December 9, 2016

News Briefs – December 9, 2016

Manila says will not help US on patrols in South China Seas

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says it is highly unlikely the Philippines will allow the U.S. military to use the country as a springboard for its freedom of navigation patrols in the disputed South China Sea to avoid antagonizing China.
Lorenzana said Dec. 8 that U.S. ships and aircraft could use bases in Guam, Okinawa or fly from aircraft carriers to patrol the disputed waters.
Under President Rodrigo Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, some U.S. aircraft and ships stopped in the Philippines on the way to patrolling the disputed waters to counter China’s aggressive moves to back up its territorial claims.
Duterte, who took office in June, has taken steps to mend damaged ties with China while taking a hostile stance on the United States, his country’s longtime treaty ally. AP

Search widens for U.S. Marine Corps pilot missing in Japan

The search for a Marine Corps pilot who ejected from an F/A-18 jet in southern Japan was expanded to a wider area after daybreak Dec. 8, the U.S. military said.
The aircraft was on a regular training mission Dec. 7 when the incident occurred about 120 miles (190 kilometers) southeast of Iwakuni, the Marine Corps said.
Joint search efforts with Japanese military ships and aircraft were carried out through the night.
The identity of the pilot has not been released.
Japan’s Defense Ministry said the F/A-18 had been flying with another Marine Corps jet.
The Marine Corps said the aircraft was assigned to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, Japan.
It said the cause of the incident was under investigation.AP

Putin says Russia can use Syria experience to update arsenal

President Vladimir Putin says the Russian military should use its combat experience in Syria to further modernize its arsenals.
Speaking with senior military and security officers at the Kremlin Dec. 7, Putin said the Syrian campaign has proven the military’s strength.
He urged the top brass to rely on the Syrian experience to “equip the Army and the Navy with prospective weapons.”
Russia has conducted an air campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad since September 2015.
The country’s involvement has helped Syrian forces reverse the tide of the nation’s devastating civil war and win some key ground, most recently in the city of Aleppo.
The Russian military has used the conflict to test an array of weapons, including long-range cruise missiles, for the first time in combat. AP

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