Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ecumenical Patriarchate Responds to Ukrainian Parliament,Sends Representative to Meet With President Poroshenko

The Ecumenical Patriarchate is intensifying its involvement in the issue of Orthodox Church unity in Ukraine:
First,it has established a special synodal commission to examine the Verkhovna Rada,or Ukkrainian Parliament,appeal for the Ecumenical Patriarchate to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.In a previous appeal,which the Ecumenical Patriarchate did not respond to,the Verkhovna Rada recently asked His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to issue a Tomos of Autocephaly and to recognise that the 1686 act transferring the Metropolitanate of Kiev to the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church in defiance of canon law was invalid.*
The good news for Ukraine is that "Orthodoxy without Moscow" (in light of the holding of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church despite Moscow's non-attendance) can undertake a sober and serious consideration of Ukraine's bid for autocephaly,wrote Ukrainian columnist Andrew Sorokowski.*
Second,on 29 July 2016,the Ecumenical Patriarchate sent a representative,His Eminence Archbishop Job of Telmessos,to Kiev for a meeting with the President of Ukraine,Petro Poroshenko.Mr.Poroshenko said he was grateful that the Mother Church of Constantinople is now attending to the issue of a single national Orthodox Church,referring to the special commission set up to look into the proposal for Ukrainian autocephaly,according to the Presidential Press Office.The President assured Archbishop Job that the Ukrainian authorities are united in their aspiration for a single national Orthodox Church and noted that the given issue is becoming increasingly topical against the backdrop of global challenges.We should help the believers implement their aspirations on the single Church.*
For his part,Archbishop Job conveyed the greetings of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the entire Mother Church of Constantinople.He assured the President that the Ecumenical Patriarch wants to help Ukraine.The two then discussed the role of state and Church in the prevention of the use of the religious factor for destabilisation of the situation in Ukraine.The President said the task of the government was not to give opportunities to provoke inter-religious and inter-confessional conflicts and expressed satisfaction with the recent work of the law enforcement bodies.*
Mr.Poroshenko also congratulated the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the successful holding of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church:
I think it has approved and strengthened the authority of His All-Holiness in the Orthodox world,Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told the Patriarchal representative,His Eminence Archbishop Job of Telmessos.*
There are currently three Orthodox jurisdictions in Ukraine,the largest of which,and the only one of which is recognised by the other Orthodox Churches,is under the primacy of Metropolitan Onufry of the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia.The other two jurisdictions desire autocephaly.

Online Chapel — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America - 30 July,Reading and icon for St.Silas and other Apostles of the 70

Online Chapel — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Droit de cité du PPCLI à Ottawa - the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment exercises its freedom of the city of Ottawa

News 13 - 'Arctic Anvil' Army Training Exercise Will Be Accompanied By N...

Massive Military Exercise Underway in Interior Alaska - shadows of a foreign power

While many North Americans are relaxing on vacation,the US and Canadian Armed Forces have been participating in Arctic Anvil 2016,a joint multinational exercise by troops from US Army Alaska's 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team;25th Infantry Division and UATF;196th Infantry Brigade's Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Capability;133rd Infantry Regiment,Iowa National Guard;and 1st Battalion,Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.The drills,running from June to August,are being held in Alaska for the first time,with more than 8,000 soldiers and support personnel highlighting the importance of the Arctic lands to both nations.*
At the Donnelly Training Area near Fort Greely,Alaska,soldiers from the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment,which is named for the daughter of a Governor General of Canada and is one of the three Regular infantry regiments in the Canadian Army,blended into the boreal forest landscape with heavily painted faces,branches and twigs disguising their helmets and Coyote light armoured vehicles,giving them an edge in reconnaissance collection.Later,PPCLI staged a sneak morning attack on the Iowa National Guard opposing force role-players.*
Live fire training added welcome authenticity to the wargames in the Yukon Training Area near Fort Wainwright.*
We get kind of the standard friction with information flow,communication,trying to get a good understanding of what's happening out in the battlefield,explained Lieutenant Colonel Bill Taylor,commander of the 1-52 Aviation Battalion.We have to see ourselves,what's going on with our aircraft,how to maintain them-we have friction with that.When you get out in the real world,things don't always work the way you would hope,Col.Taylor said.*
Members of the US Air Force's 41st Airlift Squadron,the Black Cats,out of Little Rock Air Force Base,Arkansas,delivered combat airlift for the exercise as part of their pre-deployment training.They landed a C-130J transport on a dirt landing strip at Ladd Army Airfield,getting prepared for the terrain of austere locations and navigating mountainous terrain;while at the same time appreciating the uncontested airspace of Interior Alaska and the more effective training it provides without the clutter of commercial flight patterns to deal with.*
The Iowa National Guard skillfully portrayed the enemy forces in the drills,as well as the scenario's host nation security forces and civilians.*
The size and complexity of this exercise is partly a response to the growing and unprecedented scale and sophistication of recent Russian drills in their own arctic environment.

Online Chapel — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America - 27 July,Great martyr and healer Panteleimon,Gospel reading with icon

Online Chapel — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople serves Divine Liturgy, Izmir,Turkey in St.John the Evangelist's church now in ruins,where St.John served as bishop

Orthodox Christians Were Killed in Nice Terrorist Attack

Among those killed in the recent Islamist extremist terrorist attack in Nice,France were at least three Orthodox Christians:Reader Igor Selesko of St.Nicholas Cathedral in Nice;and Natalia Otto and Roman Katalyan of Holy Nativity Church in Antwerp,Belgium.All were parishoners of the Patriarchate of Moscow and All Russia.May your memory be eternal,dear brothers and sister.Vechnaya pamyat.Aionia mnimi.*
Mr.Selesko was the father of four children.*
In the attack that killed 84 attendees of a Bastille Day celebration on the waterfront promenade of Nice on the night of 14 July,Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel,31,a Tunisian resident of Nice,drove a cargo lorry into a crowd and fired an automatic pistol at police,who then shot him dead.Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant claimed him as a soldier of theirs,but no evidence of direct communication between them has been found yet,Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said at a 21 July press conference.Mr.Bouhlel did have five accomplices who aided him in planning and executing the attack over a period of months.They have been arrested and charged with murder;attempted murder;terrorist conspiracy;and possession and transport of weapons.*
In the aftermath of the Nice attack,the French Parliament has extended a state of emergency dating from the Paris area attacks of November 2015 that killed 130 by six months,until the end of January 2017.It allows the authorities to conduct police raids and place people under house arrest without a judge's authorisation,among other measures.

Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Australian Navy Lands MV-22 During Pacific Exercise

Rotor & Wing Magazine :: Australian Navy Lands MV-22 During Pacific Exercise

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Not Reluctant,but Surprised:Canadians Must Lead a Battalion on NATO's Eastern Flank

Canadian soldiers find themselves among the leaders of the defence of NATO's Eastern Flank in the Baltic States and Poland,the Canadian Broadcasting Corportion revealed.Instead of playing a supportive role perhaps more in line with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's aspirations,Canada will now be dispatching at least 450 troops to Latvia next year to head one of NATO's four Framework Battalions agreed at the Alliance's recent Warsaw Summit.In addition to providing its own troops,Canada must also ensure there are enough personnel from other member countries to fill out the rest of the billets.When France bowed out of the leadership role because of heavy commitments of its forces to the domestic Operation Sentinelle against Islamist extremists,the US and UK urged Canada to take the lead in protecting Latvia.The US,UK and Germany are the other three nations that will provide Framework Battalions in the region:the US in Poland;the UK in Estonia;and Germany in Lithuania.The four battalions will amount to about 4,000 soldiers-or one brigade.After 6-9 months of service,other NATO members will assume the battalion leadership roles.*
France said it would provide 4300 troops for NATO service this year,but wanted out of the leadership role because of the strain domestic terrorism and other commitments were having on its military.Italy,Slovakia,Croatia,Poland and a Spanish-Portuguese unit are being mentioned as possibilities for Canada to draw upon to fill out its battalion.The four battalions express a doctrine known as Forward Enhanced Presence devised by NATO military planners upon request.It's new;it's groundbreaking,said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of Norway.It's a defensive,proportionate response to Russia illegally annexing Crimea from Ukraine.The battalions will last as long as necessary.Russia has invested heavily and modernised its forces;it has even used its forces to interfere with the sovereignty of another country,Ukraine.The battalions are only one element of the FEP strategy;there is also the ability to reinforce NATO forces that is being developed through new headquarters,infrastructure,storage of equipment and supplies,Mr.Stoltenberg pointed out.Our military planners have also been asked to devise plans to increase our Black Sea region presence near Romania and Bulgaria in the air and at sea to complement the new Romainan-Bulgarian brigade that is being formed on land.*
Another key element of the new FEP strategy is the US quadrupling its expenditure in Europe by providing a second armoured brigade combat team of about 5,000 continuously rotated troops in addition to the brigade it already maintains.What is more,it is providing a set of equipment for a third armoured brigade which NATO forces can draw upon in a crisis.*
Canada's members of Parliament are asking who is joining their battalion;what equipment they will bring;and what the plan is in the event of a crisis,the CBC reported.

DOCUMENTARY - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos (ENG SUB) - a brief introduction to the modern day saint of the Holy Mountain

See and hear an Orthodox Christian saint:St.Paisios of Mt.Athos on film in 1992 - seen in the still of this video - and speaking - ΑΓΙΟΣ ΠΑΪΣΙΟΣ : Ομιλών Διδαχάς του & σπάνιο ΒΙΝΤΕΟ του εις Ι.Μ.Κουτλουμο...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Online Chapel — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America - 13 July,reading and icon for Synaxis of Archangel Gabriel

Online Chapel — Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Afghan Air Force MD-530 Close Air Attack Helicopters Machine Gun Strafing Runs

Afghan Air Force receives first four A-29 attack aircraft - 15 January 2016

A Show of Strength by the Afghan National Airforce - NATO Resolute Support Mission

Afghan War Strategy:Building on Success with Greater Flexibility

On the third leg of his major overseas trip,US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter met in Kabul,Afghanistan with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Dr.Abdullah Abdullah yesterday 12 July,as well as the Afghan defence and interior ministers.Dr.Carter had previously attended the NATO Warsaw Summit and secretly traveled to Baghdad,Iraq on 11 July.
In a Kabul news conference,Dr.Carter said he and the Afghan leaders discussed:
1.the US commitments to enhance the authorities of our ground commanders;
2.maintain our financial commitment to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces;and
3.retain a more substantial US force presence of 8400 troops into 2017 as they continue their twofold mission against the Taliban and other Islamist extremist militants of training,advising and assisting the ANDSF,along with counterterrorism support.*
The meetings reaffirmed to me that we have strong partners here,with a common vision focused on a secure and prosperous future for the Afghan people,Dr.Carter noted.At the Warsaw Summit,coalition partners confirmed their commitment of financial sustainment to the ANDSF and of the Resolute Support Mission.Carter commended the ANDSF for fighting courageously last year during a tough fighting season and for their continued dedication in the face of formidable challenges this year.We are looking to build on their successes to find ways to support and enable them more effectively,he added.He and commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General John Nicholson,US Army,discussed President Barack Obama's decision to grant additional flexibility in the use of U.S. forces.This added flexibility,coupled with new integration of the A-29 and MD-530 close air support platforms,reflects our determination to seize every opportunity possible to use our resources in the theatre to the greatest possible effectiveness.*
We're with you.We stand by you and we will continue to work hard together to finish the mission we started,Dr.Carter assured the Afghan people.He thanked the American,NATO and Afghan troops who have served and sacrificed together over the past 15 years in the name of peace,security and freedom,and who continue that mission today.*
The Embraer A-29 Super Tucano Ground Attack aircraft was selected by the US Air Force for its Light Air Support Program in 2013,with the immediate intent of supplying it to Afghanistan,and then to other US allies.This Brazilian airplane is a vital element of the US Afghan strategy supporting the development of an indigenous Afghan Air Force.The MD-530F Close Air Attack helicopter is being used both in a counterterrorist role and as a trainer for Afghan Air Force pilots of their Russian Mi-17 transport and Mi-35 attack helicopters.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Most US Troops Will Stay in Afghanistan,President Says - General Nicholson heeded

President Barack Obama said US troop levels in Afghanistan will be cut to 8400 from 9800 today and stay at 8400 through the end of his administration,not be reduced to 5500 by the end of 2016 as he had originally planned.The situation is still precarious,Mr.Obama explained,so it is in our national security interest,especially after all the blood and treasure we've invested over the years,that we give our Afghan partners the best chance to succeed.*
US Forces entered Afghanistan immediately following the 9-11 attacks.Today they implement both training of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces and counterterror operations in the Operation Freedom's Sentinel part of NATO's Resolute Support Mission.Other NATO Allies keep around 6,000 troops in Afghanistan for the training mission and say they will remain there.While the ANDSF still lack adequate aviation,intelligence and logistics,according to US Army General John Nicholson's 90-day review,the Taliban Islamist extremist militants continue to control swaths of the country in its north and its south and conduct suicide bombings in the country's cities,including the capital Kabul.Thus the President has accepted the recommendation of new NATO and US commander in Afghanistan General Nicholson to sustain a robust US presence there.Since the US entered the Afghan War in 2001,more than 2300 US troops have been killed in it.Last month,the President permitted the US cadre to expand its operations by directly hitting the Taliban with airstrikes again,not just al-Qaida and the Haqqani Network,and not just when US and partner forces are directly threatened or an Afghan position is in danger of being overrun.This new authority has already been used,a senior US official indicated.