31 May 2012

AUS: Australia to assume leadership of Combined Team – Uruzgan

The Minister for Defence Stephen Smith MP, accompanied by the Chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley AC, DSC, today announced that Australia will assume the leadership of Combined Team – Uruzgan (CT-U) in late 2012.

CT-U was established in August 2010 under United States command following the withdrawal of the Dutch, with the role of commanding International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations in Uruzgan Province.

The United States has had the leadership of CT-U since that time.

Australia sees leadership of the CT-U as part of the transition process through which security responsibility will be transferred from ISAF to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

As President Karzai announced on 13 May, Uruzgan is due to commence transition to Afghan-led security responsibility in the middle of this year. 

Australia sees this as the appropriate time to take the leadership role in Uruzgan Province, to help ensure that transition in Uruzgan over the subsequent 12 to 18 month period is effected in a seamless way.

The United States has committed to continuing to provide enabling support in the Province, which it has done since August 2010. 

Assuming leadership of CT-U will not require an increase in the overall average size of Australia’s presence in Uruzgan.

Australia looks forward to continuing to work with our CT-U partners – the United States, Singapore and Slovakia – to progress transition in Uruzgan to the Afghan authorities.

AUS: Australian assistance to Papua New Guinea elections

The Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Bob Carr today announced the commitment by Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces to assisting Papua New Guinea (PNG) with its election period from June to July 2012.

Australia and New Zealand are providing practical support in response to a request by PNG authorities to assist them with the conduct of a safe, free and fair election.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is working with the PNG Government and Defence Force to provide aviation support for the elections, including transporting personnel, ballot boxes and election materials to PNG’s many remote locations.

Approximately 250 Australian and New Zealand personnel will support the PNG authorities over the election period.

The ADF’s assistance to the PNG election is a tangible example of Australia’s close bilateral relationship with PNG.

The Royal Australian Air Force, Australian Army and Royal New Zealand Air Force will support the deployment by providing airlift of personnel and equipment with fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.

A Royal Australian Navy Landing Craft Heavy will also support the operation through the delivery of bulk materiel and personnel to coastal areas.

The support will conclude shortly after the holding of the 2012 election.

Through our Defence Cooperation Program, Defence has also leased three helicopters for the Papua New Guinea Defence Force to assist in the conduct of the election but in the longer term to form the basis of the PNG Defence Force’s aviation capability.

The assistance provided by the ADF complements support being provided by other Australian Government agencies, including AusAID, the Australian Electoral Commission, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Civilian Corps.

USA: Deputy Secretary William Burns Travels to Singapore

Deputy Secretary Burns will depart May 30 for a trip to Singapore, arriving May 31. On June 1, he will meet with government counterparts and senior officials to discuss a broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues, underscoring the continued growth in our strategic partnership with Singapore.

June 2, the Deputy will join Secretary Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dempsey, and other senior U.S. officials and members of Congress to participate in the annual Shangri-la Dialogue. On the margins of the Dialogue, he will meet with senior officials from other delegations to discuss regional and global security concerns.

News Story: Cambodia and China signed a military cooperation agreement with training of Cambodian soldiers

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Tea Banh and Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on Monday signed a military cooperation agreement in Phnom Penh. Under the deal, signed after a one-hour meeting between the two ministers, China will continue receiving Cambodian military personnel for training in China, Tea Banh told reporters after the signing ceremony at Cambodia's defense ministry.

Tea Banh said Liang's visit would strengthen and expand friendship and traditional relations and cooperation between Cambodia and China in all fields, especially the military sector.

"Cambodia and China have close and invaluable cooperation," he said. "Chinese assistance is greatly contributing to building Cambodian army's capacity in national defense."

Read the3 full story at Army Recognition

News Story: Panetta To Discuss New U.S. Asia Policy, Indian Ties During Trip

US SecDef Leon Panetta


U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta plans to give two major policy speeches in Asia in the coming days that will address a greater Pentagon emphasis on the Pacific and the broadening of a partnership with India, according to senior defense officials.

“We just see India as a partner with whom we have a lot of common interests and a lot of things we can achieve together — a lot of areas we can work well together,” a senior defense official said May 29.

Panetta plans to discuss the new U.S. strategic military guidance, announced in January, that puts a greater emphasis on the Pacific region and makes mention of India as a strategic partner.

“We’re really shifting to a point at which our defense interactions with India are becoming routine,” the official said. “We expect cooperation, and we’re moving to an era in which we think defense cooperation with India is just going to be on a steady roll. [Panetta is] going to be really focusing on how we continue to move forward that partnership.”

The U.S. wants to expand the relationship beyond weapon purchases to a point where interaction is routine, the official noted.

Read the3 full story at DefenseNews

Editorial: China in Middle of Israel, Iran

By Mu Chunshan

Those closely watching the Iranian nuclear issue may have noticed something interesting – China has become caught in the diplomatic middle between Israel and Iran. This fact underscores the growing importance of China on the international stage, and also highlights the growing importance of energy resources in international relations.

After indications that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was preparing to visit China next month, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be visiting China in early June. At the time of me writing this, China’s Foreign Ministry had yet to finalize Netanyahu’s visit. It can only be imagined how he’ll feel visiting so soon after Ahmadinejad.
Read the full story at The Diplomat

30 May 2012

Editorial: Is China Trying to Split ASEAN?

By Trefor Moss

Defense leaders from around Southeast Asia are meeting in Phnom Penh this week for the 6th ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM). The theme of the get together – “Enhancing ASEAN Unity for a Harmonized and Secure Community” – smacks of doublespeak: unity and harmony within ASEAN are sorely lacking at the moment, and no-one really thinks the ministerial meeting is going to rediscover them.

In the anarchy of the international arena, a club like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ought to be a reassuring place to be. The organization gives its ten members – small or medium-sized players in geopolitical terms – the opportunity to close ranks when dealing with the greater powers, and to speak with one voice loud enough to be heard in Beijing, Washington and any other place that needs to listen.

Unfortunately, ASEAN doesn’t work like that: individualism swiftly trumps collectivism whenever contentious issues arise.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: U.S., Pakistan’s Differing Goals

By Sumit Ganguly

News reports this past week suggest that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has bluntly told Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari that his country needs to adopt an unyielding position in dealing with a range of Islamist militants who remain well ensconced in parts of the country. Zardari, in turn, reportedly insisted that such an effort was all but impossible with national elections looming. More to the point, he reiterated his call for a U.S. apology for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers as a consequence of a NATO attack on a border outpost.

Read the full story at The Diplomat

Editorial: The China Bull In The Ring - Scarborough Shoal

By R. S. Kalha

When China decided to send its warships to the desolate Scarborough shoals located in the South China Sea, it intended to send a message primarily to the Philippines, but more importantly to the United States and other Asian countries in dispute with China over the South China Sea. The message for Asian countries was brutal as it was clear; that if you decide to take on China the consequences would not only be certain military defeat, but also political and economic. For the United States the message was to stay clear of inter-Asian disputes. China chose the area for confrontation rather well.

Read the full story at EurasiaView

Editorial: India’s Look East Policy - Implications For The Philippines

By Lucio Blanco Pitlo III

India’s Look East policy (LEP) of cultivating good relations with Southeast Asia presents opportunities as well as challenges for the Philippines. In Manila’s attempt to diversify its security partners and move away from over reliance on US support for external defence, India appears to be a good complement. However, in the context of increasing Sino-Indian regional rivalry, would Manila’s India gambit only complicate its already strained relations with China? Also, in its on-going standoff with China over Panatag Shoal and the West Philippine Sea, what immediate impact would closer Philippine-India relations bring to the table in Manila’s favour?

Read the full story at EurasiaView

News Story: Japanese military vessels visit Philippines

MANILA (Kyodo) -- Two vessels of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force arrived in Manila on Tuesday on a four-day goodwill visit.

The Japanese Training Squadron, consisting of JS Kashima and JS Matsuyuki, arrived with more than 500 crew members and officers, headed by Rear Adm. Hidetoshi Fuchinoue.

A third ship that is part of the squadron, the JS Shimayuki, failed to join due to some problems.

"I strongly believe that we are able to build deeper friendship and cooperation between Philippines and Japan," Fuchinoue said in his arrival speech at the port of Manila.

Read the full story at The Mainichi

USA: CARAT Exercise Underway in Indonesia

SURABAYA, Indonesia (May 29, 2012) See full sized Picture on Flickr

From Cooperation Afloat Training and Readiness Public Affairs

SURABAYA, Indonesia - The 18th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise between the U.S. Navy and Indonesian Navy (IDN) began May 29 with the arrival of a U.S. Navy Task Group and Marine landing force in Surabaya, Indonesia. 

The exercise is designed to enhance maritime security skills and operational cohesiveness among participating forces. It also focuses on relationship building between military participants through sports and social events, and improving relationships with the civilian community through civic action projects and community service events. 

U.S. Navy ships participating in CARAT 2012 include the dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42), guided missile frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter USCGC Waesche (WMSL-751) and the diving and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50). 

CARAT is a series of bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Timor Leste joins the exercise for the first time in 2012. 

While the training in each phase of CARAT varies based on shared goals of Indonesia and the U.S., a common theme is the development of maritime security capabilities, and increasing interoperability among participants. Skill areas exercised during CARAT include Maritime Interception Operations; riverine, amphibious and undersea warfare operations; diving and salvage operations; naval gunnery and maneuvering events, along with disaster response exercises. 

Capt. Dave Welch, Commander, Destroyer Squadron 31, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, will lead CARAT Task Group 73.1.

"The fact that CARAT continues to grow into its 18th year speaks volumes about both the relationship between our U.S. and Indonesian forces and this exercise," said Welch. "We are natural partners and friends, and we look forward to another successful year advancing that great relationship between our navies and armed forces." 

Other CARAT participants include Marines from Company F, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, who will work with Indonesian KORMAR forces, P-3C Orion and SH-60 Seahawk aircraft, the U.S. 7th Fleet band, and others. 

Approximately 1,000 U.S. personnel are participating in CARAT Indonesia 2012. 

USA: Panetta Calls on Navy Grads to Focus on Asia-Pacific

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

ANNAPOLIS, Md., May 29, 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta called on the U.S. Naval Academy’s class of 2012 at its graduation and commissioning ceremonies here to help restore America’s maritime presence and power with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region.

Panetta, speaking under a brilliant blue sky at Navy Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, noted that the 1,099 new officers are joining the fleet and Corps at a “strategic turning point after a decade of war.”

He cited key accomplishments: the return of U.S. forces from Iraq, NATO’s approval last week of a plan to transition full security responsibility in Afghanistan to Afghan forces by the end of 2014, and the successful NATO effort to free Libya of Muammar Gadhafi’s brutal regime, among them.

In addition, the secretary said, the U.S. “has successfully gone after the leadership of al-Qaida to send a clear message that no one -- no one -- attacks the United States and gets away with it,” drawing loud applause.

“And yet we still face challenges and risks,” the secretary said, from violent extremism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, to the destabilizing behavior of Iran and North Korea, military modernization across the Asia-Pacific, turmoil in the Middle East, piracy and cyber-attacks.

“Our nation now looks to you, the next generation of military leaders, to confront these challenges, to protect our nation and to ensure that America always has the strongest military force in the world,” the secretary said. “That is the way it has always been. And that’s the way it always will be.”

Panetta recognized the Navy and Marine Corps’ legacies of leading the military and the nation and called on the graduating class to keep the tradition strong. “It is up to your generation to ensure that our fleet remains unrivaled by any other nation on earth,” he said.

Adaptation has always been one of the Navy’s hallmarks throughout its history, Panetta noted. It remains important, he said, as the Defense Department implements new strategic guidance to meet the challenges of the 21st century at a time of fiscal constraints at home.

The new strategy calls for agile, flexible, deployable and technologically advanced military forces and puts emphasis on the Asia-Pacific as well as the Middle East. It calls for strengthening key alliances and partnerships and protecting investments in new capabilities ranging from cyber to unmanned systems to space to special operations. It also ensures that the U.S. military “can confront aggression and defeat any opponent anytime, anywhere,” the secretary said.

“The Navy and Marine Corps are fundamental to every element of that strategy,” the secretary said. He called on the new officers and their generation to sustain and enhance American strength across the vast Asia-Pacific maritime region.

“America’s future prosperity and security are tied to our ability to advance peace and security along the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean and South Asia,” he said. “That reality is inescapable for our country and for our military, which has already begun broadening and deepening our engagement throughout the Asia-Pacific.”

“Your charge,” Panetta told the midshipmen, “is to help ensure the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific for the 21st century.”

“We need you to project America’s power and to reflect America’s character” as you operate throughout the region," he said, strengthening historic alliances and building robust new partnerships.

“We also need you to strengthen defense ties with China,” he told the class. “China’s military is growing and modernizing. We must be vigilant. We must be strong. We must be prepared to confront any challenge. But the key to peace in that region is to develop a new era of defense cooperation between our two countries -- one in which our militaries share security burdens to advance peace in the Asia-Pacific and around the world.”

Panetta thanked the graduates for choosing to serve their country in wartime. “You have set yourselves apart in a profound and in an honorable way,” he said.

“No one can tell you what challenges you will face in the future,” Panetta added. “But one thing is sure. You must be prepared to respond to whatever threats we confront in the future -- with courage, with creativity, with leadership.”

The secretary also recognized the diversity of the class, the first to graduate and accept commissions since repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that banned gays from serving openly in the military.

“You are men and women from every state in the union and 12 foreign countries: rich and poor, secular and religious, black, white, Latino, Native American, Asian, straight and gay,” he said. Panetta called this diversity a tribute to retired Lt. Cmdr. Wesley Brown, the first African-American to graduate from the Naval Academy, who died last week at age 85.


By Marina Abdullah Sitau

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA, Tuesday 29 May 2012 – The 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) was held today at the Peace Palace, Prime Minister’s Office, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Brunei Darussalam was represented by Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The 6th ADMM was chaired by His Excellency General Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence, Cambodia. Prior to the commencement of the Meeting, the Ministers paid a courtesy call on The Honourable Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia.

During the meeting, the Ministers exchanged views on defence and security issues. The Ministers also expressed satisfaction on the progress of activities and development of the ADMM and ADMM-Plus initiatives.

Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin during the Meeting stressed upon the importance of realizing ASEAN Leaders’ aspiration to make ASEAN an increasingly “people-centered” community. Yang Berhormat Pehin also highlighted that ADMM must remain a strong platform for peaceful cooperation and consultation in the lives of ASEAN peoples across the region. Additionally, Yang Berhormat Pehin announced Brunei Darussalam’s hosting of the first ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)/Military Medicine (MM) Exercise next year. Brunei Darussalam briefed the Meeting on the proposed concept and objectives of the ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise to be held on 16 to 20 June 2013.

The Joint Declaration of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting on Enhancing ASEAN Unity for a Harmonized and Secure Community was signed by all Ministers after the Meeting concluded. Among other significant milestones of the Meeting, ADMM Ministers adopted the Concept Paper on Review of Frequency of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus Meeting, shortening the interval of ADMM-Plus Meetings from three to two years commencing after the ADMM-Plus in 2013. The Ministers also expressed their support on the conduct of the ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise in Brunei Darussalam in 2013 as a concrete demonstration of practical cooperation. In addition, the Ministers welcomed Brunei Darussalam’s Chairmanship of ASEAN and its hosting of the 7th ADMM and 2nd ADMM-Plus in 2013.

In the afternoon, the Ministers visited the National Center for Peacekeeping Force, Mine and Explosive Remnants of War Clearance (NPMEC) where they had the opportunity to view a demonstration and various de-mining equipment by the Center.

The ASEAN Defence Ministers also had an informal meeting with the Minister of National Defence of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency General Liang Guanglie, who is on an official visit to Cambodia. During the meeting, China reassured ASEAN Member States that China would always adhere to the principles of peaceful co-existence with ASEAN, and resolving disputes by peaceful means. China also reassured ASEAN Member States that it was ready to work with ASEAN to advance mutual trust for regional peace and stability. Both sides acknowledged the importance of people-to-people interaction involving military and defence officials.

In the evening, a Gala Dinner was hosted by His Excellency General Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence, Cambodia.  

The first ADMM-Plus was held in Hanoi, Vietnam in October 2010 which reaffirmed ASEAN’s important role in security cooperation for East Asia. The ADMM-Plus countries include the ten ASEAN Member Countries, (and) Australia, People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russian Federation and the United States of America.

Singapore: RSN holds inaugural submarine rescue course

James Fisher Defence LR5 SRV

Report by Ong Hong Tat

As submarine capabilities gain prominence among navies, it has become critical that nations and submarine operators are assured of a robust rescue system, should mishaps or accidents occur.

This was the point made by Head Naval Operations Rear Admiral (RADM) Jackson Chia in his opening address at the inaugural Submarine Rescue Course (SRC) on 28 May, at the Changi Command and Control (C2) Centre. The course, organised by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), will be held from 28 May to 6 Jun.

Over the eight-day course, the 30 participants from seven countries will view medical demonstrations and take part in table-top exercises before going on a sea sortie involving the submarine and rescue support ship MV Swift Rescue and RSN's Deep Search and Rescue 6 submersible. They will also share submarine rescue concepts and structures, and review the processes involved in a rescue operation.

The course will focus on procedures laid out in the Allied Tactical Publication (ATP) 57(B) on submarine search and rescue, and the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) website.

Read the full story at Cyberpioneer

News Story: Slight Reduction in New Zealand’s 2012-13 Defense Budget

Protector/Otago  class OPV (Wiki Info)


Wellington New Zealand — New Zealand’s Defence Force (NZDF) has done relatively well with only a slight reduction in its overall budget for 2012-2013, according to released budget figures.

As usual, the Army takes the largest slice of the overall 2.9 billion New Zealand dollar ($2.2 billion) defense budget, down from 2.91 billion New Zealand dollars from the previous year. Last year, the Army’s budget was 832 million New Zealand dollars and this year rises to 845 million New Zealand dollars.

However, the Royal New Zealand Air Force enjoys a more than 5 percent budget increase, from 670 million New Zealand dollars to 790 million, while the Royal New Zealand Navy saw its funding fall by more than 4 percent, to 6.62 billion New Zealand dollars.

Although the overall defense budget has diminished slightly, most NZDF capabilities will enjoy more funding.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

News Story: (Philippines) PAF buying new trainer jets

KAI T-50, Possible LIFT aircraft

By Dona Z. Pazzibugan 

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is ordering this year a number of brand new aircraft.
These include 12 lead-in fighter trainer jets, eight light transports, three medium transports and attack helicopters.

The PAF said the order is among 38 contracts that the air branch of the Armed Forces of the Philippines will sign this year. Delivery of the aircraft is expected in two years.

“Within the year we expect to sign contracts. We have 38 projects lined up, foremost of which is the FAA lead-in fighter trainer or LIFT. We have attack helicopters coming, light transports and medium transports that are slightly smaller than the C-130 cargo plane” currently in use, PAF spokesperson Col. Miguel Okol said.

Read the full story at The Daily Inquirer

29 May 2012

Editorial: (UPDATED) U.S. Forces Spy on North Korea

By David Axe

U.S. Special Forces have been parachuting into North Korea to spy on Pyongyang’s extensive network of underground military facilities. 

That surprising disclosure, by a top U.S. commando officer, is a reminder of America’s continuing involvement in the “cold war” on the Korean peninsula – and of North Korea’s extensive preparations for the conflict turning hot.

Read the full story at The Diplomat


This story by the diplomat has sparked a controversy, the original story has been removed from their site and a statement by "The Diplomat" can be found at Clarification on North Korea.

For more on this awkward situation see the "Defence Management" story below.



US denies North Korea spy missions

United States Forces Korea has denied reports that it parachuted Special Forces troops into North Korea to spy on the regime's underground military facilities.

A report in The Diplomat claimed that the US Army's Brigadier General Neil Tolley told a conference that the spy missions had been necessary because communications satellites could not detect the North's underground facilities. The secretive regime's hidden facilities are thought to include some 20 underground air bases and thousands of miles of tunnels.

Read the full story at Defence Management

AUS: Parliamentary Secretary for Defence launches lessons learned report on peacekeeping and peacebuilding

The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Dr Mike Kelly, today launched the Australian inter-agency report, ‘Partnering for Peace: Australia’s Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Experiences in Bougainville, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste’. 

The report focuses on Australia’s recent contributions to regional peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions and aims to distil lessons learned from these operations.

The report was launched at the opening of the Australian Civil-Military Centre’s Civil-Military Affairs Conference (CMAC), which is occurring in Queanbeyan from 28-29 May 2012. 

The CMAC conference brings together leading domestic and international peacekeeping and peacebuilding experts including policy makers, practitioners and academics.  Participants will consider critical issues for contemporary peace and stabilisation operations and identify innovative solutions to improve future missions. 

The key themes of the conference are transition, civilian capacities, local ownership and the crucial role of women in peace and security. 

“Australia has a proud history of involvement in peace and security missions around the globe and within our region,” said Dr Kelly. 

“The conference will contribute to the Australian Government’s capacity to support successful transitions in Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Afghanistan.”

Dr Kelly will tonight host the conference dinner at the National Gallery of Australia.

AUS: Tiger helicopters resume flying operations

Tiger Armed Recon Helicopter

The Australian Army’s fleet of Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters (ARH) has returned to regular training activities following the lifting of a temporary suspension that was put in place on 16 May 2012 due to the detection of fumes in the cockpit of the aircraft.

The Army Operational Airworthiness Authority lifted the suspension late yesterday following a detailed assessment and a recommendation from the Technical Airworthiness Authority to resume flying operations.

There are 22 ARH in the Australian Army’s Oakey and Darwin based fleet, 19 of which are in the fully capable configuration operating in the fleet.

The ARH will soon deploy on Army’s largest annual foundation warfighting exercise. Exercise Hamel will be conducted in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area over three weeks from 21 June.

Australian Army

Sri Lanka: Two Japanese and one Pakistan Naval ships arrive at the Port of Colombo

Ikazuchi (DD 107) Destroyer
Two Japanese and one Pakistan naval ships arrived at the Port on Colombo on 28th May 2012. They were ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in keeping with naval customs and traditions on arrival.

Two Japanese ships are “IKAZUCHI” and “SAWAGIRI” belonging to the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force ( JMSDF) with Commanding officer Escort Division Five, Captain Hirokazu Yamazaki onboard. They are both destroyers enroute to interchange for counter piracy operations off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden.

SAWAGIRI (DD-157) Destroyer
“ IKAZUCHI” is 151 meters in length and has a displacement of 4,550 tons. It has a complement of 180 naval personnel commanded by Commander Masahiro SuZuki. "SAWAGIRI" is 137 meters in length and has a displacement of 3,550 tons. It has a complement of 190 personnel commanded by Commander Toshiki Nizsizwa.

The Pakistan naval ship is a Fast Attack Craft named "Azmat" commanded by Commander Ahmed Hussain. The ship is on a good will visit while returning from China. It is 63 meters in length and has a displacement of 631 tons. The ship's complement consists of 77 naval personnel.

Azmat (1013) Fast Attack Craft/Corvette
Commanding Officer of the Escort Division Five and the Commanding Officers of the ships paid courtesy calls on the Commander Western Naval Area Rear Admiral DS Udawatta. They held cordial discussions and exchanged mementos as a gesture of goodwill.

Two Japanese naval ships are due to depart on 29th while the Pakistan naval ship stays till 31st.The crews are scheduled to take part in a series of programmer organized by the Sri Lanka Navy to strengthen the cordial relations among the friendly navies.


By Salleh Ahmad & Marina Abdullah Sitau

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA, Monday, 28 May 2012 - Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd.) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister’s Office had several bilateral meetings with His Excellency General Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence, Cambodia; His Excellency Lieutenant General Douangchay Phichith, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence, Laos;  His Excellency Lieutenant General Hla Min, Minister of Defence, Myanmar; and His Excellency Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence, Republic of Singapore at the Intercontinental Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd.) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin is here representing Brunei Darussalam to the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers ’ Meeting (6th ADMM) that will be held at the Peace Palace, Prime Minister’s Office, Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 29 May 2012.

During the separate bilateral meetings, Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar expressed his pleasure on the good defence relations that existed between Brunei Darussalam and Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Singapore.  Yang Berhormat Pehin also congratulated His Excellency General Tea Banh for Cambodia’s success in organizing and steering ADMM and expressed Brunei Darussalam’s appreciation for sharing their experiences in organizing the meeting which Brunei Darussalam will host in 2013.

Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Singapore expressed their full support for Brunei Darussalam’s Chairmanship of the ADMM and ADMM-Plus Meeting for 2013, including the ADMM-Plus exercise in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR)/Military Medicine (MM) that will be held in Brunei Darussalam in June 2013. They also pledged their support for the ASEAN Chief of Navy Meeting and the ASEAN Army Chiefs Meetings and Rifle Meet to be held in Brunei Darussalam in September and October 2012 respectively.

Among other significant matters, Brunei Darussalam and Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Singapore agreed to further strengthen defence cooperation through more interactions and dialogue, as well as trainings and other collaborative efforts. Towards that end, Brunei Darussalam iterated its offer to the respective countries’ military officers to participate in a number of courses conducted by the Ministry of Defence. Brunei Darussalam also took the opportunity to extend its invitation to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Singapore for the ADMM and ADMM-Plus Meetings in Brunei Darussalam in 2013.

India: Antony Hikes financial Powers of Service Headquarters Three-Fold to Hasten Procurements

To accelerate the process of procurement for the Armed Forces, the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony today gave his ‘in principle’ approval to a three-fold hike in the delegation of financial powers to Service Headquarters – from the current Rs.50 crores to Rs.150 crores. 

The decision was taken at a meeting here Shri Antony had with the three Service Chiefs – Admiral NirmalVerma, General VK Singh, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne and the Defence Secretary Shri Shashikant Sharma. A detailed review of the security situation was also made at the meeting. 

Shri Antony directed the three Service Chiefs to explore more avenues for giving permanent commission to women in the Armed Forces. 

Shri Antony also had a one-on-one meeting with the Chief of Army Staff General Singh this morning. The meeting lasted 15 minutes.

India: C 130-Super Hercules - Gigantic Flying Machine Lands at Air Force Station, Car Nicobar

Indian C-130J

In yet another accomplishment, the C-130J super Hercules aircraft touched down at Air Force Station, Car Nicobar on 28 May 2012 on its maiden flight to the island airbase. After almost 6 hours flight from AF Stn Hindan, Group Captain Tejbir Singh, Commanding Officer of the Hercules Squadron accomplished the task of landing at Car Nicobar Air base. 

The crew was received by the Chief Operations Officer Wing Commander Sanjay M Nijai. The staff from HQ Andaman & Nicobar Command, Air Commodore TK Sinha were also present on the occasion. For some, it was just yet another landing, infact it marked a big leap for the Indian Air Force in projecting its strategic reach even at this remote and far-flung island base of the Indian Air Force. 

C – 130 J is one of the latest warbird with state of art avionics and defensive suites. This aircraft has the ability to execute special operations which shall involve not only the Air Force elements but also Army and Naval forces to achieve the assigned task by displaying a great synergy between them. This also show cases our ability and operational infrastructure to induct variety of forces & technology. 

This endorses the vision of our planners to induct this magnificent machine into tech – savvy Indian Air Force. It is indeed a proud and historic moment which will go down the annals of Indian Air Force’s only island base rightfully known as ‘Commendable Carnic’.

News Story: Taiwan Deploys Anti-China Missiles

Hsiungfeng 2 (HF2 Info - HF2E Info)

TAIPEI — Taiwan has for the first time deployed cruise missiles capable of striking key military bases along the southeast coast of the Chinese mainland, local media reported May 28.

Mass production of the Taiwan-made “Hsiungfeng” (Brave Wind) 2E, which have a range of 300 miles, has been completed and the missiles have come into service, the Liberty Times said, citing an unnamed military source.

The defense ministry declined to comment on the report, but the paper said the project, codenamed “Chichun” (Lance Hawk), had cost the military around Tw$30 billion ($1.02 billion).

Taiwanese experts estimate that China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, has more than 1,600 missiles aimed at the island.

Read the full story at DefenseNews

Editorial: Chinese Taiwan 'grab' threatens global security

By Francesco Guarascio

No date has been set, but Taiwan's return to Chinese rule is becoming somewhat of a safe bet – with huge implications for global security, reports Francesco Guarascio from Taipei

MaoTse-tung used to say that China could "do without" Taiwan for 100 years, but eventually the leaf-shaped island off the coast of South China would return to the motherland; even if this required the use of force. The recent strategy of Beijing toward the rebellious republic has not wavered, although the issue is now handled with improved subtlety. The threat of military intervention has never receded, but the favoured policy is now to retake the island by stealth rather than force. 

China's strength in this endeavour is its impressive growth. When the economic differences between the mainland and Taiwan are gone, the argument to maintain the separate rule will lose ground. This is the same strategy that Beijing applied to Hong Kong, which was returned to China in 1987 by the United Kingdom but is set to enjoy a special status for the first 50 years after the handover. China's main ally in this potentially dangerous embrace is Taiwan's president Ma Ying-jeou, a man strengthened by his re-election for a second four-year mandate. During his first term, he pursued a policy of engagement with China. This produces considerable economic benefits, but risks driving Taiwan into a political cul-de-sac where the only option is to eventually rejoin China.

Read the full story at Public Service Europe

News Story: Qantas Defence nears completion of last A330 MRTT conversion

KC-30A (Full size Pic at JetPhotos)

Qantas Defence Services is close to completing the conversion of Australia's fifth, and final, Airbus Military A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT).

The aircraft will be handed over to Airbus Military next week, with the European company to install the aerial refuelling boom, says Qantas Aviation Services head Glenn Brown. Qantas Defence Services is a unit of Qantas Aviation Services.

Industry sources in Australia suggest the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will not obtain a sixth A330 MRTT, which is designated the KC-30A in RAAF service.

Brown says that it would be very difficult for Qantas Defence Services to re-start the A330 MRTT conversion programme. Some contractors who worked on the programme have already moved on to other work within the Qantas Group or at other companies.

Such staff changes will cause a degree of institutional knowledge related to A330 MRTT conversions to be lost.

Read the full story at FlightGlobal

Editorial: Iran Surprises on Uranium

By Jason Miks

Iran may have enriched uranium to higher level than expected, according to the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which I received a copy of at the weekend.

Is this further sign that Iran isn’t negotiating in good faith? That remains to be see, and Iran for its part indicated to the IAEA that the production of such particles “above the target value” may “happen for technical reasons beyond the operator’s control.”

“The Agency is assessing Iran’s explanation and has requested further details,” the report says. “On 5 May 2012, the Agency took further environmental samples from the same location where the particles in question had been found. These samples are currently being analyzed.”

Read the full story at The Diplomat