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Was reading up again on Able Archer 83 and one thing that struck me was Reforger 83, particularly this bit from https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu//nukevault/ablearcher/thirtieth.html:

 

 

 

The largest exercise under the "umbrella" of Autumn Forge 83 was Reforger 83, short for "return of US forces to Germany," a radio-silent, 170-flight airlift of troops from the US to Europe to simulate a land war against "Orange" (Warsaw Pact) forces

 

Radio-silent? Anyone here was around participating Reforger 83? I find that remarkable, a 170-flight done in radio silence....

 

Any other info on Reforger 83 is greatly appreciated. :)

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If you think thats good, apparently the GSFG could move from barracks to jumping off positions without letting off a single radio call. GCHQ didnt believe it, but Brixmis saw it happen a few times.

 

There is actually a pretty good video on youtube, if you can get past the Richard Clayderman and West German porn music, and it being narrated by Swedish Chief.

 

 

Interesting thing, all the Soldiers are still in Vietnam era steel pots. I thought they would be in 'Fritz' helmets by now.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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There is actually a pretty good video on youtube, if you can get past the Richard Clayderman and West German porn music, and it being narrated by Swedish Chief.

 

 

Interesting thing, all the Soldiers are still in Vietnam era steel pots. I thought they would be in 'Fritz' helmets by now.

 

It's Dutch Chief actually. I could understand about half of it. And PASGT was only introduced in 1983, so it would be a rare sight in exercises the same year.

 

The "Vacation on the Farm" sign at 15:20. And other details like the map with the advertizing of the local Sparkasse in the back of the MP briefing. :D

 

God, I miss this shit.

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There is actually a pretty good video on youtube, if you can get past the Richard Clayderman and West German porn music, and it being narrated by Swedish Chief.

 

 

Interesting thing, all the Soldiers are still in Vietnam era steel pots. I thought they would be in 'Fritz' helmets by now.

 

It's Dutch Chief actually. I could understand about half of it. And PASGT was only introduced in 1983, so it would be a rare sight in exercises the same year.

 

The "Vacation on the Farm" sign at 15:20. And other details like the map with the advertizing of the local Sparkasse in the back of the MP briefing. :D

 

God, I miss this shit.

 

 

I know, it was an ill advised attempt at humour. :) From the video header, it seems to be a Tank battalion 41, the Dutch premier tank unit.

 

Re Sign's, when they had a Royal Marines exercise in Denmark, it was not uncommon to have signs such as 'Rape This way' 'Pillage this way'. The Marines figured they were going to get some payback for all the viking raids. It all went swimmingly till some bootneck took it all a bit seriously and skinned and ate someones pet rabbit. Well, it was the 1980s...

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The video quality in places in this is apalling, but well worth watching.

 

 

In the village where I Ilive we had a General McMeeking, who was apparently a big cheese in the TA. In what was probably this exercise (crusader) and Lionheart 84, I watched him depart in a Lynx helicopter from his back garden to take part in the exercise. Good times. Terrifying times, but good for all that.

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Contary to what it says, I think this must be Lionheart 84, because its got the first deployment of Challengers, facing off against M1 Abrams.

 

 

Ill keep an eye open for anything from 1983 Tomas. For some reason 1983 doesnt seem to have been filmed much. Maybe they were dialing back on media coverage due to the deployment of cruise.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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One on Runway airstrips here.

 

 

 

Incidentally, the Exercise Lionheart videos above are excellent, there are about 10 of them. Its too bad its so damn difficult to record from Youtube or Id have burned this years ago.

Stuart, I was able to record the one in Post 5 fine using Realplayer/RealDownloader.

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I shall have to look into that, thanks

 

I used to use a nifty device called Cacheview where you could take the file that was in your video cache, merge the chunks together, and save it. Wasnt even illegal, because all you were arguably doing was making a copy of what was already on your drive. Unfortunately, that no longer works with youtube.

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Good times. Terrifying times, but good for all that.

 

Good because we survived. I never really thought it would end any other way but with mushroom clouds and I lived within several miles of a multi target bulls eye. The rapidity and quiet in which it finally ended was really quite amazing. I don't think many people realize just how unlikely that was.

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One on Runway airstrips here.

 

 

 

Incidentally, the Exercise Lionheart videos above are excellent, there are about 10 of them. Its too bad its so damn difficult to record from Youtube or Id have burned this years ago.

I find 4K Video Downloader works best for YouTube.

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Good times. Terrifying times, but good for all that.

 

Good because we survived. I never really thought it would end any other way but with mushroom clouds and I lived within several miles of a multi target bulls eye. The rapidity and quiet in which it finally ended was really quite amazing. I don't think many people realize just how unlikely that was.

 

 

I thought pretty much the same thing if Im honest. I can recall about 1979 or so seeing my first nuclear attack siren, and feeling slightly freaked out about it. I was only about 6 at the time, and its not a pleasant feeling at that age to discover how vulnerable you are.

 

Im personally astonished we came through 1983 without a scratch (well, most of us). I bought that Able Archer sourcebook, and whilst you can download all the documents in it on NS archive, there is something just more accessible about them bound in a book. The worst about the whole thing is that we still dont really know what tipped off the USAF general that something odd was happening. He passed away before the historians were able to get to him, and like Stanislav Petrov, we probably owe him a debt that cant be repaid.

 

Cheers for that Evan, Ill look into it.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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If you add it to the prepositioned equipment, you are adding a heavy division. 170 flights is not the max possible but the amount needed to lift the division that on a given year was charged with the exercise. Units rotated and planning took about a year before the actual exercise.

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They actually modified Boeing 747's to carry cargo, I believe it was called the CRAF mod. There was a big cargo door fitted in the side of the aircraft, which could be utilized when all the panelling was removed. Pan Am Flight 103 was one such 747 that had been modified to do it.

 

It would be interesting to know what the civilian airlift capacity was at this time.

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CRAF stood for Civil Reserve Air Fleet in which commercial airliners were designed as military transports in time of emergency and IIRC the airlines received some kind of subsidy. Aircraft involved were of all kinds, though preferably, widebodies.

 

A quick seach turns up this: https://www.transportation.gov/mission/administrations/intelligence-security-emergency-response/civil-reserve-airfleet-allocations

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Reserve_Air_Fleet

Edited by RETAC21
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