World

March 30, 2012

Australia to welcome 250 U.S. Marines next month

The first 250 U.S. Marines will arrive next month in northern Australia where a permanent joint training hub will be based, but a proposal to build a U.S. air base on a remote Australian island in the Indian Ocean is not yet a priority, Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith said March 28.

In November, the United States and Australia announced plans to send more U.S. military aircraft and to rotate up to 2,500 Marines through the northern city of Darwin to better protect American interests across Asia.

The Washington Post newspaper reported March 27 that U.S. and Australian officials were considering establishing an air base on the Cocos Islands, a pair of coral atolls much closer to Indonesia than to the Australian mainland.

The newspaper reported that aircraft based on the sparsely populated islands would be well positioned to launch spy flights over the South China Sea, where the Chinese navy is becoming increasingly assertive.

Smith said while the Cocos Islands might be included in plans for closer U.S.-Australian military relations, an air base there was not a priority in current discussions.

“Suggestions that we’ve had detailed discussions at my level about the utilization of Cocos Islands are not correct,” Smith told reporters. “We view Cocos as being potentially a long-term strategic location, but that is down the track.”

Smith would not give a timeline on when officials will talk about Cocos in-depth but said, “I’m not expecting any detailed discussions in the near future.”

Smith said the allies were giving priority to establishing the Marine training base in Darwin, increasing U.S. access to mainland Australian military airfields and allowing greater naval access to the Australia’s Indian Ocean navy base HMAS Stirling, south of the west coast city of Perth.

Smith said the first 250 Marines would arrive in Darwin in early April as part of the new plan, which analysts agree is a response to the rise of China.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Ukraine plans $3 billion boost to defense spending

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s president announced plans Aug. 24 to boost his country’s defense spending by an estimated 50 percent as government forces seek to overpower pro-Russian separatists in the east. President Petro Poroshenko pledged to spend an extra 40 billion hryvnia ($3 billion) by 2017 during a speech marking Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet...
 
 

Iran unveils new short-range missiles, drones

Iran unveiled a new generation of short-range marine missiles and aerial drones Aug. 24, as President Hassan Rouhani said its military doctrine was based on deterring and countering threats from unnamed foreign powers. The official IRNA news agency said the Ghadir missile, with a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles), is designed to destroy marine...
 
 

NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the alliance’s chief said April 16. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO’s air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region west of Ukraine, far from the tensions in the eastern part of the...
 

 

Ukrainian officers join NATO drills in Bulgaria

NOVO SELO, Bulgaria – Lt. Col. Valeria Parada had a challenge. She and her team were responsible for rescuing people caught up in a dangerous situation around the Black Sea and making sure they received whatever humanitarian assistance they needed. To do that, she first had to learn how to coordinate among the air, navy...
 
 

Republic of Korea Selects Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II

The Republic of Korea has formally selected the Lockheed Martin ) F-35 Lightning II aircraft for its F-X fighter acquisition program.  “We are honored by and appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in the 5th Generation F-35 to meet its demanding security requirements. We look forward to supporting the discussions between...
 
 

U.S. will beef up air operations in Poland

More U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons will deploy to Poland in the coming days and weeks, a Pentagon official said March 10. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak spoke yesterday, and Siemoiniak thanked the secretary for looking at options for basing, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. “No decision [have been...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>