ONBOARD HOSPITAL SHIP PEACE ARK — In 2012, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus visited the People’s Republic of China for talks with China’s defense ministry. During the visit, Mabus invited the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to the 2014 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises. Held every other year in Hawaii since 1971, RIMPAC is the world’s largest naval exercise, with 22 nations participating in 2012. Read More
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MARINE CORPS TRAINING AREA BELLOWS, HAWAII — The Marine Corps recently tested a prototype for heavy-duty amphibious landing craft that could one-day transport up to three M1A1 Abrams from ship to shore at 20 knots. Read More
A government advisory panel, convened by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, recommended today that Japan make major changes to its defense policy. Prompted by recent tensions with China and North Korea, the panel recommended a reinterpretation of the national Constitution allowing Japan to exercise its right to collective self defense. Read More
The Korean War of 1950-1953 was concluded by a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, and the three powers—South Korea, North Korea and the United States—are still technically at war. A new conflict on the Korean peninsula would see the commitment of a new, reinvigorated Republic of Korea Navy, an aging, weakened North Korean Navy and an American fleet providing the only ballistic missile defense capability for the region. Read More
This week Japan approved its latest five-year defense plan. The Mid Term Defense Plan (MTDP) defines Japan’s defense policy and capabilities for 2014 to 2018. The MTDP is meant to give policymakers, politicians, and the public an understanding of Japan’s defense priorities and the direction national defense is taking. Read More
Last week’s delivery of the improved Kilo-class submarine Ha Noi to the government of Vietnam was just the latest undersea-vessel acquisition of Asian navies. Asia is in the midst of a submarine buying spree, with most of the major powers planning substantial fleet increases over the next two decades. Two countries, Malaysia and Vietnam, have recently acquired their first submarines while a third, Thailand, is pushing to purchase its first submarines in the near future.
Japan recently has been in the news as a result of several high-profile territorial incidents with its neighbor China. The incidents involve what Japanese call the Senkaku islands—the Diaoyu islands to the Chinese. Japan has legal ownership of the islands, which China disputes. The incidents have involved non-government activists and the coast guards of both nations, with many fearing an escalation could lead to some form of armed conflict. Read More
For more than 100 years, the U.S. Navy has simulated naval warfare with simulations, or games. As far back as the 19th century the Navy recognized that gaming and simulations are an inexpensive and bloodless way to learn lessons that typically are imparted only during wartime.
The use of games traditionally has had multiple purposes. The foremost is to train for war. Simulating warfare gives those involved the closest possible experience they can have to actual warfare, thus giving them a modicum of experience under fire. It is an inexpensive way to train without the expense of taking ships and aircraft to sea, particularly in periods of austerity. Read More
Given the nature of the personal computer game market, it’s rare for a commercial game to have the potential to act as an informal training tool. Games tend to trend toward the exaggeration of reality—if not totally fantastic in their premise. An exception to that trend is “Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations,” a “hard” simulation that models all aspects of modern air and sea warfare in painstaking detail. A worthy heir to the Harpoon series of games, “Command” will find a following not only among civilian gamers but might have value among military, government, and policy circles as a simulator of modern warfare. Read More