PLA warships off Alaska a ‘smart strategic move’: Duowei

According to Pentagon sources, the five PLA vessels — comprising three surface combatants, an amphibious warship and a fleet oiler — made an “innocent passage” passing within 12 nautical miles of the Aleutian Islands that border the southern edge of the Bering Sea on Sept. 2….

While the Chinese military often conducts missions in the Gulf of Aden and the Strait of Malacca as well as the East China and South China seas, this marks the first time PLA ships have been spotted near Alaska. Prior to this, the closest PLA vessels have approached to the US mainland was to participate in the US-led Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime warfare exercise, held every two years around Hawaii. Continue reading

Army Rapid Deployment Force to Secure U.S. Missile Defense Field in War Games

Large-scale U.S. military exercises held as Russia re-opens Arctic naval base

An Army rapid deployment force will practice securing the Pentagon’s strategic missile defenses base in Alaska this week as part of annual exercises involving both conventional and nuclear forces.

Defense officials said an Army Quick Reaction Force (QRF) of 55 airborne troops, along with weapons and vehicles, will parachute into Fort Greely, Alaska, on Thursday as part of exercises called Vigilant Shield.

The QRF, made up of highly-trained, extremely mobile forces, will quickly unpack vehicles and arms and move to set up a security perimeter around the Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) field at the base—all within minutes of hitting the ground, said officials familiar with some details of the exercise. The exercises will continue through Oct. 28. Continue reading