Navy warships conduct back-to-back freedom-of-navigation operations in South China Sea – Pacific

Navy warships conduct back-to-back freedom-of-navigation operations in South China Sea YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill steamed near the disputed Spratly Islands on Wednesday, marking the second time the U.S. has sent a warship on a freedom-of-navigation operation in the South China Sea this week, according to the Navy. The mission challenged restrictions by China, Vietnam and Taiwan, which dispute sovereignty over the Spratly Islands, 7th Fleet spokeswoman Cmdr. Reann Mommsen said in a statement to Stars and Stripes on Thursday. The Philippines,…

Twitter knocks Trump for ‘glorifying violence’ with tweet; COVID testing rises but not enough; Navy’s Pacific FONOP; A boon for disinfo bots; And a bit more.

President Trump threatened to send the National Guard to Minnesota in a tweet just before 1 a.m. this morning. An hour and 12 minutes before that, the Minnesota National Guard confirmed in its own tweet that 500 of its soldiers had already been ordered up by Gov. Tim Walz that very evening. It was an admittedly chaotic evening for Minneapolis (more on that below); but it was the president’s next tweet that raised even more eyebrows. In a new first, Twitter added a “glorifying violence” warning to a Trump tweet. The…

Two B-1B Lancers train with 16 Japanese fighter jets over Sea of Japan – Pacific

Two B-1B Lancers train with 16 Japanese fighter jets over Sea of Japan YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A pair of U.S. B-1B Lancer bombers flew alongside 16 Japanese fighter jets during a mission Tuesday over the Sea of Japan, an Air Force statement said. The bombers — deployed to Andersen Air Force Base on Guam from the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, out of Dyess Air Force Base, Texas — trained with eight Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15 Eagles and eight F-2 Viper Zeros before…

Air Force sends pair of B-1B bombers on mission over South China Sea – Pacific

Air Force sends pair of B-1B bombers on mission over South China Sea Two Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew over the South China Sea on Tuesday, the latest in an increasing number of U.S. military demonstrations in the region. Bombers deployed to Guam flew the mission to demonstrate the Air Force’s ability to operate anywhere international law allows, “at the time and tempo of our choosing,” Pacific Air Forces said via Twitter on Wednesday. The Lancers, originally from the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron at Dyess Air…

China denies using virus to grow presence in South China Sea – Pacific

China denies using virus to grow presence in South China Sea Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription. BEIJING — A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple territorial disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons. The waters are a major shipping route for global commerce and are rich in…

Navy warship uses a new high-energy laser to shoot down drone in mid-flight – Pacific

Navy warship uses a new high-energy laser to shoot down drone in mid-flight The USS Portland successfully disabled an unmanned aerial vehicle in mid-flight during the test of a new “high-energy laser weapon system” on May 16, according to U.S. Pacific Fleet. Video footage released by the Navy on Friday shows the amphibious transport dock ship firing a Laser Weapon System Demonstrator, or LWSD, somewhere in the Pacific. A separate clip shows the drone being shot down. The test marks the “first system-level implementation of a high-energy…

U.S. military faces down two challenges in western Pacific: COVID-19 and China

As the U.S. Navy’s top officer went into quarantine earlier this month after a family member tested positive for the new coronavirus, the Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture-based USS Ronald Reagan was preparing for a return to patrolling the waters of the western Pacific after dealing with its own COVID-19 outbreak. The scenes were a microcosm of the U.S. military’s recent ups and downs in grappling with the virus as it has battled to maintain its formidable presence in the western Pacific, while both reassuring allies and preventing China from capitalizing on…

World War 3 news: US would lose Pacific war with Xi Jinping China | World | News

Tensions between America and China have surged recently over Beijing’s handling of coronavirus, trade, the status of Taiwan and control of the South China Sea. An American defence source revealed the results of Pentagon war games with China to The Times. The exercises found every US carrier battle group or base in the Indo-Pacific region is now vulnerable to Chinese strikes. These include the American base on the island of Guam, a major base for US strategic bombers. Speaking to the paper the source said US carrier groups couldn’t confront…

US ‘would lose a war with China fought in the Pacific’, Pentagon sources warn

The US would lose a war with China fought in the Pacific, is unable to defend Taiwan from an invasion and fears the Guam military base is at risk now, US defense sources have warned.  ‘Eye-opening’ Pentagon war games have revealed growing fears the US is vulnerable to threats from China and that any attack would lead to the US ‘suffering capital losses’, the sources said. The worrying analysis is expected to come to light in the Pentagon’s 2020 China military power report this summer.  The stark warning comes as…

U.S. Navy Maintains Operations In Western Pacific as Other Navies Slow Down

Sailors and Marines conduct flight operations from the flight deck of amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) with aircraft assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 265 on April 9, 2020. US Navy Photo The U.S. Navy is continuing to run missions to ensure freedom of navigation and show presence in the Western Pacific while other militaries are scaling back their operations amid COVID-19 concerns. A host of militaries in the region have called-off multi-nation exercises scheduled for this year and have claimed to scale back…