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Japan and Australia working on a "Visiting Forces Agreement". Conclusion and implementation aimed by end of 2019. Seems likely to be followed by a VFA between Japan and the UK.

 

Tokyo: Japan and Australia are close to agreeing a visiting forces agreement (VFA), which would foster smooth military operations between the two countries, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

 

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull plans to visit Japan and hold talks with his counterpart Shinzo Abe to confirm the agreement ny mid-January, according to sources close to both governments.

 

With an eye to starting talks on a similar pact with Britain by the end of 2018, Tokyo intends to deepen international security cooperation through multiple avenues by strengthening coordination with "quasi-allies" – in addition to the United States – should circumstances on the Korean Peninsula and in the East and South China seas grow more severe.

 

A VFA comprehensively stipulates the legal status of foreign forces engaged in temporary activities, such as joint exercises and disaster-relief missions, in a nation's territory.

 

The broad agreement with Canberra would be Tokyo's first-ever VFA accord, though it has concluded a status of forces agreement with the United States premised on the long-term presence of its ally's forces in Japan.

 

In the talks between Japan and Australia, which began in 2014, the two governments agreed to implement such measures as simplifying procedures when Japan's Self-Defence Force (SDF) or the Australian military temporarily stay in either country for joint exercises and other missions, by exempting customs on carried items and granting permission to bring arms and ammunition.

 

In cases where relevant parties including defense forces personnel commit crimes in either country, the law of the country in which the crime was committed, in principle, will take priority. Tokyo and Canberra will continue talks on such cases, as additional time is necessary to clarify details on exceptions and the specific scope of the rules, among other issues.

 

The two governments aim to officially reach an agreement on the VFA and begin implementation by the end of 2019.

 

Behind Tokyo's effort to develop VFAs lies its recent focus on conducting joint drills between the SDF and foreign forces.

 

In 2015, the Ground Self-Defence Force participated in US-Australia joint exercises for the first time. The Air Self-Defence Force also plans to hold its first joint drill with the Royal Australian Air Force in Japan next year.

 

In the meantime, Japan and Britain agreed to aim to conduct joint drills on a regular basis at so-called two-plus-two talks between their foreign and defense ministers on December 14. They are pursuing a conclusion to the VFA with an aim to expand the drills.

 

A VFA is expected to have the effect of "demonstrating a bilateral relationship of trust both within and outside" the two countries, according to a senior official at the Defense Ministry.

 

Tokyo intends to expand its security cooperation network based on Abe's "free and open Indo-Pacific strategy" in a bid to strengthen deterrence against North Korea and to warn against China's maritime advances.

 

 

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USS Carl Vinson CSG heading back to the Western Pacific.

 

 

 

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group departed the West Coast yesterday and today for a deployment to the Western Pacific, with this being the strike group’s second consecutive WESTPAC deployment under U.S. 3rd Fleet command.

The Navy began a 3rd Fleet Forward deployment concept in 2016, where the ships would remain under 3rd Fleet command and control during the entire deployment instead of switching to U.S. 7th Fleet command after crossing the international dateline. The idea was to allow 7th Fleet to focus on ships in the Forward Deployed Naval Forces in Japan – with a particular eye on potential missions near the Korean Peninsula – while 3rd Fleet controlled partnership-building exercises, humanitarian assistance missions and other missions elsewhere in the Pacific.

Carl Vinson CSG departed for its first Third Fleet Forward deployment exactly one year ago, on Jan. 5, 2017. The strike group’s deployment was extended by about 30 days and the strike group was rerouted to provide presence and deterrence off the Korean Peninsula. Carl Vinson CSG participated in the first dual-carrier exercise off the Korean Peninsula since the late 1990s, alongside the Japan-based Ronald Reagan CSG, before returning home to regroup and prepare for this next deployment.

This week, more than 6,000 sailors assigned to the CSG departed for a second 3rd Fleet Forward deployment.

“I look forward to the strike group further demonstrating 3rd Fleet’s evolving operational role across the Indo-Pacific region,” CSG commander Rear Adm. John Fuller said in a Navy news release.
“We are trained and ready to execute our mission.”

The strike group includes carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70); Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2; guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57); and guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG-108) and USS Michael Murphy (DDG-112) from Destroyer Squadron 1. Michael Murphy is homeported in Hawaii and will join the strike group when it stops at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Carrier Air Wing 2 incudes more than 70 aircraft from the “Black Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4, the “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM 78), the “Bounty Hunters” of Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 2, the “Blue Blasters” of VFA-34, the “Kestrels” of VFA-137, the “Golden Dragons” of VFA-192, the “Black Eagles” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113, the “Gauntlets” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136, and the “Providers” of Fleet Logistic Support Squadron (VRC) 30 Det. 2.

https://news.usni.org/2018/01/05/30428

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January 2018 Parachute dropping exercise held on January 12th had many more Americans participating in the parachute dropping than last year's exercise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbVW-3wbAwk

0:00 Combat exercise explanation and preparation. Red team vs Blue team.

7:00 Combat exercise starts.

37:35 Blue team captures objective, combat exercise ends.

38:35 single parachute drop test and parachute release presentation.

45:23 Defense Minister Onodera arrives via gov helicopter.

55:05 Ranking office parachute drop. US command officer (Alaska and US in Japan) drop at 1:03:25

1:05:45 More US officers and US paratrooper load up.

1:08:18 Onodera again but getting off a CH-47 at a different location.

1:11:05 Training exercise explanation

1:12:02 Parachute drop exercise begins. American military (米軍) drops at 1:15:30, 1:19:23, 1:23:18, 1:27:13, and 1:31:21.

1:45:20 physical combat demonstration. Ends at 1:51:05.

1:52:10 JGSDF 1st Airborne free parachute drop.

1:56:14 US forces in Japan free parachute drop.

2:01:40 Helicopter formation flight of each heli type.

2:07:05 Speech by Onodera.

2:13:10 end.

 

5 paragraphs

 

自衛隊で唯一のパラシュート降下部隊、陸上自衛隊の第1空挺団が12日、千葉県の演習場で訓練の様子を公開し、アメリカ軍の特殊部隊も参加して日米の連携をアピールしました。

陸上自衛隊第1空挺団は、上空からパラシュートで降下し、離島防衛などの作戦を行うおよそ2000人の精鋭部隊で、毎年1月、千葉県の習志野演習場で訓練を公開しています。

今回は500人ほどの隊員が参加し、東京タワーとほぼ同じ高さの上空およそ300メートルを飛行する航空自衛隊の輸送機などから、パラシュートを使って次々と地上に降り立ちました。

訓練には、沖縄に駐留するアメリカ陸軍の特殊部隊、グリーンベレーの兵士が去年に続いて参加したほか、アラスカ州にある歩兵旅団の兵士が初めて加わり、日米の連携をアピールしていました。

陸上自衛隊をめぐっては、ことし3月に、全国5つに分かれている方面隊を一元的に指揮する「陸上総隊」という司令部が新たに設けられるほか、上陸作戦専門の部隊、「水陸機動団」も新設されることになっていて、大がかりな部隊の改編が進められることになっています。

 

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20180112/k10011286561000.html

 

2018airborne.jpg

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While visiting Japan, Turnbull visits a Japanese military base with Abe, emphasizing defense cooperation. Australian jets to visit for bilateral training this year.

 

Australian and Japanese fighter jets will be involved in carrying out bilateral military exercises for the first time this year, according to a joint statement between the two countries released on Thursday.

 

“The two leaders directed their respective ministers of defence to pursue even deeper and broader defence co-operation in 2018, including exercises, operations, capacity building, navy, army and Air Force visits, and further co-operation on defence equipment,” the two leaders said in the statement.

 

The exercises, to be held between the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force and the Royal Australian Air Force in Japan later this year, come amid China’s increasingly aggressive defence posture in Asia and continuing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

 

After a warning from Australia’s international development Minister Concetta Ferevanti-Wells on China’s growing influence on Pacific nations, Mr Abe and Mr Turnbull pledged to step up “bilateral co-ordination” in the region, and increasingly help other countries to effectively carry out maritime law enforcement.

 

The statement, released after a bilateral meeting between the two leaders, said a Ministerial Economic Dialogue would be set up between the two country’s trade ministers.

 

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/defence/australian-and-japanese-air-forces-set-for-military-exercises/news-story/7216d29b3edc9aaebdcf0542c08148a8

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INS Teg, one Indian sub, and JS Amagiri conducted joint-training in anti-submarine warfare and tactical maneuvers in the waters around Mumbai port on January 18th.

http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/formal/info/news/201801/20180119-01.pdf

https://www.facebook.com/JMSDF.PAO.fp/photos/pcb.1694794120582299/1694790653915979/?type=3

InJpn2018o1.jpg

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Two B-52s, two B-1s, and four F-15Js conducted joint-training in airspace around Okinawa on January 22nd.

 

 

 

According to government sources, B-52 strategic bombers that are capable of loading nuclear weapons and fighters from the JASDF conducted joint-training in air space around Okinawa on the 22nd. The government said that "details cannot be given but, it is not assumed that nuclear weapons were loaded on the basis of Japan's 3 non-nuclear principles".

 

According to the government, two B-52 strategic bombers and two B-1 bombers of the US military and four F-15s of the JASDF carried out joint-training on Jan 22nd in the airspace around Okinawa.

 

With Six B-52s just being deployed to Anderson Base at Guam on the 16th this month, it is viewed that the joint-training is to deter a North Korea that is continuing its nuclear weapon and missile development.

 

Regarding the training with B-52s that a capable of loading nuclear weapons, the government says that "details cannot be given but, it is not assumed that nuclear weapons were loaded on the basis of Japan's 3 non-nuclear principles".

 

The B-52s took the place of the B-1s and now have been given the mission for the Asia Pacific region, and that from now on, it is predicted that these kinds of training will increase.

 

 

核兵器を搭載できるアメリカ軍のB52戦略爆撃機と航空自衛隊の戦闘機が22日、沖縄周辺の空域で共同訓練を行ったことが防衛省への取材でわかりました。この訓練に関して、防衛省は「詳細は答えられないが、日本の非核三原則を踏まえて核兵器が持ち込まれることは想定されない」としています。

防衛省によりますと、アメリカ軍のB52戦略爆撃機2機やB1爆撃機2機と、航空自衛隊のF15戦闘機4機が22日、沖縄周辺の空域で共同訓練を行ったということです。

B52は、今月16日に6機がグアムのアンダーセン空軍基地に配備されたばかりで、今回の訓練には核・ミサイル開発を続ける北朝鮮の抑止などが念頭にあると見られます。

核兵器を搭載できるB52との訓練に関して、防衛省は「詳細は答えられないが、日本の非核三原則を踏まえて核兵器が持ち込まれることは想定されない」としています。

B52は、B1の部隊に代わってアジア太平洋地域で任務を担うことになっていて、今後、こうした訓練が増えることも予想されます。

 

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20180122/k10011297781000.html

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Japan and France to further develop maritime bilateral and multilateral joint-training in the Indo-Pacific region.

 

 

 

PARIS -- France intends to increase joint military exercises with Japan, French Defense Minister Florence Parly has told the Nikkei Asian Review, showing her aim to deter China in the South China Sea.

France's Defense and Foreign Affairs ministers are set to travel to Japan for a meeting with their counterparts on Friday.

In an interview, Parly said her government was ready to "develop joint military exercises between France and Japan" in the Indo-Pacific region, with a view to displaying their presence in the region, particularly to China.

Parly would like to see naval troops from the two countries take part in joint bilateral and multinational exercises, including amphibian training, this year in various locations around the region.

France and Japan have previously conducted multiple smaller exercises in the area over the years, but now appear ready to scale up operations. A large multinational naval exercise was carried out last year with the U.S. and the U.K.

Such exercises are a "symbol of our cooperation in terms of defense policy," said the minister, and show that both countries are committed to ensuring the region's waterways remain "free and open." She also stressed that they are conducted so forces can get used to working together efficiently should the need for a joint intervention ever arise.

"Just because you plant your flag somewhere doesn't mean that territory changes hands," she said in relation to China's "fait accompli politics" in the South China Sea. France has already denounced unilateral actions such as the construction of outposts in the region as a violation of international law.

French navy ships are due to sail through the South China Sea this year to show that "the right to free passage is one we want to exercise fully," she said, in a similar move to U.S. freedom of navigation operations.

French ships already pass through the area three to four times a year, most notably near the disputed Spratly Islands.

The South China Sea is one of the world's geopolitical hot spots, with territorial rights within it disputed by six surrounding countries and regions.

China has increased its militarization of the area by building airstrips and radars on reclaimed land surrounding maritime features. In a 2016 ruling, an international tribunal in The Hague rejected China's claims to historic rights in the region.

In addition, Parly reaffirmed France's position on North Korea. "Diplomacy can only be effective if we are firm when it comes to sanctions," she said, adding that France wanted to "encourage de-escalation," and that "dialogue is always a positive thing."

She hailed recent talks between North and South Korea in relation to the Olympic Games as a "major step" toward the end of North Korean provocations. "France's priority is to create the conditions for fruitful negotiation to occur," she said, refuting any suggestion France was preparing for war.

The agenda for the forthcoming "two-plus-two" meeting is also set to include more technical aspects of bilateral cooperation, such as the development of anti-mine marine drones. Though still in the early stages, there are high hopes for collaboration of this nature.

Parly also expressed hopes that France and Japan would be able to sign an acquisition and cross-servicing agreement that has been the subject of negotiations since 2017, but declined to comment on whether a deal would be reached on this occasion.

Lastly, Parly said she intended to discuss issues related to international security. France is drumming up support for the G5 Sahel, a coalition of African countries fighting against terrorism in the region south of the Sahara, and is hoping Japan will contribute in some form.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/International-Relations/France-and-Japan-to-scale-up-military-exercises-to-deter-China

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Iron Fist 2018 - US and Japan over the period of Jan 8th to Feb 18th but with major training seeming to have ended on Feb 5th. Training at Camp Pendleton, California in amphibious landings and all sorts of infantry combat including urban house, mortars, and fast rope dropping from Ospreys.

 

 

 

t was 8:11 a.m. on Monday and California was under simulated attack by Japanese forces.

While the American warship Rushmore wheeled into the fog of the sea, a string of six armored amphibious vehicles churned through the water to link up with Japanese snipers who already infiltrated Camp Pendleton’s “Red Beach.”

In the fake town nearby, Marines dressed as enemy troops shot blank ammo at the onrushing Japanese Western Army Infantry Regiment soldiers but it was all in vain.

By 9 a.m. the Japanese assault force controlled the beach, the village and the bluffs beyond it, a victory that capped the final day of Iron Fist, the annual bilateral war games.

Held since 2006, this year’s exercise was the largest, sprawling across Camp Pendleton, San Clemente Island, 29 Palms and Naval Amphibious Base Coronado. More than 350 Japanese personnel participated, joining elements of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines and the Navy’s 3rd Fleet.

* Iron Fist 2018, an annual series of war games pitting U.S. Marines and Japanese soldiers against a fictional enemy, wrapped up at Camp Pendleton on Monday.
* The monthlong exercise builds teamwork between American and Japanese forces while also reaffirming a strong military alliance in the Pacific Rim.
* Japan debuts in March its own amphibious brigade modeled on the Marines, a move designed to counter Chinese designs in the region.

Iron Fist 2018 also was the most important because in March the Japanese debut their Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade, the first unit of its kind since Japan’s defeat in World War II.

Like a U.S. Marine Corps expeditionary unit, it’s designed to land 2,100 troops from the sea and defeat an entrenched enemy through combined air, artillery and infantry combat.

It was created in response to China’s 2013 declaration of a control zone over the Senkaku Islands, which has been administered by Japan since the United States ceded the uninhabited atolls east of Taiwan to Tokyo in 1972.

The amphibious force will be led by Maj. Gen. Shinichi Aoki, the deputy chief of staff for Japan’s Western Army. He stood next to Col. Fridrik Fridriksson, commander of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, as the battle unfolded, both of them smiling.

“The biggest lesson I’ve taken away from here is how impressed I’ve been by the Japanese Self Defense Forces,” said Fridriksson, shortly before landing craft carrying follow-on forces arrived behind him.

“The leadership of Maj. Gen. Aoki and his officers has been incredible to watch and to learn from them as we’ve developed our interoperability.”

Well trained and led, the Japanese landing team took the lead during this year’s exercise and his Marines faded into the background, Fridriksson said.

Retired Navy Adm. Dennis Blair said that Fridriksson’s high grades on Japan’s capabilities and willingness to seize the initiative shouldn't surprise anyone.

Blair, the former Director of National Intelligence and commander of the Hawaii-based Pacific Command, said that two decades ago Tokyo’s forces would have backed up the American ships, planes and Marines that policed the Pacific Rim, but the rise of China and an increasingly aggressive North Korea altered that.

“It’s been a major change in the alliance but one that’s for the good,” Blair, now chairman and the distinguished senior fellow at Washington, D.C.-based Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, said by telephone.

Instead of pointing its air and heavy armored forces toward northern territories held by Cold War enemy Russia, Japan’s military has become increasingly high-tech, nimble and capable of fighting across the width of the East China Sea, Blair said.

Those military reforms coincided with a robust debate over Tokyo’s military within the Diet, Japan’s parliament, sparking 2015 legislation that allowed their forces to participate more seamlessly in combined operations with American units.

Japan’s national security renaissance wasn’t without friction, especially inter-service competition between the air, sea and land forces.

“Anyone who has studied Japan’s history has encountered that inter-service rivalry,” Blair said. “It makes ours in World War II look like child’s play.”

Aoki said his brigade is well funded by Tokyo and fully supported by his sister air and naval services, but he acknowledged his amphibious force faced some challenges during its inception.

Headquartered at Camp Ainoura near Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture, Aoki’s light infantry brigade still needs more equipment — BAE Systems is building 52 AAV-7 armored amphibious vehicles for them, and last year the American military trained the first Japanese crew chief for the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey, a workhorse for Marines on sea and land — but he predicted only closer training in the future with his American counterparts.

Toshi Yoshihara, a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and one of the world’s foremost maritime strategists, said by email that Aoki’s brigade filled several important roles.

“Homeland defense, particularly the physical defense of sovereign territory, is a basic duty of any nation,” he said. “Politically, Japan must demonstrate to it own constituents that it has some capability, however modest that may be, to retake islands from hostile forces.

“Strategically, Tokyo must demonstrate to China that it is developing an indigenous capability to counter potential Chinese aggression.

“Japan must also demonstrate to the United States that it is doing something as a reliable partner. Operationally, this is a start. It will provide an additional basis for allied cooperation and interoperability.”

The burgeoning brigade and Japan’s naval and air forces act as deterrents to Chinese designs, he said, but if that fails Tokyo can turn the tables on Beijing by deploying anti-ship missiles and air defense units on the Senkaku Islands and other atolls.

“Japan would in effect create a series of anti-access bubbles along the island chain that substantially increase the risks to Chinese air and naval operations,” Yoshihara said. “Indeed, Japan is already taking advantage of its natural blocking position around the East China Sea by fortifying the Southwest Islands.”

That strategy could be enhanced by Japan’s superb submarine fleet combined with “tighter tri-service cooperation,” Yoshihara added.

By holding and defending the Southern Islands, Japan would free up resources for American forces to conduct offensive operations.

Echoing Aoki, Yoshihara said that American and Japanese commanders working closely on regular training, exercises, demonstrations and joint patrols near the Senkaku Islands will “bring this defense posture to fruition.”

“The goal is to increase the potential pain to Chinese operations to such an extent that the (People’s Liberation Army) would be deterred from rolling the iron dice in the first place,” he said.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/military/sd-me-iron-fist-20180205-story.html

JGSDF report from Dec, ahead of the training.

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/news/press/2017/pdf/20171207.pdf

 

Some pictures from that article's photo gallery and other pictures from the link (lots of pictures) provided at the end.

IF2018o8.jpg

Rest in the spoiler

 

Some videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H0jYri-75Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enAl9nJwulQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eP4TSmYAhk4

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Trump nominates Harry Harris to be ambassador to Australia.

 

Donald Trump has formally endorsed the the head of US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, as the next US ambassador to Australia.

 

The move is likely to anger Beijing, given Admiral

Harriss hawkish views on China, but it will be seen as a coup by the Turnbull government to have such a well qualified and senior former US military officer in the role at a time of growing strategic uncertainty in the region.

 

It also comes amid reports that the US Marine Corps will expand the number of marines serving in Darwin on a rotational basis. US military officials have told The Wall Street Journal in Darwin that the number of US marines there, currently 1250 on six-month rotations, will rise by an unspecified amount in March.

 

It comes as the Pentagon is considering a plan to send heavily armed, versatile Marine Corps Expeditionary Units to East Asia, curtailing some deployments in the Middle East as it repositions forces in response to growing Chinese influence, US military officials said.

 

The move would be among the first tangible steps by the Trump administration to expand the US military presence in Asia after announcing its National Defence Strategy last month.

 

We have enduring interests here, and we have an enduring commitment and we have an enduring presence here, General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Pentagons Joint Chiefs of Staff, said after a brief visit to Australia and Asia last week.

 

Malcolm Turnbull welcomed the great nomination of Admiral Harris for the Australian post, tweeting a photo of the two men together and saying Look forward to seeing you in Canberra, Harry!

 

Admiral Harris is widely respected on both sides of politics in Washington and is expected to be confirmed by the Senate without controversy.

 

His appointment will end an embarrassing situation which has seen no US ambassador appointed to Canberra for 16 months, since the previous incumbent John Berry left the post in September 2016. Although the job has been ably filled by the US Charge dAffaires James Carouso, it is highly unusual for such an important post to be left vacant for so long.

 

The delay partly reflects an unusually slow White House, which has struggled to fill senior positions across the administration and also the need for Admiral Harris to finish his tenure as head of Pacific Command.

 

In his role as PACOM commander Admiral Harris has visited Australia several times and knows key members of the Turnbull government as well as senior defence and foreign affairs officials.

 

He is known for his plain speaking on key strategic issues including his criticism of Chinas militarisation of disputed islands in the South China Sea.

 

Admiral Harris angered Beijing by coining the phrase Great Wall of sand to describe Chinas build-up of military assets on the small islands in the region.

 

China is said to have attempted have his command terminated early in return for more assistance to the US on North Korea.

 

Andrew Shearer, former national security advisor to former prime minister Tony Abbott and now senior adviser of Asia Pacific Security as Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said Admiral Harriss nomination was good news for Australia-US relations

 

Its great news for the alliance obviously this is a period of change and uncertainty and appointing someone of Harriss calibre shows how seriously the US and the Trump administration are taking Australia, Mr Shearer told The Australian today.

 

Harris knows Australia well, from his time as Pacific Commander and a long career with the US Navy - Australians like him and he has a good understand of Australia and Australians.

 

Mr Shearer said China should not be surprised by the appointment. Harris is eminently qualified for the job, the military alliance with the US remains the cornerstone of Australias security and a key pillar of us strategy in the region.

 

Admiral Harriss mother is Japanese and his father was a former US sailor stationed in Japan. He grew up in Tennessee but now lives in Hawaii with his wife, Bruni.

 

After graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1978 he earned a MPA from Harvards Kennedy School of Government, a MA from Georgetowns School of Foreign Service and attended Oxford university.

 

During his 39-year career, he served in every geographic combatant command and has held seven command assignments, including the U.S Pacific Fleet, the U.S. Sixth Fleet, and VP-46, the White House said.

 

Once confirmed, he is expected to take up his position before mid-year.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/harry-harris-new-us-ambassador-to-australia/news-story/57b6f8f4c393a882a7d6668b2dac65d7

Edited by JasonJ
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USS Carl Vinson on a 5 day visit at Manila. Some officials of Duterte's government visit the carrier.

 

 

 

MANILA, Philippines – The US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, its fleet of about 40 fighter jets, and about 5,000 American sailors arrived in Manila this week in a display of American presence in the Philippines amid growing concerns about China's activities inside the waters of the US ally.

The aircraft carrier is in Manila for a 5-day port visit after sailing the South China Sea. It came with the guided missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy, which made a port call to Manila for the first time.

"The region is so important because not only is it very diverse but there’s a lot that takes place with respect to the global economy. Keeping our sea lanes open in this region is important not only for the United States but for everybody," Lieutenant Commander Tim Hawkins told Rappler on Saturday, February 17.

Rappler spoke with Hawkins during a tour of the aircraft carrier when it was docked in Manila Bay.

The Carl Vinson Strike Group returned to the region as the China's activities on the western and eastern seaboards of the Philippines prompt concerns.

The US has said it is committed to uphold freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, where a large percentage of global trade passes through, amid China's overarching claims in the said sea.

Duterte officials aboard the aircraft carrier

Before the aircraft carrier arrived in Manila, US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim hosted top government officials aboard the aircraft carrier while it was in the high seas of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar were present.

The aircraft carrier was also in the region last year. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre were the first officials of the Duterte government to tour the ship.

President Rodrigo Duterte has warmed ties with China to fulfill his declaration of pivoting the country's foreign policy away from the US, its longtime ally.

Duterte threatened to scrap a defense treaty with the US after the administration of former president Barack Obama criticized his anti-drug campaign. He was kinder to Obama's successor, Donald Trump, who supposedly praised his centerpiece campaign.

Growing China concerns

The Philippine president's pivot to China, however, has very strong critics.

Critics recently assailed a permit granted to China by the Department of Foreign Affairs to conduct research within the vicinity of the Benham Rise in the eastern seaboard of the Philippines, an area where China has made no claims.

China apparently named maritime features in the underground plateau, which has been declared part of the Philippine continental shelf.

This came after close-up aerial photos of its artificial islands in the West Philippine Sea were released to show the near completion of what are believed to be military facilities there. Among the reefs it reclaimed is Mischief Reef, a maritime feature inside the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano sought to dismiss the concerns as the country warms relations with China. He said China gave assurances it will stop construction activities in the West Philippine Sea.

In addition, the aircraft carrier's arrival came after China reportedly deployed a warship to shoo away a US destroyer for sailing too close to Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, a rocky sandbar located off the coast of Zambales province in the Philippines. (READ: China says U.S. warship near Panatag violated 'sovereignty')

Show US presence

The aircraft carrier is based in San Diego, California, but it is deployed around the world to maintain visible American presence.

The primary mission of USS Carl Vinson is to conduct sustained combat air operations if and when necessary. It also helps defends air and sea lanes and provides humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The US embassy in Manila says the Carl Vinson is in the South China Sea as part of its operations in the Indo-Pacific region to promote freedom of the seas and enhance regional security.

"The aircraft carrier [promotes freedom of the seas] just by conducting routine operations – flying and sailing wherever international law allows. It's very important. We have been operating here for more than 70 years. Just think about that. That’s 70 years where there has been relative peace which underscores and underwrites prosperity," said Hawkins.

"One of the ways that we have been able to influence this region in a positive way is to just operate here and conduct routine operations. When we do that we reassures our allies, we reassure our partners, and we continue to build that cooperation that is so important," he said. – Rappler.com

https://www.rappler.com/nation/196290-uss-carl-vinson-visits-philippines-amid-concerns-china

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On February 22, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies convened a public event examining U.S. extended deterrence in Japan and Asia. The session brought together American and Japanese scholars to discuss views of deterrence in each country and the implications of those mainstream views for addressing current and future security challenges from North Korea and China. Robert Einhorn, senior fellow in the Brookings Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative, moderated the discussion.

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Mr. Kentaro Sonoura
Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan (National Security)

In November 2017, when President Trump visited Japan, Prime Minister Abe and President Trump agreed to work together to promote peace and prosperity in the region by developing the Indo-Pacific as free and open. In addition, particularly after President Trump gave a speech at the APEC CEO Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, on November 10th, a "free and open Indo-Pacific" has moved squarely into the spotlight and has become a priority for policy makers of the United States and Japan. The two countries are about to initiate the process of elaborating this concept, and much work lies ahead, including how to coordinate their focus and approach, how to divide their roles, and how to conduct outreach to allies and partners.

In a conversation with Mr. Barry Pavel, Mr. Kentaro Sonoura will provide an overview of Japan's vision, and how Japan and the United States can collaborate to promote and secure a "free and open Indo-Pacific."

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Cope North 2018 - USA, Japan, Australia

CopeNorth18o4.jpg

 

 

The United States and two ally nations in the Indo-Pacific region are scheduled to participate in exercise COPE NORTH 2018 at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Feb. 14 through Mar. 2, 2018.

Exercise COPE NORTH is a long-standing exercise designed to enhance multilateral air operations between the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force.

More than 2,000 U.S. Airmen and Sailors will train alongside approximately 850 combined JASDF and RAAF service members. Additionally, more than 100 aircraft, comprised of 21 flying units from the U.S., Japan and Australia, will participate in CN18.

The exercise will begin with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training and consist of a number of aerial and force employment events designed to increase readiness among the allied nations.

Beginning in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise held at Misawa Air Base, Japan, COPE NORTH was moved to Andersen AFB in 1999. Today, the annual exercise serves as a keystone event to promote stability and security throughout the Indo-Pacific by enabling regional forces to hone vital readiness skills critical to maintaining regional stability.

http://www.andersen.af.mil/News/Features/Article/1438144/cope-north-2018-set-to-strengthen-multilateral-partnerships-in-pacific/

 

From the JASDF: Eight F-15J / DJs, six F-2As / Bs, four U-125As, two C-130Hs, two E-2Cs, one KC-767.

http://www.mod.go.jp/asdf/news/houdou/H29/300202.pdf

 

377 personnel from the RAAF and the first use in Cope North by an Australian C-27J.

 

 

 

Exercise Cope North is a high-end air combat and humanitarian assistance exercise hosted by the United States Air Force at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

The Exercise aims to develop and improve combat readiness, synergistic humanitarian assistance procedures and increase the interoperability between the three forces of the United States, Australia and Japan.

Air Force will deploy 377 personnel to Guam between 10 February - 2 March 2018. Personnel will be drawn from Air Combat Group, Surveillance and Response Group, Air Mobility Group and Combat Support Group.

A C-27J Spartan aircraft from RAAF Base Richmond will also deploy for the first time on Exercise Cope North as part of the Humanitarian Assistance scenario, and provide aeromedical evacuation and air logistics support from Guam. In addition, a Combat Support Element and Aeromedical Evacuation team will deploy to increase integration of aeromedical evacuation skills between the participants during the exercise.

This is the seventh year that Australia has participated in the Exercise.

Exercise Cope North helps cultivate common bonds and foster goodwill between the US and other regional nations by conducting multilateral humanitarian and civic assistance operations as well as providing a quality scenario to develop multilateral interoperability and coalition procedures in air power missions, including air superiority, close air support, interdiction, electronic warfare, tactical airlift, and airborne command and control.

https://www.airforce.gov.au/news-and-events/events/exercises/cope-north

 

Some emphasis was made in HR/DR.

CopeNorth18o6.JPG

 

 

U.S. Air Force (USAF), Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense) and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) members utilize a central command information tent as a HUB to perform logistical re-supply, medical evacuation, troop movement and humanitarian assistance during exercise COPE NORTH 18 at Tinian, U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, Feb. 21. Through exercises and engagements during COPE NORTH, USAF, Koku Jieitai and RAAF increase interoperability for humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Quail) (Photo by Airman 1st Class Christopher Quail)

 

 

 

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam — The 5-day humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR) portion of exercise COPE NORTH 18, which allowed U.S. Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and the Koku Jieitai (Japan Air Self-Defense Force) to practice HA/DR relief efforts, concluded Feb. 23, 2018.

This year marks the 89th iteration of exercise COPE NORTH, which includes the long-standing multinational HA/DR event designed to increase interoperability and develop a synergistic disaster response capability between the allied nations.

“COPE NORTH 18 has over 3,000 personnel participating with over 100 aircraft focused on interoperability and partnership,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Ryan Sweeny, 36th Operations Group commander. “But the specific focus for this year has been HA/DR.”

Last year was a world record breaking year for natural disaster devastation. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. alone had an estimated $306.2 billion in damage and countless lives lost from hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornados and other natural disasters.

“The skills we practice and learn are applicable to almost any disaster you can think of,” said Sweeny. “It allows us to go into an airfield or an area and provide airlift support and medical support along with establishing security and command and control that is necessary for any disaster relief operation.”

Throughout the week USAF, Koku Jieitai and RAAF personnel combined efforts to perform medical evacuations, airfield security, command and control, search and rescue, and cargo and personnel airlifts to react to a fictional yet realistic earthquake disaster scenario.

“This was our eighth COPE NORTH, and we look forward to coming back every year,” said Ben Sleeman, Royal Australian Air Force Cope North exercise director. “We always receive excellent training with our partners in this region.”

COPE NORTH began in 1978 as a quarterly bilateral exercise held at Misawa Air Base, Japan, and moved here in 1999. Today, the annual exercise serves as an opportunity to promote stability and security throughout the Indo-Pacific by enabling regional forces to hone vital readiness skills and increase interoperability.

http://www.pacom.mil/Media/News/News-Article-View/Article/1451214/hadr-exercise-concludes-at-cope-north-2018/

 

CopeNorth18o1.JPG

 

 

U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy aircraft fly in formation alongside Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Royal Australian Air Force aircraft during exercise Cope North 18 in the vicinity of Guam, Feb. 21, 2018. Cope North is a long-standing exercise designed to strengthen relationships in the Indo-Pacific region through air operations, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarrod Vickers)

http://www.af.mil/News/Photos/igphoto/2001881168/

 

Some more pictures here: https://www.dvidshub.net/search/?filter[type]=image&filter[tags][]=cope-north-18&filter[date]=20180211-20180306&sort=date

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March 5, 2018 / 6:04 AM / Updated 2 hours ago

 

U.S. aircraft carrier arrives in Vietnam on landmark visit

DANANG, Vietnam (Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft carrier arrived in Vietnam on Monday for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War, dramatically underscoring the growing strategic ties between the former foes at a time when China’s regional influence is rising.
The grey and imposing silhouette of the USS Carl Vinson could be seen on Monday morning from the cliff tops just outside the central Vietnamese city of Danang, where the 103,000-tonne carrier and two other U.S. ships begin a five-day visit.

 

“The visit marks an enormously significant milestone in our bilateral relations and demonstrates U.S. support for a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam,” Daniel Kritenbrink, the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, said in a statement.

 

“Through hard work, mutual respect, and by continuing to address the past while we work toward a better future, we have gone from former enemies to close partners.”

 

The arrival of the Vinson marks the biggest U.S. military presence in Vietnam since 1975 - but it also illustrates Hanoi’s complex and evolving relationship with Beijing over the disputed South China Sea.

 

Vietnamese envoys had been working for months to ease the concerns of their giant Chinese neighbour over the visit and the prospect of broader security cooperation between Hanoi and Washington, according to diplomats and others familiar with the talks.

 

U.S. carriers frequently ply the South China Sea in a rising pattern of naval deployments, and are now routinely shadowed by Chinese naval vessels, naval officers in the region say.

 

China’s rapid construction and build-up of the land it holds in the disputed Spratly islands group has alarmed Vietnam and other regional governments as it seeks to enforce its claims to much of the disputed waterway, through which some $3 trillion in trade passes each year.

 

While some Chinese commentators have used the Vinson’s presence to demand an even greater Chinese military build-up in the South China Sea, official reaction from Beijing has been relatively muted since the stop was announced in January.

 

That announcement came during a two-day visit to Hanoi by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and followed months of backroom military diplomacy between Hanoi and the Pentagon.

 

Although no U.S. aircraft carrier has been to Vietnam since the end of the war, other, smaller U.S. warships have made high-level visits as ties improved in recent years.

 

That includes a 2016 visit by submarine tender USS Frank Cable and guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain to Cam Ranh Bay, a crucial logistics complex during the Vietnam War.

 

A U.S. Navy band will play a concert in Danang during the Vinson’s visit, and sailors from the carrier are scheduled to spend time at a treatment centre for people who were exposed to Agent Orange chemicals during the war.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-vietnam-carrier-vietnam/u-s-aircraft-carrier-arrives-in-vietnam-on-landmark-visit-idUSKBN1GH0HL

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Exercise Forest Light 02 conducted from February 15th to March 2nd. About 600 personnel from the JGSDF 9th Division and about 550 personnel from the USMC 4th Regiment participated in the exercise in Miyagi Prefecture. USMC Ospreys flew up from Futenma.

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/news/press/2018/pdf/20180201.pdf

forestlight02o1.jpg

 

forestlight02o2.jpg

https://www.facebook.com/NorthEasternArmy/photos/pcb.1578852248868315/1578851632201710/?type=3

More pictures:

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/neae/neahq/pdf/30.2.26fl02.JPG

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/neae/neahq/pdf/30.2.22_FL.jpg

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/neae/neahq/pdf/30.3.1_fl02.jpg

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/neae/neahq/

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March 5, 2018 / 6:04 AM / Updated 2 hours ago

 

U.S. aircraft carrier arrives in Vietnam on landmark visit

DANANG, Vietnam (Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft carrier arrived in Vietnam on Monday for the first time since the end of the Vietnam War, dramatically underscoring the growing strategic ties between the former foes at a time when China’s regional influence is rising.
The grey and imposing silhouette of the USS Carl Vinson could be seen on Monday morning from the cliff tops just outside the central Vietnamese city of Danang, where the 103,000-tonne carrier and two other U.S. ships begin a five-day visit.

 

“The visit marks an enormously significant milestone in our bilateral relations and demonstrates U.S. support for a strong, prosperous, and independent Vietnam,” Daniel Kritenbrink, the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, said in a statement.

 

“Through hard work, mutual respect, and by continuing to address the past while we work toward a better future, we have gone from former enemies to close partners.”

 

The arrival of the Vinson marks the biggest U.S. military presence in Vietnam since 1975 - but it also illustrates Hanoi’s complex and evolving relationship with Beijing over the disputed South China Sea.

 

Vietnamese envoys had been working for months to ease the concerns of their giant Chinese neighbour over the visit and the prospect of broader security cooperation between Hanoi and Washington, according to diplomats and others familiar with the talks.

 

U.S. carriers frequently ply the South China Sea in a rising pattern of naval deployments, and are now routinely shadowed by Chinese naval vessels, naval officers in the region say.

 

China’s rapid construction and build-up of the land it holds in the disputed Spratly islands group has alarmed Vietnam and other regional governments as it seeks to enforce its claims to much of the disputed waterway, through which some $3 trillion in trade passes each year.

 

While some Chinese commentators have used the Vinson’s presence to demand an even greater Chinese military build-up in the South China Sea, official reaction from Beijing has been relatively muted since the stop was announced in January.

 

That announcement came during a two-day visit to Hanoi by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and followed months of backroom military diplomacy between Hanoi and the Pentagon.

 

Although no U.S. aircraft carrier has been to Vietnam since the end of the war, other, smaller U.S. warships have made high-level visits as ties improved in recent years.

 

That includes a 2016 visit by submarine tender USS Frank Cable and guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain to Cam Ranh Bay, a crucial logistics complex during the Vietnam War.

 

A U.S. Navy band will play a concert in Danang during the Vinson’s visit, and sailors from the carrier are scheduled to spend time at a treatment centre for people who were exposed to Agent Orange chemicals during the war.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-vietnam-carrier-vietnam/u-s-aircraft-carrier-arrives-in-vietnam-on-landmark-visit-idUSKBN1GH0HL

 

 

Some pictures to go with it. Use google translate.

carlviet01.jpg

 

 

Tàu sân bay USS Carl Vinson của Mỹ neo đậu trong vịnh Đà Nẵng từ trưa 5-3 để chuẩn bị cho các hoạt động giao lưu trên bờ - Ảnh: THÁI BÁ DŨNG

 

carlviet02.jpg

 

 

Người dân ngóng xem tàu sân bay Mỹ từ điểm cao trên bán đảo Sơn Trà sáng 5-3 - Ảnh: HỮU KHÁ

 

carlviet03.jpg

 

 

Tàu sân bay USS Carl Vinson neo đậu trong Vịnh Đà Nẵng chuẩn bị cho các hoạt động giao lưu trên bờ. Ảnh chụp trưa 5-3 - Ảnh: NGUYỄN KHÁNH

 

carlviet04.jpg

 

 

Tàu sân bay USS Carl Vinson vào vịnh Đà Nẵng trưa 5-3 - Ảnh: TRƯỜNG TRUNG

And the article that's with the pictures.

 

 

 

TTO - Tàu sân bay USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) của Mỹ cùng các tàu khu trục và tuần dương hộ tống đã vào Vịnh Đà Nẵng lúc gần 12h trưa nay, cách không xa cảng Tiên Sa, bắt đầu chuyến thăm kéo dài 5 ngày kể từ ngày 5-3.

 

Thời tiết trên biển Đà Nẵng sáng nay (5-3) không đẹp khi sương mù như lớp màn trắng cuộn trên biển. Tầm nhìn chỉ chừng 10 cây số dù trời nắng đẹp.

 

Đến hơn 10h, tiếng còi tàu hụ liên tục trên biển. Sau chừng 10 hồi còi, một khối to lớn xuất hiện trên mặt biển.

 

Chừng vài phút sau, phần cabin màu trắng ở phía sau lộ diện cho thấy đó chỉ là một con tàu hàng.

 

Vài lượt như thế nữa, những người đứng ngóng xem tàu bắt đầu nản lòng thì một người bất chợt reo lên: "Tàu kìa".

 

Lần này dù không nhìn rõ, không có còi hụ nhưng ai cũng chắc chắn nó là tàu sân bay. Bởi cái "sân bóng đá" đen trũi có trạm điều khiển ở giữa to lớn sừng sững.

 

Mọi người đều choáng ngợp. Một ai đó nói rằng nếu tàu ngư dân đi trên biển mà nhìn thấy dù ở đoạn cách vài hải lý chắc cũng mệt tim.

 

Thông tin của PV Tuổi Trẻ Online từ hiện trường cho biết tàu sân bay USS Carl Vinson đang ở trong khu vực vịnh Đà Nẵng.

 

Tàu dân sự Phú Quốc Express 7 đang neo đậu cách tàu sân bay USS Carl Vinson khoảng 1 hải lý. Giữa hai con tàu này là một sà lan lớn được 3, 4 tàu kéo khác neo giữ.

 

Nguồn tin mà Tuổi Trẻ Online có được cho biết các sĩ quan và chỉ huy tàu sân bay sẽ xuống sà lan nói trên trước khi lên tàu dân sự Phú Quốc Express 7 và vào bờ. Tàu Phú Quốc Express 7, có sức chứa 300 người.

 

Trước khi đến Việt Nam, tàu USS Carl Vinson - siêu tàu sân bay thứ ba chạy bằng năng lượng hạt nhân lớp Nimitz của Mỹ, đã có chuyến thăm Philippines và tiến hành tuần tra ở Biển Đông.

 

Trao đổi với Tuổi Trẻ Online, một đại diện của Tổng lãnh sự quán Mỹ tại TP.HCM cho biết có 5.000 thủy thủ trên tàu. Lực lượng thủy thủ đoàn hàng ngàn thành viên, cùng các tàu khu trục mang tên lửa dẫn đường USS Wayne E. Meyer và tuần dương hạm Lake Champlain sẽ có nhiều hoạt động ở thành phố Đà Nẵng từ ngày 5 đến 9-3 dưới sự đồng ý của Chính phủ Việt Nam.

 

Sự xuất hiện của nhóm tác chiến tàu sân bay USS Carl Vinson tại Việt Nam được truyền thông phương Tây bình luận là đặt trong thế đối đầu với sự trỗi dậy của Trung Quốc và các động thái gần đây của Bắc Kinh trên Biển Đông.

 

Chuyến thăm cũng diễn ra đồng thời trong bối cảnh ngày càng có nhiều tín hiệu cho thấy chính quyền của Tổng thống Mỹ Donald Trump đang muốn thúc đẩy hơn nữa quan hệ an ninh với Việt Nam.

 

Trao đổi với Hãng tin Reuters, ông Trương Bảo Huy (Zhang Baohui), một chuyên gia về an ninh Trung Quốc tại Đại học Lingnan Hong Kong, nhận định Bắc Kinh sẽ không hoảng loạn trước diễn biến mới. "Trung Quốc hiểu rõ cách Việt Nam cân bằng quan hệ giữa các nước như thế nào", ông Trương khẳng định.

 

Đồng quan điểm, trả lời phỏng vấn của Reuters, TS Lê Hồng Hiệp, một chuyên gia thuộc Viện ISEAS Yusof Ishak (Singapore), cho rằng "tiệm tiến" mới là từ khóa khi nói về chiến lược ngoại giao của Việt Nam. "Việt Nam sẽ chỉ nghiêng về Mỹ ở mức độ sao cho nó không gây ra các phản ứng thái quá từ Trung Quốc", ông Hiệp cho biết.

 

Không có sự hiện diện tiền tuyến đó cũng được, nhưng chúng ta sẽ mất đi sức nặng trong tiếng nói và có ít hơn sự ảnh hưởng. Khi nói hải quân Mỹ can dự, nó có nghĩa là hiện diện ở đó"

 

Cựu Bộ trưởng Quốc phòng Mỹ William Cohen (1997 – 2001)

 

Từ Mỹ, ông John Kirby - chuẩn đô đốc về hưu của Hải quân Mỹ, nhận định với đài truyền hình CNN rằng chuyến thăm của tàu Carl Vinson không truyền thông điệp tới riêng Trung Quốc hay Việt Nam, mà là cả khu vực. "Sự hiện diện của tàu Carl Vinson là thông điệp tới Việt Nam, rằng nước Mỹ trân trọng và quan tâm mối quan hệ này như thế nào; là thông điệp tới Trung Quốc vì những gì họ đang làm trong khu vực; nhưng quan trọng và rộng lớn hơn, là thông điệp cho cả khu vực châu Á - Thái Bình Dương: Nước Mỹ đang ở đây và chúng tôi sẽ hiện diện tại khu vực này", ông Kirby nhấn mạnh.

 

Sau khi cập cảng, tối nay 5-3, 3.000 lính Mỹ sẽ rời tàu sân bay xuống Đà Nẵng tham quan, vui chơi, mua sắm. Lính Mỹ được cho phép ở lại qua đêm trên đất liền. Có 18 khách sạn được huy động để phục vụ cho việc nghỉ ngơi, các điểm vui chơi, mua sắm đã sẵn sàng để đón lính Mỹ.

 

Sự xuất hiện của nhóm tác chiến tàu sân bay do USS Carl Vinson làm soái hạm được xem là sự hiện diện quân sự lớn nhất của Mỹ tại Việt Nam kể từ năm 1975.

 

Trong các ngày ở Đà Nẵng, đại diện tàu sân bay sẽ chào xã giao với lãnh đạo TP Đà Nẵng, Quân khu 5, Bộ Quốc phòng. Các buổi gặp gỡ này sẽ được tổ chức tại Trung tâm hành chính TP Đà Nẵng và Bộ Tư lệnh quân khu 5. Các hoạt động trao quà cho trẻ em khuyết tật, trung tâm bảo trợ xã hội, nạn nhân chất độc da cam sẽ được tổ chức tại trụ sở các cơ sở này.

USS Carl Vinson là nơi cuối cùng người ta nhìn thấy thi thể của trùm khủng bố Osama bin Laden trước khi y được thả xuống biển năm 2011. Được biên chế năm 1982, ngoài chia lửa và trực tiếp tham chiến tại các chiến dịch quân sự của Mỹ, USS Carl Vinson còn tham gia sứ mệnh hỗ trợ nhân đạo trên thế giới.

 

Điển hình như tại trận động đất tại Haiti năm 2010. Cường độ của trận động đất đã gần như đánh gục những nỗ lực tự gượng dậy của đảo quốc trên vùng Caribe. Trước tình hình đó, USS Carl Vinson cùng đội ngũ y tế, trực thăng đã trở thành một bệnh viện nổi, cung cấp các nhu yếu phẩm cho người dân.

 

Những máy lọc nước biển trên tàu USS Carl Vinson đã góp phần không nhỏ giúp người dân Haiti có nước sạch trong những ngày màn trời chiếu đất vì thảm họa.

https://tuoitre.vn/tau-san-bay-my-da-neo-dau-trong-vinh-da-nang-20180304232835063.htm

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Multi Sail 18

 

 

APRA HARBOR, Guam -- Units and personnel from the U.S. Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) are scheduled to participate in the annual bilateral training exercise MultiSail 2018, Mar. 8-14.

MultiSail is an annual bilateral training exercise that improves interoperability between U.S. and Japanese forces. In 2018 the focus of the exercise will be on improving fundamental skills such as tracking and defeating submarines, combatting other surface forces, live fire training, and interoperability with U.S. and JMSDF units.

"MultiSail is an opportunity for our ships to increase our combat proficiency at sea," said Capt. Jon Duffy, commander, Destroyer Squadron 15. "We have designed MultiSail to exercise how we detect, locate, track and engage simulated units at sea, in the air, on land, and underwater with our Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force allies to help us increase our interoperability in a range of mission areas."

Participants include USS Antietam (CG 54), USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54), USS Benfold (DDG 65), USS Mustin (DDG 89), JS Fuyuzuki (DD-118), and a number of subsurface and other special units.

"MultiSail 2018 provide us a valuable opportunity to increase JMSDF tactical capabilities and to strengthen our interoperability with our U.S. Navy allies," said Cmdr. Kazuteru Hirano, JS Fuyuzuki's commanding officer. "The Japan-U.S. alliance is stronger than it has ever been, and it is growing stronger."

The participating forces will exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of our combined forces. These capabilities range from maritime security operations to more complex anti-submarine and air defense exercises.

The lessons learned from exercises like MultiSail 2018 will assist the U.S. Navy and JMSDF to develop regional capabilities that provide a full range of options in defense of their interests and those of their allies and partners around the world.

MultiSail uses realistic, shared training scenarios to enhance the ability of the U.S, Navy and JMSDF to work together to confront any contingency. MultiSail prepares forces that will provide the deterrence and stabilizing effects of a force-in-being, ready

http://www.pacom.mil/Media/News/News-Article-View/Article/1459463/us-navy-japan-maritime-self-defense-force-participate-in-multisail-2018/

 

JMSDF report

http://www.mod.go.jp/msdf/release/201803/20180306-02.pdf

 

multi18o2.jpg

More pictures in the spoiler

 

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