B-52 bombers train with Japanese, US fighter jets over East China Sea – Pacific

B-52 bombers train with Japanese, US fighter jets over East China Sea Two B-52 bombers flew over the East China Sea Tuesday during joint training with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and the U.S. Navy, the Air Force said. The B-52H Stratofortresses took off from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and conducted “integration training” that also included F-15C Eagle fighter jets assigned to the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, U.S. Pacific Air Forces said in a statement. The bombers returned to Guam after the…

The ANC Brief: Making the case vs China

Here are the big stories on ANC and ANCX today: Crimes on the high seas Two Philippine former officials and Filipino fishermen have brought a complaint against Chinese President Xi Jinping before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes committed in the disputed South China Sea. President Duterte said China isn’t part of the ICC. Analyst Jay Batongbacal notes the complaint faces many challenges.  Idle threat? Opposition senators didn’t take too kindly to Nur Misuari’s threat that he would go to war if the country didn’t transition into a…

Former gov’t officials bring Xi Jinping to ICC

MANILA, Philippines — Chinese officials led by President Xi Jinping are being accused of committing crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC) over Beijing’s dredging activities in the South China Sea. Days before the Philippines’ withdrawal from the ICC became effective last Sunday, former foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario and former ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales sent a communication to ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda asking her to initiate a preliminary examination on China’s activities in the disputed region. In their 17-page communication dated March 13, Del Rosario and Morales…

As South China Sea Showdown Heats Up, US Marines Revisit Island-Hopping Strategy

With relations between China and Western powers in the South China Sea showing little sign of cooling down, the US Marine Corps has decided to refresh its island-hopping skills, practicing storming an island in Japan last week and on the California coast this week. Several USMC units “attacked” the island of Iejima last week, establishing a beachhead, seizing the island’s airfield and shuttling in heavier assets to strike more enemy positions. Iejima is one of the Ryukyu Islands and sits just a few kilometers off the coast of Okinawa. The small island houses a US Marine…

Army Ranger With Purple Heart Dies During Parachute Training

Everything that is old may indeed be new again. During World War II, U.S. Marines moved from island to island, famously fighting bloody battles against entrenched Japanese forces determined to dominate the Pacific. Now, as a potential conflict with China looms, the Marine Corps is dusting off this island-hopping strategy. Last week, U.S. Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit led a series of simulated small island assaults in Japan, the Corps announced Thursday. Marines with Charlie Company, Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, during a live-fire range as…

US Marines seize small island to train for a possible China fight

US Marines recently led a simulated assault on a small island in the Pacific, honing skills thought to be essential in a fight with China. The exercise, which also involved the Army and the Air Force, was part of the Corps’ efforts to refine the Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations concept. “This entire mission profile simulated the process of securing advanced footholds for follow-on forces to conduct further military operations, with rapid redeployment,” the service said. Last week, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress…

A Rising China Is Driving the U.S. Army’s New Game Plan in the Pacific – Foreign Policy

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii—As an organization based solidly on dry land, the U.S. Army’s increasing focus on the Pacific might seem puzzling to some. But with China continuing to expand its military, building islands in the South China Sea, and spreading fear among neighbors, the Army wants to up its game in the region with more firepower and additional rotations of U.S. troops—not only to reassure key U.S. allies such as Japan, South Korea, and Thailand that the United States has their back, but also to prevent a potential war. “China…

Two former Philippine ministers file case in ICC against China’s island-building in South China Sea, SE Asia News & Top Stories

MANILA – Two former Philippine government officials have filed a case before the International Criminal Court (ICC) holding China’s President Xi Jinping accountable for a massive island-building push in the South China Sea which they charged has led to “the most massive, near permanent and devastating destruction of the environment in humanity’s history”. China is not a signatory to the treaty that created the ICC, a fact President Rodrigo Duterte  pointed out as he suggested the case was unlikely to prosper. “The Philippines is a democratic country, and anybody can…