Day and night

It sounds utterly trivial, but one should keep day and night in mind.

For example, I did an intellectual pastime about how to secure Iceland in times of crisis (a NATO member without permanent military presence). My default assumption is that a U.S. airborne brigade would need to be flown in from CONUS because European paras would not have airlift available and/or be needed in Northern Norway and Lithuania.

(This is where some people think "Yeah, science!" and I think "No, this should be general knowledge already!").

There's no need for non- far IR ("thermal") night vision until September there.

The ideal planning for crisis and wartime should thus probably plan with different forces in summertime and wintertime; U.S. airborne and Canadians in wintertime (Americans have above average night vision equipment, Canadians have above average cold weather preparation & they mostly understand each other's language) and South European airborne/para forces in summertime (using C-17s on otherwise empty return flights).

The cargo aircraft logistics may suggest to plan with Europeans year-round because Iceland is along the trip back to North America anyway, but I don't think there's much wisdom in sending troops who are accustomed to +25°C into a -5°C environment as a strategic quick reaction force. (Iceland has in its most important areas an oceanic climate and is warmed year-round by the North Atlantic current, so it's even in wintertime nowhere near as cold as the humid continental East European climate.)

That's something I did not think about when I wrote this. Though I suppose to maintain a single air-lift capable brigade with towed 155 mm howitzers for alliance (Iceland) defence in summertime might be an even more appropriate thing to do for Spain and Portugal, as their land forces would have the longest marches to Eastern Europe. They could even have this brigade in a 12 month cycle of 6-7 months training and 5-6 months real readiness for 48 hrs deployment to Iceland (at 90% personnel strength, 90% equipment readiness, with munitions for 3 days intense combat and terrain-appropriate camouflages).



  1. Thermal sights are very useful in daylight too and especially in a climate like in iceland in which the difference between winter and summer temperature is not so big and even the summer is most times not so hot. So the temperature difference between a soldier and the enviroment is higher than in other areas and thermal sights would be an very big advantage even in summer and daylight.

    1. That's why I wrote the voncoluted line
      "There's no need for non- far IR ("thermal") night vision until September there."