Category Archives: Foreign Forces

Russian Ships To Syria Don't Mean Much

Russian Ships To Syria Don’t Mean Much

A Project 775 ship. DoD Photo

A Project 775 ship. DoD Photo

Early in the summer of 2012, a number of international observers got very worked up about Russia’s plan to dispatch half a dozen warships to the eastern Mediterranean. It sounded like some sort of escalation of an already awful situation, and even the most optimistic analyses noted that having a bunch of old, leaky Russian ships in an active war zone clearly was not ideal. Read More

The Tug of War Over Cambodia

The Tug of War Over Cambodia

Members of the visit, board, search and seizure team from the guided-missile frigate USS Vandergrift (FFG 48) prepare to board the Royal Cambodian Navy patrol craft PC 1142 in October, 2012. U.S. Navy Photo

Members of the visit, board, search and seizure team from the guided-missile frigate USS Vandergrift (FFG 48) prepare to board the Royal Cambodian Navy patrol craft PC 1142 in October, 2012. U.S. Navy Photo

China and the United States are competing for influence throughout Southeast Asia and Cambodia appears to be the latest battleground. In January, China stepped up its defense cooperation with Cambodia in a development that several regional analysts saw as an attempt to supplant the United States. One writer, for example, likened China’s initiative to a “tug-of-war” with the United States.
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Cuba Restores Memorial to USS Maine

Cuba Restores Memorial to USS Maine

A period engraving of the original USS Maine monument in Havana, Cuba.

A period engraving of the original USS Maine monument in Havana, Cuba.

The government of Havana, Cuba recently restored a monument to the lost crew of the USS Maine celebrating Cuba-American relations following The Spanish American War, The Associated Press reported Friday.

The monument was originally erected in 1925, following the 1898 explosion of the Maine and the subsequent Spanish American War that resulted in Cuba’s independence from Spain.
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Conflict with Iran: Lessons From the Past

Conflict with Iran: Lessons From the Past

Iran Fast Attack Craft. Fars News Agency Photo

Iran Fast Attack Craft. Fars News Agency Photo

The 2013 Surface Navy Association’s Naval Heritage program topic was Operation Praying Mantis. The program featured first hand accounts of events that transpired in the Persian Gulf during the spring of 1988. Those naval operations culminated with an operation called Praying Mantis — the punitive attack against the Iranian navy on 18 April. The focus was on the dramatic tactical events that occured, and included a detailed description of the sinking of the Iranian Kaman-class corvette Joshan. Retired Navy Vice Adm. Anthony Less said at the forum that in 2006 Iran commissioned a new missile patrol boat named after the former Joshan. If the Iranians dare to disrupt shipping in the Persian Gulf again, “we’ll put this one on the bottom of the Persian Gulf with her namesake,” Less said.
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Reports: US Starts Pulling Gear Out of Afghanistan

Reports: US Starts Pulling Gear Out of Afghanistan

A Pakistani policeman guards a road used by NATO trucks Monday. The U.S. will use the road to start pulling military equipment out of Afghanistan. Associated Press Photo

The massive material withdrawal from Afghanistan began Monday when almost 50 containers of weapons and equipment began leaving via Pakistani supply routes, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

The departure began the day after U.S. Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford took charge of the NATO forces in the region from USMC General John Allen.

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China's Rise: WEST Day Three

China’s Rise: WEST Day Three

The Chinese navy intrudes on the maritime rights of its neighbors, bullies other nations and is determined to build a force strong enough to counter the U.S. Pacific Fleet, a U.S. Navy intelligence officer told an audience at the WEST 2013 convention in San Diego on Thursday.

China’s navy, said Capt. Jim Fannell, deputy chief of staff for intelligence and operations at the U.S. Pacific Fleet headquarters in Hawaii, is a force that “is focused on war at sea.”

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The Royal Navy's Pacific Strike Force

The Royal Navy’s Pacific Strike Force

Naval History Magazine, January 2013
After more than five exhausting years of global conflict, the British Commonwealth organized a powerful modern fleet that fought as equal partners with the U.S. Navy in the late stages of the Pacific war.

For the Royal Navy, the end seemed to come quickly in the Pacific war. Less than three days after the conflict’s outbreak, Japanese aircraft attacked and sank the most powerful British warships in Far Eastern waters, the modern battleship Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser Repulse . Their loss, followed within a couple of months by the capture of the naval bases in Hong Kong and Singapore, effectively drove the British navy out of the Pacific.

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But the Royal Navy—in the form of the British Pacific Fleet (BPF)—returned to make a major contribution in 1945 to the defeat of Japan. The BPF, its vital bases, and logistical support organization did not exist until late 1944, but eight months later, the fleet had become the most powerful deployed force in the history of the Royal Navy.

The BPF did not begin to come into focus until the August 1943 Quadrant Conference of Allied leaders in Quebec. Agreement was reached that greater priority should be given to the Pacific war, while retaining the “Germany first” principle. But for much of 1944, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff argued over how best to implement the decisions.

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China: Birth of a Global Force?

China: Birth of a Global Force?

In 2010, Rear Admiral Zhang Huachen, China’s East Sea Deputy Commander, said, “With our naval strategy changing now, we are going from coastal defense to far sea defense.”[1] Over the past 30 years the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has built a defensive navy operating within coastal waters, but in late 2008 the PLAN seemed to be transitioning towards becoming a global naval force—the capability to project power or diplomacy through sustained maritime operations anywhere in the world.

China’s far-sea defense—far-seas operations—comprises the maritime area 1,000 nautical miles beyond its territorial waters.[2] Based on that definition, far seas operations equate to approximately three days’ travel from China’s mainland and require at least six days of total transit time to include at-sea refueling operations. Since late 2008 the PLAN has achieved four significant metrics in the far seas:

  • Task forces deployed to the Gulf of Aden
  • A flotilla of warships operating in the Philippine Sea
  • The “Harmonious Mission” of the ship Peace Ark, and
  • The training ship Zheng He’s worldwide deployment

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Combat Fleets: Final Lewis and Clark Launched

Combat Fleets: Final Lewis and Clark Launched

Proceedings, Jan. 2013
The U.S. Navy’s 14th and final Lewis and Clark –class dry-cargo/ammunition ship was delivered on 24 October. Built by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, the USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE-14), pictured here while still under construction, was launched on 5 May.

NASSCO Photo

NASSCO Photo

Named for the Mexican-American activist, the 689-foot ship has a beam of 105.6 feet and a draft of 30 feet and is operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. The 14 ships of the class are tasked primarily with transporting and delivery of logistics supplies to include ammunition, food, fuel, repair parts, and ship-store items to U.S. and allied vessels at sea. The Cesar Chavez and her sisters each displace roughly 41,000 tons and can carry more than 10,000 tons of cargo. The Lewis and Clark class forms a sizable percentage of the 34 ships that make up Military Sealift Command’s Combat Logistics Force.

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