News

April 24, 2017
 

News Briefs – April 24, 2017

U.S. carrier heading for Korea trains with Japanese destroyers

An American aircraft carrier heading toward the Korean Peninsula began joint exercises Sunday with Japanese naval ships in the Philippine Sea.
Two Japanese destroyers joined the USS Carl Vinson and two other U.S. warships as they continued their journey north in the western Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Navy said in a statement.
The Vinson had canceled a scheduled visit to Australia to divert toward North Korea in a show of force, though it still conducted a curtailed training exercise with Australia before doing so. Tensions are elevated on the Korean Peninsula, with the Trump administration saying that all options are on the table, and indications that North Korea may be preparing to test a nuclear weapon or long-range missile.
Two Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers left Sasebo port in southern Japan April 21 to join the Vinson strike group. The U.S. group also includes a guided-missile cruiser and a guided-missile destroyer.
The Navy called the exercise “routine” and said it is designed to improve combined maritime response and defense capabilities, as well as joint maneuvering proficiency.
The Vinson group has conducted three previous bilateral exercises with the Japanese navy since leaving San Diego on Jan. 5 for a western Pacific deployment. The most recent one was in March. AP
 

China, Philippines argue over defense chief’s island visit

China has protested the visit by Manila’s defense and military chiefs to a disputed island in the South China Sea, but the Philippine government maintains it owns the territory where Filipino troops and villagers have lived for decades.
The public argument comes amid a thaw in once-frosty relations between the neighbors after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office last June and moved to rekindle Manila’s friendship with Beijing, which has been strained by the long-seething territorial disputes.
Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and military chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano flew to Pag-asa Island with dozens of journalists April 21 to inspect an eroded airstrip, which the government plans to reinforce and lengthen. They also met Filipino troops and villagers and took part in a flag-raising ceremony. AP
 

Former defense contractor sentenced in mail fraud case

Federal authorities say a former defense contractor convicted of mail fraud and making false claims while supplying non-conforming parts to the military has been sentenced in Ohio to two years in prison.
The U.S. attorney for Ohio’s southern district says 64-year-old Stephan Boggs was sentenced April 21. The Columbus, Ohio, man also was ordered to pay nearly $280,000 in restitution for supplying the non-conforming parts to the Defense Department for military use.
A message seeking comment was left for Boggs’ attorney.
Boggs was convicted of four counts of mail fraud and 21 false claims counts in July 2016.
Court documents show he was president of Boggs & Associates, a contractor that supplied parts to the Defense Department from about April 2010 through January 2014 for military equipment including aircraft and vehicles. AP




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