Entries Tagged as 'Military bases'

Japan protests to China over Okinawa claim

Channel News Asia
May 9, 2013

Japan has lodged a diplomatic protest with China over an article in a state-run publication that challenged Japan’s ownership of Okinawa, home to major US bases, officials said Thursday.

Japan has lodged a diplomatic protest with China over an article in a state-run publication that challenged Japan’s ownership of Okinawa, home to major US bases, officials said Thursday.

The People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, on Wednesday published a call for a review of Japan’s sovereignty over Okinawa, suggesting that Beijing may be the rightful owner.

The call came as the two countries are already at loggerheads over islands in the East China Sea.

“We have protested both in Tokyo and Beijing over the commentary issued by the People’s Daily, followed by a Chinese foreign ministry comment,” a Japanese foreign ministry official in charge of Chinese affairs told AFP.

“We told them that if the Chinese government shares the position of casting doubt about Japan’s ownership of Okinawa, we would never accept it and firmly protest at it,” he said.

“The Chinese side replied to us that the view in the commentary was solely held by researchers,” he added.

The lengthy article in the People’s Daily argued that the country may have rights to the Ryukyu chain, which includes Okinawa. …

Read on: www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/japan-protests-to-china-over-okinawa-cla/668800.html

Karzai, uneasy about neighboring Pakistan’s role, says US can keep 9 bases in Afghanistan

Washington Post
By Associated Press
May 9, 2013

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has irked Washington with his frequent criticism of American military operations in his country, said Thursday that his government is now ready to let the U.S. have nine bases across Afghanistan after most foreign troops withdraw in 2014.

A border spat with Pakistan and a desire to test public opinion led Karzai to break months of public silence on this issue, according to Afghan analysts. They said Karzai is concerned that Pakistan is using the Taliban to give it greater leverage, and that he wants to find out if Afghans, tired of 12 years of war, will support that size of a U.S. military footprint.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday that the U.S. “does not seek permanent military bases in Afghanistan.” The U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after 2014 would be “only at the request of the Afghan government,” Carney said. …

Read on: www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/president-karzai-says-afghans-willing-to-let-us-hold-on-to-9-bases-in-the-country-after-2014/2013/05/09/29b0e5ae-b881-11e2-b568-6917f6ac6d9d_story.html

No US base says Blake, as US, UN diplomats visit Male

Minivan News
By JJ Robinson
May 8th, 2013

The US has reiterated that it has no intention to establish a base or military presence in the Maldives, after a leaked Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the two countries’ militaries sparked local speculation in April.

Former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, now Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake, told the Press Trust of India that the agreement referred to joint military exercises and not a future base-building endeavor.

“We do not have any plans to have a military presence in Maldives,” Blake said, echoing an earlier statement from the US Embassy in Colombo.

“As I said, we have exercise programs very frequently and we anticipate that those would continue. But we do not anticipate any permanent military presence. Absolutely no bases of any kind,” Blake said.

“I want to reassure everybody that this SOFA does not imply some new uptick in military co-operation or certainly does not apply any new military presence. It would just be to support our ongoing activities,” he said.

A recently leaked draft of the SOFA, obtained by Maldivian current affairs blog DhivehiSitee, extensively outlines provisions and immunities for US personnel and contractors in the Maldives, and mentions both ‘Agreed Facilities and Areas’ – detailed in a separate and unreleased ‘annex A’ – and all rights “that are necessary for their use, operation, defense or control, including the right to undertake new construction works and make alterations and improvements.” …

Read on: http://minivannews.com/politics/no-us-base-says-blake-as-us-un-diplomats-visit-male-57621

Okinawans protest Japan policy on US occupation of Okinawa

April 28, 2013

While the Japanese mainland celebrated Sunday, Okinawans staged a protest rally over the national 61st anniversary of the country receiving its postwar independence through a treaty with the United States.

Many here see Tokyo’s decision in 1952 to allow the continued U.S. occupation of Okinawa while brokering mainland Japan’s freedom as a betrayal – a move that led to generations of unrest and political friction over the large foreign military presence on the island that continues to complicate U.S.-Japan relations today.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a conservative elected last fall, stoked anger from Okinawans and the prefectural government by deciding to mark the anniversary, which island residents call a “day of humiliation”. Despite a public statement by the administration calling for the nation to remember Okinawan suffering, the island’s prefectural assembly recently cast a vote unanimously opposing the Sunday’s anniversary celebration.

“Prime Minister Abe woke a sleeping dog” and rekindled sorrow and disappointment, said Takeshi Onaga, mayor of Naha, Okinawa’s capital.

Thousands gathered at a seaside park Sunday for a rally against what many residents see as the island’s U.S. military plight at the hands of Tokyo. On Thursday, Onaga and more than 600 people gathered in Naha for a forum on the anniversary celebration of the San Francisco Treaty, which officially ended the war with Japan, granted the country its sovereignty – except for Okinawa and two other smaller island areas – and laid out a plan for war reparations.

The U.S. occupation and government administration of Okinawa continued until 1972, when it was returned to Tokyo’s control. It has since remained the base for the majority of U.S. military forces stationed in Japan, including one of the largest air bases in the world and Marine jungle-warfare training grounds …

Read on: www.presstv.ir/usdetail/300751.html

Report: US footing greater bill for overseas bases

April 17, 2013

A new report says the United States is footing more of the bill for overseas bases in Germany, Japan and South Korea even as the military reduces American troops in Europe and repositions forces in Asia.

The United States spends $10 billion on permanent overseas bases.

The Pentagon is facing the pressure of deficit-driven, smaller budgets while looking to scale back or close overseas and U.S. domestic bases.

From: www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/Report-US-footing-greater-bill-for-overseas-bases-203371061.html

Palace welcomes return of US bases

Manila Times
By Catherine S. Valente AND Jefferson Antiporda
April 14, 2013

BECAUSE of the developing security crisis in the Korean peninsula, the Philippine government on Sunday said it would allow the return of US military bases in the country but only in case of “extreme emergency.”

Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte disclosed that no less than Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin broached the idea of allowing the US military to set up bases here again in the light of a nuclear threat by Pyongyang.

In an interview aired over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, Valte said Gazmin clarified that the move is only one of the options that the country could take to strengthen its defense posture.

“Nilatag po ni Secretary Gazmin ‘yung konteksto ng kanyang naging sagot at sinabi po niya [Gazmin presented the context of his reply and made it clear that it is only] ‘in cases of extreme emergency’,” she added.

However, Valte explained that the return of the US bases does not refer to the “present situation.”

“The Secretary was talking about a scenario at kasama po ‘yon sa trabaho niya bilang [and it’s part of his job as] Secretary of National Defense na tingnan lahat ng posibleng mangyari lalo ho [to consider all possibilities especially] in matters relative to national defense,” she said.

“Only in the case of extreme emergency, ‘yung katulad pong pinag-uusapan na digmaan [like talks of war],” she added

Valte explained that Article XVIII of the 1987 Constitution bars US military bases in the Philippines. Allowing the US to set up military bases in the countrt would require a new treaty between the two countries and a nationwide referendum.

However, there is an existing Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) between the Philippines and the United States which requires either of the countries to come to the aid of its ally if it is attacked by another country. …

Read on: www.manilatimes.net/index.php/news/top-stories/45480-palace-welcomes-return-of-us-bases

Revealed: US flew spy drone missions from Australia

ABC News
By Mark Corcoran
September 4, 2012

The United States flew highly classified Global Hawk spy drone missions from the Royal Australian Air Force base at Edinburgh in South Australia from late 2001 until at least 2006.

The operations were detected by a group of Adelaide aviation historians who had a member monitoring aircraft radio frequencies 20 hours a day.

With a wingspan greater than a 737 airliner and a $200 million price tag, the RQ-4 Global Hawk is the biggest, most expensive unmanned aerial vehicle to ever take to the skies.

The spy drone is the jewel in the crown of America’s global electronic intelligence-gathering network. Global Hawk operations are cloaked in secrecy, and the US Air Force likes to keep it that way.

But perhaps the Pentagon severely underestimated the vigilance of Adelaide aviation historians the West Beach Aviation Group (WBAG).

WBAG members have told ABC’s Foreign Correspondent that they monitored the flights until Australian defence security officials paid them a visit and demanded they not publish material revealing the presence of the Global Hawks.

“[The Global Hawks] usually approached and departed at night, although there were a few exceptions – and then they were photographed by the group,” WBAG spokesman Paul Daw said.

“But there were sensitivities. A photographer (from the group) was visited unannounced by Australian military security and questioned for putting movements onto an international web site.

“They claimed he showed vulnerabilities of the base.” …

Read on: www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-03/revealed-us-flew-drone-missions-from-australia/4236306

Watch related newscast: www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2012/s3582753.htm

Crimes by US military concentrated around US bases

Japan Press Weekly
March 7, 2013

It has been revealed that crimes in Okinawa committed by U.S. military personnel are concentrated in areas around U.S. bases.

At the request of Japanese Communist Party Okinawa Prefectural Assembly member Toguchi Osamu, the Okinawa Prefectural Police Headquarters on March 6 released the findings of U.S. crimes. This is the first time for the prefectural police to publish the data of each district police station.

According to the released materials, U.S. military personnel have committed a total of 1,805 criminal offenses in the prefecture from 1989 to 2013. Of them, the largest number is 1,045 handled by the Okinawa police department, which has the U.S. Kadena Air Base in its jurisdiction. It is followed by 287 of the Ginowan police department with jurisdiction over the U.S. Futenma base and 167 of the Ishikawa police department with Camp Courtney in its district.

Tellingly, no crimes by U.S. soldiers occurred in the areas of the police departments of Itoman and Miyako, which have no U.S. bases. …

Read on: www.japan-press.co.jp/modules/news/index.php?id=5340

USAFE/AFAFRICA leadership talks about mission, Airmen and families during visit to 501st CSW

501st Combat Support Wing
by Staff Sgt. Brian Stives, 501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs
February 14, 2013

RAF ALCONBURY, United Kingdom — Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Craig A. Adams, USAFE-AFAFRICA command chief, received an in-depth tour of the Air Force’s only combat support wing and its mission during a visit here Feb. 5- 6.

“Chief and I couldn’t be more proud of the mission you do every day,” Breedlove told the members of the 501st Combat Support Wing during all-calls held at RAF Alconbury and RAF Croughton. “Your mission is not going to diminish over time.”

“Thanks for what you have done and thank you for what you will be doing,” said Adams. “Thank you for being focused on today’s mission.”

During the first day of their whirlwind tour, the general and chief visited the dormitories and clinic at RAF Alconbury before heading off to RAF Molesworth to see the 423rd Security Forces Squadron firing range and 423rd Communications Squadron’s Building 400.

“I thought it was a real honor, it’s not every day you get a coin from a four-star general or the chance to meet the USAFE commander,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Epperson, 423rd Communications Squadron NCOIC of registry at the RAF Alconbury post office, who was coined by Breedlove and asked about himself and his job. “The fact that he wanted to know about me, made me feel like he really cares about the people.”

After an all-call at RAF Alconbury the morning of Feb. 6, the USAFE leadership team went to RAF Croughton to see how the 422nd Air Base Group provides world-class combat support enabling communications and global strike operations at RAF Croughton, RAF Fairford and RAF Welford before holding an all-call at RAF Croughton.

“I thought it was exciting to get up and give General Breedlove a briefing,” said Senior Airman Monte Cook, 422nd Communications Squadron HF radio technician. “It is always interesting to see people’s reactions to what we do. Some people may understand it, coming from similar backgrounds and ask a lot of in-depth questions. Others, like General Breedlove, tend to appreciate something that they may not have taken a part in when they were coming up, but can see what other people do to enable them to do their jobs.”

During both all-calls, the general and chief focused on three priorities: Mission, Airmen and Families.

“We are going to face incredible challenges in the next five years and I want you to learn about them, but don’t let it distract you from the mission,” said the general. “With all of the cuts coming in the future, we will be the smallest Air Force in history. We will be even smaller than the day we were formed. Even with all of this, we are more lethal than ever before and it is all because of you.”

During the all-call at RAF Croughton, Adams asked four Airmen to stand up; they were the presenters during the RAF Croughton tour.

“I know you guys represent the big organization. But let me tell you, this is the future of our Air Force and it makes me excited,” said Adams. “Thank you for what you do!”

Breedlove talked about changing the culture to a more proactive posture by making “Every Airman a Sensor” and taking the offensive on attacking two of the Air Force’s most troublesome problems – suicide and sexual assault.

“Our Air Force is getting smaller and when it comes to Airmen preying on other Airmen, I have no sympathy for the predators. The predators are my candidates to help make our Air Force smaller,” said Breedlove. “But we can’t do it alone; we need your help to take care of our Airmen.”

Adams echoed the general’s comments and said Airmen must treat each other as family and with respect. He said it’s an Airman’s duty to take care of themselves, each other and their family.

“If you are not pushing yourself away from your desk and getting home at a reasonable time in the evenings to spend some time with your families or taking the time to spend with your families on the weekends, then shame on you,” said the chief. “We need to do that. Your family is there before you come into the Air Force, your family is what gets you through the Air Force and they are going to be the ones on the other side when we hang up our uniforms. So, we need to make sure we don’t forget them along the way. When you go home tonight, tell them thank you for everything they do – from us.”

From: www.501csw.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123336328

As troops withdraw, U.S. bases growing

March. 5, 2013

Some U.S. bases in Afghanistan are undergoing major expansion even as the United States continues to pull troops out of the country, military officials say.

The contradiction is occurring as U.S. outposts in remote parts of the country are closed and the soldiers there are resettled into a few larger bases in preparation for full withdrawal next year, McClatchy Newspapers reported Monday.

Some 800 U.S. and NATO bases were in Afghanistan in late 2011. More than 600 of them have been shut down.

One of the bases being renovated, Forward Operating Base Apache, is taking in troops from a half dozen front-line bases in Zabul province. It’s adjacent to Camp Eagle, a large Afghan army base where U.S. troops are performing new tasks as advisers and trainers. …

Read on: www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2013/03/05/As-troops-withdraw-US-bases-growing/UPI-64001362508435/