In firearms terminology, an action is the mechanism of a breech-loading weapon that handles the ammunition or the method by which that mechanism works. Actions are technically not present on muzzleloaders, as all are single-shot weapons with a closed off breech. Instead, the ignition mechanism is referred to Actions can be categorized in several ways, including single action versus double action, break action versus bolt action, others; the term action can include short and magnum if it is in reference to the length of the rifle's receiver and the length of the bolt. The short action rifle can accommodate a cartridge length of 2.8 in or smaller. The long action rifle can accommodate a cartridge of 3.34 in, the magnum action rifle can accommodate cartridges of 3.6 in, or longer in length. The dropping block are actions wherein the breechblock lowers or "drops" into the receiver to open the breech actuated by an underlever. There are two principal types of dropping block: the falling block. In a tilting block or pivoting block action, the breechblock is hinged on a pin mounted at the rear.
When the lever is operated, the block tilts forward, exposing the chamber. The best-known pivoting block designs are the Peabody, the Peabody–Martini, Ballard actions; the original Peabody rifles, manufactured by the Providence Tool Company, used a manually cocked side-hammer. Swiss gunsmith Friedrich Martini developed a pivoting block action by modifying the Peabody, that incorporated a hammerless striker, cocked by the operating lever with the same single, efficient motion that pivoted the block; the 1871 Martini–Henry which replaced the "trapdoor" Snider–Enfield was the standard British Army rifle of the Victorian era, the Martini was a popular action for civilian rifles. Charles H. Ballard's self-cocking tilting-block action was produced by the Marlin Firearms Company from 1875, earned a superlative reputation among long-range "Creedmoor" target shooters. Surviving Marlin Ballards are today prized by collectors those mounted in the elaborate Swiss-style Schützen stocks of the day. A falling block action is a single-shot firearm action in which a solid metal breechblock slides vertically in grooves cut into the breech of the weapon and actuated by a lever.
Examples of firearms using the falling block action are the Sharps rifle and Ruger No. 1. In a rolling block action the breechblock takes the form of a part-cylinder, with a pivot pin through its axis; the operator rotates or "rolls" the block to close the breech. Rolling blocks are most associated with firearms made by Remington in the 19th century; the hinged block was the earliest metallic-cartridge breechloaders designed for general military issue began as conversions of muzzle-loading rifle-muskets. The upper rear portion of the barrel was filed or milled away and replaced by a hinged breechblock which opened upward to permit loading. An internal angled firing pin allowed the re-use of the rifle's existing side-hammer; the Allin action made by Springfield Arsenal in the US hinged forward. Whereas the British replaced the Snider with a dropping-block Peabody-style Martini action, the US Army felt the trapdoor action to be adequate and followed its muzzleloader conversions with the new-production Springfield Model 1873, the principal longarm of the Indian Wars and was still in service with some units in the Spanish–American War.
A break action is a type of firearm where the barrel are hinged and can be "broken open" to expose the breech. Multi-barrel break action firearms are subdivided into over-and-under or side-by-side configurations for two barrel configurations or "combination gun" when mixed rifle and shotgun barrels are used. Although bolt-action guns are associated with fixed or detachable box magazines, in fact the first general-issue military breechloader was a single-shot bolt action: the paper-cartridge Prussian needle gun of 1841. France countered in 1866 with its superior Chassepot rifle a paper-cartridge bolt action; the first metallic-cartridge bolt actions in general military service were the Berdan Type II introduced by Russia in 1870, the Mauser Model 1871, a modified Chassepot, the Gras rifle of 1874. Today most top-level smallbore match rifles are single-shot bolt actions. Single-shot bolt actions in.22 caliber were widely manufactured as inexpensive "boys' guns" in the earlier 20th century. The eccentric screw action first seen on the M1867 Werndl–Holub and on the Magnum Research Lone Eagle pistol, the breech closure is a rotating drum with the same axis, but offset from the bore.
When locked, a firing pin aligns with the primer and the breech is otherwise solid. When rotated open, a slot in the drum is exposed for feeding of a new round. Though first used on the Werndl-Holub, this action is known as a cannon breech due to its association with the French 75mm Model of 1897 cannon; the French M1897 was, based on William Hubbell's U. S. Patent 149,478; the Ferguson rifle: British Major Patrick Ferguson designed his rifle, considered to be the first military breechloader, in the 1770s. A plug-shaped breechblock was screw-threaded so that rotating the handle underneath would lower a
Lebanon known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent; the earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history. Lebanon was the home of the Canaanites/Phoenicians and their kingdoms, a maritime culture that flourished for over a thousand years. In 64 BC, the region came under the rule of the Roman Empire, became one of the Empire's leading centers of Christianity. In the Mount Lebanon range a monastic tradition known as the Maronite Church was established; as the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their identity.
However, a new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon as well, generating a religious divide that has lasted for centuries. During the Crusades, the Maronites re-established contact with the Roman Catholic Church and asserted their communion with Rome; the ties they established with the Latins have influenced the region into the modern era. The region was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918. Following the collapse of the empire after World War I, the five provinces that constitute modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate of Lebanon; the French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, populated by Maronites and Druze, to include more Muslims. Lebanon gained independence in 1943, establishing confessionalism, a unique, Consociationalism-type of political system with a power-sharing mechanism based on religious communities. Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon during the independence, Riad El-Solh, first Lebanese prime minister and Emir Majid Arslan II, first Lebanese minister of defence, are considered the founders of the modern Republic of Lebanon and are national heroes for having led the country's independence.
Foreign troops withdrew from Lebanon on 31 December 1946, although the country was subjected to military occupations by Syria that lasted nearly thirty years before being withdrawn in April 2005 as well as the Israeli military in Southern Lebanon for fifteen years. Despite its small size, the country has developed a well-known culture and has been influential in the Arab world, powered by its large diaspora. Before the Lebanese Civil War, the country experienced a period of relative calm and renowned prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture and banking; because of its financial power and diversity in its heyday, Lebanon was referred to as the "Switzerland of the East" during the 1960s, its capital, attracted so many tourists that it was known as "the Paris of the Middle East". At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. In spite of these troubles, Lebanon has the 7th highest Human Development Index and GDP per capita in the Arab world after the oil-rich economies of the Persian Gulf.
Lebanon has been a member of the United Nations since its founding in 1945 as well as of the Arab League, the Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie. The name of Mount Lebanon originates from the Phoenician root lbn meaning "white" from its snow-capped peaks. Occurrences of the name have been found in different Middle Bronze Age texts from the library of Ebla, three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh; the name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L. The name occurs nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, as לְבָנוֹן. Lebanon as the name of an administrative unit was introduced with the Ottoman reforms of 1861, as the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, continued in the name of the State of Greater Lebanon in 1920, in the name of the sovereign Republic of Lebanon upon its independence in 1943; the borders of contemporary Lebanon are a product of the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920. Its territory was the core of the Bronze Age Phoenician city-states.
As part of the Levant, it was part of numerous succeeding empires throughout ancient history, including the Egyptian, Babylonian, Achaemenid Persian, Hellenistic and Sasanid Persian empires. After the 7th-century Muslim conquest of the Levant, it was part of the Rashidun, Abbasid Seljuk and Fatimid empires; the crusader state of the County of Tripoli, founded by Raymond IV of Toulouse in 1102, encompassed most of present-day Lebanon, falling to the Mamluk Sultanate in 1289 and to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Greater Lebanon fell under French mandate in 1920, gained independence under president Bechara El Khoury in 1943. Lebanon's history since independence has been marked by alternating periods of political stability and prosperity based on Beirut's position as a regional center for finance and trade, interspersed with political turmoil and
The Vietnam War known as the Second Indochina War, in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or the American War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union and other communist allies; the war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years with direct U. S. involvement ending in 1973 following the Paris Peace Accords, included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975. American military advisors began arriving in what was French Indochina in 1950 to support the French in the First Indochina War against the communist-led Viet Minh. Most of the funding for the French war effort was provided by the U. S. After the French quit Indochina in 1954, the US assumed financial and military responsibility for the South Vietnamese state.
The Việt Cộng known as Front national de libération du Sud-Viêt Nam or NLF, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, initiated a guerrilla war against the South Vietnamese government in 1959. U. S. involvement escalated in 1960, continued in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy, with troop levels surging under the MAAG program from just under a thousand in 1959 to 16,000 in 1963. By 1964, there were 23,000 U. S. troops in Vietnam, but this escalated further following the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which a U. S. destroyer was alleged to have clashed with North Vietnamese fast attack craft. In response, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson broad authorization to increase U. S. military presence, deploying ground combat units for the first time and increasing troop levels to 184,000. Past this point, the People's Army of Vietnam known as the North Vietnamese Army engaged in more conventional warfare with US and South Vietnamese forces; every year onward there was significant build-up of US forces despite little progress, with Robert McNamara, one of the principal architects of the war, beginning to express doubts of victory by the end of 1966.
U. S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces and airstrikes. The U. S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam. The Tet Offensive of 1968, proved to be the turning point of the war; the Tet Offensive showed that the end of US involvement was not in sight, increasing domestic skepticism of the war. The unconventional and conventional capabilities of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam increased following a period of neglect and became modeled on heavy firepower-focused doctrines like US forces. Operations crossed international borders. S. forces. Gradual withdrawal of U. S. ground forces began as part of "Vietnamization", which aimed to end American involvement in the war while transferring the task of fighting the communists to the South Vietnamese themselves and began the task of modernizing their armed forces. Direct U. S. military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.
S. Congress; the capture of Saigon by the NVA in April 1975 marked the end of the war, North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from 966,000 to 3.8 million. Some 275,000–310,000 Cambodians, 20,000–62,000 Laotians, 58,220 U. S. service members died in the conflict, a further 1,626 remain missing in action. The Sino-Soviet split re-emerged following the lull during the Vietnam War and confllict between North Vietnam and its Cambodian allies in the Royal Government of the National Union of Kampuchea, the newly-formed Democratic Kampuchea begun immediately in a series of border raids by the Khmer Rouge and erupted into the Cambodian–Vietnamese War, with Chinese forces directly intervening in the Sino-Vietnamese War; the end of the war and resumption of the Third Indochina War would precipitate the Vietnamese boat people and the bigger Indochina refugee crisis, which saw an estimated 250,000 people perish at sea.
Within the US the war gave rise to what was referred to as Vietnam Syndrome, a public aversion to American overseas military involvements, which together with Watergate contributed to the crisis of confidence that affected America throughout the 1970s. Various names have been applied to the conflict. Vietnam War is the most used name in English, it has been called the Second Indochina War and the Vietnam Conflict. As there have been several conflicts in Indochina, this particular conflict is known by the names of its primary protagonists to distinguish it from others. In Vietnamese, the war is known as Kháng chiến chống Mỹ, but less formally as'Cuộc chiến tranh Mỹ', it is called Chiến tranh Việt Nam. The primary military organizations involved in the war were as follows: One side consisted of th
39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
The 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team called the 39th Infantry Brigade – nicknamed the Arkansas Brigade or the Bowie Team – is a infantry brigade combat team of the United States Army made up of soldiers from the Arkansas Army National Guard. The 39th IBCT was one of fifteen National Guard brigades designated as an enhanced separate brigade. Brigades with this designation received higher levels of training, more advanced equipment, higher troop levels than normal National Guard brigades, it made these brigades a self-contained combat unit capable of intelligence, maneuver, fire support, combat service support, command and control without having to require attachments or detachments during deployments. In 2005, it was converted to the standard modular IBCT design as part of Army transformation; the 39th IBCT is the largest National Guard command in Arkansas. It is headquartered in Arkansas, it was placed in federal service on 12 October 2003 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II. The 39th was attached to the 1st Cavalry Division and served in and around Baghdad for a year, returning to the United States in March 2005.
In late August 2005, after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States, elements of the 39th commanded by Colonel Mike Ross, were among the first military units to provide recovery and relief efforts to citizens of New Orleans, Louisiana. The 39th led the effort to evacuate an estimated 16,000 people from the New Orleans Convention Center; the 39th Brigade completed its second deployment to Iraq in December 2008, after spending a year on active federal duty. Unlike the last deployment to Iraq from 2004–2005, the 39th Brigade headquarters did not have command and control of all of its subordinate units. During World War I, an infantry brigade from the 20th Infantry Division was organized as the 39th Brigade from October 1918 to February 1919 consisting of the 48th and 89th Infantry Regiments, however this unit has no connection to the current 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team; the main antecedent of today's brigade was the 39th Infantry Division, created in 1917, which consisted of troops from Louisiana and Arkansas.
The division shipped to France, August – September 1918. It was sent to the St. Florent area, southwest of Bourges, where it was designated as a replacement division and several of the units were transferred to combat divisions; the division demobilized the following month at Louisiana. The unit was demobilized after the war. In the years between the World Wars, the division headquarters was deactivated, but its Arkansas elements continued as part of the Arkansas National Guard; these former 39th Division elements were activated independently for WWII. For a history of their participation, see the article on the 153rd Infantry Regiment and the 206th Coast Artillery; the 39th Infantry Division was reconstituted on 30 September 1946. It was composed of units from Arkansas and Louisiana, with its headquarters stationed at New Orleans and the Arkansas portion headquartered in Little Rock Arkansas. During this period the division included the 153rd Infantry Regiment, the 156th Infantry Regiment, the 206th Artillery Regiment.
In 1967 the division was redesignated as the 39th Infantry Brigade and in 1973 was paired with the US 101st Airborne Division as a training partner and became an air-assault brigade. The following Regiments were represented in the 39th Infantry Brigade: 153rd Infantry Regiment, 151st Cavalry Regiment and the 206th Field Artillery Regiment. In 1994 the 39th gained its designation as an "enhanced" brigade. In 1999, the 39th became part of the 7th Infantry Division under the Army Integrated Division concept which paired National Guard and Reserve brigades with active duty headquarters and support units. In 2006, the 7th Infantry Division was deactivated and the 39th IBCT was placed under the command and control of the 36th Infantry Division. On 2 November 1967 in accordance with National Guard Bureau Memo NG-AROTO 1002-01, the 39th Infantry Division was reorganized and redesignated as the 39th Infantry Brigade; this change resulted in a massive restationing within the state as follows: 39th Brigade units conducted numerous overseas training rotations throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.
1981, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry conducted annual training in Great Britain with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers as part of the Volunteer Warrior/Hard Charger Exercise. 1986, Company B, 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry conducted annual training in Honduras. 1988, two batteries of the 5th Battalion, 206th Field Artillery conducted annual training in Honduras, Companies B and C, 2-153 IN conducted annual training in Great Britain as a part of Operation "Glo Worm/Rattlesnake", at Camp Crickhowell, hosted by members of the 5th Light Infantry English Citizen Soldiers. 1990, Company A, 1–153rd and Company C, 3rd Battalion, 153rd Infantry, along with the entire 5–206th Field Artillery conducted annual training in Honduras as part of the National Guard Bureau's Overseas Training Program. Company C, 1–153rd IN conducted annual training in the United Kingdom. 1991, 1–153rd Infantry deployed with selected members of 2–153rd on a SOUTHCOM rotation to the Jungle Operations Training Center at Fort Sherman, Panama.
1992, Companies A, B and C, 2–153rd Infantry conducted annual training in Honduras in three separate rotations. Company B, 2nd Battalion, 153 Infantry, Company B, 3rd Battalion, 153rd Infantry of the 39th BCT were activated for Operation Southern Watch, May through September 1999. Company B, 2–153rd deployed to Kuwait while Company B, 3–153rd deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia. Soldiers p
A muzzle brake or recoil compensator is a device connected to the muzzle of a firearm or cannon that redirects propellant gases to counter recoil and unwanted muzzle rise. The concept was first introduced for artillery and was a common feature on many anti-tank guns those mounted on tanks, in order to reduce the area needed to take up the strokes of recoil and kickback, they have been used in various forms for rifles and pistols to help control recoil and the rising of the barrel that occurs after firing. They are used on pistols for practical pistol competitions, are called compensators in this context; the interchangeable terms muzzle rise, muzzle flip, or muzzle climb refer to the tendency of a handheld firearm's front end to rise after firing. Firearms with less height from the grip line to the barrel centerline tend to experience less muzzle rise; the muzzle rises because, for most firearms, the centerline of the barrel is above the center of contact between the shooter and the firearm's grip and stock.
The reactive forces from the fired bullet and propellant gases exiting the muzzle act directly down the centerline of the barrel. If that line of force is above the center of the contact points, this creates a moment or torque that causes the firearm to rotate and the muzzle to rise; the M1946 Sieg automatic rifle had an unusual muzzle brake that made the rifle climb downward, but enabled the user to fire it with one hand in full automatic. Muzzle brakes are simple in concept, such as the one employed on the 90 mm M3 gun used on the M47 Patton tank; this consists of a small length of tubing mounted at right angles to the end of the barrel. Brakes most utilize slots, holes and similar devices; the strategy of a muzzle brake is to redirect and control the burst of combustion gases that follows the departure of a projectile. All muzzle brake designs share a basic principle: they divert combustion gases from the muzzle end of the bore, at a perpendicular angle to the long axis of the barrel; the momentum of the diverted gases thus does not add to the recoil.
The angle toward which the gases are directed will fundamentally affect. If gases are directed upward, they will counteract muzzle rise. Any device, attached to the end of the muzzle will add mass, increasing its inertia and moving its center of mass forward. Construction of a muzzle brake or compensator can be as simple as a diagonal cut at the muzzle end of the barrel to direct some of the escaping gas upward. On the AKM assault rifle, the brake angles to the right to counteract the sideways movement of the rifle under recoil. Another simple method is porting, where holes or slots are machined into the barrel near the muzzle to allow the gas to escape. More advanced designs use baffles and expansion chambers to slow escaping gases; this is the basic principle behind a linear compensator. Ports are added to the expansion chambers, producing the long, multi-chambered recoil compensators seen on IPSC raceguns. Most linear compensators redirect the gases forward. Since, where the bullet is going, they work by allowing the gases to expand into the compensator, which surrounds the muzzle but only has holes facing forward.
They reduce muzzle rise to the mechanism by which a sideways brake does: since all the gas is escaping in the same direction, any muzzle rise would need to alter the velocity of the gas, which costs kinetic energy. When the brake redirects the gases directly backward, the effect is similar to the reverse thrust system on an aircraft jet engine. Of course, this means the gases are directed toward the shooter; when the gases are directed upward, the braking is referred to as porting. Porting involves precision-drilled ports or holes in the forward top part of the barrel and slide on pistols; these holes divert a portion of the gases expelled prior to the departure of the projectile in a direction that reduces the tendency of the firearm to rise. The concept is an application of Newton's third law; this is why firearms are never ported on the bottom of the barrel, as that would exacerbate muzzle rise, rather than mitigate it. Porting has the undesired consequences of shortening the effective barrel length and reducing muzzle velocity.
Porting has the advantage for faster follow-up shots for 3-round burst operation. Though there are numerous ways to measure the energy of a recoil impulse, in general, a 10% to 50% reduction can be measured; some muzzle brake manufacturers claim greater recoil reduction percentages. Muzzle brakes need sufficient propellant gas volume and high gas pressure at the muzzle of the firearm to achieve well-measured recoil reduction percentages; this means cartridges with a small bore area to case volume ratio combined with a high operating pressure benefit more from recoil reduction with muzzle brakes than smaller standard cartridges. Besides reducing felt recoil, one of the primary advantages of a muzzle brake is the reduction of muzzle rise; this lets a shooter realign a weapon's sights more quickly. This is relevant for automatic weapons. Muzzle rise can theoretically be eliminated by an efficien
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. Sikorsky submitted the S-70 design for the United States Army's Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System competition in 1972; the Army designated the prototype as the YUH-60A and selected the Black Hawk as the winner of the program in 1976, after a fly-off competition with the Boeing Vertol YUH-61. Named after the Native American war leader Black Hawk, the UH-60A entered service with the U. S. Army in 1979, to replace the Bell UH-1 Iroquois as the Army's tactical transport helicopter; this was followed by the fielding of electronic warfare and special operations variants of the Black Hawk. Improved UH-60L and UH-60M utility variants have been developed. Modified versions have been developed for the U. S. Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard. In addition to U. S. Army use, the UH-60 family has been exported to several nations. Black Hawks have served in combat during conflicts in Grenada, Iraq, the Balkans and other areas in the Middle East.
In the late 1960s, the United States Army began forming requirements for a helicopter to replace the UH-1 Iroquois, designated the program as the Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System. The Army initiated the development of a new, common turbine engine for its helicopters that would become the General Electric T700. Based on experience in Vietnam, the Army required significant performance and reliability improvements from both UTTAS and the new powerplant; the Army released its UTTAS request for proposals in January 1972. The RFP included air transport requirements. Transport within the C-130 limited length; the UTTAS requirements for improved reliability and lower life-cycle costs resulted in features such as dual-engines with improved hot and high altitude performance, a modular design. Four prototypes were constructed, with the first YUH-60A flying on 17 October 1974. Prior to delivery of the prototypes to the US Army, a preliminary evaluation was conducted in November 1975 to ensure the aircraft could be operated safely during all testing.
Three of the prototypes were delivered to the Army in March 1976, for evaluation against the rival Boeing-Vertol design, the YUH-61A, one was kept by Sikorsky for internal research. The Army selected the UH-60 for production in December 1976. Deliveries of the UH-60A to the Army began in October 1978 and the helicopter entered service in June 1979. After entering service, the helicopter was modified for new missions and roles, including mine laying and medical evacuation. An EH-60 variant was developed to conduct electronic warfare and special operations aviation developed the MH-60 variant to support its missions. Due to weight increases from the addition of mission equipment and other changes, the Army ordered the improved UH-60L in 1987; the new model incorporated all of the modifications made to the UH-60A fleet as standard design features. The UH-60L featured more power and lifting capability with upgraded T700-GE-701C engines and an improved gearbox, both from the SH-60B Seahawk, its external lift capacity increased by 1,000 lb up to 9,000 lb.
The UH-60L incorporated the SH-60B's automatic flight control system for better flight control with the more powerful engines. Production of the L-model began in 1989. Development of the next improved variant, the UH-60M, was approved in 2001, to extend the service life of the UH-60 design into the 2020s; the UH-60M incorporates upgraded T700-GE-701D engines, improved rotor blades, state of the art electronic instrumentation, flight controls and aircraft navigation control. After the U. S. DoD approved low-rate initial production of the new variant, manufacturing began in 2006, with the first of 22 new UH-60Ms delivered in July 2006. After an initial operational evaluation, the Army approved full-rate production and a five-year contract for 1,227 helicopters in December 2007. By March 2009, 100 UH-60M helicopters had been delivered to the Army. In November 2014, US military ordered 102 aircraft of various H-60 types, worth $1.3 billion. Following an operation in May 2011, it emerged that the 160th SOAR used a secret version of the UH-60 modified with low-observable technology which enabled it to evade Pakistani radar.
Analysis of the tail section, the only remaining part of the aircraft which crashed during the operation, revealed extra blades on the tail rotor and other noise reduction measures, making the craft much quieter than conventional UH-60s. The aircraft appeared to include features like special high-tech materials, harsh angles, flat surfaces found only in stealth jets. Low observable versions of the Black Hawk have been studied as far back as the mid-1970s. In September 2012, Sikorsky was awarded a Combat Tempered Platform Demonstration contract to further improve the Black Hawk's durability and survivability; the company is to develop new technologies such as a zero-vibration system, adaptive flight control laws, advanced fire management, a more durable main rotor, full-spectrum crashworthiness, damage tolerant airframe. Improvements to the Black Hawk are to continue until the Future Vertical Lift program is ready to replace it. In December 2014, the 101st Airborne Division began testing new resupply equipment called t
The Iraq War was a protracted armed conflict that began in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition that overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein. The conflict continued for much of the next decade as an insurgency emerged to oppose the occupying forces and the post-invasion Iraqi government. An estimated 151,000 to 600,000 or more Iraqis were killed in the first three to four years of conflict. In 2009, official US troops were withdrawn, but American soldiers continued to remain on the ground fighting in Iraq, hired by defence contractors and private military companies; the U. S. became re-involved in 2014 at the head of a new coalition. The invasion occurred as part of a declared war against international terrorism and its sponsors under the administration of U. S. President George W. Bush following the unrelated September 11 terrorist attacks. In October 2002, President Bush obtained congressional approval from a Democrat-led Senate and Republican-led House authorizing war-making powers.
The Iraq war began on 19 March 2003, when the U. S. joined by the U. K. and several coalition allies, launched a "awe" bombing campaign. Iraqi forces were overwhelmed as U. S. forces swept through the country. The invasion led to the collapse of the Ba'athist government. However, the power vacuum following Saddam's demise and the mismanagement of the occupation led to widespread sectarian violence between Shias and Sunnis, as well as a lengthy insurgency against U. S. and coalition forces. Many violent insurgent groups were supported by al-Qaeda in Iraq; the United States responded with a troop surge in 2007, a build up of 170,000 troops. The surge in troops gave greater security to Iraq’s government and military, was a success; the winding down of U. S. involvement in Iraq accelerated under President Barack Obama. The U. S. formally withdrew all combat troops from Iraq by December 2011. However, with no stay-behind agreement or advisers left in Iraq, a new power vacuum was created and led to the rise of ISIS.
Nine months after President Trump was elected, U. S.-backed forces captured Raqqa. The Bush administration based its rationale for the war principally on the assertion that Iraq, viewed by the U. S. as a rogue state since the 1990–1991 Gulf War, possessed weapons of mass destruction and that there was concern about an active WMD program, that the Iraqi government posed a threat to the United States and its coalition allies. Select U. S. officials accused Saddam of harbouring and supporting al-Qaeda, while others cited the desire to end a repressive dictatorship and bring democracy to the people of Iraq. Hundreds of chemical weapons were found in Iraq, which were determined to be produced before the 1991 Gulf War, intelligence officials determined they were "so old they couldn't be used as designed." From 2004 to 2011, US troops and American-trained Iraqi troops encountered, on six reported occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons from years earlier in Saddam Hussein's rule. 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs were discovered.
The rationale of U. S. pre-war intelligence faced heavy criticism both domestically and internationally. From 2009 to 2011, the UK conducted a broad inquiry into its decision to go to war chaired by Sir John Chilcot; the Chilcot Report, published in 2016, concluded military action may have been necessary but was not the last resort at the time and that the consequences of invasion were underestimated. In the aftermath of the invasion, Iraq held multi-party elections in 2005. Nouri al-Maliki became Prime Minister in 2006 and remained in office until 2014; the al-Maliki government enacted policies that were seen as having the effect of alienating the country's Sunni minority and worsening sectarian tensions. In the summer of 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant launched a military offensive in Northern Iraq and declared a worldwide Islamic caliphate, eliciting another military response from the United States and its allies; the Iraq War caused over a hundred thousand civilian deaths and tens of thousands of military deaths.
The majority of deaths occurred as a result of the insurgency and civil conflicts between 2004 and 2007. Strong international opposition to the Saddam Hussein regime began after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990; the international community condemned the invasion, in 1991 a military coalition led by the United States launched the Gulf War to expel Iraq from Kuwait. Following the Gulf War, the US and its allies tried to keep Saddam in check with a policy of containment; this policy involved numerous economic sanctions by the UN Security Council. The inspections were carried out by the United Nations Special Commission. UNSCOM, in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, worked to ensure that Iraq destroyed its chemical and nuclear weapons and facilities. In the decade following the Gulf War, the United Nations passed 16 Security Council resolutions calling for the complete elimination of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Member states communicated their frustration over the years that Iraq was impeding the work of the special commission and failing to take its disarmament obligations.
Iraqi officials harass