab
[Read More]
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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/29/2020 10:05:07 PM
This is a bit of a diversion from the thread but what the hell.

The DEW line was a huge undertaking and a major step for Canada. The agreement between the two nations established Canadian sovereignty even if US personnel initially manned the sites. It was also a business deal that ensured that Canadian contractors and Canadian labour would be used as much as possible .

How many of the LeTourneau Sno-freighters were built? One did catch on fire somewhere in Alaska after it jackknifed.

I am reasonably sure that CAT trains (bulldozers pulling sleds) moved equipment locally to building sites.
But the DEW line equipment was moved into position for local transport by military and civilian air lift primarily and by sealift during the short summer months, to many different Arctic ports. The sealifts were effected by the US Army Transportation Corps and involved about 3000 people, specially trained for unloading ships in the high Arctic. Barges were used to move equipment as well.

Quote:
Once landed, the cargoes were transported to the sites along the entire length of the line by snowcat trains and barges for the building of the permanent settlements at each site. Naval convoys transported 281,600 tons of materials, with another 17,600 tons being moved by Cat Train, and 20,300 tons by barge between 1955 and 1957. An airlift brought in another 140,000 tons, for a grand total 459,900 tons of building materials. Also shipped north were 75,000,000 gallons of petroleum products, including 43,000,000 gallons that arrived in 818,000 drums.


This is a site that describes the DEW line construction process.

[Read More]

I should add that the DEW line construction left a lot of soil contaminated with PCB's and lead.

Shortly after the DEW line became operational, the advent of ICBM's meant that 42 of the sites in Canada were obsolete and they were abandoned. There are fewer sites up there today and most are unmanned.

Canada has spent millions to clean up these abandoned sites and the Inuit people have been asking for that for a long time. An incredible quantity of waste and environmental damage was the result of the build.

35, 000 cubic metres weighing 40 million kg of soil contaminated with PCB's and lead were shipped south for incineration.
Another 283, 000 cubic metres of less contaminated soil and non hazardous waste, like oil drums, were transferred to properly engineered waste storage sites in the north.
202,000 cubic metres of soil contaminated by diesel fuel was transferred to "land farms" and the soil is turned over regularly until the hydrocarbons in the soil evaporate.

The design and build of the DEW line was a triumph of engineering and human spirit but the price to pay was a lot of polluted soil. The Inuit people in Canada were thrilled that the government finally decided to clean up the mess.



G David Bock
Lynden WA USA
Posts: 480
Joined: 2020
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/30/2020 3:35:20 PM
Being only thread anyway dealing with "the Arctic" and some previous posts on "history" up there, not that much of a diversion.

EDIT: Note the 55 year gap in threads/Sub-Forums from the one for WW2(1945) and this one; 2000 onward. I'm guessing anything doing with the Cold War and the assorted "brushfire" wars/conflicts of that era will go somewhere in this sub-forum.
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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3577
Joined: 2004
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/30/2020 8:34:30 PM
David, Brian W – owner, director, evaluator and head honcho – recently reduced the number of threads, including one focused on the Cold War. You don't like that? Talk to him and make your case. Or you could pony up a few bucks to help cover costs; Brian carries 100% of the cost of MHO.

What is "Sub-Forum" meant to be as a term? Are you suggesting we begin a different labelling system on MHO?

Cheers, and stay safe,
Brian G



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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
G David Bock
Lynden WA USA
Posts: 480
Joined: 2020
Russian exercise in high Arctic
5/30/2020 10:14:23 PM
Quote:
David, Brian W – owner, director, evaluator and head honcho – recently reduced the number of threads, including one focused on the Cold War. You don't like that? Talk to him and make your case. Or you could pony up a few bucks to help cover costs; Brian carries 100% of the cost of MHO.

What is "Sub-Forum" meant to be as a term? Are you suggesting we begin a different labelling system on MHO?

Cheers, and stay safe,
Brian G




Brian,

Not meant as any complaint. I've only started here in the past five-plus weeks so little familiar with past history and structure. I gathered there had been some restructure from another thread elsewhere here. Not a matter of like or not, and I think I covered this in the thread where Brian W mentions the changes happening. Also understand how the ownership and costs coverage plays out - currently.

In past, and on other Forums, I have paid a monthly subscription price/fee so such isn't unusual. Usually was a few buck$ a month. an alternative would be to open up this Forum and the Home Page to an advertiser or two to under-ride the costs. ACG does such. Usually the more the views/clicks to a site(forum) the better rate they can charge an advertiser, so something to consider.

FWIW, in short time I've been here the couple of threads I've started have generated a surprising number of "views" so maybe that would be something to consider and develop, find ways to get more persons to come here to view and/or post(be members). When I return to my "usual haunt" a couple of days from now, I'll give this forum and the home page some plugs and see if that encourages some more traffic here.

As for "sub-forum", it's a term I've encountered elsewhere on the "world wide web"=.www. ; so the main strucutre here known as "Military History Online" = 'the Forum'. Once on the main/home page one sees a sub-division per certain broad topics/classifications, such as "Civil War" ~ this could technically be thought of as a "sub-forum"; sub-division of the main "Forum". Within "Civil War" there are four other divisions/headers contained, so these could be considered "sub-sub-forums", I guess. Within those "sub-sub-forums" are the "threads" of specific focus. I just refer to any~many sub-divisions under the main header of MHO as a "sub-forum".

No need for re-labeling or restructure per say. Maybe a re-orientation by some members on terminology and application.

BTW, notice one or two members here are also present on ACG. I'd encourage others to consider joining and participating there in addition to MHO for expanded resources and interactions.
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TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Russian exercise in high Arctic
6/4/2020 9:28:10 PM
B-52 visits the Arctic again.

[Read More]
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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3577
Joined: 2004
Russian exercise in high Arctic
6/4/2020 11:35:00 PM
Kai, thanks. For a thread titled "Russian exercise in high Arctic", seems to me we're looking at a fair number of exercises by the West (NATO and others) "in high Arctic"! Honestly makes me think all nations have similar rights to make appearances in the area. It appears to be a crunch point, not claimable by anybody.

Gotta say, every time I see a B-52 I think either of Vietnam or "Dr Strangelove". What an incredible workhorse the B-52 has proved to be . . . for oh so many decades! That such an archaic a/c still spans the world suggests that there are some current sophistications not covered in original specs. She is huge, noisy, dirty, and relatively slow, IIUC, not to mention less than stealthy. It would be wonderful to know what implements have been added to an a/c some 60+ years old, because the B-52 isn't still in service for the hell of it!

In the early 1970s – almost 50 years ago – I was teaching in Sault Ste Marie in Ontario. South of The Soo was an airbase that was a source of the "Kincheloe Beep", which permeated electronics everywhere. I think Kincheloe was an SAC base, and believe there were B-52s on location. My assumption was (and this is also the explanation we were given) that the "BWAH" we heard every 11 seconds was a classified radar system impacting our lives. Price of freedom, blah blah blah. ...

Cheers, and stay safe,
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Russian exercise in high Arctic
6/5/2020 6:45:21 AM
Quote:
Kai, thanks. For a thread titled "Russian exercise in high Arctic", seems to me we're looking at a fair number of exercises by the West (NATO and others) "in high Arctic"! Honestly makes me think all nations have similar rights to make appearances in the area. It appears to be a crunch point, not claimable by anybody.
Brian G


Brian,
certainly, the area is open to any nation, and there is nothing illegal per se with any of the activities going on up there.
Russia is just about to start the biggest naval manoeuvres this year - they claim it is in response to the USN/Royal Navy patrol into the Barents Sea a couple of weeks ago, but quite obviously this scale of manoeuvres have been planned for some time. Although they will stay in international waters, they have warned that there will be live fire exercises just outside the Norwegian territorial waters, which is clearly their way of stating their displeasure with the recent US incursions into the area.

As the activity increases, the danger of mistakes or misunderstandings increase. We see for instance that the Russians behave very differently towards US planes than they do towards Norwegian ones: when they face Norwegian fighter jets they are generally polite and predictable, when they face US jets they are aggressive and unpredictable, as for instance shown by the incident with the US P8 Poseidon plane over the Baltic Sea last week.

We'll see how this plays out.

K
----------------------------------
“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
Wayne Wachsmuth
Shippensburg PA USA
Posts: 256
Joined: 2004
Russian exercise in high Arctic
6/5/2020 5:37:30 PM
Brain, As one who spent some time as an instructor pilot in the BUF one reason for its longevity is the fact that after all these years it's still a hellava bomb truck. However it could not survive anymore in an area defended by state of the art defensive arms. Doesn't matter how much new stuff is packed into it it still has a radar cross section on the order of a large barn. That being said, it can still employ stand off weapons to avoid having to penetrate heavily defended areas. Or as in current use when there are little or no defensive systems it can still have an impact (no pun) on the battlefield. The H model still has a useful number of hours left on the airframes which has been helped considerably by not flying low level penetration tactics anymore.
It still fills a useful niche and will for some time yet.

Wayne
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
Russian exercise in high Arctic
6/5/2020 5:39:51 PM
Hello Wayne. Would you explain the term, "stand off weapons" for me please?

Cheers,

George
Wayne Wachsmuth
Shippensburg PA USA
Posts: 256
Joined: 2004
Russian exercise in high Arctic
6/5/2020 5:48:46 PM
George, A stand off weapon is one capable of flight on its own and being smaller have much smaller radar signature and are generally capable of higher speeds than the host A/C. Think, Air Launched Cruise Missile, although the capabilities in that area have advanced considerably.

Wayne
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
Russian exercise in high Arctic
6/5/2020 9:38:22 PM
Thank you Wayne.
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3577
Joined: 2004
Russian exercise in high Arctic
6/5/2020 11:13:40 PM
Wayne, it's not hard to read behind your shortened acronym: I burst out laughing! Thank you for a good belly laugh I get what you're saying and of course it makes good sense. I guess replacement costs must figure into their continued use as well.

There are some a/c that are simply a wonderful design for the job. The Lanc comes to mind for WW2 ETO, and the DC-3/C-47 and derivatives for just about anything. Clearly, the BUFF fits that category as well.

Cheers, and stay safe,
Brian G
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Wayne Wachsmuth
Shippensburg PA USA
Posts: 256
Joined: 2004
Russian exercise in high Arctic
6/6/2020 9:30:30 AM
Brian, Back when I was flying them the name was spelled with only one F, but the powers that be decided that putting the extra F in the nickname made it easier to explain the meaning. For those of us who flew her when the crew members were older than the airplane she will always be the BUF.

Regards,
Wayne
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 916
Joined: 2005
Russian exercise in high Arctic
7/11/2020 12:19:51 PM
For those who knew him, Wayne Wachsmuth passed away on July 9, 2020.
He was a true gentleman, a Regular, and a good friend. He will be missed.
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
George
Centre Hastings ON Canada
Posts: 11529
Joined: 2009
Russian exercise in high Arctic
7/11/2020 4:53:19 PM
Thank you for passing on this sad news, Jim. I did not know him well but I enjoyed his comments. From his responses, he seemed like a good and decent man. Rest in peace.

George
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3577
Joined: 2004
Russian exercise in high Arctic
7/11/2020 9:27:01 PM
Jim, thank you for being the bearer of sad news indeed.

Wayne and I seldom posted on the same forums, so we didn't cross paths often. When we did, he was always gracious, informative, decent and understanding. I liked his 'style', both in the positions he took and the language he used. You are lucky to have known him.

I know nothing of his personal life, but assume you do. If you have any way of letting them know, please tell them that a Wet Coast Canadian remembers him with more than fondness, and that he grieves with them in their loss.

Again, Jim, thank you for letting us know. Stay safe.
Brian G.
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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
Michigan Dave
Muskegon MI USA
Posts: 6206
Joined: 2006
Russian exercise in high Arctic
7/11/2020 10:41:09 PM
I’m very sorry to hear of the passing away of Wayne, it was always nice to converse with him here on MHO, you knew he was an intelligent gentleman a all round good guy, by his responses!

He will be missed, condolences to his family.
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Russian exercise in high Arctic
7/12/2020 7:22:19 PM
Quote:
For those who knew him, Wayne Wachsmuth passed away on July 9, 2020.
He was a true gentleman, a Regular, and a good friend. He will be missed.


Really sorry to hear that. I too only knew Wayne through these forums, but found him informative, polite and interesting.

I will drink a toast to him tonight and whenever I see a B-52 I will think of him.

Please pass on the condolences from a Norwegian army vet, to his family.

Bon voyage my friend.

K
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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2856
Joined: 2010
Russian exercise in high Arctic
7/12/2020 8:07:12 PM
A fine gentleman. We often discussed the Cold War joking about him "up there" in his B52 and me down in the shadowy streets of "Spy City", along with Bill Wilson sat in his tank in the Fulda Gap. All doing our bit together, like others here on MHO, in a war we thankfully did not have to fight.

Wayne was always polite and patient in explaining the fine technicalities of flying his beloved B 52.

RIP Wayne.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 4933
Joined: 2004
Russian exercise in high Arctic
7/14/2020 6:21:02 AM
What sad news : we’ve lost someone special.

Regards, Phil
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morris crumley
Dunwoody GA USA
Posts: 2929
Joined: 2007
Russian exercise in high Arctic
7/14/2020 9:28:47 AM
I am shocked a saddened by this news. Wayne was a gentleman, a soldier, a heroic man who served his country and loved it`s history.

We exchanged, mostly on the Gettysburg threads. His knowledge as a guide was always of tremendous benefit, and very welcoming.

As Phil said, we`ve lost a special man.

RIP Wayne, thanks for sharing your stories and knowledge with us for so many years here.

Respects, Morris
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"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Jim Cameron
Ossining NY USA
Posts: 916
Joined: 2005
Russian exercise in high Arctic
7/14/2020 6:38:02 PM
[quoteAll doing our bit together, like others here on MHO, in a war we thankfully did not have to fight.


Well, he did have 133 combat missions over Vietnam.
We were all honored to have known him, whether in person, or over the internet.
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Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

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