Instead of celebrating the meeting on the Elbe to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the epochal Allied victory over Nazi Germany, the Pentagon opted to overtly deploy a surface action group, in company with the British Royal Navy, into the Barents Sea in an unprecedented gesture of hostility. Against the background of these historical events, not to mention the pandemic, this highly symbolic move that aimed to threaten the very heart of Russian military power, could not have been calculated to be more humiliating or insulting. Indeed, the deployment of the warships was accompanied by a similarly grand aerial sortie of U.S. strategic bombers to the Baltic, including the first ever American bomber transit of Swedish airspace with apparent escort by the Swedish Air Force.
The Navy’s redeployment of the TR (as the nuclear-powered carrier is called) suggests a Pentagon drive to reassert U.S. military dominance in an area increasingly being visited by Chinese forces. Both countries have dispatched heavily-armed ships into the East and South China Seas in what might be called “show-of-force” operations, intended to showcase military muscle and discourage further adventurism by the other side — a dynamic that can easily lead to an accident, miscalculation, and a perilous spiral into a full-fledged war. Sino-American jousting in these waters has, of course, been ongoing for some time. It is essential, then, that senior American and Chinese leaders urgently consult with one another about steps to prevent unintended mishaps in the East and the South China Sea and adopt “rules of the road” to prevent an incident .
Having come to Guam from a 'flag waving visit' to Vietnam, the virus-stricken USS Theodore Roosevelt nuclear aircraft carrier, with 5,000 crew members on board, docked in Guam on March 27 after the number of positive cases onboard continued to grow. (Two U.S. Navy aircraft carriers reported cases of coronavirus onboard in March 2020. A pair of cases were reported aboard the USS Ronald Reagan at a naval base in Japan and dozens were reported aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt by the end of the month.) At the Pentagon on Wednesday, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told reporters 114 of the warship’s sailors had tested positive. So far, over 600 of the sailor's nearly 5,000 crew members have tested negative, Modly said. He couldn’t yet say how long the Roosevelt might stay in Guam, or the evacuation’s effect on the fleet’s readiness.
“You will not discuss the attack with anyone. Once the Court of Inquiry findings are released you will not contradict them. This order will remain in effect after you are discharged from the Navy. If you violate this order you will be prosecuted and will spend a considerable amount of time in a Federal Prison.” This order was repeated every day at quarters while we were in drydock in Malta. If anyone tells of witnessing the deliberate machine gunning of our life rafts in the water, he runs the risk of doing time in a Federal prison.
The head of the Southern Command said that the US Navy will implement the political decisions that are necessary to further encircle President Maduro. Meanwhile the regular Chavista population in Venezuela made fun of this new threat from the US commander that only this year has made at least 3 other similar statements. “We are getting bored here, let’s have them come and we will receive them with roses”, was the saying among Chavistas in Caracas yesterday.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly called upon his national security officials and senior military commanders to draw up plans for a US naval blockade of Venezuela to stop all goods from either entering or leaving the country. Such an illegal military intervention would come on top of a set of unilateral US sanctions that already amount to an effective embargo, tantamount to an act of war. Earlier this month, according to Reuters, when asked by a reporter whether he was considering a naval embargo, he responded, “Yes, I am,” without elaborating on his plans.
The Russian military has signed a deal that would allow it to send military ships to Venezuela, expressing support for the Latin American country. The U.S. has been critical of current Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, and has backed attempts to replace him. Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino met Thursday in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu, with whom he "signed an agreement on the visits of warships to the ports of both states and discussed the situation in Venezuela, as well as issues of bilateral military and military-technical cooperation."
Insurge — The Trump administration has released a range of photographic and video evidence in support of its claim that proves how Iran attacked a Japanese-owned oil tanker near the Strait of Hormuz. But a Canadian military analyst and former Navy officer for nearly twenty years has called the evidence into question, highlighting unresolved anomalies in the US version of events. His reservations are backed by Japanese government sources.
The U.S. Navy has contaminated the groundwater at Maryland’s Patuxent River Naval Air Station (NAS) with 1,137.8 parts per trillion (ppt) of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), according to a report published last July by the engineering firm CH2M Hill. PFAS have been associated with a variety of cancers and are known to jeopardize human reproductive health. The contamination was not reported on the Defense Department’s March 2018 report on PFAS. There are no restrictions currently on military or industrial PFAS discharges under either the federal Clean Water Act or the federal Clean Air Act.
FALLON, Nev.— The U.S. Navy today released details of a plan to seize more than 600,000 acres of public land in central Nevada to expand a bombing range. The land under threat includes rich habitat for mule deer, important desert springs and nesting sites for raptors like golden eagles. If approved by Congress, the 1,536-page plan would transform entire valleys and mountain ranges into bombing targets. Combined with another proposal to expand the Air Force’s Nevada Test and Training Range, the military is attempting to grab 1.75 million acres of public land in Nevada — an area larger than Delaware. “It’s outrageous that the Trump administration wants to ram another military takeover of public lands down our throats,” said Patrick Donnelly, Nevada state director at the Center for Biological Diversity.
Military officials are prepared to call nearly a dozen past and present Navy SEALs to testify in the case of one elite Navy commando accused of fatally stabbing an Islamic State detainee in Iraq last year, according to documents obtained by Navy Times. The records related to the Naval Criminal Investigation Service’s probe offer new insight into the probe that will be aired publicly when the case against Special Operations Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher goes to an Article 32 hearing Wednesday morning in San Diego. The documents suggest that military officials have obtained cellphone text conversations showing Gallagher allegedly sought to cover up the fatal stabbing.
As we reported on Monday, Chinese ships came to actively confronting the USS Decatur while the US ship was carrying out yet another in a series of “freedom of navigation” operations – or “freeops” – in the South China Sea. The Navy destroyer had to maneuver to avoid colliding with the Chinese destroyer Luyang that came within 45 yards of its bow while the Decatur was sailing through the Spratley Islands on Sunday in what was the closest direct confrontation between US and Chinese ships since Trump’s inauguration (after which the Navy began conducting these freeops with increasing frequency). On Tuesday, China accused the US of violating its “indisputable sovereignty” over the Spratley islands...
By Kenji Minemura for The Asahi Shimbun - WASHINGTON--The U.S. Navy has decided to deploy the USS Nimitz as a third carrier-led strike force to the western Pacific to increase pressure on North Korea to rein in its arms programs. Nimitz, one of the world's largest warships, will join the USS Carl Vinson and USS Ronald Reagan there, sources close to the U.S. military said May 26. It is rare for the U.S. Navy to deploy three aircraft carriers to the same region at the same time. This latest decision means that three of the U.S. Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers will be deployed in the western Pacific. The Trump administration deployed the strike force to put pressure on Pyongyang to refrain from more nuclear and missile tests amid mounting concern that it will soon acquire the capability to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Vincent Stewart, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, has said that Pyongyang will ultimately succeed in acquiring the technology to equip its ICBMs with nuclear warheads and threaten the U.S. mainland. According to the sources, the Nimitz strike group, which is part of the U.S. Third Fleet, was originally scheduled to be deployed to the Middle East region.
By Staff of Straits Times - WASHINGTON • More than 100 days into the Donald Trump presidency, no US Navy ship has gone within 12 nautical miles of any of the disputed islands in the South China Sea, Pentagon officials said. A request by the United States Pacific Command six weeks ago for a warship to sail within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal, a reef claimed by China and the Philippines, was turned down. The decision not to challenge China's territorial claims shows a remarkable deference towards Beijing from an administration that is increasingly turning towards Chinese President Xi Jinping for help amid the escalating crisis in the Korean peninsula. It remained unclear whether it was Defence Secretary James Mattis, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or one of their deputies who turned down the request and two others by the Navy in February. Defence officials said the White House was not involved. Mr Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the US at the Wilson Centre, said: "All of the language, combined with the fact that the Republican foreign policy establishment had been critical of (Barack) Obama for not carrying out enough Fonops (freedom of navigation operations), means there was a wide expectation that Trump would put down a marker early. And that hasn't happened."
By Lee Chul-Jae and Lee Sung-Eun for Korea Joongang Daily - Navy’s Special Warfare Development Group, better known as the SEAL Team 6, will arrive in South Korea soon for joint military drills and take part in an exercise simulating the removal of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to the Ministry of National Defense Monday. The counterterrorism unit is best known for its removal of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May 2011, known as Operation Neptune Spear. It will be the team’s first time participating in the annual Foal Eagle and Key Resolve exercises, which will run through late April. The ministry did not say when the SEAL Team 6 will arrive.