Pages

Monday, May 26, 2014

Ukrainian Armed Forces

ATTENTION: To all my fans and followers, and those who care about their brothers-in-arms. I have never done this before, but now is the time to act. Over the course of almost two decades the Ukrainian Army was being deliberately destroyed by pro-Russian elements integrated into the highest echelons of Ukrainian society. By now, it’s pretty clear why this was being done. Evidently, the hostile elements have succeeded, and by the time shit hit the fan in Ukraine, the armed forces were literally obliterated. Miraculously, at the time of grave danger, Ukrainians managed to rebuild combat-ready armed forces in a matter of a few months. However, the guys on the ground are in a desperate need for our help. Being under attack by a bigger and better-equipped ruthless enemy force invading their country,  the new-born Ukrainian Army and National Guard lacks basic supplies, such as body armor, night vision, GPS equipment, MREs, med kits, sleeping bags, to name just a few. This is our chance to help out.
 I have created several product lines dedicated to the Armed Forces of Ukraine (just follow the links in this article). You can help in several ways:

Buy the products, and proudly wear/display them to build awareness and boost Ukrainian pride at this time of struggle.

Buy the products, and donate them to Ukrainian military. This way you would double your contribution to the noble cause.

Donate via this blog with a note: “for Ukrainian Army”

100% of the proceeds from all of the above transactions will be donated via official channels to buy the necessities and support Ukrainian Army. Every little bit would help. Thank you all in advance.


One of my most recent projects was inspired by recent events taking place in Ukraine. The country who’s army was being deliberately incapacitated and methodically destroyed by sold-out governments for many years… The same army, which is now facing an uneasy task of liberating their land from armed to the teeth pro-Russian terrorist mercenary scam. Here is a little something for moral support to those brave guys and gals, helping people of Ukraine to realize their dreams of freedom and democracy.







The Armed Forces of Ukraine (Ukrainian: Збройні сили України (ЗСУ) Zbroyni Syly Ukrayiny, (ZSU)) are the military of Ukraine. Ukraine is officially a non-aligned state, but until the 2014 Ukrainian revolution, had a rather warm relationship with its neighbor the Russian Federation, allowing the latter to keep some contingents of its military forces on Ukrainian soil.
Military units of other states participate in multinational military exercises with Ukrainian forces in Ukraine regularly. Many of these exercises are held under the NATO co-operation programme Partnership for Peace.




The Ukrainian Ground Forces (Ukrainian: Сухопутні Війська ЗСУ, Sukhoputni Viys’ka ZSU) are the land force component of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. They were formed from Soviet Ground Forces formations, units, and establishments, including three military districts (the Kiev, Carpathian, and Odessa Military Districts), that were on Ukrainian soil when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990–92. Throughout the 1990s, Ukraine retained much Soviet-era army equipment. Since then, however, Ukraine has upgraded its Ground Forces with advanced additions from domestic engineering and modifications. Currently, the Ukrainian Ground Forces buys military equipment only from Russia and other CIS states, as well as locally producing some of their own equipment. Mechanised Infantry and armoured forces are the primary components of the Ukrainian Ground Forces. Their primary objectives in case of war are capturing and holding targets, maintaining positions, defending against attack, penetrating enemy lines and defeating enemy forces.




The Ukrainian Air Force (Ukrainian: Повітряні Сили України, Povitryani Syly Ukrayiny) is a part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Ukrainian Air Force headquarters is located in the city of Vinnytsia. When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, a large number of aircraft were left on Ukrainian territory. Ever since, the Ukrainian air force has been downsizing and upgrading its forces. In spite of these efforts, the main inventory of the air force consists of Soviet-made aircraft. The primary tasks of the Air Force of Ukraine are: winning operational air superiority, delivering air strikes against enemy units and facilities, covering troops against enemy air strikes, providing air support to the Land Force and the Navy, disrupting enemy military and state management, damaging and destroying enemy communication, and providing support by air in the form of reconnaissance, air drops, troops and cargo transportation.
The major mission of the Air Force is to protect the air space of Ukraine. In peace-time, this is carried out by flying air-space control missions over the entire territory of Ukraine




The Ukrainian Naval Forces (Ukrainian: Військово-Морські Сили України, ВМСУ, Viys’kovo-Mors’ki Syly Ukrayiny, VMSU) is the navy of Ukraine and part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It was established in 1992. It consists of 5 branches: surface forces, submarine forces, Navy aviation, coastal rocket-artillery and marines. The Navy numbers 15,470 people. The navy operates in the Black Sea basin (including Sea of Azov and Danube Delta). Distant operations of the Ukrainian Navy are limited to multinational activities, such as Operation Active Endeavour and Operation Atalanta in the Mediterranean and Horn of Africa. The headquarters of the Ukrainian Naval Forces was, until the 2014 Crimean crisis, situated at Sevastopol in Crimea.
In the 2014 Crimean crisis, Russia annexed Crimea, where the majority of the bases of the Ukrainian Navy were situated. Twelve thousands of Ukraine's 15,450 Navy personnel were based in Crimea, and the majority defected to Russia or resigned from military service.[citation needed] Russia also has control of at least 12 of Ukraine's 17 major warships. The base north of Odessa became the main operational Ukrainian Naval base. Ukraine also lost control of its Navy's main underground ammunition-storage site at the Inkerman valley, outside Sevastopol, as well as of its helicopter-repair facilities. The Navy's 750-strong 1st Marine Battalion at Feodosia was overrun by pro-Russian forces, its personnel arrested, and its equipment seized.
On 8 April 2014 an agreement had been reached between Russia and Ukraine to return captured vessels to Ukraine and "for the withdrawal of an undisclosed number of Ukrainian aircraft seized in Crimea". At the time Russian Navy sources claimed the Ukrainian ships were "not operational because they are old, obsolete, and in poor condition".

 The National Guard of Ukraine —(Ukrainian: Національна гвардія України, "Natsionalna gvardiya Ukrayini")(NGU)— is the reserve component of the Armed Forces of Ukraine under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs that was revived in 2014 based on the Internal Troops of Ukraine. The Guard would then be reestablished on March 13, 2014 amidst rising tensions in Ukraine and its region caused by the military intervention in Crimea by Russia.
The National Guard was originally created on November 4, 1991 right after Ukraine gained its independence under a direct supervision of the Supreme Council of Ukraine. However it was controversially disbanded nine years later on January 11, 2000 as part of a 'cost-saving' exercise by the then President Leonid Kuchma. In 1995 - 2000 there existed both the National Guard of Ukraine and the Internal Troops of Ukraine.

As always, the above insignia are available on a limited number of selected quality products via my “Military Insignia” galleries at Zazzle. You may simply follow the direct links in the article to navigate to the corresponding galleries.


Just to remind, 100% of the proceeds from all of the above transactions will be donated via proper channels to buy the necessities and support Ukrainian Army. Every little bit would help. Thank you all in advance.

I will also make my insignia designs available free of charge to any military units and personnel, for any non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families. In addition, I would make my designs available free of charge to any military branches, formations and units for any non-commercial internal duty-specific purposes, such as unit-related web design, training materials or presentations, as I did on many occasions in the past.

The above information provided in part by Wikipedia, Global Security, and the official websites of the corresponding units and formations.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency

The DefenseIntelligence Agency (DIA) is a United States federal agency that serves as the country's main foreign military espionage organization under the jurisdiction of Department of Defense. As one of the principal member of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), DIA informs national civilian and defense policymakers about the military intentions and capabilities of foreign governments and non-state actors, while also providing department-level intelligence assistance and coordination to individual military service intelligence components and the warfighter. The agency's role encompasses collection and analysis of defense-related foreign political, economic, industrial, geographic, and medical and health intelligence. As part of its national IC responsibilities, DIA regularly provides input for the President's Daily Brief. Although the DIA is designated a Department of Defense combat support agency, two-thirds of its 17,000 employees are civilian and its intelligence operations in support of U.S. national security extend far beyond the zones of combat - at hundreds of locations in approximately 140 countries. The agency primarily specializes in collection and analysis of human-source intelligence (HUMINT), has its own Clandestine Service and is in charge of American military-diplomatic efforts overseas. DIA is also designated a national manager for the highly technical measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT). The agency has no law enforcement authority, although it is occasionally portrayed so in American popular culture.
Established in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, the DIA has been at the forefront of U.S. intelligence efforts throughout the Cold War and rapidly expanded, both in size and scope, since the September 11 attacks. 

The above information provided in part by Wikipedia, The Institute of Heraldry, Global Security, and the official websites of the corresponding units and formations.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

10th Mountain Division Association Logo

Recently I was contacted by Robert J. Wiebel, Art Director of the National 10th Mountain Division Association with one of those requests breathe some life into the logo of their organization, as well as the division’s insignia, which would be used in their new National Association of the 10th Mountain Division 2013 and 2014 Calendars. Here are the results of this effort…

The 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) is a light infantry division in the United States Army based at Fort Drum, New York. The division is a subordinate unit of the XVIII Airborne Corps. Originally constituted as a unique mountain warfare unit, the division was the only unit of its size in the U.S. Army to specialize in fighting in mountainous and arctic conditions, thus earning the division the "MOUNTAIN" tab. Today, the division retains its "mountain" designation for historical purposes and is organized as a light infantry division.


Originally activated as the 10th Light Division (Alpine) in 1943, the division was redesignated the 10th Mountain Division in 1944 and fought in the mountains of Italy in some of the roughest terrain in the country. Following the war the division was deactivated, only to be reactivated and redesignated as the 10th Infantry Division in 1948. The division first acted as a training division and in 1954 was converted to a full combat division and sent to Germany before being deactivated again in 1958.
Reactivated again in 1985, the division was designated the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), to historically tie it to the World War II division and to also better describe its modern disposition. Since its reactivation the division and/or elements of the division have deployed numerous times since. The division has participated in Operation Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia), Hurricane Andrew disaster relief (Homestead, Florida), Operation Restore Hope and Operation Continue Hope (Somalia), Operation Uphold Democracy (Haiti), Operation Joint Forge (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Operation Joint Guardian (Kosovo), and several deployments as part of the Multinational Force and Observers (Sinai Peninsula). Since 2001, the division and its four combat brigades have seen over 20 deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, respectively.




The above information provided in part by Wikipedia, The Institute of Heraldry, Global Security, and the official websites of the corresponding units and formations.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Presidential Service Badge (PSB)

While working on my "Military Insignia 3D" project, I often get requests from active duty personnel. I always try my best to help out, depending on my workload at the time. One of my most recent requests came from a very interesting duty station. As a result, I have pushed aside my other stuff, and sank teeth into this one. And you will see why. It was a very exciting project, since I had to deal with some of the best-looking pieces of insignia ever produced. And, without further ado, here they are…

The Presidential Service Badge (or "PSB") is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States.
Executive Order 10879 of June 1, 1960 was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower establishing a White House Service Badge. President Lyndon B. Johnson retired the White House Service Badge and issued a separate Presidential Service Badge by signing Executive Order 11174 on September 1, 1964.
Typical recipients include:

Military aides to the President appointed from each of the services (pay-grade O-4 or higher) who, among other duties, rotate being the so-called "Emergency War Officer" with "The Football", a briefcase containing nuclear decision-making tools kept within ready access of the president at all times,
The White House Naval Mess Facility (Presidential Food Service) Located in The West Wing of The White House and The OEOB.
White House military public affairs officers,
Servicemembers assigned to the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), which supports Presidential communications worldwide,
Servicemembers assigned to the White House Transportation Agency (WHTA), which provides motor vehicle transportation to the White House as directed by the White House Military Office,
Servicemembers assigned to the White House Medical Unit (WHMU) which provides medical support to President, Vice President and their families as well as the White House Staff.
"Air Force One" Airmen assigned to the Presidential Airlift Group (PAG) Andrews AFB, Maryland
Naval Personnel assigned to the Camp David Facilities.
Marine Helicopter Squadron 1 (HMX-1) "Marine One" flight crew,
Marines assigned to the Marine Security Company at Camp David.

The PSB is awarded after at least one year of satisfactory service "to any member of the Armed Forces assigned to duty in the White House Office or to military units and support facilities under the administration of the Military Assistant to the President by the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Air Force, or, when the Coast Guard is not operating as a service in the Navy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, upon recommendation of the Military Assistant to the President". It is accompanied by a certificate and miniature lapel version. The PSB is recorded in the individual's military service records and is authorized for wear as a permanent decoration.
Recipients are the only Americans authorized to wear the "Presidential Seal or Coat of Arms" on their uniforms and civilian clothes. Since 1964, with the enactment of Presidential Executive Order 11174, over 20,000 U.S. armed services members and veterans have received the Presidential Service Badge for honorable service in the White House.

The Vice Presidential Service Badge is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time uniformed service aides to the Vice President. It was established under Executive Order 11544 by President Richard Nixon on July 8, 1970 and was modified by President Gerald R. Ford on July 19, 1976 under Executive Order 11926.
Uniformed service personnel eligible to receive the Vice Presidential Service Badge are active-duty members of the military, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Public Health Service who are posted to the Office of the Vice President, located in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the West Wing of the White House. Such personnel include military public affairs officers, security specialists, and liaison specialists from the various branches of the U.S. military, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Public Health Service.
The Vice Presidential Service Badge is considered a permanent decoration and is authorized for continued wear throughout a uniformed service career, even when one no longer serves the Vice President. The badge is very similar to the Presidential Service Badge, authorized for uniformed service personnel assigned to the staff of the President of the United States. Recipients are the only Americans authorized to wear the "Vice Presidential Seal or Coat of Arms" on their uniforms or civilian clothes.


The White House Service Badge was a short lived military insignia which was issued between the years of 1960 and 1964 for United States armed forces military personnel stationed at the White House in a variety of duties.
Executive Order 10879 of June 1, 1960 authorized the creation of a White House Service Badge with further military regulations stating that the badge may be entered into permanent military service records upon completion of a White House tour of duty. President Lyndon B. Johnson retired the White House Service Badge just after four years, and created a separate Presidential Service Badge (with different award criteria) by signing Executive Order 11174.



The above information provided in part by Wikipedia, The Institute of Heraldry, Global Security, and the official websites of the corresponding units and formations.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Naval Special Warfare Unit Ten


Naval Special Warfare (NSW), provides an effective means to apply counter-force in conjunction with national policy and objectives in peacetime and across the spectrum of hostilities from peacetime operations to limited war to general war. NSW Units, which are small command and control elements located outside the continental United States, support other NSW forces assigned to theater SOCs or components of naval task forces.

Naval Special Warfare Unit TEN (NSWU-10) is based at Naval Station Rota, Spain. Commanded by a NSW Commander (O5), it has three operational SDV Task Units and a headquarters element. SDVT-2 conducts operations throughout the US Atlantic, Southern, and European commands. Its mission is to provide tactical type training opportunities for NSW forces deployed aboard Sixth Fleet ships during slack periods while on routine deployments, so NSW forces can maintain perishable skills. NSWU-10 is responsible for all NSW exercises conducted in Spain. NSWU-10 is under the operational and administrative command of Naval Special Warfare Group TWO. NSWU-10 conducts close coordination with Special Operations Command, Europe.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Army Contracting Command (ACC) & Expeditionary Contracting Command (ECC)

One of my most recent requests…

The Army Contracting Command is a contracting services command of the United States Army. "On October 1, 2008, the Army recognized the formal establishment of the Army Contracting Command as a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. This new Army organization performs the majority of contracting work for the U.S. Army, and consists of two subordinate commands responsible for installation and expeditionary contracting, and other Army contracting elements."








Expeditionary Contracting Command is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Contracting Command headquartered at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
The one-star command is organized through its nine Contracting Support Brigades, seventeen Contingency Contracting Battalions, sixteen Senior Contingency Contracting Teams, and ninety-two Contingency Contracting Teams.










ECC brigades include:

·         408th Contracting Support Brigade, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait
·         409th Contracting Support Brigade, Kaiserslautern, Germany
·         903rd Contingency Contracting Battalion
·         410th Contracting Brigade, Fort Sam Houston, Texas
·         411th Contracting Brigade, Yongsan, Korea
·         412th Contracting Brigade, Fort Sam Houston, Texas
·         900th Contingency Contracting Battalion, Fort Bragg, N.C.[2]
·         413th Contracting Brigade, Fort Shafter, Hawaii
·         414th Contracting Brigade, Vicenza, Italy
·         two other brigades




The above information provided in part by Wikipedia, U.S. Army Center of Military history, The Institute of Heraldry, Global Security

Thursday, October 10, 2013

1st Hussars (RCAC) 2nd Edition

Recently I had to re-visit some of my Canadian insignia for one of the commissioned projects. Of course I could have simply re-used my earlier versions of the badges, but I wouldn't be me unless I have re-created them from scratch. And this is how the second editions of some of my Canadian badges came to life. I always enjoyed working with Canadian regimental insignia, due to their sheer beauty and challenges they present. Long story short, here is one of my second editions for you to enjoy – the 1st Hussars (RCAC)…

The 1st Hussars is a Primary Reserve Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment of the Canadian Army. As part of 31 Canadian Brigade Group, the Regiment is based in London and Sarnia and provides the Brigade with highly motivated and trained armoured crewmen. The 1st Hussars has a long and storied history that includes the D-Day landings as well as more recent peacekeeping operations and support to the Afghan mission.


The 1st Hussars traces its roots to the formation of the St. Thomas Troop of Volunteer Militia Cavalry in March 1856 and the First Troop of Volunteer Militia Cavalry of London in July of the same year. In 1880, regimental headquarters moved to London, where it has remained to this day. Despite "1st" in the title, the regiment is not the most senior armoured unit. With the militia reorganization of 1872, the senior or only cavalry regiment within a Militia District adopted the numerical designation of that district. Southwestern Ontario comprised Military District No. 1, hence the original designation as the 1st Regiment of Cavalry. The unit was renamed 1st Hussars in 1892 and because a British mounted unit numbered "1" never existed, it was unnecessary to add a 'Canada' or 'Canadian' modifier. Following the Second World War, because of wartime and earlier conversion to armour of some more senior infantry regiments, the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps decided that seniority would be determined by date of birth, regardless of the Corps in which the unit was raised. Regular Force regiments take precedence, and seniority among themselves by date of birth. 1st Hussars is placed seventh in the order of seniority of militia armoured regiments.

The above information provided in part by Wikipedia, and the official websites of the corresponding units and formations.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Navy Construction Battalion (CB): USN Seabees

This one was tons of fun to work with. I really invested my heart and soul into utter fuzziness of the bee. Enjoy.

A Seabee is a member of the Navy Construction Battalion(CB). The word "Seabee" comes from initials "CB". The Seabees have a history of building bases, bulldozing and paving thousands of miles of roadway and airstrips, and accomplishing a myriad of other construction projects in a wide variety of military theaters dating back to World War II.
Frank J. Iafrate, a civilian plan file clerk at Naval Air Station Quonset Point, Rhode Island, was the artist who designed the original Seabee logo ("Fighting 'Bee") in early 1942. The logo has remained in use, unchanged. In late 1942, after designing the logo, he enlisted in the Seabees.

As always, the above insignia are available on a limited number of selected quality products via my “Military Insignia” galleries at Zazzle. You may simply follow the direct links in the article to navigate to the corresponding galleries
I will also make my insignia designs available free of charge to any military units and personnel, for any non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families. In addition, I would make my designs available free of charge to any military branches, formations and units for any non-commercial internal duty-specific purposes, such as unit-related web design, training materials or presentations, as I did on many occasions in the past.


The above information provided in part by Wikipedia, The Institute of Heraldry, Global Security, and the official websites of the corresponding units and formations.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC)

Recently I was contacted by one of the representatives of Canadian Department of National Defence (yes, this is how we spell “defense” here in Canada, so – deal with it) with a gentle reminder that I was falling behind on my Canadian military insignia. Which was true, and those of you who followed the story know exactly why. Those of you, who did not, can catch up here. Long story short – I was missing a brand-new and important command from my line-up – the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC), to be exact. Well, the things you do to keep DND guys happy…  And here it is…

The Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC; French: Commandement des opérations interarmées du Canada or COIC) is one of the two unified commands of the Canadian Forces, the other one being the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command. CJOC was announced in May 2012 as the result of the cost-cutting measures in the 2012 federal budget through the merger of Canada Command, the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command and the Canadian Operational Support Command under an integrated command-and-control structure. The command was stood up on 5 October 2012 to officially replace the three former organizations.
The command team is composed of a three-star commander, assisted by three two-star deputy commanders, one for each of the three main components (Continental, Expeditionary, and Support). The team is rounded out by a one-star chief of staff and four senior non-commissioned members, an overall command chief warrant/petty officer, and a command chief warrant/petty officer for each component.
CJOC's role is to "anticipate and conduct Canadian Forces operations, and develop, generate and integrate joint force capabilities for operations."
The continental component consists of six regional joint task forces. In five of these JTFs, the commander also commands an army division or a maritime force. The five southern JTFs have no permanent operational units: units and detachments are temporarily assigned to them from the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force according to operational requirements.

[Oct.3, 2013 - Edited to add] However, the story did not end there. In fact, it had a pretty cool sequel. Today I have received a package from DND. The contents of the package have pleasantly surprised me, to say the least...  To drop the suspense, here is what I found in the aforementioned package:




The above information provided in part by Wikipedia, National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces website, Global Security, and other official websites of the corresponding formations.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Brazilian Marines: Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais (CFN)

Recently I was contacted by one of the active duty Brazilian Marines. The nature of his request was basically as follows: we like your rendering of the USMC emblem, could you do the same for us? I have to admit, I am getting similar requests pretty much on a regular basis, and I truly wish I could act on all of such requests. Unfortunately, more often than not, I simply can’t, due to my projects and custom orders work overload. This time, however, I had a window of opportunity and decided to help our Brazilian brothers in arms. The result of this undertaking can be found below.

Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais or CFN is the land combat branch of the Brazilian Navy. Deployed nationwide, along the coasts, in the marginal regions of Amazônia and in the Pantanal, in peacetime it provides for the security of Naval installations and aids isolated populations through civic action programs in the Naval Districts. Externally, it provides security for the embassies of Brazil in Algeria, in Paraguay, in Haiti and in Bolivia. It has participated in all of the armed conflicts in the Military history of Brazil.
The Brazilian Marines trace their origin to 1808 when the troops of the Royal Brigade of the Navy (the Portuguese Marine Corps) arrived in Brazil (then a Portuguese colony) when Mary I of Portugal and her son and regent John VI relocated themselves to the Portuguese South American territory during the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. In retaliation for the invasion of Portugal, Prince Regent, Dom João commanded the invasion of French Guiana, whose capital, Cayenne, was captured on the 14th of January 1809. Later, the unit was involved in several campaigns: the War of the independence of Brazil, conflicts in the River Plate basin, and in the Paraguayan War. During the latter the Corps won distinction in both the Battle of Riachuelo and in the taking of Humaitá. The CFN if has participated in the humanitarian actions promoted by UN in such diverse theaters of operation as Bosnia, Honduras, Mozambique, Rwanda, Angola, East Timor, and recently, in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
With about 15,000 men, all volunteers, professionals in combat on land, air and sea, its mission is to guarantee the projection of the naval power on land, by means of landings carried through with ships and staff of the Navy.
In the case of Brazil this is a complex mission, since the country has a territory of about 8,5 million km² (3.28 million sq. miles), a coast of more than 7,400 km (4,600 mi) with many oceanic islands, and a navigable waterways network of approximately 50,000 km (31,000 mi). This last one includes the Brazilian Amazon. To cover climates and natural landscapes so diversified as Pampas of Rio Grande Do Sul, pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul, deserts of the Northeast region and Amazonian Rainforest, demands a training of the highest standards, agility and versatility. Therefore, there are units trained in demolition techniques, special operations, combat in forests, mountain and ice, and helicopter-transported operations.
Trained as a Fast Deployment Unit, recently, with the sending of Brazilian military observers, also integrating the Peacekeeping Forces of the United Nations, the Marines have made their presence in distinctive areas of conflict as El Salvador, Bosnia, Angola, Moçambique, Ruanda, Peru, Ecuador, East Timor and, more recently, Haiti.

As always, the above insignia are available on a limited number of selected quality products via my “Military Insignia” galleries at Zazzle. You may simply follow the direct links in the article to navigate to the corresponding galleries
I will also make my insignia designs available free of charge to any military units and personnel, for any non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families. In addition, I would make my designs available free of charge to any military branches, formations and units for any non-commercial internal duty-specific purposes, such as unit-related web design, training materials or presentations, as I did on many occasions in the past.


The above information provided in part by Wikipedia, Global Security, and the official website of the Brazilian marines.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

AFSOC Special Tactics: TACP, CCT, PJ and SOWT


As my “Military Insignia 3D” project continues to expand and develop, I am getting a fair amount of feedback and suggestions, which help me tremendously along the way. Quite often such two-way communications determine what the next phase of the project would be. This time was no different. An e-mail from an active duty operator pointed out a significant and inexcusable gap in my lineup.  We are talking about U.S. Air Force Special Operations as a whole, and its Special Tactics branch in particular. As it turns out, I am not the only one guilty of overlooking what these amazing guys are about. While SEALs and Army Special Forces get all the ink and glory in the public eye, many are not even aware of the Air Force Special Operations existence. Well, I guess it is time to change it, at least in my books. And I would like to begin with the AFSOC Special Tactics guys, who are always there on the ground in the thick of things, along with SEALs and Army SF. Let’s look at TACPs, CCTs, PJs and SOWT operators.



Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) was established 10 Feb 1983 as Twenty-Third Air Force, with headquarters at Hurlburt Field, Florida. AFSOC is a United States Air Force (USAF) major command and is the elite Special Forces component of the Air Force (AFSOF) to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), a unified command located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. AFSOC provides AF Special Operations Forces (SOF) for worldwide deployment and assignment to regional unified commands.
In December 1992, AFSOC special tactics and intelligence personnel supported Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. In late 1994, AFSOC units spearheaded Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, and in 1995 Operation Deliberate Force in the Balkans. By the end of September 2001, AFSOC deployed forces to southwest Asia for Operation Enduring Freedom to help destroy the al Qaeda terrorist organization and remove the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. AFSOC airpower delivered special tactics forces to the battle ground and they in turn focused U.S. airpower and allowed Afghanistan's Northern Alliance ground forces to dispatch the Taliban and al Qaeda from Afghanistan. AFSOC personnel also deployed to the Philippines to help aid that country's efforts against terrorism. In March 2003, AFSOC again deployed forces to southwest Asia this time in support of what would become Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The command's SOF are composed of highly trained, rapidly deployable Airmen who are equipped with specialized aircraft. These forces conduct global special operations missions ranging from precision application of firepower, to infiltration, aviation foreign internal defense, exfiltration, resupply and refueling of SOF operational elements. The command's Special Tactics Squadrons are led by Special Tactics Officers (STOs). Special Tactics Squadrons combine Combat Controllers, TACP, Special Operations Weather Technicians, Pararescuemen and combat rescue officers to form versatile SOF teams. AFSOC's unique capabilities include airborne radio and television broadcast for psychological operations, as well as combat aviation advisors to provide other governments military expertise for their internal development.
Special Tactics is the US Air Force special operations ground force. Similar in ability and employment to MARSOC, Army Special Forces and Navy SEALs, Air Force Special Tactics personnel are typically the first to enter combat and often find themselves deep behind enemy lines in demanding, austere conditions, usually with little or no support. Due to the rigors of the job, Special Tactics yearlong training is one of the most demanding in the military, with attrition rates near 80 to 90 percent. In an attempt to reduce the high attrition, Special Tactics is very selective when choosing their officers. Special Tactics Officers (STO) undergo a highly competitive process to gain entry into the Special Tactics career field, ensuring only the most promising and capable leaders are selected. STO leadership and role modeling during the difficult training reduces the attrition rate for enlisted trainees. As befits their special connection between SOF and the USAF, these airmen have specialized equipment such as C4 vests.
STO selection is a two-phase process. Beginning with Phase One, a board of veteran STOs reviews application packages consisting of letters of recommendation, fitness test scores, and narratives written by the applicants describing their career aspirations and reasons for applying. Based on Phase One performance, approximately 8 to 10 applicants are invited to the next phase. Phase Two is a weeklong battery of evaluations, ranging from physical fitness and leadership to emotional intelligence and personality indicators. At the end of Phase Two, typically 2–4 applicants are selected to begin the year-plus Special Tactics training pipeline.



The Tactical Air Control Party, commonly abbreviatedTACP, is a small team of personnel who provide airspace deconfliction and terminal control of Close Air Support at battle group level or below. It usually consists of an officer Forward Air Controller (FAC), a SNCO FAC and usually a pair of signallers/drivers. An Air Force Tactical Air Control Party, commonly abbreviated TACP, is usually a team of two or more Air Force TACP journeyman or craftsman (AFSC 1C4X1) aligned with a conventional or special operations combat maneuver unit to advise ground commanders on the best use of air power, establish and maintain command and control communications, and provide precision terminal attack guidance of fixed- and rotary-wing close air support aircraft, artillery, and naval gunfire. A TACP always includes at least one Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) qualified to control attack aircraft. It can also include an Air Liaison Officer, who works primarily in an advisor capacity.
Along with being aligned with all conventional combat units, TACP airmen are also attached to Special Forces, Navy SEALs, as well as Joint Special Operations Command units and multi-national Special Operations task forces, primarily as communication and aircraft coordination experts and precision airstrike controllers. In addition, TACP members can be assigned to AFSOC Special Tactics Squadrons to perform their traditional duties in support of the Special Tactics mission. Enlisted members are either known as JTACs or ROMADs. JTACs provide terminal attack control for attack aircraft and act in an advisory capacity for their aligned army unit. ROMADs (Now referred to by the Air Force as JTAC's in training) are communication experts who assist JTACs in the performance of their duties while working to attain JTAC status for themselves. ("Radio Operator, Maintainer, and Driver," a holdover acronym from the career field’s Vietnam era, when enlisted airmen served primarily as assistants to officer-only Forward Air Controllers, has been replaced in the TACP vernacular with the term "Recon, Observe, Mark & Destroy" in reflection of the modern role of the TACCS)
TACP members wear black berets with a distinctive red, blue, and green cloth flash and silver crest. Pilots serving as Air Liaison Officers are authorized to wear the black beret, flash, and rank while assigned to a TACP unit, but not at any other point in their career (many choose not to don the black beret out of respect for the enlisted TACP airmen who have undergone intense training to earn this distinctive uniform item). Air Liaison Officers can obtain JTAC status by attending a four-week joint terminal attack controller qualification course, but are not required to do so. Non-rated Air Liaison Officers, or "13 Limas," undergo the same intense training as their TACP airmen. They wear the black beret.


United States Air Force Combat Control Teams, singularCombat Controller, (CCT) (AFSC 1C2X1) are ground combat forces specialized in a traditional pathfinder role while having a heavy emphasis on simultaneous air traffic control, fire support and command, control, and communications in covert or austere environments. Assigned to Special Tactics Squadrons, Combat Controllers are an integral part of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the Air Force component of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Combat Controllers are often assigned individually or as a team to Army Special Forces, Army Ranger, and Navy SEAL teams to provide expert air support coordination and communications capabilities. Many Combat Controllers qualify and maintain proficiency as joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs) where they call in and direct air strikes, close air support and fire support during battle. Combat Control, like all U.S. special operations forces career fields (e.g., Army Rangers, Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, etc.), is male-only. Out of the five Air Force Crosses awarded since the Global War on Terror started in 2001 three have been awarded to Combat Controllers for extraordinary heroism in combat.
The term "Combat Control Team" comes from World War II where allied troop-carrier squadrons developed gliderborne teams called Combat Control Teams. A Combat Control Team consisted of one glider pilot and four enlisted technicians. They utilized a jeep and a trailer-mounted radio to pass critical information to aircraft. The first time they were used were during Operation Varsity where two teams with the 18th Airborne Corps infiltrated German lines and they established forward airfields where they supported resupply operations and provided airfield control.


Pararescuemen, also known as PJs (Pararescue Jumpers), are Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) and Air Combat Command (ACC) operatives tasked with recovery and medical treatment of personnel in humanitarian and combat environments. These special operations units are also used to support NASA missions and have been used to recover astronauts after water landings. They are attached to other SOF teams from all branches to conduct other operations as appropriate. Of the 22 enlisted Air Force Cross recipients, 12 are Pararescuemen. They wear the maroon beret as a symbol of their elite status, and to symbolize the blood shed by past PJs, as well as the blood current PJs are willing to shed to save lives. Part of the little-known Air Force Special Tactics community and long an enlisted preserve, the Pararescue service began commissioning Combat Rescue Officers early in the 21st century.


Special Operations Weather Team (SOWT) (AFSC 1W0X2) specialists are tactical observer/forecasters with ground combat capabilities and fall under the 720th Special Tactics Group within the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). The mission of a Special Operations Weather Team Specialist is to deploy by the most feasible means available into combat and non-permissive environments to collect and interpret meteorological data and provide air and ground forces commanders with timely, accurate intelligence. They collect data, assist mission planning, generate accurate and mission-tailored target and route forecasts in support of global special operations, conduct special weather reconnaissance and train foreign national forces. SOWTs provide vital intelligence and deploy with joint air and ground forces in support of direct action, counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, humanitarian assistance, special reconnaissance, austere airfield, and combat search and rescue.

As always, the above insignia are available on a limited number of selected quality products via my “Military Insignia” galleries atZazzle. You may simply follow the direct links in the article to navigate to the corresponding galleries
I will also make my insignia designs available free of charge to any military units and personnel, for any non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families. In addition, I would make my designs available free of charge to any military branches, formations and units for any non-commercial internal duty-specific purposes, such as unit-related web design, training materials or presentations, as I did on many occasions in the past.

The above information provided in part by Wikipedia, U.S. Army Center of Military history, The Institute of Heraldry, Global Security, and the official websites of the corresponding units.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...