Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Opinion: China's Strategy has Paid Off

Hugh White, a professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University, is the author of “The China Choice: Why We Should Share Power.”
UPDATED AUGUST 23, 2016, 3:20 AM
For a long time China worked hard to reassure its Asian neighbors they had nothing to fear from its "peaceful rise." Now it is throwing all that away, as its bullying over issues like the South China Sea makes neighbors worry that China will use its growing strength to push them around. 
That’s dumb if you think China’s aim is to make friends. But it might be smart if its aim is to undermine U.S. leadership in Asia and assert its own regional preponderance. That’s because China’s bullying tests America’s willingness to face down China on its friends’ and allies’ behalf. Beijing is gambling that Washington will talk tough but do nothing concrete that would risk a confrontation that might escalate into an open-ended conflict.
Bruised friendships with regional neighbors seem a small price to pay for regional hegemony.
So far their gamble has paid off. Stern words and inconclusive Freedom of Navigation transits have done nothing to stop China, and even after the recent Hague Tribunal judgment Beijing seems quite undeterred, and determined to keep pushing the boundaries.

Opinion: China Must Balance Power and Cooperation

Yu Tiejun is vice president of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies , and an associate professor of international studies at Peking University.
UPDATED AUGUST 23, 2016, 3:20 AM
In recent years, China has stressed the importance of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness in its regional relations. But China’s security relations in East Asia have been deteriorating.
Even though China has continually demanded a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, North Korea has continued to develop nuclear weapons, conducting its fourth nuclear test and a series of missile tests. As a result, the top leaders of China and the Democratic Peoples’ Republic have not met since President Xi Jinping and Kim Jung Un took power, which is unprecedented for the two countries. 
China’s overriding goal of peaceful development and national rejuvenation cannot be fulfilled without a stable and prosperous East Asia.
China’s relationship with South Korea under Xi and President Park Geun Hye of the Republic of Korea, which had been regarded as the best example of China’s “neighborhood diplomacy,” began to stumble when South Korea agreed to have the United States deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense battery recently.

Opinion: South China Sea as a Chinese Lake

Jennifer Lind is a associate professor of government at Dartmouth College and the author of "Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics."
UPDATED AUGUST 23, 2016, 3:20 AM
China’s foreign policy is growing more assertive. For decades Beijing has made territorial claims in the East China and the South China Seas. But now Beijing is defending those claims; Chinese-flagged vessels increasingly enter disputed waters, extracting resources and harassing other claimants’ ships. In addition, China is constructing and militarizing artificial islands, and asserting maritime rights there beyond what international law allows. While these actions have provoked anger among China’s neighbors, so far Beijing’s assertive turn has been largely successful.
As countries grow accustomed to deferring to Beijing’s claims, challenging them will feel increasingly like a dangerous provocation.
China’s neighbors are not balancing against its encroachments. Most of the targets of China’s recent moves – e.g., the small ASEAN nations -- have modest economies and tiny defense budgets. They are understandably reluctant to confront China, a growing military power, and an important economic partner.

Opinion: Bullying Provides Only Short-Term Gain for China


Ellen L. Frost
Ellen L. Frost, Senior Advisor and Fellow at the East West Center and Visiting Distinguished Research Fellow at National Defense University, is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and counselor to the U.S. Trade Representative. The views expressed reflect only her own opinions.
UPDATED AUGUST 23, 2016, 3:20 AM
China is playing a long game, challenging U.S. leadership in Asia and taking advantage of the fear of escalation without triggering a full-scale war. Its behavior in the South China Sea — grabbing rocks, dredging sand, and building hardened hangars — has expanded its territorial control but is backfiring strategically.
China doesn't grasp that the balance of power in Asia is no longer a zero-sum game. Market size and cheap loans cannot buy lasting friends.
Washington is beefing up its military presence. U.S. alliances and partnerships in East and Southeast Asia are stronger than ever, and ties with new security partners are being forged. The United Nations arbitration panel ruled against China’s claims. Good will is a strategic asset, and China has squandered it. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

U.S. Air Force bomber trio conducts joint mission from Guam

The United States has sent a powerful aerial patrol consisting of a B-52H Stratofortress, a B-1B Lancer supersonic bomber and B-2 Spirit stealth bomber on a joint mission over the South China Sea in a dramatic message targeting both China and North Korea.

The unusual patrol of all three of the U.S.' strategic bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. U.S. military sources refused to confirm if the bombers were armed.

The U.S. Department of Defense said the patrol was the first coordinated operation in Asia under the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM). The Pentagon deployed the strategic bombers to conduct "Continuous Bomber Presence" patrols.

"These bomber deployments visibly demonstrate our readiness and commitment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region," said US Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, commander of the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), which is part of USPACOM.

US, South Korea Begin Annual Military Drill Despite Threats from Pyongyang

Last Updated: August 22, 2016
  • Cindy Saine
  • South Korea and the United States have begun their annual joint military exercises under the threat of military retaliation by North Korea.
    Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis told VOA on Monday that the drills are designed to make sure the United States can honor obligations to defend South Korea "against any potential aggression from the North."
    "This is an exercise we do every year," Davis said. "It is 100 percent defensive in nature."

US-South Korean war games inflame Asian tensions

By Peter Symonds 
23 August 2016
The annual joint US-South Korean military exercises known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG) began yesterday amid rising tensions in Asia fuelled by the American military build-up throughout the region. While nominally aimed against North Korea, the war games consolidate Washington’s military alliance with Seoul as it makes preparations for conflict with China.
The military drills involve around 25,000 US military personnel, of which 2,500 will come from outside South Korea, operating alongside 75,000 South Korean troops. The US has 28,500 troops stationed permanently in South Korea and is currently restructuring its bases in the country as part of its broader reorganisation of American military forces in the Asia Pacific.
North Korea has responded with militarist threats to launch nuclear strikes on South Korea and the United States “if they show the slightest sign of aggression.” Such reckless and inflammatory threats, which have nothing to do with defending the North Korean people, play directly into Washington’s hands by providing a pretext for its own military expansion and provocations in the region.

US Secretary of the Army: "The Foundations of Pacific Stability"

Eric K. Fanning is US Secretary of the Army.

WASHINGTON, DC – This month, I completed a two-week, six-stop tour of the Pacific, beginning with a visit to the United States Army’s 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii. It was a fitting way to start the trip, a reminder that the US Army is critical to forming the foundation for security in the Pacific.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Analysts say US plan for missile defense in South Korea aimed not only against North Korea

MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. Seoul’s and Washington’s decision to have the US missile defense complex THAAD up and running in the south of the Korean Peninsula in 2017 is aimed not just at countering a hypothetical threat from Pyongyang, but also at strengthening US positions in the Asia-Pacific Region, polled experts have told TASS.

Pyongyang sees the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) as part and parcel of a plan for armed intrusion into the DPRK. North Korea’s government-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sunday said that the country was ready to deliver a pre-emptive strike against US armed forces in case of provocative actions in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Earlier, China and Russia came out against Seoul’s intention to host the US missile defense. Yet, South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye said on Monday the missile defense system had no alternative.


THAAD is a threat to all


The chief of the International Security Center at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ institute of the world economy and international relations (IMEMO), Aleksey Arbatov, has said protests against the United States’ THAAD in the Asia-Pacific Region were coming not only from Pyongyang, Beijing and Moscow, but also from South Koreans themselves. The population of those areas of South Korea where US missile defense facilities are to emerge reasonably fear that their localities will be the first targets for North Korean missiles in case of an aggravation of relations with Pyongyang. About one thousand men in South Korea’s Seoungju, where a THAAD battery will be deployed, have staged a mass protest action. They had their heads shaved to express their strong disagreement with the authorities’ plans.

KUAM News Guam: Andersen AFB gets increase in bombers

Just as regional tensions heighten with continual threats from North Korea against the United States, Guam is seeing an increased military presence with some of the military's most capable aircraft bombers here on island.  They're our eyes in the sky, and in a rare occurrence, Guam's Andersen Air Force Base in Yigo is hosting three major military bombers - the B-1b lancer, B-52 Stratofortress, and B-2 Spirit.
The B-52s have been in Guam for the past six months, and will be replaced over the next few weeks by six B-1 aircraft from South Dakota, which are now forward-deployed to Guam in support of the US Pacific Command's continuous bomber presence mission. 

Latest NKorea threat specifically targets Guam

  • Less than two months after touting “success” in testing a couple of ballistic missiles designed for long-range targets, the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last Thursday specifically threatened the island of Guam as a mark.
    “If the U.S. is reckless, misjudging the trend of the times and the strategic position of the DPRK, all the U.S. Military bases in the operational theater in the Pacific including Guam will face ruin in the face of all-out and substantial attack to be mounted by the Army of the DPRK,” warned the foreign ministry of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
    The North Korea regime was reacting to a show of force by the U.S. military positioning, for the first time, all three of its heavy bomber aircraft to Guam. While the deployment is not a long-term fixture, the presence of all three types of bombers in one location is an historic event, according to Air Force officials.

US military plans present difficult balancing act for Marianas

6:16 pm on 22 August 2016 
The United States military forces plan to use the Marianas islands of Tinian and Pagan as live-fire training sites for units associated with an imminent, large-scale build-up of US marines in neighbouring Guam.
Marianas authorites and residents are firmly opposed to the plans, and have been submitting their concerns to the US in a series of consultations.

U.S. Air Force bomber trio conducts joint mission from Guam

All three of U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command's strategic power projection bombers, the B-52 Stratofortress, B-1B Lancer and B-2 Spirit, conducted joint mission for the first time from the U.S. territory of Guam.
The Department of Defense said on Friday the three nuclear bombers took off from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam on Wednesday and carried out the first coordinated operation in the region under the U.S. Pacific Command. The bombers are three major strategic nuclear assets of the U.S. military along with the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and the submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
The U.S. military deployed the strategic bomber trio at Andersen Air Force Base early this month to conduct missions including "continuous bomber presence" (CBP). The B-52 had been deployed in Guam since 2006, while the B-1B was positioned on August 6 and the B-2 on August 9. The U.S. Strategic Command said, “We are providing deterrence to maintain stability in the India-Asia-Pacific region by rotationally deploying strategic bombers on a regular basis in the region.”
The diplomatic community in Washington understands that the unusual joint operation of the three major nuclear bombers following their deployment in Guam is targeting China and North Korea, where tension has been rising over the planned deployment of the terminal high-altitude area defense (THAAD) system in South Korea.
The U.K.-based military magazine IHS Jane's Defence Weekly said that the joint operation is targeting North Korea constantly honing nuclear and missile provocations and China making sovereignty claim over the over the South China Sea. Along with President Barack Obama's visit to Hangzhou, China for the G20 summit on September 2, the measure can be interpreted as an armed protest against Beijing to warn not to act rashly and irresponsibly, analysts say.
Posted August. 22, 2016 07:07,   
Updated August. 22, 2016 07:17


4-Star Pacific Fleet boss releases new guidance amid increasing uncertainty

Navy Times, David Larter , August 21, 2016

This story was first published Aug. 21 at 5:24 p.m. and has been updated. 

As threats mount in the Pacific, the four-star head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet is directing his fleet to be ready to fight and to “reinforce the international order” by working with allies and partners in the region. 

With China saber-rattling in the East and South China seas, and a growing emerging threat from Islamic extremist groups in the region, Adm. Scott Swift called for the Pacific Fleet to support “an Indo-Asia-Pacific maritime domain where the established and enduring international framework of norms, standards, rules, and laws is preserved.” 

In assertive language, the document calls on sailors to be ready to fight and to posture the fleet to present a credible deterrent to challengers. Sailors should “Posture forward physically and mentally to deter and, if required, defeat potential foes,” the document reads. 

The serious tone of the guidance reflects the growing threat of great power conflict between the U.S. and China, said Bryan Clark, a retired submarine officer and former senior aid to Chief of Naval Operations Jon Greenert. 

War games begin in Korea despite North’s nuclear-strike threat

By Kim Gamel
Stars and Stripes
Published: August 21, 2016

SEOUL, South Korea — The U.S. and South Korea kicked off a new round of war games Monday despite protests from the North, which threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike.
The annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises come as relations between the two Koreas have sharply deteriorated since North Korea conducted its fourth underground atomic test in January. Tensions spiked again last week when Seoul confirmed that a senior North Korean diplomat had defected from his post at Pyongyang’s embassy in London.
About 25,000 U.S. servicemembers — including 2,500 from areas off the peninsula — and 50,000 South Korean forces will participate in the nearly two-week drills, which are mainly computer simulations.  

South Korea-US military drill draws North Korea threats

Agence France-Presse - Published 8:47 AM, August 22, 2016  - Updated 10:09 PM, August 22, 2016

(UPDATED) The North Korean Foreign Ministry calls the drill an 'unpardonable criminal act' that could bring the peninsula to 'the brink of war'

SEOUL, South Korea (UPDATED) – South Korea and the United States kicked off large-scale military exercises on Monday, August 22, triggering condemnation and threats of a preemptive nuclear strike from North Korea.
The two-week annual Ulchi Freedom drill, which plays out a scenario of full-scale invasion by the nuclear-armed North, is largely computer-simulated but still involves around 50,000 Korean and 25,000 US soldiers.  
The exercise always triggers a rise in tensions on the divided Korean peninsula, and this year it coincides with particularly volatile cross-border relations following a series of high-profile defections.  

Sunday, August 21, 2016

North Korea warns it will destroy Guam if U.S. forces "take an insane step"

  • Kim Jong-un has warned the United States against attacking his nation 
  • The despot claimed he would destroy Guam and US bases in the region
  • US military officials are preparing their annual war games with Seoul 
  • Barack Obama has also deployed nuclear-capable bombers to Guam  
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has warned he will wipe out US military bases across Asia if Washington takes 'an insane step'. 

Paranoid Kim issued his threat as US forces in the region prepare for annual war games with their South Korean allies. 

President Barack Obama has deployed strategic B-1 bombers to Guam in a move which has angered Kim. 
According to a report on the Russian news service RIA Novosti, the hermit state warned: 'The situation on the Korean peninsula is entering a very dangerous stage because of the continuous US intrigues to increase the capacity of its nuclear weapons aimed at the DPRK. 

'In case the United States … dares to take an insane step, all the US military bases in the Pacific Operations region, including the island of Guam, will not escape destruction by our army's comprehensive and real attack.' 

Seoul conducts massive military drill as North Korea condemns U.S. bombers

SEOUL, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- South Korea conducted a massive artillery drill near the demilitarized zone in a bid to warn the North against any future provocations as Pyongyang slammed the United States for deploying stealth bombers to Guam.
The South Korean exercises were held Thursday, a day prior to the one-year anniversary of North Korean shelling that took place after Kim Jong Un declared a "quasi-state of war" last August, Yonhap reported.
South Korea deployed 300 pieces of artillery from 49 artillery battalions. K-9, K-55 self-propelled howitzers participated in the exercises, according to Seoul's defense ministry.

N. Korea threatens attacks on US military bases in Pacific over bombers deployment

The Korea Herald > National > North Korea

North Korea denounced the United States' forward deployment of additional nuclear bombers to Guam on Wednesday, threatening that American military bases in the Pacific region will face "ruin" in the event of reckless acts.

"The introduction of the nuclear strategic bombers to Guam by the US... proves that the US plan for a preemptive nuclear strike at the DPRK has entered a reckless phase of implementation," the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported in a statement issued by the foreign ministry. 

Earlier this month, the US moved B-1B and B-2 nuclear bombers from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri to Guam as tension is running high on the Korean Peninsula.

DPRK denounces U.S. for nuclear arms buildup in Asia Pacific

Source: Xinhua   2016-08-17 23:39:33   

PYONGYANG, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday slammed the United States for causing a nuclear arms buildup in the Asia Pacific.
A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry denounced the United States in a statement for dispatching strategic bombers like the B-1B and B-2A in early August to the Anderson Air Force Base in Guam for the first time in ten years, according to the state news agency KCNA.
Sending more strategic nuclear bombers to Guam right after the joint decision by Washington and Seoul to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in South Korea proves that the "U.S. plan for a preemptive nuclear strike at the DPRK has entered a reckless phase of implementation," the statement said.

A New War in the Pacific Could be ‘Trench Warfare’ at Sea


Two recent studies from academia and think tanks take deep looks into the potential ‘shape’ of a future conflict between the United States and China. The studies ignore the causes, likelihood, or utility of that theoretical Pacific war. They are instead interested in the course of conflict within the context of the advanced Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) capabilities that China is developing and deploying, and the mirrored capabilities the U.S. is developing to counter it under the banner of the “Third Offset” and the chimeric AirSea Battle concept. The Chinese military is preparing for information technology-heavy wars it assumes will be “sudden, cruel and short” and the U.S. military envisions leveraging “cross-domain synergies” to ensure “all domain access” in the face of the A2/AD threat. Contrary to some of those assumptions, these studies conclude that both militaries are likely to take significant losses in a future war, and the mature strategies and technologies each intends to decisively defeat the other would instead largely cancel each other out, resulting in a costly, inconclusive, stalemate.
Japan’s first lady Akie Abe says she is “ready to face criticism” after attending an anti-government rally, protesting the construction of new helipads at the US-operated military in Okinawa.
“This is my first step to create a world of love and harmony,” Akie Abe wrote in a Facebook status update.
Abe said she did not inform her husband in advance about what is bound to be seen as a controversial endorsement of the protests, which have been ignored by Tokyo.

Police remove protesters blockading US military base in Okinawa



Published on Aug 19, 2016

Demonstrators gathered outside Camp Gonsalves, a US air base in Area near the village of Higashi, Okinawa Prefecture, Friday. The protesters blocked entrance of the base, in protest against the US building of helipads in Higashi village, as well as the recent spate of violent acts committed by serving and former US military personnel. The building work is set to begin after the Japanese government approved a total of six helipads to be built in Higashi.


Japan to repair U.S. military base in Okinawa at heart of dispute

Japan Today:

TOKYO —
The Japanese government plans to start major repair work, possibly within the year, at a U.S. military base in Okinawa Prefecture at the center of a disagreement between the central and local governments, a government source said Friday.
The planned repair work at the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, covering its aging barracks and hangar among others, could spark local opposition as the southern island prefecture is seeking the swift closure of the base and return of its land to Japanese control.

Air Force beefs up Guam fleet with nuke-ready bombers



In a strong and unmistakable signal to North Korea and China, the U.S. Air Force has deployed three types of strategic bombers capable of carrying nukes to its base on Guam.
A senior defense officials told Fox News the B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers are together for the first time in the Pacific. The muscling up comes after China's recent rejection of an international tribunal saying its claims to the South China Sea, where it has constructed artifical islands, are not valid.

Guam may become more crucial to U.S. military now

"A tiny island in the middle of the Pacific just became even more crucial to US military might


A tiny island roughly five times smaller than Rhode Island in the middle of the Pacific is hosting all three types of America's strategic bombers and the most advanced missile-defense system on the planet.


The B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer, and B-2 Spirit bombers coupled with the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile-defense system make Guam the epitome of the US's ability to project power.
And while the military installations on Guam have always been some of the most strategically important bases in US Pacific Command's portfolio, the US Army's decision to permanently deploy a THAAD battery to the island ups the ante.

"Stars and Stripes": TPP opposition could affect view of US commitment to Pacific

 Seth Robson
Stars and Stripes
Published: August 19, 2016

TOKYO — Domestic politics could torpedo half a decade of diplomatic, military and trade engagement in the Pacific with both presidential candidates pushing policies opposed by America’s friends and allies.
Pledges by Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump to ditch the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, free-trade deal with 11 other Pacific Rim nations are a top concern for many in the region.

SELECT SERVICE ARMY MARINES NAVY AIR FORCE NATIONAL GUARD COAST GUARD SPOUSE Member? Login NEWS Army Navy Air Force Marine Corps Coast Guard Procurement Technology Gear MOST POPULAR MILITARY NEWS Advanced Combat Helmet Pentagon: Prison Inmates Produced Thousands of Defective Helmets FILE PHOTO -- An A-4 Skyhawk pilot prepares for take-off in support of operational test of the F-35A for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Rebecca Amber) Fighter Jet Crashes After Military Weapons School Exercise Front gate at Fort Hood With Military Population Dwindling, Fort Hood Hangs a Vacancy Shingle sam kendricks rio olympics Soldier Is 1st Military Athlete on US Olympic Team to Medal in Rio f-15-eagle_002 US Scrambles Fighters After Syrian Aircraft Bombed Near SpecOps Forces CONTRIBUTOR AboutRecent Articles This article is provided courtesy of Stars and Stripes, which got its start as a newspaper for Union troops during the Civil War, and has been published continuously since 1942 in Europe and 1945 in the Pacific. Stripes reporters have been in the field with American soldiers, sailors and airmen in World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo, and are now on assignment in the Middle East. Stars and Stripes has one of the widest distribution ranges of any newspaper in the world. Between the Pacific and European editions, Stars and Stripes services over 50 countries where there are bases, posts, service members, ships, or embassies. Stars and Stripes Website Blog MORE MILITARY HEADLINES f-15-eagle_002 US Scrambles Fighters After Syrian Aircraft Bombed Near SpecOps Forces An F/A-18C Hornet pilot climbs into the cockpit of his aircraft in preparation for operations off the deck of the USS Enterprise. (DoD photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael W. Pendergrass, U.S. Navy) Cockpit Hypoxia 'Number One Safety Issue' for Naval Aviation commissary checkout 600 Commissary Prices Might Change at Some Stores This Fall: Officials A copy of 'No Easy Day', an account of the killing of Osama Bin Laden by the Navy SEALs who executed the mission, is viewed on the shelf of the bookstore Shakespeare and Company on September 4, 2012 in New York City. (Spencer Former SEAL to Pay $6.6 Million to Settle Case over Book The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757) arrives for a routine port visit. (U.S. Navy photo/Paul Farley) Sailor Gets Year in Prison for Taking Photos in Nuclear Sub In this photo released by Indonesian National Police on Aug. 21, 2003, Southeast Asian terror mastermind Hambali is shown. (Indonesian National Police via AP) Indonesia Prisoner Makes First Public Appearance at Gitmo WWII veteran Lev Yatsevich, center, and Sergei Perminov, 65, left greet each other during an event mark the 25th anniversary of the first day of the failed coup outside the Russian White House parliament building in Moscow, Aug. Russia Marks 25 Years since Failed Soviet Coup In this photo taken Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, marijuana is measured in 3.5-gram amounts and placed in cans for packaging at the Pioneer Production and Processing marijuana growing facility in Arlington, Wash. Elaine Thompson/AP Army Surgeon General Skeptical of Marijuana for PTSD Treatment Tricare Moving Patients Back to Military Hospitals Top Priority: Official hh-60g-pave-hawk_008 Air Force: Four Hurt as Chopper Crashes during Nevada Training In this Feb. 1, 1983 file photo, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass, left, a member of the Senate Armed Services committee, talks with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John W. Vessey, on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi) Former Chairman of Joint Chiefs Gen. John Vessey Dies at 94 In this Oct. 23, 2015 file-pool photo, Secretary of State John Kerry, speaks to senior adviser John Kirby before a news conference in Vienna. (Carlo Allegri/Pool Photo via AP, File) GOP Slams Obama after Explanation of $400M Payment to Iran KITUP! Magpul’s New Gun Belts — Nice Army Fielding New Tourniquets for Torso Wounds Beretta’s New Concealed-Carry Gun Coming This Fall Marines Get Lighter Surveillance Sensor to Detect the Enemy TOPS Viking Axe Now Available US Shooting Team Falls Behind Russia, China in Rio View More DODBUZZ Navy F-35C Landed So Precisely, It Tore Up a Runway Knocking Petraeus, Ham Argues Readiness Woes Are ‘No Myth’ Army Wants New Radio for Helicopters, Drones VIDEO: F-35Cs Launch from Carrier in Final Testing Pentagon Approves New Tanker for Production More Problems Ahead for Long-Delayed KC-46 Refueler View More DEFENSE TECH US Dispatches F-22 Stealth Fighters to Intercept Syrian Aircraft Russia Touts Military Power from New Fighter to Bombing Run Russia Displays Military Power from New Fighter to Bombing Run Air Force Readies Future Tanker for Production US Air Force Flies All Three Bombers in Pacific Op Pilots to Test Fix for F-35 Helmet ‘Green Glow’ Problem View More Bombers Make History with First Simultaneous Pacific Operation

Three U.S. Air Force bombers -- a B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit -- fly over Guam on Aug. 17. It was the first time all three bombers flew in formation over the island. (US Air Force/Joshua Smoot)
The Air Force said history was made on Aug. 17 when all three "power projection bombers" -- the B-52 StratofortressB-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit -- took off from Guam for their first operation together in the Asia-Pacific.
Although the aircraft have deployed independently to the region in the past, "this was the first time all three bombers flew a formation pass overAndersen Air Force Base, dispersed and then simultaneously conducted operations in the South China Sea and Northeast Asia," a 36th Wing statement said.

Friday, August 19, 2016

PDN: Palacios - Chemical found in water wells is toxic

Maria Hernandez, mohernande@guampdn.com 12:19 a.m. ChST August 18, 2016
A chemical found in three island water wells is toxic, despite what the Guam Waterworks Authority said, according to Eric Palacios, the special assistant to the governor for education and environment and natural resources.
“Without raising false claims, I do agree with U.S. EPA that (the chemical) is toxic and there are certain health effects, especially at the level it was detected,” Palacios said.
Three of the island’s water wells, which provide residents with drinking water, tested above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory level for a contaminant that is used to make items waterproof and to extinguish fires that involve flammable liquids.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

"902" talks to strengthen CNMI-US relationship

SAIPAN (Office of the Governor) — Following the second round of Section 902 consultations in Honolulu, Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres sees a significant strengthening of the unique relationship between the CNMI and the United States.
“There are many opportunities in our relationship with the federal government that both parties can build upon through open and productive dialogue,” Torres said.
This second round of talks, which took place Aug. 10 and 11, followed up on issues brought up during the first round of talks held on June 6 in Washington, D.C.

Guam Waterworks Authority and U.S. Navy discuss Guam's water operations

John O'Connor | Post News Staff

The Guam Waterworks Authority is at the final stages of developing an updated memorandum of understanding with Naval Facilities Engineering Command on the operation of Guam's water resources. One of the first pilots to this "One Guam" initiative, the operational transfer of the Tumon Maui Well, has largely been positive, according to GWA General Manager Miguel Bordallo. The well produces about $1 million gallons per day and has consistently met demand, GWA documents stated. A ribbon-cutting took place on July 28 to mark the formal transition of operations to GWA.
The One Guam initiative is an effort to integrate military and civilian water and wastewater systems.
In September, Rear Adm. Babette Bolivar is expected to attend her regular quarterly meeting with Speaker Judi Won Pat and Sen. Tom Ada to discuss progress on the initiative. The two legislators had pending inquiries about the feasibility of operating other Department of Defense assets, such as the Mount Santa Rosa Well. According to Bordallo, there is ongoing work to develop an inter-tie between the DoD Santa Rosa reservoir and the utility's own reservoir, but no discussions have taken place regarding operation of the actual well.

After THAAD decision, unusual number of S. Korea visits by high-ranking US military figures

Visits may be related to hastening THAAD deployment amid domestic and international controversy

Posted on : Aug.17,2016 17:59 KSTModified on : Aug.17,2016 17:59 KST

High-ranking US military figures have been lining up to visit South Korea since the decision was made to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the peninsula. The visits may amount to an attempt to hasten the US Forces Korea deployment amid a heated controversy in South Korea and overseas.
Speaking at a regular Ministry of National Defense briefing on Aug. 16, a senior Army officer said US Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley “will be arriving in South Korea on Aug. 17 for a three-day visit, during which time he will be meeting on Aug. 19 with [South Korean] Army Chief of Staff Jang Jun-kyu.”
Milley’s visit is drawing attention as another in a series of recent visits by senior US military officials. In late July, US Army Secretary Eric Fanning visited to inspect a 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade missile defense system.