David Brunnstrom News

03 Apr 2020

Dismissed US Carrier Captain Gets Hero's Ovation From Crew

Capt. Brett Crozier addresses crew during an all-hands call on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) flight deck in November 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Nicholas Huynh)

The captain of a U.S. aircraft carrier relieved of his command after seeking stronger measures in response to a coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship was given a hero’s ovation by his crew when he left the vessel, video posted on Twitter showed.A brief clip showed Captain Brett Crozier walking down the gangplank of the Theodore Roosevelt as crew members repeatedly chanted “Captain Crozier, Captain Crozier!”Crozier turned to wave at the crew after he stepped ashore in Guam.The removal of Crozier, first reported by Reuters, was announced by acting U.S.

04 Mar 2020

North Korea Caught Exporting Sand to China

© Yaniv / Adobe Stock

For several months last year, a steady stream of ships was observed dredging sand in a North Korean bay then transporting it to China, a Washington-based think-tank said on Wednesday.The extraction of sand from North Korea to China would violate a 2017 U.N. Security Council resolution that prohibits North Korea from “supplying, selling, or transferring sand”, the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) said in a report.The group’s researchers tracked the dredging and transport of the sand through commercial satellite imagery and shipping databases.“Between March and August 2019…

12 Apr 2019

U.S. Sanctions Firms, Ships for PDVSA Cargoes

The United States on Friday announced more sanctions on shipping companies transporting oil from Venezuela, blacklisting four shipping companies and nine vessels, some of which the U.S. Treasury Department said carried oil to Cuba.The U.S. Treasury identified the firms as Liberia-based Jennifer Navigation Ltd, Lima Shipping Corp and Large Range Ltd, and Italy-based PB Tankers S.P.A.It blacklisted one tanker belonging to each of the Liberian firms and six owned by the Italian firm.A Treasury statement said Venezuela’s oil sector continued "to provide a lifeline to the illegitimate regime" of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.“We continue to target companies that transport Venezuelan oil to Cuba…

21 Aug 2018

Russian Firms, Vessels Hit with US Sanctions over N. Korea Oil Transfers

© Igor Savitskiy / MarineTraffic.com

The United States on Tuesday announced sanctions on two Russian shipping companies and six vessels it said were involved in the transfer of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels in violation of United Nations. restrictions.Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the sanctions as well as other U.S. steps over alleged hacking, groundless, and promised a response.The U.S. Treasury identified the shipping firms as Vladivostok-based shipping companies Primorye Maritime Logistics Co Ltd (Primorye) and Gudzon Shipping Co LLC (Gudzon).

21 Aug 2018

U.S. Sanctions Russian Firms, Vessels Over N. Korea Oil Transfers

The United States on Tuesday announced sanctions on two Russian shipping companies and six vessels it said were involved in the transfer of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels in violation of U.N. restrictions.The U.S. Treasury identified the firms as Vladivostok-based shipping companies Primorye Maritime Logistics Co Ltd (Primorye) and Gudzon Shipping Co LLC (Gudzon).It also named six Russian-flagged vessels: Bella, Bogatyr, Neptun, Partizan, Patriot and Sevastopol."Ship-to-ship transfers with North Korea-flagged vessels from Russia or elsewhere of any goods being supplied, sold, or transferred to or from (North Korea) are prohibited under the U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea and are sanctionable under U.S. law," U.S.

09 Apr 2018

Trump Administration Grants License for Taiwan Submarine Project

© cil86 / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration has approved the marketing license required for American manufacturers to sell technology to Taiwan that would allow for building domestic submarines, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported on Saturday.The news agency said Taiwan Ministry of National Defense Chen Chung-chi confirmed that the U.S. Department of State had agreed to grant the license needed to sell the technology to Taiwan that it would need to build its own submarine.The U.S. State Department…

22 Jan 2018

China Says US Warship Violated its South China Sea Sovereignty

File photo: USS Hopper (DDG 70) in November 2017 (U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Pastor)

A U.S. Navy destroyer this week sailed near the Scarborough Shoal, a disputed lagoon claimed by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Saturday, and Beijing vowed to take “necessary measures” to protect what it said was its sovereignty. China’s foreign ministry said USS Hopper missile destroyer came within 12 nautical miles off Huangyan island, better known as the Scarborough Shoal and subject to a rival claim by the Philippines, a historic ally of the United States. It was the latest U.S.

28 Dec 2017

Trump Troubled About Oil Flow into North Korea

© luzitanija/Adobe Stock

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was "very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea" and that such moves would prevent "a friendly solution" to the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear program. "Caught RED HANDED - very disappointed that China is allowing oil to go into North Korea. There will never be a friendly solution to the North Korea problem if this continues to happen!" Trump wrote in a post on Twitter. China earlier on Thursday said there had been no U.N.

20 Nov 2017

US Warship Damaged in Collision with Tug off Japan

File photo: Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65) in August 2017 (U.S. Navy photo by Benjamin A. Lewis)

A U.S. guided-missile destroyer, USS Benfold, sustained slight damage when a Japanese tug drifted into it during a towing exercise off central Japan on Saturday, the U.S. Navy said. “No one was injured on either vessel and Benfold sustained minimal damage, including scrapes on its side, pending a full damage assessment,” a statement from the U.S. Seventh Fleet said. “Benfold remains at sea under her own power. The Japanese commercial tug is being towed by another vessel to a port in Yokosuka. The incident will be investigated,” it said. The incident was the latest mishap involving a U.S.

21 Aug 2017

Ten Sailors Missing after US Warship, Tanker Collide

Damage to the portside is visible as the USS John S. McCain steers toward Changi Naval Base, Singapore, following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery and communications rooms. (U.S. Navy photo by Joshua Fulton)

Ten U.S. sailors were missing after a collision between a destroyer and a tanker east of Singapore on Monday, the second involving a U.S. warship and a merchant ship in Asia in about two months, triggering a fleet-wide probe of operations and training. The guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain and the tanker Alnic MC collided while the warship was heading to Singapore for a routine port call. The collision tore a hole in the warship's waterline, flooding compartments that included a crew sleeping area, the U.S. Navy said in a statement. "Initial reports indicate John S.

02 Aug 2017

Repsol Suspends Drilling on Vietnam Oil Block Disputed by China

Spain's Repsol said it had suspended oil drilling in a block off Vietnam, where the prospecting in South China Sea waters claimed by China had infuriated Beijing and brought Chinese pressure on Vietnam to stop. Tension has been growing between Vietnam and China over energy development in the waterway, where extensive Chinese claims are challenged by five Southeast Asian countries and disputed by the United States. Repsol's chief financial officer, Miguel Martinez, said work had been suspended off Vietnam, according to the transcript of a conference call with analysts last week. "We are working with the PetroVietnam and with the Vietnamese authorities and the only comment is that right now, operations have been suspended," he said.

28 Mar 2017

China Could Deploy South China Sea Warplanes Now

China appears to have largely completed major construction of military infrastructure on artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea and can now deploy combat planes and other military hardware there at any time, a U.S. think tank said on Monday. The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), part of Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the work on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly Islands included naval, air, radar and defensive facilities. The think tank cited satellite images taken this month, which its director, Greg Poling, said showed new radar antennae on Fiery Cross and Subi. "So look for deployments in the near future," he said. China has denied U.S. China's Defense Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

26 Feb 2017

Wary of Trump unpredictability, China ramps up naval abilities

(The Chinese Navy destroyer Qingdao (DDG 113) transits the San Diego Harbor as it prepares to moor at Naval Station San Diego. Qingdao along with the Chinese oiler Hongzehu are currently visiting San Diego as part of a goodwill tour. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marc Rockwell-Pate (RELEASED)

* China still lags U.S. BEIJING, Feb 26 (Reuters) - The PLA Navy is likely to secure significant new funding in China's upcoming defence budget as Beijing seeks to check U.S. dominance of the high seas and step up its own projection of power around the globe. China's navy has been taking an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and new Chinese warships popping up in far-flung places. Now, with President Donald Trump promising a U.S.

24 Jan 2017

China to Protect South China Sea Sovereignty

China said on Tuesday it had "irrefutable" sovereignty over disputed islands in the South China Sea after the White House vowed to defend "international territories" in the strategic waterway. White House spokesman Sean Spicer in his comments on Monday signaled a sharp departure from years of cautious U.S. handling of China's assertive pursuit of territorial claims in Asia. "The U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there," Spicer said when asked if Trump agreed with comments by his secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson. On Jan. 11, Tillerson said China should not be allowed access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.

23 Jan 2017

US Aims to Prevent China from Taking Territory in International Waters

Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe

The new U.S. "I think the U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a news briefing. Spicer was responding to a question as to whether Trump agreed with comments by his Secretary of State nominee, Rex Tillerson, on Jan. 11 that China should not be allowed access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea. Tillerson's remarks at his Senate confirmation hearing prompted Chinese state media to say the United…

18 Nov 2016

Vietnam Expanding South China Sea Runway

Vietnam is extending a runway on an island it claims in the South China Sea in apparent response to China's building of military facilities on artificial islands in the region, a U.S. think tank reported. Satellite images taken this month showed Vietnam had lengthened its runway on Spratly Island from less than 2,500 feet (760 meters) to more than 3,300 feet (1 km), Washington's Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said on Thursday. AMTI, a project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, said continued reclamation work would likely mean the runway was extended to more than 4,000 feet (1.2 km). It said the upgraded runway would be able to accommodate maritime surveillance aircraft and transport planes, as well as combat aircraft.

17 Nov 2016

Vietnam Expanding South China Sea Runway

Vietnam is extending a runway on an island it claims in the South China Sea in apparent response to China's building of military facilities on artificial islands in the region, a U.S. think tank reported on Thursday. Satellite images taken this month showed Vietnam had lengthened its runway on Spratly Island from less than 2,500 feet (760 meters) to more than 3,300 feet (1 km), Washington's Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said. AMTI, a project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, said continued reclamation work would likely mean the runway was extended to more than 4,000 feet (1.2 km). It said the upgraded runway would be able to accommodate maritime surveillance aircraft and transport planes, as well as combat aircraft.

28 Oct 2016

Philippines Says Chinese Vessels Have Left Disputed Shoal

Chinese ships are no longer at the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea and Philippine boats can resume fishing, the Philippine defence minister said on Friday, calling the Chinese departure a "welcome development". Philippine fishermen can access the shoal unimpeded for the first time in four years, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said, capping off a startling turnaround in ties since his country rattled China by challenging its maritime claims at an international tribunal. The departure of the Chinese coast guard ships comes after President Rodrigo Duterte's high-profile visit to Beijing and his repeated requests for China to end its blockade of the shoal, a tranquil lagoon rich in fish stocks.

21 Oct 2016

China Protests 'Illegal,' 'Provocative' US South China Sea Patrol

China's Defense Ministry said that a patrol by a U.S. warship in the South China Sea on Friday was "illegal" and "provocative" and that it had lodged a protest with the United States. In a statement on its website, the ministry said two Chinese warships had warned the U.S. warship to leave during the patrol. It added that the Chinese military would increase air and sea patrols according to need. U.S. defense officials said the guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur challenged "excessive maritime claims" in a patrol near the Paracel Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors. The Chinese Defense Ministry said two warships, the Guangzhou and the Luoyang, warned the U.S. vessel to leave.

21 Oct 2016

US Warship Challenges China's Claims in South China Sea

Guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) operates in the South China Sea (U.S. Navy photo by Diana Quinlan)

A U.S. navy destroyer sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Friday, drawing a warning from Chinese warships to leave the area. The U.S. action was the latest attempt to counter what Washington sees as Beijing's efforts to limit freedom of navigation in the strategic waters, U.S. officials said. The Chinese Defense Ministry called the move "illegal" and "provocative," saying that two Chinese warships had warned the U.S. destroyer to leave. The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur challenged "excessive maritime claims" near the Paracel Islands…

20 Oct 2016

Duterte Aligns Philippines with China to Resolve Sea Dispute

Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative/DigitalGlobe

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his "separation" from the United States on Thursday, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks. Duterte made his comments in Beijing, where he is visiting with at least 200 business people to pave the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance as relations with longtime ally Washington deteriorate. "In this venue, your honours, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States…

26 Sep 2016

Japan Navy Chief Urges Resumption of China Port Visits

The head of Japan's navy on Monday repeated criticisms of China's pursuit of territorial claims in Asia but called for a resumption of port and personnel visits suspended for several years amid rising tensions between the two Asian powers. Admiral Tomohisa Takei said exchange visits by senior naval personnel and warships were effective in improving relationships between armed forces. "They should be resumed as soon as possible," he told a Washington think tank. While criticizing China's for its actions in the East China Sea, where Tokyo and Beijing have competing territorial claims, and in the South China Sea, where China has rival claims with other Asian countries…

15 Sep 2016

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.

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