27 October 2016

USA: Work, Japanese Defense Leader Discuss Evolving Security Environment

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2016 — The rapidly evolving security environment, including the persistent North Korean threat and maritime issues in the East and South China Seas, highlighted a meeting at the Pentagon today between Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work and Tetsuro Kuroe, Japan’s administrative vice defense minister, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Gordon Trowbridge said.

“Deputy Secretary Work affirmed that the Senkaku Islands are administered by Japan and fall under Article 5 of the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty,” Trowbridge said in a statement summarizing the meeting. 

The islands have been the subject of a long-standing territorial dispute.

Work and Kuroe exchanged views on defense equipment and technology cooperation, and discussed enhancing trilateral cooperation with South Korea and Australia, the deputy press secretary said. “They also discussed the expanding roles of the Japan Self-Defense Force, as well as bilateral initiatives to include building partner capacity in Southeast Asia, enhancing ballistic missile defense cooperation, and advancing space cooperation,” he added.

The two leaders committed to further efforts to transform the alliance by implementing the guidelines for U.S.-Japan defense cooperation, Trowbridge said, and reaffirmed that the U.S.-Japan alliance remains unwavering and continues to serve as the cornerstone of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region.

Industry: Barrett Communications awarded AUD$15 million contract to the Bangladesh Army

Perth, Western Australia, 26 October 2016 – Barrett Communications is pleased to announce a recently awarded contract with the Bangladesh Ministry of Defence (MoD). The contract is valued at AUD$15 million and is for tactical radio communications equipment for the Bangladesh Army. 

This order is for both High Frequency (HF) and Very High Frequency (VHF), in base station, vehicle and manpack configurations. Over the past 15 years, the Bangladesh Army has maintained an annual procurement program with Barrett Communications. This program includes both HF and VHF radio communication equipment in various configurations, in-country and Perth-based train-the-trainer training for radio operators, system enhancements and ongoing spare parts. This contract award is part of the ongoing relationship between Barrett Communications, through their local partner Radiant Corporation (www.radiant-org.com), and the Bangladesh MoD. 

Mr. Greg O’Neill, Managing Director of Barrett Communications commented, “The long standing and successful relationship we have with the Bangladesh MoD must be credited to the strong relationship we have with Mr. S.A. Bahadur, Managing Director, and his team at Radiant Corporation. The Bangladesh MoD represents a significant part of our sales in the Asian region and we look forward to continuing this relationship well into the future.” 

News Report: One Week After US Patrol, Beijing to Conduct Military Drills in South China Sea

Chinese Navy Warships on patrol (File Photo)
Following the US Navy’s latest provocative patrol near land reclamation projects in the South China Sea, China has ordered nonmilitary to avoid the region as it prepares to launch new military drills.

Last week, the US Navy conducted its latest "freedom of navigation" exercise near Beijing’s artificial islands in the Paracel chain. The Chinese defense ministry called the move both "illegal" and "provocative."

In response, a statement released by the country’s Maritime Safety Administration indicates that Beijing will conduct military drills near the Paracels throughout the day on Thursday, according to the Japan Times.

The US and its Pacific allies have objected to the construction of the islands, claiming it’s an attempt by Beijing to establish an air defense zone. China has denied these allegations and maintains that it has the right to build within its own territory and that the islands will use primarily for humanitarian purposes. 

News Report: Duterte's Confrontational Rhetoric Threatens US Asia Pivot

President Rodrigo Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte has called for all US troops to leave the Philippines within "the next two years."

The comments are the latest in a series of anti-American tirades by the new world leader. Duterte also suggested he wants to tear up an integral US-Philippines defense agreement, which allows the US to operate military bases in the Pacific nation, in what would be a significant blow to American foreign policy.

President Rodrigo Duterte, continues to confound and unsettle political leaders across the world. 

In a highly publicized visit to China last week, Duterte said he wanted "a separation" from its decades-long ally, the US. 

The controversial remarks were quickly rowed back on by Filipino officials. However, on Wednesday, October 26, remarks made on an official visit to Japan have added to the confusion in the minds of Chinese, Japanese and American policy makers. 

News Report: Pakistan Says No Let up in Deadly Border Clashes with India

Ayaz Gul

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan says military clashes with India are ongoing along the disputed Kashmir border, killing at least two Pakistani civilians and wounding 10 people Wednesday.

According to a Pakistan military statement, the two fatalities occurred when Indian border forces launched “unprovoked” fire across the Shaprar Sector. It said Pakistani forces “are befittingly responding to Indian firing.”

The military says border skirmishes this year have caused four civilian fatalities and wounded up to 25 others.

There was no immediate reaction from India to Pakistani assertions.

Pakistan's foreign ministry later said it summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad and a strong protest was lodged against what it alleged are unprovoked cease-fire violations by Indian forces.

News Report: White House - No Formal Talks With Philippines on Threat to Cut Military Ties

The White House said on Wednesday the United States has not formally communicated with the Philippines government about threats to sever military ties between the two countries.

The White House statement comes on the same day Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to cut military ties with the United States for the second time in as many days.

Duterte spoke Wednesday during an economic forum in Tokyo, where he is in the second day of a three-day official visit to a key U.S. ally in the region. He said he wants the Philippines "free of the presence of foreign military troops" within the next two years, even if he as to "revise or abrogate agreements."

A small number of U.S. troops are posted on the southern island of Mindanao to assist in counter-terrorism operations against a homegrown Islamic insurgency.

News Report: Afghan Officials - IS Abducts, Massacres 30 Civilians

Ayaz Gul

ISLAMABAD — Authorities in Afghanistan said Wednesday that extremists linked to Islamic State have abducted and massacred at least 30 civilians in a remote central region.

The overnight bloodshed near the capital of the mountainous Ghor province is alarming for local officials because it is the first known IS activity in the area, where the Shiite Hazara community is the predominant majority.

Loyalists of the Middle East based terrorist group are primarily concentrated in eastern Nangarhar province and in adjoining districts along the border with Pakistan.

The victims were collecting wood for winter in the mountains near the city when Daesh (IS) gunmen captured them,” provincial government spokesman, Abdul Hai Khatibi, told VOA, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

He added that the gunmen executed the abductees Tuesday night while Afghan security forces were attempting to rescue them with the help of local residents.

News Story: Joint Strike Fighter an instrument of Power Projection, not just another fighter

by Scott N. Romaniuk and Tobias J. Burgers

America's F-35 has earned the unfair sobriquet as the nation's "worst fighter jet ever." However, this singular vision of Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike "Fighter" (JSF) as a fighter jet has failed to give credit to its capabilities when coupled with other forms of advanced technology finding their way into every nook and cranny of military arsenals and operational platforms.

It is precisely this jointness, which sets it apart from 4th generation fighters (still evolving, still relevant today), and which gave the jets its appropriate name of joint strike fighter. In this, the F-35 has advanced beyond the "F" designation and should be judged as a multirole platform - one in a larger framework of multitude of advanced platforms.

F-35 technology combined with the capabilities of highly trained pilots, and the many platforms it works with, opens the way for an advantageous awareness of what's out there and well beyond the immediate periphery of the aircraft. In this, the JSF moves beyond the long-hold dominance and concept that "first sight wins the fight."

Instead it seeks through the use/relationship of other systems to gain this first sight - and can mobilize a range of distant systems to win the fight. The drone component of this relationship, for example, help fighter pilots with reconnaissance, sensing tracking, and targeting, enabling this much desired first sight. They build on the existing technology to create a unique situational awareness (SA) or a combination of technological functions to build contingent knowledge and responsiveness.

Read the full story at SpaceDaily

News Story: 'Philippines' Duterte visits Japan after China tilt

Acid-tongued Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte takes his diplomatic roadshow to Japan on Tuesday, days after his apparent tilt towards China raised questions about the leader's strategic intentions.

The Philippines and Japan have long been key US allies in Asia, but Duterte has done a dramatic U-turn since coming to office in late June.

That appeared to culminate last week in Beijing where he declared his "separation" from the United States, played down a maritime dispute with China and pledged to enhance friendship and economic ties.

Back home on Saturday, however, the former mayor seemed to walk back his comments, saying he would not be severing the alliance with Washington.

And on Monday, he went further, telling Japanese media that the US will remain the country's sole military ally.

Read the full story at SpaceDaily

News Story: Afghan air force spreads its wings amid record army losses

Afghan MD-530 (Click Image to Enlarge)

Clutching a radio in his hand on a barren hill surrounded by desert peaks, Sahil prepares to guide a pilot flying low overhead toward his training target -- the third car in a convoy below.

Under pressure from the Taliban, Afghanistan's military is increasingly relying on the country's young air force, and, together with Western allies, is speeding up its training of pilots and ground controllers in order to strike the enemy.

Once a strong flying power supported by the Soviet Union, Afghanistan's air force was decimated by the civil war of the 1990s and the turbulent period of Taliban-rule.

By the time Western forces started rebuilding it in 2007, there were only a handful of MiG fighters left.

"There are currently 78 trained and available aircrews in the Afghan Air Force," says Captain James Smith, spokesman for the US 438th Air Expeditionary Wing, which is responsible for training the Afghans.

But there is still a long way to go. The AAF now has around 100 aircraft, including 27 MD-530 attack helicopters, and about 20 small support aircraft, such as the Brazilian built A-29 Super Tucanos -- used against drug traffickers in Latin America. It also has approximately 50 Russian Mi-17 transport choppers.

"With the three main bases in Kabul, Kandahar and Shindand, the bad guys know (the AAF) can strike anywhere in the country," says Captain Smith, adding: "I have been in an MD-530 when firing a rocket and believe me, it's no joke."

The "bad guys" -- the Taliban -- have stepped up their insurgency to record levels following the withdrawal of foreign combat troops in 2014, inflicting more than 5,000 deaths on government forces last year.

Read the full story at SpaceWar