30 April 2011

USA: Naval Forces/Navy Region Japan Changes Command

By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jason A. Penny

YOKOSUKA, Japan — Rear Adm. Dan Cloyd relieved Rear Adm. Rick Wren during a change of command ceremony at the Commander, Naval Forces Japan headquarters building April 29. Cloyd becomes the 31st commander of U.S. Naval Forces Japan (CNFJ) and is also Commander, Navy Region Japan (CNRJ) and Commander, Naval Component, U.S. Forces Japan.

Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet, Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk presided over the ceremony and praised Wren for his service during his term.

“Our Navy, our fleet, our alliance with Japan, our men and women in uniform and their families, and our national security are all better because of your service,” Van Buskirk told Wren. He also expressed his appreciation for the men and women of CNFJ and CNRJ saying, “the future continues to hold great opportunities for the men and women of CNFJ and CNRJ. What we do here in Japan and the Pacific is shaping the future in a positive way.”

Rear Adm. Wren expressed his gratitude to the men and women who made up the CNFJ/CNRJ team and paid tribute to the team’s ability to handle difficult challenges. “You’ve built this organization into what it is today and then you were absolutely magnificent when called upon after 3/11,” referring to the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan March 11, 2011. Wren added that the CNFJ/CNRJ team was critical to the Navy’s role in Operation Tomodachi.

Wren will retire from the Navy and settle in the state of Colorado with his wife Diane.

Rear Adm. Cloyd is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He has commanded two fighter squadrons as well as the fast combat support ship USS Sacramento and the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. Prior to taking command of CNFJ, Rear Adm. Cloyd was Commander, Task Force 70/ Carrier Strike Group 5 embarked aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington.

After officially assuming command, Cloyd addressed the group and said, “I thank you for the effort that you’ve done up until now and, most importantly, all that we will do together. And I will be part of this great team as we continue to build upon the legacy and the excellence that Rick and Diane have left.”

During the ceremony Wren was also awarded the Distinguished Service Medal on behalf of the President of the United States.

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Japan’s mission is to support the ships and personnel of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. Its area of responsibility encompasses all Naval shore activities in Japan: Naval Air Facility Misawa, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Fleet Activities Sasebo, Fleet Activities Okinawa and Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia in the British Indian Ocean Territory.

US Pacific Fleet

USA: Asia Will be Heart of U.S. Security Policy

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2011 – While the United States is confronting terrorism and hostile regimes in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Libya, leaders also are looking eastward to shape U.S. security policy for the long-term, the Pentagon’s top policy official said last night.

“When future historians look back at this era, I am convinced that the rise of Asia will be noted as the central geo-strategic fact of our time,” Michèle Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, told a packed room of policy experts at Johns Hopkins University’s “Rethinking Seminar” here.

“By most measures, the Asia-Pacific region is the most important and most dynamic region in the world today -- and likely to be more so as this still-young century unfolds,” she said.

While the United States still ranks as the world’s largest economy as measured by gross domestic product, the next three largest are China, Japan, and India. As of last year, ten of the world’s 15 fastest-growing economies were in Asia, Flournoy said.

U.S. trade with China rose to an estimated $459 billion last year, compared to $2 billion in 1979, making it the United States’ biggest source of imports and second-largest trading partner, the undersecretary said. At the same time, she said, China’s economy is growing rapidly within Asia, causing the International Monetary Fund to estimate that Asia’s economy will eclipse that of the United States by 2030.

Meanwhile, “Asia sits at the crossroads of the world’s emerging threats” of cyber security, climate change and terrorism, Flournoy said.

This growing importance of Asia means the United States must continue to build and strengthen its alliances there, with a focus on building capacities where needed, and encouraging China and India to use their growth to secure and stabilize the region, Flournoy said.

Despite tensions over Chinese military secrecy and its increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea, Flournoy said, the United States and China “are not inevitably destined for conflict, as some have posited. Even as we manage our differences, we can deepen our cooperation across the full range of our shared interests.”

U.S. military forces must be structured to align with emerging threats, the undersecretary said. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has said the U.S. military in the region must be operationally resilient, geographically distributed and politically sustainable.

“We must ensure that our regional allies and partners are confident in the continued strength of our deterrence against the full range of possible threats,” Flournoy said. Strengthened missile defense and long-range reconnaissance and strike are central components, she said.

U.S. officials “think our posture in Northeast Asia is about right,” Flournoy said, but there’s need to expand efforts in Southeast Asia. Rather than building more bases, she said, the U.S. military is focused on working more closely in military-to-military relationships to include combined training, joint patrols, and shared medical and civil engineering missions.

As for alliances, Flournoy said Japan remains a cornerstone of U.S. security policy in the region. U.S. officials are confident of Japan’s ability to recover fully and continue to play a vital role in the region, she said, despite the 9.0 magnitude earthquake, resulting tsunami and ongoing nuclear crisis it has endured since March 11.

The United States will continue to strengthen its ties with South Korea to ensure interoperability of their military forces to preserve stability on the Korean peninsula, she said.

The rise of Asia has made Australia an increasingly strategic location, Flournoy said, which led the United States as the end of last year to establish a working group with the Australians for combined military force posture.

The United States is strengthening alliances with the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, Flournoy said, and must do more with Indonesia and Vietnam. She noted that a small group of U.S. forces have worked quietly in the Philippines since 2001 “in a model of successful counterinsurgency” to prevent al-Qaida from gaining a foothold there.

Flournoy highlighted the work of the U.S. Agency for International Development and other U.S. civilians in the region and said they will remain critical to U.S. relations in Asia.

Despite its challenges elsewhere in the world, Flournoy said, the United States will stay engaged in Asia.

“The United States has proven repeatedly -- over decades --that is it fully committed to upholding its strategic obligations throughout Asia. No one in Asia -- anywhere in Asia -- needs to ask if the U.S. will show up when it is needed.”


Brunei: ASEAN Defence Senior Officials' Meeting (ADSOM) and ASEAN Defence Senior Officials Meeting Plus (ADSOM Plus), Yogyakarta, Indonesia

INDONESIA, Wednesday 27 April 2011 - The ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADSOM) and the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials Meeting Plus (ADSOM Plus) were held back to back at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Yogyakarta, Indonesia from 27 to 29 April 2011.

The sessions were opened with the exchange of views on defence and security related issues focusing on areas of practical cooperations. Non-traditional security issues such as earthquake and tsunami affecting a few countries in the region have dominated the meeting that were relevant to the on-going initiatives under the ADSOM Plus.

The meeting discussed the ADMM-Three-Year-Work-Program 2011-2013 to ensure progress of the initiatives. The meeting also heard reports on progress relating to ASEAN defence establishments and security discussions on Civil Society Oganisation Cooperation on Non-Traditional Security and the Use of ASEAN Military Assets and Capacities in Humanitarian and Disaster Relief.

During the ADSOM, two new initiatives, the Establishment of ASEAN Peacekeeping Centres Network and the ASEAN Defence Industry Collaboration concept papers were discussed.

Progressing from the 1st ADMM Plus Meeting in Hanoi in 2010, the 2nd ADSOM Plus in Yogyakarta discussed five concept papers on areas of practical cooperations in maritime security, human assistance and disaster relief, peacekeeping operations, counter terrorism and military medicine.

The result of the ADSOM Meeting will be reported to the ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting (ADMM) to be held in Jakarta from 17 – 21 May 2011.

Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Defence’s delegation was led by Haji Awang Saifulbahri bin Haji Awang Mansor, Permanent Secretary (Defence Policy and Development), Ministry of Defence.

The delegation from Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Defence took the opportunity to conduct several bilateral meetings with regional counterparts particularly with Malaysia, Singapore and Cambodia . Discussions of these meetings reiterated commitment to further strengthen defence relations through dialogue/meeting, trainings, exercises and other collaborative efforts towards the development of the armed forces. The meetings further looked into ways of strengthening defence cooperation, exchanged views on regional and international defence and security matters.

29 April 2011

Eurofighter, Rafale asked to extend bids

The Hindu, India - NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Defence on Wednesday asked European consortium's Eurofighter and French Dassault's Rafale to extend the commercial bids for the 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft that are due to expire on Thursday.

The move could be interpreted as ‘down selection' from six competitors in the Rs. 45,000- crore deal that is expected to be finalised this fiscal.

Sources in the government told The Hindu that the Ministry despatched the letter, based on the Technical Evaluation Committee's report.

The commercial bids, which were re-submitted last year by the competitors, need to be extended. Once the bids are opened, the cost negotiation committee would start work.

Offset clause

The calculation would also have to factor in the steep offset clause as determined by the Defence Procurement Policy.

As per the terms of the deal, the competitors would have to show that they have the requisite tie-ups to fulfil the 50-per cent offset clause, which means that half of the value of the deal would have be sourced from Indian companies.

The Indian Air Force had handed over its report to the Ministry last year after rigorous and
extensive flight evaluation trials of the six fighter planes bidding for the deal.

Besides Eurofighter and Rafale, the others in the race are American companies Lockheed Martin (F-16IN Super Viper) and Boeing (F/A-18 Super Hornet), Swedish SAAB Gripen NG and Russian Mikoyan MiG35.

The sources said the Ministry's team undertook an elaborate exercise to determine the offset obligations of the competitors, and once the task was complete, the next stage would be determined on the basis of the technical evaluation.

AUS: Navy commences exercise with Malaysia

Australian and Malaysian Navies will join forces this week to participate in Exercise Mastex, a bilateral maritime warfare exercise being conducted in the Malacca Straits, Malaysia.

Anzac Class Frigates HMA Ships Parramatta and Ballarat will take part in the week long exercise, alongside Royal Malaysian Corvettes KD Lekiu and KD Kelantan.

Exercise Mastex will provide the opportunity for both Navies to improve their interoperability and mutual understanding in common aspects of naval warfare. The exercise will also involve the use of multinational air assets.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Parramatta Commander Heath Robertson said the opportunity to work alongside a close regional partner will be of great benefit to both Navies.

“Exercising with the Royal Malaysian Navy and operating in a joint environment will enable techniques to be practiced and improved in the area of maritime security including anti-surface, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare scenarios,” Commander Robertson said.

“We will conduct professional exchanges and a graduated exercise program, including weapons practices and a structured free play exercise.

“Exercise Mastex provides the Navies of Malaysia and Australia the opportunity to improve their effectiveness for any common taskings in the future,” said Commander Smith.

2011 marks the eighth iteration of the Mastex series which underscores the longstanding and mature relationship that Australia has with Malaysia, and recognises that the two nations share a common interest in the stability and security of the Southeast Asian region

The RAN maintains a regular bilateral exercise program with Malaysia, with both nations also engaging in multilateral exercises under the Five Power Defence Arrangements framework to which both countries are committed.

AUS Navy

AUS: Artillery training team hits mark

The Afghan National Army (ANA) Artillery Training School in Kabul has reached an important milestone with its first graduates joining Afghan and ISAF combat elements in Kandahar Province.

Commanding Officer of the International Artillery Training Team – Kabul (ATT-K), Lieutenant Colonel (LTCOL) Kane Mangin said that the school’s first intake had been a success.

“This is an important month for the school because our first group of graduates has been formed into the first of the newest batteries of the ANA artillery,” LTCOL Mangin said.

“The graduates deployed to Kandahar in early April and with a bit of extra training they will be into the fight later this year.”

The school, mentored by the Australian led ATT-K, prepares Afghan soldiers to become skilled artillerymen and is an important step towards Afghan security forces taking full responsibility for security in the coming years.

“The ATT-K comprises six member nations and our collective task is to implement and develop the school of artillery for the ANA,” LTCOL Mangin said.

“Our mission is to spread the capability of the ANA Artillery Branch across Afghanistan.”

Australia currently has 20 artillery trainers mentoring Afghan instructors at the school, which officially opened in October 2010.

Although training includes live firing of the ANA’s D-30 Howitzer guns and rigorous gun drills, an important aspect of the school curriculum is to teach basic literacy and numeracy skills.

The national literacy rate in Afghanistan is around 28% but for recruits it is only 14%. Therefore, these skills are key to professionalising the Afghan National Security Forces, and are highly valued by the students.

The ANA Artillery Training School was the first military school in Afghanistan to develop and run a literacy program for its students.

“Most of the soldiers we receive come straight off the street and cannot read or write,” LTCOL Mangin said.

“Artillery is a technical trade requiring literacy and numeracy skills so we implemented a literacy program which gives our trainees basic fundamentals to do the job.”

At any one time, the school typically has 440 students attending one of nine different courses.

The goal for the school is to provide artillery training to approximately 2100 officers and soldiers over the next twelve months, which translates to approximately 23 artillery batteries for the ANA.

The creation of these newest batteries indicates progress is being made and the future for the ANA Artillery branch is looking positive.”

AUS: ADF joins regional security exercise

Air Force multi-role F/A-18F Super Hornets, Navy guided-missile frigates and a Collins class submarine will join the armed forces of Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom in a major military exercise designed to enhance regional security.
The exercise called BERSAMA SHIELD 2011 (BS11) will bring together the member countries of the Five Power Defence Arrangement (FPDA) as they exercise in various locations on the Malaysian Peninsula and in the South China Sea between 2 and 13 May.
BS11 will involve a total of nine advanced guided-missile frigates, one submarine and 46 modern combat aircraft, as well as various support elements and aims to enhance the interoperability of the combined air, ground and naval forces of the FPDA countries.
The Australian contribution to the FPDA exercise includes six F/A-18 Super Hornets from No. 1 Squadron, the ANZAC class frigates HMA Ships Ballarat and Parramatta, and the Collins class submarine, HMAS Dechaineux.
Chief of Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant General Mark Evans, said the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will participate in the exercise as one of the founding members of the FPDA, which was established as an important regional security initiative exactly 40 years ago in 1971.

“BERSAMA SHIELD provides the ADF with the opportunity to develop relationships with important security partners while reinforcing Australia’s long-term commitment to regional stability,” Lieutenant General Evans said.

Lieutenant General Evans said the FPDA continues to be an integral part of the regional security architecture because of its ability to remain relevant to the needs of its members by adapting to the changing security environment.

“Since the FPDA's formation the scope of its activities has expanded from air defence to the development of joint capabilities, which has helped to develop greater interoperability among the armed forces of member nations,” he said.

The Commander of the Australian Contingent, Wing Commander Kenneth Robinson, said BS11 would continue to develop and validate doctrines and procedures for interoperability among FPDA nations' navies, armies and air forces in a combined, joint scenario.

“BS11 is a fantastic training opportunity for all the ADF assets and personnel involved to enhance key skills in an international environment, while also promoting engagement and regional stability in a region of vital importance to Australia” Wing Commander Robinson said.

AUS: Diagnostic Review of MRH-90 Multi Role Helicopter Program

A full diagnostic review of the MRH-90 Multi Role Helicopter Program has now been completed.

The review was ordered in February by the Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and the Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare to address delays to the project.

It was chaired by the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Materiel Organisation Mr Warren King supported by a number of independent specialists.

The review has recommended that the project should not be added to the Project of Concern list at this time.

It has recommended that Defence work with the contractor, Australian Aerospace, to implement a remediation plan to improve the availability of the helicopters by addressing engineering and reliability issues.

The project will be the subject of a further diagnostic review later this year to examine the effectiveness of the action taken and whether further action is necessary.

The diagnostic review was ordered to address delays to the project due to a series of key issues including engine failure, transmission oil cooler fan failures and the poor availability of spares.

As reported in both the Defence Annual Report and the ANAO Major Project Report released last year, the project has suffered delays of 12 months for the Navy’s helicopters and 18 months for the Army’s helicopters.

To date, 13 MRH-90 helicopters have been accepted by Defence and are currently being used for testing and initial crew training.

USA: USS Sterett Completes Maiden Deployment

From Naval Surface Forces Pacific Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) — Guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) returned to San Diego April 27, marking the end to its maiden deployment.

During its deployment to the Western Pacific and U.S. Central Command areas of responsibility (AOR), Sterett and her crew conducted maritime security operations and participated in several exercises, including a combined amphibious exercise involving the Navy, Marine Corps and regional ground and air forces.

The ship also participated alongside the Indian navy in Malabar 2011, an annual bilateral naval field training exercise conducted to advance multinational maritime relationships and mutual security issues. The exercise helps enhance military-to-military coordination between the two nations and help to strategize and execute tactical operations in a multinational environment.

Sterett also spent time under the flag of Combined Task Force 151, a multinational task force established in Jan. 2009 to conduct counterpiracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.

Sterett provides deterrence, promotes peace and security, preserves freedom of the sea and assists with humanitarian/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile area of responsibility in the Eastern Pacific, as well as supporting the Navy's Maritime Strategy when forward deployed.

US Pacific Fleet

USA: Pacific Partnership Team Arrives in Vanuatu

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class R. David Valdez

ESPIRITU SANTO, Vanuatu – The amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD 7), part of the Pacific Partnership 2011 team, pulled into port off the coast of Espiritu Santo April 28, to begin the second phase of the 2011 mission with representatives from Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, and the United States.

The USS Cleveland (LPD 7), which is the flagship for Pacific Partnership 2011, houses the command staff, the crew, representatives from non-government organizations (NGOs), Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, and Airmen from each of the partner nations participating in Pacific Partnership 2011.

“We are all very eager to begin our mission in Vanuatu,” said Capt. Jesse A. Wilson, Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 and mission commander of Pacific Partnership 2011. “While Vanuatu and the U.S. have a history together dating back to World War II, this is the first time we have had the opportunity to include Vanuatu as one of our host nations. I am grateful for the opportunity to come to this nation, which was so vital to the Allied victory in the Pacific.”

New Zealand has multi-role vessel HMNZS Canterbury (L421) moored pierside in Espiritu Santo. Towards the end of the Tongan portion of Pacific Partnership, Wilson shifted his command and a portion of his staff to Canterbury in order to have a first-hand look at operations conducted from there. This would be the first time a U.S. naval afloat command shifted its pennant to a New Zealand ship.

Naval Aircrewman 1st Class Derik Richardson looks at Royal New Zealand Navy ship
 HMNZS Canterbury (L 421) from an MH-60S
(Photo By Kristopher Radder)

In Santo, partner nations and NGOs of Pacific Partnership will engage in engineering, dental, medical and veterinary civil assistance projects and subject matter expert exchanges designed to increase interoperability between host nations and partner nations. The combined team of Pacific Partnership and host nations will also develop sustainable solutions for environmental and social challenges in the region.

“Working with the ni-Vanuatu is an exceptional opportunity,” said Royal Australian Navy Cmdr. Ashley Papp, Commander Australian Contingent, Pacific Partnership 2011. “While we do hope to teach, heal and build, I firmly believe that we, the partner nations, will learn many valuable lessons.”

Pacific Partnership 2011 concluded its mission in Tonga April 22, and after the mission in Vanuatu, will continue on to Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Pacific Partnership mission engaged local leaders, treated 3,806 patients, 819 of which were children, cared for 163 animals, completed seven engineering projects, including school buildings, bathrooms and a water catchment system, and engaged in several community service projects while in Tonga.

Pacific Partnership is an annual humanitarian assistance mission sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Fleet, designed to enhance relationships in the region and interoperability with partner nations.

US Pacific Fleet

USA: Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Ambassador Marc Grossman Travels to New Delhi, Kabul, Islamabad, and Riyadh

Ambassador Grossman departed on April 27 for travel to New Delhi, Kabul, Islamabad and Riyadh.  The Special Representative will participate in a number of routine consultations with his counterparts in the region.

In his first trip to New Delhi as Special Representative, Ambassador Grossman will renew routine consultations in the region with a variety of senior government officials.  In Kabul and Islamabad, Ambassador Grossman will meet with senior government officials, Parliamentarians, and representatives from civil society and local media.  Ambassador Grossman will meet in Pakistan with the chairs of the U.S.–Pakistan Strategic Dialogue working groups to discuss the groundwork that is being laid for the next round of consultations.  In Riyadh, Ambassador Grossman will also meet with senior government officials.

In all of his meetings in the region, Ambassador Grossman will emphasize the U.S. commitment to long-term, enduring partnerships with both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and reaffirm Secretary Clinton’s message in her February 18 speech to the Asia Society. 

Brunei: Singapore Defence Deputy Permanent Secretary (Technology) Visit Underscores Warm Defence Relations

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Friday 29 April 2011 – The Republic of Singapore Ministry of Defence Deputy Secretary (Technology) Brigadier General Tan Meng Dui rounded up his three-day visit to Brunei Darussalam today.

During his visit, Brigadier General Tan Meng Dui paid courtesy calls to the Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, the Permanent Secretary of Defence (Administration and Finance), Hajah Suriyah binti Haji Umar and Acting Permanent Secretary (Defence Policy and Development), Colonel (Rtd) Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Azmansham bin Pengiran Hj Mohamad.

Both sides also held a bilateral meeting to exchange views on issues of mutual interest and discussed areas of defence cooperation for potential future collaboration.

Brigadier General Tan Meng Dui’s visit underscores the warm defence relationship between Brunei Darussalam and The Republic of Singapore. Aside from joint exercises between the Royal Brunei Armed Forces and the Singapore Armed Forces, the two defence establishments interact regularly through dialogues, visits, courses, meetings and professional exchanges.

28 April 2011

Gripen not on the shortlist for the Indian MMRCA programme

Today defence and security company Saab AB has received information from the Indian Ministry of Defence that Gripen has not been shortlisted for the Indian Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) programme.

”We are offering India a world class next generation fighter aircraft to a very competitive price and an extensive technology transfer programme. We have received this decision and will closely monitor the future process and provide additional information if requested by the Indian Ministry of Defence. We are confident that the Gripen system is the perfect match for the Indian Air Force as well as meeting the highest requirements for the international markets,” says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO at Saab.

India is one of Saab’s most important markets. For example, Saab recently announced an investment in a research and development centre in India.

 “We are committed to the Indian market and continue our plans for growth and see huge business opportunities in the aerospace, defence and security sectors,” says Håkan Buskhe.

Gripen is in service with the Swedish, Czech Republic, Hungarian, South African and Royal Thai Air Forces. The UK Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) is operating Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots worldwide.

AUS: Illegal fishing targeted in joint Australian-Indonesian operation

Illegal fishing was the focus of a joint Australian Defence Force and Indonesian Armed Forces operation that concluded in Ambon today.

The second coordinated Maritime Security Patrol, AUSINDO CORPAT 2011, began in Darwin on April 15 and was held in the waters between Australia and Indonesia over the past fortnight, targeting the exploitation of natural resources, specifically illegal fishing.

Concluding on 27 April 2011, the operation included aircraft, ships and headquarters staff from both nations in two synchronised task groups. The ADF contributed HMA Ship Ararat and an AP-3C Orion aircraft, while the Indonesian Armed Forces provided naval vessels Kri Sultan Nuku and Sura and an NC-212 aircraft.

The combined operation was conducted to improve coordinated maritime security between the ADF and Indonesian Armed Forces along the Australian and Indonesian shared maritime boundaries, from north of the Tiwi Islands to targeted areas near Indonesia.

Commander of the ADF Task Group Air Commodore Ken Watson said the coordinated patrols gave personnel from both nations the ability to share information and enhance each country’s ability to detect illegal fishing.

“It has been a valuable experience over the past fortnight, combining the skills of our personnel at sea, on land and in the air together to address illegal activity along our exclusive economic zone boundaries,” Air Commodore Watson said.

“Working in this strong cooperative manner helps build our capabilities to deter exploitation of natural resources in our maritime zones. Both our nations are committed to a secure regional environment and we intend to plan for similar activities in the future to build on the success of these past two coordinated patrols.”

The Indonesian Eastern Fleet Sea Combat Commander Commodore Sulaeman Banjar Nahor said the patrol honed information sharing and interoperability between the two forces through a number of evolutions designed to build confidence.

“Our Defence Forces have once again made great progress in improving our maritime security procedures through developing our communications and information-sharing techniques,” Commodore Sulaeman Banjar Nahor said.

“It has been a very successful activity and has capitalised on the success of last year’s inaugural patrol.

“We look forward to undertaking this coordinated approach again to further strengthen the relationship between our nations.”

USA: Mabus Cites Need for Globally Deployed Navy

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 27, 2011 – The operations of the past year highlight the need for the United States to maintain responsive and flexible global forces, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast here today.

Mabus said he had just returned from Japan, where he met with 7,000 sailors and Marines who worked in Operation Tomadachi to provide relief for earthquake and tsunami victims.

“A couple of things struck me: One of them was the amazing skill of these men and women in uniform, and secondly was the flexibility that they showed,” he said.

Mabus visited the USS Ronald Reagan during his trip. The ship was heading to provide combat aviation over Afghanistan when the earthquake hit. It immediately turned around and began providing disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, he noted.

“They used the same targeting formulas that they would use for combat to make sure that humanitarian assistance got to the right place, at the right time,” he said.

Mabus said it is important that the United States takes a fundamental look at the roles and missions of the military in a fiscally constrained environment. The Navy has been trying to “buy things smarter” and has been looking at everything from platforms to personnel in an effort to save money yet still provide the capabilities the nation needs, he said.

Operations over the past months have highlighted the flexibility the Navy brings to the U.S. government’s toolbox, Mabus told the group. Some 18 ships and thousands of personnel on the ground helped in Japan. Navy submarines, big-deck amphibious ships and frigates participated in the initial strikes in Libya. At the same time, he said, aircraft carriers provided support to forces in Afghanistan and in the Persian Gulf, and Navy ships also are part of the antipiracy patrols in the Gulf and off the coast of Somalia.

“The need for a globally deployed, very flexible fleet [is apparent],” he said. “The same platforms that we used in Libya can be used for a number of other things.”

What makes the fleet flexible, the secretary said, is that it comes from the sea. “We don’t have to take up an inch of anybody’s ground to project power or deliver aid,” he said. “We can sail on the sea lanes that we keep open.”

And this flexibility will only increase, he said. The Navy is testing using unmanned aircraft off the decks of carriers, for example.

The Navy and the country need to look at budget constraints with an eye toward results, Mabus said.
“I think American needs to be a global power, [and] I do think America needs to be globally deployed,” he said. “We have global responsibilities, and I think we should meet those, so I don’t think we should look at this like a math exercise.”

Noting that the service has to be quicker in procurements, Mabus said the recently cancelled expeditionary fighting vehicle is the poster child for what’s wrong with procurement. “It’s the only program I’ve ever seen where you had to have a life extension program on the test vehicles,” he said. The program started in 1988, and it wasn’t set to reach full operational capability until 2026.

The secretary noted that the Marine Corps has become larger and its equipment is heavier. “When we come out of Afghanistan, the [Marine Corps] needs to be smaller, and it needs to be lighter,” he said. “They need to go back to their amphibious roots.”

Mabus compared the Marines to a middleweight fighter -– fast and agile with enough punching power to hold until heavier capabilities arrive. Still, he said, “there will be more Marines doing things like cyber. There will be more Marines doing things like special operations enablers.”

Going forward, he said, officials need to keep three questions in mind: “For anything, what’s the mission? What do we need to do the mission? How cheaply can you get there?”

The Navy has seen personnel changes, Mabus said, and those will continue. As part of the efficiency effort, the service has moved sailors from shore billets to ships, he said, and desk personnel to pierside. The littoral combat ships need fewer sailors to man them, he added, and the new aircraft carriers will require 1,500 fewer sailors to operate.

“I think by rebalancing the force, changing the way sailors and Marines are used, you can have a larger number of ships with the size of the force we have today,” he said.

The Navy will hold a personnel board over the summer to look at mid-career personnel, the secretary told the group, seeking balance in the service’s specialties, or ratings.

“We’re removing them from ratings that are over-subscribed and giving them the chance to move to ratings that are under-subscribed,” Mabus said.


27 April 2011

Boeing Vigilare System Completes Operational Testing in Australia

Network centric command and control system participates in RAAF combat exercise

RAAF BASE WILLIAMTOWN, New South Wales, April 27, 2011 – The Boeing [NYSE: BA] Vigilare network centric command and control system has passed its last formal operational test. Testing took place at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Williamtown’s Eastern Region Operations Centre (EROC) from March 28 to April 8.

The testing established that EROC is ready for operations as it demonstrated Vigilare’s full range of functionality in preparation for conditional acceptance this month, the last milestone before final system acceptance by the Commonwealth of Australia.

Vigilare’s second week of operational testing was incorporated into Exercise Aces South, a key combat exercise for pilots and air defence operators studying to become advanced fighter tactics instructors and controllers.

“Exercise Aces South provided an excellent opportunity to put the newly-installed Vigilare system at EROC through its paces. We threw our best and brightest people into the exercise, and they worked the new system extremely hard through some complex and intense air battle scenarios,” said Wing Commander Richard Pizzuto, Officer Temporary Commanding RAAF No. 41 Wing. “I’ve been impressed with how the Vigilare system performed and with the increased functionality it delivers. It’s an exciting new capability for Air Force, and one which sets us up well for the future.”

Vigilare combines information in near real-time from a wide range of platforms, sensors, tactical data links and intelligence networks to deliver tactical and strategic surveillance operations and battlespace management in the air and joint domains. The live inputs from these sources present a unified operational picture to the user at single or multiple operational centres.

“Vigilare demonstrated a new level of network centric capability for the RAAF by networking a broad range of RAAF assets into the battlespace through EROC,” said Lee Davis, Vigilare project manager, Boeing Defence Australia.

“RAAF operators’ situational awareness was enhanced by their ability to connect to Vigilare’s advanced surveillance and tactical management capabilities.”

Platforms participating in the exercise included F/A-18 Classic Hornets, F/A-18F Super Hornets, Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, Hawks, a 707 Tanker and a P-3 Orion.

Vigilare consists of two regional operations centres: EROC and the Northern Regional Operations Centre, which has been operational since September 2010 and is located at RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.

Boeing Defence Australia’s Network & Space Systems division provides a range of command and control, managed network communications, engineering services and cyber and information solutions, including Australia’s Modernised High Frequency Communications System and Vigilare.

Boeing AUS

AUS: Minister for Defence Visit to Afghanistan 24- 26 April

Over the past few days the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston and I have had the privilege of visiting our troops deployed in Afghanistan. 

It was a great honour to be able to address ADF troops on Anzac Day at the Dawn Service in Tarin Kot, Uruzgan Province, and to spend time with deployed ADF personnel on Anzac Day. 

Their distinguished service in Afghanistan makes them a standard bearer for those who follow.

It was also a day to remember those 23 brave Australian soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.

This was the Chief of the Defence Force’s last ANZAC Day in uniform. Air Chief Marshal Houston has embodied the ANZAC spirit throughout his 41 years in uniform, and I again thank him for his distinguished service. 

We took the opportunity to meet with Australian and United States operational commanders in Uruzgan Province and Afghan provincial security leaders. 

It is clear that we are making progress on the security front.

ISAF and Afghan forces have extended security to areas previously controlled by the Taliban - from the Tarin Kot bowl to the Mirabad Valley in the east, Deh Rawud in the west, and north through the Baluchi Valey into Chora.

I visited Australian troops at Forward Operating Base Mirwais in the Chora Valley. A group of young Diggers told me that over the seven months of their deployment, the local Afghans were now more supportive of the combined efforts of Afghan and ADF troops to bring security to the valley. 

This reinforced my view that progress is being made but we must expect the Taliban to fight back. The coming summer will be tough. 

My meeting with Uruzgan Governor Shirzad in Kabul underscored the importance of development and governance for sustaining progress.

Governor Shirzad said his priorities for the province were education and roads, and to fill key civil service posts in the province. 

I reinforced these points in my meetings in Kabul with Defence Minister Wardak, Interior Minister Khan, Foreign Minister Rassoul, Transition Coordinator Dr Ghani, and Reconciliation and Reintegration Minister Stanekzai. 

I stressed to my Afghan colleagues that the single greatest contribution we could make to Uruzgan at this point in time is to support Governor Shirzad’s efforts to improve the social and economic opportunities of Afghan families. 

I also met the NATO Senior Civilian Representative, Ambassador Gass, the Deputy Commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Lieutenant General Bucknall, and the Commander of ISAF Joint Command, Lieutenant General Rodriguez. 

Air Chief Marshal Houston and I were accompanied by the Australian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Mr Paul Foley, and the Commander of Joint Task Force 633, Major-General Angus Campbell.

U.S. Response to the Mekong River Commission's Review of the Xayaburi Hydroelectric Dam

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 26, 2011

On April 19th, the Joint Committee of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) met to discuss the Xayaburi hydroelectric project – the first dam proposed on the main stem of the Lower Mekong River. We understand that members of the MRC did not reach consensus on whether the project should proceed and agreed that a decision be tabled for consideration at the ministerial level at a later date.

The United States recognizes the important role that dams can play in managing water resources to advance economic growth and protect against floods and droughts. At the same time, our own experience has made us acutely aware of the economic, social and environmental impacts that large infrastructure can have over the long-term. In coming years, Mekong basin countries anticipate widening development, with 11 proposed main stream dams and over 70 tributary dams. These decisions should be taken deliberatively, informed by the best science and consultation with all stakeholders.

The United States welcomes the recognition by riparian states of the need to consider fully the potential economic, environmental and social impacts of hydropower development and their efforts through the MRC's prior consultation process. The United States values its long-standing partnership with the MRC and its member nations. We encourage the countries to continue to work together to realize their shared vision of an economically prosperous, socially just and environmentally sound Mekong River basin.

US State Department

U.S. Department of State and Republic of Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Memorandum of Understanding on Officer Exchange Program

On April 26, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns and Republic of Korea Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Jae-shin signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to initiate a diplomatic officer exchange program. The MOU demonstrates the high level of cooperation and trust between the United States and the Republic of Korea. Through the officer exchange program, the U.S. Department of State plans to send one diplomat to act as a temporary liaison to the Republic of Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT), and MOFAT plans to send a temporary liaison to the U.S. Department of State for up to one year.

This initiative provides an opportunity for the United States and the Republic of Korea to develop a deeper understanding of each other’s policy-making processes and to gain exposure to current expertise in each government’s interagency processes. The U.S. Department of State looks forward to the commencement of this officer exchange.

US State Department

Commander In Chief, Royal Thai Navy Boost Naval Ties With Royal Brunei Navy

MUARA, Tuesday 26 April 2011 – Royal Brunei Navy receives a delegation from Royal Thai Navy led by Admiral Khamthorn Pumhiran, Commander in Chief, Royal Thai Navy as this also marked his first official visit to Negara Brunei Darussalam since his appointment in 2008.

Throughout his stay, he call on Commander of Royal Brunei Armed Forces, Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin at Ministry of Defence and he also paid a courtesy call to Commander of the Royal Brunei Navy, Colonel (L) Haji Abdul Halim bin Haji Mohd Hanifah.

During his stay in Brunei, Admiral Khamthorn Pumhiran and spouse had the chance to visit places of interest around the sultanate.

The visit was intended to enchance the existing bilateral defence ties and cooperation between the two countries.  Admiral Khamthorn Pumhiran and spouse arrived on 26 April 2011 in Brunei for a three day official visit.

26 April 2011

USS Avenger Departs Sasebo, Japan

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian A. Stone, Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

SASEBO, Japan (NNS) - Mine countermeasures ship USS Avenger (MCM 1) departed Sasebo, Japan, April 25 for a deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility in support of Commander Task Force 76.

Avenger recently completed a Navy Shipboard Inspection Survey (INSERV) and will begin its training cycle underway.

"We're very proud to have just completed INSERV, and we're excited to deploy in support of the 7th Fleet," said Ensign Harrison Yelverton, Avenger's electrical officer. "We are ready to show the world how capable our mine countermeasures force really is."

mine countermeasures ship USS Avenger (MCM 1)
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Richard Doolin/Released)

Avenger is forward-deployed to Sasebo in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet, which has doubled its mine countermeasure capability in the last two years, significantly increasing forward-presence in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility.

"It's great to be a warship ready for tasking in the world's most powerful Navy," said Lt. Cmdr. Patrick L. German, Avenger's commanding officer.

The deployment is Avenger's first since being forward-deployed to Sasebo.

US Pacific Fleet

USA: Commander, Destroyer Squadron One Removed From Command

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 1 has been removed from command by Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1 while operating in the Arabian Sea, April 23.

Rear Adm. Samuel Perez removed Capt. Donald Hornbeck from command while an investigation into an alleged inappropriate relationship is conducted. Capt. John Steinberger, deputy commander of DESRON 1 assumed command. Hornbeck has been temporarily assigned to U.S. Third Fleet Headquarters pending the results of the investigation.

CSG 1 and DESRON 1 are embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) conducting support for Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn, as well as maritime security operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.


U.S. Navy Sailors Participate in Vanuatu ANZAC Day Ceremony

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Farrington, Pacific Partnership 2011 Public Affairs

PORT VILA, Vanuatu – Sailors attached to Destroyer Squadron 23 (DESRON 23) embarked aboard HMNZS Canterbury took part in an Australian and New Zealand (ANZAC) Day ceremony in Port Villa, Vanuatu April 25.

“It is truly an honor to lead the first group of U.S. Navy Sailors ever to participate here in Port Vila, Vanuatu for today’s 96th anniversary ANZAC Day ceremony. Standing next to our Australian and New Zealand partners for the dawn ceremony with our ni-Vanuatu hosts will be a treasured memory of mine,” said Capt. Jesse A. Wilson, mission commander of Pacific Partnership 2011 and commander of Destroyer Squadron 23.

Over the past five years, Pacific Partnership has provided medical, dental, educational, and preventive medicine services to more than 210,000 people and completed more than 130 engineering projects in 13 countries. This is the first year Vanuatu has served as a host-nation for Pacific Partnership.

Last week, Wilson moved his pennant flag and several U.S. Sailors to the New Zealand ship HMNZS Canterbury for the transit to Port Vila. The pennant shift to a New Zealand vessel was a first for the U.S. Navy and underscores the interoperability that the mission of Pacific Partnership is all about.

The ceremony was punctuated by the raising of partner flags and the laying of memorial wreaths and service members at full attention in dress uniforms from the Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF), the New Zealand, Australian, French and United States armed forces and many proud local veterans.

“It was an honor to participate in the ceremony and raise the American flag. I even met a U.S. sailor captain for the first time and he gave me a special coin from Pacific Partnership and thanked me. It was a great day, one I won’t forget,” said David Amos, a junior member of the VMF.

Royal New Zealand Navy render a gun salute during an Australian New Zealand Army Core (ANZAC) day celebration.
(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Farrington)
“It’s great to see different cultures come together to honor those who have given their lives in the line of service,” said Leading Marine Technician Logan McRae, a member of the Canterbury crew. “Although we are from different nations, we all share the fact that we have chosen to serve and put our lives on the line every day.”

“Coming together and sharing the United States’ support for our partner nations’ culture and history is what Pacific Partnership is all about,” Wilson said. “Today was another in a series of firsts for our visit to Vanuatu.” In Espiritu Santo, Lt. Cmdr Casey Mahon, Pacific Partnership advance echelon officer in charge in Vanuatu and Timor-Leste, led the U.S. contingent in observing ANZAC Day for the first time there.

ANZAC day is an annual obserevance dedicated to those who have given their lives in the line of duty. Ceremonies are held the whole day throughout New Zealand and Australia. Contingents of members from each service also go to the original battle site of WWI in Gallipoli, Turkey and other places where ANZACS have fought.

Canterbury is currently participating in Pacific Partnership 2011, U.S. Pacific Fleet's annual deployment designed to improve interoperability with partner and host nations for humanitarian aid and disaster relief which has recently completed its mission in Tonga and will visit Vanuatu, Papua-New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Federated States of Micronesia. The Pacific Partnership team will be in Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu April 28 – May 10 working on several infrastructure projects including new schools, water catchment projects and medical clinics.

“As Pacific Partnership 2011 strengthens relationships and builds new ones, this mission demonstrates the United States’ commitment to the Pacific region, and we are eager to arrive in Espiritu Santo to complete the sustainability projects with the support of our ni-Vanuatu partners,” Wilson said.

US Pacific Fleet

USS Emory S. Land, USS La Jolla Visit India

By Lt. Cmdr. Kevin S. Barnett, USS Emory S. Land Public Affairs

GOA, India (NNS) - Submarine tender USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) arrived in Goa, India, April 22 as part of the U.S. Navy's theater cooperation and good will mission.

While in Goa, Emory S. Land will provide support services to USS La Jolla (SSN 701), a Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine, which will be moored outboard the tender.

"We will be providing tended support services to La Jolla to ensure all systems are fully operational and capable when she returns to operations," said Lt. Cmdr. Tobias Lemerande, Emory S. Land's repair officer.

The submarine tender's Repair Department will perform minor equipment adjustments, as well as manufacture and provide some quality of life items to the crew's eating and living spaces that will help make the Sailors' lives more comfortable.

"Our visit will not be all work and no relaxation," said Emory S. Land Command Master Chief Paul Sweeney. "The crew will be participating in community relation projects and participating in sight seeing tours and activities."

Crew members will participate in a tree planting project as well as a basketball game with a local club team. The tender will also be providing a limited number of tours and will be hosting a reception.

"We are very excited to be here in Goa," said Capt. Eric Merrill, Emory S. Land's commanding officer. "Our crew is honored to have the opportunity to visit Goa and further strengthen our partnership between our two navies and governments."

submarine tender USS Emory S. Land

Emory S. Land's crew looks forward to taking part in community activities and experiencing India's cultural sights. For many, this is their first time visiting India.

"I'm enormously excited to experience a different culture, potentially riding elephants, and participating in community relations projects," said Master-at-Arms 2nd Class John Dunn, from Emory S. Land's Security Department.

Emory S. Land's mission is to provide intermediate level expeditionary maintenance and repairs and logistical services to submarines and surface ships operating in the U.S. 5th, 6th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.

In early 2010, the submarine tender completed its conversion from an all U.S. Navy Sailor crew to an integrated crew of Sailors and civilian mariners, becoming the first submarine tender to operate under this hybrid crew concept.

"The crew, Sailors and civilian mariners alike, are extremely professional in operating this nearly 32 year old ship as one team," said Sweeney. "While there are some cultural differences in operations between Sailors and civilian mariners, the integrated crew has brought efficiency in operations and manpower. I'm very proud of them."

Less than a year ago, Emory S. Land changed home ports from Bremerton, Wash., to the archipelago island of Diego Garcia. Emory S. Land is the only permanently homeported naval ship in Diego Garcia.

The submarine tender was commissioned July 7, 1979, and was named after Vice Adm. Emory S. Land, who helped pioneer American submarine design and development of submarines that formed the backbone of the U.S. submarine fleet in World War II. Land also served as chairman of the U.S. Maritime Commission in the late 1930s and early 1940s where he rehabilitated America's merchant fleet.

Us Pacific Fleet

India: US Firm Signs Pact to Acquire DRDO’S Technology for Explosive Detection Kit

A USA based firm Crowe & Company, LLC has entered into a licensing agreement with DRDO to acquire the technology of Explosive Detection Kit developed by the High Energy Material Research Lab (HEMRL), Pune, one of the constituent laboratories of DRDO. An MoU to the effect was signed by Dr. Subhananda Rao, Director HEMRL on behalf of DRDO, and Ms. Faye Crowe, President, Crowe & Company, LLC, USA here today.

HEMRL has developed the kit for quick detection and identification of explosives that can detect and identify explosives based on any combination of nitro esters, nitramines, trinitrotoluene (TNT), dynamite or black powder. The testing requires only 3 to 5 mg of suspected sample and only 3 or 4 drops of reagents. The explosive detection kit comes packed in a box the size of a vanity case and in miniature vials that can be kept in shirt pockets. It contains reagents capable of detecting explosives, even in extremely small, trace quantities.

Crowe & Company had approached FICCI under DRDO-FICCI, ATAC programme to enter into MoU for licensing agreement with DRDO for the said technology. In the past FICCI has also facilitated a similar kind of licensing agreement for explosive detection kit between DRDO an Indian company, named, Vantage Integrated Security Solutions (P) Ltd. The DRDO – FICCI Accelerated Technology Assessment & Commercialisation (ATAC) programme is a unique initiative that aims for commercialisation of cutting edge technologies developed by various labs of DRDO for civilian applications.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Prahlada, Distinguished Scientist & Chief Controller R&D (Aeronautics & Services Interaction), DRDO, the key architect of DRDO-FICCI ATAC initiative, said “the ATAC programme has achieved a major milestone with the US Company taking DRDO technology for use by US homeland security and for international markets.” Dr Prahlada further said that the present technology can also be helpful to control illegal trafficking of the explosive materials as it can equally detect and identify explosive materials in the pre- and post-blast scenarios.

Mr S. Sundaresh, Distinguished Scientist & Chief Controller R&D (Armaments & Combat Engg.) stated that the technology is very effective and is in use by Indian security forces and would now help the international community also. Speaking on the occasion Dr. Subhananda Rao, Distinguished Scientist & Director HEMRL, Pune informed that through the explosive detection kit, the security forces can instantly identify the explosive that was used for the detonation in the aftermath of a blast. They just have to take a sample of the residues from the scene of the crime and test it against the chemicals given in the kit. The change in colour tells them if the explosive used is RDX, TNT, PETN or any other chemical. Highlighting the features of the technology Mr S. Radhakrishnan, Director, DIITM, DRDO informed that the present technology is being widely used by the bomb detection squads of the Indian Army, paramilitary and police in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Mr Radhakrishnan further informed that the present licensing agreement with M/s Crowe & Company is a major milestone and it also signifies DRDO solution for a global problem.

Ms Faye Crowe, President of Crowe & Company said that after getting the necessary approvals from the US regulatory institutions they are planning to introduce the explosive detection kit to the US army and US homeland security forces and in other international markets.

On the occasion of the signing of MoU, Mr Nirankar Saxena Director, FICCI said that he was delighted to see DRDO technology entering into the international domain for addressing one of the major concerns related to homeland security.

Indian Press Information Bureau

India: IAF Commanders’ Conference Gets UnderwayAntony Addresses Air Force Commanders

The first bi-annual Air Force Commanders’ Conference for 2011 got underway at Air Headquarters today. The four-day conference was inaugurated by Defence Minister Shri AK Antony in the presence of Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) and Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Chief Marshal PV Naik.

On arrival, the Defence Minister was introduced to the IAF Commanders by the Air Chief. In his welcome address the Air Chief thanked the Defence Minister for his continued support and involvement in IAF’s modernization process. Shri Antony then addressed the Air Force Commanders.

The Defence Minister apprised the Commanders of the security situation in the region and lauded the role of the Armed Forces towards Nation building.  He landed the role of the IAF in humanitarian assistance during the Leh floods and for evacuating Indian citizens from Egypt and Libya.  Shri Antony specifically commended the IAF for conceptualization and operationalisation of various assets and force-multiplies.

The Air Chief in his address to the Commanders reiterated that primacy of operations had to be foremost in all operations in view of the prevailing security situation.  He brought out the need for consolidating the operational availability of weapon systems and sensors due to ‘Times of Transformation’ and declared the period ahead as ‘Year of Consolidation’.  The Air Chief emphasized on the institutionalization of the core values of Air Warriors, which have been elucidated as ‘Mission, Integrity and Excellence’

The IAF Commanders attending the conference include Vice Chief of Air Staff (VCAS), Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of IAF’s seven Commands as well as the Principal Staff Officers at Air HQ.

IAF Commanders’ Conference gets underway

The inaugural day of the conference had reviews on matters of operations, acquisitions, aerospace safety, maintenance, administration and personnel matters concerning IAF’s human resources.

In the remaining days, presentations will also be made by AOC-in-C of each of the seven IAF Commands during the conference. In addition, a separate presentation on a topic relevant to the individual Command’s core operational role, in the present and futuristic context, will also be made and discussed by the Commanders.

Chiefs of the Army and Navy will also interact with the IAF Commanders during the conference. Among the other distinguished invitees who will interact with the IAF Commanders include National Security Advisor (NSA), Shri Shiv Shankar Menon who will address on the subject of ‘India’s International Relations and Security Issues’ and Chairman, National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO), Shri PV Kumar.

Guest lectures by Dr. RK Tuli on ‘Holistic Medicine in Management of Life Style Diseases’ and by Rear Admiral K Raja Menon (Retd), Distinguished Fellow, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) and co-author of the book ‘The long view from Delhi’, will allow perspectives on scenario building for National Security.