Monday, July 23, 2012

DTN News - RIMPAC 2012: Royal Canadian Army During Multi-National Military Exercise RIMPAC In Hawaii / Pacific Nations Seeking 'Insurance' At War Games

DTN News - RIMPAC 2012: Royal Canadian Army During Multi-National Military Exercise RIMPAC In Hawaii / Pacific Nations Seeking 'Insurance' At War Games
*China isn't invited but remains unspoken presence
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Pictures of The Day + U~T  San Diego
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - July 23, 2012: Soldiers of the 1st Platoon A Company of the Royal Canadian Army advance on the objective with an observer from the United States Marine Corps (L) during live fire training for the multi-national military exercise RIMPAC at Pohakuloa Training Area on the island of Hawaii July 22, 2012.

China’s bullying behavior, and growing military muscle, has led to an explosion of interest from other Pacific nations in American-run naval war games this month.

One expert said Pacific nations are looking for an “insurance policy” against the possibility of China becoming a great but ugly power.

Led by the U.S. Navy’s San Diego-based Third Fleet, the Rim of the Pacific international maritime exercises off Hawaii include 22 nations, a 50 percent increase from two years ago. For the first time, Russia is a player.

“A lot of these countries interested in doing these exercises have China in the back of their mind,” said Ralph Cossa, president of Pacific Forum CSIS, a Honolulu think tank on Asia policy.

“If you have an 800-pound gorilla roaming your front yard, you’d like to have a 1,600-pound gorilla in the living room,” he said, referring to the United States. “And we’re housebroken.”

These every-other-year exercises, launched in 1971 with Canada and Australia, are not new. But experts say the United States, which some in Asia see as a declining power compared to China, has more to prove this year. The White House’s January announcement of a military “pivot” toward Asia comes at the same time as sweeping defense spending cuts.

“The assurance that the United States wants to send out is that the talk of our demise is greatly exaggerated. That not only do we have the strength to continue to play the role in the region that we have, but we have a commitment to do so,” said Denny Roy, a senior fellow at Honolulu’s East-West Center.

“The United States, though, is struggling to make that message believable because of its financial crisis.”

China was not invited to these war games, known widely as RIMPAC. The U.S. Third Fleet’s Gerald Beaman, the three-star Navy admiral in charge of the exercises, said the policy is not new and was set well over his head.

In 1998, the United States allowed a small Chinese contingent to observe RIMPAC. But that was before Congress in 2000 restricted American-Chinese military contact and required an annual report on the Chinese defense picture.

According to the latest China report in May, Beijing announced an 11 percent jump this year in its military budget to $106 billion, though actual spending is believed to be higher. By any count, China is continuing more than two decades of defense spending growth, which includes ambitions to make a second-hand aircraft carrier operational this year and deliver an advanced fighter jet as early as 2018, the report said.

In the past few years, China has upset its neighbors in the South China Sea by making claims to natural resources around the Spratly Islands that are still unresolved.

China severed military ties with the United States in early 2010 over American arms sales to Taiwan. High-level discussions between U.S. and Chinese defense leaders has slowly resumed since 2011.

While RIMPAC revved up in Hawaii, Adm. Samuel Locklear, the four-star admiral who leads U.S. Pacific Command, visited Chinese defense officials in June.

Private Dvon Bradley (L) and Private Josh Nelson of the 1st Platoon A Company of the Royal Canadian Army advance towards the objective during live fire training for the multi-national military exercise RIMPAC.

Response from China to RIMPAC 2012 has been cool. A June 29 editorial in the English-language Global Times, opined that China may be “lonely” but not isolated by the Hawaii war games.

“The exercise is nothing but a big party held by the U.S., which is in a melancholy state of mind due to difficult realities,” the newspaper wrote.

“We will think that the exercise enhances the U.S. central position and isolates China. However, whether or not the U.S. has such intentions, an Asian geopolitical landscape with an isolated China is unlikely to come about.”

For the 25,000 international troops attending, the war games are a chance for those who brought ships and planes to practice shooting at targets in the Pacific Missile Range Facility, the world’s largest.

Off Kauai, it boasts 1,100 square miles of underwater space where acoustic sensors give military commanders detailed feedback on how their shots went off.

For large Pacific nations, this is a chance to practice working together, such as refueling each other’s aircraft. The idea is, when the next crisis hits the Pacific — as some say is inevitable, with the 2011 Japanese earthquake an example — it won’t be difficult for responding nations to work together.

For nations that sent only troops, such as Tonga, Indonesia and Malaysia, it’s a chance to learn. Activities include amphibious landings, anti-piracy training, mine clearing and diving and salvage operations and disaster-assistance drills.

New Zealand has returned to RIMPAC, after strained relations with the United States since 1984 over New Zealand’s objections to nuclear weapons.

The frayed ties began to mend when Kiwi troops participated in Afghanistan and further improved after joint security agreements in 2010 and this year. New Zealand troops came to Camp Pendleton last month to train with U.S. Marines, who had gone there in May.

But the nuke dispute has meant U.S. warships can’t dock in New Zealand, and New Zealand’s two warships weren’t allowed to tie up in Pearl Harbor with the other RIMPAC vessels, which caused a flap in Kiwi media.

New Zealand and its neighbor Australia both see their futures in amphibious ships, which are different from most warships because they transport troops and put them ashore. New Zealand bought its first modern amphib, the Canterbury, in 2008. Australia is expecting its first, the Canberra, to enter service in 2014 and the Adelaide to follow.

But neither country has a Marine Corps. So they are training army soldiers to work from ships, a cultural sea change. Australian and New Zealand military spokesman touted the ability to use amphibs to respond to humanitarian crises.

Out of 46 vessels present, Russia supplied three, a destroyer, salvage tug and tanker.

The Russians declined an interview request, according to a U.S. Navy spokesman. But Third Fleet’s Beaman said the contingent was involved in gunnery exercises, diving and salvage, anti-piracy and maritime security training.

Russia has also participated in naval exercises with China in recent years.

Cossa of the Pacific Forum said Russia is taking another look at Asia, where it has run hot and cold in the past, with the return of Vladimir Putin to the presidency.

The U.S. Navy spent $2.3 million on RIMPAC in 2010 — not counting the fuel used and salaries of U.S. troops involved, which the Navy says would gone toward training anyway.

The increased interest in the exercises apparently cost the United States only a bit more. Third Fleet officials say the price tag will likely go up 15 percent when the bills are tallied this year.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Pictures of The Day + U~T  San Diego
*Link for  Pacific Nations Seeking 'Insurance' At War Games - China isn't invited but remains unspoken presence
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

1 comment:

Mark Russell said...

its not the royal canadian army they are called canadian army, the other two branches are call royal canadian navy and royal canadian airforce, the army has never had royal in the name some of the army units have royal in there name.