Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Armed Forces of the Philippines Deploys Navy Troops to Ayungin Shoal

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has responded to China’s threatening moves around Ayungin Shoal in the West Philippine Sea by sending fresh Navy troops to replace the Marines pulled out from a grounded ship that serves as the base of Filipino troops in the disputed area.

Sources said the Marines at Ayungin Shoal have been pulled out from the grounded BRP Sierra Madrea and another unit of the Philippine Navy took over their maritime and territorial duties at the shoal.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Russia Plans to Offer Advanced Su-35 Fighters for Indonesia Tender

Russia has announced plans to compete for an Indonesian Air Force contract to purchase fighter planes; it hopes to export Su-35 jets.

Russian-made Su-35 fighters are due to compete for a forthcoming tender; the Indonesian Air Force is considering purchasing these multi-role aircraft to replace its aging fleet of US-made jets, according to Sergey Kornev, a spokesman for Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport.

He made the statement during the 2015 Le Bourget Airshow, which is currently underway near Paris, France.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Air Commandos Complete Teak Mint 15-1

Joint HALO jumps durings Exercise TEAK MINT 15-1 (Source: US Air Force)

SUBANG AB, Malaysia -- Members from the 353rd Special Operations Group along with members from the 36th Airlift Squadron conducted multinational and bilateral training during Joint Chief of Staff Exercise Teak Mint 15-1 in Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan, Malaysia, May 26 through June 13.

“This exercise has been a great opportunity for our Airmen to learn,” said Maj. Michael S. Perry, Teak Mint 15-1 mission commander. “For the past two weeks, we had the opportunity to build a mutually beneficial relationship between U.S. and Malaysian Air Forces. Each group came here with a diverse perspective shaped by their unique history. I was happy to see how both countries took full advantage of building partnerships and learning from each other. ”

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Malaysian Hijacked Oil Tanker Rescued, Pirates Flee

Kuala Lumpur, 19 June 2015 -- Pirates who hijacked a Malaysian oil tanker last week have fled on the ship's lifeboat after being pursued by a Malaysian navy ship, officials said Friday.

Navy chief Abdul Aziz Jaafar said the eight pirates, believed to be Indonesians, abandoned the MT Orkim Harmony late Thursday. All 22 crew members were safe, except for an Indonesian cook who was shot in the thigh, Abdul Aziz tweeted.

He said three navy ships and two helicopters are searching for the pirates. The ship is sailing back to Malaysia's northern Kuantan port, escorted by a naval ship, he said.

The tanker, carrying 7.5 million liters (2 million gallons) of gasoline worth 21 million ringgit ($5.7 million), was headed to Kuantan when communications were lost June 11. The crew consisted of 16 Malaysians, five Indonesians and a Myanmar national.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said earlier that the ship was detected in waters off southern Vietnam late Wednesday and had been repainted black from blue. Abdul Aziz also tweeted pictures of the tanker, showing some letters of the name of the ship painted over to give it a new name, "Kim Harmon."

He said the eight pirates were armed with pistols and machetes, and spoke with Indonesian accents.

The maritime agency said the hijacking was believed to be the work of a syndicate targeting vessels for their cargos of fuel. It said this was the fifth theft in waters off southern Malaysia this year.

It was the second tanker hijacked this month. Another Malaysian tanker carrying diesel fuel was hijacked June 4 in the same area and was released after its fuel was siphoned off.

Maritime officials have said it is more difficult to steal gasoline because it is highly flammable and requires special safety equipment.

The International Maritime Bureau says attacks against small tankers off Southeast Asia's coasts have been rising since last year.

Pirates have been particularly active near Indonesia's Bintan island and in the South China Sea, where 11 vessels were hijacked last year, the bureau said. (AP)

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Boustead Naval Shipyard to Build 6 RMN Warships

LUMUT, 12 June 2015 – Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd today began construction of six Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) warships costing RM9 billion under the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) project. 

Defence Deputy Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said the LCS project was one of the government’s efforts to strengthen the country’s maritime defence system, apart from boosting the economy, especially the shipbuilding industry. 

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Dayak Community Urged to Join Army

SIBU, 11 June -- Dayak youths have been encouraged to join the army and carry on the community’s legacy of heroic service and loyalty to the country. 

Malaysian Army chief General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor said the Dayak community being the second largest racial group to serve in Malaysian Army, were feared by the enemy for their bravery and intrepidity. 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Philippines, Japan to Hold Fresh Naval Drills

MANILA: The Philippines and Japan will hold their second joint naval drills this year, the Filipino military said on Tuesday (Jun 9), as the World War II foes deepen security ties while China aggressively develops islands in disputed waters.

The June 22-26 joint manoeuvres with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force would be the second this year, after a one-day exercise in the flashpoint South China Sea last month, Philippine navy spokesman Colonel Edgard Arevalo said.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Indonesia Starts Construction of Second Philippines Navy Ship

INDONESIA’S state-owned shipbuilder has started to build the second of two strategic sealift vessels for the Philippine Navy.

A report from Indonesia’s Antara News last June 5 said the keel-laying of the second ship by shipbuilder PT PAL was held recently at the Surabaya shipyard.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Alleged Russian Soldiers Captured in Ukraine May Have Been Fooled by Social Media

London, UK -- False information posted online may have been the reason behind the apparent capture of Russian special forces in Ukraine, according to one of Kiev’s top advisors on pro-Russian propaganda tactics.

The soldiers were seized in May in the town of Shchastya, near the line of separation. A video was then posted online showing one of the detainees stating his rank and brigade, prompting Moscow to again deny claims that Russia is sending forces into the country.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Nine Foreign Aircraft Caught Intruding Indonesian Airspace, Says Air Force

June 8, 2015 -- The Indonesian Air Force has so far intercepted nine foreign aircraft illegally flying over Ambalat-Karang Unarang airspace in East Kalimantan by June, Tarakan Air Force base commander Lt Col Tiopan Hutapea said on Sunday.

The Jakarta Post quoted Tiopan as saying that the aircraft which included military jets, helicopters and drones were from Malaysia and entered Indonesian territory without proper documentation.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Thai Navy Deploy ‘Floating Base’ for Boat People

The Thai navy will deploy a landing-platform dock ship in the Andaman Sea to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants found adrift as a complement to air patrols by the United States.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told reporters the 4.9-billion-baht (US$163 million) HTMS Ang Thong will serve as a “floating base with medics and police” on board. The vessel, commissioned in 2012, has a displacement of 7,500 tonnes, can carry a crew of 390 and is equipped with a sick bay, a minor-operation room and dentistry suite.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Vietnam eyes Western warplanes, patrol aircraft to counter China

Vietnam is in talks with European and U.S. contractors to buy fighter jets, maritime patrol planes and unarmed drones, sources said, as it looks to beef up its aerial defences in the face of China's growing assertiveness in disputed waters.

The battle-hardened country has already taken possession of three Russian-built Kilo-attack submarines and has three more on order as part of a $2.6 billion (1.69 billion pounds) deal agreed in 2009. Upgrading its air force would give Vietnam one of the most potent militaries in Southeast Asia.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

RMAF to Retain MiG-29N Fighter Aircraft

KUANTAN: The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) fleet of MiG-29N fighter aircraft will remain an important asset to the country's air defence. RMAF chief General Datuk Seri Roslan Saad said there has been no decision to replace the MIG-29N which had been in service since 1990 and the aircraft will still remain in service. 

He said RMAF will scrutinise the capabilities of the existing MIG-29N fleet to ensure it remains competitive and relevant in safeguarding the country's air space. "Initially, there were plans to phase out the aircraft and replace them with another multi-role combat aircraft. "However, we have decided to upgrade the aircraft to ensure it has similar capabilities with fighter jets owned by other countries," he told reporters after opening RMAF's 57th anniversary here today. (New Straits Times)

Friday, 5 June 2015

Defence Ministry Gives Green Light to Army Patrols at Malaysia-Thai Border

KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today he has “no objection” to the proposal that the military takes over patrols along the Malaysia-Thailand border.

The defence minister said the Cabinet decided today that both the Inspector-General of Police and the Armed Forces chief will discuss the military’s role in the plan.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Carl Vinson Strike Group Conducts Exercises With Malaysian Military

Two F/A-18 Super Hornets and two Royal Malaysian Air Force Su-30MKMs fly in formation above the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Source: US Navy

USS CARL VINSON, At Sea (NNS) -- Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17, and Destroyer Squadron 1 participated in various bi-lateral training events May 10 in the South China Sea with Malaysian air and surface units in support of Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet theater security cooperation objectives.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

L-3 SAM Electronics to Supply Turnkey Equipment for New Royal Malaysian Navy Ships

HAMBURG, Germany – L-3 SAM Electronics announced recently that it has been awarded a contract to provide the electrical distribution system for six Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN). The ships will be built at the Boustead Naval Shipyard in Lumut, Malaysia, with Design Authority provided by DCNS of France. Deliveries are scheduled between 2017 and 2021.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Soldiers Learn Survival Skills at Jungle Training Center

US soldier training at the JTC. Source: Hawaii News
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — On a hilltop nestled deep in the Wahiawa jungle, Staff Sgt. Jeff Bermudez, US Army reminded his students, laden with gear and rifles, that despite their imminent task to rappel down a 60-foot drop to flatter ground, they’re lucky.

“A little while ago, it was raining, and this ground would’ve been slicker than goose grease,” he told his trainees, who eyed the rope and small tree they’d soon rely on to buffer gravity.

Bermudez, a cadre instructor, teaches hasty rappel in addition to several other courses, including communications and how to counter improvised explosive devices, at the 25th Infantry Division’s Lightning Academy Jungle Operations Training Center, which is almost two years old.

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