American flags fly fore and aft on the US missile cruiser Shiloh as it docks at a pier across a narrow waterway from decrepit, decaying buildings of an abandoned US naval base at Subic Bay. The dock was once a bulwark of American power in the South China Sea after US forces seized the base from the Spanish in 1899.
At the end of a long walkway from the pier to shore, eager shopkeepers again sell souvenirs and taxi drivers lie in wait for sailors primed for a night of carousing in the bars of Olongapo, the base town in the Philippines. Now, nearly a quarter of a century after the US Navy had to give up its Subic Bay base and the Clark Air Base across the Zambales mountains to the east, Americans are once again ready to defend the Philippines, and the region.
From the state-run Russia Today:
The flagship of Russia’s Pacific Fleet, Varyag, and the country’s most powerful nuclear-powered battleship, Pyotr Veliky, entered the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday.
Varyag is to assume the command of Russia’s Pacific Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea, replacing missile cruiser Moskva, said Interfax’s military diplomatic source. He added that there are detachments of marine units employed on ships and vessels of the Pacific Fleet, while its air force wing boasts several Ka-27 helicopters that can conduct rescue and anti-piracy operations and kill submarines. Continue reading
Russian naval vessels in the Mediterranean are capable of reacting to an escalation in the Syria conflict, a military source said Wednesday, as Moscow fine tunes its maritime presence ahead of possible US military action.
“Today we consider our presence in the eastern Mediterranean to be sufficient to solve the tasks. If necessary, together with submarine forces, they (the ships) are capable even today of influencing a military situation,” a general staff source told the Interfax news agency. Continue reading
The Russian military recently dispatched a guided-missile warship to Cuba as part of what U.S. officials say are growing military, intelligence and economic ties between Moscow and Havana.
The missile cruiser is the Moskva, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet, according to state-run Russian news reports. Continue reading
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delayed deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Middle East due to budget uncertainty on Wednesday, hours after warning that financial concerns were a threat to U.S. security.
The outgoing Pentagon chief delayed the deployment of the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier and the USS Gettysburg guided missile cruiser, which were due to leave Virginia later this week, because of uncertainty over the department’s finances, Pentagon spokesman George Little said. Continue reading