Tagged: navy

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For US and China, Lasers and Missiles Heighten Military Tensions

“Anyone with no invasive intention will find no reason to worry about this,” she added.

While China has long claimed the islands, reefs and other outcroppings within the South China Sea, other nations also have claims there, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

China’s vast reclamation project[1], which began in earnest in 2013, shortly after Mr. Xi became the country’s paramount leader, has steadily turned once-uninhabited places into fortified islands with airfields and increasingly military outposts. In doing so it has brushed aside warnings from the United States and other nations and even a ruling against its territorial claims[2] by an international arbitration panel in 2016.

China’s base in Djibouti, its first overseas, has long been a source of concern[3] for the United States and other militaries operating around the Horn of Africa. It opened last year and has been portrayed by the Chinese as a logistics base to support antipiracy, counterterrorism and humanitarian operations in Africa and the Middle East.

It also happens to be just a few miles from the only permanent American base in Africa, which was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The base, operated by the Navy adjacent to Djibouti’s international airport, is home to some 4,000 personnel, including those involved in highly secretive missions in the region, including at least two Navy SEAL raids[4] into Yemen.

The use of lasers was first made public in April in a warning to pilots[5] issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. It noted that there had been multiple instances of “a high-power laser” being used near where the Chinese base is. Using lasers to disorient or disable pilots is an old military tactic, but an international protocol[6] adopted in 1995 and joined by China prohibits the practice.

Ms. White said that there was no doubt about the origin of the lasers, and that the Pentagon had asked the Chinese to investigate. “It’s a serious matter,” she said, “and so we’re taking it very seriously.”

In a statement on Friday afternoon, China’s Ministry of National Defense strongly disputed the Pentagon’s accusations, saying they were “completely inconsistent with fact.”

References

  1. ^ vast reclamation project (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ a ruling against its territorial claims (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ a source of concern (www.nytimes.com)
  4. ^ Navy SEAL raids (www.nytimes.com)
  5. ^ a warning to pilots (pilotweb.nas.faa.gov)
  6. ^ international protocol (www.icrc.org)
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Lasers and Missiles Heighten US-China Military Tensions

“Anyone with no invasive intention will find no reason to worry about this,” she added.

While China has long claimed the islands, reefs and other outcroppings within the South China Sea, other nations also have claims there, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

China’s vast reclamation project[1], which began in earnest in 2013, shortly after Mr. Xi became the country’s paramount leader, has steadily turned once-uninhabited places into fortified islands with airfields and increasingly military outposts. In doing so it has brushed aside warnings from the United States and other nations and even a ruling against its territorial claims[2] by an international arbitration panel in 2016.

China’s base in Djibouti, its first overseas, has long been a source of concern[3] for the United States and other militaries operating around the Horn of Africa. It opened last year and has been portrayed by the Chinese as a logistics base to support antipiracy, counterterrorism and humanitarian operations in Africa and the Middle East.

It also happens to be just a few miles from the only permanent American base in Africa, which was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The base, operated by the Navy adjacent to Djibouti’s international airport, is home to some 4,000 personnel, including those involved in highly secretive missions in the region, including at least two Navy SEAL raids[4] into Yemen.

The use of lasers was first made public in April in a warning to pilots[5] issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. It noted that there had been multiple instances of “a high-power laser” being used near where the Chinese base is. Using lasers to disorient or disable pilots is an old military tactic, but an international protocol[6] adopted in 1995 and joined by China prohibits the practice.

Ms. White said that there was no doubt about the origin of the lasers, and that the Pentagon had asked the Chinese to investigate. “It’s a serious matter,” she said, “and so we’re taking it very seriously.”

In a statement on Friday afternoon, China’s Ministry of National Defense strongly disputed the Pentagon’s accusations, saying they were “completely inconsistent with fact.”

References

  1. ^ vast reclamation project (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ a ruling against its territorial claims (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ a source of concern (www.nytimes.com)
  4. ^ Navy SEAL raids (www.nytimes.com)
  5. ^ a warning to pilots (pilotweb.nas.faa.gov)
  6. ^ international protocol (www.icrc.org)
0

For US and China, Lasers and Missiles Heighten Military Tensions

“Anyone with no invasive intention will find no reason to worry about this,” she added.

While China has long claimed the islands, reefs and other outcroppings within the South China Sea, other nations also have claims there, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

China’s vast reclamation project[1], which began in earnest in 2013, shortly after Mr. Xi became the country’s paramount leader, has steadily turned once-uninhabited places into fortified islands with airfields and increasingly military outposts. In doing so it has brushed aside warnings from the United States and other nations and even a ruling against its territorial claims[2] by an international arbitration panel in 2016.

China’s base in Djibouti, its first overseas, has long been a source of concern[3] for the United States and other militaries operating around the Horn of Africa. It opened last year and has been portrayed by the Chinese as a logistics base to support antipiracy, counterterrorism and humanitarian operations in Africa and the Middle East.

It also happens to be just a few miles from the only permanent American base in Africa, which was established after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The base, operated by the Navy adjacent to Djibouti’s international airport, is home to some 4,000 personnel, including those involved in highly secretive missions in the region, including at least two Navy SEAL raids[4] into Yemen.

The use of lasers was first made public in April in a warning to pilots[5] issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. It noted that there had been multiple instances of “a high-power laser” being used near where the Chinese base is. Using lasers to disorient or disable pilots is an old military tactic, but an international protocol[6] adopted in 1995 and joined by China prohibits the practice.

Ms. White said that there was no doubt about the origin of the lasers, and that the Pentagon had asked the Chinese to investigate. “It’s a serious matter,” she said, “and so we’re taking it very seriously.”

In a statement on Friday afternoon, China’s Ministry of National Defense strongly disputed the Pentagon’s accusations, saying they were “completely inconsistent with fact.”

References

  1. ^ vast reclamation project (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ a ruling against its territorial claims (www.nytimes.com)
  3. ^ a source of concern (www.nytimes.com)
  4. ^ Navy SEAL raids (www.nytimes.com)
  5. ^ a warning to pilots (pilotweb.nas.faa.gov)
  6. ^ international protocol (www.icrc.org)
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Reports of Sexual Assault in the Military Rise by 10 Percent, Pentagon Finds

WASHINGTON — More than 6,700 Defense Department employees reported being sexually assaulted in the 2017 fiscal year — the highest number since the United States military began tracking reports more than a decade ago, according to Pentagon data released on Monday.

The new data showed a 10 percent increase of military sexual assault reports from the previous fiscal year. The uptick occurred amid a Marine Corps scandal over sharing nude photos and heightened public discourse about sexual harassment in American culture.

Pentagon officials sought to portray the increase as reflective of more troops and military civilians trusting commanders and the military’s judicial system enough to come forward.

In all, 6,769 people reported assaults for the 2017 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. It was the largest yearly increase since 2014 and the most reports since the Pentagon started tracking the data in 2006.

Roughly two-thirds of the reports resulted in disciplinary action, the data show. The remaining 38 percent were discounted because evidence was lacking, victims declined to participate in hearings or other reasons.

The Army, Navy and Air Force each saw a roughly 10 percent uptick in sexual assault reports. The increase nearly reached 15 percent in the Marine Corps.

Separately, roughly 700 complaints of sexual harassment were reported across the military in the 2017 fiscal year, according to the Pentagon data. Ninety percent of the reports were from enlisted troops.

In March 2017, a social media group made up of active duty and former Marines was accused of sharing explicit photos of female colleagues, prompting a widespread investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. A number of Marines were punished, and the service started a campaign to educate its troops on sexual harassment and assault.

Despite efforts to rid the internet of military-themed groups such as the one found last year, others have continued to pop up.

Gen. Robert B. Neller, the Marine Corps commandant, said the service was in a “better place” after the scandal.

Lawmakers have long hammered the military on its predominantly male culture and have sometimes lobbied for military courts to be civilian run so due process is absent of command influence.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who last week called sexual assault a “cancer” in the military, has demanded that leaders throughout the ranks make sure the problem does not spread.

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US-South Korea military exercises are on, despite Trump's planned meeting with Kim. Here's what will happen.


Navy explosive ordnance disposal technicians prepare to dive near the coast of Jinhae, South Korea, in March 2017 as part of the exercise called Foal Eagle. (Alfred A. Coffield/Navy)

As the White House prepares for what could be the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader, the U.S. and South Korean militaries will carry out exercises that Pyongyang has long called provocative but now appears to accept.

South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong announced Thursday at the White House[1] that in addition to President Trump agreeing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May, Kim pledged that North Korea will refrain from additional nuclear or missile tests and “understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue.”

The latter acknowledgment marked a significant shift for the Kim regime. Each spring, the United States and South Korea launch military exercises known as Foal Eagle and Key Resolve, and the Kim regime has typically reacted angrily. The exercises there are seen as preparation for an attack on Pyongyang, while the South Koreans and Americans characterize them as defensive in nature.

[Trump accepts invitation to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un[2]]

Last year, North Korea fired four ballistic missiles toward Japan in what was widely seen as a response to the exercises. The North Korean military already had warned that if a single shell fell in waters near the Korean Peninsula, it would immediately launch “merciless” counteractions.

A new round of North Korean ballistic missile launches on Mar. 6 has triggered anger from Japan. (Reuters)

The exercises are believed to include rehearsals of what is known as OPLAN 5015, in which U.S. and South Korean forces would carry out “decapitation” strikes aimed at killing Kim and other senior members of his regime. North Korean hackers stole a trove of classified data in 2016, including information about the strikes, a South Korean lawmaker announced last year[3].

Foal Eagle began last year on March 3, with about 3,600 U.S. troops deploying to South Korea to join others among the 28,500 U.S. forces based there to participate in the exercises, according to U.S. Pacific Command[4]. The exercises included the new F-35B Joint Strike Fighter among a fleet of aircraft, the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and other Navy ships, and ground forces.

The exercise this year is expected to begin at the end of the month — a delay that South Korea requested to work around the now-concluded Winter Olympics and the Winter Paralympics, which began Friday. The operation includes live exercises and war games involving computer simulations.

[Trump agrees to delay military exercise with South Korea until after Winter Olympics[5]]

The exercises are bookended by another set of computer-simulated exercises late each summer known as  Ulchi Freedom Guardian. Those exercises focus on defending South Korea from attack.

South Korea’s national security adviser announced at The White House that President Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “by May.” Here are three other big events in North Korean diplomacy. (Jason Aldag/The Washington Post)
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Xi Jinping's Military Might

Military delegates leave the Great Hall of the People after the opening session of the National People's Congress in Beijing on March 5.

Military delegates leave the Great Hall of the People after the opening session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on March 5.


Photo:

nicolas asfouri/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

By

The Editorial Board

March 8, 2018 6:30 p.m. ET

The annual session of China’s rubber-stamp legislature opened this week, and Chinese Premier

Li Keqiang

announced an 8.1% increase in defense spending, the largest in three years. Lawmakers are expected to approve the military budget and constitutional changes to let supreme leader

Xi Jinping

serve as President indefinitely. All of this will amplify the angst in Asia about Beijing’s military buildup.

The budget of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) isn’t transparent, and the U.S. Defense Department estimates that spending is about 25% higher than Beijing’s figure. More important, Mr. Xi is remaking the military into an effective fighting force. Under previous leaders, the PLA became top-heavy with generals whose main mission was to line their own pockets. They padded the ranks with followers and offered promotions in return for bribes. An anticorruption campaign has netted 16 top generals in the past six years.

Mr. Xi has replaced them with loyalists, giving him the clout to reform the PLA. He replaced regional commands that were personal fiefdoms with theater commands that require the army, navy and air force to work together, much as the U.S. did after the Goldwater-Nichols Act in 1986. Beijing is reducing the military’s headcount and investing the savings in sophisticated weapons. Since 2015 the PLA has shed 300,000 troops. Instead of relying on human-wave attacks, it is racing the U.S. to develop artificial intelligence for the battlefield.

Under Mr. Xi the PLA is harassing U.S. forces in the international waters and airspace off China’s coast. Chinese vessels and aircraft are testing Japanese defenses around the disputed Senkaku Islands almost daily. Despite a promise by Mr. Xi that China would not militarize the seven artificial islands it reclaimed in the South China Sea, the PLA has built hangers for 72 fighter aircraft and 10 bombers.

Beijing is also stoking nationalism at home to an extent not seen since the death of

Mao Zedong.

Feature films such as “Wolf Warrior” show the PLA fighting abroad, while television documentaries extol the military’s reforms and growing strength. Mr. Xi’s “China Dream” slogan includes a “strong army dream,” and last year he reviewed troops on Army Day without other senior leaders present.

All of this raises questions about Mr. Xi’s intensions. The U.S. retains a military edge over China, but that is slipping as the PLA seeks to build a blue-water navy, and deploy weapons that could kill U.S. satellites and put American aircraft carriers at risk.

Mr. Xi’s predecessors also increased China’s military budget. But his success in amassing personal power and his record of using the PLA to intimidate neighbors mean his moves to build military might will be closely watched from Japan through the Straits of Malacca to the Indian Ocean. One lesson of history is that rising authoritarian powers often make the mistake of tempting conflict in the name of nationalist glory.

References

  1. ^ Biography (www.wsj.com)
  2. ^ @wsjopinion (twitter.com)
  3. ^ 5 COMMENTS (www.wsj.com)
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Think One Military Drone is Bad? Drone Swarms Are Terrifyingly Difficult to Stop

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms of use[1].

The advent of military drones and their rapidly expanding portfolio of capabilities has already had a major impact on the future of warfare planning across the United States. The Pentagon has launched a major program to build a new artificial intelligence for controlling its own drone efforts, and Google is helping it[2]. Concern over the long-term impact of low-cost missiles and drones drove the Navy’s research into railguns and other delivery vehicles with lower-cost projectile systems until those programs were shelved. Legal experts and military tacticians have both debated how the use of remote autonomous vehicles could challenge existing views on the use of force across the military and in civilian encounters.

But our view of a military drone as an expensive, large, fixed-wing aircraft with a bevy of sophisticated onboard sensors and capabilities may rapidly be as obsolescent as the idea of wooden-hulled battleships. As a recent story in The Atlantic[3] points out, rapid advances in drone technology are making it easier to deploy incredibly primitive “drones” that are still capable of doing real damage.

The National Academy of Science was recently commissioned to write a report on the risks of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) and whether the military’s existing timetable for evaluating and developing responses to existing threats is satisfactory. The subsequent report wasted few words, stating[4]:

The U.S. Army’s force capability timeframe is too drawn out to address the rapid advancements in sUAS performance capabilities and anticipated threat uses. This is because potential adversaries are improving their sUAS capabilities on commercial and consumer developmental timelines.

FAA investigations into a single drone firing a handgun make headlines in the US — and to be sure, that’s something civilian law enforcement should absolutely care about — but forget about the dubious mechanics of trying to fire a weapon aboard a moving platform with a weight measured in ounces. A simple drone built out of plywood can carry and drop a hand grenade. Russian drones carrying a pound of thermite are believed to have destroyed two Ukrainian ammo depots last year, in July[5] and September[6]. And an entire swarm of primitive drones struck Russian forces in Syria this year[7]. Of the 13 drones that struck Russia’s Syrian HQ, seven were shot down and six brought down by electronic countermeasures. While the Russians defeated this attack, it proves the point — militias and guerilla organizations working with minimal tools can now build drones capable of launching attacks.

The US military has invested in electronic countermeasures, believing that the key to stopping drones is the use of jamming. But as drones become more proficient at making decisions on their own, the need for a remote uplink could vanish altogether. And as the report notes, simply shooting at the diminutive drones isn’t a great option for stopping them.

“Kinetic counters, such as shooting down a single, highly dynamic, fast-moving, low-flying hobby aircraft with small arms (rifles, shotguns, and light machine guns), are extremely difficult due to the agility and small size of sUASs,” the report states. “Additionally, swarming sUASs can be employed to overwhelm most existing kinetic countermeasures.”

The United States is working on its own drone swarms, including a recent test of a deployment of more than 100 robin-sized micro-drones designed by Perdix from a pair of F-18s. The Perdix drones are being built as part of research into using large swarms of drones with a distributed intelligence. The goal is to use them for unmanned aerial surveillance, taking advantage of the fact that it’s much harder to hit a bunch of tiny drones than a single large target like a Predator drone.

It’s not clear yet what an effective response to this attack strategy will look like. The military still grapples with fighting guerilla and insurgent forces effectively because the nature of civil conflict within states is, for various reasons, a difficult problem for conventional armed forces to confront. The advent of cheap, easily assembled drone swarms serving as a micro-bombing fleet could make such situations worse. How do you identify and strike military centers when the “air force” attacking you can be assembled largely from scrap and cobbled-together components, powered by a “brain” equivalent to a midrange smartphone, and launched from a parking lot?

References

  1. ^ Terms of use (www.ziffdavis.com)
  2. ^ is helping it (www.extremetech.com)
  3. ^ The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com)
  4. ^ stating (www.nap.edu)
  5. ^ July (www.popsci.com)
  6. ^ September (www.popularmechanics.com)
  7. ^ this year (www.washingtonpost.com)
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In Honor of Women's History Month, Military Women Share Experiences Facing Sexism in the Armed Forces

Major Amanda L. Minikus J.D. ’15 was in Afghanistan when she received her acceptance letter to Cornell.

“I was in this craphole,” she said, referring to where she was stationed in Afghanistan. “I was like ‘[Cornell] looks like a magical kingdom’ — rolling grassy hills and a beautiful clock tower.”

Minikus and five other military women, four of whom are current or former Cornell graduate students, spoke in a panel honoring Women’s History Month on Wednesday.

The six women answered a series of questions about their personal experiences in the military, at Cornell and the process of “overcoming systematic biases to pave the way for future generations of women.”

Fleet Master Chief April D. Beldo, Minikus, Lt. Alicia Jane Flanagan grad, Capt. Molly Heath, recruiting flight commander for Cornell’s Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Shannon Boyle grad and Natoshia C. Spruill MBA ’14 participated in the panel.

The panel members all gave a range of different reasons for joining the military. Spruill had family members in the service; Beldo desired more “structure and discipline” in her life; Minikus wanted to serve after witnessing the 9/11 attack.

“Sept. 11 was in my senior year at high school,” Minikus recounted. “That directed me. I wanted to do something about it.”

“The United States Naval Academy also had a really nice swimming pool,” Minkus added, who captained the academy’s varsity women’s swim team.

A service member since 1983, Beldo recounted the times she faced sexism while in the navy. One time, her commanding officer told her, “I don’t want an aviator. I don’t want a female.”

“That was a challenge,” she said. “You are making a decision without even knowing what I can bring to the table.”

Beldo said that, while the encounter was discouraging, she did not ask to be reassigned and continued on in her assignment with an “I will show you” attitude.

Spruill and Boyle, who are both mothers, commented on the difficulty of balancing their service, studies and children.

“There are always trade-offs,” Boyle said. “It’s how you choose to prioritize.”

But despite the sexism her fellow colleagues faced, Minikus argued that ultimately “people follow good people,” regardless of “whether you’re female, male, white, black, hispanic.”

The panel members agreed that female service members are becoming more accepted within the military.

“I think the Air Force has done a good job of trying to create a supportive environment for women,” Heath said.