Choke Points are Flash Points
The world is closely watching several contentious flash points that have potential to ignite. The behavior and rhetoric of China and Russia regarding vital shipping lanes in international waters have been alarming. Disputed sovereignty claims and efforts to enforce them have the maritime world on edge. China’s nine-dash line claims about owning the entire East and South China Sea have created a dilemma for themselves and the other nations in the region. The Philippines v. China case with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague commenced on Jan.
Japan, US Plan New S. China Sea Patrols
Japan will step up its activity in the contested South China Sea through joint training patrols with the United States and bilateral and multilateral exercises with regional navies, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said on Thursday. Inada said in a speech at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank that Japan's increased engagement in the area, where Japan shares U.S. concerns about China's pursuit of extensive territorial claims, would include capacity building for coastal nations. "In this context, I strongly support the U.S. Navy's freedom-of-navigation operations, which go a long way to upholding the rules-based international maritime order," she said.
China Tells US to Play Constructive South China Sea Role
China told the United States on Tuesday that it should play a constructive role in safeguarding peace in the disputed South China Sea, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for talks and a peaceful resolution. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims, as well as close military ties with the United States. China has been angered by what it views as provocative U.S. military patrols close to islands China controls in the South China Sea.
1,076 Graduate from U.S. Naval Academy
The U.S. Naval Academy graduated 1,076 men and women at the annual graduation and commissioning ceremony May 27 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. U.S. Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Adm. The Class of 2016 boasts an 89 percent graduation rate and, according to Carter, "unprecedented" academic and athletic success. Eight midshipmen received prestigious graduate scholarships, including one Rhodes Scholarship, one Mitchell Scholarship, two Truman Scholarships, three Gates Scholarships and one Schwarzman Scholarship.
US Navy Asks Lockheed to Fix Littoral Combat Ships Issues
The U.S. Navy has sent Lockheed Martin Corp three requests to correct problems, including propulsion-related issues, with the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program dating back to May of last year, a Navy spokesman said on Tuesday. The ships were originally designed as a small, fast and affordable addition to the fleet, but production has been marked by cost increases and delays. Navy officials, however, say the costs have fallen sharply and the ships are performing well. Lockheed…
U.S. Challenged China, 12 Others on navigation Rights in 2015
The U.S. military conducted "freedom of navigation" operations against 13 countries last year, including several to challenge China's claims in the South and East China seas, according to an annual Pentagon report released on Monday. The operations were against China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Libya, Malaysia, the Maldives, Oman, the Philippines and Vietnam, the report said. It did not specify how many such operations were conducted against each of those countries. The U.S. military carried out single operations against Taiwan…
GCC, US Agree on Patrols to Block Iran Arms to Yemen
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the United States have agreed to carry out joint patrols to stop any Iranian arms shipments reaching Yemen, the bloc's secretary general, Abdullatif al-Zayani, said on Wednesday. Zayani was speaking at a news conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter after a meeting between Carter and his counterparts from the GCC, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Iran denies accusations by Gulf states that it is smuggling weapons to Yemen, where GCC countries are involved in a military campaign against the Tehran-allied Houthi movement. (Reporting by Sami Aboudi and Yeganeh Torbati, Writing by Angus McDowall, Editing by William Maclean)
U.S. to give Philippines South China Sea 'eye-in-the-sky'
The United States will transfer an observation blimp to the Philippines to help it track maritime activity and guard its borders amid rising tensions in the South China Sea, a U.S. diplomat said on Monday. Philip Goldberg, U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, said Washington would give Manila, its oldest Asia-Pacific security ally, $42 million worth of sensors, radar and communications equipment. The blimp is a balloon-borne radar to collect information and detect movements in the South China Sea, a Philippine military official said. China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to have huge deposits of oil and gas. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to parts of the waters, through which about $5 trillion in trade is shipped every year. U.S.
U.S. Defense Secretary Visits Carrier in South China Sea
Carter says U.S. promoting Asian peace and security. The chief U.S. defense official visited an American aircraft carrier transiting the disputed South China Sea on Friday, as China said one of its top military officers had visited islands and reefs in the region to oversee building work. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter flew to the nuclear-powered USS John C. Stennis for a two-hour visit as it sailed 60 to 70 miles west of the Philippines island of Luzon. While there, he dismissed China's characterization of a more robust U.S. military presence in the region as being the cause of heightened tensions. "What's new is not an American carrier in this region," Carter said aboard the Stennis, where he met U.S. troops and observed flight operations.
US Ramps up Military Presence in the Philippines
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday that U.S. troops and military equipment would be sent on regular rotations in the Philippines and that the two countries had started joint patrols in the South China Sea as China increasingly asserts its territorial claims. The initiatives are designed so that the United States does not increase its permanent footprint in its former colony, but they demonstrate that the two countries are increasing security cooperation amid joint concerns over China's actions in the region's disputed waterways. Countries across the region have expressed concern over China's activities, but the broader American military presence was not meant to provoke conflict with the Chinese, Carter said.
Damaged US Warship Heads to San Diego for Repairs
The USS Fort Worth, a U.S. warship that suffered damage to its combining gears in Singapore in January, will travel to San Diego under its own power for extensive repairs at a General Dynamics Corp shipyard, the U.S. Navy said Wednesday. The new coastal warship, built by Lockheed Martin Corp , will use its gas turbine engines to travel to its homeport of San Diego this summer from Singapore, where it has been deployed since December 2014, the Navy's Pacific Fleet said in a statement. The trip is expected to take about six weeks.
Philippines, Vietnam to Explore Joint Patrols in South China Sea
Defence officials from the Philippines and Vietnam will meet this week to explore possible joint exercises and navy patrols, military sources said, shoring up a new alliance between states locked in maritime rows with China. Ties have strengthened between the two Southeast Asian countries as China's assertiveness intensifies with a rapid buildup of man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago, to which Vietnam and the Philippines lay claim. Both states are also on the receiving end of a renewed charm offensive by the United States, which is holding joint military exercises in the Philippines to be attended this week by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
Philippines gets U.S. Aid Boost amid South China Sea Spat
The United States has allocated more than $120 million in military aid to the Philippines this year, the biggest in about 15 years, a senior Filipino diplomat said on Friday, amid rising tension with China over the disputed South China Sea. Jose Cuisia, Manila's ambassador to Washington, said Manila was also in talks with the United States to acquire a fourth Hamilton-class cutter to strengthen the Philippine capability to patrol the waters. "We got the largest-ever allocation from the U.S.
Pentagon Chief: 40 LCS 'enough' for U.S. Navy
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday defended the Pentagon's decision to buy just 40 Littoral Combat Ships instead of the 52 originally planned, saying the money saved would allow the Navy to buy more missiles and undersea technology. Carter told reporters during a visit to Seattle that the U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and other backers of the program have said the Navy's requirement for the smaller, fast coastal LCS warships remains unchanged at 52, despite Carter's decision to truncate the program.
China to US: Don't Sensationalize S.China Sea Dispute
China's Foreign Ministry urged the United States on Wednesday not to sensationalize the South China Sea dispute after U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Beijing's actions there would have consequences. Carter on Tuesday warned China against "aggressive" actions in the South China Sea region, including the placement of surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island. (Reporting by Adam Rose; Writing by Michael Martina; Editing by Nick Macfie)
China's Militarization of South China Sea Will Have Consequences -US
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Tuesday warned China against what he called "aggressive" actions in the South China Sea region, including the placement of surface-to-air missiles on a disputed island, and said they would have consequences. "China must not pursue militarization in the South China Sea," Carter said in a wide-ranging speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. "Specific actions will have specific consequences." He did not elaborate. The U.S. defense chief took aim at both Russia and China for their actions to limit Internet access, as well as state-sponsored cyber threats, cyber espionage and cyber crime. In his prepared remarks, Carter drew a contrast between such behavior by Russia and China and what he described as much healthier U.S.
Navy Competes for Resources at Home, against Asymmetric Threats Abroad
The U.S. Navy Chief of Naval Operations Adm. The document presents Richardson’s priorities with four “lines of effort” to strengthen naval power at and from the sea; achieve high velocity learning at every level; strengthen our Navy team for the future’ and expand and strengthen our network of partners. It isn’t an earth-shattering document, and perhaps is most telling for what it doesn’t say, as opposed to what is says. The document makes a strong case for forward presence, which has been the raison d’etre for the U.S. Navy for decades.
NATO Sea Mission Launched against Migrant Traffickers
NATO ships are on their way to the Aegean Sea to help Turkey and Greece crack down on criminal networks smuggling refugees into Europe, the alliance's top commander said on Thursday. Hours after NATO defence ministers agreed to use their maritime force in the eastern Mediterranean to help combat traffickers, Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove said he was working quickly to design the mission. "We are sailing the ships in the appropriate direction," Breedlove told a news conference, and the mission plan would be refined during the time they were en route. "That's about 24 hours," he said. The plan, which was first raised only on Monday by Germany and Turkey, took NATO by surprise and is aimed at helping the continent tackle its worst migration crisis since World War Two.
NATO Launches Sea Mission Against People-Smugglers
NATO, EU mission to help target traffickers in Aegean Sea. NATO ships are on their way to the Aegean Sea to help Turkey and Greece crack down on criminal networks smuggling refugees into Europe, the alliance's top commander said on Thursday. Hours after NATO defence ministers agreed to use their maritime force in the eastern Mediterranean to help combat traffickers, Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove said he was working quickly to design the mission. "We are sailing the ships in the appropriate direction," Breedlove told a news conference, and the mission plan would be refined during the time they were en route. "That's about 24 hours," he said.
Pentagon: Cut in LCS Ship Program 'Not an Indictment'
U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said the Pentagon's plan to truncate the Littoral Combat Ship program at 40 ships instead of 52 reflected budget pressures and was "not an indictment" of the program. Lockheed Martin Corp and Australia's Austal each build different models of the smaller, fast coastal warships. Carter said he wants the Navy to have a competition and pick just one supplier for future ships. Work said the Pentagon decided to buy two of the ships in fiscal 2017, instead of scaling orders back to just one ship as Defense Secretary Ash Carter had ordered in a memo late last year, at the Navy's request. He said the move was meant to help ensure a smooth transition to a future competition by keeping both shipbuilders working for another year.
Pentagon Chief Unveils Plans to Buy More High-end Ships
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Wednesday mapped out plans for the U.S. Navy to buy more high-end submarines, destroyers, fighter jets and unmanned underwater vehicles using $8 billion in savings generated by scaling back orders for smaller Littoral Combat Ships. Carter said the Pentagon's five-year budget plan also included $2.9 billion to modify Raytheon Co's SM-6 missiles for use as powerful anti-ship weapons, and buy 625 more of the weapons, which are now used for missile defense.
Iran Releases US Sailors after Brief Detention
Iran released 10 U.S. sailors on Wednesday after holding them overnight, bringing a swift end to an incident that had rattled nerves days ahead of the expected implementation of a landmark nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said it had freed the sailors after determining they had entered Iranian territorial waters by mistake. The sailors had been detained aboard two U.S. Navy patrol boats in the Gulf on Tuesday. "Our technical investigations showed the two U.S.
Pentagon to U.S. Navy: Buy fewer LCS Ships, More Planes
Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered the U.S. Navy in a sharply worded memo this week to buy 12 fewer small littoral combat ships (LCS) and more fighter jets, electronic warfare equipment and other weapons in the upcoming budget year instead. If approved by Congress, the changes would have a huge impact on many big weapons makers, including Lockheed Martin Corp and Australia's Austal Ltd, which would have to compete to build eight remaining LCS ships in fiscal 2019. The Navy had been buying ships in recent years "at the expense of critically-needed investments in areas where our adversaries are not standing still, such as strike, ship survivability, electronic warfare and other capabilities," Carter said. A copy of the memo, first reported by Defense News, was seen by Reuters.